Day: March 20, 2011

Larrycat Pounces On Dongbanui Gangja Habit

Former Champion Runs Wide Again / Crown Flag Scores Upset In Busan Ilbo

Larrycat took full advantage as once again it all went wrong for Dongbanui Gangja in the feature event at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

Larrycat and Park Tae Jong just edge out Strong Demand and Park Byung Yun in the feature race at Seoul

Dongbanui Gangja (Broken Vow), the former double Grand Prix Champion, had been out of the winner’s circle for nearly a year, after his long time habit of running wide in the home straight became too much to control. Still every time he races, many punters expect him to get it together once more. Indeed today, he was sent off as slight odds-on favourite as he was carrying several kilos less than he has been accustomed to.

Beaten again: Dongbanui Gangja

It didn’t make any difference. Choi Bum Hyun had Dongbanui Gangja well placed as they rounded the home turn but slowly, inevitably, the drift happened and while his rivals were going forward, Dongbanui Ganga was going sideways and didn’t stop until he got to the grandstand rail. In his stead, it was left to Larrycat (Fantasticat), second to Mister Park in the 2010 Grand Prix to get the better of Strong Demand (Read The Footnotes) in a tight finish.

Three lengths behind them, there was a blanket finish for third, Geumbi, who was making her class 1 debut, beating out Kahnui Jeonseol and, all the way across, Dongbanui Gangja by a nose. He ran a self-inflicted 20 metres further than any other horse in the race but was still only five metres away from winning. This suggests he’s still the fastest horse in Korea. However, now six years old, it is difficult to see how a stallion such as Dongbanui Gangja is going to change his ways.

Down south, on a wet and muddy day at Busan it was the Busan Ilbo Stakes and what was billed as a clash of the track’s most promising up and coming imported fillies.

As it turned out, the final stages were a clash between a Korean bred four-year old – with just one win in twenty to her name – and the only mare in the race – who also had only ever recorded one win. It was the Korean four-year old who won out as Crown Flag (Volponi), a 57/1 shot squeezed home a length ahead of Amateras (Silver Charm).

Pre-race favourite Royale Embrace (Chapel Royal) was a disappointment, never featuring towards the front and only managing seventh in the end. Likewise, there was to be no first Korean Stakes win for trainer Peter Wolsley as his Secret Whisper, second favourite in the betting finished third.

The winning pair returned a 1763/1 exacta. A few punters will have gone home happy while a few fillies have reputations to repair.

Busan Ilbo Stakes – Busan Race Park – 1400M – Sunday March 20, 2011

1. Crown Flag (KOR) [Volponi – Crown of Creation (Beau Genius)] – Kim Myoung Sin – 57.2. 7.8
2. Amateras (JPN) [Silver Charm – Nice Juno (Nice Dancer)] – Choi Si Dae – 9.5
3. Secret Whisper (KOR) [Sea Of Secrets – Generals Passion (General Meeting)] – Park Geum Man – 2.1

Distances: 0.75 lengths/1.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Sangseung Geotap 5. Lovely Woman 6. Queen Of Rain 7. Royale Embrace 8. Gayatansaeng 9. Saetbyeol 10. Geungnak Seonnyo 11. Ecton Legacy 12. Myeongmun Bobae 13. Jungle Love 14. Allie’s Premo

Dongbanui Gangja (7) gazes out over the Seoul paddock that he used to dominate