Seo Seung Un

Triple Nine Bests Power Blade To Retain President’s Cup

Triple Nine pulled clear of stablemate and Triple Crown Power Blade to convincingly retain his President’s Cup title at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

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Triple Nine wins the President’s Cup (Pic: Alex Cairns/The Winning Post)

Triple Nine had previously got the best of Power Blade by four lengths as the pair ran 3rd and 4th behind Japan’s Chrysolite in September’s Billion Won Korea Cup and while the circumstances of that race were rather unusual, punters sent the older colt, who convincingly beat Rock Band in last year’s race, as the slight favourite with Success Story the only other one of the ten-strong field to be backed to any extent.

Success Story would, as ever, show the way in the 2000M race, Korea’s equal-richest, along with the Derby, that is restricted to locally bred horses. Racing for the first time since being gelded, the 5-year-old brought the field along with Power Blade right on pace beside him while Triple Nine, under Seo Seung Un for the first time, settled in his usual midfield position.

Jockey Seo asked Triple Nine to improve as they rounded the final turn and the 4-year-old effortlessly glided up alongside the leaders. Into the home straight and Success Story was the first to fall out of contention leaving the stablemates to go stride for stride until the furling pole. Entering the closing stages, however, Power Blade’s challenge wilted and Triple Nine pulled clear to win by a commanding five lengths on the line. Success Story was a further four back in 3rd.

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Triple Nine waiting to be brought out for the post-race presentation (Pic: Alex Cairns/The Winning Post)

In yet another assertion of the southern-track’s superiority when it comes to quality,  Busan horses accounted for the first five place-getters with Baedari Bobae running 4th and Zettabyte, 2nd in both of the final two legs of the Triple Crown coming home in 5th.

The victory was Triple Nine’s 11th in 19 career starts to date. He has never finished any worse than 4th. Neither has Power Blade and the pair of them are both potential entries for the Dubai World Cup Carnival in the New Year although it is possible the Grand Prix Stakes next month could be the agenda for one or both of them. For jockey Seo Seung Un it was a first Korean Group 1 winner. For trainer Kim Young Kwan, it was a 10th.

The President’s Cup (KOR G1) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – November 13, 2016

1. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] – Seo Seung Un – 1.8, 1.0
2. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.1
3. Success Story (KOR) [Peace Rules – Power Pack (Lil’s Lad)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.7
Distances: 5 lengths / 4 lenghs
Also Ran: 4. Baedari Bobae 5. Zettabyte 6. Cheonji Storm 7 .Sotong Sidae 8. Pinot Noir 9. Top Fighter 10. Impetus NR: Brig

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Busan Friday: Barry Irwin Gets First Korean Winner / Seo Seung Un Rides a Six-Timer

Team Valor’s Barry Irwin landed his first winner as an owner in Korea as his filly Chastity broke her maiden at the fourth attempt at Busan on Friday afternoon.

It was something of a surprise as well as Chastity [Vicar – Miss Stravinsky (Stravinsky)], who had begun her career with a pair of 2nd place finishes either side of the New Year, hadn’t raced since bleeding after her third start in mid-February. While she looked ok in a trial two weeks ago (behind the returning Hangangui Gijeok, who stole all the attention in that particular morning heat), she was sent off at odds approaching 25/1 for the 1400M race 6.

Under apprentice Lee Yong Ho those odds were well and truly defied as, always prominent, Chastity collared early leader Lucky Hanma at the furlong pole and ran on to win by a comfortable length and three-quarters on the line.

Barry Irwin was introduced to racing here by Team Valor member Joe Dallao and while he hadn’t had the best of luck with either Chastity or his other Korean horse, a Hawk Wing gelding named Swoop, he maintained his interest and now those famous crimson and forest green silks have come in front in yet another country. A very welcome presence in Korean racing, hopefully it will be the first of many.

As with Dallao’s first winner last week, Chastity was prepared by Bart Rice and the South African trainer’s remarkable run of form continued later on with another relative outsider Choegangiji (Mineshaft) winning the class 2 race 10 with Yonekura Satoshi in the saddle.  Yeongcheon Ace was 2nd in that race, a result that sees last year’s Korean Derby winner finally promoted to class 1.

With thirteen starters in July and six winners and his hot streak dating back to the start of May, Rice will take his up and coming 3-year-old Girolamo gelding Triple Five to race in the KRA Trophy at Kranji in Singapore next Sunday. Given the stable’s current form, he has to be given a chance.

