Road To Prince

Weekend Preview: Busan Takes Centre-Stage

Seoul Racecourse takes a weekend off so Busan switches to Saturday and Sunday for the final racedays of 2013.

Busan is the place to be this weekend

Busan is the place to be this weekend

Both days see class 1 action and while Saturday’s feature isn’t exactly one to set pulses beating too fast, Sunday’s sees the Kim Young Kwan trained duo of Road To Prince and Magic Dancer face off over 1900 metres. The 3-year-old Magic Dancer missed the Classics but has amassed 7 wins and 2 second places from his 9 starts to date and is quite a talent.

Meanwhile, the similarly prolific winner Road To Prince will be looking to get back into form after souring a fantastic year with a couple of lacklustre runs of late. Minister’s Cup victor Major King and Peter Wolsley’s Cheongchun Bulpae also go in what should be a decent contest.

In addition to the thoroughbreds at Busan, there are pony racing cards on Jeju Island on Friday and Saturday. Despite there being no live racing in the capital, Seoul Race Park will be open for simulcasting from Friday to Sunday.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday December 27
Jeju Race Park: 13 races from 11:50 to 18:00

Saturday December 28
Busan Race Park: 10 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 7 races from 11:25 to 16:35

Sunday December 29
Busan Race Park: 14 races from 11:00 to 18:00

Busan Owners’ Cup: Full Preview

The Owners’ Cup is, along with the KRA Cup Mile, the Korean Oaks and the Metropolitan Stakes, one of the four biggest races of the season on the south coast and some of the track’s biggest Korean-bred stars will be battling it out early Sunday evening.

Dangdae Bulpae: Three time President's Cup winner seeks thr Owners' Cup

Dangdae Bulpae: Three time President’s Cup winner seeks thr Owners’ Cup

Four former Classic winners line-up while Seoul sends also sends a small contingent.

Here is a run-down of the field with Name (KOR) [Sire] Age Sex (Runs/1st/2nd/3rd) Jockey). All will carry 58kg although fillies and mares receive a 2kg allowance:

Owners’ Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – Sunday September 7, 17:35

1. Movement (KOR) [Sakura Seeking] 5 H (30/4/4/4) – Kim Jeong Jun (Seoul)
Finally graduated to class 1 recently but made an inauspicious debut the level and like all of the Seoul contingent, he looks out of his depth here.

2. Grand Teukgeup (KOR) [Menifee] 4 F (20/8/3/2) – Chae Gyu Jun
A nice filly who was 3rd in the Korean Oaks last year. She won last time out but has performed best at shorter distances and is difficult to recommend around two-turns in company such as this.

3. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee] 4 C (20/6/5/6) – Choi Si Dae
Since winning the KRA Cup Mile last year, Gyeongbudaero has run 2nd or 3rd in some of Korea’s best races. It’s winning that has been the problem with just 1 from 11 starts since that Classic victory. He is always close though and will be again here.

4. Rising Glory (KOR) [Menifee] 4 F (15/4/4/1) – Masakazu Tanaka
Won the Korean Oaks last year and was 2nd in the Minister’s Cup. However, following some injury setbacks, she hasn’t been the same as a 4-year-old and while she is making progress, it is difficult to see her challenging here.

5. Fleet Boy (KOR) [Creek Cat] 5 H (24/5/3/2) – Lee Gang Seo (Seoul)
An average handicapper at Seoul who can be relied upon to pick up some prize-money now and again. It’s unlikely he’ll be doing so in this race.

6. Road To Prince (KOR) [Pico Central] 4 C (14/8/3/1) – Kanichiro Fujii
Difficult to bet against the jockey/trainer combination of Joe Fujii and Kim Young Kwan in a big race and they have a good horse here. unraced at 2, he’s never been out of the prize-money and he will be in it here again. The only question is whether he can come out on top. Recommended.

7. Gumpo Yeowang (KOR) [Menifee] 4 F (16/3/4/5) – You Hyun Myung
Graduated to class 1 this yearand was 4th last time out. Unlikely to be able to make too much of an impact here.

