Indian Star Successfully Defends Jeju Governor’s Cup

Indian Star made it difficult for herself but had enough in the tank to win her second consecutive Jeju Governor’s Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

Strangely the defending champion, who returned to form with a very good 2nd place in a recent tough handicap at Busan, was’t sent off as favourite but under jockey Lim Sung Sil, Indian Star took the race by the scruff of its neck and raced into an early lead. At the top of the stretch, it looked set to be a procession, however, then the antics started.

First Indian Star ducked one way and then the other, losing her momentum and giving away her advantage. Bright Star attacked on one side and Chang Se on the other but jockey Lim managed to rouse Indian Star for one final push to get home on top by  a neck.

Indian Star, a half-sister to this year’s KRA Cup Mile winner Indian King, has now won 11 of 23 starts.

Jeju Governor’s Cup (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – September 3, 2017

1. Indian Star (KOR) [Adcat – Indian Diamond (Indian Charlie)] – Lim Sung Sil – 4.1, 1.7
2. Bright Star (KOR) [Menifee – L Vicar (Vicar)] – Franco Da Silva – 2.9
3. Chang Se (KOR) [Forest Camp – Daecheonpung (Fiercely)] – Johan Victoire – 8.8
Distances: Neck / Head
Also Ran: 4. Santa Gloria 5. Steal The Show Why 6. Pink Blade 7. Tour Rose 8. Lead Money 9. Super Blade 10. Uju Star 11. Jejui Haneul 12. Black Sapphire 13. Pinot Noir 14. Happy Sensation 15. Rain Sky


Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (September 3)

It’s Sunday and there’s just a week to go until Seoul Racecourse hosts the international Keeneland Korea Cup & Korea Sprint. Today, however, also sees G3 action at Seoul Racecourse with the Jeju Governor’s Cup. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10.

A big field of 15 has been attracted by the big prize; 7 are trained in Seoul while 8 have travelled up from Busan. Those southern raiders include last year’s winner Indian Star (left) who is set to be favourite to retain the crown she won on a soaking wet track just under a year ago.

Among her rivals are the shock Oaks winner Jejui Haneul, who is joined by Bright Star and Uju Star, 2nd and 4th respectively in the fillies’ Classic.  Thomas Gillespie saddles Black Sapphire, a full sister of Triple Nine, while there is other foreign interest with Franco Da Silva partnering Bright Star, Djordje Perovic on Happy Sensation, Johan Victoire on Chang Se, Antonio Da Silva on Rain Sky and JP Guillambert riding at Seoul for the first time as he takes the mount on Pink Blade.

Notes on all races at Seoul are below:

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

We’ll have a hot favourite to kick things off and that will be (4) DALLYEORA PACHYAI. He comes in following a 2nd and a 3rd from his latest two and should have far too much for this lot, leading from gate to wire. The same owner/trainer combination also sends out (1) DORAON PACHYAI and that on can certainly challenge for a place, along with the main danger (5) ARABIA GONGJU. Of the remainder, (7) DEOGI has perhaps done the least wrong.

Selections (4) Dallyeora Pachyai (5) Arabia Gongju (1) Doraon Pachyai (7) Deogi
Next Best 3, 8
Fast Start 4, 5, 2


Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(5) CLEO returned from three months off to run a decent enough 5th of 12 over 1300M at the end of July. Dropped back to the minimum and given a good start here, she should be the one they need to beat. (6) CHEON NOK did nothing wrong on debut, coming a much better than expected 3rd and looks in the frame for prize money again but there are other dangers. (9) KAISER QUEEN has shown signs of finally figuring things out over her latest two and has the benefit of Djordje Perovic on board today while (8) BLACK CASHMERE has also come close across her four outings to date an should be in the hunt once more.

Selections (5) Cleo (6) Cheon Nok (9) Kaiser Queen (8) Black Cashmere
Next Best 1, 3
Fast Start 1, 6


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

Only two of these have raced before and while neither exactly pulled up trees on their respective debuts, that fact probably won’t stop them being favoured here as none of the first-timers leap out. That means (8) AMENDA, a reasonable enough 5th of 12 at this distance on August 13th, is likely to start as favourite. (2) AREUMDAUN SOPUNG, a Hansen filly was well-backed on her first racecourse appearance at the end of July but only managed to beat one home over 1000M. She had previously trialled well and should be given another chance. Of the first-timers. (5) JEONGSANG DOLPUNG, (6) EMERALD KING and another Hansen, (7) O.J.HWAK DAB look the pick.

