Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 23)

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with 10 races from 14:55 to 21:00. English race cards can be found here. Notes on races for overseas simulcast are below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million 

1. ECTON BLADE – Bound to be backed as he’s from Kim Young Kwan’s stable. A long way behind Yeonghui Sidae in his trial. Half-brother has won 5 of 11.

2. JOEUN HAE – 2nd in his trial and looked to know what he was doing. Likely away to a fast start and he’s in with a chance.

3. CHONHAUI KKUM – Didn’t impress in his trial, coming home last of 10 who qualified. Top trainer and jockey but probably the outsider of the field.

4. YEONGGWANGUI CHIC – 2nd in his trial albeit 8-lengths behind the winner. Could go well.

5. YEONGHUI SIDAE – Likely favourite, he was, by some margin, the quickest of these in his trial and looks the one to beat. (more…)

Geombit Gangja Wins Sports Chosun 2017

A bit late but catching up on last week’s action, Geombit Gangja won the Sports Chosun Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon:

Geombit Gangja

Geombit Gangja & Choi Bum Hyun win the Sports Chosun Cup (Pic: KRA)

Geombit Gangja, a four-year-old gelding, was sent off as favourite for the 2000M listed race and having settled at the rear of the field, came through strongly in the closeing stages under jockey Choi Bum Hyun to claim victory. It was another big race win for in-form trainer Song Moon Gil.

Choi Bum Hyun HJY

Singer Hong Jin Young joined in the winner’s circle on one of her regular racecourse appearances (Pic: KRA)

It was Geombit Gangja’s 6th victory on his 15th career start.

Sports Chosun Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – June 18, 2017

1. Geombit Gangja (KOR) [Ingrandire – Tandia (Two Punch)] – Chi Bum Hyung – 3.3, 1.6
2. Royal Victory (KOR) [Exploit – Guryeongnyeong (Revere)] – Song Jae Chul – 2.0
3. Haetbinna (KOR) [Didyme – Chowonui Kkum (The Groom Is Red)] – Jan Havlik – 10.1
Distances: 1.5 lengths / 2.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. I Am For You 5. Kawon 6. Yeongnong 7. Gaia Thunder 8. Chowon Gangta 9. Perfect Shine 10. Dongchonui Guy

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Sports Chosun Cup Preview (June 18)

Sunday sees Sports Chosun Cup day at Seoul with 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. At Busan there are 6 races from 12:40 to 17:05. English racecards are here.

Cheonnyeon Dongan Nonghyup

Lee Chan Ho returns (Pic: KRA)

Rewind to 2015 and Lee Chan Ho was on top of the Korean Racing World. On a glorious August afternoon at Seoul Racecourse, the young jockey, who had ridden out his apprenticeship in double-quick time, partnered Choegang Schiller to win the Asia Challenge Cup, defeating Singapore’s champion sprinter El Padrino on the way to what was then arguably Korean racing’s greatest victory.

Just over a year later it all looked over. After incidents away from racing, Lee found his license cancelled and a career possibly finished at the age of 24. Yet this weekend he’s back as the legal process has reached a stage where he can ride, at least for the time being, pending a final judgement.

The returning Lee admits to having had to lose 10kg in the two weeks since he found out he could resume riding, but he’s done it and will return to big race action when he takes the mount on Yeongnong in Sunday’s 28th running of the Listed Sports Chosun Cup.

Yeongnong probably won’t be favourite but he is one of a number in the hunt in what is a very competitive renewal.

Race 9: Class Open (2000M) Sports Chosun Cup / Allowance / KRW 200 Million

1. ROYAL VICTORY – Beaten by I Am For You and Yeongnong last start over 1400M but was a class 2 winner at 1800M the time before. Can look to place.

2. PERFECT SHINE – 3rd behind Royal Victory over 1800M in April, he’s consistently close but usually finds a few too good and most likely will here too.

3. KAWON – Full brother to a Korean Oaks winner, he’s the form of his life, winning 4 of his last 7. Likely close to the early pace, he’s not raced at this distance before but has to be in the frame.

4. YEONGNONG – 3rd on first try at class 2 behind I Am For You at the end of April, he’ll be on or close to the speed and while a win would be a shock, he can go close. (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 16)

The weekend’s racing gets underway with the afternoon and evening card at Busan on Friday. 10 races from 14:55 to 21:00. English race cards are here. Notes on races for overseas simulcast below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Special Weight A / KRW 40 Million /

1. GIPPEUM SARANG – First time starter. 2nd in her trial and while others are favoured, she can go well.

2. DANCING VICAR – Won her trial a month ago. Top stable and a chance first-up.

3. YUKWAEHAN JILJU – Offered little on debut. The only way is up.

4. BARONESS – Not built on encouraging debut but did beat a couple of these when running 5th last start and should be in the frame here coming in fresh.

