Month: May 2015

Weekend Preview: Cinderella Man To Face Gyeongbudaero

Cinderella Man will bid to extend his unbeaten streak to five while Gyeongbudaero will look to get back to winning ways when they face off alongside five others in what is set to be the race of the weekend in Korea at Busan on Sunday afternoon.

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Gyeongbudaero looks to get back to winning ways on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes champion Gyeongbudaero went down to defeat last month while a week later, Cinderella Man scored his third straight class 1 win and ninth in total from twelve career starts to date.

Only seven will run in the feature, which will be over 1800M but it is a star-studded line-up and it’s by no means certain either of those two will win.

Gumpo Sky, one of the top three-year-olds of last year will be there as will 2014 Busan Metropolitan Stakes winner Nobody Catch Me as well as prolific winners Spring Gnarly and Useung Radar.

The field is rounded out by Cinderella Man’s stablemate Ghost Whisper. The Pegasus Stables owned pair have been prepared for the first time by Bart Rice and it’s set to be a big weekend for the South African trainer.

In terms of quality, Seoul is once again overshadowed by Busan. The capital’s feature race of the weekend is also on Sunday afternoon with Heukgisa and Namhae Daewang among the better known names going.

Click here for full race cards

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday May 29
Busan Racecourse: 10 races from 12:50 to 19:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 13:15 to 17:45

Saturday May 30
Seoul Racecourse: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:20

Sunday May 31
Seoul Racecourse: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:00

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Seoul Bullet On Target In GC Trophy While Cheonmang Strikes In Herald Business

There was big race action in both Busan and Seoul this past Sunday and it was Seoul Bullet who produced the performance of the day to down Macheon Bolt and Diferent Dimension to win the Gold Circle Turf Club Trophy and take his unbeaten record to six.

In what was a highly-anticipated clash, Peter Wolsley’s highly thought-of pair of Diferent Dimension and Macheon Bolt were sent off as the market favorites, the two three-year-olds having a 5kg weight advantage over the four-year-old Seoul Bullet.

In the end, that didn’t count for much as Seoul Bullet swooped home on the outside under in-form jockey Kim Yong Geun for a three-length win over Macheon Bolt and the fast-finishing Diferent Dimension who was suffering his first defeat.

Seoul Bullet was sent to Florida in advance of his two-year-old season, racing four times at Gulfstream Park with one third place among them – and managed to get himself claimed along the way. Korean horses who go to the US at a young age generally do very well on their return only to see the advantage they have erode over time. So far Seoul Bullet seems to be getting better and better.

GCTC Trophy – Busan Racecourse – 1600M – May 24, 2015

1. Seoul Bullet (KOR) [Peace Rules -Wild Guess (Wild Rush)] – Kim Yong Geum – 4.7, 1.6
2. Macheon Bolt (KOR) [Old Fashioned – Beech Bag (Devil’s Bag)] – Lee Hee Cheon – 1.3
3. Diferent Dimension (USA) [Into Mischief – Pardon My Sarong (Souvenir Copy)] – Jo Sung Gon
Distances: 3 lengths/Neck – 8 ran

At Seoul on Sunday the feature race was the Herald Business Cup which attracted a full field of fourteen. And at the end of the seven-furlong race it was US import Cheonmang who came out on top, a two-length victor over the similarly named Cheon Gu.

Cheonmang was winning his fourth race on his tenth start and it was a first big race win for up and coming jockey Lee Chan Ho.

Herald Business Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – May 24, 2015

1. Cheonmang (USA) [Noonmark – Boatman Road (Lord At War)] – Lee Chan Ho – 9.8, 2.5
2. Cheon Gu (USA) [Old Fashioned – So Much  Fun (Speightstown)] – Kim Hye Sun – 2.3
3. Azul Fire (USA) [Notional – Tight Lipped (Kissin Kris)] – Moon Se Young – 2.0
Distances: 2.5 lengths/2 lengths – 14 ran

In other races on Sunday, down at Busan Rock Band maintained his 100% record with a very easy class 4 victory over 1400M. The full brother of 2013 President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner Indie band, the three-year-old Rock Band (Ecton Park) moved onto four wins from four starts.

This coming week at Busan, Cinderella Man is set to have his first start since moving to the Bart Rice stable. He is set to take on Gyeongbudaero, Nobody Catch Me and Spring Gnarly in what looks like yet another ultra-competitive class 1 race at Busan. Meanwhile it’s “Trainers’ Week” at Seoul and Sunday will see the running of a “Trainers’ Cup”.

Weekend Preview

So the Derby has been and gone but we’ve plenty to keep us occupied this weekend, including a small but ultra-competitive field for the Gold Circle Trophy at Busan on Sunday.

