Day: December 3, 2009

Weekend Preview: Moon Se Young is Back

Herald Business at Seoul / Owner’s Cup at Busan
December is upon us and no doubt the KRA will have its Christmas tree up at the track this weekend. And there’s some cracking racing in prospect at both ends of the country.

At Seoul, the Champion two-year old title is on the line in one of the most hotly anticipated matchups of the year as Northern Ace takes on Seonbongbulpae (see full preview). Down at Busan, it’s Areumdaun Jilju and Yeonseung Daero going for the Owner’s Cup (see full preview).

2008 Champion jockey Moon Se Young makes his return from injury on Saturday. On August 29 he was thrown from two year old filly Raipai as she bolted out of the gate and into the rail leaving Moon with severely damaged knee ligaments. Initially it was thought he would be out until early next year but after successful surgery – and a restorative trip to the Breeders’ Cup in Santa Anita – Moon makes his return on Helmitonia in the first race on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, Symphony Sonata makes his debut at elite level. The E. Dubai colt will head the weights along with Taesan Bukdu and Namchonuijijon in a ten furlong handicap.

Busan Race Park

Friday December 4: 10 races, first post 13:00, last 17:30
Sunday December 6: 6 races, first post 12:30, last 16:15

Seoul Race Park

Saturday December 5: 12 races, first post 11:10, last 17:45
Sunday December 6: 11 races, first post 11:10, last 17:55

Jeju Race Park (Pony racing)

Saturday December 5: 10 races, first post 12:30, last 17:25
Sunday December 6: 10 races, first post 12:30, last 17:25

Among the many predictions that Gyongmaman got wrong last week was the weather, however, this week he can confidently say it is going to be very cold. It may even snow on Saturday. Come Racing! But wrap up very warm!

Northern Ace Vs Seonbongbulpae

Two-Year Olds Get Down To Business
Last week, Night Moves landed the Champion Juvenile title at Busan. This Sunday it’s the turn of Seoul to award its prize as eight two-year olds go to post for the Herald Business Cup.

And it is a race that punters have been looking to since the summer as the two outstanding juveniles Northern Ace and Seonbongbulpae go head-to-head for the first time. So far both have been flat-track bullies, Seonbongbulpae racking up three wins from three and Northern Ace winning both of his starts by ridiculous margins whilst barely breaking into a canter.

However, Northern Ace now holds the five furlong track record, putting away Ace Galloper, who has gone on to record some impressive wins himself, by ten lengths in the process. Seonbongbulpae has been equally visually impressive. Now it’s crunch time.

Northern Ace hasn’t appeared since August. On that day, he was due to be partnered by champion jockey Moon Se Young. Moon, however, suffered a bad injury in an earlier race and Cho Kyoung Ho picked up the mount. Moon will coincidentally return to the track for the first time this weekend, but it is Cho who retains the ride. Seonbongbulpae has run and won an extra race.

Among the others, Full Step looks promising, but was found out a little when facing older horses last time out. Hushtilled, Yodongjewang and Silver Mon have, like all of the runners, won at least once, but none look likely to be able to live with the two favourites.

Nevertheless, the last time we billed a top Korean contest as being a match-race, it was Areumdaun Jilju Vs Gaeseon Janggun in the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup at Busan. Both were left embarrassed by unfancied Yeongung Manse.

Click here for past performance information (in Korean). Here’s the full list of runners and riders (Name/pedigree/sex/records/jockey):

Herald Business Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1200M – Dec 6, 2009, 16:45

1. Slew Bubble [Field Asuka – Simple Charm (Capote)] F (6/1/1/1) – Kim Cheol Ho
2. Muhandeunggeuk [Trick Of Fate – Odelia (Canny Lad)] C (5/1/1/0) – Kim Dong Cheol
3. Full Step [Didyme – Fox Dance (Foxtrail)] C (3/2/1/0) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
4. Yodongjewang [Field Asuka – Mary Wonder (Shahrastani)] C (3/1/1/1) – Choi Beom Hyun
5. Silver Mon [Distilled – Silver Fizz (Cee’s Tizzy)] C (2/1/0/0) – Boo Min Ho
6. Seonbongbulpae [Newsprint – Jeseok (Lost Mountain)] C (3/3/0/0) – Jo In Kwen
7. Northern Ace [Didyme – Telegraph Road (Royal Academy)] C (2/2/0/0) – Cho Kyoung Ho
8. Hushtilled [Distilled – Miss Alwuhush (Alwuhush)] F (6/1/2/1) – Moon Se Young

* The 2008 edition of the race was won by Nice Choice who went on to become Seoul’s top three-year old this year. Narrowly missing out on winning a classic, he landed the prestigious Group 1 President’s Cup last month. Whoever wins this year’s race is likely to come up against him at some stage in 2010.