Month: October 2017

World Sun Lands Busan Juvenile Crown

Yesterday at Seoul, Choinma completed a Juvenile double, adding the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup to his earlier triumph in the Gyeonggi Governor’s. Today at Busan, World Sun matched his feat, scoring an emphatic win in the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup having a month previously scored in the Gold Circle Trophy. They’ll clash in early December at the Breeders’ Cup in the Capital.

He has an exciting style, World Sun. Just as in the GC Trophy, his late burst of speed overwhelmed his rivals and he ran on to win by an easy 4-lengths.  Kim Young Kwan’s Ecton Blade trailed home 2nd while the Thomas Gillespie pair of Yeonghui Sidae and Gyeongjuui Durebak came in 3rd and 4th.

Gimhae Mayor’s Cup – Busan Racecourse – 1200M – October 29, 2017

1. World Sun (KOR) [Officer – Dancing Desire (Mr. Greeley)] – Lim Sung Sil – 2.7, 1.2
2. Ecton Blade (KOR) [Ecton Park – Vying Ty Grr (Regal Intention)] – Ham Wan Sik – 1.4
3. Yeonghui Sidae (KOR) [Hansen – Pebble In The Sand (Malibu Moon)] – Jin Kyum – 3.4
Distances: 4 lengths / 2 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Gyeongjuui Durebak 5. Yeonggwanguiwinner 6. Christiano 7. Captain Force 8. Sin Stealth

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (October 29)

On Saturday at Seoul, Choinma won the capital’s top juvenile race. On Sunday it’s Busan’s turn to find the best among its latest crop as eight 2-year-olds contest the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05.


Choinma won Seoul’s top juvenile race on Saturday. It’s Busan’s turn to find a young champion on Sunday. (Pic: KRA)

Just as Seoul’s race was yesterday, the Gimhae Mayor’s looks a fascinating contest. GC Trophy winner World Sun produced a remarkable finish to win that race, beating two of his rivals here and likely enters as favourite. However, Sin Stealth got the better of him back in August ad is likely to be a danger again. Thomas Gillespie saddles a promising pair in the shape of Yeonghui Sidae and Gyeongjuui Durebak while Kim Young Kwan’s duo of Ecton Blade and Captain Force both have claims of their own.

Only Seoul is available on international simulcast (North America/Australia) today. Notes on the races as follows:

Race 1: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(4) JANGSAN JEPAE stepped up to 1300M last time but weakened a little late on and ended up in 4th place. Dropped back to the minimum distance today, where she already has a win and a 2nd place to her name – the latter at this class – she is going to be hard to beat. The up in class (3) HWANAE JANGSEONG made all for her maiden win over 1300M last start and should be on pace once more here with good claims to be competitive while (10) BULHUUI SEUNGJA is yet to win but also finds herself up in class after a few too many near misses. Likewise there is no reason why she can’t cope with this level. The more experienced pair of (8) DESERT EAGLE and (11) EVER A ONE don’t look likely winners but are capable of finding the money in this company.

Selections (4) Jangsan Jepae (3) Hwanae Jangseong (10) Bulhuui Seungja (11) Ever A One
Next Best 8, 12
Fast Start 3, 4, 9, 11

Race 2: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(1) CALLIOPE was a convincing four-length winner on debut over 1000M a month ago and returns today up in both class and distance but still favourite to score in what is quite a strong looking contest for this level. Aside from the favourite, four others are also up in class following their maiden wins and among them (4) MAGIC TEN, looks the best. True, she won her maiden in the Stewards’ room but her and the “winner” were a full nine lengths clear of the rest of the field and she shows promise as does (11) SEUNGRI SIDAE, a three-length winner over 1300M on September 30th. Among those already at this level, (3) JANGSAN JEGUK’s latest was in tough juvenile company so he gets another chance while (10) BLUE LANCE returned from almost a year out at the start of this month and ran encouragingly enough to suggest there is improvement in store.

