Month: June 2008

Weekend Preview

The Seoul Owner’s Cup dominates the weekend with the big race off at Seoul Race Park at 17:00 on Sunday afternoon (see full preview below). It’s the highlight of the usual two day weekend card at Seoul which gets underway on Saturday at 11:20 with the first of twelve races. With no category 1 races on Saturday, the biggest race is a category 2 handicap over 1900 metres featuring the likes of Kkumui Mulgyeol, Challanhabit and Sinbi Wangja. On Sunday, the first of eleven races is also off at 11:20. In addition to the Owner’s Cup, there is a category 1 handicap for domestic bred horses featurning such names as Hongji, Neocheon, Gi Ra Seong and the eight year old Flying Cat.

Monsoon season has started so predicting the weather is a risky business but umbrellas are advised both days. There is also card at Busan Race Park on Sunday with the first at 12:40 and pony racing on Jeju Island, with the first of ten races off at 12:20 on both Saturday and Sunday.

Bally Brae and Subsidy head Seoul Owner’s field

Bally Brae and Subsidy top the weights for this Sunday’s KRW 106Million first prize Seoul Owner’s Cup which will be off at Seoul Race Park at 17:00. The 2000 metre handicap, one of the biggest of the year for foreign-bred horses also features Saerounbisul, who unexpectedly beat an out-of-sorts Bally Brae last time out. Full list of runners and riders:

Seoul Owner’s Cup (G.III), 2000M – Seoul – Sunday June 22, 2008, 17:00 (Race 9)
1. Gamadongja (NZ) (9/5/1/0) – 52.5 – Nozomu Tomizawa
2. Obaek Yechan (Aus) (22/5/4/3) – 53.5 – Jun Duck Young
3. Subsidy (USA) (27/17/4/0) – 58 – Oh Kyung Hoan
4. Baekjeonmupae (NZ) (12/4/4/0) – 53 – Yoo Sang Wan
5. Angus Empire (USA) (19/6/5/0) – 54 – Kim Ok Sung
6. Clever Star (Can) (6/3/1/1) – 51 – Cho Kyoung Ho
7. Saerounbisul (NZ) (16/5/3/1) – 52.5- Park Tae Jong
8. Dongbanui Gangja (USA) (9/5/2/1) – 52.5 – Choi Beom Hyun
9. Bally Brae (USA) (21/13/5/1) – 59 – Shin Hyoung Chul
10. Dirt King (Aus) (10/5/2/1) – 53.5 – Ham Wan Sik
11. Seoul Teukgeup (USA) (10/4/4/0) – 52 – Moon Jung Kyun

Neither Bally Brae or Subsidy will have their usual jockeys – Moon Se Young being suspended over the weekend and Subsidy’s usual partner Cho Kyoung Ho riding Clever Star instead. Shin Hyong Chul rides last year’s Grand Prix winner while Oh Kyung Hoan partners the eight year old son of Mr Prospector. Disappointingly, Shaving Points, possibly the most exciting foreign bred three year old in Korea right now, doesn’t go.

Jeolho Chance bounces back with win

After disappointment in last month’s Derby, three-year old Jeolho Chance (3.7) was back in form in the second of co-feature races at Busan Race Park this afternoon. The filly, who started the derby as second favourite only to finish back in ninth, landed an impressive five length victory over 2000 metres. Bouncing out of the start gate, Yoo Hyun Myoung took Jeolho Chance straight to the front of the eleven strong field and she would stay there throughout, winning going away from Choegang Jangseong (7.1) in second. Five year old Scramble (25.0) was third under Toshio Uchida, with favourite Yeongwon Hari (2.1) a well-beaten fifth.

In the feature for foreign-bred runners, four year old Cali Power (18.5) returned to the winner’s circle for the first time for nearly a year scoring a two length win from Sinsapung (5.9) and Oreumak (39.4) over 1600 metres. Further back in the field were favourite Seneca Light (2.9) and Keep It Quick (7.1). Racing returns to Busan on Sunday with six races underwat at 12:40.


Annika Queen lands KNN Cup

Annika Queen (13.7) produced a late run to upset the favourites and land this afternoon’s KRW 74Million KNN Cup at Busan Race Park. Pre-race favourite Procyon (2.4) set the pace early on as Kim Tae Kyung kept Annika Queen at the back of the field for the first half of the 1400 metre race. Perhaps feeling the effects of his top-weight status, Procyon slipped back as they entered the home straight with Magic Moment (12.3) taking the lead along with second favourite Areumdaun Jilju (2.9) who looked to have the faster finish. However, Annika Queen powered through the field and hit the front in the last 50 metres to take a one length win. Areumdaun Jilju finished second and Magic Moment third. Procyon finished back in fifth.

