Month: June 2016

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-by-Race Preview (June 12)

It’s Korean Oaks day at Busan. Nine fillies will line up for the Classic race, a full preview of which can be found here.

There’s plenty of other racing happening at both Seoul and Busan. Rock Band makes his long awaited return on the south-coast, while Sotong Sidae heads the line-up in Seoul’s feature handicap. Rain is forecast at both tracks.

There are 10 races at Seoul from 10:50 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 13:00 to 17:30. English racecards are here. Notes on races from Seoul race 5 onwards are below:

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 13:25 (KST)

Fillies only here and (2) GRIFFIN comes in following back to back victories, most recently beating five of these over class and distance on May 22nd. She won well that day and can repeat but she carries and additional 4kg today and that may be key. (3) DONGHAE CHANGA could be the one to take advantage, coming in after consecutive 3rd places at domestic class 4 and ready to win at this level. (8) J ONE was just over a length behind Griffin last time and can make that up today while (1) QUEEN’S PALACE and (5) DRAGON VILLAGE are the others to watch.

Selections (3) Donghae Changa (2) Griffin (8) J One (1) Queen’s Palace
Next Best 5, 9, 7
Outsiders 4, 6, 10, 11
Fast Starters 2, 3, 5

Busan Race 2: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:50 (KST)

(2) TAIL WIND won a good race at class and distance on May 13th, beating three who go here and he is favoured to strike again here. Main danger could be the up in class (5) KWAEHAN YEONGUNG, who got her maiden win last time showing plenty of speed. (4) CAPITAL GANGJA is talented and can be forgiven a poor outing last month while the three who were beaten by Tail Wind in that good race in May; (1) GODAE, (11) USEUNG CHEONJI and (12) SKY RUNNER, can be given another chance today.

Selections (2) Tail Wind (5) Kwaehan Yeongung (4) Capital Gangja (1) Godae
Next Best 12, 11, 6, 8
Outsiders 3, 7, 9, 10
Fast Starters 2, 4, 8

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 14:15 (KST)

Small field and (4) WHIZ RUN should have the beating of them having just been beaten half a length on his first try at this class last month. (6) JOARA steps up in class following victory at this distance and is the main danger. (2) FLAME CAT can be given another chance after a disappointing run last month (behind Griffin who we saw in race 5) and will join Whiz Run on the early speed. (7) COTTON PRINCE looks best of the rest.

Selections (4) Whiz Run (6) Joara (2) Flame Cat (7) Cotton Prince
Next Best 5, 3, 1
Fast Starters 2, 4, 5

Busan Race 3: Class 3 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 14:40 (KST)

(2) TARIAT TALE has won three from five so far and looks well set to add to that here. He’ll come from just behind an early speed that will likely be set by, among others, (11) PALMAUI SEONDU, who was just beaten a neck in a tough contest over this distance two weeks ago in what was a much improved performance and he can build on that today. (1) TOP SPRING has beaten (3) BADA DOSI at 1800M twice recently and both should be competitive at a mile while (7) DYNAMIC TANK is up in class and significantly in distance for what’s just her fourth start. She returned from eight months out to record her maiden win last month.

Selections (2) Tariat Tale (11) Palmaui Seondu (7) Dynamic Tank (3) Bada Dosi
Next Best 1, 9, 10, 6
Outsiders 4, 5, 8, 12
Fast Starters 7, 9, 11

Seoul Race 7: Class 3 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 15:05 (KST)

Competitive event here with three stepping up in class following victories last time. Of those, (7) INSUJAE was the most impressive and accordingly is narrowly favoured today although the other two, (6) DAEDOLPUNG and (9) BINGO STAR are likely to be the main dangers. The latter two are likely to look to lead early with Insujae being given a more patient ride. The ones with experience at this level have plenty to find but (5) TONGIRUI HAMSEONG and (10) SMART CAPTAIN looking the most likely.

Selections (7) Insujae (6) Daedolpung (9) Bingo Star (10) Smart Captain
Next Best 5, 2, 1
Outsiders 3, 4, 8
Fast Starters 3, 4, 6, 9

Busan Race 4: Class 2 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 15:30 (KST)

Bart Rice’s (10) TRIPLE FIVE has two wins and three seconds from five starts to date and is up in class following a dominant five-length win in a good race at this distance last month. He should have too much here. (4) FRENCH BOY, while inconsistent, showed he can compete at this level with a 3rd place in a solid contest last start and is the main danger while (8) POKPUNG CHOEGANG beat three of these when running 2nd at class and distance on May 13th and must be respected. One of these was (2) WORLD LOVE, who will be on the early speed, while (7) CHOEGANG BULPAE is another to consider.

Selections (10) Triple Five (4) French Boy (8) Pokpung Choegang (2) World Love
Next Best 7, 11, 6, 3
Outsiders 1, 5, 9, 12
Fast Starters 1, 2, 4

Seoul Race 8: Class 5 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 15:55 (KST)

Since getting his maiden win last November, (2) MR MOUNTAIN has managed to narrowly dodge the winner’s circle at class 5 but can put things right today on what will be his first try around two turns. (8) CURRICLE is yet to win in fifteen but was 2nd at class and distance last start, beating a couple of these in the process and can place once more. (5) JISANGGEOTAP and (6) DEVIL MAN have both also raced well at 1700M and may be considered with (7) VICKY LIE one who may appreciate the increase in distance.

