Gyeongbudaero

Hangangui Gijeok Downs Magic Dancer And Gyeongbudaero To Win Owners’ Cup

Hangangui Gijeok took his record to 8 wins from 10 starts, powering away from Magic Dancer and Gyeongbudaero to claim victory in the Owners’ Cup at Busan on Sunday.

Hangangui Gijeok and You Hyun Myung win the Owners' Cup at Busan

Hangangui Gijeok and You Hyun Myung win the Owners’ Cup at Busan

Magic Dancer, winner of the Jeju Governor’s Cup in Seoul back in June, was sent off as favourite with Hangangui Gijeok second in the betting, just ahead of former Classic winner Gyeongbudaero, who was returning to the track after a 7-month layoff.

It was Seoul filly Joy Lucky who set the early pace in the 1800 metre race, one of the richest of the year on the South coast. However, for the 2nd time in a row at Busan, the 4-year-old, who won the Seoul edition of the Owners’ Cup back in May, faded without trace as the runners entered the business end of the track.

Instead it was the big three who came to the front. Gyeongbudaero and Hangangui Gijeok on the rail and stand sides respectively and Magic Dancer squeezed in between them as they fought down the home straight.

It was the 3-year-old Hangangui Gijeok who found the most, eventually striding away for victory by a length and a half.

Ineligible for the Triple Crown due to being a gelding, Hangangui Gijeok has been quietly going about becoming one of the most formidable competitors on the track.

The narrow winner of the Gyeongnam-Do min Ilbo Cup in July, he came into this race off the back of six straight victories and now joins Magic Dancer and Derby and Oaks winner Queen’s Blade as Busan’s top rated horse.

Owners’ Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – September 21, 2014

1. Hanguaui Gijeok (KOR) [Didyme – Legendary Destiny (Giant’s Causeway)] – You Hyun Myung – 4.2, 1.4
2. Magic Dancer (KOR) [Forest Camp – Wildly Magic (Peterhof)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.1
3. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.8
Distances: 1.5 lengths / 0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Hanuelui Chibok 5. Magic Light 6. My Winner 7. Gangson 8. Major King 9. Like The Sun 10. Royal Gelloper 11. Tongjesa 12. Joy Lucky 13. Bukdaepung

Gyeongbudaero Blasts His Way To Busan Ilbo Cup

Gyeongbudaero held off a late challenge from an outsider to win the Busan Ilbo Cup this afternoon.

Winner: Gyeongbudaero (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Winner: Gyeongbudaero (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Running at his favourite distance of 1600 metres, the horse who is famous for finishing 2nd or 3rd in the big races made light of his 60kg impost to record his 3rd career Stakes win by a length from My Winner with long-shot All Su leading the rest of the field home 6 lengths adrift.

Gyeongbudaero would have a much better win rate but his connections always seek out the toughest possible opposition for him, generally running in open company rather than in races restricted to Korean bred horses.

He was 3rd in the Korean Derby, Minister’s Cup and President’s Cup in 2012 and followed it up in 2013 with 3rd in this race and 2nd in the President’s Cup.

He’s now 2 for 2 in 2014 with today’s win the 9th from 25 career starts. With Dangdae Bulpae retired, it is between him and President’s Cup winner Indie Band for the title of Busan’s number 1 horse.

It was a very strong run from My Winner in 2nd place. The Peter Wolsley trainee won a listed race last autumn which encouraged connections to take their chance in the President’s Cup. He was last that day and hadn’t run since. Better things could be on the way and he certainly won’t be allowed to start at 20/1 next time.

There was no luck for the foreign jockeys in the race. Joe Fujii, Masa Tanaka and Darryll Holland allentered with fighting chances of the win, However, riding Magic Dancer, Alpha Myeongjang and Grand Teukgeup, they finished 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.

