2014 Review: Jockey & Trainer Titles

Moon Se Young - seen here being greeted by the female members of the weighing room after his 1000th winner, dominated Seoul

Moon Se Young – seen here being greeted by the female members of the weighing room after his 1000th winner, dominated Seoul

Once again, Moon Se Young was unstoppable. During the year he became only the second Korean jockey to reach 1000 career winners and finished the season with 61 more winners than his closest rival. That was Ikuyasu Kurakane and it was the Japanese jockey’s hard work on far less glamorous rides that saw him, despite Moon’s numbers, being awarded “Jockey of the Year” honours.

Seoul Jockey Championship 2014
1. Moon Se Young – 162 (27.1% win ratio)
2. Ikuyasu Kurakane – 101 (14.9%)
3. Seo Seung Un – 93 (15.1%)
4. Ham Wan Sik – 72 (20.6%)
5. Choi Bum Hyun – 56 (14.4%)
6. Yoo Seung Wan – 47 (9.1%)
7. Lee Chan Ho – 47 (13.5%)
8. Park Tae Jong – 40 (10.1%
9. Jang Chu Youl – 35 (8.0%)
10. Park Eul Woon – 35 (12.4%

At Busan, You Hyun Myung just missed out on 100 winners for the season but comfortably took the title. He did have some fortune with former champion Jo Sung Gon spending the first three months of the year in Macau and Joe Fujii missing five months through injury.

Busan Jockey Championship 2014
1. You Hyun Myung – 99 (20.2% win ratio)
2. Kim Yong Geun – 91 (20.1%)
3. Choi Si Dae – 78 (17.8%)
4. Jo Sung Gon – 75 (20.3%)
5. Kim Dong Young – 55 (12.4%)
6. Song Keong Yun – 34 (7.7%)
7. Kanichiro Fujii – 33 (12.2%)
8. Masakazu Tanaka – 29 (8.8%)
9. Lee Hee Cheon – 27 (14.6%)
10. Kim Hyun Joong – 25 (7.9%)

The Seoul Trainers’ title is nothing to get especially excited about but someone has to win it and that someone was Kim Ho. Special mention goes to Lee Shin Young who continues to make strides, finishing in 8th this year with 35 winners.

Seoul Trainer Championship 2014
1. Kim Ho – 50 (12.6% win ratio)
2. Bae Dae Sun – 43 (10.5%)
3. An Byung Ki – 41 (12.3%)
4. Kim Hyo Seob – 40 (15.9%)
5. Ji Yong Cheol – 39 (12.2%)

Kim Young kwan (right) manages to maintain his figure despite having to eat a cake after every Stakes winner. He trains a lot of Stakes winners. (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Kim Young kwan (right) manages to maintain his figure despite having to eat a cake after every Stakes winner. He trains a lot of Stakes winners. (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Down at Busan the competition is stronger mainly due to the presence of two men. The Kim Young Kwan factory continues to churn out winner after winner and hoover up the cream of each year’s horses. 2014 was an exceptional year too for Peter Wolsley, who finished 2nd with a superior strike-rate to Kim and in the process scored his first Triple Crown race win with Never Seen Before in the Minister’s Cup at Seoul.

Busan Trainer Championship 2014
1. Kim Young Kwan – 96 (23.7% win ratio)
2. Peter Wolsley – 65 (25.5%)
3. Baik Kwang Yeol – 48 (10.8%)
4. Kim Jae Sub – 47 (15.4%)
5. Min Jang Gi – 45 (13.1%)

* 2014 was also notable for the retirement of one of Seoul’s most successful jockeys, Cho Kyoung Ho, at the age of 38. The winner of two President’s Cups on Myeongmun Gamun and the Grand Prix Stakes and Busan Metropolitan on Tough Win, Cho did not announce in advance of his final ride that he would be retiring.

Afterwards, he posted a message online citing the pain from a shoulder injury suffered years earlier as having become too great to continue riding. He will be missed.

Also in jockey news, there will be a change in tracks for Oh Kyoung Hoan. It is unusual for Korean jockeys to switch between racecourses and while numerous jockeys relocated to Busan upon the track’s opening in 2005, it has been almost unheard of since. Nevertheless, Oh, who has been riding at Seoul for nearly 15 years, officially relocated to Busan on January 1.

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