Month: November 2009

Vicar Colt Tops Jeju Yearling Sale

Jeju Stud Farm hosted its November Yearling sale last week. Of the 90 lots offered, just 35 sold at an average price of 45 Million won ($39,000).

Topping the sale was was a colt by Vicar out of the Australian bred mare Hurricane Havoc [Jade Robbery – Hurricane Bay (Palace Music)] who fetched 100 Million won. Second highest was a colt by Revere out of Mina De Oro (USA) [Afleet – Alas De Oro (Ack Ack)] at 85 Million won. The Vicar colt was bought by Kim Chul, who currently has nine horses in training at Seoul while Busan owner Kwak Jung Su took the Revere colt.

The highest drawing filly was by Creek Cat and out of the Korean bred Tamna Jeilbong [Lost Mountain – Scotty’s Love (First Draft Choice)], fetching 56 Million won from Seung Myoung Ho. Prominent Seoul owner Ku Ja Sun (Dongbanui Gangja) was also in action, taking home colts by Creek Cat and Exploit for a combined total of just shy of 100 Million won.

Top five lots (Sex/Pedigree/Seller/Buyer/Price in units of 10,000 won):

1. Colt [Vicar – Hurricane Havoc (Jade Robbery)] Lim Sang Yun / Kim Chul – 10,000
2. Colt [Revere – Mina De Oro (Afleet)] Lim Sang Yun / Kwak Jung Su – 8,500
3. Colt [Menifee – Angel Be Great (Notebook)] Oh Gong Hak / Choi Cheol Yi – 8,000
4. Colt [Volponi – Regal Meg (Regal Classic)] Kang Seok Ho / Lee Jong Hun – 7,500
5. Colt* [Wando – Luv Meadow (Meadowlake)] Oh Gong Hak / Daemyoung Co. – 7,400

* Luv Meadow was in foal to Wando when imported to Korea in January 2008.

Chulgigi has a full list from the sale (in Korean) and as ever, full details on all horses in Korea can be found at the KRA Studbook.

Right Moves From Night Moves

Filly Takes Juvenile Crown / Vicar Love Stays Again
Night Moves maintained her perfect record by claiming victory in the Breeder’s Cup at Busan this afternoon and in doing so was crowned the southern track’s champion two-year old.

While it was a comfortable wire-to-wire win, it wasn’t quite as easy as some had predicted. Jockey Jo Sung Gon had to go to work in the final furlong to make sure the filly stayed alert and ahead of the fast finishing Cheonnyeon Daero.

Another filly, Dalbit Miso faded late on but managed to keep third spot while Super Jilju, the only other undefeated horse in the race faded badly in the stretch to finish last. Fillies made up three of the first four home.

The race was the second year of the Breeder’s Cup and Night Moves’ connections will be hoping that she fares better than last year’s winner. Power Boy, failed to kick on in his three-year old season and has been sidelined injured since June. Indeed, none of this season’s three-year old stars took part in the race. Next week, the two-year old action moves to Seoul as Seonbongbulpae and Nothern Ace go head-to-head in the Herald Business.

Breeder’s Cup – Busan Race Park – 1200M – Nov 29, 2009

1. Night Moves (KOR) F [Proud Accolade – Elania (Double Honor)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.5, 1.1
2. Cheonnyeon Daero (KOR) C [Creek Cat – Doneitmyway (Northern Flagship)] – Choi Si Dae – 3.7
3. Dalbit Miso (KOR) F [Pico Central – Lashae (Jack Livingston)] – Chae Gyu Jun – 2.0
Distances: 2 lengths/Head
Also Ran: 4. Money Tree; 5. Glory Yeonggwang; 6. Fine Jilju; 7. Trum Bell; 8. Super Jilju
Scratched: Land Lady

Also at Busan, Bugyeong Choegang got himself back in the Winner’s Circle, a full year after his last win. Yang Young Nam brought the five-year old Australian bred horse through late to snatch a half-length win from the grey Phasmes in a class 1 handicap. Favourite Seonnyang Yeonsa was third. Bugyeong Choegang now has nine wins from his thirty career starts.

Up at a damp and dismal Seoul Race Park, Vicar Love enhanced his reputation as a stayer by taking his second consecutive win over 2300 metres. The distance is the longest run at Seoul and is used for the season-ending Grand Prix. Vicar Love finished one from last in that race in 2008 and won’t be participating in this year’s edition.

