Kim Yong Geun

International Meeting Day 1: Lee Shin Young Trains STC and HKJC Trophy winners

Saturday saw day 1 of the Korea Cup meeting and there were several Trophy Exchange races throughout the day:

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Raon Amos won the Singapore Turf Club Trophy (Pic: Ross Holburt for KRA)

Trainer Lee Shin Young sent out the winners of both the Singapore Turf Club Trophy and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy. Raon Amos took the STC while Gray Socks was the winner of a messy event for 2-year-olds in the HKJC.

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Gray Socks and Moon Se Young return to scale having won the inaugural HKJC Trophy (Pic: Ross Holburt for KRA)

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HKJC Trophy ceremony (Pic: Ross Holburt for KRA)

Moon Se Young also won a race in a mini-jockey challenge that was held involving some of the  jockeys who will ride in Sunday’s Korea Cup & Sprint. Abderahim Faddoul, representing France was the best visitors although he has to wear the British silk after the French one went missing:

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Abderahim Faddoul received his trophy from Yangtae Park (Pic: Ross Holburt for KRA)

Earlier the Macau Jockey Club Trophy had been won by Ham Wan Sik on Dixie Ploit while later on, the Horse Racing Ireland Trophy ended with an easy win for Kim Hye Sun on Cheonji Storm:

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A slightly awkward looking HRI Trophy presentation party (Pic: Ross Holburt for KRA)

On Sunday it’s the main events, the Keeneland Korea Cup & Korea Sprint.

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Power Blade Wins The Korean Triple Crown

As if there was ever any doubt. At Seoul Racecourse today, Power Blade looked every inch the champion the Triple Crown series has been waiting for as he utterly dominated the Minister’s Cup in the same fashion he did in both the KRA Cup Mile and the Korean Derby.

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Power Blade in the Minister’s Cup winner’s circle (Pic: Jo Kim @krapresenter )

Punters sent Power Blade off as the odds-on favourite ahead of stablemate and Korean Oaks winner Ottug Ottugi. The filly as usual set the pace early on with Kim Yong Geun happy to keep Power Blade handy. For as moment at the top of the straight there was a chance that the favourite, sitting in fourth on the rail may find himself boxed in. That moment was fleeting.

As soon as they entered the straight the gap opened up. Kim Yong Geun took it and from there the race was won. The margin on the line was seven lengths but Power Blade wasn’t stretched. So superior he is to the rest of this crop, he could win by a margin of his choosing.

Just as in the Korean Derby, Zettabyte chased him home a distance 2nd, four lengths ahead of Baedari Bobae, who ran a big race in 3rd, finishing ahead of the tiring Ottug Ottugi.

Power Blade is trained by Kim Young Kwan, who records yet another Classic win and ridden by Kim Yong Geun. His next target will now surely have to be the Korea Cup International race over 1800M on September 11th where he can be tested against overseas horses.

J.S. Hold won a Triple Crown in Korea in 2007, however, great achievement though it was, it was before the current era of Seoul and Busan. Today in its 9th running, we got a true Triple Crown winner and his name is Power Blade.

The Minister’s Cup (KOR G2) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – July 17, 2016

1. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.3, 1.0
2. Zettabyte (KOR) [Menifee – Fight Back (Sakura Seeking)] – Lim Sung Sil – 1.6
3. Baedari Bobae (KOR) [Colors Flying – Geumgang Gongwon (Pacificbounty)] – 5.2
Distances: 7 lengths / 4 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Ottug Ottugi 5. Stealth 6. Saeroun Stealth 7. Siseon Pochak 8. Kkeutpan Hero

Perdido Pomeroy Wins SBS Korea/Japan Cup

Perdido Pomeroy won the 2nd leg of the 2016 Sprint Series and the first of the year’s international races, beating out last year’s Asia Challenge Cup winner Choegang Schiller by half a length in the SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup last Sunday.

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Perdido Pomeroy gets the better of Choegang Schiller at Seoul on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

In the first leg of the Sprint Series, Perdido Pomeroy had gone down to Gamdonguibada and while the mare was sent off as favourite to make it two wins in a row, she had to settle for 3rd as under Kim Yong Geun, Perdido Pomeroy made all.

