Selangor Turf Club

Sunday Seoul & Busan International Exchange Race Day: Race-by-Race Preview (April 3)

Big prizes on offer with five international trophy exchange races to be run on Sunday. At Seoul, where there is an 11-race card from 10:45 to 18:00, the Turkey Jockey Club (TJK) Trophy and the Gold Circle Trophy will be run. At Busan, where there is a 6-race card from 12:00 to 16:40, the Selangor Turf Club, China Horse Industry Association, and Tokyo City Keiba Trophies are all on the agenda. All betting locations are open, but attendance should be pre-booked using the MyCard app:

Do Kki Blade goes in a non-Trophy Class 1 race on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Maiden three-year-old fillies in the opener and a couple come in looking ready to win. (1) SUPERDIA ran 3rd on debut over 1000M in January before stepping up to this trip on February 27th and leading for much of the way, ultimately coming home in 5th place, around four-lengths behind the winner. Drawn nicely, she can lead again, and this time go all the way. (4) WONDERFUL KITTY has claims on favourite status. She has the fastest time among these for the distance and comes in following a good 3rd place last time out. Her style has been to go back and to run on, she has some good final furlong times and will be coming home strongly here. (10) MAGIC MOCCASIN hasn’t been seen since her debut on Boxing Day when she led over 1000M, finishing 4th. Despite the wide draw, she can be on or close to the pace again and can be a danger. (2) LAROMANEE and (8) HIGH RUNNER, who came home 4th and 5th when they raced each other on February 19th, are others who can at least challenge for places.

Selections(1) Superdia (4) Wonderful Kitty (10) Magic Moccasin (2) Laromanee
Next Best8, 7
Fast Start1, 3, 9, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A very competitive maiden. (9) SOJUNGHAN DANGSIN looks among the readiest to win, coming in as she does off a good 2nd place at class and distance on February 20th, when she was handy to the lead throughout. She should be on or close to the pace again and will be in this a long way. (11) OKDONG GONGJU has registered some good times for the distance and while she is yet to win in twelve attempts, she is consistent and enters having run 4th at her latest outing. She will probably be ridden patiently again and can run home strong. The draw doesn’t do her any favours though and nor does it for (12) EUNHYE DREAM although given her running style in her latest two, it may not be too damaging to her chances. She has run on for 3rd and a pair of 4th place finishes from her latest three and can be in the money hunt again. (2) V QUEEN and (4) HELLO GEUMSEONG are others in the hunt.

Selections(9) Sojunghan Dangsin (11) Okdong Gongju (12) Eunhye Dream (2) V Queen
Next Best4, 5
Fast Start3, 9, 10, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Tricky maiden. (11) LONDON POWER has a decent start, a decent finish and has registered acceptable times for the distance and that combination may be enough to see her home on top here. The draw means she may need a touch of luck in the early stages, but if she can find a good position, she can win. (2) ONCHEONHA has a 2nd and a 3rd to his name from seven starts so far. He draws well to be able to take up a spot just behind the speed and then run on. (9) CHEONJI JIDAE also has a 2nd place to his name at this distance. Draw a line through his latest when he drew gate fourteen and he can be given another chance in this limited company. Given that this is not a deep field form wise, the two first-time starters can also be given a chance. (3) TROTTING RILEY and (6) GRAY THOR both posted fair times in their heats and couldn’t really ask for a softer race to start their careers in.

Selections(11) London Power (2) Oncheonha (9) Cheonji Jidae (3) Trotting Riley
Next Best6, 7
Fast Start4, 7, 9, 11

Busan Race 1: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(2) GOLD TAP ran out a winner on debut over 1200M, sitting handy early and then running on well for a narrow score. He comes up in class and in trip today but draws significantly better and has every chance of measuring up in this company. The logical main danger is (7) DOCTOR TEXAS. He has run some good and consistent times at this distance, should be on pace here and can be in this a long way. He will need to overturn the form on (4) FRIGATE BIRD, who beat him when they raced each other at this distance back on January 28th. Frigate Bird is up 3kg in the weights on that day but enters in solid form and can have placing ambitions again. (9) GEUMBIT SKY has shown hints of returning to some kind of form in his latest two, and along with (3) SUN MOUNTAIN, is among the others who can find some minor money.

