Cowboy Son

Sunday Review: Welcome Home For Dubai Two While Dynamic Dash Scores Upset At Busan

Cheongu and Success Story, Korea’s first ever representatives at the Dubai World Cup Carnival were welcomed back to Korea with special ceremonies at their home tracks of Seoul and Busan today.


Cheongu at Seoul Racecourse this afternoon

The pair could very well clash soon as both are entered in what looks a high quality Busan Ilbo Cup two weeks today. For now though it was about acknowledging their contribution to the development of Korean racing. While Cheongu didn’t race very well in Dubai, he has now taken three overseas trips. Connections could have stayed home and had him pick up plenty of prize money – the standard of Class 1 racing at Seoul right now means a horse of his ability would win plenty – but instead took the sporting option and they are deservedly recognized.

On the track the pick of the action was, at it usually is, at Busan. Doraon Hyeonpyo was sent off as the odds-on favourite for the 1800M class 1 event following three straight wins but after early leader Cowboy Son had to be eased after seemingly going lame rounding the final turn, Dynamic Dash (Pleasantly Perfect) took things up under jockey Lim Sung Sil. While Doraon Hyeonpyo (Colors Flying) would close purposefully in the closing stages, he was left wanting by just under a length on the line.

Dynamic Dash, a four-year-old American bred colt, was winning for the eighth time on what was his seventeenth start. Bathsheba Park was back in 3rd with old favourite Gamdonguibada a solid 4th.

Earlier at Busan there had been an eye-catching win for another US import. A $47,000 purchase from Ocala last June, First Magical (First Dude) finally made his debut in race 3. And he was in cruise control throughout as he made all to score by a full ten lengths. He’s one to watch. Another to watch is filly Hoseungjibyeok (Didyme). She slipped tamely to her first defeat in an Oaks trial last month but found her way back to the winner’s circle with dismissive ease in race 4. She has four wins from five starts.

At Seoul, where the annual cherry blossom festival was in full swing amidst a filthy dust-storm that has been raging for three days now, what the class 1 feature lacked in quality it made up for in in its tight finish. In the end though, favourite Space Port (Pleasant Tap) just did enough to get home by a head with the first four within less than a length of each other. Space Port was ridden by Park Tae Jong who now needs just six more to become the first Korean jockey ever to reach 2000 career wins.

Besides, there were other things to worry about at Seoul:

Stakes racing returns to Seoul next week in the shape of the Herald Business Cup.

Interaction Cup: Korean Horses Race In Japan On Tuesday

Cheon Gu, Cowboy Son and Dynamic Jilju will be racing for Korea under the lights at Ohi Racecourse in Tokyo on Tuesday night as they take on a full field of 13 Japanese horses over 1200M in the third running of the Interaction Cup.


Cheon Gu

And in contrast to last year when Korea didn’t really bring the firepower needed in order to be competitive, there is a feeling that if the horses run to the best then they – especially Cheon Gu – have a chance of making it into the money this time around.

Cheon Gu has been drawn in gate 1 while Cowboy Son and Dynamic Jilju will start from gates 12 and 13. As ever, Yoo Seung Wan will ride Cheon Gu, who is competing in his third consecutive international race having taken part in the KRA Cup at Kranji in Singapore in July and then the Asia Challenge Cup in Seoul in August when he was beaten only by Choegang Schiller and El Padrino. Oh Kyoung Hwan takes the mount of Cowboy Son while Ikuyasu Kurakane has travelled back to his homeland to ride Dynamic Jilju.

The Japanese contenders are sure to expect the Korean horses to look to get out of the gate quickly and look to set a fast pace and then try to hang on. That’s what happened when Watts Village won the first running of this race two years ago and Cheon Gu has indeed gone forward in each of his last two races only to be reeled in.

As for those Japanese runners, as ever they tend to be older and have a lot of experience behind them and a lot of wins between them. Gorski is making his first run at NAR level following a solid JRA career and is likely to be one of the main dangers while Satono Tiger and Maruka Bakken are others who have been racing in stiffer competition and could go well on Tuesday. For a full run-down of the Japanese contenders, see the preview at the excellent Japanracing site here.

