Eoma Eoma was presented with a stern examination at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon as the Korea Sprint winner needed every yard to catch and finally overcome Daehan Jilju to win the Kookje Shinmun Trophy (1400M Listed).
With the distance at 1400M, Daehan Jilju was always set to be the testing material. The Korea Sprint 4th place getter ran on very well in that race and was expected to be more suited to an extended trip that he had already won over on five occasions. Not that Eoma Eoma entered with a bad record at the seven furlongs either, having until just three weeks ago held the track record at Seoul.
It was a two-horse race throughout with Daehan Jilju being ridden hard out of the gate and straight to the front past Eoma Eoma, whose jockey Moon Se-young opted not to try and engage in a speed duel and instead was content to take a sit.
Heading into the home straight the gap at one point was up to two-lengths before Moon asked Eoma Eoma for his full effort. The deficit reduced but still Daehan Jilju led. For a moment it looked like the underdog might hold on but, just as when he went by Raptus in the Korea Sprint last month, Eoma Eoma was relentless, finally passing Daehan Jilju in the shadow of the post to win by a Head.
Daehan Jilju burnished a reputation that has seen him win eight times from sixteen starts at distances up to 1800M. A rematch with Eoma Eoma will be keenly anticipated. Three-lengths behind the top two, Daemangui Gil just edged out Ssonsal to claim 3rd place.
The victory takes Eoma Eoma, a five-year-old American-bred entire by Algorithms, to thirteen wins from nineteen starts. He is owned by the Nasca group and is trained by Song Moon-gil at Seoul. The Kookje Shinmun was the final big race of the year for the sprinters so unless Eoma Eoma is entered in a regular class 1 race at Seoul, his season could be done.
There were no celebrations after the race with Korea having entered a seven-day period of national mourning for the victims of the Itaewon disaster. That period of mourning will conclude on Saturday November 5th.
Next Sunday, attention is scheduled to move to the Juvenile ranks with the NACF Chairman’s Trophy at Seoul and the Gimhae Mayor’s Trophy at Busan, the final lead up races before the best two-year-olds from both tracks meet in the Breeders’ Cup at Busan in December.