Hangangui Gijeok

Cinderella Man Has A Ball At Busan

Cinderella Man added Hangangui Gijeok to his burgeoning list of big name scalps as he secured his second consecutive class 1 victory at Busan this afternoon.

Class 1 Handicap – Busan Racecourse – 1900M – March 22, 2015

1. Cinderella Man (KOR) [Southen Image – Tiza Fast Kat (Tiznow)] – Jo Sung Gon
2. Gandai (KOR) [Don’t Get Mad – Gamble To Victory (Prospectors Gamble)] – Song Keong Yun
3. Chogwang (AUS) [Lion Heart – Colonial Dancer (Pleasant Colony)] – Lee Hee Cheon
Distances: 4 lengths/Neck – 10 ran

Last time it was the Derby and Oaks winner Queens’ Blade, this time it was Hangangui Gijeok who went down to the Pegasus Stable owned and Peter Wolsley trained 4-year-old. Hangangui Gijeok was sent off as the favourite, but giving over 7Kg in the handicap to Cinderella Man was just too much and under Jo Sung Gon, the winner cruised away from the field in the final furlong for a 4-length victory.

Gandai and Chogwang finished together in 2nd and 3rd while Hangangui Gijeok labored home in 4th. suffering just his 4th defeat in 14 career starts to date.

For Cinderella Man it was an 8th win from 11 starts and the icing on yet another glorious day for trainer Peter Wolsley. The Australian saddled the winner of 4 of the 6 races on the card and in doing so, moved back ahead of Kim Young Kwan at the top of the Trainers’ Premiership at Busan.

Often when Wolsley has one of his dominant days, we note how shrewdly his runners have been entered. This time though, he simply had the better horses.

First up was Cheonji Park (Ecton Park) and the colt maintained his unbeaten record with his 4th straight victory in race 2. Macheon Bolt (Old Fashioned) was up next in race 3 and he too duly sauntered to his 4th consecutive victory. Lucky Gangja (Lookin At Lucky) made harder work of things in race 4 but, under a powerful ride by Kim Yong Geun, just got up by a neck for his 3rd win from 6 starts.

Kim Yong Kwan may eventually see off Wolsley in terms of numbers of winners and he will almost certainly saddle more big race winners over the course of the season. However, the perennial champion Trainer is going to be sweating a while longer before he is comfortable.

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Weekend Preview: Ikuyasu’s Last Stand

Seoul’s Jockey of the Year for 2014 as called time on his second sojourn in the country as Ikuyasu Kurakane will return home following this weekend’s racing. And the Japanese rider has plenty of opportunities to add to his remarkable 288 winners in the country before he heads to the airport.

Bowing out (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

Bowing out (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

Kurakane rides plenty of faovurites across the weekend, especially on Saturday, as connections look to make use of his services one more time. There’e plenty more happening too on a busy three days of racing.

Both Seoul and Busan host class 1’s. Things get underway at Busan on Friday when Hangangui Gijeok will be favourite for the big handicap over a mile. Ghost Whisper and Grand Teukgeup look to have the best chance of stopping him.

There is another big race at Busan on Sunday when the pair of Gamdonguibada and New York Blue face each other yet again. They’ll be joined by Heba and Lion Santa, anong others for the 1800M test.

Seoul’s class 1’s include a competetive 7-furlong sprint on Saturday with Mirae Yeongung looking the pick while on Sunday Unbeatable and Big Curlin will be top-rated in the final event of the weekend over 2000m.

It’s set to be a chilly but dry and bright weekend, so with big competitive fields, it’s a great time to come racing!

Full racecards are available at the KRA’s website. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday January 30
Busan Racecourse: 11 races from 11:40 to 18:00 (full simulcast preview of races 4-11)
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 13:20 to 17:20

Saturday January 31
Seoul Racecourse: 12 races from 10:50 to 18:00 (full simulcast preview of races 4-12 to follow)
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:10

Sunday February 1
Seoul Racecourse: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:00

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.

Gyeongbudaero Wins President’s Cup At Third Attempt

The expressway between Seoul and Busan is called “Gyeongbu”. Given that so much big race prize-money has disappeared down that road from the capital, it is perhaps appropriate that a horse called Gyeongbudaero, returned back South with the biggest prize of them all in the President’s Cup yesterday.

Gyeongbudaero (far side) just edges Best Captain in the President's Cup (Pic: KRA)

Gyeongbudaero (far side) just edges Best Captain in the President’s Cup (Pic: KRA)

Now five-years-old, Gyeongbudaero won the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Korean Triple Crown in 2012.

He followed it up with a third place in the Korean Derby and that year’s President’s Cup. Last year he would come back to Seoul and finish second. This year he finally got it right in the nation’s richest race.

It was another Busan raider, Hangangui Gijeok, who was sent off as the pre-race favourite, with Magic Dancer also ahead of Gyeongbudaero in the betting. And it was Magic Dancer who set much of the early pace with the favourite and Ganghae, a shock third in the Minister’s Cup, in close attendance.

