Gwanggyo Bisang

Gwanggyo Bisang Cruises To The Segye Ilbo Cup While Gyeongbudaero Proves His Worth At Busan

Gwanggyo Bisang strolled to his third career Stakes win with an easy victory in the Segye Ilbo Cup at Seoul last Sunday. However, the star of the weekend was Gyeongbudaero, who carried 60kg to victory in the first class 1 “Open” race at Busan.

Gwanggyo Bisang was an easy winner of the Segye Ilbo Cup at Seoul on Sunday

Gwanggyo Bisang was an easy winner of the Segye Ilbo Cup at Seoul on Sunday

Now a 5-year-old, Gwanggyo Bisang is the top rated Korean bred horse in the capital and he showed exactly why when coming from behind in the final two furlongs of the 1200M Segye Ilbo Cup to take the line almost two lengths clear of closest rival Ganghae.

A slight disappointment in the President’s Cup last November and then again when sent off the strong favourite in a class 1 handicap just before Christmas, Gwanggyo Bisang this time made no mistake as he secured the 12th win of his 19 race career to date.

Segye Ilbo Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – February 8, 2015

1. Gwanggyo Bisang (KOR) [Menifee – Touch Upon (Touch Gold)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.4, 1.0
2. Ganghae (KOR) [Didyme – Ocelot (Catrail)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 1.3
3. Global Fusion (KOR) [Menifee – Morning Red Sky (Chisos)] – Lee Joon Chel – 12.8
Distances: 1.75 Lengths / 0.75 lengths – 13 ran.

The winner of that aforementioned President’s Cup was, of course, Gyeongbudaero. He would then go on to win the season-ending Grand Prix Stakes as well and his eagerly anticipated 2015 debut also came on Sunday.

It was a debut that was given extra significance in that it was in the first class 1 race to take place since the practice of providing separate races for Korean bred horses at the top-level was ended (except for some Stakes races).

Gyeongbudaero and Choi Si Dae win at Busan on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Gyeongbudaero and Choi Si Dae win at Busan on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Despite carrying top weight and facing some very good imports in the shape of Spring Gnarly (Master Command), undefeated in seven and Cheonji Bulpae (Bernardini), one of the highest rated horses in the country, the Korean horse was immense.

Under jockey Choi Si Dae, Gyeongbudaero was in close attendance the whole way around before accelerating away in the home straight. He held off the challenge of fellow domestic-bred Gumpo Sky (Vicar) for victory by just over a length.

It was his 12th win in 29 career starts, however, 13 of those starts have been in Stakes races. He’s only ever been out of the money twice and has won over US$2 Million in prize money. And he’s certainly not finished yet.

Class 1 – Busan Racecourse – 2000M – February 8, 2015

1. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.7, 1.1
2. Gumpo Sky (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] – Kim Dong Young – 2.2
3. Chogwang (AUS) [Lion Heart – Colonial Dancer (Pleasant Colony)] – Noboyuki Oyama – 5.7
Distances: 1.25 lengths/Neck
Also ran: 4. Ildeung Hanghaesa (KOR) 5. Spring Gnarly (USA) 6. Cheonji Bulpae (AUS) 7. Biryong (NZ) 8. Full Forest (USA) 9. Cheonjae Bogo (NZ) 10. Kellan (KOR) 11. Sarang Dream (KOR) PU: Haneului Chubok

Racing Review: Hangangui Gijeok Dominates Queen’s Blade

Hangangui Gijeok was the star of the show in Korea this weekend, scoring a dominant 12-length win over Derby and Oaks winning filly Queen’s Blade at Busan on Friday.

Ineligible for the Triple Crown races this year due to being a gelding, Hangangui Gijeok went up to Seoul last month after seven conseuctive wins at Busan including the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup. He finished 4th behind Gyeongbudaero, who would go on to win last week’s Grand Prix Stakes but was the best of the three-year olds in the race, ending just a nose ahead of Queen’s Blade.

There was rather more than a nose between them when they raced over a mile in Busan’s Friday feature. leading from gate-to-wire, Hangangui Gijeok finished a full 12-lengths clear of Queen’s Blade who put a further full 4-lengths between herself and the rest of the field. Hangangui Gijeok moves onto nine wins from twelve career starts and his 2015 campaign will be one of the most eagerly awaited on the peninsula.

