Day: November 28, 2015

Pinna At The Double In Seoul

It hadn’t been the easiest of starts to riding in Korea for Nicola Pinna but things came right for the Italian jockey at Seoul Racecourse on Saturday as he rode a double, including victory in the feature race on Bichui Jeongsang who downed Asia Challenge Cup winner Choegang Schiller in a tight finish.


Nicola Pinna (and interpreter) are interviewed after Bichui Jeongsang won Seoul’s Saturday feature

Pinna couldn’t make weight on the first of his scheduled mounts a few weeks ago and was handed an automatic two-day ban for his troubles. It meant that despite having been in the country a month, prior to today, he had only had three rides.

Today it came right though. Pinna made his breakthrough on 3/1 second favourite Hwangnyongbisang, who scored a two-length victory in race 8. However, by far the best was yet to come.

Choegang Schiller (Artie Schiller) beat Singapore’s El Padrino to win the Asia Challenge Cup in a track record time at the end of August. The three-year-old hadn’t run since then and was sent-off the hot favourite to repeat today with regular jockey Lee Chan Ho riding. Third-favourite was Bichui Jeongsang (Wildcat Heir), a four-year-old filly, who had won five of fifteen career starts and was 3rd to Esmeraldina in the Ttukseom Cup.

With Pinna in the saddle, Bichui Jeongsang wasn’t quickly away but improved around the home turn to come shoulder to shoulder with Choegang Schiller entering the home straight. That would be how they would remain for a keenly-fought tussle through the final two furlongs that went all the way to the line. It looked at one point as Choegang Schiller had it but Pinna coaxed out one last effort from his mount to get her home a neck in front.

Punters second-choice Bear Queen Trophy was a distant third but may as well have been running a different race, so dominant the first two were. The winning time was just one-tenth of a second outside the mark that Choegang Schiller set in the Asia Challenge Cup. The win could be a boost for Bichui Jeongsang’s connections ambition to race her overseas early next year.

A day can make a big difference and all of a sudden, 27-year-old Pinna now has two wins from just seven mounts and really showed his quality in that second win. He has five more rides tomorrow. Fellow Italian-licensed rider Djordje Perovic meanwhile guided home his 38th Korean winner earlier in the day and is now joint-leading jockey at Seoul for the month of November. While Perovic can do a kilo lighter, more rides like the one on Bichui Jeongsang and Nicola Pinna could well be challenging him in the near future.



Korean Breeders’ Cup – Full Preview

Korea’s champion juvenile will be crowned at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon after eleven two-year-olds line up for the Breeders’ Cup.

Ottug Ottugi

Ottug Ottugi won the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup (Pic: KRA)

The winners of both Seoul and Busan’s prep races, the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup and the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup, will both be there and it is set for an interesting race.

Here is a full run-down of all of the runners with [Pedigree] Sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Trainer – Jockey (Home Track):

Breeders’ Cup (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – November 29, 2015 (15:15)

1. Whiz Speed [Admire Don – Speed Bag (Abagninone)] C (5/1/0/1) Song Moon Gil – Park Tae Jong (Seoul)
He was 5th in the Mayor’s Cup, five lengths behind the winner. His victory came in September over 1200M but it was not an especially strong race and both speed and stamina are open to question. A lot of improvement will be needed if he is to compete here. Expect him to settle in the middle of the field.

2. Major Winner [One Cool Cat – I Am Cruising (Value Plus)] F (3/2/0/1) Jang Se Han – Song Keong Yun (Busan)
She comes in following consecutive victories over 1200M and 1300M, most recently at class 5. She came from just behind the lead on both occasions and will likely try similar here and while she has potential, others will be favoured.

3. Clean Up King [Strike Again – Kilcoe Castle (Gone West)] C (3/2/0/0) Seo In Seok – Ham Wan Sik (Se0ul)
A half-brother to last year’s winner Doraon Hyeonpyo, he will be an outsider to match his elder’s feat. He does come in following two consecutive wins, beating Whiz Speed in the first of those and Dixie Ploit (half to Derby winner Yeongcheon Ace) last time. He is another that will look to settle just behind any early speed but he is going to have to find plenty to beat this field at this distance.

4. Winner’s Glory [Strike Again – Luck And Fame (Western Fame)] C  (3/2/1/0) Shim Seung Tae – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
He entered the Mayor’s Cup unbeaten in two and led for much of that race only to be defeated by the fast finishing Waikiki on the line. Despite that, he is likely to go try to go forward again, he should be able to cope with the distance and he may be considered.

5. Cheonji Storm [Admire Don – Great Thought (Empire Maker)] C (2/2/0/0) Kim Dong Kyun – Shin Hyoung Chul (Seoul)
The only one of this field to have already won at this distance with a six-length win on October 25th. He was similarly impressive on his debut a month earlier. He scores highly on speed and obviously has no issues with the distance. While he led from gate to wire last time, he came from behind the time before and with some others likely to go forward, he may opt to be patient here. Big chance and he will be well-backed.

6. Ottug Ottugi [Forest Camp – Main Objective (Lion Heart)] F (3/3/0/0) Kim Young Kwan – Choi Si Dae (Busan)
She comes in unbeaten after three races with victory in the Gyeongnam Sinmun the highlight. She has led from gate-to-wire in all three and is surely likely to go forward again. However, she only just got home last time with stablemate Power Blade almost catching her on the line. It is going to be harder today but she still must be strongly considered

7. Waikiki [Pico Central – Wyvern (Didyme)] F (3/1/2/0) Ha Jae Heung – Park Byeong Yun (Seoul)
The 48/1 winner of the Mayor’s Cup last month when she flew home from the back of the field to get up by half a length from Winner’s Glory. That followed two 2nd places when similar tactics were employed. She certainly showed a decent turn of foot and the distance will suit her. She will go right back once more and she will be nothing like 48/1 this time.

8. Banjiui Jewang [Ecton Park – Sweetoil (Broken Vow)] C (2/2/0/0) Peter Wolsley – Jo Sung Gon (Busan)
A nine length winner on his debut, he was an early scratching from the Gyeongnam Sinmun due to soreness but came back on November 6th to win a 1200M class 5 race by four lengths so he arrives unbeaten. He has won from the front both times but may not wish to take on the early speed this time. The distance should be fine for him, plenty of potential and a big chance.

9. Sunganui Beopchik [Exploit – Arrested Lady (Thunder Gulch)] C (4/1/0/1) Yoo Byung Bok – Kim Eu Soo (Busan)
He was 5th in the Gyeongnam Sinmun but came back out a winner on November 6th over 1200M. That was at class 6 so there is still plenty to prove and he is yet to show much in the way of speed. He won from the front last time but may not go forward here and he will perhaps be the least fancied of the Busan visitors.

10. Gaia Thunder [One Cool Cat – Now Cope With This (Tiznow)] C (4/1/1/1) Park Jong Kon – Park Eul Woon (Seoul)
Sent off in excess of 60/1 in the Mayor’s Cup, he managed a creditable 3rd place coming from the back along with the winner Waikiki who he was a length and a half behind on the line. He previously won a class 6 race over 1200M. He will most likely go back again and try to close but won’t be among the favourites.

11. Power Blade [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain] C (3/1/2/0) Kim Young Kwan – Kim Yong Geun (Busan)
A four length winner on his debut in August he was then stepped up to a mile for his first try at class 5 and finished a very creditable 2nd. He almost managed to run down stable-mate Ottug Ottugi in the final strides of the Gyeongnam Sinmun but the line came just a fraction too soon. This time, with an extra furlong to play with, things could very well be different. He will look to sit behind the early leaders and could very well start favourite.