Ace Galloper

Weekend Preview: Donga Ilbo Cup / Jigeum I Sungan vs Ace Galloper

After last week’s break for the Chuseok holiday, it’s time to sober up and – several kilos heavier – return to the track as racing resumes in Korea.

In action: Jigeum I Sungan

In action: Jigeum I Sungan

Big Stakes race of the weekend is the Donga Ilbo Cup at Seoul on Sunday. Next weekend sees the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup, and the fact that hot 3-year-old filly Joy Lucky (Vicar), whose only in 6 starts came in the Korean Derby, will skip that race in favour of the less valuable but restricted to fillies Donga Cup, suggests that she will take some beating. Cheonnyeon Dongan (Ecton Park) is one who will try along with 12 others in the 9-furlong test.

Saturday’s Seoul feature sees a heavyweight clash as Jigeum I Sungan and Ace Galloper face each other. 2012 Korean Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire) suffered a shock defeat in last month’s TJK Trophy while former KRA Cup Classic winner Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) returned to the winner’s circle for the 19th time in his last start after a pair of 2nd place finishes. There’s little to choose between them in terms of weight – the older Ace Galloper carrying just a kilo more – and it promises to be a fascinating match-up.

Also on Saturday, Charming Girl, 0 for 100, will make her final start before being retired.

At Busan, the weekend’s most valuable races are on Sunday.
Well-known names such as Road To Prince, Lion Santa and the evergreen 2008 Korean Derby winner Ebony Storm will all be in action.

As for foreign jockeys, Ikuyasu Kurakane has plenty of action lined up at Seoul while Joe Fujii (Friday only), Ureshi Katsunori, Masa Tanaka and – fresh from spending his vacation racing around a field in Inner Mongolia – Darryll Holland are riding at Busan.

Here’s what’s happening when and where across the weekend:

Friday September 27

Busan Race Park: 11 races from 11:50 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:10 to 17:40

Saturday September 28

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:10

Sunday September 29

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00 including the Donga Ilbo Cup at 16:35
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:00

Ghost Whisper Completes Wolsley’s Four-Win Weekend

Peter Wolsley is closing in on his 200th Korean winner as Ghost Whisper completed another great weekend for the Aussie trainer by winning the first of co-feature races at Busan today. Following on from his treble on Friday, Wolsley has now saddled 187 winners at the south-coast track.

Ghost Whisper (Gotham City), a 5-year-old grey gelding who had an 8-month lay-off after collapsing with heat exhaustion at the end of last Year’s Busan Metropolitan Stakes, was sent off at little over 2/1 yet, such is Wolsley’s knack at getting his horses into races they can win or place in, he wasn’t even the stable’s first choice. That was the even-money favourite Cheongchun Bulpae (Milwaukee Brew) who had retained jockey Jo Sung Gon on board.

However, Darryll Holland is not a bad jockey to be able to call on to ride your second string and once he had Ghost Whisper in front at the top of the home straight, the result was never in doubt, the grey winning by a comfortable 2 lengths and Cheongchun Bulpae coming home in third.

Ghost Whisper is owned and was bred by Jeju based Pegasus Stables. Under foreign management, Pegasus have been Wolsley’s keenest supporter since his arrival in Korea at the end of 2007 and it was their colt Rumor Has It (Lethal Instrument) that broke his maiden to give Wolsley his first of three winners on Friday. Filly Placid Angel (Menifee) and US import Long Way Baby (Werblin) completing the treble.

Just as Pegasus have supported him, so Wolsley has supported the overseas jockeys who ride at Busan. Ghost Whisper was Darryll Holland’s 9th winner at the track and a great send-off for the British rider, who will pay a flying visit to Royal Ascot this week to partner Monseiur Chevalier who takes on Animal Kingdom in the Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday.

Wolsley’s win ratio is a solid 16% but his “show” ratio is a remarkable 41% – only Busan’s champion trainer Kim Young Kwan can boast a higher one. Ghost Whisper, decked out with the pacifiers that Wolsley introduced to Korean racing, was winning for the 9th time. Few would bet against his trainer finding another race for him to win soon.

Up at Seoul, the feature race of the day was the MBN Cup and it was old-stager Green Empire (Bertolini) whi took the honours. The New Zealand bred 6-year-old has always been a solid campaigner but a very rare winner. Today, he closed quickly in the final furlong to beat pre-race favourite and last year’s winner Haedongcheonwang (West Acre) to take only his 3rd career win in 34 starts.

Later at Seoul, former top-ranked Korean bred horse Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) returned to action after a three-month absence. However, he found himself comfortably beaten by Singgeureounachim (Exploit) in a class 1 handicap over 1800 metres. Ace Galloper’s trainer Seo Beom Seok, who was not happy about his horse being forced to carry 61kg, will take up a trainer’s license in Macau. He’ll be hoping the handicapper there is a little more lenient.