Selections (1) Calliope (4) Magic Ten (3) Jangsan Jeguk (11) Seungri Sidae
Next Best 10, 9
Fast Start 1, 6, 7, 8

Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juveniles only here and just four of them have raced before. It’s among those we find out top two though with (3) J.S. STORM the pick. He debuted in 4th place all the way back at the end of July but returned to action in a swift September trial and can score here. (8) VICTORY STAR was 3rd on debut on September 23rd, beating (6) CHEONGDAM QUEENS in the process. She ran on very nicely over 1000M after a slow start and should appreciate (more…)

Choinma Makes It A Gyeonggi/Gwacheon Juvenile Double

Choinma confirmed his place at the top of the Juvenile rankings by adding the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup to his resume at Seoul Racecourse on Saturday afternoon.

The Menifee colt was a convincing winner of last month’s Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup but with several new exciting youngsters entering the fray for the Mayor’s – the last big test before the nationwide Juvenile title is settled in the Breeders’ Cup on December 3rd, many felt Choinma would need to up his game to stay on track.

Up his game he did as he came through late to beat Hansen colt Sinui Myeongryeong by almost two lengths on the line. The previously unbeaten and well-fancied trio of Global Line, Hae Hu and The Queen Grace all faltered and ended up as also-rans but Wonderful Jackpot, 3rd in the Gyeonggi repeated the trick as that form held up very well. There was also a big run from Icheon Ssal who closed strongly for 4th and should be a very interesting prospect once the distances get longer in the new year.

Inly tme will tell how strong this crop turns out to be but the signs are good so far. Busan holds its own Juvenile Championship race on Sunday afternoon. Whoever comes out on top will have to go some to beat Choinma back here in December.

Gwacheon Governor’s Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – October 28, 2017

1. Choinma (KOR) [Menifee – Kkumaeul (Curia Regis)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 4.3, 1.3
2. Sinui Myeongryeong (KOR) [Hansen – Strawberry Rose (Dr Fong)] – Lim Gi Won – 2.2
3. Wonderful Jackpot (KOR) [Ingrandire – Endless Heroine (Oath)] – Kim Yong Geun – 7.0
Distances: 1.75 lengths / 0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Icheon Ssal 5. Fire Wind 6. Okay Queen 7. Hoeng Un Gol 8. Global Line 9. Hae Hu 10. Raon Alice 11. Eagle Sky 12. Dae Cain 13. The Queen Grace 14. Meni Bada

Seoul Saturday: Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup Race-By-Race Preview (October 28)

Seoul’s top Juvenile will be decided on Saturday afternoon as fourteen two-year-olds line up for the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup. The winner will look to go on to emulate Final Boss by becoming overall Juvenile Champion at the Breeders’ Cup next month before heading to the Triple Crown trial in 2018. Full preview of that – and all of Saturday’s 12 races (10:45 to 18:00) are below:

Choinma Gyeonggi

Choinma won the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup last month and goes for a repeat in the Gwacheon Mayor’s on Saturday (Pic: KRA)

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

Two first-time starters join ten who have each run just once before for the opener and as none of those ten particularly caught the eye on debut, we’re going to give a chance to (5) FUNKY TRAIN to score at the first time of asking. He trialled up well and there’s no reason why he can’t win this. The other debut-maker, (7) GANADORA is not without claims either while among the ones who have already raced, (3) DAE BYEONHWA, (8) BANGGEURI and (11) MERLIN look best.

Selections (5) Funky Train (11) Merlin (3) Dae Byeonhwa (7) Ganadora
Next Best 8, 6
Fast Start 1, 2, 5, 6, 12

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(1) K.N. BLUE has come close in two outings to date, including 2nd place last start over this distance and he looks hard to oppose here. (5) ÉCLAIR BEAUTY has taken part in three tough races so far and can be forgiven her latest effort. She looks second choice here with (3) BULSA BULPAE, (6) MAIN EVENT and the more experienced (10) WIND POWER others who have claims on getting into the places.

