Mari Daemul

Mari Daemul Set For KRA Cup Classic Defence

Mari Daemul heads the field this coming Sunday at Seoul Racecourse as he attempts to successfully defend the Group 3 KRA Cup Classic that he won here a year ago.

Mari Daemul was in the KRA Cup Classic Winner's Circle this time last year

Mari Daemul was in the KRA Cup Classic Winner’s Circle this time last year

He will face eleven rivals. Let’s take a look at them (Name [Pedigree] Age Sex (Runs/1st/2nd/3rd) – Jockey)

KRA Cup Classic (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – October 19, 2014 – 16:35

1. Mani Income (USA) [Irish Road – Lemon Zest (Lemon Drop Kid)] 5 G (27/3/4/3) – Yoo Seung Wan
Decent horse who hasn’t finished higher than 4th this year. Probably won’t be getting a whole lot of income out of this race.

2. Samjeong Jewang (USA) [Patriot Act – Ms.Sadira (Dixieland Heat)] 3 G (8/5/0/2) – Ikuyasu Kurakane
Comes into the race off the back of three consecutive wins, including at this class and distance last time out. He beat Indian Blue in that race and while he doesn’t have the same weight advantage here, he ahs every chance of doing it again.

3. My Day (KOR) [Touch Gold – Smart Advice (Smart Strike)] 4 F (23/10/4/2) – Jang Chuyoul
The only Korean bred in the race, this filly has been in good recent form although she was found wanting in her only previous attempt against imported opposition. Good speed and likely to come from just off the pace, she is though, hard to recommend for the win

4. Unbeatable (USA) [Eddington – Baxter Hall (Rahy)] 4 C (25/4/5/6) – Ham Wan Sik
Not the most appropriate name for this one but he does usually finish in the money at least. Has a chance of doing so again but will probably find one or two too quick among this field.

5. Sun Speed (USA) [Pleasant Tap – Eva’s Way (Dixie Union)] 5 H (25/3/5/2) – Kim Hye Sun
Takes his chance after finishing 2nd of 7 in a slowly run race over 1900M last time out. Should get a good position but others will be quicker in the final furlong.

6. Him Jjang (USA) [Pure Prize – Aroarable (Roar)] 4 C (13/4/2/1) – Park Byeong Yun
This one was a really promising 3-year-old but has struggled since making it up to class 1 and is unplaced in three starts since returning from a layoff in June. Will most likely be unplaced again.

7. Rush Forth (USA) [Rush Bay – Fourth Quest (Norquestor)] 4 G (14/4/2/3) – Kim Ok Sung
Another who has the ability to go close without being likely to actually win. Fourth behind Samjeong Jewang and Indian Blue last time out, that seems a reasonable ambition again here.

8. Hwanggeumbiyul (USA) [Indian Ocean – Dixieland Gulch (Gulch)] 5 G (18/6/4/2) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
Three of his six wins have come at class 1 and he comes in after two consecutive triumphs. Likely to be among the frontrunners and with good closing speed, he is not without a chance.

9. Daehan Janggun (USA) [Zanjero – Casual Friday (Fit To Fight)] 3 C (9/3/3/2) – Shin Hyoung Chul
A first try at class 1 for this 3-year-old. He’s never been out of the money in his nine starts to date and has good late speed. May meet his match in his couple of these but shouldn’t be too far away.

10. Indian Blue (USA) [Henny Hughes – Gambler’s Passion (Prospector’s Gamble)] 4 F (20/5/4/5) – Moon Se Young
It really is a travesty that Indian Blue has only won 5 of her 20 races. One of the quickest closers in Korea – and the quickest in this race – she does have a habit of finding just a little bit too much to do. Second place should be a minimum requirement.

11. Mari Daemul (USA) [Go For Gin – Token Beauty (Gold Token)] 5 H (27/9/4/3) – Seo Seung Un
The defending champion hasn’t been seen on the track since finishing a disappointing 9th in the Busan Metropolitan in July. His last run at Seoul ended in success though and while he may not be the favourite, he has a chance of successfully defending his title.

12. Cheonma (USA) [Langfuhr – Rash Decision (Mt.Livermore)] 3 G (11/3/4/1) – Park Eul Woon
Steps up in class and in distance after two consecutive wins at class 2. Likely to be among the front-runners and he is quick, but this field is much superior to anything he has faced before.

Friday October 16
Busan Racecourse: 11 races from 11:40 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 13:20 to 17:20

Saturday October 17
Seoul Racecourse: 12 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:50

Sunday October 18
Seoul Racecourse: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:00

Mari Daemul, Magic Dancer Win Features

Mari Daemul and Magic Dancer both bounced back from recent reverses to claim the feature races at Seoul and Busan respectively today.

Mari Daemul, see here after his KRA Cup Classic win, was back in the winner's circle today

Mari Daemul, see here after his KRA Cup Classic win, was back in the winner’s circle today

KRA Cup Classic winner Mari Daemul has flopped in the Grand Prix Stakes at the tail-end of last year and could only manage third place on his season-debut last month.

