Cheongu and Success Story, Korea’s first ever representatives at the Dubai World Cup Carnival were welcomed back to Korea with special ceremonies at their home tracks of Seoul and Busan today.
The pair could very well clash soon as both are entered in what looks a high quality Busan Ilbo Cup two weeks today. For now though it was about acknowledging their contribution to the development of Korean racing. While Cheongu didn’t race very well in Dubai, he has now taken three overseas trips. Connections could have stayed home and had him pick up plenty of prize money – the standard of Class 1 racing at Seoul right now means a horse of his ability would win plenty – but instead took the sporting option and they are deservedly recognized.
On the track the pick of the action was, at it usually is, at Busan. Doraon Hyeonpyo was sent off as the odds-on favourite for the 1800M class 1 event following three straight wins but after early leader Cowboy Son had to be eased after seemingly going lame rounding the final turn, Dynamic Dash (Pleasantly Perfect) took things up under jockey Lim Sung Sil. While Doraon Hyeonpyo (Colors Flying) would close purposefully in the closing stages, he was left wanting by just under a length on the line.
Dynamic Dash, a four-year-old American bred colt, was winning for the eighth time on what was his seventeenth start. Bathsheba Park was back in 3rd with old favourite Gamdonguibada a solid 4th.
Earlier at Busan there had been an eye-catching win for another US import. A $47,000 purchase from Ocala last June, First Magical (First Dude) finally made his debut in race 3. And he was in cruise control throughout as he made all to score by a full ten lengths. He’s one to watch. Another to watch is filly Hoseungjibyeok (Didyme). She slipped tamely to her first defeat in an Oaks trial last month but found her way back to the winner’s circle with dismissive ease in race 4. She has four wins from five starts.
At Seoul, where the annual cherry blossom festival was in full swing amidst a filthy dust-storm that has been raging for three days now, what the class 1 feature lacked in quality it made up for in in its tight finish. In the end though, favourite Space Port (Pleasant Tap) just did enough to get home by a head with the first four within less than a length of each other. Space Port was ridden by Park Tae Jong who now needs just six more to become the first Korean jockey ever to reach 2000 career wins.
Besides, there were other things to worry about at Seoul:
We regret a slight delay to the post parade for race 9 but the limbo competition has gone into extra-time pic.twitter.com/JkHvBOQZW1
— Korea Racing (@korearacing) April 10, 2016
Stakes racing returns to Seoul next week in the shape of the Herald Business Cup.