Weekend Preview: Tough Win Headlines KRA Cup Classic While Top Juveniles Face Off At Busan

Tough Win, Jumong, Haedongcheonwang in Cup Classic / Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup at Busan

It’s a big weekend of Stakes action in Seoul as Seoul’s best horses compete against one another in the KRA Cup Classic, while down at Busan, the end of season Juvenile championship races get underway in the shape of the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup.

Tough Win heads the KRA Cup Classic (KRA)

In the Classic, current Grand Prix Stakes champion Tough Win will face arguably his two greatest rivals – at least from Seoul. He saw off both Jumong and Haedongcheonwang when the three of them met under handicap conditions in early September and, while the three-year old Haedongcheonwang can be expected to show improvement, an on-form Tough Win should still have too much for both of them again.

With the outstanding Smarty Moonhak’s career still hanging in the balance as he undergoes stem-cell treatment for tendonitis, his sire, Smarty Jones is represented in the Classic after all as four-year old Es Four, newly graduated to Class 1, takes his chance with the best.

Here is a full run-down of the runners and riders, with pedigree, age and race records:

KRA Cup Classic (KOR G3) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Sunday October 21, 16:20

1. Captain Cugat (AUS) [King Cugat – Shiva Angel (Marauding)] 8 (42/5/6/1) – Kim Ok SUng
2. Cheonnyeon Dolpung (NZ) [Sakura Seeking – Firenza (Val D’Arno)] 6 (24/2/5/2) – Lee Gi Woong
3. Tough Win (USA) [Yonaguska – Maggie May’s Sword (Sword Dance)] 5 (23/18/2/0) – Cho Kyoung Ho
4. Es Four (USA) [Smarty Jones – Golden Honor (Mr. Prospector)] 4 (21/4/2/3) – Yukio Abe
5. Gippeun Sesang (CAN) [Behrens – Bellus (Saint Ballado)] 6 (50/4/4/4) – Choi Bum Hyun
6. Sing Sing Cat (USA) [D’Wildcat – Freddy Fenter (Fenter)] 4 (19/8/3/1) – Lee Sang Hyeok
7. American Revival (USA) [Put It Back – American Saint (Saint Ballado)] 4 (28/3/3/1) – Jung Pyeong Soo
8. Berongi (USA) [Action This Day – Hot Match (Mr. Prospector)] 3 (12/3/4/0) – Lee Dong Kug
9. Ace Galloper (KOR) [Chapel Royal – Explicitly (Exploit)] 5 (27/17/6/1) – Shin Hyoung Chul
10. Tiger Wing (USA) [Repent – Tiger’s Missy (Tiger Ridge)] 4 (20/4/1/3) – Jamg Chuyoul
11. Haedongcheonwang (USA) [West Acre – Sienna’s Honor (Honor Grades)] 3 (9/6/3/0) – Park Tae Jong
12. Jumong (USA) [Johar – Foreign Aid (Danzig)] 5 (32/9/7/6) – Jo In Kwen
13. Nolbu Manse (USA) [Simon Pure – Reason To Fear (Kris S)] 3 (14/5/2/3) – Ham Wan Sik
14. Moby D (USA) [Unbridled Energy – Southern Breeze (General Royal)] 4 (9/2/3/1) – Lee Gi Hweoi

Meanwhile at Busan, the track’s top juveniles meet for the first time in the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup. The best performers will qualify for the Korean Breeders’ Cup at Seoul next month when they will face the top two-year olds from the capital.

Last year’s winner Gyeongbudaero didn’t go on to win the Breeders’ Cup but he did train on as a three-year old, winning the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crownn in April, and coming third in the final leg, the Minister’s Cup, just last week.

Menifee, who is streets ahead in the leading sire race this year, accounts for five of the ten entries. Fantastic Jazz, a half-brother of 2008 Korean Derby winner Ebony Storm (who, now a gelding, and still running at the top-level will be running a race later) goes into the race unbeaten from three starts.

Here are the runners and riders with pedigrees and race records. As per Triple Crown rules, all are Korean bred:

Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup – Busan Race Park – 1200M – October 21, 15:50

1. Rising Joy [Forest Camp – Joy Ride (Future Quest)] (4/1/2/0) – Jo Sung Gon
2. Long Speed [Commendable – Speed Bag (Abaginine)] (3/1/1/0) – Lee Hee Cheon
3. Choesin Mujeok [Forest Camp – Geumseong (Psychobabble)] (2/2/0/0) – Kim Young Min
4. Yapung [Menifee – Wild Life (Wild Again)] (4/2/1/0) – Park Geum Man
5. Pureun Energy (filly) [Menifee – Cheongsan Ilho (Nediym)] (3/1/2/0) – Lim Sung Sil
6. Fantastic Jazz [Menifee – Sorority Jazz (Dixieland Band)] (3/3/0/0) – Kim Yong Geun
7. Jeongsang Jeongbok [Menifee – Benbane Head (Giant’s Causeway)] (5/2/0/1) – Song Keong Yun
8. Gangjaui Miso [Volponi – Watch Me Raw (Encosta De Lago)] (2/1/0/1) – You Hyun Myung
9. Global Gangja [Pico Central – Gosokcheol (Big Sur)] (4/3/0/0) – Choi Si Dae
10. Miss Quick [Menifee – Regal Heir (Regal Intention)] (2/1/0/0) – Kanichiro Fujii

