We might have had a surprise winner of the Juvenile Championship race at Seoul on Saturday but it was business as usual in the corresponding event at Busan on Sunday as trainer Kim Young Kwan saddled a 1-2 and the odds-on favourite Ottug Ottugi doing the business.
One thing that Ottug Ottugi does have in common with Seoul’s winner Waikiki is that she is a filly. However, unlike Waikiki, who was getting her maiden victory yesterday, Ottug Ottugi came in to today’s race undefeated in her two previous starts.
Under Choi Si Dae Ottug Ottugi led from gate to wire but the second string very nearly got up. Nozi Tomizawa and Power Blade ended up almost in the stands so wide did they run looking for quicker ground – as had been common at Busan this weekend – but Ottug Ottugi just held on by a neck
It’s the fillies that will go to the Breeders’ Cup race at Seoul at the end of November as favourites.
Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup – Busan Racecourse – 1200M – Oct 11, 2015
1. Ottug Ottugi (KOR) [Forest Camp – Main Objective (Lion Heart)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.8, 1.2
2. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmachong (Lost Mountain)] – Nozomu Tomizawa – 1.3
3. Whitte Queens (KOR) [Exploit – Miracle Win (Iriquois Park)] – Song Keong Yun – 3.8
Distances: Neck/1.75 lengths – 8 ran
Cheon Gu, Cowboy Son and Dynamic Jilju will be racing for Korea under the lights at Ohi Racecourse in Tokyo on Tuesday night as they take on a full field of 13 Japanese horses over 1200M in the third running of the Interaction Cup.
And in contrast to last year when Korea didn’t really bring the firepower needed in order to be competitive, there is a feeling that if the horses run to the best then they – especially Cheon Gu – have a chance of making it into the money this time around.
Cheon Gu has been drawn in gate 1 while Cowboy Son and Dynamic Jilju will start from gates 12 and 13. As ever, Yoo Seung Wan will ride Cheon Gu, who is competing in his third consecutive international race having taken part in the KRA Cup at Kranji in Singapore in July and then the Asia Challenge Cup in Seoul in August when he was beaten only by Choegang Schiller and El Padrino. Oh Kyoung Hwan takes the mount of Cowboy Son while Ikuyasu Kurakane has travelled back to his homeland to ride Dynamic Jilju.
The Japanese contenders are sure to expect the Korean horses to look to get out of the gate quickly and look to set a fast pace and then try to hang on. That’s what happened when Watts Village won the first running of this race two years ago and Cheon Gu has indeed gone forward in each of his last two races only to be reeled in.
As for those Japanese runners, as ever they tend to be older and have a lot of experience behind them and a lot of wins between them. Gorski is making his first run at NAR level following a solid JRA career and is likely to be one of the main dangers while Satono Tiger and Maruka Bakken are others who have been racing in stiffer competition and could go well on Tuesday. For a full run-down of the Japanese contenders, see the preview at the excellent Japanracing site here.
Here is the full list of runners and riders with race records:
Interaction Cup – Ohi Racecourse – 1200M – October 13, 2015 (20:15)
1. Cheon Gu (USA) [Old Fashioned – So Much Fun (Speightstown)] 3yo colt (8/4/1/2) – Yoo Seung Wan
2. Gorski (JPN) [Neo Universe – Nikiya (Nureyev)] 8yo horse (42/8/3/4) – Seiji Yamazaki
3. Blue Tanzanite (JPN) [Brian’s Time – Keyboogie (Lyphard)] 6yo horse (37/4/1/6) – Takehiro Kashiwaga
4. Fire Prince (JPN) [On Fire – Restive Commander (Commander In Chief)] 4yo colt (30/5/6/1) – Tadanari Konno
5. Kevin Dieu (JPN) [South Vigorous – Little Namura (Ashkalani)] 6yo horse (27/5/3/0) – Tatsuya Sawada
6. Coreles Puma (JPN) [Highbridge Slew – Terano Judi (Adjudicating)] 11yo horse (68/10/8/8) – Takayuki Yano
7. Satono Tiger (JPN) [King Kamehameha – Fabulous Turn (Sunday Silence)] 7yo horse (41/7/6/4) – Seiji Sakai
8. Air Lafon (JPN) [Durandal – Pretty Tidy (Jade Robbery)] 8yo horse (40/12/6/2) – Takumi Kobayashi
9. Kurino Ama Dablam (JPN) [Orewa Matteruze – Lady Mahalo (Forty Niner)] 5yo mare (38/4/4/2) – Naoki Machida
10. Tre Bone (JPN) [Agnes Digital – Heart Full Voice (Mejiro Ryan)] 7yo gelding (41/5/2/5) – Daisuke Mashima
11. Major Athlete (JPN) [Daiwa Major – Splintercat (Storm Cat)] 6yo horse (38/3/96/2) – Taito Mori
12. Cowboy Son (USA) [Cowboy Cal – Nosmallachievement (Smart Strike)] 4yo colt (19/10/2/2) – Oh Kyoung Hwan
13. Dynamic Jilju (USA) [Forestry – Beat Your Feet (Dixieland Band)] 4yo colt (27/6/3/4) – Ikuyasu Kurakane
14. Erimo Feather (JPN) [Sinister Minister – Little Mermaid (Twining)] 5yo mare (26/4/1/4) – Jun Aritoshi
15. Maruka Bakken (JPN) [Kurofune – Famed Grace (Sunday Silence)] 8yo horse (38/7/3/4) – Hidemitsu Sakai
16. Taisei Legend (JPN) [King Kamehameha – Sharp Kick (Mejiro McQueen)] – 8yo horse (39/9/5/2) – Tsubasa Sasakawa
Filly Waikiki was the shock 48/1 winner of the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Saturday afternoon, in the process becoming a rather unlikely champion 2-year-old for the capital city track.
The previously unbeaten Meni Music had been sent off the slight favourite for the 1200M test but with a whole host of unexposed and very lightly raced entrants, the likelihood of a surprise was always high.
Second favourite Winners Glory was prominent for much of the race and looked to have the race won entering the final furlong. However, Waikiki, who had been very slow to jump and only led one entering the home straight, flew home in the closing stages under jockey Park Byeong Yun to snatch victory on the line.
Waikiki had raced twice previously, finishing 2nd on both occasions. She is now likely to race in the Breeders’ Cup at the end of November when the bet Seoul juveniles will face the best of Busan’s. Indeed, the Busan version of the Mayor’s Cup – the Gyeongnam Sinmun Trophy – will take place this afternoon on the south coast. Ottug Ottugi, currently two for two, is set to start as favourite.
Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – Oct 10, 2015
1. Waikiki (KOR) [Pico Central – Wyvern (Didyme)] – Park Byeong Yun – 49.0, 7.4
2. Winners Glory (KOR) [Strike Again – Luck And Fame (Western Fame)] – Kim Dong Soo – 1.5
3. Gaia Thunder (KOR) [One Cool Cat – Now Cope With This (Tiznow)] – Song Jae Chul – 14.0
Distances: 0.5 lengths / 1 length – 12 ran