Juveniles took centre-stage at Seoul and Busan on Sunday as each track hosted its 2nd-leg heat of the Juvenile Series. At Seoul Dae Wan Ma produced a gutsy fightback to win the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup, while in the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup on the South Coast, it was King Socks who prevailed in style.
Dae Wan Ma entered the Seoul race with 2 wins and a disqualification to his name, the latter coming in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup last month when despite being 1st over the line, he was thrown out after causing another horse to unseat his rider coming out of the gates.
Under Antonio Da Silva, the Colors Flying colt was quickly on the lead but seemed to be beaten when collared by second-favourite Do Kki Blade with a furlong to run. Dae Wan Ma though looks to be made of stern stuff as he rallied up the inside rail to get back on terms and ultimately get his neck in front on the line. Myeongpum Chukje was a full five-lengths back in 3rd place.
Dae Wan Ma will now head to the Breeders’ Cup on the first week of December, the final leg of the Juvenile Series, as Seoul’s top hope. There he will face King Socks, who had an altogether easier time in the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup at Busan on Sunday afternoon. While Busan’s field was smaller it was no less competitive with the eight youngsters having already combined for 13 wins from 20 total starts.
Lion Sun set the early pace with filly Top Of World going with him. Once they hit the straight, however, neither were any match for the Kim Young-kwan-trained Officer colt as King Socks came alongside the leaders two furlongs out and cruised away to win by eight-lengths on the line under jockey Lee Hyo-sik. Yeonggwangui Secret passed an exhausted Lion Sun and Top Of World to snatch 2nd.
In other noteworthy performances across the weekend, the exciting World Day (Ecton Park) moved onto six wins from seven starts, making all to win Friday’s class 2 feature at Busan over 1800M while also at the Southern track, King Of Ace ran out a comfortable winner of Sunday’s class 1 handicap for Australian trainer Peter Wolsley. The US-bred colt by Malibu Moon burst onto the scene last year winning his first three races before being interrupted by injury but has now won his latest two and looks set to finally fulfil his potential.