Stakes action returns to Seoul next week in the shape of the Sports Seoul Cup.

Ace Galloper Win Makes 1800 Up For Park Tae Jong

A return to the winner’s circle for one of Korea’s most prolific horses meant another milestone in the career of the nation’s most prolific ever jockey as Park Tae Jong partnered Ace Galloper to victory at Seoul Race Park on Sunday afternoon.

Ace Galloper and Park Tae JOng winning the KRA Cup Classic in 2011 - they partnered on Sunday for the jockey's 1800th career win

Ace Galloper and Park Tae Jong winning the KRA Cup Classic in 2011 – they partnered on Sunday for the jockey’s 1800th career win

Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) had been without a win since June of last year but had been coming back into form over the winter. The six-year old duly took advantage of a relatively weak class 1 field to cruise to a 7 length triumph and remind those present while he is still rated the top Korean-born competitor at the track. He now has 18 wins from 31 career starts.

The race marked the 4th win of the weekend for jockey Park Tae Jong and more significantly, the 1800th triumph of his long career. So dominant has Park been for so long that he has ridden over 1000 more winners than any other Korean jockey in history.

The 47-year-old debuted in 1987 at the old Ttukseom Racecourse. By any standard, 1800 is a considerable number of wins but his achievement becomes all the more remarkable given the fact that for the first 18 years of his career, he was – as per the rules at the time – restricted to just 5 rides each week.

Ace Galloper wasn’t the only horse getting back to winning ways after a long time drawing a blank. Lion Santa (Lion Heart) won his first 9 races at Busan in 2010 and 2011 but had only managed to add a single additional victory to that tally in an injury ravaged 14 months since. Yesterday, in the first of co-feature races, he was back to his old self.

Although only sent off as 4th favourite, Lion Santa stormed up the rail in the final furlong to comprehensively defeat a competitive class 1 field with Yeonseung Daero (Creek Cat) and up and coming star Wild Myeongun (D’Wildcat) a full 4 lengths behind. Lion Santa is now on 10 wins from 14 starts and goes straight back into consideration for big Stakes races later in the year.

Weekend Preview: Lion Santa Back at Busan, Ace Galloper Goes at Seoul

After a slightly warmer week. the temperature is set to plunge back way below zero as another weekend of racing gets underway in Korea.

Going to be very cold and bright again this weekend

Going to be very cold and bright again this weekend

Lion Santa (Lion Heart), who’s won 10 of his 14 starts to date returns to action at Busan on Sunday after a long spell out with injury.

The 5 year old will take on Yeonseung Daero (Creek Cat) and up and coming US import Wild Myeongun (D’Wildcat) among a full field of 14 in the first of co-feature races.

Up at Seoul the biggest name on show across the weekend is Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal). The 6 year-old, who looked to be coming back into form at the tail-end of last season, headlines Sunday’s feature race at the track. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday January 25

Busan Race Park: 11 races from 12:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:30

Saturday January 26

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:20

Sunday January 27

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:00

Weekend Preview: Seoul & Jeju Only

Busan is the first of the tracks to take a week off for the holidays but that still leaves thoroughbreds at Seoul and ponies on Jeju for the Korean punting public to get stuck into this weekend.

As the sole track running on Friday, Jeju plays host to 12 races, both run on Sunday while Seoul is the lone attraction on Sunday with 14 races – the track’s maximum – on offer.

Ace Galloper won the KRA Cup Classic last year - he headlines Sunday's marathon card at Seoul

Ace Galloper won the KRA Cup Classic last year – he headlines Sunday’s marathon card at Seoul

There’s not really a lot to tie-up this weekend. All Stakes races are behind us and Moon Se Young has the champion jockey title sewn up. Likewise, Menifee is leading sire by an unprecedentedly huge margin.

Saturday’s card at Seoul is not especially inspiring. Aside from the Korean debut of Feel So Good, the first Korean bred horse to win in the us, there are a lot of two-year olds will be on display although the feature race is a low-key class 2 handicap. Sunday’s marathon card holds a bit more promise. Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) head the field for a class 1 handicap.

The big five-year old. who has won 17 of his 29 starts, is without a victory since the summer and is up against a competitive looking field that includes prolific winners Magnifique (Menifee) and Tongjesa (Creek Cat).

It’s going to be another bitterly cold weekend but the sun will be out. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday December 21

Jeju Race Park: 12 races from 12:00 to 18:00

Saturday December 22

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 6 races from 12:20 to 16:10

Sunday December 23

Seoul Race Park: 14 races from 11:00 to 17:50

Tough Win Leaves It Too Late As Sing Sing Cat Pounces On KRA Cup Classic

Grand Prix Champion suffers rare defeat at Seoul while filly Pureun Energy wins Busan Juvenile Prize

Tough Win was given far too much to do in the home straight as Sing Sing Cat ran away with the KRA Cup Classic on a gorgeous autumn afternoon at Seoul Race Park today.

