Minister’s Cup 2022 – Full Preview of the Final Leg of the Triple Crown

The Korean Triple Crown of 2022 reaches its climax on Sunday afternoon and while the Triple Crown itself isn’t on the line, champion three-year-old honours very much are as KRA Cup Mile winner Captain Yankee and Derby winner Winner Star are among a full sixteen-strong field in the Minister’s Cup (2000M KOR-G2).

Winner Star won the Derby (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Captain Yankee was a 40/1 winner of the first jewel, the KRA Cup Mile (1600M KOR-G3) at Busan on April 17th, launching a late run to thread through leaders Complete Value and Seungbusa to score. Winner Star was an impressive winner of the Derby (1800M KOR-G1) at Seoul on May 15th, swooping from a handy position and winning by two lengths from Seungbusa and Captain Yankee.

This time they have an additional furlong to contend with as well as a maximum field of sixteen. In addition to Winner Star and Captain Yankee, Seungbusa, with a 3rd and a 2nd from Cup Mile and Derby returns, as does Complete Value, last year’s champion juvenile, who was sent off as favourite for both races, finishing 2nd and 6th. A bold showing in the final leg can’t be ruled out from the son of Girolamo and he could end up being sent off as favourite again.

Wow Wow and Tiz Barows produced strong Derby performances and may appreciate the additional distance while among those who skipped one or both of the first two legs of the series, Beomi Naeyeo Onda and Burui Geom look perhaps the most likely to step up.

Beomi Naryeo Onda will be ridden by Franco Da Silva, one of four foreign jockeys to have rides in the race. Djordje Perovic will partner Winner Star, as he did in their Derby success, while Johan Victoire will be aboard Tiz Barows, and David Breux on Nubi Gangja.

The Minister’s Cup is race 8 on a 10-race program at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. Here is the horse-by-horse:

1. FLYING THE CHAMP [Cowboy Cal – Thebignbadestbunny (Smart Strike)]

5(2/1/1) KRW 62,800,000

O: Kim Hyeong-sun T: An Woo-sung J: Park Jae-i

Class 5 winner over 1400M at Busan before stepping up to 1800M at class 4 and running 2nd to Burui Geom. Top jockey comes up from Busan to ride him and a money finish is possible.

2. TEN BAGGER [Cowboy Cal – Sugar Victory (Peace Rules)]

9(2/0/0) KRW 45,800,000

O: Kim Myung-sik T: Kang Sung-o J: Lim Da-bin

Smart winner at class 5 over 1300M when coming from well back before running 5th over 1400M on his first try at class 4. Not the worst here but this is a big step up.

3. P N S AI [Cowboy Cal – Kauai Calls (Fusaichi Pegasus)]

4(1/0/0) KRW 24,000,000

O: PNS Curtainwall T: Park Chun-seo J: Jeong Jeong-hee

Solitary win came at class 6 level over 1300M and last ran 6th of nine over that same distance at class 5. Hard to have here.

4. TIZ BAROWS [Tizway – Kaylan’s Rose (Jambalaya Jazz)]

5(2/2/0) KRW 106,000,000

O: Inokumu Hirotsugu T: Seo In-seok J: Johan Victoire

An excellent 4th in the Derby having settled in midfield. Previously won at 1700M at class 5 level. Draws well again and will be running on at the business end.

5. WOW WOW [Cowboy Cal – Jjak Kkung (Forest Camp)]

7(3/2/1) KRW 163,700,000

O: Nasca T: Song Moon-gil J: Song Jae-chul

Drew the widest gate in the Derby and went right back before running on very well for 5th place. Much better draw today, the additional furlong can suit, and he can be a big player here.

6. WINNER STAR [Concord Point – Jangguneui Huye (Gaeseon Janggun)]

11(3/3/2) KRW 650,760,000

O: Kang Hoon-pyo T: Baik Kwang-yeol J: Djordje Perovic

The Derby winner where his experience was key despite being wide all the way. The additional furlong should be well within his scope, and he gets a better draw for a softer run. Big chance.

7. SEUNGBUSA [Mischieviously – T P Mc G (Flatter)]

9(5/1/3) KRW 538,650,000

O: Kim Gwang-myeong T: Jung Jo-ik J: Jang Chu-youl

3rd in the Cup Mile and runner-up in the Derby having led both races. He’ll be on pace again and in this a long way with the only question mark being the extra furlong.

8. COMPLETE VALUE [Girolamo – Ft. Sduction (Ft. Stockton)]

8(5/2/0) KRW 637,460,000

O: Jang Se-jun T: Park Jae-woo J: Lim Gi-won

Favorite for both the Cup Mile and Derby finishing 2nd and 6th. Last year’s Champion Juvenile is yet to get on the board in 2022 but should have benefitted from the Derby run and has a chance.

9. BEOMI NARYEO ONDA [Take Charge Indy – To Live For (Pass Rush)]

8(2/1/2) KRW 117,100,000

O: Byun Wan-soo T: Yang Kui-sun J: Franco Da Silva

6tyh in the Cup Mile and skipped the Derby to run over 1800M at class 4 level in Busan the same weekend. He won that race settling handy and then running on. This should suit. Not impossible.

10. CAPTAIN YANKEE [Old Fashioned – Can’t Rezist (Action This Day)]

6(3/1/1) KRW 541,000,000

O: Kim Jin YoungA T: Gu Min-sung J: Jo In-kwon

Winner of the KRA Cup Mile and then a good 3rd in the Derby when running on at the finish. The extra distance should suit and he could even run away with this. Big chance.

11. SARYEONI FIRST [Tiz Wonderful – Langworthy (Langfuhr)]

8(2/1/2) KRW 62,650,000

O: Oh Yeong-ik T: Lee Shin-young J: Park Eul-woon

Won over 1700M at class 5 level and did actually run on from an unpromising position to finish a creditable 7th in the Derby. Not among the favourites but could pass plenty late on here.

12. DOUBLE EDGE [Cowboy Cal – Blade’s Edge (Corinthian)]

9(1/3/1) KRW 202,300,000

O: Inpem T: An Hae-yang J: Yoo Seung-wan

Began the year with 3rd place over 1700M at class 4 but struggled to make an impact in the Sports Seoul, Cup Mile or the Derby. Plenty of ability but recent form not encouraging.

13. DAEJI CHOICE [Yeonsung Daero – Land Angel (Forest Camp)]

9(3/1/2) KRW 112,760,000

O: Han Jung-hyup T: Yang Kui-sun J: Lee Sung-jae

Didn’t run in Cup Mile or Derby but was a front-running winner over 1800M at class 4 level in April. The distance should suit and while the draw is not great a bold showing is possible.

14. NUBI GANGJA [Eurosilver – Nubi Queen (Menifee)]

8(2/0/1) KRW 44,150,000

O: Chun Byung-Deuck T: Seo In-seok J: David Breux

Gets his chance here having made almost all to win over 1700M in a good time at class 5 level in May. Draw and competition is tough here

15. JEONGMUN JILJU [Colonel John – Royal J (Colors Flying)]

(2/1/0/0) KRW 22,000,000

O: Kim Jae-youn T: Hong Dae-you J: Park Tae-jong

Only two starts behind him, wining at start two when making all over 1200M at class 6 level. Very different test here and surely too much too soon.

16. BURUI GEOM [Musket Man – The World (Ecton Park)]

6(3/0/0) KRW 79,750,000

O: Lee Hae-lan T: Kang Hyoung-gon J: Jung Do-yun

Stepped up to 1800M and won at class 4 level in Busan on May 1st overcoming the widest gate to move to three wins from six. This is tougher still and he will need some luck but can be competitive.