Day: November 12, 2014

Queens’ Tour Finale: Gamdonguibada Goes For a Clean-Sweep in Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup

The Queens’ Tour series of three races to decide the nation’s champion filly or mare, the first of which was all the way back in March, finally concludes at Busan this Sunday.

Gamdonguibada in the Ttukseom Cup winner's circle, the first leg of the Queens' Tour. She won the 2nd leg too

Gamdonguibada in the Ttukseom Cup winner’s circle, the first leg of the Queens’ Tour. She won the 2nd leg too

Gamdonguibada, the 2012 Grand Prix Stakes winner, claimed victory in both the Ttukeseom Cup at Seoul and the KNN Cup at Busan in August and has the chance to complete a clean sweep in the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup.

It’s been an up-and-down year for the five-year-old mare but she will have plenty of backers to complete what would be a creditable hat-trick in races over seven, eight and ten furlongs. Of those out to stop her, New York Blue, who she beat in the KNN Cup in June, but who has since beaten her, looks the most interesting.

Here is a full run down of the field for a race which will be simulcasted back to Seoul and will also be shown live on the KRA’s international telecast to Singapore. (Name [Pedigree] (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Korean Rating figure – Jockey (Home Track):

Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 2000M – November 16, 2014 (16:15)

1. Dragon Hill (USA) [Afleet Alex- Caracara (Nashwan)] (20/2/3/5) 110 – Seo Seung Un (Seoul)
2nd in the YTN Cup behind stablemate Big Power, who also goes here, she was 5th in her only outing since and despite Seo Seung Un coming down to ride her, it’s tough to recommend her to beat the Busan horses.

2. Silver Classic (USA) [Chapel Royal – Psychic Friend (Star de Naskra)] (28/4/4/2) 103 – Jo Sung Gon (Busan)
A big jockey booking in the shape of Jo Sung Gon but this mare has found life difficult at class 1 and has struggled in two starts to date at this distance. She was 4th in the KNN Cup in June and a similar result here would be a realistic target.

3. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] (22/11/4/4) 123 – Kim Yong Geun (Busan)
She hasn’t won in three starts since the KNN Cup and was three lengths behind New York Blue last time out over this distance. She was conceding almost 6Kg that day though and will only be conceding 2kg this time. A strong chance of completing a clean sweep.

4. Seungbu Sinhwa (USA) [Bluegrass Cat – Island Rhythm (Skip Trial)] (20/0/3/4) 90 – Lee Dong Kug (Seoul)
She hasn’t won any of her 23 starts and that won’t change. Well beaten in both the Ttukseom Cup and the KNN Cup, she’s yet to graduate from class 2 and doesn’t have the speed to compete strongly here.

5. Yeoreobunuiyeowang (JPN) [Gold Allure – Meijino Joketsu (Silver Hawk)] (13/3/1/4) 89 – Nozomu Tomizawa (Busan)
She was 3rd behind Miss Margaux on her most recent start at 1900M – a filly she beat when winning the Gold Circle Trophy in July – but was tiring in the closing stages and will need to show improvement here. That Gold Circle win was in a quick time and she showed good late speed. She’ll need to get back to that form if she is to compete here.

6. New York Blue (USA) [Candy Ride – Aim For the Moon (Deputy Minister)] (13/5/5/1) 115 – You Hyun Myung (Busan)
Finished 3rd behind El Padrino and Wonder Bolt in the Asia Challenge Cup at Seoul in August over 7 furlongs and then surprised some with a strong 2nd behind Beolmaui Kkum and ahead of Gamdonguibada at this distance a month ago. For that reason, she has the second highest rating in the race, as well as being the fastest, and has every chance.

7. Shining Future (KOR) [Silver Train – Juliet’s Kiss (Kissin Kris)] (29/4/4/2) 101 – Song Keong Yun (Busan)
6th in the Ttukseom Cup and 7th in the KNN Cup. With the exception of a 2nd place in August, recent results haven’t been encouraging and she was sent off at odds of over 170/1 on her last start. An outsider.

