Dangdae Bulpae

Can He Make It Four In A Row? Triple Nine’s President’s Cups So Far

A year ago, Triple Nine emulated Dangdae Bulpae in winning the President’s Cup for the third consecutive year. Now the six-year-old has a chance to enter unchartered territory as he bids to take home the trophy an unprecedented 4th time.


Triple Nine (Picture: Alex Cairns)

It’s not only never been done in the President’s Cup before but it would be a first time in any Korean Group Race. Here are his wins so far:

2015 – Reward at least after Classic near-misses

Having finished 2nd in the Korean Derby to Yeongcheon Ace and 2nd in the Minister’s Cup to Rock Band, Triple Nine beat both his fellow three-year-olds to more than make amends for missing out in the Triple Crown races. Under Lim Sung-sil, Triple Nine was sent out as slight faovurite and stalked the early leaders before unleashing in the home straight to score by three-lengths from Rock Band and outsider Ildeung Hanghaesa.

2016 – Putting his Stablemate, the Triple Crown winner, firmly in his place

Stablemate Power Blade had won all three legs of the Triple Crown but he was no match for Triple Nine, who two months earlier had also finished ahead of him in the inugural Korea Cup. The younger horse could get no closer than three-lengths on the line as Seo Seung-un steered Triple Nine to a comfortable win. Success Story, who had run well at the Dubai World Cup Carnival at the stand of the year came home in 3rd place. Two months later, both Triple Nine and Power Blade would themselves jet off for successful stints in Dubai.

2017 – Beating Power Blade Again

With Power Blade having recently finally started to get the better of his rival, most pundits were of the opinion that this time there would be a changing of the guard. Not a bit of it as with Lim Sung-sil up once more, Triple Nine collared Power Blade with a furlong to go, zipping by him as if he was wasn’t there to claim his hat-trick by two-legnths on the line. The board ended up identical to that od 2016 with Success Story once more in 3rd.

Dangdae Bulpae won three consective President’s Cups between 2010 and 2012 but while he did attempt a fourth in 2013, it proved a race too far as he finished 10th of 16 as Indie Band took victory and was retired afterwards. Both Indie Band and Dangdae Bulpae are now retired at Isidore Farm on Jeju Island – the farm where Triple Nine was foaled.

DangdaeBulpae Statue4

Dangdae Bulpae now has his own bronze statue at Busan Racecourse (although his greatest wins were at Seoul he, just like Triple Nine, was trained on the South Coast). Triple Nine’s statue is already assured. If he wins on Sunday, it may just be in Gold.

Japan-Raced Stallions Biwa Shinseiki & Eagle Cafe Have Died

Biwa Shinseiki, sire of three-time President’s Cup winner Dangdae Bulpae, has died aged 18. The Japanese-bred stallion was standing privately in Korea. Eagle Cafe, winner of the NHK Mile in 2000 and Japan Cup Dirt in 2002, also passed away on Jeju Island in September.

Dangdae Bulpae Jo SUng Gon

Biwa Shinseiki’s best was Dangdae Bulpae, seen here on one of his three visits to the President’s Cup winner’s circle

Bred by Hayata Farms, Biwa Shinseiki [Forty Niner – Oceana (Northern Dancer)] was a very good racehorse in Japan landing 10 wins, 7 places and 8 shows from a total of 33 starts in a career lasting from 2001 until 2004. Those wins included two big Stakes races as well as five consecutive victories between May and December in 2002.

That winning streak came to an end when he was 2nd in that year’s Tokyo Daishoten at Ohi, a race in which he would finish 3rd in 2003. Also in 2003, he was 2nd in the February Stakes, one of the few Grade 1 races in Japan to be run on dirt. Usually run over a mile at Tokyo Racecourse, in 2003 it was held at Nakayama over 1800M.

Due to its dirt and its distance, the February Stakes is a popular race among Korean breeders with past winners Meisei Opera (1999), Admire Don (2004) and most recently Testa Matta (2012) all going on to stand at stud in Korea. Following a racing career in which he earned in excess of 370 Million Japanese  Yen, Biwa Shinseiki was purchased by Korean interests in 2005 to stand at Pureun Farm.

For a privately standing sire, he got plenty of mares but it was in his very first season at Stud, in 2006, when he covered the Alydeed mare Indeed My Dear. She had produced some very average racehorses beforehand but the resulting foal would become one of the best horses Korea has seen.

Dangdae Bulpae would win 19 of his 32 races between 2009 and 2013. He was quite a late-developer as a three-year-old only managing 3rd in the 2010 Korean Derby but he won the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup, in October and a month later returned to Seoul the following month to claim Korea’s joint-richest race, the President’s Cup, something he would go on to do for the following two years.