Selections (2) Mr. Mountain (8) Curricle (6) Devil Man (7) Vicky Lie
Next Best 5, 11, 10, 1, 3
Outsiders 4, 9
Fast Starters 3

Busan Race 5: Class Open / 1800M / Allowance – The Korean Oaks / KRW 500 Million / 16:30 (KST)

Runner by runner guide here

(2) OTTUG OTTUGI was 2nd in the KRA Cup Mile and then skipped the Derby in order to target this race. On Derby weekend she won at 1800M, will be the quickest away and will be the strong favourite. (4) HOSEUNGJIBYEOK will be 2nd favourite although she wasn’t convincing when racing 2nd at this distance last month and was beaten in March’s Oaks trial not only by Ottug Ottugi, but also by (9) SANTA GLORIA and (1) STEAL THE SHOW WHY. Both of those can go well here and the latter was beaten by (3) SPECIAL ROOKIE at a mile in April. Neither have run since but both looked good in recent trials. Special Rookie is a stablemate of Ottug Ottugi; their trainer Kim Young Kwan has won the race for the past three years and one way or another, looks likely to win this time as well.

Selections (2) Ottug Ottugi (9) Santa Gloria (3) Special Rookie (4) Hoseungjibyeok
Next Best 1, 7, 5
Outsiders 6, 8
Fast Starters 1, 2, 3, 5

Seoul Race 9: Class 1 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 110 Million / 17:00 (KST)

It’s time (8) SOTONG SIDAE returned to winning ways. His win record would be much higher were it not for the fact that he is always entered in the toughest company and today offers a really good opportunity to change that. He will go back at the start but if he leaves himself a little less to do late on than he has in recent outings, he can win. (6) SEONBONG is of course a big danger. While more dangerous at sprints, he has shown himself more than capable of winning at this level and can do so again. (7) KWAESEOK JILPUNG races at class 1 for the first time and can take advantage of a light weight to secure a good finish while (4) GLOBAL FUSION and (5) IMPETUS can’t be ruled out after recent decent efforts.

Selections (8) Sotong Sidae (6) Seonbong (7) Kwaseok Jilpung (4) Global Fusion
Next Best 3, 5, 1, 11
Outsiders 2, 9, 10, 12
Fast Starters 6, 7, 10

Busan Race 6: Class 1 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 105 Million / 17:30 (KST)

After eight months, (2) ROCK BAND is back. He won the Minister’s Cup but hasn’t been seen since running 2nd to Triple Nine in the President’s Cup at Seoul last October. He has won six of eight starts and came through trials ok. If he is anything like the old Rock Band, he wins. (6) MACHEON BOLT returns for the first time since beating two of these when winning at class and distance in February and is a genuine threat to the favourite as is (1) WONIL GANGJA wo was sent back to trial after laying out last time – he’s since completed two trials. (3) FOREST BOLD, who won the race in which Wonil Gangja behaved badly and (5) DARKEST NIGHT look best of the rest.

Selections (2) Rock Band (6) Macheon Bolt (1) Wonil Gangja (5) Darkest Night
Next Best 3, 8, 11
Outsiders 4, 7, 9, 10
Fast Starters 1, 2, 8, 10

Seoul Race 10: Class 3 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 18:00 (KST)

Up in class following his maiden win by five-lengths at 1200M on May 15th, (9) CHOEGANGJA is the pick to immediately follow up here. It took him a couple of tries to figure out what to do but he now looks a solid prospect. Also up in class following victories are (2) BLAZING STAR and (6) SMOKEN JOE and both can compete while (4) READ AGAIN comes in following a victory at this class and distance, coming from right off the pace, on May 1st and can go well again. (3) JEONSEUNG DAESE struggled a little last time but can go better today.

Selections (9) Choegangja (4) Read Again (2) Blazing Star (3) Jeonseung Daese
Next Best 6, 10
Outsiders 1, 5, 7, 8
Fast Starters 2, 3, 6, 7, 9

The Korean Oaks 2016: Full Preview

Ottug Ottugi will be hot favourite when nine fillies line up for the 2016 Korean Oaks at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon. If the race goes as expected, she will give trainer Kim Young Kwan his fourth consecutive victory in the race.

Ottug Ottugi

Ottug Ottugi is the strong Oaks favourite (Pic: KRA)

Rather shamefully, Seoul has not managed to muster a single filly in this crop to take part in the Classic so the Oaks is a 100% Busan affair this year.

South African trainer Bart Rice saddles his first Korean runner and while Jangguneui Huye will be an outsider, beyond the favourite, the race is quite open. Paolo Aragoni is the only foreign jockey to secure a mount in the race and will partner Steal The Show Why.

While a succession of odds-on favourites went down at Busan on Friday (including some trained by Kim Young Kwan), were Ottug Ottugi – whose conqueror in the KRA Cup Mile Power Blade went on to romp home in the Derby at Seoul last month – to be defeated, it would be as big a shock as when Derby winning filly Sangseung Ilro lost the race in the final strides back in 2009.

Korean Oaks (KOR G2) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – June 12, 2016 (16:30)

1. Steal The Show Why (KOR) [Whywhywhy – Steal The Show (Cat Thief)] (11/2/2/3) KY Baik – Paolo Aragoni
Fifth in the trail in March she has followed up with 3rd place finishes at a mile and at this distance of 1800M. One of a number of likely early front-runners, she will stay on and could challenge for a place.

2. Ottug Ottugi (KOR) [Forest Camp – Main Objective (Lion Heart)] (9/6/2/0) YK Kim – Choi Si Dae
The hot favourite, she will be odds-on. She won the Trial easily and was then 2nd to stablemate Power Blade in the first leg of the Triple Crown before comfortably winning her first try at 1800M last month. No reason to oppose her, she should lead from gate to wire.

3. Special Rookie (KOR) [Menifee – Swing City (Carson City)] (3/2/0/0) YK Kwan – Kim Yong Geun
Stablemate of Ottug Ottugi and still a slightly unknown quantity. She beat Santa Gloria when winning at a mile in April but hasn’t raced since. Won a trial just last week and Kim Young Kwan’s horses must never be underestimated. Goes forward with Ottug Ottugi.

4. Hoseungjibyeok (KOR) [Didyme – Everything Nice (Elusive Quality)] (6/4/1/0) BE Kang – Song Keong Yun
More advanced than the rest of the field with the exception of Ottug Ottugi, she has made it up to class 3, despite being beaten by three of these in March’s trial. She came 2nd on her first try at 1800M last month in a decent but not overly convincing performance. She deserves second-favourite status but still has things to prove. She will sit behind the early lead and if the others go too fast, she can take advantage.

