Donga Ilbo Trophy

Meni Money Downs Pinot Noir In Donga Ilbo

Last year’s winner Pinot Noir put up a valiant defence of her Donga Ilbo crown but ultimately was to be denied as Meni Money came home in front  in Seoul’s second Listed Race of 2017.

With the well-fancied Touch Flying found lame and declared a non-runner less than an hour before the race, it was Meni Money who was sent off as favourite and she was kept handy by champion jockey Moon Se Young in the early stages. Meanwhile, Park Hyun Woo on Pinot Noir employed the now 7-year-old mare’s familiar tactics of dropping to the rear on leaving the gate before going wide around the field in the back straight to take the lead.

Pinot Noir would lead into the straight but Meni Money came alongside with a furlong to go and ran on to prevail by just under a length and a half. Argo Champ ran on well for 3rd.

Meni Money [Menifee-Pocketful Of Money (Running Stag)] is out of a dam who for a number of years held the track record at today’s distance of 1800M. She won five and was runner-up in five of her first ten career starts, including 2nd place in the Korean Oaks in 2015. However, since then she had only added a further two victories prior to today. Her previous biggest victory came in the 2015 Sports Seoul Cup.

Donga Ilbo Cup (Listed) – Seoul Racecourse – 1800M – Feb 19, 2017

1. Meni Money (KOR) [Menifee – Pocketful Of Money (Running Stag)] – Moon Se Young – 2.3, 1.2
2. Pinot Noir (KOR) [Capital Spending – Neungnyeokchungman (Pacificbounty)] – Park Hyun Woo – 1.6
3. Argo Champ (KOR) [Menifee – Doo Dah Day (Woodman)] – Djordje Perovic – 2.1
Distances: 1.25 lengths / 3 lengths – 9 ran

The win was one of five on the day for defending champion jockey Moon Se Young. Earlier, he won on Lion Rock (Ecton Park), a three year-old “full” brother to reigning Horse of the Year Triple Nine. Lion Rock moved to three from three with a facile victory in the 1700M race 8.

Two unbeaten records came to an end at Busan though. American Power (Ecton Park) didn’t travel especially well on his first try at a mile and gave himself too much to do in race 5, ending up in 2nd place. A race later, US import Drop The Beat (Mad Flatter) also went down to his first defeat.

Those defeats were in contrast to the showing a day earlier by Final Boss (Menifee). The champion juvenile of 2016 barely required second gear to maintain his winning streak over 1800M at Seoul:

Cheonnyeon Dongan Claims Second Donga Ilbo Trophy

For the second time in three years, Cheonnyeon Dongan ran out victorious in the Donga Ilbo Trophy at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. The odds-on favourite ran on for a 4-length win under champion jockey Moon Se Young.

Cheonnyeon Dongan and Moon Se Young win the Donga Ilbo

Cheonnyeon Dongan and Moon Se Young win the Donga Ilbo

The last time she won this race, it was held in September and a change in the racing calendar meant that the past two winners of the trophy would face-off much earlier this year.

Last year’s winner, Ua Deungseon was sent off third in the betting but she never really featured, coming home in 5th as Cheonnyeon Dongan took things up in the home straight and cruised clear.

No a 5-year-old, Cheonnyeon Dongan (Ecton Park) has won 9 of her 21 career starts. This was her third big race win with a Nonghyup Chairman’s Trophy added to her two Donga’s.

Donga Ilbo Trophy – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – February 15, 2015

1. Cheonnyeon Dongan (KOR) [Ecton Park – Honeycakes (Hennessey)] – Moon Se Young – 1.4, 1.0
2. Geumbit Hwanhui (KOR) [Peace Rules – Sincheongchun (Silent Warrior)] – Jang Chuyoul – 2.7
3. Revereduction (KOR) [Revere – Neednointroduction (Announce)] – Han Sung Youl – 14.7
Distances: 4 lengths / Head – 11 ran

Weekend Preview: Donga Ilbo Trophy Headlines Valentine’s Weekend Racing

It’s Valentine’s Weekend so where better to spend it than at the racecourse? The Donga Ilbo Trophy headlines at Seoul while both in the capital and at Busan there are big fields all round.

Cheonnyeon Dongan won the Donga Ilboin 2013 with the now retired Cho Kyoung Ho on board

Cheonnyeon Dongan won the Donga Ilbo in 2013 with the now retired Cho Kyoung Ho on board

The Donga Ilbo Trophy is this year restricted to Korean bred fillies and mares and has attracted a field of ten. Chief among them is Cheonnyeon Dongan, who won the race back in 2013 when it was held in September, and Ua Deungseon, who took last year’s event just five months ago.

With the unrest of last week now over, Seoul will hold a 13-race card on Saturday and a 10-race card on Sunday.

At Busan there are full fields on Friday and among them are some fascinating races with horses being able to drop down in class for the first time in Korea. This looks set to give a new lease of life to those who found themselves with too many points for class 2 but not good enough for class 1.

Peter Wolsley has a solid set of runners at Busan on Friday including the exciting Macheon Bolt while jockeys Joe Fujii and Masa Tanaka are riding live chances throughout the day. Nobuyuki Oyama and Nozomu Tomizawa will also be in action. South African trainer Bart Rice will have one runner on Sunday.

Full racecards are available here.

Friday February 13
Busan Racecourse: 11 races from 11:40 to 18:00 (full preview of simulcast races 4-11 here)
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:20

Saturday February 14
Seoul Racecourse: 13 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:20

Sunday February 15
Seoul Racecourse: 10 races from 10:50 to 18:00 including the Donga Ilbo Trophy at 16:55.
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:30