The Korean Derby wasn’t the only big race at Seoul this past weekend. Saturday saw the annual running of the JRA Trophy and there was a surprise as favourite Grand Niner, unbeaten in all of his four previous starts, slumped to a disappointing tenth placed finish while 12/1 chance Nolbu Manse took the victory:
JRA Trophy – Seoul Race Park – 1200M – May 19, 2012
1. Nolbu Manse (USA) [Simon Pure-Reason To Fear (Kris S.)] – Ham Wan Sik – 12.6, 3.1
2. Haedongcheorwang (USA) [West Acre-Sienna’s Honor (Honor Grades)] – Moon Jung Kyun – 1.6
3. Nano City (AUS) [King Of Roses-Meribel (Centaine)] – Moon Se Young – 1.9
Distances: 1 length/0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Winner Trophy (USA) 5. Runway (NZ) 6. No Secret More (USA) 7. Geumdongi (USA) 8. Yeongungiyagi (USA) 9. Samogok (USA) 10. Grand Niner (USA) 11. Lopin Joe (USA) 12. Damas Ruler (NZ) 13. Mangmugane (USA) 14. New Terracan (USA)
Winning Trainer: Ji Young Hoon Owner: Park Si Yong Breeder: Tim & Karen MaWhinney (Florida)
* At Busan there were shocks in both of Sunday’s feature races. Aussie trainer Peter Wolsley would have expected to win the first of these, however, he wouldn’t have expected it to come by way of his second string entrant Pnata Rhei (Stormy Atlantic) getting the better of his first string and race favourite Secret Whisper (Sea Of Secrets). Joe Murphy’s Deep Desire (Jump Start) completed the placings for an all-foreign trained 1, 2, 3.
In the second feature, there was disappointment for Wolsley as his Ghost Whisper (Gotham City) reared up in the starting gate and got left behind. It was left to 28/1 outsider Haengbok Dream (Lammtarra) to take a shock four-length win from the previously unbeaten US import Smoking Gun (Hat Trick).
With both Smoking Gun and Grand Niner losing their unbeaten records, it wasn’t a good weekend for those hoping to see a star emerge to potentially take on Smarty Moonhak later in the year.