5. Miracle Bolt (KOR) [Sharp Humor – C’Mon Maria (Maria’s Mon)] (7/3/3/0) KH Choi – Seol Dong Bok
All three of her wins have come at 1000M and she is yet to show anything that would suggest she is capable of getting 1800M at this stage, let alone competing at it. The outsider of the field, she may as well go out as quickly as possible and see what happens.

6. Jangguneui Huye (KOR) [Gaeseon Janggun – Mercy Matters (Cozzene)] (3/1/0/0) BN Rice – Chae Sang Hyun
Bart Rice’s first Korean Classic runner and a welcome entrant by Gaeseon Janggun, who won the final leg of the Triple Crown in 2008. Only three runs so far and only one this year which was a 5th place in a tough race over 1300M. She will therefore be one of the outsiders here

7. Byeolmuri (KOR) [Colors Flying – Sink Or Swim (Meadowlake)] (10/3/3/0) SB Han – Kim Dong Young  
Yet to be tried at further than 1300M, she comes in following two convincing wins at that distance and looks to have solid potential. She has tended to be on the early speed but may let others go forward here and she can find the money.

8. Quick Force (KOR) [Vicar – Madam Winette (Danewin)] (6/0/4/2) SJ Kwon – Lim Sung Sil
The only one of these yet to get her maiden victory and it is unlikely to arrive here. She has done ok, never finishing any worse than 3rd but this is obviously a significant step up and a top five finish would be a good result.

9. Santa Gloria (KOR) [Menifee – Pupil (Unbridled)] (7/1/1/2) KY Baik – Seo Seung Un
Third in the March Oaks Trial, she was just beaten a neck by Special Rookie over a mile in April. That was her most recent start although she won a trial last month. Like to have no problems with the distance, she will be ridden patiently by Seo Seung Un, who is in great form at the moment. She could go very well.

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 10)

Korean Oaks weekend gets underway at Busan on Friday afternoon with 10 races from 12:40 to 19:00. There will be racing at Seoul on Saturday and both Seoul and Busan on Sunday.

Last weekend Seo Seung Un took full advantage of many of Busan’s top jockeys being away in Seoul to ride seven winners across the two days. Seo is back in action today add could well add to his winners but only one of his mounts is expected to be favourite. Other jockeys to follow today look to be the Italian pair of Paolo Aragoni and Pasquale Borelli – both should partner two favourites. In terms of trainers, champion trainer Kim Young Kwan could quite easily send out three or four winners. Here are brief notes on races 2-10:

Race 2: Class 6 / 1200M / Allowance/ KRW 20 Million / 13:25 (KST)

Can (9) HAEGA TTEUNDA get it done this time? She’s been well-backed since her debut but has managed to come up short each time. She needs a good start – something she has often failed to do – and if she gets it, she can win this. Main danger is (4) HAPPY JILJU, who got her best finish of 2nd last time out at this distance on May 13th. She beat (5) CHASEDAE into 4th that day which was a big improvement for the latter too. (2) ATHENS was a disappointing 7th on debut on May 20th but Kim Young Kwan’s colt can be given another chance here while another disappointing debut-maker (10) HAMAN YEOJEONSA is also expected to improve.

Selections (9) Haega Tteunda (4) Happy Jilju (2) Athens (5) Chasedae
Next Best 10, 7, 1
Outsiders 3, 6, 8
Fast Starters 4, 9, 10

Race 3: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 14:10 (KST)

It’s an unfashionable trainer/jockey combination but (8) DANGCHAN JILJU was 2nd at the distance last time and a similar run today could well be enough to see off this field. He’s likely to get an uncontested lead and can go all the way. (1) SUPER BLADE was 6th in an all-filly race on debut last month and she’s the one from who improvement is most expected, having looked sharp in earlier trials. Thomas Gillespie’s (3) WINNING ALL was much improved on his second start just two weeks ago and can build on that today while (6) YEONGUNG CHULGYEOK and (7) WONDER BOY look to be the best of the rest.

Selections (1) Super Blade (8) Dangchan Jilju (3) Winning All (6) Yeongung Chulgyeok
Next Best 7, 9
Outsiders 2, 4, 5
Fast Starters 8

Race 4: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 15:00 (KST)

No fewer than five of these are up in class today and of those, it’s (2) KKOKDAEGI who looks the most likely to build on what was a winning debut on May 22nd. He came from off the pace to win over the minimum distance last time and the step up to 1200M today should suit him very nicely. Of the others up in class (8) MUJEOK VICAR, an eye-catching six-length winner last start, and (7) YEONGGWANGUI CAMP look to have the best chances to go on while among those with experience at this level (4) GANGJA DAERO and (1) SANGSEUNG MULGYEOL can find the places.

Selections (2) Kkokdaegi (8) Mujeok Vicar (1) Sangseung Mulgyeol (4) Gangja Daero
Next Best 7, 9, 3
Outsiders 5, 6
Fast Starters 3, 5, 8, 9

Race 5: Class 5 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 15:50 (KST)

(11) BLACK TETRA has been favourite in both her last two starts but despite missing out both times, she is the choice to get it right today. She will look to lead from the gate. (8) MUJEOK SINHWA hasn’t found things easy in three starts at this level so far but can improve today while (12) CLEAN CHOEGANG started awkwardly and raced poorly last time but can be considered again following six weeks off. (2) LUCKY HANMA and (4) CHOEGANG EXCELLENT are best of the rest.

