Sports Chosun Cup

Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup Sunday: Seoul & Busan Race-By-Race Preview (June 23)

Deep Mind was a dominant winner of the Korea Oaks at Busan last month and she now gets the chance to assert her superiority over the three-year-old filly division as  most of that reconvene at Seoul for the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup (KOR G3). There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. There are also 6 races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10.

Deep Mind KRA

Deep Mind was an impressive Oaks winner (Pic: KRA)

It’s not only the fillies she left behind in the Oaks that Deep Mind will have to contend with though. Dia Road, a huge hulking filly who has won all three of her starts so far didn’t go to Busan last month but takes her chance here and could cause an upset. In addition to the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup, there is also Listed action at Seoul in the shape of the Sports Chosun Cup. Here are the previews:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

A field of twelve Korean-bred gallopers take to the track in the first where there appears a handful of chances. (10) JEONGMUN SARANG has ran a couple of handy races at his past couple of starts. The son of Clear Attempt finished a distant third last time out when settling on speed. A lack of depth in this race gives the three-year-old a reasonable chance to break maiden status. First starter (5) SAEROUN BOBAE trialed well in early June when running 1:02:2 for the 1000m. She had her mind kept on the job with the stick in the trial but ran it out fairly. She did lead in the trial so expect her to jump and run. (7) SEUNGNI JEONSEOL handed in a better performance last time out when third behind Hwaryong. She ran a decent time for the 1000m as well suggesting she may provide a forward showing. (2) SEOUL CITY is drawn ideal and can albeit disappointing last time out, can be considered an each-way chance. (1) SEONGPAJANG and (5) MIRACLE HOPE are others likely to attract support. Tough race.

Selections (10) Jeongmun Sarang (5) Saeroun Bobae (7) Seungni Jeonseol (2) Seoul City
Next Best 5, 1, 6
Fast Start 2, 6, 7, 10

Race 2: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

A field of ten imports will line up in the second with all but one looking to crack their first maiden win. (2) SOULY MAJESTIC is the one galloper that has broken through for a maiden win. The three-year-old filly sat on speed last time out pulling away for a five length win. She goes up four kilograms for the victory but will still give punters a good sight. (8) GO GO BI is an each-way chance after running third over the 1200m last time out. The filly can settle back in the run and produce a nice turn of foot. (6) ALIBABA MARINE has the services of Moon Se-Young once again after finishing third behind Winner Brown last time out. Expect further improvement today from the son of More Than Ready. (4) TAP MAGIC MASTER has had eight starts to date and placed twice. The Australian bred can run into the minor money.

Selections (2) Souly Majestic (8) Go Go BI (6) Alibaba Marine (4) Tap Magic Master
Next Best 7, 5
Fast Start 2, 4, 5

Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

There appears to be an abundance of speed engaged in the third on the card. Last start winner (2) HWANGGEUM DOYAJI has shown promise in her three starts to date. Kim Yong-Geun employed a change of tactics last time out when working forward early on the Colors Flying filly. She led throughout for a solid two length victory. Expect a similar racing pattern to be applied here. (3) INDY LADY has been consistent in this company of late and a second win for the chestnut does not appear to be too far away. The three kilogram claim of Moon Sung-Hyeok will assist her chances. (9) SEMYEONG STORM is another that has started his career of in good fashion. Tanaka Mazakazu has been aboard for all four runs to date with the most recent a third behind Haneul Narae. (4) AMARONE looks a place chance on recent performances

Selections (2) Hwanggeum Doyaji (3) Indy Lady (9) Semyeong Storm (4) Amarone
Next Best 8, 6
Fast Start 2, 3, 5, 8, 9

Race 4: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A field of ten will take two turns in the fourth on the card. (6) LUCKY BONGHWA was solid last time out when finishing second behind Firstige. The chestnut overcame the outside gate after receiving a heavy knock at the start to sit second in the run. With the claim of Kim Deok-Hyeon he looks a big chance of breaking his maiden. (2) HOPE KINGDOM is another that is yet to break maiden status but gets a good opportunity in this event coming of a runner-up performance behind Choegang Party. Expect the Animal Kingdom gelding to be on-speed and run through the line well as per last start. (9) STAR LIST let down nicely last time out over the 1700m. Park Eul-Woon stays aboard but will have to overcome an awkward draw. (10) CHEONNYEONUI BI broke through last time out over the 1700m when coming from well back in the field. Top rider Kim Yong-Geun stays aboard.

