Seo Seung Un

Joy Lucky & Seo Seung Un Strike On Final Day At Seoul

Joy Lucky underscored just why she’s considered the best filly in training at Seoul as she cruised to victory over a field comprised mainly of older colts in the final class 1 action at Seoul of 2013.

Seo Seung Un & Joy Lucky were big winners on closing day at Seoul

Seo Seung Un & Joy Lucky were big winners on closing day at Seoul

And for her jockey Seo Seung Un it was yet another day to remember in what’s been a year to remember as Joy Lucky was one of 5 winners for the 24-year-old.

Despite going up against double-Stakes winner Gwanggyo Bisang and Singgereounachim, who was 4th in the President’s Cup on his most recent outing, Joy Lucky (Vicar) started as favourite and never looked vulnerable or even extended as she breezed to a 7-length win.

Seo Seung Un and Joy Lucky cruise to an easy win

Seo Seung Un and Joy Lucky cruise to an easy win

Having missed the Oaks and, inexplicably, the Minister’s Cup, Joy Lucky was last seen being beaten a nose by Secret Whisper in the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup, the final leg of the Queens’ Tour.

With 7 wins from 10 starts and with Secret Whisper retired and Derby and Oaks winner Speedy First looking a shadow of her old self, Joy Lucky will start next year’s Queens’ Tour as the firm favourite.

And her jockey may start favourite for the title too. While Moon Se Young has made light of giving everyone else a 3-month head start while he was gallivanting around Macao to win this year’s title, Seo Seung Un has looked unstoppable in recent weeks.

His 5-timer today capping a year that has seen him ride a winner in Japan and get promoted to the really big rides in Korea. With Jo In Kwen out of the picture for the forseeable future (a short stint overseas will be followed by army enlistment), next year is set to be the Seo and Moon show.

Unfortunately, despite the date, there was little in the way of Christmas cheer at Gwacheon today with the recently formed Pari-Mutuel tellers Union going on strike prior to race 1. The Union is seeking to have the tellers, who all work 2-3 days each week on a part-time basis when the track is open, turned into regular employees, receive a pay-rise and be subscribed to the 4 basic insurances that full-time employees are entitled to in Korea.

Raceday operation did not seem to be affected, at least not on course, with the majority of betting being conducted through self-service terminals. However, the atmosphere was uncomfortable and there was very noticeable police presence.

Parading for the last race of the year at a dark and cold Seoul Racecourse

Parading for the last race of the year at a dark and cold Seoul Racecourse

Next it’s Seoul’s turn for a one weekend vacation so it will be down to Busan to round out 2013 for us. The southern track hosts big 14-race cards on both Saturday and Sunday.

Seo Seung Un Guides Cheongnyong Bisang to Juvenile Championship

It has been quite a week for Seo Seung Un. The young jockey rode the first ever-Korean trained winner in Japan to victory in Tokyo last Tuesday and, today at Seoul Race Park, he guided 23/1 outsider Cheongnyong Bisang to the title of Champion Korean Juvenile.

Cheongnyong Bisang stands to attention after winning the Breeders' Cup at Seoul Racecourse today

Cheongnyong Bisang stands to attention after winning the Breeders’ Cup at Seoul Racecourse today

While it was route-one stuff in Japan; go hammer and tongs for the first corner and then hang-on for dear-life, today’s Breeders’ Cup race saw a different side of Seo.

Having raced in the middle of the pack for the early stages of the race, Cheongnyong Bisang still had 8 horses in front of him as the field entered the home straight. In the meantime, Joe Fujii was hitting the front on 2nd favourite Queens’ Blade and, travelling well, looked set to strike.

However, shifting first left and then right, Seo managed to find a way through and finally at the furlong pole, saw daylight in front of him. Cheongnyong Bisang’s sprint was too strong for Queen’s Blade and he swept past for victory by half a length.

Cheongnyong Bisang was recording his 3rd win in 5 starts and given his strong finish, there’s plenty to suggest that he will be able to step up in distance during Classic season next year.

As for Seo Seung Un, it was his 3rd Stakes win of the year and of his career. If he continues to progress, much bigger honours await him in future. He is still not getting the really big rides – as shown by being on a 23/1 shot today. Next year, he will.

