Naming a racehorse can be a tricky thing. We have in Korea an “Unbeatable”, who is anything but, an “Always Winner” who has a win rate of 4% and a “Derby Winner” about whom the less said about the better. We do though now have Success Story who maintained his unbeaten record for 2015 with a solid victory in the feature race at Busan on Sunday, his 9th victory from 14 career starts.
It was Success Story’s first try at 2000M since two unsuccessful attempts at the distance in the Minister’s and President’s Cups at Seoul last autumn. Both times his front-running style had come unstuck in the closing stages.
Following three consecutive wins at 1400M, 1600M and 1800M, Success Story (Peace Rules) was sent off as slight favourite over Gumpo Sky and Nobody Catch Me, the latter being last year’s Busan Metropolitan Stakes winner making his first appearance since the Grand Prix. This time Success Story would not be caught.
As usual jockey Jo Sung Gon took Success Story out in front, however, the expected challenges never materialised and his victory by almost three lengths was surprisingly comfortable. 23/1 outsider Eongmangdori, under Nozi Tomizawa, finished the quickest to grab 2nd place with Gumpo Sky a further five back in 3rd. Nobody Catch Me faded to last.
Success Story didn’t win any of the three-year-old Classics last year but with Cheongnyong Bisang usually injured, Queen’s Blade sinking into obscurity in the USA and only Minister’s Cup winner Never Seen Before still running well, he is the top horse to come out of his crop (as a gelding, Hangangui Gijeok couldn’t run in the classics last year).
As is the norm these days, the racing at Seoul was low-key although although there was plenty of excitement. Saturday’s class 1 ended in a three-way photo finish with Mirae Yeongung (Aragorn) getting the better of and earn his 10th win from 16 starts in the process. Sunday’s feature saw a first class 1 win for US import Cheonma (Langfuhr).