Racing Reviews

Derby Winners Power Blade & Final Boss Back To Winning Ways

The winners of the last two Korean Derby’s found their ways back into the winner’s circle last Sunday. 2016 Triple Crown winner Power Blade defeated stablemate Triple Nine to win the Busan Owners’ Cup while 2017 Derby victor Final Boss scored in a rather more modest contest at Seoul.

For Power Blade it was a first start since returning from the Dubai World Cup Carnival where he scored a couple of very creditable 3rd place finishes. He won the domestic Triple Crown last year with ease but had to play second fiddle to stablemate Triple Nine, one year his senior, in the later season races. On Sunday, at a mile though, it was all about Power Blade who gave jockey Franco Da Silva his first Korean Group race winner.

Owners’ Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 1600M – August 13, 2017

1. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain)] – Francisco Da Silva – 9.5, 2.3
2. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] – Lim Sung Gil – 1.0
3. Doraon Hyeonpyo (KOR) [Colors Flying – Kilcoe Castle (Gone West)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.7
Distances: 1 length / 0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. City Star 5. Success Story 6. Zettabyte 7. Beolmaui Sin 8. Baedari Bobae 9. Two Two Raptor

Up at Seoul, this year’s Derby winner was also triumphant, albeit in slightly less illustrious company. Nevertheless, Final Boss still had to defeat Sinjo Daehyeop, one of the track’s top class 1 handicappers, as well as his greatest danger – his own erratic style – to prevail over 1800M.

Champion juvenile last year, Final Boss was well fancied heading to Busan for the first leg of this year’s Triple Crown, the KRA Cup Mile in April but arrived looking out of sorts and blew his race in the early stages before rallying for 5th. He then won the Korean Derby despite running wild and wide in the closing stages before beng lackluster once more in the Minister’s Cup with another 5th place.

On Sunday, champion jockey Moon Se Young, freshly returned from a stint in Singapore, took the mount and took Final Boss forward early, stalking the leader before hitting the front turning into the home straight and going clear to win comfortably. Sinjo Daehyeop, who was conceding 6kg, could only finish 4th.

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.

JP Guillambert Begins Busan Sojourn With Winner

It’s not easy being a foreign jockey in Korea, not even at the traditionally more open Busan. Early runs on the board are essential and that’s exactly what JP Guillambert managed to achieve on his first weekend in the saddle on the South Coast.

The 34-year-old had five rides across the two days for five different trainers and Guillambert finished inside at least the minor money on four of them. The highlight though was his first victory which arrived on Sunday afternoon on the modestly-named Global Champion in race 2.

The three-year-old Cape Blanco colt had looked every inch the no-hoper in his early starts and even though he had been showing signs of figuring things out in his latest two, Global Champion was nevertheless sent off at odds in excess of 50/1.

Guillambert’s fellow British jockey Darryll Holland will probably want to forget the race as he looked set to make all on co-favourite Vega Khan. That was until the very final strides when Guillambert brought Global Champion unnoticed up the rail to steal victory by half a length on the line.

Victory may have been a tad fortunate but for Guillambert, who like Holland will have to overcome a riding weight of 54kg which will limit his opportunities, it’s a great start.

Guillambert is riding at Busan on an initial four-month license.

I’m Your Father Wins Busan Mayor’s Cup For New Zealand Trainer David Miller

I’m Your Father pulled off a remarkable win in the Busan Mayor’s Cup on Sunday afternoon, defeating Dubai hero Triple Nine by half a length to give New Zealand trainer David Miller a huge victory in Busan’s biggest race.

Im Your Father Triple Nine

I’m Your Father bests Triple Nine in the Mayor’s Cup (Pic: KRA)

Grand Prix winner Clean Up Joy was sent off as favourite but despite overcoming gate 2 to get a good start, it was not to be his day. Returning with a swollen hind leg, he looked to have been feeling it for much of the race and had little to offer in the home straight, coming home in 9th place.

The early pace was set by last year’s winner Beolmaui Kkum with Success Story going along for the ride too. At one point beginning the long turn for home, the pair had put almost seven lengths into the field but with Beolmaui Kkum not at the level he once was, it was never likely to last. I’m Your Father and Triple Nine meanwhile sat patiently at the head of the chasing pack waiting for the leaders to come back to them.

They came back at the top of the straight. By this time it was clear that Clean Up Joy was labouring and wouldn’t be taking part in the business end of the race. Success Story lingered longer than Beolmaui Kkum but under Lee Hee Cheon, I’m Your Father struck the front just over a furlong out. Only Triple Nine, under the urging of Jo In Kwen, could go with him but he couldn’t quite get there. I’m Your Father maintained his pace to the line and jockey Lee had time to celebrate as they broke the wire with a half length in hand.

¿ì½ÂÀÏ ±â»µÇÏ°í ÀÖ´Â ÀÌÈñõ ±â¼ö ¾ÆÀÓÀ¯¾îÆÄ´õ

Lee Hee Cheon returns to scale on I’m Your Father (Pic: KRA)

Saengil Gippeum, Jiljuui Sin and Ms. Margaux all closed deeply to finish 3rd to 5th while Diferent Dimension, like Triple Nine in his first start since returning from Dubai, put in a very creditable 6th. Clean Up Joy aside, Champ Line was perhaps the disappointment of the race. The 5-year-old entered having won his last five but had an off day. Mupae who was also relatively well-backed, reportedly took a knock coming out of the gate and struggled throughout.

