With only a couple of exceptions, the betting favourites had things their way on a warm Spring afternoon at Busan on Friday. It was a good day too for trainer Bart Rice.
Standout performance came from Indian Star (Adcat) in the closing race 10. The filly had won seven of her ten previous starts but was up to class 1 for the first time.Perhaps benefiting from the absence of the scratched Miracle Line, the four-year-old was able to go off to an easy lead in the 1400M handicap; a lead she would never give up as she raced on to win by three lengths.
Also performing well was Tongil Sidae (Munnings). He and fellow US import Wonderful Today (also by Munnings) both came into race 8 looking for a hat-trick of wins but it was Tongil Sidae who prevailed in the 1800M class 2 contest. He’s now won four of six starts.
Finishing in 3rd place in that race was Bart Rice’s Choegangiji. And it was a solid day’s work for the South African trainer and jockey Chae Sang Hyun with the pair reaming up to good effect on three occasions.
Rice’s filly Blue Cat (One Cool Cat) may be a little frustrating in terms of her results but she is certainly gutsy. Up in class despite being yet to win – she scored two 2nd places at class 6 – she put in a solid effort in race 4 to get her third consecutive 2nd place. One race later, Rice and Chae went one better with 23/1 outsider Yaksokui Sigan (Exploit) getting the best of one of the tightest three-way photo finishes possible. Showing that there’s plenty of hope for Blue Cat, Yaksokui Sigan was landing his maiden win at the 18th time of asking.
In other races, there was a rare pairing of Busan’s champion trainer Kim Young Kwan with Seoul’s champion jockey Moon Se Young. Moon is down south to ride in the KRA Cup Mile on Sunday and he partnered Kim’s Evangeline (Menifee), a half-sister of Stakes winner Magic Dancer, to victory in race 9.
Speaking of the KRA Cup Mile, we’ll have a full runner by runner preview of the first leg of the 2016 Korean Triple Crown up tomorrow.