Brian Dean

Choegangja & Zentenary Set for Kranji KRA Trophy

Two Korea-trained horses, Choegangja and Zentenary, are in Singapore for the annual running of the Korea Racing Authority Trophy which will be held over 1200M at Kranji this coming Sunday. As in previous years, the race will be broadcast live – without betting – at Seoul & Busan Racecourses during the local Sunday afternoon cards.

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Choegangja, on his way to victory last year, is in Kranji (Pic: Ross Holburt)

The Korean contingent has generally not found this race to be easy and this year looks set to be no exception as they face a strong local challenge attracted by the S$250,000 purse. Zentenary has drawn gate 1 while Choegangja will break from gate 8. Here’s the field (full card at the Singapore Turf Club website here):

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This year there’s no excuse for lack of local knowledge as both horses are in the care of Brian Dean, the former Singapore based trainer who has just finished up training in Seoul. Additionally, unlike previous runnings of this race, it was decided this time to put local Kranji-based jockeys on board the two horses and accordingly Oscar Chavez, who partnered El Padrino in his second Asia Challenge Cup at Seoul Racecourse in 2015, will ride Choegangja while Malaysian Kasim A’Isisuhairi gets the leg-up on Zentenary.

Choegangja (USA) [Silver Train – Sweet Sizzle (Distorted Humor)]

The pick of the two, he blossomed after moving to Brian Dean at the tail-end of his three-year-old season, winning five races in a row and moving from class 3 to class 1 in the process. He finally came unstuck when missing the break in the SBS Sports Trophy at the start of June, resenting the kick-back and ultimately finishing last but can be forgiven for that. A US bred, Choegangja was a $40,000 purchase from Fasig Tipton 2-year-olds in training sale in May 2015.

Zentenary (USA) [First Defence – Celestic (Sky Classic)]

A $30,000 buy from OBS 2-year-olds in training sale in 2013, the now 6-year-old has won 6 of his 31 starts with one of them coming at class 1, an all-the-way effort last Christmas Eve. He’s been up and down in six outings in 2017 with two 3rd places being the best including last time out on June 18th, over this distance of 1200M.

 

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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…)

Choegangja Four For Four For Brian Dean

Brian Dean looks to have a lively one on his hands. Choegangja stepped up to class 1 at Seoul for the first time on Saturday afternoon and and absolutely blitzed by no means hopeless set of rivals over 1200M. Swedish jockey Shane Karlsson was in the saddle.

Choegangja (Silver Train) is a four-year-old gelding who had shown promise but not a whole lot else, winning one out of six starts before he was transferred to Brian Dean last autumn. Since then he’s been unstoppable, winning four out of four and transitioning from class 3 to class 1 in the process. Yesterday, he got the jump on the field and never looked back, leading home Canada-bred filly Gaenari by four lengths in a quick time. If he continues his progress, he’ll be a Korea-sprint contender come September.

Aussie trainer Dean continues to get results under the no doubt challenging circumstances of being the first foreign trainer at Seoul. Only 3 of the 51 trainers at Seoul have sent out fewer horses than Dean in 2017 so far and yet he finds himself up in 9th place in the the Trainer Premiership with a vastly superior Win, Place and Show strike-rate than any other handler at the track. Owners may start to take note.

As for Karlsson, he too is showing useful figures. Choegangja was his 4th Korean winner (he won on him last start too) – all of them for Dean. Other trainers may wish to take note of that too.

Swedish Jockey Shane Karlsson Debuts With A Winner At Seoul

It was a good first day at the races in Seoul for Shane Karlsson. The Swedish jockey rode his first Korean winner, guiding Choegangja to a comfortable victory in the last race of the day for Australian trainer Brian Dean.

Karlsson, a champion apprentice in Sweden in 2009, got the day off to a good start with a 2nd place on his very first ride, Viva Galloper in race 1 but it would be at the other end of the day, under the lights in race 12 when the 25-year-old made his breakthrough.

Choegangja, an 8/1 shot, was guided to the front straight out of the gate by Karlsson and the pair never looked back as they raced away to win by half a length from another Dean trainee My Blade, who came home 2nd. Karlsson will have five more rides at Seoul on Sunday.

Also debuting in the saddle at Seoul on Saturday was Japanese rider Shinji Hatanaka. His best finish came in race 6 when he partnered Clean Up Sky to 2nd place. Hatanaka has six rides on Sunday.

Racing returns on Sunday with 11 races at Seoul from 10:40 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:35 to 17:00.

