Korean Triple Crown 2011

Dongseo Jeongbeol Crashes Classic Winners’ Clash

16/1 Shot Wins Final Leg Of 2011 Triple Crown

Dongseo Jeongbeol stunned the big guns to storm to claim victory in the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the 2011 Korean Triple Crown, at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

Dongseo Jeongbeol beats Useung Touch to win the Minister's Cup

In a race which brought together the winners of all three previous races in the Triple Crown series – Soseuldaemun, Gwangyajeil and Useung Touch – Dongseo Jeongbeol was sent off as a 16/1 outsider, despite having won six of his ten prior starts.

Things seemed to be going to form to begin with as Oaks winner Useung Touch (Menifee) set the early pace with Derby winner Gwangyajeil (Vicar) following closely behind. Midway through the back straight, the horse who was actually sent off the slight favourite, Champion Belt (Exploit) – the most expensive horse of this generation when sold as a two-year old, hit the front. All the while, Dongseo Jeongbeol (Vicar) and jockey Chae Gyu Jun were simply siting in the middle of the pack.

As the field entered the home straight, battle commenced. However, Gwangyajeil was quickly out of it as Useung Touch seemed set to go on to claim the win. Then came Dongseo Jeongbeol on the outside. Third with a furlong to go, he was travelling much quicker than Useung Touch and he swept past the filly fifty metres from the line. Another fast finishing outsider Geuma Champ grabbed third.

Not right: Derby winner Gwangyajeil

As for Gwangyajeil, he went backwards in the home straight eventually finishing thirteenth. Indeed, the only horse he beat home was KRA Cup Mile winner Soseuldaemun – that first Classic victory looking more and more a flash in the pan although he did return lame. Gwangyajeil returned looking angry and didn’t want to trot for the vet. However, he didn’t seem injured.

For Dongseo Jeongbeol it was, as mentioned earlier, he moves onto seven wins from eleven starts and a potential invite back to Seoul next month for the President’s Cup. His win means that horses from Busan claimed the Cup Mile, the Oaks and the Minister’s Cup with Gwangyajeil’s Derby win the only success for Seoul.

Dongseo Jeongbeol and Chae Gyu Jun in the Minister's Cup Winner's Circle

Dongseo Jeongbeol is the second classic winner this year by Vicar – in the sire’s first year of three-year olds hitting the track. Useung Touch continued Menifee’s strong performance in what is also his first season of classic runners.

The Minister of FAFF Cup (G2) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – October 2, 2011

1. Dongseo Jeongbeol (KOR) [VIcar-Rendezvous Bay (Wonderloaf)] – Chae Gyu Jun – 16.7, 4.6
2. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee-Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] – Choi Si Dae – 2.0
3. Geuma Champ (KOR) [Vicar-Stormcloudrising (Stormy Atlantic)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 5.0

Distances: 1.5 lengths/0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Champion Belt 5. Amass 6. Absolute 7. Choenji Horyeong 8. Singgeureounachim 9. Raon Speed 10. Daejeuimilsa 11. Sun Hero 12. Smart Win 13. Gwangyajeil 14. Soseuldaemun

So, four classics and four different winners. A very competitive crop or just a poor one? We’ll know for sure when they start taking on the best older horses. That begins in the President’s Cup next month.

* Next week big Stakes action returns to Seoul in the form n the KRA Cup Classic. Tough Win, Dongbanui Gangja, Ace Galloper and even Baekgwang are all set to be there. Full preview coming soon!

Gwangyajeil Heads Triple Crown Finale Field

All Three Classic Winners Go In The Minister’s Cup

Let’s get the jokes out-of-the-way first. The final leg of the Korean Triple Crown is the Minister’s Cup. And the Minister in question is the Minister of FAFF – that’s Forestry, Agriculture, Fisheries and Farming. But there’s no faffing about in what is set to be a cracking finale to the Classic series.

All three Classic winners so far this season will be there. KRA Cup Mile winner Soseuldaemun will take on Derby winner Gwangyajeil and Oaks winner Useung Touch. However, they are far from the only contenders in a high quality line-up that will race over ten furlongs at Seoul Race Park on Sunday afternoon.

