Gerrit Schlechter

Another Perfect Moment For Jigeum I Sungan

Derby Winner Beats Oaks And Cup Mile Winners To Land Third Leg Of Triple Crown

Jigeum I Sungan secured the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown in emphatic fashion at Seoul Race Park this afternoon and in doing so, assured himself of the title of Champion three-year old of 2012.

Their moment: Jigeum I Sungan and Moon Se Young return after winning the Minister’s Cup

The Korean Derby winner beat out the Oaks winning filly Rising Glory and KRA Cup mile winning colt Gyeongbudaero to win the Minister’s Cup by four lengths and become the first horse since the Triple Crown winning J.S.Hold in 2007 to win both the Derby and the Minister’s Cup.

Sent off as the 2/1 favourite, Jigeum I Sungan – “This is the Moment” in English – was kept in the middle of the pack for the first half of the 10 furlong race. Jockey Moon Se Young asked the Derby winner to improve around the home turn and as the entered the home straight, all the big contenders were massing.

Jigeum I Sungan and Moon Se Young in the winner’s circle

Gyeongbudaero was on the inside under Joe Fujii and Nobel Pokpung, a fast finishing second in the Derby looked poised to strike under Gerrit Schlechter on the outside.

They had nothing on Jigeum I Sungan though who accelerated away for an untroubled win. Oaks winner Rising Glory finished fast down the outside to grab second place, a neck in front of Gyeongbudaero.

So things ended as they should. The Derby winner finishing first, the Oaks winner second and the KRA Cup Mile winner third. Today, however, Jigeum I Sungan was best in all departments.

Further clashes look likely and it will be fascinating to see if he is ready to take on the likes of Dangdae Bulpae in the President’s Cup in a month’s time. Even with the weight advantage that he’ll have, it may be a little too early.

For jockey Moon Se Young, it was another golden day following his win in the Singapore Turf Club Trophy yesterday. It was his second Minister’s Cup, having won the 2004 edition on Mupae Gangja.

Jigeum I Sungan is the first Seoul-based horse to win the Minister’s Cup since J.S. Hold in 2007. Gaeson Janggun in 2008, Namdo Jeap in 2009, Dangdae Bulpae in 2010 and Dongseo Jeongbeol in 2011 were all trained at Busan.

Jigeum I Sungan is the first of his until now unfashonable Japanese bred sire Ingrandire (White Muzzle) to become a big star on the track. Ingrandire was imported to Korea in 2006. The winner’s dam, Solmaru (Mujaazif) finished third in the Korean Oaks in 2003. Her four previous foals all went onto win.

The 2007 edition turned out to be J.S. Hold’s last race. Jigeum I Sungan isn’t in his class just yet, but on today’s evidence, he’s going to be a lot of fun to watch in future.

Minister of FAFF Stakes (KOR G2) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Sunday October 14, 2012

1. Jigeum I Sungan (KOR) [Ingrandire – Solmaru (Mujaazif)] – Moon Se Young – 2.9, 1.3
2. Rising Glory (KOR) [Menifee – Straight Cash (Straight Man)] – Jo Sung Gon – 4.3
3. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Kanichiro Fujii – 1.5

Distances: 4 lengths/Neck
Also ran: 4. Naejangsan 5. Wonderful Namhae 6. Fine Fine 7. Nobel Pokpung 8. Myeongun Jewang 9. Royal Galloper 10. Alpha Myeongjang 11. Chowon Yeoje 12. Tongjesa 13. Himchan Jilju 14. Gumanseok

Weekend Preview: 2012 K-Triple Crown Concludes With Minister’s Cup

Cup Mile, Derby And Oaks Winners Set To Clash

Even though there are only two tracks, it’s not easy to win a Triple Crown in Korea and there isn’t one on the line as a full field of fourteen line-up for the final three-year old Classic of the season, the Minister’s Cup at Seoul Racecourse this Sunday.

Jigeum I Sungan in the Korean Derby winner’s circle

The winners of all three Classics run so far this year will be there. Gyeongbudaero, who won the KRA Cup Mile (the Korean 2000 Guineas) way back in April will be joined in the starting gate by Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan and Oaks victress Rising Glory. However, these three will be up against a number of new challengers who weren’t ready for the early season classics but have been coming into form since.

