Pasquale Borelli

Jockey Woes: Lee Chan Ho Struck-Off / Pasquale Borelli Suspended For 12 Months

Lee Chan Ho, one of the most promising young jockeys at Seoul and who guided Choegang Schiller to victory in the 2015 Asia Challenge Cup, has had his license to ride in races cancelled. The sanction, announced last Friday, is due to off-track incidents and is not related to racing or integrity.

Born in 1992, Lee Chan Ho debuted as a 21-year-old in June 2013 and quickly made an impression, riding out his apprentice claim in double-quick time. He partnered Wonder Bolt to 2nd place behind El Padrino in the inaugural Asia Challenge Cup in 2014 and returned to win the race one year later on Choegang Schiller.

That would be his only Group race winner although he also had Listed success in the Herald Business and Nonghyup Chairman’s Cup races in 2015 as well as this year’s Seoul trial for the Jeju Governor’s Cup. In total, he rode 179 winners from 1343 rides.

Like a number of jurisdictions in Asia, Korea has strict policies relating to conduct away from the racecourse as well as on it and unfortunately, it seems Lee Chan Ho fell foul of these one time too many.

Meanwhile Pasquale Borelli’s time at Busan is at an end. The Italian jockey had been under investigation for his ride on Yeonggwanguihunter at Busan on October 28th. The 2-year-old colt was sent off as odds-on favourite but finished a tailed-off last with Borelli adjudged by stewards to have restrained the horse. Borelli maintained that he believed the horse to be feeling an injury but a post-race veterinary exam showed no sign of lameness.

Ultimately, Borelli was handed a 12-month suspension which almost certainly means he has ridden his last race in Korea.  Borelli debuted at Busan in October 2015 and in his year riding at the South Coast track, recorded 38 winners from 319 mounts.

Here’s the race in question, the horse is number 9:

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.

Busan Friday Review

So how do you make a Seoul horse better? Well if his name is Tapipoint, you move him to Busan. 

The few Seoul horses who have been moved to Busan since switching between the tracks became permitted last year have tended to sink without trace – and in fairness, with a couple of notable exceptions, those who have moved in the opposite direction haven’t exactly been pulling up trees either. Tapipoint (Concorde Point) though has been, for want of a better phrase, on point. He ran 2nd in his first two starts on the south coast and today got it spot-on, winning the class 2 race 10 by three lengths under apprentice jockey Lee Yong Ho.

Favourite for that race had been Emeth. However, the Kim Young Kwan trainee sank without trace in the home straight beating just one home. It wasn’t all bad news for favourite backers though as, on a filthy afternoon, the two bankers obliged. Peter Wolsley’s Golden Kings (Ecton Park) – who is in fact a filly – claimed an easy maiden victory in race 4 under Pasquale Borelli while Dyna’s Dream (Meiner Select) was far too strong in securing his third straight win in race 8.

Bart Rice was also among the winners, saddling race 7 victor Giant Hold (Hold Me Back) but it was Ikuyasu Kurakane who was pick of the foreigners today. The Japanese rode three winners with the pick being the up in class Bohemian (Orientate), a strong winner of the 1800M race 9.

It poured with rain for most of the day and times were quick, with many races being run in near track-record times. Racing returns to Busan on Sunday while on Saturday attention turns to Seoul where there is an eleven-race card which gets under way at 10:50am.

Weekend Round-Up

We’re a couple of weeks into the 2016 racing season and there has been plenty going on already both at Seoul and Busan, as well as further afield.

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Cheongu on TV!

The main story for Korean racing so far this year has to be the Korean horses at the Dubai Carnival. While Success Story is expected to make his debut on January 21, Cheongu ran on the opening night last Thursday and did ok.

Despite missing the break slightly and also losing a shoe in running, the four-year-old Old Fashioned colt finished well in touch with the pack, ending up 5th of 8 runners under British jockey Royston Ffrench.  Cheongu will get another chance either at 1400M or most likely, again at 1200M, later on in the carnival.

Cheongu’s trainer is Seo In Seok and he was back at Seoul on Sunday in time to see his mare Bichui Jeongsang comfortably win the weekend’s feature race. Bichui Jeongsang (Wildcat Heir) had downed Asia Challenge Cup winner Choegang Schiller over 1200M in November and was stepped up to 1800M for Sunday’s class 1 feature. And under Nicola Pinna, she made light of her 59kg impost racing away from the field in the final furlong to win by almost three lengths on the line.

At Busan, there was a new name in the Class 1 winner’s circle. Yuseong Dream (Giacomo) was making his first start at the level following back to back wins at the end of 2015 and the four-year-old completed his hat-trick, making almost all under Kim Dong Young.

Pasquale Borelli is showing the way in the very early stages of the Busan Jockey Championship. The Italian jockey rode a double for trainer Peter Wolsley on Sunday afternoon to take him to four winner for 2016. Tied for first place is Seo Seung Un, who rode a treble on Friday and another one on Sunday and who seems to be very much enjoying his new surroundings at Busan after transferring from Seoul on January 1.

Perovic Perks Up At Seoul As Foreign Jockeys & Trainers Enjoy Winning Weekend

Borelli, Tomizawa, Rice, Tanaka, Takahashi, Gillespie & Wolsley All With Winners Too

It’s been a mixed couple of months for Djordje Perovic but the “Balkan Wolf” was back smiling again having guided four winners home on what was an all-round good weekend for the foreign contingent in Korean racing.