Gwangyajeil (Vicar) lead Useung Touch (Menifee) to the line in the Korean Derby

Here is a full run-down of the runners and riders (Name [Pedigree] (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) – Jockey (Home track):

Minister of FAFF Cup (KOR.GII) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – SUnday October 2, 2011 – 16:35

1. Raon Speed [Creek Cat-Shakee Ground (Kris S.)] (6/4/2/0) – Cho Kyoung Ho (Seoul)
An improver who should relish going up to 2000M. Can be prone to bad behaviour, he threw his jockey and had to be scratched on his last but one start.

2. Amass [Jamine Langfuhr-Jideokjang (Didyme)] Filly (10/3/3/2) – Jo Chang Wook (Busan)
One of two fillies in the field, she was second to the other one, Useung Touch, in the Korean Oaks in August. There’s no good reason why she should be able to reverse that finish here, but she could be involved at the business end. That regular rider Jo Sung Gon is staying in Busan may be a clue though.

3. Dongseo Jeongbeol [Vicar-Rendezvous Bay (Wonderloaf)] (10/6/1/0) – Chae Gyu Jun (Busan)
Getting better as the distances increase, he’s won back to back Class 2 races at 1800 and 1900 metres. He’ll have his supporters.

4. Daejeuimilsa [Sakura Seeking-Light Hearted Lass (Majestic Light)] (11/4/0/1) – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
Another late bloomer he’s won his past two races at 1700 metres. He’s not beaten very much so far but any Moon Se young ridden horse is difficult to rule out.

5. Singgeureounachim [Exploit-Singgeureoun (Mr. Adorable)] (13/3/4/3) – Kim Ok Sung (Seoul)
Since finishing third in the Korean Derby behind Gwangyajeil and Useung Touch, he’s developed a severe case of second-itis of late, finishing as runner-up in his last three starts. A very capable colt but he’ll need to find something to win here.

6. Smart Win [Sakura Seeking-Our Kaapstad (Kaapstad)] (7/4/1/1) – Kim Dong Young (Busan)
Ran second to Dongseo Jeongbeol last time out bringing to an end a series of four straight wins. Although it proved he was capable of going round two turns he’ll have to find plenty to be competitive here.

7. Champion Belt [Exploit-Telegraph Road (Royal Academy)] (10/4/2/3) – Lim Sung Sil (Busan)
He briefly became the most expensive two-year old in Korean history when he went through the sales ring early last year. He’s struggled to live up to that billing but has developed into a solid performer and arrives here on the back of two straight wins at class 2. His best may be yet to come and this could be his time.

8. Soseuldaemun [Meisei Opera-This Ole Way (Vigors)] (12/3/3/2) – Song Keong Yun (Busan)
The surprise winner of the KRA Cup Mile showed up to the Derby in poor shape and was duly well beaten. He’s only run once since, putting in an improved performance in the Gyeongnam Do-Min Ilbo in July. Very talented but a close look at him in the parade ring will be required if he is to be bettable.

9. Useung Touch [Menifee-Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] Filly (9/5/2/1) – Choi Si Dae (Busan)
Second in the Derby and then the easy winner of the Oaks, this filly is all class. If she’s at her best, she has a very very good chance.

10. Geuma Champ [Vicar-Stormcloudrising (Stormy Atlantic)] (12/5/3/2) – Choi Bum Hyun (Seoul)
A late addition to the field after his last gasp win in the Ilgan Sports Cup just two weeks ago. He finished very quickly that day and should benefit from the extra distance. Could prove a handful.

11. Absolute [Commendable-Tai Chi (Quest For Fame)] (10/5/0/2) – Park Byeong Yun (Seoul)
Unpredictible. A good winner last time out over a competitive class 2 field but he’ll be an outsider here.

12. Sun Hero [Menifee-Stategic Reward (Bold Revenue)] (13/5/3/1) – Park Tae Jong (Seoul)
Champion two-year old last year, he’s had a mixed campaign as a three-year old. He is, however, one of very few of this year’s crop to have already qualified for class 1 racing. He had a tough introduction to that level last month but was arguably facing tougher all round competition than he has here. Should be in the hunt at the end.

13. Gwangyajeil [Vicar-Hurricane Havoc (Jade Robbery)] (8/6/0/0) – Shin Hyoung Chul (Seoul)
The Derby winner. And the likely favourite. He’s only run once since that win in May when he battled gamely through a monsoon downpour to win a class 2 race back in early July. But three months on, what kind of shape will he be in. Absolutely fine say the reports but he’s by no means a sure thing.