Class 1 – Busan Racecourse – 1600M – Dec 19, 2014

1. Hangangui Gijeok (KOR) [Didyme – Legendary Destiny (Giant’s Causeway)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.9, 1.0
2. Queen’s Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Harboring (Boston Harbor)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.3
3. Road To Prince (KOR) [Pico Central – Ransom Bay (Red Ransom)] – Chae Sang Hyun – 2.1

Distances: 12 lengths / 4 lengths – 11 ran

At Seoul, the feature race was on Sunday when Gwanggyo Bisang struggled under top weight of 60Kg in the big class 1 handicap and could only manage third place as Namhae Daewwang (Commendable) landed his second consecutive win at the highest level. Four of the four-year old’s six career wins have come this year and he closed late to overturn a tiring Nulpureunchongyong in the closing stages of the 1800M event.

Jockey performance of the weekend came, as usual from Moon Se Young, who partnered five horses to victory at Seoul on Saturday, before adding another two on a snowy Sunday. Among them was the still unbeaten US import Bear Queen Trophy (Exchange Rate) who made it three wins from three starts on Sunday afternoon.

Joe Fujii too, got the second win of his comeback from injury on Sunday, guiding the Kim Young Kwan trained Buho to race 6 at Busan on Sunday.

While the racing season was originally scheduled to finish on Sunday, an extra set of cards have been added for the final weekend of the year with a bumper 13-race card at Busan on Friday and the usual weekend racing around the three tracks. There are some big fields in store, especially at Seoul, and racing will be simulcast to Singapore on Friday and Sunday.

Round-Up: Yeongsan II Suffers First Defeat But Watts Village Wins Prep

Queen’s Blade getting beaten in the Minister’s Cup on Sunday may have been a surprise but the Derby and Oaks winning filly’s reverse in the final Classic of the season wasn’t the biggest shock of the weekend at Seoul.

Gwanggyo Bisang - seen here after a Stakes win, became the first Korean horse to beat Yeongsan II

Gwanggyo Bisang – seen here after a Stakes win, became the first Korean horse to beat Yeongsan II

Yeongsan II had won all six of his races in Korea in dismissively easy fashion, culiminating in the Ilgan Sports Cup in September. However, on Saturday afternoon, he stepped up in class and distance and finally met his match in the shape of last year’s Ilgan winner, Gwanggyo Bisang.

Sent off as the odds on favourite, Yeongsan II set the pace under Moon Se Young and as they entered the home straight looked ready to cruise to another routine victory. That was to reckon without Gwanggyo Bisang though as while Yeongsan II was by no means slow in the final furlong, his fellow 4-year-old – depite carrying 60Kg – was able to go up a gear to reel him in and pass him to win by just under a length on the line.

The result, along with Queen’s Blade’s setback, Indie Band on the long-term injured list, and Wonder Bolt on the doubtful list, sets next month’s President’s Cup – Korea’s richest race – wide open with Busan’s Hangangui Gijeok, currently on a winning streak of seven, now the likely favourite. Gwanggyo Bisang, now with eleven wins from sixteen starts, may have to now be considered too.

Class 1 Handicap – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – October 4, 2014

1. Gwanggyo Bisang (KOR) [Menifee – Touch Upon (Touch Gold)] – Park Tae Jong – 3.8, 1.3
2.Yeongsan II (KOR) [Menifee – Foxxy Cleo (Peintre Celbre)] – Moon Se Young – 1.2
3. Gumanseok (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme) – Ham Wan Sik 1.5
Distances: 0.75 lengths / 3 lengths – 10 ran

Another race that is on the near horizon is the Japan/Korea Interaction Cup at Tokyo Ohi on November 11. With big prizes such as the President’s Cup on offer at home in November and only Seoul horses able to make the trip, there is a diminishing pool of talent available to make the trip to defend the title so memorably won by Watts Village last year.

And it was Watts Village (Forestry) who won a preparation race for the Interaction Cup on Sunday afternoon, getting the disappointment of his performance in the Asia Challeng Cup at the end of August out of his system.

