Gamdonguibada

Busan Mayor’s Cup: Runner-By-Runner Preview

The Busan Mayor’s Cup is one of the highlights of the Korean racing season and this year’s event, which will be run at Busan Racecourse over nine furlongs on Sunday, has attracted a strong field.

DSC_3289-select (1)

Bold Kings beat Gumpo Sky and Clean Up Joy in the Grand Prix last December. The top five that day square off again on Sunday

Sometimes known as the “Summer Grand Prix” all top five place-getters from last December’s actual Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul will be in attendance as will Korea’s best known racehorse, Success Story. Seven of the full field of sixteen have traveled down from Seoul for what looks an intensely competitive race.

Here’s a runner-by-runner preview. All will carry 58kg except for the two mares, last year’s winner Gamdonguibada and Heba who will carry 56kg. (Name [Pedigree] Age Sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Trainer – Jockey)

Busan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M (Weight for Age) – Sunday July 3, 2016 (16:30)

1. Clean Up Cheonha (USA) [El Corredor – Loh Callado (More Than Ready)] 5 H (18/8/6/2) ST Shim – Lee Chan Ho
5th in the Grand Prix and hasn’t raced since winning at 2000M in January. Came through a trial well last month and he will be handy early but he will be the lesser fancied of the two Clean Ups.

2. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] 7 M (35/15/5/8) YK Kim – Choi Si Dae
Winner of this race last year at a mile, she also won the first leg of the Sprint Series in May before being beaten in the 2nd leg at Seoul last month. As good as ever at 7, she’ll likely settle just behind the early speed  and she has a chance here.

3. Heba (USA) [Peace Rules – Sue’s Temper (Temperence Hill)] 6 M (41/9/7/3) SJ Kwon – Song Keong Yun
Last year’s champion Mare is yet to win in 2016 and has been beaten by Triple Nine on three occasions already. As we say every time she runs, she would perhaps benefit from a spell but always puts in a solid performance and can find the minor money.

4. Damyang Chukje (USA) [Good Reward – Strategy (A.P Indy)] 7 H (33/6/3/4) HJ Bae – Jo Jae Ro
Has lost to a lot of these in recent starts and looks to be overmatched once more here. Generally slow away he will most likely have too much to do.

5. Clean Up Joy (USA) 5 G [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeax Danseur)] (17/9/5/1) ST Shim – Ham Wan Sik
Seoul’s best horse, he is three for three since finishing 3rd in the Grand Prix nehind Bold Kings and Gumpo Sky last December. He usually settles towards the rear of the field and has a strong finish. He can win this.

6. Dongbanjaui Gijeok (USA) [Half Ours – Feisty Cherokee (Cherokee Run)] 6 H (36/5/6/3) BC Lim – Kim Cheol Ho
Big outsider who finds it tough at class 1 at Seoul so will certainly find it tough here.

7. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) 6 H [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] (26/15/3/2) KY Baik – Kim Yong Geun
Extremely talented but has never quite lived up to it in the big races. Only Clean Up Joy is rated higher.It’s been a long time since he took on this distance, he is a front-runner and he must be considered.

8. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke(Pleasant Tap)] 15/9/5/0) YK Kim – You Hyun Myung
The President’s Cup winner at Seoul last year, he was 4th in the Grand Prix Stakes before avenging Bold Kings back at Busan in March. Surprisingly beaten last time at this distance at the end of May, he is a cut above most of these though. He should settle just behind the early speed and if he runs to his best, he won’t be beaten.

9. Space Port (USA) 6 H [Pleasant Tap – Space City (Carson City)] (43/4/10/3) CK Woo – Yoon Tae Hyuk
A perennial runner-up, he beat Winning Andy last time as the pair raced 2nd and 3rd over 2000M in a Seoul Stakes race. This is much harder though and he will be an outsider.

10. Success Story (KOR) [Peace Rules – Power Pack (Lil’s Lad)} 5 H (19/10/2/3) JK Min – Paolo Aragoni
Two 3rd places at the Dubai World Cup Carnival gained him international recognition but he struggled on his return to Korea behind Gamdonguibada in May. Got a bad start that day, he needs to be on pace early and then save energy. If he can do that, he must be considered.