Selections (11) Black Tetra (8) Mujeok Sinwhwa (4) Choegang Excellent (12) Clean Choegang
Next Best 2, 9, 3, 7
Outsiders 1, 5, 6, 10
Fast Starters 2, 9, 11

Race 6: Class 4 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 16:40 (KST)

(6) KKEUTPAN HERO is two for two and up in class and distance but he is going to be up against it here against some promising imports. He is very nicely in the weights though and shouldn’t be overlooked. Kim Young Kwan’s (3) GUMALLI was a solid winner over 1400M and returning after over two months, looks to have solid claims while (9) GOLD BLUE beat a couple of these when winning, also over 1400M, last month. Both (4) PAMPAS FARM and (5) QUEEN ELEGANCE are yet to win but both are capable of coming close.

Selections (3) Gumalli (6) Kkeutpan Hero (9) Gold Blue (4) Pampas Farm
Next Best 5, 1, 7
Outsiders 2, 8, 10, 11
Fast Starters 5, 6

Race 7: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 17:20 (KST)

Banker favourite of the day here in (8) SAEROUN STEALTH. Last seen running 8th in the Korean Derby at Seoul four weeks ago, he should have too much for this field. Clear 2nd choice is (3) V MAN, who also went in the Derby and should be too quick for most. (4) HWANHUIUI BYEOL is the likely pacesetter and so long as he doesn’t do too much too early, can stay on well at this distance while (5) FIRST KING and (7) WORLD QUICK are others to consider.

Selections (8) Saeroun Stealth (3) V Man (4) Hwanhuiui Byeol (5) First King
Next Best 7, 1, 2
Outsiders 6, 9, 10, 11
Fast Starters 4, 10, 11

Race 8: Class 3 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 18:00 (KST)

(3) SISEON POCHAK drops back to a mile today following a couple of spins around 1800M – one of them successful and the other a 7th place in the Korean Derby – and having won at this distance in the past, should go well here. (2) ACME returns for the first time since January. He was on a strong of three consecutive wins before the spell and looked ok in a trial at the end of last month. He may need to sharpen up a little bit but can be considered. (5) SANGSEUNG JUNIOR is two starts back from a lengthy spell of his own. Both have resulted in 3rd place finishes and he should be at least matching that today, (1) SINCHEON YEOMANG and the up in class (6) CHEONJUNGWANG are others to consider.

Selections (3) Siseon Pochak (2) Acme (5) Sangseung Junior (6) Cheonjungwang
Next Best 1, 4, 7
Fast Starters 2, 3, 4

Race 9: Class 2 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 18:30 (KST)

(4) BIT BLADE returned for the first time in a year on May 13th to go six for six and while he jumps up to two turns for the very first time, he is favoured to maintain his 1000% record here. Main danger is (3) MAGIC PARK who beat two of these when winning at a mile on May 1st and must be respected. One of those beaten that day was (1) SHARP GALE and he along with (2) WILD BURNING and (7) PROFESSOR SILVER look the most likely of the rest.

Selections (4) Bit Blade (3) Magic Park (1) Sharp Gale (7) Professor Silver
Next Best 2, 5, 6
Fast Starters 3, 4, 5

Race 10: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 19:00 (KST)

Four of these raced each other at class and distance on May 22nd and the winner that day (5) SUPER STORM is favoured to follow up today despite carrying an extra 2.5kg. The ones who got closest to him that day, (6) GANGHO DRIVE and (3) MACHU PICCHU look to be the main dangers again with Machu Picchu favoured to get a bit closer this time. (7) UBAKI and (4) SMILE QUEEN are others to consider for the places.

Selections (5) Super Storm (3) Machu Picchu (6) Gangho Drive (7) Ubaki
Next Best 4, 1, 2
Fast Starters 4, 5

Foreigner Only OTB Opens At Walkerhill In Seoul

The long-planned OTB exclusively for foreign customers has now been established at the Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel & Casino in Eastern Seoul. 

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The entrance to the Walkerhill CCC

The facility opened this month and has its own subsection on the KRA’s website here.

In addition to the three racecourses at Seoul, Busan and Jeju, the Korea Racing Authority already operates 30 off track betting centres across the country. Formerly called KRA Plazas, they were rebranded as LetsRun CCC in 2014 (CCC standing for Culture Convenience Center ). Along with the rebranding, a full scale renovation program has been rolled out across the branches, turning the majority into assigned seating  venues with various levels of pricing and comfort.

While this has significantly reduced attendance at some venues – such as Yongsan in Seoul which remains the scene of local resident and church group protests since its relocation – turnover has actually increased with the nicer environment being more conducive for betting.

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The general seating area at Walkerhill CCC prior to opening

Additionally, as the name suggests, further emphasis has been placed on the  community uses the facilities are put to on non-race days. However, one thing the OTBs, be they plazas or CCCs, have never been is especially welcoming towards foreign visitors; this blog has heard plenty of tales about curious foreign visitors and those simply wanting to have a bit of a punt, of being turned away by suspicious security guards.

Now no longer and most importantly, with it being a partnership with the Walkerhill, whose foreigner-only casino comes under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism rather than the Ministry of Agriculture.

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Private room at Walkerhill CCC

The facility is in the Walkerhill Hotel & Casino Complex at Achasan in eastern Seoul near Gwangnaru Station on subway line 5. It will be open on racedays for betting on racing from Seoul, Busan and Jeju. The CCC comprises a general seating area as well as private rooms and a cafeteria. Memberships are available. For more information see the website.

Bichui Jeongsang Strikes For Seoul In Ttukseom Cup

It’s not often that Seoul bests Busan when horses from the two tracks meet in Stakes races but that’s exactly what happened in the first leg of the Queen’s Tour on Sunday afternoon as Bichui Jeongsang justified her favourite status to win the Ttukseom Cup.

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Jo Sung Gon and Bichui Jeongsang win the Ttukseom Cup (Pic: KRA)

The race attracted thirteen fillies & mares with Bichui Jeongsang, 3rd in last year’s race and a multiple time class 1 winner, sent off just the right side of even money for the 1400 series opener.

