Month: April 2011

Jumong Reigns Over Bally Brae

Subsidy’s little brother beats his biggest rival / Wolsley Saddles a Treble

He’s named after a King. He takes after his big brother. Jumong played the Subsidy role to perfection to beat Bally Brae in the feature race at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

Motion Blur: Jumong (8) hits the front. Florida Sox (obscured) would lose second place to Bally Brae (behind) in the stewards' room

A month ago, Jumong [Johar – Foreign Aid (Danzig)] was sent off the favourite but returned among the also rans as Bally Brae [Yarrow Brae – Political Bluff (Unaccounted For)] scored a sensational return to the winner’s circle. Today, both were reasonably unfancied but it was they who found themselves chasing down early leader Florida Sox [Woke Up Dreamin – Chordette (Dixieland Band)] as the field entered the home stretch, Bally Brae on the rail and Jumong, with Jo In Kwen on board, on the outside. Oh Kyoung Hoan shifted Bally Brae out to make his run but at that same moment, Florida Sox faltered, obstructing the nine-year old. The race was Jumong’s with Florida Sox crossing the line in second and Bally Brae in third.

Inevitably it went to the stewards and after ten minutes they decided that were it not for the interference, Bally Brae would certainly have finished ahead of Florida Sox and reversed their placings. Had he been able to get into stride, he may have beaten Jumong too. However, the four-year old was blameless and recorded what was only his sixth career victory.

He was smiling before but not after - Moon Se Young picked up a four day ban

Florida Sox, last year’s Segye Ilbo Cup winner was, for the first time, being ridden by Moon Se Young. It was Moon who had ridden Jumong to four of his previous five victories and who rode him last month when losing to Bally Brae. Of course, it is Bally Brae who gave Moon his most celebrated victories and even – if you believe the sub-soap opera storyline – sealed his marriage. How he must feel this evening then as he reflects on a four-day ban for his ride on Florida Sox.

Jumong is the fifth foal out of Foreign Aid to be imported to Korea. Among the others were YTN Cup winner Soseono and of course, the great Subsidy, the last son of Mr. Prospector. Subsidy’s battles with Bally Brae are among Korean racing’s recent highlights. No-one ever thought that Bally Brae would start a rivalry with Subsidy’s little brother too. However, they now have a win each. A decider is necessary.

Ruler Of The Gold (Tribal Rule) was an impressive winner of race 4 today

The capital and the second city played a football match in the K-League in Busan today. It finished 1-1. Last week, Busan horses dominated Seoul on the track in the KRA Cup Mile and next week they’ll likely do they same as they visit the capital in a bid to plunder the Ttukseom Cup. Today, however, it was the Busan track’s foreign connection that was doing the plundering.

Australian trainer Peter Wolsley saddled a treble of winners, taking the first three races on the card. After Heukdancer had taken the first with Kim Nam Sung in the saddle, he combined with Japanese rider Yoshi Aoki for victories with Optimus in race 2 and Jungle Love in race 3. Both horses are owned by the foreign run Pegasus Farm on Jeju Island. They went looking for another in race 4 but were denied by who else? Mr Pink, Toshio Uchida, got the first of a pair of winners on Namdo Teukgeup and he followed it up by taking the feature race on nine-year old stalwart Admiral Reigart (General Royal).

So ends another weekend of sport on the peninsula. Next week it’s one of the highlights of the year in the shape of the Ttukseom Cup at Seoul. For the first time ever, Busan has been invited to crash the party. We’ll begin the build-up tomorrow.

To the rafters: Seoul Racecourse was as packed as ever

Friday Night Soju & Selections

So the wine really didn’t work last week. This week, we’re going for something altogether more Korean. Soseuldaemun put Seoul to the sword last week by claiming the KRA Cup Mile – the first leg of the Korean Triple Crown – for Busan, but there’s a competitive eleven race card in the capital this Saturday.

Radioactive Sandstorms Expected This Weekend is the kind of headline that Gyongmaman has always wanted to be involved in and it looks like it’s going to happen. Here’s what he will be losing what little remains of his money on:

Race 1: Bunsuryeong
Race 2: Golden Ticket
Race 3: SS Icheon
Race 4: Euro Gangse
Race 5: Triple Gamdong
Race 6: Noble Harmony
Race 7: Wingwing
Race 8: Dan Land
Race 9: Ppopai
Race 10: Holy Dreamer
Race 11: Maskan

Gyongmaman doesn’t do favourites. The majority of this lot are not going to win. So he recommends a small amount (maybe 2,000 won) on each to win and a smaller amount (maybe 4,000won) to place. You’ll not get rich but with any luck, you won’t go bankrupt either. Radioactive or not, it’s going to be a little bit sandy but nevertheless, come racing! Here’s what’s happening when and where on Saturday and Sunday:

Saturday April 9

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 17:30
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:30

Sunday April 10

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:30 to 17:00

Weekend Preview: April 8, 9, 10

It’s going to be alternately wet and/or dusty. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday April 8

Busan Race Park: 9 races from 12:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:30

Saturday April 9

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 17:30
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:30

Sunday April 10

Seoul Race Park:
11 races from 11:10 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:30 to 17:00

In The Pink Soseuldaemun Wins Cup Mile

Toshio Uchida rides Meisei Opera colt to First Leg Of Triple Crown

Soseuldaemun was unstoppable as he outclassed his peers to win the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the 2011 Triple Crown, at Busan Race Park this afternoon.

