If there is to be a winner of 2012 Korean Triple Crown, then his name will be Gyeongbudaero. At Busan Race Park this afternoon, the colt went from last to first in the home straight to secure the KRA Cup Mile, the first Jewel, in commanding fashion.
Perhaps fittingly, Gyeongbudaero [Menifee-Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] is named after the road that connects the Korean capital Seoul, with the second city of Busan. Since the opening of the Busan track in 2005, there has been a marked shift in power in Korean racing with horses based in Busan dominating the three-year old Classics.
So it was today. Last year’s Champion Juvenile Good Time (Yehudi) was sent off as the favourite but it was Dream Tower (Forest Camp), the most expensive horse of his generation who set the early pace. Park Geum Man was happy to keep Gyeongbudaero right at the back of the field and there they stayed until turning into the home straight.
The anticipated challenge of Good Time never materialised and instead it was an outsider, Baekho Janggun (Pico Central) under Japanese jockey Narazaki Kosuke who was the first to challenge Dream Tower. However, once Park had finally made room for himself, there would be no stopping Gyeongbudaero who flew down the outside to win by three lengths pulling away.
Dream Tower held on for second while a very game Baekho Janggun got third just ahead of the Seoul pair of Viva Cat (Creek Cat) and Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire).
Gyeongbudaero marks another big race victory for the team who were behind the 2010 Korean Derby winner, the similarly named Cheonnyeon Daero. Owner Jung Kwang Hwa, trainer Oh Moon Sik and jockey Park Geum Man will now be favourites to go up to Seoul in May and with Gyeongbudaero, repeat their success.
KRA Cup Mile (K.G2) – Busan Race Park – 1600M – Sunday April 8, 2012
1. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee-Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Park Geum Man – 3.8, 1.8
2. Dream Tower (KOR) [Forest Camp-Hurricane Warning (Thunder Gulch)] – Kim Yong Geun 2.2
3. Baekho Janggun (KOR) [Pico Central-Oaks Fever (Old Trieste)] – Narazaki Kosuke – 12.9
Distances: 3 lengths/Nose
Also Ran: 4. Viva Cat 5. Jigeum I Sungan 6. Predict 7. Good Time 8. Bongodong 9. Wonderful Namhae 10. Sing A 11. Dolpung Jilju 12. Himchan Jilju 13. Cheoneun 14. Myeongseo Hero
Gyeongbudaero has now won five of his nine races and on the strength of today’s showing, looks to have plenty more development in him. The last two Cup Mile winners, Money Car and Soseuldaemun saw their careers stalled by injury. Fingers crossed Gyeongbudaero can stay sound and go on to fulfil his wonderful potential.
It was a huge day of racing at Busan. Earlier in the afternoon, Narazaki Kosuke had scored a shock win in the JRA Kokura Trophy on outsider Jungwon Jepae (Al Maher) and then after the CUp Mile the stage was set for a showdown between two previously unbeaten American imports.
The MJC Trophy saw Smoking Gun and Pure Future put their winning streaks on the line and while Pure Future (Simon Pure) failed to live up to his billing, Smoking Gun (Hat Trick) made no mistake, despite having to come very wide around the field, scoring victory by just under 2 lengths to take his winning streak to 4:
MJC Trophy – Busan Race Park – 1400M – Sunday April 8, 2012
1. Smoking Gun (USA) [Hat Trick-Desdemona’s Dream (Announce)] – Kim Dong Young – 3.5, 1.5
2. Kidari Joe (USA) [Tiznow-Trickle Of Gold (Formal Gold)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.6
3. Japjima (USA) [Latent Heat-Imp’s Wild (Wild Gale)] – Narazaki Kosuke – 5.0
Distances: 1.5 lengths/1.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Alke The Man (USA) 5. Henry Higgins (USA) 6. Oreuse (USA) 7. Yeonseung Gangho (USA) 8. Former (USA) 9. Dandojikip (USA) 10. Pure Future (USA) 11. Allie’s Premo (USA)