Korean Oaks

Deep Mind Five-Star In Oaks For Kim Young-kwan

Never write-off Kim Young-kwan. It’s the golden rule of Korean racing but some of us still fall prey to it from time-to-time. Just when it looked as though the nation’s dominant trainer could go through a season without winning one of the three-year-old Classic races, up pops Deep Mind to trounce fifteen rivals and win the Oaks by eight-lengths. At odds of 23/1.

While neither were expected to win, Deep Mind wasn’t even trainer Kim’s first-string. That was Amazon Yeogeol, but under Seo Seung-un, Deep Mind bounded out of gate 14 and got across to the lead. It was a simple plan – get in front on a very wet track and let the rest of them get in trouble in the mud and spray behind. It worked.

Dae Wan Ma, Sports Seoul Trophy winner and 2nd in the KRA Cup Mile, was sent off as the prohibitive favourite but having settled in the front half of the pack, jockey Antonio Da Silva had to get to work on her a full three-furlongs from home. The response was muted and she finished well down the field.

Instead, Deep Mind galloped away from the pack for a dominant triumph. Heung Buja got closest in 2nd place ahead of Miss Fact in 3rd making for a trifecta dividend in excess of 20,000/1. Peter Wolsley’s Top Of World was 4th and Luigi Riccardi’s Mamma Roma a creditable 5th.

For jockey Seo Seung-un it was a first win in the race but for trainer Kim it was a fifth with him previously having won four consecutive editions between 2013 and 2016. It’s also a first Classic win this season for Busan-trained horse after Seoul based gallopers Global Chukje and Wonderful Fly took out the KRA Cup Mile and Korean Derby respectively.

Deep Mind is by Menifee and is out of Urrikot (by Creek Cat), who was bred and raced in Korea. It was the seventh race of her career and her fourth win.

Korean Oaks Day 2019: Race-By-Race Preview For Busan & Seoul (May 19)

The 2019 Korean Oaks takes place at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon and a full field of 16 runners are set to assemble for the fillies’ Classic. There are 6 races in total at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10 while at Seoul there are eleven races from 10:45 to 18:00.

Special Stone Korea Racing Authority

Last year, Special Stone won the Korean Oaks for Seoul (Pic KRA)

Dae Wan Ma is set to be hot favourite for the Oaks. She ran 2nd in the KRA Cup Mile having won Seoul’s Classic trial a month earlier. She’s been to Busan before when 2nd in last December’s Breeders’ Cup and she is the one to beat.

Last Sunday we saw an odds-on chance go down in the Korea Derby, however, and Dae Wan Ma is no sure thing. The beaten jockey last week was Yoo Seung-wan and he arrives in Busan with the chance to put things right on Smile Girl, winner of Seoul’s Oaks trial in April.

Peter Wolsley’s Top Of World looks firmly in the hunt as well, while Mighty Power and Amazon Yeogeol are also in contention for two trainers, Baik Kwang-yeol and Kim Young-kwan, who are in danger of having an unusually fallow Classic series. Doctor Thunder, so disappoitning in the Cup Mile, is the wildcard. Here is horse by horse for the full cards at both Seoul & Busan:

Seoul Race 1: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

  1. GEUMSEONG YEOWANG – Best of 5th from 10 starts so far. Drops back in trip having finished last on muddy track over 1300M three weeks ago. Hard to recommend here.
  2. BEST MAID – 10th behind Tri Thunder at 1300M on April 20th but was 4th on most recent effort at this distance in March. Minor money at best.
  3. ECO BROTHER – Winner on debut at this distance on wet track in December. 10th and 6th in two starts at this level since. Better draw today and outside place chance.
  4. GOLD PERILLA – Up in class having registered his maiden win at the ninth time of asking making all over this trip on April 21st. More to find in this company but solid placing chances again under good apprentice jockey.
  5. UNAK HABIO – Recent form very cold. Only possible angle is he drops back in trip and has a top jockey on board, but neither are enough to make him a recommend.
  6. BLUE FIRE – Still a maiden after ten attempts but has been very close with four runner-up finishes including last time at class and distance. Generally sits just off the pace, top jockey stays on and a big chance here.
  7. PARTY POWER – Makes her 51st start today, and occasionally picks up some minor prize money. Always runs on late but usually leaves a little too much to do and similar is likely today.
  8. NAMJJOK NARA – Her best finishes at this level have been at 1700M and while she carries a light weight here, she wouldn’t seem to have the speed to make an impact.
  9. TRI THUNDER – Winner on debut last September and has been no worse than 6th in six subsequent outings at this level. Back in trip today after a 3rd place over 1300M last time and solid claims.
  10. STRONG CUPID – Yet to finish any better than 9th in six attempts during which she’s been dropped in class to little effect. Avoid.
Selections (6) Blue Fire (9) Tri Thunder (4) Gold Perilla (7) Party Power
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 3, 4, 5, 9

