Month: October 2016

Djordje Perovic Reaches 100 Korean Winners

Djordje Perovic on Sunday became the just the fifth foreign rider – and the first who’s not from Japan – to ride 100 winners in Korea.


Ton-Up: Djordje Perovic (Pic: Ross Holburt)

The Serbian jockey completed the feat on 14/1 chance Dream Sun in race 4 at Seoul on Sunday lunchtime and promptly followed up with another to take him to 101. That figure draws him level with Masa Tanaka as joint-fourth on the all-time foreign rider list.

Perovic’s achievement is arguably the greater as all of the other jockeys in the top ten, with the exception of Ikuyasu Kurakane, rode the vast majority of their winners at Busan which is well known to be more welcoming and accepting of overseas riders than Seoul.

Perovic has had to do it the hard way but he is now firmly established in the elite group of riders at Seoul. Despite missing three months of this year due to the need to fulfil license requirements elsewhere, he lies in 2nd place in the 2016 Jockey Championship behind champion Moon Se Young, four places ahead of 3rd ranked Jo Sung Gon.

Punters and others have often noted about Perovic that from the moment he gets on a horse in the parade ring until he dismounts after the race he is constantly stroking and soothing his horse. Very few jockeys do this in Korea. His style may look ungainly at times but it is extremely effective.

Next month Perovic has another opportunity when he is scheduled to partner a Korea-trained horse in the annual Goodwill Cup at Ohi in Tokyo. Well mannered, hard working and talented, Djordje Perovic has demonstrated that it is possible for a foreign rider to succeed at Seoul. May there be many more winners for the “Serbian Frankie”.

Because You’re Goreous!

I’m still trying to work out if it was deliberate or simply a mistake when its name was added to the English registry. One tends to think it is the latter as it is very clearly written as “Gorgeous Dream” in Korean. And his dam is called Hey Gorgeous. Goreous or Gorgeous, the colt was simply too good in the Nonghyup Chairman’s Trophy at Seoul on Sunday afternoon.

It’s certainly not the first time there have been some slight mis-translations. While some are deliberate such as Diferent Dimension (something to do with Katy Perry, according to his breeder) plenty aren’t. 2010 Derby hopeful Northern Ace ran as “Nothern Ace” for his first few outings (unbeaten heading into the Derby he suffered a career-ending injury in the race) while Raon Rouis, who also ran yesterday, suffers a case of the common r&l confusion.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter but we could be seeing a lot more of Goreous Dream in the coming months. Sent off as the heavy favourite for yesterday’s Trophy, he grabbed the early initiative under champion jockey Moon Se Young and never looked like relinquishing it as he cruised to a four-length win in the 1200M sprint.

Goreous Dream [Sharp Humor – Hey Gorgeous (Cherokee Run)] is a three-year old colt. He missed out on getting into the Korea Sprint in September with others selected ahead of him but came out that day and won in a different race and yesterday recorded his eight win in nine starts. He looks to have good potential and while he hasn’t yet been tested, he surely will shortly as he is now established at class 1.

However, he is also exactly the kind of front-running sprinter that the KRA will be looking to enter in the Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting early next year. He is probably the most serious contender from Seoul and he has enterprising connections. It could happen.

Most of the Dubai contenders are likely to come from Busan and Sunday’s feature race on the South coast was won by Dongbang Daero (Curlin). The four-year-old US import beat Beolmaui Kkum and Heba by three lengths for his first class 1 success.

Sunday Preview: Nonghyup Trophy At Seoul / Beolmaui Kkum At Busan

Sunday is a big day of racing across the peninsula with good quality match ups at both Seoul and Busan. The unfortunately named Goreous Dream goes after what would be his eighth win on his ninth start in Seoul’s Nonghyup Chairman’s Trophy while Beolmaui Kkum, such a disappointment in last month’s Korea Cup, headlines Busan’s feature.


Beolmaui Kkum quickly led the Korea Cup but quickly faded. He returns to action on Sunday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Formerly for fillies and mares, this year the Nonghyup Chairman’s Trophy has been repackaged as a race for 3-year-olds. And at Seoul, Goreous Dream (yes, he really is actually called “Gorgeous Dream” in Korean, it seems to be a typo but we’re going to go with it anyway) looks a talent, at least at sprint distances. He’s going to be the strong favourite to keep his record going in the 1200M Nonghyup.