Dangdae Bulpae’s exploits helped Biwa Shinseiki to 8th place on the Leading Sire list on 2010, to 10th in 2011 and 12th in 2012. None of his other foals would be anything like as good although he produced many winners even if few made it up to class 1 level. Biwa Shinseiki died on September 28. Cause of death is yet to be officially confirmed.

Also passing away in September was Nokwon Farm’s Eagle Cafe (Gulch), another horse who raced in Japan. He was the winner of just five races, however, they included the NHK Mile Cup at Tokyo in 2000 and then in 2002, the Japan Cup Dirt (now known as the Champion’s Cup) under Frankie Dettori.

Eagle Cafe [Gulch – Net Dancer (Nureyev)] was bred in the US but trained in Japan. He also raced in Dubai and France. He came to Korea to stand at Nokwon – a farm with close Japanese ties – in 2011 but covered few mares and was to all intents and purposes retired in 2014. His gelding Honey Butter Nino is the first Korea-based horse in training for Japanese owner Shigeo Kadono. Eagle Cafe died from colic aged 19 on September 30.

Record-Breaking Stakes Winner Dangdae Bulpae Retired

Dangdae Bulpae, a three-time winner of the President’s Cup, has been retired.

Dangdae Bulpae in the President's Cup winner's circle - a place he made his own

Dangdae Bulpae in the President’s Cup winner’s circle – a place he made his own

A winner of 19 of his 32 starts, Dangdae Bulpae won a Korean record 10 Stakes victories and amassed a record KRW 2.9 Billion (around US$2.6Million) in prize money. Among those Stakes wins were three consecutive triumphs in Korea’s richest race, the President’s Cup.

By the unfashionable – and generally unsuccessful – Japanese sire Biwa Shinseiki and out of the Alydeed mare Indeed My Dear, Dangdae Bulpae debuted as a 2-year-old in 2009, running a rather inauspicious 5th place over 5-furlongs. He won his next 4 though, which was enough to allow him to take his chance in the 2010 Spring Classics.

Jo Sung Gon reacts as Dangdae Bulpae crosses the finish line (Pic: Newsis)

Jo Sung Gon reacts as Dangdae Bulpae crosses the finish line (Pic: Newsis)

He could only manage 8th in the KRA Cup Mile but on his first trip to Seoul, he was an impressive 3rd in the Korean Derby behind Cheonnyeon Daero. The winner that day would spend most of the rest of his career looking at Dangdae Bulpae’s tail.

Maturing in the autumn, Dangdae Bulpae won the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup and then landed the first of his President’s Cups.

This set the tone for the next two years and although he had the occasional off-day – neither of his two attempts on the Grand Prix Stakes were successful – he and the late great Mister Park became the dominant Korean bred horses of their era.

He generally came off second-best to Mister Park, including one comical afternoon where the two found themselves facing each other with 1st year apprentice jockeys on their backs as both trainers baulked at the weights they’d been assigned in the handicap.

Most of the time though, things were serious and Dangdae Bulpae was a serious racehorse. While the 2300 metres of the Grand Pix proved out of his distance range, he did win the “Summer Grand Prix”, the Busan Mayor’s Trophy in 2012 in a another golden year that culminated in his 3rd and final President’s Cup triumph.

2013 saw him add another Stakes win – the Busan Ilbo Cup in February – but injury then intervened and it was a very different Dangdae Bulpae who lined up in Seoul last month to try for his 4th President’s Cup. He ran a shadow of his former self and retirement was immediately decided on. Dangdae Bulpae had done quite enough.

Horse racing in Korea although run on the flat, is similar to jumps racing in that its stars can have reasonably long careers on the track. From a sporting point of view, this is an overwhelming positive as we get to follow our favourites for a number of years. From a welfare point of view, it relies heavily on owners doing the right thing by their horses both before and after retirement.

Since I started writing this blog back in 2007, there have been perhaps two big “eras” of Korean racing. The first, from 2007 until mid-2010, was dominated by an American import, Dongbanui Gangja. However, the star of the second, from mid-2010 to the present, was the home-grown Dangdae Bulpae. He’ll be missed but has thoroughly earned his retirement to stud.

Indie Band Calls The Tune As Dangdae Bulpae Surrenders President’s Cup

Dangdae Bulpae’s three-year reign as President’s Cup champion came to an end as Indie Band scored an emphatic victory in Korea’s richest race at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

Indie Band may have won the President's Cup, but he was in no mood to pose for a win picture!