Selections (8) Amenda (2) Areumdaun Sopung (7) O.J.Hwak Dap (5) Jeongsang Dolpung
Next Best 6, 9
Fast Start 2, 5


Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

She wasn’t ready on debut in January but having had six months off after that, (3) ECTON SINHWA has shown significant improvement in two starts back. She was 3rd of 12 at this distance last time, coming from well off the pace and she will be favourite today. The only concern is perhaps her not having demonstrated a very fast start and while she has a good draw today, if she does get caught out, the returning (4) RUBY BEOLKIN could be one to take advantage. She races for the first time since a 2nd place in April and put in an eye-catching trial last week. (1) UN SEO was well back behind Ecton Sinhwa last time but can improve while (8) SIMON RICH also has scope for progress.

Selections (3) Ecton Sinhwa (4) Ruby Beolkin (8) Simon Rich (1) Un Seo
Next Best 7, 5
Fast Start 4, 1


Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Good little filly race this. (8) EXCELLENT QUEEN does have a bit of a case of “second-it is” having been runner-up in four of six outings to date, but if anyone can cure her of it, it’s Djordje Perovic, who gets the leg-up on her for the first time. Her one previous outing at this distance resulted in her worst finish so far but it can be a different story today. She’ll be favourite but she’s no sure thing and (6) BRAVE UP, 4th at class and distance on July 23rd has claims as does (7) STAR PERFECT who, like Excellent Queen has never finished better than 2nd but unlike Excellent Queen, she has done it at the distance, beating a couple of these in the process. (1) SHINE QUEEN and (10) BONNET BLUE others in with a shout.

Selections (8) Excellent Queen (7) Star Perfect (6) Brave Up (10) Bonnet Blue
Next Best 1, 9, 2
Fast Start 9, 4, 5


Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Interesting contest again. (3) JEOKBYEOK SHINHWA was 3rd on debut on July 30th in a very quick time over 1000M having led for much of the way. He’s up in distance and the conditions are likely to be very different this time but he could well do it. So too could (4) TRICKER. He got his maiden win at the 7th time of asking on July 16th at 1300M but does carry an extra 3kg today. Nevertheless, he can repeat. There are others to consider too. (2) EOMJI GANGHO had a bad day at the office last time out but is worthy of another chance for at least a place while (12) CROWN ME BOSS gets the services of Moon Se Young and can improve on her three consecutive 5th placed finishes. There are also a couple of first-time starters involved and (5) BROWN CHAMPION can expect to attract some support first-up.

Selections (3) Jeokbyeok Sinhwa (4) Tricker (12) Crown Me Boss (2) Eomji Gangho
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 3, 2, 4


Race 7: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

It would be slightly unfair to accuse (9) BULHUUI MYEONGGOG of a severe case of second and even “third-it is” as the truth has been that he’s always come up against one or two a bit too good and has run to of above expectation each time. Today though, following three 3rd places and two 2nds, the expectation will be of victory. Taking on 1700M for the 2nd time and having beaten three of these on the first occasion, he should do it. If he’s to be stopped, it’s (7) CUPID BOY, who he beat last time who is perhaps the most likely to do it although (3) BIG SKY was also 2nd at the distance on his latest start and should be involved. Trying the distance for the first time is (8) COLORS QUEEN and although yet to win, she looks capable of challenging for the places.

Selections (9) Bulhuui Myeonggog, (7) Cupid Boy (3) Big Sky (8) Colors Queen
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 8, 11


Race 8: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(4) FIRE DREAM was a class and distance winner on July 23rd but up in the weights and in different conditions, he’s going to have to work very hard to repeat. Instead we have two standouts in the shape of (1) SPERO and (6) GANGDAEGANG. Spero is a class and distance winner in the past and comes in following two very solid outings at shorter distance while Gangdaegang comes in after a strong 2nd place at the distance last time. It’s tough to split them but well side with Gangdaegang and his slight weight advantage. Among the rest, (2) JIGONG BULPAE and (7) SUPER BROAD look to have the best claims.