Today, under Oh Kyoung Hoan, Vicar Love [Vicar – Canberra (Silver Hawk)] bided his time in the middle of the field before overtaking long-time leader Haengun Daewang with a furlong to go. From then on, there was no likelihood of his being caught.

On today’s form, Vicar Love’s absence is a blow to a Grand Prix race that isn’t shaping up to have an inspiring field (on Monday we’ll be reporting on the confirmed line-up so far). The four-year old now has ten wins from nineteen starts.

Earlier at Seoul, there was an easy win for two-year old Money Car [Newsprint – Pinocchio (Big Sur)]. Beaten by filly Saeroungamun in his debut in September, he broke his maiden last month and today stepped up in class. Both his time and the margin of victory were irrelevant as the rest of the field offered no challenge and Park Tae Jong in the saddle simply had to point him in the right direction. One to watch next year.



Machine Gun Stuns Big Guns

Punters couldn’t split Gi Ra Seong and Top Point but seven year old Machine Gun disposed of both of them to land the feature race under the floodlights at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

Coming into the race on the back of four straight victories, Gi Ra Seong set the early pace but it was Blue Pin, the only three year old in the field who took command in the home stretch. Under Cho Kyoung Ho, the colt seemed to have the race wrapped up until Ham Wan Sik arrived on Machine Gun to snatch victory in the final stride.

Now seven, it was a first win of 2009 for Machine Gun [Ascot Knight – Crying Out Loud (Cryptoclearance)]. Ever reliable, he’s now scored nine wins, thirteen seconds and five thirds out of forty-four career starts

Top Point and Gi Ra Seong weren’t the only underperformers of the day. Two races earlier, Soseono, Photo Stone and Sangsangbong were highly fancied for an rare valuable sprint. None of the three even placed, however, as Giant Rose provided the second of jockey Ham Wan Sik’s four winners.

By the time the big race went to post the lights were on but it had been a beautifully mild – if misty – autumn day in Seoul. Under the November sunshine, there was a racecourse debut for Red Monster [Biwa Shinseiki – Witch’s Tea (Mugatea)]. Sire, Biwa Shinseiki, arrived in Korea in late 2005 and his first foals are now reaching the track. Red Monster is his third winner this month.

Saturday night's all right for lighting


KO Punch Landed

Friday’s big race at Busan was a chance for one of the year’s lesser sung three year olds to announce their arrival into the top tier of Korean racing. And it was KO Punch who grabbed the chance to secure a valuable victory.

KO Punch had four wins and just one narrow defeat to his name going into the Gold Circle Trophy in September. He left his challenge too late that day, however, as Top Grade took the spoils. Another second place followed in October but today he made no mistake as he coasted to a two length win.

Segye Jepae, one of the few older horses in the race, took second while filly Galmaegi Kkum, now moneying in fourteen out of fifteen starts, raced into third.

As ever these days at Busan, the overseas jockeys were to the fore. This time Eiki Nishimura was the top performer with two wins while Hitomi Miyashita landed the tenth win of her short Korean career so far.

Racing returns to Busan on Sunday as attention shifts to Seoul on Saturday. There’s a mouth-watering feature race in prospect at 5:15. Top Point, Gi Ra Seong and Hwangnyongsaji are all top performers and will do battle with ten others over 2000 metres.


Weekend Preview

It’s set to be a good one. Down at Busan, the Juvenile Championship is on the line while at Seoul, a pair of top races on Saturday and Sunday ensure a fascinating weekend is in prospect.

Busan kicks things off on Friday, with ten races topped off by a class 1 handicap over a mile, featuring a number of three-year olds that, for varying reasons, missed out on the top prizes in the Triple Crown. At some point this year, Impeccable, Mupae Star, Suryeohan, Tamna Hero and Bukgeukseong all looked set to go on and land some really bug prozes. One of them has the opportunity to do so here.

Sunday is the Busan Breeders’ Cup, the southern track’s top race for two-year olds. Four colts and five fillies will go to post at 15:20 for the six furlong test. Among them will be the unbeaten pair of Night Moves and Super Jilju.

Seoul races, as ever, on Saturday and Sunday and both days boast a top class feature race. On Saturday some of the track’s top Korean bred horses go for a big prize over 2000 metres. Gi Ra Seong, Top Point, Hwangnyongsaji, Free Woody and Blue Pin are among those with claims in what looks an intriguing contest. Earlier in the day, YTN Cup winner Soseono will also be in action.