14. Cheonji Horyeong [Buster’s Daydream-Sorority Jazz (Dixieland Band)] (13/3/3/1) – Akane Yamamoto (Busan)
Brother of 2008 Derby winner Ebony Storm, he’d been something of a disappointment before pulling off a surprise win in the Gold Circle Trophy at Busan four weeks ago to punch his ticket here. Akane Yamamoto rode him that day and the Japanese jockey will be making her Seoul debut here.

The 2011 Korean Triple Crown So Far – In Video

Soseuldaemun, Gwangyajeil and Useung Touch will be among 14 entrants in the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the 2011 Korean Triple Crown. Here’s what’s happened in the series so far:

KRA Cup Mile (KOR G.II) – Busan Race Park – 1600M – Apr 3, 2011

1. Soseuldaemun (KOR) [Meisei Opera – This Ole Way (Vigors)] – Toshio Uchida – 7.2, 2.3
2. Double Light (KOR) [Menifee – Iruda (Glorify)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 4.0
3. Mupaeseungni (KOR) [Ingrandire – Dangdae Eutteum (Pro For Sure)] – Jung Ki Yong – 8.3

Distances: 2 lengths/Nose
Also Ran: 4. Cheonji Horyeong 5. Usueng Touch 6. Haengunui Mannam 7. Singgeureounachim 8. Sun Hero (3.3 Favourite) 9. Ophelia 10. Sun Blaze 11. 12. Daesang Yegam 13. Flower 14. Reigns Cat

Korean Derby (KOR.G1) – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – May 15, 2011

1. Gwangyajeil (KOR) [Vicar – Hurricane Havoc (Jade Robbery)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 4.4, 1.9
2. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee – Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] – Choi Si Dae – 3.0
3. Singgereounachim (KOR) [Exploit – Singgereoun (Mr. Adorable)] – Jo In Kwen – 2.0

Distances: 2.5 lengths/0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Champion Belt 5. Daeseung Yegam 6. Double Light 7. Soseuldaemun 8. World Winner 9. Yeongung Icheon 10. Prime Galloper 11. Shoot In 12. Choeonji Horyeong 13. Geuma Champ 14. Sun Hero

Korean Oaks (KOR.GII) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – August 21, 2011

1. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee-Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] – Choi Si Dae – 2.2, 1.4
2. Amass (KOR) [Jamine Langfuhr-Jideokjang (Didyme)] – Jo Sung Gon – 2.0
3. Choichoro (KOR) [Concept Win-Eunbiryeong (Mujaazif)] – Kim Dong Chul – 9.7

Distances: 5 lengths/2.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. HAengunui Mannam 5. Seungniuihamseong 6. Mustang Queen 7. Beauty Icheon 8. Sen Girl 9. Nicole Windsor 10. Allegrissimo 11. Cyclone 12. Flower 13. Gyeonghuimanse 14. Areumdaun Party

Will we have a fourth name among the Classic winners this year? We’ll find out very soon.

Untouchable! Useung Touch Romps The Oaks

She was second in the Derby and today, at Busan Race Park, Useung Touch went one better to win the 2011 Korean Oaks in dominating fashion.

Sent off at slightly better than evens, but starting right on the outside in gate 14, jockey Choi Si Dae sent Useung Touch out quickly and straight into an early lead. Challengers came and went, most noticeably Sen Girl in the back straight but, despite Choi having to battle for a time in the stretch to keep Useung Touch straight, it was clear the rest were only ever racing for second.

In the end it was second-favourite Amass who got closest to the winner meaning a one-two finish for Busan fillies. Outsider Choichoro, grabbing an unlikely third, was Seoul’s best finisher.

Useung Touch first came to attention when finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup at Seoul last November after starting the race as a 90/1 outsider. On the strength of that run she, along with the two colts who beat her that day, Sun Hero and Sun Blaze (both also by Menifee) went into April’s KRA Cup Classic – the first leg of the Korean Triple Crown – heavily fancied. They all disappointed.

The following month, however, Useung Touch headed to Seoul and the Korean Derby where she managed s superb second behind winner Gwangyajeil. With a class 2 win last month and now today, Useung Touch is already set to be crowned Korean bred filly of the year.

Oaks Winners: Useung Touch and Choi Si Dae

It’s a second Stakes win and first Korean Classic for her sire Menifee with his first set of foals reaching Classic age. With the Derby won by a Vicar colt (Gwangyajeil) and the likes of Ecton Park, Forest Camp and later Officer, to come on-line, we are seeing a changing of the guard in the stallion ranks that have for so long been dominated by the likes of Didyme, Revere and Creek Cat.

