Day: June 26, 2011

Sen Girl Strides Into Oaks Contention

Strodes Creek Filly Wins Sports Seoul / Kim Ok Sung Returns To Stakes Winner’s Circle

Under an angry sky at Seoul Race Park this afternoon Sen Girl, a 7/1 chance, took victory in the Sports Seoul Cup and in the process put herself among the favourites for the Korean Oaks this coming August.

All Smiles: Kim Ok Sung and Sen Girl return as Sports Seoul Champions

Sunday’s racing began in the monsoon rain that has lashed the peninsula non-stop since Wednesday, however, by the time the ten fillies took to the track for main event at 4:30pm, the rain had stopped and a brisk wind made for drying conditions. While Seungniuihamseong was sent off the even money favourite, it was Mustang Queen and champion jockey Cho Kyoung Ho who set the early pace. As they began the long turn for home, veteran jockey Kim Ok Sung brought Sen Girl around the field to take the lead.

While Mustang Queen fought back bitterly in the home straight, it was a lead they wouldn’t relinquish and Sen Girl held on to win by a neck on the line to claim the 108 Million Won first prize and punch her ticket to the Oaks at Busan. Behind Mustang Queen, Allegrissmo was a distant third.

Sen Girl is just one of twenty foals to be produced by the sire Strodes Creek (Halo) during his spell in Korea before his untimely death in 2008. Imported from Japan in late 2006, Strodes Creek stood for just one season before his tragic paddock accident. Three of that crop were in this race with Cheonupilseung and Event Queen finishing fifth and sixth respectively.

A few months ago, few would have foreseen Kim Ok Sung being back on the podium after a Stakes victory

It was also a milestone day for jockey Kim Ok Sung. Kim had his license cancelled last year after being accused of passing along inside information. After serving a six month ban, he returned to action last month. Although accused of a crime that punters hate more than almost anything, Kim remains exceptionally popular with race fans in Korea.

It could be his ever-present grin and willingness to engage in paddock banter that causes this – since his return punters are forever asking him for a tip. Or it could be the fact that he’s one the most experienced riders in the weighing room and punters like familiarity.

Perhaps though, it’s more to do with the fact that unlike the young professional athletes he rides alongside these days, he simply looks as though he enjoys a spot of soju and Sam-gyeop-sal and that if he wasn’t riding, he’d be queuing at the betting windows along with everyone else. Whatever the reason, it seems great to have him back.

Sports Seoul Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1700M – June 26, 2011

1. Sen Girl (KOR) [Strodes Creek – Badgering Shari (Badger Land)] – Kim Ok Sung –
2. Mustang Queen (KOR) [Concept Win – Arouser (Golden Missile)] – Cho Kyoung Ho –
3. Allegrissimo (KOR) [Bon Vivant – Corporate Romance (Corporate Report)] – Moon Se Young –

Distances: Neck/8 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Seungniuihamseong 5. Cheonupilseung 6. Event Queen 7. Giengnal Geunal 8. Saebyeokcheonsa 9. Hwaryeohansesang 10. Firenze

The rain stopped leaving clear air and an angry sky over Seoul Race Park