Ilgan Sports Cup

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 22)

There are 11 Sunday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. The feature race is the Ilgan Sports Trophy at Seoul where Sharp Kaylan, 2nd in the final leg of the Triple Crown last month, has the chance to pick up a piece of silverware. Immediately after the last race at Seoul, the KRA Trophy at Kranji in Singapore will be shown . Three Korean horses, Today, Gakbyeolhan and Approach, have made the trip over. Here are race-by-race comments for the Seoul meeting. Busan selections (and one for Kranji) are below:


Sharp Kaylan came close in the Minister’s Cup but had to settle for 2nd place. He can win Sunday’s Ilgan Sports (Pic: KRA)

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(3) GYEONGGUKJIMA ran a strong 3rd in a good time on debut on June 16th, racing on pace throughout. She’s well drawn to lead early and should make all the running in this all-filly maiden. (5) HEUNG OREUM debuted in the same race, ending in a creditable 5th and she can build on that here although she has plenty to find on the favourite. (7) LUCAS was also 3rd on her debut last month and while she was slightly less impressive than Gyeonggukjima, she can at least match that here. First-time starter (4) DANGDAE SONYEO looks an interesting proposition under Manoel Nunes while (9) STAR LIST beat a couple of these on her way to an improved 3rd on her fourth career start four weeks ago.

Selections (3) Gyeonggukjima (7) Lucas (5) Heung Oreum (4) Dangdae Sonyeo
Next Best 9, 10
Fast Start 1, 3, 4, 7

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(7) HANIL DALBIT has shown promise across four prior starts. His best finish came when he was just beaten a neck over the distance at the end of April having led almost until the line. Last time out he was favourite and while he could only manage 4th, is worth another chance here. (2) SOKBO WANGWI was 6th that day on her first try at this distance and she can continue to progress. (6) SANTOS has been inconsistent but has shown some talent and can be a danger most likely challenging Hanil Dalbit for the early speed. (3) DAEGIL SANGJON offered few clues in two outings last year but returns here after ten months off having trialled up very promisingly a couple of weeks ago and can go well first-up. (9) BEST LEVEL was a much-improved 2nd, albeit a full thirteen lengths behind the winner, at this distance on a soaking wet track three weeks ago and could maintain that momentum.

Selections (7) Hanil Dalbit (6) Santos (3) Daegil Sangjon (2) Sokbo Wangwi
Next Best 9, 11
Fast Start 6, 7

Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A convincing winner over 1000M in May, (4) PALDO DAEJANG stepped up to this class and distance on June 17th and ran a good 2nd place. He was favourite that day but can be given another chance here. He’ll try to get the lead straight from the gate and can go all the way. (7) HAMBAK MISO won on debut back in March and has been close in all three outings since, culminating in 2nd place behind Penetro at the end of May. He comes in here reasonably fresh and should be close again. (2) RAON PRO SENSE is up in class after his maiden win at 1000M on June 23rd and while he has struggled on both previous tries at this distance, could go better today. (3) DUAL CHOEGANG remains a maiden after sixteen attempts but looks to be getting to grips with this level and could make a place.

Selections (4) Paldo Daejang (7) Hambak Miso (2) Raon Pro Sense (3) Dual Choegang
Next Best 6, 5
Fast Start 2, 4

Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) UNDEFEATED won on debut in May but hasn’t quite lived up to his name in two starts since although he has run well, finishing 2nd and 3rd at 1200M and 1000M respectively. He’s with a new trainer today and tries this distance for the first time and can return to winning ways. (1) ROYAL PRINCE scored his maiden win at 1000M and steps up in class here. He’s raced reasonably well at this distance before and can be competitive. (7) DAECHEONUI SARANG ran a good, if slightly unexpected 3rd at class and distance last start four weeks ago and can be given more respect today while (8) CHUKBOGUI (more…)

Jangsan Power Clings On In Ilgan Sports Cup

Jangsan Power led from the gate and clung on desperately until the wire to win the listed Ilgan Sports Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

The Ilgan Sports this year was for horses rated 80 or less and up-and-comer Big Trio was sent off as favourite having won his last three with considerable ease. It was not to be for the three-year-old though with French jockey Johan Victoire needing to get after his mount early and Big Trio ultimately offering little in the straight.

Instead it was another three-year-old who took the honours. Jangsan Power had set the early pace in the Korean Derby in May, leading until just before the furlong pole when he ran out of steam and ended up only beating one home. He stepped back to 1700M for his reappearance last month and made all and was sent off the 5/1 second favourite for the Ilgan.

Once more Jangsan Power made all but he had to see off a last gasp challenge from My Blade who gobbled up his lead in the closing stages to the extent that a photograph was needed to tell them apart. It went Jangsan Power’s way by a nose but a couple of strides later, it wouldn’t have. Gaia Thunder was in close attendance in 3rd.


On the line, Jangsan Power still had a nose in hand of My Blade

Jangsan Power moves on to five wins from nine starts. For trainer Park Jae Woo it was his third Listed or Special race winner. For jockey Lim Gi Won it was his second following his victory on Always Winner in the Segye Ilbo Cup in January.

