Ace Galloper

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:

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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

Weekend Preview

A bit of a holding weekend in Korea between last week’s Ttukseom Cup and next week’s KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the 2012 Korean Triple Crown. However, there’s still plenty to keep us occupied.

Ace Galloper and Park Tae Jong winning the KRA Cup Classic

Feature races of the weekend at both Seoul and Busan are on Sunday. Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal), with 16 wins from his 23 starts heads the big race at Seoul.

He’s up against last year’s champion mare Top Point (Tom Cruiser) in the 2000 metre event.

Down at Busan, Peter Wolsley’s Ghost Whisper (Gotham City), with 5 wins and 3 seconds from his 8 starts to date, makes his class 1 debut in Sunday’s feature. Earlier on Sunday, promising filly Geumdda (Officer) will be aiming to make it 6 wins from 7 starts.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday March 30

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

Saturday March 31

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

Sunday April 1

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Busan Race Park: 7 races from 12:15 to 16:40

Ace Galloper Does His Job

Dangdae Bulpae Beaten / Sad sub-plot to Seoul’s Feature

Four horses came into Sunday’s feature races at Seoul and Busan with high expectations. Only one could live up to them.

Ace Galloper and Park Tae Jong return as winners

At Busan, both Dangdae Bulpae and Jeonseong Sidae found themselves on the wrong end of a blanket finish but at Seoul Ace Galloper came out with his head held high after a battling win which saw champion mare Top Point well beaten.

Dangdae Bulpae (Biwa Shinseiki) hadn’t raced since successfully defending his President’s Cup crown in November and he was sent off the slight favourite ahead of Aussie import Jeonseong Sidae (Stromberg Carlson).

As they entered the home straight it was these two who looked set to battle out the finish. However, they reckoned without a late challenge on the outside from old warrior Yeonseung Daero (Creek Cat) and, even more surprisingly, 21/1 outsider Full Forest (Full Mandate) who ultimately got the decision in a tight five-way finish.

It was a disappointing start to 2012 for Dangdae Bulpae, a horse who was undoubtedly the outstanding Korean bred competitor of last year. For Full Forest, a veteran US bred six-year-old, it was the biggest of six wins from thirty-five career starts.

Up at Seoul, KRA Cup Classic winner Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) didn’t have things all his own way but ultimately came out on top of a very competitive handicap. Main rival Top Point (Tom Cruiser), the champion mare of 20111 disappointed but Blue Pin (Lion Heart) pushed Ace Galloper all the way to the line, the margin of victory being just a neck on the line.

Ace Galloper and Blue Pin have the kind of connection that only horse racing – for all its joys and all its heartbreaks – can give. Ace Galloper, who is now five-years old, was not an especially impressive two-year-old.

However, in his second start, on July 25, 2009, he finished second – a very distant second – to a horse called Northern Ace. They were racing over five furlongs that day and Northern Ace, a ten-length winner, broke the track record. Tragically, Northern Ace (Didyme) went on to fatally break-down during the Korean Derby in May 2010.

Northern Ace was the first Korean bred foal out of mare Telegraph Road (Royal Academy). Champion Belt, currently one of Busan’s top horses was the second. When she arrived in Korea in early 2006 though, she was in foal to Lion Heart. That foal would be called Blue Pin.

Today we salute Ace Galloper who is a truly a great champion. But we also remember Northern Ace. And all those others whose potential was cruelly taken away.

Weekend Preview: The Big Boys Are Back

Smarty Moonhak vs Dongbanui Gangja vs Larrycat, Dangdae Bulpae vs Yeonseung Daero & Ace Galloper vs Top Point

A very Happy Year Of The Dragon to all punters out there. Gyongmaman spent the break “watching football” in Thailand and generally avoiding all things racing, but things are back to normal this weekend and for the first time in 2012, we’re getting some heavyweight clashes at both Seoul and Busan.

Smarty Moonhak (KRA)

If he’d won the Grand Prix, there was a good chance he’d have been sent to the US to try his hand on the Kentucky Derby trail. Lucky for us in Korea that Smarty Moonhak (Smarty Jones) finished third and he makes his three-year-old debut in Saturday’s feature at Seoul.

