Month: September 2011

Aussies Rule Again At Busan

Stanley And Wolsley Double

If they keep this up, I’m going to run out of Australian puns very quickly. At Seoul we have what might be considered an unconventional partnership in Korean racing terms of a female trainer and female jockey – Lee Shin Young and Kim Hae Sun – being the in-form pairing, down at Busan it’s the foreigners. Specifically the Australian combination of trainer Peter Wolsley and jockey Nathan Stanley.

Heading Out For Winners: Nathan Stanley

Having won the Busan Owners’ Cup for Wolsley in his very first ride in Korea, Stanley took his win tally to six today as he combined with Wolsley to land two wins, two second places and a third. On a phenomenal – not to mention lucrative – day for the jockey, he also grabbed another second place.

The wins were not unexpected. The first of them came in race 7 as Ghost Whisper (Gotham City-Emmy’s Lullaby) justified his hot favourite status to cruise home by nine lengths. The grey Ghost Whisper is owned by Jeju Island’s Pegasus Stables which, with its foreign management made for an all foreign success. A race later and the double was complete as three-year old colt Perfect Jilju (Paradise Creek-Field Bouquet) hacked up for his third consecutive victory.

Despite having the favourite in the feature race, the Australian pair couldn’t quite pull off a memorable treble as 5/1 Full Forest (Full Mandate-Gazella Forest) just got the better of Mighty Hero (Buddha-Pretty Pretty) to win by a length. That second place added to an earlier runner-up finish on Tiare (Ft. Stockton-Misty Cee) in race 2 and a third on filly Always Owner (Ft. Stockton-Cozzie Maxine). Stanley also picked up a second place finish in race 9 on Saetbyeol (Yankee Gentleman-Tom’s Kid) for trainer Lim Keum Man.

Six rides, two wins, three seconds and one thirds. Almost Uchida-esque.

Saturday October 1

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:10 to 17:40 including the Singapore Turf Club Trophy at 16:30
Jeju Race Park: 10 races from 12:30 to 17:30

Sunday October 2

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 18:05 incliding the Minister’s Cup at 16:35
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:30 to 17:05

Weekend Preview

It’s Minister’s Cup weekend! The 2010 Korean Triple Crown series comes to an end at Seoul Race Park on Sunday afternoon. However, that is just the main event of a busy weekend of racing on the peninsula which includes a rare Saturday Stakes race at Seoul in the shape of the Singapore Turf Club Cup.

It’s set to be a beautiful autumn weekend. Click here for a full preview of the big race while here is what’s happening when and where:

Friday September 30

Busan Race Park: 10 races from 12:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:30

Saturday October 1

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:10 to 17:40 including the Singapore Turf Club Trophy Cup at 16:30
Jeju Race Park: 10 races from 12:30 to 17:30

Sunday October 2

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 18:05 including the Minister’s Cup at 16:35
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:30 to 17:05

Gwangyajeil Heads Triple Crown Finale Field

All Three Classic Winners Go In The Minister’s Cup

Let’s get the jokes out-of-the-way first. The final leg of the Korean Triple Crown is the Minister’s Cup. And the Minister in question is the Minister of FAFF – that’s Forestry, Agriculture, Fisheries and Farming. But there’s no faffing about in what is set to be a cracking finale to the Classic series.

All three Classic winners so far this season will be there. KRA Cup Mile winner Soseuldaemun will take on Derby winner Gwangyajeil and Oaks winner Useung Touch. However, they are far from the only contenders in a high quality line-up that will race over ten furlongs at Seoul Race Park on Sunday afternoon.

Gwangyajeil (Vicar) lead Useung Touch (Menifee) to the line in the Korean Derby

Here is a full run-down of the runners and riders (Name [Pedigree] (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) – Jockey (Home track):

Minister of FAFF Cup (KOR.GII) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – SUnday October 2, 2011 – 16:35

1. Raon Speed [Creek Cat-Shakee Ground (Kris S.)] (6/4/2/0) – Cho Kyoung Ho (Seoul)
An improver who should relish going up to 2000M. Can be prone to bad behaviour, he threw his jockey and had to be scratched on his last but one start.