It is a big weekend of racing on the peninsula with Seoul playing host on Saturday to the Singapore Turf Club Trophy.

Here is a full run down of the runners and riders for Sunday’s big race, along with pedigrees and race records (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd):

Minister of FAFF Stakes (KOR G2) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Sunday October 14, 2012, 16:15

1. Chowon Yeoje [Forest Camp – Navigation (Big Sur)] (11/3/3/3) – Lee Sang Hyeok (Seoul)
One of only two fillies in the race, she didn’t start showing her quality until this summer and finished second to Yeouiju in the Donga Ilbo Stakes three weeks ago. Will need to find plenty more to win here but the extra furlong could suit.

2. Wonderful Namhae [Vicar – Make That Call (Glow)] (12/7/1/0) – Narazaki Kosuke (Busan)
BOunced back from a disappointing ninth in the Cup Mile to have a good summer. Finished ahead of some good horses when running second in a class 1 handicap last time out.

3. Gumanseok [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] (7/3/3/1) – Park Tae Jong (Seoul)
Broke his maiden in April and lightly raced since. Likely to be one of the outsiders but has never finished out of the placings and appears to be improving with each run.

4. Myeongun Jewang [Forest Camp – Fully Approved (With Approval)] (7/3/3/1) – Gu Young Jun (Busan)
The most expensive horse of his crop at the two-year old sales last year, he was comfortably beaten by stablemate Fine Fine last time out. However, that was at 1400M, He;s never been tested around two turns so is something of an unknown quantity but has plenty of talent.

5. Naejangsan [Menifee Miss Merit (Old Trieste)] (7/4/3/0) – Kim Hae Sun (Seoul)
Hasn’t competed at higher than class 3 although was a comfortable winner last time out. Distance should suit but he won’t be one of the favourites.

6. Alpha Myeongjang [Pico Central – Lend (Coronado’s Quest)] – Song Keong Yun (Busan)
A Class 1 winner on his last start, he has a lot of quality. However, while he has won a class 4 race at 1500M, he looks a pure sprinter and may struggle to get the distance here.

7. Royal Galloper [Commendable – Explicitly (Exploit)] (12/3/2/2) – Shin Hyung Chul (Seoul)
Inconsistent and yet to win at higher than class 4. While he will most likely appreciate the distance, it would be a surprise if he was to rectify that here.

8. Rising Glory [Menifee – Straight Cash (Straight Man)] (9/4/3/1) – Jo Sung Gon (Busan)
The Korean Oaks winner hasn’t run since her victory in the fillies’ classic in August. However, Union rules prevent jockeys who are riding at Seoul on a Sunday from riding at Busan on a Friday and it is unlike Jo Sung Gon to give up the prospect of a lucrative weekend at home unless he thought he had a chance.

9. Gyeongbudaero [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] (13/5/3/3) – Joe Fujii (Busan)
Hasn’t won since the KRA Cup Mile in April. He was third in the Derby and a very creditable second behind five-year old multiple STakes winner – and winner of thsi race two years ago – Dangdae Bulpae, in the Busan Owners’ Cup last month. If he repeats that form, he has to be taken seriously. Should benefit from Joe Fujii being in the saddle.

10. Fine Fine [Forest Camp – Dream Fantasy (Manlove)] (13/6/2/0) – Lim Sung Sil (Busan)
An interesting one. Although he has recently been running in sprints, he has a victory over 1800M to his name and should be capable of competing here. A placing chance at possibly good odds.

11. Jigeum I Sungan [Ingrandire – Solmaru (Mujaazif)] (13/5/5/1) – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
The Derby winner won at the distance in a class 1 handicap last time out and that could be enough to make him favourite here. That was only his second start since the Derby so he shouldn’t be burned out and he has every chance of winning his second Classic.

12. Himchan Jilju [Kwaedo Nanma – Wild Triple (Military)] (14/6/0/1) – Chae Gyu Jun (Busan)
The only horse in the race by a Korean born sire (although all the others are Korean bred), he was fourth behind Dangdae Bulpae and Gyeongbudaero in the Busan Owners’ Cup. Outside chance of a place.

