In December last year, Tough Win crossed the finishing line of the Grand Prix Stakes just ahead of the previous year’s winner Mister Park and the two-year old phenom, Smarty Moonhak.
Tough Win – back at Seoul
Racing fans looked forward to a year when “The Troika” would do battle against each other for the biggest prizes the peninsula has to offer.
Fast forward eight months and Tough Win is the only one left. Mister Park lost his life after a race in June and then less tragically last month, Smarty Moonhak was diagnosed with tendinitis following his defeat in the Busan Metropolitan Stakes.
Tough Win has not been without his problems though,. Suffering a bleeding attach in June, he was a long way of his best as he ran fourth in that same Busan Metropolitan but this Sunday, he’s back on home sand in the feature event at Seoul Race Park.
If he’s at anywhere near his best, he will win although the ever dangerous Jumong is likely to give him a good race while it will be very interesting to see what young US import Haedongcheorwang (West Acre), with 6 wins from his 8 starts including 2 at the elite level already, can do with a big weight advantage against a really top class horse. It should be a fascinating race.
Busan has a pair of class 1 feature races on Sunday while all three south-coast based foreign jockeys; Gerrit Schlechter, Narazaki Kosuke and Joe Fujii all have plenty of decent looking rides over the weekend.
Here’s what’s happening when and where on what looks set to be a very wet weekend:
Friday August 31
Busan Race Park: 11 races from 12:00 to 18:00 Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:40 to 17:30
Saturday September 1
Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:20 Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:20
Sunday September 2
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 17:50 Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:15 to 16:35
Rising Glory overcame the stubborn challenge of Cheoneun to win the 2012 Korean Oaks at Busan Race Park this afternoon.
Cheoneun had led right from the start of the fillies’ Classic and, on the rail in the home straight, looked to have enough left in the tank to lead from gate-to-wire.
However, Rising Glory had always been handily placed and, under Jo Sung Gon, once she got her run, she hunted down Cheoneun, hitting the front with fifty metres remaining and stretching away for victory by just under two lengths.
Grand Teukgeup, with South African jockey Gerrit Schlechter on board finished third but there was frustration for Japanese rider Joe Fujii. Riding 4/1 chance Nuriui Bit for Australian trainer Peter Wolsley, he was taken out of the race on the final corner by out of control 90/1 shot Last Love. Dragged right over to the stands rail, by the time Nuriui Bit was going in a straight line again, the race was long gone.
Over Power, who punters sent off as the slight pre-race favourite, finished in fifth place under Narazaki Kosuke.
As for the winner, Rising Glory, sent off fourth in the betting at 6/1, was taking part in her first Classic of the season having been kept away from the KRA Cup Mile and the Derby. In winning today, she was recorded her fourth career victory from nine starts. Her jockey, Jo Sung Gon celebrated in his usual less than understated way as they crossed the line. Jo was recording his seventh Korean Group race win although five of the previous six had come on one horse, Dangdae Bulpae.
Rising Glory is the third Korean Classic winner for her sire Menifee from his two crops that have come of age He sired last year’s Oaks winner Useung Touch, while Gyeongbudaero took the KRA Cup Mile earlier this. So far, neither of those have gone on achieve true greatness with both being hampered by injuries.
Whether Rising Glory comes to Seoul in October for the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown, will be the big question for her connections over the coming weeks. For now though, she is the champion filly of her generation.
