Busan Mayor’s Cup

I’m Your Father Wins Busan Mayor’s Cup For New Zealand Trainer David Miller

I’m Your Father pulled off a remarkable win in the Busan Mayor’s Cup on Sunday afternoon, defeating Dubai hero Triple Nine by half a length to give New Zealand trainer David Miller a huge victory in Busan’s biggest race.

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I’m Your Father bests Triple Nine in the Mayor’s Cup (Pic: KRA)

Grand Prix winner Clean Up Joy was sent off as favourite but despite overcoming gate 2 to get a good start, it was not to be his day. Returning with a swollen hind leg, he looked to have been feeling it for much of the race and had little to offer in the home straight, coming home in 9th place.

The early pace was set by last year’s winner Beolmaui Kkum with Success Story going along for the ride too. At one point beginning the long turn for home, the pair had put almost seven lengths into the field but with Beolmaui Kkum not at the level he once was, it was never likely to last. I’m Your Father and Triple Nine meanwhile sat patiently at the head of the chasing pack waiting for the leaders to come back to them.

They came back at the top of the straight. By this time it was clear that Clean Up Joy was labouring and wouldn’t be taking part in the business end of the race. Success Story lingered longer than Beolmaui Kkum but under Lee Hee Cheon, I’m Your Father struck the front just over a furlong out. Only Triple Nine, under the urging of Jo In Kwen, could go with him but he couldn’t quite get there. I’m Your Father maintained his pace to the line and jockey Lee had time to celebrate as they broke the wire with a half length in hand.

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Lee Hee Cheon returns to scale on I’m Your Father (Pic: KRA)

Saengil Gippeum, Jiljuui Sin and Ms. Margaux all closed deeply to finish 3rd to 5th while Diferent Dimension, like Triple Nine in his first start since returning from Dubai, put in a very creditable 6th. Clean Up Joy aside, Champ Line was perhaps the disappointment of the race. The 5-year-old entered having won his last five but had an off day. Mupae who was also relatively well-backed, reportedly took a knock coming out of the gate and struggled throughout.

For jockey Lee Hee Cheon, it was a 2nd group win following his victory on Never Seen Before in the 2014 Minister’s Cup. Lee doesn’t get a huge amount of opportunities at the elite level but he rarely disappoints when he does – he also rode Macheon Bolt to 2nd place in the Korea Sprint last year.

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Trainer David Miller joins the Mayor of Busan and connections in the winner’s circle (Pic: KRA)

As for David Miller, it is a stunning success. He began training at Busan last autumn and has steadily built up his stable but is yet to acquire the kind of firepower needed to achieve sustained success. Nevertheless, his place and show rates are good (12.2% and 20.4% respectively) and his horses have consistently been finishing better than their odds have suggested. His success with I’m Your Father will perhaps put potential owners on alert.

Busan Mayor’s Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – July 8, 2017

1. I’m Your Father (USA) [Tiznow – Clear Thinking (Awesome Again)] – Lee Hee Cheon – 7.4, 2.5
2. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] – Jo In Kwen – 1.7
3. Saengil Gippeum (USA) [Parading – Minnie’s Niece (Quiet American)] – Lee Sung Jae – 9.9
Distances: 0.5 lengths / 6 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Jiluui Sin (USA) 5. Ms. Margaux (USA) 6. Diferent Dimension (USA) 7. Success Story (KOR) 8. Dongbang Daero (USA) 9. Clean Up Joy (USA) 10. Champ Line (KOR) 11. Buhwarui Banseok (USA) 12. Doraonpogyeongseon (USA) 13. Mupae (USA) 14. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) NR: King Of Ace

Next week the big race action moves to Seoul and the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup. Korean Derby winner Final Boss is expected to face the surprise Oaks winner Jejui Haneul over 2000M. 

Busan Mayor’s Cup 2017: Triple Nine & Clean Up Joy (And More!) – Full Preview (July 9)

Last December Clean Up Joy bested Triple Nine to win Korea’s most prestigious race, the Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul. Since then Clean Up Joy has harvested listed races against inferior opposition in the Capital while Triple Nine was taken to the Dubai World Cup where despite the Godolphin Mile being a race too far, he managed to acquit himself admirably. There are 6 races at Busan from 13:25 to 17:40 and 11 at Seoul from 11:45 to 19:00

Clean Up Joy YTN Shamrocker

Clean Up Joys wins this year have been dismissively easy. It’s going to be much harder on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Their paths now collide in what is often called the “Summer Grand Prix” over 1800M at Busan. All eyes will be on the start. A notoriously troubled starter, at Seoul Clean Up Joy (Purge) has special dispensation to begin in the widest gate and not having a horse on his outside has settled him down enormously in his most recent appearances. At Busan he is afforded no such special treatment and indeed in last year’s race, he blundered coming out of gate 5 and could only rally late for an eventual 4th. This time he is in gate 2 but most seem to think that under Djordje Perovic, Clean Up Joy can overcome.

