Smarty Moonhak Strolls In The Sunshine

Smarty Moonhak went for a jog in the Spring sunshine at Seoul Race Park this afternoon and returned with his third class 1 win of 2012.

The three-year old colt was sent off the long-odds on favourite for the 2000 metre feature race and, despite carrying more than 4 kilos more than any of his rivals, led from gate to wire to score victory by five lengths.

As in his last outing race last month, Smarty Moonhak [Smarty Jones-Madeira M’Dear (Black Tie Affair)] barely needed to raise a canter and jockey Moon Jung Kyun was able to remain motionless throughout what was in the end was little more than a timed workout.

Behind him, Jisanggunju (Eddington) held off KJ Khan (Squirtle Squirt) for second in what might as well have been a different race.

Since getting beaten in his first start, Smarty Moonhak has won seven races with the Grand Prix being his only defeat. He hasn’t been pushed in any of these – even in the Grand Prix, given his tender age and the distance he was running, his jockey was careful not to push him too hard.

Only Tough Win, the horse who beat Smarty Moonhak in the Grand Prix Stakes last December, is now ranked higher than him at Seoul. At Busan Mister Park, who finished second in that Grand Prix, could perhaps still give him a race. Until these three meet again though, likely to happen in the Busan Metropolitan Stakes in the summer, there is little to keep him amused in the capital.

And until they meet again, we won’t have any clue as to how good Smarty Moonhak really is. The $14,000 purchase from the 2010 Keeneland September Yearling sale has now amassed nearly 400 Million Won of prize money. If he stays sound, he could go on to break all sorts of records.

At Busan tomorrow it is the big one. The KRA Cup Mile – the “Korean 2000 Guineas” – is the first leg of the 2012 Korean Triple Crown (which is only open to Korean bred horses) and comes under orders at 3:50pm.

Immediately after the Cup Mile is the Macau Jockey Club Trophy which brings together two highly rated unbeaten imports Pure Future (Simon Pure) and Smoking Gun (Hat Trick). Could one of those two go on to challenge Smarty Moonhak later in the year? We’ll know a little more tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday April 8

Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 11:00 to 17:50
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:15 to 16:50 including the KRA Cup Mile at 15:50 and the MJC Trophy at 16:50

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