Month: August 2013

SBS Korea-Japan Goodwill Cup – Final Preview

The horses have arrived, the draw has been made and everything is set for history to be made on Sunday afternoon as Tosen Archer, Big Gulliver and Final Score become the first foreign-trained horses to run in Korea.

From left: Final Score, Tosen Archer and Big Gulliver

From left: Final Score, Tosen Archer and Big Gulliver

They are accompanied by three Japanese jockeys; Daisuke Mashima, Takehiro Kashiwagi and the veteran 57-year-old Fumio Matoba. Delegations from the Singapore Turf Club and the Dubai Racing Club are also in Seoul for the event.

From left: Daisuke Mashima, Fumio Matoba, Takehiro Kashiwagi

From left: Daisuke Mashima, Fumio Matoba, Takehiro Kashiwagi

Ultimately it comes down to a horse race though and it is an intriguing one. The Japanese trio have impressed all who have seen them in morning workouts since they arrived in Seoul just over a week ago.

Tough Win, seen here w Home hope: Tough Win (KRA)

Tough Win, seen here w Home hope: Tough Win (KRA)

However, the confirmation that Tough Win, considered to be the best horse in training in Korea, will run has given a huge boost to local hopes of a Korean win in the event.

Here is a full run-down on the field of 14 that will contest the big race, shown live on SBS-ESPN at 4:20pm:

SBS Korea-Japan Goodwill Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – September 1, 2013 – 16:20

1. Pureun Miso (USA) [Malibu Moon] 3 Filly (10/4/1/3) – Jun Duck Young
A nice looking filly who looks set to improve more in future. She has, however, been beaten by a number of her rivals here this year.

2. Dongbanjaui Gijeok (USA) [Half Ours] 3 Colt (9/5/2/0) – Moon Se Young
Flopped last time out over this distance in his class 1 debut. Hopefully that was a one-off as he had been showing a lot of promise up to that point. He has the champion jockey on board but it would still be a surprise if he was troubling the places.

3. Tosen Archer (JPN) [Barathea] 9 Horse (47/5/2/5) – Fumio Matoba
Looks like there is little to choose between him and Bug Gulliver as the best of the Japanese visitors, the 9-year-old has been very impressive in trackwork this week and his seemingly unimpressive 5 wins from 47 starts may not mean much.

4. Mari Daemul (USA) [Go For Gin] 4 Colt (17/5/3/2) – Shin Hyoung Chul
Well beaten when finishing 2nd to Tough Win last time out, even though this is a much shorter distance, that will probably happen again. Having said that, he won’t be far off the pace.

5. Sydney Jewelry (AUS) [Lion Heart] 4 Colt (13/6/2/1) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
The only Aussie-bred in the race has come close but has never won since reaching class 1. He should enjoy dropping down in distance and could be an outside bet for a place.

6. Celebrate Tonight (USA) [Songandaprayer] 5 Horse (24/5/2/4) – Jang Chu Youl
Not in the best of form and while he is another who should enjoy a rare opportunity at running in a one-turn race, it would be a surprise to see him challenge here.

7. Watts Village (USA) [Forestry] 3 Colt (10/5/1/1) – Seo Seung Un
Very nice looking colt, especially over sprint distances. He won’t be favourite but he will have his supporters who believe he can pull off an upset. Worth watching the tote board for some value, be it to win or to show.

8. Gold Big (USA) [Henny Hughes] 4 Colt (24/5/1/1) – Yoo Seung Wan
A solid campaigner but is unlikely to have the turn of foot necessary to compete here. Unlikely to be in contention at the business end of the race.

9. Nolbu Manse (USA) [Simon Pure] 4 Colt (22/5/4/3) – Kim Ok Sung
At one time seen as future star, he has really struggled recently and was well beaten by Watts Village over the distance last time out.

