Owners’ Trophy

Always Winner All The Way Again

He did it in January in the Segye Ilbo Cup and today in Group company, Always Winner once more got the jump on the field and scored an all the way victory in the Seoul Owners’ Association Trophy.

Always Winner Owners

Always Winner and Park Eul Woon return to scale having won the Seoul Owners’ Association Trophy

Always Winner was sent off as a 20/1 outsider in the Segye Ilbo but hit the front early to beat a decent field that included four who returned to face him again. This time he was a little bit more respected, punters making him the 7/1 fourth choice.

Today under Park Eul-woon, Always Winner once more broke the best and found the front form the gate and once more it was a lead he would not relinquish as he ran on to win by half a length. Coming 2nd was favourite Cheonji Storm who, while expected to be on pace instead went right to the back of the field before flying home down the outside. A few more strides and he would have won – and surely will will plenty later this year.

Best Guy, 2nd in the Segye Ilbo, put in another creditable run in 3rd while Gorgeous Dream returned to some semblance of form in 4th. There was no luck for Brian Dean’s Jangsanjewang, however, who gave it a good go tracking Always Winner early in the race but just couldn’t get home.

Always Winner, a 5-year-old gelding trained by Shim Seung-tae was winning for the 7th time in 24 races.

Owners’ Association Trophy (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – March 12, 2017

1. Always Winner (KOR) [Creek Cat – Hallat’Eukgeup (Land Rush)] – Park Eul Woon – 7.8, 2.7
2. Cheonji Storm (KOR) [Admire Don – Great Thought (Empire Maker)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.5
3. Best Guy (KOR) [Didyme – Madam Winette (Danewin)] – Kim Cheol Ho – 3.4
Distances: 0.5 lengths / 3 lengths – 13 ran

SROA Trophy – Full Preview Of First Korean Graded Race of 2016

Sunday sees the first Graded race of 2016 at Seoul in the shape of the local Group 3 Seoul Owners’ Association Trophy. A full field of sixteen will line up for the 1200M sprint.

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Global Fusion was the rather unlikely winner of the Segye Ilbo Cup in January

Six of them ran in the Segye Ilbo Cup on January 31st with the first two home that day – Global Fusion and Always Winner coming home as an 1800/1 exacta that day. This time there are set to be strong challenges from the likes of Sotong Sidae, Power City and Magic Dancer in what is set to be a nice competitive race.

Here is a full rundown of the field. All are Korean bred and all will carry 57kg with fillies and mares receiving a 2kg allowance (Name [Pedigree] Age Sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) – Jockey):

SROA Trophy (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – March 13, 2015 (16:40)

1. Impetus [Exploit – Miss Stravinsky] 6 H (30/7/3/8) – Jo Jae Ro
4th behind Seonbong last start over 1400M, he is a solid class 1 competitor and has good closing speed. Generally slow away, the minor money is a realistic aim here.

2. Yaho Sky Cat [Peace Rules – The Relentless Cat] 4 G (8/4/1/0) – Djordje Perovic
He’s won 4 of 8 so far but yet to strike any higher than class 3. A disappointment in the Segye Ilbo Cup, where he was unable to get forward early, he has plenty to find here. Needs a good start.

3. Magic Dancer [Forest Camp – Wildly Magic] 6 H (25/10/4/2) – Jo Sung Gon
This former big Stakes winner has perhaps seen better days but landed a creditable 4th in the Segye Ilbo, his 2nd race back after a spell. He got forward early and gave little away late on and that performance puts him in contention here. A chance.

4. Sun Lordly [Vicar – Stormcloudrising] 7 M (32/6/4/2) – Hwang Soon Do
She’s only raced four times since winning the JRA Trophy last May and has shown very little. Even the jockey booking suggest she is a big outsider.

5. Global Fusion [Menifee – Morning Red Sky] 7 G (36/7/3/6) – Yoo Seung Wan
The 66/1 winner of the Segye Ilbo Cup, lfying home from well off the pace to get up by a neck. Similar tactics are expected here but while a bit more respect is due today, the odds are against a repeat.

6. Sotong Sidae [Gold Money – Myeonggauihuye] 5 G (28/7/4/6) – Park Byeong Yun
He may end up as favourite. It’s been a long time since he was entered in a sprint but he is one of the top horses at the track. The Grand Prix distance was too much for him last start but he comes in fresh today. He goes back early and has very solid closing speed. A real chance.

7. Haemaru [Vicar – Forest Flower] 5 G (24/7/3/4) – Choi Bum Hyun
A consistent placer in 2015, he hasn’t started this term quite so well and was disappointing at 1400M last start. Ideally would be ridden closer to the front today – he ran a close 2nd when put into contention early over 1400M in December and improvement is possible here.

8. Gumanseok [Vicar – Perfect Storm] 7 G (42/11/6/8) – Lee Chan Ho
Came back into form with a pair of unexpected victories in December and January but didn’t go well in a tough race three weeks ago. Capable at sprint distances in the past, he should settle in midfield and makes for an interesting outsider.

9. Goldholic [Volponi – Lovely Memories] 4 C (21/6/4/4 – Lee Joon Chel
Mixes in elite company for the first time following three wins in his last five starts. Led from gate to wire over 1800M last time out and while it will be harder to get to the front here, he shouldn’t be too far away. This is a big step up though.

10. Power City [Archer City Slew – Power Bull] 5 G (17/9/2/2) – Park Tae Jong
3rd behind Global Fusion and Always Winner in the Segye Ilbo last month, he is a proven big race winner. Likely to settle in the middle of the field,he has strong finishing speed and he will be one of the favourites.

