Sports Chosun

Clear Geom Shocks Favourites In Gyeonggi Governor’s / Burui Gori Steps up To Take Sports Chosun

The upsets keep on coming in the three-year-old division this year. Just a week after Rock Choice ran out the 20/1 winner of the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Triple Crown, it was the turn of the fillies in the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup. And while Oaks winner Deep Mind and previously unbeaten Dia Road dominated the market, it was 16/1 outsider Clear Geom, who took the spoils.

Deep Mind ran out an impressive eight-length winner in the Oaks last month and was sent out as a slighly better than even-money favourite for the 2000M Group 3 (Korean) test. As she did in the Oaks, she went straight to the lead but this time found herself beaten early, her race run by the top of the home straight. That left Dia Road, who had been stalking the leader since the start, in firm command.

Dia Road looked a surefire winner a furlong out, but that was to reckon without Clear Geom, who under Moon Se Young launched a late charge down the outside to steal the honours by half a length on the line. An even later arrival on the scene was Miss Fact, in 3rd.

Clear Geom [Clear Attempt – Kwaegeom (War Zone)] was racing for the seventh time, having won two of her previous six but was yet to score at higher than class 5. She was ridden for the first time by Moon Se Young, who registered his third Group success in just over a month, to add to the Korean Derby on Wonderful Fly and the YTN Cup on Moonhak Chief. For trainer Kim Soon-Keun it was a second Group winner – Moonhak Chief was his first in a seventeen-year career.

One race earlier, Burui Gori [Afleet Again – Union Belle (Dixie Union)] continued to burnish his credentials when taking out a competitive renewal of the Sports Chosun Cup. While restricted to horses with a rating of 80 or less, the Listed event attracted a solid field which made for an attractive betting contest and an even more attractive race.

Ultimately, Burui Gori’s stretch drive proved too strong as he swept by Choinma and held off the challenge of slight favourite Shark Daejanggeun, to win by a length and a half under jockey Yoo Seung-wan.

Burui Gori moves on to five wins from eleven starts and puts him into the frame for some of the bigger races later in the year – the victory means he enters Seoul’s President’s Cup qualification table in 10th place. He looks to be on an upward trajectory.

That points race is currently led by Global Chukje and Wonderful Fly, Cup Mile and Derby winners respectively. But with no standout emerging from the three-year-old crop, we could be in for a fascinaiting summer and autumn.

Geombit Gangja Wins Sports Chosun 2017

A bit late but catching up on last week’s action, Geombit Gangja won the Sports Chosun Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon:

Geombit Gangja

Geombit Gangja & Choi Bum Hyun win the Sports Chosun Cup (Pic: KRA)

Geombit Gangja, a four-year-old gelding, was sent off as favourite for the 2000M listed race and having settled at the rear of the field, came through strongly in the closeing stages under jockey Choi Bum Hyun to claim victory. It was another big race win for in-form trainer Song Moon Gil.

Choi Bum Hyun HJY

Singer Hong Jin Young joined in the winner’s circle on one of her regular racecourse appearances (Pic: KRA)

It was Geombit Gangja’s 6th victory on his 15th career start.

Sports Chosun Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – June 18, 2017

1. Geombit Gangja (KOR) [Ingrandire – Tandia (Two Punch)] – Chi Bum Hyung – 3.3, 1.6
2. Royal Victory (KOR) [Exploit – Guryeongnyeong (Revere)] – Song Jae Chul – 2.0
3. Haetbinna (KOR) [Didyme – Chowonui Kkum (The Groom Is Red)] – Jan Havlik – 10.1
Distances: 1.5 lengths / 2.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. I Am For You 5. Kawon 6. Yeongnong 7. Gaia Thunder 8. Chowon Gangta 9. Perfect Shine 10. Dongchonui Guy

Weekend Round-Up: Sports Chosun Cup / Tough Win Suffers Bleeding Attack / Schlechter Trebles

It was, in no uncertain terms, a catastrophic day for Korean horse racing. A post on the death of Mister Park will be up shortly, however, there are some other things to catch up on.

