Grand Prix Stakes

Triple Nine, Cheongdam Dokki Among Grand Prix Nominations

Twenty-eight horses have been nominated for the Grand Prix Stakes, the traditional season-ending finale which is set for Seoul Racecourse on Sunday December 9th and will be run over the longest distance in use in Korean racing, 2300M. They include the now four-time President’s Cup Champion Triple Nine as well as Busan Mayor’s Cup and KRA Cup Classic victor Cheongdam Dokki and Korea Cup 2nd place-getter Dolkong.

Power Blade Grand Prix Fnish1

Power Blade won the Grand Prix in 2017 but is now retired althoough the other two horses in shot – Dongbang Daero & Cheongdam Dokki, could be back for another go (Pic: KRA)

With last year’s winner Power Blade having been retired this summer, there is only one previous Grand Prix winner among the nominations. That’s Clean Up Joy, who triumphed in the 2016 edition and would be tackling the race for the fifth time. For Triple Nine, 3rd last year, it would be fourth attempt with his best finish being 2nd to Clean Up Joy in 2016.

Ten of the nominated horses are trained at Seoul, including Cheongdam Dokki, Clean Up Joy and Dolkong, while the remaining eighteen are from Busan. The maximum field size for the race is sixteen. Busan-trained horses joined the race for the first time in 2009 and have won six of the subsequent nine runnings.

All four foreign trainers based in Korea are represented at this stage. Peter Wolsley, who won the race with Bold Kings in 2015 has put forward Ppudeut and Royal Ruby while Thomas Gillespie has Great King and Champ Line. Along with Dolkong, Simon Foster has nominated Choego Money while Bart Rice is set to once again send Buhwarui Banseok, who finished very strongly for 5th place a year ago.

First run in 1985, the Grand Prix remains the race every Korean owner, trainer and jockey wants to win. It’s place in the calendar at the end of the year and its unusual distance as well as until recently being one of the few Korean Group 1 races not restricted to locally-bred horses make it a unique challenge with the winner traditionally almost always becoming Horse Of The Year. That’s not necessarily the case these days but even in the Korea Cup era, the Grand Prix still hasn’t lost its luster.

Three horses have won the race twice. Po Gyeong Seon in the 1980s, Ka Shock Do in the 1980s and Dongbanui Gangja in the 2000s and the list of winners is a roll call of the biggest names in Korean racing over the past three decades. In addition to the two-time winners, such luminaries as Subsidy, Mister Park, Tough Win and of course Power Blade have come home in front in December. For all his achievements, Triple Nine is yet to add his name to the list. It might be fourth time lucky this December. Here’s the full list of preliminary nominations:

SEOUL
Cheonji Storm
Singgeureoun Geom
Wild Thunder
Cheongdam Dokki
Clean Up Joy
Tosconova Cat
Road Winner
Ultra Rocket
Dolkong
Choego Money

BUSAN
Champ Line
Great King
Baekmunbaekdap
Today
Triple Nine
Saengil Gippeum
Ppudeut
Royal Ruby
Buhwarui Banseok
Stealth
Indian King
Hello Venus
Jumbo Blade
Good Casting
Adeleui Chukje
World Sun
Dongbang Daero
Wooa

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Magnificent Power Blade Wins the Grand Prix Stakes 2017

Power Blade, the 2016 Korean Triple Crown winner on Sunday topped even that, racing to victory in Korea’s most prestigious race, the Grand Prix Stakes.

Power Blade Grabd Prix

Power Blade in the Grand Prix winner’s circle (Pic. J. Kim)

3-year-old phenom Cheongdam Dokki was sent off as favourite for the 2300M season-finale with Triple Nine 2nd best in punter’s eyes ahead of Power Blade who started in excess of 12/1. Cheongdam Dokki did indeed set the pace in the early part of the race but once he got into unfamiliar territory in the home straight, he bag to tire. Triple Nine got first crack at him but ultimately it was Power Blade and – to the surprise of most – 150/1 Dongbang Daero who came through to dispute the finish, Power Blade triumphing by a Head on the line. Triple Nine was a game as ever 3rd with Cheongdam Dokki 4th and Bart Rice’s Buhwarui Banseok a very good 5th.