Korean Oaks (KOR.GII) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – August 26, 2012
Distances: 1.75 lengths/2 lengths Also Ran: 4. Money Queen 5. Over Power 6. Dolpung Jilju 7. Gumpo Yeowang 8. Naryusya 9. Choego Yeosin 10. Joiner Peace 11. Sing A 12. Last Love 13 Powerful Miss G 14. Nuriui Bit
A full field of 14 will line up for the Korean Oaks at Busan Race Park this coming Sunday. Six fillies have travelled down from Seoul to meet eight of the home track’s best. We’ll have a full preview of the race over the next couple of days but in the meantime, here’s a full list of all the runners and riders with pedigree and race records:
Korean Oaks (KOR.GII) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – Aug 26, 2012 – 15:50
1. Naryusya (KOR) [Menifee – New Tan Saeng (Pre Catalan)] – (6/1/0/1) Kim Hae Sun – (Seoul) 2. Rising Glory (KOR) [Menifee – Straight Cash (Straight Man)] – (8/3/3/1) – Jo Sung Gon (Busan) 3. Dolpung Jilju (KOR) [Didyme – Alder Gulch (Gulch)] – (12/3/3/1) – Ham Wan Sik (Seoul) 4. Cheoneun (KOR) [Forest Camp – Naha (Silver Buck)] – (13/6/1/1) – Oh Kyoung Hoan (Seoul) 5. Choego Yeosin (KOR) [Ingrandire – Western Heroine (Western Borders)] – (6/3/0/0) – Lee Sang Hyeok (Seoul) 6. Powerful Miss G (KOR) [Revere – Miss Geology (Jade Hunter)] – (9/2/3/1) – Shin Hyoung Chul (Seoul) 7. Joiner Peace (KOR) [Menifee – Premiered (Unbridled’s Song)] – (9/3/3/1) – Kim Yong Geun (Busan) 8. Gumpo Yeowang (KOR) [Menifee – Lady Forza (Fuji Kiseki)] – (6/2/1/3) – Chae Gyu Jun (Busan) 9. Grand Teukgeup (KOR) [Menifee – Sarartoga Campaign (Mt. Livermore)] – (10/5/1/0) – Gerrit Schlechter (Busan) 10. Nuriui Bit (KOR) [Menifee – Altria (Maria’s Mon)] – (8/3/2/1) – Joe Fujii (Busan) 11. Over Power (KOR) [Ft. Stockton – Roan All Over (Fight Over)] – (11/4/0/3) – Narazaki Kosuke (Busan) 12. Last Love [Volponi – White Aloa (White Muzzle)] (KOR) – (7/1/3/1) – Choi Won Joon (Seoul) 13. Sing A (KOR) [Fortitude – Seollimwon (Wheaton)] – (13/2/3/2) – Choi Si Dae (Busan) 14. Money Queen (KOR) [Psychobabble – Ta Wee Tee Pee (Cherokee Run)] – (7/3/0/1) – Jo Chan Hoon (Busan)
It’s been a really bad couple of months at the top-level of Korean racing. Back in June, last year’s Horse of the Year, Mister Park, fatally broke down in a race at Busan. On the same day Grand Prix champion Tough Win suffered a bleeding attack and was a shadow of his real self when he raced again a month later.
Then Smarty Moonhak, the phenom believed by many to potentially be the best horse we’ve ever had here, was diagnosed with tendonitis. The latter two events were less tragic but it meant that the “troika” who filled the first three places in the Grand Prix and were expected to battle each other for big prizes in Korean racing’s most exciting year ever, was gone.
We’re looking for a star. Dangdae Bulpae, winner of the Busan Metropolitan ahead of what we now know was an injured Smarty Moonhak clearly is one. Fifth that night was a three-year old American import called Smoking Gun (Hat Trick). Tonight he reappeared and absolutely destroyed a class 1 field over ten furlongs.
Smoking Gun is by the Japanese born sire Hat Trick (Sunday Silence) and out of Announce mare Desdemona’s Dream. He won his first four starts, culminating in the Macau Jockey Club Trophy, before finally being beaten on is first try at class 1. Tonight He was eased to a five length victory over Darani (Saarland) with Nobel Pokpung (Didyme), second in the Korean Derby, a further nine lengths back in third.
There’s a long way to go until the Grand Prix but on today’s performance, Smoking Gun will be there. May he stay sound.
Class 1 – Busan Race Park – 2000M – August 19, 2012
Smarty Moonhak has been diagnosed with tendinitis. Detailed veterinary examinations after the colt was unexpectedly beaten in the Busan Metropolitan City Stakes last month revealed the three-year old to be suffering from the same debilitating injury that earlier this year brought a premature end to the US Triple Crown bid of I’ll Have Another prior to the Belmont Stakes.
Tendonitis: Smarty Moonhak with owner Ha Jun Hwan (Pic: Sports Hankook)
The tendonitis is in Smarty Moonhak’s left-foreleg and he is to undergo stem-cell treatment in order to try to heal the injury.
It’s a procedure that has been used successfully on racehorses in Korea before, most notably on Classic winner Baekgwang, who returned to racing after a lay-off of over a year after receiving the treatment on a slightly different injury. He went on to race for a further two seasons.
The treatment course is likely to take six months and trainer Ko Ok Bong told the media that he hasn’t given up hope that Smarty Moonhak can race again. However, Korea Racing Authority Animal Hospital vets who made the original diagnosis cautioned that even if the treatment is successful, the likely of a reoccurrence is high.
