Dongbanui Gangja Self-Destructs in Mayor’s Cup

Tough Win New Number One as Champion Veers Out / Wangson Wins SBS Cup

Dongbanui Gangja’s reign as the undisputed best horse in Korea came to a crushing and ignominious end in the Busan Mayor’s Cup this evening. The five-year old, always a handful for his jockey, careened out of control as the field entered the home straight, lurching across the width of the entire track until he reached the grandstand rail while the race went on without him.

New Number One: Tough Win

He’d done this in his last race two months ago but that day was up against sufficiently weak opposition for it not to make a difference to the result. Today was different. Moon Se Young had brought the champion into contention in the back straight and was perfectly placed to launch his usually devastating late charge. However, as they turned for the final time, it became clear that Moon was fighting a battle with his mount that he was destined to lose.

It is then the three-year old Tough Win who emerges from the race as both the victor and new Number One on the peninsula. For the first time in his eight race career though, it was a very tough win. Even after Dongbanui Gangja had excused himself from the business end of proceedings, an epic battle was fought in the final furlong.

Tough Win, always towards the front, had grabbed the lead two furlongs out but early leader Vicar Love, in a surprising return to form, stayed on to keep fighting until the final strides. Even more threatening was Yeonseung Daero storming up the rail. One of just two Korean bred horses in the field, the four-year old was finishing the fastest but couldn’t quite get up. Tough Win and Cho Kyoung Ho held on to win by a neck with Vicar Love a further head back as they crossed the line together.

So it’s eight out of eight for Tough Win. He was pushed but he didn’t crack, however, many will wonder what Dongbanui Gangja have done if he had stayed straight. Tonight, that is irrelevant. Tonight we have a new champion.

Busan City Mayor’s Cup (G.III) – Busan Race Park – 2000M – July 18, 2010

1. Tough Win (USA) [Yonaguska – Maggie May’s Sword (Sword Dance)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 3.0, 1.3
2. Yeonseung Daero (KOR) [Creek Cat – Sensationalkris (Cryptoclearance)] – Park Geum Man – 2.8
3. Vicar Love (USA) [Vicar – Canberra (Silver Hawk)] – Jung Ki Yong – 8.0

Distances: Neck/Head
Also Ran: 4. Purely Spontaneus 5. Captain Sir 6. Larrycat 7. Seonnyang Yongsa 8. Crafty Louis 9. Dongbanui Gangja 10. Khanui Jeonseol 11. Cheonjidolpung 12. Yeongung Manse 13. Geumbittuhon 14. Tiffanyuikkum

It wasn’t just at Busan where the shock was felt. Punters at Seoul Racecourse gasped as the horse they’ve seen dominate for the past two years went walkabout.There was still a stunned atmosphere in the air thirty minutes later as the field went to post for the SBS Cup, one of the track’s floodlit summer highlights.

While 2008 winner Baekpa was sent off the even-money favourite, her customary late-run came too late to catch Wangson who, in another close finish, hit the line a neck ahead of Baengnyeonbong with Baekpa a further half-length back in third. It was a second big race win for Wangson and Kim Young Jin after their 2009 victory in the Sports Chosun Cup.

Wangson in the SBS Cup Winner's Circle

The ever popular Baekpa will surely be back to fight another day. She just couldn’t make up the ground in time. The recriminations over Dongbanui Gangja’s performance, however, will be longer and more bitter.

SBS Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1900M – July 18, 2010

1. Wangson (KOR) [Distilled – Eastern Tide (Far Out East)] – Kim Young Jin – 4.7, 1.9
2. Baengnyeonbong (KOR) [Al Naba – Sansovino Art (Mister C.)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 3.6
3. Baekpa (KOR) [Revere – Grey Crest (Gold Crest)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.2

Distances: Neck/0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Triple Seven 5. Hongji 6. Daesahyeong 7. Natural Guy 8. Geumbit Gangja 8. Hallyu Star 9. Khanui Jeguk 10. Khanui Jeguk 11. Siinui Norae 12. Natural Nine 13. Namchon Party 14. Indiana Dream

* Thanks to Roar for the upload

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