Choegang Schiller pushed the winner all the way but there was no luck for the visiting Japanese-trained trio. Kimon Avalon was the best placed finisher, coming home in 5th with Dreadnought 7th and Best Wish 11th.

Perdido Pomeroy cost just $22,000 at last June’s OBS Sales but in just seven races to date, has already earned over $350,000, with this being his fifth win.

Another up and coming import, Tongil Sidae put in a creditable effort in 4th. Unlike Perdido Pomeroy, his future is most likely at further distances. However, there was no luck for Cheongu, the globe-trotting colt looking more and more as though he could do with a spell while OS Hwadap also found it tough in this company.

Perdido Pomeroy’s emergence, however, gives some cause for optimism for Korean entries ahead of the final leg of the Sprint Series which will be the $700K Korea Sprint on International Day in September.

SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – June 5, 2016

1. Perdido Pomeroy (USA) [Pomeroy – Boldest Of All (Bold Executive)] – Kim Yong Gen – 5.8, 1.9
2. Choegang Schiller (USA) [Artie Schiller – Changeable (Miswaki)] – Lee Chan Ho – 1.9
3. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.4
Distances: 0.5 lengths / 1 length
Also Ran: 4. Tongil Sidae (USA) 5. Kimon Avalon (JPN) 6. Mirae Yeongung (USA) 7. Dreadnought (JPN) 8. OS Hwadap (USA) 9. Cheongu (USA) 10. Yuseong Fighting (KOR) 11. Best Wish (JPN) 12. Rise And Shout (USA)

Power Blade Powers To Derby Glory

In a monsoon downpour at Seoul, Power Blade added the Korean Derby to his victory in the KRA Cup Mile and heads into the final leg of the Triple Crown with two jewels safely  secured and looking for all the world like he will be the first horse to sweep the crown in its current form.

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Power Blade makes it through the rain to win the Korean Derby (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Jockey Kim Yong Geun surprised many and opted to go right to the front out of the gate on Power Blade, having been slightly more leisurely away in previous starts. He was joined by stablemate World Champion along with Tohamsan and Banjiui Jewang. He would see them all off comfortably.

World Champion failed to stay on the fast running track, Tohamsan ran out and unseated his rider on the final turn. The others would stay on and challenges emerged from Zettabyte and Stealth, 4th and 3rd in the Cup Mile. Challenge is too strong a word though as this was always to be Power Blade’s and he romped away to win by three lengths on the line. Zettabyte was 2nd a further six lengths ahead of Stealth.

Winners Glory was Seoul’s best finisher in 4th place with Banjiui Jewang a creditable 5th. It is another Derby for trainer Kim Young Kwan. Few will bet against him completing his first Triple Crown on July 17th.

Korean Derby (KOR G1) – Seoul Racecourse – 1800M – May 15, 2015

1. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.2, 1.0
2. Zettabyte (KOR) [Menifee – Fight Back (Sakura Seeking)] – Lim Sung Sil – 3.7
3. Stealth (KOR) [Colors Flying – Missed The Tower (Woodman)] – Ikuyasu Kurakane – 2.2
Distances: 3 lengths/6 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Winners Glory 5. Banjiui Jewang 6. Cheonji Storm 7. Siseon Pochak 8. Saeroun Stealth 9. Gongryong 10. Theme Deunggeuk 11. Ever In Ever 12. V Man 13. World Champion 14. Seungniui Chukje DNF: Tohamsan

Power Blade The Sharpest In KRA Cup Mile

Power Blade once more defeated stablemate Ottug Ottugi to claim the first leg of the 2016 Korean Triple Crown, the KRA Cup Mile, at Busan Racecourse on Sunday.

Last year’s champion juvenile, Power Blade was sent off as the odds-on favourite and was always very handy as Ottug Ottugi and outsider Gasok Engine set the early pace. Banjiui Jewang, expected to be prominent, sat just behind but failed to make a run in the home straight and would trail home in 7th place.

