Happy Returns For Choi Bum Hyun

After difficult spells for both of them, two of Seoul’s most recognisable names found themselves back together in the Winner’s circle on Independence Day at Seoul Race Park this evening.

He's no bum: Choi Bum Hyun is back

Bulpae Gisang and Choi Bum Hyun had won together eight times but with the jockey only returning this weekend after three months on the injured list and the horse – once considered one of the two best in Korea – without a win this year, the omens weren’t good.

Yet under the lights in front of a bumper Sunday crowd, the pair combined to see off a big name field that included the likes of Vicar Love, so impressive in the Busan Metropolitan last month, and the returning former champion filly & mare, Top Point. It was Top Point who set the early pace in the ten furlong feature event – oh how we’ve missed her the past nine months – but Choi and Bulpae Gisang were always looking dangerous and took things up with a furlong to go. Vicar Love faded from proceedings and it was Free Hugs who was the biggest danger but, going down the rail under Cho Kyoung Ho, the Aussie-bred six year old could only get to within a length and a half on the line.

Taegukgi: Flags flying on Independence Day

It was a great hour for the returning Choi. In race 9, he guided the very impressive Jilpunggangho to his sixth win from ten starts and in the last scored a surprise victory on outsider Daejauichukje.

Jilpunggangho [Max’s Pal – Spicy Soup (Alphabet Soup)] looks quite a horse. One of those who whose dam was imported while in foal, he wasn’t eligible for the three-year olf Classics but should be a force to be reckoned with in the elite level, for which with today’s win, he has now qualified.

There he might encounter Bulpae Gisang. The stablemate of Dongbanui Gangja for once did not play second fiddle.

Class 1 (Foreign) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – August 15, 2010

1. Bulpae Gisang (USA) [Lightnin N Thunder – Neat Trick (Clever Trick)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 3.7, 1.6
2. Free Hugs (AUS) [Fantastic Light – Woodie (Woodman)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 1.2
3. Top Point (KOR) [Tom Cruiser – Mooncello (Northen Baby)] – Shin Hyoung Chul – 2.6
Distances: 1.5 lengths/4 lengths – 13 ran

* Down at Busan, the feature race was won by Golden Appeal [Sharp Appeal – Golden Image (Dancer’s Image)]. The four-year old got the better of Gimakhin Seungbu after Namdo Jeap had gone walkabout in the home straight. Golden Appeal now has an impressive record of eight wins from twelve starts.

At Dusk: Parading for the ninth



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