Things hadn’t been going all Perovic’s way since losing the support of one of his main trainers after the KRA Cup Classic at the end of August. However, other trainers have continued to use him and this weekend it all came together as the “Serbian Frankie” – he has no shortage of nicknames – showed his class with a treble on Saturday and a further winner on Sunday.

Those four winners took Perovic to 28 in Korea. Meanwhile fellow Seoul rider Yuri Takahashi, whose Korean license was last week confirmed to have been extended until the end of April 2016 rode his 16th winner in the country on Saturday.

Down at Busan, Bart Rice saddled two winners on Friday, giving Masa Tanaka his 95th Korean victory and taking the Japanese rider one closer to his stated goal of 100 before his license ends. Rice also provided Italian rider Pasquale Borelli with one of his two weekend successes. Nozi Tomizawa also got home in front twice, the first of them a welcome win for trainer Thomas Gillespie.

Gillespie has still only sent out 35 runners in total but has 4 winners now and a remarkable place strike rate of 37%. Rice too takes care of his horses and doesn’t send them out for the sake of it and has a place strike rate of 31%. Peter Wolsley also sent out a winner on Friday and remains in clear 2nd place in the Trainer Championship. His place strike rate is also 37% and was bolstered by Ms. Margaux running a very good 2nd in the Governor’s Cup on Sunday.

Those foreign trained or ridden winners in full:

Djordje Perovic: 4 – Saturday Seoul Race 2 (Yeongam Arirang), Saturday Seoul Race 8 (Bulguruisinhwa), Saturday Seoul Race 13 (Sun Strong), Sunday Seoul Race 1 (Cin Cin Jjan)

Nozi Tomizawa: 2 – Friday Busan Race 9 (Professor Silver), Sunday Busan Race 1 (Green Mireu)

Bart Rice: 2 – Friday Busan Race 1 (Jangguneui Huye), Friday Busan Race 3 (King’s Rules)

Pasquale Borelli: 2 – Friday Busan Race 3 (King’s Rules), Sunday Busan Race 3 (Ganghan Namja)

Masa Tanaka: 1 – Friday Busan Race 1 (Jangguneui Huye)

Yuri Takahashi: 1 – Saturday Seoul Race 5 (Samba Festival)

Thomas Gillespie: 1 – Friday Busan Race 9 (Professor Silver)

Peter Wolsley: 1 – Friday Busan Race 5 (Dangdae Queen)

It wasn’t all good news for the foreign contingent though. Italian jockey Nicola Pinna was scheduled to debut at Seoul this past weekend but unfortunately was unable to make weight for his three mounts. Pinna’s disappointment was compounded as the first of those, Jeongsang Daegil in race 2 on Saturday, bolted up at 10/1 under replacement Lee Chan Ho. Pinna will hopefully get another chance next week when Japanese rider Makoto Okabe is expected to start at Busan.

In addition to Takahashi’s extension, the KRA also confirmed last week that Ikuyasu Kurakane (who was suspended this week) has had his jockey license extended until April 2016. Good news for punters and less so for the local jockey colony. “Good”, is the only sensible reaction to that.

Busan has undoubtedly benefited from the presence of foreign trainers and that is set to be extended to Seoul. Applications have been received over the past couple of months and the first overseas trainers to be granted licenses in the capital will be announced soon.

Borelli Bags A Busan Brace

It didn’t take Pasquale Borelli long to make an impact at Busan. The Italian jockey had eight rides on his first day in the saddle in Korea and two of them came home as winners.

Things started well for Borelli as he guided 19/1 chance Garak Yeowang to a creditable 4th in race 2 before partnering Bart Rice’s King’s Rules to 3rd in race 3. The breakthrough would come in race 4 as Borelli produced Useung Choego, the longest shot on the board at exactly the right time to score victory in race 4

It wouldn’t be all plain sailing for Borelli. On a day when favourite after favourite got turned over in the Busan sand, Peter Wolsley’s well-fancied Daseot Me was a disappointment in race 7 although the pair did combine earlier for a useful 2nd place with Nuri Bulpae in race 5.

Borelli’s final mount of the day came in race 10 and it was another successful one with 2-year-old US import Soul Blade, also making his debut today, romping away to a 6-length victory.

Masa Tanaka was also on target with a double in what was a good day for the foreign jockey contingent at Busan. Borelli has three more rides at Busan this coming Sunday.

Italian Jockey Pasquale Borelli Set For Busan

There is a new foreign jockey in the weighing room at Busan as Pasquale Borelli joins on an initial license that will run until the end of the year.

Pasquale Borelli is set for Busan (Pic: Supplied)

Pasquale Borelli is set for Busan (Pic: Supplied)

The 32-year-old Italian has landed over 900 wins in a professional career that began in 1999, among them victories in 20 Listed races.

Another Italian licensed jockey, Serbia’s Djordje Perovic has met with sustained success at Seoul since joining earlier this year and despite parting company with trainer Lee Shin Young at the end of August, has continued to show his class and bring in the winners.

Also at Seoul, Japanese rider Yuri Takahashi has been quietly making a name for himself. Like Perovic, it took Takahashi a while to build up some momentum following his July debut but in riding his 10th and 11th winners last weekend took him up to the extremely creditable quinella strike rate of 22%.

Borelli joins Busan where among foreign jockeys Masa Tanaka is currently top man, lying in 6th place in the Jockey Championship with 39 winners in 2015 so far. Ikuyasu Kurakane has picked up where he left off since returning to Korea in the summer while Nozi Tomizawa contines to get plenty of rides and lies in 15th place in the table. Noboyuki Oyama finished up his ten-month stint in Korea at the end of September.