Selections (1) K.N. Blue (5) Éclair Beauty (3) Bulsa Bulpae (6) Main Event
Next Best 10, 8
Fast Start 2, 5, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(5) ALL OF ME was a creditable 2nd on debut, four-lengths adrift of a good winner and she has strong claims to go one better here, likely leading from the start. Seven of the twelve race for the first time and it’s among those we encounter the main dangers. (2) PALDO DAEJANG looked very sharp winning a trial last month while (3) BIG EAR put in a very fast time in a competitive heat. Both have top jockeys on board and will be backed while similarly (10) RAON DOLPUNG should also go well first-up. Among the others with experience, (8) MAX THUNDER, the only one with two starts behind her, looks best.

Selections (5) All Of Me (3) Big Ear (2) Paldo Daejang (10) Raon Dolpung
Next Best 8, 1
Fast Start 2, 5, 8, 10

Race 4: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Tricky contest this especially with all but one of them racing at the distance for the first time. That one (5) FIRE didn’t go especially well at it but did improve in one start since and may be considered for the minor money. Favourites look to be (3) BEST MISSION and (12) NEULPUREUN CHEONHA. They were both 3rd in their latest efforts but it’s the latter (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 27)

Both Seoul & Busan will hold their Championship Juvenile races this weekend but first of all their is a full 11-race card at Busan on Friday. First race is 11:30 and the last is 18:00.


Doraonpogyeongseon ran a big race in the Korea Sprint and can return to winning ways at Busan on Friday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

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

 Solid form at a premium here so (3) NINA gets the verdict following a creditable enough 5th place on debut last month. It was nothing special but showed promise and she can go on to win here. (6) EDGE OF WINNER showed improvement on her second start a month ago and can continue to develop here while (5) EURO SHINHWA was by no means disgraceful on debut either. (8) BAEKDU BAEKHO certainly didn’t impress on his own debut back in August but has been back trialling since and has looked much better. Debut-maker (7) SAEROUN BARAM is another to consider.

Selections (3) Nina (6) Edge Of Winner (7) Saeroun Baram (8) Baekdu Baekho
Next Best 5, 4
Fast Start 2, 3, 4, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 55 Million 

Juveniles only here and five of the twelve have raced before. Among those, (4) PYEONGCHANG HORANGI recorded the best finishing position but the performance of (1) TRINITY, landing a quicker time in a better race, suggests that he is the pick of the experienced ones. (2) YEONGGWANGUI CHAMP did ok on debut too but it’s to the debut-makers that we’ll turn to find the other contenders. (11) HIDDEN CHAMP and (10) DAMYANG GONGJU trialled up together and the former looks to have decent claims first up.

Selections (11) Hidden Champ (1) Trinity (10) Damyang Gongju (2) Yeonggwangui Champ
Next Best 12, 8
Fast Start 1, 2, 3, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(2) FIRST SHINHWA just fell short last time, beaten a length in a good race over this distance, well ahead of a couple of his rivals here and he looks very much the one to bet in what should be another lively contest. (3) BOLD RULES has been 3rd in both her outings so far and can at least match today while (4) JANGHAN JILJU has similarly been finding the money and can maintain that record here. (7) ROCK HARD SEVEN has had an (more…)

Perovic Achieves A Double-Ton

Djordje Perovic has become just the second overseas rider to reach 200 winners in Korea. The Serbian jockey passed the milestone at Seoul Racecourse this past Sunday when he notched the second of three winners across the weekend.


200-up for Perovic (Pic: Ross Holburt)

That win, on hot favourite P.K. Time in race 1 and then a later one aboard 4/1 chance Yes You Can in race 8 took Perovic’s 2017 tally to 82, three shy of Premiership leader Kim Yong Geun.

