Day: July 8, 2016

Dallao’s Delight: Noble Warrior Is American Owner’s First Winner

“I think he could hear me screaming at the finish line” said Joe Dallao after watching – energetically – his horse Noble Warrior get the best of a tight finish to race 6 at Busan on Friday afternoon. It was the American’s first winner as an owner in Korea.

Joe Dallao is a long-time resident of Korea and took a possibly unique route into thoroughbreds by way of pigeon racing. Believe it or not, the birds have a Studbook and Dallao, from his Ilsan base, turns out to be one of the foremost pigeon racers on the peninsula. A few years ago Dallao, an executive at an American company in Seoul, decided to look beyond the loft and turned his attention to racing. He first took an interest in racehorses in his native United States with Barry Irwin’s Team Valor and at the same time started to investigate the possibility of owning in his adoptive country.

The trouble was that foreigners – even those living in the country – were unable to own racehorses. Dallao lobbied and lobbied and finally in 2014, as the KRA put its internationalization program into action, a small number of foreigners were permitted to own. Joe Dallao was in the first group to be granted a license.


The English language Korea Racing Broadcasting Channel was launched today – and Noble Warrior was one of the first winners

Teaming up with South African trainer Bart Rice, Dallao bought two horses last year. They were a Whywhywhy filly called Majestic Beauty and a Biwa Shinseiki gelding named Noble Warrior. Both took a long time to get ready with Noble Warrior running just once as a 2-year-old and Majestic Beauty not at all.

Bart Rice – who is in sparkling form these days and will send his horse Triple Five to Singapore for the KRA Trophy later this month – got them right though and Majestic Beauty has shown promise with a 4th and a 2nd in two starts over the past couple of months. Noble Warrior meanwhile began placing and has been getting better as the distances have lengthened. Today, on his second start at class 5 and his second at a mile; benefiting from a slight weight advantage and a ground saving ride by You Hyun Myung, he got it spot on. Noble Warrior hit the front at the top of the stretch and gamely battled on to win by half a length. It was his 7th career start.

Joe Dallao was active at the Jeju sales again this Spring and then plans to import a horse from the US later in the year. Whatever they achieve and no matter what Noble Warrior goes on to do from here, no doubt today will have been special.

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 8)

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday afternoon with ten races from 14:30 to 21:00. Seoul runs on Saturday with just the nine events from 15:15 to 21:00 while both Seoul and Busan run their usual daytime cards on Sunday with a first post at Seoul of 10:50 and Busan of 13:00.

English racecards can be found here. Notes on today’s races 1-8 at Busan below:

Race 1: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 14:30 (KST)

Three debut-makers and we’re going to make one of them, (11) SUPER JJANGJJANG the pick having looked sharp in trials. Unfashionable trainer and jockey combination and the outside gate may dissuade some but he should be too good. (3) ACE GLORY looked promising in a couple of starts around the turn of the year and returns having been gelded. He looks the main danger along with (4) SKY WINNER, who has a 3rd place to her name. The other two debut-makers (7) HWARYEOHAN YONGSA and (10) CHEONGCHUN CHAMP must be considered in this company.

Selections (11) Super Jjangjjang (3) Ace Glory (4) Sky Winner (10) Cheongchun Champ
Next Best 5, 7, 8, 2
Outsiders 1, 6, 9
Fast Starters 3, 8, 9, 11

Race 2: Class 6 / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 14:55 (KST)

Four newcomers here with the pick of them looking to be (2) STAR LINE who beat two of the others in trials and looks nicely in for his debut here. One of those he beat in the trial was (3) SHINE STAR and that one, coming as he does from Kim Young Kwan’s stable, will also have supporters. The other market leaders will be drawn from the experienced ones. (5) CHASEDAE got a career-best 3rd last start a month ago and can build on that here while Barry Irwin’s (8) SWOOP returns for the first time in January and looked promising in a trail a couple of weeks ago. (11) SEORABEOL DOLPUNG is another with potential to improve.

