All Three Classic Winners Go In The Minister’s Cup
Let’s get the jokes out-of-the-way first. The final leg of the Korean Triple Crown is the Minister’s Cup. And the Minister in question is the Minister of FAFF – that’s Forestry, Agriculture, Fisheries and Farming. But there’s no faffing about in what is set to be a cracking finale to the Classic series.
All three Classic winners so far this season will be there. KRA Cup Mile winner Soseuldaemun will take on Derby winner Gwangyajeil and Oaks winner Useung Touch. However, they are far from the only contenders in a high quality line-up that will race over ten furlongs at Seoul Race Park on Sunday afternoon.
Gwangyajeil (Vicar) lead Useung Touch (Menifee) to the line in the Korean Derby
Here is a full run-down of the runners and riders (Name [Pedigree] (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) – Jockey (Home track):
Minister of FAFF Cup (KOR.GII) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – SUnday October 2, 2011 – 16:35
1. Raon Speed [Creek Cat-Shakee Ground (Kris S.)] (6/4/2/0) – Cho Kyoung Ho (Seoul)
An improver who should relish going up to 2000M. Can be prone to bad behaviour, he threw his jockey and had to be scratched on his last but one start.
2. Amass [Jamine Langfuhr-Jideokjang (Didyme)] Filly (10/3/3/2) – Jo Chang Wook (Busan)
One of two fillies in the field, she was second to the other one, Useung Touch, in the Korean Oaks in August. There’s no good reason why she should be able to reverse that finish here, but she could be involved at the business end. That regular rider Jo Sung Gon is staying in Busan may be a clue though.
3. Dongseo Jeongbeol [Vicar-Rendezvous Bay (Wonderloaf)] (10/6/1/0) – Chae Gyu Jun (Busan)
Getting better as the distances increase, he’s won back to back Class 2 races at 1800 and 1900 metres. He’ll have his supporters.
4. Daejeuimilsa [Sakura Seeking-Light Hearted Lass (Majestic Light)] (11/4/0/1) – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
Another late bloomer he’s won his past two races at 1700 metres. He’s not beaten very much so far but any Moon Se young ridden horse is difficult to rule out.
5. Singgeureounachim [Exploit-Singgeureoun (Mr. Adorable)] (13/3/4/3) – Kim Ok Sung (Seoul)
Since finishing third in the Korean Derby behind Gwangyajeil and Useung Touch, he’s developed a severe case of second-itis of late, finishing as runner-up in his last three starts. A very capable colt but he’ll need to find something to win here.
6. Smart Win [Sakura Seeking-Our Kaapstad (Kaapstad)] (7/4/1/1) – Kim Dong Young (Busan)
Ran second to Dongseo Jeongbeol last time out bringing to an end a series of four straight wins. Although it proved he was capable of going round two turns he’ll have to find plenty to be competitive here.
7. Champion Belt [Exploit-Telegraph Road (Royal Academy)] (10/4/2/3) – Lim Sung Sil (Busan)
He briefly became the most expensive two-year old in Korean history when he went through the sales ring early last year. He’s struggled to live up to that billing but has developed into a solid performer and arrives here on the back of two straight wins at class 2. His best may be yet to come and this could be his time.
8. Soseuldaemun [Meisei Opera-This Ole Way (Vigors)] (12/3/3/2) – Song Keong Yun (Busan)
The surprise winner of the KRA Cup Mile showed up to the Derby in poor shape and was duly well beaten. He’s only run once since, putting in an improved performance in the Gyeongnam Do-Min Ilbo in July. Very talented but a close look at him in the parade ring will be required if he is to be bettable.
9. Useung Touch [Menifee-Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] Filly (9/5/2/1) – Choi Si Dae (Busan)
Second in the Derby and then the easy winner of the Oaks, this filly is all class. If she’s at her best, she has a very very good chance.
10. Geuma Champ [Vicar-Stormcloudrising (Stormy Atlantic)] (12/5/3/2) – Choi Bum Hyun (Seoul)
A late addition to the field after his last gasp win in the Ilgan Sports Cup just two weeks ago. He finished very quickly that day and should benefit from the extra distance. Could prove a handful.
11. Absolute [Commendable-Tai Chi (Quest For Fame)] (10/5/0/2) – Park Byeong Yun (Seoul)
Unpredictible. A good winner last time out over a competitive class 2 field but he’ll be an outsider here.
12. Sun Hero [Menifee-Stategic Reward (Bold Revenue)] (13/5/3/1) – Park Tae Jong (Seoul)
Champion two-year old last year, he’s had a mixed campaign as a three-year old. He is, however, one of very few of this year’s crop to have already qualified for class 1 racing. He had a tough introduction to that level last month but was arguably facing tougher all round competition than he has here. Should be in the hunt at the end.
13. Gwangyajeil [Vicar-Hurricane Havoc (Jade Robbery)] (8/6/0/0) – Shin Hyoung Chul (Seoul)
The Derby winner. And the likely favourite. He’s only run once since that win in May when he battled gamely through a monsoon downpour to win a class 2 race back in early July. But three months on, what kind of shape will he be in. Absolutely fine say the reports but he’s by no means a sure thing.
14. Cheonji Horyeong [Buster’s Daydream-Sorority Jazz (Dixieland Band)] (13/3/3/1) – Akane Yamamoto (Busan)
Brother of 2008 Derby winner Ebony Storm, he’d been something of a disappointment before pulling off a surprise win in the Gold Circle Trophy at Busan four weeks ago to punch his ticket here. Akane Yamamoto rode him that day and the Japanese jockey will be making her Seoul debut here.