As for Triple Nine (Ecton Park), the two time President’s Cup winner has had a rest since arriving back in Korea in April and cantered through a trial last week looking in shape and ready to go. It’s not necessarily a two horse race though. The Thomas Gillespie trained Champ Line (Curlin) enters on a five-race winning streak and only looks to be getting better. He has a great draw and could well be a factor.

Then there are the up and comers. Kiwi trainer David Miller saddles the highly thought-of I’m Your Father (Tiznow) in his first Group race and the colt is not without a chance. Not is Triple Nine’s stablemate Mupae (Paddy O’Prado), who has won five of six starts to date.

It’s set to be the hottest race of the year so far and should offer plenty of clues ahead of the 1 Billion Won international Korea Cup, which will be run over the same distance in Seoul in September. Race cards are here and form comments for the whole card at Busan are below:

Selections: Race 1: 8 2 4 3 Race 2: 11 7 6 1 Race 3: 1 6 4 5 Race 4: 5 2 6 7 Race 5: 2 10 7 1 Race 6: 9 11 2 7
Race 1: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. NORTHERN VICAR – Maiden win at the 7th time of asking in April but only beat one home on first try at this class three weeks ago.
2. SWAG – Landed maiden win on Good Friday and was 2nd last start over 1000M. Hasn’t gone well at further than the minimum in the past but in the frame here.
3. MUNHWA DAERO – Up in class following maiden win over 1300M last time. That win had been coming and there’s not too much to fear here. Repeat not impossible.
4. WIDAEHANGWANGGYONG – Yet to win but has come close on several occasion including latest two. Steps back in trip from a mile today and should come close again.
5. CHEONJIGAEBYEOK – Struggled in three efforts since maiden win saw him promoted to this level.
6. RED SIREN – 4th at class and distance last start and should be looking to at least match that today.
7. SEONGGONG PLAN – Not beaten many in four attempts at this level.
8. YEOKJEONUI GIHOE – A winner on his second start on June 9th, beating two who have since gone on to perform well. Up in class and distance today but a real chance.

(more…)

Beolmaui Kkum Wins Big At Last

He is one of the most naturally gifted horses to have ever run in Korea and on Sunday afternoon in the rain at Busan, Beolmaui Kkum finally came right on the big stage, defeating a host of other top names in Korean racing to win the Busan Mayor’s Cup.

He didn’t just win it, Beolmaui Kkum romped it, taking advantage of the soaking wet conditions and a favourable draw to get the early lead and dominate the race, stretching away from the field to win by a full five lengths on the line.

Pre-race favourite Triple Nine was 2nd ahead of Success Story who had to settle for yet another 3rd place finish. Clean Up Joy was Seoul’s best finisher in 4th with the Peter Wolsley pair of Macheon Bolt and Bold Kings defying poor draws and the unsuitable distance to come home in 5th and 6th respectively. Last year’s winner and this year’s 3rd favourite Gamdonguibada had a disappointing race and ended up 12th of the 16.

It was Beolmaui Kkum’s 16th win in 27 outings but his first Group race triumph. Arguably over-trained and over-raced in the early part of his career, he was sent off as favourite in the 2013 Grand Prix at Seoul but faded badly, something that would be repeated in subsequent big races. Six months off after last year’s running of this race though seems to have extremely beneficial. Since returning, Beolmaui Kkim had won 2 out of three races with his only defeat coming at 1200M in the first leg of the Sprint Series.

He therefore came in fresh and with the track condition favouring front runners and the distance not leaving the likes of Triple Nine any margin for error, punters ended up kicking themselves for allowing Beomaui Kkum to start at odds approaching 20/1.

For jockey Kim Yong Geun it was another big race win in what is shaping up to be a great year with the prospect of Power Blade completing the Triple Crown later this month. For owner Lee Jong Hun it was profitable two minutes as well – he also owns Success Story.

Beolmaui Kkum [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Girl (Wild Event)] is a 6-year-old horse. He was a $20,000 purchase from the Fasig Tipton Kentucky yearling sales in 2011. The winning time was a new track record. Could Beolmaui Kkum go up to Seoul and repeat the trick at the same distance in the Korea Cup in September?