Selections (8) Swoop (5) Chasedae (2) Star Line (3) Shine Star
Next Best 11, 9, 1
Outsiders 4, 6, 7, 10, 12
Fast Starters 3, 6, 8

Race 3: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 15:20 (KST)

(3) BAROGA has come close in both his last two finishing strongly on each occasion. He steps up to 1300M for the first time today and looks the one to beat, coming from off the pace once more. (6) RAON BENTREE has been consistent if unspectacular in seven prior outings and can go close once more while (7) TAEYANG GWANGSOK has shown improvement in her two most recent outings and she can continue that here. Those two are the main dangers with none of the others entering in any form. (5) CAPI RUN, who has had just the one run prior to today, is perhaps the longshot pick.

Selections (3) Baroga (6) Raon Bentree (7) Taeyang Gangsok (5) Capi Run
Next Best 1, 4
Outsiders 2, 8
Fast Starters 1, 4

Race 4: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 16:10 (KST)

(5) SUPER BLADE and (6) FEISTY are both up in class following maiden wins on what was for both of them, their second starts last month. They both made-all and they should be battling this one out. We’ll go with Feisty to continue to improve. It’s no two-horse race though. (3) OH MY CAPTAIN was an improved 3rd in a decent a race at class and distance a month ago and should be looking to at least match that today while (1) CHOEGANG DREAM was 4th in a similarly tough race last time out and comes in fresh after eight weeks off. (10) SUNSHINE ALPHA is another proven money winner at this level and can’t be ruled out.

Selections (6) Feisty (5) Super Blade (3) Oh My Captain (1) Choegang Dream
Next Best 10, 9, 7
Outsiders 2, 4, 8
Fast Starters 5, 6, 10

Race 5: Class 5 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:00 (KST)

Small but good quality race here and (2) SPECIAL ROOKIE, 4th in the Korean Oaks on her most recent start should be winning it. She’s already a class and distance winner, is very nicely in the weights and should have too much. The experienced (6) SAMDA GONGJU looks to be the main danger while the up in class and distance (7) BAEKDU YEONGUNG looks to have scope for further development. (4) FOUR STAR and (1) SKY SUN look best of the rest.

Selections (2) Special Rookie (6) Samda Gongju (4) Four Star (7) Baekdu Yeongung
Next Best 1, 5, 3
Fast Starters 2

Race 6: Class 5 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:50 (KST)

(3) NOBLE WARRIOR has three 3rd places and a 4th from his last four outings. The 4th was at this class and distance and while he was a long way behind a very good winner, the distance clearly suited and with a slight weight advantage, he looks to be the one to beat here. Two who are up in class and distance for the first time are the main dangers. (5) KWAESEOK BOLT and (7) DANGCHAN JILJU both come in having been 2nd in races over 1300M last month and both should be competitive at a mile. (4) EUNHA and (2) JEONSEOLUI LEGEND are others to look out for while (1) POWER CHAMP, who has actually beaten three of these at 1300M in the past, is the wildcard in what is a competitive event.

Selections (3) Noble Warrior (5) Kwaeseok Bolt (7) Dangchan Jilju (2) Jeonseolui Legend
Next Best 1, 4, 6
Outsiders 8
Fast Starters 6, 7

Race 7: Class 4 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 18:30 (KST)

(3) BLACK SAPPHIRE left her jockey in the gate when well fancied for what would have been her first try at this class last month. She’s the full-sister to one of Korea’s top horses and had won two of her three outings before that mistake last time. She’s the one to beat here. (4) GREAT SONG has shown steady progress in three prior outings and should make the early pace. He tries 1400M for the first time but should stay on and be competitive. (1) SONATA ZONE is up in class following three consecutive 2nd places at domestic class 5 and can go well once more with (2) OHHWAMA and (7) PAMPAS FARM others to consider.

Selections (3) Black Sapphire (4) Great Song (1) Sonata Zone (2) Ohhwama
Next Best 7, 8
Outsiders 5, 6
Fast Starters 4

Race 8: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 18:10 (KST)

Two for two this year and up in class today, (8) LUCKY TIME is the favourite here. He’ll be on speed early and should have too much. Also up in class is the far more experienced (3) SORICHYEO, who is in the best form of his career and can be competitive once again. (4) WORLD QUEEN was 2nd at c lass and distance last start and can repeat with front runner (2) WIN GO MAN and (6) IMPASSIONED MARINE others in contention.

Selections (8) Lucky Time (4) World Queen (3) Sorichyeo (2) Win Go Man
Next Best 6, 5
Outsiders 1, 7, 9
Fast Starters 2, 7, 8