Clean Up Cheonha

Easy For Clean Up Joy In YTN Cup

It always looked a mismatch and so it proved as Clean Up Joy effortlessly won the YTN Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

Ultimately it was an exceptionally well-paid workout for the 2016 Grand Prix Stakes winner who moves on to three for three this year, without being seriously tested in any of them.

This time, as expected, the only semblance of a challenge came from stablemate Shamrocker, whose jockey Kim Yong Geun pulled off a rather audacious move around the field in the back-straight to come to challenge Clean Up Joy. The two then moved well clear of the rest of the field before Clean Up Joy pulled away with a furlong to go and won with plenty in hand.

Clean Up Joy moves onto 14 wins from 24 starts and five consecutively. There’s little to challenge him at Seoul.

YTN Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – May 28, 2017

1. Clean Up Joy (USA) [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeux Danseur)] – Djordje Perovic – 1.1, 1.0
2. Shamrocker (USA) [Dublin – Portera (Lemon Drop Kid)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.2
3. Clean Up Cheonha (USA) [El Corredor – Loh Callado (More Than Ready)] – Lee Hyeok – 3.9
Distances: 4 lengths/11 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Sotong Sidae (KOR) 5. Unbeatable (USA) 6. Cheonjeok (USA) 7. Bichui Jeongsang (USA) 8. Winner Red (USA) 9. Argo Brain (USA) 10. Hwanggeumbiyul (USA) 11. Samjeong Jeguk (USA)

At Busan, Bart Rice and Darryll Holland combined to land the big race of the day, a Championship Series event over 2000M with Buhwarui Banseok.

Buhwarui Banseok (Tizway-Aim For The Moon) is a four-year-old colt who was winning for 6th time in 15 starts and scoring his second triumph at class 1.

Round-up: Yoo Mira Goes Down Under, Doraon Hyeonpyo, Clean Up Cheonha, Perovic, Success Story, ARC

Plenty happening on and off the track over the past week. Doraon Hyeonpyo and Clean Up Cheonha were both impressive winners last Sunday, there has been plenty of follow-up to Success Story’s decent 3rd place in Dubai last week and Korea has been well-represented at the ongoing Asian Racing Conference in Mumbai.

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Yoo Mira was 2nd in the Arabian race at Caulfield on Tuesday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

We’ll start though in Australia and rather unusually in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race at Caulfield on Tuesday. We don’t mention You Mi Ra very often on these pages but the jockey (riding as “Mina You”) managed to finish 2nd in the race, which as won by Dutch jockey Cindy Klinkenberg. Thanks to Ross Holburt for the heads-up and the picture.

On the track in Korea last weekend, stand-out performances came from Doraon Hyeonpyo and Clean Up Cheonha, who won class 1 events at Seoul and Busan respectively. Doraon Hyeonpyo (Colors Flying) had won at class 1 for the first time at the end of December but despite carrying significantly more weight this time, was once more a dismissively comfortable winner in the Sunday’s Busan feature. It wasn’t a strong race but the manner of his victory suggests there is plenty more to come.

Clean Up Cheonha (El Corredor)at age 5, also seems to be on the up. The US import was 2nd in the KRA Cup Classic last August and 5th in the Grand Prix Stakes in December. On Sunday, carrying 60kg over 2000M, he beat his Cup Classic conqueror Chief Red Can and eight others by two lengths to record his eighth career victory.

It was a bitterly cold weekend across the peninsula with conditions at Seoul especially being extreme as temperatures dipped to -14C on Sunday morning. Jockeys have a tough job at the best of times but their fortitude on Sunday was impressive to say the least.

Speaking of jockeys, Djordje Perovic reached another landmark in his impressive sojourn in Korea. The Serbian rider guided home his 50th Seoul winner on Sunday, taking the very last race of the weekend on City Hunter for trainer Lee Shin Young. The victory moved Perovic into the top ten all-time foreign jockey list here.

Success Story’s solid 3rd place at Meydan last Thursday has finally reached the Korean mainstream media. While the racing press (and the popular tabloids) covered it at the weekend, the national broadcaster KBS put it on their national news bulletin on Monday. Video here. Success Story is likely to race again in Dubai in the second week of February although things are a little less certain for Cheongu, the other Korean horse at the carnival.

Finally, Korea is being widely represented at the Asian Racing Conference in Mumbai this week. The KRA’s Seungho Ryu (who seems to get just about everywhere these days) delivered a talk on quarantine protocols while Chief Marketing Officer Ben Heo spoke about addressing racing’s not inconsiderable image problem in Korea. Racing Director Yangtae Park probably generated the most interest though, using his presentation to formally announce the $1M Korea Cup which will be run at Seoul Racecourse in September and according to Andrew Hawkins at the South China Morning Post, is already attracting interest.

Racing returns to Korea this weekend with the first big race of the season, the Segye Ilbo Cup, at Seoul on Sunday.