10. Remember Bulpae (USA) [After Market] 3 Horse (8/4/1/1) – Jo In Kwen
The JRA Trophy winner is in really good form and looks a really good prospect. He prefers longer distances but if there is an upset, he could be the one to pull it off. It’s unlikely but if it’s value you are looking for, he could well provide it.

11. Big Gulliver (JPN) [Tap Dance City] 5 Horse (28/8/8/2) – Takehiro Kashiwagi
Another who has really impressed in his trackwork this week, he won his last start last month over this distance and could well start favourite.

12. Tough Win (USA) [Yonaguska] 6 Gelding (29/22/2/1) – Cho Kyoung Ho
The home team’s big hope. He has won at every distance from 1000M to 2000M and given the home bias of punters, he will probably be favourite. If he runs to his best, it will take an exceptional performance from one of the visitors to beat him.

13. Indian Blue (USA) [Henny Hughes] 3 Filly (10/3/2/3) – Ikuyasu Kurakane
Her jockey is in incredible form right now and although the filly hasn’t won since landing the Segye Ilbo Cup in February, she will love this distance and is not without a chance of good finish.

14. Final Score (JPN) [Fusaichi Pegasus] 8 Horse (40/6/7/4) – Daisuke Mashima
The least impressive of the Visitors since arriving in Koreaand also on recent form. However, that is not to say he will be too far out of touch. It would be a surprise if he was to win though.

Sunday September 1

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 13:00 to 18:00 including the SBS Korea-Japan Goodwill Cup at 16:20
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 16:45 to 19:40

Smarty Moonhak Successfully Completes Race Trial At Seoul

Smarty Moonhak (Smarty Jones) has re-qualified for racing following 14 months on the sidelines.

The 4-year-old became the youngest ever horse to run in the Grand Prix Stakes when finishing 3rd behind Tough Win in 2011 before succombing to tendinitis, which was discovered after a disappointing run in the Busan Metropolitan Stakes last June. He subsequently underwent stem-cell treatment.

Smarty Moonhak comfortably won the very pedestrian 5-furlong trial at Seoul Race Park this morning under champion jockey Moon Se Young.

Tough Win Heads Home Team as Korea Faces Japan in SBS Cup

Tough Win will give Korea a fighting chance of recording a home win when three Japanese horses come to town for the SBS Korea-Japan Goodwill Cup, the first of a two-race home and away series, at Seoul Race Park on Sunday.

Tough Win, seen here winning the Busan Metropolitan Stakes last month, heads the Korean challenge on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Tough Win, seen here winning the Busan Metropolitan Stakes last month, heads the Korean challenge on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

The Japanese visitors; Tosen Archer, Final Score and Big Gulliver arrived in Seoul last week and have looked very impressive in morning trackwork, leading some on the backstretch to fear they may claim what would be an embarrassing 1,2,3 over the Koreans on their home soil.

They will be the favourites, but in Tough Win, a Grand Prix Stakes and Busan Metropolitan winner and former Horse Of The Year, who has won 22 of his 29 starts, Korea fields a horse who knows how to get the job done. He is joined by a few talented sprinters including some who have excelled at sprint distances, but it is Tough Win that the locals are most relieved to see lining up.

It's Korea vs Japan in the SBS ESPN Cup

It’s Korea vs Japan in the SBS ESPN Cup

The race is the first time that foreign-trained horses have come to Korea to run. They are joined by visiting Japanese jockeys Fumio Matoba, Takehiro Kashiwagi and Daisuke Mashima. Seoul’s resident Japanese rider Ikuyasu Kurakane rides for the home team on Segye Ilbo Cup winner Indian Blue.