Busan Mayor’s Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – July 3, 2016

1. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) [Put It Back – Wild DIxie Gal (Wild Event)] – Kim Yong Geun – 19.9, 5.1
2. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.3
3. Successs Story (KOR) [Peace Rules – Power Pack (Lil’s Lad)] – Paolo Aragoni – 3.4
Distances: 5 lengths / Neck
Also Ran: 4. Clean Up Joy (USA) 5. Macheon Bolt (KOR) 6. Bold Kings (USA) 7. Dymanic Dash (USA) 8. Winning Andy (USA) 9. Space Port (USA) 10. Heba (USA) 11. Gumpo Sky (KOR) 12. Gamdonguibada (USA) 13. Rush Forth (USA) 14. Damyang Chukje (USA) 15. Dongbanjaui Gijeok (USA) 16. Clean Up Cheonha (USA)

Busan Mayor’s Cup: Runner-By-Runner Preview

The Busan Mayor’s Cup is one of the highlights of the Korean racing season and this year’s event, which will be run at Busan Racecourse over nine furlongs on Sunday, has attracted a strong field.

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Bold Kings beat Gumpo Sky and Clean Up Joy in the Grand Prix last December. The top five that day square off again on Sunday

Sometimes known as the “Summer Grand Prix” all top five place-getters from last December’s actual Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul will be in attendance as will Korea’s best known racehorse, Success Story. Seven of the full field of sixteen have traveled down from Seoul for what looks an intensely competitive race.

Here’s a runner-by-runner preview. All will carry 58kg except for the two mares, last year’s winner Gamdonguibada and Heba who will carry 56kg. (Name [Pedigree] Age Sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Trainer – Jockey)

Busan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M (Weight for Age) – Sunday July 3, 2016 (16:30)

1. Clean Up Cheonha (USA) [El Corredor – Loh Callado (More Than Ready)] 5 H (18/8/6/2) ST Shim – Lee Chan Ho
5th in the Grand Prix and hasn’t raced since winning at 2000M in January. Came through a trial well last month and he will be handy early but he will be the lesser fancied of the two Clean Ups.

2. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] 7 M (35/15/5/8) YK Kim – Choi Si Dae
Winner of this race last year at a mile, she also won the first leg of the Sprint Series in May before being beaten in the 2nd leg at Seoul last month. As good as ever at 7, she’ll likely settle just behind the early speed  and she has a chance here.

3. Heba (USA) [Peace Rules – Sue’s Temper (Temperence Hill)] 6 M (41/9/7/3) SJ Kwon – Song Keong Yun
Last year’s champion Mare is yet to win in 2016 and has been beaten by Triple Nine on three occasions already. As we say every time she runs, she would perhaps benefit from a spell but always puts in a solid performance and can find the minor money.

4. Damyang Chukje (USA) [Good Reward – Strategy (A.P Indy)] 7 H (33/6/3/4) HJ Bae – Jo Jae Ro
Has lost to a lot of these in recent starts and looks to be overmatched once more here. Generally slow away he will most likely have too much to do.

5. Clean Up Joy (USA) 5 G [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeax Danseur)] (17/9/5/1) ST Shim – Ham Wan Sik
Seoul’s best horse, he is three for three since finishing 3rd in the Grand Prix nehind Bold Kings and Gumpo Sky last December. He usually settles towards the rear of the field and has a strong finish. He can win this.

6. Dongbanjaui Gijeok (USA) [Half Ours – Feisty Cherokee (Cherokee Run)] 6 H (36/5/6/3) BC Lim – Kim Cheol Ho
Big outsider who finds it tough at class 1 at Seoul so will certainly find it tough here.

7. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) 6 H [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] (26/15/3/2) KY Baik – Kim Yong Geun
Extremely talented but has never quite lived up to it in the big races. Only Clean Up Joy is rated higher.It’s been a long time since he took on this distance, he is a front-runner and he must be considered.

8. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke(Pleasant Tap)] 15/9/5/0) YK Kim – You Hyun Myung
The President’s Cup winner at Seoul last year, he was 4th in the Grand Prix Stakes before avenging Bold Kings back at Busan in March. Surprisingly beaten last time at this distance at the end of May, he is a cut above most of these though. He should settle just behind the early speed and if he runs to his best, he won’t be beaten.

9. Space Port (USA) 6 H [Pleasant Tap – Space City (Carson City)] (43/4/10/3) CK Woo – Yoon Tae Hyuk
A perennial runner-up, he beat Winning Andy last time as the pair raced 2nd and 3rd over 2000M in a Seoul Stakes race. This is much harder though and he will be an outsider.

10. Success Story (KOR) [Peace Rules – Power Pack (Lil’s Lad)} 5 H (19/10/2/3) JK Min – Paolo Aragoni
Two 3rd places at the Dubai World Cup Carnival gained him international recognition but he struggled on his return to Korea behind Gamdonguibada in May. Got a bad start that day, he needs to be on pace early and then save energy. If he can do that, he must be considered.