Breeders Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – December 1, 2013

1. Cheongnyong Bisang (KOR) [Volponi – Miss Alwahush (Alwuhush)] – Seou Seung Un – 23.9, 5.2
2. Queen’s Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Harboring (Boston Harbor)] – Kanichiro Fujii – 2.0
3. Pureun Geotap (KOR) [Menifee – Charmin Strike (Smart Strike)] – Lee Chan Ho – 14.2

Distances: 0.5 lengths/0.75 lengths – 16 ran

Seo Seung Un Represents Korea in Macau Jockey Challenge Friday

Last week it was Kim Hye Sun in Abu Dhabi, this week it’s the turn of Seo Seung Un to represent Korea. The young jockey is in Macau for the “Macao Gaming Show Invitational Jockey Challenge” which will be held at Taipa Racecourse this Friday evening.

Seo Seung Un poses with a doll and some Louis Vuitton in Macau yesterday (Pic: Macau Jockey Club)

Seo Seung Un poses in shiny suit with a doll and some Louis Vuitton in Macau yesterday (Pic: Macau Jockey Club)

Seo will join nine other visiting jockeys, plus two more representing Macau in the three-race challenge, competing for a HK$30,000 prize.

Only debuting in 2011, Seo is the star product of the KRA Jockey Academy and has broken the Korean record for quickest time to ride out an apprentice claim and quickest jockey to ride 100 career winners.

He currently lies in second place in the 2013 Seoul Jockey Championship.

This is Seo’s second visit to Macau as he took part in the 2012 Asia Young Guns Challenge. He also had a brief stint in the United States earlier that year, where he rode one winner.

He’s due back in Korea on Sunday to ride highly fancied Joy Lucky in the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup at Busan on Sunday and will head to Japan in the final week of November to ride Watts Village in the 2nd-leg of the Korea vs Japan challenge.

Among others competing in the challenge is Australia’s Claire Lindop while Wayne Lordan of Ireland and Muzi Yeni of South Africa, both veterans of previous challenges in Seoul, will also be there. Here’s a full list of jockeys competing and the nations they will represent:

Macau: Luis Corrales
Macau: Wah Lun Ho
Australia: Claire Lindop
Hong Kong: Keith Ming Lun Yun
Ireland: Wayne Lordan
Japan: Daisaku Matsuda
Korea: Seo Seung Un
Malaysia: Jose Bonifacio Pereira De Souza
Mauritius: Nooresh Juglall
Singapore: Jose Verenzuela
South Africa: Muzi Yeni
Turkey: Gokhan Kocakaya

Click Here for a full preview of the event from the Macau Jockey Club

Joy Lucky Claims Seoul Filly & Mare Crown In Gyeonggi Cup

Joy Lucky emphatically won the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup at Seoul Race Park this afternoon to be crowned the track’s Champion filly & mare or 2013.

Joy Lucky and Seo Seung Un win the Gyeonggi Governor's Cup (Pic: KRA)

Joy Lucky and Seo Seung Un win the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup (Pic: KRA)

Joy Lucky came into this race as favourite having been controversially defeated in last month’s Donga Ilbo Cup when she was the victim of accidental interference entering the home straight when looking set to win.

This time jockey Seo Seung Un took no chances as aboard the 3-year-old filly, he tracked the early pace-setter Yeoui Gold throughout the early parts of the race. When the former ran out of steam, there was clear track ahead and nothing capable of launching a challenge.

Joy Lucky flew home to win by 7-lengths with Seo if anything a little too exuberant with his use of the whip in the closing stages when under no pressure at all.

Chowon Yeoje was the well-beaten 2nd while Seungniuihamseong was 3rd. YTN Cup winner Choichoro, with Fausto Durso on board, was net home in 4th.

Joy Lucky has now won 6 of her 8 career starts. Aside from her unlucky defeat last time, her only other reverse came in the Korean Derby when she was a disappointing 9th. After that, connections kept her off the Classic trail and she missed the Korean Oaks and the Minister’s Cup.

However, it is to be hoped that with the Seoul title in the bag, owners will be tempted into trying her luck against the best fillies & mares on the peninsula in the Queens’ Tour final in Busan next month. On this form, she would give them a very good run for their money.

Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup – Seoul Race Park – October 20, 2013

1. Joy Lucky (KOR) [Vicar – Proper Gun (Prosper Fager)] – Seo Seung Un – 2.5, 1.5
2. Chowon Yeoje (KOR) [Forest Camp – Navigation (Big Sur)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 1.5
3. Seungniuihamseong (KOR) [Vicar – Hug And Kiss (Commander In Chief)] – Moon Se Young – 1.8

Distances: 7 lengths/1.25 lengths – 11 ran

Down at Busan, there was disappointment for Peter Wolsley and Darryll Holland. The Aussie trainer and British jockey had combined last month to win the Gold Circle Trophy with My Winner (Vicar) and the 4-year old was heavily favoured to make it 5 wins in a row in his reappearance in the feature race today.

It wasn’t to be, however, as 11/1 shot Goryeodaejang (Sunday Break) pulled off the upset, My Winner having to settle for 2nd. My key (Macho Uno), the half-brother of Game On Dude, finished in 3rd under Joe Fujii.

Next week Stakes action returns to Seoul again with KRA Cup Classic. Tough Win is expected to headline the field, while at Busan, current Grand Prix champion Gamdonguibada is among those expected to get a a run-out with this year’s edition of the season-ending race less than 2 months away.

Seoul International Jockey Challenge 2013: The Home Team

We’ve already taken a look at the jockeys who will be visiting Korea to make up the Rest Of The World team in this weekend’s Seoul International Jockey Challenge, now it’s time to examine the home team.

Moon Se Young

Moon Se Young

Moon Se Young: The reigning champion jockey at Seoul, Moon has won just about every big race going in his 12-year career to date including the Korean Derby and Grand Prix Stakes.

Second on the all-time Korean winners’ list with nearly 900 wins. Earlier this year, Moon spent a successful 3 months riding in Macao and despite giving his rivals such a head start, is already up to 3rd in the 2013 championship at home

Park Tae Jong

Park Tae Jong

Park Tae Jong: The only jockey to have ridden more winners than Moon Se Young, Park is also perhaps the only jockey to be known by the wider Korean public.

In his 26 years in the saddle, he’s ridden nearly 2,000 winners (from just 11,000 rides) and has won pretty much all there is to win in Korea. Korean Oaks aside, if he’s not won it, no-one has.

Jo In Kwen

Jo In Kwen

Jo In Kwen: One of the new generation of jockeys who benefitted from the KRA’s improved training during the last few years, Jo In Kwen debuted in 2008 and currently leads the 2013 standing with 62 winners.

Only three Stakes wins to date but very talented and is expected to go on to become one of the dominant jockeys of the next decade in Korea.

Seo Seung Un

Seo Seung Un

Seo Seung Un: He burst onto the scene in 2011 riding 2 winners on his debut weekend. He then went to the USA for further training, riding 2 winners in the process. He participated in the Asia Young Guns Challenge in Macao last year.

Seo rode out his apprentice claim in a Korean record time and, while yet to secure the really big rides, currently lies 2nd in the 2013 championship.

Jo Sung Gon

Dangdae Bulpae and Jo Sung Gon will look for a 2nd consecutive Busan Metropolitan

Jo Sung Gon: Busan’s champion jockey will travel to Seoul for the event and when he comes to the capital, Jo Sung Gon usually wins. That’s because he’s usually partnering Dangdae Bulpae, who’s won more Stakes races than any other Korean horse.

He won’t be on him this time but Jo is considered by some observers to be the most talented local jockey at either Seoul or Busan and is currently running away with the 2013 Busan championship.

Yoo Hyun Myung

Yoo Hyun Myung

Yoo Hyun Myung: Another Busan jockey completes the home team. Yoo Hyun Myung won the Grand Prix Stakes on Mister Park at Seoul in 2010 and has been consistently among Busan’s top riders for the last few years. He comes into the event in good form.

All jockeys will compete in four races over the weekend, culminating in the YTN Cup on Sunday evening. Rides will be allocated by a draw which will take place at Declarations on Thursday afternoon at Seoul Racecourse.

Joy Lucky Wins Seoul Oaks Trial

Joy Lucky put herself among the leading contenders for the Korean Oaks with a commanding win in the Sports Seoul Cup at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

The promising filly was sent off as second favourite for what is Seoul’s premier Oaks trial race and having taken an early lead. she was never troubled as she stretched away for a 9-length victory.

Favourite Dewma straggled home in 2nd place with Cheonnyeon Dongan in 3rd. However, the race was all about Joy Lucky whose only defeat to date was in the Korean Derby last month. Of course, the Derby winner, Speedy First is a filly and so long as she stays sound, is likely to be prohibitive favourite for the Oaks, which will be run at her home track of Busan in August. Joy Lucky will need to show even more improvement to overturn the Derby result.

