Jigeum I Sungan

Jigeum I Sungan Has Had His Moment

Jigeum I Sungan is set for retirement following his 2nd-place finish to Indie Band in the Grand Prix Stakes last Sunday.

Jigeum I Sungan

Jigeum I Sungan

The 4-year-old colt heads off to Stud with career figures of 13 wins from 25 starts and earnings of over US$1.6 Million.

Champion jockey Moon Se Young rode Jigeum I Sungan in all his big races

Champion jockey Moon Se Young rode Jigeum I Sungan in all his big races

After winning his debut race, Jigeum I Sungan [Ingrandire – Solmaru (Mujaazif)] didn’t return to the winner’s circle until his 8th start, which was his 2nd as a 3-year-old.

He was 5th in the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown, but did enough to qualify for the Derby, which he went on to win by a length.

Jigeum I Sungan allows punters to pet him after he won the Jeju Cup. Try doing that with Tough Win or Dongnaui Gangja and they'd have eaten you.

Jigeum I Sungan allows punters to pet him after he won the Jeju Cup. Try doing that with Tough Win or Dongnaui Gangja and they’d have eaten you.

He followed up in the autumn by taking the final jewel of the Crown, the Minister’s Cup, this time by a commanding 4-lengths. A month later he ran 2nd to Dangdae Bulpae in the President’s Cup but to the disappointment of punters, was kept away from the Grand Prix.

It was this year though that he hit his peak. Jigeum I Sungan began 2013 with 6 consecutive wins, among them the Seoul Owners’ Cup and the inaugural Jeju Governor’s Cup.

His run finally came to an end in the Turkey Jockey Club Cup in August although he quickly bounced back from that to record what would turn out to be his last victory in September.

He closed out his career with a 3rd place in the President’s Cup and then finally his 2nd on Sunday, both times behind Indie Band.

Jigeum I Sungan – “This Is The Moment” in English – has been one of the stand-out performers of the last few years in Korean racing and will be missed. He deserves the retirement that he’s been promised.

Grand Prix Voting Results: Jigeum I Sungan, Beolmaui Kkum Top Poll

The results of the public vote for invitations to the Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul Race Park on December 15 were published today.

Popular: Jigeum I Sungan

Popular: Jigeum I Sungan

Like Japan’s “Arima Kinen” the public gets to choose which horses they want to see run in the season-ending showpiece. This year 42 horses – 21 each from Seoul and Busan – were on the ballot with the top 8 from each track getting the first invites to fill the maximum field size of 16.

Connections are still under no obligation to run but it is expected that most will. 2012 Korean Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan topped the Seoul vote with Smarty Moonhak, 3rd in the race as a 2-year-old in 2011, just behind him. That year’s Grand Prix winner Tough Win was the public’s 3rd choice.

At Busan, Gukje Sinmun winner Beolmaui Kkum headed the poll with recent President’s Cup winner Indie Band in 2nd place ahead of Gyeongbudaero. 2012 Grand Prix winner Gamdonguibada was 4th in the Busan vote.

Peter Wolsley’s Governor’s cup heroine Secret Whisper is sure of a run, having come in 5th but the Aussie trainer’s other hope, Cheongchun Bulpae is missing out at the moment.

Here’s a list of the top 10 vote-getters at each track with their 2013 Stakes race wins (if any) listed:

Seoul Top 10

1. Jigeum I Sungan (KOR) – Seoul Owners’ Cup, Jeju Governor’s Cup
2. Smarty Moonhak (USA)
3. Tough Win (USA) – Busan Metropolitan Stakes
4. Mari Daemul (USA) – KRA Cup Classic
5. Indian Blue (USA) – Segye Ilbo Cup
6. Gippeun Sesang (CAN)
7. Murangae (USA)
8=. Mr. Rocky (KOR)
9=. Berongi (USA)

Busan Top 10

1. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) – Gukje Sinmun Cup
2. Indie Band (KOR) – President’s Cup, Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Cup
3. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) – Busan Owners’ Cup
4. Gamdonguibada (USA)
5. Secret Whisper (KOR) – Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup
6. Useung Touch (KOR) – Ttukseom Cup
7. Cheonji Bulpae (AUS)
8. Lion Santa (USA)
9. Cheongchun Bulpae (KOR)
10. Nuri Choegang (USA)

Indie Band Calls The Tune As Dangdae Bulpae Surrenders President’s Cup

Dangdae Bulpae’s three-year reign as President’s Cup champion came to an end as Indie Band scored an emphatic victory in Korea’s richest race at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

Indie Band may have won the President's Cup, but he was in no mood to pose for a win picture!

Indie Band may have won the President’s Cup, but he was in no mood to pose for a win picture!

Jigeum I Sungan was sent off as the slight favourite ahead of the only once beaten Gwanggyo Bisang with punters doubting Dangdae Bulpae’s fitness as he sought his fourth consecutive victory in this race.