Beolmaui Kkum went out like a train in the Korea Cup at Seoul last month but quickly ran out of steam and handed the race on a platter to the two Japanese visitors. There’s a jockey change today with an apprentice coming in to take some weight off but it still won’t be easy for Beolmaui Kkum in the 1800M race 6. Dongbang Daero, Supreme Magic – 6th in the Korea Sprint – and the ever-reliable Heba will also go.

At Seoul there are 11 races from 10:40 to 18:00 while at Busan there are 6 from 12:50 to 17:00. English race cards are here. Three races will be shown in Australia on Sky Racing 2 for betting on the TAB, including the Nonghyup Trophy. Notes on those below:

Race 8: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 14:45

(3) KODIAK LOVE will be the strong favourite here. He didn’t get the greatest of trips in a tough race over this distance on October 2nd but if he can get on speed early today, he has every chance of going all the way in what is slightly weaker company. (9) POWER AND SPEED returned from a full ten months off in September to record an unexpected win at domestic class 4. She’s up in class today but has a strong finish and looks to be the main danger. Also up in class is (10) BARAM SOGEURO. He didn’t disappoint with an all the way win over 1300M and while the draw is less favourable today, he’s should be competitive. (5) SKY JEWANG has a 4th and a 6th from two outings at this level and can build on those today while (1) TAEYANGBYEOL looks best of the rest.

Selections: (3) Kodiak Love (9) Power And Speed (10) Baram Sogeuro (5) Sky Jewang
Next Best: 1, 6, 7
Rating: 3, 10, 4=8, 6
Fast Starters: 3, 4, 5, 10
Start-200M: 4, 3, 6, 10, 5
200M-Finish: 7, 9, 3, 5, 8

Race 9: Class 1 / 1200M / Allowance (3yo only) – The Nonghyup Chairman’s Trophy / KRW 120 Million / 16:35

He may be a typo in the registry but (8) GOREOUS DREAM has proved a very effective sprinter on the track. The Sharp Humor colt has won seven of his eight outings to date, almost all of them having led from gat to wire and he will be hot favourite to do exactly the same here. (1) SUN ROK comes in having won his last two and drops back to this distance for the first time since last year. He’s won seven of ten and is a danger. Under the same ownership as Sun Rok (although a different trainer), (5) GWANGBOK CHILSIP is another talent who drops back to a sprint distance for the first time in many months and must be taken seriously. (7) SUSEONG CAPTAIN and (3) SHAMROCKER too will appreciate the distance with the former likely to challenge Goreous Dream and Gwangbok Chilsip for the early lead. It’s a competitive race with seven of the eight having claims (it’s hard to make a case for the still maiden Hwanggeum Cheonha), but the favourite should be too good.

Selections: (8) Goreous Dream (5) Gwangbok Chilsip (1) Sun Rok (7) Suseong Captain
Next Best: 3, 6, 4
Rating: 8, 5, 3, 1, 7
Fast Starters: 5, 7, 8
Start-200M: 8, 2, 7, 5, 6
200M-Finish: 3, 6, 7, 1, 4
Race 10: Class 3 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 17:30

Small but competitive field here with two standouts. (3) WINNERS GLORY looked like he was heading to the top earlier this year but hasn’t managed to build on a 4th place in the Korean Derby. He managed another 4th in the Ilgan Sports Cup in July but his only race since then was a disappointing run over 1400M. He gets another chance here though and should be on speed throughout. Among those beating Winners Glory in that 1400M race was (2) SEOMGWANGI. He was recording his third consecutive 2nd place finish that day but with champion jockey Moon Se Young back in the saddle, he should also be on speed early and can go one better today. He’s the pick. (4) DIXIE PLOIT, a half-brother to a Derby winner, is up in class following a smart win over this distance last month and looks best of the rest. He’ll come from off the pace as will the next best (7) GRAND PNYX and (8) CARDIFF HWANHUI.