The race will be screened live on SBS ESPN – Korea’s most popular sports channel in a short broadcast beginning

SBS Korea-Japan Goodwill Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – September 1, 2013 – 16:20

1. Pureun Miso (USA) [Malibu Moon] 3 Filly (10/4/1/3) – Jun Duck Young
2. Dongbanjaui Gijeok (USA) [Half Ours] 3 Colt (9/5/2/0) – Moon Se Young
3. Tosen Archer (JPN) [Barathea] 9 Horse (47/5/2/5) – Fumio Matoba
4. Mari Daemul (USA) [Go For Gin] 4 Colt (17/5/3/2) – Shin Hyoung Chul
5. Sydney Jewelry (AUS) [Lion Heart] 4 Colt (13/6/2/1) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
6. Celebrate Tonight (USA) [Songandaprayer] 5 Horse (24/5/2/4) – Jang Chu Youl
7. Watts Village (USA) [Forestry] 3 Colt (10/5/1/1) – Seo Seung Un
8. Gold Big (USA) [Henny Hughes] 4 Colt (24/5/1/1) – Yoo Seung Wan
9. Nolbu Manse (USA) [Simon Pure] 4 Colt (22/5/4/3) – Kim Ok Sung
10. Remember Bulpae (USA) [After Market] 3 Horse (8/4/1/1) – Jo In Kwen
11. Big Gulliver (JPN) [Tap Dance City] 5 Horse (28/8/8/2) – Takehiro Kashiwagi
12. Tough Win (USA) [Yonaguska] 6 Gelding (29/22/2/1) – Cho Kyoung Ho
13. Indian Blue (USA) [Henny Hughes] 3 Filly (10/3/2/3) – Ikuyasu Kurakane
14. Final Score (JPN) [Fusaichi Pegasus] 8 Horse (40/6/7/4) – Daisuke Mashima

(3yo’s will carry 55Kg and 4yo’s 57Kg. Fillies & Mares receive a 2Kg allowance).

Friday August 30
Busan Race Park: 11 races from 13:30 to 18:10
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 15:10 tp 19:40

Saturday August 31
Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 13:00 to 18:10
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 15:10 to 19:40

Sunday September 1
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 13:00 to 18:00 including the SBS Korea-Japan Goodwill Cup at 16:20
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 16:45 to 19:40

Japanese Horses Arrive In Seoul for SBS Korea-Japan Goodwill Cup

The three Japanese horses who will make history as the first foreign-trained runners in Korea when they participate in the SBS Korea-Japan Goodwill Cup this coming Sunday, have arrived at Seoul Racecourse.

The plane carrying the Japanese visitors touched down last Thursday

The plane carrying the Japanese visitors touched down last Thursday

Tosen Archer, Final Score and Big Gulliver touched down in Korea on August 22 and were taken straight to a specially prepared quarantine zone at Seoul Racecourse.

Due to strict quarantine laws for any animals coming into Korea, they must be kept separate from the general horse population at the track until the day of the race and they are completing workouts in the very early mornings, before the track opens for normal training.

The word from those workouts is ominous for Korean racing fans: the 3 visitors look stronger and faster than our own.

The race will be run over 7 furlongs (1400 metres) and will be screened by Sports cable TV channel SBS ESPN. See our first preview here or go to our facebook page for more pictures.

The SBS Korea-Japan Goodwill Cup is on Sunday September 1

The SBS Korea-Japan Goodwill Cup is on Sunday September 1

Ikuyasu Kurakane & Lee Chan Ho Ride High At Seoul

Lee Chan Ho shot to the top of his graduating class with a remarkable display of riding at Seoul Race Park this past weekend.

Winning: Lee Chan Ho

Winning: Lee Chan Ho

The 21-year-old apprentice, who debuted in June rode 4 winners on Saturday and added another on Sunday for a total of 5 wins from 11 rides.

He also managed 2 third-place finishes on Sunday.

Lee’s exploits take him to 10 winners from 79 rides in his short career so far and see him lose one of the 4-kilos of weight allowance that brand new apprentices are able to claim.

Still claiming the full amount are the three others who qualified with Lee. However, Kim Tea Hun, Song Jae Chul and Jo Han Beol are all also off the mark and it looks like we are seeing another good crop of young jockeys as the Seoul Jockey Academy continues to excel.