Selections (6) Gangdaegang (1) Spero (4) Fire Dream (7) Super Broad
Next Best 2, 5
Fast Start 1, 5


Race 9: Class Open (1400M) The Jeju Governor’s Cup / Allowance / KRW 350 Million

One of the most valuable races of the season for Korean bred fillies and mares sees eight from Busan travel up to capital to take on 7 from Seoul. Last year’s winner (12) INDIAN STAR returns to defend her title and she has every chance of doing so following an encouraging warm up race against stiff opposition in July. Thomas Gillespie’s (9) BLACK SAPPHIRE may be more suited to further but looks set to mount a strong challenge while Korean Oaks winner (14) JEJUI HANEUL also must be respected. 2nd in the Oaks was (2) BRIGHT STAR and she too has claims along with 4th placed that day (5) UJU STAR. Jockey JP Guillambert gets his first taste of Seoul and (4) PINK BLADE is one of a number of interesting outsiders in a fascinating race.

Selections (12) Indian Star (9) Black Sapphire (2) Bright Star (5) Uju Star
Next Best 14, 7, 15
Fast Start 10, 12


Race 10: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A few decent ones here but (6) IBAEGJEOM should have the beating of them. He was 3rd in a quick race over 1300M last start, his first try at this class and can go two better today. (4) SAMJEONG MAGNUM comes in following back to back 3rd places over 1000M and could well be ready to try further once more while (8) BLACK SUGAR was a decent 4th at class and distance on his last start a couple of months ago and looks in the placing frame too. The main danger, however, looks set to be (7) OUR CAT who makes his 40th starts today and enters in very solid form. He was a quick 2nd over 1000M last time out and should be looking to at least match it here.

Selections (6) Ibaegjeom (7) Our Cat (4) Samjeong Magnum (8) Black Sugar
Next Best 2, 3
Fast Start 2, 4


Race 11: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(6) OP SEVEN was a very quick winner on debut and on July 30th and while he is up in both and class and distance today, he will be expected to score once more against this moderate opposition. He should really lead gate to wire. He’ll be a strong favourite and those with the best potential to get close to him will emerge from either end of the gate with both (1) CHEONJAEILU and (8) SMOKEY VALE having proven competitive in this kind of race. Meanwhile (2) ÉCLAIR HUMOR had a tough time on his first outing at this level back in July but could improve today.

Selections (6) OP Seven (8) Smokey Vale (1) Cheonjaeilu (2) Éclair Humor
Next Best 7, 5
Fast Start 5, 6

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 2)

We’re back to the daytime schedule at Seoul. 12 Saturday races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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

Small field to begin with and we’ll go with the most experienced, (3) HWANGGEUM YEONMEOT to make the breakthrough at what will be the 11th time of asking. She’s been 4th in both her latest two and looks to be figuring things out. (1) RUN AWAY has shown glimpses across seven starts so far while (8) MENI JILJU didn’t disgrace herself on debut either and they look next best. The two debut-makers trialled up together with (2) CHEONNYEON DIRE looking the pick of the pair.

Selections (3) Hwanggeum Yeonmeot (1) Run Away (8) Meni Jilju (2) Cheonnyeon Dire
Next Best 4, 5
Fast Start 1, 4, 6


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

Another small field and there are two who standout. (1) VIVA GALLOPER manage a 2nd place back in February but was then out for four months, returning to some form with a 4th place over this distance last month. He can get on the early speed here without too much difficulty and could go all the way. Threatening late in the race will be (6) (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 1)

International horses have begin arriving for next weekend’s Keeneland Korea Cup & Sprint with Hong Kong’s Circuit Land and Lucky Year, The Truth Or Else from the USA and Wimbledon from Singapore already in residence at the international stables Seoul Racecourse. We still have a weekend of racing to get through before our attention can turn to that though and it begins on Friday at Busan with 10 races from 11:30 to 18:00. Time to get stuck in:

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

(5) HAEDONG YEOGEOL enters in the best shape having disposed of both (4) YEONGUNG JEWANG and (8) CHOEGOREULHYANGHAE on her way to 2nd place over this distance on August 6th. She was just beaten a neck that day and can finally get it right here. Yeongung Jewang should be on the early speed and could well be the biggest threat but there are others in with a chance too. (6) THUNDER DOME put in an encouraging debut in May before fading on re-appearance over 1200M. He’s had eleven weeks off since and gets a fresh start here. (2) OKDAN YEOGEOL also enters off the back of consecutive 4th places and can match those.