Grand Prix Stakes (KOR G1) – Seoul Racecourse – 2300M – December 10, 2017

1. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonachong (Lost Mountain)] – Oh Kyung Hwan – 13.1, 2.1
2. Dongbang Daero (USA) [Curlin – Willa Joe (El Gran Senor)] – Park Jae I – 17.0
3. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] – Lim Sung Sil – 1.0
Distances: Head / 1.25 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Cheongdam Dokki (USA) 5. Buhwarui Banseok (USA) 6. Champ Line (KOR) 7. Clean Up Joy (USA 8. Silver Wolf (AUS) 9. Dynamic Dash (USA) 10. Saengil Gippeum (USA) 11. Cheonjeok (USA) 12. Diferent Dimension (USA)

More to follow.

Grand Prix Stakes 2017: Full Preview

It’s the big one. The Grand Prix Stakes 2017 is here and 3yo potential phenom Cheongdam Dokki will clash with Triple Nine, Power Blade, Clean Up Joy and a host of the biggest names in Korean racing in the season-ending showpiece at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon (see the rundown on those four horses in the video below if you can get past my ridiculous bow-tie):

While the no-show of New Citadel and Dolkong is disappointing, this Grand Prix still has the potential to be special. Is Cheongdam Dokki as good as some think he is? Can Triple Nine finally win a Grand Prix at the third attempt? Can Clean Up Joy recover from his defeat at the hands of Cheongdam Dokki to retain the crown? Or perhaps something else can win. Favourites rarely win the Grand Prix with the unfamiliar distance and the time of year contributing to lots of uncertainty at each edition.

Cheongdam Dokki and Triple Nine look set to dispute favouritism with Power Blade and Clean Up Joy likely to be next best in the market. But there are plenty of wildcards. Queens’ Tour winner Silver Wolf takes her chance while the likes of Saengil Gippeum and Diferent Dimension should relish the opportunity to have a go at this distance. Buhwarui Banseok and Champ Line are not without their merits either. Dongbang Daero, Dynamic Dash and Cheonjeok round out a high class field. The race starts at 4.40pm Korea time and is available for betting on the PMU in Europe, TAB in Australia, and most ADW’s in the United States as well as at the turf clubs in Singapore and Malysia.

1 TRIPLE NINE (KOR) Having finished 4th in the Korea Cup in September and then suffering his second reverse to Power Blade, he came back into form to win his third straight President’s Cup last month, defeating his stablemate in the process. He can take a long time to hit top-gear but we know this distance can suit. 4th in 2015 and 2nd last year, it’s not impossible he could finish on top this time. Interesting – and perhaps not ideal – draw.
2 DYNAMIC DASH (USA) 7th behind Saengil Gippeum last month having led early on and 3rd behind Diferent Dimension the time before that. It’s been a long time since the most recent of his nine career wins and he’ll be one of the outsiders here.
3 SAENGIL GIPPEUM (USA) An excellent seven-length winner of Busan’s trial for this race over 2200M on November 5th brings him into contention. He was beaten by Diferent Dimension the time before but the manner of his win last time does warrant consideration for a surprise here. Unlikely to lead early but will probably be not too far from the pace.
4 DIFERENT DIMENSION (USA) Managed a 3rd place on turf at this year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival and returned to the winner’s circle in Busan over 2000M on October 22nd, making all over 2000M and beating Saengil Gippeum. Missed out on an intended run in this race last year, the distance should suit and a placing finish is possible. Generally leads or races very close to the early lead.
5 CHAMP LINE (KOR) Trained by Thomas Gillespie. Won five consecutive races up to April but has just gone gold a little since. Still 4th place last time behind Saengil Gippeum gives cause for optimism that form is on the up.
6 DONGBANG DAERO (USA) 8th in this race last yeat, he’s only won once since then but is rarey too far away. 3rd behind Saengil Gippeum at 2200M last month and an outside chance of cneaking into the money here. Recently, his running style has been to close.
7 SILVER WOLF (AUS) She won all three legs of the Queens’ Tour to become champion filly/mare this year, easily winning the finale over 2000M. She showed her versatility too with 5th place in the Korea Sprint. Obviously, today’s test is a stiff one but she’s well drawn to get close to the early lead and looks to be the wildcard. Stablemate of Clean Up Joy.
8 CHEONGDAM DOKKI (USA) The one to beat. Seven from eleven in total and winner of his last four including a comprehensive demolition of Clean Up Joy in the KRA Cup Classic. He hasn’t always been the most straightforward of colts but has behaved better in his last two. He’s won those latest four gate to wire and despite the increased distance it would be a surprise were he not to try to dominate this too. It’s not easy to do that in December in Seoul but he looks good enough.
9 BUHWARUI BANSEOK (USA) A slightly disappointing 6th behind Saengil Gippeum over 2200M last month but this is a very solid class 1 colt. First time at the distance and first time at Seoul. Tactically versatile, he’s trained by South African Bart Rice and should give a good account of himself.
10 CHEONJEOK (USA) 13th in last year’s race and the lowest rated this year and likely to be the outsider. 5 wins from 51, the most recent of those being in March. Last of 8 behind Cheongdam Dokki in the KRA Cup Classic in October. Top jockey booking though.
11 POWER BLADE (KOR) The 2016 Korean Triple Crown winner and Group 2 placed in Dubai. 2nd in the Korea Sprint to a Japanese horse, he beat Triple Nine at both 1400M and 1600M at Busan before coming up short in the President’s Cup here at Seoul over 2000M last month. 3rd in this race last year. Jockey change today – he is a tough ride – and while the distance may not be ideal, he can never be ruled out.
12 CLEAN UP JOY (USA) Last year’s winner. He began this year with three consecutive victories but then struggled in Busan in the Mayor’s Cup in July. He was a well-beaten 3rd behind Cheongdam Dokki in October’s KRA Cup Classic but by no means ran badly. He remains a strong horse and certainly can’t be ruled out but it could be that a couple of others have just got a bit better in the meantime. He will come out of the widest gate by request of his trainer.

