Seo Seung Un Becomes Second Korean Jockey To Win In USA

Young Korean jockey Seo Seung Un has just completed a month gaining experience in the United States and, just like Jang Chu Youl last year, has ridden a winner.

Seo Seung Un aboard Southern Folly in the Charles Town Winner’s Circle (Pic: Sports Chosun)

His victory came at Charles Town on May 12 aboard 7/1 shot Southern Folly (Southern Image) for trainer John McKee, for whom Jang also rode a winner during his stint stateside. In total Seo had 14 rides, 13 at Charles Town and 1 at Mountaineer and scored 1 win, 1 second and 5 third place finishes.

The standard of riding in Korea is improving greatly (at least at Seoul, for whatever reason, Busan is lagging badly behind) with the KRA Jockey Academy turning out riders of a much higher standard of that of a decade to go. Seo Seung Un is the honour student in that group. Since debuting in August last year, Seo has already ridden 27 winners and looks set to ride out his apprentice claim in double-quick time.

Eager to improve the standard of riding in Korea, the KRA arranges for promising young jockeys to gain overseas experience. While Jang and Seo went to the US, a number of young riders have recently been sent to the British Racing School in Newmarket while others have spent time in Australia and South Africa – home country of KRA riding instructor Kenny Michel, a man who can claim much of the credit for the new talent.

While the race in Charles Town was the cheapest race Seo Seung Un will ever win (the least valuable Korean race is worth to the jockey approximately 5 times what Seo earned for his ride on Southern Folly), it will no doubt always be one of the most significant.

See race video at Charles Town’s site here. It was race 9 on May 12.

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One comment

  1. A wonderful tribute to really good apprentices. I must have my say though about “who gets much of the credit”

    As much as I have absolutely nothing against riding instructor Kenny Michel, he had absolutely and utterly no input into the training of Jang Chuyoul or Seo Seung Un. They were trained in Seoul at the Racing Academy by 2 Korean riding masters, and a South African riding master, Thomas Labuschagne. They then went on to be coached by another South African riding master, Robert Moore at the course in Seoul. Kenny Michel is based in Busan and has nothing to do with the training that goes on in Seoul.

    It’s quite a shame that non of these talented instructors were even mentioned as I know personally how much hard work and effort these instructors put into both boys getting to where they are today.

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