 

Seoul Race 2:  Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

  1. EDWIN – Never better than 5th in six starts so far. Back in trip today but slow starter and easy to toss here.
  2. TOUR BROTHER – Looked ready to score at the end of last year and was sent off odds-on favourite in consecutive races finishing 3rd in the first of them but last in the second having hung-out throughout. Last seen running 8th over 1300M in March. Talented but unreliable.
  3. RAON HAWK – Offered very little in three starts so far and will need some significant improvement here.
  4. JEONGMUN SARANG – Ran 2nd in valuable juvenile race in September but struggled against the track’s best of his crop a month later. Disappointing 4th when hot favourite at the end of March but with a good start, can go close here.
  5. JEONGDONG SARANG – Only two starts so far – sent off at nearly 400/1 last time and ran like it. Booking of Alan Munro the positive and while he might need to get off and push, that might be enough to find the minor money here.
  6. SEOUL CITY – Getting closer across three outings and was a good and close 2nd at the distance last time having led until close to home. Can get on pace again and could go one better.
  7. WONDERFUL BRAVO – No better than 7th in seven tries and comes in after a slow 7th of 12 over this distance last time. Much improvement required.
  8. DALLINEUN ACE – Yet to offer much in the way of speed though recent some modest support two weeks ago after a promising trial. Promptly finished 9th of 12. This is weak though so improvement possible.
Selections (4) Jeongmun Sarang (6) Seoul City (2) Tour Brother (5) Jeongdong Sarang
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 2, 4, 6

 

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

  1. NONGBON JARANG – Last all the way round on debut last October and not seen again until trialling underwhelmingly at the end of March. Watching brief here.
  2. REGINA – Managed a 4th place two starts ago but struggled on latest a month ago at this trip. Has been slowly away on three of her four starts so far and is an outsider here.
  3. JACKS KHAN – Hasn’t beaten many in four attempts so far and was sent back to trial after latest effort in March. Leave well alone.
  4. JEONGMUN SAI – 3rd on debut at 1000M was followed by a 2nd place over 1300M when he led until the closing stages. Back in trip by half a furlong today and a big chance of leading all the way.
  5. WIND SKY – Much improved 2nd over 1300M last start. Will need to find more here but can be considered for further progress.
  6. BLUE BAND – “Full” brother to President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner Indie Band, he’s not quite lived up to that so far with 5th and 7th from two starts. Showed prominently over 1300M last start before weakening in closing stages. Could improve at 1200M today.
  7. MEISEI DREAM – First-time state but she just scraped through a trial in the slowest possible qualifying time. Watching brief here.
  8. COLORS DE LAGO – Some high hopes on debut after a positive trial and has offered glimpses. 5th of 9 at this distance last time and can improve.
  9. SONGAM RAPUNZEL – Debut-maker. Nothing special in trials although it was run at a slow pace. Others are preferred.
  10. HAWK ARIRANG – Has shown slight but noticeable improvement across three starts so far and was 6th of 12 last time, running on creditably. Can improve again.
  11. GOLD LEVEL – Getting slightly better and comes in following back to back 5th place finishes. Top jockey on again and a chance in this company.
Selections (4) Jeongmun Sai (5) Wind Sky (6) Blue Band (11) Gold Level
Next Best 8, 10
Fast Start 4, 6

 