Selections: (8) Cheongdam Dokki (1) Triple Nine (11) Power Blade (12) Clean Up Joy

Next Best: 7, 3, 4

Fast Start: 3, 4, 8

2015 Grand Prix Stakes Voting Begins

Voting is underway for the season-ending Grand Prix Stakes which will take place at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday December 13. Like Japan’s Arima Kinen, entry to the race is determined by a vote among racing fans. The vote opened on Friday at the Korea Racing Authority’s website with polls due to close on Sunday November 22.

Gamdonguibada won the Grand Prix Stakes in 2012. Now six-years-old, she is on the ballot once more

Gamdonguibada won the Grand Prix Stakes in 2012. Now six-years-old, she is on the ballot once more

A total of 28 horses; 14 from Seoul and 14 from Busan, have been nominated for the race and there will be a maximum field size of 16. Among the nominees is one former winner, Gamdonguibada, who took the honours as a three-year-old in 2012.

For the last two years, the winner of the President’s Cup has gone on to take the Grand Prix, Indie Band in 2013 and Gyoengbudaero last year. While those two are respectively on the long-term injured list and retired, this year’s President’s Cup victor, Triple Nine is on the ballot and will be a strong contender.

Also nominated is Korean Derby winner Yeongcheon Ace and Queen’s Tour overall winner Heba as well as the hitherto unbeaten three-year-old Bold Kings. Cinderella Man who won a trial for the race over the Grand Prix distance last week, is another on the ballot.

Here is a full list of the nominees with links to their English language Korean Studbook pages, age, sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) and notable recent Stakes and Listed race achievements:

Grand Prix Stakes (KOR G1) – Seoul Racecourse – 2300M – December 13, 2015

Seoul
Meni Money (KOR) 3 F (14/6/6/1) – 2015 Sports Seoul Cup (1st) Korean Oaks (2nd) Jeju Governor’s Cup (3rd)
Sotong Sidae (KOR) 4 G (27/7/4/6) – 2015 Sports Chosun Cup (1st)
Cinderella Man (KOR) 4 G (17/10/4/0)
Pinot Noir (KOR) 5 M (23/5/7/2) – 2015 Jeju Governor’s Cup (2nd)
Chief Red Can (USA) 5 G (16/6/3/1) – 2015 KRA Cup Classic (1st)
Clean Up Cheonha (USA) 4 C (16/7/6/2)
Clean Up Joy (USA) 4 G (13/6/5/0)
Unbeatable (USA) 5 H (36/6/6/9)
Best Run (USA) 4 C (19/3/5/1)
Daisyan (USA) 4 G (25/5/4/2)
Space Port (USA) 5 H (37/2/9/2)
Damyang Chukje (USA) 6 H (30/5/3/4)
Winning Andy (USA) 4 C (25/3/6/5)

