Bichui Jeongsang

Bichui Jeongsang Strikes For Seoul In Ttukseom Cup

It’s not often that Seoul bests Busan when horses from the two tracks meet in Stakes races but that’s exactly what happened in the first leg of the Queen’s Tour on Sunday afternoon as Bichui Jeongsang justified her favourite status to win the Ttukseom Cup.


Jo Sung Gon and Bichui Jeongsang win the Ttukseom Cup (Pic: KRA)

The race attracted thirteen fillies & mares with Bichui Jeongsang, 3rd in last year’s race and a multiple time class 1 winner, sent off just the right side of even money for the 1400 series opener.

Under former Champion Busan jockey Jo Sung Gon, Bichui Jeongsang was slowly away as last year’s Oaks winner Jangpung Parang showed the way early on. The latter though would fade and eventually finish i 5th place as Buchui Jeongsang improved around the home turn and then powered away from her rivals in the home straight, beating 20/1 shot Halla Chukje by half a length on the line. New York Blue, 2nd in last year’s race was Busan’s best finisher in 3rd.

Bichui Jeongsang was purchased for $30,000 at Fasig Tipton in 2013 and won four out of her first five on her way to a quick elevation to class 1 racing. She was slightly disappointing in some big Stakes races in the second half of last year which led to her missing out on a trip to the Dubai Carnival but scored back to back class 1 wins at the turn of the year and now heads the favourites as the Queen’s Tour contenders reassemble in Busan for the KNN Cup next month.

The Ttukseom Cup (KOR G2) – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – June 5, 2016

1. Bichui Jeongsang (USA) [Wildcat Heir – Persimmon Honey (Colonial Affair)] – Jo Sung Gon – 2.3, 1.2
2. Halla Chukje (USA) [Gottcha Gold – C D Player (Montbrook)] – Lee Hyeok – 4.9
3. New York Blue (USA) [Candy Ride – Aim For The Moon (Deputy Minister)] – Lim Sung Sil – 1.5
Distances: 0.5 lengths / 0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Silver Wolf (AUS) 5. Jangpung Parang (KOR) 6. Ms. Margaux (USA) 7. Queen’s Champion (USA) 8. Supreme Magic (USA) 9. Hay Queen (USA) 10. Model Line (USA) 11. Bukbeol Sinhwa (KOR) 12. Winner’s Marine (KOR) 13. Indian Star (KOR)

This coming week, attention shifts to the next generation of fillies in the shape of the Korean Oaks at Busan. It is unlikely Seoul will be able to follow up with another victory.

Weekend Round-Up

We’re a couple of weeks into the 2016 racing season and there has been plenty going on already both at Seoul and Busan, as well as further afield.


Cheongu on TV!

The main story for Korean racing so far this year has to be the Korean horses at the Dubai Carnival. While Success Story is expected to make his debut on January 21, Cheongu ran on the opening night last Thursday and did ok.

Despite missing the break slightly and also losing a shoe in running, the four-year-old Old Fashioned colt finished well in touch with the pack, ending up 5th of 8 runners under British jockey Royston Ffrench.  Cheongu will get another chance either at 1400M or most likely, again at 1200M, later on in the carnival.

Cheongu’s trainer is Seo In Seok and he was back at Seoul on Sunday in time to see his mare Bichui Jeongsang comfortably win the weekend’s feature race. Bichui Jeongsang (Wildcat Heir) had downed Asia Challenge Cup winner Choegang Schiller over 1200M in November and was stepped up to 1800M for Sunday’s class 1 feature. And under Nicola Pinna, she made light of her 59kg impost racing away from the field in the final furlong to win by almost three lengths on the line.

At Busan, there was a new name in the Class 1 winner’s circle. Yuseong Dream (Giacomo) was making his first start at the level following back to back wins at the end of 2015 and the four-year-old completed his hat-trick, making almost all under Kim Dong Young.

Pasquale Borelli is showing the way in the very early stages of the Busan Jockey Championship. The Italian jockey rode a double for trainer Peter Wolsley on Sunday afternoon to take him to four winner for 2016. Tied for first place is Seo Seung Un, who rode a treble on Friday and another one on Sunday and who seems to be very much enjoying his new surroundings at Busan after transferring from Seoul on January 1.

Pinna At The Double In Seoul

It hadn’t been the easiest of starts to riding in Korea for Nicola Pinna but things came right for the Italian jockey at Seoul Racecourse on Saturday as he rode a double, including victory in the feature race on Bichui Jeongsang who downed Asia Challenge Cup winner Choegang Schiller in a tight finish.


Nicola Pinna (and interpreter) are interviewed after Bichui Jeongsang won Seoul’s Saturday feature

Pinna couldn’t make weight on the first of his scheduled mounts a few weeks ago and was handed an automatic two-day ban for his troubles. It meant that despite having been in the country a month, prior to today, he had only had three rides.