Busan Ilbo Cup – Busan Race Park – 1600M – February 23, 2014

1. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae – 2.3, 1.1
2. My Winner (KOR) [Vicar – Bridlingbride (Unbridled’s Song)] – Kim Yong Geun – 4.3
3. All Su (KOR) [Perfect Vision II – Seollimwon (Wheaton)] – Song Keong Yun – 6.5

Distances: 1 length/6 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Magic Dancer 5. Alpha Myeongjang 6. Grand Teukgeup 7. Chima Cheolli 8. Fine Fine 9. Road To Prince

* At Seoul, there was a little bit of an upset on the Classic trail as Cheongnyeong Bisang looked very out of sorts while finishing 7th when favourite in a class 2 handicap over the Derby distance of 1800 metres.

Last year’s Champion Juvenile started the year with a routine win over 1700 metres last month and was favourite to successfully go the extra 100 metres today but never looked like going close.

Meanwhile, it was another good day for Ikuyasu Kurakane. The Japanese rider added to his solitary win yesterday with a double today, taking him to 14 for the year already despite missing the first 6 meetings of the year due to suspension.

Gyeongbudaero Downs Dangdae Bulpae In Owners’ Cup

After spending the best part of a year and half finishing 2nd or 3rd to the great and good of Korean racing, Gyeongbudaero finally came out on top, producing a late burst to win the Owners’ Cup at Busan Race Park today.

Winner: Gyeongbudaero

Winner: Gyeongbudaero

The 2012 KRA Cup Mile winner went on to finish 3rd in the Derby, 2nd in last year’s Owners’ Cup, 3rd in the Minister’s Cup and 3rd again in the President’s Cup.

This year he finished 3rd in the Busan Ilbo before finally winning a handicap in April.

He was 3rd in the betting today. Unsurprising, given that finishing 3rd is what he is best at.

Dangdae Bulpae, the 3-time President’s Cup winner and victor in that Busan Ilbo, was sent off the heavy favourite, despite it being only his second run back from a long injury.

With 2 furlongs to go, it looked like Dangdae Bulpae would win comfortably. Gyeongbudaero, after sitting in the middle of the field for most of race was steadily making ground but few expected him to go past – he doesn’t like winning, after all. However, as the final furlong wore on, it became clear that Gyeongbudaero was going the quickest and he swept by Dangdae Bulpae to claim the prize by half a length.

15/1 chance Powerful Korea, who had led much of the way, stayed on for 3rd while mare Useung Touch turned in a typically solid effort in 4th ahead of filly Grand Teukgeup. The well-fancied Road To Prince found trouble in the home straight and, under Joe Fujii, could only manage 6th.

Maybe Dangdae Bulpae has lost a yard of pace since his injury, however, after promising so much for so long, Gyeongbudaero is finally making good. He will be among the main favourites to stop Dangdae Bulpae at Seoul in November if the champion goes for his 4th President’s Cup.

Owners’ Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – September 8, 2013

1. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae – 6.1, 1.5
2. Dangdae Bulpae (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki – Indeed My Dear (Alydeed)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.1
3. Powerful Korea (KOR) [Distilled – Bound To Score (Quick Score)] – Song Keong Yun – 2.5

Distances: 0.5 lengths/5 lengths
Also ran: 4. Useung Touch 5. Grand Teukgeup 6. Road To Prince 7. Rising Glory 8. Movement 9. Seoul Jeongsang 10. Gumpo Yeowang 11. Fleet Boy 12. Danzing Sally

Busan Owners’ Cup: Full Preview

The Owners’ Cup is, along with the KRA Cup Mile, the Korean Oaks and the Metropolitan Stakes, one of the four biggest races of the season on the south coast and some of the track’s biggest Korean-bred stars will be battling it out early Sunday evening.

Dangdae Bulpae: Three time President's Cup winner seeks thr Owners' Cup

Dangdae Bulpae: Three time President’s Cup winner seeks thr Owners’ Cup

Four former Classic winners line-up while Seoul sends also sends a small contingent.