Ilgan Sports (L) – Seoul Racecourse – 1800M – July 30, 2017

1. Jangsan Power (KOR) [Menifee – City Bird (Carson City)] – Lim Gi Won – 5.5, 2.2
2. My Blade (KOR) [Pico Central – Smart Advice (Smart Strike)] – Kim Yong Geun – 2.4
3. Gaia Thunder (KOR) [One Cool Cat – Now Cope With This (Tiznow)] – Yoo Seung Wan – 4.0
Distances: Nose / 0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Kawon 5. Perfect Shine 6. Raon Morris 7. Big Trio 8. Yeongnong 9. Royal Victory 10. Haetbinna

Seoul will take next weekend off but Busan will return for a rare Saturday card on August 5th and a bumper 15-race card on Sunday August 6. For the first time next Sunday, Korean racing will be available for betting in the United States, distributed to ADW’s through Sky Racing World. More on that in the coming days.

Touch Flying Soars In Ilgan Sports

Touch Flying landed her biggest win to date, taking the Listed Ilgan Sports Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon. The filly won by three lengths under apprentice jockey Jo Jae Ro to claim her sixth victory on her tenth career start.


Touch Flying and Jo Jae Ro get some assistance in the Ilgan Sports winner’s circle

Winner’s Glory, 4th in this year’s Korean Derby, was sent off as a strong favourite for the 1800M race but it was Touch Flying, under apprentice jockey Jo Jae Ro, who made all to take the win. Cheonji Storm, 6th in the Derby, was 2nd and Chanma 3rd, with Winner’s GLory having to settle for 4th.

Apprentice Jo did find himself having to explain why Touch Flying seemed to impede Cheonji Storm half a furlong out and while he was given a three-day ban (and Touch Flying herself ordered to barrier trial before her next start), stewards decided the result should stand.

Ilgan Sports Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1800M – July 31, 2016

1. Touch Flying (KOR) [Colors Flying – Jeongtongseong (Lassigny)] – Jo Jae Ro – 6.7, 2.0
2. Cheonji Storm (KOR) [Admire Don – Great Thought (Empire Maker)] – Lee Sang Hyeok – 1.8
3. Chanma (KOR) [Menifee – Candleglow (Carson City)] – Kim Dong Soo – 2.3

Distances: 3 lengths / 2 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Winner’s Glory 5. Cosmos King 6. Haetbinna 7. Super Tank 8. Royal Victory 9. Simsin Jiryeo 10. Special Star 11. Gangja 12. Special Win DNF: Oneuri

Power City, Triple Nine Claim Owners’ Cup Trials

Power City beat out New White Socks in a final furlong duel in the Ilgan Sports Cup at Seoul while things were a little more straightforward for Triple Nine in the Gyeongnam Domin Ilbo Cup at Busan, both races intended as trials for next month’s Busan Owners’ Cup.

In the capital, New White Socks, who had broken the 1700M track record on each of his last two starts, was sent off as the favourite. The grey led from the gate but was reeled in and eventually passed in touching distance of the line by Power City, who powered home down the outside under veteran jockey Park Tae Jong.

For Power City (Archer City Slew), it was an 8th win from 14 career starts. He and New White Socks (Secret Weapon) finished a full ten lengths clear of 3rd placed Bujeon Jajeon (J.S. Hold). That order allowed the rare case of two of the three place-getters in a big race as being by sires who raced in Korea.

Ilgan Sports Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1800M – August 9, 2015

1. Power City (KOR) [Archer City Slew – Power Bull (Holy Bull)] – Park Tae Jong – 4.1, 1.7
2. New White Socks (KOR) [Secret Weapon – Wonder Queen (Canadian Silver)] – Moon Se Young – 1.3
3. Bujeon Jajeon (KOR) [J.S. Hold – Michel With One L (Pacific Waves)] – Shin Hyung Chul
Distances: Neck/10 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Last Mudae (KOR) 5. Meni Money (KOR) 6. Citadel (KOR) 7. Mahanaim (KOR)

At Busan, Triple Nine, 2nd in both the Korean Derby and the Minister’s Cup, was sent off as the overwhelming favourite for the Gyeongnam DoMinIlbo Cup. And he didn’t disappoint this time, cruising to a four-length win.

High Five was 2nd with Oaks winner Jangpung Parang coming home in 3rd having led for much of the race.

Gyeongnam Domin Ilbo Cup – Busan Racecourse – 1600M – August 9, 2015

1. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] – Lim Sung Sil – 1.3, 1.0
2. High Five (KOR) [Creek Cat – Nam’s Gulch (Gulch)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.8
3. Jangpung Parang (KOR) [Creek Cat – Ascend The Throne (Silver Charm)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.4
Distances: 4 lengths/1.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Winner’s Marine (KOR) 5. Mac And Cheese (KOR) 6. Royal Impact (KOR) 7. Major Star (KOR) 8. Sinsegye (KOR)

In other races across the weekend, New York Blue (Candy Ride) was an impressive winner of the class 1 feature at Busan on Friday while Saturday’s main event at Seoul saw a 5th career win for US import Clean Up Joy (Purge).

