Month: July 2017

Jangsan Power Clings On In Ilgan Sports Cup

Jangsan Power led from the gate and clung on desperately until the wire to win the listed Ilgan Sports Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

The Ilgan Sports this year was for horses rated 80 or less and up-and-comer Big Trio was sent off as favourite having won his last three with considerable ease. It was not to be for the three-year-old though with French jockey Johan Victoire needing to get after his mount early and Big Trio ultimately offering little in the straight.

Instead it was another three-year-old who took the honours. Jangsan Power had set the early pace in the Korean Derby in May, leading until just before the furlong pole when he ran out of steam and ended up only beating one home. He stepped back to 1700M for his reappearance last month and made all and was sent off the 5/1 second favourite for the Ilgan.

Once more Jangsan Power made all but he had to see off a last gasp challenge from My Blade who gobbled up his lead in the closing stages to the extent that a photograph was needed to tell them apart. It went Jangsan Power’s way by a nose but a couple of strides later, it wouldn’t have. Gaia Thunder was in close attendance in 3rd.

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On the line, Jangsan Power still had a nose in hand of My Blade

Jangsan Power moves on to five wins from nine starts. For trainer Park Jae Woo it was his third Listed or Special race winner. For jockey Lim Gi Won it was his second following his victory on Always Winner in the Segye Ilbo Cup in January.

Ilgan Sports (L) – Seoul Racecourse – 1800M – July 30, 2017

1. Jangsan Power (KOR) [Menifee – City Bird (Carson City)] – Lim Gi Won – 5.5, 2.2
2. My Blade (KOR) [Pico Central – Smart Advice (Smart Strike)] – Kim Yong Geun – 2.4
3. Gaia Thunder (KOR) [One Cool Cat – Now Cope With This (Tiznow)] – Yoo Seung Wan – 4.0
Distances: Nose / 0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Kawon 5. Perfect Shine 6. Raon Morris 7. Big Trio 8. Yeongnong 9. Royal Victory 10. Haetbinna

Seoul will take next weekend off but Busan will return for a rare Saturday card on August 5th and a bumper 15-race card on Sunday August 6. For the first time next Sunday, Korean racing will be available for betting in the United States, distributed to ADW’s through Sky Racing World. More on that in the coming days.

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Seoul Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 30)

The Ilgan Sports Cup takes centre-stage at Seoul on Sunday. It’s part of a 14-race card from 11:45 to 19:00. English racecards can be found here. Notes on all overseas simulcast races can be found below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

1. JIGONG JILJU – Showed early but faded in both starts so far. Likely to be on speed again but an outsider.
2. CHOICE BLUE – Debut-maker. Took him plenty of tries to qualify and he can’t be backed first-up.
3. JANGSAN JEGUK – Solid 3rd on debut on July 1st ahead of a couple of these. Big chance here.
4. BLACK CASHMERE – Comes in following two consecutive 3rd place finishes and a win looks just a matter of time. On speed early under good jockey booking.
5. WINNING WIN – First-timer, he’s by a Korean Derby winner but didn’t exactly impress in trials. One to watch rather than back first up.
6. GASOK SHINHWA – Debut-maker. She came through a couple of trials, actually finishing 2nd in one. Slow time though and outsider today.
7. GEUMBIT HWANHYANG – 7th of 9 on debut behind Jangsan Jeguk and Raise Me Up. Should improve for that run.
8. MORAN DONGBEAK – First-time starter. Average in trials and won’t be hugely well backed here.
9. KKEULEOJUNEUN SON – 3rd on debut in quick race over this distance on June 24th. Strong claims today.
10. BOMBI’S KING – Improved 3rd last start at 1300M. Drops back to the minimum for the first time since debut and can go well again.
11. GIDONG DAEJANG – Only beat a couple home on debut and has plenty to find.
12. RAISE ME UP – 4th behind Jangsan Jeguk on first ever start at the beginning of this month and can look to at least match that today. Half-brother to Korean Derby winner.

Verdict: (9) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON and (3) JANGSAN JEGUK were both 3rd in their respective debut races and they look the top picks here with former the choice to prevail. (12) RAISE ME UP was 4th, just a neck behind Jangsan Jeguk on what was her debut too (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 29)

11 Saturday races at Seoul with the first at 14:30 and the last at 21:00. Here are the form comments for simulcast races:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million 

1. FAPP CAT – Awesome name but didn’t especially impress in trials and should be watched first up.

2. KAISER QUEEN – Best from seven so far is a 4th. Generally gets away well but doesn’t quicken. Beaten by two of these last time.

3. JABIDONGHAENG – Managed a solid 2nd of 10 in June but had a hard time on reappearance in wet three weeks ago.

4. CONKER – Not beaten many in two starts so far. Still early days but hard to recommend just yet.

5. DOLPUNG STAR – Two outings earlier this year didn’t amount to much. Trialled up again anonymously at the end of June.

6. STORMY PASSION – Beat a couple of these on her way to 7th on a sloppy track last start. Should beat a few again.

7. ÉCLAIR DREAM – Step back in trip following a decent 4th over 1300M on July 1st having led for much of the race. In the frame here.