Under former Champion Busan jockey Jo Sung Gon, Bichui Jeongsang was slowly away as last year’s Oaks winner Jangpung Parang showed the way early on. The latter though would fade and eventually finish i 5th place as Buchui Jeongsang improved around the home turn and then powered away from her rivals in the home straight, beating 20/1 shot Halla Chukje by half a length on the line. New York Blue, 2nd in last year’s race was Busan’s best finisher in 3rd.

Bichui Jeongsang was purchased for $30,000 at Fasig Tipton in 2013 and won four out of her first five on her way to a quick elevation to class 1 racing. She was slightly disappointing in some big Stakes races in the second half of last year which led to her missing out on a trip to the Dubai Carnival but scored back to back class 1 wins at the turn of the year and now heads the favourites as the Queen’s Tour contenders reassemble in Busan for the KNN Cup next month.

The Ttukseom Cup (KOR G2) – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – June 5, 2016

1. Bichui Jeongsang (USA) [Wildcat Heir – Persimmon Honey (Colonial Affair)] – Jo Sung Gon – 2.3, 1.2
2. Halla Chukje (USA) [Gottcha Gold – C D Player (Montbrook)] – Lee Hyeok – 4.9
3. New York Blue (USA) [Candy Ride – Aim For The Moon (Deputy Minister)] – Lim Sung Sil – 1.5
Distances: 0.5 lengths / 0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Silver Wolf (AUS) 5. Jangpung Parang (KOR) 6. Ms. Margaux (USA) 7. Queen’s Champion (USA) 8. Supreme Magic (USA) 9. Hay Queen (USA) 10. Model Line (USA) 11. Bukbeol Sinhwa (KOR) 12. Winner’s Marine (KOR) 13. Indian Star (KOR)

This coming week, attention shifts to the next generation of fillies in the shape of the Korean Oaks at Busan. It is unlikely Seoul will be able to follow up with another victory.

Perdido Pomeroy Wins SBS Korea/Japan Cup

Perdido Pomeroy won the 2nd leg of the 2016 Sprint Series and the first of the year’s international races, beating out last year’s Asia Challenge Cup winner Choegang Schiller by half a length in the SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup last Sunday.

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Perdido Pomeroy gets the better of Choegang Schiller at Seoul on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

In the first leg of the Sprint Series, Perdido Pomeroy had gone down to Gamdonguibada and while the mare was sent off as favourite to make it two wins in a row, she had to settle for 3rd as under Kim Yong Geun, Perdido Pomeroy made all.

Choegang Schiller pushed the winner all the way but there was no luck for the visiting Japanese-trained trio. Kimon Avalon was the best placed finisher, coming home in 5th with Dreadnought 7th and Best Wish 11th.

Perdido Pomeroy cost just $22,000 at last June’s OBS Sales but in just seven races to date, has already earned over $350,000, with this being his fifth win.

Another up and coming import, Tongil Sidae put in a creditable effort in 4th. Unlike Perdido Pomeroy, his future is most likely at further distances. However, there was no luck for Cheongu, the globe-trotting colt looking more and more as though he could do with a spell while OS Hwadap also found it tough in this company.

Perdido Pomeroy’s emergence, however, gives some cause for optimism for Korean entries ahead of the final leg of the Sprint Series which will be the $700K Korea Sprint on International Day in September.

SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – June 5, 2016

1. Perdido Pomeroy (USA) [Pomeroy – Boldest Of All (Bold Executive)] – Kim Yong Gen – 5.8, 1.9
2. Choegang Schiller (USA) [Artie Schiller – Changeable (Miswaki)] – Lee Chan Ho – 1.9
3. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.4
Distances: 0.5 lengths / 1 length
Also Ran: 4. Tongil Sidae (USA) 5. Kimon Avalon (JPN) 6. Mirae Yeongung (USA) 7. Dreadnought (JPN) 8. OS Hwadap (USA) 9. Cheongu (USA) 10. Yuseong Fighting (KOR) 11. Best Wish (JPN) 12. Rise And Shout (USA)

Ttukseom Cup 2016: Runners & Riders

Sunday at Seoul sees the first leg of the Queen’s Tour to decide the nation’s Champion Filly & Mare for 2016. An hour after the SBS Korea/Japan Cup (Click here for the full preview of the Korea/Japan Cup), thirteen will line up for 1400M test.

Peter Wolsley’s Ms. Margaux, who specializes in coming 2nd or 3rd, looks to be the pick here but she will face strong competition from the likes of Bichui Jeongsang, New York Blue and last year’s Oaks winner Jangpung Parang. Indian Star is also likely to be among the favourites.

Ttukseom Cup (KOR G2) – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – May 5, 2016 (17:05)

1. Bichui Jeongsang (USA) [Wildcat Heir – Persimmon Honey (Colonial Affair)] 5 (20/7/5/4) IS Seo – Jo Sung Gon
2. Queen’s Champion (USA) [Colonel John – Side Venture (Touch Gold)] 4 (12/4/3/1) SK Kim – Moon Se Young
3. Jangpung Parang (KOR) [Creek Cat – Ascend The Throne (Silver Charm)] 4 (13/4/2/5) YK Kim – Kim Yong Geun
4. Silver Wolf (AUS) [Oratorio – Ready For More (More Than Ready)] 4 (9/4/3/0) MG Son – Yoo Seung Wan
5. Indian Star (KOR) [Adcat – Indian Diamond (Indian Charlie)] 4 (12/8/1/1) JB Mun – Yoo Hyun Myung
6. Supreme Magic (USA) [Lookin At Lucky – Thru N’Thru (Stormy Atlantic)] 4 (11/4/2/2) WS An – Yonekura Satoshi
7. Model Line (USA) [Desert Party – Playing Footsie (Valiant Nature)] 4 (16/3/1/0) IS Seo – Imran Chisty
8. Bukbeol Sinhwa (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] 5 (15/6/2/1) YK Kim – Paolo Aragoni
9. Halla Chukje (USA) [Gottcha Gold – C D Player (Montbrook)] 5 (28/5/5/2) JG Yu – Lee Hyeok
10. Winner’s Marine (KOR) [Volponi – Graceful Ballerina (Posse)] KH Choi – Choi Si Dae
11. Hay Queen (USA) [Hold Me Back – Jack’s Touch (Touch Gold)] JH Koo – Song Jae Chul
12. Ms. Margaux (USA) [Midnight Lute – Sixtyone Margaux)] 5 (24/2/9/8) PM Wolsley – Lee Hee Cheon
13. New York Blue (USA) [Candy Ride – Aim For The Moon (Deputy Minister)] 5 (22/7/8/1) KM Lim – Lim Sung Sil

The SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup 2016: Full Preview

Sunday sees the running of two group races at Seoul and first up is the SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup, the first international race in Korea this year. Three Japan-trained horses have traveled over to participate in the race, which will be screened live on the SBS Sports channel.

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Choegang Schiller and Lee Chan Ho won the Asia Challenge Cup last year. He goes in the SBS Korea/Japan Cup this time (Pic: Ross Holburt)

The first Korea/Japan race took place in 2013 and was won by the visiting Tosen Archer. The race evolved into the Asia Challenge Cup in 2014 when it was won by Singapore’s El Padrino and remained that way in 2015 when Choegang Schiller, who runs this time around, took the honours. This year it is back as a straight contest between Korea and Japan and Dreadnought, Kimon Avalon and Best Wish, all from the NAR’s Ohi Racecourse in Tokyo, will be flying the Japanese flag in Seoul.

Dreadnought looks to have the best chance among them but all three are going to be up against it in the 1200M sprint. 2012 Grand Prix Stakes, 2015 Busan Mayor’s Cup and 2016 Busan Ilbo Cup winner Gamdonguibada has come back to the capital to lead a very strong home challenge which along with Choegang Schiller, also features the exciting up and comers Perdido Pomeroy and Tongil Sidae and the experienced Mirae Yeongung.

The SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup is live on SBS Sports on cable and satellite in Korea from 3:50pm on Sunday afternoon. Here is a full run down of the field (Name [Pedigree] Age Sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Trainer – Jockey:

SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – June 5, 2016 (16:05)

1. Best Wish (JPN) [White Muzzle – Cross My Heart (Special Week)] 7 H (58/3/10/11) K Arayama – Ryuji Tatsushiro
Managed a 2nd place over this distance at Ohi at the beginning of April but only beat a couple home last time out. Not generally a fast starter and he looks to be up against it here.

2. Mirae Yeongung (KOR) [Aragorn – Willing Miss (More Than Ready)] 5 H (24/11/6/0) MG Son – Moon Se Young
He comes in having beaten OS Hwadap and Cheongu when winning over 1400M on April 24th having been 2nd to Clean Up Joy, perhaps Seoul’s best current horse, the time before over this distance. HE comes from off the pace and while regular jockey DJordje Perovic is suspended, he has an adequate replacement in the shape of champion Moon Se Young.

3. Tongil Sidae (USA) [Munnings – American Tradition (Quiet American)] 3 C (7/4/2/0) YK Kim – You Hyun Myung
He’s burst onto the Busan scene this year, winning his class 1 debut over 1800M on April 1. He was downed by a neck last start at the same distance. He races at 1200M for the first time since his winning debut and at Seoul for the very first time. A stablemate of Gamdonguibada, he will be on the early speed here and has every chance.

4. Perdido Pomeroy (USA) [Pomeroy – Boldest Of All (Bold Executive)] 3 C (6/4/1/1) JB Mun – Kim Yong Geun
A real potential talent and potential winner of this race. He was beaten by Gamdonguibada in the Busan Ilbo Cup last month but beat Success Story by three lengths. Another who will be on the early speed here, he could turn the tables on Gamdonguibada this time.

5. OS Hwadap (USA) [Friesian Fire – Meg’s A Lady (Menifee)] 3 C (7/5/0/2) IS Seo – Jo Sung Gon
Another up-and-comer, he was 3rd behind Mirae Yeongung and ahead of stablemate Cheongu on his first attempt at class 1 in April. HE is another who goes forward from the gate and while this is his toughest assignemnt to date, he can find the money.

6. Kimon Avalon (JPN) [South Vigorous – Grand Heat (Special Week)] 7 H (53/9/7/7) K Arayama – Daisuke Mashima
This is jockey Daisuke Mashima’s fourth visit to Seoul but he’s likely to return empty-handed once more. Kimon Avalon comes in following a 2nd place at this distance at Ohi on April 19th but will have to find plenty here if he is to aim for anyting more than the minor money.

7. Cheongu (USA) [Old Fashioned – So Much Fun (Speightstown)] 4 H (13/5/1/4) IS Seo – Yoo Seung Wan
Globe-trotter Cheongu was a slightly disappointing 6th on his return to KOrea from Dubai at the end of April; beaten by Mirae Yeongung and stablemate OS Hwadap. 3rd in last year’s Asia Challenge Cup, if he can get to the front straight out of the gate, anything can happen.

8. Rise And Shout (USA) [Utopia – Ooh Yeah (Dismissed)] 6 H (35/4/6/2) SG Kim – Lee Hyeon Jong
An outsider, he enters in little form having beaten few home in four starts so far this year. Eleven weeks since his last start, when he was a long way behind Mirae Yeongung, there’s not a whole lot to recommend here.

9. Choegang Schiller (USA) [Artie Schiller – Changeable (Miswaki)] 5 G YH Ji – Lee Chan Ho
He won the Asia Challenge Cup last August but has only run twice since then due to various issues. His only tart so far this year was in February at 1800M and didn’t go well (although Mirae Yeongung had an off day too thenbut he is reportedly fit now and a fit Choegang Schiller has every chance here.