8. Dangdae Bulpae (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki] 6 H (30/19/2/3) – Jo Sung Gon
The 3-time President’s Cup winner is widely acknowledged as one of Korea’s best ever horses. Returned after a 6-month lay-off to finish 3rd in the Metropolitan Stakes last time out. If he’s continued to get back to his old form, he can win this.

9. Seoul Jeongsang (KOR) [Capital Spending] 5 G (27/4/5/7) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
2nd to Ace Galloper last time out, this is his favourite distance. Seoul’s best hope of a place but no more than that.

10. Danzing Sally (KOR) [War Zone] 5 M (27/2/4/4) – Kim Gui Bae (Seoul)
In woeful form and was 11th of 12 in the YTN Cup last month. Nothing to recommend here.

11. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee] 5 M (24/8/7/2) – Lim Sung Sil
The 2011 Korean Oaks winner soared back into form when finishing a shock 2nd in the Grand Prix Stakes in Seoul last December. She then returned to the capital to win the Ttukseom Cup in March. She’s not run since a disappointing 5th in a handicap back in June. Can never be discounted but it would still be a surprise if she won.

12. Powerful Korea (KOR) [Distilled] 5 G (24/7/4/5) – Song Keong Yun
Spent his 2-year-old season in training in the USA. He finished 3rd in this race last year and returns in decent form. He could be challenging for a place.

* Also at Busan tomorrow is the Gold Circle Turf Club Trophy race. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Sunday September 8

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 13:00 to 18:10
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 16:45 to 19:40

Road To Prince Drives On At Busan

The final weekend of racing before the Korean Derby saw low-key cards at both Seoul and Busan although there were one or two notable performances.

Even as Best Captain made it 3 from 3, lots of minds were on next week at Seoul today

Lots of minds were on next week at Seoul today

Win of the day went to Road To Prince (Pico Central) in the feature race at Busan. The 4-year old colt recorded his 8th victory in 12 starts with a crushing 9-length win over Tamna Ace (Thunder Gulch) under Joe Fujii. A late-starter, Road To Prince didn’t run as 2-year old but is turning into a very fine racehorse.

Seoul’s feature race was a less than exciting affair but saw a first class 1 win for filly Chowon Yeoje (Forest Camp). She led home Super Rich (Osumi Jet) and favourite Special Win (Tahamkke) by just over a length at the end of the 10 furlong handicap.

Earlier in the day, there was a maiden win for 3-year old US import Jijonui Sinsegi (Leroidesanimaux). The colt made his only previous start last year before getting injured but was on good form today taking the 6-furlong race 5 by a considerable margin.

Also impressive was locally bred colt Best Captain (Revere-Onethindime) who remains unbeaten after landing his 3rd victory in race 8. It’s too late for the Derby but, if he continues to show this kind of development, he may well be a contender come the final leg of the Triple Crown in October.

Now, however, attention focuses on next week’s Korean Derby.
KRA Cup Mile winner Sting Ray (Forest Camp) will be travelling up from Busan and will be the likely favourite to take his second Classic of the year. We start the build-up very soon.

Weekend Preview

We’re just a week away from the Korean Derby so it’s a pretty quiet weekend of racing in store for us across the peninsula.

Springtime in Seoul

Springtime in Seoul

As has been the case for the past couple of weeks, Busan sees perhaps the best of the action. Tamna Ace (Thunder Gulch), with 10 wins from his 15 career starts, headlines Sunday’s feature race. He’ll be up against Road To Prince (Pico Central) who has 7 from 11, in the 1600 metre handicap.

At Seoul, the weekend’s feature race is the very last on Sunday although while an interesting betting test, it’s not likely to set any pulses racing from a sporting point of view.

Overseas jockeys Darryll Holland, Joe Fujii and Ureshi Katsunori have plenty of rides and chances across the weekend at Busan while Ikuyasu Kurakane also has opportunities to get among the winners at Seoul.

One jockey who won’t be in contention, however, is Park Geum Man. The 2010 Derby winning rider has picked up a 3-month ban for a ride last Friday.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday May 10

Busan Race Park: 10 races from 12:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:30

Saturday May 11

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:30

Sunday May 12

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:00