Wonder Bolt

Singapore’s El Padrino On For Korea Return In Asia Challenge Cup

El Padrino is set to return to Korea to defend the Asia Challenge Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday August 30.

El Padrino wins the 2014 Asia Challenge Cup  (Pic: Elan959)

El Padrino wins the 2014 Asia Challenge Cup (Pic: Elan959)

The 7-year-old will face a stern test in this year’s event which will be run over the shorter distance of 1200M. Scheduled to accompany him from Singapore is Daniel, who comes into the race off the back of consecutive victories, along with Huka Falls, another very solid runner.

Two are expected from Japan. Taisei Legend and Kogyo Douglas, the latter of which has run in both editions of the Interaction Cup against Korean opposition at Ohi in 2013 and 2014.

As for the home team, Wonder Bolt and New York Blue, 2nd and 3rd respectively in last year’s race, are set to go again as is Watts Village, winner of the Interaction Cup at Ohi in 2013. Oreuse, on his day Korea’s best sprinter, is also among the nomnations while Cheon Gu, who has just returned from Singapore is likely to be there too.

Singapore
El Padrino (NZ) [Mr. Nancho – Crownie (Luskin Star)] 7 G (36/10/5/4)
Daniel (NZ) [Guillotine – Tina (Danasinga)] 5 G (18/7/5/1)
Huka Falls (NZ) [Align – Diamond Lady (Senor Pete)] 6 G (37/14/2/6)

Japan
Taisei Legend (JPN) [King Kamehameha – Sharp Kick (Mejiro McQueen)] 8 H (39/9/5/2)
Kogyo Douglas (JPN) [Sterling Rose – Amore Pegasus (Mejiro Ryan)] 8 H (37/13/6/2)

Korea
Yeongung Champ (USA) [More Than Ready – Word Of Mouth (Saint Ballado)] 3 C (7/4/1/0)
New York Blue (USA) [Candy Ride – Aim For The Moon (Deputy Minister)] 4 F (19/6/8/1)
Super Gangja (USA) [Sharp Humor – Honey Fritters (Helmsman)] 5 H (24/4/8/1)
Oreuse (USA) [Smoke Glacken – Heavenly Splendor (Point Given)] 6 H (28/12/4/3)
Gabo Myeongun (USA) [Sharp Humor – Tingwithasting (Wild Rush)] 3 C (8/4/2/1)
Watts Village (USA)[Forestry – Edey’s Village (Silver Deputy)] 5 H (19/8/5/2)
Wonder Bolt (USA) [Desert Warrior – Little Champ (Great Gladiator)] 5 G (23/6/9/1)
Choegang Schiller (USA)[Artie Schiller – Changeable (Miswaki)] 4 G (12/6/2/1)
Geumbit Hwanhui (KOR) [Peace Rules – Sincheonchun (Silent Warrior)] 4 F (16/5/3/2
Bichui Jeongsang (USA) [Wildcat Heir – Persimmon Honey (Colonial Affair)] 4 F (14/5/4/2)
Cheon Gu (USA) [Old Fashioned – So Much Fun (Speightstown)] 3 C (6/4/1/1)

The Asia Challenge Cup is the showpiece even of this year’s international weekend at Seoul Racecourse on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 August, which will also involve Trophy Exchange races with the Singapore Turf Club, Selangor Turf Club, Turkey Jockey Club and Horse Racing Ireland as well as the Asia Young Guns Jockey Challenge and the KRA Cup Classic.

Weekend Preview – Wonder Bolt, Beolmaui Kkum Headline At Seoul & Busan

It’s been a mild week across the peninsula and the almost spring-like conditions are set to continue for what’s going to be a busy weekend of racing in Korea.

Wonder Bolt is the star attraction at Seoul this weekend (Pic: Elan959)

Wonder Bolt is the star attraction at Seoul this weekend (Pic: Elan959)

At Busan, there are class 1 races on both Friday and Sunday. Friday’s card sees Success Story, fresh from a 17-length triumph last month, make his first bid for a big class 1 handicap as he takes on Road To Prince, My Winner and Challanhan Useung over a mile. Also on Friday, Rafale, the south-coast track’s champion juvenile, makes the first start of his 3-year-old campaign and his first attempt on the Korean Derby distance of 1800M.

On Sunday, Korea’s joint-top rated horse Beolmaui Kkum will be in action in the feature race. He’ll carry a full 8kg more than his rivals, who include Mujinjang, who has won 6 of his 7 starts and returns to action after over 4 months in the sidelines.

Seoul also sees its top-rated horse in action with Wonder Bolt headlining the feature race on Sunday afternoon. Just like Beolmaui Kkum, he’ll be giving 8kg to his rivals, but has every chance of overcoming it in the 1800M handicap.

Full racecards for the whole weekend are available at the KRA website. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday January 16
Busan Racecourse: 11 races from 11:40 to 18:00 (races 4-11 simulcast to Singapore – race by race preview here)
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 13:20 to 17:20

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

Sunday January 18
Seoul Racecourse: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:00

Dubai On Cards For Wonder Bolt After Seoul Cruise

Wonder Bolt continued to add to his burgeoning reputation with an easy win at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday in a class 1 contest that many observers regarded as being of superior quality to many recent Stakes races.

Watts Village, Nolbu Manse, Sing Sing Cat and Fly Top Queen were among those left behind as Wonder Bolt bided his time under jockey Seo Seung Un before bounding away in the home straight for an eased-down 4-length victory, just outside the track record time for 1700M.

