Nice Choice beats Baekgwang to win the President’s Cup
Baekgwang gave it his all but ultimately Nice Choice was just too strong in the President’s Cup at a frozen Seoul Race Park this afternoon. The three-year old pounced as the field entered the home straight and while Baekgwang launched his customary late challenge, roared on by a 40,000 strong crowd, the younger horse was a commanding winner.
Natural Guy and Nice Good were early pace-setters and at one point in the back-stretch had nearly six lengths on a strung out field. Nice Choice was at the front of the pursuers while Baekgwang as usual stayed towards the rear.
Once Cho Kyoung Ho had asked Nice Choice for an effort as they turned for home, none could answer. Except for Baekgwang. Park Tae Jong shifted the grey wide around the final turn and let him loose to try to run the youngster down. The chase was valiant and at the furlong pole, Baekgwang’s many fans dared to believe that he might do it.
He couldn’t quite get there and Cho Kyoung Ho on Nice Choice always looked as though he would be able to ask his horse for another effort if need be. Triple Seven was the distant third. Baekgwang was beaten but it took a quality horse to do it.
Nice Choice is exciting. He didn’t excel in the Derby but he now moves on to eight wins from twelve starts. A spot in the season ending Grand Prix race looks his should his connections choose to take it up. Either way, a big season as a four-year old awaits.
The other three-year old in the race, Khanui Jeguk, showed briefly at the front but didnt stay the 10 furlong trip, finishing well down the field. Today though was a day for the grand old survivor of Korean racing and the future. The future showed that he is now very much the present, but the six-year old grey showed he’s not finished yet.
President’s Cup (KOR-GI) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Nov 15, 2009
1. Nice Choice (KOR) [Lost Mountain – Betty’s Rhapsody (Don’t Hesitate)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 1.5, 1.0
2. Baekgwang (KOR) [The Groom Is Red – Grey Crest (Gold Crest)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.4
3. Triple Seven (KOR) [The Groom Is Red – Impudence (Grand Lodge)] – Choi Beom Hyun – 1.9
Distances: 1.25 lengths/6 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Lucky Seven; 5. Wontagui Gisa; 6. New Rider; 7. Mighty Runner; 8. Saebyeok Achim; 9. Natural Nine; 10. Huimang Energy; 11 Baengnokjeong; 12. Khanui Jeguk; 13. Natural Guy; 14. Nice Good
Jockey Cho Kyoung Ho has made the President’s Cup his own. He won the 2005 edition on French Dancer before taking consecutive victories on Myeongmun Gamun in 2007 and 2008. This year’s champion-elect has now won four of the six runnings of the race in its present form.