Grand Teukgeup

Fujii Returns With A Winner While Wolsley Trains A Four-Timer

Joe Fujii marked his return to the saddle with a winner but it was Peter Wolsley who stole the show among the foreign ranks at Busan on Friday, sending out four winners on the day.

Joe Fujii was back with a winner today (KRA)

Joe Fujii was back with a winner today (KRA)

Fujii, returning after a five-month layoff, started well when guiding Wonderful Star to a creditable 3rd place in race 1 and was then 2nd on Sky Sun in race 4.

He had to wait until race 8 to find the winner’s circle though, riding favourite Vicar Gold to a comfortable 5-length victory.

By that time, Australian trainer Wolsley had already saddled two winners. Debutant Cheonji Park was impressive, making all to claim race 2 before Choedae Gangja triumphed with a similarly front-running victory in race 7.

Next up for Wolsley was Baksuchyeo, who in landing his 5th win in 8 starts, handed the highly-rated filly Top Admiral her first ever defeat in race 9. Cinderella Man completed the four-timer in race 10.

Feature race of the afternoon went to 8/1 chance Grand Teukgeup. This afternoon’s winners essentially assure Wolsley of 2nd place in the Trainers’ Championship behind the Kim Young Kwan stable. As for Fujii, despite missing almost half the season, he still lies in 7th in the Jockeys’ Championship.

Both Fujii and Wolsley will be back at Busan for more on Sunday.

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Se Young’s Super Six

Champion jockey Moon Se Young was in imperious form at Seoul on Sunday, riding the winner in 6 or the 10 races on the card.

Moon Se Young

Moon Se Young

As has been mentioned many times on this blog, the standard of riding in Korea has been getting better and better over the past few years.

Seo Seung Un, while not the champion, was undoubtedly the jockey of the year in 2013 by virtue of his outstanding performance with limited firepower.

Lee Chan Ho, a first year apprentice is showing great potential, while Jo In Kwen pushed Moon all the way last year.

However, if there was any doubt as to who is the number one in the weighing room, it was dispelled today. All his mounts had chances and Moon brought them home with ruthless efficiency.

Those wins included both co-feature races, firstly with Brig (Menifee), a 4-year-old who was 4th in the Korean Derby last year and looks set to fulfil his potential this time around.

Then there was Bichui Wangja (Roman Ruler), a 4-year-old American import who held off two long shots to record his 5th career win. Seo Seung Un had ridden Bichui Wangja in all his previous outings before today. With Moon being available though, the ride went to him.

A smile would be nice: Even after Bichui Wangja give s him his 6th winner of the day, Moon Se Young is in no mood for celebration

A smile would be nice: Even after Bichui Wangja give s him his 6th winner of the day, Moon Se Young is in no mood for celebration

Earlier in Moon’s haul was Feel So Good (Ft.Stockton). The only Korean bred horse to win a race in the United States returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in 4 outings, winning race 6 by a nose. He’ll be in class 2 company next time out.

Down at Busan, we have some quality riders too although with Jo Sung Gon off to Macau, most of them are now foreign.

Joe Fujii and Darryll Holland both picked up where they left off from Friday by riding winners. Fujii added to his Friday four-timer by scoring a routine win on hot favourite Not Anymore (Casino Prince) in race 4. It was a 3rd win from 7 starts for the Aussie filly who has never finished worse than 3rd.

Two races later, Holland, who rode a double on Friday, landed the feature race for the 2nd time in as many meetings, guiding Grand Teukgeup (Menifee) to a comfortable win over 7 furlongs.

Untouchable! Useung Touch Romps To Ttukseom Cup Triumph

Useung Touch struck the first blow in the race to become Champion filly & mare of 2013 by cruising to a remarkable 7-length victory in the Ttukseom Cup, the first leg of the 2013 Queens’ Tour, at Seoul Race Park Sunday.

Hold On! Connections and jockey Choi Si Dae struggle to hold Useung Touch in the Ttukseom Cup winner's circle

Hold On! Connections and jockey Choi Si Dae struggle to hold Useung Tocuh in the Ttukseom Cup winner’s circle

Now 5-years-old, the 2011 Korean Oaks winner Useung Touch (Menifee)announced her return to form with shock 2nd place finish to Gamdounguibada in the Grand Prix Stakes in December. Today, re-united with jockey Choi Si Dae for the first time since she was a 3-year-old and dropping down to 7 furlongs, she was sent off as second-favourite behind Segye Ilbo Cup winner Indian Blue.

Always travelling well, Useung Touch hit the front with just over a furlong to run and powered away from the field, still stretching her lead on the line. Fellow Korean bred filly Grand Teukgeup (Menifee), 3rd in last year’s Oaks was closest to her in 2nd, while Indian Blue’s effort was too little and far too late as she finished in 3rd.

Useung Touch now has 7 wins from her 21 starts with 7 2nd place finishes and prize money of over 1 Billion Korean Won. A star of the 2011 Triple Crown trail, in addition to winning the Oaks, she was 2nd in the Derby and Minister’s Cup. While she only recorded one win in 2012, she’s now firmly established back among the Korean racing elite.