Selections(2) Gold Tap (7) Doctor Texas (4) Frigate Bird (9) Geumbit Sky
Next Best3, 5
Fast Start2, 4, 7, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(5) FLYING ATHENA has been beaten into 2nd place in both of her last two starts, both times as favourite. She accordingly has to come up in class here, but she looks to have more improvement in her and from a nice draw she can win. She only has a nose to overturn on (12) WILD SOCKS, who beat her when they raced each other at this distance at class 6 level on March 5th. Wild Socks sat back that day and ran on, just getting there in time. He comes up in class too and the draw isn’t ideal, but he will certainly be a danger again. (11) BURUI KKOT is yet to win in five outings and like Flying Athena, got promoted to this level with back-to-back runner-up finishes. However, she has never finished worse than 5th and she has already been tested at this class and came through it well when 3rd over 1400M on February 26th. She can be a danger here. (2) COMPLETE LUCKY is another maiden up in class but is nicely in here to get a forward position early and can be in this a long way. (4) REMARKABLE also in the hunt.

Selections(5) Flying Athena (12) Wild Socks (11) Burui Kkot (2) Complete Lucky
Next Best4, 6
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 11

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Draw a line through the latest outing from (4) MONEY CASE, his first at this class, on February 25th when drawn in gate thirteen over 1300M he worked hard to find a position and ultimately came home in midfield. Instead go on his effort two starts back when making all to win over 1200M at class 6 level. Back in trip today and nicely drawn, he looks the one to beat. (9) ALPHA SONGDANG is up in class having secured her maiden win at start number two over this distance on February 25th. She made all that day and while the draw isn’t quite ideal, she should have enough early speed to get across to challenge for the lead and can potentially go all the way. (6) HARDY CHARLIE can mix his form. He got a bit left behind last time out when never a factor over this distance, but he draws better today and with a better start, can go close. (3) OREUDA and (10) OMEGA GIRL among others who can challenge for some minor money.

Selections(4) Money Case (9) Alpha Songdang (6) Hardy Charlie (3) Oreuda
Next Best10, 1
Fast Start4, 6, 7, 9

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(7) TEAM IMPACT led from gate to wire on debut over 1200M on February 26th. He comes up in class here and marginally in trip as well but can get to the lead again and should have too much for this field. (5) BLACK MASK remains a maiden after four outings, but has never finished any worse than 3rd, a finish she achieved at this class and distance on March 6th, when she led for much of the race. She comes up slightly in the weights today but has solid claims to go close once again. So too (1) HEUNGHAENG DAEBAK. He too led at his latest start at class and distance on February 27th, ultimately running a very close 2nd to a good winner. He gets a great draw here and will be a threat. (12) ECTON JILJU doesn’t get a very good gate but comes in off a 2nd place at class and distance and with some early luck can be in this too. (2) CHAMPION GAMUN was 3rd behind Ecton Jilju on March 5th, a race he was sent off as favourite for, and can also be given another chance here.

Selections(7) Team Impact (5) Black Mask (1) Heunghaeng Daebak (12) Ecton Jilju
Next Best2, 3
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 12

International Weekend: Saturday Review

Korean racing’s first international weekend of 2017 got underway on Saturday and while the main events are tomorrow, there was plenty of action in the three exchange races and it was two young US imports who produced the stand-out performances.


Dolkong & Djordje Perovic return to scale after winning the Turkey Cup

First was the China Horse Industry Association Trophy and it resulted in a gate to wire victory for filly Kiliui Yeowang (Adios Charlie). The filly, a $33,000 purchase from the OBS June Sales last year maintained her 100% on what was her 3rd start, seeing off the challenge of Spirit Of Hansen by just over a length.

Next up was the Selangor Turf Club Trophy which despite only attracting a field of eight generated plenty of betting interest. Ultimately, the 1800 contest would come down to a photo finish which saw the slight betting favourite The Queen Silver (Officer) win by a head.

The Queen Silver is a five-year-old mare and was winning for the 6th time on her 25th start. Kim Dong Soo rode.

The final exchange race was with the Turkey Jockey Club and this year, to mark 60 years of diplomatic relations between Turkey and South Korea, the race was this year simply called the “Turkey Cup”. It also produced the performance of the day by three-year-old US import Dolkong.