8. GOLD LEG – Showed glimpses of improvement if not a whole lot of speed in three starts so far.

9. KHENDUM POWER – Debut-maker. Decent in trials and looks to have a fair shot here. Half-brother has won 3 from 16 so far.

10. COLORS CAT – Took three goes to qualify but looked competent enough when finally achieving it. Nice race to debut in but others favoured.

11. LUCKY SINHWA –Still to be lucky in eight attempts. 6th of 12 last time and could look to beat a couple more here. (more…)

Johan Victoire Makes Winning Start / Choegangja, Zentenary Labour At Kranji

Plenty went on over the weekend including business being as usual for the Korean runners in the annual KRA Trophy at Kranji in Singapore, Silver Wolf essentially wrapping up the Queens’ Tour after just two legs and French jockey Johan Victoire making quite the impression on his first weekend in the saddle at Seoul 

It was a good weekend for a foreign jockey to arrive in Seoul what with a number of the track’s leading riders such as Kim Yong Geun and Choi Bum Hyun being at Busan to ride in the KNN Cup, Djordje Perovic still being indisposed and an ongoing inter-union dispute leading some jockeys not to ride for certain stables.

It took Johan Victoire precisely one race to show what he was capable of, guiding debut-maker Icheon Ssal (Capital Spending) to victory in Saturday’s opening maiden. While the 30-year-old couldn’t add another winner from his seven further rides across the weekend, he did get a 2nd and a 3rd as well as plenty of admiration from onlookers. It looks like Victoire will be busy over the forthcoming weeks. Check out the report and pictures on the official site.

While Silver Wolf (Orotorio) put in quite a run at Busan to cruise to the KNN Cup in a time just 0.3 seconds outside the track record for a mile, the Korean pair in Singapore for the annual KRA Trophy at Kranji on Sunday fared less well. In fairness, to Zentenary, that he beat any horses at all is to his credit but Choegangja was undoubtedly disappointing, breaking adequately enough but quickly weakening and finishing a tailed-off last in the race which was won by Distinctive Darci.

Choegangja had gone into the race looking in peak condition, according to trainer Brian Dean, but came back reportedly fine but having suffered a heat-stroke. Perhaps there is something in that given that in his only two races in warm weather last year he came 3rd of 10 and last of 9, both at class 3 before re-appearing in the cool of November and going on to win five in a row, then missing the break and coming last when things warmed up this June. Anyway, the search goes on for a Korean horse to go to Kranji in June and make an impression. Maybe next year.

This weekend Busan takes its one-week summer vacation so only Jeju runs n Friday. Seoul and Jeju will run on Saturday and just Seoul on Sunday.

Silver Wolf Adds KNN To Ttukseom In Busan Romp

Plenty doubted her but today at Busan, Silver Wolf answered in emphatic fashion, crushing her rivals in the KNN Cup to add to her Ttukseom Cup last month and put herself withing touching distance of a clean sweep of the Queens’ Tour series.

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Silver Wolf & Yoo Seung Wan win the KNN Cup (Pic: KRA)

There was an enforced jockey change with Djordje Perovic being indisposed and also the nagging doubt that Haeya only allowed herself to be caught in the Ttukseom Cup because she had set off early in the race in pursuit of a couple going too fast. Haeya was duly sent off the odds-on favourite with Silver Wolf in excess of 7/1 on the Korean tote.

The early but not unexpected scratching of Ottug Ottugi meant there was going to be one less on the early speed but as it was, Gaenari, under Kim Yong Geun set off from gate 13 like the proverbial scalded cat, looped the field and had three lengths on the rest withing a furlong. Concerningly for favourite backers, Haeya, this time with Ham Wan Sik on board, gave chase with Silver Wolf and Yoo Seung Wan tracking her every move.

So they remained until the straight until Gaenari, inevitably, ran out of steam (she would equally inevitably finish last). With her out of the way though, it was Silver Wolf took charge with Haeya having nothing to give. The race was won a furlong and a half from home and the Aussie-bred 5-year-old cruised home with a winning margin of five lengths.

That nine lengths wasn’t to Haeya. She found herself caught by the game Mighty Gem, who dispelled the ever-present doubts about her soundness by running on tremendously to go from 10th to 2nd in the home straight and snatch the big runner’s-up purse. Another pair of outsiders, O.K. Yeondap and The Queen Silver came home next to make it four Seoul horses out of the top five.