In a mouth-watering main-event, he’s up against two-time Grand Prix winner Dongbanui Gangja (Broken Vow) as well as the horse who finished second in the race in 2010, Larrycat (Fantasticat).

The young Smarty Moonhak should relish the 2000 metre distance and could make full use of the four kilo weight advantage he has over the now seven-year old Dongbanui Gangja.

A day later at Seoul there’s another clash of track’s top level stars as KRA Cup Classic winner Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) makes his 2012 debut, headlining the feature race going up against Champion Mare of 2011, Top Point (Tom Cruiser).

Down at Busan, the feature event of the weekend sees two Korean-bred horses crashing an event for foreign-breds as double President’s Cup winner Dangdae Bulpae (Biwa Shinseiki) takes on old rival Yeonseung Daero (Creek Cat) over 1800 metres.

Dangdae Bulpae

They have plenty to keep them company too as prolific Aussie three-year-old Jeonseong Sidae (Stromberg Carlson), the evergreen Mighty Hero (Buddha) – who’s now left Peter Wolsley’s barn – and the well-handicapped but dangerous Viva Ace (Macho Uno) join them.

It should be a cracking race.

On Friday at Busan, Minister’s Cup winner Dongseo Jeongbeol (Vicar) looks for his second win of the year already as he heads the feature race. Winning Perfect (Doyen) and 2008 Derby winner Ebony Storm (Buster’s Daydream) will be among those looking to stop him as will be Joe Murphy’s very well-handicapped Deep Desire (Jump Start) and the in-form Bada Jewang (Social Charter).

The past few days have been some of the coldest of winter so far, however, the forecast for the weekend is bright. Temperatures should be into positive territory and the sun is set to shine. Come Racing!

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday January 27

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

Saturday January 28

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:10 to 17:30
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:10

Sunday January 29

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 7 races from 12:30 to 17:00

Sunday Round-Up: Moon Se Young Brings His Wife To Work

Moon Se Young was presented with the 2011 Jockey Championship Trophy at Seoul Race Park on Sunday…by his wife.

2011 Prize-Winners: Trainer Shin Woo Chul (left with check), Tamna Saryo CEO Yoon Tae Hyeon (owner of Tough Win, centre), Champion Jockey Moon Se Young and Ace Galloper's owner Shin Joon Soo (right)

KRA TV Announcer Kim Ryeo Jin, who also happens to be Mrs Moon Se Young, was the surprise presenter of the award to her husband who racked up 105 wins last year to claim his second Seoul Jockey Championship.

Also receiving awards were Champion Trainer Shin Woo Chul, as well as connections of Seoul’s best two horses of the last year. Grand Prix Stakes winner Tough Win claimed the overall Horse Of The Year prize, Tamna Feed Company CEO Yoon Tae Hyeon picking up the award, while KRA Cup Classic winner Ace Galloper won the prize for Korean bred horses for owner Shin Joon Soo.

On the track, Champion Moon notched another two winners but he couldn’t take out the feature race which was won by Ham Wan Sik (who landed a treble) on Japanese five-year-old Real Victor (Biwa Shinseiki) who upset hot favourite Cheonun.

Cheonun was runner-up in the 2010 Korean Oaks and it seems likely that a similarly named filly could be making an impact on the Triple Crown races this year. Cheoneun (Forest Camp) began her three-year old career in the very last race on Sunday, scoring a comfortable two-length win over seven furlongs. That takes her record to four wins from six starts and she’ll be one to watch as the year progresses.

She's not going to believe you bought those so don't even try.

It’s not just horses we need to watch as the year progresses. Moon Se Young may be champion jockey now but there is plenty of talent coming up behind him.

Chief among those seems to be Jo In Kwen, who won Saturday’s big handicap on Jumong and Jang Chu Yeol, who is yet to open his account this year. A year behind them though is first-year apprentice Seo Seung Un. Seo won twice on Sunday and looks in good shape to ride out his apprenticeship (reach 40 winners) quicker than any Korean jockey before him.

For now though, Moon Se Young can content himself with being the best at what he does whilst being one of the richest sportsmen in the country. And married to a TV presenter.

* It was a good start to 2012 for Japanese jockey Makoto Noda. After being without a win in the final two months of last year, he landed successes on both Saturday and Sunday.