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

  1. UNJU YEONGUNG – Yet to finish any better than 7th in nine attempts and it would be no surprise if that record was maintained here.
  2. RAISING ANGEL – A winner on debut last December, her worst in four subsequent starts was her only other try at further than 1000M. Nevertheless, she beat a couple of these last time and is well drawn to get on pace. A chance.
  3. BLESSING ROAD – Six starts at this level since maiden win last September with a best of 3rd. 5th behind some useful ones last time and jockey booking a plus.
  4. SPECIAL GOLD – First start since last August. She trialled adequately enough in April but others likely to be favoured first-up here.
  5. SUJEBI – Recent form has been uninspiring. Did manage a 5th place at 1000M in February but has struggled when asked to go any further.
  6. PRIVATE MAN – Still a maiden but no worse than 5th in six starts to date. Up in class after latest near miss but should be competitive.
  7. HUNTER HAWK – Finished last on his return from five months out in April. Never any better than 3rd and up against it here.
  8. P.K. JEONSA – Got promoted to this class with back to back runner-up finishes in February and March but was 8th on first try at the level on April 21st. Should be on pace and worth another chance today.
  9. VICTORY KING – Up in class today after consecutive 2nd place finishes. No worse than 6th in five outings to date. Will need to improve but not impossible.
  10. RICH RULES – Winner on debut and then 3rd in both subsequent starts at this class. Up in trip for the first time today, the draw isn’t ideal but is she gets away well, she has a real chance.
  11. MAENGSAN HERO – Yet to finish in the top three, he’s an import who has been dropped from class 4 but hasn’t found things much more amenable.
Selections (10) Rich Rules (2) Raising Angel (9) Victory King (8) P.K. Jeonsa
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 2, 3, 8, 10

 

Seoul Race 5: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

  1. DAEGUN CHEONHA – Never worse than 3rd, he got his maiden win over 1300M last start. Up in class today, he looks well in again and can win again.
  2. MALIBU GINGER – 3rd behind Crazy Wiki and M J Power over 1200M on April 20th. Previous effort at this distance didn’t go well but can be given a chance here.
  3. NEUNGRYEOK SIDAE – Class and distance winner at the end of March and followed up with 5th of 10 on a wet track three weeks ago. Apprentice jockey gets the weight back down today and she’ll be in the hunt.
  4. FLYING BOSS – Still a maiden after fourteen attempts but he’s had plenty of near-misses. However, he comes in having finished 11th behind several of these last time so has plenty of form to overturn.
  5. CHEUNGDAM GENIE – Maiden winner in February but weakened on first try at class and distance in tough company on April 13th. Worth another chance here.
  6. GOLDEN DIAL – Hung inwards throughout last start which was his first at this class. With better manner can improve today.
  7. M J POWER – 2nd behind Crazy Wiki over 1200M on April 20th, coming from well off the pace. Attempts this trip for the first time and could make for an interesting outsider.
  8. MUNHAK TIGER – First start since running 3rd behind M J Power in February and first at this distance. Can come from off the pace and finish strongly.
  9. CRAZY WIKI – Beat four of these on his way to a four-length win at this class over 1200M on April 20th. First try at this distance today, he’ll be on speed again and a repeat isn’t impossible.
  10. MATCH CAPTAIN – Struggled in the TJK Trophy last month, losing a shoe in the process. Going well before that though so don’t completely write-off.
  11. MUNHAK TSUNAMI – 4th behind Crazy Wiki at 1200M on April 20th when sent off as favourite. Today’s distance should suit better, and he can overturn that form.
  12. JEOKBYEOK SHINHWA – A winner at this class over 1400M on April 21st. He carries an additional 4kg today but could potentially repeat. Will look to come from well off the pace so draw not a problem.

(more…)

Special Stone Wins The 2018 Korea Oaks

Special Stone has won the 2018 Korean Oaks. The Limitless Bid filly, sent off as a 22/1 chance among the sixteen-strong field, raced away to win the fillies’ Classic by a clear seven-lengths, ridden by trainer Kim Jeong-jun for Seoul trainer Kang Hwan-min at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

Special Stone Korea Racing Authority

Special Stone wins the 2018 Korean Oaks under Kim Jeong-jun (Pic: Korea Racing Authority)

In a race that always looked fiendishly difficult to predict, Yeonghui Sidae was ultimately sent off as a very slight favourite, ahead of Blue Flag, Gyohaksangjang and Yeongcheon Derby. None of them would get close though with Blue Flag the best of the in 4th. By the time she crossed the line, jockey Kim Jeong-jun was celebrating his biggest career win to date.

Special Stone began steadily as an overly keen Star Cat set the early pace. Jockey Kim kept his mount to the rail and the pair steadily gained ground in the back straight, improving to 2nd on the turn for home. Once they hit the straight and others swung wide, Special Stone found the front and then found another gear, leaving the rest trailing far down the track.

