Satoshi Yonekura

Catching Up: Supreme Magic & Yonekura Satoshi Won The KNN Cup

I’ve been away. There are several things to catch up on, most notably developments with regard to the Korea Cup and Sprint, however, the day before I left, the big action was the second leg of the Queens Tour, the KNN Cup at Busan.

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Yonekura Satoshi and Supreme Magic win the KNN Cup (Pic: KRA)

Billed as a battle between Bichui Jeongsang and New York Blue, the race was instead won by a 70/1 outsider as Supreme Magic flew home late on under a perfectly timed ride by Japanese jockey Yonekura Satoshi, to take the honours.

A full-field of sixteen contested the KNN Cup, which was run over a mile. Unusually for a big Stakes race – and a welcome change – Seoul sent a strong contingent to the race including Bichui Jeongsang, who had won the first leg of the tour, the Ttukseom Cup, in the capital in June. She would be sent off as second favourite, behind New York Blue, 3rd in the Ttukseom Cup and who fell in this race last year when expected to win.

Last year’s Korean Oaks winner Jangpung Parang would set the early pace with New York Blue handy while Bichui Jeongsang, coming out of a wide gate, went right to the back. Supreme Magic settled just a couple of spots off the back of the field. Not that many were paying too much attention to where she was.

In the home straight, Jangpung Parang was quickly done and New York Blue took things up.  It looked like this may be her year but that was to reckon without the closers. Once she found a  run, Bichui Jeongsang finished the quickest of them all, but it was too late and she only managed 5th. Instead, out of nowhere emerged Supreme Magic on the stands side to sweep past and run on for a surprisingly comprehensive two-length win.

Supreme Magic [Lookin At Lucky – Thru N’Thru (Stormy Atlantic)] was a $27,000 purchase from the June 2014 Ocala sale in Florida. A four-year-old, she finished 8th in the Ttukseom Cup but had just been promoted to class 1 following a pair of victories and a 2nd place at class 2. The win was her 5th in 14 career starts.

It was a huge win for jockey Yonekura Satoshi. The Japanese rider has had plenty of rides since starting in Korea in April but had been afforded little in the way of quality. Nevertheless, he’s managed to get 27% of his mounts home in the first three. Supreme Magic was his 9th winner at Busan and of course, his biggest so far. The 40-year-old Satoshi’s license has been extended for six months to run until the end of next January. Hopefully there are plenty more winners to come.

The KNN Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 1600M – July 24, 2016

1. Supreme Magic (USA) [Lookin At Lucky – Thru N’Thru (Stormy Atlantic)] – Yonekura Satoshi – 73.4, 8.5
2. New York Blue (USA) [Candy Ride – Aim For The moon (Deputy Minister)] – Lim Sung Sil – 1.2
3. Silver Wolf (AUS) [Orotorio – Ready For More (More Than Ready)] – Yoo Seung Wan – 2.6
Distances: 2 lengths / 1.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Who’s Perfect (USA) 5. Bichui Jeongsang (USA) 6. Ms. Margaux (USA) 7. Areumdaundonghaeng (USA) 8. Jangpung Parang (KOR) 9. Winner’s Marine (KOR) 10. Hwanggeumbitjijung (KOR) 10. Model Line (USA) 12. Bear Queen Trophy (USA) 13. Rush Running (KOR) 14. Yuseong Tiger (KOR) DNF: Balios Queen (USA)

Jockeys Chisty & Satoshi Land First Wins / Rice Trebles / Dean Debuts

It was a busy week for the expanding foreign contingent in Korean racing at both Seoul and Busan. And there were successes too with jockeys Imran Chisty and Yonekura Satoshi both riding their first winners, Bart Rice training three winners across the weekend and Brian Dean making his long awaited Seoul training debut and scoring a solid 3rd place with Jangsan Jewang.

We’ll start with Imran Chisty. It would be fair to say he impressed all who saw him in work and on the three with no chance that he was given to ride on his debut on May 1st. It was therefore a little disappointing to see the Indian jockey only booked for one single ride across this past weekend. Chisty responded in the best possible manner.

Jeongsang Jeil, in race 1 on Saturday, was Chisty’s first mount with any semblance of a winning chance and win it he did, the 4/1 chance making all over 1300M. Hopefully connections will have taken note and Chisty’s weekends won’t be over by 10:55 on Saturday mornings anymore.

A day earlier at Busan, Japanese jockey Satoshi Yonekura landed his first winner on the peninsula, guiding Gold Blue to victory in race 8. Satoshi, who has been getting plenty of mounts, would follow up with another winner on Sunday with Lady Champ in race 2. Established in Korea already, Ikuyasu Kurakane and Djordje Perovic were also among the winners.

On the training side, it was a very good weekend Bart Rice. The South African saddled three winners across Friday and Sunday. He started with the previously winner-circle dodging filly Load Cell, who finally got things right at the sixth time of asking in race 5 after three runner-up finishes.

Another filly, Daehanuimyeongseong would be next in race 6, landing her second win in eight starts. On Sunday, Rice’s Triple Five would make all to comfortably win the class 3 race 5. That one now has two wins and three 2nd place finishes from five starts.

Thomas Gillespie would also weigh-in with a winner at Busan on Sunday, Jungang Yeoje in race 1, while up at Seoul, Aussie trainer Brian Dean, the first foreign trainer to be licensed in the capital sent out his first runner.

Actually that’s not quite true as Dean brought Valevole to the Asia Challenge Cup last August but on Sunday Jangsan Jewang became the first starter from his newly established Korean stable. Jangsan Jewang was one of three Brian Dean horses to win barrier trial two weeks and under another Australian, Dean Holland he set out to make all in the 1200M class 2 race 11.

It wasn’t quite to be with Jangsan Jewang being caught late on and eventually having to settle for a very solid 3rd place. It was a huge improvement on his two previous starts at class 2. The Brian Dean stable looks one to watch very carefully. There could be some very nervous fellow trainers on the Seoul backstretch right now.