Former Champion Top Point Wins Again
When she won the KRA Cup Classic last year to become Seoul’s Champion Filly or Mare, few would have thought it would be fifteen months until Top Point returned to the Winner’s Circle. Injury restricted her to just one more outing in 2009 and kept her off the track until August this year where a third place finish wasn’t enough to get her into last week’s Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup, which this year replaced the Cup Classic as Seoul’s top race for fillies and mares.
In winning the Gyeonggi Cup, Love Cat may have taken Top Point’s crown away, but the six-year old showed that she is far from done with a narrow win in the feature handicap under the lights at a dark and misty Seoul Race Park this afternoon. It was an impressive performance. The 1900 metre race included Seoul’s top-rated Korean three-year old Ace Galloper as well as prolific winners Jilpunggangho, Khanui Jeguk and Big Easy.
In the end, all three of those were beaten as it came down to a final furlong duel between Top Point and 6/1 shot Blue Pin. Under Shin Hyoung Chul, it was the big mare who got the better of it, just holding off the colt by a nose on the line. The win was Top Point’s fifteenth in a twenty-five race career. She has only been out of the money once.
Earlier, Kanui Byeol, fourth in the Oaks back in August, got back to winning ways with a smart win in the class 3 race 9. while US bred Consistent Success (High Yield) scored a win at class 2 level which will see him elevated into the elite ranks next time out.
There was defeat, however, for the much hyped Choegoro. The three-year old gelding had strolled to victory in his last two outings and was long odds-on as he stepped up to seven furlongs in race 7. However, despite leading until well into the home straight, the favourite ran out of steam and he field swept past. Hitting the line first was 80/1 outsider Geumbit Teukgeup, the four-year old providing another winner for in-form veteran jockey Kim Gui Bae.
Despite pleasant temperatures, the fog and smog – made worse by an unseasonal yellow dust storm – meant the floodlights came on much earlier than planned and gave the track an eerie, even bleak, feel. Meanwhile, in slightly brighter conditions on Jeju Island, the special race in honour of the island’s “Farmer’s Day” was won by five-year old pony Seongbulsingi, who started favourite for the race which, at 1800 metres, is one of the island’s longest of the year.
Class 1 Handicap – Seoul Race Park – 1900M – November 6, 2010
1. Top Point (KOR) [Tom Cruiser – Mooncello (Northern Baby)] – Shin Hyoung Chul – 8.7, 2.1
2. Blue Pin (KOR) [Lion Heart – Telegraph Road (Royal Academy)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 1.7
3. Jilpunggangho (KOR) [Max’s Pal – Spicy Soup (Alphabet Soup)] – Yoon Tae Hyoug – 2.0
Distances: Nose/3 lengths – 14 ran
Racing returns to Seoul tomorrow with eleven races from 11:20 to 18:00. Busan runs six races from 12:40 to 16:30.