Weekend Preview: The Korean Derby – Runners And Riders

Full Field Of Fourteen For Classic / JRA Trophy Heads Supporting Card

It’s the big one! The 15th Korean Derby is at Seoul Race Park this Sunday when Gyeongbudaero will seek to claim the second jewel in the 2012 Triple Crown following his victory in last month’s KRA Cup Mile. It won’t be easy. Good Time, Viva Cat and Cheoneun are among several with solid claims in what looks a competitive race. See below for a full run-down of the field.

Gyeongbudaero, seen here winning the KRA Cup Mile, heads the Korean Derby field (Pic:KRA)

It’s a big weekend of racing. It’s become a tradition that the feature race on the Saturday before the Derby is the JRA Trophy and this year is no exception as US import Grand Niner puts his unbeaten record on the line. Meanwhile at Busan, another unbeaten import Smoking Gun, headlines Sunday’s feature race. Other than that though, on what is set to be a beautiful weekend, it’s all about the Derby.

Here’s what’s happening when and where and then scroll down a little further for the Derby field:

Friday May 18

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

Saturday May 19

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:45 including the JRA Trophy at 16:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:10 including the Jeju Owners’ Association Trophy at 14:45

Sunday May 20

Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 11:00 to 17:45 including The Korean Derby at 16:15
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:15 to 16:45

The Derby brings together nine fillies and five colts. Eight are from Seoul while six have travelled up from Busan. Here is a full list of the runners and riders, with pedigrees and race records:

The Korean Derby (KOR.G1) – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – May 20, 2012 – 16:15

1. Dream Tower (KOR) [Forest Camp-Hurricane Warning (Thunder Gulch (9/4/2/1) – Kim Yong Geun (Busan)
The most expensive horse of his generation at the two-year old sales last year, he was second to Gyeongbudaero in the KRA Cup Mile after leading for most of the way. In with a chance but will need to improve if he is going to reverse that result.

2. Good Time (KOR) [Yehudi-A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] (9/3/3/0) – Chae Gyu Jun (Busan)
Champion Juvenile of 2011, he was favourite going into the Cup Mile but was a disappointing fifth. He should like the step up in distance though having beaten Gyeongbudaero oer 1800M in March. Will hae plenty of supporters.

3. Grand Teukgeup (KOR) [Menifee-Saratoga Campaign (Mt.Livermore)] Filly (8/5/1/0) – Jo Sung Gon (Busan)
The filly skipped the Cup Mile and, while she’ll be more fancied for the Oaks, she could be an outside bet here. The distance will be no problem and she won smartly over a mile last time out. That Jo Sung Gon comes to Seoul to ride her is also strongly in her favour – Jo stays home unless he thinks he’s going to win.

4. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee-Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] (9/5/2/0) – Choi Si Dae (Busan)
After his impressive KRA Cup Mile win he has to be favourite, but he is vulnerable as he disappointed on his only previous outing at 1800M. He’s improved since then though and if he’s on form, he’ll be very difficult to beat.

5. Cheoneun (KOR) [Forest Camp-Naha (Silver Buck)] Filly (10/6/1/0) – Lee Dong Kug (Seoul)
She’s been frustrating this year. Dreadful in the Cup Mile but then very impressive when winning a class 2 race at Seoul at the end of last month. Indeed, KRA Cup Mile apart, she is the only runner to have won at such a level so far. The distance is perfect for her, but which Cheoneun will show up?

6. Powerful Miss G (KOR) [Revere-Miss Geology (Jade Hunter)] Filly (7/1/3/1) – Kim Young Jin
A late entry and little to recommend her. Out of her depth here.

7. Pico Bout It (KOR) [Pico Central-Bee Quick About It (Rizzi)] (7/2/3/1) – Ji Ha Ju (Seoul)
A colt that has slipped in under the radar this year. He was a solid second over 1700 metres last time out although the horse who beat him, Cheonseung, is hardly a world-beater. His time was quick that day but he’ll need to find more to be competitive here.

8. Mega Tsunami (KOR) [Cielo Gold-Asia II (Sky Classic)] (10/1/4/3) – Shin Hyoung Chul (Seoul)
Another outsider, he knows how to be involved in the business-end of races although this is likely to be too tough an ask.

9. Jjak Kkung (KOR) [Forest Camp-Fab Four (Yes It’s True)] Filly (6/3/0/3) – Lee Sang Hyeok (Seoul)
An encouraging third in her first attempt around two-turns last time out but in much weaker company. One for the Oaks.

10. Viva Cat (KOR) [Creek Cat-Babaria (Engagement)] (7/5/0/0) – Cho Kyoung Ho (Seoul)
Fourth in the Cup Mile after two very impressive wins at Seoul. Back on his home track, he should be able to give Gyeongbudaero plenty to think about and under Cho Kyoung Ho, he’s a genuine contender.

11. Jigeum I Sungan (KOR) [Ingrandire-Solmaru (Mujaazif)] (10/3/4/1) – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
A horse who has been getting better with every run, he was fifth in the Cup Mile. Could offer some value and he should go close. Certainly has the best name in the race.

12. Pillip (KOR) [Pico Central-Dancing Dot (Durgam)] (9/3/2/2) – Yukio Abe (Busan)
Surprise second place oer the distance at class 2 last time out saw him get his passage here. Yukio Abe rode him that day and accompanies him to Seoul. An outsider to keep an eye on.

13. Nobel Pokpung (KOR) [Didyme-Shar Baby (Talinum)] (8/3/2/1) – Narazaki Kosuke (Busan)
Second to Geumdda over a mile last time out and has won over this distance. He’ll benefit from having Narazaki Kosuke in the saddle.

14. Dolpung Jilju (KOR) [Didyme-Alder Gulch (Gulch)] Filly (9/3/1/1) – Kim Hae Sun (Seoul)
Won the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup last autumn but hasn’t trained on well this year. Eleventh in the Cup Mile and it would be a surprise if she was to be able to compete here. Jockey Kim Hae Sun will become the first female rider to contest the Korean Derby.

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3 comments

  1. if i dont remember it wrong viva cat ran 4th and the other good named horse ran 5th on the mile race…both had encouraging runs but busan horses always-most of the time- have the wood on seoul horses…….

  2. yeah, Baekho Janggun was third. Not sure why they didn’t bring him as he won easily last week, albeit over seven furlongs. Busan should win, their three-year olds are just tougher than the Seoul ones. That will probably be reflected in the odds so there might be a bit of value to be found in the Seoul entrants.

  3. it might be the case this time……i always found the value on busan horses before when they run with the seoul horses…i think punting public learnt their lesson and busan horses start to be shortened in the market….
    i’m expecting good run from Good Time….good punting to all….

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