Dolkong (Afleet Alex) was a $35,000 purchase as a two-year-old and had won two of his five starts prior to today, setting some impressive times along the way. Today was impressive too as Dolkong shook off the attentions of favourite Cheongdam Dokki with a furlong to run and cruised clear to win by four lengths on the line. He’ll be one to watch later this year.

Sunday sees a double helping of Group race action with the Ttukseom Cup and the SBS Sports Sprint.

Turkey Cup, SLTC, CHIA Trophies Headline Day 1 Of Seoul International Weekend

It’s 60 years since South Korea and Turkey established diplomatic relations and to mark that, the Turkey Cup is one of three big races Day 1 on Saturday of the first of two International weekends at Seoul Racecourse this year (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00). 


Flags fly at a previous Turkey Cup day

In additional to the Turkey Cup, there are also the annual exchange races with the Selangor Turf Club and China Horse Industry Association. English racecards are here. Here are notes on the four key races:

Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) “Cargill Agri Purina” / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 15:35

1. CHARISMA QUEEN – Started to get the hang of this level in her latest two. Led last time but did fade to 5th.

2. TOUR ROSE – Since a 7th place on debut, she’s never been any worse than 2nd. Comprehensive class and distance winner last start, she’s very much the one to beat here.

3. SAEJAE SARANG – Surprise class and distance winner in February, he’s not shown many signs of following up in three efforts since.

4. DRAGON VILLAGE – Generally beats a few but generally finishes behind a few more. Outsider.

5. MAMBO CHEONHA – Comes in off three consecutive 6th place finishes and hasn’t achieved any better than that in six attempts at this class.

6. NEONEUN ACE – The main danger to the favourite, he enters off back to back 2nd place finishes. Runs best when on the early speed and another 2nd is more than possible.

7. JAMNYONG – Slightly disappointing 4th when well backed on May 7th. Generally runs on though and is in the placing frame here. (more…)

Weekend Preview: Trophy Exchange Races / Korea v Japan / Ttukseom Cup

It’s a big weekend of racing in Korea with a host of trophy exchange races at Seoul on Saturday followed by the SBS Korea/Japan Cup and the Ttukseom Cup on Sunday.

Tosen Archer Groom

Japan’s Tosen Archer won the inaugural SBS Korea/Japan Cup in 2013. Three Japanese horses are in Seoul to compete in this year’s edition on Sunday

Here’s what’s happening where and when this weekend:

Friday June 3
Busan Racecourse: 10 race from 12:40 to 19:00 – Full race-by-race preview will be up as usual on Friday morning.

Saturday June 4
Seoul Racecoure: 12 races from 10:50 to 18:00, including three Trophy Exchange races. Brief notes on those and also the Cargill Agri Purina Trophy race below:

Race 8: The Japan Racing Association (JRA) Trophy (Class Open) / 1400M (15:30)

Just eight runners but competitive. (3) TAEYANGWANG, a class 2 winner over 1200M last start is set to be favourite with champion Moon Se Young on board. The in-form (4) BLACK TRAIN along with (6)ALWAYS WINNER look next best.

Selections: (3) Taeyangwang (6) Always Winner (4) Black Train (8) Haerangangja

Race 9: Selangor Turf Club Trophy (Class Open) / 1800M (16:30)

Thirteen fillies & mares will line up here and a good number will be vying for favourite status. (6) SMART TIME has placed in Listed and Stakes company this year already and is the narrow first choice. (11) MENI MONEY was behind her in both races but will challenge again while (4) TOUCH FLYING and (12) THE QUEEN SILVER both enter following class 3 wins at this distance. (8) SIMSIN JIRYEO may also get some backing.

Selections: (6) Smart Time (11) Meni Money (8) Simsin Jiryeo (12) The Queen Silver

Race 10: The TJK (Turkey) Cup (Class Open) / 2000M (17:00)

(1) AREUMDAUNDONGHAENG, a proven class 1 and Listed winner in the past, is set to be favourite here but will face challenges. (8) WINNING ANDY is chief among those while  (10) CINDERELLA MAN makes his first start for Brian Dean. The Aussie trainer has made a remarkable start in very challenging circumstances and the five-year-old gelding must be respected.