It was a first Stakes win for young jockey Seo Seung Un. Seo, who debuted in 2011 has quickly established himself as among the top riders at Seoul with 84 winners plus a succesful stint in the United States to his name already. It won’t be the last time we see him in a big race winner’s circle

Sports Seoul Oaks Trial – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – June 23, 2013

1. Joy Lucky (KOR) [Vicar – Proper Gun (Prosper Fager)] – Seo Seung Un – 3.1, 1.3
2. Dewma (KOR) [Forest Camp – Wild Cat Strike (Wild Again)] – Moon Se Young – 1.2
3. Cheonnyeon Dongan (KOR) [Ecton Park – Honeycakes (Hennesey)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 2.4

Distances: 9 lengths/1.25
Also ran: 4. Jumbo Speed 5. Storm Music 6. All With Me 7. Hurricane Jump 8. Dashing Diva NR: Smarty Road

* Seo Seung Un is the man this year’s new jockeys will be looking to emulate and Lee Chan Ho today became the first of their number to ride a winner. Lee, who debuted last week, guided filly Last Love (Volponi) to victory in race 6.

It was another good day for the Japanese contingent. Ikuyasu Kurakane rode another double with victories in races 1 and 5 while Yukio Abe was also among the winners. Down at Busan, Joe Fujii also scored his now regulation winner.

Next week it is Seoul vs Busan in a new race on the calendar, the Jeju Governor’s Cup. A big prize is on offer as Seoul’s top horse Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire) faces a formidable foursome from Busan that at this stage comprises Stakes winners Useung Touch, Yeongdusong, Gyeongbudaero and prolific winner Road To Prince.

Jigeum I Sungan Starts 2013 With Easy Win

Korean Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire) was a comfortable three-length winner on his season debut at Seoul Race Park on Saturday.

Winning Start to 2013: Jigeum I Sungan

Winning Start to 2013: Jigeum I Sungan

The colt, who won two legs of the Korean Triple Crown in 2012, was sent off at slight odds-on for the 1900 metre feature Handicap.

With regular rider Moon Se Young currently in Macau, the four-year old was partnered by young up-and-comer Seo Seung Un for the first time and it didn’t take the pair long to gel.

Kept in the middle of the pack for much of the race, Jigeum I Sungan still had five horses in front of him as they entered the final furlong. One after another they were picked off as he eased to the front and ultimately won going away from the field. Magnifique (Menifee) was second with Singgereounachim (Exploit) in third.

Despite his double Classic triumph and subsequent Horse of the Year award, today’s win was only Jigeum I Sungan’s 7th from 16 starts. However, throughout last year he got better with every run and the feeling is that the best is still very much to come from him.

On his last start, Jigeum I Sungan was well beaten into 2nd as Dangdae Bulpae strolled to his third consecutive President’s Cup. November is a long way away but stopping Dangdae Bulpae securing a historic fourth win in Korea’s richest race is surely the season goal for Jigeum I Sungan. The preparation has begun well.

Sunday January 20

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:00

Weekend Round-up: Global Fusion Takes New Year Stakes While Moon Se Young Rides First Winner in Macau

The first Stakes race of 2013 was run at Seoul Race Park on Saturday afternoon and it went the way of 3/1 joint second-favourite Global Fusion (Menifee).

Global Fusion and Cho Kyong Ho return after winning the New Year Stakes

Global Fusion and Cho Kyong Ho return after winning the New Year Stakes

Yaho Pilseung (Exploit) was sent off as favourite but, despite jockey Choi Bum Hyun’s frantic efforts, refused to break when the gates opened, leaving himself with 20 length to make up on the field – much to the chagrin of punters. In his absence at the business end of the race, Global Fusion, who was always well-placed, got the better of Naejangsan (Menifee) in the final furlong.

Global Fusion (Menifee-Morning Red Sky) is a 4-year-old colt and moves onto 6 wins from 12 starts, qualifying for class 1 races in the process. For jockey Cho Kyoung Ho, it was a welcome return to big race form after a disappointing end to 2012.

Another jockey enjoying a good start to 2013 was Yukio Abe. The Japanese rider has had a challenging time getting rides since moving to Seoul midway through last year after a successful stint at Busan. He’s begun the year well though, landing a double on Saturday first through Sudden Fortune (Latent Heat) in race 5 and then on Appealing Jeil (Exploit) in race 13.

