Day: June 19, 2011

Stroll In The Park

Mister Park Ties Unbeaten Record / Ace Galloper Finds It Easy At Seoul

A mismatch isn’t easy to celebrate. Certainly very few punters were as Mister Park’s victory at Busan today paid out at a rate of 1.0 – that is, those who bet on him got their money back, but no more. Nevertheless, this demolition job took the Grand Prix Champion onto fifteen straight wins, equal with two greats of Korean racing, Po Gyeong Seon and Saegangja.

Mister Park (Pic: KRA)

A horse can only beat what is put in front of him or her and Mister Park (Ecton Park) has certainly done that. However, of his fifteen wins, only the Grand Prix – admittedly the biggest of them all – was a Stakes race and on only one other occasion was he asked to take on foreign bred horses.

Today’s victory was as routine as it gets. Jockey Yoo Hyun Myung took Mister Park into the lead straight out of the gate and accelerated away from the field as they entered the home straight. Ten lengths was the distance jockey Yoo opted to win by. It could have been thirty.

The record will surely come next time out and after that is when it should get interesting. Mister Park’s handicap mark should render staying competing against domestic bred horses impractical in all but Stakes races. Then we’ll have some fun.

Ace Galloper and Cho Kyoung Ho return after another win

Up in Seoul, there was another finding the going pretty easy today. Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) is just like Mister Park in that he is Korean born but not bred (in that his dam was imported to Korean while pregnant) and therefore wasn’t eligible for the three-year old Classics last year and also in that he has been campaigned rather conservatively.

This afternoon in the feature race in the Capital, he took on Top Point, former Champion filly & mare. While Top Point took an early lead, Cho Kyoung Ho produced a masterful ride on Ace Galloper to come through and take the victory by a comfortable three lengths. Ace Galloper moves onto thirteen wins from nineteen starts. Oh but would he and Mister Park race each other.

Japanese Trifecta: from left to right - Mai Beppu, Hiro Hamada and Makoto Noda

In other races, Japanese jockeys Mai Beppu and Makoto Noda both registered their first place finishes. Beppu had made her Korean riding debut nearly two months ago but got injured on only her second day. Returning this weekend, she managed a second and a third place. Meanwhile, Noda was making his debut and on his thirteenth and final ride of the weekend, scored a very unlikely third place on longshot Silk Road in the last today.

Both jockeys seemed to get the quantity but not the quality in their rides this weekend. Their countryman Hiro Hamada, who joined them in a couple of races today, has been riding in Korea for more than a year now and, while arguably one of the best riders at the track, these days receives neither quality nor quantity to ride. Such is the life for a foreign jockey in Korea.

Racing returns to the peninsula next weekend when we will have Stakes action in the form of the Sports Seoul Cup.

These chaps had fun in the heat

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