Day: February 21, 2013

Weekend Preview: The Big Boys (& Girls) Are Back

Dangdae Bulpae, Gyeongbudaero, Jigeum I Sungan, Feel So Good, Gamdonguibada, Lion Santa, My Key All in action!

A spectacular weekend of racing by Korean standards is in store this weekend as a whole host of the nation’s top horses will be on show at Seoul and Busan.

Will Yoo Byung Bok be greeting Dangdae Bulpae like this again on Sunday?

Will Yoo Byung Bok be greeting Dangdae Bulpae like this ahgain on Sunday?

The feature race of the weekend is the Busan Ilbo Cup, the first Stakes race of 2013 to be run at Busan. Defending champion Yeonseung Daero (Creek Cat) will be there but it will be a tough ask for him to retain his title with competition in the shape of three-time President’s Cup winner Dangdae Bulpae (Biwa Shinseiki) and KRA Cup Mile winner Gyeongbudaero (Menifee). We’ll have a full preview of the race, including a run-down of each entrant’s chances, up on the blog on Friday.

Friday is when things start off at Busan and there will be a couple of horses worth keeping an eye on. Being the half-brother of US champion Game On Dude, My Key (Macho Uno) has had plenty of expectations placed on him. He’s just started living up to them with two consecutive wins. He goes looking for his 3rd in race 8.

Also on Friday, US import Yonggwanguijehyun (Rockport Harbor) will look for his 6th straight victory when he goes in the finale over 1600M.

Grand Prix Stakes winner Gamdonguibada and Joe Fujii will be reunited on Sunday

Grand Prix Stakes winner Gamdonguibada and Joe Fujii will be reunited on Sunday

In addition to the Busan Ilbo Cup, Sunday at Busan sees a big class 1 handicap and it is in that race where current Grand Prix Stakes winner Gamdonguibada (Werblin) will make her 2013 debut. The 4-year-old filly won’t have things easy though as she’ll take on Lion Santa (Lion Heart) who returned to the track in style after a long lay-off last month.

He has a record of 11 wins from 15 starts and if he’s in the kind of form he’s capable of, he’ll be tough to beat. Throw the ever dependable Viva Ace (Macho Uno) into the mix as well and ou Grand Prix Champion faces a challenging start to her campaign.

His moment again...Jigeum I Sungan

His moment again…Jigeum I Sungan

Up at Seoul there is plenty to keep us occupied too. On Saturday, 2012 Korean Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire) heads the feature race. He won his season debut last month and while he faces New Year Stakes victor Global Fusion (Menifee), as well as tough campaigners Singgereounachim (Exploit) and Geuma Champ (Vicar), he should be favourite.

On Sunday at Seoul, possibly the hottest property in Korean racing right now makes his second appearance. Feel So Good (Ft.Stockton) spent nearly 2 years in the US and was a winner at Calder in Florida last autumn before being brought back home. He won his Korean debut by 10 lengths and steps up in class and distance in race 7. He should romp it.

Check back tomorrow for the full handicap of Sunday’s Busan Ilbo Cup but in the meantime, here’s what’s happening when and where this weekend:

Friday February 22

Busan Race Park: 11 races from 12:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:30

Saturday February 23

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:20

Sunday February 24

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:05 including the Busan Ilbo Cup at 16:15