Here is a run-down of the field with Name (KOR) [Sire] Age Sex (Runs/1st/2nd/3rd) Jockey). All will carry 58kg although fillies and mares receive a 2kg allowance:

Owners’ Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – Sunday September 7, 17:35

1. Movement (KOR) [Sakura Seeking] 5 H (30/4/4/4) – Kim Jeong Jun (Seoul)
Finally graduated to class 1 recently but made an inauspicious debut the level and like all of the Seoul contingent, he looks out of his depth here.

2. Grand Teukgeup (KOR) [Menifee] 4 F (20/8/3/2) – Chae Gyu Jun
A nice filly who was 3rd in the Korean Oaks last year. She won last time out but has performed best at shorter distances and is difficult to recommend around two-turns in company such as this.

3. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee] 4 C (20/6/5/6) – Choi Si Dae
Since winning the KRA Cup Mile last year, Gyeongbudaero has run 2nd or 3rd in some of Korea’s best races. It’s winning that has been the problem with just 1 from 11 starts since that Classic victory. He is always close though and will be again here.

4. Rising Glory (KOR) [Menifee] 4 F (15/4/4/1) – Masakazu Tanaka
Won the Korean Oaks last year and was 2nd in the Minister’s Cup. However, following some injury setbacks, she hasn’t been the same as a 4-year-old and while she is making progress, it is difficult to see her challenging here.

5. Fleet Boy (KOR) [Creek Cat] 5 H (24/5/3/2) – Lee Gang Seo (Seoul)
An average handicapper at Seoul who can be relied upon to pick up some prize-money now and again. It’s unlikely he’ll be doing so in this race.

6. Road To Prince (KOR) [Pico Central] 4 C (14/8/3/1) – Kanichiro Fujii
Difficult to bet against the jockey/trainer combination of Joe Fujii and Kim Young Kwan in a big race and they have a good horse here. unraced at 2, he’s never been out of the prize-money and he will be in it here again. The only question is whether he can come out on top. Recommended.

7. Gumpo Yeowang (KOR) [Menifee] 4 F (16/3/4/5) – You Hyun Myung
Graduated to class 1 this yearand was 4th last time out. Unlikely to be able to make too much of an impact here.

8. Dangdae Bulpae (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki] 6 H (30/19/2/3) – Jo Sung Gon
The 3-time President’s Cup winner is widely acknowledged as one of Korea’s best ever horses. Returned after a 6-month lay-off to finish 3rd in the Metropolitan Stakes last time out. If he’s continued to get back to his old form, he can win this.

9. Seoul Jeongsang (KOR) [Capital Spending] 5 G (27/4/5/7) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
2nd to Ace Galloper last time out, this is his favourite distance. Seoul’s best hope of a place but no more than that.

10. Danzing Sally (KOR) [War Zone] 5 M (27/2/4/4) – Kim Gui Bae (Seoul)
In woeful form and was 11th of 12 in the YTN Cup last month. Nothing to recommend here.

11. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee] 5 M (24/8/7/2) – Lim Sung Sil
The 2011 Korean Oaks winner soared back into form when finishing a shock 2nd in the Grand Prix Stakes in Seoul last December. She then returned to the capital to win the Ttukseom Cup in March. She’s not run since a disappointing 5th in a handicap back in June. Can never be discounted but it would still be a surprise if she won.

12. Powerful Korea (KOR) [Distilled] 5 G (24/7/4/5) – Song Keong Yun
Spent his 2-year-old season in training in the USA. He finished 3rd in this race last year and returns in decent form. He could be challenging for a place.

* Also at Busan tomorrow is the Gold Circle Turf Club Trophy race. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Sunday September 8

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 13:00 to 18:10
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 16:45 to 19:40

Big Race Preview: Seoul Vs Busan In Jeju Cup

Jigeum I Sungan heads big name field that also includes Gyeongbudaero, Useung Touch and Road To Prince

Sunday is Jeju Island Day at Seoul Racecourse! While to Gyongmaman, Jeju Island brings to mind images of rain, fog, and a “dormant” volcano (last eruption 1007) which shares the name of his favourite brand of Soju, to others it is known as the “Hawaii of Korea”.

