Cinderella Man

Weekend Round-Up: Cinderella Man & Bold Kings Star

Cinderella Man charged back into the winner’s circle at Seoul while Bold Kings maintained his 100% record at Busan as the pair emerged victorious from Sunday’s two Grand Prix Stakes trials.

Cinderella Man had run just twice in the capital since his ownership transferred from Pegasus Stables to Ruairi O’Coilean and he joined the stable of Seoul’s fast emerging trainer Lee Shin Young. The first of those was the KRA Cup Classic when questionable riding tactics scuppered his chances but he looked sharp when running 2nd last month over 2000M

He had to battle on Sunday when racing over the Grand Prix distance for the first time but once he had finally managed to get past long time leader Hwanggeum Tap in the final furlong, Cinderella Man ran on for victory by just over a length under champion jockey Moon Se Young. It was Cinderella Man’s 10th win from 17 career starts.

Class 1 Handicap – Seoul Racecourse – 2300M – Nov 9, 2015

1. Cinderella Man (KOR) [Southern Image – Tiza Fast Kat (Tiznow)] – Moon Se Young – 2.7, 1.3
2. Hwanggeum Tap (USA) [Tiz Wonderful – La Tulipe (Silver Deputy)] – Lee Sang Hyeok – 3.4
3. Winning Andy (USA) [Cowboy Cal – Belvedere Miss (Pleasant Colony)] – Djordje Perovic – 1.5
Distances: 1.5 lengths/1.5 lengths – 9 ran

At Busan, three-year-old US import Bold Kings confirmed his status as one of the hottest emerging talents in Korean racing. He too had to battle in the 2200M class 1 event but under Jo Sung Gon, he finally got the better of Goji Jeongbeol by a head after the two dueled for the final furlong. Bold Kings is now six for six.

The Grand Prix at Seoul next month would be a big ask for both of them. Bold Kings is three, has only run six times and is yet to travel to race. Cinderella Man, while reasonably conservatively campaigned this year (he has run eight times) did suffer setbacks over the summer. Their presence though would be a huge boost for the race.

Class 1 Handicap – Busan Racecourse – 2200M – Nov 8, 2015

1. Bold Kings (USA) [Afleet Express – Bold Arrival (Gilded Time)] – Jo Sung Gon – 2.5, 1.3
2. Goji Jeongbeol (USA) [Congrats – I Love CIndy (Adonis)] – Ikuyasu Kurakane – 1.5
3. Gandai (KOR) [ Don’t Get Mad – Gamble To Victory (Prospector’s Gamble)] – Song Keong Yun – 2.7
Distances: Head / 2.5 lengths – 8 ran

Bold Kings was ridden for the first time by Jo Sung Gon as regular rider Kim Yong Geun was riding Nobody Catch Me for Kim Young Kwan. It may be a good thing that he won’t be going to the Tokyo Daishoten and he probably won’t be going to the Grand Prix either as he faded to a well-beaten 6th having shown prominently early in the race.

Trainer Kim will still have plenty of options for the season-ending showpiece – which once again will be available to European punters through the PMU – with three-year-olds Rock Band and Triple Nine among them.

On a weekend when it rained practically non-stop and the track at times resembled more a rowing lake than a racecourse, the pari-mutuel system decided that it was as wet and fed-up as everybody else and packed up immediate following race 3 at Seoul. It was a good 40 minutes before it could be coaxed into life again and that meant the abandonment of race 4. It’s not the first time it’s happened.

Jockey of the weekend was once more Djordje Perovic who rode another treble on Saturday and a further winner on Sunday. Jockey of the weekend wasn’t Nicola Pinna who while finally making his debut on Saturday, had to get off two later mounts – one of which Perovic won on.

Jockey of the weekend wasn’t Kim Hye Sun either. She will be having nightmares over getting Saetbyeori beaten in Saturday’s race 4 when the race looked won. While it looked to be a total brain freeze rather than anything nefarious (the Stewards adjourned their inquiry), the punters who backed the 10/1 shot won’t have been amused. However, those who were on the favourite that Kim failed to notice closing on her inside until it was too late, wouldn’t have minded at all. The usually reliable Kim was much more vigilant on Sunday with a very good ride on 38/1 shot Beongae Power, who she coaxed home when looking about to be beaten.

In other jockey news, Japanese rider Makoto Okabe debuted at Busan with seven rides across the weekend. He didn’t manage to get a winner but did land two 2nd places and one 3rd. Pasquale Borelli, Ikuyasu Kurakane and Masa Tanaka all did manage to find their way into the winner’s circle though.

