Speedy First added a second Classic to her increasingly impressive record with a convincing win in the Korean Oaks at Busan Race Park this afternoon.
The Korean Derby winner was sent off as the heavy favourite for the fillies’ Classic and was close to the front from the outset. Joe Fujii made his move as the field turned for home and while Speedy First needed a little help finding top gear in the home straight, once she got into her stride, the result was never in doubt.
Miracle Wonder, who made the early-running held on for second while 120/1 outsider Lady Medal snatched third from the tiring Cheonnyeon Dongan who was, in fourth, the best placed finisher from Seoul.
Before today, Speedy First’s only racetrack appearance since winning the Derby had ended after just a few seconds when Fujii was unseated before the first turn of the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Cup.
The filly then treated herself to a solo run around the track. She returned none the worse for wear but was kept off the track until today.
For trainer Kim Young Kwan, it is yet another top class winner. With Speedy First, he has managed the Derby/Oaks double that eluded his other great filly, Sangseung Ilro, who captured the Derby but lost the Oaks by a neck.
Jockey Joe Fujii continues his remarkable time in Korea. He has now won the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup, the Grand Prix Stakes, the Korean Derby and the Korean Oaks. The 29 year-old Japan native with a broad Australian accent will surely go down as the most successful foreign jockey to ride in Korea to date.
Although Japanese, he has never been licensed in his home country and is now in the process of applying to the JRA.
Today wasn’t one of Fujii’s most difficult rides but anyone who has watched him over the past 15 months knows that he can compete with the best anywhere.
Speedy First has now won 6 of her 8 starts and will be a serious contender when the top three-year olds reconvene at Seoul for the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Triple Crown.
Korean Oaks (KOR GII) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – August 25, 2013
1. Speedy First (KOR) [Menifee – Speedy Deedy (Victory Gallop)] – Kanichiro Fujii – 1.3, 1.1
2. Miracle Wonder (KOR) [Menifee – Jeongbowang (Concept Win)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.7
3. Lady Medal (KOR) [Volponi – Lady Ell (Flying Spur)] – Seol Dong Bok – 9.2
Distances: 7 lengths/0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Cheonnyeon Dongan 5. Sand Quick 6. Winning Streak 7. Miss Quick 8. Hurricane Jump 9. Wind Leto 10. Raon Bally 11. Yuseong Hero DQ: Mery Shine DQ: Land Angel DNS: Dewma
Next week the main action is at Seoul where history will be made as foreign-trained horses run in Korea for the very first time. The SBS ESPN Korea/Japan Goodwill Cup is next Sunday.