Ottug Ottugi

Triple Crown Final Leg: Minister’s Cup Runner-By-Runner Preview

The final leg of the 2016 Korean Triple Crown is at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon and Power Blade is set to be favourite to win the Minister’s Cup and complete a sweep of the Crown.

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Power Blade won the Derby in the rain in May. He returns to Seoul as favourite to complete the Triple Crown on Sunday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

He has seven rivals in the 2000M race which is being run at the early time of 2.20pm due to the attendance of a government delegation. Korean Oaks winner Ottug Ottugi who, like Power Blade is trained by Kim Young Kwan is expected to be the main danger.

Here’s a full run down of the field:

The Minister’s Cup (KOR GII) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – July 17, 2016 (14:20)

1. Saeroun Stealth (KOR) [Colors Flying – Captive (Mutakddim)] (7/3/1/1) Sang Young Lee –Makoto Okabe
Distance is a concern. His one run at 1800M in the Derby and he finished 8th, beaten by four of these. Returned to win over 1300M last month but he has a lot to find in this company. He settles in the middle of the pack.

2. Kkeutpan Hero (KOR) [Colors Flying – Ya Ya Sunshine (Elusive Quality)] (3/3/0/0) Sung J-Kwon – Chae Sang Hyun
Unbeaten in three starts to date, he joins the Classic trail late. He won by half a length over a mile on his last start on June 10th at class 4. He’s done nothing wrong so far although it is hard to gauge him in terms of the opposition he’s faced. It’s a big step up here.

3. Stealth (KOR) [Colors Flying – Missed The Tower (Woodman)] (10/4/0/3) Sang Young Lee –Ikuyasu Kurakane
Same owner and trainer as Saeroun Stealth, he’s come 3rd in both legs of the Triple Crown so far. He came from well off the pace in the Derbyand while he was a full six-lengths behind Zettabyte in 2nd, he may appreciate the extra furlong. He will settle towards the rear of the field once more. A chance.

4. Ottug Ottugi (KOR) [Forest Camp – Main Objective (Lion Heart)] Filly (10/7/2/0) Young Kwan Kim – Choi Si Dae
Power Blade’s stablemate, she beat him at Busan last autumn but Power Blade has since bested her no fewer than three times including in the KRA Cup Mile. She passed on the Derby and instead went to the Oaks, which she won easily. In every race there have been concerns about her stamina and that’s true here too but she is very quick, she will lead and anything that wants to win this race will have to come past her.

5. Siseon Pochak (KOR) [Colors Flying – Myeongseo Gongju (Carry The Flag)] (14/3/4/3) Jang Ki Min – You Hyun Myung
Back to back wins in April enabled him to take his chance in the Derby in which he finished a creditable enough 7th. Disappointed on his return to Busan and to a mile last month. That will make him an outsider here. Likely to be ridden patiently.

6. Baedari Bobae (KOR) [Colors Flying – Geumgang Gongwon (Pacificbounty)] (11/3/5/1) Chung Yul You – Lee Sung Jae
A latecomer to the Classic trail, he gets to take his chance following as good 2nd place on his first try around twoturns at the end of May. Comes in fresh but he does have plenty to find here.

7. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain)] (8/6/2/0) Young Kwan Kim –Kim Yong Geun
He is the favourite and even visually, looks superior. Unbeaten since losing to Ottug Ottugi in Busan’s champion juvenile race last autumn, he was a facile winner of both the Cup Mile and Derby. At the Derby, jockey Kim Young Geun defied instructions in the rain and took him to the front right from the gate. It paid off. It’s most likely he will let Ottug Ottugi lead here but if Power Blade is at anything like his best, he completes the Triple Crown. There is little downside to this horse.

8. Zettabyte (KOR) [Menifee – Fight Back (Sakura Seeking)] (9/3/3/1) Keum Man Lim – Lim Sung Sil
He was 4th in the Cup Mile and then 2nd in the Derby, three lengths adrift of Power Blade but six clear of Stealth in 3rd. The distance will suit him, he will look to come from off the pace and he has a chance.

