Day: July 18, 2012

Seo Seung Un Headed For Asian Young Guns Challenge

Apprentice jockey Seo Seung Un has had quite the career so far. He debuted in August last year – riding two winners on his first weekend – and went on to ride 25 more until he went to the USA two months ago where he rode three more winners.

Seo Seung Un returns after his 25th winner – he’ll be off to Macau in August for the Asian Young Guns Challenge

Now back in Korea, Seo will soon be on his travels again as he becomes the first Korean jockey to participate in the annual “Asian Young Guns Challenge” which will be held in Macau on August 4.

Now in its fourth year, the challenge brings together some of the most promising apprentice jockeys from the Asia-Pacific region (and South Africa) to ride in a three-race series.

The event was hosted by the Victoria Racing Club at Flemington in Melbourne in 2009 and 2011 and by the Singapore Turf Club at Kranji in 2010.

Jockeys taking part this year are:

Ng Ka Chun (Hong Kong)
Taichi Nishimura (Japan)
Shinsuke Ishikawa (Japan)
Seo Seung Un (Korea)
Yazid Kamal (Malaysia)
Zawari Razali (Singapore)
Keagan De Melo (South Africa)
Jake Noonan (Australia)
Jason Collett (New Zealand)

They will be joined by a local representative from Macau for the three races, two of which will be on turf and one on sand. KRA Jockey Academy Instructor Robert Moore will be accompanying Seo on the trip.

More info is at the Macau Jockey Club website

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New Jockeys Beat The Odds

Ahn Hyo Ri, Park Hyun Woo, Kim Hyun Joong All Win

Two apprentice jockeys scored their first ever career winners in the unlikeliest of circumstances at Seoul this past Saturday.

Park Hyun Woo and Ahn Hyo Ri demonstrate traditional awkward Korean poses after their debut wins at Seoul (Pic: Ilgan Sports)

Park Hyun Woo and Ahn Hyo Ri both graduated from the KRA Jockey Academy this year and debuted last month.

Neither had won on from their few rides to date coming into last weekend but that changed as first Park and then later Ahn both rode long priced winners.

Race 2 saw Park ride 280/1 chance Misojanchi to a half-length victory, overtaking champion jockey Moon Se Young on Jeilgosu in the final furlong. It was the longest priced winner at Seoul for some years and an encouraging performance in the saddle from Park who looked very much at home in the finish.

Late on in the afternoon, it was Ahn’s turn. Her win came in race 8 on 53/1 chance Time Zone. Always well-placed, the pair overtook early pacesetter Vicar Summit in the final furlong and went on to record a relatively comfortable length and a half victory.

Winner at Busan: Kim Hyun Joong (Pic: Ilgan Sports)

Down at Busan another new apprentice was also riding a long-priced winner last weekend. Kim Hyun Joong, who debuted at the same time as Ahn and Park, got his second career victory on Sunday.

And it was an impressive performance as, on 48/1 Busan Prince, he beat out South African rider Gerrit Schlechter riding odds-on favourite Gwangsok Engine by a nose in a photo finish.

It’s early days but it seems we have another talented crop of young apprentices. With young jockeys these days being given much more of an opportunity to prove themselves than they once were – owners and trainers knowing that they’ve been better trained than their predecessors – no doubt there will be plenty more visits to the winner’s circle for all of them