It’s another triumph for Korea’s top stallion Menifee. In siring the 1st and 2nd home, he extends his lead at the top of the Leading Sire race with more than double the prize money of his closest rival.

Ttukseom Cup (KOR G3) – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – March 17, 2013

1. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee – Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] – Choi Si Dae – 3.2, 1.4
2. Grand Teukgeup (KOR) [Menifee-Saratoga Campaign (Mt. Livermore)] – Chae Gyu Jun – 3.6
3. Indian Blue (USA) [Henny Hughes – Gamblers Passion (Prospector’s Gamble)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 1.5

Distances: 7 lengths / 0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Sangnyu (USA) 5. Empire World (USA) 6. Darani (USA) 7. Seungniuihamseong (KOR) 8. Dongteuja (KOR) 9. Dangdae Jeonseung (CAN) 10. Imperial Girl (USA) 11. Kkakjaengi (USA) 12. Sangseung Geotap (USA) 13. Ruby Queen (KOR) 14. Royale Embrace (USA) 15. Chowonuibyeol (USA) 16. Blueband Mama (USA)

* There is Listed race action at Seoul next weekend. 2012 Korean Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire) heads the entrants for the Sports Donga Cup.

Rising Glory Gets The Glory In Korean Oaks

Rising Glory overcame the stubborn challenge of Cheoneun to win the 2012 Korean Oaks at Busan Race Park this afternoon.

Cheoneun had led right from the start of the fillies’ Classic and, on the rail in the home straight, looked to have enough left in the tank to lead from gate-to-wire.

However, Rising Glory had always been handily placed and, under Jo Sung Gon, once she got her run, she hunted down Cheoneun, hitting the front with fifty metres remaining and stretching away for victory by just under two lengths.

Grand Teukgeup, with South African jockey Gerrit Schlechter on board finished third but there was frustration for Japanese rider Joe Fujii. Riding 4/1 chance Nuriui Bit for Australian trainer Peter Wolsley, he was taken out of the race on the final corner by out of control 90/1 shot Last Love. Dragged right over to the stands rail, by the time Nuriui Bit was going in a straight line again, the race was long gone.

Over Power, who punters sent off as the slight pre-race favourite, finished in fifth place under Narazaki Kosuke.

As for the winner, Rising Glory, sent off fourth in the betting at 6/1, was taking part in her first Classic of the season having been kept away from the KRA Cup Mile and the Derby. In winning today, she was recorded her fourth career victory from nine starts. Her jockey, Jo Sung Gon celebrated in his usual less than understated way as they crossed the line. Jo was recording his seventh Korean Group race win although five of the previous six had come on one horse, Dangdae Bulpae.

Rising Glory is the third Korean Classic winner for her sire Menifee from his two crops that have come of age He sired last year’s Oaks winner Useung Touch, while Gyeongbudaero took the KRA Cup Mile earlier this. So far, neither of those have gone on achieve true greatness with both being hampered by injuries.

Whether Rising Glory comes to Seoul in October for the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown, will be the big question for her connections over the coming weeks. For now though, she is the champion filly of her generation.

Korean Oaks (KOR.GII) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – August 26, 2012

1. Rising Glory (KOR) [Menifee – Straight Cash (Straight Man)] – Jo Sung Gon
2. Cheoneun (KOR) [Forest Camp – Naha (Silver Buck)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan
3. Grand Teukgeup (KOR) [Menifee – Saratoga Campaign (Mt. Livermore)] – Gerrit Schlechter

Distances: 1.75 lengths/2 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Money Queen 5. Over Power 6. Dolpung Jilju 7. Gumpo Yeowang 8. Naryusya 9. Choego Yeosin 10. Joiner Peace 11. Sing A 12. Last Love 13 Powerful Miss G 14. Nuriui Bit

Weekend Preview

Gyeongnam Do-Min Ilbo Stakes could offer Classic Clues

A couple of years ago the Korean Meteorological Administration said there was no point in it trying to predict when it’s going to rain during monsoon season as it’s easier to pick a winner in a maiden pony race on Jeju Island. Or words to that effect. That season began in spectacular fashion last Friday night and we lost a day’s racing at Seoul last Saturday as a result.

It shouldn’t look like this at the weekend but don’t bet against it

We should therefore be cautious about the forecast that predicts a bright and sunny weekend. We can but hope though as Busan Race Park on Sunday plays host to what should be an entertaining renewal of the Gyeongnam Do-Min Ilbo Stakes.

Nine three-year olds join four older horses in the 1800 metre test which serves as a trial for the remaining Classics. Grand Teukgeup (Menifee), Joiner Peace (Menifee) and Over Power (Ft. Stockton) are being run with next month’s Korean Oaks in mind while colts Predict (The Groom Is Red), Nobel Pokpung (Didyme), Dream Tower (Forest Camp) are among those looking towards the Minister’s Cup in three months’ time.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday July 6

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

Saturday July 7

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:20
Jeju Race Park: 8 races from 12:20 to 16:50

Sunday July 8

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