10. Yuseong Fighting (KOR) [Didyme – Maggie’s Prayer (Songandaprayer)] 4 C (18/6/3/3) KH Choi – Lim Sung Sil
A pure sprinter, his win record would be much better had he not run so many times at unsuitable distances. Comes in following a 2nd place at this distance at class 2 at Busan, he has plenty to find here but he is capable of the money.

11. Dreadnought (KOR) [Meisho Odo – Bonnes Mare (Starborough)] 8 G (32/7/2/1/4) K Hashimoto – Takayuki Yano
Looks to be the best of the Japanese visitors with a 1400M Ohi win to his name this year. He is likely to look for a fast start and if he can get o the front, there is no reason why he can’t get home.

12. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] 7 M (34/15/5/7) YK Kim – Choi Si Dae
Likely to be the betting favourite, she just keeps going and going. She enters here having been a five-length winner of the Busan Ilbo Cup on May 1st, beating Perdido Pomeroy into 2nd. Stablemate of Tongil Sidae, the general rule in Korean racing is that whatever happens, Kim Young Kwan wins in the end. Gamdonguibada is the form horse and she can win this.

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview

A big weekend of racing on the peninsula kicks off on Friday afternoon with ten races at Busan with the first at 12:40pm and the last at 7pm (there is also pony racing from Jeju Island in the gaps between races).

Fields look to be competitive with some warm, but by no means nailed-on, favourites throughout the day. Trainer Bart Rice was in top form in May and he can keep it going with Wonil Bulpae in race 7 (Edit: Wonil Bulpae has been withdrawn). Many of Busan’s top jockeys are away in Seoul this weekend for Sunday’s SBS and Ttukseom Cups so Ikuyasu Kurakane, Seo Seung Un and Lee Yong Ho look to be the ones to follow today.

English racecards can be found here. Race-by-race comments:

Race 2: Class 6 / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 13:25 (KST)

(3) NANDANALA returned from almost a year out with a career-best 4th on May 6th and looks best placed to improve here and get her maiden win. (5) STRONG MYEONGUN will look to lead from the gate and is a danger while (1) GEOWIUI KKUM, making just his second start – a full nine months after his first, looked sharp in a trial a couple of weeks ago and may be considered. Debut-maker (6) HWANGGEUMBIT JILJU will have backers due to the stable while (8) PALMYRA and (10) JEONSEOLUI LEGEND are others with the potential to improve.

Selections (3) Nandala (5) Strong Myeongun (1) Geowiui Kkum (10) Jeonseolui Legend
Next Best 6, 8, 12, 11
Outsiders 2, 4, 7, 9
Fast Starters 5, 8

Race 3: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 14:10 (KST)

(5) BEST CHEONGCHUN has managed a best of three 4th place finishes among eight starts to date but should have the beating of these and it’s about time she made the breakthrough here. (3) KWAESOK BOLT was a much-improved 3rd last time out, beating (7) HWASEONG ACE in the process and can be respected with likely pacesetter (1) TAKE AGAIN and (2) PERFECT KING others who are capable of being involved. Best Cheongchun should be winning, though.

Selections (5) Best Cheongchun (3) Kwaesok Bolt (2) Perfect King (1) Take Again
Next Best 6, 7
Outsiders 4, 8
Fast Starters 1

Race 4: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 15:00 (KST)

One of two up in class here, (8) WHITE BLUE is the narrow choice to follow up on her maiden win which she scored at this distance on April 15th. She made all that day and comes in following seven weeks off and while it may be harder to get to the lead today with plenty of early speed in this race, she is the one to beat. Also up in class is (4) TRIPLE PARTY; he is yet to win but has a 2nd and two 3rds in three starts and can maintain that record today while of the more experienced ones, (5) YEONGGWANGUISINHWA and (6) YUSEONG STAR look to be the main dangers. (9) GOLD SUN actually beat White Blue back in January but has struggled in three starts since.

Selections (8) White Blue (4) Triple Party (6) Yuseong Star (5) Yeonggwanguisinhwa
Next Best 9, 2
Outsiders 1, 3, 7, 10
Fast Starters 1, 3, 4, 8, 9

Race 5: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 15:50 (KST)

Competitive all-filly affair here but there are a couple of standouts. (6) ALBERT VICAR beat (4) MAJOR SLAM when scoring her maiden victory over 1200M three weeks ago and looks nicely in to repeat. Major Slam was 4th that day and can be a threat as can her stablemate (2) JUNGANG YEOJE. She is the only one of these up in class following a two-length victory over the minimum distance last month. (5) LOVE QUEEN beat (1) VALKYRIE at the minimum last month and both can challenge today.

Selections (6) Albert Vicar (2) Jungang Yeoje (4) Major Slam (1) Valkyrie
Next Best 5, 3
Outsiders 7, 8, 9
Fast Starters 2, 4, 9

Race 6: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 16:40 (KST)

(4) DOCHI has shown gradual improvement and could perhaps have won had he not missed the jump at this distance just two weeks ago. Ultimately he was beaten four lengths by a decent winner but with a better start today, can win. (6) IMPASSIONED MARINE enters following back-to-back 3rd place finishes and 3rd is a minimum requirement today while the experienced (8) SAMDA GONGJU should have the beating of plenty. (1) OH MY CAPTAIN and (7) FOREVER VICTORY also look capable in this company.

Selections (4) Dochi (6) Impassioned Marine (1) Oh My Captain (8) Samda Gongju
Next Best 7, 9, 5
Outsiders 2, 3, 10
Fast Starters 1, 7

Race 7: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 17:20 (KST)

(Edited due to withdrawal of (7) Wonil Bulpae) (3) GLORY DAYS was 3rd, beaten 2 lengths by Wonil Bulpae over 1400M on May 6th and he inherits favourite status here. Formerly with the Rice stable (11) KING THE GRAY was a decent 2nd on his first start for his new handler last month and can go well again. (5) SSI F STAR looks best of the rest but we’ll need to keep an eye on (10) CUPID BUWHAL. Kim Young Kwan’s debut-maker was 2nd in his barrier trial and will have backers first-up.

