Korean Derby Weekend – Sunday Preview

Korean Derby / JRA Trophy
The twelth Korean Derby goes to post at 17:00 on Sunday afternoon. With 24 hours of persistent rain already having fallen and no signs of it stopping any time soon, track conditions are sure to be similar to last year when 90/1 outsider Ebony Storm pulled off a shock win.

Eight Seoul horses and six Busan horses will line up. Amongst them are two fillies, one of whom, Sangseung Ilro is, for now at least, on course to land the Triple Crown, having won the KRA Cup Mile at Busan in April. The one sour note that hovers above this Derby is that Eiki Nishimura, the jockey who guided her to that victory, will not be with her amid suspicions that the idea of an overseas rider landing a Triple Crown is too much to take for some on the backstretches of Seoul and Busan.

Nice Choice is the likely favourite but it is an open race, especially with the rain. Sangseung Ilro has obviously staked her claim, but cases can be made for a host of others, including Yeonseung Daero, Baengnyeonbong, Sky Star and Seokcheong. In jockey Martin Wepner and trainer Peter Wolsley, Namdo Jeap and Impeccable respectively offer an overseas angle even in Eiki’s absence.

Whatever the result and regardless of the weather, hopefully the Derby can provide a race that does justice to our wonderful sport’s biggest day.

Click here to download past performance information (Korean). Full list of post positions, runners, records and riders:

Korean Derby (GI) – Seoul Race Park – May 17 2009 – 1800M, 17:00

1. Sky Star [B] [Tahamkke – Blue Lark (Ravenwood)] – (10/5/1/0) – Kim Tae Kyoung
2. Khanui Huye [The Groom Is Red – Noble Michelle (Flow Technology)] – (7/2/2/0) – Han Sung Yeol
3. Nice Choice [Lost Mountain – Betty’s Rhapsody (Don’t Hesitate)] – (6/4/2/0) – Moon Se Young
4. Seokcheong [Fiercely – Miss Geology (Jade Hunter)] – (6/4/1/1) – Park Tae Jong
5. Namdo Jeap [B] [Ft. Stockton – Wandering Katie (Tejano)] – (6/3/2/1) – Martin Wepner
6. Khanui Jeguk [Sunday Well – Lucky Dip (Didyme)] – (7/3/1/1) – Lee Jung Sun
7. Yeonseung Daero [B] [Creek Cat – Sensationalkris (Cryptoclearance)] – (8/5/1/2) – Kim Eu Su
8. Baengnyeonbong [Al Naba – Sansovino Art (Mister C.)] – (9/4/1/1) – Kim Ok Sung
9. Pangpang [B] [Revere – Awishnotalark (Rio’s Lark)] – (11/3/0/1) – Kim Hong Il
10. Impeccable [B] [Distilled – Bellebreezy (Foolish Pleasure)] – (6/4/0/0) – Park Geum Man
11. Sangseung Ilro [B] (F) [Concept Win – Miss Whiskey (Whiskey Wisdom)] – (6/4/1/1) – Jo Sung Gon
12. Triple Canon [Tahamkke – Tamna Jeilbong (Lost Mountain)] – (7/4/2/0) – Cho Kyoung Ho
13. Money Teukgeup[Ft. Stockton – Headwork (Silveyville)] – (8/2/3/1) – Choi Beom Hyun
14. Red Ball [Lethal Instrument – Wildly Magic (Pieterhof)] – (8/4/0/1) – Yang Hee Jin

JRA Trophy – Class 2 (Foreign bred) – 1200M – Race 8

Just before the Derby, the final International Trophy race of the weekend will take place and it’s the big one as the undefeated Gangho faces his first real test in the JRA Trophy. While he will likely be the overwhelming favourite, if he has a bad day, there are one or two who could cause him problems. Bulpae Gisang has four wins from six outings and Free Hugs is a proven performer at this level.

There are eleven races at Seoul on Sunday with the first under orders at 11:20. Busan Race Park hosts six races with the first at 12:40. Jeju Race Park gets underway at 12:10.

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