Month: July 2014

Fujii Sidelined After Fall While Hangangui Gijeok Takes DoMin Ilbo

The life of a jockey certainly isn’t a dull one but it has its ups and downs. A week ago, Joe Fujii was able to wake up on Monday morning reflecting on one of his biggest winners after steering Magic Dancer to victory in the Jeju Governor’s Cup. This Monday, he starts recovering from a broken shoulder suffered at Busan yesterday.

Joe Fujii and Magic Dancer last weekend at Seoul

Joe Fujii and Magic Dancer last weekend at Seoul

He suffered the injury when he was violently dislodged from 14/1 chance Hybrid just after they exited the gate at the start of race 4. Eventual winner Bada Gangja was deemed to have been culpable in the incident to the extent that the colt was stripped of the race after an Inquiry.

Fujii, who has won 130 races – including 6 Stakes races – in Korea, now faces around two months on the sidelines, missing the ride of Gamdonguibada in the Busan Metropolitan – the “Summer Grand Prix” – in two weeks’ time. With Darryll Holland having finished his successful stint in Korea last week, Busan is now two star-jockeys short for the time being.

That fall meant Fujii missed the ride on Namdo Trio in the weekend’s feature race, the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Stakes.

The race came down to a final furlong battle that went all the way to the line with favourite Hangangui Gijeok just getting the better of Gumpo Sky by the narrowest of noses. The Peter Wolsley trained pair of Never Seen Before and Jungle Jim came home 3rd and 4th.

Hanganui Gijeok didn’t run in either of the first two legs of the Korean Triple Crown due to his being a gelding and therefore ineligible but was recording his 6th straight victory on his 8th career starts. Bigger races await.

Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Cup – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – July 6, 2014

1. Hangangui Gijeok (KOR) [Didyme – Legendary Destiny (Giant’s Causeway)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.7, 1.0
2. Gumpo Sky (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.7
3. Never Seen Before (KOR) [Ecton Park – Gwangyeolhan (Stormin Fever)] – 2.0
Distances: Nose / 4 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Jungle Jim 5. Jokwang 6. Namdo Trio 7. Hwanggeumbitjijung 8. Mega Bolt 9. Lady Medal 10. Challenger Dream

Next week the Stakes action is at Seoul. All eyes will be on Yeongsan II as he aims to get his first big race victory in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup.

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Weekend Race Times

It’s the Gyeongnam Do-Min Ilbo Cup at Busan on Sunday. Meanwhile, it’s the 2nd Seoul simulcast to Singapore on Saturday on another busy weekend of racing.

It's set to be a warm and humid weekend

It’s set to be a warm and humid weekend

The Do-Min Ilbo is set to be a cracking race this year. Peter Wolsley’s duo of Jungle Jim and Never Seen Before face fellow 3-year-olds Hwanggeumbitjijung, Gumpo Sky, KRA Cup Mile 3rd placer Namdo Trio and the on-a-roll Hangangui Gijeok.

They’re joined by four older horses including Challenger Dream and Mega Bolt in what is potentially the race of the year so far.

There ae class 1 contests on both Saturday and Sunday at Seoul while 10 of the bumper card of 13 races on Saturday will be broadcast live to Singapore. It’s the second of 6 dates of simulcasting throughout this year with the first, by all accounts, passing off reasonably well two weeks ago.

If you’re in Singapore this Saturday, forget shopping and head to Kranji, the nearest OTB or switch on StarHub Sports and join Gyongmaman from 12pm.

Of course, if you’re in Korea, here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday July 4
Busan Race Park: 11 races from 13:00 to 19:00
Jeju Race Park: 8 races from 13:25 to 17:00

Saturday July 5
Seoul Race Park: 13 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:20

Sunday July 6
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:00 including the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Cup at 16:10