It’s going to be a busy weekend. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday October 19

Busan Race Park: 11 races from 11:50 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:45 to 17:40

Saturday October 20

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:45
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:10

Sunday October 21

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00 including the KRA Cup Classic at 16:20
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:15 to 16:45 including the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup at 15:50

Tough Win Roars Back Into Form At Seoul

Grand Prix Champ Sees Off Rivals Haedongcheonwang and Jumong

After a difficult couple of months which saw a bleeding attack and then a disappointing defeat in the Busan Metropolitan Stakes, Tough Win (Yanaguska) returned with what was perhaps one of his most impressive performances to date to win the feature race at Seoul Race Park on Sunday.

In doing so he not only beat his regualr foe Jumong (Johar) but also Haedongcheonwang (West Acre) the three-year old with six wins from right starts to his name and the horse now thought most likely to be able to wrest Tough Win’s Grand Prix crown from him.

Tough Win did it the hard way. After Jung Pyeong Soo set a seemingly inadvisable early pace on 25/1 chance Kkochyeoul, Cho Kyoung Ho found himself a full 25 lengths off the pace as they began the turn for home. After receiving a couple of gentle reminders, Tough Win started to make up ground but he still had an awful lot of traffic to get though as they entered the straight with Haedongcheonwang clear in front and seemingly headed for the win.

Once Tough Win found his run though he was irresistible. he passed six horses in the final furlong and still managed to sweep home two lengths ahead of Haedongcheonwang, who was carrying five kilos fewer. Jumong tagged along in third.

Haedongcheonwang will surely improve but he’s not likely to get such a weight advantage again as the weights will be much more evenly distributed the next two times these horses meet; likely to be the KRA Cup Classic and the Grand Prix itself.

Meanwhile, Dangdae Bulpae (Biwa Shinseiki), who bested both Tough Win and an injured Smarty Moonhak in the Busan Metropolitan returns to action next weekend in the Busan Owners’ Cup. While it is questionable as to whether the Korean bred horse will come to Seoul for the KRA Cup Classic – a tilt at an unprecedented third consecutive President’s Cup looking more likely – with any luck a Grand Prix appearance and another meeting with Tough Win will be on his agenda this year.

Class 1 Handicap – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Sunday September 2, 2012

1. Tough Win (USA) [Yonaguska – Maggie May’s Sword (Sword Dance)] – Cho Kyoung Ho
2. Haedongcheonwang (USA) [West Acre – Sienna’s Honor (Honor Grades)] – Park Sang Woo
3. Jumong (USA) [Johar – Foreign Aid (Danzig)] – Jo In Kwen
Distances: 2.5 lengths/2 lengths – 12 ran

Haedongcheonwang Looking Smart In MBN Cup

Impressive Win By US Colt Some Feel Could Challenge Smarty Moonhak

Haedongcheonwang announced his arrival among the elite at Seoul Race Park today as he cruised to a six-length win in the MBN Cup.

One of the most highly rated three-year old imports in Korea, Haedongcheonwang was surprisingly beaten in the JRA Trophy last month. However, he made no mistake today as he left the rest of the class 1 MBN Cup field trailing with a sharp burst of acceleration at the top of the home-straight.

Filly Kkochyeoul, who had set the early pace, was second while old-stager and outsider Mr. Loving Life finished third.

Haedongcheonwang moves on to five wins from seven starts and is looked on by some as a possible challenger to Smarty Moonhak, currently the most exciting horse at Seoul, later in the year. That is a little way off and at the moment Smarty Moonhak would definitely have the edge. However, on today’s form, if Haedongcheonwang continues to improve, he is going to be very dangerous.

MBN Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1900M – June 17, 2012

1. Haedongcheonwang (USA) [West Acre – Sienna’s Honor (Honor Grades)] – Lee Joon Chel – 1.6, 1.0
2. Kkochyeoul (USA) [Essence Of Dubai – A Star Has Rosen (Rock Band)] – Park Sang Woo – 2.1
3. Mr. Loving Life (USA) [Full Mandate – Indeed Yes (Shadeed)] – Lee Hyeok – 3.1

Distances: 6 lengths/2.5 lengths – 8 ran

Down at Busan where it was just as hot as the sweltering capital, there were co-features races. The first of those saw an eye-catching win by Pokpung Jilju (Greatness). The US bred four-year old led from gate to wire in the 2000 metre handicap to score a twelve length win.

The second co-feature was a 1300 metre sprint and it was a slightly closer affair as filly Haengunui Mannam (Creek Cat) landed victory by just under a length from Money Hunter (Golden Missile).

It was a surprisingly quiet day on the foreign jockey front with only Yukio Abe recording a winner. Gerrit Schlechter had recovered from the sickness that ruled him out of all but the first of his rides on Friday, however, the South African didn’t come close to a winner today.

Next week, Stakes action returns to Seoul in the shape of the Sports Seoul Cup, the track’s primary trial for the Korean Oaks which will be run at Busan in August.