A couple of imports stepped up in class at Seoul and Busan on Sunday afternoon and turned in the star performances of the weekend.
At Seoul, Shamrocker [Dublin – Portera (Lemon Drop Kid)] may only have been winning for the third time in eleven starts but since he’s begun racing at distances around two turns, that figure is now three from four. On Sunday he stepped up to class 2 for the first time and cruised home from off the pace under jockey Lee Chan Ho to win the 1800M event by four lengths. Shamrocker is a 3-year-old colt who was a $30,000 purchase from Ocala last Spring.
Down at Busan Diferent Dimension, who beat Triple Nine last start, was sent off as favourite for Sunday’s feature handicap – a class 1 test for horses rated no higher than 100 – however, he never traveled well and instead it was left to the up in class pair of Saengil Gippeum and Dongbang Daero to battle it out. On the line, Saengil Gippeum got the best of their battle, taking advantage of a light weight and apprentice jockey (Lyu Gwang Hee) to win by a head.
Saengil Gippeum [Parading – Minny’s Niece (Quiet American)], purchased for $18,000 from Fasig-Tipton as a yearling in 2014, has now won five of his last six starts.
In other news, a couple of apprentice jockeys debuted at the weekend. At Busan, Lee Hyo Sik and Choi Eun Gyeung both had one ride each and were unplaced. At Seoul, Lee Dong Ha had four rides across the two days with a 5th place finish being the best of them.
This coming Sunday, a little bit of Korean racing history is up for grabs as KRA Cup Mile and Korean Derby winner Power Blade returns to Seoul looking to win the Minister’s Cup and become the first winner of the Korean Triple Crown in its current form. Not a single Seoul horse is set to compete so Power Blade will be up against seven other visitors from Busan including stablemate and Korean Oaks winner Ottug Ottugi in the 2000M race. Full previews of the race to follow.