Watts Village is unlikely to go to Tokyo but back at his favourite distance of 1200M and under Moon Se Young for the very first time, the 4-year-old led from gate-to-wire to win by 7-lengths in what was one of the fastest ever recorded times over the distance at Seoul. Sing Sing Cat was 2nd with Here He Comes, who is in-line to go to Japan, a creditable 3rd.

This coming weekend it is the 2-year-olds who take centre stage with Juvenile Championship races at both Seoul and Busan. The capital hosts the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup on Saturday with the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup at Busan on Sunday. The best performers will re-convene in Seoul at the end of November to decided the nation’s overall champion juvenile in the Korean Breeders’ Cup.

Joy Lucky and Oreuse Claim Stakes Wins as Indie Band Returns Off-Key

Joy Lucky bounced back from her Ttukseom Cup disappointment to win the Owners’ Association Trophy at Seoul on Sunday but there was neither joy nor luck at Busan for Grand Prix winner Indie Band as he slumped to 3rd while Oreuse took the honours in the Gukje Sinmun Cup.

Seo Seung Un looks around to see if he and Joy Lucky have won the Owners' Trophy (KRA)

Seo Seung Un looks around to see if he and Joy Lucky have won the Owners’ Trophy (KRA)

Despite her Ttukseom trouncing Joy Lucky was sent off the odds-on favourite for the Owners’ Trophy, a race which had been re-arranged from its original schedule two weeks ago.

Featuring prominently throughout, Seo Seung Un had the 4-year-old filly track the pace-setting Brig before hitting the front with a furlong to run in the 1400 metre race.

Despite looking vulnerable on the run-in, shew as able to hold off the fast finishing Cheonnyeon Dongan and Gwanggyo Bisang, who dueled in the rails, to record her 9th victory in 13 starts.

Owners’ Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – May 4, 2014

1. Joy Lucky (KOR) [Vicar – Proper Gun (Prosper Fager)] – Seo Seung Un – 1.5, 1.1
2. Cheonnyeon Dongan (KOR) [Ecton Park – Honeycakes (Hennessy)] – Ikyuasu Kurakane – 1.5
3. Gwanggyo Bisang (KOR) [Menifee – Touch Upon (Touch Gold)] – 1.4
Distances: Head/0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Brig 5. Seoul Jeongsang 6. K Tap 7. Full Step 8. Reigns Cat 9. Jjak Kkung DQ: New And Best

Down at Busan, Indie Band ws making his first start since completing the President’s Cup/Grand Prix Stakes double at Seoul last year.

Indie Band was sent off as a narrow favourite ahead of Peter Wolsley’s Cheonji Bulpae but it was the unheralded Oreuse who bounded into an early lead and never looked back, the 5-year-old US import scoring a wire-to-wire victory.

Indie Band closed strongly in the home-straight but could only manage third place, a nose behind Dynamic Jilju and a full three lengths adrift of the winner.

Oreuse has been consistent rather than spectacular in winning 12 of his 26 starts to date. Thought of as being able to excel up to a mile, this was only his 2nd attempt at going an extra furlong. No doubt if he tries again, he’ll not be sent off at 11/1

Gukje Sinmun Cup – Busan Race Park – 1800M – May 4, 2014

1. Oreuse (USA) [Smoke Glacken – Heavenly Splendor (Point Given)] – Kim Dong Young – 11.3, 3.0
2. Dynamic Jilju (USA) [Forestry – Beat Your Feet (Dixieland Band)] – Choi Si Dae – 5.2
3. Indie Band (KOR) [Ecton Park – Plie (Dixieland Band)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.4
Distances: 3 lengths/Nose
Also ran: 4. Star Bolt (USA) 5. Ghost Whisper (KOR) 6. Cheonji Bulpae (AUS) 7. Strictly Two Step (USA) 8. Sand Hi (USA) 9. Magic Dancer (KOR) 10. Yereobunuiyeowang (JPN)

Gwanggyo Bisang Romps To Stakes Double

Gwanggyo Bisang cruised to a Stakes double at Seoul Race Park today, adding to his Munhwa Ilbo Cup with a 10 length victory in the Ilgan Sports Cup.

Park Tae Jong and Gwanggyo Bisang in the Ilgan Sports winners' circle - with a little help from members of Nine Muses

Park Tae Jong and Gwanggyo Bisang in the Ilgan Sports winners’ circle – with a little help from members of Nine Muses

Sent off the narrow favourite, Gwanggyo Bisang (Menifee) was always prominent among the 13-strong field and, under veteran jockey Park Tae Jong, never looked like being caught as he eased away from his rivals in the home straight.