Busan
Yeongcheon Ace (KOR) 3 C (12/4/3/4) – 2015 Korean Derby (1st), KRA Cup Mile (3rd)
Triple Nine (KOR) 3 C (11/7/4/0) – 2015 President’s Cup (1st) Domin Ilbo Cup (1st) Minister’s Cup (2nd) Korean Derby (2nd)
Gumpo Sky (KOR) 4 C (25/9/7/3) – 2015 Busan Ilbo Cup (1st)
Ildeung Hanghaesa (KOR) 4 G (24/5/5/5)
Daepungnyeon (KOR) 3 G (11/7/0/1)
Gandai (KOR) 5 H (39/8/2/5)
Gamdonguibada (USA) 6 M (29/14/4/6) – 2015 Busan Mayor’s Cup (1st), 2012 Grand Prix Stakes (1st)
Heba (USA) 5 M (35/9/5/2) – 2015 KNN Cup (1st) Guengnam Governor’s Cup (1st)
Ms. Margaux (USA) 4 M (21/2/8/7) – 2015 Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup (2nd)
Bold Kings (USA) 3 C (6/6/0/0)
Donggeupcheogang (USA) 5 H (32/7/5/5)
Goji Jeongbeol (USA) 4 G (21/5/4/5)
Cheonjae Bogo (NZ) 7 G (62/6/4/11)
Nobody Catch Me (USA) 5 G (22/6/5/2) – 2014 Busan Mayor’s Cup (1st)

Gyeongbudaero Swoops To Claim Grand Prix Glory

Gyeongbudaero became the second horse in as many years to complete a President’s Cup / Grand Prix Stakes double as he swooped late to win Korea’s most prestigious race this afternoon.

The view from above as Gyeongbudaero wins the Grand Prix Stakes

The view from above as Gyeongbudaero wins the Grand Prix Stakes

The 5-year-old, who won the KRA Cup Mile (Korean Guineas) two years ago, was sent off at 13/1 for the season-ending showpiece with Beolmaui Kkum the favourite for the second year running.

And as a light snow fell over Seoul Racecourse, it was Beolmaui Kkum who, as expected, set the early pace with Magic Dancer and the outsider Rush Force in close attendance. Gyeongbudaero was leading only three as they began the long turn for home.

As the field entered the home straight there was a nasty incident as Nobody Catch Me slightly interfered with Samjeong Jewang. The latter and Ikuyasu Kurakane tumbled to the ground although thankfully both would get up and walk away. Nobody Catch Me was disqualified.

None of that affected the result. Gyeongbudaero had improved around the turn and went wide in the straight, hitting the front with just over a furlong to go as Beolmaui Kkum and Magic Dancer began to tire. Wonder Bolt came up to challenge but Gyeongbudaero was gone, winning by three lengths on the line.

For Gyeongbudaero, it was an 11th win on his 28th start and takes him to over $2Million in prize money won. He follows Indie Band in winning the President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes in the same year. Crucially too, he is another Korean bred winner of Korea’s best race.

Wonder Bolt was game in second and Beolmaui Kkum will be back. Clean Up Joy was a revelation in 4th although Magic Dancer would have been expected to go better than 5th.

The doubt about Gyeongbudaero had been whether he would stay the trip. The way he ran today, he could have stayed all the way down the “Gyeongbudaero” Highway back home to Busan. Gyeongbudaero is an emphatic Grand Prix Stakes Champion of 2014.

Grand Prix Stakes (KOR G1) – Seoul Racecourse – 2300M – December 14, 2014

1. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae –
2. Wonder Bolt (USA) [Desert Warrior – Little Champ (Great Gladiator)] – Lee Chan Ho –
3. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] – Lee Hee Cheon –

Distances: 3 lengths / 4 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Clean Up Joy (USA) 5. Magic Dancer (KOR) 6. Cheonji Bulpae (AUS) 7. Unbeatable (USA) 8. Ghost Whisper (KOR) 9. Jangmi Eondeok (USA) 10. Rush Forth (USA) 11. Major King (KOR) DQ: Nobody Catch Me DNF: Samjeong Jewang

The Grand Prix Stakes 2014: Full Preview

It’s time for the big one. The 33rd Grand Prix Stakes will be run at Seoul Racecourse this coming Sunday.

Beolmaui Kkum, seen here at last year's Grand Prix, returns as favourite this year (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Beolmaui Kkum, seen here at last year’s Grand Prix, returns as favourite this year (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Despite the injury-enforced absence of defending champion Indie Band, the race still looks to be one of high quality. And while last year’s event was the first ever Korean race to be broadcast live overseas, this year’s edition breaks new ground too with European punters able to bet on the race with the French PMU.

Beolmaui Kkum is likely to start as the strong favourite for the 2nd year running with jockey Lee Hee Cheon, who won the Minister’s Cup at Seoul in October given the chance of a lifetime to reach his 100th career winner in style with Choi Si Dae retained for Gyeongbudaero.