Here is the full list of runners and riders with race records:

Interaction Cup – Ohi Racecourse – 1200M – October 13, 2015 (20:15)

1. Cheon Gu (USA) [Old Fashioned – So Much Fun (Speightstown)] 3yo colt (8/4/1/2) – Yoo Seung Wan
2. Gorski (JPN) [Neo Universe – Nikiya (Nureyev)] 8yo horse (42/8/3/4) – Seiji Yamazaki
3. Blue Tanzanite (JPN) [Brian’s Time – Keyboogie (Lyphard)] 6yo horse (37/4/1/6) – Takehiro Kashiwaga
4. Fire Prince (JPN) [On Fire – Restive Commander (Commander In Chief)] 4yo colt (30/5/6/1) – Tadanari Konno
5. Kevin Dieu (JPN) [South Vigorous – Little Namura (Ashkalani)] 6yo horse (27/5/3/0) – Tatsuya Sawada
6. Coreles Puma (JPN) [Highbridge Slew – Terano Judi (Adjudicating)] 11yo horse (68/10/8/8) – Takayuki Yano
7. Satono Tiger (JPN) [King Kamehameha – Fabulous Turn (Sunday Silence)] 7yo horse (41/7/6/4) – Seiji Sakai
8. Air Lafon (JPN) [Durandal – Pretty Tidy (Jade Robbery)] 8yo horse (40/12/6/2) – Takumi Kobayashi
9. Kurino Ama Dablam (JPN) [Orewa Matteruze – Lady Mahalo (Forty Niner)] 5yo mare (38/4/4/2) – Naoki Machida
10. Tre Bone (JPN) [Agnes Digital – Heart Full Voice (Mejiro Ryan)] 7yo gelding (41/5/2/5) – Daisuke Mashima
11. Major Athlete (JPN) [Daiwa Major – Splintercat (Storm Cat)] 6yo horse (38/3/96/2) – Taito Mori
12. Cowboy Son (USA) [Cowboy Cal – Nosmallachievement (Smart Strike)] 4yo colt (19/10/2/2) – Oh Kyoung Hwan
13. Dynamic Jilju (USA) [Forestry – Beat Your Feet (Dixieland Band)] 4yo colt (27/6/3/4) – Ikuyasu Kurakane
14. Erimo Feather (JPN) [Sinister Minister – Little Mermaid (Twining)] 5yo mare (26/4/1/4) – Jun Aritoshi
15. Maruka Bakken (JPN) [Kurofune – Famed Grace (Sunday Silence)] 8yo horse (38/7/3/4) – Hidemitsu Sakai
16. Taisei Legend (JPN) [King Kamehameha – Sharp Kick (Mejiro McQueen)] – 8yo horse (39/9/5/2) – Tsubasa Sasakawa

All Smiles For 500-up Kim Ok Sung As Sing Sing Cat Rolls Back The Years

It’s taken him 28 years but Kim Ok Sung grinned his way to his 500th career winner at Seoul Racecourse on Saturday and fittingly he did it aboard one of the grand old campaigners of the track, as Sing Sing Cat returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since 2013.

Kim Ok Sung...500-up

Kim Ok Sung…500-up

It doesn’t sound hugely impressive but in actual fact it is. For many of those 28 years, Kim Ok Sung was, like every other jockey, restricted to five rides per week. He is one of very few jockeys of his generation who have managed to last more than ten years in the saddle in a fast changing racing environment where the young jockeys are far better trained than those who went before. He is 6th on the all-time winner’s list.

If you had to choose a jockey to spend an evening on the soju with, it would probably be Kim Ok Sung. If you had to choose a jockey to bet your mortgage on in a race, it probably wouldn’t be Kim Ok Sung. Popular with punters with his man of the people routine and his ability to always be quick with a quip in retort to a heckle in the parade ring he has, to put it diplomatically, sailed close to the wind with the Stewards on a number of occasions.

Yet somehow, he always manages to come out the other side and Saturday’s 500th win was typical. Riding 50/1 shot Sing Sing Cat, Ok Sung unexpectedly gunned him out of the gate into the lead and essentially pulled down the pants of the rest of the field who never got back on terms, the jockey punching the air as he and his mount crossed the line still a full 5 lengths clear of the rest. Champion jockey Moon Se Young was the first to congratulate him.

Kim Ok Sung is nicknamed the “Smile Jockey” due to his ever-present Cheshire Cat grin. His biggest win was all the way back in 1996 when he won the Grand Prix Stakes on Hula Mingo. The grin was widened on Sunday when he rode winner number 501.

A mention is due of Sing Sing Cat (D’Wildcat) too. He was a 50/1 winner on Saturday but back in 2012 he stunned Tough Win to claim victory in the KRA Cup Classic. A regular money winner since, the 7-year-old was recording his 12th win on his 41st start.