11. Winning Andy (USA) [Cowboy Cal – Belvedere Miss (Pleasant Colony)] 5 H (31/4/7/6) IS Seo – Jo Sung Gon
Busan’s 2015 champion jockey makes a rare return to the south-coast but it’s unlikely to be a winning one. Solid competitor who can give a decent account of himself but looks overmatched here. Goes right back at the start.

12. Rush Forth (USA) [Rush Bay – Fourth Quest (Norquest)] 6 G (30/5/4/6) DY Hong – Kim Ok Sung
Returned to some semblance of form with a 3rd place over 1200M at the end of May but little to suggest he can be competitive here.

13. Dynamic Dash (USA) [Pleasantly Perfect – See Rock City (Tapit)] 4 C (18/9/5/1) BH Kim – Lee Hee Cheon
He comes in off the back of two superb wins over 1800M beating first Gamdonguibada and then Bold Kings. He was able to come from just off the early pace and lead rounding the home turn both times which won’t be so easy in this crowded field but he’s on the up and is to be respected.

14. Gumpo Sky (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] 5 H (30/10/8/4) SJ Kwon – Lim Sung Sil
He was 2nd to Bold Kings in the Grand Prix but was indifferent in his first three outings this year, losing to six of these in the process. He returned to winning ways last month, beating a small field at this distance. He will be on the early speed as usual.

15. Macheon Bolt (KOR) [Old Fashioned – Beech Bag (Devil’s Bag)] 4 G (12/8/7/1) PM Wolsley – Chae Sang Hyun
This stablemate of Bold Kings has eight wins from twelve including two at class 1. He goes around two turns for the first time, has plenty of potential and could challenge.

16. Bold Kings (USA) [Afleet Express – Bold Arrival (Gilded Time)] 4 C (9/7/1/0) PM Wolsley – Ikuyasu Kurakane
Winner of the Grand Prix Stakes last December after which he was seven for seven. He hasn’t managed to follow up so far this year beaing beaten twice, first by Triple Nine and then by Dynamic DashThe outisde gate didn’t help him last time and probably won’t here eitherbut he looked sharp in a trial last week and can’t be ruled out

Perdido Pomeroy Wins SBS Korea/Japan Cup

Perdido Pomeroy won the 2nd leg of the 2016 Sprint Series and the first of the year’s international races, beating out last year’s Asia Challenge Cup winner Choegang Schiller by half a length in the SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup last Sunday.

cms_temp_article_07090302110246.jpeg

Perdido Pomeroy gets the better of Choegang Schiller at Seoul on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

In the first leg of the Sprint Series, Perdido Pomeroy had gone down to Gamdonguibada and while the mare was sent off as favourite to make it two wins in a row, she had to settle for 3rd as under Kim Yong Geun, Perdido Pomeroy made all.

Choegang Schiller pushed the winner all the way but there was no luck for the visiting Japanese-trained trio. Kimon Avalon was the best placed finisher, coming home in 5th with Dreadnought 7th and Best Wish 11th.

Perdido Pomeroy cost just $22,000 at last June’s OBS Sales but in just seven races to date, has already earned over $350,000, with this being his fifth win.

Another up and coming import, Tongil Sidae put in a creditable effort in 4th. Unlike Perdido Pomeroy, his future is most likely at further distances. However, there was no luck for Cheongu, the globe-trotting colt looking more and more as though he could do with a spell while OS Hwadap also found it tough in this company.

Perdido Pomeroy’s emergence, however, gives some cause for optimism for Korean entries ahead of the final leg of the Sprint Series which will be the $700K Korea Sprint on International Day in September.

SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – June 5, 2016

1. Perdido Pomeroy (USA) [Pomeroy – Boldest Of All (Bold Executive)] – Kim Yong Gen – 5.8, 1.9
2. Choegang Schiller (USA) [Artie Schiller – Changeable (Miswaki)] – Lee Chan Ho – 1.9
3. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.4
Distances: 0.5 lengths / 1 length
Also Ran: 4. Tongil Sidae (USA) 5. Kimon Avalon (JPN) 6. Mirae Yeongung (USA) 7. Dreadnought (JPN) 8. OS Hwadap (USA) 9. Cheongu (USA) 10. Yuseong Fighting (KOR) 11. Best Wish (JPN) 12. Rise And Shout (USA)

The SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup 2016: Full Preview

Sunday sees the running of two group races at Seoul and first up is the SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup, the first international race in Korea this year. Three Japan-trained horses have traveled over to participate in the race, which will be screened live on the SBS Sports channel.

