London Town Wins Korea Cup, Again

London Town Wins Korea Cup, Again

The red and white of Japan flew high over Seoul’s LetsRun Park Racecourse with Japanese visitor London Town scoring a runaway 15 length victory in 3rd Keeneland sponsored Korea Cup, repeating last year’s Korea Cup success, in a new record time of 1-50.6sec for the 1800m journey.

Jockey Yasunari Iwate jumped London Town clearly form barrier 13 in a field of 14 and led on passing the winning post for the first time. London Town just simply ran his opposition off their legs, with increasing sectional breaks well into the home straight, to claim the winners share of the ₩1bn ($A1.2m) total prizemoney.

The Australian expatriate Simon Foster trained Dolkong was second, ridden by Seoul leading jockey Antinoro Devielson, a native of Brazil. Third was Clean Up Joy, ahead of Korea’s rising star Cheongdam Dokki in fourth, with all three horses being trained at LetsRun Park.

Britain visitor Forest Ranger was fifth, ridden by Tony Hamilton for trainer Richard Fahey, ahead of Maximus from Singapore. Ennobled Friend from the UAE was scratched the day prior due to lameness.

Seoul’s enthusiastic racegoers sent London Town out as odds-on favourite, even though he has not won this season. An impressive winner of 7 races from 26 starts for owner Toru Makiua and trainer Kazuya Makita, he is a 5yo bay horse by the duel Japan Cup winner Kane Hekili, form the duel winning 3yo Fairy Bayan, by Honour and Glory, with London Town the best of her seven winners.

Japanese global jockey ‘Joe’ Kanichiro Fujii maybe calling the Korea Autumn Racing Carnival ‘home’ with a hard-fought victory on Japanese sprinter Moanin in the Keeneland Korea Sprint of 1200m. The Hong Kong visitor Fight Hero was a head second with Doraonpogyeongseon form Busan in third.

This was ‘Joe’ Fujii’s second Korean Carnival success having partnered Chrysolite to win the inaugural Keeneland Korea Cup in 2016, and was runner-up last year on Chrysolite, beaten by London Town.

Trained by Sei Ishizaka for Youio Baba, Moanin is a US bred 6yo horse by Henny Hughes, the former Darley shuttle stallion, who later stood at Rangeview Stud in Western Australia before relocating to the Yushun Stallion Station in Japan, on the success of his duel Breeders’ Cup heroine Beholder.

Wild Dude, from the UAE, finished sixth for trainer Ahmad bin Harmash and jockey Connor Beasley, ahead of the French Thierry Lemer trained King Malpic, ridden by Antonie Werle for Ecurie Lafeu.

However, it was Britain’s Racing Post that had the quality-looking US sprinter Chublicious listed as an early betting standout of the Keeneland Korea Sprint. Chublicious was last-start winner of the Mr Prospector Stakes 6f at Monmouth Park, having previously finished second in the John J Reilly Stakes, which he won last year.

Although drifting in the betting prior to the Keeneland Korea Sprint start, Chublicousu became restless in the starting gate and was last on jumping, dinting his chances of race victory. “He always jumps as the gates open,” said his trainer Ron Faucheux. “Today he got stirred, had to be ridden early, and did not handle the heavier sand kick back, as well.”

At the pre-race Barrier Draw the Korea Autumn Racing Carnival handed the 35 year’s old Louisiana trainer no better gift than when he drew barrier 12 in a field of 13 international and local sprinters. “That’s perfect, that’s great. A funny experience in drawing your own barrier.”

“I can work with that. Chublicious is a stalker, he wants to stalk the pace and let the speed go,” expressed Ron Faucheux. “He can pick where ever he wants to be, and let them go and burn themselves. Sit on the bit, and ask him when the times right.”

“The only worry I have is that the track here is a deeper going sand track. At home, Fair Grounds, it’s a more condensed dirt track that they can skip over.”

Chublicious is a true Louisiana story, being owned by Brittlyn Stables, ridden by Delta Downes based Gerard Melancon who is eyeing 5,000 career wins, with racing manager Corey Kofalt saying “Chublicious shipped in great, handled the fight without any trouble. All we have been doing here is cantering and dry weather is forecasted up to race day.”

What chance will Chublicious have in making amends with victory in the Keeneland Korea Cup of 2019 ……..or will it be rising stable star Monte Man who is undefeated in all five starts for Ron Faucheux including three black-type stakes races.

By Bernard Kenny