Power Blade once more defeated stablemate Ottug Ottugi to claim the first leg of the 2016 Korean Triple Crown, the KRA Cup Mile, at Busan Racecourse on Sunday.
Last year’s champion juvenile, Power Blade was sent off as the odds-on favourite and was always very handy as Ottug Ottugi and outsider Gasok Engine set the early pace. Banjiui Jewang, expected to be prominent, sat just behind but failed to make a run in the home straight and would trail home in 7th place.
Instead it was left to the Kim Young Kwan pair to battle it out and just over a furlong out, Power Blade did look under pressure for a time. Ottug Ottugi, the only filly in the race and trying the distance for the first time would crack though and Power Blade ran on for a four-length win with the filly a brave second.
Stealth, a 25/1 shot, ran a huge race in 3rd under Ikuyasu Kurakane, getting up from the back along with Zettabyte who came home 4th. Ever In Ever came a solid 5th, leading home Seoul’s top finisher. the 120/1 outsider Theme Deunggeuk. Behind them, the field was strung out.
Power Blade has now won five of his seven starts and is likely to head back to Seoul as favourite for the Korean Derby on May 15th. Already a winner at the Derby-distance of 1800M, he is going to be tough to stop. Ottug Ottugi showed that she has developed and a mile is within her capabilities. She’ll also need to get 1800M the Oaks in June.
The Kim Young Kwan training dominance of the top races continues. Today’s Cup Mile was his 28th Grade race winner – by far a Korean record. Kim rotates his jockeys – partly as he believes it benefits his horses although many suspect ensuring none of the top ones commit to another trainer also plays its role. Today’s rider Kim Yong Geun can’t complain too much though; today was his 9th Graded win – all of them coming on Kim Young Kwan-trained horses.
KRA Cup Mile (KOR G2) – Busan Racecourse – 1600M – April 3, 2016
1. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmacheong] – YK Kim – Kim Yong Geun – 1.7, 1.1
2. Ottug Ottugi (KOR) [Forest Camp – Main Objective] – YK Kim – Choi Si Dae – 2.1
3. Stealth (KOR) [Colors Flying – Missed The Tower] – SY Lee – Ikuyasu Kurakane – 4.7
Distances: 4 lengths / 2 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Zettabyte 5. Ever In Ever 6. Theme Deunggeuk 7. Banjiui Jewang 8. Gongryong 9. Gasok Engine 10. Dyna’s Dream 11. Smart Gentleman 12. Argo Flying