There are 10 races at Busan on Friday with the first at 14:30 and the last at 21:00. English racecards are here. Notes on races for overseas simulcast are below:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million 1. BAENGNYEON SIDAE – Won his trial beating Wanbong in the process and can go well first up.
2. WORLD SUN – Didn’t impress in his trial but trainer tends to do well with 2-year-olds so will have some backing.
3. WANBONG – Well back behind Baengnyeon Sidae in his trial and hard to back at this stage.
4. TASK FORCE – By far the best in trials, winning comfortably in a fast time and will be strong favourite here.
5. GYEONGJUUI DUREBAK – Took a couple of goes to qualify but looked smart enough doing it at the end of May. 2nd fastest time among these and in the hunt. (more…)
Big Sunday of racing coming up in Korea. No Stakes races but full fields and plenty of punting interest. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. English racecards are here. Notes on races for overseas simulcast are below:
Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
1. OUR CAT – 4th behind Yeol Queen at the distance in April and followed up with a 5th last time. Matching those would be par today.
2. SEONGEUN MARU – Started his career really well but went off the rails at the end of last year. Latest two have been more encouraging.
3. JEONGAN KINGDOM – Disappointed when favourite in May but bounced back with 3rd over 1000M three weeks ago. Trialled up nicely last week and in the hunt here.
4. YEOL QUEEN – Two very solid efforts so far at this level and one of the main contenders here.
5. SOKDO SHINHWA – Comes in after two good showings at 1000M. Should be near the early pace and can place. (more…)
A bit late but catching up on last week’s action, Geombit Gangja won the Sports Chosun Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon:
Geombit Gangja & Choi Bum Hyun win the Sports Chosun Cup (Pic: KRA)
Geombit Gangja, a four-year-old gelding, was sent off as favourite for the 2000M listed race and having settled at the rear of the field, came through strongly in the closeing stages under jockey Choi Bum Hyun to claim victory. It was another big race win for in-form trainer Song Moon Gil.
Singer Hong Jin Young joined in the winner’s circle on one of her regular racecourse appearances (Pic: KRA)
It was Geombit Gangja’s 6th victory on his 15th career start.
Sports Chosun Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – June 18, 2017
1. Geombit Gangja (KOR) [Ingrandire – Tandia (Two Punch)] – Chi Bum Hyung – 3.3, 1.6 2. Royal Victory (KOR) [Exploit – Guryeongnyeong (Revere)] – Song Jae Chul – 2.0 3. Haetbinna (KOR) [Didyme – Chowonui Kkum (The Groom Is Red)] – Jan Havlik – 10.1 Distances: 1.5 lengths / 2.5 lengths Also Ran: 4. I Am For You 5. Kawon 6. Yeongnong 7. Gaia Thunder 8. Chowon Gangta 9. Perfect Shine 10. Dongchonui Guy
Sunday sees Sports Chosun Cup day at Seoul with 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. At Busan there are 6 races from 12:40 to 17:05. English racecards are here.
Lee Chan Ho returns (Pic: KRA)
Rewind to 2015 and Lee Chan Ho was on top of the Korean Racing World. On a glorious August afternoon at Seoul Racecourse, the young jockey, who had ridden out his apprenticeship in double-quick time, partnered Choegang Schiller to win the Asia Challenge Cup, defeating Singapore’s champion sprinter El Padrino on the way to what was then arguably Korean racing’s greatest victory.
Just over a year later it all looked over. After incidents away from racing, Lee found his license cancelled and a career possibly finished at the age of 24. Yet this weekend he’s back as the legal process has reached a stage where he can ride, at least for the time being, pending a final judgement.
The returning Lee admits to having had to lose 10kg in the two weeks since he found out he could resume riding, but he’s done it and will return to big race action when he takes the mount on Yeongnong in Sunday’s 28th running of the Listed Sports Chosun Cup.
Yeongnong probably won’t be favourite but he is one of a number in the hunt in what is a very competitive renewal.
Race 9: Class Open (2000M) Sports Chosun Cup / Allowance / KRW 200 Million
1. ROYAL VICTORY – Beaten by I Am For You and Yeongnong last start over 1400M but was a class 2 winner at 1800M the time before. Can look to place.