Three-year old Smarty Moonhak [Smarty Jones – Madeira M’Dear (Black Tie Affair)] burst on the scene last year, winning the Turkey Jockey Club Cup by 10 lengths and becoming the first two-year old to ever qualify for the season-ending Grand Prix Stakes. He finished third in the 2300 metre Grand Prix and was unbeaten this year before his surprise defeat at the hands of Dangdae Bulpae in Busan last month.
He has eight wins from eleven starts and career earnings of just over half a million dollars.
The most exciting horse on the Korean peninsula, Smarty Moonhak had also earned an overseas following by virtue of being a son of the wildly popular Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Smarty Jones.
Smarty Moonhak’s career-threatening injury comes as a major blow to Korean racing which earlier this year lost 2011 Horse Of The Year Mister Park (Ecton Park) after he broke down during a race. Smarty Moonhak’s owners have assured concerned racing fans that while no effort will be spared to get their horse to race again, his post-racing future is secure.
Night racing draws to an end this weekend as Seoul, Busan and Jeju all play host to their final twilight cards of the year.
Evening racing at Seoul is for everyone!
There’s no Stakes racing this week but still plenty to keep us occupied. Feature races at both Seoul and Busan are on Sunday. In the capital, Prime Galloper (Strodes Creek) is on a four-race winning streak and will be favourite as he faces nine class 1 rivals, headed by Singgeureounachim (Exploit) over 1900 metres.
Meanwhile at Busan, it’s imported horses who take part in the big race. Smoking Gun (Hat Trick) did well to finish fifth behind Dangdae Bulpae and Smarty Moonhak in the Buan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Stakes last month and has every chance of getting back to winning ways in a competitive race over 2000 metres.
Here’s what’s happening when and where:
Friday August 17
Busan Race Park: 11 races from 15:00 to 21:00 Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 16:40 to 21:00
Saturday August 18
Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 14:20 to 20:50 Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 16:20 to 21:00
Sunday August 19
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 14:20 to 21:10 Busan Race Park: 6 races from 16:25 to 20:45
Running Stag, who ran on three continents during a forty-race career around the turn of the century, has died aged 18. Having reportedly been ill for some time, he passed away on June 3 at Taepyung Farm, South Korea, where he had been standing at Stud since 2009.
Running Stag, 1994-2012 (KRA)
One of the most popular racehorses of his time, Running Stag [Cozzene – Fruhlingstag (Orsini)] competed everywhere from the open heath of Newmarket to the desert of Nad Al-Sheba, the gentility of Saratoga and the hustle and bustle of Sha Tin.
Owned by British businessman Richard Cohen and trained at Epsom by Philip Mitchell, he became renowned for his frequent forays abroad. After debuting as two-year old in France, he raced in the UK, France and Germany in 1997, picking up his maiden win at Lingfield Park.
As a five-year old in 1999, he began his year at the Dubai World Cup for before returning to the US where he secured his first Group victory, the Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont Park. Shuttling back and forth from the UK, he went on to win another Stakes race that summer, the Saratoga Breeders’ Cup Handicap. After a brief stop at his old haunt of the all-weather surface at Lingfield Park he headed for Hong Kong in December where he was narrowly beaten into second place in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup.
Another attempt on the Dubai World Cup followed the next March, before he spent the remainder of his final year as a racehorse back in the US, winning the Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs. His final race was the Arlington Million Stakes in August 2000.
Although never a prolific winner – he won seven of his forty starts – Running Stag earned over $1.6Million in prize money. Retired to Stud, he had middling success, producing six Stakes winners and earnings of approaching $10 Million.
Running Stag first came to the attention of Korean buyers when his filly Pocketful Of Money (out of Miss Deep Pockets by Buckaroo), won the KRA Cup Classic at Seoul Racecourse in 2007. His own tough, grinding style would have been ideal for the sand at Seoul and Busan. He was purchased by C&A for their Taepyung Stud Farm for $350,000 in late 2008 and began Stallion duties in the 2009 breeding season.
By 2011, failing health was limiting the number of mares he could cover, but his first crop of two-year olds went through the sales ring early this year and were enthusiastically received by buyers and his second crop is likely to be sought after too. The two-year olds are set to make their racing debuts soon.