The KNN Cup was the highlight of a six race program at Busan. The day’s secong most valuable race was a KRW 34Million handicap for foreign bred horses and it saw a second Busan win for veteran Japanese jockey Toshio Uchida, guiding the three year old Australian bred colt Power Captain (4.4) to a one length victory from Heavy Metal (12.7).

At Seoul Race Park, the feature was a category 2 handicap which saw Poetic Runner (9.9) upset strong favourite Jigusangwiryeok (1.8 ) by a head with Jeokdaejeok (8.7) in third. Jigusangwiryeok, under Park Tae Jong, had set the pace throughout but just fell short as Oh Kyung Hoan timed Poetic Runner’s run perfectly. Park did, however, manage to land a second treble of the weekend with victory on Robby Tiger (2.6) in race 2, Hanhyeolwangbong (6.3) in race 6 and the three year old Derby also-ran Arcane (2.0) who scored a fourth career victory from nine runs with a length’s victory over Tongilmunhwa (6.4). There was also a double for Nozomu Tomizawa who took race 7 on Big Choice (7.7) and followed it up with a win in race 11 on Cheonjidolpung (2.5), the son of Tactical Cat looking ready to move up in class following his second straight win in category 3 races.

It was another hot and humid day although there was enough of a breeze to take the edge of the conditions at both Seoul and Busan and both tracks saw a reasonable turn out. Next weekend the focus will be on Seoul with the Owners Cup next Sunday.



Baekpa stuns Namchonuijijon

Seoul Review – Three winners for Park TJ / Double Buckshot suffers first defeat
Korean Oaks winner and one of the stars of 2007, Baekpa made a stunning return to form in the feature race at Seoul Race Park this afternoon with a two length win over horse of 2008 so far, Namchonuijijon. The Ttukseom Cup winner started strong favourite at 1.6 and Shin Hyoung Cheol took Namchonuijijon to the front out of the gate in the 2000 metre category 1 handicap. He was still setting the pace alongside Lee Ae Li on Heukjo Bisang (30.5) as they entered the home straight, but as it looked like Namchonuijijon was going to accelerate away from the field, Baekpa (6.2), ridden by Park Tae Jong came round the outside. Park hit the front at the furlong pole and Namchonuijijon had nothing in reply. Heukjo Bisang held on for a battling third place just a neck behind. It’s a welcome return to form for Baekpa, who took seven races to break her maiden but then won six of her next eight in 2007, including the Oaks and Sports Seoul Cup before making an indifferent start to 2008. As for Namchonuijijon, after emerging from J.S. Hold’s shadow, it looked like 2008 was going to be his year. It may still be but the next meeting between these two will be eagerly awaited.

Double Buckshot (3.0), unbeaten in three outings suffered his first reverse in race 10, albeit narrowly, the New Zealand bred gelding just edged out in a tight finish with favourite Ganghan Gunju (2.4) ridden by Ikuyasu Kurakane. It was Ikuyasu’s second win of the day after victory on Fly Captain (7.9) in race 2. Park Tae Jong was jockey of the day, however, Baekpa’s win adding to success on Royal Missile (1.1) who cantered up in a mis-match in race 4 and also on Daehanbobae (2.1), the improving three year old scoring a narrow win over Bulkkot Juja (4.1). Park didn’t have a flawless day, however, suffering defeat on hot favourite Lucky Mountain (1.4) in race 7. Nozomu Tomizawa won the race on Cheonchun Bisang (22.1) but the race was marred by a nasty fall suffered coming out of the stalls by jockey Kim Dong Kyun from third favourite Gwacheonuibit.

A hot, sticky afternoon with a lower than average Saturday crowd but some good racing. Racing returns to Seoul tomorrow with the first race at 11:20. Feature race of the day is at Busan Race Park where the KNN Cup is off at 15:35.


Weekend Preview – Namchonuijijon heads card

Ttukseom Cup winner Namchonuijijon returns to the track for the first time since his April triumph, lining up in Saturday’s feature race at Seoul Race Park. Racing at 2000 metres for only the second time – the first being when running third to J.S. Hold in last year’s Minister’s Cup – Namchonuijijon will face ten competitors including Best Condition and 2007 Oaks winner Baekpa. The KRW 42Million handicap is race 11 and is off at 17:20. The first of twelve races comes under orders at 11:20.

There are no category one races at Seoul on Sunday but there is an eleven race card beginning at 11:20. The main event on Sunday is at Busan Race Park where the KNN Cup is the highlight of six races. The first is at 12:40 with the Cup off at 15:35. As usual there’s pony racing at Jeju Race Park with ten races on both Saturday and Sunday, with the first at 12:20.

