Cinderella Man charged back into the winner’s circle at Seoul while Bold Kings maintained his 100% record at Busan as the pair emerged victorious from Sunday’s two Grand Prix Stakes trials.
Cinderella Man had run just twice in the capital since his ownership transferred from Pegasus Stables to Ruairi O’Coilean and he joined the stable of Seoul’s fast emerging trainer Lee Shin Young. The first of those was the KRA Cup Classic when questionable riding tactics scuppered his chances but he looked sharp when running 2nd last month over 2000M
He had to battle on Sunday when racing over the Grand Prix distance for the first time but once he had finally managed to get past long time leader Hwanggeum Tap in the final furlong, Cinderella Man ran on for victory by just over a length under champion jockey Moon Se Young. It was Cinderella Man’s 10th win from 17 career starts.
Class 1 Handicap – Seoul Racecourse – 2300M – Nov 9, 2015
1. Cinderella Man (KOR) [Southern Image – Tiza Fast Kat (Tiznow)] – Moon Se Young – 2.7, 1.3
2. Hwanggeum Tap (USA) [Tiz Wonderful – La Tulipe (Silver Deputy)] – Lee Sang Hyeok – 3.4
3. Winning Andy (USA) [Cowboy Cal – Belvedere Miss (Pleasant Colony)] – Djordje Perovic – 1.5
Distances: 1.5 lengths/1.5 lengths – 9 ran
At Busan, three-year-old US import Bold Kings confirmed his status as one of the hottest emerging talents in Korean racing. He too had to battle in the 2200M class 1 event but under Jo Sung Gon, he finally got the better of Goji Jeongbeol by a head after the two dueled for the final furlong. Bold Kings is now six for six.
The Grand Prix at Seoul next month would be a big ask for both of them. Bold Kings is three, has only run six times and is yet to travel to race. Cinderella Man, while reasonably conservatively campaigned this year (he has run eight times) did suffer setbacks over the summer. Their presence though would be a huge boost for the race.
Class 1 Handicap – Busan Racecourse – 2200M – Nov 8, 2015
1. Bold Kings (USA) [Afleet Express – Bold Arrival (Gilded Time)] – Jo Sung Gon – 2.5, 1.3
2. Goji Jeongbeol (USA) [Congrats – I Love CIndy (Adonis)] – Ikuyasu Kurakane – 1.5
3. Gandai (KOR) [ Don’t Get Mad – Gamble To Victory (Prospector’s Gamble)] – Song Keong Yun – 2.7
Distances: Head / 2.5 lengths – 8 ran
Bold Kings was ridden for the first time by Jo Sung Gon as regular rider Kim Yong Geun was riding Nobody Catch Me for Kim Young Kwan. It may be a good thing that he won’t be going to the Tokyo Daishoten and he probably won’t be going to the Grand Prix either as he faded to a well-beaten 6th having shown prominently early in the race.
Trainer Kim will still have plenty of options for the season-ending showpiece – which once again will be available to European punters through the PMU – with three-year-olds Rock Band and Triple Nine among them.
On a weekend when it rained practically non-stop and the track at times resembled more a rowing lake than a racecourse, the pari-mutuel system decided that it was as wet and fed-up as everybody else and packed up immediate following race 3 at Seoul. It was a good 40 minutes before it could be coaxed into life again and that meant the abandonment of race 4. It’s not the first time it’s happened.
Jockey of the weekend was once more Djordje Perovic who rode another treble on Saturday and a further winner on Sunday. Jockey of the weekend wasn’t Nicola Pinna who while finally making his debut on Saturday, had to get off two later mounts – one of which Perovic won on.
Jockey of the weekend wasn’t Kim Hye Sun either. She will be having nightmares over getting Saetbyeori beaten in Saturday’s race 4 when the race looked won. While it looked to be a total brain freeze rather than anything nefarious (the Stewards adjourned their inquiry), the punters who backed the 10/1 shot won’t have been amused. However, those who were on the favourite that Kim failed to notice closing on her inside until it was too late, wouldn’t have minded at all. The usually reliable Kim was much more vigilant on Sunday with a very good ride on 38/1 shot Beongae Power, who she coaxed home when looking about to be beaten.
In other jockey news, Japanese rider Makoto Okabe debuted at Busan with seven rides across the weekend. He didn’t manage to get a winner but did land two 2nd places and one 3rd. Pasquale Borelli, Ikuyasu Kurakane and Masa Tanaka all did manage to find their way into the winner’s circle though.