Indie Band may have won the President’s Cup, but he was in no mood to pose for a win picture!

Jigeum I Sungan was sent off as the slight favourite ahead of the only once beaten Gwanggyo Bisang with punters doubting Dangdae Bulpae’s fitness as he sought his fourth consecutive victory in this race.

In hindsight, those doubts seem well-founded. Although he showed at the front for the opening stages of the race, once the field turned for home, there was none of the familiar kick from Dangdae Bulpae that had so often before left his rivals trailing.

Beaten: Moon Se Young looks to see who finished where as he dismounts from Jigeum I Sungan

Beaten: Moon Se Young looks to see who finished where as he dismounts from Jigeum I Sungan

He wasn’t alone. All six of the leaders entering the home straight faded with just over a furlong to go.

Among the closers, 2012 Derby-winner Jigeum I Sungan and Busan Owners’ Cup winner Gyeongbudaero made their moves first, but it was Indie Band whose sprint was the sharpest.

Still with six horses ahead of him as they entered the final furlong, under the urging of jockey Lim Sung Sil, he sailed past them all, hitting the front in the final 50 metres and going clear for a two-length win.

Of the foreign interests, Joe Fujii was 5th on Indie Band’s stablemate Road To Prince, one place in front of Ikuyasu Kurakane on Naejangsan. Masa Tanaka was 8th on Major King while there was disappointment for Darryll Holland who came home 15 of 16 on Peter Wolsley’s My Winner.

With the victory, Indie Band moves on to 7 wins from 11 starts. It was his 2nd Stakes victory, with the other coming in the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Cup back in July. By all accounts he’s a dreadful worker in the mornings. Dangdae Bulpae was very much the same but it was Indie Band who brought his best to the track this afternoon.

Beaten: Jo Sung Gon chats with punters after Dangdae Bulpae's President's Cup streak came to an end

Beaten: Jo Sung Gon chats with punters after Dangdae Bulpae’s President’s Cup streak came to an end

There’s another similarity with the former champion.

The past few Stakes winners at Seoul; Jigeum I Sungan, Gwanggyo Bisang and Major King have all been so docile in the winner’s circle that punters have been allowed to pet them.

Dangdae Bulpae never allowed that (although he was, for the most part well-behaved). Today, Indie Band threw a proper tantrum to the extent that the post ceremony photo session had to be called off.

He’ll be back at Seoul for the Grand Prix Stakes in December. Last year’s winner Gamdonguibada was in winning action down at Busan today but on this form, Indie Band has to be in with a chance.

Jigeum I Sungan should be given a run too although it is questionable whether Gyeongbudaero will get the distance. As for Dangdae Bulpae, he’ll almost certainly not run, nevertheless, the likes of Indie Band still have a very long way to go to match his achievements. Today was a good start though.

President’s Cup (KOR G1) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – November 10, 2013

1. Indie Band (KOR)
[Ecton Park – Plie (Dixieland Band)] – Lim Sung Sil – 6.1, 2.2
2. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.9
3. Jigeum I Sungan (KOR) [Ingrandire – Solmaru (Mujaazif)] – Moon Se Young – 1.8

Distances: 2 lengths / 2 lengths
Also ran: 4. Singgereounachim 5. Road To Prince 6. Naejangsan 7. Gwanggyo Bisang 8. Major King 9. New And Best 10. Dangdae Bulpae 11. Super Rich 12. Special Win 13. Geuma Champ 14. Gumanseosk 15. My Winner 16. Tamnaseontaek

Next weekend the Stakes action moves to Busan with the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup, the final leg of the Queens’ Tour to determine the nation’s champion filly or mare. Derby and Oaks winner Speedy First is set to go along with big name stars Secret Whisper and Joy Lucky. Look out for a full preview this coming Wednesday.

The President’s Cup: Full Preview – Dangdae Bulpae Seeks 4th Consecutive Win

Dangdae Bulpae has won a remarkable 3 consecutive President’s Cups. On Sunday he faces his toughest challenge yet as 15 rivals seek to prevent him recording a scarcely believable 4th straight victory in Korea’s richest horse race.

The President's Cup is the most valuable race in the Korean racing year

The President’s Cup is the most valuable race in the Korean racing year

Chief among those rivals is Jigeum I Sungan. The 2012 Korea Derby and Minister’s Cup winner has just kept on getting better and better and at 2000 metres on his home track, he is set to be the toughest opponent that Dangdae Bulpae has ever faced in this race.

They are joined by a host of other Stakes winners. This year’s Minister’s Cup winner Major King is up from Busan as is Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo winner Indie Band and Owners’ Cup champion Gyeongbudaero.