On Sunday, it’s the turn of overseas bred horses to take centre stage. Gamadongja, Vicar Love, Coleraine, Serendipper, Khanui Jeonseol and Tiffanyuikkum all go over the Grand Prix distance of 2300 metres.

Not to be forgotten is the Jockey’s Championship. Just five winners separate Cho Kyoung Ho, Park Tae Jong and Choi Beom Hyun at the top of the standings wiht just four weekends left. All three have near full books of competitive rides in the most open Championship race for years.

Busan Race Park

Friday November 27: 10 races, first post 13:00, last 17:30
Sunday November 29: 6 races, first post 12:30, last 16:15

Seoul Race Park

Saturday November 28: 12 races, first post 11:10, last 17:45
Sunday November 29: 11 races, first post 11:10, last 17:45

Jeju Race Park (Pony racing)

Saturday November 28: 10 races, first post 12:30, last 17:25
Sunday November 29: 10 races, first post 12:30, last 17:25

To make things even better, the weather is set to be mild with temperatures hovering around 10C above zero and no rain forecast for all three days. Come Racing!

Grand Prix Votes Revealed

At the beginning of November, just as it does every year, the KRA conducted an online poll of Korean racing fans, asking them which horses they would like to see run in the season ending Grand Prix race at Seoul on December 13.

Voting results were made public this week and 2008 winner Dongbanui Gangja heads the list of those horses the racing “Netizens” would most like to see take part in the season-ending Grand Prix race at Seoul Race Park on December 13.

The top eight vote-getters from Seoul and top 6 from Busan – whose horses are taking part in the Grand Prix for the first time ever – have received automatic invitations to the race. However, it is far from certain that all will take them up.

We’ll go over the final list next Monday but for now, here is the full list of the fourteen horses voted in:


1. Dongbanui Gangja (USA)
2. Nice Choice (KOR)
3. Bulpaegisang (USA)
4. Bally Brae (USA)
5. Khaki Halls (AUS)
6. Yaho TS (USA)
7. Hwangnyongsaji (KOR)
8. Khanui Jeonsol (NZ)


1. Areumdaun Jilju (KOR)
2. Sangseung Ilro (KOR)
3. Gaeseon Janggun (KOR)
4. Yeonseung Daero (KOR)
5. Haengbok Dream (JPN)
6. Crafty Louis (USA)

Of the Busan contingent, Areumdaun Jilju and Yeonseung Daero both entered in the Busan Owners’ Cup Sprint on December 6, connections seemingly have a big decision to make. Meanwhile, there remain question marks over the delicate legs of Sangseung Ilro, winner of the first two legs of the Triple Crown and the only filly voted in.

As for the Seoul horses, Hwangnyongsaji is in action this weekend in an all domestic race. It’s unlilely we’ll see him line-up for the Grand Prix. Meanwhile, 2006 Horse of The Year and 2007 Grand Prix winner Bally Brae still remains popular with punters, polling fourth. However, after two disappointing recent runs, his trainer has indicated a long spell of rest and recuperation is on the cards for the much-loved gelding.

Apart from winning the 2007 edition, Bally Brae was second in both 2006 and 2008. Here is his commanding victory over long-time rival Subsidy from two years ago:

Cho Kyoung Ho Heads Close Title Race

When Moon Se Young was violently thrown from two-year old filly Raipai back at the end of August, his hopes of retaining his 2008 title were over. Still sidelined, Moon remains on 72 winners leaving a tight three-way battle for the Championship with a month to go.

On Saturday, Cho Kyoung Ho became just the third rider in Korean racing history to reach the 100 winners in a season mark. Meanwhile Park Tae Jong moved onto 99 to go one ahead of Choi Beom Hyun on 98.

Cho was fourth in 2007 and second last year but it has been a golden autumn for the 33-year-old with victories on Nice Choice in the President’s Cup and Lucky Mountain in the NACF Chairman’s Race and, in Moon Se Young’s continued absence, will most likely take the mount on hot 2-year-old Nothern Ace in the Herald Business on December 6.

For Choi Beom Hyun, while he’s an outside chance to make up the five winner deficit he has on Cho, a second consecutive Grand Prix on Dongbanui Gangja awaits. Park Tae Jong, who heads the all-time winners list, looks likely to land his second biggest ever haul in his twenty year career.

Current Standings:

1. Cho Kyoung Ho – 103
2. Park Tae Jong – 99
3. Choi Beom Hyun – 98
4. Moon Se Young – 72
5. Ham Wan Sik – 39

Lucky Mountain Peaks in NACF

Favourite Lucky Mountain took a comfortable three length win in the NACF Trophy at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. Under Cho Kyoung Ho, the four year old ran a controlled race, tucked in behind the early leaders on the rails before making her move in the home straight.

