Watts Village, 2013 Ohi Interaction Cup Winner, Has Died

Watts Village, who became the first Korea-trained horse to win a race overseas, died late last month.

Watts Village winning the 2013 Interaction Cup in Japan (Pic: keiba.co.jp)

Watts Village winning the 2013 Interaction Cup in Japan (Pic: keiba.co.jp)

The 5-year-old passed away of a neurological disease just days before the Asia Challenge Cup, a race in which he had been expected to run.

Watts Village [Forestry – Edey’s Village (Silver Deputy)] was a $20,000 purchase from the 2012 Ocala Spring sale of two-year-olds in training and arrived in Korea in June of that year.

Watts Village 2010-2015

Watts Village 2010-2015

He debuted in August of that year with a victory and would also win his next three starts, including the TJK Trophy in November. He wouldn’t win again until July 2013 and then went on to finish 2nd behind Tosen Archer in the Korea-Japan Goodwill Trophy in September.

He then won a quick race over six-furlongs in October which encouraged connections to take their chance in the Interaction Cup at Ohi Racecourse in Tokyo on November 26. While most Korean hopes were pinned on Fly Top Queen, the most expensive horse ever imported to the country and at that time, still unbeaten, a Korean win seemed unlikely.

However, under jockey Seo Seung Un, Watts Village was gunned out of the gate and into an early lead. He would not give it up. Although the field came back to him, he just managed to hold on, sparking raucous celebrations among the visiting Korean contingent and securing his place in Korean racing folklore.

There was a feeling among some close to the horse that his exertions in Japan had taken a lot out of him and despite having been invited to race in Dubai the following spring, connections declined and kept him at home. Indeed, he only raced five times in 2014, with a solitary victory.

Watts Village and Moon Se Young in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup winner's circle. It turned out to be his last race (Pic: KRA)

Watts Village and Moon Se Young in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup winner’s circle. It turned out to be his last race (Pic: KRA)

Given another lengthy spell, he came back for a tilt at this year’s Asia Challenge Cup, which would be run over his favoured six furlongs. After an encouraging 2nd place on his re-appearance after six months off, he easily won the Munhwa Ilbo Cup in July, Seoul’s official trial for the Challenge Cup. Sadly that turned out to be his final race.

Watts Village ran a total of 19 times with 8 wins, 5 seconds and 2 thirds.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s