Selections (6) Lucky Bonghwa (2) Hope Kingdom (9) Star List (10) Cheonyeonui Bi
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 1, 2, 6

Race 5: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

A compact field of eight Korean-bred gallopers take to the track in the fifth all looking for their first win. (6) CHUNGDAM HORANGI looks one of the better bets on the card after finished second last time out behind Cheonnyeonui Bi. The Rock Hard Ten three-year-old was shuffled back through the field before the turn but ran home well to be beaten 2.5L. Expect improvement at his third start. (2) JUNGDONG DOKJU ran on well in the same race when finishing third. She has drawn better for this assignment meaning Tanaka Masakazu may be able to settle her closer to the speed. She has had a run of bad draws. (3) DALLYEORA SOKBO finished third last time out over the six furlongs when he was sent out at short odds. He steps back up to the 1700m in this event. (4) CARROT SEEKER has had fourteen starts for just the one top three finish. He fell in a hole last time out after sitting on speed. He looks a place chance at best.

Selections 6) Chungdam Horangi (2) Jungdong Dokju (3) Dallyeora Sokbo (4) Carrot Seeker
Next Best 8, 7
Fast Start 3, 4, 6

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(11) NUMBER ONE STAR has a win and two runner-up finishes in three starts so far. His latest saw him run 2nd on his first try at this class over 1300M. He stretches out to a mile for the first time today but it could well suit and he should be right in the hunt. (12) CHANGE BACK remains a maiden after four attempts but steps up in class having been 2nd on his first try at a mile a month ago. He looks to have wins in him and has little to fear here. Another maiden is (1) TORNADO KING, but he’s been getting closer and ran 2nd in a competitive heat last start and could well be on pace from the inside gate here. On the subject of maidens, (6) ONNURI GANGJA remains one after 53 attempts but (more…)

Spero Strikes in Sports Chosun Cup

Spero went to the front and outlasted them all to win the Sports Chosun Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. The 7/1 chance was never under any serious pressure as he cruised to a five-length victory under jockey Park Byeong Yun.

Spero Sports Chosun Korea Racing Authority
Spero & Park Byeong Yun win the Sports Chosun Cup (Pic: Korea Racing Authority)


True, it wasn’t the greatest field ever assembled for a Listed race in the capital – that’s not going to happen with a rating cap of 80 but it does usually attract some up and comers on their way to class 1. The closest to fitting that description this year was Nasca Prince and he would be sent off as the even-money favourite ahead of last year’s Korean Oaks winner Jejui Haneul.

Jejui Haneul and Nasca Prince would have to settle for 2nd and 3rd respectively in the 2000M test as Spero took the lead early and maintained his advantage all the way around, leading by five lengths at the top of the stretch and never looking like being caught. The margin on the line was the same- five lengths.

A four-year-old locally bred colt by Chapel Royal, Spero was winning for the fifth time on what was his seventeenth start. It was a third big race win for his trainer, Derby winning jockey Shim Seung Tae, following two successes last year with sprinter Always Winner. Jockey Park Byeong Yun was winning the race for the second time, having partnered Sotong Sidae to victory in the 2015 running.

In other races on Sunday, US import Winner Gold continued his progress up the ranks. The Wildcat Heir colt’s win-streak came to an end at five on his first try at class 1 last month, but he was back to winning ways in Sunday’s finale. He had to work for it though, grinding is way up the rail to down fellow US import Gwangbok Chilsip by half a length on the line. A US$55,000 purchase form the OBS two-year-old sale last year, Winner Gold has now amassed over $200,000 in prize money.

