Day: January 16, 2019

Ecton Park Dethrones Menifee As Leading Sire In Korea

After six years of dominance, Menifee’s reign at the top of the Leading Sire in Korea list is over as Ecton Park wrested away his crown in 2018. Buoyed by the late season form of Triple Nine, the Isidore Farm stallion ended the year almost a Billion won in front of his KRA Stud Farm rival. 

leading general sire 2018

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Menifee finished in 2nd place and had the most individual winners at 56. Officer was in 3rd place ahead of Peace Rules and the late Sharp Humor. Hansen roared into the top 10 for the first time in 7th place and took the honours for most wins (72). Pegasus Stables’  Thunder Moccasin, with just two crops on the track, was the break-out star, finishing the year in tenth place on the list.

Another notable performance came from Nokwon Farm’s Testa Matta in 15th who like Thunder Moccasin, only debuted in 2017 and whose Chief-Earner was Korean Derby runner-up, Mask.

Five imported stallions had their first Korean crops make the track and Any Given Saturday took the Leading First Crop Sire title although with only a small number of runners, the performance of Japanese import Federalist was noteworthy.


As a racehorse, Ecton Park [Forty Niner – Daring Danzig (Danzig)] ran 12th in the 1999 Kentucky Derby, which was won by Charismatic. A certain Menifee was 2nd. That same year he went on to win the G2 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga abd the G1 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs among a total of eleven top three finishes in Graded Stakes company.

Ecton Park  was imported to Korea in 2009. Even before his first Korean crop hit the ground, he had made an impact on Korean racing with his 2007 foal Mister Park, who was imported in-utero, scoring a record-breaking seventeen consecutive race victories between 2009 and 2011.  Even prior to that Summit Party (now a successful broodmare herself) had won five of eleven starts including the JRA Trophy and Segye Ilbo Cup, while another filly Miss Ecton, won the Busan Ilbo Cup in 2008.

He has been standing privately at Isidore Farm since arriving and has gradually become established – no easy thing to do when competing for mares with the KRA stallions. He finished 2nd in the Leading Sire race in 2015 and 2017 and 3rd in 2016. While Triple Nine has been his biggest earner, he also sired the precociously talented Indie Band, who won both President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes aged 3 in 2013 but had his career cut short six months later through injury.

In terms of the future, Ecton Park, who like Menifee is now 23, had relatively small books of 23 and 37 in 2017 and 2018, compared with Hansen at 92 and 96 across the same period and Thunder Moccasin 53 and 83. In 2020, the first Korean progeny of Colonel John, who covered 133 mares in 2017 and 108 last year, will hit the track. There will be new names at the top soon (although after a few years of slowing down, Menifee went back up to 132 in 2018).

As ever, there were losses in 2018. In the long term, Bob And John was intended to take over the mantle as Isidore Farm’s flagship sire but sadly he succombed to laminitis in December. Captain Coltish, Delago Brom and Cielo Gold were among other stallions who passed away in Korea in 2018.

Buhwarui Banseok To Make Carnival Debut Thursday

The Dubai World Cup Carnival 2019 continues and this Thursday it’s the turn of Buhwarui Banseok to take his chance. The Bart Rice trained 6-year-old runs in race 5, a handicap over 2000M on the Meydan turf.


There are a total of eleven runners with Godolphin providing no fewer than six of them but Buhwarui Banseok looks to have landed in a good spot compared with Ace Korea and Dolkong who faced group opposition on their respective debuts earlier this month. He is the only one in the field to be racing on turf for the first time but that may suit in the same way that it did another Korea-trained runner, Diferent Dimension, two years ago.

How he takes to the surface and the likely unfamiliar race pace will be crucial but Buhwarui Banseok has proven himself competitive amongst the best company in Korea. He will have South African jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe aboard and has drawn the outside gate 11.


Trainer Bart Rice sporting a fine jacket at Meydan (Pic: KRA)

In addition to the Godolphin half-dozen, US trainer Kenny McPeek’s Harlan Strong makes his Carnival debut as does Ed Dunlop’s Dark Red. Aside from the UAE-based runners Earnshaw, Jaaref and Big Challenge, there’s not a lot of recent form to go on. Buhwarui Banseok’s latest outing was in the Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul in December when he finished 13th of 16 over 2300M but he was a very good winner of a stiff 1800M handicap at Busan in October. The wide draw shouldn’t affect him too much as he doesn’t need to lead and he generally runs on well. In total, the American bred horse, who is by Tizway, has won eight of his twenty-eight starts.

It’s a first Carnival runner for trainer Bart Rice who has been based at Busan since the end of 2013. Rice has saddled 150 Korean winners with a win strike rate of 13.4% and 36% of his runners finishing in the top three.

The race will come under orders at 8:50pm local UAE time on Thursday which is 1:50am on Friday morning in Korea.