Saeroun Taeyang & Dongbang Rose go down / Hanramyeongseng wins Jeju Halla Ilbo
Bally Brae continued to roll back the years and produced a commanding performance to land the weekend’s feature race. But while the old boy was on-form on Saturday, there were disappointments on Sunday for Classic hopefuls Dongbang Rose and Saeroun Taeyang.
Just a few months ago, Bally Brae looked to be entering the endgame of his career. For the first time in his career he went consecutive races out of the money and only finished sixth in the season-ending Grand Prix. Following his great rival Subsidy into retirement seemed only a matter of time.
Nevertheless, he came back out as an eight-year old and ran an encouraging third in his season opener back in January. Three weeks later he was in the winner’s circle and that’s where he’s been ever since. On Saturday he once more led from gate-to-wire and was three lengths clear on the line from regular rivals Dankee’s Pal – to whom he was giving eight kilos – and Vicar Love. Bally Brae now has a record of eighteen wins from thirty-six starts.
It wasn’t such a good weekend for this year’s Classic hopefuls. Down at Busan, Saeroun Taeyang was sent off favourite but, after a disastrous start, failed to place in a race over the Derby distance of nine furlongs, placing in doubt her chances of travelling to Seoul for the Derby next month.
Meanwhile in the capital, the previously unbeaten Dongbang Rose, thought to be the pick of sire Volponi’s first Korean crop, slumped to her first defeat. The filly was sent off the odds-on favourite for the 1700 metre race 8 but ould only manage third as fellow three-year old filly Cheonun strode to a four-length win.
Perhaps the most meaningful race of the weekend though was on Jeju Island, where the favourite, Hanramyeongseng, carrying a back-breaking 75 kilos, won the Halla Ilbo Cup.