13. Tongjesa [Creek Cat – Namdoui Gangja (Greenwood Lake)] (9/6/0/2) – Oh Kyoung Hoan (Seoul)
Roared into form this summer and comes into the race on a run of five consecutive wins. He’ll have to find a little bit more to win here but he has every chance of doing so.

14. Nobel Pokpung [Didyme – Shar Baby (Talinum)] (11/4/3/2) – Gerrit Schlechter (Busan)
An unexpected second in the Korean Derby, he may have won had the race been an extra furlong. He’s got that extra furlong and, while he was well-beaten by talented US import Smoking Gun in his last start, he should relish this company. South African Gerrit Schlechter rides at Seoul for the first time since winning the International Jockey Challenge in 2007. He’s ridden Nobel Pokpung just once before and they won.

The Minister’s Cup is the highlight of a busy weekend of racing in Korea. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday October 12

Busan Race Park: 11 races from 11:50 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:45 to 17:40

Saturday April 13

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:40 including the Singapore Turf Club Trophy at 16:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:20

Sunday April 14

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 17:55 including the Minister’s Cup at 16:15.
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:15 to 16:40

Long Shot Yeouiju Takes Donga Ilbo Stakes

Sydney Jewelry on target again / Schlechter and Fujii score at Busan

20/1 outsider Yeouiju upset the favourites to take a narrow victory in the 16th edition of the Donga Ilbo Stakes at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

Yeouiju and Oh Kyoung Hoan in the Donga Ilbo Winner’s Circle

The four-year old filly got the best of a tight finish to claim the prize ahead of fellow unfancied runners Chowon Yeoje and Cheondungbeonjjeok in the nine-furlong all filly and mare Stakes race.

Yeouiju now has four wins from eighteen career starts while it was a fifth Stakes victory for trainer Woo Chang Gu and a ninth for jockey Oh Kyoung Hoan who won this race last year riding Sen Girl.

Donga Ilbo Stakes – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – September 23, 2012

1. Yeouiji (KOR) [Revere – Chayu Mankkik (Pro For Sure)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 21.6, 4.4
2. Chowon Yeoje (KOR) [Forest Camp – Navigation (Big Sur)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 3.3
3. Cheondungbeonjjeok (KOR) [Capital Spending – Whosis (Trempolino)] – Yoo Seung Wan – 4.3

Distances: 0.5 lengths/Nose – 14 ran

In other races at Seoul, there was another impressive win for young Aussie import Sydney Jewlery (Lion Heart-Rivendelle. The three-year old landed his fifth victory in eight career starts by taking out the 1900 metre race 10 in style.

Hitting the front on the home turn, Sydney Jewelry stretched away for a six length win in the class 2 handicap to confirm his position as one of the most exciting imports of the year.

It may be slightly too late for him to make the big end of season races – although he will surely be on the ballot paper for the season ending Grand Prix Stakes (in which the runners have to be voted in by the punting public) but if he stays sound, next year he surely will be.

Down at Busan,
US four-year old Viva Ace (Macho Uno-Dancing Lake) led from gate to wire to win the feature race while earlier in the card there were wins for jockeys Gerrit Schlechter and Joe Fujii.

South African Schlechter won race 1 on debut making filly Fine Gongju (Tiz Wonderful) while Japanese rider Fujii was on target in race 3 on Marina’s Boy (Ecton Park) which, owned by Isidore Farm and trained by Peter Wolsley, was pretty much a 100% foreign winner.

Racing in Korea takes a break next weekend for the Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) holiday and returns on October 5.

Tongjesa, Alpha Myeongjang Step Up

Three-Year Olds On Form

Judgement is being well and truly reserved over this year’s crop of three-year olds. Gyeongbudaero won the KRA Cup Mile in April but did little else before finishing second to Dangdae Bulpae in last week’s Owners’ Cup. Likewise Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan came back into form last week for the first time since his Classic victory.

As for the rest, there’s not been much to cheer so far. However, today two colts who have been kept off the Classic trail were in fine form at Seoul and Busan respectively. Tongjesa scored a convincing win in the Ilgan Sports Stakes in the capital, while down on the South Coast, Alpha Myeongjang was similarly convincing in seeing off a class 1 field.