2. PERFECT SHINE – 3rd behind Royal Victory over 1800M in April, he’s consistently close but usually finds a few too good and most likely will here too.
3. KAWON – Full brother to a Korean Oaks winner, he’s the form of his life, winning 4 of his last 7. Likely close to the early pace, he’s not raced at this distance before but has to be in the frame.
4. YEONGNONG – 3rd on first try at class 2 behind I Am For You at the end of April, he’ll be on or close to the speed and while a win would be a shock, he can go close. (more…)
There was a thrilling finish to the Korean Oaks at Busan this afternoon and at the end of it, plenty of Korean racing history was made. Kim Hye Sun became the first Korean female jockey to win a Group race while Masteru Mizutani became the first foreign owner to do the same as 56/1 outsider Jejui Haneul pulled off a shock win
Jejui Haneul (near side) bests Bright Star in the Korean Oaks (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)
Jejui Haneul was unfancied but was never likely to be a no-hoper having been one of the few in the field that had already performed creditably around two turns. However hers and all others chances were boosted when pre-race favourite Ice Marine blundered on exiting the gate, putting herself at a huge disadvantage before the race had even got going.
She never really recovered from that and things looked set up for 2nd and 3rd in the betting, Uju Star and Bright Star to dispute the finish. They reckoned without Jejui Haneul, who flew home on the stands-side under Kim Hye Sun to pip Bright Star by a head on the live. Longest shot on the board, the 183/1 chance Teukbyeol Star got up for an even unlikelier 3rd and almost break the tote system with an unprecedented tierce pool dividend.
Jejui Haneul and Kim Hye Sun in the Korean Oaks winner’s circle (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)
Since debuting in 2009, Kim Hye Sun has already established herself as the most successful Korean female rider of all time, the Oaks being her 225th win from just shy of 3000 mounts. No Korean woman had ever won a Group race though, much less one of the Classics. There were tears in the post race interview but 30 minutes later, Kim was back out and riding in the day’s finale.
Kim Hye Sun after winning the Korean Oaks (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)
It was a great ride and while time will tell how good this current crop of fillies is, it was another win for Seoul. The capital track has now won three out of four encounters involving this year’s three-year-olds. That’s something we didn’t think we’d be seeing anytime soon.
Korean Oaks (KOR G2) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – June 11, 2017
1. Jejui Haneul (KOR) [Raconteur – Isanghwa (Didyme)] – Kim Hye Sun -56.0, 14.4 2. Bright Star (KOR) [Menifee – L Vicar (Vicar)] – Francisco Da Silva – 2.7 3. Teukbyeol Star (KOR) [Air Shady – Teukbyeolhwanhui (White Muzzle)] – Lee Hae Dong – 29.4 Distances: Head / 2 lengths Also Ran: 4. Uju Star 5. Yesangbaek Seung 6. Queen’s Queen 7. Ice Marine 8. Yongwangdam 9. Daeho Chukje 10. Take Four Meals 11. Morning Baramse 12. Goldstar Hills 13. Ecton Bulpae 14. Sun Smart 15. Gasok Champion 16. Happy Gongju
It’s Korean Oaks weekend. We’ll have a preview of Sunday’s big race for fillies up tomorrow but in the meantime there are 10 Friday races at Busan from 14:55 to 21:00. English racecards can be found here. Notes on races to be simulcast overseas below:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
1. HOSEUNGJISIM – Made a semi-encouraging debut in March but offered little in two starts since.
2. STAR LINE – Ran once last year but has a lot of hoof problems keeping him out since. Trialled up ok last month.
3. YES RED – Close in all three so far. 3rd behind two good ones (a long way behind them) last time and in with a big chance here.
4. GOLDEN FAMILY – Shown a bit of improvement in three prior outings. Still a bit to find here. (more…)
Sunday was a big day of Group race action at Seoul and it ended with Silver Wolf taking the Black Type win in the Ttukseom Cup followed by Doraonpogyeongseon getting the best of the tightest of three-way finishes to the SBS Sports Sprint.
Silver Wolf (Orotorio) started as second-favourite for the Group 2 Ttukseom Cup, the first leg of the Queens’ Tour that will decide the year’s champion filly or mare, and she and the one ahead of her in the market, Haeya, turned things into a two-horse race as they entered the straight.
