Paolo Aragoni

Satoshi On Fire At Busan While It’s Bravo Belli at Seoul

Yonekura Satoshi continued his solid September with no less five winners at Busan last weekend. Meanwhile up at Seoul, Sunday was a milestone day for Marcello Belli as the Italian claimed his first Korean winner.

Since winning the KNN Cup on outsider Supreme Magic in July, Satoshi has finally found himself getting plenty of opportunities and the 41-year-old Japanese rider is converting them.

Taking advantage of a number of Busan’s top riders being in Seoul for the Jeju Governor’s Cup, Satoshi won the first race last Friday on Queen’s Queen and added two more later on in the evening before coming back out on Sunday and adding two more. None of the five across the weekend started at shorter than 5/1.

It’s still early days for Marcello Belli but the Italian rider got a big boost on Sunday as he partnered his first winner in Seoul. On a day of long-shot winners, Belli made all on 43/1 chance Northern Hojae in race 8 and just had enough left to hold off the  favourite by a nose on the line

It was Belli’s first win on what was his 21st ride at Seoul. He still has some considerable way to go to match fellow Italian-licensed Seoul rider Djordje Perovic but he’s now on his way.

Seoul’s other foreign jockey Imran Chisty also rode a winner on Saturday although Paolo Aragoni and Pasquale Borelli who were also in the capital for the weekend both saw their mounts come up short in the Jeju Governor’s Cup.

Busan’s fourth foreign jockey, Francisco Da Silva got his own Korean career off to a remarkable start. Debuting on September 9th, he won on his first two rides and added a third later that same day. The 37-year-old is yet to add to that tally but has had a few near misses and was suspended last weekend.

Santa Gloria Strikes In Jeju Trial

Trials for October’s Jeju Governor’s Cup were run at both Seoul and Busan on Sunday and it was on the south coast where the standout performance took place where Santa Gloria gave Italian jockey Paolo Aragoni his biggest Korean winner to date.


Santa Gloria and Paolo Aragoni win the Busan leg of the Jeju Governor’s Cup Trials (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Despite having broken the 1300M track record the last time she raced, Santa Gloria was only sent off as third-favourite for the 1400M trial with two fillies she finished behind in the Korean Oaks in June, Special Rookie and Hoseungjibyeok, being favoured by punters.

On a very sloppy track, Santa Gloria made a mockery of those odds though. Hoseungjibyeok began tamely and never featured while Special Rookie, despite getting to the front rounding the turn, was unable to find another gear in the home straight. Aragoni meanwhile was patient on Santa Gloria and when he pulled the trigger with just over a furlong to go, the rest had no response.

The winning margin was three-lengths with  Sharp Gale getting the closest in the end. Santa Gloria (Menifee) will now be one of the favourites for the Jeju Governor’s Cup race itself – a valuable race for Korean bred fillies and mares – in Seoul in October. Hopefully Aragoni will get the opportunity to keep the ride.

In Seoul, Santa Gloria is likely to be facing Chang Se. She ran out a decent winner in the capital’s own trial for the race thirty minutes later. Chang Se (Forest Camp) now has seven wins from thirteen starts.

Jeju Governor’s Cup Trial – Busan Racecourse – 1400M – August 28, 2016

1. Santa Gloria (KOR) [Menifee – Pupil (Unbridled)] – Paolo Aragoni – 6.6, 2.1
2. Sharp Gale (KOR) [Creek Cat – My Sister Jess (Sligo Bay)] – Song Keong Yun – 3.6
3. Special Rookie (KOR) [Menifee – Swing City (Carson City)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.2
Distances: 3 lengths / 0.5 lengths – 8 ran

Jeju Governor’s Cup Trial – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – August 28, 2016

1. Chang Se (KOR) [Forest Camp – Daecheonpung (Fiercely)] – Lee Chan Ho – 1.8, 1.1
2. Smart Time (KOR) [Ft. Stokton – Charon (Jade Robbery)] – Ham Wan Sik – 2.3
3. Meni Money (KOR) [Menifee – Pocketful Of Money (Running Stag)] – Moon Se Young – 1.4
Distances: 1.75 lengths / 1 length – 10 ran

Aragoni Rides 1st Busan Winner / Rice Stable Continues To Star

He’d come close a few times but Paolo Aragoni bagged his first Korean winner at Busan this afternoon. The Italian jockey partnered Ocean Line to victory in race 5.