Of more interest to punters, however, is that Jeju is home to not only a unique type of pony racing which gets simulcasted to the mainland, but that it is also home to the majority of the Korean thoroughbred breeding industry.

Jigeum I Sungan heads the field for the inaugural Jeju Governor's Cup at Seoul (KRA)

Jigeum I Sungan heads the field for the inaugural Jeju Governor’s Cup at Seoul (KRA)

The KRA has decided to mark that this year by turning Seoul Racecourse into a “Mini Jeju” which will showcase Jeju culture (that Halla-san Soju, by any chance?) and its agricultural products. More importantly, they’ve decided to run a big-money race which has attracted some of the best domestic-bred horses from the capital and from Busan.

Three Classic winners are among the eleven runners (Name [Pedigree] Sex Age (Runs/1/2/3) Jockey (Home track)):

Jeju Governor’s Cup – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – June 30, 2013 – 16:35

1. New And Best [Trick Of Fate – Yeongunch’eon (Phizam)] H 6 (45/4/6/3) – Yukio Abe (Seoul)
He finished a shock 2nd to Jigeum I Sungan in the Owners’ Trophy in April prior to which he’d been marked down as a plodding handicapper. He followed it up with a creditable Class 1 3rd place, again behind Jigeum I Sungan. It would be quite a stretch for him to repeat that here though.

2. Mr. Rocky [Exploit – Sultry N’Sassy (Thunder Gulch)] G 6 (30/7/6/1) – Yoon Tae Hyuk (Seoul)
Had his 2012 season wiped out by injury and his results since coming back suggest he is not the horse he was. An outsider.

3. Gyeongbudaero [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] C 4 (18/6/4/6) – Choi Si Dae (Busan)
Difficult to believe that the 2012 KRA Cup Mile winner has won only 6 times. He’s only ever been out of the money once and almost always places. At minimum he should do that again.

4. Useung Touch [Menifee – Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] M 5 (23/8/7/2) – Chae Gyu Jun (Busan)
The 2011 Korean Oaks winner has been enjoying a renaissance since finishing a surprise 2nd in the Grand Prix Stakes last December and returned to Seoul to take the Ttukseom Cup in March. A disappointing 5th behind Yongduseong in last month’s KNN Cup at Busan, she seems to love the Seoul track and can’t be ruled out.

5. Yongduseong [Concept Win – C’est Avie (Lord Avie)] M 5 (14/9/2/1) – Lim Sung Sil (Busan)
The KNN Cup winner is on a run of 3 consecutive successes. However, she’s never won at further than a mile and is untried completely at this distance or on this track. She’s talented but those caveats are enough to suggest that stablemate Road To Prince is the real fancy from the Kim Young Kwan barn.

6. Yeongung Icheon [Concept Win – Saratogasplash (Wild Again)] H 5 (25/6/4/3) – Moon Jung Kyun (Seoul)
A solid enough performer but he doesn’t win much at this level and he’ll not be winning here.

7. Road To Prince [Pico Central – Ransom Bay (Red Ransom)] C 4 (12/8/2/0) – Kanichiro Fujii (Busan)
A late bloomer but, barring a 5th place in the Busan Ilbo Cup in February, looks to be getting better with each run. Jockey Joe Fujii and trainer Kim Young Kwan generally only come to Seoul to win and he will have plenty of backers.

8. Sharp Concept [Concept Win – Sharp Eyed (Danzero)] M 5 (31/5/2/6) – Ikuyasu Kurakane (Seoul)
She hasn’t impressed since graduation to CLass 1 this Spring and there’s little recommend her here.

9. Forest Wind [Capital Spending – Coffee Royale (Sword Dance)] H 6 (37/7/3/7) – Lee Sang Hyeok (Seoul)
Two wins over course and distance this year already means he can’t be discounted although he did get turned over in his two most recent outings by opposition inferior to what he’ll face here.

