16/1 Shot Wins Final Leg Of 2011 Triple Crown
Dongseo Jeongbeol stunned the big guns to storm to claim victory in the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the 2011 Korean Triple Crown, at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.
In a race which brought together the winners of all three previous races in the Triple Crown series – Soseuldaemun, Gwangyajeil and Useung Touch – Dongseo Jeongbeol was sent off as a 16/1 outsider, despite having won six of his ten prior starts.
Things seemed to be going to form to begin with as Oaks winner Useung Touch (Menifee) set the early pace with Derby winner Gwangyajeil (Vicar) following closely behind. Midway through the back straight, the horse who was actually sent off the slight favourite, Champion Belt (Exploit) – the most expensive horse of this generation when sold as a two-year old, hit the front. All the while, Dongseo Jeongbeol (Vicar) and jockey Chae Gyu Jun were simply siting in the middle of the pack.
As the field entered the home straight, battle commenced. However, Gwangyajeil was quickly out of it as Useung Touch seemed set to go on to claim the win. Then came Dongseo Jeongbeol on the outside. Third with a furlong to go, he was travelling much quicker than Useung Touch and he swept past the filly fifty metres from the line. Another fast finishing outsider Geuma Champ grabbed third.
As for Gwangyajeil, he went backwards in the home straight eventually finishing thirteenth. Indeed, the only horse he beat home was KRA Cup Mile winner Soseuldaemun – that first Classic victory looking more and more a flash in the pan although he did return lame. Gwangyajeil returned looking angry and didn’t want to trot for the vet. However, he didn’t seem injured.
For Dongseo Jeongbeol it was, as mentioned earlier, he moves onto seven wins from eleven starts and a potential invite back to Seoul next month for the President’s Cup. His win means that horses from Busan claimed the Cup Mile, the Oaks and the Minister’s Cup with Gwangyajeil’s Derby win the only success for Seoul.
Dongseo Jeongbeol is the second classic winner this year by Vicar – in the sire’s first year of three-year olds hitting the track. Useung Touch continued Menifee’s strong performance in what is also his first season of classic runners.
The Minister of FAFF Cup (G2) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – October 2, 2011
1. Dongseo Jeongbeol (KOR) [VIcar-Rendezvous Bay (Wonderloaf)] – Chae Gyu Jun – 16.7, 4.6
2. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee-Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] – Choi Si Dae – 2.0
3. Geuma Champ (KOR) [Vicar-Stormcloudrising (Stormy Atlantic)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 5.0
Distances: 1.5 lengths/0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Champion Belt 5. Amass 6. Absolute 7. Choenji Horyeong 8. Singgeureounachim 9. Raon Speed 10. Daejeuimilsa 11. Sun Hero 12. Smart Win 13. Gwangyajeil 14. Soseuldaemun
So, four classics and four different winners. A very competitive crop or just a poor one? We’ll know for sure when they start taking on the best older horses. That begins in the President’s Cup next month.
* Next week big Stakes action returns to Seoul in the form n the KRA Cup Classic. Tough Win, Dongbanui Gangja, Ace Galloper and even Baekgwang are all set to be there. Full preview coming soon!