Paolo Aragoni and Ocean Line head out (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Aragoni debuted on April 29th and has already ridden in two Graded races, including last week’s Korean Derby at Seoul. He had racked up four 2nd places and three 3rds but the win had ths far proving elsuive. It might have arrived on Dochi in race 4 today but the colt missed the start and while he flew home, he had too much to do.

Instead it was one race later that Aragoni produced a strong finish on 10/1 chance Ocean Line to see off Wish Me Luck and the fast finishing Four Star by a neck on the line. Too strong, felt the Stewards, who fined him 50,000 Won for overuse of the whip.  Aragoni won’t be overly concerned about that. His win arrived on his 16th mount in Korea.

It was another solid day for Bart Rice. The South African trainer has been in outstanding form in May and it would continue in race 2 today.

Supernova Iji (Ecton Park) was racing for the first time in 2015 and under jockey You Hyung Myung, she dominated the all-filly test to win by three lengths over pre-race favourite Pangpang Legend. Rice has sent out twelve runners so far this month and no less than five of them have now returned as winners.

Supernova Iji

Bart Rice’s Supernova Iji and You Hyun Myung go clear at Busan on Friday. The Rice stable is in good form at the moment (Pic: Ross Holburt)

In other races, Dongbang Daero (Curlin) now has three wins from his last four starts following a resounding victory in the 1800M race 9, ending the winning streak of Saengil Gippeum (Parading), who was racing at class 2 for the first time, in the process.

There was something of a surprise in the final race of the day, the 1400M race 10 as the highly thought-of pair of US imports, First Magical (First Dude) and Useung Line (Congrats) both went down as Tariat Tale (Tale Of Ekati) swept home to claim the honours and move on to three wins from five starts.

Earlier, 2014 President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner Gyeongbudaero’s half broether Wonil Rookie (Forest Camp) secured his fourth win in eight attempts, wininng race 7 by just under a length.

On Saturday, attention shifts to Seoul where Park Tae Jong will have four opportunities to become the first Korean jockey to ride 2000 career winners, beginning in race 1. There are 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00.

Aragoni Debuts At Busan While Dean Cleans Up At Trials

This article by Michael Lee at the Singapore Turf Club’s website explains in detail about Brian Dean’s sweeping of all three barrier trials at Seoul Racecourse on Friday morning.


An essential addition to the discerning punter’s wardrobe

Dean has been an amiable presence around the racecourse since arriving in Seoul in January and with eleven horses in his stable, including the class 1 pair of Cinderella Man and Samjeong Jewang, he is now ready to go.

The former Kranji trainer will send out his first runner, Jangsanjewang, next Sunday May 8th, in a race which will, coincidentally,  be beamed back live to Singapore.

The other Aussie Dean, Dean Holland will ride that horse but two other foreign jockeys are set to have their first rides at Seoul this Sunday. India’s Imran Chisty and Australian Patrick Keane will be in limited action with both expected to have larger books next week.

At Busan on Friday, Italian jockey Paolo Aragoni made his riding debut. He impressed too, guiding the unfancied pair of Northern Trace and Ocean Line to 2nd place finishes in races 2 and 4 respectively. In between, he rode American owner Joe Dallao’s Noble Warrior to his 2nd consecutive 3rd place for trainer Bart Rice in race 3.

While Aragoni was beaten on the only favourite he rode, Blue Cat in race 7, it was a very creditable start. He will ride Success Story in the Busan Ilbo Cup on Sunday. A full preview of Sunday’s meeting, including the very competitive Cup race, will be up on the site later today.

Ikuyasu Kurakane was among the winners on Friday, partnering Thomas Gillespie’s Haneolui Jilju to a hard-fought victory in race 4.

Equine performer of the day was Evangeline, who stepped up to class 2 for the first time in the 1200M closing race 10 and came through late to score her sixth win from nine starts.

Saturday April 30
Seoul Racecourse: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 11:55 to 17:20

Sunday May 1
Seoul Racecourse: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 13:00 to 17:05

Success Story Headlines Sprint Series 1st Leg

Success Story made his mark at a mile and at 2000M in Dubai earlier this year but he drops all the way down to 1200M for his first start back home in Busan in Sunday’s Busan Ilbo Cup, the first leg of the inaugural Korean Sprint Series.


Back at Busan: Success Story

And what an opportunity it is for Italian jockey Paolo Aragoni who gets the plum ride on Success Story on his first weekend riding in Korea.

