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Korea: Derby Winner Ecton Blade To Make Busan Return On Sunday

This year’s Korean Derby winner Ecton Blade returns to his home-track of Busan this Sunday as the colt drops back in trip to contest the class 1 feature handicap over 1400M.
It’s the highlight of a 6-race Sunday card at Busan while up in Seoul there are a further 11 races.

It will be Ecton Blade’s first appearance at Busan since running a close 2nd to Divide Wind in the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown, in April. Last year’s champion juvenile then comfortably won the Derby in Seoul by a full-three lengths but only managed to finish in 3rd in the final leg of the series, the Minister’s Cup, also at Seoul in June. However, that 3rd was enough to assure himself the title of 2018 Champion Three-Year-Old.

While the winner of the Minister’s Cup, World Sun, was beaten on his own return to Busan on Friday evening, things should be different for Ecton Blade. With the rating limit capped at 100, Sunday’s race is not strong by class 1 standards and it is one he should be winning. Nevertheless, there are some useful operators among his ten rivals with Mupae, Miracle Line and Daeho Sidae the ones expected to provide the sternest opposition.

While a tilt at the international Korea Cup two weeks from now was considered for Ecton Blade, it was ultimately decided to keep him in Busan and drop him down to the trip he last ran at when winning the Breeders’ Cup – Korea’s top juvenile race – last year. Franco Da Silva, who rode him in the Derby, partners him once again.

Up at Seoul the most valuable race of the day is a six-furlongs test exclusively for juvenile graduates of the Jeju Breeze-up Sales. A field of eight will go to post and there is set to be a hot favorite in the shape of first-time starter Gyoryong Unu. The Limitless Bid colt trialed up impressively and is expected to have too much for a field which contains just two horses with prior racing experience.

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