Cheongu and Success Story left their respective class 1 opponents at Seoul and Busan seemingly running in different races as they dominated the weekend’s feature events.
Cheongu has had an entertaining year, with a third place in the Asia Challenge Cup behind Choegang Schiller and El Padrino sandwiched between trips to Singapore and Japan. In all three of those races, he went out quickly only to be reeled back in the closing stages.
On Sunday, back in the comfort of a regular class 1 field at Seoul, the familiar tactics paid off with Cheongu making all over seven furlongs to win by an irrelevant margin of three lengths on the line with Mirae Yeongung and Parang Juuibo the somewhat surprising other placegetters. Cheongu has now won 5 of 8 starts in Korea.
Class 1 – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – Nov 22, 2015
1. Cheongu (USA) [Old Fashioned – So Much Fun (Speightstown)] – Yoo Seung Wan – 1,9, 1.2
2. Mirae Yeongung (KOR) [Aragorn – Willing Miss (More Than Ready)] – Djordje Perovic – 4.3
3. Parang Juuibo (USA) [With Distinction – Spicy Souffle (French Deputy)] – 13.4
Distances: 3 lengths/5 lengths – 12 ran
Busan’s Sunday feature saw a welcome return to the winner’s circle for Success Story. The four-year-old has had a bit of a stop-start year but if Cheongu’s win was easy, Success Story’s was barely a race.
With apprentice Lee Yong Ho on board, Success Story was carrying less weight than in previous starts this year and by the end of the race jockey Lee seemed likely to end up needing treatment for a sore neck so much time he spent looking over both shoulders as Success Story sauntered away from a small, but by no means soft field over a mile.
Despite not breaking into a sweat, Success Story won by seven lengths from outsider Baksuchyeo in a time not far outside of the track record. Success Story moves on to 10 wins from 18 starts and one hopes tougher challenges await for this horse who is yet to perform in a Stakes race.
Class 1 Handicap -Busan Racecourse – 1600M – Nov 22, 2015
1. Success Story (KOR) [Peace Rules – Power Pack (Lil’s Lad)] – Lee Yong Ho – 2.4, 1.4
2. Baksuchyeo (USA) [Bob And John – Say Amen (Pulpit)] – Lee Hee Cheon – 5.3
3. Oreuse (USA) [Smoke Glacken – Heavenly Splendor (Point Given)] – Jin Kyum
Distances: 7 lengths/3 lengths – 7 ran
In other news, Masa Tanaka came one winner closer to his stated goal of 100 winners in Korea; he partnered Bart Rice’s debut-making US gelding High Five (Girolamo) to victory in race 1 at Busan on Sunday. It takes the Japanese rider to 97 for his time in the country so far.
Next Sunday sees the Juvenile highlight of the year, the Breeders’ Cup race at Seoul