Selections (5) Haedong Yeogeol (6) Thunder Dome (4) Yeongung Jewang (2) Okdan Yeogeol
Next Best 8, 1
Fast Start 4, 8


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

Nine of the twelve race for the very first time but it will be one of the three with prior experience who begins as favourite. That’s (9) HAWK KING, who was 3rd on debut four weeks ago, showing enough in the process to suggest that he has wins in him. (12) MAY STAR also demonstrated some ability on his debut and will need to be considered (more…)

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (August 27)

It’s Sunday! 11 races at Seoul from 11:45 to 19:00 and 6 at Busan from 13:25 to 17:35. All races will be simulcast overseas so here’s the full preview:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

1. CREMOA POWER – Well backed on debut following successful trial but only managed 7th of 12 behind Phoenix Heart.
2. MASK – Good 3rd of 12 on debut despite almost slipping on the home turn. Big chance
3. HAE HU – Debut-maker who won his trial. Will have some backers.
4. SPEED CAPTAIN – Last of 12 on debut on July 30th behind Phoenix Heart.
5. CLEAN UP SECRET – 5th of 11 on debut on July 15th, quickening pleasingly enough. A chance.
6. K.N BLUE – First-timer. Did ok in trials and champion jockey’s presence ensures plenty of support.
7. CHEONHA HYEONGGUK – Debut-maker. Ok in trials but watching brief the best idea first-up.
8. PHOENIX HEART – He’ll be strong favourite following a quick 2nd place on debut on July 30th beating a couple of these in the process. Extra distance should suit.
9. I B S MAN – Trialed well and debuts here. Not impossible but won’t be among favourites.
10. SPECIAL LIGHT – 7th of 12 on debut behind Mask. Plenty to find.
11. LUCKY BONGHWA – 5th and 4th in two outings so far. Could get even closer.
12. AMAZING PEACE – Trialed up in average fashion.

Verdict: (8) PHOENIX HEART ran a strong 2nd on debut a month ago and has to be the one to beat here. (2) MASK almost fell on debut but managed to recover and finish a very good 3rd behind Icheon Ssal who has already gone on to better things. He looks the main danger. (5) CLEAN UP SECRET and (11) LUCKY BONGHWA others who could play a role.


Selections (8) Phoenix Heart (2) Mask (5) Clean Up Secret (11) Lucky Bonghwa
Next Best 3, 6
Fast Start 8, 2, 3, 7, 9


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

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 26)

The final day of evening racing for 2017 is about to get underway at Seoul Racecourse. There are 12 Saturday races from 14:00 to 21:00. Here are the (brief) simulcast race notes:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Twelve first-timers going here and a few of them stood out in trials and work. (8) FIRE WIND was the most impressive, winning her trial in a fast time and she’s the likely favourite. Both trainer and jockey are in form and can get underway with a win here. (9) DAE BYEONHWA is the mount of champion jockey Moon Se Young and was actually quicker in trials than Fire Wind and is sure to be backed while others who caught the eye are (3) RAON ALICE and (2) SIMPLE RULES.


Selections (8) Fire Wind (9) Dae Byeonhwa (3) Raon Alice (2) Simple Rules
Next Best 1, 12
Fast Start 2, 3, 8, 11


Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million


Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 25)

Just two weeks until the Korea Cup! The final list of accepted nominations will be published shortly but in the meantime, we have racing business to get on with and 10 Friday races at Busan from 14:30 to 21:00. Notes on simulcast races below:

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

1. LUCKY ADELE – Faded to 6th of 10 on debut on July 14th. Can improve today.
2. CHEONHA MANSE – Debut-maker. Average in trials.
3. GOLDEN KNIGHT – Last of 12 on debut in July and sent back to trial. Looked better on re-qualifying but too early to back.
4. SUPER WINGS – Best of 3rd place was just over a year ago. Only beat one home on latest start.
5. B.K. MASTER – Raced twice last autumn. Trialed up ok a couple of weeks ago.
6. MIO – Beaten into 3rd when odds-on favourite two weeks ago. Another chance here.
7. EURO GONGJU – Much improved 2nd of 8 on August 6th. Big chance again

Verdict: Seems a bit of a two-horse race as (6) MIO and (7) EURO GONGJU look streets ahead of the rest at this stage. Euro Gongju was slightly more impressive in defeat last start so we’ll go with that one to get the maiden win as both likely bid farewell to class 6. (more…)