Selections: (1) Areumdaundonghaeng (10) Cinderella Man (8) Winning Andy (7) Space Port

Race 11: Cargill Agri Purina Trophy (Class 3) / 1400M / (17:30)

Selections: (3) Fix Time (7) Boeun Yongsa (1) Big Mountain (4) Knighthood

Sunday June 5
Seoul Racecourse: 10 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 13:00 to 17:30

It’s the big day at Seoul. The SBS Korea/Japan Cup will feature three visiting Japanese-trained horses along with some of the best known names in Korea racing such as Gamdonguibada and Choegang Schiller along with up and comer Perdido Pomeroy.

Also at Seoul on Sunday is the Ttukseom Cup, the first leg of the Queens’ Tour for fillies and mares. We will have a full runner-by-runner preview of both races posted on Saturday.

International Exchange Race / YTN Cup Round-Up

No International jockey Challenge this year – we’ll have 6 visiting jockeys in town for the Asia Challenge Cup later this month – but the annual international exchange races went ahead at Seoul Racecourse this past weekend.

Pinot Noir and Park Hyun Woo win the Horse Racing Ireland Trophy (KRA)

Pinot Noir and Park Hyun Woo win the Horse Racing Ireland Trophy (KRA)

Four exchange races were held on Saturday(the Singapore Turf Club Trophy will this year be run on August 30, the day before the Challenge Cup) while the YTN Cup, traditionally the finale of the Jockey Challenge took place on Sunday.

First up was the Macau Jockey Club Trophy. Three-year old colt Clay Shot (Wildcat Heir), 5/1 chance, took the honours by just under a length under jockey Choi Bum Hyun.

Next came the Horse Racing Ireland Trophy which saw odds-on favourite Sun Gear beaten into fourth place in a tight finish where 7/1 shot Pinot Noir (Capital Spending) just got the better of Revereduction (Revere) right on the line.

On a blustery day where national flags were hoisted and lowered over the racecourse at a speed greater than that of some of the runners, the VIP balcony groaned under the strain of a procession of visiting dignitaries that included the Ambassadors of Turkey and Ireland.

One race later, Choi Bum Hyun made his 2nd visit of the day to the Presentation stage after guiding Ganghae (Didyme) to victory in the Selangor Turf Club Trophy. Ganghae’s victory came at the expense of the much vaunted Raon Morris who despite being sent off at long odds-on following a very easy win last time out, faded in the home straight as Ganghae came past to record his 4th win from 13 starts.

The feature race of the day, however, was the Turkey Jockey Club Trophy, the only class 1 event on the program. And in what was a very open betting race, 50/1 outsider Seoul Jeongsang (Capital Spending) swooped late to claim a narrow victory, giving jockey Lim Gi Won his biggest race win to date. It was also the biggest win in 6-year-old Seoul Jeongsang’s career, and only his 5th from 36 starts.

Stakes action returned to Seoul on Sunday in the shape of the YTN Cup, one of very few televised live races in Korea (by virtue of it being sponsored by the YTN Cable News Channel).

Run under the floodlights and in a torrential downpour, 5-year-old American-bred mare Big Power (A.P.Warrior) beat out Dragon Hill and Strong Wind to win by a length under Ham Wan Sik.

YTN Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1900M – Aug 10, 2014

1. Big Power (USA) [A.P.Warrior – Dixie Satin (Dynaformer)] – Ham Wan Sik – 7.4, 1.9
2. Dragon Hill (USA) [Afleet Alex – Caracara (Nashwan)] – Seo Seung Un – 1.6
3. Strong Wind (NZ) [Duelled – Seams Of Gold (Made Of Gold)] – Moon Se Young – 1.1
Distances: 1.25 lengths/1 length – 13 ran

Riding the third horse home was Moon Se Young. The champion jockey rode six winners across the weekend and moves onto 999 for his career. Next weekend, he’ll bid to become only the 2nd Korean jockey in history to ride 1000 career winners.

Noel Callow Wins Selangor Turf Club Trophy To Lead Jockey Challenge

Noel Callow made it two Stakes wins in as many days as he partnered Incheonui Vision to win the Selangor Turf Club Trophy at Seoul Race Park.

