Segye Ilbo Cup

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (January 28) Segye Ilbo Cup Day

The first Korean Listed or Stakes race of 2018 takes place at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon and a good one it is too as thirteen runners, including last year’s Derby winner Final Boss, go in the Segye Ilbo Cup over 1200M. In total there are 11 Sunday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. Here are the previews:

Always Winner

Always Winner won the Segye Ilbo Cup last year but he’ll have a hard time defending it (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

An improved 3rd on what was her third start on January 6th leads us to put (9) SEOUL STORY on top in this all-filly (and one mare) event. She raced prominently that day and seems to be figuring things out. The primary danger is (12) BURUI SOKDO, 2nd on debut a full twelve-lengths behind the promising Galaxy Power but nevertheless showing promise herself. The wide draw is perhaps not ideal but can certainly be overcome. (1) ROAD WOMAN and (5) ORANGE SOCKS have shown some glimpses of potential talent and may improve while among the four first-time starters, (11) QUEEN FORCE ONE is the standout. She looked good in trials and has a top jockey on board first-up.

Selections (9) Seoul Story (12) Burui Sokdo (11) Queen Force One (1) Road Woman
Next Best 5, 8
Fast Start 2, 5, 9, 12

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(5) GLOBAL NEWS will be overwhelming favourite to win this. He was a very solid 2nd to Nam Son and ahead of one who won yesterday in what is turning out to have been a very decent race on debut in December and if he runs anything like that, there is nothing here that can challenge him. He should get and easy lead and an easy win. Slim pickings among the rest. (4) GRAND DOLPUNG was well down the track debuting in that very same race as Global News but may improve while of the debut-makers, (2) HAPPY MAUNTAIN and (3) SKY STORM perhaps have the best chance of doing well in their first outings.

Selections (5) Global News (4) Grand Dolpung (2) Happy Mauntain (3) Sky Storm
Next Best 8
Fast Start 5

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million 

(9) GUREUM SONJITHAE managed a decent 2nd place back in November over 1300M which led him to be sent off as favourite for his reappearance over the same trip just before Christmas. It didn’t quite work out as she came home 5th but stepped back to the minimum today and with seemingly slightly softer opposition, she can win this. (1) RAON DOLPUNG was an improved 3rd when tried at this trip for the first time on Christmas Eve and should be the main threat, likely joining the favourite on the early speed. (2) JEWANGUI BYEOL was a creditable 5th on debut in a different race on the same day and can build on that today. (4) EMERALD KING and (8) AREUMDAUN CHEONSA both went poorly last start but can improve.

Selections (9) Gureum Sonjithae (1) Raon Dolpung (2) Jewangui Byeol (4) Emerald King
Next Best 8
Fast Start 1, 8, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million 

(8) BRANDON beat (3) STRONG MAN as the pair raced 1st and 3rd at class and distance on a very wet track on Christmas Eve. Both were outsiders that day and the conditions will be very different but both are very much in the frame again. (12) LUCKY BONGHWA may be yet to win in six attempts but he’s never been any worse than 5th and has generally been beaten by decent types. He’ll be looking to get into a forward position early from the widest gate and if he manages it, he can be close. (5) DAECHEON ACE is perhaps the one who enters in the best form though. 2nd and 3rd in his last two, both competitive contests at this class, he’s ideally drawn to get the early lead and can go all the way this time.

Selections (5) Daecheon Ace (12) Lucky Bonghwa (8) Brandon (3) Strong Man
Next Best 7, 10
Fast Start 5, 7, 8, 12

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Aussie import (4) PRINCE MEMORY led for much of his debut on December 17th but just came up short over 1200M. The Sepoy gelding drops back to the minimum distance today and has solid claims for a maiden victory here. (1) TONGIL DAERO steps up in class following an all the way win over the distance at domestic class 5 three weeks ago and can follow-up. Those two will likely be contesting the early lead. (11) BEST YEJI was a (more…)

Always Winner Makes All In Segye Ilbo Cup

Sunday saw the first listed race in Korea of 2017 and there was something of a shock as 20/1 chance Always Winner made all to land the valuable 1200M test.