The weekend’s racing got underway earlier this afternoon at Busan Race Park where Busanui Byeol (14.9) took the feature race of nine with a two length win over rank outsider Deputized Angel (98.8 ). Favourite Bugyeong Choegang (3.0) finished fourth. FULL RESULTS FROM BUSAN

Subsidy/Bally Brae to face off again?

One of the great rivalries in Korean racing may be renewed on June 22 as Subsidy and Bally Brae are among 13 declarations for the KRW 106Million first prize Seoul Owners Cup. Bally Brae has got the better of the now eight year old Subsidy – one of the last sons of Mr. Prospector still racing on the flat – however, the five year old Grand Prix winner suffered a shock reverse last time out coming third to Saerounbisul and Baekjeonmupae, both of whom are also declared. The most intriguing name on the list, however, is that of Shaving Points, the three year old with three dominant victories in three starts, possibly about to mix it with the big names for the first time. We’ll have a full preview of the 2000 metre race, once the final line-up is confirmed next Thursday.

KNN Cup field announced

A field of ten will line up for this coming Sunday’s KNN Cup Handicap at Busan Race Park. The weights are headed by Procyon (9 wins/14 runs), the four year old gelding looking for a fifth straight win although if he were to take the KRW 77Million first prize, it would be the biggest win of his career to date. Chae Gyu Jun rides. Second weight is Areumdaun Jilju (7/11), making her first appearance since February, followed by the less prolific Haeil (3/21) and Yeoin Cheonguk (5/26). Former star three year-old Mirae Cheonsa (9/17) also goes but is yet to place in five races in a to date disastrous four year old season whereas Seongsan Daegun (3/19) has never been out of the placings in six outings in 2008. Lower in the weights are two horses who won tidy handicaps last time out in the shape of Distance Runner (5/18 ) and Annika Queen (5/16). Rounding out the field are Hangryong (3/17) and Magic Moment (5/15). The 1400 metre KNN Cup is race 5 on Sunday and comes under orders at 15:35.

Good Day wins in the rain

Eleventh win for four year old / Uchide triumphs on Busan debut
Top weight and favourite Good Day (1.7) scored a two length victory in this afternoon’s feature handicap at Seoul Race Park to move on to a career record of eleven wins from 15 races. Seocheon Yangban (19.9) under Yoo Seung Wan made the running for most of the 1900 metre race which was run in heavy rain but Cho Kyoung Ho kept Good Day in second or third position thorughout before opening out the sprint in the final two furlongs coming home ahead of Highway Star (57.2) and Machine Gun (19.4) for the win. It was surprising second place for eight year old Highway Star who generally finishes at the back of the field in this kind of company. However, his sixty fourth race ended with his nineteenth placed finish.

Good Day was Cho Kyoung Ho’s second win of the afternoon, his earlier victory coming on Baekdudaeseong (5.0) in a competitive 1700 metre test ahead of Taesanjangnyeong (13.6) and Camellia (2.9) with one time Derby hopeful Sammuae (3.7) back in fourth. The day’s second most valuable race was taken by favourite Huimang Energy (3.0) under Choi Beom Hyun in a tight finish from Choennyoen Bobae (6.1) and Gamdong Yeonchul (47.3) with the first five finishers within two lengths of each other.

While it was overcast at Seoul, it was a little bit brighter at Busan Race Park where Japanese jockey Toshio Uchida made his Korean debut. Uchida finished last in his first race but quickly made up for it with victory on the Japanese bred Jangangja (8.6) in one of the day’s joint-features. In the other, favourite Today (2.8 ) recorded a three length victory over Byeolbit Jigi (21.4).



Saturday Racing Review

Outsider Hwanggeum Mulgyoel (49.0) took the feature race at Seoul race Park on Saturday afternoon scoring a two and a half length win over Bisul (16.7) and favourite Bandoeui Byeol (2.9). With Boo Min Ho on board, the five year old bottom weight featured at the front of the race throughout, taking the lead with 100 metres to go and winning going away. Further down the field in seventh was Netizen’s Race winner Sichuseon (6.5), the Moon Se Young ridden horse looking well placed as they entered the straight but never finding his racing gallop.

Earlier, Chamgippeum (2.5) had put in a strong performance in winning an 1800 metre handicap, but there was a surprising defeat for three year old K J Khan in race 9. The Yoo Sang Wan ridden gelding had looked unstoppable in his last two outings and was backed into 1.5 for his first try at 1400 metres. Well placed on the final turn, however, K J Khan found himself unable to find a way through the trio of Thermopolis (9.3), Code of Silence (47.0) and Secret Shoes On (20.6). Thermopolis, ridden by Shin Hyoung Chul recording his first win in twenty outings.

A slightly below average Saturday crowd for what was at best, an average card in hazy sunshine. Sunday sees a better card and better weather predicted. Race 1 is underway at 11:20.