Last year, Beolmaui Kkum faded badly in the home straight but is in great from this time around and will be hard to beat. Magic Dancer may challenge Beolmaui Kkum for the lead and has every chance of staying on whereas likely to come from further behind are Cheonji Bulpae and Nobody Catch Me, both of whom have claims.

Gyeongbudaero won the President’s Cup on this track a month ago but may find the this a little bit too much while Wonder Bolt has improved plenty since his 5th in the race last year despite being more renowned as a sprinter. Ghost Whisper is game but may find himself overmatched here while Clean Up Joy and Samjeong Jewang have plenty of potential and are the wildcards.

Here is a full run-down of the field:

Grand Prix Stakes (KOREA GROUP I) – Seoul Racecourse – 2300M – Sunday December 14, 2014 (16:40)

Name [Pedigree] Age/Sex (Lifetime Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) – Korean rating – Jockey (Home Track)

1. Clean Up Joy (USA) [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeux Danseur)] – 3yo colt – (8/3/4/0) – 110 – Ham Wan Sik (Seoul)
One of the up and coming talents at Seoul, following a 6th place finish on his debut, he hasn’t finished worse than 2nd in seven subsequent starts, usually coming from just off the pace to close strongly. A winner over 1800M last time out in what was his first attempt racing around two-turns promoted him to class 1, but he faces by far his toughest race to date.

2. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] – 4yo colt – (17/11/3/0) – 132 – Lee Hee Cheon (Busan)
Twelve months ago, he started as the favourite for this race and led the field into the home straight before fading disappointingly to 13th. He had five months off earlier in 2014 and since returning, he’s won all four of his starts. He will be the favourite again, having broken the Busan track record over 2200M on his last start and he will probably lead again. This should be his year.

3. Wonder Bolt (USA) [Desert Warrior – Little Champ (Great Gladiator)] – 4yo colt – (21/6/8/1) – 127 – Lee Chan Ho (Seoul)
The highest rated horse in training at Seoul, Wonder Bolt was 5th in this race last year. He has spent much of the year racing at shorter distances, finishing 2nd behind Singapore’s champion sprinter El Padrino in the Asia Challenge Cup in August. A very comfortable winner over 1700M last month, he is very quick and will have some supporters for the Grand Prix.

4. Rush Forth (USA) [Rush Bay – Fourth Quest (Norquestor)] – 4yo gelding – (15/4/3/3) – 117 – Kim Ok Sung (Seoul)
He was 2nd behind Samjeong Jewang in the KRA Cup Classic over 2000M on his last start in October, only beaten a nose and finishing the quicker of the two horses. He should like the distance but is yet to find the winner’s circle at class 1 level – his last victory was all the way back in February – and he is unlikely to find it in this race.

5. Major King (KOR) [Pico Central – Still Golden (Gold Fever)] – 4yo colt – (16/7/3/3) – 119 – Jo Chang Wook (Busan)
The winner of one of the Korean Triple Crown races last year, he spent the first half of 2014 in the United States. He was unsuccessful there and returned to Korea in August. He has raced four times since, winning once over 2000M. He is a very capable competitor but will probably find a few too quick for him.

6. Samjeong Jewang (USA) [Patriot Act – Ms. Sadira (Dixieland Heat)] – 3yo gelding – (9/6/0/2) – 117 – Ikuyasu Kurakane (Seoul)
A narrow win over Rush Forth in the KRA Cup Classic in October was the fourth consecutive victory for this up and coming gelding. He likes to come from slightly off the pace and he has a strong finish. He’s going to need a very strong one in this company but is certainly not without hope. Three-year-olds have won the two most recent editions of this race.

7. Cheonji Bulpae (AUS) [Bernardini – Purrfection (Tale Of The Cat)] – 5yo horse – (24/10/3/3) – 126 – Jo Sung Gon (Busan)
Now from the stable of Peter Wolsley at Busan, Cheonji Bulpae was an impressive 3rd in this race last year. He’s only won two of his seven starts in 2014 but has usually been close and has been carrying some big weights in handicaps. While he won’t be favourite, he has every chance of coming close again.

8. Magic Dancer (KOR) [Forest Camp – Wildly Magic (Peterhof)] – 4yo colt – (17/10/4/1) – 126 – Kanichiro Fujii (Busan)
Trained by Kim Young Kwan at Busan, Magic Dancer is a proven winner at Seoul Racecourse, having won the Jeju Governor’s Cup over 2000M in June this year. He finished 3rd behind Gyeongbudaero in the President’s Cup last month and should have no problems with the distance. Jockey Joe Fujii is the only foreign rider to have won the Grand Prix and what tactics he employs could be the key to this race.

9. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – 5yo horse – (27/10/6/7) – 129 – Choi Si Dae (Busan)
The highest-rated domestic bred horse in Korea, Gyeongbudaero finished 6th in this race last year. He has only run three times in 2014 but the most recent of those saw him land the biggest victory of his career, the President’s Cup, over 2000M at Seoul Racecourse last month. In 2013, the President’s Cup winner went on to win the Grand Prix and while Gyeongbudaero won’t be favourite, he can never be ruled out.

10. Nobody Catch Me (USA) [With Distinction – Nana’s Babe (Allen’s Prospect)] – 4yo gelding – (17/6/4/2) – 131 – Kim Yong Geun (Busan)
He was a convincing winner of the Busan Metropolitan Stakes – known as the “Summer Grand Prix” – in July at odds of over 50/1, beating a number of his rivals here. He’s only run once since then and that too ended in a win, carrying 60kg around 1900M and still winning by 5-lengths and breaking the track record in the process. One of two contenders from the stable of Busan’s top trainer Kim Young Kwan, he has a chance.

11. Unbeatable (USA) [Eddington – Baxter Hall (Rahy)] – 4yo colt – (27/5/5/6) – 116 – Park Tae Jong (Seoul)
A distance specialist, Unbeatable won the most recent of very few races to be run over 2300M at Seoul last month, holding off several rivals in a tight finish. He’ll definitely stay on but that race was run at a pace significantly slower than any recent runnings of the Grand Prix and while he was quick at the finish, this is a significant step up in quality.

12. Ghost Whisper (KOR) [Gotham City – Emmy’s Lullaby (Unbridled’s Song)] – 6yo gelding – (27/14/4/3) – 128 – Masakazu Tanaka (Busan)
A very game horse and with plenty of talent too, he’s won four of his last six starts, usually from the front and broke the Busan track record for 1800M in October. Trained by Australian Peter Wolsley, he’s never without a chance although the distance and the caliber of opposition may be just a little too much for him here.

13. Jangmi Eondeok (USA) [Midnight Lute – Sea Gift (A.P. Indy)] – 4yo filly – (14/3/4/1) – 107 – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
The only filly in the race, she is likely to be the longest shot on the board. She’s only raced five times in 2014 with a best finish of 5th and she came home in 6th place in a Stakes race restricted to fillies and mares at Busan last month. As a result, even with the champion jockey on board, she is overmatched here.

Selections: (2) Beolmaui Kkum (7) Cheonji Bulpae (8) Magic Dancer (10) Nobody Catch Me

Grand Prix Stakes 2014 – 25 On Ballot For Season-Ending Showpiece

Now in its 33rd year, the Grand Prix Stakes isn’t the richest event on the Korean racing calendar, but it is definitely the most prestigious. Modelled after Japan’s Arima Kinen, racing fans get to vote on which horses they want to invite to run in the race which will be held at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday December 14.

Gamdonguibada is on the ballot again. She won the Grand Prix in 2012

Gamdonguibada is on the ballot again. She won the Grand Prix in 2012

This year 25 horses have been entered on the ballot. A maximum of 16 will get in and punters have until November 23rd to vote. Last year’s winner Indie Band is on the long-term injured list but 2012 winner Gamdonguibada, fresh from her victory in Sunday’s Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup is there as is Gyeongbudaero, who claimed the President’s Cup at Seoul earlier this month.

Here is the full list of nominations:

Seoul

Rush Forth (USA)
Samjeong Jewang (USA)
Wonder Bolt (USA)
My Day (KOR)
Jangmi Eondeok (USA)
Unbeatable (USA)
Impetus (KOR)
Damyang Chukje (USA)
Clean Up Cheonha (USA)
Clean Up Joy (USA)

Busan

Beolmaui Kkum (USA)
Gyeongbudaero (KOR)
New York Blue (USA)
Multi Luck (USA)
Strictly Two Step (USA)
Magic Dancer (KOR)
Nobody Catch Me (USA)
Gamdonguibada (USA)
Major King (KOR)
All Su (KOR)
Hangangui Gijeok (KOR)
Ghost Whisper (KOR)
Cheonji Bulpae (AUS)
Gumpo Sky (KOR)
Heba (USA)

The race will be run over 2300 metres. The normal sub-zero temperatures and occasional snow only add to the occasion. We will have plenty more build-up as the big day gets nearer.