Donga Ilbo Cup

Luck’s In For Cheonnyeon Dongan

Cheonnyeon Dongan took full advantage of hot favourite Joy Lucky’s misfortune to win the Donga Ilbo Cup at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

Cheonnyeon Dongan and Cho Kyoung Ho in the Donga Ilbo Cup winner's circle

Cheonnyeon Dongan and Cho Kyoung Ho in the Donga Ilbo Cup winner’s circle

Joy Lucky came into the race with 6 wins from her 7 starts to date, her only defeat having come in the Korean Derby. She skipped the Korean Oaks and was entered here instead of in the much more valuable Minister’s Cup next week. She started at odds of 1/3.

She looked good to win too. Rounding the final turn Joy Lucky, under Seo Seung Un, was about to make her move when suddenly the horse in front of her, Wild Cat, carried her wide. She recovered but her momentum was gone and she could only manage 4th.

Meanwhile the always handily placed Cheonnyeon Dongan cruised to the front and, having picked off longtime leader Eutteum Khan, went clear for victory by just under 2 lengths.

Cheonnyeon Dongan (Ecton Park), a 3-year-old filly, was 3rd behind Joy Lucky in the Sports Seoul Cup and 4th in the Korean Oaks at Busan last month. Today’s win was her 5th from 11 starts.

Joy Lucky and Cheonnyeon Dongan may meet again in the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup next month. as good as Cheonnyeon Dongan was today, if Joy Lucky gets a clear run, few will bet on a repeat of this result.

Donga Ilbo Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – September 29, 2013

1. Cheonnyeon Dongan (KOR) [Ecton Park – Honeycakes (Hennessey)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 6.1, 1.4
2. Eutteum Khan (KOR) [Ingrandire – Dangdae Eutteum (Pro For Sure)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 4.2
3. Happy Field (KOR) [Field Asuka – Taeheuimang (Happy Jazz Band)] – Ikuyasu Kurakane – 2.5

Distances: 1.75 lengths/3 lengths – 14 ran

* Yesterday at Seoul, Jigeum I Sungan returned to form with a comfortable victory in the feature race.

The 2012 Korean Derby winner, who suffered a shock defeat in the TJK Trophy on international weekend last month, handed Ace Galloper a comfortable 2 length beating to re-confirm his position as the top Korean-bred horse in the capital.

* Racing returns quicker than usual next week as Busan’s regular Friday card is brought forward a day to Thursday to coincide with the public holiday. Then all racing eyes will be on Seoul for the weekend and the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the 2013 Korean Triple Crown.

Weekend Preview: Donga Ilbo Cup / Jigeum I Sungan vs Ace Galloper

After last week’s break for the Chuseok holiday, it’s time to sober up and – several kilos heavier – return to the track as racing resumes in Korea.

In action: Jigeum I Sungan

In action: Jigeum I Sungan

Big Stakes race of the weekend is the Donga Ilbo Cup at Seoul on Sunday. Next weekend sees the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup, and the fact that hot 3-year-old filly Joy Lucky (Vicar), whose only in 6 starts came in the Korean Derby, will skip that race in favour of the less valuable but restricted to fillies Donga Cup, suggests that she will take some beating. Cheonnyeon Dongan (Ecton Park) is one who will try along with 12 others in the 9-furlong test.

Saturday’s Seoul feature sees a heavyweight clash as Jigeum I Sungan and Ace Galloper face each other. 2012 Korean Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire) suffered a shock defeat in last month’s TJK Trophy while former KRA Cup Classic winner Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) returned to the winner’s circle for the 19th time in his last start after a pair of 2nd place finishes. There’s little to choose between them in terms of weight – the older Ace Galloper carrying just a kilo more – and it promises to be a fascinating match-up.

Also on Saturday, Charming Girl, 0 for 100, will make her final start before being retired.

At Busan, the weekend’s most valuable races are on Sunday.
Well-known names such as Road To Prince, Lion Santa and the evergreen 2008 Korean Derby winner Ebony Storm will all be in action.

As for foreign jockeys, Ikuyasu Kurakane has plenty of action lined up at Seoul while Joe Fujii (Friday only), Ureshi Katsunori, Masa Tanaka and – fresh from spending his vacation racing around a field in Inner Mongolia – Darryll Holland are riding at Busan.

Here’s what’s happening when and where across the weekend:

Friday September 27

Busan Race Park: 11 races from 11:50 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:10 to 17:40

Saturday September 28

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:10

Sunday September 29

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00 including the Donga Ilbo Cup at 16:35
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:00