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 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.
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