Seoul and Busan Racecourses both held trials this past Sunday for the Asia Challenge Cup, the international invitational which will be run in the Korean capital at the end of August. And it was familiar names coming out on top as Watts Village and New York Blue ran out the respective winners.
In the Munhwa Ilbo Cup at Seoul, there was just a nose in it as Watts Village, 2nd in the Korea/Japan Goodwill race – the forerunner of the Asia Challenge Cup – in 2013 and winner of the Interaction Cup at Ohi in Tokyo later the same year, beat out Choegang Schiller in a back and forth stretch duel that went all the way to the line. Under Moon Se Young, Watts Village had his nose in front just at the right time as the pair came home just one tenth of a second outside the track record for 1200M.
Munhwa Ilbo Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – July 12, 2015
1. Watts Village (USA) [Forestry – Edey’s Village (Silver Deputy)] – Moon Se Young – 2.2, 1.2
2. Choegang Schiller (USA) [Artie Schiller – Changeable (Misawaki)] – Lee Chan Ho – 1.3
3. Bichui Jeongsang (USA) [Wildcat Heir – Persimmon Honey (Colonial Affair)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 1.4
Distances: Nose/2.5 lengths
Also ran: 4. Joy Lucky (KOR) 5. Full Moon Party (KOR) 6. Parang Juibo (USA) 7. Cheonma (USA) 8. Seoul Jeongsang (KOR) 9. Mirae Yeongung (KOR) 10. Nolbu Manse (KOR) 11. Stan The Cameraman (USA)
At Busan, the Gukje Sinmun Cup attracted just six entrants and after a late scratching, only five took their place in the starting gate. It was another quick race and it was the filly New York Blue, 3rd in last year’s Asia Challenge Cup, who would get the better of Success Story by just under a length on the line.
Gukje Sinmun Cup – Busan Racecourse – 1200M – July 12, 2015
1. New York Blue (USA) [Candy Ride – Aim For The Moon (Deputy Minister)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.8, 1.1
2. Success Story (KOR) [Peace Rules – Power Pack (Lil’s Lad)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.5
3. Super Gangja (USA) [Simon Pure – Honey Fritters (Helmsman)] – Choi Si Dae
Distances: 0.75 lengths/6 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Gyeongnam Sinhwa (USA) 5. Fly Top Queen (USA) SCR: Jeoldae Gunju (USA)
Both winners – and indeed the runners-up – will be expected in Seoul to take their chance against the visitors from Singapore, Japan and – with a quarantine protocol almost complete – potentially the UAE as well for the Asia Challenge Cup on August 30.
There is more Stakes action at Seoul this coming Sunday in the shape of the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the 2015 Korean Triple Crown.