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

The Korean Oaks 2016: Full Preview

Ottug Ottugi will be hot favourite when nine fillies line up for the 2016 Korean Oaks at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon. If the race goes as expected, she will give trainer Kim Young Kwan his fourth consecutive victory in the race.

Ottug Ottugi

Ottug Ottugi is the strong Oaks favourite (Pic: KRA)

Rather shamefully, Seoul has not managed to muster a single filly in this crop to take part in the Classic so the Oaks is a 100% Busan affair this year.

South African trainer Bart Rice saddles his first Korean runner and while Jangguneui Huye will be an outsider, beyond the favourite, the race is quite open. Paolo Aragoni is the only foreign jockey to secure a mount in the race and will partner Steal The Show Why.

While a succession of odds-on favourites went down at Busan on Friday (including some trained by Kim Young Kwan), were Ottug Ottugi – whose conqueror in the KRA Cup Mile Power Blade went on to romp home in the Derby at Seoul last month – to be defeated, it would be as big a shock as when Derby winning filly Sangseung Ilro lost the race in the final strides back in 2009.

Korean Oaks (KOR G2) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – June 12, 2016 (16:30)

1. Steal The Show Why (KOR) [Whywhywhy – Steal The Show (Cat Thief)] (11/2/2/3) KY Baik – Paolo Aragoni
Fifth in the trail in March she has followed up with 3rd place finishes at a mile and at this distance of 1800M. One of a number of likely early front-runners, she will stay on and could challenge for a place.

2. Ottug Ottugi (KOR) [Forest Camp – Main Objective (Lion Heart)] (9/6/2/0) YK Kim – Choi Si Dae
The hot favourite, she will be odds-on. She won the Trial easily and was then 2nd to stablemate Power Blade in the first leg of the Triple Crown before comfortably winning her first try at 1800M last month. No reason to oppose her, she should lead from gate to wire.

3. Special Rookie (KOR) [Menifee – Swing City (Carson City)] (3/2/0/0) YK Kwan – Kim Yong Geun
Stablemate of Ottug Ottugi and still a slightly unknown quantity. She beat Santa Gloria when winning at a mile in April but hasn’t raced since. Won a trial just last week and Kim Young Kwan’s horses must never be underestimated. Goes forward with Ottug Ottugi.

4. Hoseungjibyeok (KOR) [Didyme – Everything Nice (Elusive Quality)] (6/4/1/0) BE Kang – Song Keong Yun
More advanced than the rest of the field with the exception of Ottug Ottugi, she has made it up to class 3, despite being beaten by three of these in March’s trial. She came 2nd on her first try at 1800M last month in a decent but not overly convincing performance. She deserves second-favourite status but still has things to prove. She will sit behind the early lead and if the others go too fast, she can take advantage.

5. Miracle Bolt (KOR) [Sharp Humor – C’Mon Maria (Maria’s Mon)] (7/3/3/0) KH Choi – Seol Dong Bok
All three of her wins have come at 1000M and she is yet to show anything that would suggest she is capable of getting 1800M at this stage, let alone competing at it. The outsider of the field, she may as well go out as quickly as possible and see what happens.

6. Jangguneui Huye (KOR) [Gaeseon Janggun – Mercy Matters (Cozzene)] (3/1/0/0) BN Rice – Chae Sang Hyun
Bart Rice’s first Korean Classic runner and a welcome entrant by Gaeseon Janggun, who won the final leg of the Triple Crown in 2008. Only three runs so far and only one this year which was a 5th place in a tough race over 1300M. She will therefore be one of the outsiders here

7. Byeolmuri (KOR) [Colors Flying – Sink Or Swim (Meadowlake)] (10/3/3/0) SB Han – Kim Dong Young  
Yet to be tried at further than 1300M, she comes in following two convincing wins at that distance and looks to have solid potential. She has tended to be on the early speed but may let others go forward here and she can find the money.

8. Quick Force (KOR) [Vicar – Madam Winette (Danewin)] (6/0/4/2) SJ Kwon – Lim Sung Sil
The only one of these yet to get her maiden victory and it is unlikely to arrive here. She has done ok, never finishing any worse than 3rd but this is obviously a significant step up and a top five finish would be a good result.

