Royale Embrace

Gerrit Schlechter Rides Sangseung Geotap To KNN Cup Victory

9/1 Chance Takes Second-Leg of Queens Tour / Five Wins For South African Jockey This Weekend

June had already been an especially good month in the saddle for Gerrit Schlechter. Today it got better. The South African jockey landed a treble last weekend and repeated that feat on Friday. This afternoon, Schlechter topped that by recording by far his biggest win since arriving in Busan in March by winning the KNN Cup on 9/1 chance Sangseung Geotap.

Sangseung Geotap and Gerrit Schlechter get down to business in the KNN Cup

The second leg of the “Queens’ Tour”, the KNN Cup brought together the top fillies and mares from both Busan and Seoul. Royale Embrace (Chapel Royal), winner of the Ttukseom Cup and first leg of the Tour, wasn’t given much chance of repeating her success in this mile-long race, however, there were high hopes of young imports Gamdonguibada (Werblin) and Dangdae Jeonseung (Put It Back).

Royale Embrace set the early pace with the two favourites travelling ominously well as they entered the home straight. Sangseung Geotap meanwhile sat towards the back of the field in the long back straight, before improving wide around the home turn. In the straight, Schlechter had to battle to find a clear run and the pair entered the final furlong with four horses still in front of them.

One after another they reeled them in though, multiple-stakes winner Kkakjaengi (Put It Back) being the last to succomb as Sangseung Geotap scored a length and a half win, Schlechter producing a Barzalona-esque celebration just before the line.

Sangseung Geotap, a four-year old filly, moves onto seven wins from eighteen starts. Schlechter meanwhile, is the man in form on the South coast. In the past two weeks he has ridden as many winners and racked up more prize-money than most foreign jockeys can expect to achieve in a year up at Seoul. Owners want him riding their horses so there should be plenty more to come.

KNN Cup – Busan Race Park – 1600M – Sunday June 10, 2012

1. Sangseung Geotap (USA) [Indian Charlie – Mirta (Theatrical)] – Gerrit Schlechter – 9.3, 2.3
2. Kkakjaengi (USA) [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] – Shin Hyung Chul – 2.2
3. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.2

Distances: 0.5 lengths/1/25 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Darani (USA) 5. Dangdae Jeonseung (CAN) 6. Dehere Queen (USA) 7. Yeah Strike (KOR) 8. Teukbyeolhwanhui (JPN) 9. Imperial Star (KOR) 10. Geumbi (USA) 11. Blueband Mama (USA) 12. Royale Embrace (USA) 13. Malibu Sky (USA) 14. Gippeumnuri (USA)

Weekend Preview: Queens’ Tour 2nd Leg – The KNN Cup

After what has been a difficult week for Korean racing, Stakes racing returns this weekend and it’s fillies and mares who will take centre stage as Busan plays host to the KNN Cup, the second leg of the “Queens’ Tour”.

Royale Embrace and You Hyun Myung win the Ttukseom Cup, the first leg of the Queens’ Tour (Pic: Ilgan Sports)

There’s a full field of 14, including 7 challengers from Seoul. Kkakjaengi, Geumbi, Imperial Star and the young filly Gamdonguibada all look set to pose a threat to Ttukseom Cup winner Royale Embrace.

Here’s a full run down of the runners and riders with pedigree, race records and jockey (and it’s the only place you’ll see it in English as the KRA’s English site can’t handle races which involve runners from both Seoul and Busan in the same race!

KNN Cup – Busan Race Park – 1600M – June 10, 15:50

1. Malibu Sky (USA) [Malibu Moon – Music Box Dancer (Woodman)] (16/3/2/1) – Narazaki Kosuke (Busan)
2. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] (6/4/2/0) – Kim Yong Geun (Busan)
3. Dehere Queen (USA) [Dehere – Connamon Girl (Meadowlake)] (16/3/4/2) – Yukio Abe (Busan)
4. Darani (USA) [Saarland – Dusty’s Legacy (Golden Missile)] (20/3/3/5) – Jo Chang Wook (Busan)
5. Kkakjaengi (USA) [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] – (14/6/3/3) – Shin Hyung Chul (Seoul)
6. Royale Embrace (USA) [Chapel Royal – Embracing Krissy (Kissin Kris)] (15/6/3/1) – Yoo Hyun Myung (Busan)
7. Geumbi (USA)[Ecton Park – Lady Justine (Lit De Justice)] (17/5/5/3) – Han Sung Youl (Seoul)
8. Dangdae Jeonseung (CAN) [Put It Back – Diamond Heirloom (Pembroke)] (7/3/1/1) – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
9. Imperial Star (KOR) [Nihon Pillow Neil – Psychic Girl (Generous)] (15/5/5/3) – Won Jung Il (Seoul)
10. Teukbyeolhwanhui (JPN) [White Muzzle – Western Edge (Woodman)] (26/3/1/6) – Park Tae Jong (Seoul)
11. Blueband Mama (USA) [Purge – Meadow Bryte (Meadow Lake)] (18/2/4/1) – Kim Dong Kyun (Seoul)
12. Gippeumnuri (USA) [Eurosilver – Regatta Queen (Danzig Connection)] (25/4/2/1) – Choi Bum Hyun (Seoul)
13. Sangseung Geotap (USA) [Indian Charlie – Mirta (Theatrical)] (18/6/2/1) – Gerrit Schlechter (Busan)
14. Yeah Strike (KOR) [Yes It’s True – Whisper Bay (Smart Strike)] (28/6/4/2) – Park Si Cheon (Seoul)

