Japan provides the winners for Korea's international 2018 Korea Cup and Sprint

London Town, picture Korea Racing Authority
London Town, picture Korea Racing Authority

Asian Racing Federation country Korea held its major international meeting at Seoul on Sunday and for the second year running it was fellow Asian Racing Federation jurisdiction Japan that provided the winners of both the KRW 1 Billion, KOR Grade 1 WFA Keeneland Korea Cup (1800m) and KRW 700 Million, KOR Grade 1 WFA Keeneland Korea Sprint (1200m).

For London Town (JPN) in the Cup, it was just as much of a procession as last year, but in the Sprint, Moanin had to battle all the way to the line to see off a valiant challenge from Hong Kong’s Fight Hero.

While his form coming into the race had not been quite as imperious as last year, once he stepped onto the sand of Seoul, London Town stepped up. Local bettors remembered him too sending the five-year-old by Kane Hekili off as the prohibitive favourite in a field that was reduced to fourteen, due to the scratching of Ennobled Friend.

London Town was drawn wide and this time he was taken on early by Korea’s big hope Cheongdam Dokki (USA) under Manoel Nunes. However, ridden by Yasunari Iwata, London Town asserted his dominance in the back straight going past Cheongdam Dokki and then stretching the field out as he galloped away around the home turn. The race was essentially over with the only questions being who would run 2nd and whether London Town would break his own track record.

The answer to the second question was “yes” with London Town shaving one-tenth of a second off the 1800m mark he set a year ago.

The answer to the first was Dolkong (USA) as the Simon Foster trained four-year-old finished strongly up the rail, albeit a full fifteen-lengths in arrears. Clean Up Joy (USA) also finished well for 3rd place ahead of a tiring Cheongdam Dokki and the very game British challenger Forest Ranger (IRE).

Moanin (USA) won the Sprint, but had to work hard as Fight Hero (GB) pushed him all the way to the line after the pair had come from well-back. Korea’s Doraonpogyeongseon (USA) was 3rd with US-trained Chublicious (USA) in 4th and up and coming local hope Ace Korea (USA) in 5th.

The official attendance on course at Seoul Racecourse was 39,228. Local betting turnover on the Sprint was KRW 4,062,473,800 and KRW 5,154,087,500 on the Cup.