At Busan, Finest Warrior took out Sunday’s feature sprint. The Kim Young Kwan-trained three-year-old had shown decidedly little when sent to Seoul to run in the SBS Sports Sprint earlier this month but back on his home track, avenged a defeat he suffered to Banjiui Jewang in May to score by three lengths over 1200M under champion jockey Jo In Kwen. The Majestic Warrior gelding moved on to four wins from eight starts. Jockey Jo landed a double on the six-race Sunday card as did Irish/Brazilian rider Franco Da Silva.

Sports Chosun Cup Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 24)

It’s one of the oldest races on the Korean Racing calendar and while it’s not one of the biggest or most prestigious, there’s plenty of interest in the 26th running of the Sports Chosun Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. There are 11 Sunday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12.40 to 17:05.

Geombit Gangja

Geombit Gangja won the Sports Chosun Cup last year – he’ll be hard pushed to successfully defend it though (Pic: KRA)

Restricted to horses with a rating of 80 or less, the 2000M test was last year won by Geombit Gangja and the now five-year-old gelding returns for another crack having only run once in the meantime. He’s joined by last year’s Oaks winner Jejui Haneul, the improving Nasca Prince – a winner of five from eight and likely favourite – and five others making up a field of eight where all have at least some claim and all have some kind of vulnerability. That may leave the reliable pair of Golden Gate and Spero being well backed. Here are the Seoul previews, with Busan Selections below;

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

After winning a trial, (5) SAGWARANG was sent off as favourite on debut at this distance on May 27th. She could only manage 3rd place but showed enough to suggest she can be winning sooner rather than later. She should have come on for that run and can get away to a better start today and if she does that, can win. The big danger is (3) STAR LIST, who already has a 2nd place to her name at this distance. She was a bit one-paced over 1200M last time out but drops back in trip today and has the services of Moon Se Young for the first time. (2) WANY K and (9) MIRACLE GOLD both put in encouraging debuts last month and can build on them here while (6) STAR SOCKS was just beaten a neck on her latest appearance, beating a couple of these in the process. She’s had ten weeks off since then and can go well today.

Selections (5) Sagwarang (3) Star List (2) Wany K (6) Star Socks
Next Best 9, 1
Fast Start 5, 6

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

After positive showings in his first two efforts, including only being beaten a neck at this distance at the end of April, (4) HANIL DALBIT was sent off as favourite on his latest start on May 27th. He never really got going that day, ending up in sixth place, but his prior performances mean he is worth another chance here. The trainer/jockey partnership has been on good-form recently and they can get another win here. (7) MYEONGJIN MAN was 4th behind Hanil Dalbit last time and the Drosselmeyer gelding could get a little closer today. (9) STRONG RUNNER has shown improvement across four starts to date and if he continues on that trajectory, should be looking for at least a place. (3) DONGHAE SILVER has shown glimpses of ability and will likely try to get on the early speed with Hanil Dalbit. (11) SOKBO WANGWI had shown absolutely nothing in four starts prior to a surprise 2nd last time out and will need to be treated with care here.

Selections (4) Hanil Dalbit (7) Myeongjin Man (9) Strong Runner (3) Donghae Silver
Next Best 11, 10
Fast Start 3, 4, 10, 11

Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(6) MENI BLADE got her maiden win with a six-length score at this distance on April 28th. She was sent up to 1700M for her first try at this level at the end of last month and while she began as odds-on favourite, she didn’t look comfortable from start to finish and ended up well down the field. Dropped back in trip today, she should be a vastly different prospect. This is a competitive race though. (2) HAENGBOK STAR may still be a maiden but is up in class today having been close at hand in each of his four outings so far. He was beaten five-lengths by Meni Blade back in March but seems to have come on a bit since and can be a factor. (9) HANIL MAGIC and (10) DAECHEON ACE are both a little more experienced and have placing finishes to their names at this class which they can repeat. (3) NEUNGRYEOK SIDAE and (4) PRINCE OF SUN (half-brother to American star Mind Your Biscuits) are others to take into account. (11) VICAR SCOOP the wildcard.