Down at Busan, top-rated horse in the land Beolmaui Kkum slumped to his second consecutive defeat. This time it was Cowboy Son (Cowboy Cal) who won Busan’s Sunday feature race with Oreuse (Smoke Glacken) returning from a year out running 2nd and beating Beolmaui Kkum into 3rd.

Now attention shifts to the Korean Derby. We are just five days away!

Busan Review / Weekend Preview

The Korean Baseball season gets underway this weekend and this, like the beginning of the English Cricket season, can mean only one thing – It’s going to rain!

It's not going to rain this much but there's a 70% chance of Saturday being wet

It’s not going to rain this much but there’s a 70% chance of Saturday being wet

Unlike the Rounders, however, Racing continues in the wet. In fact, the heavier the rain, the more both track attendance and betting turnover tend to increase.

There were no problems with the weather during the first of the weekend’s cards at Busan this afternoon. Joe Fujii kept the foreign end up, riding a pair of winners although the Japanese jockey was outshone by local You Hyun Myung who continued his recent run of good form by finishing his way to the winner’s circle on 4 occasions.

South African trainer Bart Rice also continued his good start to life at Busan with another winner; Seungni Wave (Pico Central) doing the business in race 3.

In the 7-furlong feature race, Oreuse (Smoke Glacken) got his 2nd Class 1 win in the space of a month. And for the 2nd time, trailing in behind him was the highly-rated 3-year-old Cowboy Son (Cowboy Cal).

Here’s what’s happening over the rest of the weekend:

Saturday March 29
Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:30

Sunday March 30
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:00

Racing Review: My Key Unlocks Busan Feature

Always a horse with a lot of attention on him, My Key delivered the goods at Busan this afternoon, landing his second class 1 victory in the afternoon’s feature race.

As half-brother of US champion Game On Dude, big things were expected of My Key (Macho Uno), now a 4-year-old gelding. He’s no superstar but has developed into a decent campaigner. Entering today’s race with 6 wins from 16 starts behind him, he was sent off as the 2nd favourite in the 13-runner, 2000 metre race.

Jockey Lim Sung Sil saved ground before unleashing My Key in the home straight and they eased away from the field to record victory by just over a length from Cheogo Gangja.

It was the second class 1 race of the weekend at Busan with Friday having seen the previously unbeaten US import Cowboy Son (Cowboy Cal) struggle to 3rd place as Oreuse (Smoke Glacken) took the win in the 7-furlong feature.

Up at Seoul, there was an interesting debutant on Sunday in the shape of another 4-year-old gelding, this one called Yeongsan (Menifee).

It was a Spring-like weekend at Seoul Racecourse

It was a Spring-like weekend at Seoul Racecourse

One of 6 Korean-bred horses exported to Malaysia in 2012, Yeongsan ran there twice on turf before quietly returning home at the end of last year.

Looking an absolute beast in comparison with a woefully overmatched class 6 field, Yeongsan sauntered to a 13-length win. We’ll take a closer look at him and the circumstances of his return over the next few days.

At the business end of Seoul’s card were two class 1 races, one for foreign-bred horses and the other for domestic-bred.

The foreign-bred one saw a very close finish which 8/1 chance Double Shining (Rockport Harbor) just got the best of ahead of Kentucky Galloper (Tiz Wonderful) and KRA Cup Classic winner Mari Daemul (Go For Gin).

Thirty minutes later, odds-on favourite Heukgisa (A.P.Dancer) claimed the domestic race to wrap-up another weekend of racing.

Weekend Racing Times

It’s been a very mild – albeit rather dusty – week in South Korea and the settled weather looks set to continue as racing returns this weekend.

Haze: Seoul has been hit by dust storms this week, but at least it is getting warmer

Haze: Seoul has been hit by dust storms this week, but at least it is getting warmer

It’s well worth watching Busan on Friday for the very last race on the card as unbeaten US import Cowboy Son (Cowboy Cal) steps up to class 1 for the first time. The three-year-old colt is already his America-based sire’s biggest earner and comes into the race with 6 comfortable wins from his 6 starts.

Among Others, Cowboy Son will find himself up against Beolmaui Kkum, who drops down in distance after 2 disappointing recent outings, including fading without trace in the home straight of the Grand Prix Stakes in Seoul in December.

There are no Stakes races on the peninsulas this weekend but Seoul does play host to a pair of class 1 events on Sunday afternoon. KRA Cup Classic winner Mari Daemul – another who had a disappointing Grand Prix, is among thoe on show.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday February 28
Busan Race Park: 11 races from 11:40 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:20 to 17:20

Saturday March 1
Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:30

Sunday March 2
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:00