8. Heba (USA) [Peace Rules – Sue’s Temper (Temperance Hill) (24/6/4/1) 109 – Kim Dong Young (Busan)
4th in the Ttukseom Cup and 6th in the KNN Cup, she has a quick finish and may be in line for a place if she can find a good position as they head for home. Scored a win over Gamdonguibada at this distance back in January when she benefitted from an 8kg weight advantage. They carry the same here though.

9. Jangmi Eondeok (USA) [Midnight Lute – Sea Gift (A.P.Indy)] (13/3/4/1) 105 – Kim Ok Sung (Seoul)
Kim Ok Sung was riding in Tokyo in midweek when he rode the 11th horse home in the Korea/Japan Interaction Cup. He could well be finishing 11th in this one too. She’s only run twice since finishing in that position – 11th – in the Ttukseom Cup and those runs do not inspire confidence.

10. Big Power (USA) [A.P.Warrior – Dixie Satin (Dynaformer)] (26/4/2/2) 107 – Lee Hyeok (Seoul)
A good winner of the YTN Cup back in August, she was (a well-beaten) 6th of 13 against a competitive field on her class 1 debut the following month. She won the YTN Cup from just off the pace but there are plenty here who can finish strongly she’s going to need to find improvement.

11. Winner’s Marine (KOR) [Volponi – Graceful Ballerina (Posse)] (11/5/2/1) 105 – Lee Sung Jae (Busan)
This 3-year-old won her first five races before coming 9th in the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown. She hasn’t won since although she did manage 3rd in the Korean Oaks in August before finding things very tough at Seoul in the Minister’s Cup last month. She should do better here but is tough to recommend for the win.

12. Miss Margaux (USA) [Midnight Lute – Sixtyone Margaux (Cozzene)] (13/1/6/6) 103 – Park Geum Man (Busan)
Peter Wolsley’s filly had recorded six 2nds and six 3rds before finally breaking her maiden at the 13th attempt last month. The line only just came in time that day in what was a slowly run race and she steps up a further 100 metres here. She’s demonstrated she has plenty of speed in the past though and she may well be up there competing for a place again.

13. Changiparang (USA) [Touch Gold – Victory Roll (Deerhound)] (27/2/5/3) 105 – Shin Hyung Chul (Seoul)
She’s spent the past year running at sprint distances at which she regularly picked up minor places until graduating to class 1 where she has found herself out of her depth. Her return to racing around two-turns of the track is likely to be no easier.

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Korean Horses Try Hard But Found Wanting In Interaction Cup

There was to be no repeat of Watts Village’s sensational 2013 win for Korea in the latest edition of the Japan/Korea Interaction Cup at Ohi Racecourse in Tokyo on Tuesday night.

Here He Comes and Moon Se Young in the Ohi paddock (Pic: KRA)

Here He Comes and Moon Se Young in the Ohi paddock (Pic: KRA)

Three Korean trained horses made their way to the Japanese capital to take their chances in the 1200M race. However, they were to come up short against a strong line-up of local sprinters, with the race won by the favourite, 6 year-old US-bred Satono Daytona (Tapit).

Here He Comes, ridden by Moon Se Young, came home in 9th, with Parang Juibo in 11th under Kim Ok Sung and Useung Iyagi, who set the early pace under Ikuyasu Kurakane, finishing last of the 13. All horses and riders finished safely and will return to Korea later this week.

Jockey Kim Ok Sung explains what went wrong to the media after Parang Juibo finished 11th (Pic: KRA)

Jockey Kim Ok Sung explains what went wrong to the media after Parang Juibo finished 11th (Pic: KRA)

Regardless of the result, the successful running of the race was another step forward as Korean racing, after decades of isolation, finally starts to establish its presence internationally.

And while it was unquestionably disappointing for Korean racing fans that the best domestic sprinters were not put forward for the trip, especially after the unexpected win last year, sometimes it is the taking part that counts.

With this bilateral race with Japan set to continue, and the successful hosting of the Asia Challenge Cup earlier this year, “Interaction” is finally happening.