Noel Callow goes clear in the Selangor Turf Club Trophy (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Noel Callow goes clear in the Selangor Turf Club Trophy (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Callow was in Seoul representing Malaysia’s Selangor Turf Club and he won his home club’s race with a fine ride as, after settling the 15/1 Incheonui Vision (Pollard’s Vision), towards the back of the field, he made up ground through the field around the home turn. He collared the leader as they entered the home straight and strode to a 5-length victory.

With Moon Se Young, who was 2nd into the challenge going into this race, seeing his mount scratched, the win all but assured Callow of the Jockey Challenge title with one race still remaining.

Noel Callow with "My Boss" after the Selangor Turf Club Trophy (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Noel Callow with “My Boss” after the Selangor Turf Club Trophy (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Selangor Turf Club Trophy – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – August 11, 2013

1. Incheonui Vision (KOR) – Noel Callow
2. Brig (KOR) – Jo In Kwen
3. Sang Jjang (KOR) – Niall McCullagh
Distances: 5 lengths/4 lengths – 11 ran

Jo Chan Hoon Represents Korea In Malaysia

Busan based jockey Jo Chan Hoon is in Kuala Lumpur to represent Korea in this weekend’s Selangor Turf Club Australasian Racing Bloodstock International Jockeys Championship.

Jo Chan Hoon, who rides at the Selangor Turf Club this weekend, winning the 2008 Korean Oaks on Jeolho Chance

Jo Chan Hoon, who rides at the Selangor Turf Club this weekend, winning the 2008 Korean Oaks on Jeolho Chance

The contest, which coincides with the Selangor club hosting an International Racing Carnival, features 13 jockeys competing over 6 races.

Joao Moreira, currently far and away the top jockey in Singapore, heads the line-up of international invites while well-known Australian jockeys Stephan Baster and Noel Callow are also taking part. Greg Cheyne, who raced in the Seoul International Jockey Challenge a few years ago, will represent South Africa.

35-year old Jo qualified as a jockey in 2003 at Seoul Race Park and moved to Busan upon its opening. He has 276 career wins, the highlight of which was the 2008 Korean Oaks on Jeolho Chance, as he gamely tells Selangor Turf Club TV in English here:

More information, including racecards, at the Selangor Turf Club website.

Weekend Preview: 2012 K-Triple Crown Concludes With Minister’s Cup

Cup Mile, Derby And Oaks Winners Set To Clash

Even though there are only two tracks, it’s not easy to win a Triple Crown in Korea and there isn’t one on the line as a full field of fourteen line-up for the final three-year old Classic of the season, the Minister’s Cup at Seoul Racecourse this Sunday.

Jigeum I Sungan in the Korean Derby winner’s circle

The winners of all three Classics run so far this year will be there. Gyeongbudaero, who won the KRA Cup Mile (the Korean 2000 Guineas) way back in April will be joined in the starting gate by Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan and Oaks victress Rising Glory. However, these three will be up against a number of new challengers who weren’t ready for the early season classics but have been coming into form since.

It is a big weekend of racing on the peninsula with Seoul playing host on Saturday to the Singapore Turf Club Trophy.

Here is a full run down of the runners and riders for Sunday’s big race, along with pedigrees and race records (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd):

Minister of FAFF Stakes (KOR G2) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Sunday October 14, 2012, 16:15

1. Chowon Yeoje [Forest Camp – Navigation (Big Sur)] (11/3/3/3) – Lee Sang Hyeok (Seoul)
One of only two fillies in the race, she didn’t start showing her quality until this summer and finished second to Yeouiju in the Donga Ilbo Stakes three weeks ago. Will need to find plenty more to win here but the extra furlong could suit.

2. Wonderful Namhae [Vicar – Make That Call (Glow)] (12/7/1/0) – Narazaki Kosuke (Busan)
BOunced back from a disappointing ninth in the Cup Mile to have a good summer. Finished ahead of some good horses when running second in a class 1 handicap last time out.

3. Gumanseok [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] (7/3/3/1) – Park Tae Jong (Seoul)
Broke his maiden in April and lightly raced since. Likely to be one of the outsiders but has never finished out of the placings and appears to be improving with each run.

4. Myeongun Jewang [Forest Camp – Fully Approved (With Approval)] (7/3/3/1) – Gu Young Jun (Busan)
The most expensive horse of his crop at the two-year old sales last year, he was comfortably beaten by stablemate Fine Fine last time out. However, that was at 1400M, He;s never been tested around two turns so is something of an unknown quantity but has plenty of talent.