This would turn out to be a race for the closers though and as first Ganghae disappeared and then Hangangui Gijeok Magic Dancer began to wane, it was Gyeongbudaero and outsider Best Captain who took full advantage. They would battle all the way to the line but it was Gyeongbudaero who got there first by a head.

Magic Dancer came home three lengths back in third ahead of Hangangui Gijeok with Derby and Oaks winning filly Queen’s Blade in fifth.

It was a tenth career victory for Gyeongbudaero and his fourth Stakes win. Twelve of his twenty-seven starts have been in Stakes company and he is now approaching the KRW 2 Billion mark in prize-money won.

If connections want it, they will be sure of getting an invite back to Seoul next month for the season-ending Grand Prix Stakes. Gyeongbudaero’s sixth place in last year’s race is one of only two occasions to date on which he has been out of the money.

President’s Cup (KOR G1) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – November 9. 2014

1. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae – 6.7, 1.9
2. Best Captain (KOR) [Revere – Onethindime (Tactical Advantage)] – Ikuyasu Kurakane – 4.9
3. Magic Dancer (KOR) [Forest Camp – Woldly Magic (Peterhof)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.7
Distances: Head / 3 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Hangangui Gijeok 5. Queen’s Blade 6. Haneuli Chubok 7. Gumpo Sky 8. New And Best 9. Gwanggyo Bisang 10. Success Story 11. Gumanseok 12. Heukgisa 13. Ganghae

* So yet another big race win for Busan and it is the southern track that looks likely to take the honours when horses from the two tracks clash again next Sunday – this time on the South Coast – in the Gyeongnam Owners’ Cup, the final leg of the Queens’ Tour.

President’s Cup: Thirteen To Contest Korea’s Richest Race

It’s the big one. Not in terms of prestige – that belongs to the open to all comers season-ending Grand Prix Stakes – but in terms of prize money, nothing in Korea can top the President’s Cup which will be run at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday.

Hangangui Gijeok and You Hyun Myung win the Owners' Cup at Busan. Can they add a President's Cup too? (KRA)

Hangangui Gijeok and You Hyun Myung win the Owners’ Cup at Busan. Can they add a President’s Cup too? (KRA)

Restricted to Korean bred horses, the Derby and Oaks winner is here in the shape of Queen’s Blade. She’s the only filly among a very competitive field of 13 that includes old favourites such as Gyeongbudaero and young up-and-comers like Hangangui Gijeok.

It will be one of the biggest betting races of the year Here is a full run-down of the field (Name [Pedigree] Age Sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Korean Rating – Jockey):

President’s Cup (KOR G1) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – Sunday November 9, 2014 – 16:40

1. Gumanseok [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] 5 G (27/9/5/5) 115 – Seo Seung Un
Beaten into third last time out by a very impressive Gwanggyo Bisang and the much-hyped Yeongsan II, this is a tough gelding who has some big wins on his resume. Not likely to be winning this but he can challenge for a place.

2. Ganghae [Didyme – Ocelot (Catrail)] 3 C (15/5/5/1) 109 – Choi Bum Hyun
A revelation in the Minister’s Cup last month when he stayed on for a very creditable 3rd behind Never Seen Before and Gumpo Sky. Again, he may find one or two too quick for him here but another big run can’t be ruled out.

3. Hangangui Gijeok [Didyme – Legendary Destiny (Giant’s Causeway)] 3 G (10/8/1/0) 124 – You Hyun Myung
The latest phenom to emerge from Busan, he comes into the race off the back of seven consecutive wins, most recently the Busan Owners’ Cup in September. He will come from off the pace and has very good late speed. On form, he will be tough to beat and while it will be his first time at Seoul, he is difficult to oppose.

4. Gwanggyo Bisang [Menifee – Touch Upon (Touch Gold)] 4 G (16/11/1/3) 122 – Park Tae Jong
A double Stakes winner last year, he comes in with three consecutive victories and was especially impressive carrying 60kg to victory over this distance a month ago. He is perhaps Seoul’s best hope but he is going to need to find even more improvement to beat the visitors from Busan.

5. New And Best [Trick Of Fate – Yongungch’eon (Phizam)] 7 H (61/4/6/3) 101 – Kim Ok Sung
No. His 4th place over this distance last time out was his first money finish since January. He has been a good and competitive horse but is overmatched here.

6. Haneului Chubok [Revere – Mina D’Oro (Afleet)] 6 G (33/6/10/4) 118 – Kim Tae Kyung
Fourth in the Busan Owners’ Cup last time out, just three lengths behind winner Hangangui Gijeok, eh may go close again but with both Magic Dancer and Gyeongbudaero also both ahead of him that day, it is difficult to see him reversing that form here.