The big race of the weekend is at Busan

The big race of the weekend is at Busan

Only eight run in what is without doubt the feature race of the weekend but they include the unbeaten pair of Diferent Dimension (complete with deliberate spelling error) and Seoul Bullet as well as the highly promising Macheon Bolt, who comes in having won his past five races. They are joined by proven winners Vicar Gold, Yeongung Champ and Champ Line for the 1600M race.

Seoul also hosts a big race on Sunday afternoon when a full field of fourteen will contest the Herald Business Cup over 1400M. Like the GC Trophy, it is open to horses rated up to 105.

Click here for full race cards

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday May 22
Busan Racecourse: 10 races from 12:50 to 19:00
Jeju Racecourse: 8 races from 13:15 to 17:05

Saturday May 23
Seoul Racecourse: 12 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:20

Sunday May 24
Seoul Racecourse: 10 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:30

Mauritius Jockeys Join Seoul And Busan

Two jockeys from Mauritius have arrived in Korea and are set to begin riding as soon as this coming weekend. Niven Marday will be based at Busan while Rakesh Baugheerothee will be in Seoul.

Niven Marday and Rakesh Bhaugeerothee (Pics: lemauricien.com)

Niven Marday and Rakesh Bhaugeerothee (Pics: lemauricien.com)

Niven Marday gets arguably the easier assignment at Busan where foreign jockeys have tended to enjoy more success. The 25-year-old trained at the South African Jockey Academy and in 2014 rode six winners at Champ De Mars in Mauritius, finishing 19th in the Jockey Championship. He lies in 11th place this year with 3 wins so far.

A couple of months ago, there were no foreign riders at Seoul. South African Jarred Samuel then joined in April and was quickly followed by Italian licensed Serbian jockey Djordje Perovic at the start of this month. Bringing the number to three is Rakesh Bhaugeerothee.

Like Marday, the 38-year-old Baugheerothee also rode six winners in Mauritius last season and has added another one this term.

At Busan, Marday joins the Japanese quartet of Joe Fujii, Nozi Tomzawa, Masa Tanaka and Nobuyuki Oyama.

The Korean Derby 2015: How They Went

Yeongcheon Ace was the winner of the 2015 Korean Derby at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. The second-favourite secured victory by two lengths to ensure that no horse will sweep the Triple Crown this year with KRA Cup Mile victor Rafale ending in 3rd.

Choi Si Dae and Yeongcheon Ace return to the unsaddling area after winning the Derby (Pic: Slickpix)

Choi Si Dae and Yeongcheon Ace return to the unsaddling area after winning the Derby (Pic: Slickpix)

Yeongcheon Ace is the third consecutive Korean Derby winner to have been sired by Menifee following the fillies Speedy First in 2013 and Queen’s Blade in 2014. He is also the 6th horse from Busan to win the Derby from the 8 editions that have taken place since horses from that track became eligible.

Here’s how they went:

1. Yeongcheon Ace (Choi Si Dae) – Away steadily and sat towards the back until they entered the home straight. He closed strongly and took the lead inside the final furlong to win by two lengths, going away. 4.8 to win, 1,7 to show.

2. Triple Nine (Oh Kyoung Hoan) – Ostensibly Kim Young Kwan’s second string, after receiving a lot of backing in the morning’s racing media, he was quite heavily backed. He sat in midfield but improved around the home-turn to second. He was passed by the winner and was labouring a little towards the line. 6.6, 2.5 (2 lengths behind the horse in front)

3. Rafale (You Hyun Myung) – The KRA Cup Mile winner, who’s lost 13kg since that race, sat comfortably in the middle of the pack and closed down the outside in the home straight. Finished strongly but was three-quarters of a length behind Triple Nine. 5.0, 1.7 (0.75 lengths)

4. Daegunhwang (Seo Seung Un) – When he opened up a lead of two lengths at the top of the stretch, the race was his to lose. Lose it he did but it was still a solid run from Seoul’s best finisher who was close to the front throughout and took things up as they began to turn for home. Weakened in the last half furlong. 9.1, 2.1 (0.75 lengths)

5. Doraon Hyeonpyo (Kim Dong Young) – The pre-race favourite raced in 4th or 5th the whole way around. Although he he quickened sufficiently to pass the early leaders as they tired, he too was passed in the home straight. 2.4, 1.2 (0.5 lengths)

6. Seonbong (Lee Joon Chel) – A good run although he just missed out on the prize money. He went towards the back early and closed well although couldn’t make inroads into the big guns in the final furlong. 113.9, 9.9 (1.5 lengths)

7. Smart Time (Ham Wan Sik) – The lowest rated pre-race was the first of the two fillies to finish and it was creditable enough. Went back early but passed four in the home straight. Was finishing the 3rd quickest in the race, she may be Oaks bound. 148.8, 28.5 (1 length)