5. Naejangsan [Menifee Miss Merit (Old Trieste)] (7/4/3/0) – Kim Hae Sun (Seoul)
Hasn’t competed at higher than class 3 although was a comfortable winner last time out. Distance should suit but he won’t be one of the favourites.

6. Alpha Myeongjang [Pico Central – Lend (Coronado’s Quest)] – Song Keong Yun (Busan)
A Class 1 winner on his last start, he has a lot of quality. However, while he has won a class 4 race at 1500M, he looks a pure sprinter and may struggle to get the distance here.

7. Royal Galloper [Commendable – Explicitly (Exploit)] (12/3/2/2) – Shin Hyung Chul (Seoul)
Inconsistent and yet to win at higher than class 4. While he will most likely appreciate the distance, it would be a surprise if he was to rectify that here.

8. Rising Glory [Menifee – Straight Cash (Straight Man)] (9/4/3/1) – Jo Sung Gon (Busan)
The Korean Oaks winner hasn’t run since her victory in the fillies’ classic in August. However, Union rules prevent jockeys who are riding at Seoul on a Sunday from riding at Busan on a Friday and it is unlike Jo Sung Gon to give up the prospect of a lucrative weekend at home unless he thought he had a chance.

9. Gyeongbudaero [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] (13/5/3/3) – Joe Fujii (Busan)
Hasn’t won since the KRA Cup Mile in April. He was third in the Derby and a very creditable second behind five-year old multiple STakes winner – and winner of thsi race two years ago – Dangdae Bulpae, in the Busan Owners’ Cup last month. If he repeats that form, he has to be taken seriously. Should benefit from Joe Fujii being in the saddle.

10. Fine Fine [Forest Camp – Dream Fantasy (Manlove)] (13/6/2/0) – Lim Sung Sil (Busan)
An interesting one. Although he has recently been running in sprints, he has a victory over 1800M to his name and should be capable of competing here. A placing chance at possibly good odds.

11. Jigeum I Sungan [Ingrandire – Solmaru (Mujaazif)] (13/5/5/1) – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
The Derby winner won at the distance in a class 1 handicap last time out and that could be enough to make him favourite here. That was only his second start since the Derby so he shouldn’t be burned out and he has every chance of winning his second Classic.

12. Himchan Jilju [Kwaedo Nanma – Wild Triple (Military)] (14/6/0/1) – Chae Gyu Jun (Busan)
The only horse in the race by a Korean born sire (although all the others are Korean bred), he was fourth behind Dangdae Bulpae and Gyeongbudaero in the Busan Owners’ Cup. Outside chance of a place.

13. Tongjesa [Creek Cat – Namdoui Gangja (Greenwood Lake)] (9/6/0/2) – Oh Kyoung Hoan (Seoul)
Roared into form this summer and comes into the race on a run of five consecutive wins. He’ll have to find a little bit more to win here but he has every chance of doing so.

14. Nobel Pokpung [Didyme – Shar Baby (Talinum)] (11/4/3/2) – Gerrit Schlechter (Busan)
An unexpected second in the Korean Derby, he may have won had the race been an extra furlong. He’s got that extra furlong and, while he was well-beaten by talented US import Smoking Gun in his last start, he should relish this company. South African Gerrit Schlechter rides at Seoul for the first time since winning the International Jockey Challenge in 2007. He’s ridden Nobel Pokpung just once before and they won.

The Minister’s Cup is the highlight of a busy weekend of racing in Korea. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday October 12

Busan Race Park: 11 races from 11:50 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:45 to 17:40

Saturday April 13

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:40 including the Singapore Turf Club Trophy at 16:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:20

Sunday April 14

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 17:55 including the Minister’s Cup at 16:15.
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:15 to 16:40

Another Milestone For Lee Shin Young – Female Trainer Saddles Selangor Turf Club Victor

By the end of the year, Korea may well have its first female President. Of course, the woman in question has had some advantages. She is, after all, the daughter of the dictator who presided over nearly two decades of extraordinary economic development – and numerous human rights abuses. However, if it happens, it will still be an historic moment.