Selections: (2) Seomgwangi (3) Winners Glory (4) Dixie Ploit (8) Cardiff Hwanhui
Next Best: 7
Rating: 7, 2, 6=8, 3
Fast Starters: 2, 3
Start-200M: 2, 3, 7, 1, 5
200M-Finish: 4, 3, 1, 2, 5

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 28)

Evening racing finally wraps up at Busan today. There’s a 10-race card from 14:20 to 21:00. On Saturday there is racing at Seoul while both tracks run daytime cards on Sunday.

English racecards are here. Notes on simulcast races 1-7 are below:

Race 1: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 55 Million / 14:20 

(5) ADELE ACE was 3rd on debut on October 7th. He didn’t start especially quickly that day but finished strongly. Expect him to be on speed here and he’ll be the strong favourite. (11) KEUN MABEOP led for much of her debut back in September before fading late on and she can also compete here. Among the debut-makers (1) FREE CARE and (7) CITY WINNER looked best in trials.

Selections (5) Adele Ace (7) City Winner (11) Keun Mabeop (1) Free Care
Next Best 3, 10
Fast Starters 5, 7, 11

Race 2: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 55 Million / 14:45 

Thomas Gillespie’s (8) AGNES was a strong finishing 2nd on debut earlier this month (beating Adele Ace who we saw in race 1) and she’s the pick to go one better today. (2) KEUNJAYU and (7) PARTY TONIGHT have both shown promise in their two starts to date and can threaten here while (1) EOREUM GONGJU gets a top jockey booking, should be on speed early and can make a big improvement from her debut. (11) TEUKGEUP GAMDONG, a much improved 4th last time, looks best of the rest.

Selections (8) Agnes (2) Keunjayu (7) Party Tonight (11) Teukgeup Gamdong
Next Best 1, 12
Fast Starters 1, 4, 6

Race 3: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 15:30 

Nothing much here so Peter Wolsley’s debut-maker (7) TIMELESS has as good a chance as any of making a breakthrough. Kim Young Kwan’s (8) HWANGGEUMBIT JILJU also looks an interesting one having debuted disappointingly in June but was solid in a trial earlier this month. Favourite is likely to be (5) YEONGGWANGUIHUNTER who showed improvement in a decent race over the distance on October 7th and can build on that here. (4) SINMYEONGSEONG recorded back to back 3rd places much earlier this year and returns following seven months off with (1) QUEEN MEDIA and (12) GOLD FLYING looking the best of a limited rest.

Selections (7) Timeless (5) Yeonggwanguihunter (1) Queen Media (8) Hwanggeumbit Jilju
Next Best 12, 4, 11
Fast Starters 4, 5, 7

Race 4: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 16:15 

(9) BIG GOLD was 2nd on her first try at this distance in what was admittedly, a weak race at the end of September. This one isn’t much stronger though and she has as good a chance as any. She’ll likely try to lead all the way. Also on speed early will be (6) FRENCH GIRL, who should have come on for her debut two weeks ago. (7) AREUMDAN OECHIM has been inconsistent in four prior starts but has shown ability and should be considered while (2) TIME CASTLE and (10) SOUL also have potential for improvement.

Selections (9) Big Gold (7) Areumdaun Oechim (6) French Girl (2) Time Castle
Next Best 10, 11
Fast Starters 6, 9

Race 5: Class 5 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:00 

The first of the handicaps and the first of two banker favourites of the day. That’s Thomas Gillespie’s (10) EVERGREEN TREE who impressed with a five-length win on debut and while up in class, should be too good for this lot. Also up in class is (3) TIGER SLAM and he could well prove to be the main danger while (5) REALLY ONE has proven capable of winning money at this level and can do so again. (6) LOOK AT ME was a surprise winner last time beating (7) CHARTERED DREAM. Both are up in class here with the latter looking more likely to be able to make the step up. (8) BEST PERFORMER is best of the rest.

Selections (10) Evergreen Tree (3) Tiger Slam (5) Really One (7) Chartered Dream
Next Best 8, 2
Fast Starters 3, 7, 10

Race 6: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:50 

(1) MADEIN MYEONGSEONG returned from almost ten months off with an encouraging 5th place over 1000M two weeks ago and he can build on that here. Expect him to compete for favourite status with (9) KKOKDAEGI, who was slightly disappointing last time out but can go better here. Also set to improve are (3) GEOWIUI KKUM and (6) NAMYANG TOWER, both of whom have been inconsistent. (12) DONGGWANG JEIL was an improved 5th last start and can match or better it here.