8. Yuseong Fighting (Lee Hee Cheon) – We said in the preview that this one would go forward as there was no way he would be able to win from the back. Well they did totally the opposite, going right to the back and then closing impressively. Of course, there was far too much to do but only the winner finished quicker. The last of those who were in touch with the winner and can be said to have had a good race. 161.2, 15.6 (1.5 lengths)

9. Mac And Cheese (Joe Fujii) – After his performance in the KRA Cup Mile, expectations were low and he duly lived down to them. He went towards the back early and didn’t quicken when asked. 58.0, 13.7 (5 lengths)

10. Yeongung Bolt (Song Keong Yun) – The other filly, she went towards the back of midfield early and didn’t find anything in the home straight, finishing slowly. After the race she was found to have bled and will be suspended for one month. 165.4, 25.0 (5 lengths)

11. Yeonggwanguitaepung (Masa Tanaka) – He’d lost 14kg since his KRA CUp Mile 4th and the race went exactly the opposite to how it was expected. Instead of starting slowly and finishing strongly, he went towards the front early and finished weakly. Didn’t look 100% right. 19.7, 4.2 (Nose)

12. New White Socks (Moon Se Young) – A big disappointment, this one showed close to the front much of the way around but was passed on the home turn and was slow in the straight. 16.3, 3.9 (0.5 lengths)

13. Sanggam Mama (Park Eul Woon) – As expected, he went out quickly and took the early lead. As expected, he couldn’t keep it up and was done by the time they got to the home straight. 75.7, 15.8 (2.5 lengths)

The Korean Oaks will be run at Busan on June 21 while the final leg of the Triple Crown is the Minister’s Cup, back at Seoul on July 19.

Aced It! Yeongcheon Ace Wins The Korean Derby

Yeongcheon Ace came through with a powerful finish to win the 2015 Korean Derby at Seoul Racecourse this afternoon.

Yeongcheon Ace beats Triple Nine (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Yeongcheon Ace beats Triple Nine (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Third in the KRA Cup Mile, the extra furlong proved all the difference as Yeongcheon Ace swept past the front running Daegunhwang in the final furlong and went on for a 2-length victory from Triple Nine and Cup Mile winner Rafale.

Yeongcheon Ace and Choi Si Dae in the Derby winner's circle (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Yeongcheon Ace and Choi Si Dae in the Derby winner’s circle (Pic: Ross Holburt)

It was another big race win for jockey Choi Si Dae and yet another Classic winner from Busan. Daegunhwang was Seoul’s best finisher, battling on for 4th ahead of pre-race favourite, Doraon Hyeonpyo.

The Korea Derby (KOR G1) – Seoul Racecourse – 1800M – May 17, 2015

1. Yeongcheon Ace (KOR) [Menifee – Dixie Avenger (Dixie Union)] – Choi Si Dae – 4.8, 1.7
2. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant tap)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 2.5
3. Rafale (KOR) [Colors Flying – Dongbang Choego (Al Naba)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.7
Distances: 2 lengths / 0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Daegunhwang 5. Doraon Hyeonpyo 6. Seonbong 7. Smart Time 8. Yuseong Fighting 9. Mac And Cheese 10. Yeongung Bolt 11. Yeonggwanguitaepung 12. New White Socks 13. Sangam Mama

Full report to follow.

Sun Lordly Lords It In JRA Trophy

27/1 shot Sun Lordly caught them cold to sprint away to a gate-to-wire victory in the JRA Trophy at Seoul Racecourse this afternoon in what is now the traditional Derby-Eve feature event

The 6-year-old mare bounded out of the gate into an early lead in the six-furlong sprint and by the time hot favourite Jangmi Eondeok finally got into gear, Sun Lordly was out of sight and cruised to a 4-length win on the line.

An also-ran in the Segye Ilbo Cup earlier this year, Sun Lordly, who missed almost a year earlier in her career, was recording her 6th win from 28 lifetime starts.

For jockey Park Byeong Yun, it was his first big race win of any description since his riding debut in 2008.

JRA Trophy – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – May 16, 2015

1. Sun Lordly (KOR) [Vicar – Stormcloudrising (Stormy Atlantic)] – Park Byeong Yun – 28.0, 6.6
2. Jangmi Eondeok (USA) [Midnight Lute – Sea Gift (A.P. Indy)] – Moon Se Young – 1.2
3. X File (KOR) [Exploit – Dorothy Dee (Woodman)] – Kim Dong Soo – 8.4
Distances: 4 lengths/Head
Also Ran: 4. Best High (KOR) 5. Super Serene (USA) 6. Full Moon Party (KOR) 7. K Ascending (USA) 8. Cool Touch (USA) 9. Appealing Star (KOR) 10. Pureun Geotap (KOR)

Tomorrow it is, of course, the Korean Derby. Get your race cards here and your full runner by runner preview here.