Noble Warrior

Dallao’s Delight: Noble Warrior Is American Owner’s First Winner

“I think he could hear me screaming at the finish line” said Joe Dallao after watching – energetically – his horse Noble Warrior get the best of a tight finish to race 6 at Busan on Friday afternoon. It was the American’s first winner as an owner in Korea.

Joe Dallao is a long-time resident of Korea and took a possibly unique route into thoroughbreds by way of pigeon racing. Believe it or not, the birds have a Studbook and Dallao, from his Ilsan base, turns out to be one of the foremost pigeon racers on the peninsula. A few years ago Dallao, an executive at an American company in Seoul, decided to look beyond the loft and turned his attention to racing. He first took an interest in racehorses in his native United States with Barry Irwin’s Team Valor and at the same time started to investigate the possibility of owning in his adoptive country.

The trouble was that foreigners – even those living in the country – were unable to own racehorses. Dallao lobbied and lobbied and finally in 2014, as the KRA put its internationalization program into action, a small number of foreigners were permitted to own. Joe Dallao was in the first group to be granted a license.

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The English language Korea Racing Broadcasting Channel was launched today – and Noble Warrior was one of the first winners

Teaming up with South African trainer Bart Rice, Dallao bought two horses last year. They were a Whywhywhy filly called Majestic Beauty and a Biwa Shinseiki gelding named Noble Warrior. Both took a long time to get ready with Noble Warrior running just once as a 2-year-old and Majestic Beauty not at all.

Bart Rice – who is in sparkling form these days and will send his horse Triple Five to Singapore for the KRA Trophy later this month – got them right though and Majestic Beauty has shown promise with a 4th and a 2nd in two starts over the past couple of months. Noble Warrior meanwhile began placing and has been getting better as the distances have lengthened. Today, on his second start at class 5 and his second at a mile; benefiting from a slight weight advantage and a ground saving ride by You Hyun Myung, he got it spot on. Noble Warrior hit the front at the top of the stretch and gamely battled on to win by half a length. It was his 7th career start.

Joe Dallao was active at the Jeju sales again this Spring and then plans to import a horse from the US later in the year. Whatever they achieve and no matter what Noble Warrior goes on to do from here, no doubt today will have been special.

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Busan Friday Review: Buho Is Back!

Buho, winner of five races from eight as a three-year-old in 2014, strode back into the winner’s circle as a five-year-old at Busan Racecourse this afternoon.

Buho (Vicar), a half-brother of 2008 KRA Cup Mile winner Rainmaker, last won under Joe Fujii on December 21, 2014. That was his fifth win of that year. Unfortunately he would then suffer an injury and 2015 was spent in surgery and rehabilitation. He finally returned to action on January 2nd this year over 1800M. It was too much too soon.

Today was different. Back at 1200M, Buho practically made all to beat favourite Pureun Ace by a length in the class 2 race 10. It was another winner for the Kim Young Kwan/Kim Young Kwan trainer and jockey combination who won the KRA Cup Mile with Power Blade last Sunday.  Buho moves on to six wins from ten career starts.

Also winning for the first time since 2014 was Ready When You Are (In Summation), who claimed race 9 back from a six-month at odds of 22/1. Up and comer World Champion (Didyme) stepped up in class and distance to stroll race 8. Any doubts that the half-brother to last year’s Korean Oaks winner Jangpung Parang would get two turns were dispelled as the ever so modestly named colt landed his fifth win from seven starts. Where he is pointed next could be very interesting indeed.

Speaking of Oaks winners, today’s race 3 winner Power Champ (Menifee) is out of the 2008 winner Jeolho Chance. 3rd in today’s race was Noble Warrior (Biwa Shinseiki). Noble Warrior is owned by Joe Dallao and the American finds himself a prize-money winning owner for the first time. It looked for a moment as though the three-year-old gelding might just get home in front but it wasn’t to be. Even so, it was a very creditable performance by Noble Warrior – who was well prepared and entered by trainer Bart Rice – and whose jockey was sporting Dallao’s colours for the first time: