Month: June 2013

Jo Chan Hoon Represents Korea In Malaysia

Busan based jockey Jo Chan Hoon is in Kuala Lumpur to represent Korea in this weekend’s Selangor Turf Club Australasian Racing Bloodstock International Jockeys Championship.

Jo Chan Hoon, who rides at the Selangor Turf Club this weekend, winning the 2008 Korean Oaks on Jeolho Chance

Jo Chan Hoon, who rides at the Selangor Turf Club this weekend, winning the 2008 Korean Oaks on Jeolho Chance

The contest, which coincides with the Selangor club hosting an International Racing Carnival, features 13 jockeys competing over 6 races.

Joao Moreira, currently far and away the top jockey in Singapore, heads the line-up of international invites while well-known Australian jockeys Stephan Baster and Noel Callow are also taking part. Greg Cheyne, who raced in the Seoul International Jockey Challenge a few years ago, will represent South Africa.

35-year old Jo qualified as a jockey in 2003 at Seoul Race Park and moved to Busan upon its opening. He has 276 career wins, the highlight of which was the 2008 Korean Oaks on Jeolho Chance, as he gamely tells Selangor Turf Club TV in English here:

More information, including racecards, at the Selangor Turf Club website.

Last Gasp Yongduseong Snatches KNN Cup

Yongduseong hit the front in the very last stride to grab victory in the KNN Cup by the smallest of margins at Busan Race Park this afternoon.

Ttukseom Cup winner Useung Touch (Menifee) was the heavily backed pre-race favourite and, after early pace-setter Chowonuibyeol dropped out of contention entering the home straight, she seemed poised to add the second leg of the Queens Tour to her collection.

However, upon hitting the front she stalled allowing Joe Fujii to come roaring through on her inside on Pokpung Hero (Henny Hughes). Deep into the final furlong they seemed to have it won until seemingly out of nowhere on the stands side, Yongduseong (Concept Win) and Secret Whisper (Sea Of Secrets) began closing rapidly.

They swept past Pokpung Hero metres from the line, crossing it together, the photograph revealing Yongduseong to be the victor by a nose.

A late developer, Yongduseong only debuted mid-way through her 3-year-old season and then only made 4 appearances as a 4-year old. Fragile but very talented, today’s win was her 9th from 14 starts. For trainer Kim Young Kwan, it was yet another Stakes winner with a filly.

He trained Busan greats Luna and Sangseung Ilro and still takes care of current Grand Prix champion Gamdonguibada and Derby winner Speedy First. For 32-year old jockey Lim Sung Sil, it was his 3rd Stakes win

In second, the Pegasus Stables owned and bred Secret Whisper marked a decent Stakes race result for Australian trainer Peter Wolsley as he came so close to getting his second really big race win.

As for Useung Touch, she faded to 5th after a very slow final furlong. She did, however, beat every horse from Seoul. Indian Blue (Henny Hughes) in 6th was the best placed finisher in yet another dismal showing by the capital track’s representatives.

KNN Cup – Busan Race Park – 1600M – June 9, 2013

1. Yongduseong (KOR) [Concept Win – C’Est Avie (Lord Avie)] – Lim Sung Sil – 14.9, 3.1
2. Secret Whisper (KOR) [Sea Of Secrets – Generals Passion (General Meeting)] – Jo Sung Gon – 5.9
3. Pokpung Hero (USA) [Henny Hughes – Chitka (Jade Hunter)] – Kanichiro Fujii – 3.0

Distances: Nose/0.5 lengths
Also ran: 4. Silver Classic (USA) 5. Useung Touch (KOR) 6. Indian Blue (USA) 7. Grand Teukgeup (KOR) 8. Empire World (USA) 9. Gumpo Yeowang (KOR) 10. Sangyu (USA) 11. Blueband Mama (USA) 12. Dangdae Jeonseung (CAN) 13. Imperial Girl (USA) 14. Dongteuja (KOR) 15. Chowonuibyeol (USA) NR: Kkakjaengi (USA)

* Up in the capital, the Sports Hankuk Trophy – a non-stakes trophy race – was the feature event. It ended in a comfortable win for 6/1 chance Real Victor (Biwa Shinseiki) who landed his 9th victory from 39 starts.

Real Victor and Ham Wan Sik win the Sports Hankuk Trophy at Seoul

Real Victor and Ham Wan Sik win the Sports Hankuk Trophy at Seoul

Meanwhile, Japanese jockey Ikuyasu Kurakane followed up his double yesterday with another today, taking race 1 on Jilpung Haengjin (Ecton Park) and race 7 on Jeongsang Party (Exclusive Quality).

