Ua Deungseon

Weekend Preview: Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup, Tough Win at Seoul, Gyeongbudaero at Busan

A busy weekend of racing gets underway on the peninsula today and there will be plenty of big names in action over the next couple of days, as well as the year’s second Graded race in the shape of the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup at Seoul.

Should be a spring-like weekend

Should be a spring-like weekend

Sunday afternoon’s Cup, which this year has been shifted from its usual position at the end of October, is for Korean bred fillies & mares and has attracted 15 entrants, one short of the maximum permitted field size for Graded races in Korea.

Among them is last year’s Donga Ilbo and Nonghyup Chairman’s Trophy winner Ua Deungseon and two time Donga Ilbo winner – including this year’s race just over a month ago –  and likely favourite for this, Cheonnyeon Dongan.

As usual on a Graded race day, there will be 10 races at Seoul on Sunday, however, Saturday sees a bumper 14-race program with one of the cancelled races from last week being added. In the feature Class 1 handicap, Tough Win will carry top weight as he seeks to make it three out of three for 2015.

Busan runs its usual cards on Friday and Sunday and there is a heavyweight clash in Sunday’s feature and finale as Gyeongbudaero takes on a host of dangerous types in the shape of Gamdonguibada, Donggeupcheogang, Mujinjang, Heba and Damyangui Jilju as the Grand Prix winner too seeks to maintain his 100% record for this year.

The weather is set to be fine and full racecards can be found here. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday March 27
Busan Racecourse: 10 races from 11:40 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 13:25 to 17:20

Saturday March 28
Seoul Raecourse: 14 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:20

Sunday March 29
Seoul Racecourse: 10 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:30

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Weekend Preview: Donga Ilbo Trophy Headlines Valentine’s Weekend Racing

It’s Valentine’s Weekend so where better to spend it than at the racecourse? The Donga Ilbo Trophy headlines at Seoul while both in the capital and at Busan there are big fields all round.

Cheonnyeon Dongan won the Donga Ilboin 2013 with the now retired Cho Kyoung Ho on board

Cheonnyeon Dongan won the Donga Ilbo in 2013 with the now retired Cho Kyoung Ho on board

The Donga Ilbo Trophy is this year restricted to Korean bred fillies and mares and has attracted a field of ten. Chief among them is Cheonnyeon Dongan, who won the race back in 2013 when it was held in September, and Ua Deungseon, who took last year’s event just five months ago.

With the unrest of last week now over, Seoul will hold a 13-race card on Saturday and a 10-race card on Sunday.

At Busan there are full fields on Friday and among them are some fascinating races with horses being able to drop down in class for the first time in Korea. This looks set to give a new lease of life to those who found themselves with too many points for class 2 but not good enough for class 1.

Peter Wolsley has a solid set of runners at Busan on Friday including the exciting Macheon Bolt while jockeys Joe Fujii and Masa Tanaka are riding live chances throughout the day. Nobuyuki Oyama and Nozomu Tomizawa will also be in action. South African trainer Bart Rice will have one runner on Sunday.

Full racecards are available here.

Friday February 13
Busan Racecourse: 11 races from 11:40 to 18:00 (full preview of simulcast races 4-11 here)
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:20

Saturday February 14
Seoul Racecourse: 13 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:20

Sunday February 15
Seoul Racecourse: 10 races from 10:50 to 18:00 including the Donga Ilbo Trophy at 16:55.
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:30

Ua Deungseon Takes Nonghyup Chairman’s Cup

Ua Deungseon added to her Donga-Ilbo Trophy victory by claiming the Nonghyup Chairman’s Cup, the last big Stakes race of the year for fillies, at Seoul Racecourse this afternoon.

Ua Deungseon was 7th in the Korean Oaks at Busan in August but returned to Seoul to win the Donga Ilbo Trophy in Sepember. Sent off as slight favourite today, she just held on in a tight finish from Geumbit Hwanhui and outsider Cupid Girl.

Nonghyup Chairman’s Cup 2014 – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – Nov 23, 2014

1. Ua Deungseon (KOR) [Menifee-Singgereoun (Mr. Adorable)] – Ham Wan Sik – 3.4, 1.5
2. Geumbut Hwanhui (KOR) [Peace Rules – Sincheongchun (Silent Warrior)] – Jang Chuyoul – 2.8
3. Cupid Girl (KOR) [Vicar – Sheza Hot Dish (Rubiano)] – Park Hyun Woo – 8.6
Distances: Neck/Nose – 14 ran

Ua Deungseon Takes Donga Ilbo, Kurakane Can’t Stop Winning While Ghost Whisper Does The Business At Busan

Ua Deungseon was the convincing winner of the Donga Ilbo Cup at Seoul this past Saturday, outpacing long-shot Ruby Canter and Horse Racing Ireland Trophy winner Pinot Noir by two lengths.

In a race designed for fillies who came close in the Oaks, couldn’t quite get it done, but still harbour hopes of competing in the big Stakes races later in the autumn, Ua Deungseon, 7th in the Classic at Busan last month, was sent off as a 5/1 shot.

Tracking the longshot, Ruby Canter, who stayed on for a very impressive 2nd place, Ua Deungseon hit the front in the home straight and took a comfortable win. She moves on to 5 wins from 8 starts and there looks to be plenty to come.

Donga Ilbo Trophy – Seoul Racecourse – 1800M – September 27, 2014

1. Ua Deungseon (KOR) [Menifee – Singgeureoun (Mr. Adorable)] – Ham Wan Sik – 5.7, 1.9
2. Ruby Canter (KOR) [Volponi – Crystal Decanter (Encosta De Lago)] – Kim Hye Sun – 9.4
3. Pinot Noir (KOR) [Capital Spending – Neungnyeokchungman (Pacific Bounty)] – Lim Gi Won – 3.4

Distances: 2.5 lengths / 1.25 lengths – 14 ran

The pre-race favourite for the Donga Ilbo Cup was Fusion Korea. She finished 4th in what was a rare setback this weekend for jockey Ikuyasu Kurakane. The Japanese rider has been in remarkable form recently and scored 7 winners over the weekend; 3 on Saturday and 4 on Sunday.

Sunday’s haul included the feature race when he smartly eschewed the ride on favourite Indian Blue – one of his regulars – and partnered another he has had success with in the past, Samjeong Jewang. Kurakane is now clear 2nd in the Jockey Championship behind Moon Se Young with 77 wins so far in 2014.

Down at Busan, there was another win for old favourite Ghost Whisper (Gotham City). Peter Wolsley’s 6-year-old grey recorded hs 13th victory from 25 starts when taking Sunday’s feature race by a length and a half from Wonil Gangja.

Next weekend it is the big one. The final leg of the 2014 Korean Triple Crown – the Minister’s Cup – is set for Seoul Racecourse. If she runs, Queen’s Blade, winner of both the Derby and the Oaks, will be the hot favourite.