Month: May 2013

Road To Prince Drives On At Busan

The final weekend of racing before the Korean Derby saw low-key cards at both Seoul and Busan although there were one or two notable performances.

Even as Best Captain made it 3 from 3, lots of minds were on next week at Seoul today

Lots of minds were on next week at Seoul today

Win of the day went to Road To Prince (Pico Central) in the feature race at Busan. The 4-year old colt recorded his 8th victory in 12 starts with a crushing 9-length win over Tamna Ace (Thunder Gulch) under Joe Fujii. A late-starter, Road To Prince didn’t run as 2-year old but is turning into a very fine racehorse.

Seoul’s feature race was a less than exciting affair but saw a first class 1 win for filly Chowon Yeoje (Forest Camp). She led home Super Rich (Osumi Jet) and favourite Special Win (Tahamkke) by just over a length at the end of the 10 furlong handicap.

Earlier in the day, there was a maiden win for 3-year old US import Jijonui Sinsegi (Leroidesanimaux). The colt made his only previous start last year before getting injured but was on good form today taking the 6-furlong race 5 by a considerable margin.

Also impressive was locally bred colt Best Captain (Revere-Onethindime) who remains unbeaten after landing his 3rd victory in race 8. It’s too late for the Derby but, if he continues to show this kind of development, he may well be a contender come the final leg of the Triple Crown in October.

Now, however, attention focuses on next week’s Korean Derby.
KRA Cup Mile winner Sting Ray (Forest Camp) will be travelling up from Busan and will be the likely favourite to take his second Classic of the year. We start the build-up very soon.

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K Pop Becomes 1st Korean Export Winner in Malaysia

K Pop (Vicar) came home on top in race 5 at the Penang Turf Club in Malaysia last Saturday to become the first Korean bred horse to win a race in that country and in the process record an important milestone for the Korean breeding industry.

Journey Ends in Winner's Circle - K Pop on his way to export in 2011 (KRA)

Journey Ends in Winner’s Circle – K Pop on his way to export in 2011 (KRA)

A 4-year old gelding, K Pop was one of three horses exported from Korea to Malaysia in 2011. They were followed by six more in 2012. K Pop was making his 5th start and had one previous 2nd place finish to his name before last Saturday’s win. His time was 4 seconds quicker than the Seoul Racecourse record for the same distance of 1700 metres although it was on turf.

The KRA began its breeding program in the early 1990’s, however, the three sent to Malaysia in 2011 were the first to be commercially exported. The KRA has set a target of 50 horses per year to be exported by 2020, primarily to Macau and Malaysia, however the long-term goal is to break into the potentially huge market of the gargantuan neighbour to the West of the Korean peninsula.

Last year, Feel So Good (Ft.Stockton) became the first Korean bred horse to win a race in the United States. However, like a number of Korean horses each year, he had been sent there for training purposes and was brought home shortly afterwards.

K Pop is different and many involved in the breeding industry here will have been celebrating his win. As for K Pop himself, he celebrated breaking his maiden by promptly dumping his apprentice jockey onto the track as soon as they crossed the line.

Weekend Preview

We’re just a week away from the Korean Derby so it’s a pretty quiet weekend of racing in store for us across the peninsula.

Springtime in Seoul

Springtime in Seoul

As has been the case for the past couple of weeks, Busan sees perhaps the best of the action. Tamna Ace (Thunder Gulch), with 10 wins from his 15 career starts, headlines Sunday’s feature race. He’ll be up against Road To Prince (Pico Central) who has 7 from 11, in the 1600 metre handicap.

At Seoul, the weekend’s feature race is the very last on Sunday although while an interesting betting test, it’s not likely to set any pulses racing from a sporting point of view.

Overseas jockeys Darryll Holland, Joe Fujii and Ureshi Katsunori have plenty of rides and chances across the weekend at Busan while Ikuyasu Kurakane also has opportunities to get among the winners at Seoul.

One jockey who won’t be in contention, however, is Park Geum Man. The 2010 Derby winning rider has picked up a 3-month ban for a ride last Friday.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday May 10

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

Saturday May 11

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

Sunday May 12

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:00

Summer K-Pop Performances Announced – Sistar at Seoul Racecourse on Derby Day

The KRA is sticking with Girl Groups for its K-Pop fix this year – they know their market well. Sistar are the biggest name and will be performing a “mini-concert” (i.e. 3 songs) at Seoul Racecourse on Korean Derby Day on May 19.

A K-Pop girl group will be at Seoul Racecourse every Sunday until November

A K-Pop girl group will be at Seoul Racecourse every Sunday until November

Here is a full list of who is appearing when. Some are well-known, others…less so (final schedule may change and will be confirmed at the beginning of each month:

May 12: Goddess
May 19: Sistar
May 26: Tiny G
June 2: Heart Rabbit Girls
June 9: Aurora
June 16: Purplay
June 23: Kim So Jung
June 30: SPICA
July 7: Peernine
July 14: Sunny Days
July 21: Fresh
July 28: T Angel
August 4: Fiesta
August 11: Brave Girls
August 18: TBC
August 25: AB
September 1: TBC
September 8: Wind Hold Venus
September 15: Gangkiz
September 29: Swincle
October 6: Stellar
October 13: Two X
October 20: Tahiti
October 27: Jewelry
November 3: T Angel
November 10: Ladies’ Code

Beolmaui Kkum Beats Gamdonguibada in Gukje Sinmun Stakes

There was a surprise of sorts at Busan Race Park this afternoon as Beolmaui Kkum handed a comprehensive defeat to Gamdonguibada to win the Gujke Sinmun Stakes.

With three-time President’s Cup winner Dangdae Bulpae (Biwa Shinseiki) a late scratching after being found lame this morning, Grand Prix Stakes winning filly Gamdonguibada (Werblin) was left as the overwhelming favourite in what was now just a seven-horse race.

However, it was 3-year old US import Beolmaui Kkum (Put It Back) who despite veering wide coming out of the stalls, took the honors in emphatic style, leading from gate to wire and crossing the line a full 5 lengths clear of the field.

Gamdounguibada couldn’t even manage second as the always game Viva Ace (Macho Uno) put in another strong performance.

Beolmaui Kkum is a full-brother of multiple Korean Stakes winner Kkakjaengi. He was bought for just $20,000 at the 2011 Fasig Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearlings sale.

In his 8 runs to date, he has won 6 of them and finished 2nd in the other 2, banking over 300 Million won in the process. He was expected to be challenging for top honours at some point this year but not this early.

Gukje Sinmun Stakes – Busan Race Park – 1800M – May 5, 2013

1. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] – Choi Si Dae – 6.3, 1.5
2. Viva Ace (USA) [Macho Uno – Dancing Lake (Meadowlake) – Seong Keong Yun – 1.6
3. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] – Kanichiro Fujii

Distances: 5 lengths/0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Prince Kingdom (USA) 5. Dehere Queen (USA) 6. New Record (NZ) 7. Isidae Gangja (KOR). NR: Dangdae Bulpae (KOR)