Kim Hae Sun made a little bit of Korean racing history on Saturday as she became to first woman to ride 100 thoroughbred winners here.
Her victory in race 2 at Seoul on 65/1 shot Dixie Bonny brought up the 100 and she quickly made it 101 by landing race 7 on Holiday Punch.
Kim Hae Sun graduated from the Jockey Academy in 2009 and quickly established herself as a competent rider with an aggressive style similar to that of Lee Shin Young – who scored 90 wins before becoming Korea’s first female trainer – but with better timing and technique.
That aggressive style has landed her in whip-trouble with the stewards but has helped her become popular among punters and connections alike.
She became the quickest woman to ride out her apprentice claim and then the first woman to finish in the top 10 of the jockey championship. On the sidelines for much of this year with injury, she currently lies 13th in the 2013 standings.
The history of female jockeys in Korea is surprisingly long but has too often been marred by tragedy. Down on Jeju Island, the remarkable Na Yu Na is closing in on her 250th winner, but she rides ponies, not thoroughbreds.
Things are looking good at Seoul now though with Lee Ah Na and Ahn Hyo Ri 2 and 3 years behind Kim respectively.
Both are riding plenty of winners and looking as though they have what it takes to make a successful career in the top rank of jockeys here.
As for Kim hae Sun, she’s riding freelance, which is a brave move for all but the very top jockeys. She’s yet to win a Stakes race and still rarely gets the top rides but keeps on bringing the winners home. It’s unlikely this milestone will be her last.