After a string of near-misses, the hard work paid off for Richard Oliver at Busan Racecourse on Friday afternoon, the British jockey riding four runners-up throughout the day before finally being rewarded with victory on Core Blade in the concluding race 12.
It was perhaps fitting that the win came on Core Blade, the filly who provided Oliver with his first Busan mount as a late pick-up a month ago. Since then there has been the Lunar New Year holiday and Oliver returned for the first meeting back in fine form, dead-heating for 2nd on his opening mount of the afternoon, Lucky Number One in race 3.
Oliver then guided 10/1 chance Baekdu Daeho to the runner’s up spot in race 6 followed by 23/1 shot I’m Your Hope to a close 2nd in race 9 followed. Mr. Scat duly gave the jockey his fourth near-miss in race 11 although, in truth, they were only ever racing for silver in that one.
Core Blade had been well-fancied when 27-year-old Oliver got the late call-up a day after arriving in the country last month. However, the Menifee filly was heavily bumped coming out of the gate and while she recovered well, could only manage to finish 3rd that day. This time there were no such difficulties as the pair got away well and stayed handy until proving too strong in the closing stages, scoring by two-and-a-half lengths on the line.
The reason Mr. Scat was only every likely to be competing for 2nd in race 11 is that the race saw the fourth Korean start of New Legend.
The four-year-old was bred in Korea but broke his maiden at Arlington Park last summer. He returned home in the autumn and has since gone on to establish himself as the hottest up and coming talent in the country. Under jockey Lee Hyo Sik, the colt made it four out of four with a facile victory, cruising away from a class 3 field to win by four-lengths and continue his stately through the levels.