Grand Prix Champ Sees Off Rivals Haedongcheonwang and Jumong
After a difficult couple of months which saw a bleeding attack and then a disappointing defeat in the Busan Metropolitan Stakes, Tough Win (Yanaguska) returned with what was perhaps one of his most impressive performances to date to win the feature race at Seoul Race Park on Sunday.
In doing so he not only beat his regualr foe Jumong (Johar) but also Haedongcheonwang (West Acre) the three-year old with six wins from right starts to his name and the horse now thought most likely to be able to wrest Tough Win’s Grand Prix crown from him.
Tough Win did it the hard way. After Jung Pyeong Soo set a seemingly inadvisable early pace on 25/1 chance Kkochyeoul, Cho Kyoung Ho found himself a full 25 lengths off the pace as they began the turn for home. After receiving a couple of gentle reminders, Tough Win started to make up ground but he still had an awful lot of traffic to get though as they entered the straight with Haedongcheonwang clear in front and seemingly headed for the win.
Once Tough Win found his run though he was irresistible. he passed six horses in the final furlong and still managed to sweep home two lengths ahead of Haedongcheonwang, who was carrying five kilos fewer. Jumong tagged along in third.
Haedongcheonwang will surely improve but he’s not likely to get such a weight advantage again as the weights will be much more evenly distributed the next two times these horses meet; likely to be the KRA Cup Classic and the Grand Prix itself.
Meanwhile, Dangdae Bulpae (Biwa Shinseiki), who bested both Tough Win and an injured Smarty Moonhak in the Busan Metropolitan returns to action next weekend in the Busan Owners’ Cup. While it is questionable as to whether the Korean bred horse will come to Seoul for the KRA Cup Classic – a tilt at an unprecedented third consecutive President’s Cup looking more likely – with any luck a Grand Prix appearance and another meeting with Tough Win will be on his agenda this year.
Class 1 Handicap – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Sunday September 2, 2012
1. Tough Win (USA) [Yonaguska – Maggie May’s Sword (Sword Dance)] – Cho Kyoung Ho
2. Haedongcheonwang (USA) [West Acre – Sienna’s Honor (Honor Grades)] – Park Sang Woo
3. Jumong (USA) [Johar – Foreign Aid (Danzig)] – Jo In Kwen
Distances: 2.5 lengths/2 lengths – 12 ran