The Korea Racing Authority held their Minister’s Cup meeting in front of a 40,000-strong crowd at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday, June 17th, and the Baik Kwang Yeol trained World Sun under jockey Choi Si Dae won this final leg of the 2018 Korea Triple Crown.
The win was reward for World Sun after his third in the KRA Cup Mile and fifth in the Korean Derby.
Choi Si Dae settled World Sun at the rear of the field from the barriers but this time, unlike in both the Cup Mile and the Derby, he managed to find a clear run in the home straight and overhaul 80/1 long-shot Sharp Kaylan in the final strides. Korean Derby winner and odds-on favourite Ecton Blade was third.
Unlike in the Derby, when World Sun found himself in between two horses coming together and blocking his route, this time World Sun found clear racing room in front of him and it came down to a final 200m duel between him and Sharp Kaylan. The Busan-trained horse was too strong, going past to win by half a length on the line.
Sharp Kaylan’s jockey Lee Chul Kyung emitted an anguished cry as they crossed the line, in recognition of just how close he had come to riding his first Classic winner.
The wait goes on for Lee, but not for Choi Si Dae, who may have been winning this race for the first time, but who already has Korean Derby and Oaks victories among his haul of big race wins.
For trainer Baik Kwang Yeol it was a second success in the race and came ten years after his previous win when Gaeseon Janggun scored in 2008. He also won the Derby in 2015 with Yeongcheon Ace for the same owner as World Sun, Lee Jong Hun., who also owns Group winners Beolmaui Kkum (who was trained by the same trainer) and Success Story (with Min Jang Gi).
World Sun’s dam Dancing Desire (by Mr. Greeley) was a $42,000 purchase from Keeneland’s 2012 November Breeding Stock sale. World Sun is her second foal to make the track in Korea. Rock Hard Ten gelding Dongnam Daebak is a winner of one from twenty-one starts and she has a Colors Flying two-year-old, called Yeonggwanguicheon, who has just entered training at Busan.