Doraon Hyeonpyo

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.

Chang Se & Ottug Ottugi Land Oaks Trials, Doraon Hyeonpyo Wins Again

Chang Se and Ottug Ottugi ran out the dominant winners of the Sports Seoul and GC Trophies at Seoul and Busan respectively and to head into the Spring Classics as the top rated 3-year-old fillies.


Chang Se was restless in the Sports Seoul winner’s circle

At Seoul, Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup winner Waikiki was scratched from the Sports Seoul leading Daehan Cheonwang and Chang Se to be sent off almost as co-favourites. In the end though it was Chang Se all the way as she led from gate-to-wire under apprentice jockey Lee Hyeon Jong to win by four lengths on the line.

Sports Seoul Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – March 6, 201

1. Chang Se (KOR) [Forest Camp – Daecheonpung (Fiercely)] – Lee Hyeon Jong – 2.6, 1.6
2. Meni Music (KOR) [Menifee – Morning Music (Songandaprayer)] – Park Eul Woon – 2.8
3. Sidaeyeowang (KOR) [Vicar – Fier Time (Fiercely) – Djordje Perovic – 2.0
Distances: 4 lengths / 1.25 lengths – 7 ran

In the GC Trophy at Busan, Ottug Ottugi fully justified punters’ confidence in backing her into odds-on as she made all to romp home by six lengths under Oh Kyoung Hoan. Second favourite, the previously unbeaten Hoseungjibyeok, was a disappointment, beating only on home.

GC Trophy – Busan Racecourse – 1400M – March 6, 2016

1. Ottug Ottugi (KOR) [Forest Camp – Main Objective (Lion Heart)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 1.9, 1.3
2. Yuseong Tiger (KOR) [Discreet Cat – Comarille (Deputy Commander)] – Kim Dong Young – 4.1
3. Santa Gloria (KOR) [Menifee – Pupil (Unbridled)] – Pasquale Borelli – 6.3
Distances: 6 lengths / 1.5 lenghts – 6 ran

In other news, Doraon Hyeonpyo (Colors Flying) continued his impressive run of form, lugging top weight around 1800M in Busan’s feature and not only getting up in the final strifes to win by a nose, but breaing the track record for the distance at the same time. Champion Juvenile back in 2014, Doraon Hyeonpyo had a middling first half to his three-year-old season but really stepped up as the year drew to a close and has now won four in a row to become one of the top rated horses in the country.

Round-up: Yoo Mira Goes Down Under, Doraon Hyeonpyo, Clean Up Cheonha, Perovic, Success Story, ARC

Plenty happening on and off the track over the past week. Doraon Hyeonpyo and Clean Up Cheonha were both impressive winners last Sunday, there has been plenty of follow-up to Success Story’s decent 3rd place in Dubai last week and Korea has been well-represented at the ongoing Asian Racing Conference in Mumbai.


Yoo Mira was 2nd in the Arabian race at Caulfield on Tuesday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

We’ll start though in Australia and rather unusually in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race at Caulfield on Tuesday. We don’t mention You Mi Ra very often on these pages but the jockey (riding as “Mina You”) managed to finish 2nd in the race, which as won by Dutch jockey Cindy Klinkenberg. Thanks to Ross Holburt for the heads-up and the picture.

On the track in Korea last weekend, stand-out performances came from Doraon Hyeonpyo and Clean Up Cheonha, who won class 1 events at Seoul and Busan respectively. Doraon Hyeonpyo (Colors Flying) had won at class 1 for the first time at the end of December but despite carrying significantly more weight this time, was once more a dismissively comfortable winner in the Sunday’s Busan feature. It wasn’t a strong race but the manner of his victory suggests there is plenty more to come.

Clean Up Cheonha (El Corredor)at age 5, also seems to be on the up. The US import was 2nd in the KRA Cup Classic last August and 5th in the Grand Prix Stakes in December. On Sunday, carrying 60kg over 2000M, he beat his Cup Classic conqueror Chief Red Can and eight others by two lengths to record his eighth career victory.

It was a bitterly cold weekend across the peninsula with conditions at Seoul especially being extreme as temperatures dipped to -14C on Sunday morning. Jockeys have a tough job at the best of times but their fortitude on Sunday was impressive to say the least.

Speaking of jockeys, Djordje Perovic reached another landmark in his impressive sojourn in Korea. The Serbian rider guided home his 50th Seoul winner on Sunday, taking the very last race of the weekend on City Hunter for trainer Lee Shin Young. The victory moved Perovic into the top ten all-time foreign jockey list here.

Success Story’s solid 3rd place at Meydan last Thursday has finally reached the Korean mainstream media. While the racing press (and the popular tabloids) covered it at the weekend, the national broadcaster KBS put it on their national news bulletin on Monday. Video here. Success Story is likely to race again in Dubai in the second week of February although things are a little less certain for Cheongu, the other Korean horse at the carnival.