The big challenge was expected to come from three year old Love Cat, however, the Sports Seoul winner and second favourite failed tp spark into life when asked by Choi Beom Hyun and she finished a disappointing fifth. Instead, the late challenge came from the oldest horse in the race, seven year old mare Seungni Yongsa who came through strongly to grab an unlikely second, just ahead of another long-shot, Baram Queen.

None could match Lucky Mountain, who was third in this race last year although the win is just her second of 2009.

NACF Chairman’s Trophy – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – Nov 22, 2009

1. Lucky Mountain (KOR) [Silent Warrior – Myeonggahe (Revere)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 1.9, 1.1
2. Seungni Yongsa (KOR) [Our Poetic Prince – Jane Lauren (Snow Chief)] – Won Jung Il – 4.0
3. Baram Queen (KOR) [Didyme – Geo Bong (Regal Biscay)] – Ham Wan Sik – 4.8
Distances: 3 lengths/0.5 lengths
Also ran: 4. Badajebi; 5. Love Cat; 6. Daehyo; 7. Challanhanbit; 8. Mild Go; 9. Gamdonguijumal; 10 Happy Queen; 11. Wig; 12. Ambition

Victory on Lucky Mountain was the culmination of another great weekend for jockey Cho Kyoung Ho. Following on from last week’s win on Nice Choice in the President’s Cup, on Saturday Cho became only the third jockey in Korean history to ride one hundred winners in a season.

It was a day to be lucky and some punters at Busan certainly were. 50-1 outsider Lucky Guy was the suprise winner of the feature race at the southern track.



Weekend Preview

It’s Nonghyup Cup day on Sunday and, while there’s disappointment that Baekpa, back in Korea after her dispiriting summer in the US, doesn’t go, Sunday’s big race should still be an entertaining climax to a busy weekend of racing on the peninsula.

We’ll have a full preview of the race over the next couple of days:

Busan Race Park

Friday November 20: 10 races, first post 13:00, last 17:30
Sunday November 22: 6 races, first post 12:30, last 16:15

Seoul Race Park

Saturday November 21: 12 races, first post 11:10, last 17:45
Sunday November 22: 11 races, first post 11:10, last 17:55

Jeju Race Park (Pony racing)

Saturday November 21: 10 races, first post 12:30, last 17:25
Sunday November 22: 10 races, first post 12:30, last 17:25

KRA Levels-Up its English

Visitors to the “Foreigner lounge” on the fourth floor of the Luckyville grandstand at Seoul Race Park are provided with an English language race card. Though very basic in the information it provides, it is invaluable for first-time racegoers or for those who cannot read Korean and therefore find it difficult to navigate the regular racecards.

For many years, on a Saturday, when two or three races are simulcasted from Jeju Island, the cards for these races have been included in the English race card. On a Sunday, however, that has not been the case for the races simulcasted from Busan. This has led to Gyongmaman watching (with some amusement, he is ashamed to admit) scores of first time visitors betting on what they think is the next race at Seoul but is in fact the next race from Busan. All this changed this past weekend though as the entire Busan card was attached to the usual Seoul listings.

We touched a couple of weeks ago on the prospect of an English language betting machine being introduced. Gyongmaman – always a terrible groveller when faced with officialdom, especially if they’re wearing a KRA badge – gave it his blessing and accordingly the English-speaking machine, made its debut on November 7, taking pride of place in the middle of the lounge. It lasted a full four races before malfunctioning and being taken away on a trolley. It hasn’t been seen since.

All mockery aside, the KRA is to be commended on their efforts. The vast majority of regulars in the Foreigner lounge are ethnic Koreans who have passports from other countries and therefore can read Korean. That the KRA provides an English and Japanese service and provides reserved seating for overseas visitors – a demographic that generally bets tiny amounts – all for free, is much to its credit.

Also on English affairs, recently the KRA revamped its website. It is pretty sexy. However, one by-product of this was that it became impossible to access the English language section of the site from the homepage. While this is a sorry state of affairs, Korearacing understands that a brand new English language homepage is in the works and is scheduled to be launched in the New Year. This site will indeed supposedly have what everyone has been waiting for: English langauge racecards and results.

Finally on “Internationalization” matters, Paulick reported that the KRA was in Florida last week – looking at property by all accounts.