It was a race that always looked rather open with the favourites having plenty of question marks against them and so it proved as under Lim Gi Won, Always Winner (Creek Cat) hit the front early – as he always does – and gave the rest simply too much to do, winning by a comfortable three-lengths on the line. Another 20/1 shot, Best Guy, came home 2nd with 13/1 Global Fusion completing an unlikely trifecta.

Of the favourites, Haemaru was best in 4th but it was another chastening experience for Gorgeous Dream who won eight of his first nine but is now winless in his last three. He came home in 7th, one place below recent frequent nemesis Yaho Sky Cat.

Always Winner is a five-year-old gelding and he was winning for the 6th time in 23 starts. He won the JRA Trophy race last year which encouraged connections to take him to Kranji in Singapore for the KRA Trophy the following month. That didn’t go well and not only is the Segye Ilbo by far his biggest triumph, it’s his first victory since returning to Korea,

At Busan, there was a Championship Series race over 2000M and the honours went to Dongbang Daero (Curlin), who got the best of a photo finish ahead of Tariat Tale.

Segye Ilbo Cup (Listed) – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – Jan 22, 2017

1. Always Winner (KOR) [Creek Cat – Hallat’Eukkeup (Land Rush)] – Lim Gi Won – 20.3, 4.8
2. Best Guy (KOR) [Didyme – Madam Winette (Danehill)] – Kim Cheol Ho – 4.8
3. Global Fusion (KOR) [Menifee – Morning Red Sky (Chisos)] – Yoo Seung Wan – 3.7
Distances: 3 lengths/2 lengths – 12 ran

There is no racing at all in Korea this coming weekend as all three tracks take a break for the Lunar New Year Holiday. Racing returns on Friday February 3.

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 22)

Sunday sees the first Listed race of the season in the shape of the Segye Ilbo Cup at Seoul. It’s attracted a full field and headlines an 11-race card in the capital from 10:40 to 18:00. There’s action too at Busan with 6 races from 12:35 to 17:05.

English race cards can be found here. Notes on all races to be simulcast overseas below:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 10:40

(4) PERFECT SOCKS was totally unfancied on debut in November but came a good 2nd. She’s had two months off since and has to be favourite for this. As he’s run already and didn’t disgrace himself, (5) YES YOU CAN will be 2nd favourite. Of the eight the debut-makers. (6) SILVER LION and (12) HERO KING look the most promising.

Selections (4) Perfect Socks (5) Yes You Can (6) Silver Lion (12) Hero King
Next Best 2, 7, 11
Rating
Fast Starters  
Start-200M 4, 7, 5, 2
200M-Finish 4, 5, 2, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 11:05

(6) TOUR ROSE was much improved second-time out Christmas Day over this distance and she’s the pick to score here. The other contenders are all stepping up to this distance for the first time. (7) LEAD QUEEN was 2nd in a weaker than average class 6 but did little wrong so can be considered although (3) AMAZONAS looks a little easier to recommend. (11) NEW HIGH TIME also looked promising while (2) DANSEONG RUBY has run on well in her past two and may appreciate the step up.

Selections (6) Tour Rose (3) Amazonas (7) Lead Queen (11) New High Time
Next Best 2, 8, 4
Rating
Fast Starters 3, 5, 6
Start-200M 7, 3, 11, 12, 9
200M-Finish 3, 11, 9, 10, 6

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 11:30 (more…)

66/1 Global Fusion Stuns In Segye Ilbo Cup

The 2016 Principal Race program got underway at Seoul Racecourse this afternoon and the majority of punters were left frustrated as 66/1 chance Global Fusion emerged the winner of the six furlong Segye Ilbo Cup.

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Global Fusion in the Segye Ilbo Cup winner’s circle

On a bright but chilly afternoon in the Korean capital, Seonbong was sent off as a warm favourite but while he wasn’t too far off the early pace, which as expected was set by Kim Dong Soo on Always Winner, he would fail to be involved at the business end of the race.

