It’s been a really bad couple of months at the top-level of Korean racing. Back in June, last year’s Horse of the Year, Mister Park, fatally broke down in a race at Busan. On the same day Grand Prix champion Tough Win suffered a bleeding attack and was a shadow of his real self when he raced again a month later.
Then Smarty Moonhak, the phenom believed by many to potentially be the best horse we’ve ever had here, was diagnosed with tendonitis. The latter two events were less tragic but it meant that the “troika” who filled the first three places in the Grand Prix and were expected to battle each other for big prizes in Korean racing’s most exciting year ever, was gone.
We’re looking for a star. Dangdae Bulpae, winner of the Busan Metropolitan ahead of what we now know was an injured Smarty Moonhak clearly is one. Fifth that night was a three-year old American import called Smoking Gun (Hat Trick). Tonight he reappeared and absolutely destroyed a class 1 field over ten furlongs.
Smoking Gun is by the Japanese born sire Hat Trick (Sunday Silence) and out of Announce mare Desdemona’s Dream. He won his first four starts, culminating in the Macau Jockey Club Trophy, before finally being beaten on is first try at class 1. Tonight He was eased to a five length victory over Darani (Saarland) with Nobel Pokpung (Didyme), second in the Korean Derby, a further nine lengths back in third.
There’s a long way to go until the Grand Prix but on today’s performance, Smoking Gun will be there. May he stay sound.
Class 1 – Busan Race Park – 2000M – August 19, 2012
1. Smoking Gun (USA) [Hat Trick – Desdemona’s Dream (Announce)] – Choi Si Dae – 2.2, 1.3
2. Darani (USA) [Saarland – Dusty’s Legacy (Golden Missile)] – Jo Chang Wook – 1.6
3. Nobel Pokpung (KOR) [Didyme – Shar Baby (Talinum)] – Chae Gyu Jun – 1.7
Distances: 5 lengths/9 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Seonnyang Yongsa (AUS) 5. Kiwi’s Playboy (USA) 6. Killian’s Tiger (USA) 7. Areumdeuri (USA) 8. Sinheung Hwangje DQ. Pokpung Jilju (USA)