This could turn out to be a very Japanese weekend. This afternoon at Busan Race Park, jockey Toshio Uchida was victorious in five of the nine races on the card, including a seven-length triumph in the feature race on Mupae Star.
On Sunday, Uchida will be at Seoul to ride Soseuldaemun in the Korean Derby. Soseuldaemun, by the Japanese sire Meisei Opera, won the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown at Busan last month and, while the Derby will be a very different prospect, few would fancy betting against Uchida to pull it off.
While the Derby is on Sunday, Saturday has its own feature in the form of the twentieth running of the Japan Racing Association (JRA) Trophy at Seoul Race Park.
Open to class 2 foreign-bred horses, the race attracts a mixture of young up and comers as well as those who have never quite made it to the big time. There’s no Japanese bred runners in the race – there’s not that many in Korea in fact – but it is nevertheless an intriguing race.
It’s the younger ones who’ll be fancied. Such is life. Celebrate Tonight has won three of his six starts and should find the six furlongs perfect. Baekhomujeok, Ppoppai, Mass Media’s Tea and Magic Party are also three-year olds with impressive strike rates. Of the older horses, Fortunata may have the best shot. Here is a full list of the runners with pedigree, sex, age, race records and riders:
JRA Trophy – Seoul Race Park – 1200M – May 14, 2011 – 16:30
1. Fortunata (USA) [Eurosilver] F 4 (15/2/1/3) – Cho Kyoung Ho
2. Celebrate Tonight (USA) [Songandaprayer] C 3 (6/3/1/1) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
3. Es Four (USA) [Smarty Jones] C 3 (6/3/0/0) – Jung Ki Yong
4. Baekhomujeok (USA) [Sharp Humor] C 3 (5/3/1/0) – Choi Bum Hyun
5. Bichui Jeonsa (USA) [Thunder Gulch] H 5 (29/1/1/6) – Jun Duck Yong
6. Magic Party (KOR) [Artie Schiller] F 3 (8/5/1/0) – Jang Chu Youl
7. Imperial Girl (USA) [Imperialism] F 3 (10/2/0/3) – Jo In Kwen
8. Dream Heart (USA) [Dream Run] G 5 (35/0/4/7) – Lee Keum Joo
9. Kkochyeol (USA) [Essence Of Dubai] F 3 (8/1/5/0) – Jung Pyeong Soo
10. Mass Media’s Tea (USA) [Mass Media] C 3 (6/3/1/0) – Moon Se Young
11. Ppoppai (USA) [Rockport Harbor] C 3 (7/4/0/1) – Park Tae Jong
We’ll be back tomorrow with a review of the JRA and a final look forward to Sunday’s Korean Derby.
It’s set to be a beautiful weekend in Seoul. Come Racing!
Saturday May 14
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 17: 40 (JRA Trophy at 16:30)
Jeju Race Park: 10 races from 12:30 to 18:00
Sunday May 15
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 18:05 (Korean Derby at 16:35)
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:30 to 17:00