Today it came right though. Pinna made his breakthrough on 3/1 second favourite Hwangnyongbisang, who scored a two-length victory in race 8. However, by far the best was yet to come.

Choegang Schiller (Artie Schiller) beat Singapore’s El Padrino to win the Asia Challenge Cup in a track record time at the end of August. The three-year-old hadn’t run since then and was sent-off the hot favourite to repeat today with regular jockey Lee Chan Ho riding. Third-favourite was Bichui Jeongsang (Wildcat Heir), a four-year-old filly, who had won five of fifteen career starts and was 3rd to Esmeraldina in the Ttukseom Cup.

With Pinna in the saddle, Bichui Jeongsang wasn’t quickly away but improved around the home turn to come shoulder to shoulder with Choegang Schiller entering the home straight. That would be how they would remain for a keenly-fought tussle through the final two furlongs that went all the way to the line. It looked at one point as Choegang Schiller had it but Pinna coaxed out one last effort from his mount to get her home a neck in front.

Punters second-choice Bear Queen Trophy was a distant third but may as well have been running a different race, so dominant the first two were. The winning time was just one-tenth of a second outside the mark that Choegang Schiller set in the Asia Challenge Cup. The win could be a boost for Bichui Jeongsang’s connections ambition to race her overseas early next year.

A day can make a big difference and all of a sudden, 27-year-old Pinna now has two wins from just seven mounts and really showed his quality in that second win. He has five more rides tomorrow. Fellow Italian-licensed rider Djordje Perovic meanwhile guided home his 38th Korean winner earlier in the day and is now joint-leading jockey at Seoul for the month of November. While Perovic can do a kilo lighter, more rides like the one on Bichui Jeongsang and Nicola Pinna could well be challenging him in the near future.



Bichui Jeongsang Gives Ikuyasu Kurakane JRA Trophy Win

Bichui Jeongsang swept to a comprehensive win in the JRA Trophy at Seoul Racecourse today, giving Ikuyasu Kurakane a victory in the race sponsored by his home nation’s racing authority.

Bichui Jeongsang and Ikuyasu Kurakane win the JRA Trophy (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Bichui Jeongsang and Ikuyasu Kurakane win the JRA Trophy (Pic: Ross Holburt)

With the well-fancied Yeondu having been scratched, punter made Bichui Jeongsang the slight favourite in the race which, with its 23rd edition, is the longest running exchange race in Korea.

Kurakane landed a treble on the day (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Kurakane landed a treble on the day (Pic: Ross Holburt)

13/1 chance Ssangdu Bima set the pace for much of the 7-furlong race but Kurakane always had Bichui Jeongsang handy and once he hit the front with a furlong remaining, he was the only likely winner.

Seo Seung Un, who rides the favourite in the Korean Derby tomorrow, closed very quickly on Clean Up Speed, passing 5 horses in the final furlong to grab 2nd place, while Aussie-bred filly Marica stayed on for 3rd.

A three-year-old filly, Bichui Jeongsang was a $30,000 purchase at Fasig Tipton’s Mid-Atlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training sale last May. This was her fifth start and her sixth win. Although as an import, she is ineligible for the Oaks, if she can go on to stay around two turns, she could have a big part to play later on in the season.

For jockey Kurakane, it was not only a big race win, it was also his third triumph of the day. Ikuyasu is renowned for grinding out a big volume of winners but chances in feature races are less common – his last Stakes win came in his first spell at Seoul in 2007. He is 2nd only to Moon Se Young in the 2014 Jockey Premiership.

JRA Trophy – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – May 17, 2014

1. Bichui Jeongsang (USA) [Wildcat Heir – Persimmon Honey (Colonial Affair)] – Ikuyasu Kurakane – 3.3, 1.5
2. Clean Up Joy (USA) [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeaux Danseur)] – Seo Seung Un – 3.2
3. Marica (AUS) [Reset – Teneales Pearl (Redoubte’s Choice)] – Jang Chuyoul – 3.4

Distances: 3 lengths / 2 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Samjeong Tiger (USA) 5. Ssangdu Bima (USA) 6. Foolish Scip (USA) 7. Dorgon (USA) 8. Lion Galloper (AUS) 9. Incheonui Seungni (KOR) 10. Daerugui Byeol (USA) 11. Zentenary (Choi Bum Hyun) 12. Royal Review (USA) 13. Strong Wind (NZ) Scratched: Yeondu (USA)

The JRA Trophy Presentation part (Pic: Ross Holburt)

The JRA Trophy Presentation part (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Racing returns to Seoul on Sunday with the Korean Derby. Ikuyasu Kurakane rides Clean Up Speed, who is not without a chance.