Licensed in Italy but a native of Serbia, the “Best Sportsman of the City of Kragujevac” arrived in Seoul in May of 2015. It took 35 rides for him to partner his first winner, Gold Mountain on June 7th of that year, as Perovic struggled with the usual issue facing foreign jockeys at Seoul – getting competitive mounts. The floodgates soon opened though. He rode a double the following week and despite some minor setbacks, never hasn’t stopped riding winners since.

100 winners arrived in October of 2016 and 150 in March of this year. In both years, Perovic has had to take time out in Europe for licensing reasons making his achievements – and to be in with a realistic chance of being Champion jockey this season – all the more admirable. In June this year, he won his first Korean Group race, guiding Silver Wolf to victory in the Ttukseom Cup.

Djordje Perovic now has 201 winners in Korea, still some way shy of Ikuyasu Kurakane’s final tally of 285. If he stays on though, few doubt that figure will be overcome.

Cheongdam Dokki Downs Clean Up Joy To Cruise To Seoul’s Summit

There is a new force in Korean racing. His name is Cheongdam Dokki.

Even though he was going up against Clean Up Joy, last year’s winner and top-rated at Seoul, and New Citadel, who had already beaten him, nobody really thought he would lose. And he didn’t. However, the ease with which Cheongdam Dokki won the KRA Cup Classic served notice that this really is a potential star.

KRA Cup Classic (KOR G2) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – October 22, 2017

1. Cheongdam Dokki (USA) [To Honor And Serve – Elusive Gold (Strike The Gold)] – Moon Se Young – 1.6, 1.1
2. New Citadel (USA) [With Distinction – Ree Ensign (Proud And True)] – Jo Jae Ro – 1.1
3. Clean Up Joy (USA) [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeux Danseur)] – Djordje Perovic – 1.2
Distances: 4 lengths / 9 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Clean Up Cheonha (USA) 5. Shamrocker (USA) 6. Suseong Captain (KOR) 7. Muhudaeje (USA) 8. Cheonjeok (USA)

It was over by the first corner, champion jockey Moon Se Young taking Cheongdam Dokki into an early lead from the gate and while Clean Up Joy and New Citadel closed the gap and then went with him rounding the far turn, it was clear they were under pressure a long way out.

In the straight there was only ever going to be one winner. The margin on the line was 4-lengths from New Citadel (who may provide some interest over the 2300M of the Grand Prix Stakes) with Clean Up Joy a further 9 lengths back in 3rd. To give some context to it, Clean Up Joy today ran his quickest ever time at 2000M – and he had tackled the distance on no fewer than eight prior occasions, winning on seven of them. Yet he was over two seconds slower than Cheongdam Dokki today.

Cheongdam Dokki, a gelding, was a $20,000 purchase from the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Despite the obvious talent, he hasn’t always been the easiest to handle but has now won four races in a row by margins of his choosing. There are still others he needs to beat; Dolkong at Seoul and of course Triple Nine and Power Blade, but on today’s performance, few would bet against him against any of those. Hopefully, they will meet. While a trip to the Dubai World Cup Carnival unfortunately doesn’t appear to be on his agenda, the next few months could be very interesting.

KRA Cup Classic: Clean Up Joy vs Cheongdam Dokki (Race-By-Race Preview – October 22)

It’s the showdown that we’ve been waiting for. At least for the past three months anyway. It was disappointing that both Clean Up Joy and Cheongdam Dokki swerved the Korea Cup last month but they finally do meet at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday, taking top billing in the local Group 2 KRA Cup Classic. There are 11 Sunday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10. 

Clean Up Joy YTN Shamrocker

Clean Up Joy beat Shamrocker in the YTN Cup earlier this year – he’ll have more than just his stablemate to deal with today (Pic: Alex Cairns)

Here are today’s Seoul notes:

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Twelve fillies to kick things off and this looks a slightly softer ask for (3) P.K. TIME than when she could only manage 3rd place when favourite over 1000M on September 9th. This is her first try at the distance but she should be at the front early and can go all the way. (5) FOR J.K and (10) FIORE finished 3rd and 4th when racing each other over 1200M a month ago and both should be competitive here with Fiore fancied to overturn that form while the more experienced (12) DONGSEO GADEUK should be getting close in this company too. Similarly experienced, (7) STORMY PASSION is another to take into consideration.