2. Amass [Jamine Langfuhr-Jideokjang (Didyme)] Filly (10/3/3/2) – Jo Chang Wook (Busan)
One of two fillies in the field, she was second to the other one, Useung Touch, in the Korean Oaks in August. There’s no good reason why she should be able to reverse that finish here, but she could be involved at the business end. That regular rider Jo Sung Gon is staying in Busan may be a clue though.

3. Dongseo Jeongbeol [Vicar-Rendezvous Bay (Wonderloaf)] (10/6/1/0) – Chae Gyu Jun (Busan)
Getting better as the distances increase, he’s won back to back Class 2 races at 1800 and 1900 metres. He’ll have his supporters.

4. Daejeuimilsa [Sakura Seeking-Light Hearted Lass (Majestic Light)] (11/4/0/1) – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
Another late bloomer he’s won his past two races at 1700 metres. He’s not beaten very much so far but any Moon Se young ridden horse is difficult to rule out.

5. Singgeureounachim [Exploit-Singgeureoun (Mr. Adorable)] (13/3/4/3) – Kim Ok Sung (Seoul)
Since finishing third in the Korean Derby behind Gwangyajeil and Useung Touch, he’s developed a severe case of second-itis of late, finishing as runner-up in his last three starts. A very capable colt but he’ll need to find something to win here.

6. Smart Win [Sakura Seeking-Our Kaapstad (Kaapstad)] (7/4/1/1) – Kim Dong Young (Busan)
Ran second to Dongseo Jeongbeol last time out bringing to an end a series of four straight wins. Although it proved he was capable of going round two turns he’ll have to find plenty to be competitive here.

7. Champion Belt [Exploit-Telegraph Road (Royal Academy)] (10/4/2/3) – Lim Sung Sil (Busan)
He briefly became the most expensive two-year old in Korean history when he went through the sales ring early last year. He’s struggled to live up to that billing but has developed into a solid performer and arrives here on the back of two straight wins at class 2. His best may be yet to come and this could be his time.

8. Soseuldaemun [Meisei Opera-This Ole Way (Vigors)] (12/3/3/2) – Song Keong Yun (Busan)
The surprise winner of the KRA Cup Mile showed up to the Derby in poor shape and was duly well beaten. He’s only run once since, putting in an improved performance in the Gyeongnam Do-Min Ilbo in July. Very talented but a close look at him in the parade ring will be required if he is to be bettable.

9. Useung Touch [Menifee-Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] Filly (9/5/2/1) – Choi Si Dae (Busan)
Second in the Derby and then the easy winner of the Oaks, this filly is all class. If she’s at her best, she has a very very good chance.

10. Geuma Champ [Vicar-Stormcloudrising (Stormy Atlantic)] (12/5/3/2) – Choi Bum Hyun (Seoul)
A late addition to the field after his last gasp win in the Ilgan Sports Cup just two weeks ago. He finished very quickly that day and should benefit from the extra distance. Could prove a handful.

11. Absolute [Commendable-Tai Chi (Quest For Fame)] (10/5/0/2) – Park Byeong Yun (Seoul)
Unpredictible. A good winner last time out over a competitive class 2 field but he’ll be an outsider here.

12. Sun Hero [Menifee-Stategic Reward (Bold Revenue)] (13/5/3/1) – Park Tae Jong (Seoul)
Champion two-year old last year, he’s had a mixed campaign as a three-year old. He is, however, one of very few of this year’s crop to have already qualified for class 1 racing. He had a tough introduction to that level last month but was arguably facing tougher all round competition than he has here. Should be in the hunt at the end.

13. Gwangyajeil [Vicar-Hurricane Havoc (Jade Robbery)] (8/6/0/0) – Shin Hyoung Chul (Seoul)
The Derby winner. And the likely favourite. He’s only run once since that win in May when he battled gamely through a monsoon downpour to win a class 2 race back in early July. But three months on, what kind of shape will he be in. Absolutely fine say the reports but he’s by no means a sure thing.

14. Cheonji Horyeong [Buster’s Daydream-Sorority Jazz (Dixieland Band)] (13/3/3/1) – Akane Yamamoto (Busan)
Brother of 2008 Derby winner Ebony Storm, he’d been something of a disappointment before pulling off a surprise win in the Gold Circle Trophy at Busan four weeks ago to punch his ticket here. Akane Yamamoto rode him that day and the Japanese jockey will be making her Seoul debut here.