Speaking of remarkable form, with so many of Busan’s top jockeys away in Seoul this weekend, Seo Seung Un was always likely to have a good Friday in the saddle at home on the south-coast. Good it was. Seo partnered no less than six winners on the afternoon including two for Aussie trainer Peter Wolsley, to close the gap on championship leader You Hyun Myung.

Saturday July 16
Seoul Racecourse: 12 races from 14:00 to 21:00
Jeju Racecourse: 8 races from 13:55 to 17:50

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

Weekend Round-Up

We’re a couple of weeks into the 2016 racing season and there has been plenty going on already both at Seoul and Busan, as well as further afield.

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Cheongu on TV!

The main story for Korean racing so far this year has to be the Korean horses at the Dubai Carnival. While Success Story is expected to make his debut on January 21, Cheongu ran on the opening night last Thursday and did ok.

Despite missing the break slightly and also losing a shoe in running, the four-year-old Old Fashioned colt finished well in touch with the pack, ending up 5th of 8 runners under British jockey Royston Ffrench.  Cheongu will get another chance either at 1400M or most likely, again at 1200M, later on in the carnival.

Cheongu’s trainer is Seo In Seok and he was back at Seoul on Sunday in time to see his mare Bichui Jeongsang comfortably win the weekend’s feature race. Bichui Jeongsang (Wildcat Heir) had downed Asia Challenge Cup winner Choegang Schiller over 1200M in November and was stepped up to 1800M for Sunday’s class 1 feature. And under Nicola Pinna, she made light of her 59kg impost racing away from the field in the final furlong to win by almost three lengths on the line.

At Busan, there was a new name in the Class 1 winner’s circle. Yuseong Dream (Giacomo) was making his first start at the level following back to back wins at the end of 2015 and the four-year-old completed his hat-trick, making almost all under Kim Dong Young.

Pasquale Borelli is showing the way in the very early stages of the Busan Jockey Championship. The Italian jockey rode a double for trainer Peter Wolsley on Sunday afternoon to take him to four winner for 2016. Tied for first place is Seo Seung Un, who rode a treble on Friday and another one on Sunday and who seems to be very much enjoying his new surroundings at Busan after transferring from Seoul on January 1.

Meni Money On The Money In Sports Seoul

Jibong Sarang Takes MJC / Beolmaui Kkum Too Good At Busan

It was billed as an Oaks trial but that was always going to be stretching things a bit. A 1400M race at Seoul on the first day of March isn’t much prep for an 1800M one at Busan in late June. Nevertheless, Meni Money showed that she could be a filly to be reckoned with later in the year as she ran off with the Sports Seoul Trophy at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday.

Meni Money and Seo Seung Un in a rather crowded Sports Seoul Winner's Circle

Meni Money and Seo Seung Un in a rather crowded Sports Seoul Winner’s Circle

Meni Money was sent off as the favourite for the trial, coming in off the back of four 2nd places and two wins in her career to date. She didn’t disappoint. Under Seo Seung Un, she overhauled Smart Time in the closing stages to secure a half-length win.

Meni Money is the first foal out of Pocketful Of Money, winner of the KRA Cup Classic in 2007 and who to this day still holds the Seoul Racecourse track record for 1800, a mark she set in 2008. Both her foals born in 2013 and 2014 died.

Sports Seoul Trophy – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – March 1, 2015

1. Meni Money (KOR) [Menifee – Pocketful Of Money (Running Stag)] – Seo Seung Un – 3.1, 1.4
2. Smart Time (KOR) [Ft.Stockton – Charon (Jade Robbery)] – Park Eul Woon – 1.5
3. Lucky Music (KOR) [Creek Cat – Dangdae Jeil (Lucky Ruler)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 3.1
Distances: 0.5 lengths/2 lengths – 11 ran


The first Classic of the season, the KRA Cup Mile at Busan, is just a month away.
Meni Money may not even go but down on the south coast yesterday, a couple of three-year-olds were also improving their reputations.

Mac And Cheese (Menifee) ran out a three-length winner in a class 2 race over the mile course and must come into consideration for the Triple Crown races. One race later it was the turn of a filly, Jibong Sarang (Officer) to impress as she claimed victory by a full five-lengths in the Macau Jockey Club Trophy.

In Busan’s feature handicap Beolmaui Kkum (Put It Back) once again showed his class. Carrying 60kg he was a comfortable five-length winner over 1900M. Old-stager Viva Ace was a very good second while Gandai put in a solid performance in third ahead of the better-known pair of Magic Dancer and Gamdonguibada.