5. HAEUNDAE YEOGEOL – Much improved 3rd last time and can be a danger again. (more…)

Kim Hye Sun Becomes 1st Female Rider To Win Korean Classic as Jejui Haneul Stuns in The Oaks

There was a thrilling finish to the Korean Oaks at Busan this afternoon and at the end of it, plenty of Korean racing history was made. Kim Hye Sun became the first Korean female jockey to win a Group race while Masteru Mizutani became the first foreign owner to do the same as 56/1 outsider Jejui Haneul pulled off a shock win

OaksFinish

Jejui Haneul (near side) bests Bright Star in the Korean Oaks (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

Jejui Haneul was unfancied but was never likely to be a no-hoper having been one of the few in the field that had already performed creditably around two turns. However hers and all others chances were boosted when pre-race favourite Ice Marine blundered on exiting the gate, putting herself at a huge disadvantage before the race had even got going.

She never really recovered from that and things looked set up for 2nd and 3rd in the betting, Uju Star and Bright Star to dispute the finish. They reckoned without Jejui Haneul, who flew home on the stands-side under Kim Hye Sun to pip Bright Star by a head on the live. Longest shot on the board, the 183/1 chance Teukbyeol Star got up for an even unlikelier 3rd and almost break the tote system with an unprecedented tierce pool dividend.

Jejui Haneul

Jejui Haneul and Kim Hye Sun in the Korean Oaks winner’s circle (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

Since debuting in 2009, Kim Hye Sun has already established herself as the most successful Korean female rider of all time, the Oaks being her 225th win from just shy of 3000 mounts. No Korean woman had ever won a Group race though, much less one of the Classics. There were tears in the post race interview but 30 minutes later, Kim was back out and riding in the day’s finale.

Kim Hye Sun Oaks

Kim Hye Sun after winning the Korean Oaks (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

It was a great ride and while time will tell how good this current crop of fillies is, it was another win for Seoul. The capital track has now won three out of four encounters involving this year’s three-year-olds. That’s something we didn’t think we’d be seeing anytime soon.

Korean Oaks (KOR G2) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – June 11, 2017

1. Jejui Haneul (KOR) [Raconteur – Isanghwa (Didyme)] – Kim Hye Sun -56.0, 14.4
2. Bright Star (KOR) [Menifee – L Vicar (Vicar)] – Francisco Da Silva – 2.7
3. Teukbyeol Star (KOR) [Air Shady – Teukbyeolhwanhui (White Muzzle)] – Lee Hae Dong – 29.4
Distances: Head / 2 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Uju Star 5. Yesangbaek Seung 6. Queen’s Queen 7. Ice Marine 8. Yongwangdam 9. Daeho Chukje 10. Take Four Meals 11. Morning Baramse 12. Goldstar Hills 13. Ecton Bulpae 14. Sun Smart 15. Gasok Champion 16. Happy Gongju

Busan Sunday: Korean Oaks Day (June 11)

It’s Korean Oaks day at Busan. There are 6 races from 12:40 to 17:10. Meanwhile, the Seoul has just got underway where there are 11 races with the last at 18:00. Notes on Busan races below:

Race 1: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

1. DANCER – Really struggled in her latest few and can’t be recommended here.

2. JEONSAUI HUYE – Disappointed on first try at this level two weeks ago but is worthy of another chance here.

3. BEONGGEULBEONGGEUL – Capable of beating plenty at this level. Win would be a surprise but should be looking for the places.

4. SEONGGONG PLAN – Struggled in three outings at this level since maiden win in January.

5. PEACE BERY – 2nd of 10 behind a very useful one in a quick time on May 12th and has to be in the frame here.

6. HANNAM ROOKIE – Yet to win in 17 but does occasionally find the minor money. A win would surprise though. (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 9)

It’s Korean Oaks weekend. We’ll have a preview of Sunday’s big race for fillies up tomorrow but in the meantime there are 10 Friday races at Busan from 14:55 to 21:00. English racecards can be found here. Notes on races to be simulcast overseas below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million 

1. HOSEUNGJISIM – Made a semi-encouraging debut in March but offered little in two starts since.

2. STAR LINE – Ran once last year but has a lot of hoof problems keeping him out since. Trialled up ok last month.

3. YES RED – Close in all three so far. 3rd behind two good ones (a long way behind them) last time and in with a big chance here.

4. GOLDEN FAMILY – Shown a bit of improvement in three prior outings. Still a bit to find here. (more…)