In hindsight, those doubts seem well-founded. Although he showed at the front for the opening stages of the race, once the field turned for home, there was none of the familiar kick from Dangdae Bulpae that had so often before left his rivals trailing.

Beaten: Moon Se Young looks to see who finished where as he dismounts from Jigeum I Sungan

Beaten: Moon Se Young looks to see who finished where as he dismounts from Jigeum I Sungan

He wasn’t alone. All six of the leaders entering the home straight faded with just over a furlong to go.

Among the closers, 2012 Derby-winner Jigeum I Sungan and Busan Owners’ Cup winner Gyeongbudaero made their moves first, but it was Indie Band whose sprint was the sharpest.

Still with six horses ahead of him as they entered the final furlong, under the urging of jockey Lim Sung Sil, he sailed past them all, hitting the front in the final 50 metres and going clear for a two-length win.

Of the foreign interests, Joe Fujii was 5th on Indie Band’s stablemate Road To Prince, one place in front of Ikuyasu Kurakane on Naejangsan. Masa Tanaka was 8th on Major King while there was disappointment for Darryll Holland who came home 15 of 16 on Peter Wolsley’s My Winner.

With the victory, Indie Band moves on to 7 wins from 11 starts. It was his 2nd Stakes victory, with the other coming in the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Cup back in July. By all accounts he’s a dreadful worker in the mornings. Dangdae Bulpae was very much the same but it was Indie Band who brought his best to the track this afternoon.

Beaten: Jo Sung Gon chats with punters after Dangdae Bulpae's President's Cup streak came to an end

Beaten: Jo Sung Gon chats with punters after Dangdae Bulpae’s President’s Cup streak came to an end

There’s another similarity with the former champion.

The past few Stakes winners at Seoul; Jigeum I Sungan, Gwanggyo Bisang and Major King have all been so docile in the winner’s circle that punters have been allowed to pet them.

Dangdae Bulpae never allowed that (although he was, for the most part well-behaved). Today, Indie Band threw a proper tantrum to the extent that the post ceremony photo session had to be called off.

He’ll be back at Seoul for the Grand Prix Stakes in December. Last year’s winner Gamdonguibada was in winning action down at Busan today but on this form, Indie Band has to be in with a chance.

Jigeum I Sungan should be given a run too although it is questionable whether Gyeongbudaero will get the distance. As for Dangdae Bulpae, he’ll almost certainly not run, nevertheless, the likes of Indie Band still have a very long way to go to match his achievements. Today was a good start though.

President’s Cup (KOR G1) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – November 10, 2013

1. Indie Band (KOR)
[Ecton Park – Plie (Dixieland Band)] – Lim Sung Sil – 6.1, 2.2
2. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.9
3. Jigeum I Sungan (KOR) [Ingrandire – Solmaru (Mujaazif)] – Moon Se Young – 1.8

Distances: 2 lengths / 2 lengths
Also ran: 4. Singgereounachim 5. Road To Prince 6. Naejangsan 7. Gwanggyo Bisang 8. Major King 9. New And Best 10. Dangdae Bulpae 11. Super Rich 12. Special Win 13. Geuma Champ 14. Gumanseosk 15. My Winner 16. Tamnaseontaek

Next weekend the Stakes action moves to Busan with the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup, the final leg of the Queens’ Tour to determine the nation’s champion filly or mare. Derby and Oaks winner Speedy First is set to go along with big name stars Secret Whisper and Joy Lucky. Look out for a full preview this coming Wednesday.

The President’s Cup: Full Preview – Dangdae Bulpae Seeks 4th Consecutive Win

Dangdae Bulpae has won a remarkable 3 consecutive President’s Cups. On Sunday he faces his toughest challenge yet as 15 rivals seek to prevent him recording a scarcely believable 4th straight victory in Korea’s richest horse race.

The President's Cup is the most valuable race in the Korean racing year

The President’s Cup is the most valuable race in the Korean racing year

Chief among those rivals is Jigeum I Sungan. The 2012 Korea Derby and Minister’s Cup winner has just kept on getting better and better and at 2000 metres on his home track, he is set to be the toughest opponent that Dangdae Bulpae has ever faced in this race.

They are joined by a host of other Stakes winners. This year’s Minister’s Cup winner Major King is up from Busan as is Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo winner Indie Band and Owners’ Cup champion Gyeongbudaero.

Meanwhile, in addition to Jigeum I Sungan, the host track sends out the up-and-comer Gwanggyo Bisang, who has won 7 of his 8 starts to date.