There’s no Stakes action next week although the aforementioned Gamdonguibada is slated to be in action at Busan on Sunday. She suffered a surprising defeat last time out and will be looking to get back in form in Busan’s feature race.

KNN Cup – The Runners & Riders

Ttukseom Cup Winner Useung Touch Heads Line-Up For Queens’ Tour 2nd Leg

A couple of years ago, the Korea Racing Authority designated a “Year of the Filly”. They raised the upper limit that could be spent on imported fillies and ensured that most racedays would have at least one race with decent prize money that was restricted to fillies and mares. Last year saw the first staging of the “Queens’ Tour”, a series of big-money Stakes races designed to find the nation’s top female horse, be it domestically bred or imported.

Useung Touch being recalcitrant in the Ttukseom Cup winner's circle in April. She is favourite for the KNN Cup

Useung Touch being recalcitrant in the Ttukseom Cup winner’s circle in April. She is favourite for the KNN Cup

The scheme, which is designed ultimately to improve the local breeding stock, seems to be having some success. Last year’s Queens’ Tour winner Gamdonguibada went on to win the season-ending Grand Prix Stakes while coincidentally another filly, Speedy First, won the Korean Derby at Seoul Race Park last month.

Sunday’s KNN Cup at Busan is the second leg of the 2013 Queens’ Tour following April’s Ttukseom Cup at Seoul. The winner of that race Useung Touch (Menifee) heads the field for the mile-long race. Seven have travelled down from Seoul to face nine from Busan. Here is a full run down of the field with pedigree, race records (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) and rider:

KNN Cup – Busan Race Park – 1600M – June 9, 2013 – 16:15

1. Gumpo Yeowang (KOR) [Menifee – Lady Forza (Fuji Kiseki)] (14/3/4/5/) – You Hyun Myung
Has shown good form recently and was 2nd in a fast time over the distance last start but is yet to be tested in this kind of company.

2. Indian Blue (USA) [Henny Hughes – Gamblers Passion (Prospectors Gamble)] (8/3/2/3) – Yoo Seung Wan
The Segye Ilbo Cup winner was 3rd in the Ttukseom Cup and must be given respect here, especially after finishing 3rd in a class 1 outing last month. A chance.

3. Imperial Girl (USA) [Imperialism – Wallena (Wallenda)] (28/3/2/3) – Lee Ah Na
Showed early promise as a 3yo but on reaching class 1 has found things difficult. She will be an outsider.

4. Dongteuja (KOR) [Montbrook – Maremaid (Storm Bird)] (16/7/1/3) – Song Keong Yun
The half-sister of double-Grand Prix winner Dongbanui Gangja was a disappointment in the Ttukseom Cup and was dreadful last start. On her day though, she can beat anyone.

5. Chowonuibyeol (USA) [Rockport Harbor – Arctic’s Angel (Artax)] (15/3/3/2) – Choi Bum Hyun
Has been in poor form this year and is difficult to recommend here. However, Choi Bum Hyun giving up a weekend riding in Seoul to partner her does raise eyebrows slightly.

6. Grand Teukgeup (KOR) [Menifee – Saratoga Campaign (Mt.Livermore)] (17/7/3/1) – Chae Gyu Jun
Second in the Ttukseom Cup and hasn’t run since (although she did win a trail by 26 lengths last month). Should like the distance and is likely to be 2nd favourite behind Useung Touch. Could go one better this time.

7. Blueband Mama (USA) [Purge – Meadow Bryte (Meadowlake)] (26/3/4/2) – Kim Ok Sung
Another who has found things really difficult since graduating to class 1. Little in her favour here.

8. Pokpung Hero (USA) [Henny Hughes – Chitka (Jade Hunter)] (9/3/1/2) – Kanichiro Fujii
Jockey Joe Fujii has a way with the ladies, winning the Grand Prix on Gamdonguibada and the Derby on Speedy First. He has a very promising mount here too who won over the distance last time and looks to be an improver. Could provide some value.

9. Secret Whisper (KOR) [Sea Of Secrets – Generals Passion (General Meeting)] (22/8/3/5) – Jo Sung Gon
Peter Wolsley’s mare was 3rd on her last start behind Yongduseong and should give a game run. Whether it will be a fast enough run though is another matter. Busan’s champion jockey rides.

10. Silver Classic (USA) [Chapel Royal – Psychic Friend (Star De Naskra)] (18/3/3/2) – Jo Chan Hoon
A consistent money winner but not a consistent winner. That won’t change here.

11. Yongduseong (KOR) [Concept Win – C’est Avie (Lord Avie)] (13/8/2/1) – Lim Sung Sil
A late starter, the ligthly raced 5-year old is an interesting prospect. She comes in off the back of 2 victories and could give the favourites some problems.

12. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee – Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] (22/8/7/2) – Choi Si Dae
The 2011 Korean Oaks winner shot back to prominence with 2nd place in the 2012 Grand Prix Stakes. Since then she has been exceptional and won the Ttukseom Cup comfortably before following up with a class 1 victory over a mile last time out. The favourite and deservedly so.

13. Empire World (USA) [Empire Maker – Salty You (Salt Lake)] (20/5/2/3) – Kim Dong Young
A nice little dark horse chance here. 5th in the Ttukseom Cup and then 4th behind Useung Touch next start, she could surprise a few people by stealing a place.

14. Dangdae Jeonseung (CAN) [Put It Back – Diamond Heirloom (Pembroke)] (16/4/1/1) – Lee Sang Hyeok
Not a huge amount going for her here. A talented filly, she is one of those who has reached class 1 and has nowhere to go. An outsider.

15. Kkakjaengi (USA) [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] (20/6/4/4) – Shin Hyoung Chul
A multiple Stakes winner as a 3-year old, she has been less impressive recently, her best result this year being a distant 4th behind Tough Win in a handicap at Seoul. On her day she is still capable of pulling out a big performance but the odds are against it happening here.

16. Sangnyu (USA) [Broken Vow – Midtown Miss (Yes It’s True)] (16/4/3/1) – Park Tae Jong
4th in the Ttukseom Cup, she’s been consistent this year and could have a chance of placing.

Weekend Race Times: June 7, 8, 9

The KNN Cup at Busan, the 2nd leg of the “Queens’ Tour” that will decide the champion filly or mare of 2013, is the highlight of the weekend’s racing. A full preview will follow tomorrow but in the meantime, here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday June 7

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

Saturday June 8

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:50 to 17:20

Sunday June 9

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

Outsider Gumanseok Wins Sports Chosun Cup as Feel So Good Flops Again

40/1 chance Gumanseok just held on to win the Sports Chosun Cup ahead of a fast finishing Royal Galloper at Seoul Race Park today, while hot-favourite Feel So Good once again finished nowhere in a big race.

Gumanseok and Lee Dong Kug after winning the Sports Chosun Cup

Gumanseok and Lee Dong Kug after winning the Sports Chosun Cup

After winning a race in the USA, Feel So Good (Ft.Stockton) won his first three tests in his home country before coming up very short behind Jigeum I Sungan in the Owners’ Trophy in April.

Having dropped down a level for the Sports Chosun, punters showed enough faith in him to back him into only slightly better than even-money. That faith was not rewarded.

While Feel So Good showed towards the front for much of the race, once they hit 300 metres to run, just as in the Owners’ Trophy, he stalled. Instead Gumanseok (Vicar) burst through the pack and took the lead under jockey Lee Dong Kug. While Royal Galloper (Commendable) and Park Tae Jong closed very quickly in the final furlong, the line arrived just in time and Gumanseok hung on by a neck.

Gumanseok just hokds on as Royal Galloper closes fast

Gumanseok just holds on as Royal Galloper closes fast

Gumanseok’s stablemate 120/1 outsider Appealing Jeil (Exploit), ridden by Yukio Abe, scored an even more surprising 3rd place finish.

Now 4-years-old, Gumanseok competed in the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Triple Crown last October. Finishing last, he managed to get himself gelded prior to the start of this season. The victory is his 5th in 13 starts and will see him move up to the elite level next time out. As for Feel So Good, it’s now questionable whether he’ll make the elite level at all.

For jockey Lee Dong Kug, it was a first visit to the Stakes winner’s circle since 2008. For trainer Lim Bong Chun and owner Ku Ja Sun it was a more familiar experience. Lim won the KOrean Derby with Gwangyajeil in 2011 while Ku owned the great double Grand Prix winner Dongbanui Gangja.

Speaking of the “elite”, the horse currently at the top of the tree, Tough Win (Yonaguska) was in action in the very last race of the day at Seoul. “Action” is perhaps a strong word as the 6-year-old breezed to 7-length win in a mismatch.

Down at Busan, it was a good day for the foreign jockeys. Joe Fujii won one race but there also was a very welcome double for Darryll Holland. The British jockey landed race 2 on Runnin’ John (Put It Back) and quickly followed up in race 3 on Stand High (Forest Camp). Both were top quality rides and took Holland’s Korean win tally to 8.

Sports Chosun Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – June 2, 2013

1. Gumanseok (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Champion (Didyme)] – Lee Dong Kug – 42.1, 8.7
2. Royal Galloper (KOR) [Commendable – Explicitly (Exploit)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.7
3. Appealing Jeil (KOR) [Exploit – Appealing Satin (Valid Appeal) – Yukio Abe – 17.1

Distances: Neck/5 lengths – 14 ran