Clean Up Joy dropped down to 1200M but still ended up on top as he sprinted to a half-length win over Mirae Yeongung in Seoul’s Sunday feature.
Third in the Grand Prix Stakes last December, Clean Up Joy (Purge) is one of the top domestic-trained hopes for the Korea Cup later this year but on Sunday, he took the opportunity to race for a big prize at a sprint distance and he didn’t disappoint.
Sent off the odds-on favourite and ridden by Ham Wan Sik, Clean Up Joy pounced when early pace-setter Parang Juuibo faded in the straight. Mirae Yeongung and Djordje Perovic chased him home but never looked like getting up while Bichui Jeongsang was a further six lengths back in 3rd. The win was Clean Up Joy’s 8th in 16 starts and his 4th in his last 5.
While things went to form at Seoul, there was an upset of sorts in Busan’s Sunday feature as 19/1 Winner’s Marine took the inside line and ran on to defeat the Peter Wolsley-trained pair of Goliath Marine and favourite Leave It To Me by a length.
Winner’s Marine began her career with five straight victories and was well-backed for the KRA Cup Mile – the first of the Three-Year-Old Classics – in 2014. She came 9th in that race and while she would go on to record a creditable 3rd place in that year’s Korean Oaks, she would not win again until yesterday. It was her 26th career starts.
Saturday at Seoul offered little in the way of outstanding action although jockey of the day was Kim Hye Sun, who rode a treble, including on Mighty Gem (Macho Uno) is what was ostensibly the day’s feature, an 1800M class 2 handicap. Honorable mention too for Yuri Takahashi who rode Super Commando (Archarcharch) to a three-length win in race 6. It is likely to be Takahashi’s final winner in the Korea with the popular Japanese rider heading home after the weekend’s cards.