Day: April 21, 2013

Dominant Jigeum I Sungan Owns Seoul

Feel So Good Fades as Derby Winner Adds Owners’ Trophy to Collection

Jigeum I Sungan stormed to a dominant victory in the Owners’ Association Trophy at Seoul Race Park this afternoon in the process cementing his place as the top Korean-bred horse at the track and handing a first defeat on Korean soil to Feel So Good.

Jigeum I Sungan and Moon Se Young win the Owners' Cup

Jigeum I Sungan and Moon Se Young win the Owners’ Cup

The 2012 Korean Derby winner, Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire) has shown improvement with every run and today was no exception. Despite dropping back to 1400 metres and facing Feel So Good (Ft.Stockton), the first Korean-bred horse to win a race in the United States and who had won his first 3 Korean starts without breaking into a gallop, Jigeum I Sungan was sent off the heavy favourite.

Jigeum I Sungan and Moon Se Young Return

Jigeum I Sungan and Moon Se Young Return

While Feel So Good was quick out of the gate and into an early lead there was never a stage when the result looked in doubt.

As they entered the home straight, Moon Se Young brought Jigeum I Sungan around the outside of the field and into contention while Kim Ok Sung got no response from Feel So Good.

After that it was just a matter of how much he would win by, jockey Moon spending most of the final furlong contemplating how he would pose for the cameras on the finish line.

7 lengths was the ultimate margin. Behind him, two rank outsiders got the closest. New And Best (Trick Of Fate) was guided into 2nd by Japanese jockey Yukio Abe at odds of well over 200/1 while coming in third was 125/1 Jeumeundeungi (War Zone). Feel So Good trailed over the line in 10th and was later found to be lame in his left foreleg.

Jigeum I Sungan now has 10 wins from 19 career starts – with 8 of those wins coming in his most recent 11 starts. The last horse to beat him was Dangdae Bulpae as the Busan superstar romped to his 3rd consecutive President’s Cup last November. Next time the face each other, the younger horse should be much more competitive.

Winning jockey Moon Se Young spent the first 3 months of this year riding in Macau, notching 7 winners. The 2012 Champion has given his rivals a big head start but, having grabbed 5 winners over the course of the weekend and 10 in total since returning, it would be a brave man who’d bet against him grinding his rivals down over the rest of the season.

Japanese jockey Yukio Abe (right), who rode New And Best to a shock 2nd place, congratulates winner Moon Se Young

Japanese jockey Yukio Abe (right), who rode New And Best to a shock 2nd place, congratulates winner Moon Se Young

He had missed 3 wins on this horse while in Macau but Moon showed his delight on being back on him with the kind of celebration he used to reserve for his former favourite mount, Bally Brae.

Bally Brae became one of the best horses of his decade. If Jigeum I Sungan – his name means “This Is The Moment” – keeps up this form, it is very possible he may end up remembered as one of the best of his.

Owners’ Association Trophy (KOR GIII) – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – April 21, 2013

1. Jigeum I Sungan (KOR) [Ingrandire – Solmaru (Mujaazif)] – Moon Se Young – 1.6, 1.0
2. New And Best (KOR) [Trick Of Fate – Yongunch’Eon (Phizam)] – Yukio Abe – 24.3
3. Jeumeundeungi (KOR) [War Zone – Taraxacum (Meadowlake)] – Lee Joon Chel – 20.4

Distances: 7 lengths/1.25 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Geuma Champ 5. Special Win 6. Global Fusion 7. Jangbi Sarang 8. Sobaengnyeong 9. Yeongung Icheon 10. Feel So Good 11. Yacheonsaryeongbu