DE4_4438

Choegang Schiller and Lee Chan Ho won the Asia Challenge Cup last year. He goes in the SBS Korea/Japan Cup this time (Pic: Ross Holburt)

The first Korea/Japan race took place in 2013 and was won by the visiting Tosen Archer. The race evolved into the Asia Challenge Cup in 2014 when it was won by Singapore’s El Padrino and remained that way in 2015 when Choegang Schiller, who runs this time around, took the honours. This year it is back as a straight contest between Korea and Japan and Dreadnought, Kimon Avalon and Best Wish, all from the NAR’s Ohi Racecourse in Tokyo, will be flying the Japanese flag in Seoul.

Dreadnought looks to have the best chance among them but all three are going to be up against it in the 1200M sprint. 2012 Grand Prix Stakes, 2015 Busan Mayor’s Cup and 2016 Busan Ilbo Cup winner Gamdonguibada has come back to the capital to lead a very strong home challenge which along with Choegang Schiller, also features the exciting up and comers Perdido Pomeroy and Tongil Sidae and the experienced Mirae Yeongung.

The SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup is live on SBS Sports on cable and satellite in Korea from 3:50pm on Sunday afternoon. Here is a full run down of the field (Name [Pedigree] Age Sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Trainer – Jockey:

SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – June 5, 2016 (16:05)

1. Best Wish (JPN) [White Muzzle – Cross My Heart (Special Week)] 7 H (58/3/10/11) K Arayama – Ryuji Tatsushiro
Managed a 2nd place over this distance at Ohi at the beginning of April but only beat a couple home last time out. Not generally a fast starter and he looks to be up against it here.

2. Mirae Yeongung (KOR) [Aragorn – Willing Miss (More Than Ready)] 5 H (24/11/6/0) MG Son – Moon Se Young
He comes in having beaten OS Hwadap and Cheongu when winning over 1400M on April 24th having been 2nd to Clean Up Joy, perhaps Seoul’s best current horse, the time before over this distance. HE comes from off the pace and while regular jockey DJordje Perovic is suspended, he has an adequate replacement in the shape of champion Moon Se Young.

3. Tongil Sidae (USA) [Munnings – American Tradition (Quiet American)] 3 C (7/4/2/0) YK Kim – You Hyun Myung
He’s burst onto the Busan scene this year, winning his class 1 debut over 1800M on April 1. He was downed by a neck last start at the same distance. He races at 1200M for the first time since his winning debut and at Seoul for the very first time. A stablemate of Gamdonguibada, he will be on the early speed here and has every chance.

4. Perdido Pomeroy (USA) [Pomeroy – Boldest Of All (Bold Executive)] 3 C (6/4/1/1) JB Mun – Kim Yong Geun
A real potential talent and potential winner of this race. He was beaten by Gamdonguibada in the Busan Ilbo Cup last month but beat Success Story by three lengths. Another who will be on the early speed here, he could turn the tables on Gamdonguibada this time.

5. OS Hwadap (USA) [Friesian Fire – Meg’s A Lady (Menifee)] 3 C (7/5/0/2) IS Seo – Jo Sung Gon
Another up-and-comer, he was 3rd behind Mirae Yeongung and ahead of stablemate Cheongu on his first attempt at class 1 in April. HE is another who goes forward from the gate and while this is his toughest assignemnt to date, he can find the money.

6. Kimon Avalon (JPN) [South Vigorous – Grand Heat (Special Week)] 7 H (53/9/7/7) K Arayama – Daisuke Mashima
This is jockey Daisuke Mashima’s fourth visit to Seoul but he’s likely to return empty-handed once more. Kimon Avalon comes in following a 2nd place at this distance at Ohi on April 19th but will have to find plenty here if he is to aim for anyting more than the minor money.

7. Cheongu (USA) [Old Fashioned – So Much Fun (Speightstown)] 4 H (13/5/1/4) IS Seo – Yoo Seung Wan
Globe-trotter Cheongu was a slightly disappointing 6th on his return to KOrea from Dubai at the end of April; beaten by Mirae Yeongung and stablemate OS Hwadap. 3rd in last year’s Asia Challenge Cup, if he can get to the front straight out of the gate, anything can happen.

