Oaks Winner Pangpang Joins Governor’s Cup Showdown
While the International Jockey Invitational tops the bill at Seoul this coming weekend, Busan plays host to one of its biggest races of the season on Sunday in the form of the Group 3 Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup.
Unusually for Korea – and especially for a big race – only five horses will go to post at 3:45 on Sunday afternoon. Indeed, while the minimum allowable field size was reduced to five earlier this year, this is the first race to draw such a small number.
The five that will go, however, are well worth having the stage to themselves as Gaeseon Janggun and Areumdaun Jilju, rated the top two Korean bred horses at Busan meet for the very first time. It’s a long awaited contest between the lightly raced duo as injury to one of the other has kept them apart so far. Gaeseon Janggun won the Minister’s Cup last season while Areumdaun Jilju became the top horse at the track last season, routinely beating both Korean and Overseas bred runners. Both are unbeaten in their few appearances this season.
They will be joined by Oaks winner Pangpang, who stunned KRA Cup Mile and Derby winner Sangseung Ilro in the filllies’ Classic last month. Three year old improver Conqueror and prolific four year old Yeongung Manse flesh out the field.
Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup (G.III) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – Sep 13, 2009: 15:45
1. Gaeseon Janggun (KOR) [Duality – Diamond Star (Dixieland Band)] – C 4 – (15/8/3/1) – Jo Sung Gon
Second in the first two legs of the 2008 Triple Crown before winning the final jewel, the Minister’s Cup at Seoul. On his return to Busan he suffered his only setback, finishing out of the money in the Owner’s Trophy. Lightly raced since then, he’s won all four of his 2009 outings.
2. Conqueror (KOR) [Revere – Model Actress (Stage Colony)] – C 3 – (12/4/3/0) – Park Geum Man
A slow starter, the three year old took five races to break his maiden and missed out on this year’s classics. Recently graduated to class 1, but yet to be tested at this level.
3. Pangpang (KOR) [Revere – Awishnotalark (Rio’s Lark)] – F 3 – (16/4/1/1) – Han Sang Gyu
Fourth in the Derby marked her down as the only credible challenger to Sangseung Ilro in the Oaks. She duly obliged, chasing down and overtaking the hot favourite to pull off a major upset and establish herself as one of the top stars of Korean racing. Was it a one-off? We’ll find out on Sunday.
4. Yeongung Manse (KOR) [Sharp Appeal – Saratogasplash (Wild Again) – C 4 – (16/8/3/2) – Jo Chang Wook
Has never been out of the money in his sixteen starts. He’s quick and has three top class wins to his name.
5. Areumdaun Jilju (KOR) [Didyme – Chills Of Nepal (Nepal)] – (20/14/3/0) – H 5 – Lim Sung Sil
The five year old made his debut over three years ago but has only raced twenty times. SInce turning three, he’s won ten of his tweve races including both of his outings this year.