Always Winner would battle on well but while the well-backed Power City would come with a late run, quicker than them all would be Global Fusion. A 7-year-old gelding, Global Fusion hadn’t visited the winner’s circle since the New Year’s Commemorative race all the way back in 2013.

Under Yoo Seung Wan, Global Fusion broke from gate 7 and settled towards the rear of the 12-strong field. Still in eighth place entering the home straight. His finish though was too strong as he passed first Magic Dancer and finally Always Winner close to the line.

It was a seventh win in total for Global Fusion and for jockey Yoo Seung Wan, his 2nd Segye Ilbo Cup, having partnered Indian Blue to victory three years ago (when the race was  for fillies).

Segye Ilbo Cup (Listed) – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – Jan 31, 2016

1. Global Fusion (KOR) [Menifee – Morning Red Sky] – Yoo Seung Wan – 67.6, 8.9
2. Always Winner (KOR) [Creek Cat – Halla’Teukgeup] – Kim Dong Soo – 6.6
3. Power City (KOR) [Archer City Slew – Power Bull] – Park Tae Jong – 1.6
Distances: Neck/3 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Magic Dancer 5. Forty Cure 6. Seonbong 7. Geomtan 8. Long Speed 9. Royal Star 10. Lion Star 11. Yaho Sky Cat 12. Portray

At Busan on Sunday afternoon, Beolmaui Kkum, for some time ranked as the number one horse in Korea, returned to the track for the first time in over six months in winning fashion. The six-year-old beat Gamdonguibada and Cowboy Son in a high class 1400M race in track-record-equaling time.

Segye Ilbo Cup: Runner-by-Runner Preview

The deep freeze has lifted -at least temporarily – and big race action returns to Seoul on Sunday with the first principal race of the season in the shape of the Segye Ilbo Cup.

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Seoul hosts the first big race of the season on Sunday

Twelve will line-up for the 1200M Listed racewith the likes of Seonbong, Power City and Yaho Sky Cat expected to head the betting market. The Cup is race 8 of a 10-race card at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. There is also a live card at Busan.

English language racecard here.

Full rundown of the runners and riders below:

Segye Ilbo Cup (Listed) – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – Jan 31, 16:00

1. Power City [Archer City Slew-Power Bull] 5 G (16/9/2/1) – Park Tae Jong
He won three in a row last summer, including the Ilgan Sports Cup. He was then off until the start of this month when he ran 6th behind Seonbong and Geomtan, a run which he should have come on for. He didn’t get forward that day although he finished well enough and should be more prominant here. One of the favourites.

2. Forty Cure [Field Asuka – Sunrise] 5 G (20/5/3/2) – Yuri Takahashi
An outsider, he was relocated from Busan last summer and has a best of 2nd in five starts in Seoul. 9th in the race behind Seonbong on January 3rd, he will need to find plenty here.

3. Always Winner [Creek Cat – Hallat’eukkeup] 4 G (14/4/3/2) – Kim Dong Soo
Well beaten by Seonbong over 1000M in Octboer, he followed up with a 3rd and a 2nd at class 2 both over 1700M. Likely to go forward early but others will be favoured here.

4. Royal Star [Eternal Champion – Royal Champion] 4 F (12/6/2/0) – Nicola Pinna
Nicola Pinna has proven to be a big-race jockey since arriving here and he has an outside chance. Royal Star was a class 2 winner at 1000M in December and while she will need to improve in this company, she can go well.

5. Seonbong [Duality – Megabuck Gal] 4 C (16/6/6) – Lee Joon Chel
Strong claims to be favourite, he won class 2 races at 1000M and 1800M and comes in following back to back 2nd places at class 1. He beat four of his rivals here last time out and can beat them again.

