Joy Lucky underscored just why she’s considered the best filly in training at Seoul as she cruised to victory over a field comprised mainly of older colts in the final class 1 action at Seoul of 2013.
And for her jockey Seo Seung Un it was yet another day to remember in what’s been a year to remember as Joy Lucky was one of 5 winners for the 24-year-old.
Despite going up against double-Stakes winner Gwanggyo Bisang and Singgereounachim, who was 4th in the President’s Cup on his most recent outing, Joy Lucky (Vicar) started as favourite and never looked vulnerable or even extended as she breezed to a 7-length win.
Having missed the Oaks and, inexplicably, the Minister’s Cup, Joy Lucky was last seen being beaten a nose by Secret Whisper in the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup, the final leg of the Queens’ Tour.
With 7 wins from 10 starts and with Secret Whisper retired and Derby and Oaks winner Speedy First looking a shadow of her old self, Joy Lucky will start next year’s Queens’ Tour as the firm favourite.
And her jockey may start favourite for the title too. While Moon Se Young has made light of giving everyone else a 3-month head start while he was gallivanting around Macao to win this year’s title, Seo Seung Un has looked unstoppable in recent weeks.
His 5-timer today capping a year that has seen him ride a winner in Japan and get promoted to the really big rides in Korea. With Jo In Kwen out of the picture for the forseeable future (a short stint overseas will be followed by army enlistment), next year is set to be the Seo and Moon show.
Unfortunately, despite the date, there was little in the way of Christmas cheer at Gwacheon today with the recently formed Pari-Mutuel tellers Union going on strike prior to race 1. The Union is seeking to have the tellers, who all work 2-3 days each week on a part-time basis when the track is open, turned into regular employees, receive a pay-rise and be subscribed to the 4 basic insurances that full-time employees are entitled to in Korea.
Raceday operation did not seem to be affected, at least not on course, with the majority of betting being conducted through self-service terminals. However, the atmosphere was uncomfortable and there was very noticeable police presence.
Next it’s Seoul’s turn for a one weekend vacation so it will be down to Busan to round out 2013 for us. The southern track hosts big 14-race cards on both Saturday and Sunday.