Gyeongbudaero held off a late challenge from an outsider to win the Busan Ilbo Cup this afternoon.
Running at his favourite distance of 1600 metres, the horse who is famous for finishing 2nd or 3rd in the big races made light of his 60kg impost to record his 3rd career Stakes win by a length from My Winner with long-shot All Su leading the rest of the field home 6 lengths adrift.
Gyeongbudaero would have a much better win rate but his connections always seek out the toughest possible opposition for him, generally running in open company rather than in races restricted to Korean bred horses.
He was 3rd in the Korean Derby, Minister’s Cup and President’s Cup in 2012 and followed it up in 2013 with 3rd in this race and 2nd in the President’s Cup.
He’s now 2 for 2 in 2014 with today’s win the 9th from 25 career starts. With Dangdae Bulpae retired, it is between him and President’s Cup winner Indie Band for the title of Busan’s number 1 horse.
It was a very strong run from My Winner in 2nd place. The Peter Wolsley trainee won a listed race last autumn which encouraged connections to take their chance in the President’s Cup. He was last that day and hadn’t run since. Better things could be on the way and he certainly won’t be allowed to start at 20/1 next time.
There was no luck for the foreign jockeys in the race. Joe Fujii, Masa Tanaka and Darryll Holland allentered with fighting chances of the win, However, riding Magic Dancer, Alpha Myeongjang and Grand Teukgeup, they finished 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.
Busan Ilbo Cup – Busan Race Park – 1600M – February 23, 2014
1. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae – 2.3, 1.1
2. My Winner (KOR) [Vicar – Bridlingbride (Unbridled’s Song)] – Kim Yong Geun – 4.3
3. All Su (KOR) [Perfect Vision II – Seollimwon (Wheaton)] – Song Keong Yun – 6.5
Distances: 1 length/6 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Magic Dancer 5. Alpha Myeongjang 6. Grand Teukgeup 7. Chima Cheolli 8. Fine Fine 9. Road To Prince
* At Seoul, there was a little bit of an upset on the Classic trail as Cheongnyeong Bisang looked very out of sorts while finishing 7th when favourite in a class 2 handicap over the Derby distance of 1800 metres.
Last year’s Champion Juvenile started the year with a routine win over 1700 metres last month and was favourite to successfully go the extra 100 metres today but never looked like going close.
Meanwhile, it was another good day for Ikuyasu Kurakane. The Japanese rider added to his solitary win yesterday with a double today, taking him to 14 for the year already despite missing the first 6 meetings of the year due to suspension.