Winning: Seo Seung Un

Winning: Seo Seung Un

The best start of all, however, was made by Seo Seung Un. The second year jockey ride four winners across the weekend and, along with Jo In Kwen, looks set to make Champion Jockey Moon Se Young work very hard if he is to retain his title.

They will certainly have a chance to gain a big lead as Moon is spending the early part of the season riding in Macau. On Saturday, Moon rode his first winner there, partnering 22/1 chance Mr. Excellency to victory over 1200 metres on turf. As well as Moon, Boo Min Ho is also riding on a short-term license in Macau but is yet to score after 5 ides.

* One notable result from Busan on Friday was a second consecutive win for 3-year-old gelding My Key (Macho-Uno-Worldly Pleasure). The half-brother of US champion Game On Dude broke his maiden last time out by 10 lengths and on Friday, despite stepping up in class, was a 7 length winner in race 6.

Busan’s Sunday feature race was won by another horse with a famous sibling – in Korean terms anyway. Dongteuja (Montbrook-Maremaid) is the half-sister of two-time Grand Prix winner Dongbanui Gangja. She was the 3 length winner of the 1800 metre contest to record her 7th victory from 12 starts.

Seo Seung Un Finishes 3rd In Asia Young Guns Challenge

Korean apprentice jockey Seo Seung Un has finished 3rd in the Asia Young Guns Challenge which was held in Macau on Saturday. The challenge, which brings together some of the Asia-Pacific region’s most promising young riders, was won by Hong Kong’s Ka Chun Ng.

Seo Seung Un – 3rd in Asia Young Guns

In the first race of the challenge, Seo could only manage 8th as his mount, Wind Chaser, raced wide for much of the 1350 metre contest.

However, things got better for the first-year rider in the second heat, an 1100 metre sprint, as he guided Toy’s Power to second place.

Seo matched that in the concluding heat when after overcoming some pre-race confusion with whether or not he was riding with the right saddle, he rode Belt OF Golden to second.

That gave the Korean a total of 31 points (1 for finishing his first race and 15 each for his seconds), behind only Hong Kong’s Ng and Malaysia’s Yazid Kamal.

2012 Asia Young Guns Challenge Macau – Final Standings

1. Ka Chun Ng (Hong Kong) – 40 points
2. Yazid Kamal (Malaysia) – 35
3. Seo Sung Un (Korea) – 31
4. M. Cangas (Macau) – 25
5. Jake Noonan (Australia) – 20
6. C F Wong (Macau) – 18
7. Jason Collett (New Zealand) – 13
8. Zawari Razali (Singapore) – 10
9. Shinsuke Ishikawa (Japan) – 8
10. Keagan De Melo (South Africa) – 7
11. Taichi Nishimura (Japan) – 3

For more information and pictures of the event, visit the Macau Jockey Club site

Seo Seung Un Becomes Second Korean Jockey To Win In USA

Young Korean jockey Seo Seung Un has just completed a month gaining experience in the United States and, just like Jang Chu Youl last year, has ridden a winner.

Seo Seung Un aboard Southern Folly in the Charles Town Winner’s Circle (Pic: Sports Chosun)

His victory came at Charles Town on May 12 aboard 7/1 shot Southern Folly (Southern Image) for trainer John McKee, for whom Jang also rode a winner during his stint stateside. In total Seo had 14 rides, 13 at Charles Town and 1 at Mountaineer and scored 1 win, 1 second and 5 third place finishes.

The standard of riding in Korea is improving greatly (at least at Seoul, for whatever reason, Busan is lagging badly behind) with the KRA Jockey Academy turning out riders of a much higher standard of that of a decade to go. Seo Seung Un is the honour student in that group. Since debuting in August last year, Seo has already ridden 27 winners and looks set to ride out his apprentice claim in double-quick time.

Eager to improve the standard of riding in Korea, the KRA arranges for promising young jockeys to gain overseas experience. While Jang and Seo went to the US, a number of young riders have recently been sent to the British Racing School in Newmarket while others have spent time in Australia and South Africa – home country of KRA riding instructor Kenny Michel, a man who can claim much of the credit for the new talent.

While the race in Charles Town was the cheapest race Seo Seung Un will ever win (the least valuable Korean race is worth to the jockey approximately 5 times what Seo earned for his ride on Southern Folly), it will no doubt always be one of the most significant.

See race video at Charles Town’s site here. It was race 9 on May 12.