Derby Winner Takes Owner’s Cup By Narrowest Of Margins
They attacked on his inside and they attacked on his outside but Cheonnyeon Daero would not let them pass. In a desperate last furlong, it was the Derby winner who held on to win the Owner’s Cup at Busan Race Park this afternoon.
Namdo Jeap, one of three horses – along with Cheonnyeon Daero and Golden Appeal – who the punting public couldn’t separate, set the early pace under Jo Sung Gon. However, last year’s Minister’s Cup winner was closely tracked by his co-favourites through the back straight and around the hometurn in the ten-furlong race. He had nothing left for the straight and it was Cheonnyeon Daero and Park Geum Man who took things up with just over a furlong left to run.
The expected challenge of Golden Appeal came to nothing and it was left to Khaosan and Yoshi Aoki in the inside and then King Hunter and Toshio Uchida on the outside to put the Derby winner under double-pressure. Khaosan was seen off but King Hunter, 33/1 in the betting, kept coming and coming until finally, the line arrived just in time for Cheonnyeon Daero to take the narrowest of victories.
The victory was just the fifth of Cheonnyeon Daero’s career, however, with the Derby being one of the other four as well as a second place in the Minister’s Cup – not to mention never having finished out of the money – he is undoubtedly established as one of the top Korean bred horses on the peninsula. Victory today also vindicates his connections’ decision to skip next week’s Grand Prix at Seoul. In that race it will be left to Dangdae Bulpae and Yeonseung Daero to fly the flag for Korea against the best foreign talent in the country.
Owner’s Cup – Busan Race Park – 2000M – December 5, 2010
1. Cheonnyeon Daero (KOR) [Creek Cat – Doneitmyway (Northern Flagship)] – Park Geum Man – 3.7, 1.4
2. King Hunter (KOR) [Yehudi – Wildly Magic (Peterhof)] – Toshio Uchida – 8.2
3. Khaosan (KOR) [Sunday Well – Mogaung (Jade Hunter)] – Yoshiyuki Aoki – 1.9
Distances: Nose/1 length
Also Ran: 4. Isidae Gangja 5. Golden Appeal 6 Glory Yeonggwang 7. New World Record 8. Sky Star 9. Namdo Jeap 10. Lucky Dancer 11. Gangjaui Beopchik
Seoul today was very much eclipsed by the goings-on at Busan, however, there was one big handicap of note. It resulted in a first win for eighteen months for Australian bred gelding Captain Cugat (King Cugat). The six-year old hadn’t won in eleven previous attempts at class 1 racing, but scored a two-length victory over Torpedo Mast and Baekjeonmupae in the ten-furlong race under the lights. Former Horse of the Year Bally Brae could only manage ninth place and unless the handicapper sees sense and stops assigning him the kind of weight he’d expect to carry if he’d won the Grand Prix last week rather than three years ago, we may see him retired very soon.
Speaking of the Grand Prix, we are now just seven days away from the most prestigious race on the Korean calendar. It’s always special, this year it could be spectacular. Full preview coming soon.