It’s set to be an intriguing race. Here is a look at the chances of every entrant:(Name (Pedigree) Age Sex (Starts/1/2/3) – Jockey:

President’s Cup (KOR G1) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – November 10, 2013 – 16:35

1. Gyeongbudaero [Menifee – Pricess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] 4 C (21/7/5/6) – Choi Si Dae
The stark figure of 7 wins from 21 starts doesn’t really do justice to this horse, who has only finished outside the money once. Last time out he beat Dangdae Bulpae in the Owners’ Cup. An additional furlong and being at Seoul will not be to his advantage and he will need to be on his absolute best form – and others to be below theirs – for him to win this.

Gyeongudaero (KRA)

Gyeongbudaero (KRA)

2. Road To Prince [Pico Central – Ransom Bay (Red Ransom)] 4 C (16/9/3/1) – Kanichiro Fujii
You can never rule our trainer Kim Young Kwan and jockey Joe Fujii in a big Stakes race. However, while a consistent winner, Road To Prince has disappointed whenever he has faced the best and was back in 6th in the Owners’ Cup. He bounced back to win next time out but it’s enough to suggest he’ll not be favoured here.

3. Gwanggyo Bisang [Menifee – Touch Upon (Touch Gold)] 3 G (8/7/0/1) – Park Tae Jong
The wildcard. As a gelding, he was ineligible for the Classics this year but has won back-to-back Stakes races in his last two outings. He’s never faced a field like this one and he’s untried at 2000 metres but we’ll not fault him for that. Worth watching the board to see if there is any value.

Gwanggyo Bisang

Gwanggyo Bisang

4. Geuma Champ [Vicar – Stormcloudrising (Stormy Atlantic)] 5 H (25/9/6/4) – Seo Seung Un
A winner last time out in a weak class 1 event, Geuma Champ should find himself a little overmatched here. Will like the distance but others will like it more.

5. Singgeureounachim [Exploit – Singgeureoun (Mr. Adorable)] 5 H (35/8/6/9) – Jo In Kwen
3rd in the Derby in 2011, he has gone on to become a very consistent handicapper. He should be close here but it’s unlikely he’ll be challenging for the win.

6. Naejangsan [Menifee – Miss Merit (Old Trieste)] 4 C (12/5/5/0) – Ikuyasu Kurakane
Without a run since February, the undoubtedly talented Naejangsan is an unknown here. Cannot be recommended although if he retains his best form from before his layoff, he’ll not be embarrassed either.

7. Jigeum I Sungan [Ingrandire – Solmaru (Mujaazif)] 4 C (23/13/6/1) – Moon Se Young
Seoul’s champion. A Korean Derby and Multiple Stakes winner, Jigeum I Sungan is a real star. Made for the distance – if anything, he’d like to go further – he should be causing Dangdae Bulpae serious problems. A real chance and its difficult to make a case against his right to be the favourite.

Jigeum I Sungan (KRA)

Jigeum I Sungan (KRA)

8. New And Best [Trick Of Fate – Yongunch-eon (Phizam)] 6 H (49/4/6/3) – Bang Choon Sik
A faithful old handicapper who has never won at class 1 and won’t come anywhere close to winning here.

9. Indie Band [Ecton Park – Plie (Dixieland Band)] 3 C (10/6/1/1) – Lim Sung Sil
A tough one to call – he could be brilliant but he could be very average. He won the Gyeongnam Do-Min Ilbo but could only manage 3rd to Major King in the Minister’s Cup. A very good chance of a place if he turns up in form and in a good mood.

10. Tamnaseontaek [War Zone – Every Michelle (Every Intent)] 6 H (36/5/7/3) – Han Sung Youl
He was a good horse and is a Stakes winner. He’ll not be winning this.

11. Gumanseok [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] 4 G (17/7/5/3) – Lee Dong Kug
A slightly late developer, Gumanseok has recorded some very impressive results this year, including a Stakes win in the Sports Chosun Cup. He’ll need even more improvement to challenge here though.

12. Major King [Pico Central – Still Golden (Gold Fever)] 3 C (10/6/2/2) – Masakazu Tanaka
The Minister’s Cup winner, Major King is talented and clearly likes the Seoul course. Naturally, improvement is needed if he is to feature here – that Minister’s Cup field had nothing like the depth that there is here – but in his recent outings he’s come on each time and with some more progress, he could be challenging for at least a place.

13. Super Rich [Osumi Jet – Fast Fare (West By West)] 6 H (38/7/4/7) – Choi Bum Hyun
Only one win in the last two years doesn’t exactly set the heart racing and it’s unlikely that Super Rich will in contention at the business end of this race.

14. Dangdae Bulpae [Biwa Shinseiki – Indeed My Dear (Alydeed)] 6 H (31/19/3/3) – Jo Sung Gon
He has won this race three times in a row and is arguably the greatest ever Korean-bred racehorse in history. A few little nagging injuries have been catching up on Dangdae Bulpae recently and he has been very conservatively campaigned this year. He generally does not lose at Seoul but he also doesn’t usually face Jigeum I Sungan. hIf he is 100% fit and on top form, he can beat him, however, he is more vulnerable than he has been at any time during his 3-year President’s Cup reign.