8. Rise And Shout (USA) [Utopia – Ooh Yeah (Dismissed)] 6 H (35/4/6/2) SG Kim – Lee Hyeon Jong
An outsider, he enters in little form having beaten few home in four starts so far this year. Eleven weeks since his last start, when he was a long way behind Mirae Yeongung, there’s not a whole lot to recommend here.

9. Choegang Schiller (USA) [Artie Schiller – Changeable (Miswaki)] 5 G YH Ji – Lee Chan Ho
He won the Asia Challenge Cup last August but has only run twice since then due to various issues. His only tart so far this year was in February at 1800M and didn’t go well (although Mirae Yeongung had an off day too thenbut he is reportedly fit now and a fit Choegang Schiller has every chance here.

10. Yuseong Fighting (KOR) [Didyme – Maggie’s Prayer (Songandaprayer)] 4 C (18/6/3/3) KH Choi – Lim Sung Sil
A pure sprinter, his win record would be much better had he not run so many times at unsuitable distances. Comes in following a 2nd place at this distance at class 2 at Busan, he has plenty to find here but he is capable of the money.

11. Dreadnought (KOR) [Meisho Odo – Bonnes Mare (Starborough)] 8 G (32/7/2/1/4) K Hashimoto – Takayuki Yano
Looks to be the best of the Japanese visitors with a 1400M Ohi win to his name this year. He is likely to look for a fast start and if he can get o the front, there is no reason why he can’t get home.

12. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] 7 M (34/15/5/7) YK Kim – Choi Si Dae
Likely to be the betting favourite, she just keeps going and going. She enters here having been a five-length winner of the Busan Ilbo Cup on May 1st, beating Perdido Pomeroy into 2nd. Stablemate of Tongil Sidae, the general rule in Korean racing is that whatever happens, Kim Young Kwan wins in the end. Gamdonguibada is the form horse and she can win this.

Success Story 3rd as Gamdonguibada Wins Busan Ilbo Cup

Success Story was sent off the slight favourite on his return to racing in Korea but just like in his two starts at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, he had to settle for 3rd as Gamdonguibada romped to a five-length victory in the Busan Ilbo Cup, the first leg of the 2016 Korean Sprint Series at Busan this afternoon.

The race was expected to be dominated by a pace duel between Success Story and Beolmaui Kkum, both fast starters and difficult to split at the head of the market. That would always be fine for Gamdonguibada who was well-backed by punters who suspected she might be able to take advantage of the favourites potentially over-racing early.

Gamdonguibada did exactly that. However, others were not content to let the favourites dictate and Indian Star, Daepungnyeon and Perdido Pomeroy shot out of the gate leaving Success Story and Beolmaui Kkum back in an unfamiliar 4th and 5th as the race settled down.

Entering the straight, Beolmaui Kkum offered nothing and while Success Story rallied, he had too much to find as Gamdonguibada and Choi Si Dae went through the gears and cruised away from the field, racing on for a dominant five-length win on the line. Perdido Pomeroy and Kim Yong Geun ran on for a strong second with Success Story and Paolo Aragoni a further three lengths back in a strung-out finish.

Gamdonguibada (Werblin) is a quite remarkable mare. A $31,000 purchase at the Ocala Two-year-old sale in 2011, she won the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup and then the Grand Prix Stakes, Korea’s most prestigious race as a three-year-old. She didn;t win any Stakes races in 2013 but then as a five-year-old in 2014 she won two legs of the Queens’ Tour for fillies & mares to be crowned the series champion. Connections (thankfully) rejected the bonus that was on offer to retire her immediately for breeding and brought her back in 2015.

Gamdonguibada won the Busan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Cup, Busan’s richest race for older horses before running poorly in Singapore at 1200M just three weeks later.There was talk once more she would be retired. She wasn’t.

The win is yet another for the Kim Young Kwan training machine that continues to churn out winner after winner at Stakes level. The next leg of the Sprint Series is the SBS Korea/Japan race at Seoul in early June. The final leg is, of course, the Korea Sprint on International Day on September 11th. Gamdonguibada has staked her claim to be there.