Korean Oaks (KOR.GII) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – August 21, 2011

1. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee-Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] – Choi Si Dae – 2.2, 1.4
2. Amass (KOR) [Jamine Langfuhr-Jideokjang (Didyme)] – Jo Sung Gon – 2.0
3. Choichoro (KOR) [Concept Win-Eunbiryeong (Mujaazif)] – Kim Dong Chul – 9.7

Distances: 5 lengths/2.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. HAengunui Mannam 5. Seungniuihamseong 6. Mustang Queen 7. Beauty Icheon 8. Sen Girl 9. Nicole Windsor 10. Allegrissimo 11. Cyclone 12. Flower 13. Gyeonghuimanse 14. Areumdaun Party

After the Korean Oaks was over with there was more Featured (although non-Stakes) action to come, in the shape of the Gold Coast Turf Club Trophy. Going into the race, which was for class 2 fillies and mares, the exciting US import Empire World (Empire Maker) was hot favourite to add to her previous four victories from five starts. It was not to be, however, as the only Korean bred filly in the race, Dongbangmiin took a narrow half-length victory over Queen of Rain with Empire World back in fourth.

Gold Coast Turf Club Trophy – Busan Race Park – 1800M – August 21, 2011

1. Dongbangmiin (KOR) [Yehudi-Pyeonghwaroun (Kingsview)] – You Hyun Myung – 5.8, 1.9
2. Queen Of Rain (USA) [Lion Heart-Prosperous Move (Arch)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.5
3. Lovely Woman (AUS) [Lion Heart – Ayu Alight (Ali Royal)] – Akane Yamamoto – 2.8

Distances: 0.5 lengths/1.25 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Empire World (USA) 5. Tamna Taehu (USA) 6. Ganggong Alpha (JPN) 7. Lady Pres (USA) 8. Gayatansaeng (NZ) 9. Royale Embrace (USA)

In English, “Useung” means “Winning”. Useung Touch has now won five of her nine starts. She’ll almost certainly be back in Seoul for a rematch with Gwangyajeil in the Minister’s Cup – the final leg of the Triple Crown – in October. In this kind of form, there’s no reason why she can’t have the winning touch there too.

It’s Busan vs Seoul In 2011 Korean Oaks

Full Field For Fillies Classic

Eight fillies will travel down from Seoul to take on six of the Busan’s finest in the 2011 Korean Oaks at Busan Racecourse this Sunday.

Kim Ok Sung and Sen Girl won the Sports Seoul and will head Seoul's Oaks challenge this Sunday in Busan

After three years of failure, Seoul regained the Derby this year and will be confident about finding a winner to make it a double in the Ladies’ Classic.

Sen Girl won the Sports Seoul Oaks trial in June and is joined on the trip South by the three fillies who finished immediately behind her in that race: Mustang Queen, Allegrissimo and Seungniuihamseong. The fact that all four of the fillies have their regular jockeys travelling down with them, suggests that they are confident.

Useung Touch heads the field on her home track. A surprise third place in the Breeders’ Cup at Seoul last November, she returned to the capital to score another shock when she ran second to Gwangyajeil in the Korean Derby in May.

Useung Touch trails Gwangyajeil to the line in the Korean Derby

Areumdaun Party and Amass are also among the six strong contingent hoping to regain the Oaks for Busan which last year was won by 50/1 outsider Euro Fighter from Seoul.

It’s an open race, with a case to be made for almost all of the full-field of fourteen who will line up at Busan at 4:15pm on Sunday. The Oaks is race 5 of a 6 race card which begins at 12:30pm. The big race will also be screened live at Seoul Race Park where there is also a full program of racing.

Here is a full run down of the runners – Name, Pedigree, race records (Starts/1st,2nd,3rd), Jockey – All entrants are Korean-bred three-year old fillies and all will carry 55Kg:

Korean Oaks (KOR.GII) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – Sunday August 21, 2011 – 15:35

1. Nicole Windsor [Yehudi-Miss Windsor (Sanction)] (14/3/2/1) – Lee Joon Chel
Beat Sen Girl over 1700m in May and has gone close in useful company since. Chance of a place or even better if things go her way.