Dangdae Bulpae

Dangdae Bulpae

15. Special Win [Tahamkke – Wellbeing Cat (Creek Cat)] 5 H (30/10/5/3) – Cho Kyoung Ho
A very consistent money winner but Special Win is no star and it’s hard to see him competing here.

16. My Winner [Vicar-Bridlingbride (Unbridled’s Song)] 4 G (17/5/5/0) – Darryll Holland
It could be a little bit too much too soon for My Winner, however, any horse trained by Peter Wolsley and ridden by Darryll Holland is sure to have been well-prepared and will give anyone a run for their money. An outside chance of a place.

Gyongmaman’s verdict: Dangdae Bulpae winning this for the 4th consecutive time is to be hoped for but given the questions this year over both his form and fitness, the pragmatic punter will lean towards Jigeum I Sungan to win the President’s Cup.

Sunday November 10
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00 including the President’s Cup at 16:35
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:00

President’s Cup Countdown: Dangdae Bulpae Is On His Way

Dangdae Bulpae [Biwa Shinseiki – Indeed My Dear (Alydeed)] has won more Stakes races and more prize-money than any other Korean horse in history. This coming Sunday, fitness permitting, he comes back to Seoul Race Park to attempt to win the President’s Cup, the nation’s richest race, for the 4th consecutive time.







It’s going to be his toughest challenge yet as he faces Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire), a Korean Derby winner 2 years his junior, for the very first time.

This is going to be a good one. We’ll have plenty more build-up over the next few days.

Weekend Preview: Donga Ilbo Cup / Jigeum I Sungan vs Ace Galloper

After last week’s break for the Chuseok holiday, it’s time to sober up and – several kilos heavier – return to the track as racing resumes in Korea.

In action: Jigeum I Sungan

In action: Jigeum I Sungan

Big Stakes race of the weekend is the Donga Ilbo Cup at Seoul on Sunday. Next weekend sees the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup, and the fact that hot 3-year-old filly Joy Lucky (Vicar), whose only in 6 starts came in the Korean Derby, will skip that race in favour of the less valuable but restricted to fillies Donga Cup, suggests that she will take some beating. Cheonnyeon Dongan (Ecton Park) is one who will try along with 12 others in the 9-furlong test.

Saturday’s Seoul feature sees a heavyweight clash as Jigeum I Sungan and Ace Galloper face each other. 2012 Korean Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire) suffered a shock defeat in last month’s TJK Trophy while former KRA Cup Classic winner Ace Galloper (Chapel Royal) returned to the winner’s circle for the 19th time in his last start after a pair of 2nd place finishes. There’s little to choose between them in terms of weight – the older Ace Galloper carrying just a kilo more – and it promises to be a fascinating match-up.

Also on Saturday, Charming Girl, 0 for 100, will make her final start before being retired.

At Busan, the weekend’s most valuable races are on Sunday.
Well-known names such as Road To Prince, Lion Santa and the evergreen 2008 Korean Derby winner Ebony Storm will all be in action.

As for foreign jockeys, Ikuyasu Kurakane has plenty of action lined up at Seoul while Joe Fujii (Friday only), Ureshi Katsunori, Masa Tanaka and – fresh from spending his vacation racing around a field in Inner Mongolia – Darryll Holland are riding at Busan.

Here’s what’s happening when and where across the weekend:

Friday September 27

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

Saturday September 28

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

Sunday September 29

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

Jigeum I Sungan Beaten as Full Moon Party Wins Turkey Jockey Club Trophy

Jigeum I Sungan was a shock 4th as 15/1 Full Moon Party won the Turkey Jockey Club Trophy for trainer Lee Shin Young at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

Full Moon Party and Jo In Kwen win the Turkey Jockey Club Cup

Full Moon Party and Jo In Kwen win the Turkey Jockey Club Cup (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Last year’s Korean Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire) entered the race having won his last 6 consecutive starts and was sent off as the overwhelming odds-on favourite. However, Full Moon Party (Vicar) led from start to finish while Jiegum I Sungan – perhaps feeling the heat and humidity while conceding 6 kilos to his rivals, never managed to get into his stride.

Full Moon Party, a 4-year old filly, has now won 7 of her 16 career starts.

Trainer Lee Shin Young with Full Moon Party in the TJK Winner's Circle (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Trainer Lee Shin Young with Full Moon Party in the TJK Winner’s Circle (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Turkey Jockey Club Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – Aug 11, 2013

1. Full Moon Party (KOR) – Jo In Kwen
2. Special Win (KOR) – Ham Wan Sik
3. Gumanseok (KOR) – Lee Dong Kug
Distances: 2 lengths/1.25 lengths – 12 ran