And here’s what’s happening when and where on the peninsula:

Friday June 8

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

Saturday June 9

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:00

Sunday June 10

Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 11:00 to 17:45
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:15 to 16:45

Embraceable You! You Hyun Myung and Royale Embrace Win Ttukseom Cup

She’d shown great promise as a two-year old but then slumped into mediocrity at three. However, today at Seoul, Royale Embrace (Chapel Royal) finally came good by winning the Ttukseom Cup.

Royale Embrace and You Hyun Myung win the Ttukseom Cup (Pic: Ilgan Sports)

Sent off at 17/1, Royale Embrace was taken into an early lead by jockey You Hyun Myung for the seven furlong Stakes event which this year is the first in the three-race “Queens Tour” series for the country’s top fillies and mares. She never let it go.

Favourite Kkakjaengi (Put It Back) rallied late on but she was far too far behind to make an impact. Ultimately it was young Gamdonguibada (Werblin) who got the closest although she too, never looked like denying the winner.

A $13,000 purchase from the Ocala Spring Sale in 2010, Royale Embrace won four of her five starts at Busan and was talked of as being the an eventual Grand Prix contender. Her progress then stalled and while she ran in four Stakes races last year, her highest finish was seventh. With connections not believing she could stay the distance in longer races, she had been restricted to the ultra-competitive (by virtue of their rarity) high level sprints of less than a mile.

Today was one of those but, running at Seoul for the first time, everything went right.

It was no doubt a sweet moment for jockey Yoo Hyun Myung too. His finest moment as a jockey came at Seoul in December 2010 when he partnered Mister Park to the Grand Prix. He seemed at the top of his game but in racing, you are only ever seconds away from your fortunes being reversed.

An injury in early 2011 saw him sidelined for several months and by the time he came back, he found that he had lost his plum rides. Unhappy, he rejected the offer of Mister Park’s trainer, Kim Young Kwan, to ride his second string Dongseo Jeongbeol in the Grand Prix and stayed home in Busan.

As it turned out, Mister Park lost the Grand Prix and today, while Yoo Hyun Myung was winning at Seoul, the record-breaking five-year old was running at Busan with a first-year apprentice on board. Indeed it made for an odd spectacle as his main – and only – rival, two-time President’s Cup winner Dangdae Bulpae (Biwa Shinseiki) also had a newcomer in the saddle.

The reason for this was that both horses are now so high up in the handicap, that connections don’t want to run them unless they can get the weight allowance that is available to an apprentice rider. As it turned out, Mister Park, under Jeong Dong Cheol beat Dangdae Bulpae and Kim Jong Woong by just over a length. Such is their dominance at Busan that the third place horse was a full twenty-six lengths adrift.

It was a busy day of racing. Back at Seoul, 28/1 outsider Ruby Queen (Perfect Champion) won the Sports Donga Trophy while at Busan, Japanese jockey Narazaki Kosuke got his first Class 1 winner on Sand Hi (Stormy Atlantic).

Ttukseom Cup (KOR.G3) – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – Sunday March 25, 2012

1. Royale Embrace (USA) [Chapel Royal-Embracing Krissy (Kissin Kris)] – You Hyun Myung – 17.7, 5.2
2. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin-Radyla (Country Pine)] – Kim Yong Geun – 2.1
3. Kkakjaengi (USA) [Put It Back-Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] – Shin Hyoung Chul – 1.3

Distances: 0.75 lengths/4 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Xicar (AUS) 5. Dehere Queen (USA) 6. Gippeumnuri (USA) 7. Mighty Mammy (USA) 8. Geumbi (USA) 9. Triple Hunter (USA) 10. Imperial Girl (USA) 11. Malibu Sky (USA) 12. Chowonuibyeol (USA) 13. Kkochyeoul (USA) 14. Queen Of Rain (USA)