SIng Sing Cat and Lee Sang Hyeok in the KRA Cup Classic winner’s circle

Grand Prix champion, number one horse in Korea and long odds-on favourite, Tough Win (Yonaguska) was, as has been normal in his recent races, sent straight to the back of the field. Meanwhile Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal), winner of this race last year, made the running with Sing Sing Cat (D’Wildcat) close behind.

Generally Tough Win quickens at the end of the back straight, this time, however, jockey Cho Kyoung Ho didn’t ask the five-year old to begin improving his position until they came off the final corner meaning he had to go right around the field to get a run. While he made up 11 places and more than 25 lengths in the home straight, Sing Sing Cat was travelling too well to be caught and held on to win by a length.

Three-year old Nolbu Manse also managed to resist Tough Win, although had the race been a few metres longer – or had the favourite been asked to improve a little earlier – things could well have been very different.

Sing Sing Cat [D’Wildcat-Freddy Fenter (Fenter)], a four-year old colt, moves on to 9 wins from 20 starts and puts himself right into contention for the season ending Grand Prix in December. Tough Win will no doubt be back that day although different tactics will be needed if he is to avoid another ignominious defeat.

KRA Cup Classic (KOR G3) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Sunday October 21

1. Sing Sing Cat (USA) [D’Wildcat – Freddy Fenter (Fenter)] – Lee Sang Hyeok – 8.3, 1.8
2. Nolbu Manse (USA) [Simon Pure – Reason To Fear (Kris S)] – Ham Wan Sik – 1.6
3. Tough Win (USA) [Yonaguska – Maggie May’s Sword (Sword Dance)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 1.1
Distances: 1 length/0.75 lengths – 14 ran

Down at Busan, the first of the year-end Juvenile championship races got underway in the form of the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup. And there was a surprise as 14/1 shour Pureun Energy (Menifee), one of only two fillies in the race scored a narrow victory.

Last year’s winner Gyeongbudaero went on to win one Classic and finish second in another. Pureun Energy may or may not live up to that, however, in the short-term, she has won herself a spot in the Breeders’ Cup at Seoul next month where she will race for overall champion juvenile honours.

Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup – Busan Race Park – 1200M – October 21

1. Pureun Energy (KOR) [Menifee – Cheongsan Ilho (Nediym)] – Lim Sung Sil – 14.0, 3.0
2. Yapung (KOR) [Menifee – Wild Life (Wild Again)] – Park Geum Man – 2.7
3. Fantastic Jazz (KOR) [Menifee – Sorority Jazz (Dixieland Band)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.3
Distances: Head / 1 length – 10 ran

Weekend Preview: Three Nights In Seoul

Seoul plows a lone furrow as the only Korean track hosting live racing this weekend, with Busan and Jeju taking a week’s break.

Twilight at Seoul

And for the first time in about ten years, there is racing in the capital on Friday in order to make up for the card that was lost to monsoon rain earlier this month.

That Friday card sees a pair of class 1 contests while Saturday also has some high-class action. However, the pick of the action is on Sunday evening in the shape of the Seoul Economic Daily News Stakes.

Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) heads a strong field of domestic bred horses going over 1400 metres in the non-Stakes feature race and should be favourite to overcome 10 rivals, including former champion mare Love Cat (Volponi).

Here’s what’s happening:

Friday July 27

Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 16:00 to 21:00

Saturday July 28

Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 16:00 to 21:00

Sunday July 29

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 15:00 to 21:00

Queen Beats Ace As Favourites Fold

Ruby Queen Bests Ace Galloper At Seoul / Joe Murphy Trains Outsider Atanarjuat To Stun Useung Touch At Busan

It was a day of upsets in the feature races at Seoul and Busan today. On the south coast, what was billed as a match-race between Useung Touch and Geumdda was crashed by a 42/1 outsider, while in the capital Ace Galloper couldn’t overcome a severe weight disadvantage as he went down to Ruby Queen.

Ace Galloper is nowhere to be seen as Ruby Queen and Boo Min Ho sprint to victory at Seoul

Despite carrying 61kg, Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) was still strongly fancied to snap a streak of two consecutive second places in Seoul’s feature handicap. However, Ruby Queen (Badge Of Silver) took an early lead and proceeded to make all under jockey Boo Min Ho. Ace Galloper looked poised to challenge as they entered the home straight, but he although he left the rest of the field behind, he never looked like making an impact on Ruby Queen’s lead and the filly held on for a comfortable two-length win.

Ace Galloper, winner of last year’s KRA Cup Classic and Seoul’s top-ranked domestic bred horse, now has three second place finishes in a row. On the plus side, Ruby Queen won’ be getting nine kilos off him again any time soon.