Selections (1) Madein Myeongseong (9) Kkokdaegi (3) Geowiui Kkum (6) Namyang Tower
Next Best 12, 2
Fast Starters 1, 3, 6, 8

Race 7: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 18:30 

(1) DAESTAR will be strong favourite here. He has a win a 3rd and a 2nd in three starts to date and this should be his last appearance at this class. He was 2nd last time ahead of (8) BAEDARI GOSU and it’s that one who is likely to be his biggest danger today. (9) BEAUTIFUL was a narrow winner over 1200M last time and is up in class here. Apart from the favourite there is little to be intimidated about. The very experienced pair of (3) YAKSOKUI SIGAN and (7) SAMDA GONGJU are capable of winning money in this company.

Selections (1) Daestar (8) Baedari Gosu (9) Beautiful (3) Yaksokui Sigan
Next Best 7, 5
Fast Starters 1, 2, 10

Europa Leagues Ahead In Gyeongnam Sinmun

Europa was an easy winner of Sunday’s Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup, Busan’s top juvenile race. The colt now should be set to travel to Seoul for December’s Breeders’ Cup.

Trained by Kim Young Kwan and ridden by Kim Yong Geun, the same combination that won the Triple Crown with Power Blade this year, Europa, who hadn’t raced since August, was sent off as 2nd-favourite for the 1200M test. It was in 2nd position that he raced in the early stages with pre-race favourite Ice Marine showing the way. However, once they hit the straight, Europa took things up and galloped clear to win by a full five lengths on the line.

Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup (Listed) – Busan Racecourse – 1200M – October 23, 2016

1. Europa (KOR) [Sharp Humor – It’s Tru Blue (Yes It’s True)] – Kim Yong Geun – 4.5, 1.6
2. Ice Marine (KOR) [Officer – Runkerry Point (Giant’s Causeway)] – Yoo Hyun Myung – 1.4
3. Illyu Star (KOR) [Officer – Run For Little Bit (Tactical Advantage)] – Lim Sung Sil – 2.1
Distances: 5 lengths / 1.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Mhan Yeoljeong 5. Adeleui Bom 6. Summit Day 7. Choegang Driver 8. Sinuipumgyeok 9. Queen’s Queen 10. Bound Queens 11. Hwarangui Huye

Seouls equivalent race on Saturday was won well by Final Boss. Both will be expected to run in the Breeders’ Cup which will take place over 1400M in the capital on December 4.

Sunday Preview (October 23)

There’s a busy day of racing in Korea today with 11 races at Seoul from 10:40 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:50 to 17:05. 

Feature race is at Busan in the shape of the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup, the southern track’s top juvenile race of the year. English racecards here. Just three races will be simulcast overseas today and notes on them are below:

 Busan Race 4: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 15:20

(9) GABO STAR is the one to beat here. He’s won his last two in comfortable style, beating (6) FOR MY SIS by a length three weeks ago at this distance. Both of them are up in class here. Gabo Star should be on speed early and he can complete a hat-trick of victories. The reliable For My Sis can find the money once again but the main danger may turn out to be (10) BIO BLUE. He’s back in the winning habit with two from his last three and while 1200M may be a touch short for him, he’ll be a danger coming from just behind the early pace. (1) JUNGANG YEOJE has suffered a couple of setbacks when favourite in both his last two outings but will surely find at least the places again while (4) ILMANGMUJE weakened late on in a good race over 1400M last month and should go better back at 1200M today.

Selections (9) Gabo Star (10) Bio Blue (1) Jungang Yeoje (6) For My Sis
Next Best 4
Rating 2=8, 3, 10, 7
Fast Starters 1, 4, 7, 9
Start-200M 7, 1, 4, 9, 5
200M-Finish 6, 10, 1, 5, 7

Busan Race 5: Class Open – The Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 250 Million / 16:15