Selections (6) Meni Blade (10) Daecheon Ace (9) Hanil Magic (2) Haengbok Star
Next Best 3, 4, 11
Fast Start 1, 6, 8, 11

Race 4: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Very tricky contest this. We’ll side marginally with (1) KING POSE, who ran well enough on his first try at 1700M a month ago to suggest he has some aptitude for it. Prominent throughout, he only managed to finish 5th but can get back to the front today and this time go all the way. (3) MAMKKEOT DALYEO was only 7th in the same race but he has already shown ability at the trip and he too can be given another chance here. (4) GANGSEO EUTTEUM is up in class having won at this distance on May 26th. He looks to have more improvement in him and should be competitive. (5) MONEY ZIF tries two turns for the first time having run on well for 2nd over 1300M last month. (6) CLEAN UP DREAM and (10) DUMANGANG are among several others who can go close.

Selections (1) King Pose (4) Gangseo Eutteum (3) Mamkkeot Dalyeo (5) Money Zif
Next Best 6, 10, 8
Fast Start 1, 3

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

(8) RAON ACE beat (2) GOLD FASHION as the pair finished 1st and 3rd at class and distance on May 27th. For Gold Fashion that was a big uptick in form but Raon Ace, while a little inconsistent, has shown plenty of ability and has every chance here. A big danger is (1) M.J. ROAD. She comes in off the back of consecutive 3rd place finishes at class and distance, both times behind good horses. She can take up a position just behind the early leaders and can finish strongly. (5) COMPLETE SWEEP won two of three outings around the turn of the year, his only defeat being 3rd place behind Sinui Myeongryeong and (more…)

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Sports Chosun Cup Preview (June 18)

Sunday sees Sports Chosun Cup day at Seoul with 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. At Busan there are 6 races from 12:40 to 17:05. English racecards are here.

Cheonnyeon Dongan Nonghyup

Lee Chan Ho returns (Pic: KRA)

Rewind to 2015 and Lee Chan Ho was on top of the Korean Racing World. On a glorious August afternoon at Seoul Racecourse, the young jockey, who had ridden out his apprenticeship in double-quick time, partnered Choegang Schiller to win the Asia Challenge Cup, defeating Singapore’s champion sprinter El Padrino on the way to what was then arguably Korean racing’s greatest victory.

Just over a year later it all looked over. After incidents away from racing, Lee found his license cancelled and a career possibly finished at the age of 24. Yet this weekend he’s back as the legal process has reached a stage where he can ride, at least for the time being, pending a final judgement.

The returning Lee admits to having had to lose 10kg in the two weeks since he found out he could resume riding, but he’s done it and will return to big race action when he takes the mount on Yeongnong in Sunday’s 28th running of the Listed Sports Chosun Cup.

Yeongnong probably won’t be favourite but he is one of a number in the hunt in what is a very competitive renewal.

Race 9: Class Open (2000M) Sports Chosun Cup / Allowance / KRW 200 Million

1. ROYAL VICTORY – Beaten by I Am For You and Yeongnong last start over 1400M but was a class 2 winner at 1800M the time before. Can look to place.

2. PERFECT SHINE – 3rd behind Royal Victory over 1800M in April, he’s consistently close but usually finds a few too good and most likely will here too.

3. KAWON – Full brother to a Korean Oaks winner, he’s the form of his life, winning 4 of his last 7. Likely close to the early pace, he’s not raced at this distance before but has to be in the frame.

4. YEONGNONG – 3rd on first try at class 2 behind I Am For You at the end of April, he’ll be on or close to the speed and while a win would be a shock, he can go close. (more…)

Sun Strong Too Strong In Sports Chosun / Punters Land Big Tierce Wins

Sun Strong ran out the winner of the Listed Sports Chosun Cup at Seoul Racecourse this past Sunday, another big race winner for the track’s Champion jockey Moon Se Young. 

Sun Strong, a 4-year-old colt, was sent off as the pre-race favourite and got the better of Gasokbulpae, 2nd favourite and early pace-setter, in the closing stages.

