Korean Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire) was a comfortable three-length winner on his season debut at Seoul Race Park on Saturday.
The colt, who won two legs of the Korean Triple Crown in 2012, was sent off at slight odds-on for the 1900 metre feature Handicap.
With regular rider Moon Se Young currently in Macau, the four-year old was partnered by young up-and-comer Seo Seung Un for the first time and it didn’t take the pair long to gel.
Kept in the middle of the pack for much of the race, Jigeum I Sungan still had five horses in front of him as they entered the final furlong. One after another they were picked off as he eased to the front and ultimately won going away from the field. Magnifique (Menifee) was second with Singgereounachim (Exploit) in third.
Despite his double Classic triumph and subsequent Horse of the Year award, today’s win was only Jigeum I Sungan’s 7th from 16 starts. However, throughout last year he got better with every run and the feeling is that the best is still very much to come from him.
On his last start, Jigeum I Sungan was well beaten into 2nd as Dangdae Bulpae strolled to his third consecutive President’s Cup. November is a long way away but stopping Dangdae Bulpae securing a historic fourth win in Korea’s richest race is surely the season goal for Jigeum I Sungan. The preparation has begun well.
Sunday January 20
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:00