Seoul horses completed an unlikely 1, 2, 3 with Firewind coming home in 2nd and Seouri Byeol beating out Blue Flag in the photo-finish for 3rd, the Tierce paying out on that combination at 25850/1.

Trainer Kang Hwan-min only took out his license a year ago and has now won a Classic having had only slightly over 100 starters.

Special Stone is by Limitless Bid, a Korea-based Japanese-bred stallion by Sunday Silence. He is out of Grey Stone, Korean-bred mare who did her racing at Seoul, winning 2 of 28 starts between 2010 and 2013. Special Stone was her first foal. Grey Stone was by Walkslikeaduck (Blushing John), who was imported to Korea in 2002.

Korea Oaks (KOR G2) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – July 15, 2018

1. Special Stone (KOR) [Limitless Bid – Grey Stone (Walkslikeaduck)] – Kim Jeong-jun – 22.9, 7.6
2. Fire Wind (KOR) [Colors Flying – Chukje (Bellamy Road)] – Jeong Jeong-hee – 5.7
3. Seouri Byeol (KOR) [Limitless Bid – Busanui Byeol (Generous)] – Parl Eul-woon – 16.3
Distances: 7 lengths / 0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Blue Flag 5. Gyohaksangjang 6. Yeongcheon Derby 7. Catch Nine 8. Mone Flying 9. Yeonghui Sidae 10. Peace Tour 11. Queen Of Captain 12. Magic Ten 13. Yuhwi 14. Star Cat 15. Uju Daewang 16. Nike Street

Korean Oaks Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview for Seoul & Busan (July 15)

It’s the Korean Oaks! The 2018 edition of the filly Classic takes place at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon and has attracted an ultra-competitive sixteen-strong field to do battle over 1800M. The horse-by-horse preview is below as is race-by-race for both Busan and Seoul. Busan has 6 Sunday races from 12:40 to 17:10 while Seoul runs 11 from 10:45 to 18:00.

Yeongcheon Derby

Yeongcheon Derby, seen here winning a big juvenile race last year, is one of the major contenders for the Korean Oaks (Pic: KRA)

Busan:

Race 1: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) HOTHAE and (7) A PURE GOOD MAN came home 2nd and 3rd respectively when they raced each other at class and distance on June 10th. There was very little between them that day and that could be the case once more, this time with them battling it out for top honours with A Pure Good Man slightly favoured to get what would be his maiden win. (9) MACHO MYEONGUN was 4th that day but others may be more dangerous today. Peter Wolsley’s (1) THUNDER STRUCK was 2nd, albeit a long way back behind a good winner, at the distance on June 15th and should benefit from Fergus Sweeney riding today. (10) EURO SHINHWA is up in class following a goof win at this distance last month and can be competitive. (4) DAEDONG GISANG was slightly disappointing last start but come in following a couple of months off and can be given another chance.

Selections (7) A Pure Good Man (5) Hothae (1) Thunder Struck (10) Euro Shinhwa
Next Best 4, 6, 8
Fast Start 1, 4, 5, 7

Race 2:  Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A winner on debut back in January, (1) MR. SCAT has subsequently been beaten twice when favourite, running 4th and 3rd in his latest two at 1200M and 1400M respectively. We’re going to persevere with him today, however, and it really should be third time lucky here. He’ll be close to the early pace and should be too strong late on. (8) COOL MINT finds himself up in class after back to back 2nd places. He hung outwards last time and if he can correct that today, can get close. (7) EXPRESSIVE demonstrated even worse manners when finishing 6th when favourite four weeks ago. He’s definitely talented though and will be backed to put things right here. (4) WHITE POINT has been slightly inconsistent recently but is rarely far away and the jockey change today could tempt. (3) BIG RED IJI resumes after a couple of months off and can get close.

Selections (1) Mr. Scat (7) Expressive (8) Cool Mint (4) White Point
Next Best 3, 9, 2
Fast Start 1, 8, 11

Race 3: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(7) ORYONG comes in looking for a hat-trick of wins having prevailed over 1600M and 1300M in May and June. The latter was at this class and while he hung in throughout, was a comfortable enough winner and he’ll be hard to beat again. (9) STAR LINE enters having run a good 2nd at class and distance on June 10th and should be close again while (3) FINE POWER and (4) WINDY PARK both come in after running 4th in their latest efforts, the latter beaten by (11) EOROK at this distance. All three have placing chances here with Fine Power most favoured. (6) PRIME RACE is another who has been beaten by Eorok in recent outings but is form has picked up in his latest two with 2nd and 3rd and he is another who shouldn’t be too far away.

