Nice Choice Sits Out Cup Mile

Entries for the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Korean Triple Crown, are out and missing from the list is last year’s top juvenile Nice Choice. Trainer Kim Hak Soo confirmed that the Seoul based colt will not make make the trip down to Busan for the April 5 race and will instead focus solely on May’s Korean Derby at his home track.

That last year’s Seoul entrants at Busan performed so disappointingly may have played a part in only two horses shipping down for the Cup Mile. Bae Dae Sun will send Money Teukgeup [Ft. Stockton – Headwork (Silveyville)] and Kim Yang Seon will saddle the filly Love Cat [Creek Cat – Love Cue (Curia Regis)]. Both should comfortably get the Mile trip but how they will adapt to Busan remains to be seen.

Love Cat is one of four fillies entered at this stage while in the absence of Nice Choice, Peter Wolsley’s Impeccable [Distilled – Belle Breezy (Foolish Pleasure)], who remains unbeaten in four outings looks likely to be favourite despite not having gone a mile before.

After the Cup Mile last year, a number of possible reasons were put forward to explain the dominance of Busan horses including the visiting jockeys being unfamiliar with the course and Busan’s uphill back straight being very different to that at Seoul. All of these were found to be wanting when Busan horses went to Seoul and swept the placings in both the Derby and Minister’s Cup later in the season. Here is a list of the entries with race records:

KRA Cup Mile (G.III) – Busan Race Park – 1600M – Apr 5, 2009

1. Yeonseung Daero C (7/5/1/1)
2. Sangseung Ilro F (5/3/1/1)
3. Namdo Jeap C (5/3/1/1)
4. Geumbit Sesang C (4/3/0/0)
5. Dream Wings F (5/2/1/0)
6. Sandeomi C (7/4/0/1)
7. Sky Star C (8/4/1/0)
8. Power Boy C (7/2/3/1)
9. Pangpang F (9/2/0/1)
10. Impeccable C (4/4/0/0)
11. Love Cat F (8/5/0/2)
12. Money Teukgeup C (7/2/3/1)

We’ll have a full preview once the final line up is confirmed next week.

Weekend Round-Up: Gaeseon Janggun who won the final leg of last year’s Triple Crown was back in the winner’s circle at Busan yesterday, beating Derby winner Ebony Storm into third place over 2000 metres. Meanwhile, up at Seoul, Hwangnyongsaji took the feature race and there was another win for the improving Symphony Sonata.

Down on Jeju Island it was another frustrating day as, for the second time in as many months, Sunday’s entire card was called off due to fog.

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