Gamdonguibada Glory At Busan

There was talk she was to be retired after winning the Queens’ Tour last year. Some retirement. Gamdonguibda, a six-year-old mare, romped home ahead of a whole host of big names and reputations to take the glory in the Busan City Mayor’s Cup this afternoon.

Beolmaui Kkum was out of the gate the quickest – no surprises there – and was quickly joined up front by Oreuse and Cowboy Son. However, today would not be a day for the front-runners. Gamdonguibada, under jockey Lim Sung Sil was away well and settled just behind the leaders.

She improved into 5th entering the home straight and as the early leaders fell away, took advantage and sprinted away to win by four lengths on the line. Spring Gnarly, closed from the back to take 2nd while outsider Heba put in a tremendous performace to grab 3rd. Cowboy Son clung on for 4th while pre-race favourite Gyeongbudaero got the final prize money in 5th.

Gamdonguibada was a $31,000 purchase from Ocala in 2011. Today marked her 14th career victory and took her to over US$2Million in prize money at the current exchange rate. She’s won the Grand Prix Stakes and Ttukseom Cup at Seoul as well as the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup (twice) and the KNN Cup at her home track of Busan.

Gamdonguibada’s next engagement is scheduled to be at Kranji in Singapore on July 26. Should she go, she will be up against it, dropping down to 1200M and facing a quality of horse she hasn’t before. Tonight though, in terms of prizes and longevity, she is quite simply the most successful filly or mare to have ever run in Korea.

Busan Mayor’s Cup (KOR G2) – Busan Racecourse – 1600M – July 5, 2015

1. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] – Lim Sung Sil – 6.7, 2.3
2. Spring Gnarly (USA) [Master Command – Spring Tide (Unbridled’s Song)] – Kim Yong Geun – 3.7
3. Heba (USA) [Peace Rules – Sue’s Temper (Temperence Hill)] – Song Keong Yun – 3.7

Distances: 4 lengths / 0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Cowboy Son (USA) 5. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) 6. Gumpo Sky (KOR) 7. Oreuse (USA) 8. Cinderella Man (USA) 9. Eongmandori (USA) 10. Gumpo Daeseung (AUS) 11. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) 12. Chogwang (AUS) 13. Baksuchyeo (USA) 14. Magic Light (KOR) 15. Hwanggeumjijon (USA)

As for the others, Spring Gnarly made it a one-two for trainer Kim Young Kwan while Gyeongbudaero was late arriving on the scene and is now three races without a win as is Beolmaui Kkum. Oreuse showed at the front early and will surely win plenty of races at shorter distances with the Asia Challenge Cup at Seoul in August the logical target. Cinderella Man was disappointing but will surely be back better.

On the subject of the Asia Challenge Cup, next week we have two trials for it; the Munhwa Ilbo Cup at Seoul and the Gukje Sinmun at Busan which is likely to feature Success Story and, making her first start since relocating to Busan, Fly Top Queen. Twilight racing also begins next weekend with the first race at Seoul being 13:00.

Gamdonguibada, Nobody Catch Me and Cheon Gu Set To Represent Korea In Singapore

Three Korean-trained horses have been nominated to run in the Korea Racing Authority Cup at Kranji Racecourse in Singapore on Sunday July 26.

Gamdonguibada

Gamdonguibada

In what is set to be a quite historic occasion, the race will mark not only the first time Korean horses have run in Singapore but also the first time that an overseas race will be beamed back live to racecourses in Korea.

The KRA Trophy will be run over 1200M on the Kranji Polytrack with a prize fund of S$250,000. Crucially, only Singapore horses with an MRA rating no higher than 90 are eligible and this could make for an interesting race.

Busan’s top trainer Kim Young Kwan will send two horses. The best known is his 2013 Grand Prix Stakes winner and 2014 Queens’ Tour champion mare Gamdonguibada. The other is the 2014 Busan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Cup winner Nobody Catch Me. From Seoul, trainer Seo In Seok sends his up and coming colt Cheon Gu.

Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] 6yo mare (28/13/4/6/1/1) – She won the Grand Prix Stakes in 2013 and has gone on to become one of the most successful fillies or mares ever to race in Korea. In addition to the Grand Prix, she has won the the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup twice, the KNN Cup and the Ttukseom Cup on the way to earning more than KRW 2 Billion in prize money. After completing a clean sweep of the Queens’ Tour races in 2014, she was expected to retire but returned as a 6-year-old and won her most recent race on May 17. She hasn’t run at such short a distance as 1200M since she was a 2-year-old in 2011. Lim Sung Sil is expected to ride her at Kranji.