Gumpo Sky Rockets To Down Cinderella Man & Gyeongbudaero

Some of the best horses in training in Korea met at Busan Racecourse yesterday and at the end of 1800M, it was Gumpo Sky who came out on top, having led from gate-to-wire to defeat Cinderella Man and Gyeongbudaero.

It was Gyeongbudaero, President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner – and also top rated in Korea and top weight in the handicap – who was sent off as slight favourite of seven for the Class 1 race. US import Spring Gnarly was slightly favoured over Cinderella Man for 2nd favourite.

When the race got going, however, it would be the 4th choice in the market, Gumpo Sky, who would go into an early lead. And under jockey Kim Dong Young, it would be one he would never relinquish, running on for victory by just over two lengths.

Cinderella Man, having his first outing under the care of Bart Rice, was a fast finishing 2nd, just edging out Gyeongbudaero who had to settle for 3rd.

With the victory, Gumpo Sky moved onto 8 wins from 21 starts. He’s only failed to make at least the minor prize money on two occasions; his two trips to Seoul last Year for the Korean Derby and the President’s Cup. Cinderella Man will no doubt be back as too will Gyeongbudaero, who may just be feeling the top weight he gets in these handicaps – yesterday he was giving 5.5kg to Gumpo Sky and 5kg to Cinderella Man

Class 1 – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – May 31, 2015

1. Gumpo Sky (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] – Kim Dong Young – 6.5, 3.4
2. Cinderella Man (KOR) [Southern Image – Tiza Fast Kat (Tiznow)] – Jo Sung Gon – 2.0
3. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.4
Distances: 2.5 lengths/0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Spring Gnarly (USA) 5. Useung Radar (USA) 6. Nobody Catch Me (USA) 7. Ghost Whisper (KOR)

The top-class clash at Busan, despite being a little short on numbers, certainly contrasted with the main event at Seoul. That’s to take nothing away from Chief Red Can (Fantasticat) though, who saw a burst of speed around the home turn take him from 9th to 1st and then storm away from the field to record a nine-length win in the 2000M Class 1 feature under jockey Park Eul Woon.

For some time it has been routine for Busan’s feature race to eclipse Seoul’s with the strength and depth in the class 1 ranks on the south coast being currently superior to that of the capital. Permanent transfers between the two are now allowed, however, and a few have been moved up to Seoul. Among class 1 horses, Road To Prince and Challanhan Useung have already run – unsuccessfully – while the biggest name among them, Magic Dancer, remains spelled.

Further down the ranks, however, Red Vic (Creek Cat) became the first transfer from Busan to find the Seoul winner’s circle when he won race 8 on Saturday. It came at the end of a week when Seoul Racecourse stable-hands were protesting the proposal to allow foreign track riders to work in the capital – something that has been hugely successful at Busan.

Next weekend, Busan horses will be in the capital for the Ttukseom Cup. New York Blue, Heba, Ms. Margaux and Golden Lass are currently slated to make the trip while among Seoul horses is the tantalizing prospect of Joy Lucky finally returning from injury. However, all eyes will be on Japanese raider Esmeraldina. The first JRA horse to run in Korea arrived in Seoul late last Wednesday and is, by all accounts, doing well.

Cinderella Man Has A Ball At Busan

Cinderella Man added Hangangui Gijeok to his burgeoning list of big name scalps as he secured his second consecutive class 1 victory at Busan this afternoon.

Class 1 Handicap – Busan Racecourse – 1900M – March 22, 2015

1. Cinderella Man (KOR) [Southen Image – Tiza Fast Kat (Tiznow)] – Jo Sung Gon
2. Gandai (KOR) [Don’t Get Mad – Gamble To Victory (Prospectors Gamble)] – Song Keong Yun
3. Chogwang (AUS) [Lion Heart – Colonial Dancer (Pleasant Colony)] – Lee Hee Cheon
Distances: 4 lengths/Neck – 10 ran

Last time it was the Derby and Oaks winner Queens’ Blade, this time it was Hangangui Gijeok who went down to the Pegasus Stable owned and Peter Wolsley trained 4-year-old. Hangangui Gijeok was sent off as the favourite, but giving over 7Kg in the handicap to Cinderella Man was just too much and under Jo Sung Gon, the winner cruised away from the field in the final furlong for a 4-length victory.

Gandai and Chogwang finished together in 2nd and 3rd while Hangangui Gijeok labored home in 4th. suffering just his 4th defeat in 14 career starts to date.