6. Yaho Sky Cat [Peace Rules – The Relentless Cat] 4 G (7/4/1/0) – Djordje Perovic
One on the up, he comes in following three consecutive victories, all of them at 1400M and all of them comfortable. He is yet to race at higher than class 3 so this is a big step-up in terms of opposition but there’s no reason to suggest he will be out of his depth and he will be backed.

7. Global Fusion [Menifee – Morning Red Sky] 7 G (35/6/3/6) – Yoo Seung Wan
An outsider, it’s been a long time since the most recent of his six career wins. Lots of class 1 experience but nothing in his recent form to suggest he can make an impression on this.

8. Geomtan [Ft. Stockton – Alchan Useung] 6 G (33/6/4/8) – Lee Hyeon Jong
He was 3rd behind Seonbong but ahead of Power City last time on what was his first attempt at class 1. Prior to thathe was a solid class 2 winner over 1400M. He’s finished strongly on both his last starts and can be looking to find the money here.

9. Lion Star [Exploit – Oakmart] 4 C (13/4/4/1) – Jo Sung Gon
He has the fastest time of any of these at this distance, achieved when romping home on his most recent start at the end of November. He didn’t have much to beat that day and this is a big step up but he will look to get to the front straight from the gate and could be an interesting outsider.

10. Portray [Ft. Stockton – Miss Impromptu] 5 M (19/3/5/3) – Shin Hyoung Chul
She ran 2nd to the promising OS Hwadap over 1000M in November and generally isn’t too far away. Others should be quicker here though.

11. Long Speed [Commendable – Speed Bag] 6 H (30/5/5/3) – Lee Hyeok
A stablemate of Forty Cure, he was last among the five of these who raced each other on January 3rd. He may once again find this field a little challenging.

12. Magic Dancer [Forest Camp – Wildly Magic] 6 H (24/10/4/2) – Ham Wan Sik
The venerable Magic Dancer isn’t quite the horse he once was and has struggled to make an impact since relocating from Busan. The drop back too this distance though could be very interesting. He likes to lead and flew through a barrier trial on New Year’s Eve before being 5th a week later over 1800M. He can’t be ruled out.

The Seoul track is extremely dry at the moment and will be so tomorrow as well. Temperatures are set to be on the chilly side with highs around 0C. Which is still a vast improvement on last week.

At Busan, the feature race is a class 1 event over 1400M and features a number of big names. Gamdonguibada, Beolmaui Kkum and Cowboy Son are among thirteen runners.

Gwanggyo Bisang Cruises To The Segye Ilbo Cup While Gyeongbudaero Proves His Worth At Busan

Gwanggyo Bisang strolled to his third career Stakes win with an easy victory in the Segye Ilbo Cup at Seoul last Sunday. However, the star of the weekend was Gyeongbudaero, who carried 60kg to victory in the first class 1 “Open” race at Busan.

Gwanggyo Bisang was an easy winner of the Segye Ilbo Cup at Seoul on Sunday

Gwanggyo Bisang was an easy winner of the Segye Ilbo Cup at Seoul on Sunday

Now a 5-year-old, Gwanggyo Bisang is the top rated Korean bred horse in the capital and he showed exactly why when coming from behind in the final two furlongs of the 1200M Segye Ilbo Cup to take the line almost two lengths clear of closest rival Ganghae.

A slight disappointment in the President’s Cup last November and then again when sent off the strong favourite in a class 1 handicap just before Christmas, Gwanggyo Bisang this time made no mistake as he secured the 12th win of his 19 race career to date.

Segye Ilbo Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – February 8, 2015

1. Gwanggyo Bisang (KOR) [Menifee – Touch Upon (Touch Gold)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.4, 1.0
2. Ganghae (KOR) [Didyme – Ocelot (Catrail)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 1.3
3. Global Fusion (KOR) [Menifee – Morning Red Sky (Chisos)] – Lee Joon Chel – 12.8
Distances: 1.75 Lengths / 0.75 lengths – 13 ran.