As it turned out, Silver Wolf was just too strong, gaining the upper hand just over half a furlong out and running on to win by two lengths. Gaenari came home in 3rd just ahead of the fast finishing Gold Blue.
Australian bred Silver Wolf was a A$40,000 purchase from the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in 2014. She finished 4th in this race last year and today was making just her second start of 2017. In total it was her 6th win on her 15th career start. It was a first Korean group race victory for Serbian jockey Djordje Perovic and another milestone in his burgeoning partnership with trainer Song Moon Gil (of Clean Up Joy fame).
One race later was the Group 3 SBS Sports Sprint. Punters ignored most local pundits and sent off Japanese visitor Party Dress off as the favourite ahead of 2015 Asia Challenge Cup winner Choegang Schiller and Success Story, who won the first leg of the Sprint Series, the Busan Ilbo Cup, at Busan last month.
It wasn’t to be for the Japanese pair, with neither Party Dress nor Kimon Avalon being involved and coming home in 8th and 12th respectively. Not was it for Success Story who showed early but weakened to 7th. Instead, it was 60/1 outsider Parang Juuibo who looked like he was about to produce a shock upset as having always been close to the speed, he struck the front just over a furlong out and kept on going.
He came so close. Choegang Schiller flew home in pursuit under Perovic on the outside but in between them came Doraonpogyeongseon. The line arrived with all three together but the photo showed the narrowest of narrow wins for the 4-year-old Doraonpogyeongseon.
Doraonpogyeongseon’s (centre) nose is just in front on the line
The game Parang Juuibo clung on to 2nd ahead of Choegang Schiller. A full four-lengths behind, 90/1 outsider Best Guy brought home the rest.
Doraonpogyeongseon [Kantharos – Smartybegone (Smarty Jones)] was a US$50,000 purchase from the OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds at Ocala in 2015. It was the four-year-old’s 13th career start and his 7th win. Trained by Min Jang Ki, he’s a stablemate of Success Story. For jockey Ham Wan Sik, it was a successful return to Seoul where he rode Clean Up Joy to win the Grand Prix Stakes last December.
“Doraon” means “Again” or “Return Of” while “Pogyeongseon” was the name of a horse who ran in Korea in the 1980s, winning the Grand Prix Stakes in 1985 and 1986. That was held at Ttukseom. Maybe someday, there will need to be a Doraon Silver Wolf, or even a Doraon Doraonpogyeongseon.
How they finished:
Ttukseom Cup (KOR G2) 1400M – Seoul Racecourse – June 4, 2017
1. Silver Wolf (AUS) [Orotorio – Ready For More (More Than Ready)] – Djordje Perovic – 4.6, 1.7 2. Haeya (USA) [Flatter – Luxaholic (Macho Uno)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.3 3. Gaenari (CAN) [Philanthropist – Happy To Be Home (Langfuhr)] – Lee Hyeon Jong – 5.2 Distances: 0.75 lengths / 8 lengths Also Ran: 4. Gold Blue (JPN) 5. Mighty Gem (USA) 6. Indian Star (KOR) 7. Holiday Dream (USA) 8. Supreme Magic (USA) 9. Bear Queen Trophy (USA) 10. Hidden Indian (USA)
SBS Sports Sprint (KOR G3) 1200M – Seoul Racecourse – June 4, 2017
1. Doraonpogyeongseon (USA) [Kantharos – Smartybegone (Smarty Jones)] – Ham Wan Sik – 10.2, 1.8 2. Parang Juuibo (USA) [With Distinction – Spicy Souffle (French Deputy)] – Lee Hyeon Jong – 15.7 3. Choegang Schiller (USA) [Artie Schiller – Changeable (Miswaki)] – Djordje Perovic – 1.5 Distance: Nose / Nose Also Ran: 4. Best Guy (KOR) 5. Perdido Pomeroy (USA) 6. Dynamic Jilju (USA) 7. Success Story (KOR) 8. Party Dress (JPN) 9. Geuma Rapid (AUS) 10. Always Winner (KOR) 11. Wonder Bolt (USA) 12. Kimon Avalon (JPN) 13. Choegangja (USA)