Fantastic Kingdom maintained his dominance of the juvenile ranks at Busan by winning the Gimhae Mayor’s Trophy, but at Seoul Hangang Ace spilled his jockey at the start ensuring that a new name would claim the NACF Chairman’s Trophy. That name would prove to be Saenae Town who came through late to score in a topsy-turvy finish.
At Seoul, Munhwa Ilbo Trophy winner Hangang Ace was sent off as warm favourite for the NACF Chairman’s Trophy (1200M Korean Listed). His challenge would end barely three strides out of the gate though as he stumbled, causing jockey Park Tae-jong to tumble forward and onto the sand.
That left Sun Dragon, the second favourite who had skipped both the Rookie Stakes and the Munhwa Ilbo, to set the pace. This he did with gusto, and he seemed set for a gate to wire victory until the very final strides when Saenae Town, 4th in the Munhwa Ilbo a month ago, swept by under Song Jae-chul in the shadow of the post.
Sun Dragon was 2nd a head in arrears while a stewards’ inquiry determined that a length behind them, Kwaehyang, who crossed the line in 3rd place, had interfered with Nanometa in 4th and their placings were reversed.
Saenae Town is by Purge and is out of Oh My Creek (by Creek Cat), who raced in Korea. He was bred by Nokwon Farm and is owned by Moon Geum-cheol and trained at Seoul by Seo Hong-soo. The victory kicked off a remarkable end of Sunday’s card for trainer Seo, who proceeded to send out the winner of the remaining three races as well.
At Busan, it wasn’t easy for Fantastic Kingdom, but he managed to hold off a determined challenge from Jeulgeounyeojeong to add the Gimhae Mayor’s Trophy (1200M Korean Listed) to his previous successes in the Busan Rookie Stakes and Areumdaun Jilju Stakes.
Fantastic Kingdom was beaten on debut but has since won four in a row to top the juvenile rankings. He is by Concord Point and out of Union Belle (by Dixie Union). He was bred by Jung Hwan of Taesan Farm, is owned by Moojigae Rentcar and is trained at Busan by Lim Keum-man. Seo Seung-un piloted.
Jeulgeounyeojeong was just half a length back in 2nd place and intriguingly has already won over 1400M which is the distance of the Breeders’ Cup (KOR-G2), the race which will decide the ultimate destination of the title of Champion Juvenile on Sunday December 4th. With Saenae Town also threatening to get stronger as the distances get longer as well as a host of other juveniles who were steered away from this weekend’s features, and Fantastic Kingdom may not have things all his own way next month.
Next weekend, the top locally bred horses in the country will gather at Seoul for the President’s Cup (2000M KOR-G1) on Sunday afternoon. Korea Cup hero Winner’s Man currently tops the expected field.