It’s got one of the most cumbersome names in the calendar but the New Year’s Commemorative Race lived up to its reputation of being a tough punting prospect as 9/1 shot Impetus landed 2014’s first big prize at Seoul Race Park.
Now 4-years-old, Impetus (Exploit) came in to the race having won 4 of his previous 13 starts and was 6th most favoured by punters.
Under jockey Park Tae Jong he hit the front coming off the final turn and fought off the determined challenge of favourite Bulkkot Daewang, who finished quickly on the rail, by a neck.
In other news on what was a long 14-race opening day in the Korean capital, we saw our first dead-heat of the year as the judges failed to separate Space Gun and Speed King at the end of race 10.
One race earlier, we also unfortunately saw the first heavy fall of the year as jockey Ahn Hyo Ri was unseated from her mount on the final turn. Ahn required hospital treatment but horse was unhurt and continued without his rider.
New Year Commemorative Race – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – January 4, 2014
1. Impetus (KOR) [Exploit – Miss Stravinsky (Stravinsky)] – Park Tae Jong
2. Bullkot Daewang (KOR) [Pico Central – Hwaju (Joindre)] – Cho Kyoung Ho
3. Daejangjeong (KOR) [Menifee – Ledge (Kris S.)] – Lee Sang Hyeok
Distances: Neck/2.5 lengths – 14 ran
Sunday January 5
Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:30