That said, it is a very tough race. Beolmaui Kkum – who along with Success Story is owned by Lee Jong Hun – will be there along with up and comers Indian Star and Perdido Pomeroy.  Gamdonguibada, Oreuse  and the always-game Gumpo Sky are also among those with claims..

The Sprint series is new for this year with Sunday’s Busan Ilbo Cup being followed by two international races; the SBS Korea/Japan Cup on June 5th and then the $700K Korea Sprint on September 11th, both of which will be run at Seoul. All three races are to be contested over 1200M.

Success Story placed 3rd in both his races in Dubai, exceeding expectations back in Korea where it had been hoped he would simply manage to stay with the field. Cheongu, who also went to Dubai, put in a slightly disappointing performance on his own return to domestic racing at Seoul last weekend, coming home 6th in a class 1 handicap.

Speaking of Seoul, the capital’s entry for the Busan Ilbo Cup is disappointing – although not unexpected – so credit to the connections of the three who are having a go.

We will have a full runner by runner preview of the race (along with the rest of Busan’s Sunday card) up on Saturday. In the meantime, here is the full field (Name [Sire] Age Sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Trainer – Jockey).

Busan Ilbo Cup (Listed) – Busan Racecourse – 1200M – May 1, 2016 (16:15)

1. Success Story (KOR) [Peace Rules] 5 H (20/10/2/4) JK Min – Paolo Aragoni
2. Damyang Chukje (USA) [Good Reward] 7 H (32/5/3/4) HJ Bae – Jo Jae Ro
3. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) [Put It Back] 6 H (25/15/3/3) KY Baik – Seo Seung Un
4. Indian Star (KOR) [Adcat] 4 F (11/8/1/1) JB Mun – Ikuyasu Kurakane
5. Oreuse (USA) [Smoke Glacken] 7 H (33/13/4/4) YG Yoon – Kim Dong Young
6. All Su (KOR) [Perfect Vision II] 8 H (66/9/9/10) HJ Bae – Yoon Tae Hyuk
7. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin] 7 M (34/14/5/7) YK Kim – Choi Si Dae
8. Daepungnyeon (KOR) [Pico Central] 4 G (13/70/1) BH Kim – Song Keong Yun
9. New York Blue (USA) [Candy Ride] 5 M (21/7/8/1) KM Lim – You Hyun Myung
10. Perdido Pomeroy (USA) [Pomeroy] 3 C (5/4/0/1) JB Mun – Kim Yong Geun
11. Gumpo Sky (KOR) [Vicar] 5 H (28/9/8/4) SJ Kwon – Lim Sung Sil

*Starts for Success Story and Gamdonguibada include those in races overseas

Four Foreign Jockeys Newly Licensed In Korea

Four foreign jockeys have recently been licensed in Korea. Japan’s Yonekura Satoshi began riding at Busan on Friday and is about to be joined on the south-coast by Italian Paolo Aragoni. Meanwhile at Seoul, India’s Imran Chisty and Australian Patrick Keane have arrived in the capital and are set to start as soon as possible.


Paolo Aragoni is set to join Busan (Pic: Supplied by jockey)

35-year-old Paolo Aragoni debuted in Italy in 1997 and has ridden seven Group 3 and numerous Listed race winners in his home country among more than 700 career winners overall. His riding weight is 53kg.

Yonekura Satoshi has been riding in Japan’s NAR since 1994, most recently based at Kanazawa Racecourse. The 40-year-old jockey has partnered over 1300 winners throughout his career and has a riding weight of 51kg.

Imran Chisty turned professional in 1997. The 39-year-old Indian rider has mainly been at the Bangalore Turf Club where over the past three years he has 216 winners while achieving a Moon Se Young-esque quinella strike-rate of 33%.He can ride at 50kg.

The youngest of the newcomers is up and coming Australian jockey Patrick Keane. Based in Victoria, 23-year-old Kean has a quinella strike rate of 15.3% over the last three years on the ultra-competitive circuit there.

Aragoni and Satoshi join Makoto Okabe, Ikuyasu Kurakane and Pasquale Borelli at Busan taking the foreign jockey contingent on the south-coast up to five following Nozi Tomizawa’s departure last month.  Chisty and Kean’s addition at Seoul mean there are now four foreign jockeys in the capital, Djordje Perovic and Dean Holland being the others.