Clean Up Joy confirmed his status as Seoul’s top horse with victory in the capital’s Sunday feature but at Busan, Grand Prix Stakes winner Bold Kings suffered a second successive defeat as Dynamic Dash claimed the win in the big handicap.
Making his first start for trainer Shim Seung Tae, Clean Up Joy was sent off the odds-on favourite for his third start of 2016, having already won class 1 events at 1200M and 1800M. At the latter distance once more and under jockey Ham Wan Sik, he saw off the challenges of Hwanggeum Tap and Bichui Wangja to take a comfortable victory.
Clean Up Joy is one of the main home-based hopes for the Korea Cup International Day in September. He came 3rd in last year’s Grand Prix Stakes but the winner of that race, Bold Kings, remains winless for 2016 as Dynamic Dash added another victory to his recent impressive run. Under jockey Lim Sung Sil, Dynamic Dash beat the up in class and full of potential Tongil Sidae in a good final furlong battle
Bold Kings was sent off as the favourite but in a race with plenty of early front-runners, wasn’t able to dictate terms from the outside gate and scarcely looked like mounting a challenge, eventually finishing in 4th, a full nine-lengths behind the winner and runner-up.
This coming Sunday, all eyes are on Seoul for the big one; the 2016 Korean Derby.
With only a couple of exceptions, the betting favourites had things their way on a warm Spring afternoon at Busan on Friday. It was a good day too for trainer Bart Rice.
Standout performance came from Indian Star (Adcat) in the closing race 10. The filly had won seven of her ten previous starts but was up to class 1 for the first time.Perhaps benefiting from the absence of the scratched Miracle Line, the four-year-old was able to go off to an easy lead in the 1400M handicap; a lead she would never give up as she raced on to win by three lengths.
Also performing well was Tongil Sidae (Munnings). He and fellow US import Wonderful Today (also by Munnings) both came into race 8 looking for a hat-trick of wins but it was Tongil Sidae who prevailed in the 1800M class 2 contest. He’s now won four of six starts.
Finishing in 3rd place in that race was Bart Rice’s Choegangiji. And it was a solid day’s work for the South African trainer and jockey Chae Sang Hyun with the pair reaming up to good effect on three occasions.
Rice’s filly Blue Cat (One Cool Cat) may be a little frustrating in terms of her results but she is certainly gutsy. Up in class despite being yet to win – she scored two 2nd places at class 6 – she put in a solid effort in race 4 to get her third consecutive 2nd place. One race later, Rice and Chae went one better with 23/1 outsider Yaksokui Sigan (Exploit) getting the best of one of the tightest three-way photo finishes possible. Showing that there’s plenty of hope for Blue Cat, Yaksokui Sigan was landing his maiden win at the 18th time of asking.
In other races, there was a rare pairing of Busan’s champion trainer Kim Young Kwan with Seoul’s champion jockey Moon Se Young. Moon is down south to ride in the KRA Cup Mile on Sunday and he partnered Kim’s Evangeline (Menifee), a half-sister of Stakes winner Magic Dancer, to victory in race 9.
Speaking of the KRA Cup Mile, we’ll have a full runner by runner preview of the first leg of the 2016 Korean Triple Crown up tomorrow.
A pair of US imports, Tongil Sidae and Dongbang Daero provided the stand-out performances at a chilly but sunny Busan on Friday.
Tongil Sidae (Munnings), racing at a mile for the first time, continued his impressive start to his career recording a strong two-length victory in the class 2 race 10. Always prominent under jockey You Hyun Myung, the three-year-old gelding ran on to record his third victory in five starts.
One race earlier, Dongbang Daero (Curlin), who got his maiden win at the ninth attempt at the end of January, quickly followed up with another, once more at 1800M. Carrying top weight, the four-year-old comfortably held off the challenging of the promising Sinhang (who had previously been narrowly beaten by Tongil Sidae), to claim race 9 by just over a length.
Despite getting beaten on hot favourite Smart Gentleman in race 8, You Hyun Myung was jockey of the day with three winners while it was a mixed day for Ikuyasu Kurakane. The Japanese rider claimed race 1 on 5/1 shot Golden Leo but then got left in the gate in race 7 after the well fancied Raon Santos reared up and ran off without him. Makoto Okabe was also among the winners, partnering perennial placer Seorabeol Gongju to victory over Smart Gentleman in the aforementioned race 8.
Saturday March 12
Seoul Racecourse: 12 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:20
Sunday March 13
Seoul Racecourse: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Raecourse: 6 races from 13:00 to 17:05