The grey Wonder Bolt first came to mainstream attention by finishing 5th in the season ending Grand Prix last year but it is in his 4-year-old season where he has really started to shine. A couple of smart wins at both sprint and route distances established him as one of the most versatile horses at the track before he finished 2nd to El Padrino in the Asia Challenge Cup in August

That 2nd place – for which he was awarded an official rating of 106 by the Singapore handicapper – meant that he qualifies to run at the Dubai Carnival in the Spring and his win at the weekend suggests that he has every chance of putting in a decent performance if he goes.

Connections may take some persuading. That’s understandable as despite a likely hike in his handicap mark again, if he stays at home, Wonder Bolt will no doubt mop up some lucrative handicaps in the New Year.

Watts Village, victorious in Tokyo last year and 3rd in the race on Sunday was eligible to go to Dubai last year. Connections spurned the opportunity to make even more Korean racing history. Hopefully Wonder Bolt will give it a go this time around.

Class 1 Handicap – Seoul Racecourse – 1700M – November 2, 2014

1. Wonder Bolt (USA) [Desert Warrior – Little Champ (Great Gladiator)] – Seo Seung Un – 1.9, 1.2
2. Clean Up Cheonha (USA) [El Correador – Loh Collado (More Than Ready)] – Lee Sang Hyeok – 5.4
3. Watts Village (USA) [Forestry – Edey’s Village (Silver Deputy)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 1.9
Distances: 4 lengths/2.5 lengths – 12 ran

Weekend Preview: Wonder Bolt, Watts Village, Fly Top Queen in Seoul Asia Challenge Cup Rematch

Three Korean-trained horses will fly to Japan on Friday to take part in the Interaction Cup at Ohi on November 11. However, the winner of last year’s race won’t be among them. Instead Watts Village will be at home in Seoul this Sunday, taking on some of the track’s best known imports in the weekend’s feature event.

Wonder Bolt is the star attraction at Seoul this weekend (Pic: Elan959)

Wonder Bolt is the star attraction at Seoul this weekend (Pic: Elan959)

Chief among eleven rivals for Watts Village is Wonder Bolt. The 4-year-old came the closest to El Padrino in the Asia Challenge Cup at the end of the August. And while the Singapore raider claimed the track record that day, Wonder Bolt was also comfortably within the previous best mark.

The race will be run over 1700M and going around two-turns for only the 2nd time will be Fly Top Queen, still the nation’s most expensive racehorse. She was an also ran in both last year’s Interaction Cup in Tokyo and in the Asia Challenge Cup as well as finding herself beaten by both Wonder Bolt and Watts Village back in July. A return to form is overdue.

Watts Village himself returned to form at the beginning of October with a crushing win over, among others, Here He Comes and Parang Juuibo, both of whom will be on the flight tomorrow. While we wish them the best of luck in the Japanese capital, there will be those lamenting that the three who run in the Korean capital on Sunday opted against taking their chance.

There’s plenty more action across the weekend, including top sprinter Oreuse going at Busan for the first time since May. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday October 31
Busan Racecourse: 11 races from 11:40 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 13:20 to 17:20

Saturday November 1
Seoul Racecourse: 12 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:10

Sunday November 2
Seoul Racecourse: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:00

Wonder Bolt Crushes Fly Top Queen, Watts Village in Asia Challenge Cup Trial

Wonder Bolt shook up the sprint division with an emphatic win over Fly Top Queen and the returning Watts Village in a trial for August’s Asia Cup Challenge race at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday night.

While Watts Village, who memorably won the Japan/Korea Interaction Cup at Tokyo Ohi last year, was returning form a 6-month lay-off and was not expected to be at 100%, Fly Top Queen, Korea’s most expensive imported racehorse, had looked in imperious form when dominating over the same 1400M distance a month ago.

Fly Top Queen was duly sent off as the odds-on favourite but Wonder Bolt, who had sat in the middle of the pack during the early stages, surged to the front with just over a furlong to go and then produced an unanswerable sprint to win by a full 9-lengths. To compound the disappointment for Fly Top Queen backers, Watts Village got up to edge her into third place.

Wonder Bolt and Lee Chan Ho, seen here winning a previous race in May (Pic: Elan959*)

Wonder Bolt and Lee Chan Ho, seen here winning a previous race in May (Pic: Elan959*)

The Asia Challenge Cup is scheduled to be run at Seoul Racecourse on August 31 and is set to involve 3 horses from Singapore and 3 horses from Japan. An encouragingly large number of nominations from Singapore have been received, all of them for horses with ratings in excess of 100. Japan – chastened perhaps after Watts Village’s 100/1 triumph in Tokyo – has also indicated that they plan to send stronger horses than last time, when they won the Seoul leg of the race with Tosen Archer.

This means that Korea needs all its A-listers on their game if they are to compete. With Busan horses currently still not eligible to run, the focus has been on Fly Top Queen – and Yeongsan II if connections can be persuaded to take a sporting chance. Wonder Bolt may just have shot to the top of the list.

Class 1 – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – July 20, 2014

1. Wonder Bolt (USA) [Desert Warrior – Little Champ (Great Gladiator)] – Lee Chan Ho – 4.4, 1.4
2. Watts Village (USA) [Forestry – Edey’s Village (Silver Deputy)] – Seo Seung Un – 1.7
3. Fly Top Queen (USA) [Henny Hughes – Cape Discovery (Cape Town)] – Moon Se Young – 1.0

Distances: 9 lengths/1 length – 10 ran.

*Picture from the very excellent Elan959 blog