Have a look at this – Johan Victoire bringing Icheon Ssal from last to first in the final furlong to win a valuable Juvenile race at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday.
Icheon Ssal (Capital Spending) provided Victoire with his first Korean winner on his first ever ride at Seoul just under a month ago. It was Incheon Ssal’s debut that day too and he reappeared on Sunday in a race exclusively for 2-year-olds who graduated from this Spring’s Jeju Breeze-Up Sales.
It was the ride that got the attention though, as French jockey Victoire brought Icheon Ssal from last to first in the closing stages to grab victory on the line. Victoire’s performance was one of a number of impressive returns from foreign jockeys across the weekend with Antonio Da Silva at Seoul and both Franco Da Silva and JP Guillambert at Busan also being in top form.
Speaking of top form, Cheongdam Dokki has beenturning heads recently. An American import, 3-year-old Cheongdam Dokki (To Honor And Serve) ran out a 17-length winner over 1800M at class 2 last month, despite playing up in the parade ring and bolting on his way to the gate. The antics were limited this Sunday for what was his first try at both class 1 and 2000M. It went rather well:
Late nominations for the Korea Cup for locally trained runners open briefly on August 25…
Cheongdam Dokki would have broken the track record for 2000M had Kim Yong Geun not almost slowed him to a walk by the time they crossed the line but two record did fall on Sunday on a track that was racing exceptionally fast after 15 hours of continuous downpours. Those were at 1700M where Dangdae Geoljak (Peace Rules-So Original) set a new mark of 1:46.6 in race 8 and then at the Korea Sprint distance of 1200M which now has a new record of 1:10.6 following the efforts of Cheonjiga (Trappe Shot-What A Girl Needs) in the closing race 11.
At Busan, the feature race was won by Triple Nine’s little sister, the Thomas Gillespie trained Black Sapphire (Ecton Park-A Little Poke) while the 2yo Breeze-Up-grads race was won by Kim Young Kwan’s Classic Match (Hansen-Intouchable).
Plenty went on over the weekend including business being as usual for the Korean runners in the annual KRA Trophy at Kranji in Singapore, Silver Wolf essentially wrapping up the Queens’ Tour after just two legs and French jockey Johan Victoire making quite the impression on his first weekend in the saddle at Seoul
It was a good weekend for a foreign jockey to arrive in Seoul what with a number of the track’s leading riders such as Kim Yong Geun and Choi Bum Hyun being at Busan to ride in the KNN Cup, Djordje Perovic still being indisposed and an ongoing inter-union dispute leading some jockeys not to ride for certain stables.
It took Johan Victoire precisely one race to show what he was capable of, guiding debut-maker Icheon Ssal (Capital Spending) to victory in Saturday’s opening maiden. While the 30-year-old couldn’t add another winner from his seven further rides across the weekend, he did get a 2nd and a 3rd as well as plenty of admiration from onlookers. It looks like Victoire will be busy over the forthcoming weeks. Check out the report and pictures on the official site.
While Silver Wolf (Orotorio) put in quite a run at Busan to cruise to the KNN Cup in a time just 0.3 seconds outside the track record for a mile, the Korean pair in Singapore for the annual KRA Trophy at Kranji on Sunday fared less well. In fairness, to Zentenary, that he beat any horses at all is to his credit but Choegangja was undoubtedly disappointing, breaking adequately enough but quickly weakening and finishing a tailed-off last in the race which was won by Distinctive Darci.
Choegangja had gone into the race looking in peak condition, according to trainer Brian Dean, but came back reportedly fine but having suffered a heat-stroke. Perhaps there is something in that given that in his only two races in warm weather last year he came 3rd of 10 and last of 9, both at class 3 before re-appearing in the cool of November and going on to win five in a row, then missing the break and coming last when things warmed up this June. Anyway, the search goes on for a Korean horse to go to Kranji in June and make an impression. Maybe next year.
This weekend Busan takes its one-week summer vacation so only Jeju runs n Friday. Seoul and Jeju will run on Saturday and just Seoul on Sunday.