Finally, Korea is being widely represented at the Asian Racing Conference in Mumbai this week. The KRA’s Seungho Ryu (who seems to get just about everywhere these days) delivered a talk on quarantine protocols while Chief Marketing Officer Ben Heo spoke about addressing racing’s not inconsiderable image problem in Korea. Racing Director Yangtae Park probably generated the most interest though, using his presentation to formally announce the $1M Korea Cup which will be run at Seoul Racecourse in September and according to Andrew Hawkins at the South China Morning Post, is already attracting interest.

Racing returns to Korea this weekend with the first big race of the season, the Segye Ilbo Cup, at Seoul on Sunday.

Triple Crown 2015: Rafale Roars To KRA Cup Mile Glory

If we are to have a Triple Crown winner this year, it will be a colt by the name of Rafale. The co-favourite took out the first jewel, the KRA Cup Mile at Busan Racecourse this afternoon, getting the best of a keenly fought stretch duel with Doraon Hyeonpyo.

If ever there was going to be a race in which it was hard to look past the favourites, this was it with several of the field, including the two visitors from Seoul, never looking likely to be able to handle what was sure to be a quick pace. So it proved.

Yuseong Fighting and the other co-favourite, Doraon Hyeonpyo would set the early pace and were joined briefly at the front by Summit Myeongun. Rafale, however, was in close attendance and while others would challenge, by the furlong pole it was clear that it would be the two market leaders who would battle it out.

With Rafale on the rail and Doraon Hyeonpyo in the center of the track, it was Rafale, urged on by jockey You Hyun Myung, who took the spoils by half a length. Behind them Yeongcheon Ace just edged out the fast finishing Yeonggwanguitaepung for 3rd. Both must be under consideration for the Derby.

Behind them, it was carnage, with gaps of 4, 5, 7 and 10 lengths among the distances separating the rest of the field. The leaders truly outclassed the rest.

For trainer Kim Jae Sub, it was his second KRA Cup Mile in three years following Sting Ray’s victory in 2013. Jockey You Hyun Myung was riding his first Classic winner and the second biggest win of his career following Mister Park in the 2010 Grand Prix Stakes.

As for Doraon Hyeonpyo, Rafale remains the only horse to have beaten him. Indeed, Rafale now leads 2-1 in their head to heads having previously triumphed in the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup last October. However, it was Doraon Hyeonpyo who came out on top when they met in the Breeders’ Cup in Seoul. When they reconvene in the capital for the Korean Derby six weeks today, will it become 2-2?

KRA Cup Mile (KOR G2) – Busan Racecourse – 1600M – April 5, 2015

1. Rafale (KOR) [Colors Flying – Dongbang Choego (Al Naba)] – You Hyun Myung
2. Doraon Hyeonpyo (KOR) [Colors Flying – Kilcoe Castle (Gone West)] – Kim Dong Young
3. Yeongcheon Ace (KOR) [Menifee – Dixie Avenger (Dixie Union)] – Choi Si Dae
Distances: 0.5 lengths / 2 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Yeonggwanguitaepung (KOR) 5. Summit Myeongun (KOR) 6. Yuseong Fighting (KOR) 7. Special Line (KOR) 8. Mac And Cheese (KOR) 9. Haetbinna (KOR) 10. Namhae Sinhwa (KOR) 11. Lion Star (KOR)

Only one horse has gone on to win the Derby after winning the Cup Mile; that was the filly Sangseung Ilro in 2009. We’ll reconvene at Seoul on May 16 to find out if Rafale can join her.

Doraon Hyeonpyo Leads Busan 1,2,3 in Breeders’ Cup

Doraon Hyeonpyo claimed the Korean Breeders’ Cup at Seoul this afternoon to become the nation’s Champion Juvenile of 2014.

Doraon Hyeonpyo and Choi Si Dae win the Breeders' Cup at Seoul (Pic: KRA)

Doraon Hyeonpyo and Choi Si Dae win the Breeders’ Cup at Seoul (Pic: KRA)

And it was a clean sweep of the placings for Busan horses as he led home Rafale and Summit Myeongun at the end of the 1400M race.

Doraon Hyeonpyo was sent off as the slight favourite ahead of Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup winner Rafale and these two would fight out the finishing with Choi Si Dae guiding Doraon Hyeonpyo to victory by just under two lengths with Summit Myeongun a further five legnths back in third.

Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup winner Cosmos King confirmed his status as Seoul’s top two-year-old, coming home in 4th with Yesuri Myeongun taking the final money position under Masa Tanaka. The only filly in the race, Dream Queen, was 6th.

Both the winner and runner-up were sired by young stallion Colors Flying (A.P. Indy) who was imported in late 2010. Doraon Hyeonpyo and Rafale are among his first crop to hit the track in Korea.