Meanwhile, in addition to Jigeum I Sungan, the host track sends out the up-and-comer Gwanggyo Bisang, who has won 7 of his 8 starts to date.

It’s set to be an intriguing race. Here is a look at the chances of every entrant:(Name (Pedigree) Age Sex (Starts/1/2/3) – Jockey:

President’s Cup (KOR G1) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – November 10, 2013 – 16:35

1. Gyeongbudaero [Menifee – Pricess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] 4 C (21/7/5/6) – Choi Si Dae
The stark figure of 7 wins from 21 starts doesn’t really do justice to this horse, who has only finished outside the money once. Last time out he beat Dangdae Bulpae in the Owners’ Cup. An additional furlong and being at Seoul will not be to his advantage and he will need to be on his absolute best form – and others to be below theirs – for him to win this.

Gyeongudaero (KRA)

Gyeongbudaero (KRA)

2. Road To Prince [Pico Central – Ransom Bay (Red Ransom)] 4 C (16/9/3/1) – Kanichiro Fujii
You can never rule our trainer Kim Young Kwan and jockey Joe Fujii in a big Stakes race. However, while a consistent winner, Road To Prince has disappointed whenever he has faced the best and was back in 6th in the Owners’ Cup. He bounced back to win next time out but it’s enough to suggest he’ll not be favoured here.

3. Gwanggyo Bisang [Menifee – Touch Upon (Touch Gold)] 3 G (8/7/0/1) – Park Tae Jong
The wildcard. As a gelding, he was ineligible for the Classics this year but has won back-to-back Stakes races in his last two outings. He’s never faced a field like this one and he’s untried at 2000 metres but we’ll not fault him for that. Worth watching the board to see if there is any value.

Gwanggyo Bisang

Gwanggyo Bisang

4. Geuma Champ [Vicar – Stormcloudrising (Stormy Atlantic)] 5 H (25/9/6/4) – Seo Seung Un
A winner last time out in a weak class 1 event, Geuma Champ should find himself a little overmatched here. Will like the distance but others will like it more.

5. Singgeureounachim [Exploit – Singgeureoun (Mr. Adorable)] 5 H (35/8/6/9) – Jo In Kwen
3rd in the Derby in 2011, he has gone on to become a very consistent handicapper. He should be close here but it’s unlikely he’ll be challenging for the win.

6. Naejangsan [Menifee – Miss Merit (Old Trieste)] 4 C (12/5/5/0) – Ikuyasu Kurakane
Without a run since February, the undoubtedly talented Naejangsan is an unknown here. Cannot be recommended although if he retains his best form from before his layoff, he’ll not be embarrassed either.

7. Jigeum I Sungan [Ingrandire – Solmaru (Mujaazif)] 4 C (23/13/6/1) – Moon Se Young
Seoul’s champion. A Korean Derby and Multiple Stakes winner, Jigeum I Sungan is a real star. Made for the distance – if anything, he’d like to go further – he should be causing Dangdae Bulpae serious problems. A real chance and its difficult to make a case against his right to be the favourite.

Jigeum I Sungan (KRA)

Jigeum I Sungan (KRA)

8. New And Best [Trick Of Fate – Yongunch-eon (Phizam)] 6 H (49/4/6/3) – Bang Choon Sik
A faithful old handicapper who has never won at class 1 and won’t come anywhere close to winning here.

9. Indie Band [Ecton Park – Plie (Dixieland Band)] 3 C (10/6/1/1) – Lim Sung Sil
A tough one to call – he could be brilliant but he could be very average. He won the Gyeongnam Do-Min Ilbo but could only manage 3rd to Major King in the Minister’s Cup. A very good chance of a place if he turns up in form and in a good mood.

10. Tamnaseontaek [War Zone – Every Michelle (Every Intent)] 6 H (36/5/7/3) – Han Sung Youl
He was a good horse and is a Stakes winner. He’ll not be winning this.

11. Gumanseok [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] 4 G (17/7/5/3) – Lee Dong Kug
A slightly late developer, Gumanseok has recorded some very impressive results this year, including a Stakes win in the Sports Chosun Cup. He’ll need even more improvement to challenge here though.

12. Major King [Pico Central – Still Golden (Gold Fever)] 3 C (10/6/2/2) – Masakazu Tanaka
The Minister’s Cup winner, Major King is talented and clearly likes the Seoul course. Naturally, improvement is needed if he is to feature here – that Minister’s Cup field had nothing like the depth that there is here – but in his recent outings he’s come on each time and with some more progress, he could be challenging for at least a place.