Down at Busan there was an ever bigger surprise. The clash between 2011 Korean Oaks winner Useung Touch (Menifee) and the three-year old filly Geumdda (Officer), who had only been beaten once in seven starts, was one that punters had been looking forward to all year. In the end, it was something of a disappointment.

Although it was clear from early on that Geumdda was having an off-day, Useung Touch at least looked to be doing the business authoritatively as she led the field in the home straight. However, that reckoned without little-known Joe Murphy trainee Atarnarjuat (Graeme Hall), who flew home down the rail to take a shock two-length win at odds of 42/1.

Six-years old, Atarnarjuat was scoring just his fourth win from thirty-one starts and his first since May 2010. For American trainer Joe Murphy it was a second class 1 win of 2012. For jockey Park Geum Man, it was the perfect preparation for his trip to Seoul next weekend where he will ride the favourite, Gyeongbudaero, in the Korean Derby.

* In other news, jockey Kim Cheol Ho has received a six month ban for his ride on filly Indian Hopper in race 8 at Seoul on Saturday. The filly was slow leaving the gate and lost touch with the field. She recovered a little but she finished ten lengths adrift of the next to last horse home. Although there was no evidence that he deliberately slowed the filly, Stewards did not accept his explanation that he was concerned as to her welfare in the early stages (the vet check came back fine). He’ll get his license back on November 13.

Here’s the video, judge for yourself. He breaks – slowly – from gate 2:

Weekend Preview

Useung Touch vs Geumdda at Busan / Ace Galloper at Seoul

The Korea Racing Authority has been in the news this week for its financial acumen in the movie industry, or otherwise, but there’s little time to dwell on that as we’re just a week away from the Korean Derby!

While there’s no Stakes action on the peninsula this weekend, there’s plenty to keep us occupied.

Useung Touch faces Geumdda at Busan

At Busan, Sunday sees a battle of the fillies as 2011 Oaks winner Useung Touch (Menifee) faces Geumdda (Officer), a three-year old with 6 wins from 7 starts.

Conceived in the US (although both her sire and dam are now in Korea), Geumdda is ineligible for the Triple Crown races but looks a force to be reckoned with at distances of up to a mile. At 1500M, this should be a good race.

At Seoul, while Saturday’s card is perhaps the weakest for many months, there is a class 1 feature race on Sunday. Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) heads an eleven-strong field over 1700 metres.

It is set to be a beautiful weekend. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday May 11

Busan Race Park: 10 races from 12:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:30

Saturday May 12

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:00

Sunday May 13

Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:15 to 16:40

Ace Galloper Upset At Seoul But Nothing Careless From Ghost Whisper At Busan

Ace Galloper was sent off as the odds-on favourite for this afternoon’s feature race at Seoul, however, the KRA Cup Classic winner was beaten, succumbing in the final few metres to the late challenge of Suseong TX.

Smiles: Moon Se Young dismounts from Suseong TX, the third of his four winners

Coming into the race with a record of 16 wins from his 23 career starts but carrying 4kg more than rivals Top Point (Tom Cruiser) and 6kg more than Suseong TX (Put It Back), Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) was nowhere near a certainty to win the 10 furlong race.

Moon Se Young reacts as Suseong TX wins Sunday's feature race at Seoul

However, he was well placed entering the home straight and, having hit the front with a furlong left to run, he seemed to have got the job done.

Coming down the outside though was Suseong TX and, under Moon Se Young, the 7-year old chased down the leader, passing him with 30 metres to go and running on to a half-length win.

For Suseong TX it was a first win for over a year though he has placed many times since then. Ace Galloper meanwhile remains Seoul’s top-rated Korean born horse.

In the feature race at Busan, the favourite made no mistake as Pegasus Farm and Peter Wolsley’s Ghost Whisper (Gotham City) made his first class 1 start a winning one. The grey 4-year old was always travelling well under Kim Jeong Woong and took the lead with a sharp bust of pace in the final furlong to record a victory of just under 2 lengths from Sinheung Daejanggun (Happy Jazz Band).

With his best horse Gyeongkwaehanjilju (Tapit) out of action and facing an uncertain future since finishing last in the Grand Prix at the end of last season, Wolsley has been seeking a new stable star. With 6 wins and 3 second places from 9 career starts, Ghost Whisper could be that horse.

Earlier at Busan, filly Geumdda (Officer) looked very comfortable in beating a small class 2 field to record her 6th win from 7 starts. Next time out, she’ll be joining Ghost Whisper among the elite.

* Next week it is the big one! The first leg of the 2012 Korean Triple Crown, the KRA Cup Mile – the Korean Guineas – is at Busan.

American Revival (far side) gets his nose in front to win at odds of 110/1 at Seoul this afternoon