This race is Busan’s top juvenile race of the year with those who perform well likely to go to Seoul in early December to contest the overall Championship. It’s a tricky one too with plenty of unknown quantities. We’ll start with the known though and on that basis, (9) ICE MARINE gets the nod. She’s won three of four so far and beat three of these in a valuable race for domestic sales graduates last month. A fast starter, she’ll possibly be the favourite here. Of those she beat in that race on September 11th, (3) ADELEUI BOM and (7) MUHAN YEOLJEONG look capable of going well here. Trainer Kim Young Kwan saddled winner and runner-up last year; those two went on to win the Oaks and the Triple Crown respectively and Korea’s top trainer comes in well-armed again today. (2) EUROPA is the pick of his pair. He tied up from two furlongs out when up against older horses over 1300M last start but has had two months off since and should be factor here. Kim’s other entrant (6) SINUIPUMGYEOK was 3rd in challenging company at the distance last month and is also likely to have come on. (4) ILLYU STAR comes in two for two and is another who’ll want to be on speed early while (1) QUEEN’S QUEEN and (11) HWARANGUI HUYE are the wildcard picks, both running under in-form expat jockeys.

Selections (6) Sinuipumgyeok (9) Ice Marine (2) Europa (11) Hwarangui Huye
Next Best 4, 10, 3, 1
Fast Starters 2, 4, 9
Start-200M 9, 4, 7, 2, 8
200M-Finish 11, 4, 1, 7, 3

Busan Race 6: Class 2 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 17:05

Another competitive race and while (10) SAEROUN STEALTH demonstrated that he can get two turns with a solid 2nd over 1800M last month but it is at this distance and shorter where he has excelled most so far and he is very much the one to beat here. (4) PUREUN ACE beat (2) AJU CHOEGANG when the pair ran 4th and 5th at class and distance exactly a month ago and both can challenge here with the latter favoured to overturn that result while (3) SEONGSAN PAECHEONG returned to form with a 2nd place at class and distance two weeks ago and can build on that here despite carrying an extra three kilos. (11) MORNING DAERO enters following back to back 2nd place finishes most recently at class and distance and can be fancied for a late charge here.

Selections (10) Saeroun Stealth (2) Aju Choegang (11) Morning Daero (4) Pureun Ace
Next Best 3, 8, 7
Rating 4, 1=11, 2, 3
Fast Starters 5, 6, 10
Start-200M 5, 6, 11, 10, 7
200M-Finish 2, 11, 3, 4, 5

Final Boss Means Game Over For Rivals In Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup

5/1 chance Final Boss swept to victory in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Saturday afternoon. The 2-year-old colt took out the capital’s top juvenile race by almost two-lengths under jockey Choi Bum Hyun. 


Final Boss in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup winner’s circle

Three horses entered the 1200M race with unbeaten records to defend and punters sent two of them, Athena Thunder and Meni Bracing off as almost co-favourites. Both would disappoint.

After Kkumui Silhyeon veered wide out of the gate, dumping jockey Lee Hyeon Jong on the floor in the process, it was the third unbeaten entrant, Circle Dancer, who set the pace with Final Boss only leading longest shot on the board Calling King as they entered the straight.

Once home was in sight though, jockey Choi brought Final Boss around the outside and unleashed his sprint. The favourites had nothing to offer and he was 3rd a furlong out. From then on it was inevitable. Circle Dancer rallied but couldn’t repel the winner but did just manage to edge out Calling King, who had joined Final Boss on his late romp forward.

Final Boss [Menifee – Sinsok Dolpa (Lindo Shaver)] entered following back to back wins, most recently a seven-length stroll over the same distance a month ago. Champion jockey Moon Se Young rode him that day but partnered Meni Bracing today. Choi Bum Hyun got the benefit and may very well keep the ride when he faces Busan’s best in the Breeders’ Cup on December 4th. Busan holds its championship juvenile race, the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup, on Sunday afternoon.

Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup (Listed – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – October 23, 2016

1. Final Boss (KOR) [Menifee – Sinsok Dolpa (Lindo Shaver)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 5.4, 1.6
2. Circle Dancer (KOR) [Vicar – Uribada (Al Naba)] – Lee Dong Ha – 2.8
3. Calling King (KOR) [Field Asuka – Lovely Shine (French Deputy)] – Kim Cheol Ho – 17.7
Distances: 1.75 lengths / Nose
Also Ran: 4. Castle Royal 5. Meni Bracing 6. Silla Hwarang 7. Athena Thunder DNF: Kkumui Silhyeon