The 2013 Korean Triple Crown is about to begin but today punters were treated to stirring performances from two heroes of Classics gone by as Derby winners Ebony Storm and Jiguem I Sungan took out the feature races at Busan and Seoul.
Back on an appropriately stormy day in Seoul in May 2008, Ebony Storm (Buster’s Daydream) pulled off a shock win in the Korean Derby when starting as the longest shot on the board.
He did nothing in the remaining leg of the Triple Crown and, at 4-years-old, found himself gelded. He then embarked on a Class 1 handicap campaign that has continued to this day, regularly finishing in the money and occasionally winning.
Today, on his 50th career start, Ebony Storm was sent off as a 33/1 outsider for Busan’s 7-furlong feature race. Steadily making-up ground the entire race, the 8-year old passed favourite All Su (Perfect Vision II) in the final furlong to record his 11th victory by just over a length.
Up at Seoul, we had to wait until the very final race of the weekend to see Jiegum I Sungan (Ingrandire), winner of the 2012 Derby, do his thing. The 4-year-old still looks to have his best days ahead of him and he was in good form as he casually dismissed his rivals by 6 lengths over 9 and a half furlongs.
The President’s Cup – and possible Grand Prix Stakes – will be Jigeum I Sungan’s target this year as he seeks to supplant Dangdae Bulpae as Korea’s top domestic-bred horse. Ebony Storm won’t be in either of those races, however, not many horses in Korea have won class 1 races in 5 consecutive years. If Jigeum I Sungan can emulate that one day, he will be a truly special horse.
Also impressing at Busan today was US 3-year old Yeonggwanguijehyun (Rockport Harbor). The colt cruised to an 8 length win over fellow highly rated import Bathsheba Park (Harlington) in the 9-furlong race 5. The win – his 6th from 9 starts – qualifies him for class 1 racing next time out.