As impressive as Gyeongbudaero was two weeks ago, up to 2000M, Beolmaui Kkum remains the one to beat.

* On Friday, 2014 Minister’s Cup winner Never Seen Before (Ecton Park) made his first appearance since winning that Classic at Seoul in October. He put in a decent performance but could only manage third place behind rising star import Damyangui Jilju (Two Punch), who’s now won six of his nine starts.

What’s the surest sign the Spring is on the way? Punters not having to sprint from the gates to the grandstand to avoid the cold? Horses beginning to lose their winter coats? Perhaps, but K-Pop back at the racecourse is the clincher.

"G-Friend" braving the cold and wind at Seoul Racecourse yesterday

“G-Friend” braving the cold and wind at Seoul Racecourse yesterday

It was back yesterday. That didn’t stop it from being very cold.

Pinot Noir The Toast Of Ladies’ Day At Seoul

Pinot Noir produced a late run to upset hot favourite Cheonnyeon Dongan to win the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday and in doing so, be crowned the capital’s Champion filly or mare of 2014.

Pinot Noir gets up to beat Cheonnyeon Dongan to win the Gyeonggi Governor's Cup (Pic: KRA)

Pinot Noir gets up to beat Cheonnyeon Dongan to win the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup (Pic: KRA)

Cheonnyeon Dongan was a proven winner at class and distance against colts. Pinot Noir on the other hand, was running in class 1 company for the first time after winning the Horse Racing Ireland Trophy in August and then running a creditable third in the Donga Ilbo Trophy last month.

And it was the favourite, always travelling well under Seo Seung Un, who looked to be in the box seat she hit the front as the field entered the home straight at the end of the 10 furlong race. However, Park Hyun Woo on Pinot Noir had other ideas, shifting his filly to the rail and making up ground rapidly.

The two would battle it out in the final furlong and it was the 12/1 chance Pinot Noir who just had her neck in front as they hit the line. Choichoro, a 10/1 chance ridden by Moon Se Young came home in third place, 4 lengths behind the leading pair.

It was a 5th win in 15 starts for the 4-year-old Pinot Noir and the first really big win for jockey Park Hyun Woo.

Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – Oct 26, 3014

1. Pinot Noir (KOR) [Capital Spending – Neungnyeokchungman (Pacific Bounty)] – Park Hyun Woo – 12.4, 2.1
2. Cheonnyeon Dongan (KOR) [Ecton Park – Honeycakes (Hennessy)] – Seo Seung Un – 1.1
3. Choichoro (KOR) [Concept Win – Eunbiryeong (Mujaazif)] – Moon Se Young – 2.1
Distances: Neck/4 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Chiming VIcar 5. Full Moon Party 6. Dangchan Miso 7. X File 8. Chongal Gongju 9. Bongamsa 10. Chowon Yeoje 11. Mighty Forever 12. Bukdaepung

* Cheonnyeon Dongan wasn’t the only favourite to go down at the weekend. Saturday at Seoul saw a number of odds-on shots turned over, principal among them the highly rated Power City (Archer City Slew) who was beaten in the final strides of race 10 by Jeil Jal Naga (Dice Dancer), a horse he had beaten by 9-lengths just a month ago.

Also losing (again) was Call Me Rocket (Colonel John) who finished last in Saturday’s race 11 which was won by 25/1 Wahaha under a very good ride by Lee Ah Na. And in Saturday’s final race 12, Foolish Scip (Scipion) finished 2nd for the 5th consecutive race, this time losing out to up-and-coming import Clean Up Joy (Purge).

Favourites had a slightly better time of things at Busan where the feature race was, unusually, on Friday. Nobody Catch Me (With Distinction), the shock winner of July’s Busan Metropolitan City Stakes made his first start since his victory that day and indeed, nobody could catch him as he cruised to a 5-length win over veteran Viva Ace (Macho Uno) in the 1900M class 1 event.

There’s no Stakes action next weekend but we are now less than two weeks away from Korea’s richest race, the President’s Cup, which will be run at Seoul on Sunday November 9.

Joy Lucky and Oreuse Claim Stakes Wins as Indie Band Returns Off-Key

Joy Lucky bounced back from her Ttukseom Cup disappointment to win the Owners’ Association Trophy at Seoul on Sunday but there was neither joy nor luck at Busan for Grand Prix winner Indie Band as he slumped to 3rd while Oreuse took the honours in the Gukje Sinmun Cup.