Instead it was left to the Kim Young Kwan pair to battle it out and just over a furlong out, Power Blade did look under pressure for a time. Ottug Ottugi, the only filly in the race and trying the distance for the first time would crack though and Power Blade ran on for a four-length win with the filly a brave second.

Stealth, a 25/1 shot, ran a huge race in 3rd  under Ikuyasu Kurakane, getting up from the back along with Zettabyte who came home 4th. Ever In Ever came a solid 5th, leading home Seoul’s top finisher. the 120/1 outsider Theme Deunggeuk. Behind them, the field was strung out.

Power Blade has now won five of his seven starts and is likely to head back to Seoul as favourite for the Korean Derby on May 15th. Already a winner at the Derby-distance of 1800M, he is going to be tough to stop. Ottug Ottugi showed that she has developed and a mile is within her capabilities. She’ll also need to get 1800M the Oaks in June.

The Kim Young Kwan training dominance of the top races continues. Today’s Cup Mile was his 28th Grade race winner – by far a Korean record. Kim rotates his jockeys – partly as he believes it benefits his horses although many suspect ensuring none of the top ones commit to another trainer also plays its role. Today’s rider Kim Yong Geun can’t complain too much though; today was his 9th Graded win – all of them coming on Kim Young Kwan-trained horses.

KRA Cup Mile (KOR G2) – Busan Racecourse – 1600M – April 3, 2016

1. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmacheong] – YK Kim – Kim Yong Geun – 1.7, 1.1
2. Ottug Ottugi (KOR) [Forest Camp – Main Objective] – YK Kim – Choi Si Dae – 2.1
3. Stealth (KOR) [Colors Flying – Missed The Tower] – SY Lee – Ikuyasu Kurakane – 4.7
Distances: 4 lengths / 2 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Zettabyte 5. Ever In Ever 6. Theme Deunggeuk 7. Banjiui Jewang 8. Gongryong 9. Gasok Engine 10. Dyna’s Dream 11. Smart Gentleman 12. Argo Flying

Rock Band Plays Winning Encore In Owners’ Cup

In what turned out to be a repeat of the Minister’s Cup, Rock Band led home stablemate Triple Nine and Korean Derby winner Yeongcheon Ace to score a commanding victory in the Owners’ Cup at Busan on Sunday afternoon.

Rock Band wins the Minister's Cup (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

Rock Band wins the Minister’s Cup (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

In the final leg of the Triple Crown at Seoul in July, Triple Nine had been sent off as the odds-on favourite with Rock Band fourth in the market. With Triple Nine, 2nd in the Derby and the Minister’s Cup, having finally got a Stakes race win in the Gyeongnam Do-Min Ilbo Cup in August, he was favourite again ahead of Success Story and with Rock Band third choice.

Rock Band in the Owners' Cup winner's circle (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

Rock Band in the Owners’ Cup winner’s circle (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

Once more, Rock Band made a mockery of that. Success Story, showed the way early on but Rock Band was always very handy and took things up entering the home straight. From then on the result was never in doubt.

Under jockey Kim Yong Geun, Rock Band ran on to win by just under two lengths with Triple Nine and Yeongcheon Ace chasing him home to complete an identical 1-2-3 to that in Seoul in July.

Jockey, Trainer and Breeder (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

Jockey, Trainer and Breeder (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

It was Rock Band’s 6th win from 7 career starts, his only defeat coming when he got a dreadful trip in his first try around two-turns in June.

A full-brother of Indie Band, the 2013 President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner, Rock Band didn’t race as a 2-year-old but now looks the pick of his crop. Hopefully, he will return to Seoul to attempt to emulate big brother in the President’s Cup later this autumn.

