Favourite Cheonnyeon Dongan raced to her second NACF Chairman’s Trophy at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday but it is likely to have been the last time we see the mare in action on the track as she suffered a breakdown on being pulled up.
There was little indication in the race that anything was amiss with Cheonnyeon Dongan trading the lead with 25/1 shot Beaux Arts before taking things up for good in the home straight and outsprinting Korean Oaks runner-up Meni Money for victory by just under a length on the line.
It wasn’t until a full furlong after the line that the winner stumbled, dumping jockey Lee Chan Ho out of the saddle and onto the track. She was quickly attended to but x-rays revealed a fracture of both proximal sesamoid bones of her left foreleg. Surgery will attempt to save her for a breeding career.
Cheonnyeon Dongan was a late starting two-year-old in 2012 but had shown sufficient promise in her early races to be sent to the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown, the following Spring. That didn’t go well but a 4th place in the Korean Oaks marked her out as one of the top fillies of her crop. She confirmed that with victories in the Donga-Ilbo Cup and then her first NACF Trophy in the autumn.
2014 would see two Class 1 wins and four 2nd places among seven starts for the year. This season as a five-year-old, she won her second Donga-Ilbo Trophy and added a 2nd place in the Sports Seoul Trophy before her final victory this past weekend, her 11th from a total of 26 career races.
NACF Chairman’s Trophy – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – October 4, 2015
1. Cheonnyeon Dongan (KOR) [Ecton Park – Honeycakes (Hennessey)] – Lee Chan Ho – 2.5, 1.3
2. Meni Money (KOR) [Menifee – Pocketful Of Money (Running Stag)] – Seo Seung Un – 1.4
3. Shine Clover (KOR) [Revere – Prairie Township (Smarty Jones)] – Kim Dong Soo – 15.6
Distances: 0.75 lengths/1.75 lengths – 13 ran
With Cheonnyeon Dongan’s long-time rival Joy Lucky disappointing once more after being sent off as 2nd-favourite it looks as though there is a changing of the guard among the distaff ranks at Seoul. Meni Money perhaps hasn’t quite lived up to her early potential just yet but still looks to have plenty more in her while the lowest rated filly in the race, Shine Clover pulled off a shock 3rd place.
Shine Clover, the second foal out of the Smarty Jones mare Prairie Township, has won just once from ten career starts but has only been out of the money once.
This coming week, attention turns to the 2-year-olds with Juvenile Championship races at both Seoul and Busan in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup race at the end of November.