Three year-old Effortlessly Hands Dongbanui Gangja Second Defeat
The handover is complete. If there were doubts over his first win over Dongbanui Gangja, Tough Win quashed them today by easing to victory in the KRA Cup Classic at Seoul Race Park.
The big question before the race was whether Dongbanui Gangja would run in a straight line. That combined with the 63 kilos he was assigned to carry, meant punters sent him off at 3/1 – the longest price he’s been for over two years. Tough Win was made odds-on favourite, yet the three-year old still had plenty of questions of his own to answer following his less than convincing win in Busan in July.
Answer them he did. As expected, Cho Kyoung Ho sent Tough Win into an early lead while Choi Bum Hyun kept Dongbanui Gangja a few places off the pace-setters. As they rounded the final turn, they hit the critical part of the race as Choi advanced the double-Grand Prix champion around the outside of the field and pointed him towards the finish.
The five-year old resisted for a moment or two but quickly relented and began racing. In times gone by this would have been enough to guarantee victory but today it was far too late. Tough Win, hugging the rail kicked on as they entered the straight and was out of reach. So comfortable was the victory, that Cho Kyoung Ho began easing him with half a furlong still to go and crossed the line at a canter.
Dongbanui Gangja was within five lengths of him at the finish but the distance meant little. Korean racing has a new King. Larrycat, widely predicted to be the one who could pounce should the favourites fail to fire, stayed on well for third, a further two lengths back.
Tough Win now has nine wins from nine starts. A third contest with Dongbanui Gangja is likely in the season ending Grand Prix in December. Although the weights will not be so much in the younger horse’s favour then, it is hard to see him getting beaten. As of today it is official. Tough Win is the best racehorse in Korea.
KRA Cup Classic (KOR.G.III) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – October 3, 2010
1. Tough Win (USA) [Yonaguska – Maggie Mae’s Sword (Sword Dance)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 1.6, 1.1
2. Dongbanui Gangja (USA) [Broken Vow – Maremaid (Storm Bird)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 1.4
3. Larrycat (USA) [Fantasticat – Tiger In My Tank (Tiger)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.8
Distances: 5 lengths/2 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Free Hugs 5. Angus Empire 6. Cheonjidolpung 7. Baekjeonmupae 8. Kahnui Jeonseol 9. Serendipper 10. Hwanggeumjandi 11. Emperor Cugat 12. Indian Secret 13. Park’s Pride