Shinichi Terachi

Shinichi Bows Out Of Seoul But Nozi’s Back At Busan And Fujii Is Recovering

Shinichi Terachi has finished up his stint rising at Seoul Racecourse but there’s a familiar face back on the Korean racing scene as Nozomu Tomizawa returns to the peninsula to take up a 4-month jockey license at Busan.

Shinichi Terachi's biggest win in Korea came on Geumbit Hwanhui in the Seoul Oaks Trial (KRA)

Shinichi Terachi’s biggest win in Korea came on Geumbit Hwanhui in the Seoul Oaks Trial (KRA)

It was a challenging four months at Seoul for Terachi. The 35-year-old was able to get on plenty of horses but he wasn’t given a whole lot of quality to work with and ends with 7 winners from 159 rides. Whenever he got a horse with a chance of winning, he got the job done including two winners on his final weekend.

He also won on one which didn’t look to have a chance. Terachi’s biggest victory came in June’s Sports Seoul Cup, the capital’s main Oaks trial race, on 27/1 outsider Geumbit Hwanhui.

Nozomu Tomizawa in the Seoul paddock during his first stint in Korea (KRA)

Nozomu Tomizawa in the Seoul paddock during his first stint in Korea (KRA)

His departure leaves the remarkable Ikuyasu Kurakane, currently 2nd in the Seoul Jockey Championship, as the only foreign rider in the capital.

That’s because it’s to Busan, where Masa Tanaka has been having to talk to himself in the weighing room since the departure of Darryll Holland and long-term injury to Joe Fujii, that Nozomu Tomizawa will go as he returns to Korea five years after he finished up his first stint here.

Tomizawa arrived in August 2007 and battled away for almost two years racking up 47 winners from 722 rides at Seoul. He didn’t win any Stakes races but is best remembered for his partnership with the gelding Gamadongja – a horse that was really a sprinter – on whom Tomizawa won four Class 1 races at distances from 1200M to 2000M.

It won’t be Tomizawa’s first time at Busan. He has one win from eight mounts at the South Coast track on weekends when he visited to ride in Stakes races. The 33-year-old has spent most of his riding career in Australia and should fit in well with the similarly Antipodean-accented Tanaka, who is also committed to the track until at least the end of this year.

As for Masa Tanaka himself, the hugely personable jockey currently lies in 8th position in the Busan Championship and produced a cracking ride in Seoul this past Sunday to guide New York Blue to 3rd place in the Asia Challenge Cup.

Two days before the Asia Challenge Cup, Tanaka rode a double at Busan, one of which was for trainer Bart Rice. The South African is maintaining his superb strike rate with 21% of his starters winning since he opened his barn at the track last December.

Rice currently lies in 12th position in the Trainers’ Championship, having saddled more than 100 fewer starters than all but two of the trainers ahead of him. One of those two is Peter Wolsley, currently clear in 2nd place.

No update on foreign riders in Korea would be complete though without talking about Joe Fujii, The man who took over Toshio Uchida’s title as “the most popular Japanese person in Korea” was in Seoul last weekend to watch the Asia Challenge Cup.

While his broken shoulder is expected to keep him out for another three months, the ever-positive Fujii was in high spirits and with his license to ride in Korea having been extended despite his injury, he was looking forward to getting back to business on the track as soon as possible.

Fujii has won the Derby, the Oaks and the Grand Prix Stakes. Korean punters are looking forward to his return just as much as the man himself.

Joe Fujii watches the races at Seoul on Sunday. All punters want him back riding as soon as possible

Joe Fujii watches the races at Seoul on Sunday. All punters want him back riding as soon as possible

Outsider Geumbit Hwanhui Wins Seoul Oaks Trial

Geumbit Hwanhui overcame odds of 27/1 to convincingly win the Sports Seoul Cup – the capital’s primary trial race for the Korean Oaks – at Seoul Racecourse this afternoon.

Geumbit Hwanhui and Shinichi Terachi - with a scared looking Tiny G in the background

Geumbit Hwanhui and Shinichi Terachi – with a scared looking Tiny G in the background

On board Geumbit Hwanhui was Japanese jockey Shinichi Terachi, who was landing his first big race win in Korea. In second place was Clean Up Speed, ridden by another Japanese rider, Ikuyasu Kurakane.