13. Super Rich [Osumi Jet – Fast Fare (West By West)] 6 H (38/7/4/7) – Choi Bum Hyun
Only one win in the last two years doesn’t exactly set the heart racing and it’s unlikely that Super Rich will in contention at the business end of this race.

14. Dangdae Bulpae [Biwa Shinseiki – Indeed My Dear (Alydeed)] 6 H (31/19/3/3) – Jo Sung Gon
He has won this race three times in a row and is arguably the greatest ever Korean-bred racehorse in history. A few little nagging injuries have been catching up on Dangdae Bulpae recently and he has been very conservatively campaigned this year. He generally does not lose at Seoul but he also doesn’t usually face Jigeum I Sungan. hIf he is 100% fit and on top form, he can beat him, however, he is more vulnerable than he has been at any time during his 3-year President’s Cup reign.

Dangdae Bulpae

Dangdae Bulpae

15. Special Win [Tahamkke – Wellbeing Cat (Creek Cat)] 5 H (30/10/5/3) – Cho Kyoung Ho
A very consistent money winner but Special Win is no star and it’s hard to see him competing here.

16. My Winner [Vicar-Bridlingbride (Unbridled’s Song)] 4 G (17/5/5/0) – Darryll Holland
It could be a little bit too much too soon for My Winner, however, any horse trained by Peter Wolsley and ridden by Darryll Holland is sure to have been well-prepared and will give anyone a run for their money. An outside chance of a place.

Gyongmaman’s verdict: Dangdae Bulpae winning this for the 4th consecutive time is to be hoped for but given the questions this year over both his form and fitness, the pragmatic punter will lean towards Jigeum I Sungan to win the President’s Cup.

Sunday November 10
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00 including the President’s Cup at 16:35
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:00

President’s Cup Countdown: Dangdae Bulpae Is On His Way

Dangdae Bulpae [Biwa Shinseiki – Indeed My Dear (Alydeed)] has won more Stakes races and more prize-money than any other Korean horse in history. This coming Sunday, fitness permitting, he comes back to Seoul Race Park to attempt to win the President’s Cup, the nation’s richest race, for the 4th consecutive time.







It’s going to be his toughest challenge yet as he faces Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire), a Korean Derby winner 2 years his junior, for the very first time.

This is going to be a good one. We’ll have plenty more build-up over the next few days.

Gyeongbudaero Downs Dangdae Bulpae In Owners’ Cup

After spending the best part of a year and half finishing 2nd or 3rd to the great and good of Korean racing, Gyeongbudaero finally came out on top, producing a late burst to win the Owners’ Cup at Busan Race Park today.

Winner: Gyeongbudaero

Winner: Gyeongbudaero

The 2012 KRA Cup Mile winner went on to finish 3rd in the Derby, 2nd in last year’s Owners’ Cup, 3rd in the Minister’s Cup and 3rd again in the President’s Cup.

This year he finished 3rd in the Busan Ilbo before finally winning a handicap in April.

He was 3rd in the betting today. Unsurprising, given that finishing 3rd is what he is best at.

Dangdae Bulpae, the 3-time President’s Cup winner and victor in that Busan Ilbo, was sent off the heavy favourite, despite it being only his second run back from a long injury.

With 2 furlongs to go, it looked like Dangdae Bulpae would win comfortably. Gyeongbudaero, after sitting in the middle of the field for most of race was steadily making ground but few expected him to go past – he doesn’t like winning, after all. However, as the final furlong wore on, it became clear that Gyeongbudaero was going the quickest and he swept by Dangdae Bulpae to claim the prize by half a length.

15/1 chance Powerful Korea, who had led much of the way, stayed on for 3rd while mare Useung Touch turned in a typically solid effort in 4th ahead of filly Grand Teukgeup. The well-fancied Road To Prince found trouble in the home straight and, under Joe Fujii, could only manage 6th.

Maybe Dangdae Bulpae has lost a yard of pace since his injury, however, after promising so much for so long, Gyeongbudaero is finally making good. He will be among the main favourites to stop Dangdae Bulpae at Seoul in November if the champion goes for his 4th President’s Cup.

