Eclipse Berry leaves Tiara rivals flailing in lopsided Luna at Busan on Sunday

Eclipse Berry ran out the dominant winner of the Luna Stakes (1600M KOR-Listed) at Busan on Sunday, leading every step of the way to effortlessly secure the first jewel in this year’s Triple Tiara for three-year-old fillies.

Eclipse Berry, picture Korea Racing Authority

Sent off as the 2.4 favourite locally among the sixteen-strong field, Moon Se-young guided Eclipse Berry across from gate eleven to assume the early lead and she was never close to being headed, streaking away to win by seven-lengths on the line. Global Taeyang was 2nd and surprise package Bang Bang Bang 3rd. Baekduui Kkum, the top juvenile filly at Busan last year, was 4th. 

Winning trainer Seo Hong-soo noted that things had gone as well as they possibly could. “We had a plan, and Moon Se-young carried it out perfectly” he told in-house broadcaster KRBC. “The dam and sire (of Eclipse Berry) are very compatible, so I have always had high hopes for her” he continued. Eclipse Berry is by Shackleford and out of the Speightstown mare Silkberry. 

“Our plan as a stable for this year was to raise our win rate by one or two percentage points and also to win a big race or two, so we are making good progress. We’ll take Eclipse Berry to the Korean Oaks in May and then go up to 2000M to finish the series.”

Moon Se-young told KRBC that it had been a good week. “Eclipse Berry trained really well in the days leading up to the race. Sometimes it can be complicated when traveling young fillies, but she was very relaxed, and I fully trusted her in the race.”

“I’ve ridden winners at Busan before, of course, but this was the first time up on the podium surrounded by fans”. His previous big race wins at the track were in 2022 with one presentation out on a deserted track front and the second held indoors. “It was great that so many fans came out and I was really happy when they were calling my name.”

“What was especially pleasing for me, was how many MZ racing fans travelled to be here today” he said, referring to a term currently used in South Korea to describe a combination of “millennials” and “Generation Z”.

“They are the future of this sport and with them I am confident that horse racing will be in a strong place long after I retire.”

Next week it’s the turn of the colts with the KRA Cup Mile (1600M KOR-G2), the first leg of the Triple Crown, at Busan on Sunday afternoon.