Irish trainer Thomas Gillespie continued his very solid start in Korea with one of his four runners at Busan on Friday coming home a winner, Joiner Captain (Ecton Park) taking race 7 Under Ikuyasu Kurakane. At Seoul, Serbian jockey Djordje Perovic reached 20 Korean winners with a double on Saturday.

Yeongsan Too Good

Yeongsan strolled to victory for the 6th time in 6 starts in Korea, securing his second Stakes win in the process, in the Ilgan Sports Trophy at Seoul Racecourse this afternoon.

Yeongsan II and Moon Se Young after winning the Ilgan Sports

Yeongsan II and Moon Se Young after winning the Ilgan Sports

Unsurprisingly for a horse who had won his 5 previous starts by a combined margin of 53 lengths, Yeongsan was sent off the long odds-on favourite – indeed at 1.0, all that punters who backed him could hope for, was to get their money back.

At least they were never in any danger of losing it. Moon Se Young brought Yeongsan to the front early and controlled the race, accelerating away from the field in the home stretch and then easing down for a 7-length win on the line.

Pretty sure Se Young only did this because K-Pop girl group Dal Shabet were looking on

Pretty sure Se Young only did this because K-Pop girl group Dal Shabet were looking on

Yeongsan (Menifee) – who is officially known as “Yeongsan II” as there was an Australian filly of the same name in Korea 15 years ago – was exported to Malaysia as a 2-year-old but returned a year later. Yet to be seriously challenged by anything domestically, his next target is expected to be the President’s Cup, Korea’s richest race, in November and then a possible shot at the Grand Prix Stakes a month later.

Ilgan Sports Trophy – Seoul Racecourse – 1800M – September 14, 2014

1. Yeongsan II (KOR) [Menifee – Foxxy Cleo (Peintre Celebre)] – Moon Se Young – 1.0, 1.0
2. Citadel (KOR) [Sakura Seeking – Tropic (Danehill)] – Seo Seung Un – 1.6
3. K-Man (KOR) [Volponi – Sash Of Silver (Woodman)] – 1.5
Distances: 7 lengths / 2.5 lengths – 11 ran

* Speaking of the Grand Prix, a former winner was in action at Busan today. However, it didn’t go well for Gamdonguibada (Werblin) who, despite being sent off as a short-price favourite, was beaten a length and a half by old favourite Lion Santa (Lion Heart).

Now 6-years-old, Lion Santa won his first 9 starts back in 2010 and 2011. While never really being able to go on and win the very biggest races, he’s been a solid money winner since and his victory today was his 13th from 30 lifetime starts.

And it is at Busan where the focus will be next week when the southern track hosts the Busan Owners’ Cup. Magic Dancer, Gyeongbudaero, Joy Lucky – and back from his US jaunt – Major King, are among the entrants for this Busan vs Seoul race.

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.

Weekend Preview: Ilgan Sports Cup

The summer weekend evenings of decadence and debauchery are over as racing returns to its normal morning start times this weekend.

Munhwa Ilbo Cup winner Gwanggyo Bisang heads the Ilgan Sports field

Munhwa Ilbo Cup winner Gwanggyo Bisang heads the Ilgan Sports field

And sore heads will find plenty to lighten their wallets over in competitive cards at both Seoul and Busan, with the highlight being Seoul’s Ilgan Sports Cup on Sunday afternoon.

Gwanggyo Bisang (Menifee) has won 6 of his 7 starts to date, including the Munhwa Ilbo Cup last time out, and despite not having run since that Stakes victory back in July, is set to be favourite for the 1800 metre race, which has attracted a field of 13.

The injury-blighted K-Tap (Menifee), who was Seoul’s champion juvenile last year and was 2nd to Gwanggyo Bisang in that Munhwa Ilbo also goes, as do fellow 3-year-olds Blue Camp (Forest Camp) and Like The Sun (Forest Camp). Among the older horses they will face are Sand Jjang (Forest Camp) and Viva Cat (Creek Cat), both proven winners at this level.

Also at Seoul on Sunday, highly rated 2-year-old Canadian import Persia Wangja (Ghostzapper) seeks to get back to winning ways after being narrowly defeated by phenom Fly Top Queen last time out.

Dal Shabet will be performing at Seoul Race Park on Sunday afternoon

Dal Shabet will be performing at Seoul Race Park on Sunday afternoon

At Busan, the feature race on Sunday in which Peter Wolsley, fresh from saddling his 200th Korean winner last weekend, sends out stable star Cheongchun Bulpae (Milwaukee Brew).

Also at Busan, as reported here, a statue to the late Mister Park will be unveiled on Sunday. On a lighter note at Seoul, top K-Pop group “Dal Shabet” will be performing.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday September 13

Busan Race Park: 11 races from 11:50 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:10 to 17:40

Saturday September 14

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:15

Sunday September 15

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00 including the Ilgan Sports Cup at 16:35
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:05