The 2011 Korean Triple Crown So Far – In Video

Soseuldaemun, Gwangyajeil and Useung Touch will be among 14 entrants in the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the 2011 Korean Triple Crown. Here’s what’s happened in the series so far:

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

Korean Derby (KOR.G1) – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – May 15, 2011

1. Gwangyajeil (KOR) [Vicar – Hurricane Havoc (Jade Robbery)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 4.4, 1.9
2. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee – Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] – Choi Si Dae – 3.0
3. Singgereounachim (KOR) [Exploit – Singgereoun (Mr. Adorable)] – Jo In Kwen – 2.0

Distances: 2.5 lengths/0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Champion Belt 5. Daeseung Yegam 6. Double Light 7. Soseuldaemun 8. World Winner 9. Yeongung Icheon 10. Prime Galloper 11. Shoot In 12. Choeonji Horyeong 13. Geuma Champ 14. Sun Hero

Korean Oaks (KOR.GII) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – August 21, 2011

1. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee-Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] – Choi Si Dae – 2.2, 1.4
2. Amass (KOR) [Jamine Langfuhr-Jideokjang (Didyme)] – Jo Sung Gon – 2.0
3. Choichoro (KOR) [Concept Win-Eunbiryeong (Mujaazif)] – Kim Dong Chul – 9.7

Distances: 5 lengths/2.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. HAengunui Mannam 5. Seungniuihamseong 6. Mustang Queen 7. Beauty Icheon 8. Sen Girl 9. Nicole Windsor 10. Allegrissimo 11. Cyclone 12. Flower 13. Gyeonghuimanse 14. Areumdaun Party

Will we have a fourth name among the Classic winners this year? We’ll find out very soon.

Not Just a G’Day – It’s a Great Day For Nathan Stanley!

Aussie Doubles At Busan / Sen Girl wins Donga Ilbo at Seoul

Nathan Stanley kept up his remarkable start to his spell at Busan this afternoon by taking another feature race and doubling his win tally. The Australian jockey has now won on four of his sixteen mounts so far at the track including a Stakes race and now, a Class 1.

Double: Nathan Stanley at Busan

The first race was very much an Australian triumph as he partnered with trainer Peter Wolsley, for whom Stanley won the Owners’ Trophy a fortnight ago on Khaosan, to bring home debut-making colt Hanbaek Finale (Giacomo-Power Pack) by four lengths. It got better later. This time, riding for the other foreign trainer, American Joe Murphy, Stanley produced a last-to-first run on 12/1 shot Deep Desire (Jump Start-Bayou Blues) to win the afternoon’s feature race.

Stanley wasn’t done yet. In the finale, he was a close second on Sagyejeol Wangja (Exploit-Thought), to winner B.B. Chant (War Chant-Bravo Bravo). B.B. Chant was ridden by Akane Yamamoto, meaning that both foreign trainers and both foreign jockeys scored winners.

Nathan Stanley has big boots to fill as he replaced Toshio Uchida, a man with almost legendary status among Korean punters. He couldn’t have had a better start though. Two of his winners have come from Peter Wolsley and now one from Joe Murphy. If he keeps this win-rate up, the local trainers won’t be able to ignore him for long. The owners won’t let them.

For Joe Murphy, it was also a milestone win. It was his second feature race win and came on the weekend marking his first anniversary of training in Korea. In that first year, he’s had just seven winners. however, he will look at Wolsley, who also spent his first year with an unenviable string and through hard-work and perseverance has made it to the top. The quality of horses in Murphy’s stable has improved and his second year should be more fruitful than his first.

Up at Seoul, the big race was the Donga Ilbo Cup and it went the way of 10/1 chance Sen Girl (Strodes Creek-Badgering Shari). The three-year old filly made up seven places in the home straight to hit the front just metres from the line and record a half-length victory over long-shot Persona. With another outsider coming third in the shape of Gyemyeongui Bit, it made for a trio payout of 1289/1.

