It has been a long and difficult road for Blue Chipper since he chased home Spun To Run and Omaha Beach when 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita in 2019, but at Busan on Sunday afternoon, the now six-year-old son of Tiznow was back in the winner’s circle after taking out the Class 1 feature race over 1800m.
Blue Chipper wasn’t even sent off as favourite for what was his first every try over 1800M having spent the past few months being beaten by Doctor Carson at sprint distances, scoring just the one win across five starts.
On Sunday though, Blue Chipper was reunited with jockey You Hyun-myung, who won on him in both the Busan Owners’ Cup and the Korea Sprint in the summer of 2019, two performances that persuaded connections to take a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup, and the pair led every step of the way.
Despite carrying 60kg, Blue Chipper drew well in gate four and was quickly on pace, joined by double Classic winner Touch Star Man as well as pre-race favourite King Of Glory, and class 1 newcomer Barbarian.
Those four would go on to dispute matters the entire way around and while Touch Star Man would get on terms with Blue Chipper in the home straight, the older horse rallied to re-assert command and won by just under a length, pulling away.
With no online or remote betting, Korean racing has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with no Listed or Stakes races having been run in the country in 2021.
October though sees the start of a limited Graded Stakes program, with several big races up for grabs, culminating in the Grand Prix Stakes on Boxing Day.
Blue Chipper could be a big part of a big end of the year.