Sports Chosun Cup (Listed) – Seoul Racecourse – June 19, 2016

1. Sun Strong (KOR) [Volponi – Strategic Reward (Bold Revenue)] – Moon Se Young – 2.8, 1.5
2. Gasokbulpae (KOR) [Psychobabble – Honey Bee (Pro For Sure)] – Kim Hye Sun – 1.8
3. Super Tank (KOR) [Gold Money – Make Mine Minnie (Honor And Glory)] – Yoo Seung Wan – 1.7
Distances: 0.75 lengths / 2 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Cosmos King 5. Haetbinna 6. Special Star 7. Kaeon 8. Taesan Cheonji 9. Gangja 10. Forever Daemul 11. Argo Asset

Sun Strong, a 4-year-old colt, was sent off as the pre-race favourite and got the better of Gasokbulpae, 2nd favourite and early pace-setter, in the closing stages.

In other news, the new tierce (trifecta) pool has made quite an impact already since its introduction last week. Despite only being available on the mobile betting platform, it has quickly become the fourth most popular pool behind quinella, trio and exacta.

On Sunday, the pool saw it’s first big dividend winner as Thomas Gillespie’s Lion Park, a 70/1 chance led home a top three in race 1 at Busan that yielded a return of 20,601.6. A total of 35 punters successfully picked the winning combination; three of them wagering 1,000 won while the rest staked amounts between 100 and 500 won.

Those three, who placed their bets at three different off track locations in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province, turned their 1,000 won into 16,059,500 won (after tax).

The tierce pool will remain restricted to mobile betting only for the time being but is expected to receive a general launch later in the year.

Feel So Good Fades As Geumseongi Takes Sports Chosun

Feel So Good was sent off as long odds-on favourite but couldn’t stay the distance as Geumseongi swept to victory in the Sports Chosun CUp at Seoul on Sunday.

Feel So Good has been inconsistent since returning from Florida where he spent his two-year-old season and became the first Korean bred horse to win a race in the USA. However, a storming 9-length win last month over the Sports Chosun distance on 9 furlongs had punters convinced once more that he was back at his best.

It was not to be. Feel So Good led for much of the way but disintegrated in the final furlong to finish a disappointing 6th. It was left to Geumseongi to overhaul Citius to take the win with the fast finishing closers My Energy and El Campeon taking 3rd and 4th.

A 4-year-old colt, Geumseongi was winning for just the 4th time from 18 starts but has a further 6 2nd places to his name. He’ll be competing in class 1 from now on.

Too lazy to head down to take a picture pf the ceremony...but trust me, this was the start of the Sports Chosun Cup

Too lazy to head down to take a picture pf the ceremony…but trust me, this was the start of the Sports Chosun Cup

Sports Chosun Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – June 1, 2014

1. Geumseongi (KOR) [Pico Central – Cat Beluga (Hennessy)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 7.5, 1.9
2. Citius (KOR) [Revere – Daecheonpung (Fiercely)] – Lee Sang Hyeok – 4.4
3. My Energy (KOR) [Vicar – Ich Bien (Jade Hunter)] – Yoo Seung Wan – 3.2

Distances: 1 length/3 lengths – 13 ran

Next week, the focus shifts to Busan and the KNN Cup, the 2nd leg of the 2014 Queens’ Tour.

Sports Chosun Cup – Full Preview

Sunday sees Stakes racing return to Seoul and while the Sports Chosun Cup isn’t the biggest race on the calendar, it certainly offers some good punting.

Feel So Good - likely favourite in the Sports Chosun

Feel So Good – likely favourite in the Sports Chosun

Feel So Good is likely to be the heavy favourite but he’s not invincible and there are plenty in the field of 13 capable of pulling off the win – or at least finishing in the top three.

