Moon Se Young was presented with the 2011 Jockey Championship Trophy at Seoul Race Park on Sunday…by his wife.
KRA TV Announcer Kim Ryeo Jin, who also happens to be Mrs Moon Se Young, was the surprise presenter of the award to her husband who racked up 105 wins last year to claim his second Seoul Jockey Championship.
Also receiving awards were Champion Trainer Shin Woo Chul, as well as connections of Seoul’s best two horses of the last year. Grand Prix Stakes winner Tough Win claimed the overall Horse Of The Year prize, Tamna Feed Company CEO Yoon Tae Hyeon picking up the award, while KRA Cup Classic winner Ace Galloper won the prize for Korean bred horses for owner Shin Joon Soo.
On the track, Champion Moon notched another two winners but he couldn’t take out the feature race which was won by Ham Wan Sik (who landed a treble) on Japanese five-year-old Real Victor (Biwa Shinseiki) who upset hot favourite Cheonun.
Cheonun was runner-up in the 2010 Korean Oaks and it seems likely that a similarly named filly could be making an impact on the Triple Crown races this year. Cheoneun (Forest Camp) began her three-year old career in the very last race on Sunday, scoring a comfortable two-length win over seven furlongs. That takes her record to four wins from six starts and she’ll be one to watch as the year progresses.
It’s not just horses we need to watch as the year progresses. Moon Se Young may be champion jockey now but there is plenty of talent coming up behind him.
Chief among those seems to be Jo In Kwen, who won Saturday’s big handicap on Jumong and Jang Chu Yeol, who is yet to open his account this year. A year behind them though is first-year apprentice Seo Seung Un. Seo won twice on Sunday and looks in good shape to ride out his apprenticeship (reach 40 winners) quicker than any Korean jockey before him.
For now though, Moon Se Young can content himself with being the best at what he does whilst being one of the richest sportsmen in the country. And married to a TV presenter.
* It was a good start to 2012 for Japanese jockey Makoto Noda. After being without a win in the final two months of last year, he landed successes on both Saturday and Sunday.