Another, altogether more experienced jockey, is also in a rich vein of form. Japan’s Ikuyasu Kurakane returned to Korea for a second spell earlier this year and a Sunday afternoon treble sees the 37-year old rise to 6th in the Jockey Championship with 37 winners.

Fellow Japanese rider Joe Fujii may be winning the big ones at Busan, but the workaholic Ikuyasu is bringing in the numbers at Seoul

Speedy First & Joe Fujii Complete Korean Derby/Oaks Double

Speedy First added a second Classic to her increasingly impressive record with a convincing win in the Korean Oaks at Busan Race Park this afternoon.

The Korean Derby winner was sent off as the heavy favourite for the fillies’ Classic and was close to the front from the outset. Joe Fujii made his move as the field turned for home and while Speedy First needed a little help finding top gear in the home straight, once she got into her stride, the result was never in doubt.

Miracle Wonder, who made the early-running held on for second while 120/1 outsider Lady Medal snatched third from the tiring Cheonnyeon Dongan who was, in fourth, the best placed finisher from Seoul.

Speedy First (KRA)

Speedy First (KRA)

Before today, Speedy First’s only racetrack appearance since winning the Derby had ended after just a few seconds when Fujii was unseated before the first turn of the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Cup.

The filly then treated herself to a solo run around the track. She returned none the worse for wear but was kept off the track until today.

For trainer Kim Young Kwan, it is yet another top class winner. With Speedy First, he has managed the Derby/Oaks double that eluded his other great filly, Sangseung Ilro, who captured the Derby but lost the Oaks by a neck.

Ladies Man: It's Joe Fujii's 4th major win on a filly in Korea

Ladies Man: It’s Joe Fujii’s 4th major win on a filly in Korea

Jockey Joe Fujii continues his remarkable time in Korea. He has now won the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup, the Grand Prix Stakes, the Korean Derby and the Korean Oaks. The 29 year-old Japan native with a broad Australian accent will surely go down as the most successful foreign jockey to ride in Korea to date.

Although Japanese, he has never been licensed in his home country and is now in the process of applying to the JRA.

Today wasn’t one of Fujii’s most difficult rides but anyone who has watched him over the past 15 months knows that he can compete with the best anywhere.

Speedy First has now won 6 of her 8 starts and will be a serious contender when the top three-year olds reconvene at Seoul for the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Triple Crown.

Korean Oaks (KOR GII) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – August 25, 2013

1. Speedy First (KOR) [Menifee – Speedy Deedy (Victory Gallop)] – Kanichiro Fujii – 1.3, 1.1
2. Miracle Wonder (KOR) [Menifee – Jeongbowang (Concept Win)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.7
3. Lady Medal (KOR) [Volponi – Lady Ell (Flying Spur)] – Seol Dong Bok – 9.2

Distances: 7 lengths/0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Cheonnyeon Dongan 5. Sand Quick 6. Winning Streak 7. Miss Quick 8. Hurricane Jump 9. Wind Leto 10. Raon Bally 11. Yuseong Hero DQ: Mery Shine DQ: Land Angel DNS: Dewma

Next week the main action is at Seoul where history will be made as foreign-trained horses run in Korea for the very first time. The SBS ESPN Korea/Japan Goodwill Cup is next Sunday.

Weekend Racing Times

It’s Korean Oaks weekend. See here for a full preview of the big race which takes place at Busan this Sunday.

Busan hosts the Korean Oaks this Sunday

Busan hosts the Korean Oaks this Sunday

Here’s what’s happening when and where across the weekend:

Friday August 23

Busan Race Park: 11 races from 13:30 to 18:10
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 15:10 to 19:40

Saturday August 24

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 13:00 to 18:10
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 15:10 to 19:40

Sunday August 25

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 13:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 16:45 to 19:40 including the Korean Oaks at 17:35