Those present at Seoul Race Park were still absorbing what they just seen happen at Busan when the field went to post for the 23rd running of the Sports Chosun Cup. The race was won by 2/1 favourite Yacheonsaryeongbu (Vicar).

Yacheonsaryeongbu won the Sports Chosun Cup

Sports Chosun Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – June 3, 2012

1. Yacheonsaryeongbu (KOR) [Vicar – Zabella (Zabeel)] – Lee Sang Hyeok – 2.9, 1.6
2. Shoot In (KOR) [Exploit – Doneitmyway (Northern Flagship)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 1.7
3. Kakamega (KOR) [Gold Money – Daecheonpung (Fiercely)] – Jang Chu Youl – 4.4
Distances: 0.75 lengths/Nose – 13 ran

Mister Park was carrying 63kg when he suffered his injury, a result of the new increased maximum weights for handicaps. Online reaction in Korea to the event has focused on criticism of the new system.

Bearing in mind what had happened an hour earlier, the fact that Tough Win (Yonaguska), who beat Mister Park in the Grand Prix Stakes last year to end the latter’s 17 race winning streak, was scheduled to carry 64kg, there was a great deal of anxiety prior to Seoul’s feature handicap. Indeed, in the paddock there were shouts from some in the crowd for him to be scratched.

Tough Win suffered his first bleeding attack

He wasn’t and he won by just over two lengths, his 17th career victory. Jockey Cho Kyoung Ho did absolutely no more than he needed to in order to win and jumped down from the Tough Win as soon as he could after they crossed the line before walking him back to unsaddle.

The horse looked in good shape but it was later confirmed that he had suffered his first bleeding attack in 21 starts. It automatically rules him out for a month. If he gets another it will be three months, and then permanent.

A nasty coincidence, but on the day we lost one of our superstars, no-one was much in the mood to see it that way. Tough Win’s next target is the Busan Metropolitan City Stakes next month, a race where mercifully, he won’t be required to carry so much.

Ending on a positive note, Gerrit Schlechter kept up his great run of form at Busan. The South African recorded three winners on the day, including two for trainer Peter Wolsley.

Weekend Preview: Sports Chosun Cup

Stakes action returns but most eyes will be on Big-Gun tune-ups

There’s Stakes action at Seoul Race Park this Sunday in the shape of one of the longest running fixtures on the Korean racing calendar, the Sports Chosun Cup.

Tough Win takes the 2011 Grand Prix Stakes ahead of Mister Park (right). Both are in action this weekend (Pic: KRA)

However, while a competitive field will line up for the nine furlong race, plenty more attention will be focused on other races. Tough Win runs in the capital and Mister Park runs at Busan as the two top-rated horses on the peninsula continue their preparation to face each other and the young upstart, Smarty Moonhak once more.

Tough Win (Yonaguska) and Mister Park (Ecton Park), first and second in last year’s Grand Prix Stakes, are light-years better than the respectie fields they’ll be running against and for both of them, their biggest opponent is going to be the handicapper. Mister Park will carry 63kg at Busan (Sunday race 5, 15:45) – 8kg more than the next highest rated horse in his race while Tough Win will have to lug 64kg around Seoul – a whopping 10.5kg more than his nearest rival (Sunday race 9, 17:15).

As for the Sports Chosun, 13 class 2 horses will line up and it’s a tough one to call. Yacheonsaryeongbu (Vicar) has good claims as does Shoot In (Exploit), an also-ran on last year’s Classic trail. Seungniuihamseong (Vicar)was third in the HRI Trophy in March and if she runs to that form could also challenge as indeed could a number of others.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday June 1

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

Saturday June 2

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:00

Sunday June 3

Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 11:00 to 17:45 including the Sports Chosun Cup at 16:15
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:15 to 16:45