Owners’ Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – September 8, 2013

1. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae – 6.1, 1.5
2. Dangdae Bulpae (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki – Indeed My Dear (Alydeed)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.1
3. Powerful Korea (KOR) [Distilled – Bound To Score (Quick Score)] – Song Keong Yun – 2.5

Distances: 0.5 lengths/5 lengths
Also ran: 4. Useung Touch 5. Grand Teukgeup 6. Road To Prince 7. Rising Glory 8. Movement 9. Seoul Jeongsang 10. Gumpo Yeowang 11. Fleet Boy 12. Danzing Sally

Busan Owners’ Cup: Full Preview

The Owners’ Cup is, along with the KRA Cup Mile, the Korean Oaks and the Metropolitan Stakes, one of the four biggest races of the season on the south coast and some of the track’s biggest Korean-bred stars will be battling it out early Sunday evening.

Dangdae Bulpae: Three time President's Cup winner seeks thr Owners' Cup

Dangdae Bulpae: Three time President’s Cup winner seeks thr Owners’ Cup

Four former Classic winners line-up while Seoul sends also sends a small contingent.

Here is a run-down of the field with Name (KOR) [Sire] Age Sex (Runs/1st/2nd/3rd) Jockey). All will carry 58kg although fillies and mares receive a 2kg allowance:

Owners’ Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – Sunday September 7, 17:35

1. Movement (KOR) [Sakura Seeking] 5 H (30/4/4/4) – Kim Jeong Jun (Seoul)
Finally graduated to class 1 recently but made an inauspicious debut the level and like all of the Seoul contingent, he looks out of his depth here.

2. Grand Teukgeup (KOR) [Menifee] 4 F (20/8/3/2) – Chae Gyu Jun
A nice filly who was 3rd in the Korean Oaks last year. She won last time out but has performed best at shorter distances and is difficult to recommend around two-turns in company such as this.

3. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee] 4 C (20/6/5/6) – Choi Si Dae
Since winning the KRA Cup Mile last year, Gyeongbudaero has run 2nd or 3rd in some of Korea’s best races. It’s winning that has been the problem with just 1 from 11 starts since that Classic victory. He is always close though and will be again here.

4. Rising Glory (KOR) [Menifee] 4 F (15/4/4/1) – Masakazu Tanaka
Won the Korean Oaks last year and was 2nd in the Minister’s Cup. However, following some injury setbacks, she hasn’t been the same as a 4-year-old and while she is making progress, it is difficult to see her challenging here.

5. Fleet Boy (KOR) [Creek Cat] 5 H (24/5/3/2) – Lee Gang Seo (Seoul)
An average handicapper at Seoul who can be relied upon to pick up some prize-money now and again. It’s unlikely he’ll be doing so in this race.

6. Road To Prince (KOR) [Pico Central] 4 C (14/8/3/1) – Kanichiro Fujii
Difficult to bet against the jockey/trainer combination of Joe Fujii and Kim Young Kwan in a big race and they have a good horse here. unraced at 2, he’s never been out of the prize-money and he will be in it here again. The only question is whether he can come out on top. Recommended.

7. Gumpo Yeowang (KOR) [Menifee] 4 F (16/3/4/5) – You Hyun Myung
Graduated to class 1 this yearand was 4th last time out. Unlikely to be able to make too much of an impact here.

8. Dangdae Bulpae (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki] 6 H (30/19/2/3) – Jo Sung Gon
The 3-time President’s Cup winner is widely acknowledged as one of Korea’s best ever horses. Returned after a 6-month lay-off to finish 3rd in the Metropolitan Stakes last time out. If he’s continued to get back to his old form, he can win this.

9. Seoul Jeongsang (KOR) [Capital Spending] 5 G (27/4/5/7) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
2nd to Ace Galloper last time out, this is his favourite distance. Seoul’s best hope of a place but no more than that.

10. Danzing Sally (KOR) [War Zone] 5 M (27/2/4/4) – Kim Gui Bae (Seoul)
In woeful form and was 11th of 12 in the YTN Cup last month. Nothing to recommend here.

11. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee] 5 M (24/8/7/2) – Lim Sung Sil
The 2011 Korean Oaks winner soared back into form when finishing a shock 2nd in the Grand Prix Stakes in Seoul last December. She then returned to the capital to win the Ttukseom Cup in March. She’s not run since a disappointing 5th in a handicap back in June. Can never be discounted but it would still be a surprise if she won.

12. Powerful Korea (KOR) [Distilled] 5 G (24/7/4/5) – Song Keong Yun
Spent his 2-year-old season in training in the USA. He finished 3rd in this race last year and returns in decent form. He could be challenging for a place.

* Also at Busan tomorrow is the Gold Circle Turf Club Trophy race. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Sunday September 8

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 13:00 to 18:10
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 16:45 to 19:40

Tough Win Takes Busan Metropolitan

Tough Win asserted his authority over Korean racing with hard-fought but eventually emphatic win in the Busan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Stakes this afternoon.