2. Allegrissimo [Bon Vivant-Corporate Romance-Corporate Report)] (8/2/3/1) – Moon Se Young
Third behind Sen Girl and Mustang Queen in the Sports Seoul Oaks trial at Seoul, the extra 100 metres could be in her favour. With Moon Se Young on board, she can’t be ignored.

3. Haengunui Mannam [Creek Cat-Clever Lil (Lil’s Lad)] (9/3/4/0) – Lim Sung Sil
Her wins have come at sprint distances-she’s never travelled further than a mile and didn’t impress at that distance. On form, she’s an outsider.

4. Choichoro [Concept Win-Eunbiryeong (Mujaazif)] (6/3/1/0) – Kim Dong Chul
Bang in form, winning her last three races at 1000m, 1200m and most recently 1700m, moving up in class each time. A wildcard who could cause problems.

5. Amass [Jamine Langfuhr-Jideokjang (Didyme)] (9/3/2/2) – Jo Sung Gon
Another who has recently come into form, Amass is one of the few fillies in the race who has won at the 1800m distance. Has twice been beaten by Areumdaun Party in the past, those were at lesser distances. Jockey Jo Sung Gon is also not to be taken lightly in any Stakes race.

6. Gyeonghuimanse [Creek Cat-Tamna Jeilbong (Lost Mountain)] (8/3/0/1) – Kim Cheol Ho
Won exceptionally smartly over the distance last time out, albeit at Seoul. A good place chance.

7. Seungniuihamseong [Vicar-Hug And Kiss (Commander In Chief)] (8/3/2/0) – Shin Hyoung Chul
Beat Allegrissimo when wining over the distance in May but was fourth in the Sports Seoul. Will need to improve if she is to reverse that result.

8. Mustang Queen [Concept Win-Arouser (Golden Missile)] (7/3/3/0) – Cho Kyoung Ho
Narrowly beaten in the Sports Seoul, she tries her luck at 1800m for the first time and, with Seoul’s Jockey Championship leader Cho Kyoung Ho in the saddle, she’ll be one of the favourites.

9. Beauty Icheon [Capital Spending-Painted Mountain (Mountain Cat)] (11/2/5/0) – Jo In Kwen
Coming into form at the right time with her two wins coming in her last three outings. Was a solid second in a tough race over the distance at Seoul last time out. May offer some place value.

10. Flower [Menifee-Fancy Cheeks (Jade Robbery)] (10/2/4/1) – Kim Dong Young
Untried at the distance she is therefore, despite her ten runs to date, still something of an unknown quantity. She ran second to Useung Touch last time out though and, unlike most fillies in the race, has already made it as far as class 2 and therefore deserves some respect.

11. Cyclone [Concept Win-Bakuachi (Debonair Roger)] (9/2/4/0) – Akane Yamamoto
Akane is in form but it would be a surprise if she picked up her first Korean Stakes win here. Cyclone has never gone further than a mile and disappointed on both her attempts at that distance. Nevertheless, if you bet jockeys, Akane is the one to be on at the moment.

12. Areumdaun Party [Menifee-Riverbrook (Montbrook)] (7/3/2/2) – Toshio Uchida
Toshio Uchida has already won one Classic this year on Soseuldaemun in the KRA Cup Mile and Mr Pink could grab a second here. Areumdaun Party won smartly over a mile last time out and showed enough to suggest the extra furlong won’t be a problem. One of the favourites.

13. Sen Girl [Strodes Creek-Badgering Shari (Badger Land)] (11/3/2/3) – Kim Ok Sung
Winning the Sports Seoul Oaks trial at Seoul automatically puts Sen Girl among the top picks here. Seemingly getting better with each run, she’ll be attempting 1800m for the first time and will have plenty of support in the betting.

14. Useung Touch [Menifee-Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] (8/4/2/1) – Choi Si Dae
Was a shock 90/1 third place in last year’s Breeders’ Cup and then ran Gwangyajeil close in the Korean Derby, also at long-odds. This time she’ll get the respect in the betting that she deserves and one her home track, could be favourite to walk off with the biggest prize.

Gwangyajeil Wins The Korean Derby

Vicar Colt Ends Soseuldaemun’s Triple Crown Hopes

Gwangyajeil is the winner of the 2011 Korean Derby. The pre-race favourite overcame the valiant effort of filly Useung Touch to claim the second leg of the Korean Triple Crown by two and a half lengths.