For Cinderella Man it was an 8th win from 11 starts and the icing on yet another glorious day for trainer Peter Wolsley. The Australian saddled the winner of 4 of the 6 races on the card and in doing so, moved back ahead of Kim Young Kwan at the top of the Trainers’ Premiership at Busan.

Often when Wolsley has one of his dominant days, we note how shrewdly his runners have been entered. This time though, he simply had the better horses.

First up was Cheonji Park (Ecton Park) and the colt maintained his unbeaten record with his 4th straight victory in race 2. Macheon Bolt (Old Fashioned) was up next in race 3 and he too duly sauntered to his 4th consecutive victory. Lucky Gangja (Lookin At Lucky) made harder work of things in race 4 but, under a powerful ride by Kim Yong Geun, just got up by a neck for his 3rd win from 6 starts.

Kim Yong Kwan may eventually see off Wolsley in terms of numbers of winners and he will almost certainly saddle more big race winners over the course of the season. However, the perennial champion Trainer is going to be sweating a while longer before he is comfortable.

Se Young Storms Back At Seoul / Cinderella Man Steps Up At Busan

The fun’s over for the Seoul Jockey colony. There have been plenty of wins to go around so far this year but the main man was back this weekend. And Moon Se Young promptly asserted his dominance riding eight winners across the weekend.

And well he might smile. Moon Se Young was back and in-form this weekend (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

And well he might smile. Moon Se Young was back and in-form this weekend (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

Last year’s champion jockey picked up a 6-meeting ban during the final weekend of 2014 giving him a pleasant few weeks off on what should have been the coldest race-days of the winter. As it transpired, it wasn’t that cold but in his return to race riding this weekend, Moon was red-hot.

To the surprise of no-one, he was in the winner’s circle after his first ride back on Saturday and he would return there a further seven times across the weekend – two more on Saturday followed five on Sunday. He added three 2nd places and two 3rds and is remarkably already in 3rd place in the 2015 Jockey Championship. Park Tae Jong, racing’s “President”, will know its odds-on Moon Se Young will have overtaken him at the top by the end of next weekend.

At Busan, the performance of the day came from Cinderella Man. The Peter Wolsley trained 4-year-old made his class 1 debut in the feature handicap. Under Jo Sung Gon, he led home last year’s Derby winner Queen’s Blade and solid handicapper My Key for victory by just under three lengths.

Cinderella Man (Southern Image) now has seven wins from ten career starts and looks a force to be reckoned with. Aussie trainer Wolsley has built up another strong stable this year and already sits in third place in the Trainer Championship. Another promising one of his, the (poorly-spelled, in an orthographical rather than a having a rest on the farm way) Diferent Dimension (Into Mischief) was an easy winner on Friday.

Also on the foreign training front, Bart Rice saddled his first winner of the year on Friday, with his Aussie-bred filly Ace Sinhwa (Onemorenomore) scoring on her racing debut.

As for the foreign jockeys, both Ikuyasu Kurakane at Seoul and Joe Fujii at Busan were among the winners on Sunday.

Back at Seoul, the feature race of the weekend was won by Strong Road (A.P.Warrior) who, just like Cinderella Man at Busan stepped up to class 1 for the first time and duly registered his 7th win from 10 career starts so far.

Fujii Returns With A Winner While Wolsley Trains A Four-Timer

Joe Fujii marked his return to the saddle with a winner but it was Peter Wolsley who stole the show among the foreign ranks at Busan on Friday, sending out four winners on the day.

Joe Fujii was back with a winner today (KRA)

Joe Fujii was back with a winner today (KRA)

Fujii, returning after a five-month layoff, started well when guiding Wonderful Star to a creditable 3rd place in race 1 and was then 2nd on Sky Sun in race 4.

He had to wait until race 8 to find the winner’s circle though, riding favourite Vicar Gold to a comfortable 5-length victory.

By that time, Australian trainer Wolsley had already saddled two winners. Debutant Cheonji Park was impressive, making all to claim race 2 before Choedae Gangja triumphed with a similarly front-running victory in race 7.

Next up for Wolsley was Baksuchyeo, who in landing his 5th win in 8 starts, handed the highly-rated filly Top Admiral her first ever defeat in race 9. Cinderella Man completed the four-timer in race 10.

Feature race of the afternoon went to 8/1 chance Grand Teukgeup. This afternoon’s winners essentially assure Wolsley of 2nd place in the Trainers’ Championship behind the Kim Young Kwan stable. As for Fujii, despite missing almost half the season, he still lies in 7th in the Jockeys’ Championship.

Both Fujii and Wolsley will be back at Busan for more on Sunday.