On Wednesday, the final overseas-trained horses left Seoul Racecourse to return to their respective homes across the globe, bringing the final curtain down on the inaugural running of the Keeneland Korea Cup & Sprint.
It’s been a welcome novelty for Korean racing to be so widely reported elsewhere so we’ll not run through the results again. Super Jockey’s effortless win in the Sprint was the highlight with a real international quality horse putting in an international quality performance in a race which would have pleased the Hong Kong punters who made him favourite in the Jockey Club pools despite him gong off the $8.50 third choice in Korea.
There was a huge performance too in the Sprint by Macheon Bolt. The Peter Wolsley trained gelding flew home for 2nd under Lee Hee Cheon and should connections so desire, has to be a strong candidate for Korea’s representative in the Japan-Korea Sprint at Ohi in November or for the Dubai World Cup Carnival early next year. Wild Dude and Super Winner, favourite and 2nd-favourite respectively, struggled but Korea’a pre-race big hope, Perdido Pomeroy, came home a decent 4th having been on speed most of the way around.
The Cup was a slightly strange affair. After early pace-setter Beolmaui Kkum faded even earlier than expected, the two Japanese horses simply ran away from the field. Chrysolite, a quality horse, was the easy winner ahead of Kurino Star O. Three seconds and 16-lengths behind the winner, Triple Nine got up for 3rd ahead of stablemate and Korean Triple Crown winner Power Blade. Despite the margin of victory, the time was still outside Power Blade’s track record on a wet track in the Korean Derby earlier this year.
Famous Mark, for France, got up for an excellent 5th place but the UK’s Solar Deity was slow out of the gate and came home in 10th place.
Overall, it was an excellent weekend and we’ll have more on the follow-up over the next couple of weeks.