23/1 chance Calm Strong led from gate-to-wire and held off the closing pack to win the KNN Cup (1600M KOR-G3), the third leg of the 2022 Queens’ Tour at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon, with hot favourite Raon First well back down the field.
Making just her tenth career start, Calm Strong bounded out of gate eight and into the lead while Raon First, dwelt slightly and was slowly away, having to settle in an unfamiliar rear position.
While Raon First did improve to 2nd place by the top of the straight, it quickly became clear that it wasn’t going to be her day, her customary acceleration was missing and she dropped back through the field, ultimately finishing 8th.
With You Hyun-myung aboard, Calm Strong was able to hold off the determined late challenges of Wish Me and Yeonggwangui Time, taking the line a neck to the good. Filly Triple Crown winner Golden Power was 4th.
Calm Strong is a three-year-old USA-bred filly by Bayern and out of the Broken Vow mare Diva’ Seastar. Imported as a yearling, she is owned by Lee Hae-lan and trained by Kang Hyoung-gon. Sunday’s victory was just her third but takes her career earnings to KRW 329 Million (US$250,000).
As for Raon First, jockey Choi Bum-hyun reported that having loaded first, his mare had to wait a long time in the gate and then didn’t get away well. He said that having got up to join the leaders, she didn’t maintain her momentum in the way that he expected. An initial veterinary examination found no obvious issues.
The Queens’ Tour goes on hiatus again now until the end of autumn when the fourth and final leg will be the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup (2000M KOR-G3) once more at Busan on Sunday November 27.
Next weekend Busan takes centre-stage again with the Owners’ Cup (1600M KOR-G2). It’s a race that has in the past been won by the likes of Dangdae Bulpae, Triple Nine, Power Blade and Blue Chipper. Raon First’s stablemate, Raon The Fighter, is expected to run.