It’s Grand Prix Stakes week but Dolkong, one of the biggest stars in Korean racing, won’t be lining up for the traditional season-ending race this coming Sunday. The five-year-old has suffered a proximal sesamoid fracture in his left foreleg.
Dolkong winning the KRA Cup Classic in October (Pic: KRA)
The injury was discovered after Dolkong comfortably won a trial on November 22nd, an outing intended as a tune-up for the Grand Prix on December 8th. He was then scheduled to return to the Dubai World Cup Carnival and potentially attempt to get into the inaugural Saudi Cup.
Dolkong came to international attention when winning the Listed Curlin Handicap at Meydan in February. He followed it up with 3rd place in the Maktoum Challenge Round 3, earning a sport in the World Cup itself.
After returning to Korea, Dolkong shifted stables but was straight back in form, winning the Busan Mayor’s Cup in June. A somewhat lackluster performance in the Korea Cup followed but he returned to winning ways in the KRA Cup Classic in October and was set to be favourite for the Grand Prix before injury struck.
The injury is reportedly treatable and while owner Lee Tae In has held out hope of him returning to the track (Dolkong previously returned from a ten-month injury absence in his four-year-old season), if he is ultimately unable to race again, he will be retired to Stud. For now he remains at Seoul Racecourse for treatment.
Mun Jung-won, a jockey based at Busan Racecourse, has died. He was 40.
Mun was found dead at his jockey quarters on Friday morning. Police attending found no suspicious circumstances.
Mun Jung-won debuted as a jockey in June 2004 and relocated to the new Busan Racecourse the following year. Across his career he rode 156 winners from 3404 rides although in the past year he had found opportunities limited with 2 winners and a handful of placings from 141 mounts.
Local media has reported the contents of a note that the police found at the scene. Last Friday’s Busan races were cancelled out of respect.
Mun is survived by his wife and children.
The Korea Suicide Prevention Center can be reached at 1393, LifeLine Korea at 1588-9191, and Help Call for Youth at 1388. Lines are available 24/7.
Roller Blade kept out of trouble in a wet and wild Breeders’ Cup (KOR G2) at Busan Racecourse, emerging strongly up the rail to become Korea’s Champion Juvenile of 2019.
Roller Blade had previously won both of Seoul’s preliminary legs of the Juvenile Series and therefore completed a clean sweep with his Busan success. Drawn on the inside, the Officer colt kept out of trouble and stayed on the rail to win by two and a half lengths from K N Road on the line.
Save The World had won Busan’t first two legs of the Series and with home advantage was sent off as pre-race favourite. From a wide draw though, he missed the start and scarcely looked a factor. Run of the race though perhaps came from Determination, who overcame a heavy bump in the early stages and then a very wide stretch run, to finish strongly for 3rd.
So Roller Blade is Champion juvenile and the crop – with the addition of Doctor Carson and Raon First, who were very impressive in winning other valuable two-year-old races last week, looks in a good way heading towards the Triple Crown trail next year.
Full recap of the series to follow on the KRA International Facebook page