Bungjeongmalli in contention / Volponi sires first winner
Nice Choice stepped up to class 1 level for the first time to land the feature race at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. While memories of the Derby flop will only be fully erased if he wins the Minister’s Cup in October, Nice Choice continued to demonstrate that the form that made him champion two year old last year, has the potential to still make him champion three year old.
It’s true that today he didn’t face the strongest class 1 field to assemble at Seoul. Far from it, but there were some seasoned campaigners present in the likes of Natural Nine, Gang Gwon and Lucky Seven as well as Hallyu Star, who last month won the SBS Cup.
Under Cho Kyoung Ho, Nice Choice tracked the leaders for most of the 1900 metre race, coming by in the last furlong to win going away from second placed Lucky Seven. The colt now has seven wins from ten starts and thoughts are now turning to the season’s final classic.
Another three year old who could perhaps force himself into contention for that Classic was in the winner’s circle half an hour prior to Nice Choice. Bungjeongmalli [Archer City Slew – Mup’aegado (Lost Mountain)] only tsrated once as a two year old and finished eigth of ten. Given three months off he came back for his three year old season and, while too late to be in the running for the Derby, has run up a record of five wins and two seconds this term. While still some way off Nice Choice, if he continues to improve there is a possibility that Cho Kyoung Ho, who rides both, could have an interesting choice to make come October.
Today was also noteworthy as Seoul saw the first winner sired by 2002 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Volponi. Special Volpony doesn’t look like a world-beater but the two year old filly had more than enough about her to see off thirteen rivals over six furlongs. Making her second appearance on the track, she led from gate to wire to win race 1 by a length and a half. Volponi arrived in Korea in January 2006.
Down south at Busan, Crafty Louis notched his fourth win of 2009. The six year old held off King Kephalos by the narrowest possible margin in the feature handicap.