Another Perfect Moment For Jigeum I Sungan

Derby Winner Beats Oaks And Cup Mile Winners To Land Third Leg Of Triple Crown

Jigeum I Sungan secured the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown in emphatic fashion at Seoul Race Park this afternoon and in doing so, assured himself of the title of Champion three-year old of 2012.

Their moment: Jigeum I Sungan and Moon Se Young return after winning the Minister’s Cup

The Korean Derby winner beat out the Oaks winning filly Rising Glory and KRA Cup mile winning colt Gyeongbudaero to win the Minister’s Cup by four lengths and become the first horse since the Triple Crown winning J.S.Hold in 2007 to win both the Derby and the Minister’s Cup.

Sent off as the 2/1 favourite, Jigeum I Sungan – “This is the Moment” in English – was kept in the middle of the pack for the first half of the 10 furlong race. Jockey Moon Se Young asked the Derby winner to improve around the home turn and as the entered the home straight, all the big contenders were massing.

Jigeum I Sungan and Moon Se Young in the winner’s circle

Gyeongbudaero was on the inside under Joe Fujii and Nobel Pokpung, a fast finishing second in the Derby looked poised to strike under Gerrit Schlechter on the outside.

They had nothing on Jigeum I Sungan though who accelerated away for an untroubled win. Oaks winner Rising Glory finished fast down the outside to grab second place, a neck in front of Gyeongbudaero.

So things ended as they should. The Derby winner finishing first, the Oaks winner second and the KRA Cup Mile winner third. Today, however, Jigeum I Sungan was best in all departments.

Further clashes look likely and it will be fascinating to see if he is ready to take on the likes of Dangdae Bulpae in the President’s Cup in a month’s time. Even with the weight advantage that he’ll have, it may be a little too early.

For jockey Moon Se Young, it was another golden day following his win in the Singapore Turf Club Trophy yesterday. It was his second Minister’s Cup, having won the 2004 edition on Mupae Gangja.

Jigeum I Sungan is the first Seoul-based horse to win the Minister’s Cup since J.S. Hold in 2007. Gaeson Janggun in 2008, Namdo Jeap in 2009, Dangdae Bulpae in 2010 and Dongseo Jeongbeol in 2011 were all trained at Busan.

Jigeum I Sungan is the first of his until now unfashonable Japanese bred sire Ingrandire (White Muzzle) to become a big star on the track. Ingrandire was imported to Korea in 2006. The winner’s dam, Solmaru (Mujaazif) finished third in the Korean Oaks in 2003. Her four previous foals all went onto win.

The 2007 edition turned out to be J.S. Hold’s last race. Jigeum I Sungan isn’t in his class just yet, but on today’s evidence, he’s going to be a lot of fun to watch in future.

Minister of FAFF Stakes (KOR G2) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Sunday October 14, 2012

1. Jigeum I Sungan (KOR) [Ingrandire – Solmaru (Mujaazif)] – Moon Se Young – 2.9, 1.3
2. Rising Glory (KOR) [Menifee – Straight Cash (Straight Man)] – Jo Sung Gon – 4.3
3. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Kanichiro Fujii – 1.5

Distances: 4 lengths/Neck
Also ran: 4. Naejangsan 5. Wonderful Namhae 6. Fine Fine 7. Nobel Pokpung 8. Myeongun Jewang 9. Royal Galloper 10. Alpha Myeongjang 11. Chowon Yeoje 12. Tongjesa 13. Himchan Jilju 14. Gumanseok

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