Djordje Perovic on Sunday became the just the fifth foreign rider – and the first who’s not from Japan – to ride 100 winners in Korea.
Ton-Up: Djordje Perovic (Pic: Ross Holburt)
The Serbian jockey completed the feat on 14/1 chance Dream Sun in race 4 at Seoul on Sunday lunchtime and promptly followed up with another to take him to 101. That figure draws him level with Masa Tanaka as joint-fourth on the all-time foreign rider list.
Perovic’s achievement is arguably the greater as all of the other jockeys in the top ten, with the exception of Ikuyasu Kurakane, rode the vast majority of their winners at Busan which is well known to be more welcoming and accepting of overseas riders than Seoul.
Perovic has had to do it the hard way but he is now firmly established in the elite group of riders at Seoul. Despite missing three months of this year due to the need to fulfil license requirements elsewhere, he lies in 2nd place in the 2016 Jockey Championship behind champion Moon Se Young, four places ahead of 3rd ranked Jo Sung Gon.
Punters and others have often noted about Perovic that from the moment he gets on a horse in the parade ring until he dismounts after the race he is constantly stroking and soothing his horse. Very few jockeys do this in Korea. His style may look ungainly at times but it is extremely effective.
Next month Perovic has another opportunity when he is scheduled to partner a Korea-trained horse in the annual Goodwill Cup at Ohi in Tokyo. Well mannered, hard working and talented, Djordje Perovic has demonstrated that it is possible for a foreign rider to succeed at Seoul. May there be many more winners for the “Serbian Frankie”.
I’m still trying to work out if it was deliberate or simply a mistake when its name was added to the English registry. One tends to think it is the latter as it is very clearly written as “Gorgeous Dream” in Korean. And his dam is called Hey Gorgeous. Goreous or Gorgeous, the colt was simply too good in the Nonghyup Chairman’s Trophy at Seoul on Sunday afternoon.
It’s certainly not the first time there have been some slight mis-translations. While some are deliberate such as Diferent Dimension (something to do with Katy Perry, according to his breeder) plenty aren’t. 2010 Derby hopeful Northern Ace ran as “Nothern Ace” for his first few outings (unbeaten heading into the Derby he suffered a career-ending injury in the race) while Raon Rouis, who also ran yesterday, suffers a case of the common r&l confusion.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter but we could be seeing a lot more of Goreous Dream in the coming months. Sent off as the heavy favourite for yesterday’s Trophy, he grabbed the early initiative under champion jockey Moon Se Young and never looked like relinquishing it as he cruised to a four-length win in the 1200M sprint.
Goreous Dream [Sharp Humor – Hey Gorgeous (Cherokee Run)] is a three-year old colt. He missed out on getting into the Korea Sprint in September with others selected ahead of him but came out that day and won in a different race and yesterday recorded his eight win in nine starts. He looks to have good potential and while he hasn’t yet been tested, he surely will shortly as he is now established at class 1.
However, he is also exactly the kind of front-running sprinter that the KRA will be looking to enter in the Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting early next year. He is probably the most serious contender from Seoul and he has enterprising connections. It could happen.
Most of the Dubai contenders are likely to come from Busan and Sunday’s feature race on the South coast was won by Dongbang Daero (Curlin). The four-year-old US import beat Beolmaui Kkum and Heba by three lengths for his first class 1 success.