Selections (7) Oryong (6) Prime Race (11) Eorok (9) Star Line
Next Best 3, 4
Fast Start 1, 4, 8

Race 4: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(3) BANJIUI YEOJEONSA was a strong 2nd over 1400M last start on June 17th, continuing her recent upturn in form and a similar performance today can get her home in front. (7) V MAN has the scalps of several of these, including Banjiui Yeojeonsa, in his recent record. His latest race can written-off after he made a bad start and later lost more ground when clipping heels with another and he can be in the mix today. (2) CAPTAIN GUY is another of those who has finished behind V Man. That was on his latest start all the way back in April. He comes in here fresh and with chances to improve – earlier this year, he finished 5th of 8 in Busan’s Classic Trial and does have some ability. (4) JAYU DAERO and (5) WIN GO MAN look best of the rest.

Selections (3) Banjiui Yeojeonsa (7) V Man (2) Captain Guy (5) Win Go Man
Next Best 4, 1
Fast Start 2, 6

Race 5: Class Open (1800M) The Korean Oaks (KOR G2) / Allowance / KRW 600 Million

  1. YEONGHUI SIDAE – The Hansen filly has won six of eleven starts up to a mile. She comes in having finished 4th at class 2 over 1400M on June 22nd but had a poor trip that day having been slow away. She will want to get on pace early here and if she does, she has a chance.
  2. SPECIAL STONE – Has won twice already over 1700M if only up to class 4 at Seoul. Beat Mone Flying comfortably last start. Trialled well at the end of June, distance suits and it’s not impossible. Wants to be close to the speed.
  3. MONE FLYING – Second trip to Busan having finished 7th in the KRA Cup Mile in April. Only one start since, running 2nd to Special Stone over 1700M in May. Settles towards the rear and a bit to find here.
  4. QUEEN OF CAPTAIN – Solitary victory was at 1000M last September. Has never raced at further than 1300M and enters off 2nd place at that distance at class 5 last time. A lot to find.
  5. YUHWI – One win from eight came at 1000M and she’s still rated at class 5. Latest was 3rd place at a mile a month ago and this is considerably stiffer.
  6. CATCH NINE – Stepped up to a mile for her latest start on June 3rd and got her maiden win at the fifth time of asking. It was an impressive performance and there’s nothing to suggest the extra distance won’t suit. Hasn’t raced above class 5 but has plenty of potential. Likely to be on the early pace.
  7. STAR CAT – Class 3 winner over 1400M at Seoul a month ago, her third win on her eighth start. That was the furthest she’s run so the distance will be new for her, but a top jockey comes down from the capital to ride.
  8. UJU DAEWANG – Won three consecutive races between December and March and ran well when 3rd of 7 on her first try at this distance on June 10th with Blue Flag behind her in 4th. She led for much of that race before being passed at the top of stretch and fought on gamely.
  9. PEACE TOUR – Three wins from eleven came in consecutive races between February and April and she enters after back to back 3rd place finishes over 1200M and 1300M at class 4. She’s been versatile in her tactics so far and could have more improvement in her.
  10. BLUE FLAG – “Full” sister to Gyeongbudaero, the 2014 Grand Prix Stakes winner, she began her career with four consecutive wins up to a mile and class 4. Her two class 3 outings have seen her come up short though, both times as favourite and he was beaten by Uju Daewang at this distance last time. The form being overturned can’t be ruled out.
  11. GYOHAKSANGJANG – Stablemate of Blue Flag, she was a good winner over a mile at class 4 in April. Stepped up to this distance on May 11th and ran 2nd to the exciting four-year-old Rock Hard Seven. She was well beaten but that was no disgrace and she will be expected to go very close here for a trainer who has won the race five times.
  12. MAGIC TEN – Won four of her first five starts up to 1700M but has met her match at class 3 in Seoul. Weakened to 6th having led last time out at 1700M, she will need to improve here.
  13. SEOURUI BYEOL – Well beaten in Seoul’s Classic Trial, back in March but has come back into form in three outings since then, culminating in a win over 1400M on June 10th. Has raced at 1700M in the past although didn’t impress and likely plenty to find here.
  14. NIKE STREET – Burst onto the scene with an emphatic win last autumn but was beaten in her only two subsequent runs as a juvenile before being out for six months. She’s run well since returning though, winning both of two starts, including last time at 1700M. A chance under former top Busan jockey Kim Yong Geun.
  15. YEONGCHEON DERBY – Half-sister to 2015 Korean Derby winner Yeongcheon Ace. Four wins from five starts with her only defeat coming in the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown against the colts. Dropped back to 1400M for her re-appearance which she won, she has won at a mile before and the distance should be fine. She is a front-runner though so will need to overcome the wide draw.
  16. FIRE WIND – The only filly to have taken her chance in the Derby – she finished 7th – she is a class 3 winner at this distance in Seoul. The draw is not ideal, but it can be overcome, and she has a real chance here.

