Fly Top Queen stumbled to her first defeat on Korean soil after a lacklustre run alowed Xicar to grab an unlikely victory at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.
Korea’s most expensive ever imported racehorse had, after a year of injury problems, breezed through 4 consecutive wins last summer and autumn without breaking into a gallop before being sent to Japan to compete in the Japan vs Korea challenge at Ohi in November.
Fly Top Queen (Henny Hughes) disappointed there but few expected her to have any problems upon her return to Seoul against what was a less than impressive class 2 line-up over 1700 metres. She was sent off as the odds-on favourite and looked to be fully worth that as she entered the home straight in front and pulling away.
Then, with just over a furlong to go, she stalled. Jockey Cho Kyoung Ho, standing in for the suspended Park Tae Jong, quickly realised there was nothing left in the tank and could do nothing as the chasing pack swept by.
In the end it was Xicar (Written Tycoon) took the win. The 5-year-old Australian mare looked quite a talent when she first appeared on the scene in 2011, winning 3 of her first 6 races. She then went on to lose 15 in a row until today, almost exactly 2 years since she was last victorious, she found herself back in the winner’s circle.
As for Fly Top Queen, the vet found nothing obvious wrong with her. She’s undoubtedly one of the finest bred and most naturally gifted of horses to ever run here but as we knew from the year it took her to be ready to run after arriving, she’s not the soundest. Hopefully her best isn’t behind her already.
Class 2 – Seoul Race Park – 1700M – January 11, 2014
1. Xicar (AUS) [Written Tycoon – Grand Jewel (Brocco)] – Jang Chu Youl
2. Stan The Cameraman (USA) [With Distinction – Always On The Go (Lord Carson)] – Fausto Durso
3. Socheonha (NZ) [Duelled – Interdame (Senior Pete)] – Kim Hye Sun
Distances: 0.5 lengths/1.5 lengths – 11 ran