*Update: And Shane Karlsson added another on Sunday afternoon, again for Brian Dean, as he guided Jangsanjewang (Ft. Stockton) to victory in the class 1 Race 11.

Dean Holland Wraps Up Korean Sojourn

Dean Holland’s stint riding in Korea is over for now. The Australian jockey completed his four month license at the weekend and has opted to return home.

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Dean Hollasnd at Seoul (Pic: Ross Holburt)

During his time here, Holland rode 10 winners from 128 rides with a quinella strike-rate of 15% – a creditable figure given that he rode so few favourites. His final ride was a 2nd place on Jangsanjewang in race 11 on Sunday while his last winner was the previous day, when he guided Muhudaese to victory by a nose with a perfectly timed run in race 9.

Both those rides were for Brian Dean and in the latter half of his time here, Holland built up an effective partnership with the first foreign trainer to be licensed at Seoul. Half of all runners that Brian Dean has sent out so far have finished in the first three and Dean Holland has played a significant role in achieving that. Likewise the emergence of the trainer – who this time next year will surely be the top trainer in the capital – ensured Holland successfully completed his four months.

Holland worked hard and gained the respect of most trainers and jockeys in Seoul with a professional attitude and good results, which is exactly what is asked of foreign riders here and he was a good ambassador for Australian racing. Off the track he developed an unexplained affinity for the Seoul LG Twins baseball team; Holland’s win-rate is probably better than theirs.

Holland’s final winner at Seoul:

Holland’s departure leaves Imran Chisty as the only active foreign jockey currently at Seoul. Djordje Perovic remains licensed.

Diferent Dimension, Dynamic Jilju Down Triple Nine & Wonder Bolt

Hot favourites went down at both Seoul and Busan this past Sunday. In the capital, Wonder Bolt was beaten by Dynamic Jilju but it was at Busan where the greater shock was, with last year’s President’s Cup winner Triple Nine defeated in a final furlong battle with Diferent Dimension.

Triple Nine (Ecton Park) had won both of his races in 2016 so far, handing Grand Prix Stakes winner Bold Kings his first career defeat in the process. With likely second favourite Doraon Hyeonpyo scratched, Triple Nine was sent off the strong odds-on favourite for the 1800M feature.

Like Bold Kings, Diferent Dimension (Into Mischief) is trained by Peter Wolsley, but unlike his stablemate, he got the ideal trip on what was his first try at class 1. Leading into the home straight under jockey Seo Seung Un, he made the 7.5kg weight advantage count as he held off the challenge of Triple Nine by a neck on the line. Six lengths back the evergreen Viva Ace (Macho Uno) put in another great performance to come home in 3rd.

Diferent Dimension moves onto seven wins from eleven career starts and provided for trainer Wolsley what was no doubt a welcome opportunity to get one over the Kim Young Kwan machine for once.

Half an hour later at Seoul, Wonder Bolt (Desert Warrior) was also sent off at odds-on for a similar class 1 handicap. Things would not go his way, however, as he was ground down in the home straight and passed close to the line by Dynamic Jilju (Forestry). A former Busan-based galloper, Dynamic Jilju, a 10/1 chance, was winning for the first time in the capital.

In other races across the weekend, Brian Dean saddled his second Seoul winner as Ruari O’ Coileain’s Jungl Drummer (Cielo Gold) winning on debut in race 2 on Saturday with Dean Holland on board. Meanwhile Bart Rice’s sparkling May form continued as his filly Load Cell (Ecton Park) won race 2 on Sunday at Busan.

Racing returns this coming weekend with the YTN Cup at Seoul the feature event. A week later will be the first international race of the year, the SBS Korea/Japan Cup – as well as the Ttukseom Cup – at Seoul.

Brian Dean Trains First Korean Winner

Brian Dean has started very well. Having put the local trainers on notice by sweeping all the barrier trials a couple of weeks ago, he sent out Jangsan Jewang to 3rd place last week. After another 3rd yesterday, today My Blade became the Australian handler’s first Seoul winner. Dean Holland rode.

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My Blade hits the front under Dean Holland (Pic: Ross Holburt)

The race took place an hour after the Korean Derby and most attention was focused on whether Park Tae Jong, riding Horuragi, could get his 2,000th winner as a jockey. Horuragi led from the gate and for much of the race but it was not to be as Holland on My Blade and Moon Se Young on Inbeactive came to challenge down the outside with My Blade prevailing by a head on the line.

It was Brian Dean’s third runner in total and the first foreign trainer ever to be granted a full-time license at Seoul  now has a 33.3% win strike rate and 100% to show. As for the other Aussie Dean, it was Holland’s second winner of the weekend.