Determination downed Chief Indy to take the honours in the Sports Chosun Trophy at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon and in doing so, gave jockey Boo Min-ho his first Stakes race winner in twelve years.
Sent off as a 17/1 chance, Determination, who was drawn wide in gate thirteen, was kept back and wide in the early exchanges as Daehan Jilju, the top-rated horse in the race, set the pace. Determination quickly moved up wide while pre-race odds-on favourite, Chief Indy, runner-up in last year’s Minister’s Cup, sat just behind the leading group.
Daehan Jilju, racing for the first time since Christmas Day, finally weakened at the furlong pole just as Chief Indy was looming. But it was Determination who swept by to take the lead late on, and while Chief Indy pushed and pressed, it was Determination who took the line three-quarters of a length to the good.
For Determination it was a third straight victory. He had shown ability as a juvenile but hadn’t really pushed on, with a 4th place in the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Triple Crown, the best return from his three-year-old campaign. He didn’t race at all between November of 2020 and September of 2021 but, after a couple of tune-ups to find his feet, Determination has been unstoppable, and he completed a hat-trick of wins on Sunday.
On the contrary, it had been a long time between Stakes race drinks for winning jockey Boo Min-ho. Boo turned professional in 2007 and registered his first big race win in the 2010 Segye Ilbo Cup and quickly followed up with another in that year’s edition of the Sports Chosun.
“Twelve years ago, I won this race (Sports Chosun) on Luxury King, and I have so desperately wanted to get back here, and I am very happy to do so today”, Boo Min-ho told in-house broadcaster KRBC.
“We were drawn wide (so) I was considering bringing him to the rail from the start, but Determination is so strong that I decided he would be fine on the outside, so I just let him settle. I knew he didn’t want kickback, so I let him run his own race and he delivered.”
Trainer Seo Bum-seok was successfully defending the race having won the Sports Chosun in 2020 with Wonderful Evil (the race wasn’t held in 2021). He was effusive in his praise for his jockey:
“I think Boo Min-ho is in his prime. He was calm and rode a great race. We discussed the race strategy this morning and I said the horse is very powerful and physically strong and he is ready. I left it to Min-ho to do the rest.”