Nobody Catch Me (USA) [With Distinction – Nana’s Babe (Allen’s Prospect)] 5yo gelding (20/6/4/2/0/0) – The wildcard. He was the winner of the Busan Mayor’s Cup last year at odds of over 50/1 and added one win after that but was a disappointment – and eventual disqualification – from the Grand Prix Stakes last year. He’s only run twice in 2015 and has struggled. However, he may well appreciate running at a sprint distance once more.

Nobody Catch Me won the 2014 Busan Metropolitan (Newsis)

Nobody Catch Me won the 2014 Busan Metropolitan (Newsis)

Cheon Gu (USA) [Old Fashioned – So Much Fun (Speightstown)] 3yo colt (6/4/1/1/0/0) – The only one of the three to be based at Seoul Racecourse and the only one who still looks yet to reach his full potential, Cheon Gu has won four of his six starts to date. He was beaten in his only Stakes race when second in the Herald Business Cup over 1400M in May but returned to the winner’s circle in a class 2 race at the same distance last week and is considered one of the brightest imported prospects at Seoul. Yoo Seung Wan is expected to ride him in Singapore.

Cheon Gu will carry 54.5kg, Nobody Catch Me 57.5kg and Gamdonguibada 56kg. While the Korean horses had to be nominated by Monday this week, Singapore based horses have until July 15 to enter the race.

The KRA Trophy will come under orders at 17:15 Singapore time and will be shown live at Seoul and Busan Racecourses during the normal raceday broadcast. No betting markets will be offered in Korea – the law needs to change before that can happen – nevertheless, having permission granted for it is a big step in the right direction. The Singapore Turf Club has been a great friend of Korean racing in recent years and it is fitting that Kranji hosts the first race to be beamed back.

The Singapore Turf Club has been a big supporter of the internationalization of Korean racing

The Singapore Turf Club has been a big supporter of the internationalization of Korean racing

The history of Korean-trained horses racing abroad is extremely brief. Watts Village pulled off a remarkable victory in the Interaction Cup in Japan in 2013 but the following year, the three Korean horses who went fared less well. Meanwhile, Singapore trained El Padrino came to Seoul last August and broke the track record for 1400M in the process of winning the Asia Challenge Cup.

While it remains to be seen what kind of line-up Singapore puts out, the horses nominated from Korea have every chance of acquitting themselves well. Whatever happens, it will be an important milestone in the internationalization of Korean racing.

Weekend Preview: Never Seen Before, Beolmaui Kkum At Busan / Sports Seoul Trophy In….Seoul

Racing returns this weekend after the break for the Lunar New Year holiday with big cards across the board and some big names making an appearance.

Beolmaui Kkum is in action on Sunday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Beolmaui Kkum is in action on Sunday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

It’s been four months since Never Seen Before galloped down the home straight at Seoul to win the Minister’s Cup, the final jewel in Korea’s Triple Crown. Now finally, the colt who gave Aussie trainer Peter Wolsley his first Korean Classic victory, reappears on the track.

This time he is at home, in Busan’s Friday afternoon feature. He shouold be the favourite although he will have the likes of Useung Radar and Damyangui Jilju for company in the Class 1 handicap over a mile.

Sunday at Busan also sees a heavyweight – literally – match-up as the top-rated horse in Korea, Beolmaui Kkum, carrying 60kg looks to make it two out of two for 2015 with Gamdonguibada among those out to stop him in the feature handicap.

Earlier on Sunday, Busan plays host to the Macau Jockey Club Trophy while up at Seoul, the Sports Seoul Trophy headlines Sunday’s card.

February turns into March and while we seem to be getting one last blast of winter in the Korean capital right now, it should be mild by the weekend.

Complete Racecards can be found here

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday February 27

Busan Racecourse: 11 races from 11.40 to 18:00 (races 4-11 will be simulcast by the Singapore Turf Club, full race by race preview here)
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 13:20 to 17:20

Saturday February 28
Seoul Racecourse: 13 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:20

Sunday March 1
Seoul Racecourse: 10 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:30