Day: August 21, 2010

Tote-al Chaos

Korea Lead International Jockey Challenge While Tote Farce Causes Lost Race

It can happen to anyone. You run one of the slickest shows around. You have the best facilities and most advanced technology anywhere. So naturally, you invite a few people round to show it off. And when you do, it all goes wrong. The KRA must have been feeling like that halfway through this afternoon’s card; the first day of the International Jockey Challenge at Seoul Race Park.

It had started off badly with chaos at the starting gate delaying races 1 & 2. Then in race 3, one jockey got thrown off and another horse opted to remain in the stalls until his compatriots had completed half the race.

That's Korean for 'System Error' and it results in an empty track

However, that was just a build up to race 4, the pièce de résistance, when with the horses at the start and around $10 Million in the various pools, the tote board failed. Completely. Race 4 was abandoned and and all money returned. If it could fail once, it could fail again – and it did, just prior to race 5.Somehow, though they managed to get it working again and whatever sticking plaster they applied (or they switched it off and switched it back on again), saw us through to the end of the evening.

However, it may have been better for the International team comtesting the “Korea vs The World” event, if they hadn’t. In the two Saturday races that brought us to the half-way point in the challenge, both were won by the home team, with the visitors managing just two placings.

Scott Seamer - best placed visitor

In a race that was delayed by 10 minutes due to the tote problems, Ganghotansaeng was an impressive winner for Korean jockey Yoo Sang Wan . The gelding had the seven furlong race won some distance from the line and finished two lengths clear of Choi Bum Hyun on Olle Dreamer. Turkish rider Akin Sozen pipped Moon Se Young to third to score some points for the visitors:

Race 6 (Domestic 4 Allowance III-B) – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – Aug 21, 2010

1. Ganghotansaeng – Yoo Sang Wan (KOR) 5.6, 2.2
2. Olle Dreamer – Choi Bum Hyun (KOR) 2.2
3. Chowonui Hyanggi – Akin Sozen (TUR) 3.3
Distances: 2 lengths/4 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Wonder Heart (Moon Se Young – KOR), 5. Golden Cat (Muzi Yeni – SA), 6. Tachys (Oliver Castillo – USA) 7. Super Taepung (Niall McCullagh – IRE), 8. Happy Choice (Oh Kyoung Hoan), 9. Golden Wing (Park Tae Jong – KOR), 10. Yongho Yakjin (Scott Seamer – AUS), 11. Sugar Land (Jung Ki Yong – KOR), 12. Perfect Line (Syu Ishibashi – JPN), 13. Holiday King (Cho Kyoung Ho – KOR)

It didn’t get much better under the floodlights three hours later. There were no surprises as Big Easy scored his sixth win from seven starts, Jung Ki Yong having been the lucky jockey to pick his number out of the hat. Scott Seamer got the closest, guiding Gangcheorwang to a creditable second place. However, the rest of the visitors filled out five of the last six finshers.

Race 10 (Domestic 2 Handicap) – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – Aug 21, 2010

1. Big Easy – Jung Ki Yong (KOR) – 2.5, 1.4
2. Gangcheorwang – Scott Seamer (AUS) – 3.2
3. Oregon – Cho Kyoung Ho (KOR) – 2.6
Distances: 1.25 lengths/4 lengths

Also Ran: 4. Chowonui Chueok (Yoo Sang Wan – KOR), 5. Kkum Guerin (Park Tae Jong – KOR), 6. Mannamui Chubok (Park Tae Jong – KOR), 7. Jaemi Best (Choi Bum Hyun – KOR), 8. Wangsan (Lee Sang Hyeok) 9. Battle Commander (Muzi Yeni – SA) 10. Yeonggeol (Moon Se Young – KOR) 11. Smart Galloper (Syu Ishibashi – JPN) 12. Happy Hero (Akin Sozen – TUR) 13. Jayeongwang (Niall McCullogh – IRE) DQ Red Sky (Oliver Castillo – USA)

* It got even worse after the line for Muzi Yeni as Battle Commander decided he’d prefer to be alone for a while and dumped him on the track. Happily, Yeni is fine and will be riding tomorrow.

Muzi Yeni of South Africa gets to know his mount - this one didn't throw him off

*The English language Stewards’ Report from today’s meeting at Seoul is now ready for download. It is, of course, free.