10. Jigeum I Sungan [Ingrandire – Solmaru (Mujaazif)] C 4 (20/11/6/1) – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
Since winning the Korean Derby last May, he’s won 7 of his 9 starts and all 5 this year. He’s the best Korean horse running at Seoul at the moment (and with Dangdae Bulpae on the long-term injury list, perhaps in the country) and he still appears to be getting better with every run. If he runs anything close to his best, he wins.

11. Gangcheoljangsa [Slew O’Green – Komyeongttal (Nurefly)] G 6 (36/2/9/5) – Kim Ok Sung (Seoul)
Hasn’t won since 2010. Won’t win here. Gets in because few want to take on Jigeum I Sungan and his owner likes a challenge.

Weekend Race Times

Saturday June 29
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:20

Sunday June 30
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:05

Weekend Preview

Just a week after Speedy First won the 2013 Korean Derby, last year’s winner Jigeum I Sungan, headlines the action at Seoul Race Park, while on Jeju Island, the ponies have their own Derby.

Jigeum I Sungan and Moon Se Young go again on Sunday

Jigeum I Sungan and Moon Se Young go again on Sunday

Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire) added another Stakes crown, the Owners’ Association Trophy, to his big-race haul last time out and, despite being top-weight by some considerable margin, will be heavy favourite to win in slightly more modest company in Sunday’s feature handicap.

Down at Busan, another former Derby winner, Ebony Storm (Buster’s Daydream), the evergreen winner of the 2008 edition is also in action. He’ll be nowhere near favourite but the 8-year old is not without a hope in the 7-furlong main-event. Last year’s KRA Cup mile winner Gyeongbudaero (Menifee) heads the field.

Derby winning jockey Joe Fujii returns to his home-track of Busan and has 10 rides across the weekend. The other foreign riders at the track aren’t getting quite the same support, however, with Ureshi Katsunori and Darryll Holland having just 3 and 2 mounts respectively.

Up at Seoul, however, it is a very busy weekend for Ikuyasu Kurakane, who rides 17 while even the ever-relaxed Yukio Abe will get on 9.

Meanwhile, down on Jeju Island, it is Derby Day! The KRA Jeju-Bred Derby is a new event on the calendar (or rather, an old Stakes race re-packaged as a Derby for 3-year olds) and brings together 10 of the most promising ponies running at the track. I’ll not pretend to know anything about the form but I do know that a month ago, practically the same field ran over the same 5-furlong distance in a race called the “Seongsan Ilchul” (hereafter called the “Jeju Guineas”) and it was won by a gelding called Sanjeongmuhan by a neck.

Sanjeongmuhan comes into the Derby with 6 wins from 9 starts. The race is number 5 on a 9-race card on Saturday at Jeju and will be simulcasted live to Seoul Race Park.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday May 24

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

Saturday May 25

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:40 including the KRA Jeju Derby at 15:15

Sunday May 26

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:00

Here’s what’s happening when and where.

Weekend Preview: Tough Win, Gyeongbudaero Set For Season Debuts

We didn’t have to wait too long for the big boys to come out the barn and onto the track this year as several of the country’s most well-known horses make their 2013 debuts this weekend.

Tough Win is back

Tough Win is back

Chief among them is Tough Win (Yonaguska). Now a 6-year old, he failed to successfully defend his Grand Prix Stakes title last month but should really be back to winning ways on Sunday at Seoul.

He will, however, be giving 4 kilos to Nolbu Manse (Simon Pure), who also disappointed in the Grand Prix but is a Stakes winner and did finish ahead of Tough Win in the KRA Cup Classic. What should be an entertaining race over 1800 metres is one of co-features at Seoul on Sunday.

The other co-feature sees a return to the track after 6 months of rest for former Champion Filly & Mare Top Point (Tom Cruiser). The 9-year-old will need to be close to her old best though to beat a competitive field of 14 in a handicap which, like its partner feature, will also be run over 1800 metres.

Taking on the foreigners: Gyeongbudaero (Pic: KRA)

Taking on the foreigners: Gyeongbudaero (Pic: KRA)

Down at Busan, Gyeongbudaero (Menifee) is the first of last year’s Classic winners to make his 4-year-old debut. The KRA Cup Mile winner will take on a field of imported horses including consistent winner Viva Ace (Macho Uno).

