YTN Cup

Moonhak Chief Bosses YTN Cup As Cheongdam Dokki & New Legend Falter

All year the YTN Cup has had a red ring around it as the day when Cheongdam Dokki and New Legend would meet. Not on the agenda was that both would be beaten. However, that’s what happened at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday as Moonhak Chief thoroughly trounced all rivals to win they 2nd leg of the Stayers’ Series by 12-lengths.

The doubts had started to creep in about New Legend, a Korean-bred horse who began his career in the USA, picking up a win at Arlington Park before returning to Korea in early autumn last year. He won his early domestic contests with ease before coming up short when tried at 1200M in April’s Busan Ilbo Cup. Nevertheless, he was sent off as the 4/1 second-favourite in the thirteen strong field.

Cheongdam Dokki had also struggled when asked to sprint in March but the phenom had returned to form with a facile victory in the Herald Business Cup, the first leg of the Stayers’, a month ago and that led him to begin as the long odds-on favourite to claim his second YTN.

Moonhak Chief finished as runner-up in the Herald Business, a full six-lengths behind Cheongdam Dokki, but on Sunday he looked a winner all the way.

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It wasn’t close…

“I actually had no intention to lead” said jockey Moon Se Young, after partnering Moonhak Chief to a gate-to-wire win in strikingly similar fashion to how the rider won the Korean Derby on Wonderful Fly two weeks ago. “But Cheongdam Dokki didn’t go like I expected him to, so I found myself in front and took it from there”.

That was somewhat modest from Moon when talking about what was a very good ride. Once in front, he shut the race down in the back straight conserving plenty of energy before asking for an effort after turning for home that put his mount out of sight. The winning time was just half a second outside the track record for the 2000M and it is debatable as to whether an even in top-form Cheongdam Dokki could have caught him.

As for Cheongdam Dokki, he didn’t have his usual zip from the gate and to his outside  Argo Brain made a nuisance of himself for the first hundred metres or so. Subsequently though, always at least three wide and non-responsive to his jockey’s urgings rounding the final turn, he never looked a winner, ultimately trailing home in 5th.

Cheongdam Dokki passed the immediate veterinary examination and unless something shows up later, it seems likely that Antonio Da Silva will end up the unlucky fall guy. He didn’t do anything wrong at all – Cheongdam Dokki was simply not in the mood for racing on Sunday – but this is Korean racing and Dokki’s owner is not renowned for being shy about changing things up on a regular basis.

New Legend ran a solid, if one-paced race in 4th. He was in 3rd or 2nd most of the way around but failed to kick on at the business end of the race. A month ago, he was Korea’s biggest hope for the International races in September, there are now plenty of question marks hanging over him. He will hopefully get a chance to show recent form has been a blip, in the Busan Mayor’s Cup at the end of June.  That will likely be Cheongdam Dokki’s shot at redemption too.

Old campaigner Shamrocker did what he does and mopped up the pieces late on to snatch 2nd place. It was the six-year-old’s tenth runner-up finish on his 34th start. He spent his three and four-year-old season chasing Clean Up Joy and then his five-year-old season in futile pursuit of Cheongdam Dokki. In Moonhak Chief, there is perhaps another whose posterior he can watch vanishing into the distance. Not many others will beat him though.

Revelation of the race was Jumbo Blade. The four-year-old was, along with the winner and Shamrocker, the only one truly going well in the closing stages and the four-year-old Mineshaft colt got up for 3rd under Franco Da Silva on what was just his thirteenth career start. He has the same owner as Cheongdam Dokki.

Moonhak Chief is four-year-old American-bred colt by Pioneerof The Nile and out of Tallullah Lula (by Old Trieste).

Next weekend there is a double-helping of Graded Stakes action at Seoul with both the SBS Sports Sprint and Ttukseom Cup taking place on Sunday.