Korea’s Moon Se Young Second and Turkey’s Ozcan Yildirim Third As KB Soo Wins the YTN Cup on Sangnyu
“I love Korea” yelled Soo Khoon Beng as he was led into the winner’s circle after winning the YTN Cup Stakes at a rain-soaked Seoul Race Park this evening. And well the Singaporean might as the win on US bred filly Sangnyu was enough to secure himself an emphatic victory in the 2012 Seoul International Jockey Challenge.
Sangnyu and Soo Khoon Beng in the YTN Cup Winner’s Circle
Soo, who had a brief spell at Busan in 2008, was the joint-overnight leader in the Challenge along with Turkey’s Ozcam Yildirim. However, after a disappointing day yesterday, it was the Korean team who dominated the day’s opening event, Moon Se Young leading home a 1,2,3 for the home team on 13/1 chance Blue Band Zet.
While Korea’s Jo In Kwen was riding the favourite for the finale, the YTN Cup Stakes, Soo was not to be denied and, in atrocious conditions, guided 6/1 shot Sangnyu to a surprisingly dominant seven length victory. South Africa’s Karis Teetan finished second on Golden Socks while Moon secured second place in the challenge by riding Blueband Mama into third.
YTN Cup Stakes (International Jockey Challenge Race 4) – Seoul Race Park – 1900M – August 12, 2012
1. Sangnyu (USA) [Broken Vow-Midtown Miss (Yes It’s True)] – Soo Khoon Beng (Singapore) – 5.6, 2.2 2. Golden Socks (USA) [Dehere-Final Flag (Northern Flagship)] – Karis Teetan (South Africa) – 4.2 3. Blueband Mama (USA) [Purge-Meadowbryte (Meadowlake)] – Moon Se Young (Korea – 2.5
Distances: 6 lengths/7 lengths Also Ran: 4. Raonjena – Kim Hae Sun (Korea) 5. Chowonuibyeol – Ozcan Yildirim (Turkey) 6. Choichoro – Cho Kyoung Ho (Korea) 7. Yongsan Hwangnyong – Hayato Yoshida (Japan) 8. Menifee Magic 9. Dangdae Jeonseung – Jo In Kwen (Korea) 10. Fortunata – Park Tae Jong (Korea) 11. Dashing Platinum 12. A Wanted Affair – Ham Wan Sik (Korea) 13. Haengun Party – Ben Curtis (Ireland) DQ. New Terracan – M. D’Silva (Brazil)
International Jockey Challenge Race 3 – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – August 12, 2012
1. Blueband Zet (KOR) [Didyme] – Moon Se Young (Korea) – 13.9, 2.5 2. Reverse Captain (KOR) [Exploit] – Ham Wan Sik (Korea) – 1.3 3. Time Zone (KOR) [War Zone] – Cho Kyoung Ho (Korea) – 4.1
Distances: 0.5 lengths/2.5 lengths Also Ran: 4. See The Star – Ozcan Yildirim (Turkey) 5. Seohaeachim – Park Tae Jong (Korea) 6. Mallu Homerun – M.D’Silva (Brazil) 7. Paxko – Hayato Yoshida (Japan) 8. Beongaedori – Kim Hae Sun (Korea) 9. Munhaguiyeowang – Jo In Kwen (Korea) 10. Uranus – Soo Khoon Beng (Singapore) 11. Nauichukbok – Karis Teetan (South Africa) 12. Jeongsangnarae – Ben Curtis (Ireland)
1. Soo Khoon Beng (Singapore) – 42 2. Moon Se Young (Korea) – 28 3. Ozcan Yildirim (Turkey) – 28 4. Jo In Kwen (Korea) 22 5. Karis Teetan (South Africa) – 20 6. Ham Wan Sik (Korea) – 13 7. Cho Kyoung Ho (Korea) – 11 8. Ben Curtis (Ireland) – 9 9. Manoel Nunes D’Silva (Brazil) – 9 10. Hayato Yoshida (Japan) – 8 11. Park Tae Jong (Korea) – 8 12. Kim Hae Sun (Korea) – 7
(where points were tied, higher placed finishes and then prize money were used to decide final order)
Final Team Score: Rest Of The World 114 – 89 Korea
YTN Cup winner Sangnyu (Broken Vow) is a three-year old filly and was recording her third career win from ten starts.
Ozcam! Turkey’s Ozcan Yildirim secured third place in the Challenge
It almost always rains on YTN Cup weekend, however, in place of the usual showers, this year we got an absolute deluge. While the rain wasn’t too hard during the penultimate stage of the challenge, by the time the YTN Cup got underway, the rain had been torrential for over an hour.