Tongjesa (Creek Cat) was sent off as the even-money favourite for the Ilgan Sports, which was run over the Derby distance of 1800 metres. Under Oh Kyoung Hoan he was kept close to the lead throughout and took control with two furlongs to go, crossing the line with plenty in hand of fast finishing Yaho Pilseung (Exploit) in second.

With six wins from nine Korea starts and, more relevantly, five consecutively now, Tongjesa must be considered for the Minister’s Cup. the final leg of the Triple Crown, in a month’s time.

Ilgan Sports Stakes – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – September 16, 2012

1. Tongjesa (KOR) [Creek Cat – Namdoui Gangja (Greenwood Lake)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 2.1, 1.2
2. Yaho Pilseung (KOR) [Exploit – Pilseung Gangja (Adjudicating)] – Lee Sang Hyeok – 2.3
3. Jeumeundeungi (KOR) [War Zone – Taraxacum (Meadowlake)] – Won Jung Il – 5.2
Distances: 2 lengths/5 lengths – 12 ran

It’s unlikely that Alpha Myeongjang (Pico Central) will be joining him in the capital next month, however, as for now he looks like a sprinter. A very good one too. Today he went 1400 metres and looked very comfortable in putting four lengths into a class 1 field.

It was another big feature race win for Gerrit Schlechter, following his Gold Circle Trophy victory on Fine Fine last week. The South African jockey has picked up where he left off following his immigration department-enforced break last month and is the man to beat at Busan at the moment.

One man who can beat him is Joe Fujii. The Japanese jockey with the Australian accent was on target twice today to add to his winner on Friday.

Dangdae Bulpae Owns Busan

Easy win for Dangdae Bulpae in Owners’ Cup / Gerrit Schlechter wins Gold Circle Trophy in Fine Fine / Jigeum I Sungan takes victory in Seoul / Game On Dude’s half-brother debuts

It was one of very few Stakes races he was eligible for that he hadn’t won but today, Dangdae Bulpae added the Busan Owners’ Cup to his massively impressive resume in almost contemptuous fashion at a rainswept Busan Race Park.

Sent off as the overwhelming favourite in the 12-strong field, the two-time President’s Cup champion was taken straight to the front by jockey Jo Sung Gon and the pair never looked like giving up that position, Jo easing Dangdae Bulpae (Biwa Shinseiki) to a 2 length victory on the line.

Behind them, KRA Cup Mile winner Gyeongbudaero (Menifee) got the best of a competitive battle for second place, just edging out Powerful Korea (Distilled).

Dangdae Bulpae moves on to 17 wins from 26 starts and with today’s victory he becomes the first Korean horse to win more than US $2Million in prize-money and has won a record-breaking 8 Korean Stakes races. His next target looks set to be an attempt on a third consecutive President’s Cup at Seoul in November, after which connections will have to decide whether to pit him against Tough Win in the Grand Prix Stakes.

Busan Owners’ Cup (KOR.G3) – Busan Race Park – 2000M – September 9, 2012

1. Dangdae Bulpae (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki – Indeed My Dear (Alydeed)] – Jo Sung Gon 1.2, 1.0
2. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Narazaki Kosuke – 1.5
3. Powerful Korea (KOR) [Distilled – Bound To Score (Quick Score)] – You Hyun Myung – 4.5
Distances: 2.5 lengths/0.5 lengths – 12 ran

Dangdae Bulpae isn’t the only one with an impressive record in big races. Before today, two of Gerrit Schlechter’s 30 Korean winners had come in Stakes races – the KNN Cup and Geyongnam Governor’s Trophy. Today the South African jockey added a third, appropriately enough in the Gold Circle Trophy, a race sponsored by South Africa’s Gold Circle Turf Club.

Schlechter guided second favourite Fine Fine (Forest Camp) to an extremely comfortable 7 length victory in the 1400 metre race.

Longest shot on the board Pull Queen (Giacomo) was second while pre-race favourite Myeongun Jewang (Forest Camp), who fetched the highest bid at last year’s Jeju Sales, was third. Fine Fine now has 6 wins from his 13 starts and looks set to be in class 1 company next time.