Oh Kyoung Hoan and Gwangyajeil in the Derby Winner's Circle

In what was the most open looking Derby field for years, Gwangyajeil was sent off the very slight 4/1 favourite ahead of Singgereounachim and Double Light. As expected though, it was the Busan based filly Useung Touch who set the early pace and got to the first corner in the lead. KRA Cup Mile winner Soseuldaemun, rated as a 6/1 chance, ran into trouble right away and found himself at the back of the field as they rounded the first corner. However, Toshio Uchida on board, Soseuldaemun caused a stir in the back stretch as he joined fellow Busan challenger World Winner in coming right around the outside of the field to join the front-runners. Gwangyajeil and Oh Kyoung Hoan meanwhile sat safely in the middle of the pack.

Gwangyajeil leads Useung Touch to the line in the Korean Derby

Rounding the final corner, Useung Touch still had the lead while Uchida found himself four wide on Soseuldaemun. Now it was time to strike for Gwangyajeil. Shifting to the outside at the top of the stretch, he went past Soseuldaemun as if he wasn’t there. Shoot In and Double Light similarly saw their challenge collapse. The battling Useung Touch was the last to succumb but once Gwangyajeil had her collared with a furlong to go, there was to be only one winner. The filly held on for second from the fast finishing Singgereounachim and outsider Champion Belt.

Soseuldaemun – who had lost 26 kilos since his KRA Cup Mile win – finished in seventh, once place behind Double Light. Well-fancied Geuma Champ was a disappoiting thirteenth while bringing up the rear was 2010 Champion juvenile Sun Hero, who played up in the paddock before the race and is looking increasingly difficult to control.

Oh Kyoung Hoan doesn't have to do this every day

Gwangyajeil [Vicar – Hurricane Havoc (Jade Robbery)] now has a record of five wins from his seven starts. Vicar, whose foals had long been popular with Korean buyers at American sales, was imported to Korea in December 2006. Gwangyajeil’ s triumph means that he has a Classic winner among his first crop of foals to reach the racetrack. As for jockey Oh Kyoung Hoan, while he did win the Grand Prix Stakes in 2004, this will surely go down as his biggest victory to date. For trainer Lim Bong Chun it is by far and away his biggest success.

It is also a welcome victory for Seoul. The capital city hosts the Derby but hasn’t provided a winner of it since the race was opened up to competition from Busan in 2008. Could the tables be turning at last> We’ll find out when this crop of three-year olds re-convenes back at Seoul in October for the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Triple Crown. With Soseuldaemun’s defeat, a Triple Crown won’t be on the line, but plenty else will be.

Korean Derby (KOR.G1) – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – May 15, 2011

1. Gwangyajeil (KOR) [Vicar – Hurricane Havoc (Jade Robbery)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 4.4, 1.9
2. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee – Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] – Choi Si Dae – 3.0
3. Singgereounachim (KOR) [Exploit – Singgereoun (Mr. Adorable)] – Jo In Kwen – 2.0

Distances: 2.5 lengths/0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Champion Belt 5. Daeseung Yegam 6. Double Light 7. Soseuldaemun 8. World Winner 9. Yeongung Icheon 10. Prime Galloper 11. Shoot In 12. Choeonji Horyeong 13. Geuma Champ 14. Sun Hero

* Down at Busan today, names from Derby’s past were present. 2010 winner Cheonnyeon Daero faced 2009 runner-up Namdo Jeap in the first of co-feature events but they were both upstaged by Joe Murphy trained Udeumji, who beat them into the minor placings in a tight finish.

In the second co-feature, Yeonseung Daero, fifth in Sangseung Ilro’s 2009 Derby, scored the fourteenth victory of his illustrious career with yet another victory over foreign bred opposition. This time, he got the better of Daldeongi and track stalwart Crafty Louis by a neck on the line.

If Gwangyajeil goes on to have the same sort of career as Cheonnyeon Daero, Yeonseung Daero or even Namdo Jeap, he’ll be quite a horse.

Not this year: Toshio Uchida and Soseuldaemun won't be winning the Triple Crown

Soseuldaemun Faces Tough Task In Open Derby

Korean Derby 2011: Final Preview

It’s Derby Day and this race is anybody’s. Soseuldaemun comes to Seoul on Sunday to attempt to win the second leg of the 2011 Triple Crown in the 14th Korean Derby. He’ll have thirteen out to stop him.

