Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 14)

There are 10 races at Busan on Friday with the first at 14:30 and the last at 21:00. UK jockey JP Guillambert will have his first Korean rides. Notes on all simulcast races below:

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

1. BUGYEONG DAEBAK – First time starter. Looked competent in trials and great chance to score first-up.
2. HWANGGEUMBITYEONGU – Ten starts so far with a best finish of 5th. May suit being back to minimum trip today but won’t be favoured.
3. MIR KAN – Yet to go any better than 7th in seven attempts. Tough to support here too.
4. LUCKY ADELE – Debut-maker. First foal out of dam who was undistinguished on the track. Average in trials but top trainer & jockey combination.
5. MAKGANG BOLT – Best of 4th among five slow efforts to date. Will need to improve.
6. SARANG MISO – 8th foal from dam, 5 of the others have won. Trialled up in decent fashion and could go well. First start today.
7. YES QUEEN – 1 7 starts so far. Comes in following three consecutive 5th place finishes and no reason why she can’t repeat.
8. DALKOMHAN INSAENG – One of few in this field who has come close before. Should go close again here. (more…)

Brian Bows Out Of Seoul

Brian Dean has left Korea. The Australian trainer completed his time at Seoul Racecourse at the end of June.

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Brian Dean has left Seoul (Pic: KRA)

At the beginning of 2016, Dean was handed the questionable privilege of becoming the first foreign trainer to be licensed in Seoul.

Plenty had already been based at Busan, the newer of the two thoroughbred tracks in Korea since Peter Wolsley arrived 10 years ago, but while the capital track had been hosting international jockeys for almost a decade, no trainers had yet been licensed at the country’s principle venue.

After being officially licensed in March, Dean set about his business building up his stable and sent his first runners out to trial in April of last year. All three of his trial entrants that day won their respective heats. Putting horses in official barrier trials – something most trainers only do if they are required to have a horse re-qualify for racing (more…)

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.

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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.

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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. 

Busan Mayor’s Cup 2017: Triple Nine & Clean Up Joy (And More!) – Full Preview (July 9)

Last December Clean Up Joy bested Triple Nine to win Korea’s most prestigious race, the Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul. Since then Clean Up Joy has harvested listed races against inferior opposition in the Capital while Triple Nine was taken to the Dubai World Cup where despite the Godolphin Mile being a race too far, he managed to acquit himself admirably. There are 6 races at Busan from 13:25 to 17:40 and 11 at Seoul from 11:45 to 19:00

Clean Up Joy YTN Shamrocker

Clean Up Joys wins this year have been dismissively easy. It’s going to be much harder on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Their paths now collide in what is often called the “Summer Grand Prix” over 1800M at Busan. All eyes will be on the start. A notoriously troubled starter, at Seoul Clean Up Joy (Purge) has special dispensation to begin in the widest gate and not having a horse on his outside has settled him down enormously in his most recent appearances. At Busan he is afforded no such special treatment and indeed in last year’s race, he blundered coming out of gate 5 and could only rally late for an eventual 4th. This time he is in gate 2 but most seem to think that under Djordje Perovic, Clean Up Joy can overcome.

As for Triple Nine (Ecton Park), the two time President’s Cup winner has had a rest since arriving back in Korea in April and cantered through a trial last week looking in shape and ready to go. It’s not necessarily a two horse race though. The Thomas Gillespie trained Champ Line (Curlin) enters on a five-race winning streak and only looks to be getting better. He has a great draw and could well be a factor.

Then there are the up and comers. Kiwi trainer David Miller saddles the highly thought-of I’m Your Father (Tiznow) in his first Group race and the colt is not without a chance. Not is Triple Nine’s stablemate Mupae (Paddy O’Prado), who has won five of six starts to date.

It’s set to be the hottest race of the year so far and should offer plenty of clues ahead of the 1 Billion Won international Korea Cup, which will be run over the same distance in Seoul in September. Race cards are here and form comments for the whole card at Busan are below:

Selections: Race 1: 8 2 4 3 Race 2: 11 7 6 1 Race 3: 1 6 4 5 Race 4: 5 2 6 7 Race 5: 2 10 7 1 Race 6: 9 11 2 7
Race 1: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. NORTHERN VICAR – Maiden win at the 7th time of asking in April but only beat one home on first try at this class three weeks ago.
2. SWAG – Landed maiden win on Good Friday and was 2nd last start over 1000M. Hasn’t gone well at further than the minimum in the past but in the frame here.
3. MUNHWA DAERO – Up in class following maiden win over 1300M last time. That win had been coming and there’s not too much to fear here. Repeat not impossible.
4. WIDAEHANGWANGGYONG – Yet to win but has come close on several occasion including latest two. Steps back in trip from a mile today and should come close again.
5. CHEONJIGAEBYEOK – Struggled in three efforts since maiden win saw him promoted to this level.
6. RED SIREN – 4th at class and distance last start and should be looking to at least match that today.
7. SEONGGONG PLAN – Not beaten many in four attempts at this level.
8. YEOKJEONUI GIHOE – A winner on his second start on June 9th, beating two who have since gone on to perform well. Up in class and distance today but a real chance.

(more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 8)

The day before The Busan Mayor’s Cup sees a full Saturday card at Seoul Racecourse. There are 11 races from 14:00 until 21:00. English racecards are here, notes on simulcast races below:

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

1. BICHEON OGONG – Only beat one home in a slow effort on debut and no reason to recommend just three weeks on.

2. SUPER FIELD – Debut-maker today. 5th in his trial in a slow time and a watching brief is to be taken first-up.

3. BAENONGI – Slow in all three outings so far and no grounds for support today.

4. BAIKAL JEONSA – Apprentice Kim Deok Hyun rode his first winner on just his second race ride last week and could get his second here. 2nd last time and this is his to lose.

5. DUSON EYE – 5th on debut but had a hard time when up to 1300M on reappearance. Back at 1000M and with a better draw today, he can be better.

6. CHOWON GANGJA – Lucky not to have to requalify after a slow last of 11 on debut at the end of May. The only way is up.

7. HONEY BAROWS – Disappointed when odds-on favourite over 1300M a month ago. Has weakened in all four races so far so no surprise she’s finally tried at the minimum. Big chance.

8. BEST GEOPO – A full eleven months between first and second starts and he was much better on his return running 4th of 9 on June 11th. Can improve again. (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 7)

This Sunday sees one of the year’s highlights; The Busan Mayor’s Cup. In the past it’s brought us clashes between Tough Win and Dongbanui Gangja, Dangdae Bulpae and Smarty Moonhak. This year Clean Up Joy and Triple Nine are set to face each other alongside a host of big names in the “Summer Grand Prix”.

Tough Win Busan Met 2013

Tough Win was a two-time winner of the Busan Mayor’s Cup  (Pic: KRA)

Before that though we have a busy Friday of racing on the South coast as Busan hosts 10 Friday races from 14:30 to 21:00. Notes on simuclast races below:. 

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

1. GOP DDA – 5th in her trial, well behind the winner.
2. YEONGCHEON HERO – 3rd in trial behind Testa Magic. Trainer usually does well with 2-year-olds and he is sure to be backed.
3. TESTA MAGIC – Won her trial very comfortably. Big chance first-up.
4. ADAMARIS – Average time in trials but it was a slow heat anyway so few clues there.
5. EURO GONGJU – The only one of the seven who has raced before. Her 6th of 11 was in no way a disgrace and she may well have come on for it.
6. CHOEGANG SEONBONG – Just scraped through qualifying and will need a big improvement to compete first-up. (more…)

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.