Soseuldaemun and Toshio Uchida win the Cup Mile (Picture: KRA)

Under the Japanese maestro, “Mr Pink” Toshio Uchida, Soseuldaemun was always kept handy and once Uchida shifted him off the rail to find a gap as they rounded the home turn, the pair hit their stride and never looked like being caught.

After the starter kept the field waiting a long time in the gate, it was filly Useung Touch who made the early running. She stayed in front until three furlongs from home when Moon Se Young on pre-race favourite Sun Hero made his move. The Breeders’ Cup winner couldn’t cope with the long, punishing Busan straight, however, and he fell away as Uchida came through on the winner.

Other well-fancied runners, Ophelia and Singgeureounachim never played a significant part in the race, Ophelia running too wide on the final turn to stay in contention. It was left therefore to outsiders Double Light and Mupaeseungni to chase home Soseuldaemun, just a nose separating the Seoul pair in second and third.

Uchida wasn’t the only Japanese connection to the winner. Soseuldaemun is by Japanese-bred sire Meisei Opera (Grand Opera), who was imported to Korea in 2006. Soseuldaemun heads his first crop of sires to reach three years of age. Another sire whose first crop were making their Triple Crown bow was Menifee and despite being represented by five of the fourteen starters today, none could pull off the win. However, Double Light’s second place keeps him on course for a tilt at Champion Sire honours.

Soseuldaemun provides yet another triumph for Busan over Seoul; the Gyeongnam track now leads 11-2 in three-year old Classic encounters. The winner will lead Busan’s contingent to the capital for the Korean Derby next month as the only contender to pull off a clean sweep of the Triple Crown.

Hopefully he’ll be partnered by the remarkable Toshio Uchida. It would be no exaggeration to say that Mr Pink is the most popular Japanese man in Korea (at least among those Koreans who’ve heard of him) and the victory today took him to 99 Korean winners from just over 500 rides. History does war us though that two years ago, Eiki Nishimura rode Sangseung Ilro to KRA Cup Mile glory but was denied the opportunity to partner her in the Derby. Surely the same won’t happen to Uchida.

Today is not for politics though. Today is to celebrate Soseuldaemun who through his performance becomes – at least for the next month – the standard-bearer for his generation.

KRA Cup Mile (KOR G.II) – Busan Race Park – 1600M – Apr 3, 2011

1. Soseuldaemun (KOR) [Meisei Opera – This Ole Way (Vigors)] – Toshio Uchida – 7.2, 2.3
2. Double Light (KOR) [Menifee – Iruda (Glorify)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 4.0
3. Mupaeseungni (KOR) [Ingrandire – Dangdae Eutteum (Pro For Sure)] – Jung Ki Yong – 8.3

Distances: 2 lengths/Nose
Also Ran: 4. Cheonji Horyeong 5. Usueng Touch 6. Haengunui Mannam 7. Singgeureounachim 8. Sun Hero (3.3 Favourite) 9. Ophelia 10. Sun Blaze 11. 12. Daesang Yegam 13. Flower 14. Reigns Cat

Winning Owner: Kim Won Ku
Winning Trainer: Kang Hyoung Gon
Winning Breeder: Kim Chong Sik

From the infield: The real action was elsewhere - Seoul Racecourse April 3, 2011

Sun Hero Heads Open KRA Cup Mile

Any one of fourteen can claim first leg of 2011 Triple Crown Series

It’s here. The first leg of the 2011 Korean Triple Crown Challenge Series is at Busan Race Park this Sunday afternoonas fourteen of the nation’s best three year olds go to post for the Korean 2000 Guineas – the KRA Cup Mile.

And it’s a very open contest. Seoul supplies eight of the entrants including Breeders’ Cup winner and Champion Juvenile of 2010 Sun Hero and the colt is one of five by the sire Menifee among the field. He has a great chance, as does filly Useung Touch, a shock third in the Breeders’ Cup last November but unbeaten since, albeit it at distances less than the mile she’ll have to travel tomorrow.

That distance won’t be a problem for Singgerounachim. A relatively latecomer to the Triple Crown trail, the colt stunned the much-hyped Ophelia in a race at Seoul in late February to put himself right in contention for big honours. Meanwhile the grey Ophelia will be looking to restore his reputation by taking victory in what seems the hardest to call Classic race in Korea for quite some time.

There will be support for the Toshio Uchida ridden Soseuldaemun while Vicar colt Beongaegangho can’t be overlooked. The big race is underway at Busan at 16:15, the highlight of a six race card, and will be beamed back live to Seoul Race Park where there are eleven live races. It’s going to be a beautiful day and whatever happens, drama is assured on one of the biggest days on the Korean racing calendar.

