There was a surprise in the Minister’s Cup as outsider Yeonggwanguihunter (Colors Flying) raced to victory in what was the final leg of the 2017 Korean Triple Crown at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.
Derby winner Final Boss was sent off as favourite for the 2000M test but just like in the Cup mile, he didn’t feature until far too late after a pedestrian (to put it generously) pace was set in the early stages on a track that was beginning to dry out following a weekend of rain.
Cup mile winner Indian King performed admirably, joining outsider Wild Thunder on what passed for the early speed and staying on well for 2nd place. Daeho Sidae built on disappointing runs in both Cup Mile and Derby to come home a close 3rd. Royal Ruby, 2nd in both first two legs ran well in 4th.
The day belonged to Yeonggwanguihunter though whose jockey Lim Sung Sil opted to loop the field in the back straight, something that transpired to be the key move. They struck the front a furlong out and comfortably saw off the late challenges to win by half a length on the line.
Yeonggwanguihunter began the race a 33/1 chance. He’d won three of his ten previous starts at no higher level than class 4 and at no greater distance than 1300M. He took his chance here following 3rd place in an 1800M class 3 handicap a month ago.
For trainer Lim Keum Man, it was a second Group winner following Yeongung Manse in the 2009 Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup. For jockey Lim Sung Sil, it was a seventh group success.
Yeonggwanguihunter [Colors Flying – Cheers Again (Awesome Again)] was bred by Kim Hae Buk. His dam, Canada-bred Cheers Again was a $17,000 purchase from Keeneland’s October 2007 Breeding Stock sale. Yeonggwanguihunter is her fifth foal to race in Korea with four of them having won at least one race. She has a yearling by Eurosilver and recently produced a foal by Chapel Royal. Both are colts.
Busan provided the first four home on the day with Final Boss leading home the Seoul representatives in 5th. Final Boss surely remains the most naturally gifted of this crop. Will he produce later in the year?
Minister’s Cup (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – July 16, 2017
1. Yeonggwanguihunter (KOR) [Colors Flying – Cheers Again (Awesome Again)] – Lim Sung Sil – 33.7, 6.5
2. Indian King (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki – Indian Diamond (Indian Charlie)] – Ham Wan Sik – 3.3
3. Daeho Sidae (KOR) [Simon Pure – Ara Mireu (Didyme)] – Choi Si Dae – 2.8
Distances: 0.5 lengths / Neck
Also Ran: 4. Royal Ruby 5. Final Boss 6. Wild Thunder 7. America Power 8. Uju Star 9. Jejui Haneul 10. Bright Star 11. Teukbyeol Star 12. Choegang Jeollyeok