Second-Favourite Heukgisa (A.P.Dancer) ran on for 2nd while the talented but lightly raced and injury prone K-Tap (Menifee) returned a creditable 3rd.

As a gelding, Gwanggyo Bisang was ineligible for the Triple Crown races this year. He has now won 7 of his 8 starts and enters class 1 racing as the highest ranked 3-year-old at Seoul. Having won at distances from 1000 metres to 1800 metres, he looks set to among the contenders for big honours later this year.

Ilgan Sports Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – September 15, 2013

1. Gwanggyo Bisang (KOR) [Menifee – Touch Upon (Touch Gold)] – Park Tae Jong – 2.1, 1.2
2. Heukgisa (KOR) [A.P.Dancer – Mansumugang (Half Term)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 1.6
3. K-Tap (KOR) [Menifee – Summit Party (Ecton Park)] – Jang Chu Youl – 3.7

Distances: 10 lengths/1 length – 13 ran

Earlier at Seoul there was a 3rd win in 4 starts for well-thought of 2-year-old Persian Wangja (Ghostzapper). One of very few Canadian-breds in Korea, he suffered his first defeat last time out at the hands of Fly Top Queen in the Singapore Turf Club Trophy. Today, he ran in a comfortable 2-length winner over 7 furlongs and is one to keep an eye on.

Down at Busan, having secured his 200th Korean winner last week, Australian Peter Wolsley trained his 201st today, saddling his stable star Cheongchun Bulpae (Milwaukee Brew) to win the feature “Mister Park Memorial Race” by a neck. A 4-year-old gelding, Cheongchun Bulpae now has 10 wins from 17 starts.

Happy Chuseok! From Dal Shabet

Happy Chuseok! From Dal Shabet

Racing now takes a weekend off for the “Chuseok” (Korean Thanksgiving) holiday. Punters were not impressed to find that the KRA had not supplied gifts for them as is customary at this time of year. However, given that top Korean girl-groups “Dal Shabet” and “Nine Muses” were both in attendance, we will forgive them.

Gwanggyo Bisang & Park Tae Jong Win Munhwa Ilbo Cup

Gwanggyo Bisang, a 3-year-old gelding, cruised to victory in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup at Seoul Race Park today.

Gwanggyo Bisang and Park Tae Jong in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup Winner's Circle

Gwanggyo Bisang and Park Tae Jong in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup Winner’s Circle

Geldings are ineligible for the 3-year-old Classics. If they were, Gwanggyo Bisang (Menifee) would surely have been a leading contender. He came into the race today with 5 wins from 6 starts at a variety of distances and, after sitting towards the back of the field during th early stages, he made short work of passing the whole lot to win by just under 3 lengths. K Tap (Menifee), a Derby also-ran was 2nd with the promising Heukgisa (A.P.Dancer) in 3rd.

It won’t be long until we see Gwanggyo Bisang in class 1 action and his is a name to look out for later in the year.

While it was a first visit to the Stakes winner’s circle for Gwanggyo Bisang, for his jockey it was anything but. Park Tae Jong has won more races than any other rider in Korean history – he’s closing in on 2,000 – and is one of only 3 jockeys still riding who first qualified for their license at the old Ttukseom Racecourse.

The 47-year-old Park’s first Stakes win came in the now discontinued Mugunghwa Cup in 1992 and with the exception of the Oaks, has won every big race in Korea. He may win a few more on Gwanggyo Bisang.

Munhwa Ilbo Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – July 14, 2013

1. Gwanggyo Bisang (KOR) [Menifee – Touch Upon (Touch Gold)] – Park Tae Jong – 4.5, 1.9
2. K Tap (KOR) [Menifee – Summit Party (Ecton Park)] – Moon Se Young – 2.4
3. Heukgisa (KOR) [A.P. Dancer – Mansumugang (Half Term)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 1.9

Distances: 2.5 lengths/Neck – 14 ran

* Next week sees the start of what is perhaps the highlight of the Korean racing year – four weeks of evening racing. During that time, the first race at Seoul will be around 2pm with the last around 9pm.