Tough Win and Cho Kyoung Ho take the Busan Metropolitan (Pic: KRA)

Tough Win and Cho Kyoung Ho take the Busan Metropolitan (Pic: KRA)

The 2010 winner started 2/1 favourite and was always well positioned before getting the better of young up and comer Beolmaui Kkum and defending champion Dangdae Bulpae in the home straight. Only the absent Jiguem I Sungan currently has any claims on him at Seoul and he dispatched Busan’s finest with ease today.

Running 2nd, Beolmaui Kkum showed that he has talent and can stay a reasonable distance too. He will be one to watch for the rest of the season. As for Dangdae Bulpae, there were many doubts as to the fitness of the defending champion, who came into the race off a 6-month lay-off. While he couldn’t beat Tough Win, a 3rd place finish is extremely creditable and suggests we haven’t seen the last of the 3-time President’s Cup winner.

A disappointment was Gamdounguibada. The filly was the one who relived Tough Win of his Grand Prix Stakes title at Seoul last December and she was well-backed to repeat the feat here. Instead of challenging Tough Win, however, she finished 11th which makes for 2 poor runs in a row.

Now 6 years old, Tough Win recorded his 22nd career victory and is unbeaten in all 4 starts this year. The Busan Metropolitan is often referred to as the “Summer Grand Prix”. After today, by the time the real “Grand Prix” comes around in December, Tough Win will most likely be favourite to regain that title as well.

Busan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Stakes – Busan Race Park – 2000M – Sunday July 28, 2013

1. Tough Win (USA) [Yonaguska – Maggie May’s Sword (Sword Dance)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 3.0, 1.3
2. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.8
3. Dangdae Bulpae (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki – Indeed My Dear (Alydeed)] – Jo Sung Gon – 3.7

Distances: 2.5 lengths/4 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Lion Santa (USA) 5. Viva Ace (USA) 6. Eongmandori (USA) 7. Ghost Whisper (KOR) 8. Prince Kingdom (USA) 9. Murangae (USA) 10. Choengchun Bulpae (KOR) 11. Gamdonguibada (USA) 12. Hwanggeumjijon (USA) 13. Wild Myeongun (USA) 14. Call Me Tiger (NZ) DQ: Blueband Mama (USA) DQ: Wonderful Namhae (KOR

Busan Metropolitan Stakes: Full Preview

A full-field of 16, including 2 previous winners, will line up for the Busan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Stakes at Busan this Sunday.

Dangdae Bulpae and Jo Sung Gon will look for a 2nd consecutive Busan Metropolitan

Dangdae Bulpae and Jo Sung Gon will look for a 2nd consecutive Busan Metropolitan

The race is sometimes known as the “summer Grand Prix” bringing as it does, the best horses from both Seoul and Busan together in a way that only the season-ending Grand Prix Stakes usually does.

This year, though, Seoul disappoints. Granted, they may well have the winner in the shape of 2010 victor Tough Win but apart from him, all the leading contenders are from the host track. Last year’s champion Dangdae Bulpae returns after a 5 month lay-off while Grand Prix winner Gamdonguibada also takes her chance.

Australian trainer Peter Wolsley, closing in on 200 Korean wins saddles, 2 runners while Darryll Holland, Joe Fujii, Masakazu Tanaka and Yukio Abe al have rides. Here is a full run-down of the runners and riders (Name [Pedigree] Age, Sex, (Runs/1/2/3) – Jockey (Home track):

Busan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Stakes (KOR GIII) – Busan Race Park – 2000M – Sunday July 28 – 16:40

1. Call Me Tiger (NZ) [One Cool Cat – Hairini (Zabeel)] 6 H (27/4/2/2) – Lee Dong Kug (Seoul)
Hasn’t really made the grade at Class 1 and is without a win in 2 years. Won’t change here.

2. Viva Ace (USA) [Macho Uno – Dancing Lake (Meadowlake)] 5 G (25/11/7/2) – Song Keong Yun (Busan)
Very solid horse who was 2nd to Beolmaui Kkum and ahead of Gamdonguibada in the Gukje Sinmun Cup last start. Knows where the winning line is and could cause problems. Worth looking at if he seems neglected in the betting market.

3. Wild Myeongun (USA) [D’Wildcat – Start Applauding (Jump Start)] 4 C (15/7/4/2) – Lim Sung Sil (Busan)
Big taent who has only been out of the money once. A rather disappointing 4th last time out behind weaker rivals than he’ll face here and is without a win in three. Will have backers though.

4. Lion Santa (USA) [Lion Heart – Santa Fe Strip (Phone Trick)] 5 H (19/11/1/2) – Jo Chang Wook (Busan)
Was injured for 6 months after this race last year. He won his return and has hit the money on his 4 subsequent starts. It is hard to recommend him at 2000 metres though.

5. Prince Kingdom (USA) [Roar Of The Tiger – Special Wife (Husband)] 5 G (22/9/4/1) – You Hyun Myung (Busan)
Was in cracking form at the tail-end of 2012 but has struggled to repeat this year. A place is not beyond him but a win seems unlikely.

6. Tough Win (USA) [Yonaguska – Maggie May’s Sword] 6 G (28/21/2/1) – Cho Kyoung Ho (Seoul)
The Boss. He won this race as a 3-year old in 2010 but disappointed in 2011 and 2012. Lost his Grand Prix title last December but has three easy wins behind him this year. He will top many people’s tickets.

7. Murangae (USA) [Sun River – Merrill Gold (Gold Fever)] 4 G (24/1/6/4) – Yukio Abe (Seoul)
You’d think 26 year veteran trainer Ji Yong Cheol would have better things to do on a Sunday afternoon than take Murangae to Busan. His only win was only three starts ago but while he seems a late-developer who runs very consistently, he gets consistently beaten and that won’t change here.

8. Cheongchun Bulpae (KOR) [Milwaukee Brew – Placid Star (Placid Fund)] 4 G (14/8/1/1) – Chae Gyu Jun (Busan)
One of 2 entries in the race by Aussie trainer Peter Wolsley. He has 2 wins from 3 starts to his name at class 1 (including one behind stablemate Ghost Whisper). He is second-string here but Wolsley doesn’t enter his horses where they can’t challenge for money.

9. Blueband Mama (USA) [Purge – Meadowbryte (Meadowlake)] 5 M (27/3/4/2) – Park Si Cheon (Seoul)
Foinavon in the Grand National, Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby. Those 2 would be nothing compared with Blueband Mama winning this race.

10 Wonderful Namhae (KOR) [Vicar – Make That Call (Glow)] 4 C (19/9/2/2) – Tanaka Masakazu (Busan)
A well-beaten 2nd behind Ghost Whisper last time but has plenty of talent. Probably 3 or 4 will be too quick for him here.

11. Dangdae Bulpae (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki – Indeed My Dear (Alydeed)] 6 H (29/19/2/2) – Jo Sung Gon (Busan)
A 3-time President’s Cup winner, holder of the record for most Stakes races won in Korea, arguably the best horse Korea has ever produced and the defending champion. The problem is that he hasn’t run since February due to injury and was touch and go to make it to the start line here. Comfortably won his race trial earlier this month. If he is in form though, at 2000 metres, he is very difficult to beat.

12. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] 4 F (13/8/2/3) – Kanichiro Fujii (Busan)
Champion racehorse of 2012 by virtue of winning the Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul last December, she started this year a pair of routine victories before turning in an out of sorts 3rd behind Beolmaui Kkum last time out. You can’t be out of sorts in this kind of company and if she runs to her best, she has every chance.

13. Hwanggeumjijon (USA) [Medallist – Milady Sadie (Meadow Monster)] 4 G (12/2/1/3) – Kim Gui Bae (Seoul)
Forget Foinavon and Mine That Bird, we’re into Buster Douglas over Mike Tyson territory if Hwanggeumjijon wins this. His jockey, Kim Gui Bae, has been riding for 34 years. In that time he has ridden just 299 winners. This will not be number 300.

14. Eongmandori (USA) [Purim – Allbow (Rainbow Blues)] 4 C (18/4/4/2) – Kim Dong Young (Busan)
2nd behind Wild Myeongun on his class 1 debut last time out after 2 smart wins at class 2. Is an improving type but looks a little outclassed here.

15. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] 3 C – Choi Si Dae (Busan)
The wildcard. Full brother to Seoul-based Stakes winning filly Kkakjaengi, he beat three of his rivals here to win the Gukje Sinmun Cup last start with Gamdonguibada among those defeated. That was his frist try at class 1 and, while he’s never gone 2000 metres, there’s no reason to think he won’t get it. A potential star.

16. Ghost Whisper (KOR) [Gotham City – Emmy’s Lullaby] 5 G – Darryll Holland (Busan)
Collapsed with heat exhaustion after this race last year and was given the rest of the year off. In wonderful form at the moment though winning his last 3 outings. Must be given respect and if things go his way, under Darryll Holland, he has the ability to pull off what would be the biggest win of trainer Peter Wolsley’s career.