Donga Ilbo Cup Stakes – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – September 25, 2011

1. Sen Girl (KOR) [Strodes Creek-Badgering Shari (Badger Land)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 11.2, 3.0
2. Persona (KOR) [Lethal Instrument-Desso (Jitterbug Chief)] – Kim Gui Bae – 6.3
3. Gyemyeongui Bit (KOR) [Concept Win-Our Northern Belle (Stacked Pack)] – Ham Wan Sik – 5.4

Distances: 0.5 lengths/2 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Seungniuihamseong 5. Choichoro 6. Kanui Byeol 7. Major Girl 8. Anseong Chukje 9. Isanghwa 10. Saeroungangja 11. Chukbogui Tongno 12. Babble Classic 13. Main Flower NR. Wild Cat

Next week it’s the big one. The Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown is at Seoul on Sunday October 2. The KRA Cup Mile winner, the Derby winner and the Oaks winner will all be there.

So will we!

Weekend Preview

It’s set to be a beautiful weekend! Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday September 23

Busan Race Park: 10 races from 12:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:30

Saturday September 24

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

Sunday September 25

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 18:05
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:30 to 17:05

Young Korean Jockeys Head For Overseas Training

Three young Korean jockeys are heading overseas for two months of training. Kim Jeong Jun and Lee Gang Seo left for Australia earlier this month while Jang Chu Yul will go to the United States later this month.

Lee Gang Seo, Kim Jeong Jun and Jang Chu Yeol, with classmate Park Jung Hyun (Picture: KRA)

The three are all graduates of the 2010 class of the KRA’s Jockey Academy and have all had reasonable starts to their career. Jang especially has already become one of track’s most consistent winners. The fourth member of the graduating class, Park Jong Hyun, was sidelined by injury for much of her first year and so will remain in Seoul to continue to get established as a rider.

Here are their career figures so far (Rides/wins/2nd/3rd):

Kim Jeong Jun: 262/6/13/14
Lee Gang Seo: 295/13/20/26
Jang Chu Yul: 333/34/27/28

Sending them overseas is in line with the KRA’s attempts to improve the quality of local jockeys. The academy plays a central role in this but spending time in other, more developed racing environments, is seen as key.

Next on the hit-list are the trainers with KRA actively seeking opportunities for trainers to go overseas to study. Shortly after qualifying, Kim Hyo Seob spent time in the United States and a number of trainers are hoping to go to the UK and Australia within the next year.

Busan Racecourse: Transport & Facilities Update

Gyongmaman roused himself out of the capital to put in a rare in-person appearance at Busan last Friday. Accordingly, the information section of this blog for Busan has been given a much-needed update.

Dynamic Busan

Of particular relevance is the transportation section as, in their infinite wisdom, the track – lovely as it is – could not really have been built in a more inconvenient place to get to in Busan. Regardless, as Korea’s most internationally minded racecourse, it is well worth a visit.

Australia's Nathan Stanley heads out onto the Busan track

Busan Racecourse Information

Geuma Champ Snatches Ilgan Sports By A Nose

Geuma Champ got up at the very last moment to claim victory by the smallest possible margin in the Ilgan Sports Cup at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. Having collared long-time race leader Full Step in the home straight, the two of them dueled in the final furlong before the three-year old Geuma Champ just got ahead at the right time.

Highly rated earlier this season, Geuma Champ (Vicar) was sent off as a 9/1 chance in the Korean Derby in May. He disappointed that day, finishing 13th out of the 14 runners. However, he quickly recovered and has racked up two consecutive wins before today.

Recognising this, punters sent him off as the slight 3/1 favourite in what was a very competitive field. Full Step (Didyme) battled hard having led the field from the starting gate until just metres from the line. Super Rich (Osumi Jet) led the rest of the field home, a full six lengths back in third.

We’re just two weeks away the Minister’s Cup – the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown. Geuma Champ currently isn’t entered to take on Gwangyajeil and Useung Touch once more. If he were and was to carry on today’s form, he’d likely give them a better race this time.

