South Korea’s presence at the Meydan carnival came to an end on Thursday night with three representatives lining up in the Curlin Handicap at international listed level.
Korea was looking for successive wins in the dirt feature, after Dolkong won the event last year for trainer Simon Foster and recently retired jockey Olivier Doleuze.
Trainer Kim Young-Kwan had Today and Baengmunbaekdap engaged in the race whilst Busan counterpart Thomas Gillespie had Great King entered in the 1 1/4m event.
Today, who had a favourable draw took up the running in the early stages of the event whilst Great King and Baengmunbaekdap were dealt torrid runs tramping three and four wide for the majority of the race.
At the three-furlong pole it was obvious that Today’s rider Fernando Jara had plenty of horse left underneath him, as it started to appear a two-horse race with US representative Parsimony presenting on the outside of him.
As Today and Parsimony straightened up for the run home, they were matching each other’s stride, before Parsimony started to edge clear and go on and win by just over two lengths.
Whilst Today finished second, Great King produced an admirable performance to finish sixth after a tough run and Baengmunbaekdap capitulated to beat one home.
It was a truly international event with Parsimony (U.S.), Today, Ambassadorial (U.K.) and race favourite George Villiers (South Africa) the top four finishing order.
The Curlin Handicap capped off the Dubai preparations for the trio who lined up in the event, whilst connections of Blue Chipper travelled the Korea Sprint winner to Dubai without him stepping foot on the track.
Blue Chipper was touted as Korea’s best chance for victory at Meydan, but a bout of travel sickness presented shortly after arriving.
The five-year-old was awaiting clearance from vet staff resulting in changes to his Dubai campaign, but ultimately ran out of time.
Connections are now expected to target the international Group Three features later this year, with connections potentially targeting the Korea Cup (1800m) after taking out the Korea Sprint (1200m) last year.