Sting Ray, the odds-on favourite, swept to a convincing victory in the KRA Cup Mile at Busan Race Park this afternoon.
The race, known informally as the Korean 2000 Guineas, was the first leg of the 2013 Korean Triple Crown.
Sting Ray (Forest Camp), who came into the race off the back of 2 consecutive impressive wins was always travelling well under Kim Dong Young as Harley (Menifee) set the early pace. As they entered the home straight and spread across the track, Sting Ray hit the front and never looked like being caught as he stretched away for a 4-length win.
Raon Boss (Pico Central) showed that his last outing, where he finished 13 of 14 was an aberration by finishing a strong second, giving British jockey Darryll Holland a great result in his first Korean Classic race.
The Peter Wolsley trained Fantastic Jazz (Menifee) was a close 3rd. Wolsley’s other-runner, the slightly better fancied Amell’s Atom (Menifee) finished 4th.
Sting Ray is a half-brother of 2012 Korean Oaks winner Rising Glory, through their dam Straight Cash. Straight Cash herself was a top class filly who ran in Korea and won the 2005 JRA Trophy race. With 2 Classic winners, she has already established herself as among the top broodmares too.
The result was another disappointment for Seoul based trainers as Busan-trained horses dominated the placings. Rapide Bullet (Revere), back in 5th, was the best placed finisher from the capital. It’s difficult to see how this is going to be reversed when the country’s top three-year olds reconvene in Seoul on May 19th for the Korean Derby.
Sting Ray has already won at 1900 metres – further than the Derby distance and looks like he’s only going to get better.
KRA Cup Mile (KOR GII) – Busan Race Park – 1600M – April 7, 2013
1. Sting Ray (KOR) [Forest Camp – Straight Cash (Straight Man)] – Kim Dong Young
2. Raon Boss (KOR) [Pico Central – Ivy’s Jewel Stone (Forestry)] – Darryll Holland
3. Fantastic Jazz (KOR) [Menifee – Sorority Jazz (Dixieland Band)] – Park Geum Man
Distances: 4 lengths/1.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Amell’s Atom 5. Rapide Bullet 6. Rising joy 7. like The Sun 8. Last Mudae 9. Yapung 10. Heungnyeong Bisang 11. Cheonneyon Dongan 12. Global Gangja 13. Harley 14. Ruby Canter.
Scratched: Pureun Energy, Energy Cell
Race video to follow.