Fifth place in the YTN Cup on Chowonuibyeol was enough to secure the third-place prize for Turkey’s Ozcan Yildirim, while South Africa’s Karis Teetan’s strong finish ensured that he finished in the top half.
It was a tough day for Irishman Ben Curtis and Japanese Hayato Yoshida, neither of whom could add any bonus points today, while Brazil’s Manoel D’Dilva also had a better day yesterday.
As ever, the event was entertaining and it is always good to see visiting jockeys riding and winning at Seoul. Hopefully all six visitors will go on to have successful seasons and, with 2007 Challenge winner Gerrit Schlechter having spent the past four months riding at Busan, we may even see some of them again.
Ireland’s Ben Curtis
South Africa’s Karis Teetan won’t look at the camera!
The Rest Of The World team hold a big lead over their Korean hosts at the end of the first day of the 2012 Seoul International Jockey Challenge.
Soo Khoon Beng got things rolling for the visitors under the floodlights at Seoul Race Park, coming down the outside on 25/1 outsider Ganghanyeosin to claim a narrow victory over Daejangjeong, ridden by Jo In Kwen, with New Mighty and Ireland’s Ben Curtis a further two lengths back in third.
International Jockey Challenge Race 1 – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – August 11, 2012
1. Ganghanyeosin (KOR) [War Zone] – Soo Khoon Beng (Singapore) – 25.0, 3.4 2. Daejangjeon (KOR) [Menifee] – Jo In Kwen (Korea) – 1.4 3. New Mighty (KOR) [Exploit] – Ben Curtis (Ireland) – 3.9
Distances: 0.5 lengths/2.5 lengths Also Ran: 4. Seungcheon Jisu – M. D’Silva (Brazil) 5. Molly Way – Karis Teetan (South Africa) 6. Winette Dancer – Cho Kyoung Ho (Korea) 7. Golden Impact – Moon Se Young (Korea) 8. Prete Ingran – Hayato Yoshida (Japan) 9. Eunbitjeonsa – Park Tae Jong (Korea) 10. Huimangbuksori – Ozcan Yildirim (Turkey) 11. Perfect Tiger – Kim Hae Sun (Korea)
The second race of the challenge was a tight affair but in the end it was Turkey’s Ozcan Yildirim on 6/1 shot Victory, who stretched away from the pack in the final furlong. Jo was second once again on
Haneoldo while South African Karis Teetan guided Major Girl, the longest shot on the board, to third place.
International Jockey Challenge Race 2 – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – August 11, 2012
1. Victory (KOR) [Osumi Jet] – Ozcan Yildirim (Turkey) – 6.7, 2.1 2. Haneoldo (KOR) [Distilled] – Jo In Kwen (Korea) – 5.2 3. Major Girl (KOR) [Duality] – Karis Teetan (South Africa) – 16.4
Distances: 2 lengths/Neck Also Ran: 4. Bon RIsing – Hayato Yoshida (Japan) 5. Beauty Icheon – Park Tae Jong (Korea) 6. Victory Camp – M. D’Silva (Brazil) 7. High Well – Soo Khoon Beng (Singapore) 8. King Field – Ben Curtis (Ireland) 9. New And Best – Cho Kyoung Ho (Korea) 10. Ft. Green – Moon Se Young (Korea) 11. Nicole Windsor – Ham Wan Sik (Korea) 12. Sharp Concept – Kim Hae Sun (Korea)
That leaves the standings after Day 1 as follows:
1= KB Soo (Singapore) – 21 1= Ozcan Yildirim (Turkey) – 21 3. Jo In Kwen (Korea) – 20 4. Karis Teetan (South Africa) – 9 5. Ben Curtis (Ireland) – 7 6. Manoel Nunes D’Silva (Brazil) – 6 7. Hayato Yoshida (Japan) – 5 8. Park Tae Jong (Korea) – 4 9. Cho Kyoung Ho (Korea – 3 10= Moon Se Young (Korea) – 2 10= Kim Hae Sun (Korea) – 2 10= Ham Wan Sik (Korea) – 2
The overall team scores are:
Korea: 33 Rest Of The World: 69
There will be two more races Sunday to complete the challenge. They are race 6, a 1400 metre handicap at 16:50 and then the finale, the YTN Cup, which is race 9 at 19:35.
Sunday August 12
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 14:20 to 21:15 Busan Race Park: 6 races from 16:35 to 20.50