Final Boss claims Korean Derby

Final Boss (KOR), last year’s Korean Champion Juvenile showed precisely why he earned that title, with a last to first victory in the 20th Korean Derby (KOR G1) over 1800m at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday, 14 May.

A lacklustre run by Final Boss in the KRA Cup Mile back in April meant Royal Ruby and Indian King, second and first place finishers in the Mile, were firm favourites to capture the prestigious Derby.

It was however an unconventional victory. Final Boss, trained by Ji Yong Cheol, trailed the field for most of the race and was still last as they turned for home. Jangsan Power (KOR) and Kim Yong Geun led the field from the jump, with Darryl Holland on Indian King and Lion Rock (KOR) under Dorde Perovic stalking his every move.

Turning into the home straight, Jangsan Power cried enough and Holland sent Indian King into the lead. Pre-race Holland was confident that his mount would add the second leg of the Korean Triple Crown to his victory in the first, the KRA Cup Mile.

Final Boss meanwhile seemed to be running in his own race. Urged to start his run with 400m left, the son of Menifee opted for a sideways maneuver instead, veering out all the way to the standside rail.

Despite his antics, Final Boss was simply too good and at the 200m mark he hit the lead. Royal Ruby (KOR) with Jo Sung Gon in the saddle and Indian King and Holland were leading the chase up the middle of the track, but to no avail.

Final Boss under Choi Bum Hyun powered clear to win comfortably by three lengths with Royal Ruby in second. American Power (KOR) (Francisco Da Silva) caught Indian King close to the line to snatch third a further 1.25 lengths back.

Final Boss, who provided his sire Menifee with his fifth consecutive Derby winner, is out of the two-time winning mare Sinsok Dolpa (JPN).

Trainer Ji Yong Cheol’s last victory in the Korean Derby came in 2012 with Jigeum I Sungan, who then went on to capture the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown as well. Final Boss is quite capable of following in his footsteps and is likely to start as favourite in the Minister’s Cup (KOR G2) over 2000m at Seoul Racecourse on the 16th of July. ift