Here’s a full run-down of the field with Name [Pedigree] Sex Age (Starts/1/2/3) – Jockey

Sports Chosun Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – June 1, 2014 – 16:35

1. Corner Stone [Ingrandire – Kurenai Moyuru (Merry Nice)] C 4 (17/4/1/3) – Moon Se Young
Moon Se Young steps in for the suspended Seo Seung Un aboard this colt who was a smart winner over the distance last time out when he closed from 7th for the win in the home straight. He’s back after 3 months off and won’t be favourite but he has a chance.

2. Wahaha [Ft.Stockton – Yeppeun Keum (Hurricane Sky)] G 5 (30/2/4/6) – Shinichi Terachi
Very little to recommend here, it’s over 2 years since Wahaha has won and that won’t change.

3. Spending To Me [Capital Spending – Ma Fille (Belong To Me)] M 5 (29/3/5/1) – Park Eul Woon
Third over the distance last time out, beaten 2 lengths by Corner Stone having hit the front in the final furlong. Likes to come from the back but perhaps not quite at this distance. Outside chance of another place.

4. El Campeon [Menifee – Here Comes Meme (Kipper Kelly)] G 5 (29/3/4/5) – Ikuyasu Kurakane
Consistently in the money if not consistently winning, El Campeon was beaten into 3rd by Feel So Good and My Energy last time out but he’s closer who can stay and has plenty of speed. He can’t be overlooked.

5. Nongbon Sarang [The Groom Is Red – Agua Azalita (Pine Bluff)] F 4 (16/2/3/5) – Jang Chu Youl
Won over 1700 metres at class 3 before finishing well beaten by Feel So Good in that race last month. Will need to improve here to challenge for a place.

6. My Energy [Vicar – Ich Bien (Jade Hunter) H 6 (48/4/3/2) – Yoo Seung Wan
Second to Feel So Good – by 9 lengths – last time and ahead of El Campeon, who he also beat in April. It would be a surprise to see him win here though.

7. Citius [Revere – Daecheonpung (Fiercely) C 4 (14/4/1/1) – Lee Sang Hyeok
Good win over the distance at class 3 last time. Likes to be just off the pace and if the closers fail to get into gear, he may well steal a place.

8. Geumseongi [Pico Central – Cat Beluga (Hennessy)] C 4 (16/3/6/1) – Cho Kyoung Ho
Has plenty of speed and comes off the back of two solid 2nd place finishes. Another 2nd is more likely than a win but if he must be in with a chance.

9. Feel So Good [Ft.Stockton – Courting Dreams (Eastover Court)] G 5 (10/5/0/0) – Ham Wan Sik
A winner at Calder in Florida in 2012, he’s blown hot and cold since coming home. He was certainly hot last time out, winning over the distance – and over several of this field – by 9 lengths. If he runs like that again here, then of course he wins.

10. Citadel [Sakura Seeking – Tropic (Danehill)] G 5 (25/2/6/4) – Kim Ok Sung
Another who has the ability to make a nuisance of himself. Good win over 1900 metres in March but followed it up by being well beaten last month. Difficult to receommend but again difficult to ignore for a quinella at good odds.

11. Pinot Noir [Capital Spending – Neungnyeokchungman (Pacific Bounty) F 4 (11/3/4/1) – Park Hyun Woo
Put in a decent run when 2nd at this distance last time out in March. She was ahead of Feel So Good that day and while she’ll not be favoured to repeat it, she’ll be in a lot of quinellas. Likes to be close to the pace and should stay on.

12. Dewma [Forest Camp – Wild Cat Strike (Wild Again)] F 4 (11/3/4/1) – Lee Chan Ho
Lee Shin Young’s second string is likely to try to hit the front early. Staying there will be quite another matter though.

13. Dae Ung [Pico Central – Myeongseo Gongju (Carry The Flag)] C 4 (7/4/2/0) – Choi Bum Hyun
The wildcard of the field. Hasn’t run since taking a narrow win over 1700 metres last November, he strolled comfortably through a trial in April. This should be too much too soon but some may be tempted by the likely good odds on him.

Sunday June 1
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00 with a performance by Girl’s Day at 3.45!!
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:00

Weekend Preview: Twinkle Twinkle!