The Seoul Racecourse paddock is ready for the 14th Korean Derby

Does a competitive field mean we have a weak crop of three-year olds this year? We’ll decide that at the end of the season, for now we can savour the prospect of a genuinely unpredictable race. It’s going to be a gorgeous day – albeit slightly breezy – and there’s sure to be a massive crowd in attendance.

Here’s the final run-down of the runners, pedigrees, race records, riders and a comment on their chances:

Korean Derby (KOR.GI) – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – May 15, 2011 – 16:35

1. Shoot In [Exploit – Doneitmyway (Northern Flagship)] – (5/3/2/0) – Shin Hyoung Chul
Half-brother of last year’s winner Cheonnyeon Daero, he was a late entrant and is improving all the time. Won’t be among the favourites but could spring a surprise after taking the lead early on.

2. Singgereounachim [Exploit – Singgereoun (Mr. Adorable)] (9/3/1/2) – Jo In Kwen
Won so easily last time out that there’es surely more to come. A strong chance.

3. Useung Touch [Menifee – Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] (Filly) (6/3/1/1) – Choi Si Dae
An unknown quantity at this distance, the filly will be at long-odds. She’ll start quickly and is the fastest horse in the race, but will she stay?

4. Sun Hero [Menifee – Strategic Reward (Bold Revenue)] (9/4/2/1) – Moon Se Young
Last year’s champion juvenile is proving tough to handle in races at three and a dreadful performance in the Cup Mile makes him hard to recommend for anything more than an outside chance at a place.

5. World Winner [Yankee Victor – Wakired (Red Ransom)] (11/2/3/2) – Jo Sung Gon (Busan)
Although untried at the distance, it shouldn’t be a problem but despite winning his last two, has shown nothing to suggest he’s capable of he massive improvement required to win here.

6. Soseuldaemun [Meisei Opera – This Ole Way (Vigors)] (10/3/3/1) – Toshio Uchida (Busan)
The KRA Cup Mile winner and on-course for the Triple Crown. He will be well-fancied and with Uchida on board, cannot be discounted.

7. Yeongung Icheon [Concept Win – Saratogasplash (Wild Again)] (9/3/2/1) – Park Tae Jong
Jockey Park has won the Derby twice before but it would be a major surprise if he added another here.

8. Champion Belt [Exploit – Telegraph Road (Royal Academy)] (6/2/2/2) – Lim Sung Sil (Busan)
An intriguing late entry, his dam also produced the very talented Blue Pin and Northern Ace, and his two recent wins suggests plenty more to come. Could be worth an each-way bet at decent odds.

9. Daeseung Yegam [Silent Warrior – Tolp’ung-Yegam (Land Rush)] (10/3/1/1) – Kim Myoung Sin (Busan)
Too inconsistent to recommend here. Will be one of the outsiders.

10. Cheonji Horyeong [Buster’s Daydream – Sorority Jazz (Dixieland Band)] (9/2/3/1) – Chae Gyu Jun (Busan)
Half-brother to 2008 winner Ebony Storm and fourth in the Cup Mile, many believe there is plenty more to come from Cheonji Horyeong. Should be there or thereabouts.

11. Geuma Champ [Vicar – Stormcloudrising (Stormy Atlantic)] (7/2/3/1) – Jung Ki Yong
A month ago it was Geuma Who? But an impressive second behind Super Rich last month has put him right into contention. Has looked fantastic in trackwork and will have a lot of backers.

12. Double Light [Menifee – Iruda (Glorify)] (8/3/3/1) – Cho Kyoung Ho
All around the most complete looking horse. Second in the Cup Mile, he will most likely be the favourite.

13. Gwangyajeil [Vicar – Hurricane Havoc (Jade Robbery)] (6/4/0/0) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
An impressive winner of his last two starts, if he’s on form, he has every chance

14. Prime Galloper [Strodes Creek – Apple G (Carson City)] (7/3/4/0) – Hwang Soon Do
Some decent performances behind him but nothing to suggest he can beat some of the better known names. An outsider.

So, who’s it going to be? This is a very open race so there is plenty of scope for betting. Gyongmaman will be losing a little bit of money on likely outsiders Champion Belt and Useung Touch. While he’ll be watching to see if any of Double Light, Soseuldaemun, Gwangyajeil or Geuma Champ offer any unexpected value, he will be sure to have a win bet on Singgeureounachim.

Sunday May 15

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 18:05 (including the 2011 Korean Derby at 16:35)
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:30 to 17:00