JRA jockey Shu Ishibashi, representing Japan in the 6th KRA International Jockey Invitational at Seoul Race Park on Aug. 21-22, rode the victor, the Woo Chang Ku-trained Tamnahwanhui, in the event's main race YTN Cup. The win lifted Ishibashi to a strong fourth-place standing in the overall challenge with a total 23 points.
Winner of the challenge overall was Korean jockey Choi Bum Hyun, who also rode only one winner, Jisang Mujeok in the event's third leg. However, a second-place finish in the first leg as well helped boost his total number points to 32, giving him the jockey challenge title worth $20,000.
Other race winners in the event were Korean riders Yoo Sang Wan, who took the first leg aboard Ganghotansaeng and Jung Ki Yong aboard Big Easy in the second leg.
Luck had not been with Ishibashi, 26, until the main race. He had gained only one point for each of the other legs with crushingly disappointing results in all. He finished in 12th place out of 13 runners in the first leg, 11th out of 14 runners in the second. His horse in the third leg suffered a breakdown.
In the final leg, Ishibashi's mount, a darkhorse in the race, went wire to wire to cover the 1,900 meters in a time of 2 minutes, 7.5 seconds. Tamnahwanhui, a Korea-bred 4-year-old filly by Al Naba, out of Bulbijihye, finished 3/4 length ahead of Baengnakgo, ridden by Turkish rider Akin Sozen. Australia's Scott Seamer finished in third place aboard Sky Center another 3/4 length behind.
"It was the first time to be riding overseas," Ishibashi said, "and I was a bit hesitant in the beginning. The results of the first three races were not good, but I was really happy to be able to win the final big race.
"It is so good that I was able to have this invaluable experience. It will surely serve my riding career from here on as well."
The final event, a 1,900-meter listed stakes race sponsored by the 24-hour news channel Yonhap Television News, carried a first-place prize of 106 million Korean won (about $90,000).
The Korean team won the contest with a total 112 points over the international representatives totaling 78. Each member of the wining team took home a bonus of $1,000.
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