Day: October 10, 2009

Sangseung Ilro Bids For The Triple Crown

Filly has tough task in Minister’s Cup
Sangseung Ilro will lead a Busan invasion of Seoul Race Park on Sunday afternoon as she seeks to become the first filly to land the Korean Triple Crown.

Eight horses from Busan will line up compared to just three from the home track, however, it’s one of those three that is going to be the one to beat at 5pm tomorrow afternoon. Nice Choice was champion two year old of 2008. His owner’s decision to avoid the first leg of the Triple Crown in order to focus entirely on the Derby backfired as the colt finished a disappointing sixth. Since then he’s been in imperious form, racking up three straight wins including the Munhwa Ilbo Cup.

But what of Sangseung Ilro? After winning the KRA Cup Mile in April, punters failed to give her the respect she deserved in the Derby the following month and she duly punished them with a dominant win. Not appearing on the track again until the Korean Oaks in August, she looked set to stroll to victory before tying up in the final furlong to allow Pangpang to steal an unlikely victory. Coming out of that race with shin problems she hasn’t run again and there will be big questions over both her fitness and her ability to stay the 10 furlong course.

Having beaten Sangseung Ilro, Pangpang must be respected, but a subsequent race in which she was beaten not only by Busan stars Gaeseon Janggun (who won his race last year) and Areumdaun Jilju, she also finished behind Conqueror, who has strong claims here.

Busan’s main challenger, however, may be Yeonseung Daero. Since disappointing in the Derby, he has won twice over the distance against top class oppostion, including a victory last time out over Namdo Jeap, who was second to Sangseung Ilro in both the KRA Cup Mile and the Derby. Namdo Jeap will also go tomorrow and is something of a wildcard as he seems at his best at shorter distances. Nevertheless, he’s proved he likes the Seoul track and he can’t be discounted.

Neither can Khanui Jeguk. Second to Nice Choice in the Munhwa, he went on to beat Love Cat in the Ilgan Sports Cup last month and looks likely to improve further.

These three make up Seoul’s challenge and Nice Choice is set to bring some pride back to Seoul which has seen itself humiliated by Busan in recent classics. However, one Busan filly has beaten him before and tomorrow afternoon, Sangseung Ilro will run for the Triple Crown.

Full list of runners, records and riders:

Minister Of Agriculture (FAFF) Cup (G.II) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – October 11, 2009, 17:00

1. Sangseung Ilro [Concept Win – Ms. Whiskey (Whiskey Wisdom)] Filly, Busan (8/5/2/1) – Jo Sung Gon
2. Isidae Gangja [Lost Mountain – Angel (Land Rush)] Filly, Busan (11/3/3/2) – Kim Eu Su
3. Pangpang [Revere – Awishnotalark (Rio’s Lark)] Filly, Busan (17/4/1/1) – Yoo Hyun Myoung
4. Nice Choice [Lost Mountain – Betty’s Rhapsody (Don’t Hesitate)] Colt, Seoul (10/7/2/0) – Cho Kyoung Ho
5. Love Cat [Creek Cat – Love Cue (Curia Regis)] Filly, Seoul (11/6/1/2) – Choi Beom Hyun
6. Tamna Hero [Creek Cat – The Big C (Deputed Testamony)] Filly, Busan (10/4/3/0) – Han Sang Gyu
7. Khanui Jeguk [Sunday Well – Lucky Dip (Didyme)] Colt, Seoul (11/5/2/1) – Park Tae Jong
8. Conqueror [Revere – Model Actress (Stage Colony)] Colt, Busan (13/4/3/0) – Kim Myoung Shin
9. Namdo Jeap [Ft. Stockton – Wandering Katie (Tejano)] Colt, Busan (12/4/3/3) – Martin Wepner
10. Sky Star [Tahamkke – Blue Lark (Ravenwood)] Colt, Busan (15/5/3/1) – Lee Hee Cheon
11. Yeonseung Daero [Creek Cat – Sensationalkris (Cryptoclearance)] Colt, Busan (14/8/1/2) – Jo Chang Wook

Dongbanui Gangja Is Number One

Tomorrow, eleven three year olds will race in the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown. This afternoon, at Seoul Race Park, Dongbanui Gangja sent out a message that whoever wins will have a long way to go before they have any possibility of being recognised as the best horse in Korea.

Last time he ran, Dongbanui Gangja left it late to come through and claim his eighth straight win. It didn’t matter – the best horses don’t necessarily win by big margins, they just win. Today, however, he won with an awful lot to spare.

Sprint king Gamadongja set his usual early pace while Dongbanui Gangja sat right at the back of the field. Choi Beom Hyun moved the favourite up during the back straight and let him go as they turned for home. The four year old was quickly in front and, with Choi motionless in the saddle, cruised away from the field to record an effortless victory. Free Hugs trailed in eleven lengths back with Gamadongja following in third.

It’s now nine in a row for Dongbanui Gangja. With the Grand Prix now two months away, the only question at the moment seems to be just how far Dongbanui Gangja will win by.

Not a contender this year, but perhaps in future years is Great True. The two year old made his third appearance this afternoon and, like his previous two outings, it ended in victory. Stepping up in both class and distance, Great True [Yes It’s True – Gigi’s Magic (Allen’s Prospect)] led from gate to wire but had to work to hold off the fast finishing Daejayeon.

Daejayeon’s jockey was Lee Sang Hyeok, the apprentice earlier surviving a hard fall when in race 4, the impressive two year old colt Yyongwang Jjang sadly broke down when leading just 150 metres from the line in its debut race.