Day: November 11, 2010

Han Sang Kyu, Classic Winning Jockey, 1978-2010

There was sad news from Busan this week as jockey Han Sang Kyu passed away on Monday. The thirty-two year old never regained consciousness after being involved in a car accident in the city last Thursday.

Han Sang Kyu and Pangpang win the 2009 Korean Oaks (KRA)

Han Sang Kyu turned professional in September 2002, in the same graduating class as, among others, You Hyun Myung, Gu Min Sung and Lee Ae Li. Initially riding at Seoul Race Park, he joined the group of riders relocating to the new track at Busan upon its opening in 2005.

During his career, Han rode 129 winners from 1515 rides. He achieved his first major race win in 2008, when he partnered outsider Wonder Love to victory in that year’s Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup. The following year would see his biggest triumph as on Pangpang, he reeled in and overhauled the odds-on favourite Sangseung Ilro in the final furlong to win the Korean Oaks

Han Sang Kyu: 1978-2010

Han Sang Kyu had recently been appointed retained jockey to trainer Joe Murphy. His first rides for his new employer were set for the day after his accident. As it was, his last day of racing was October 31.

A funeral service was held for Han at the KRA’s Busan auditorium on Wednesday. In attendance were his family including his wife, sister and parents. Well liked in the Korean racing community, many jockeys, trainers and officials from both Busan and Seoul were also there.

Han Sang Kyu was married this spring and is survived by his wife, who is expecting their first child.

Here is his 2009 Oaks win on Pangpang:

Pictures from KRA via Chulgigi

It’s Seoul vs Busan In President’s Cup

Weekend Preview: Dangdae Bulpae / Cheonnyeon Daero / Triple Seven

Seoul is locked down for the G20 summit, but it’s G1 that we’re interested in here and the G1 President’s Cup, the biggest race on the calendar restricted to Korean-bred horses which will be run at Seoul Race Park on Sunday.

Favourite: Dangdae Bulpae

It brings together not only the year’s top three-year olds to face their seniors but also pits Seoul horses against their counterparts from Busan for the sixth time this year. Seoul leads three to two but it is Busan who will be favoured to come away on top on Sunday.

Dangdae Bulpae heads the field. Third in the Derby but a runaway winner of the Minister’s Cup, he’s already beaten older horses in the Gyeongnam Governer’s Cup. Cheonnyeon Daero won the Derby, but was a distant second in the Minister’s Cup and will have to find plenty more to win here. Third in the Minister’s Cup was Glory Yeonggwang, the surprise winner of the Gold Circle Trophy and improving with every race – he’ll have “Mr Pink” Toshio Uchida riding him on Sunday.

All to do: Cheonnyeon Daero

Three older horses also come up from Busan. Yeonseung Daero has been a frustrating talent over the past two years, but he ran Tough Win a very close second in the Busan Metropolitan and on his day, can beat anyway. Golden Appeal has only lost to Dangdae Bulpae in his last four outings while Lucky Dancer is likewise in good form.

For the home team, Ttukseom Cup winner Triple Seven is the biggest name, however, the five year old has been in indifferent form recently and was beaten last month by another runner, Natural Guy, who himself will need to improve a lot to have a chance to win this. Geumgani is improving, with three wins out of his last four, including the Munhwa Ilbo Cup, while Suseong TX was an impressive winner of a class 1 handicap last month. Holy Dreamer, Money Teukgeup, Baengnyeonbong and Hongji complete a field where none can be ruled out entirely.

Home Team Hope: Triple Seven

It’s set to be a great race and will be the culmination of a weekend of racing on the peninsula which begins at Busan and Jeju on Friday and moves to the capital on Saturday before both Seoul and Busan stage meetings on Sunday.

Six jockeys from Busan will be in the capital to ride in the President’s Cup. Jo Sung Gon will be joined by Lim Sung Sil, Park Geum Man, Chae Gyu Jun, Choi Si Dae and Toshio Uchida. Busan is currently mourning the death of jockey Han Sang Kyu in a car accident earlier this week.

Here’s a full list of runners and riders in the President’s Cup:

President’s Cup (KOR.GI) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – November 14, 2010, 17:00

1. Geumgangi (SEOUL) C (16/5/4/1) – Cho Kyoung Ho
2. Lucky Dancer (BUSAN) H (23/10/3/2) – Chae Gyu Jun
3. Golden Appeal (BUSAN) C (14/9/3/1) – Lim Sung Sil
4. Glory Yeonggwang (BUSAN) C (15/4/2/4) – Toshio Uchida
5. Baengnyeonbong (SEOUL) C (21/7/2/7) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
6. Dangdae Bulpae (BUSAN) C (11/8/0/1) – Jo Sung Gon
7. Cheonnyeon Daero (BUSAN) C (14/4/6/2) – Park Geum Man
8. Triple Seven (SEOUL) H (30/10/4/6) – Choi Bum Hyun
9. Natural Guy (SEOUL) G (27/5/6/2) – Yoon Tae Hyoug
10. Holy Dreamer (SEOUL) G (15/8/0/1) – Jo In Kwen
11. Yeonseung Daero (BUSAN) C (25/11/4/3) – Choi Si Dae
12. Money Teukgeup (SEOUL) C (21/6/4/4) – Park Tae Jong
13. Hongji (SEOUL) H (35/9/11/4) – Lee Sang Hyeok
14. Suseong TX (SEOUL) H (17/6/3/3) – Moon Se Young

And here’s what’s happening where and when this weekend:

Friday November 12

Busan Race Park: 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 10 races from 13:00 to 17:30

Saturday November 13

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:20 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 10 races from 12:10 to 17:30

Sunday November 14

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:20 to 18:10
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:40 to 16:30