May becomes June and summer racing begins in earnest with a full set of cards around the peninsula this weekend.

Girl's Day will be performing during racing at Seoul on Sunday

Girl’s Day will be performing during racing at Seoul on Sunday

And there’s no surer way to know its summer than the reappearance of K-Pop girl groups at Seoul Racecourse. Girl’s Day get us underway with a short performance on the Stakes race presentation stage at 3:45pm. It’s going to be very busy!

They’ll not be the only ones on the stage this weekend as they’ll be on just before the Sports Chosun Cup gets underway. Feel So Good will attempt to get his first Stakes win as he takes on 12 others in the 9 furlong Stakes event.

At Busan, the pick of the action sees Cheonji Bulpae takes on Magic Dancer in Sunday’s feature. Jo Sung Gon takes over on Cheonji Bulpae in place of the suspended Darryll Holland.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday May 30
Busan Race Park: 10 races from 13:00 to 19:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:25 to 17:40

Saturday May 31
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:30

Sunday June 1
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:00

Outsider Gumanseok Wins Sports Chosun Cup as Feel So Good Flops Again

40/1 chance Gumanseok just held on to win the Sports Chosun Cup ahead of a fast finishing Royal Galloper at Seoul Race Park today, while hot-favourite Feel So Good once again finished nowhere in a big race.

Gumanseok and Lee Dong Kug after winning the Sports Chosun Cup

Gumanseok and Lee Dong Kug after winning the Sports Chosun Cup

After winning a race in the USA, Feel So Good (Ft.Stockton) won his first three tests in his home country before coming up very short behind Jigeum I Sungan in the Owners’ Trophy in April.

Having dropped down a level for the Sports Chosun, punters showed enough faith in him to back him into only slightly better than even-money. That faith was not rewarded.

While Feel So Good showed towards the front for much of the race, once they hit 300 metres to run, just as in the Owners’ Trophy, he stalled. Instead Gumanseok (Vicar) burst through the pack and took the lead under jockey Lee Dong Kug. While Royal Galloper (Commendable) and Park Tae Jong closed very quickly in the final furlong, the line arrived just in time and Gumanseok hung on by a neck.

Gumanseok just hokds on as Royal Galloper closes fast

Gumanseok just holds on as Royal Galloper closes fast

Gumanseok’s stablemate 120/1 outsider Appealing Jeil (Exploit), ridden by Yukio Abe, scored an even more surprising 3rd place finish.

Now 4-years-old, Gumanseok competed in the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Triple Crown last October. Finishing last, he managed to get himself gelded prior to the start of this season. The victory is his 5th in 13 starts and will see him move up to the elite level next time out. As for Feel So Good, it’s now questionable whether he’ll make the elite level at all.

For jockey Lee Dong Kug, it was a first visit to the Stakes winner’s circle since 2008. For trainer Lim Bong Chun and owner Ku Ja Sun it was a more familiar experience. Lim won the KOrean Derby with Gwangyajeil in 2011 while Ku owned the great double Grand Prix winner Dongbanui Gangja.

Speaking of the “elite”, the horse currently at the top of the tree, Tough Win (Yonaguska) was in action in the very last race of the day at Seoul. “Action” is perhaps a strong word as the 6-year-old breezed to 7-length win in a mismatch.

Down at Busan, it was a good day for the foreign jockeys. Joe Fujii won one race but there also was a very welcome double for Darryll Holland. The British jockey landed race 2 on Runnin’ John (Put It Back) and quickly followed up in race 3 on Stand High (Forest Camp). Both were top quality rides and took Holland’s Korean win tally to 8.

Sports Chosun Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – June 2, 2013

1. Gumanseok (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Champion (Didyme)] – Lee Dong Kug – 42.1, 8.7
2. Royal Galloper (KOR) [Commendable – Explicitly (Exploit)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.7
3. Appealing Jeil (KOR) [Exploit – Appealing Satin (Valid Appeal) – Yukio Abe – 17.1

Distances: Neck/5 lengths – 14 ran