Seo Seung Un looks around to see if he and Joy Lucky have won the Owners' Trophy (KRA)

Seo Seung Un looks around to see if he and Joy Lucky have won the Owners’ Trophy (KRA)

Despite her Ttukseom trouncing Joy Lucky was sent off the odds-on favourite for the Owners’ Trophy, a race which had been re-arranged from its original schedule two weeks ago.

Featuring prominently throughout, Seo Seung Un had the 4-year-old filly track the pace-setting Brig before hitting the front with a furlong to run in the 1400 metre race.

Despite looking vulnerable on the run-in, shew as able to hold off the fast finishing Cheonnyeon Dongan and Gwanggyo Bisang, who dueled in the rails, to record her 9th victory in 13 starts.

Owners’ Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – May 4, 2014

1. Joy Lucky (KOR) [Vicar – Proper Gun (Prosper Fager)] – Seo Seung Un – 1.5, 1.1
2. Cheonnyeon Dongan (KOR) [Ecton Park – Honeycakes (Hennessy)] – Ikyuasu Kurakane – 1.5
3. Gwanggyo Bisang (KOR) [Menifee – Touch Upon (Touch Gold)] – 1.4
Distances: Head/0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Brig 5. Seoul Jeongsang 6. K Tap 7. Full Step 8. Reigns Cat 9. Jjak Kkung DQ: New And Best

Down at Busan, Indie Band ws making his first start since completing the President’s Cup/Grand Prix Stakes double at Seoul last year.

Indie Band was sent off as a narrow favourite ahead of Peter Wolsley’s Cheonji Bulpae but it was the unheralded Oreuse who bounded into an early lead and never looked back, the 5-year-old US import scoring a wire-to-wire victory.

Indie Band closed strongly in the home-straight but could only manage third place, a nose behind Dynamic Jilju and a full three lengths adrift of the winner.

Oreuse has been consistent rather than spectacular in winning 12 of his 26 starts to date. Thought of as being able to excel up to a mile, this was only his 2nd attempt at going an extra furlong. No doubt if he tries again, he’ll not be sent off at 11/1

Gukje Sinmun Cup – Busan Race Park – 1800M – May 4, 2014

1. Oreuse (USA) [Smoke Glacken – Heavenly Splendor (Point Given)] – Kim Dong Young – 11.3, 3.0
2. Dynamic Jilju (USA) [Forestry – Beat Your Feet (Dixieland Band)] – Choi Si Dae – 5.2
3. Indie Band (KOR) [Ecton Park – Plie (Dixieland Band)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.4
Distances: 3 lengths/Nose
Also ran: 4. Star Bolt (USA) 5. Ghost Whisper (KOR) 6. Cheonji Bulpae (AUS) 7. Strictly Two Step (USA) 8. Sand Hi (USA) 9. Magic Dancer (KOR) 10. Yereobunuiyeowang (JPN)

Joy Lucky Saunters To Seoul Success

Joy Lucky began her 2014 campaign in fine style with an easy gate-to-wire win at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

Winner Again: Joy Lucky and Seo Seung Un

Winner Again: Joy Lucky and Seo Seung Un

If anything it was too easy with the 7-furlong class 1 race proving little more than a workout for the 4-year-old who ended 2013 as Seoul’s top filly.

Under Seo Seung Un, Joy Lucky took an early lead and settled into a steady pace before sauntering away from her rivals in the home straight to win by a leisurely 9 lengths.

Despite how easy it was, her time was only just over half a second outside the track record for the distance.

Joy Lucky (Ecton Park) now has 8 wins from 11 starts and looks set for a very interesting year. The Queens’ Tour, which begins with the Ttukseom Cup in just over a month’s time, may be on the agenda.

There was no joy for the foreign jockeys at either Seoul or Busan today, but it will still go down as a successful weekend for them. On Friday at Busan, Joe Fujii landed a double while there were also wins for Jerome Lermtye and Masa Tanaka.

Meanwhile in the capital on Saturday, Ikuyasu Kurakane notched a treble, taking him up to 11 wins for the season. The most notable of those victories came on the promising 3-year-old filly Clean Up Speed (Pico Central), who was recording her 3rd win from 5 starts.

It was another wintry weekend in Seoul

It was another wintry weekend in Seoul

Next week sees the return of big race action in the shape of the Segye Ilbo Cup, a Queens’ Tour trial, at Seoul. Joy Lucky doesn’t need to run in it but a host of domestic and imported fillies looking for their pass to compete for the big prizes will be there.