Ilgan Sports Stakes – Seoul Racecourse – 1800M – September 18, 2011

1. Geuma Champ (KOR) [Vicar – Stormcloudrising (Stormy Atlantic)] – Shin Hyoung Chul – 4.1, 1.8
2. Full Step (KOR) [Didyme – Fox Dance (Foxtrail)] – Ham Wan Sik – 4.5
3. Super Rich (KOR) [Osumi Jet – Fast Fare (West By West)] – Moon Jung Kyun – 3.7

Distances: Nose/6 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Jajamega 5. Magnifique 6. Sagunyukjin 7. Gangcheoldoryeong 8. Yeongtap 9. New And Best 10. Seoul Jeongsang 11. Suseong B.F 12. Beongaegangho 13. Yodongjewang 14. Mupaeseungi

Ladies Shine But Moon Takes Glory

Double for Mai and Career Maiden for Lee Ah Na but Moon Se Young and Raon Glory Score in Seoul Feature

As racing returned to Seoul after the Chuseok break, it was a breakthrough day as female jockeys accounted for a quarter of all the winners. However, it was former Champion jockey Moon Se Young who was at his dominant best as he landed a treble including victory on 13/1 Raon Glory in the feature race of the day.

Heading for Glory: Moon Se Young drives Rain Glory to victory

Moon had taken the opener on Senchingu (Ft. Stockton-Cheong Cho Han) and added a second on Gieongnal Geunal (Menifee-Divulge) in race 6 before lining up on Raon Glory for the seven furlong feature. Balhaemyeongjang was sent off favourite but was never a danger as Raon Glory hit the front with two furlongs to go and found a little bt extra in the closing stages to comfortably hold off rank outsider Meotjin Segye for the win. Raon Glory (Tapit-Queen Lulu), a four-year old filly moves on to impressive figures of seven wins from eleven starts.

As for Moon Se Young, he’s closed the gap behind Cho Kyoung ho at the top at the top of the Jockey Title Race. Defending champion Cho scored just the one win today – pumping his fist in Moon’s direction as he got the better of his rival on Private (Menifee-Cursive) in race 4. With very little in it, this is set for an interesting climax over the next three months.

Double: Mai Beppu

Meotjin Segye, the 100/1 runner-up behind Ran Glory, was ridden by Mai Beppu. The Japanese jockey had already scored another 50/1 second place finish but would go on to get an even better double late n the card. First up was victory in race 10 on Mass Media’s Tea (Mass Media-Tea Pot Joy). The US import was once talked of as a future champion but has disappointed this year to the extent that he was sent off at 30/1 today. With Beppu on board, the colt made a mockery of those odds as the pair made all to win by two and a half lengths.

It got better for Beppu in the last as she scored another unexpected win, this time on 19/1 Chuwolchupung (Social Charter-Stone Rose). The visiting jockey is now on six wins in Korea.

Who Do You Think You Are? Former champion Moon Se Young (right) casts his eye other new jockey Lee A Na, who ride her first winner today

Much earlier in the day, a young jockey was celebrating a milestone as Lee Ah Na rode her first ever winner. In what was just the seventh ride of her career, Lee guided 9/1 shot Akeja (Didyme-Morning Java) to victory by just over a length.

She is the second of this year’s new jockeys to break her duck after Seo Seung Woon’s exploits a fortnight a go. As for the Golden Boy himself, he drew a blank today, despite riding a favourite. Early days for everyone.

There was one other performance of note on the track today. Two-year old Smarty Moonhak (Smarty Jones-Maderia M’Dear) is one of only two sons of Smarty Jones in Korea. The other, ES Four, has been mildly successful but Smarty Moonhak looks a very interesting prospect.

He debuted in June, running second to another highly rated import, New Zealand bred Mister Captain (Captain Rio-Siamond Dust). Mister Captain hasn’t run since but Smarty Moonhak had scored two decisive wins coming into today’s race when he became the first of this year’s crop of two-year old imports to tackle two turns.

He took to it rather well. As soon as jockey Shim Seung Tae asked him to quicken as the field entered the straight, there was no contest. The young colt was far too good for his older rivals and was eased down for an eleven length win. It may not have been an especially fast time and there wasn’t much in the way of opposition behind him, but the dismissive manner of victory suggests we have quite a talent on our hands.

Shim Seung Tae grins as he unsaddles Smarty Moonhak. The two year old strolled to his third consecutive victory at Seoul today.

Sunday sees the 29th running of the Ilgan Sports Cup Stakes at Seoul. There are 11 races at Seoul Race Park from 11:10 to 18:05 and 6 at Busan Race Park from 12:30 to 17:05.