Another Milestone: Lee Shin Young (Pic: KRA)

There is another woman worthy of respect; a woman who should be headlining news bulletins and giving speeches at the nation’s top Universities. For more than ten years, Lee Shin Young has been achieving things no other woman has ever before come close to in the ultra-male dominated world of Korean horse racing. Today, she achieved a little more.

Lee Shin Young was only the third Korean woman to gain a jockey license. She rode 90 winners before last year, at the age of 31, becoming the first Korean woman to qualify as a trainer and open her own barn. It would be wrong to say that most expected her to fail.

Even those who may wanted have her to fall on her face – and there were some – knew enough about Lee to not make the mistake of underestimating her. A formidable character and talent, she was always going to succeed.

With 15 winners from her first 100 runners, Lee entered four-year old colt Holy Moely (Nihon Pillow Neil) into the Selangor Turf Club Trophy at Seoul Race Park today. Under jockey Shin Hyoung Chul – 13 years Lee’s senior, the 9-1 chance led from gate-to-wire in driving rain to record a comfortable victory.

It wasn’t a Stakes race, but it was by far the biggest win of Lee’s training career to date. She has 17 horses under her care now and more are likely to come.

You never see a woman leading-up or hot-walking a horse at Seoul or Busan. However, young jockeys such as Kim Hae Sun and Lee Ah Na are coming through and there are now more young women in the KRA’s education system. Check their Facebook pages and without fail, they list Lee Shin Young as the person they most admire.

She’s unknown outside of racing circles and she’s probably not at all bothered by that. She should be as what she has achieved deserves wider recognition. What’s most exciting though, is at just 32 years of age, her greatest achievements are perhaps still yet to come.

Selangor Turf Club Trophy – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – April 21, 2012

1. Holy Moely (KOR) [Nihon Pillow Neil-A.P.Ranshu (Adjudicating)] – Shin Hyoung Chul – 9.6, 3.2
2. Special Win (KOR) [Tahamkke-Wellbeing Cat (Creek Cat)] – Moon Jung Kyun – 2.0
3. Capital Song (KOR) [Capital Spending-Songstress (Bluebird)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 1.7

Distances: 2.5 lengths/1 lengths – 14 ran.

Weekend Preview: Selangor Turf Club and Seoul Owners’ Trophies

It’s been an absolutely stunning week on the peninsula. Temperatures have been in the low twenties, the sun has been shining and the cherry blossoms have finally come out. Naturally as soon as the working week is done, it’s set to pour with rain on Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully that rain won’t put too much of a dampener on what is a double-header of big race action at Seoul Race Park this weekend.

Triple Seven is a Ttukseom Cup winner

On Saturday, it’s the Selangor Turf Club Trophy while Sunday sees the Group 3 Seoul Owners’ Association Trophy.

The STC Trophy is the latest edition of the exchange race that the KRA holds in partnership with Malaysia’s Selangor Turf Club. Two apprentice riders have joined the usual dignitaries in making the trip to Seoul this week and will ride in the race which sees fourteen class 2 Korean bred runners compete over 9 furlongs.

The main event of the weekend, however, is on Sunday. The Owners’ Trophy also has a full field of fourteen and is headed by former Ttukseom Cup winner Triple Seven (The Groom Is Red). Ilgan Sports Cup winner Geuma Champ (Vicar) makes his first appearance since finishing third in last year’s Minister’s Cup while in-form Real Victor (Biwa Shinseiki) and Suseong TX (Concept Win) also go along with the always dangerous Magnifique (Menifee) and Cheonun (Ft. Stockton). It is set to be an intriguing race.

Once the Owners’ Cup is done, Grand Prix champion Tough Win (Yonaguska) will make his second appearance of 2012. He’ll be carrying an unprecedented 63.5kg against eleven rivals in a 1900 metre handicap.

Down at Busan there are co-feature races on Sunday. Double President’s Cup winner Dangdae Bulpae (Biwa Shinseiki) is the star attraction.

Of the foreign jockeys at Busan, Gerrit Schlechter has eleven rides across the weekend, Narazaki Kosuke has twelve and Yukio Abe fourteen, which may be some kind of record for foreign jockeys in Korea. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday April 20

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

Saturday April 21

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:40 including the Selangor Turf Club Trophy at 16:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:20

Sunday April 22

Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 11:00 to 17:45 including the Owners’ Association Trophy at 16:15
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:15 to 16:45