High Point cruised to victory in the SBS Cup at Seoul Race Park this evening in a remarkable return to form for the trainer/jockey combination of Shin Woo Cheol and Cho Kyoung Ho.
Champion jockey Cho had faced much criticism from punters for his ride on Tough Win in the Busan Metropolitan last week after he allowed the Shin trained defending champion to get sucked into a speed duel with Dangdae Bulpae right from the start. The pair wore each other out and played no part in the finish as Yeonseung Daero scored a narrow victory over Dongbanui Gangja.
Today on High Point, a completely different kind of horse, it was completely different. Cho dropped the five-year old, who was sent off as third favourite in the betting behind last year’s winner Wangson and former Ttukseom Cup winner Triple Seven, right to the back of the field as they approached the first corner, leaving it to outsider Pop’s Slew and old-stager Hongji to set the pace.
However, as soon as they got into the back straight, Cho made his move, bringing High Point right around the outside of the field to take him to the front. He didn’t stop there though and another burst of acceleration took the pair clear of the field as they rounded the hometurn. Into the home straight and the challenge from the favourites never materialised. The race was won with a furlong to go and Cho had the luxury of being able to showboat his way through the last 100 metres.
Behind them, Cheonun, second in the Oaks last year, got the closest – six lengths adrift, with Pop’s Slew gamely hanging on for third in a photograph with Special Volpony.
High Point (Silent Warrior) moves onto seven wins from his twenty-three starts. For Cho Kyoung Ho it’s a first Stakes success of 2011 and his second SBS Cup following his win on Neocheon in 2007. The champion jockey has had his critics in the past week, but today he was back to his best.
SBS Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1900M – July 24, 2011 – 18:20
1. High Point (KOR)[Silent Warrior – Fran’s Express (Expressman)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 4.8, 1.6
2. Cheonun (KOR) [Ft. Stockton – Restless Patricia (Born Restless)] – Jang Chu Youl – 4.2
3. Pop’s Slew [Archer City Slew – Pop’s Glory (Navarone)] – Kim Ok Sung – 15.1
Distances: 6 lengths/1 length – 13 ran
Also Ran: 4. Special Volpony 5. Money Teukgeup 6. Baengnyeonbong 7. Natural nine 8. Suseong TX 9. Cheot Insang 10. Hongji 11. Triple Seven 12. Winner Prince 13. Wangson
Racing takes its annual summer break next weekend with all three tracks dark. It returns the following week on August 5, 6, 7. Between now and then, there is plenty of news to catch up on from the first seven months of the season which we’ll start doing tomorrow.