Owner Jang Kwang Hwa also owns Yeonseung Daero and took a very similar approach with him when he reached 4 years old.

Korean bred horses receive a weight allowance when running against imports and, while Yeonseung Daero has won nowhere near the number of races he would most likely have done had he just raced his compatriots, he has had more than his fair share of success and his career has been a delight to watch. Hopefully we are in for more of the same with Gyeongbudaero.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday January 11

Busan Race Park: 11 races from 12:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:30

Saturday January 12

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:20

Sunday January 13

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:00

Dangdae Bulpae Completes President’s Cup Hat-Trick In Emphatic Style

Dangdae Bulpae sent records tumbling as he cruised to a dominating victory in the President’s Cup at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

Dangdae Bulpae and Jo Sung Gon in the President’s Cup winner’s circle for the third consecutive year

Not only was it the five-year old’s third consecutive win in Korea’s richest race, an unprecedented feat, it was also his ninth Stakes win and took him to close to 3 Billion Won in career prize money, neither of which have ever been achieved by any other horse on the peninsula.

In the betting ring, punters sent Dangdae Bulpae off as the slight favourite in chilly, wet and blustery conditions, just ahead of Korean Derby winner Jiguem I Sungan. On the track, however, no-one even got close. Under Jo Sung Gon, Dangdae Bulpae hit the front as the field started to turn for home and once he did, the contest was over.

Moon Se Young may have left Jigeum I Sungan’s late run a little too late but he was never going to catch the winner, with the margin four lengths on the line after Jo had eased down the defending champion in the final furlong. Jigeum I Sungan held off KRA Cup Mile winner Gyeongbudaero by a head to claim third.

The victory was the eighteenth of Dangdae Bulpae’s career. As a three-year old he disappointed in the Cup Mile before finishing third in the Korean Derby. He made his breakthrough in the final Classic of the season, the Minister’s Cup before going on to claim his first President’s Cup. He finished the year on a low note, however, failing to get the trip in the Grand Prix Stakes, ending up in eleventh.

Although Busan based, he returned to Seoul as a four-year to win the Ttukseom Cup before a summer wobble saw him taste back to back Stakes defeats. He was back in form for the President’s Cup, however, winning comfortably.

Trainer Yoo Byung Bok greets his horse after training him to his third President’s Cup

Defeated by the late Mister Park early this year, Dangdae Bulpae beat an out of sorts Tough Win and a found to be lame Smarty Moonhak to win the Busan Metropolitan Cup and then claimed the Busan Owners’ Cup before returning to Seoul for today’s triumph.

The only thing missing now is the Grand Prix. Uniquely, invites to run in the Grand Prix are decided by public vote. If Dangdae Bulpae’s name is on the ballot, he’ll surely be voted in in top place and, with no Mister Park or Smarty Moonhak and an inconsistent Tough Win, it will be difficult for connections to keep him away a second year running.

Jigeum I Sungan has a shot at being there too. The Derby winner looks like he will be a very tough proposition next year. Gyeongbudaero too showed once again that he can compete among the best. There was a scare, however, for Rising Glory. Jockey Joe Fujii dismounted from the Oaks winner as soon as they crossed the line and although superficially no injury was apparent, she was sent for a full vet’s check-up.

The President’s Cup (KOR G1) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – November 11, 2012

1. Dangdae Bulpae (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki-Indeed My Deed (Alydeed) – Jo Sung Gon – 1.9, 1.2
2. Jigeum I Sungan (KOR) [Ingrandire-Solmaru (Mujaazif)] – Moon Se Young – 1.4
3. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee-Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – 2.2

Distances: 4 length/Head
Also Ran: 4. Seungnuihanseong 5. Magnnifique 6. Powerful Korea 7. Nobel Pokpung 8. Special Win 9. Yeonseung Daero 10. High Point 11. Cheot Insang DQ. Golden Rose DQ. Rising Glory.

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