Cheonnyeon Daero, Useung Touch, Dongseo Jeongbeol Seeking To Dethrone Defending Champion
While thousands of miles away the Breeders’ Cup is occupying much of the racing world this weekend, Korea plays host to its most valuable race of the year in the shape of the President’s Cup at Seoul Racecourse Park this Sunday.
While it may not be the most prestigious – the Grand Prix Stakes taking that accolade – the President’s Cup is the biggest race of the year for Korean-bred horses. This is because it is the race in which this year’s Classic winners generally face their elders for the first time.
As it is, we have just two out of four Classic winners from this year – Useung Touch and Dongseo Jeongbeol – and just one from last year, Derby winner Cheonnyeon Daero. However, with last year’s winner Dangdae Bulpae and the evergreen Yeonseung Daero making the trip up from Busan, we are guaranteed a fascinating renewal on Sunday afternoon.
Here’s a rundown of the runners with age/sex/weight to be carried (race records) and jockeys:
President’s Cup (KOR GI) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – November 6, 2011 – 16:35
1. Dangdae Bulpae [Biwa Shinseiki-Indeed My Dear (Alydeed)] 4 C 58Kg (19/12/1/1) – Jo Sung Gon (Busan)
The defending Champion, he loves running at Seoul losing only once in the Grand Prix last year. At 2000 metres, one would think this was his for the taking. However, his last two starts at Busan have ended in two ignominious sixth places; getting into a suicidal early speed duel with Tough Win in the Metropolitan Stakes and sinking without trace in the Owners’ Trophy. He will need to be back to his best if he is to have a chance.
2. Love Cat [Creek Cat-Love Cue (Curia Regis)] 5 M 56Kg (26/10/2/4) – Moon Jung Kyun (Seoul)
Coming back from a five month lay-off and she was in very indifferent form before that. Her last win was in the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup a year ago. Something sensational would have had to have happened to her during her break if she is to have a chance here. It seems unlikely.
3. Yeonseung Daero [Creek Cat-Sensationalkris (Cryptoclearance)] 5 H 58Kg (36/15/7/5) – Choi Si Dae (Busan)
Stablemate of Cheonnyeon Daero, a top performer whose win rate would be much higher were it not for the fact that his Sportsman connections never take the safe option and always run him against foreign opposition rather than cherry-pick handicaps against inferior domestic horses. Got his reward in winning the Busan Metropolitan over Dongbanui Gangja in the summer. His career has been a joy to follow and as always, he’ll be there or thereabouts.
4. Dongseo Jeongbeol [Vicar-Rendezvous Bay (Wonderloaf)] 3 C 56Kg (11/7/1/0) – Chae Gyu Jun (Busan)
One of two of this year’s Classic winners taking part, the Minister’s Cup champion makes a quick return to Seoul. Dangdae Bulpae scored a Minister’s and President’s Cup double last year and Dongseo Jeongbeol looks perfectly capable of doing the same. However, despite it being over the same distance, he will be up against much tougher opposition on Sunday.
5. Cheot Insang [Psychobabble-Soma (Far Out East)] 5 G 56Kg (27/6/3/4) – Ji Ha Ju (Seoul)
Picked up a useful Class 1 win last month to gain his entry here but really should be outclassed in this company.
6. High Point [Silent Warrior-Fran’s Express (Expressman)] 5 H 58Kg (24/7/2/6) – Cho Kyoung Ho (Seoul)
Interesting one. He won the SBS Cup in August but was narrowly defeated by Race Terror on his only run since. At five, he’s in the best form of his career and could be one to look out for. Arguably Seoul’s best chance.
7. Money Teukgeup [Ft. Stockton-Headwork (Silveyville)] 5 H 58Kg (29/6/4/4) – Park Tae Jong (Seoul)
He hasn’t won since June 2010 and he’ll not win this.
8. Useung Touch [Menifee-Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] 3 F 54Kg (10/5/3/1) – Kim Dong Young (Busan)
The outstanding filly of 2011, she’s the Oaks winner and second in the Derby and Minister’s Cup and a genuine contender for Horse Of The Year. Can she win this? Yes, she can, but it’s a big ask. Either way she will be contesting the finish.
9. Suseong TX [Concept Win-Oktong-I (Kyoei Blossom)] 6 H 58Kg (27/7/5/4) – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
Seoul’s Champion Jockey-elect is unlikely to be winning this. Suseong TX only has one win to his name this year and it seems he has been entered to compete for the minor – but still financially lucrative – placings.
10. Cheonnyeon Daero [Creek Cat-Doneitmyway (Northern Flagship) 4 C 58Kg (26/7/13/3) – Park Geum Man (Busan)
The 2010 Korean Derby winner will be retired at the end of this season. This is likely to be his penultimate race (so long as connections accept his inevitable Grand Prix invitation). A supremely talented horse who has a very bad case of second-itis – even when he wins, he finishes second – but this could be his time. He should be favourite.
11. Khaosan [Sunday Well-Mogaung (Jade Hunter)] 6 G 58Kg (31/7/7/7) – Nathan Stanley (Busan)
The foreign interest. Aussie trainer Peter Wolsley finally got his first Stakes winner with Khaosan when Cheonnyeon Daero was disqualified in the Owners’ Cup. It was the correct decision as without the interference, the six-year old would have won. A late developer, Khaosan is a tough horse and he may well find the Seoul course, on which he is racing for the first time, to be to his liking. With Nathan Stanley on board, he is worth an outside bet.
12. Race Terror [Duality-Starship Adventure (Dare And Go)] 4 C 58Kg (22/5/5/4) – Choi Bum Hyun (Seoul)
Coming into form at the right time with his first Class 1 win at the end of September, he will need to improve a lot to win here.
13. Blooming [Future Quest-Fox Dance (Foxtrail)] 5 H 58Kg (17/7/3/0) – Oh Kyoung Hoan (Seoul)
Very much a dark-horse here, the relatively lightly raced Blooming does have qualities to recommend him. He has two recent wins over similar distances and has every chance of being competitive. If he apears on the board at long odds, he may well be worth an outside punt.
14. Real Victor [Biwa Shinseiki-Hyunmo (Real Quiet)] 4 C 58Kg (21/5/9/0) – Jo In Kwen (Seoul)
That he has only failed to money twice in twenty-one starts means that Rea Victorr must get sime respect. There are better horses than him in the race but there’s every chance of him playing a big role in the finish.