7. Magic Dancer [Forest Camp – Wildly Magic (Peterhof)] 4 C (16/10/4/0) 126 – Kim Yong Geun
A proven winner at Seoul, having taken the Jeju Governor’s Cup back in June over this distance, this is a classy horse who must be respected. He will be towards the front throughout and will stay on. He also has the fastest final furlong among this field. Beaten by Hangangui Gijeok in the Busan Owners’ Cup, he will have supporters to overturn that form here. Jockey Kim Yong Geun opts for him over Queen’s Blade.

8. Gyeongbudaero [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run) 5 H (26/9/6/7) 125 – Choi Si Dae
One of the stars of the track over the past three years, he doesn’t have the win record that he might have had with eleven of his starts coming in Stakes races. His third place in the Busan Owners’ Cup was his first start since February. He has only been out of the money twice in twenty-six starts and it will be a brave punter who leaves him off his or her tickets here.

9. Queen’s Blade [Menifee – Harboring (Boston Harbor)] 3 F (12/7/3/0) 113 – Masakazu Tanaka
The Derby and Oaks winner was beaten eight lengths into fifth in the Minister’s Cup at this distance last month when sent off as favourite. Three of those who beat her in that race go again today. It has been a long season for her and while she is clearly a huge talent, this may be a race too far. It would be fantastic to be proved wrong.

10. Gumpo Sky [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] 3 C (14/5/5/2) 111 – Park Geum Man
Second in the Minister’s Cup a month ago, this is another horse whose win record doesn’t reflect his talent. Expect him to be close to the pace early and force the rest to try to come past. He should be aiming for at least a place.

11. Best Captain [Revere – Onethindime (Tactical Advantage) 4 C (17/7/5/3) 116 – Ikuyasu Kurakane
A very consistent money winner who has only failed to bring home a prize once out of his seventeen outings to date. A comfortable winner over 1800M last time out. He won that from the front and is likely to be among a large number here looking to get to the front early and stay there.

12. Success Story [Peace Rules – Power Pack (Lil’s Lad)] 3 C (9/5/0/2) 100 – Jo Sung Gon
He came into the Minister’s Cup last month off the back of three consecutive wins and showed the way for much of that race. He was found wanting in the final furlong though and that makes him difficult to support here. Jockey Jo Sung Gon doesn’t come to Seoul unless he thinks he has a chance though, so he will have some supporters.

13. Heukgisa [A.P.Dancer – Mansumugang (Half Term)] 5 G (22/9/5/2) 119 – Yoo Seung Wan
A very good-looking nine-length class 1 win over this distance a month ago is what gives him such a high rating here and also means he must be respected. Another who likes to be at the front early, he won’t be favourite but can’t be ruled out.

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

Fujii Sidelined After Fall While Hangangui Gijeok Takes DoMin Ilbo

The life of a jockey certainly isn’t a dull one but it has its ups and downs. A week ago, Joe Fujii was able to wake up on Monday morning reflecting on one of his biggest winners after steering Magic Dancer to victory in the Jeju Governor’s Cup. This Monday, he starts recovering from a broken shoulder suffered at Busan yesterday.

Joe Fujii and Magic Dancer last weekend at Seoul

Joe Fujii and Magic Dancer last weekend at Seoul

He suffered the injury when he was violently dislodged from 14/1 chance Hybrid just after they exited the gate at the start of race 4. Eventual winner Bada Gangja was deemed to have been culpable in the incident to the extent that the colt was stripped of the race after an Inquiry.

Fujii, who has won 130 races – including 6 Stakes races – in Korea, now faces around two months on the sidelines, missing the ride of Gamdonguibada in the Busan Metropolitan – the “Summer Grand Prix” – in two weeks’ time. With Darryll Holland having finished his successful stint in Korea last week, Busan is now two star-jockeys short for the time being.

That fall meant Fujii missed the ride on Namdo Trio in the weekend’s feature race, the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Stakes.

The race came down to a final furlong battle that went all the way to the line with favourite Hangangui Gijeok just getting the better of Gumpo Sky by the narrowest of noses. The Peter Wolsley trained pair of Never Seen Before and Jungle Jim came home 3rd and 4th.

Hanganui Gijeok didn’t run in either of the first two legs of the Korean Triple Crown due to his being a gelding and therefore ineligible but was recording his 6th straight victory on his 8th career starts. Bigger races await.

Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Cup – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – July 6, 2014

1. Hangangui Gijeok (KOR) [Didyme – Legendary Destiny (Giant’s Causeway)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.7, 1.0
2. Gumpo Sky (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.7
3. Never Seen Before (KOR) [Ecton Park – Gwangyeolhan (Stormin Fever)] – 2.0
Distances: Nose / 4 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Jungle Jim 5. Jokwang 6. Namdo Trio 7. Hwanggeumbitjijung 8. Mega Bolt 9. Lady Medal 10. Challenger Dream

Next week the Stakes action is at Seoul. All eyes will be on Yeongsan II as he aims to get his first big race victory in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup.