Ace Galloper sent out an ominous warning to his rivals in the older horse division as he strolled to a four-length win at Ice Station Seoul Race Park this afternoon.
In bitterly cold conditions, the four-year old led from gate-to-wire in the feature handicap to notch up his third consecutive win and his tenth in total from fifteen starts. Khanui Huye was second and Janggun Bada third but they might as well have been running in their own race such was Ace Galloper’s dominance of the ten furlong event. Being one of those born in Korea but conceived elsewhere, Ace Galloper couldn’t take part in the three-year old classics in 2010. Indeed even as a four-year old he may find his Stakes options limited but it is clear that Ace Galloper is going to be the horse to beat in the in the big Sunday afternoon handicaps this year.
Ace Galloper was ridden by champion jockey Cho Kyoung Ho but even with big rival Moon Se Young indisposed having picked up an injury during yesterday’s Herald Business, things didn’t go entirely his way as Jung Ki Yong took jockey of the day honours with a quick-fire treble in mid-afternoon.
First up for Jung was a five-length win on Yeongtap in race 6, quickly followed by a much tighter victory on New Bird in race 7. Then in race 8, Jung and 5/1 shot Namchonuichukje upset Cho on favourite Legal Lady to complete his treble.
Jung had the chance of a fourth in race 9, however, despite setting the early pace on Blooming, he – along with all the other fancied runners – fell away in the home straight to leave the way clear for a 130/1 outsider, the Japanese bred Burning Sky (Stravinsky) to take an unlikely victory. To rub salt in the wounds of all but a very few lucky punters, 50/1 Sky Center and Kim Hae Sun got up to claim second to complete a 5400/1 exacta. Gyongmaman did not win it. If he had, he would not be bothering to type this now.
The key characteristic of Seoul today was that it was cold. Very cold. The warmest it got all day was four degrees below zero while six below was the average. By comparison it was positively t-shirt and shorts weather down at Busan where they manages a princely three degrees above for their six-race card which included co-features. In the first of them, Japanese jockey Yoshi Aoki got his first big race win of the year as he partnered last year’s Derby third Triple Sinhwa to a smart win. Although he picked up a ban in the process, Aoki will still look on it as a good day’s work. In the finale, favourite Nuri Choegang [Awesome Of Course – Jamie Love (Roy)] flashed past Kiwi’s Playboy in the final furlong to take a surprisingly comfortable victory.