Geumdda

Queen Beats Ace As Favourites Fold

Ruby Queen Bests Ace Galloper At Seoul / Joe Murphy Trains Outsider Atanarjuat To Stun Useung Touch At Busan

It was a day of upsets in the feature races at Seoul and Busan today. On the south coast, what was billed as a match-race between Useung Touch and Geumdda was crashed by a 42/1 outsider, while in the capital Ace Galloper couldn’t overcome a severe weight disadvantage as he went down to Ruby Queen.

Ace Galloper is nowhere to be seen as Ruby Queen and Boo Min Ho sprint to victory at Seoul

Despite carrying 61kg, Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) was still strongly fancied to snap a streak of two consecutive second places in Seoul’s feature handicap. However, Ruby Queen (Badge Of Silver) took an early lead and proceeded to make all under jockey Boo Min Ho. Ace Galloper looked poised to challenge as they entered the home straight, but he although he left the rest of the field behind, he never looked like making an impact on Ruby Queen’s lead and the filly held on for a comfortable two-length win.

Ace Galloper, winner of last year’s KRA Cup Classic and Seoul’s top-ranked domestic bred horse, now has three second place finishes in a row. On the plus side, Ruby Queen won’ be getting nine kilos off him again any time soon.

Down at Busan there was an ever bigger surprise. The clash between 2011 Korean Oaks winner Useung Touch (Menifee) and the three-year old filly Geumdda (Officer), who had only been beaten once in seven starts, was one that punters had been looking forward to all year. In the end, it was something of a disappointment.

Although it was clear from early on that Geumdda was having an off-day, Useung Touch at least looked to be doing the business authoritatively as she led the field in the home straight. However, that reckoned without little-known Joe Murphy trainee Atarnarjuat (Graeme Hall), who flew home down the rail to take a shock two-length win at odds of 42/1.

Six-years old, Atarnarjuat was scoring just his fourth win from thirty-one starts and his first since May 2010. For American trainer Joe Murphy it was a second class 1 win of 2012. For jockey Park Geum Man, it was the perfect preparation for his trip to Seoul next weekend where he will ride the favourite, Gyeongbudaero, in the Korean Derby.

* In other news, jockey Kim Cheol Ho has received a six month ban for his ride on filly Indian Hopper in race 8 at Seoul on Saturday. The filly was slow leaving the gate and lost touch with the field. She recovered a little but she finished ten lengths adrift of the next to last horse home. Although there was no evidence that he deliberately slowed the filly, Stewards did not accept his explanation that he was concerned as to her welfare in the early stages (the vet check came back fine). He’ll get his license back on November 13.

Here’s the video, judge for yourself. He breaks – slowly – from gate 2:

Weekend Preview

Useung Touch vs Geumdda at Busan / Ace Galloper at Seoul

The Korea Racing Authority has been in the news this week for its financial acumen in the movie industry, or otherwise, but there’s little time to dwell on that as we’re just a week away from the Korean Derby!

While there’s no Stakes action on the peninsula this weekend, there’s plenty to keep us occupied.

Useung Touch faces Geumdda at Busan

At Busan, Sunday sees a battle of the fillies as 2011 Oaks winner Useung Touch (Menifee) faces Geumdda (Officer), a three-year old with 6 wins from 7 starts.

Conceived in the US (although both her sire and dam are now in Korea), Geumdda is ineligible for the Triple Crown races but looks a force to be reckoned with at distances of up to a mile. At 1500M, this should be a good race.

At Seoul, while Saturday’s card is perhaps the weakest for many months, there is a class 1 feature race on Sunday. Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) heads an eleven-strong field over 1700 metres.

It is set to be a beautiful weekend. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday May 11

Busan Race Park: 10 races from 12:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:30

Saturday May 12

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

Sunday May 13

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

Ace Galloper Upset At Seoul But Nothing Careless From Ghost Whisper At Busan

Ace Galloper was sent off as the odds-on favourite for this afternoon’s feature race at Seoul, however, the KRA Cup Classic winner was beaten, succumbing in the final few metres to the late challenge of Suseong TX.

Smiles: Moon Se Young dismounts from Suseong TX, the third of his four winners

Coming into the race with a record of 16 wins from his 23 career starts but carrying 4kg more than rivals Top Point (Tom Cruiser) and 6kg more than Suseong TX (Put It Back), Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) was nowhere near a certainty to win the 10 furlong race.

Moon Se Young reacts as Suseong TX wins Sunday's feature race at Seoul

However, he was well placed entering the home straight and, having hit the front with a furlong left to run, he seemed to have got the job done.

Coming down the outside though was Suseong TX and, under Moon Se Young, the 7-year old chased down the leader, passing him with 30 metres to go and running on to a half-length win.

For Suseong TX it was a first win for over a year though he has placed many times since then. Ace Galloper meanwhile remains Seoul’s top-rated Korean born horse.

In the feature race at Busan, the favourite made no mistake as Pegasus Farm and Peter Wolsley’s Ghost Whisper (Gotham City) made his first class 1 start a winning one. The grey 4-year old was always travelling well under Kim Jeong Woong and took the lead with a sharp bust of pace in the final furlong to record a victory of just under 2 lengths from Sinheung Daejanggun (Happy Jazz Band).

With his best horse Gyeongkwaehanjilju (Tapit) out of action and facing an uncertain future since finishing last in the Grand Prix at the end of last season, Wolsley has been seeking a new stable star. With 6 wins and 3 second places from 9 career starts, Ghost Whisper could be that horse.

Earlier at Busan, filly Geumdda (Officer) looked very comfortable in beating a small class 2 field to record her 6th win from 7 starts. Next time out, she’ll be joining Ghost Whisper among the elite.

* Next week it is the big one! The first leg of the 2012 Korean Triple Crown, the KRA Cup Mile – the Korean Guineas – is at Busan.

American Revival (far side) gets his nose in front to win at odds of 110/1 at Seoul this afternoon

Weekend Preview

A bit of a holding weekend in Korea between last week’s Ttukseom Cup and next week’s KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the 2012 Korean Triple Crown. However, there’s still plenty to keep us occupied.

Ace Galloper and Park Tae Jong winning the KRA Cup Classic

Feature races of the weekend at both Seoul and Busan are on Sunday. Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal), with 16 wins from his 23 starts heads the big race at Seoul.

He’s up against last year’s champion mare Top Point (Tom Cruiser) in the 2000 metre event.

Down at Busan, Peter Wolsley’s Ghost Whisper (Gotham City), with 5 wins and 3 seconds from his 8 starts to date, makes his class 1 debut in Sunday’s feature. Earlier on Sunday, promising filly Geumdda (Officer) will be aiming to make it 6 wins from 7 starts.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday March 30

Busan Race Park: 10 races from 12:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:30

Saturday March 31

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

Sunday April 1

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Busan Race Park: 7 races from 12:15 to 16:40