11. Winning Andy (USA) [Cowboy Cal – Belvedere Miss (Pleasant Colony)] 5 H (31/4/7/6) IS Seo – Jo Sung Gon
Busan’s 2015 champion jockey makes a rare return to the south-coast but it’s unlikely to be a winning one. Solid competitor who can give a decent account of himself but looks overmatched here. Goes right back at the start.

12. Rush Forth (USA) [Rush Bay – Fourth Quest (Norquest)] 6 G (30/5/4/6) DY Hong – Kim Ok Sung
Returned to some semblance of form with a 3rd place over 1200M at the end of May but little to suggest he can be competitive here.

13. Dynamic Dash (USA) [Pleasantly Perfect – See Rock City (Tapit)] 4 C (18/9/5/1) BH Kim – Lee Hee Cheon
He comes in off the back of two superb wins over 1800M beating first Gamdonguibada and then Bold Kings. He was able to come from just off the early pace and lead rounding the home turn both times which won’t be so easy in this crowded field but he’s on the up and is to be respected.

14. Gumpo Sky (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] 5 H (30/10/8/4) SJ Kwon – Lim Sung Sil
He was 2nd to Bold Kings in the Grand Prix but was indifferent in his first three outings this year, losing to six of these in the process. He returned to winning ways last month, beating a small field at this distance. He will be on the early speed as usual.

15. Macheon Bolt (KOR) [Old Fashioned – Beech Bag (Devil’s Bag)] 4 G (12/8/7/1) PM Wolsley – Chae Sang Hyun
This stablemate of Bold Kings has eight wins from twelve including two at class 1. He goes around two turns for the first time, has plenty of potential and could challenge.

16. Bold Kings (USA) [Afleet Express – Bold Arrival (Gilded Time)] 4 C (9/7/1/0) PM Wolsley – Ikuyasu Kurakane
Winner of the Grand Prix Stakes last December after which he was seven for seven. He hasn’t managed to follow up so far this year beaing beaten twice, first by Triple Nine and then by Dynamic DashThe outisde gate didn’t help him last time and probably won’t here eitherbut he looked sharp in a trial last week and can’t be ruled out

Coming Up In July: Evening Racing / Busan Mayor’s Cup / Triple Crown Finale / KRA Trophy At Kranji

Evening racing begins this weekend and will run throughout July and August on Fridays and Saturdays. A busy July also sees the Busan Mayor’s Cup – the biggest race of summer – as well as Power Blade potentially looking to complete the Triple Crown in the Minister’s Cup and three Korean horses heading to Singapore for the KRA Trophy at Kranji.

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Evening racing begins this weekend

The first “evening” meeting will be at Busan this Friday. On Fridays, the first race at Busan will be at 2.30pm and the last at 9pm. Saturdays at Seoul will get underway at 2pm with the final race at 9pm. Sundays this year will remain at their usual time with the first race at Seoul at 10:50am and the last at 6pm. While the initial evening season runs until the end of August it may well be extended this year into September and October.

On the track, the month starts with the big one, the Busan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Cup, generally billed as the “Summer Grand Prix”. This year’s edition is at Busan this coming Sunday, July 3rd and a high quality field look set to take part including some strong candidates from Seoul. We will have the full line-up here this afternoon and a full preview of the race on Saturday. Last year’s winner Gamdonguibada, Triple Nine, Bold Kings, Clean Up Joy, Clean Up Cheonha and Success Story are all currently entered.

On Sunday 17th, attention will turn to Seoul and the final leg of the Triple Crown in the shape of the Minister’s Cup. Power Blade was the facile winner of the KRA Cup Mile and Korean Derby and should he make the starting gate, he will be strong favourite to become the first horse to sweep all three legs of the Crown in its current form. Stablemate and Korean Oaks winner Ottug Ottugi is also among ten entrants at this stage.

The final Group race of the month will be the KNN Cup at Busan on July 24th. It’s the 2nd leg of the Queens’ Tour which decides the champion filly or mare of the year. The first leg, the Ttukseom Cup, was won by Bichui Jeongsang at Seoul at the beginning of June.

In other news, the KRA Trophy will be run at Kranji Racecourse in Singapore on July 24th and for the second year running, Korea-trained horses will be taking part in the 1200M sprint. The three horses looking likely to travel are Parang Juuibo (With Distinction) and Always Winner (Creek Cat) from Seoul and Triple Five (Girolamo) from Busan. The optimistically named Always Winner won the JRA Trophy at Seoul earlier in June while the Bart Rice trained Triple Five is an up and comer who has won three of six outings to date. Baksuchyeo and Jingyeogui Geojang are others entered.

The KRA Trophy is part of the “Korea Festival” that takes place at Kranji that weekend.