Here’s another look at the full list of runners and riders:

KRA Cup Mile (KOR G.II) – Busan Race Park – 1600M – Apr 3, 2011 – 16:15

1. Soseuldaemun (KOR) [Meisei Opera – This Ole Way (Vigors)] (9/2/3/1) – Busan – Toshio Uchida
2. Mupaeseungni (KOR) [Ingrandire – Dangdae Eutteum (Pro For Sure)] (4/3/0/0) – Seoul – Jung Ki Yong
3. 9. Double Light (KOR) [Menifee – Iruda (Glorify)] (7/3/2/1) – Seoul – Cho Kyoung Ho
4. Haengunui Mannam (KOR) [Creek Cat – Clever Lil (Lil’s Lad)] (Filly) (5/2/3/0) – Busan – Hitomi Miyashita
5.Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee – Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] (Filly) (5/3/1/1) – Busan – Choi Si Dae
6. Daeseung Yegam (KOR) [Silent Warrior – Tolp’ung-Yegam (Land Rush)] (9/3/1/1) – Busan – Jo Chang Wook
7. Beongaegangho (KOR) [Vicar – Carson City Dancer (Carson City)] (7/2/2/1) – Seoul – Choi Bum Hyun
8. Reigns Cat (KOR) [Creek Cat – Eternal Reigns (Eternal Orange)] (7/2/2/0) – Seoul – Park Eul Woon
9. Cheonji Horyeong (KOR) [Buster’s Daydream – Sorority Jazz (Dixieland Band)] (7/2/2/1) – Busan – Chae Gyu Jun
10. Ophelia (KOR) [Commendable – Miss Personality (El Prado)] (5/2/3/0) – Seoul – Moon Jung Kyun
11. Sun Hero (KOR) [Menifee – Strategic Reward (Bold Revenue)] (8/4/2/1) – Seoul – Moon Se Young
12. Sun Blaze (KOR) [Menifee – Claudia’s Secret (Crafty Prospector)] (6/2/3/0) – Seoul – Park Tae Jong
13. Flower (KOR) [Menifee – Fancy Cheeks (Jade Robbery)] (Filly) (6/2/2/1) – Busan – Kim Myoung Sin
14. Singgeureounachim (KOR) [Exploit – Singgeureoun (Mr. Adorable)] (7/2/1/2) – Seoul – Jo In Kwen

Friday Night Wine & Wagering

Busan Friday Round-Up / Saturday’s Punts

Well before we get stuck into that, it’s worth catching up a little with some action from the first day of the KRA Cup Mile meeting at Busan this afternoon. Three weeks ago, American trainer Joe Murphy scored his first ever Korean winner after several months of trying. Today he got his second. And it was a big one as 17/1 shot Udeumji took out the afternoon’s feature race by a length and a half from odds-on favourite Winning Perfect.

Murphy has thirteen horses in his barn at the moment. Udeumji is one of two who compete at class 1 level – the other being Isidore Farm’s Ganghan Yeoja, formerly trained by fellow foreigner Peter Wolsley. Speaking of foreigners, Japanese pair Toshio Uchida and Yoshi Aoki both scored victories in the saddle today. Aoki won race 8 on Isidae Yeongung while Uchida took race 7 on US gelding Viva Ace (Macho Uno); the three-year old now has four wins from his seven starts, finishing second on the other three occasions.

Back to the matter in hand. Gyongmaman’s picks actually made a little profit last week – and to clarify, it was the picks that made the profit, not Gyongmaman as he had long since left the track by the time Victory Camp scored an unlikely third place at long odds in race 13 to push us well into positive territory.

This Saturday sees just eleven races at Seoul – there are three pony races simulcasted from Jeju compared to the usual two. Again we’ll mostly look for value and recommend a small win bet (2000 won) and a larger place bet (4000 won). However, look at the tote board as the place may be a bit of a waste of time on some of them:

Race 1: Haengbok Party (8)
Race 2: Value Pride (3)
Race 3: Daeseongcheonha (8)
Race 4: Kkumuichukje (7)
Race 5: Pyeongchangolympic (9)
Race 6: Prete Ingran (6)
Race 7: Songdoteukgeup (12)
Race 8: I ppeun Jit (10)
Race 9: Taewangseong (2)
Race 10: Baekjeonmupae (3)
Race 11: Baekbongnyeong (6)

Value Pride and Baekjeonmupae will most likely be odds-on while Gyongmaman always bets on Pyeongchangolympic in support of Pyeongchang City’s rather touching continual bids to host the Winter Olympic Games (and, Yu Na notwithstanding, the next disappointment is due in less than 100 days). Likewise he finds himself betting on Songdoteukgeup as he has become intimately acquainted with Songdo – “The Dubai of Korea” (without the racing) – recently. Scientific handicapping this isn’t.

Remember it’s the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the 2011 Korean Triple Crown Challenge Series this Sunday at Busan. Here’s what’s happening when and where for the rest of the weekend:

Saturday April 2

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 17:30
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:20

Sunday April 3

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 18:10
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:30 to 17:10