Jeju

Weekend Race Times

With just a week to go until the richest race of the year, the President’s Cup, there’s a low-key weekend of racing in store.

There was some late autumn sun at Seoul Racecourse this weekend last year - rain is forecast this

There was some late autumn sun at Seoul Racecourse this weekend last year – rain is forecast this

Still plenty to watch and have a punt on though. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday November 1
Busan Race Park: 11 races from 11:50 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:10 to 17:40

Saturday November 2
Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:10

Sunday November 3
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:00

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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: Busan & Jeju Only

There’s no racing in Seoul as Busan takes centre stage on the last weekend of 2012. Just like last week, the only racing in Korea on Friday is the ponies on Jeju Island as Busan runs a short 6 race card on Saturday and then a bumper 14 race program on Sunday.

Busan Racecourse can be a lonely place, but it's the only place to be for thoroughbred racing in Korea this weekend

Busan Racecourse can be a lonely place, but it’s the only place to be for thoroughbred racing in Korea this weekend

A few of Busan’s bigger names will be on show across the weekend. 2008 Korean Derby winner Ebony Storm, still going strong as a seven-year old, goes on Saturday, while multiple Stakes winner Yeonseung Daero makes an appearance in one of Sunday’s co-features. A host of up and coming tw-year olds, both Korean-bred and imported, will also be on show both days.

This weekend also sees American trainer Joe Murphy bow out of Korea after a challenging two years. Murphy will saddle his last runner when six-year old Atanarjuat goes in Sunday’s last race.

Friday December 28

Jeju Race Park: 12 races from 12:00 to 18:00

Saturday December 29

Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:30 to 17:30
Jeju Race Park: 8 races from 11:00 to 17:00

Sunday December 30

Busan Race Park: 14 races from 11:00 to 17:50

Weekend Preview: Seoul & Jeju Only

Busan is the first of the tracks to take a week off for the holidays but that still leaves thoroughbreds at Seoul and ponies on Jeju for the Korean punting public to get stuck into this weekend.

As the sole track running on Friday, Jeju plays host to 12 races, both run on Sunday while Seoul is the lone attraction on Sunday with 14 races – the track’s maximum – on offer.

Ace Galloper won the KRA Cup Classic last year - he headlines Sunday's marathon card at Seoul

Ace Galloper won the KRA Cup Classic last year – he headlines Sunday’s marathon card at Seoul

There’s not really a lot to tie-up this weekend. All Stakes races are behind us and Moon Se Young has the champion jockey title sewn up. Likewise, Menifee is leading sire by an unprecedentedly huge margin.

Saturday’s card at Seoul is not especially inspiring. Aside from the Korean debut of Feel So Good, the first Korean bred horse to win in the us, there are a lot of two-year olds will be on display although the feature race is a low-key class 2 handicap. Sunday’s marathon card holds a bit more promise. Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) head the field for a class 1 handicap.

The big five-year old. who has won 17 of his 29 starts, is without a victory since the summer and is up against a competitive looking field that includes prolific winners Magnifique (Menifee) and Tongjesa (Creek Cat).

It’s going to be another bitterly cold weekend but the sun will be out. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday December 21

Jeju Race Park: 12 races from 12:00 to 18:00

Saturday December 22

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 6 races from 12:20 to 16:10

Sunday December 23

Seoul Race Park: 14 races from 11:00 to 17:50

Weekend Preview: Three Nights In Seoul

Seoul plows a lone furrow as the only Korean track hosting live racing this weekend, with Busan and Jeju taking a week’s break.

Twilight at Seoul

And for the first time in about ten years, there is racing in the capital on Friday in order to make up for the card that was lost to monsoon rain earlier this month.

That Friday card sees a pair of class 1 contests while Saturday also has some high-class action. However, the pick of the action is on Sunday evening in the shape of the Seoul Economic Daily News Stakes.

Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) heads a strong field of domestic bred horses going over 1400 metres in the non-Stakes feature race and should be favourite to overcome 10 rivals, including former champion mare Love Cat (Volponi).

Here’s what’s happening:

Friday July 27

Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 16:00 to 21:00

Saturday July 28

Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 16:00 to 21:00

Sunday July 29

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 15:00 to 21:00

Weekend Preview: Hands In Pockets Time

Punters will need to stump up an extra 200 won to get into the track from this weekend as the Korea Racing Authority raises the admission fee to the three racecourses for the first time in ten years. The new fee of 1000 won will also apply to all off-track betting facilities.

KRA Cup Mile winner Gyeongbudaero goes on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

More on that less than Earth-shattering news in a little while but given that it’s still cheaper than a basic subway fare, it is perhaps safe to assume that most punters won’t notice – especially as most use their subway card to get in.

KRA Cup Mile winner Gyeongbudaero (Menifee) makes his first appearance at Busan since running third in the Korean Derby just over a month ago. The colt goes in the second of co-feature races at the southern track on Sunday afternoon against a field of eminently beatable older horses over 2000 metres.

Among them is Peter Wolsley’s old warhorse Khaosan (Sunday Well) and Wolsley saddles another fancy in the earlier co-feature as Secret Whisper (Sea Of Secrets) takes on a very competitive field over 1400 metres.

Up at Seoul there aren’t any stars on show altough both Saturday and Sunday’s feature races are competitive class 1 handicaps.

There’s a chance the monsoon season will begin at some point this weekend so it may be best to pack a raincoat just in case. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday June 29

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

Saturday June 30

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

Sunday July 1

Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:15 to 16:40