Breeders’ Cup (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – November 30, 2014

1. Doraon Hyeonpyo (KOR) [Colors Flying – Kilcoe Castle (Gone West)] – Choi Si Dae – 2.5, 1.4
2. Rafale (KOR) [Colors Flying – Dongbang Choego (Al Naba)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.2
3. Summit Myeongun (KOR) [Menifee – Summit Party (Ecton Park)] – Kim Yong Geun – 2.0

Distances: 1.75 lengths / 5 lengths – 10 ran

Weekend Preview: Juvenile Championships At Seoul & Busan

It’s that time of year already. Both Seoul and Busan host their Championship races for this year’s 2-year-old crop this coming weekend with the best performers from each race qualifying to face each other in Seoul next month in the Korean Breeders’ Cup to decide 2014’s Champion Juvenile.

Cheongnyong Bisang was Champion Juvenile in 2013. The race to succeed him begins in earnest this weekend

Cheongnyong Bisang was Champion Juvenile in 2013. The race to succeed him begins in earnest this weekend

The races also impact on next year’s Triple Crown. With the first leg, the KRA Cup Mile, being held in early April, it is vital to get points on the board now in order to qualify.

Unbeaten horses look the pick of both events. In the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup at Seoul on Saturday, Raon Rusa is set to be favourite while Doraon Hyeonpyo is the one to beat in the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup at Busan on Sunday.

Here are the full line-ups for both races with pedigrees, race records and riders:

Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – Saturday October 11, 16:00

1. Good Start [Limitless Bid – Yesangbaek (Pacificbounty)] (3/2/0/1) – Yoo Seung Wan
2. Always Winner [Creek Cat – Hallat’Eukkeup (Land Rush)] (2/1/0/0) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
3. Dream Queen [Creek Cat – Fine Jilju (Duality)] (4/2/2/0) – Seo Seung Un
4. The Zone Sesang [Creek Cat – Namdosarang (Chullo)] (2/2/0/0) – Jun Duck Yong
5. Raon Rusa [Pico Central – Kkumaeul (Curia Regis)] (4/1/0/1) – Moon Se Young
6. Hwanhuiuisungan [Sakura Seeking – Ma Home Cat (Tomorrow’s Cat)] (1/0/0/0) – Yoon Tae Hyuk
7. Vulcan [Ecton Park – Maid Of Cognac (Hennessey] (2/1/1/0) – Ham Wan Sik
8. Keunbada [Menifee – Keungori (Essence Of Dubai)] (2/1/1/0) – Jang Chuyoul
9. Comsmos King [Ingrandire – Lovely Shine (French Deputy)] (2/2/0/0) – Lee Hyeok
10. Clean Up Queen [Officer – Hera (Archer City Slew)] (3/1/0/0) – Ikuyasu Kurakane

Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup – Busan Racecourse – 1200M – Sunday October 12, 16:10

1. Yuseong Fighting [Didyme – Maggie’s Prayer (Songandaprayer)] (2/2/0/0) – Jo Sung Gon
2. Rafale [Colors Flying – Dongbang Choego (Al Naba )] (3/2/1/0) – You Hyun Myung
3. Fine Star [Volponi – T’ojong Kosu (Glorify)] (2/0/2/0) – Yang Young Nam
4. Namhae Sinhwa [Vicar – Intriga (Lord At Law) (2/1/1/0) – Kim Dong Young
5. Doraon Hyeonpyo [Colors Flying – Kilcoe Castle (Gone West)] (3/3/0/0) – Jeong Dong Cheol
6. Mac And Cheese [Menifee – Squared (Posse)] (2/1/0/1) (3/1/1/0) – Song Keong Yun
7. Special Line [Ecton Park – Rich Musique (Rizzi)] (3/1/1/0) – Jo Chang Wook
8. Ganghan Baram [Didyme – Benbane Head (Giant’s Causeway)] (3/0/2/0) – Lee Sung Jae
9. Summit Myeongun [Menifee – Summit Party (Ecton Park)] (3/1/1/1) – Masakazu Tanaka
10. Kkumui Hanbal [Colors Flying – Baengman Buja (Successful Appeal)] (3/1/1/0) – Lee Hee Cheon
11. Yeonggwanguitaepung [Menifee – Grand Pass (Grand Slam)] (3/1/1/1) – Chae Gyu Jun

* There is plenty of other action across the weekend. Aussie trainer Peter Wolsley will be looking to follow-up his Minister’s Cup victory last weekend with another class 1 win when My Winner goes in Friday’s feature at Busan. Also on the south coast, Gamdonguibada takes on Beolmaui Kkum and New York Blue in a class 1 race on Sunday.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday October 10
Busan Racecourse: 11 races from 11:40 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 13:20 to 17:20

Saturday October 11
Seoul Racecourse: 13 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:20

Sunday October 12
Seoul Racecourse: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:05