The fears of those of us who suspected that Smarty Moonhak would never again be competitive in the top-tier of Korean racing were allayed in fine fashion as the 4-year-old colt produced a burst of late speed to win the feature race at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.
Making his second start since being away from the track for over a year with tendonitis, Smarty Moonhak (Smarty Jones) was made a warm favourite for the 6-furlong event that saw up-and-comer Samjeong Bulpae make his first class 1 appearance.
The latter made the early running but the final furlong was all about Smarty Moonhak as, under Moon Se Young, the former phenom, who finished 3rd in the Grand Prix Stakes aged just 2, swept by to win by half a length from Dongbanjaui Gijeok.
It’s still early days in his return. This was by no means an especially strong class 1 event and it remains to be seen how he will take to the longer distances he will need to cover if he is to start competing for big Stakes prizes again. For now though, Smarty Moonhak is back.
Class 1 (Open) – Seoul Race Park – 1200M – November 17, 2013
1. Smarty Moonhak (USA) [Smarty Jones – Madeira M’Dear (Black Tie Affair)] – Moon Se Young – 2.9, 1.3
2. Dongbanjaui Gijeok (USA) [Half Ours – Feisty Cherokee (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 1.4
3. Dangdae Jeonseung (CAN) [Put It Back – Diamond Heirloom (Pembroke)] – Lee Sang Hyeok – 2.3
Distances: 0.5 lengths/0.5 lengths – 11 ran