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

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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