Grand Prix Stakes winner Clean Up Joy went to the races for the first time in 2017 on Sunday afternoon and 6-year-old didn’t disappoint, utterly crushing a class 1 field to win a Championship Series race over 2000M. Meanwhile at Busan, Korea’s 2016 Meydan hero Success Story finally returned to the winner’s circle.
Clean Up Joy made short work of Triple Nine and Power Blade, both currently at this year’s World Cup Carnival in Dubai, when winning the Grand Prix over 2300M in December. Sunday’s field was much weaker but Clean Up Joy had shunted them all out of the handicap and was giving a minimum of 8kg weight advantage – the only time he lost at Seoul in 2016, he was giving the same weight away.
It made little difference as, with Djordje Perovic on board for the first time, Clean Up Joy made short work of his opponents, sprinting away in the straight to win by an eased down five lengths. Clean Up Joy is now Korea’s leading contender for the Korea Cup race in September.
Down at Busan, Success Story finally returned to where he belongs for the first time since late 2015.
Success Story stunned Korean racing watchers by landing two 3rd place finishes at the Dubai World Cup Carnival last year (famously behind – a long way behind – California Chrome on the second occasion) and paved the way for five Korean horses to participate at Meydan this time around. Since returning to Korea he has raced in some of the biggest races, generally coming close but not breaking through.
Finally on Sunday he found himself at an ideal distance – 1800M – in a race where he would get an easy lead and where the main danger (Ms. Margaux) was a closer carrying more weight. Success Story duly obliged, leading every step of the way and still eight lengths clear on the line.
Triple Nine and Power Blade are now preparing for Super Saturday at Meydan. They may both have bested Success Story during the past year, but were it not for his exploits, neither would likely be there this time.