Silver Wolf [Orotorio – Ready For More (More Than Ready)] was a $40,000 purchase from Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in 2014. Today was her 7th win in 16 career starts and takes her to over 800 Million Korean Won in Prize money. For trainer Song Moon Gil, it was his 3rd Group race win – his others coming through Clean Up Joy in last year’s Grand Prix and of course, Silver Wolf in the Ttukseom Cup. It is jockey Yoo Seung Wan’s first Group win. His previous biggest victories had come with a pair of wins in the Segye Ilbo Cups of 2013 and 2016.

The final leg of the Queens’ Tour is the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup which will run at Busan on November 12th. A lot can happen between now and then and it will be over 2000M. Nevertheless, that just means Silver Wolf has an extra few months to get even better. A clean sweep could very well happen.

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Silver Wolf in the KNN Cup winner’s circle (Pic: KRA)

KNN Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 1600M – July 23, 2017

1. Silver Wolf (AUS) [Orotorio – Ready For More (More Than Ready)] – Yoo Seung Wan – 8.3, 1.8
2. Mighty Gem (USA) [Macho Uno – Shimmer (Pulpit)] – Kim Hye Sun – 12.6
3. Haeya (USA) [Flatter – Luxaholic (Macho Uno)] – Ham Wan Sik – 1.1
Distances: 9 lengths / 0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. O.K. Yeondab (USA) 5. The Queen Silver (KOR) 6. Gold Blue (JPN) 7. Supreme Magic (USA) 8. Black Sapphire (KOR) 9. Santa Gloria (KOR) 10. Areumdaundonghaeng (USA) 11. Steal The Show Why (KOR) 12. Queen’s Queen (KOR) 13. Queen Two Hearts (KOR) 14. Gaenari (CAN). NR: Ottug Ottugi (KOR)

KNN Cup Sunday: Seoul & Busan Race-By-Race Preview (July 23)

The second leg of the Queens’ Tour Champion Filly & Mare series is the highlight of a busy Sunday of racing in Korea. The KNN Cup will be run over a mile at Busan. There are 6 races at Busan from 13:25 to 17:40 and 11 at Seoul from 11:45 to 19:00. English racecards are here.

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Silver Wolf defeated Haeya in the Ttukseom Cup. They race again in the KNN Cup at Busan (Pic: KRA)

Silver Wolf defeated Haeya to win the first leg of the Tour, the Ttukseom Cup at Seoul on June 4th. However, that day Haeya went off a little too fast trying to chase down an early leader and paid for it in the closing stages. She could overturn that form today. Silver Wold will be dangerous but there are concerns over the fitness of another contender, last year’s Oaks winner Ottug Ottugi, about whom a final decision will be made in the morning. If she doesn’t run, it could change the complexion of the contest given her front running style.

Other contenders include Black Sapphire although it is perhaps a furlong shorter than she would like and Seoul raider Areumdaundonghaeng. Last year’s winner Supreme Magic won’t be among the favourites but can’t be completely ruled out. Form comments on all 13 Sunday races fro overseas simulcast are below:

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

1. SINUI MYEONGRYEONG – Hansen 2yo made all to win very easily on debut a month ago. Up in class but should have few problems with this lot.
2. JUGEUKSEONG – Well back in recent outings.
3. USEUNG DESIGN – Maiden winner over 1200M in May but only beat one home on first try at this class.
4. PARTY TIME – Not too far away from minor placings most times and could sneak some here.
5. FIRSTIGE – Up in class following maiden win at 1200M last month. This is harder but he should be competitive.
6. SIMON MISSILE – Up in class after maiden win at 1300M all the way back in April. Not favoured to repeat but can get some minor money.
7. JINGYEOGUI RACE – Yet to win but has come close on plenty of occasions. First try at class 5 and should go well.

Verdict: Four of the seven are racing at this class for the first time and the three that aren’t look to be the outsiders. (1) SINUI MYEONGRYEONG should win and win well at (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 22)

French jockey Johan Victoire will make his Korean debut in the saddle at Seoul on Saturday and it’s a good weekend for him to do so. A number of jockeys are absent from Seoul in order to ride in the KNN Cup at Busan on Sunday and Victoire is among those who could take advantage in the 11 race Saturday card which runs from 14:00 to 21:00. English cards are here. Notes on races for overseas simulcast are below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million 
1. WONDERFUL LUCKY – 4th in trial behind Jungdong Jijon
2. MENI TURBO – 2nd on debut on June 24th and strong favourite here.
3. BABY STAR – 5th in trial behind Special Light. Wasn’t quick.
4. CUPID STORM – Well back behind Jungdong Jijon and Wonderful Lucky in trial.
5. MASK – 2nd in trials and looks set to go well.
6. CAPTAIN POWER – Trialled a couple of times and worked ok but probably best to watch first up.
7. FIORE – Looks competent enough and can go well.
8. HESEDEU – 3rd on debut at the end of May but considerably slower than Meni Turbo. Should lead here.
9. OPI WINTER – Trialled up behind Icheon Seal – looks to have plenty to make up on that one. (more…)