Gold Circle Trophy – Busan Race Park – 1400M – September 9, 2012

1. Fine Fine (KOR) [Forest Camp – Dream Fantasy (Manlove)] – Gerrit Schlechter – 3.4, 1.4
2. Pull Queen (KOR) [Giacomo – Gold Buzz (Touch Gold)] – Jo Chan Hoon – 11.1
3. Myeongun Jewang (KOR) [Forest Camp – Fully Approved (With Approval)] – 1.3
Distances: 7 lengths/0.75 lengths – 9 ran

Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan back in the winner’s circle at Seoul

It may have been a dreadful day weather-wise at Busan but up in the capital Seoul, it was quite beautiful. In the feature race, Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire) returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since his victory in the Korean Derby in May.

The colt was far too quick for his rivals in his first attempt among older class 1 company and stretched away for a 4 length victory.

Jigeum I Sungan will now be prepared for the final leg of the 2012 Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup at Seoul next month, when he will likely meet Gyeongbudaero, who ran second to Dangdae Bulpae today, as well as Oaks winner Rising Glory.

*There was a notable debut at Busan today. Two year old gelding My Key (Macho Uno) is a half-brother of American champion Game On Dude. He is one of two foals to be delivered by their dam Worldly Pleasure during her time at Nokwon Farm on Jeju Island before she was sold to Japan’s Shadai Operation just prior to Game On Dude’s second place in the Breeders’ Cup Classic last year.

My Key’s debut today was low-key. He finished was 5th of 12 over 5 furlongs in the opening race at Busan

Schlechter’s Nobel Prize

Nobel Pokpung In Minister’s Cup Frame As Gerrit Schlechter Rides Second Korean Stakes Winner

Nobel Pokpung was a convincing winner of the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Cup at Busan Race PArk this afternoon, to put him firmly among the top contenders for the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown.

And his win was under a fine ride by South African jockey Gerrit Schlechter, who not only landed his second Korean Stakes race victory but also scored three winners on the day.

Nobel Pokpung and Gerrit Schlecter in the winner’s circle (Pic: Gyeongnam Do Min News)

Sent off as the 3/1 favourite on the back of his second place in the Korean Derby, Nobel Pokpung was kept towards the back for the first half of the 1800 metre race, which featured some of Busan’s best three-year olds.

Schlechter asked him to improve rounding the final turn and although they had to go very wide, Nobel Pokpung was far too strong for any of his rivals. Third favourite Predict under Yukio Abe put in a brief challenge in the final furlong but Nobel Pokpung saw him off comfortably, winning by a length on the line, with 30/1 outsider Sangseung Mode a surprise third.

Disappointment of the race was filly Grand Teukgeup. Sent off as second favourite, she led the field for the first half of the race but disappeared from view as they entered the home straight, finishing back in seventh.

Nobel Pokpung and Gerrit Schlechter make their move entering the home straight (Pic: Gyeongnam Do Min News)

Remarkably this was Nobel Pokpung’s first win of the year and only his fourth overall. However, given a few extra strides, he may have won the Derby and as the distances get bigger, so do his performances. He looks like a colt with plenty more to give and the extra furlong in the Minister’s Cup back at Seoul in the autumn should be ideal for him.

Hopefully Schlechter will still be with him then. With his treble today the South African now has 24 wins since debuting earlier in the year.

Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Cup – Busan Race Park – 1800M – July 8, 2012

1. Nobel Pokpung (KOR) [Didyme – Shar Baby (Talinim)] – Gerrit Schlechter – 3.6, 1.6
2. Predict (KOR) [The Groom Is Red – Muhanseungni (Big Sur)] – Yukio Abe – 1.9
3. Sangseung Mode (KOR) [Vicar – Variety Lady (Variety Road)] – Kim Young Min – 6.6

Distances: 1 length/1.5 lengths – 13 ran

Fujii Debuts With A Win

Kosuke, Schlechter Triumph Too

Japanese jockey Kanichiro Fujii debuted at Busan today and landed a winner with his very first ride – a four length victory on Areumdaun Sinhwa (Volponi) in race 7:

Fujii’s fellow countryman Narazaki Kosuke was also amongst the winners, taking race 5 on Raon Birdie (Al Naba), was was South African Gerrit Schlechter who rode the Peter Wolsley trained gelding Cheongchun Bulpae (Milwaukee Brew) to a very comfortable win in race 8.

Saturday June 30

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:00

Sunday July 1

Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:15 to 16:45