However, that didn’t stop him from being sent off the even-money favourite for Seoul’s feature, which included a host of the track’s top class 1 horses.

Ultimately, Mari Daemul (Go For Gin) was the comfortable winner, scoring a 3-length victory over fellow US import Unbeatable (Eddington). Former Grand Prix winner and one-time Horse of the Year Tough Win (Yonaguska) was a neck back in third.

Talented but frustratingly inconsistent, it was an 8th win from 23 starts for the 5-year-old Mari Daemul.

Down at Busan, Magic Dancer (Forest Camp) was given few problems by his own class 1 rivals. The 4-year-old colt could only manage 4th place in the Busan Ilbo Cup last month but was untroubled today, seeing off Cheogang Dancer – to who he was conceding 8kg – by half a length.

In other races at Seoul, highly rated filly Clean Up Speed (Pico Central) landed her 4th win from 6 starts and her first around two turns. Although not entered for the KRA Cup Mile at Busan in two week’s time, she must be considered among the potentials for the year’s later Classics.

Clean Up Speed also provided the third in a treble of winners for Ikuyasu Kurakane. The Japanese jockey reached a milestone 200 Korean winners last weekend and shows no signs of slowing down.

Racing Review: My Key Unlocks Busan Feature

Always a horse with a lot of attention on him, My Key delivered the goods at Busan this afternoon, landing his second class 1 victory in the afternoon’s feature race.

As half-brother of US champion Game On Dude, big things were expected of My Key (Macho Uno), now a 4-year-old gelding. He’s no superstar but has developed into a decent campaigner. Entering today’s race with 6 wins from 16 starts behind him, he was sent off as the 2nd favourite in the 13-runner, 2000 metre race.

Jockey Lim Sung Sil saved ground before unleashing My Key in the home straight and they eased away from the field to record victory by just over a length from Cheogo Gangja.

It was the second class 1 race of the weekend at Busan with Friday having seen the previously unbeaten US import Cowboy Son (Cowboy Cal) struggle to 3rd place as Oreuse (Smoke Glacken) took the win in the 7-furlong feature.

Up at Seoul, there was an interesting debutant on Sunday in the shape of another 4-year-old gelding, this one called Yeongsan (Menifee).

It was a Spring-like weekend at Seoul Racecourse

It was a Spring-like weekend at Seoul Racecourse

One of 6 Korean-bred horses exported to Malaysia in 2012, Yeongsan ran there twice on turf before quietly returning home at the end of last year.

Looking an absolute beast in comparison with a woefully overmatched class 6 field, Yeongsan sauntered to a 13-length win. We’ll take a closer look at him and the circumstances of his return over the next few days.

At the business end of Seoul’s card were two class 1 races, one for foreign-bred horses and the other for domestic-bred.

The foreign-bred one saw a very close finish which 8/1 chance Double Shining (Rockport Harbor) just got the best of ahead of Kentucky Galloper (Tiz Wonderful) and KRA Cup Classic winner Mari Daemul (Go For Gin).

Thirty minutes later, odds-on favourite Heukgisa (A.P.Dancer) claimed the domestic race to wrap-up another weekend of racing.

Tough Win Tamed As Mari Daemul Wins KRA Cup Classic

Tough Win’s attempt to reclaim the KRA Cup Classic crown that he last won as a 3-year-old in 2010 fell flat as Mari Daemul ran out a convincing winner at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

Mari Daemul waits in the KRA Cup Classic winner's circle

Mari Daemul waits in the KRA Cup Classic winner’s circle

Finishing in 6th place, it was only the second time in his 31-race career to date that Tough Win returned without any prize-money. Sent off the odds-on favourite, he seemed ideally placed, just behind the leaders, as the field turned for home.

In the home-straight though, the 2-time Busan Metropolitan winner could find nothing while Mari Daemul, who had been in 2nd place throughout, sprinted into a clear lead and comfortably held off late closers Indian Blue and Bichui Wangja.

Mari Daemul, a $5,500 from Fasig Tipton’s mid-Atlantic Mixed sale in December 2010, was recording his 7th win from 20 career starts and his first in a Stakes race. He now must be considered a potential entrant in the season-ending Grand Prix Stakes. Regardless of today’s lacklustre effort, Tough Win will probably be there too.

KRA Cup Classic (KOR G3) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – October 27, 2013

1. Mari Daemul (USA) [Go For Gin – Token Beauty (Gold Token)] – Shin Hyung Chul – 13.4, 2.4
2. Indian Blue (USA) [Henny Hughes – Gamblers Passion (Prospectors Gamble)] – Ikuyasu Kurakane – 1.4
3. Bichui Wangja (USA) [Roman Ruler – Quiet Delight (Grindstone)] – Seo Seung Un – 1.6

Distances: 2.5 lengths/Nose – 12 ran