Golden Power swept home late to snare the Luna Stakes by the finest of margins at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon to claim the first jewel in the Filly Triple Crown.
Golden Power was sent off as the third-favourite and for much of the race it looked as though it would be a straight battle between the two fillies at the top of the market, Raon The Spurt and Chamjoeun Chingu. The Seoul pair set the pace and having shaken off the attentions of Wonderful Raise with a furlong and a half to go of the mile-long test, looked set to duel to the finish.
At this point, Golden Power was still a full ten-lengths adrift but, under Choi Si-dae, once she found clear track in front of them, she accelerated rapidly. It still looked as though she would run out of track but, in a desperately close finish, Golden Power swept by as the three hit the line together. The resulting photo-finish showed that Golden Power had prevailed by a nose over Chamjoeun Chingu with Raon The Spurt a half-length back in 3rd.
Winning jockey Choi Si-dae told in-house broadcaster KRBC that while he always intended to be patient and then launch his challenge late, it almost didn’t come off. “My plan was to overtake from behind but the pace of the front two was a bit faster than I expected and it was difficult for Golden Power to keep up.”
Once Golden Power hit her stride though, Choi had no doubts. “Once we got out, the horse ran really well. Fifty metres from the line I knew we were going to get there and as soon as we passed the line, I knew we had won.”
While two of the three legs off the filly Triple Crown are held at Busan, Choi Si-dae noted that it is a division that has been dominated by Seoul over the past couple of years. “I feel a little bit sorry for Moon Se-young (beaten jockey on Chamjoeun Chingu) as it was a good race, but Busan fillies have been a little inferior to those from Seoul recently, so I am really happy with this and look forward to more.”
Golden Power is trained by Kwon Sung-ju and is owned by Son Boing-chul, who is also her breeder and through Winner’s Farm, is owner of both her sire and dam. Golden Power is by Afleet Express, who stands at Winner’s Farm, and is out of Cherokee Sheik (by Cherokee Run). Golden Power is her second Korean born foal. She produced two in the United States.
The second leg of the filly Triple Crown is the Korean Oaks, also at Busan, on Sunday May 8th over 1800M, before the series concludes with the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup at Seoul over 2000M on Sunday June 4th. This coming weekend, the colts kick off their Triple Crown at Busan with the KRA Cup Mile.