VERDICT: Wildly competitive race which could go any number of ways. All things considered, from what we’ve seen so far, (15) YEONGCHEON DERBY is probably the best horse in the race – not many of the others could have got as close as she did in the KRA Cup Mile – but that doesn’t mean she’ll win. Her first time at the distance and needing to overcome a wide draw to get to where she wants to be counting against her, but class may well win out. The Kim Young Kwan factor could see (11) GYOHAKSANGJANG beginning as favourite and she should be spot on for this while his (10) BLUE FLAG has strong claims too as does (8) UJU DAEWANG, who beat her last time out. Up from Seoul, (14) NIKE STREET looks a big danger. We’ll go with (1) YEONGHUI SIDAE though. Not yet proven at the distance but she has beaten some good horses and ran on really well despite the poor trip last time. It could be a first Classic winner for her sire Hansen.

Selections (1) Yeonghui Sidae (15) Yeongcheon Derby (11) Gyohaksangjang (14) Nike Street
Next Best 10, 8, 16
Fast Start 2, 7, 8, 12, 15

Race 6: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

(9) KING OF ACE set off in front of Cheongdam Dokki in the Busan Mayor’s Cup over 1800M two weeks ago but ended up reeled in well before the line and finishing 7th of 13. His is a career that has been beset by injury, but he gets dropped back to a sprint distance today and should be a very different prospect to when he was beaten by several of these on his return from his latest layoff in May. With a good start – which he didn’t get that day – he can win. (4) ADELEUI CHUKJE finished 3rd to King Of Ace at a mile in early June and can go close today. (1) BANJIUI JEWANG was further back in that race but was a class and distance winner as recently as May and can be considered. Similarly, (2) SUCCESS (more…)

Kim Hye Sun Becomes 1st Female Rider To Win Korean Classic as Jejui Haneul Stuns in The Oaks

There was a thrilling finish to the Korean Oaks at Busan this afternoon and at the end of it, plenty of Korean racing history was made. Kim Hye Sun became the first Korean female jockey to win a Group race while Masteru Mizutani became the first foreign owner to do the same as 56/1 outsider Jejui Haneul pulled off a shock win

OaksFinish

Jejui Haneul (near side) bests Bright Star in the Korean Oaks (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

Jejui Haneul was unfancied but was never likely to be a no-hoper having been one of the few in the field that had already performed creditably around two turns. However hers and all others chances were boosted when pre-race favourite Ice Marine blundered on exiting the gate, putting herself at a huge disadvantage before the race had even got going.

She never really recovered from that and things looked set up for 2nd and 3rd in the betting, Uju Star and Bright Star to dispute the finish. They reckoned without Jejui Haneul, who flew home on the stands-side under Kim Hye Sun to pip Bright Star by a head on the live. Longest shot on the board, the 183/1 chance Teukbyeol Star got up for an even unlikelier 3rd and almost break the tote system with an unprecedented tierce pool dividend.

Jejui Haneul

Jejui Haneul and Kim Hye Sun in the Korean Oaks winner’s circle (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

Since debuting in 2009, Kim Hye Sun has already established herself as the most successful Korean female rider of all time, the Oaks being her 225th win from just shy of 3000 mounts. No Korean woman had ever won a Group race though, much less one of the Classics. There were tears in the post race interview but 30 minutes later, Kim was back out and riding in the day’s finale.