9. Santa Gloria (KOR) [Menifee – Pupil (Unbridled)] (7/1/1/2) KY Baik – Seo Seung Un
Third in the March Oaks Trial, she was just beaten a neck by Special Rookie over a mile in April. That was her most recent start although she won a trial last month. Like to have no problems with the distance, she will be ridden patiently by Seo Seung Un, who is in great form at the moment. She could go very well.

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

Chang Se & Ottug Ottugi Land Oaks Trials, Doraon Hyeonpyo Wins Again

Chang Se and Ottug Ottugi ran out the dominant winners of the Sports Seoul and GC Trophies at Seoul and Busan respectively and to head into the Spring Classics as the top rated 3-year-old fillies.

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Chang Se was restless in the Sports Seoul winner’s circle

At Seoul, Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup winner Waikiki was scratched from the Sports Seoul leading Daehan Cheonwang and Chang Se to be sent off almost as co-favourites. In the end though it was Chang Se all the way as she led from gate-to-wire under apprentice jockey Lee Hyeon Jong to win by four lengths on the line.

Sports Seoul Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – March 6, 201

1. Chang Se (KOR) [Forest Camp – Daecheonpung (Fiercely)] – Lee Hyeon Jong – 2.6, 1.6
2. Meni Music (KOR) [Menifee – Morning Music (Songandaprayer)] – Park Eul Woon – 2.8
3. Sidaeyeowang (KOR) [Vicar – Fier Time (Fiercely) – Djordje Perovic – 2.0
Distances: 4 lengths / 1.25 lengths – 7 ran

In the GC Trophy at Busan, Ottug Ottugi fully justified punters’ confidence in backing her into odds-on as she made all to romp home by six lengths under Oh Kyoung Hoan. Second favourite, the previously unbeaten Hoseungjibyeok, was a disappointment, beating only on home.

GC Trophy – Busan Racecourse – 1400M – March 6, 2016

1. Ottug Ottugi (KOR) [Forest Camp – Main Objective (Lion Heart)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 1.9, 1.3
2. Yuseong Tiger (KOR) [Discreet Cat – Comarille (Deputy Commander)] – Kim Dong Young – 4.1
3. Santa Gloria (KOR) [Menifee – Pupil (Unbridled)] – Pasquale Borelli – 6.3
Distances: 6 lengths / 1.5 lenghts – 6 ran

In other news, Doraon Hyeonpyo (Colors Flying) continued his impressive run of form, lugging top weight around 1800M in Busan’s feature and not only getting up in the final strifes to win by a nose, but breaing the track record for the distance at the same time. Champion Juvenile back in 2014, Doraon Hyeonpyo had a middling first half to his three-year-old season but really stepped up as the year drew to a close and has now won four in a row to become one of the top rated horses in the country.

Ottug Ottugi Heads A Kim Young Kwan Quinella In Gyeongnam Sinmun

We might have had a surprise winner of the Juvenile Championship race at Seoul on Saturday but it was business as usual in the corresponding event at Busan on Sunday as trainer Kim Young Kwan saddled a 1-2 and the odds-on favourite Ottug Ottugi doing the business.

One thing that Ottug Ottugi does have in common with Seoul’s winner Waikiki is that she is a filly. However, unlike Waikiki, who was getting her maiden victory yesterday, Ottug Ottugi came in to today’s race undefeated in her two previous starts.

Under Choi Si Dae Ottug Ottugi led from gate to wire but the second string very nearly got up. Nozi Tomizawa and Power Blade ended up almost in the stands so wide did they run looking for quicker ground – as had been common at Busan this weekend – but Ottug Ottugi just held on by a neck

It’s the fillies that will go to the Breeders’ Cup race at Seoul at the end of November as favourites.

Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup – Busan Racecourse – 1200M – Oct 11, 2015

1. Ottug Ottugi (KOR) [Forest Camp – Main Objective (Lion Heart)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.8, 1.2
2. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmachong (Lost Mountain)] – Nozomu Tomizawa – 1.3
3. Whitte Queens (KOR) [Exploit – Miracle Win (Iriquois Park)] – Song Keong Yun – 3.8
Distances: Neck/1.75 lengths – 8 ran