For jockey Lee Hee Cheon, it was a 2nd group win following his victory on Never Seen Before in the 2014 Minister’s Cup. Lee doesn’t get a huge amount of opportunities at the elite level but he rarely disappoints when he does – he also rode Macheon Bolt to 2nd place in the Korea Sprint last year.

½Ã»ó½Ä ±â³ä»çÁø ÃÔ¿µ

Trainer David Miller joins the Mayor of Busan and connections in the winner’s circle (Pic: KRA)

As for David Miller, it is a stunning success. He began training at Busan last autumn and has steadily built up his stable but is yet to acquire the kind of firepower needed to achieve sustained success. Nevertheless, his place and show rates are good (12.2% and 20.4% respectively) and his horses have consistently been finishing better than their odds have suggested. His success with I’m Your Father will perhaps put potential owners on alert.

Busan Mayor’s Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – July 8, 2017

1. I’m Your Father (USA) [Tiznow – Clear Thinking (Awesome Again)] – Lee Hee Cheon – 7.4, 2.5
2. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] – Jo In Kwen – 1.7
3. Saengil Gippeum (USA) [Parading – Minnie’s Niece (Quiet American)] – Lee Sung Jae – 9.9
Distances: 0.5 lengths / 6 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Jiluui Sin (USA) 5. Ms. Margaux (USA) 6. Diferent Dimension (USA) 7. Success Story (KOR) 8. Dongbang Daero (USA) 9. Clean Up Joy (USA) 10. Champ Line (KOR) 11. Buhwarui Banseok (USA) 12. Doraonpogyeongseon (USA) 13. Mupae (USA) 14. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) NR: King Of Ace

Next week the big race action moves to Seoul and the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup. Korean Derby winner Final Boss is expected to face the surprise Oaks winner Jejui Haneul over 2000M. 

Perdido Pomeroy, Cheongdam Dokki Shine At Busan & Seoul

Last Sunday saw two standout performances as Perdido Pomeroy returned to the winner’s circle at Busan while Cheongdam Dokki dominated Seoul

Having won five of his first seven starts, culminating in the SBS Sports Sprint at Seoul in July of 2016, Perdido Pomeroy looked to be the next big sprinting star. A 4th in the Korea Sprint in September did nothing to dispel that idea but he has endured an up and down time since then with others seemingly turning out superior. He only beat three home in the Busan Ilbo Cup, the first leg of the Sprint Series, in May and was then an improved 5th in this year’s SBS Sports.

He was nevertheless, sent off as one of three very near co-favourites for Sunday’s six-furlong feature race at Busan along with Triple Five and Match Power. This two failed to fire but last year’s Oaks winner Ottug Ottugi made a race of it until the final furlong when Perdido Pomeroy pulled clear under 2kg claiming jockey Jung Do Yun, to record an emphatic three-length win. The win puts him back firmly in the frame among top sprinters.

Up at Seoul, Cheongdam Dokki had frustrated punters when sent off as favourite in each of his last two. On Sunday, he was favourite again and this time made absolutely no mistake.

It looked like he might for a while though. Cheongdam Dokki played up in the parade right to the point of almost losing a show. The farrier worked quickly though and once settled, he was able to join a small field of seven others in the gate.

The race was over right away with Cheongdam Dokki leading into the first corner and running away from the field. He came home in a time not too far shy of Power Blade’s track record, set in similar conditions in last year’s Korean Derby, almost three full seconds ahead of the 2nd place-getter. A $20,000 yearling purchase from Keeneland, Cheongdam Dokki moves on to four wins from eight starts. Needless to say, he’s one to watch.

This coming weekend sees the biggest race of the summer, the Busan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Cup. Right now, it looks like Triple Nine and Clean Up Joy are set to face each other.

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (July 2)

The long overdue rain has finally arrived on the Korean peninsula and it looks set to be a wet Sunday at both Seoul and Busan. Seoul has 11 races from 11:45 to 19:00 while at Busan there are 6 from 13:25 to 17:35. English racecards are here, notes on every race are below:

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

1. HWANGGEUM SURE – Improved slightly on second start but still much to find.

2. GEUMEUN JUOK – 5th of 9 on debut over 1000M on May 27th and can improve here.

3. SPECIAL QUEEN – Two 3rd places among her last three. No reason why she can’t match or better that today.

4. JAKE – 5th last time was her first minor money finish. Would do well to match that today.

5. BOMBI’S KING – Gone off the rails a little since showing promise with a 3rd place finish on his second start back in January.

6. FOREST ROSE – Much improved 2nd last time out running on well. Steps back up to 1300M today and is in the frame.

7. WAWA YEOJANGBU – No worse than fifth in four outings to date. Comes in off a 2nd place over 1000M on May 20th. First try at further than the minimum today and has a chance.

8. SHARP RUBY – Best so far a 4th place. First try at further than the minimum distance. (more…)

Kim Hye Sun Becomes 1st Female Rider To Win Korean Classic as Jejui Haneul Stuns in The Oaks

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

OaksFinish

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

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 Oaks

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