Geumbit Hwanhui stalked the leaders throughout before creeping up the rail in the home straight, overcoming long-time pace-setter Clean Up Speed in the final furlong and then stretching away to record a 3-length win. Another outsider, Rhapsody, was 3rd.

The time wasn’t a quick one but Geumbit Hwanhui is now likely to take her chance down at Busan for the Korean Oaks this coming August. She’s likely to face a tall order though as Derby winning filly Queen’s Blade will be the heavy favourite.

Sports Seoul Cup – Seoul Racecourse – June 22, 2014

1. Geumbit Hwanhui (KOR) [Peace Rules – Sincheongchun (Silent Warrior)] – Shinichi Terachi – 27/1, 3.9
2. Clean Up Speed (KOR) [Pico Central – Rich Emotions (Rizzi)] – Ikuyasu Kurakane – 1.9
3. Rhapsody (KOR) [Peace Rules – Cheulgeoun Party (Big Sur)] – Ham Wan Sik – 5.9

Distances: 3 lengths/Neck – 9 ran

While it was Shinichi Terachi’s turn to get the headlines, Ikuyasu had another successful day too, taking two wins (including one dead-heat). Meanwhile at Busan, Masakazu Tananka was also among the winners.

Next week, there is big Stakes race action at Seoul in the shape of the Jeju Governor’s Cup. President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner Indie Band will be making the trip up from Busan and he’ll be partnered by Darryll Holland for what will be the British jockey’s last ride in Korea for the time being. We’ll have all the build up to the big race later in the week.

Bart Rice In Training Form At Busan While Shinichi Terachi Starts With A Winner At Seoul

Bart Rice added to his burgeoning Korean reputation by saddling two more winners this weekend as the South African trainer continued his impressive first season in Korea.

Winning: Bart Rice (KRA)

Winning: Bart Rice (KRA)

Haing sent out the extremenly promising filly Seungni Laser (Menifee) to record her 7th win in 12 starts on Friday, today it was the turn of another Kang Soo Hyeon owned runner – the similarly named Seungni Grand (Menifee) – to do the business.

Returning for a 6-month lay-off and running for Rice for the first time, the 4-year-old colt was sent off as 2nd favourite in the mile-long race 6. However, under Darryll Holland, he was always well-positioned and once the field entered the home straight, was the only likely winner.

Weighing in with winners: Darryll Holland (KRA)

Weighing in with winners: Darryll Holland (KRA)

Rice now has quite remarkable figures of 14 winners, 5 seconds and 2 thirds from his 47 starters in Korea to date. Like fellow foreign trainer, Australia’s Peter Wolsley, Rice shows exceptional judgement in entering his horses where they are most likely to win.

Punters foolishly let Seungni Grand go off at 9/2 today, preferring to put their money on an overbet weak-favourite in the shape of Powerful Namhae. They’ll be watching Rice’s horses a lot more closely from now on.

Seungni Grand was the first of a late double for Darryll Holland, taking his win tally for the weekend to three.

Next Sunday is the Korean Derby at Seoul and with Rice and Wolsley both having entries – two in the latter’s case – it looks like the biggest ever foreign-connected contingent will be making its way to the capital.

Another visitor making a great start to his time in Korea is Japanese jockey Shinichi Terachi.

Shinichi Terachi at Seoul on Sunday

Shinichi Terachi at Seoul on Sunday

The 34-year-old debuted at Seoul on Saturday and was on target on board his second ride, recording a 4-length win on 5/1 shot Bujeon Jajeon.

Terachi – who will be called by his given name in Korean racecards, debuted in Japan in 1997 and has 116 winners in the NAR.

He joins the well-established Ikuyasu Kurakane as the only foreign presence in racing at Seoul (on the track, anyway). Ikuyasu also grabbed one winner over this weekend, claiming Seoul race 5 on Saemyeongjang.

Jockey of the day at Seoul though was once again Seo Seung Un. He rode three winners on the day, including taking out the feature race on Siggeureounachim.