Day: January 15, 2011

Saturday Review: Seoul Ice Park

Holy Dreamer Beats Top Point, Ophelia, Double Light Win

If, as is highly probable, over the coming months I write an article bemoaning proposals to give racing at Seoul a winter break once the new racecourse at Yeongcheon opens in 2015, I would be very grateful if somebody could remind me of today. With temperatures far below zero and a wicked wind whipping down the home straight, today was no day for racing. But race they did and as ever, put on a good show for the 30,000 punters in attendance.

It was beautiful, clear and cold cold cold at Seoul Race Park today

The feature race ended in a commanding win for third-favourite Holy Dreamer. The five-year old made the most of a four kilo weight advantage to run-down and overtake the favourite, the venerable seven year old mare Top Point, in the final furlong. It makes it two in a row for Holy Dreamer and a total of ten wins from eighteen career starts.

Bundled-Up: Apprentice jockey Lee Gang Seo tries to keep warm

Earlier in the card, we saw the third big payout in as many racing days as 150/1 shot Hamseong Jilju led home 20/1 New Edition to land a 3800/1 exacta for some lucky punters. Hamseong Jilju was the second of three winners for jockey Lee Gi Hweoi who, in the last, partnered the highly thought of US import Mass Media’s Tea (Mass Media) to his third win in four starts. It was easy for Mass Media’s Tea, who was eased to a four length victory. Behind him, rank outsiders Cheolgamyeon and Jangson filled out a 5000/1 trio.

As an imported horse, Mass Media’s Tea won’t be eligible for this season’s three year old Classics. However, two horses who will be, put in solid performances. Double Light (Menifee) cruised to victory in race 8 over 1700 metres – only 100 metres short of the Derby distance. A little but behind Double Light in terms of development but still impressive is the grey Ophelia who won race 7. Despite the name, Ophelia (Commendable) is a colt and now has two wins and two seconds from four starts.

Double Light and Cho Kyoung Ho ease to victory

Many congratulations must go to the track-staff who ensured that despite the conditions – where the highest temperature all day was -10C, there was never any question of the meeting being called off. At the same time, massive admiration must go to those jockeys and horses who were out on the track.

We’re back racing at Seoul tomorrow when it’s going to be a little – but not much – warmer. There are 11 races from 11:20 to 18:00 while down at Busan there are 6 races from 12:40 to 16:30.