It was another solid performance by Triple Nine in 2nd. He has now raced 10 times with 6 wins and 4 second places. He too is trained by Kim Young Kwan, Busan’s top trainer and just like the winner, is by Ecton Park. The 1-2 was another triumph for Isidore Farm, where Ecton Park stands

Owners’ Cup – Busan Racecourse – 1600M – September 6, 2015

1. Rock Band (KOR) [Ecton Park – Plie (Dixieland Band)] – Kim Yong Geun – 6.4, 3.1
2. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] – Lim Sung Sil – 1.5
3. Yeongcheon Ace (KOR) [Menifee – Dixie Avenger (Dixie Union)] – Choi Si Dae
Distances: 1.75 lengths/3 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Ildeung Hanghaesa 5. Doraon Hyeonpyo 6. Success Story 7. Gumpo Sky

* Elsewhere over the weekend, the Seoul Racecourse track-record for 1700M fell for the third time this year. The capital’s track – quicker than ever in recent months – was racing extremely fast following a storm on Saturday morning. Perfect Clone (Exploit), having broker the Korean-bred record for five furlongs earlier in the day before Special Joy (Kitten’s Joy), under Djordje Perovic, took a second off the previous best set by New White Socks in July, in winning the 1700M race 9

Jangpung Parang Makes All To Dominate Korean Oaks

Jangpung Parang led out of the gate and all the way around to dominate the 16th running of the Korean Oaks at Busan Racecourse this afternoon.

As expected there were plenty who were looking to get towards the front early but Kim Yong Geun got Jangpung Parang, who was sent off as fourth-favourite, away well to lead into the first turn with Queen Two Hearts and Dangdae Cheonha in close attendance.

That is how it would remain until the field turned for home. Dangdae Cheonha faded away while favourite Meni Money came through with her expected late run. It was to no avail though as Jangpung Parang had already kicked on to an unassailable lead, giving jockey Kim the luxury of easing slightly as they approached the line. Meni Money would get to within five lengths with Queen Two Hearts a further couple behind.

Hot Commend closed strongly to claim 4th place with Smart Time claiming the final prize-money spot in 5th. Outsider Purple Ocean was 6th while the well-fancied Jibong Sarang was the disappointment of the race in 7th.

It was a third consecutive Oaks win for trainer Kim Young Kwan following Speedy First in 2013 and Queen’s Blade last year. Jockey Kim Yong Geun also partnered Queen’s Blade and was winning his second Oaks.

Jangpung Parang is by Creek Cat, who passed away in 2012. It broke Menifee’s four-year winning streak in the event. She is out of the Canadian-bred mare Ascend The Throne (Silver Charm) who was unraced and was purchased for $30,000 at Keeneland in November 2007.

As for Seoul, while Sports Seoul Trophy winner Meni Money was sent off the slight favorite, her 2nd place was creditable while Smart Time also ran well for 5th. The capital desperately needs to get a big race win over Busan but today once more, it was not to be.

It wasn’t quite the fairytale ending to his Korean-career for Joe Fujii. Dangdae Cheonha showed towards the front early but faded to last in the home-straight. Masa Tanaka and Nobuyuki Oyama though guided the unfancied pair of Hot Commend and Purple Ocean to 4th and 6th respectively.

The Oaks was run two months earlier this year in order to fit in to a new compressed Triple Crown schedule. That means the final leg, with the colts involved once more, is less than a month away. Janpung Parang will almost certainly stay the 2000M should connections choose to bring her up to Seoul for the Minister’s Cup next month.

Korean Oaks (KOR G2) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – June 21, 2015

1. Jangpung Parang (KOR) [Creek Cat – Ascend The Throne (Silver Charm)] – Kim Yong Geun – 5.9, 2.0
2. Meni Money (KOR) [Menifee – Pocketful Of Money (Running Stag)] – Seo Seung Un – 1.3
3. Queen Two Hearts (KOR) [Menifee – Ghostly Gal (Silver Ghost)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.5
Distances: 5 lengths / 2.5 lengths. Winning Time: 1:56.5

Also Ran: 4. Hot Commend (Masa Tanaka) 5. Smart Time (Ham Wan Sik) 6. Purple Ocean (Nobuyuki Oyama) 7. Jibong Sarang (You Hyun Myung) 8. Queen Creek Cat (Kim Hye Sun) 9. Grace (Kim Dong Young) 10. Dia Girl (Kim Cheol Ho) 11. Dangdae Cheonha (Joe Fujii)

Winning Owner: Lim Chong Jae
Winning Breeder: Jang Kyoung Ae
Winning Traner: Kim Young Kwan