The winner of that aforementioned President’s Cup was, of course, Gyeongbudaero. He would then go on to win the season-ending Grand Prix Stakes as well and his eagerly anticipated 2015 debut also came on Sunday.

It was a debut that was given extra significance in that it was in the first class 1 race to take place since the practice of providing separate races for Korean bred horses at the top-level was ended (except for some Stakes races).

Gyeongbudaero and Choi Si Dae win at Busan on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Gyeongbudaero and Choi Si Dae win at Busan on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Despite carrying top weight and facing some very good imports in the shape of Spring Gnarly (Master Command), undefeated in seven and Cheonji Bulpae (Bernardini), one of the highest rated horses in the country, the Korean horse was immense.

Under jockey Choi Si Dae, Gyeongbudaero was in close attendance the whole way around before accelerating away in the home straight. He held off the challenge of fellow domestic-bred Gumpo Sky (Vicar) for victory by just over a length.

It was his 12th win in 29 career starts, however, 13 of those starts have been in Stakes races. He’s only ever been out of the money twice and has won over US$2 Million in prize money. And he’s certainly not finished yet.

Class 1 – Busan Racecourse – 2000M – February 8, 2015

1. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.7, 1.1
2. Gumpo Sky (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] – Kim Dong Young – 2.2
3. Chogwang (AUS) [Lion Heart – Colonial Dancer (Pleasant Colony)] – Noboyuki Oyama – 5.7
Distances: 1.25 lengths/Neck
Also ran: 4. Ildeung Hanghaesa (KOR) 5. Spring Gnarly (USA) 6. Cheonji Bulpae (AUS) 7. Biryong (NZ) 8. Full Forest (USA) 9. Cheonjae Bogo (NZ) 10. Kellan (KOR) 11. Sarang Dream (KOR) PU: Haneului Chubok

Weekend Preview: Segye Ilbo Highlights Slimmed Down Seoul / Gyeongbudaero Up For The Fight At Busan

It has been a tense week in Korean racing. However, despite the threat of a boycott by owners, declarations went ahead as normal at Seoul Racecourse on Thursday morning following Busan where it had been business as usual the day before. Although some planned races have been cancelled, a big weekend still awaits.

Let's Run! And we are running this week, albeit not much at Seoul

Let’s Run! And we are running this week, albeit not much at Seoul

There have been a couple of casualties from the uncertainty earlier in the week. The scheduled overseas simulcast on Friday and Saturday was cancelled in case a large scale boycott materialised and a last minute reorganisation of the schedule was required, while there are also no regular class 1 or class 2 races in the capital. The Segye Ilbo Cup, a Stakes race, will go ahead, however, as it remains restricted to Korean bred runners.

Busan hosts class 1 action on Sunday afternoon though and there is a mouth watering clash in store as Gyeongbudaero heads the weights on his first appearance of 2015. The Grand Prix Stakes winner is the best of six Korean bred horses taking on six imports in exactly the kind of race the new rating system was intended to provide. Gumpo Sky (taking on foreign-bred horses fort he first time), and imports Cheonji Bulpae and Spring Gnarly will also be going in the handicap over 2000M.

At Seoul, where not all stakeholders are yet onboard with the new system, we are down to eight races on Saturday and ten on Sunday. The highlight is the Segye Ilbo Cup on Sunday in which the track’s top-rated Korean-bred horse Gwanggyo Bisang will be favoured to get back to winning ways.

To make up for the lost races on Saturday, eight of the nine pony races from Jeju Island will be simulcasted back to punters at Seoul instead of the usual four.

It’s the first weekend of the post Ikuyasu Kurakane era at Seoul but the four Japanese jockeys at Busan; Joe Fujii, Masa Tanaka, Nozomu Tomizawa and Nobuyuki Oyama are all in action.

Full race cards are available here. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday February 6
Busan Racecourse: 11 races from 11:40 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 13:20 to 17:20

Saturday February 7
Seoul Racecourse: 8 races from 11:15 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 10:50 to 17:30

Sunday February 8
Seoul Racecourse: 10 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:00