Selections (7) Wonil Bulpae (3) Glory Days (11) King The Gray (10) Cupid Buwhal
Next Best 5, 12, 8, 9
Outsiders 1, 2, 4, 6
Fast Starters 3, 12

Race 8: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 18:00 (KST)

(8) MAD POWER is three-for-three and nicely in here to the extent that it’s hard to back against her keeping her unbeaten run going. (3) PRIVATE DANCER had an unbeaten record to defend when he raced over 1400M on March 20th. He was favourite that day but raced so poorly he was disqualified and banned for two months. He came through a trial last month in fine order though and will be one of the main dangers to Mad Power here. Also a danger is (2) ILMANGMUJE, up in class following a string of good results at class 5; she will join Private Dancer on the early speed. (6) USEUNG BEONJJEOK and (9) BETTER THAN YOU are others to consider.

Selections (8) Mad Power (3) Private Dancer (2) Ilmangmuje (9) Better Than You
Next Best 6, 7, 4
Outsiders 1, 5, 10, 11
Fast Starters 2, 3, 8

Race 9: Class 3 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 18:30 (KST)

A seven-length winner at 1400M, (2) GASOK ENGINE steps up in both class and distance today and while a previous try at a mile did not go well, he should be the favourite among this small but competitive field. (1) MR. KELLY has won at this class at a mile in the past and can improve on a lacklustre run at 1400M in March while (5) BEOLMA SONYEON showed signs of a return to form with a 3rd place at a mile last month, beating (6) JOKWANG and (4) MORNING GANGJA in the process. (3) HANBANDO JEONGBOK and (7) CAP IN ALL both come following 5th places which they can improve on here.

Selections (2) Gasok Engine (1) Mr. Kelly (7) Cap In All (5) Beolma Sonyeon
Next Best 3, 4, 6
Outsiders
Fast Starters 2, 3

Race 10: Class 2 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 19:00 (KST)

Another competitive race to finish with and (5) READY WHEN YOU ARE is the slight pick to prevail having done well in two starts so far this year and looking ready for another crack at 1400M. He will look to lead all the way. (2) JUNGANG CHAMP beat (6) NOT ANYMORE by a length at a mile last time and both should be in contention here, as should (1) HEUKGANGJA, who has had eight weeks off since being beaten by Not Anymore over a mile in April. (3) POWER BULLET and (4) SEUNGNI WAVE are both up in class with the latter looking by far the more likely to have potential for further improvement. (7) JIBONG SEUNGNI struggled a little first-up following a lengthy layoff last month but can have come on for the run.

Selections (5) Ready When You Are (2) Jungang Champ (6) Not Anymore (1) Heukgangja
Next Best 7, 4, 3
Outsiders 8, 9
Fast Starters 1, 5, 8

Weekend Preview: Trophy Exchange Races / Korea v Japan / Ttukseom Cup

It’s a big weekend of racing in Korea with a host of trophy exchange races at Seoul on Saturday followed by the SBS Korea/Japan Cup and the Ttukseom Cup on Sunday.

Tosen Archer Groom

Japan’s Tosen Archer won the inaugural SBS Korea/Japan Cup in 2013. Three Japanese horses are in Seoul to compete in this year’s edition on Sunday

Here’s what’s happening where and when this weekend:

Friday June 3
Busan Racecourse: 10 race from 12:40 to 19:00 – Full race-by-race preview will be up as usual on Friday morning.

Saturday June 4
Seoul Racecoure: 12 races from 10:50 to 18:00, including three Trophy Exchange races. Brief notes on those and also the Cargill Agri Purina Trophy race below:

Race 8: The Japan Racing Association (JRA) Trophy (Class Open) / 1400M (15:30)

Just eight runners but competitive. (3) TAEYANGWANG, a class 2 winner over 1200M last start is set to be favourite with champion Moon Se Young on board. The in-form (4) BLACK TRAIN along with (6)ALWAYS WINNER look next best.

Selections: (3) Taeyangwang (6) Always Winner (4) Black Train (8) Haerangangja

Race 9: Selangor Turf Club Trophy (Class Open) / 1800M (16:30)

Thirteen fillies & mares will line up here and a good number will be vying for favourite status. (6) SMART TIME has placed in Listed and Stakes company this year already and is the narrow first choice. (11) MENI MONEY was behind her in both races but will challenge again while (4) TOUCH FLYING and (12) THE QUEEN SILVER both enter following class 3 wins at this distance. (8) SIMSIN JIRYEO may also get some backing.

Selections: (6) Smart Time (11) Meni Money (8) Simsin Jiryeo (12) The Queen Silver

Race 10: The TJK (Turkey) Cup (Class Open) / 2000M (17:00)

(1) AREUMDAUNDONGHAENG, a proven class 1 and Listed winner in the past, is set to be favourite here but will face challenges. (8) WINNING ANDY is chief among those while  (10) CINDERELLA MAN makes his first start for Brian Dean. The Aussie trainer has made a remarkable start in very challenging circumstances and the five-year-old gelding must be respected.

Selections: (1) Areumdaundonghaeng (10) Cinderella Man (8) Winning Andy (7) Space Port

Race 11: Cargill Agri Purina Trophy (Class 3) / 1400M / (17:30)

Selections: (3) Fix Time (7) Boeun Yongsa (1) Big Mountain (4) Knighthood

Sunday June 5
Seoul Racecourse: 10 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 13:00 to 17:30

It’s the big day at Seoul. The SBS Korea/Japan Cup will feature three visiting Japanese-trained horses along with some of the best known names in Korea racing such as Gamdonguibada and Choegang Schiller along with up and comer Perdido Pomeroy.

Also at Seoul on Sunday is the Ttukseom Cup, the first leg of the Queens’ Tour for fillies and mares. We will have a full runner-by-runner preview of both races posted on Saturday.