Five Star Complete Value Romps To Champion Juvenile Crown

Complete Value took his record to a perfect five from five with an effortless dismissal of the best of the rest of the two-year-old division to be crowned Champion Juvenile in the Korean Breeders’ Cup at Busan Racecourse last Sunday afternoon.

Four for four going into the race but not seen on the track since his success in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup at Seoul on the first weekend of October, Complete Value was sent off fourth in the betting market at 6/1 for the 7 f test on a crisp winter's afternoon on the South Coast. The Girolamo colt quickly made a mockery of that.

The only other previously unbeaten horse in the race, Aspen Taeyang, was sent off as a slight favourite in a race where all but four of the twelve starters were given a chance by both pundits and punters. Previously unbeaten, the Nonghyup Chairman's Cup winner, Aspen Taeyang dipped on exiting the gates, putting him at an immediate disadvantage as Complete Value broke cleanly and into the lead.

Aspen Taeyang wouldn't be the only contender to suffer misfortune as the Kim Young-kwan trained Mongttang suddenly ducked out on the corner, ending his own challenge. Meanwhile Second-favourite Man Of The Year showed on pace early but weakened for 5th while Areumdaun Jilju Stakes and Gimhae Mayor's Cup winner Yeonggwanguilegend wasn't a threat at any point and ended up 6th.

The run of the race was had by Complete Value, getting to the lead early from a beautifully drawn gate three and then comfortably escaping his rivals, winning by a cool four-lengths on the line. Double Edge, runner up to Aspen Taeyang in the Nonghyup, finished in 2nd with Busan Rookie Stakes victor Winner Star coming home 3rd a further three-lengths in arrears, just in front of  Aspen Taeyang, who defied his early race troubles to run home a solid 4th.

Complete Value is from the first Korean crop by Girolamo, a stallion who only arrived in Korea in early 2018 and stands for the Korean Thoroughbred Breeders' Association. He was bred by Cho Chang-kyu from the Korean-bred Sduction (by Stockton) and is owned by Jang Se-jun. For trainer, Seoul-based Park Jae-woo, it was a second Group race success with the first also coming at Busan, with Tiz Plan in last year's Busan Mayor's Cup. It was a first big race win of any kind, listed or graded, for jockey Jeong Jeong-hee, who is in his first year back after completing mandatory national service.

This coming weekend, the focus will switch back to the three-year-old division and the Minister's Cup, the final leg of the delayed 2021 Korean Triple Crown. While there is no Crown on the line this time around, the winners of the first two legs, Heat Yegam and Winner's Man, are expected to face off again at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday in a straight duel to find the year's Champion three-year-old. Complete Value, Aspen Taeyang and the rest, with any luck won't need to wait so long before they can get their Classic campaigns underway in the New Year.

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