Peter Wolsley, Gyeongbudaero and Tough Win Stories of 2015 So Far

We say goodbye to the Year of the horse and enter the Year of the Sheep…or goat or ram or whichever hooved and horned animal it actually is; there is some disagreement in these parts. There is no racing this weekend on account of the holiday, so it’s a good opportunity to take stock of what has happened during the first six weeks of racing:


Never Seen Before and Lee Hee Cheon win the Minister's Cup. Lee and Peter Wolsley are in great from this year

* Peter Wolsley is on fire: With five winners across last weekend, trainer Peter Wolsley has shot to the top of the Busan Trainers’ Championship, leading the Kim Young Kwan machine by 14 winners to 12 and 49% of all runners placing first or second. Wolsley has some solid talent in his stable at the moment and also a pair of in-form stable jockeys in the shape of champion rider Jo Sung Gon but also with Lee Hee Cheon, who has been an absolute revelation under the Australian’s tutelage over the past few months. Such is the firepower that is always available to him, Kim Young Kwan will amost certainly take the ultimate prize but it looks set fair for another very good season for Wolsley.

This Korean language blog, which I’ve just seen for the first time has some really good pictures of Wolsley and Lee Hee Cheon winning the Minister’s Cup with Never Seen Before last October.

* Tough Win is back: The 2011 Grand Prix Champion’s best days looked to be behind him but he returned to the winner’s circle for the first time for 18 months in January and then followed it up last week with another victory; his 24th from 37 career starts and took him to over $2Million in prize-money. He’s done it in style too, closing from dead-last in the home straight. As long-time racing observer Thomas Song pointed out on this site, closing to defeat tired frontrunners is the only way Tough Win can run these days, but it is thrilling to watch and hopefully there is plenty more to come.

* We have some good three-year-olds: The likes of Cosmos King at Seoul and Rafale and Doraon Hyeonpyo at Busan have all won around two-turns already and they, along with a number of others, should make for a fascinating Triple Crown series which this year, will be concluded by July.

* The new rating system is here to stay: Every horse in Korea now has a rating and aside for some Grade and Listed races, there are no longer races restricted to Korean bred horses at Class 1 and Class 2. It is hoped that the stronger competition will make for a better quality of Korean racehorse and more competitive racing for punters. The early evidence, especially at Busan, is positive. With horses able to move back down in class for the first time, we’ve seen some compelling contests already. Now that connections at Seoul have belatedly signed up to the changes too, racing in the capital – in need of a new lease of life for some seasons – will hopefully be on an upward spiral soon too.

* Gyeongbudaero : If the KRA’s race-planners had scripted the first class 1 to be run under the new system, they would have come up with something like this. Six Korean bred horses faced off against six imported horses and after a tough battle, the locally bred Gyeongbudaero, carrying top weight of 60kg, prevailed. Winner of the 2014 President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes, Gyeongbudaero’s image was on the front of the KRA’s 2015 Race Plan booklet announcing the changes and he is undoubtedly the poster-horse of Korean racing right now.

Racing returns next weekend.


  1. Your articles have been really pro KRA in the past 2 years. You must be obviously working for KRA now. You publish #### now. This saying horses drop down a class in the new ratings system is rubbish. You name a horse that has dropped points to go in lower class. We are professional handicappers (punters) in Singapore and watch the KRA ratings points. NOT ONE horse has dropped points to drop a class. Stop publishing rubbish to suit your KRA employers.

    1. Haha..
      Don’t.blame him bro..if you are a pro…
      You’d better notice that horses’s pace ability and track speed index.
      And which horses are favored in certain track …meaning fast or slow track.
      Here in korea track conditions briskly fluctate day afer day
      And.every race have different pace pressure…
      If you are.a. real pro… you.know what are the more imporatant factors
      Me korean horseplayer doesn’t trust much and don’t rely on Rating.
      If Rating is key factor for analysis. you’ll be screwed up ..bro…
      If you are a pro .you’d better see.original korean race program
      There you.can see at least number..

  2. Seeking for credibility?
    Then, You might be right.
    But looking for some juicy opportunities to make some money.
    then it is the time.
    sorry, if i make you offend…

  3. I can let you know how to read official kra korean race programs
    Just download pdf program and copy and email to me
    then I ll translate it into.english …and email to you.
    Man…of course. it’s free…haha…

    1. Thomas.
      I simply stated the fact that the editor of this site, continuesly states on articles that horses drop ratings points to race in a lower class.
      I only asked, name 1 horse that has dropped points to race in a lower class!!
      I am not blaming the editor of Korean handicappers incompetence doing a rating system, simply questioning the truths of his articles.
      He is reporting false facts for KRA benefit.
      We do VERY well punting on Korean horses, with the use of MANY instruments for our punting. but the editor of this site is reporting INCORRECT facts.
      I am very surprised the editor cant reply to my comment himself.
      Just name 1 horse that has dropped points/then class, like he’s reporting.

      1. Hi Chang, Thanks for your comments, what I’m talking about is a number of horses are now running at a lower class than they used to which in the past wouldn’t be possible. Whether it is a good thing is open to question, we’ll see. As an example, Strictly Two Step was promoted to class 1 last November but when he was assigned a rating, he was at class 2 again. Up until this month, he would have been at class 1 forever. It may not be exactly what you are driving at but I wouldn’t say it is incorrect to say that the horse is running at a lower class than he was before.

        Good luck this weekend.

  4. You know what Im driving at.
    You didn’t answer my question.
    Just name 1 horse that has dropped rating points (after racing) then dropped down a class since the new rating system started?
    You’ve side stepped the question. Horses have dropped in class when given a rating.
    But you quote “With horses able to move back down in class for the first time”
    Ok then, again
    Name 1 horse that has dropped rating points (after racing) then dropped down a class?

    You are reporting false information for KRA benefit.

    We are a Singapore betting syndication that recognize ratings that we have here, Hong Kong, Australia and rest of the world. What Korea racing (KRA) have is nothing but bullsh.t!

    Whoever set it up, certainly don’t know what they are doing! And you are applauding it! You must be getting paid by KRA.

    1. Gyongmaman, Your lack of reply just shows your lack of knowledge of the Korean ratings system, you keep on writing about. You have lost all creditability for knowledge of horse racing, but just a Englishman puppet for KRA.
      Ratings is a important factor in horse racing. Korea ratings are a joke to us here in Singapore. I look forward to you answering my question. (Because you CANT)
      Why write about something you dont know anything about, and giving INCORRECT information?

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