11. Always Winner [Always Winner – Hallat’Eukkeup] 4 G (15/4/4/2) – Kim Dong Soo
Just beaten a neck by Global Fusion in the Segye Ilbo and three lengths clear of Power City, that was Always’s Winner’s first try at the top level. He led almost the whole way that day and will try similar today. A chance he will get home in front this time.

12. Seonbong [Duality – Megabuck Gal] 4 C (17/6/6/0) – Moon Jung Kyun
6th in the Segye Ilbo Cup having raced prominently early. He may not get to the front today but he should be close by, has a good turn of speed and is capable of going well.

13. Best Guy [Didyme – Madam Winette] 6 G (11/5/5/1) – Ji Ha Ju
He’s only raced eleven times and has never finished worse than 3rd, winning on five occasions. Facing this level of competition for the first time, he does have the fastest time at this distance of any of those who go here and while the odds are this will be his first time outside the placings, he’s not to be ruled out.

14. Singyu Gangja [Mckenzie Pass – Tamna Bibari] 4 G (16/6/4/3) – Lim Gi Won
Another one up in class and allowed to take his chance following a class 2 win over 1400M last month,. He made all that day and will try to get forward here. He will be one of the outsiders though.

15. Raon Morris [Yankee Victor – Thunder By Night] 5 H (16/6/3/2) – Ham Wan Sik
Winner of last year’s Selangor Turf Club Trophy, he followed up with a 2nd place over this distance at class 1. Not especially competitive in two starts since, he will need to find a bit more here

16. Sun Burster [Officer – Coin D’Or] 4 C (11/6/2/2) – Yuri Takahashi
An up and coming one, he’s won six of eleven to date and came from well off the pace to snatch 2nd in a quick race over 1300M at the end of January. He’ll likely be patiently away again to day from the outside gate and is another interesting outsider.

Namhae Daewang Owns The Silverware At Seoul

Namhae Daewang ran out the 17/1 winner of the first Graded race of the year in Korea, the Owners’s Association Trophy at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

Namhae Daewang stands to attention in the Owners' Trophy winner's circle

Namhae Daewang stands to attention in the Owners’ Trophy winner’s circle

Truth be told, while this may have been a Group 3, it was a weak race, with class 1 at Seoul really struggling from a lack of talent at the moment, especially in the domestic bred ranks. Not that the huge crowd in attendance in the early Spring sunshine seemed in the slightest bit bothered about that.

And they were rewarded with a good race. Betting favorite Haemaru failed to make any real impresson on the race as Ganghae set the early pace in the six furlong sprint with Best High and old campaigner Gumanseok in close attendence. Namhae Daewang, on the other hand, had settled at the back of the field and had plenty to do as they entered the home straight.

Under jockey Lee Joon Chel, Namhae Daewang did it in style, flying home down the outside to take the line just over half a length clear of Ganghae with Gumanseok edged out into 3rd.

Five-year-old Namhae Daewang now has 7 wins from 26 career starts. For jockey Lee, it was his biggest career win to date with victory in the listed Segye Ilbo Cup his only previous visit to the Stakes winner’s circle.

Seoul Racehorse Owners’ Association Trophy (KOR GIII) – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – March 15, 2015

1. Namhae Daewang (KOR) [Commendable – Caramel Candy (Awesome Again)] – Lee Joon Chel – 17.7, 3.3
2. Ganghae (KOR) [Didyme – Ocelot (Catrail)] – Seo Seung Un – 1.8
3. Gumanseok (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] – Lee Sang Hyeok – 2.8
Distances: 0.75 lengths / Head – 14 ran

Saturday at Seoul had seen a couple of notable events. Jockey Moon Se Young notched his 1,100th career winner and would end the weekend on 1,103, while the in-form Kim Hye Sun rode three more winners over the weekend. However it was the mount of one of the up and coming jockeys that caught the eye.

Under Seo Seung Un, Daegunhwang (Menifee-Lusi Pond) cruised to his 4th consecutive victory in dismissively easy fashion. This time it was over 1700M abnd he looks one to watch pver the next few months.

Naturally, Busan has its own up and comers too and US import Champ Line (Curlin) got his 5th win in 6 starts on Friday afternoon while it was the turn of domestic bred Summit Myeongun (Menifee) to impress on Sunday afternoon.

Summit Myeongun was ridden by Kim Yong Geun, who rode a treble on both Friday and Sunday. In Sunday’s feature race he gave Spring Gnarly (Master Command) a powerful ride to close late and win by just over a length. Spring Gnarly has won 8 of 11 starts.

In contrast to Seoul, class 1 at Busan is now very tough. However, the rules which up until now has prevented horses switching between the two racecourses are being relaxed and it would be no surprise to see some heading up the Gyeongbu Expressway permanently in the near future.

Weekend Race Times

It’s been a cold week in Korea but it’s set to be mild for the first big Stakes race of 2015, the Owners’ Association Trophy at Seoul on Sunday.

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Run in May last year, the Owners’ Cup has switched places this year on the calendar with the Ttukseom Cup. The latter will form the first leg of the “Queens’ Tour” series.

A full field of 14 will line up for the 1200M race including Heukgisa and Gumanseok. It is the culmination of another busy weekend on the peninsula.

Here’s what’s happening when and where (click for racecards):

Friday March 13
Busan Racecourse: 10 races from 11.40 to 18.00 (full preview of simulcast races 4-10)
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 13.25 to 17.20

Saturday March 14
Seoul Racecourse: 13 races from 10.50 to 18.00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 12.20 to 17.20

Sunday March 15
Seoul Racecourse: 10 races from 10.50 to 18.00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12.45 to 17.30