Kim Hye Sun Oaks

Kim Hye Sun after winning the Korean Oaks (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

It was a great ride and while time will tell how good this current crop of fillies is, it was another win for Seoul. The capital track has now won three out of four encounters involving this year’s three-year-olds. That’s something we didn’t think we’d be seeing anytime soon.

Korean Oaks (KOR G2) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – June 11, 2017

1. Jejui Haneul (KOR) [Raconteur – Isanghwa (Didyme)] – Kim Hye Sun -56.0, 14.4
2. Bright Star (KOR) [Menifee – L Vicar (Vicar)] – Francisco Da Silva – 2.7
3. Teukbyeol Star (KOR) [Air Shady – Teukbyeolhwanhui (White Muzzle)] – Lee Hae Dong – 29.4
Distances: Head / 2 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Uju Star 5. Yesangbaek Seung 6. Queen’s Queen 7. Ice Marine 8. Yongwangdam 9. Daeho Chukje 10. Take Four Meals 11. Morning Baramse 12. Goldstar Hills 13. Ecton Bulpae 14. Sun Smart 15. Gasok Champion 16. Happy Gongju

Busan Sunday: Korean Oaks Day (June 11)

It’s Korean Oaks day at Busan. There are 6 races from 12:40 to 17:10. Meanwhile, the Seoul has just got underway where there are 11 races with the last at 18:00. Notes on Busan races below:

Race 1: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

1. DANCER – Really struggled in her latest few and can’t be recommended here.

2. JEONSAUI HUYE – Disappointed on first try at this level two weeks ago but is worthy of another chance here.

3. BEONGGEULBEONGGEUL – Capable of beating plenty at this level. Win would be a surprise but should be looking for the places.

4. SEONGGONG PLAN – Struggled in three outings at this level since maiden win in January.

5. PEACE BERY – 2nd of 10 behind a very useful one in a quick time on May 12th and has to be in the frame here.

6. HANNAM ROOKIE – Yet to win in 17 but does occasionally find the minor money. A win would surprise though. (more…)

Ottug Ottugi Too Good In Korean Oaks

Ottug Ottugi strolled to victory in the Korean Oaks at Busan on Sunday afternoon, the odds-on favourite led from gate-to-wire to win by an eased down five lengths on the line.

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Ottug Ottugi and Choi Si Dae in the Oaks winner’s circle (Pic: Hiromi Kobayashi)

Ottug Ottugi finished 2nd to her stablemate Power Blade in the first leg of the Triple Crown, the KRA Cup Mile in April, and just as with Power Blade in the Derby last month so long as Ottug Ottugi completed the race, it seemed a case less of “if” but more of “by how many lengths?”

In the end it was five. Under Choi Si Dae, Ottug Ottugi led from the gate into an easy lead and never for a second looked like being caught. Outsider Quick Force, the only maiden in the race, adding a fifth 2nd place to her record, got the closest in the end ahead of Hoseungjibyeok – the latter having been sent off as 2nd favourite at odds approaching 10/1.

Embarassingly, no Seoul fillies bothered to make the trip down while Jangguneui Huye, Bart Rice’s first Korean Classic runner, gave it a go but ended in 8th.

Ottug Ottugi’s win means that trainer Kim Young Kwan has now won the Oaks for four years running. For jockey Choi it was a second win in the race following his triumph on Useung Touch in 2011.

Ottug Ottugi herself is by Forest Camp and out of the Main Objective (Lion Heart). Main Objective was purchased for the princely sum of $1200 at the 2009 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale. Ottug Ottugi is her third foal to race in Korea and a two-year-old colt by Rock Hard Ten recently went through the Jeju Sales. The other two failed to make much of an impression scoring just one win between them

Ottug Ottugi has certainly made an impression.

The Korean Oaks (KOR G2) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – June 12, 2016

1. Ottug Ottugi (KOR) [Forest Camp – Main Objective (Lion Heart)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.1, 1.0
2. Quick Force (KOR) [Vicar – Madam Winette (Danewin)] – Lim Sung Sil – 3.9
3. Hoseungjibyeok (KOR) [Didyme – Everything Nice (Elusive Quality)] – Song Keong Yun – 1.3
Distances: 5 lengths / 1.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Special Rookie 5. Santa Gloria 6. Steal The Show Why 7. Byeolmuri 8. Jangguneui Huye 9. Miracle Bolt