Day: September 17, 2011

Ladies Shine But Moon Takes Glory

Double for Mai and Career Maiden for Lee Ah Na but Moon Se Young and Raon Glory Score in Seoul Feature

As racing returned to Seoul after the Chuseok break, it was a breakthrough day as female jockeys accounted for a quarter of all the winners. However, it was former Champion jockey Moon Se Young who was at his dominant best as he landed a treble including victory on 13/1 Raon Glory in the feature race of the day.

Heading for Glory: Moon Se Young drives Rain Glory to victory

Moon had taken the opener on Senchingu (Ft. Stockton-Cheong Cho Han) and added a second on Gieongnal Geunal (Menifee-Divulge) in race 6 before lining up on Raon Glory for the seven furlong feature. Balhaemyeongjang was sent off favourite but was never a danger as Raon Glory hit the front with two furlongs to go and found a little bt extra in the closing stages to comfortably hold off rank outsider Meotjin Segye for the win. Raon Glory (Tapit-Queen Lulu), a four-year old filly moves on to impressive figures of seven wins from eleven starts.

As for Moon Se Young, he’s closed the gap behind Cho Kyoung ho at the top at the top of the Jockey Title Race. Defending champion Cho scored just the one win today – pumping his fist in Moon’s direction as he got the better of his rival on Private (Menifee-Cursive) in race 4. With very little in it, this is set for an interesting climax over the next three months.

Double: Mai Beppu

Meotjin Segye, the 100/1 runner-up behind Ran Glory, was ridden by Mai Beppu. The Japanese jockey had already scored another 50/1 second place finish but would go on to get an even better double late n the card. First up was victory in race 10 on Mass Media’s Tea (Mass Media-Tea Pot Joy). The US import was once talked of as a future champion but has disappointed this year to the extent that he was sent off at 30/1 today. With Beppu on board, the colt made a mockery of those odds as the pair made all to win by two and a half lengths.

It got better for Beppu in the last as she scored another unexpected win, this time on 19/1 Chuwolchupung (Social Charter-Stone Rose). The visiting jockey is now on six wins in Korea.

Who Do You Think You Are? Former champion Moon Se Young (right) casts his eye other new jockey Lee A Na, who ride her first winner today

Much earlier in the day, a young jockey was celebrating a milestone as Lee Ah Na rode her first ever winner. In what was just the seventh ride of her career, Lee guided 9/1 shot Akeja (Didyme-Morning Java) to victory by just over a length.

She is the second of this year’s new jockeys to break her duck after Seo Seung Woon’s exploits a fortnight a go. As for the Golden Boy himself, he drew a blank today, despite riding a favourite. Early days for everyone.

There was one other performance of note on the track today. Two-year old Smarty Moonhak (Smarty Jones-Maderia M’Dear) is one of only two sons of Smarty Jones in Korea. The other, ES Four, has been mildly successful but Smarty Moonhak looks a very interesting prospect.

He debuted in June, running second to another highly rated import, New Zealand bred Mister Captain (Captain Rio-Siamond Dust). Mister Captain hasn’t run since but Smarty Moonhak had scored two decisive wins coming into today’s race when he became the first of this year’s crop of two-year old imports to tackle two turns.

He took to it rather well. As soon as jockey Shim Seung Tae asked him to quicken as the field entered the straight, there was no contest. The young colt was far too good for his older rivals and was eased down for an eleven length win. It may not have been an especially fast time and there wasn’t much in the way of opposition behind him, but the dismissive manner of victory suggests we have quite a talent on our hands.

Shim Seung Tae grins as he unsaddles Smarty Moonhak. The two year old strolled to his third consecutive victory at Seoul today.

Sunday sees the 29th running of the Ilgan Sports Cup Stakes at Seoul. There are 11 races at Seoul Race Park from 11:10 to 18:05 and 6 at Busan Race Park from 12:30 to 17:05.