Selections (3) P.K. Time (10) Fiore (5) For J.K (12) Dongseo Gadeuk
Next Best 7, 11
Fast Start 3, 6, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile race with enhanced prize money sees seven of the twelve racing for the first time. However, it’s from those with experience that we draw our top picks. Both (2) GLOBAL BANK and (3) THE JIJON came home in 2nd place on their respective debuts in September and it’s The Jijon, who led until the closing stages over 1200M, who is favoured to score here with Global Bank having to settle for 2nd once more. They’re both (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 21)

There are 12 Saturday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00:

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

(11) BROWN BOMBER ran a solid race in 2nd place at this distance on what was just his second outing on September 16th. He ran on nicely, finishing strongly and while he may probably want a little bit further in the long term, this race looks eminently winnable for him. Not much else catches the eye, to be honest. (2) MORAN DONGBEAK has shown improvement across her three starts so far and looks to be second best but all of the others are going to need to show something they haven’t looked like doing so far. Something has to fill the places though with (3) BIG AURORA, (5) JI SEONI and (10) CULLINAN perhaps most likely.

Selections (11) Brown Bomber (2) Moran Dongbeak  (5) Ji Seoni (3) Big Aurora
Next Best 10, 12
Fast Start 1, 3, 7, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(4) FIRST RUNNER enters having been 3rd on each of his latest two, although both were at 1700M and he gets dropped back in trip today. He should still get close but there are a couple of others who also look to have claims on a maiden win here. (6) CAPTAIN POWER was much improved on his third outing a month ago, beating (1) SHARP KAYLAN, who also showed progress that day with both in the prize money hunt here. (3) CLEAN UP SECRET has come home in 5th place on both of his outings so far but he was beaten by decent ones last time at this distance and can get closer here. (11) FIRST QUEEN is another who has come close in the past and who can’t be ruled out today.

Selections (6) Captain Power (3) Clean Up Secret (4) First Runner (1) Sharp Kaylan
Next Best 11, 2
Fast Start 3, 4, 10, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Only three of the twelve have raced before but all of those three did quite well and are likely to be well backed here. (2) SIMPLE RULES led for much of her debut and while she ended a well-beaten 3rd, it was a strong showing for a debut she has solid claims today. (11) PRIMO was 4th in a similarly competitive race on September 9th while (12) SEUNGJAUI MISO finished in the same position over 1200M a week later. Both should join Simple Rules on the early speed and can go well again. Among the first-time starters (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 20)

One of the most eagerly awaited clashes of the year will take place at Seoul this coming Sunday when Grand Prix Stakes winner Clean Up Joy returns to action to face the up and coming pair of Cheongdam Dokki and New Citadel in the KRA Cup Classic. Before that, however, the weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00:

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(2) BUSAN BOLT beat (1) DYNAMIC RUN as the pair ran 2nd and 4th over this distance on September 22nd and one or other of them should really be stepping up to claim their maiden win here with Busan Bolt slightly favoured. (8) HANEOLUI GISANG has shown promise across two starts so far and looks another who is ultimately bound for the winner’s circle with it possibly being here while (6) BAENGNYEON SIDAE has also been getting closer and could well lead early here. (5) HAEDONG YEOGEOL another in the placing frame.

Selections (2) Busan Bolt (8) Haneolui Gisang (1) Dynamic Run (6) Baengnyeon Sidae
Next Best 5, 12
Fast Start 3, 6, 7, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 55 Million

Five of the twelve have raced before and it’s one of those, (6) KOREAN ANGEL, who will be the favourite. She was 2nd, just beaten half a length, on debut on September 1st and looks nicely into score today. Of the others with experience, (1) DORAON SAEGANGJA and (8) MAJOR ALPHA look to have most chance of improving – the latter was very (more…)