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YTN Cup Day: Cheongdam Dokki/New Legend – Race-By-Race Preview (May 26)

Cheongdam Dokki defends his YTN Cup crown in the main event of a busy Sunday’s racing (11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10).  Seoul’s top rated horse races up and comer Moonhak Chief as well as New Legend, five from six in Korea, in the showpiece race over 2000M.

 

Cheongdam Dokki Mayor's Cup Lets Run Park Busan

Cheongdam Dokki is set to defend the YTN Cup (Pic: KRA)

Cheongdam Dokki is set to be prohibitive favourite for the race although New Legend’s only defeat in Korea so far came at a sprint distance in the Busan Ilbo Cup last month. Although Korean-bred, he began his racing career in the United States. On his only previous try at today’s distance, he demolished the rest of the field although this time, the company will be significantly stiffer.

Baekmunbaekdap, Moonhak Chief and the ever-reliable Shamrocker are among others expected to compete for at least the placings. Here is the horse-by-horse preview for every race at Seoul and Busan on Sunday. The YTN Cup is race 9 at Seoul.

Seoul Race 1: Class 5 (1000m) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

  1. FINAL STORM – Ran through the line fairly last start when trying to lead throughout. The four-year-old will be suited by the five furlongs once again. Each way chance.
  2. GREEN Y – Has finished well back at all four starts this preparation. Prefer others.
  3. SMART DREAM – Demoted to Class 5 company after numerous poor performance in tougher company. Hard to suggest.
  4. GOLD SEUTAK – Twenty-eight start maiden who hasn’t looked threatening for quite some time.
  5. YEONGWONHAN SUNGAN – First run since December last year. Place chance at best first up after running some handy performances last preparation in similar company.
  6. JEOKTO BIMA – Class 6 winner two starts back and followed it up with a five length defeat last start when finishing seven lengths behind Super Yeowang. Can figure with the right run.
  7. GEUM STAR – Third career start for the Clear Attempt filly. Saluted at her first run and then beaten over thirteen lengths when stepping up in Class 5. Missed the start last time out and will benefit if she can get out of the gates in quick fashion.
  8. EOMJI YEOWANG – Eighteenth career start looking for her second win. Performed well for Alan Munro last start when coming from the tail to finish second. Each way chance.

VERDICT: From the inside barrier (1) FINAL STORM will get every opportunity to steal this race. He looks as if he can run a strong enough 1000m that they may struggle to catch him. (8) EOMJI YEOWANG responded to the riding of Alan Munro last start when closing strongly. (7) GEUM STAR can figure if she jumps away cleanly. (6) JEOKTO BIMA looking to bounce back.

Selections (1) Final Storm (8) Eomji Yeowang (7) Geum Star (6) Jeokto Bima
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 1, 6

 

Seoul Race 2: Class 5 (1300m) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

  1. INDIAN ECO – Been well tried in this company and has struggled to figure of late. Drops back to the 1300m which appears to assist her chances however this looks tough.
  2. SILVER LION – Hard to suggest on her twenty-one start career to date. The five-year-old has managed to finish in the top three on three occasions. Rough place chance.
  3. DURI – Six start maiden who has hit the line strongly at her past few starts. 1300m ideal.
  4. HANSEN BAROWS – Speedy type who should ping the gates and work forward early. Much improved effort last start and should not be discounted.
  5. CHANGSEONG GANGJA – Dropped back to the 1300m last start when beat by a big margin. Prefer others.
  6. BUCKETFUL GOLD – Racing well and looks one of the main chances engaged. Finished fourth last start in similar company when beaten six lengths. Runs prior were good including a second and a win in Class 6 company. Keep safe.
  7. DAEHAN ILPUM – Sent out at a short quote his past couple of starts and disappointed on both occasions. Needs to improve.
  8. STRIDE UP – Looks a good chance for new jockey Ryan Curatalo. Disappointing last time out when missing the kick and struggling to recover on a muddy track. Runs prior were promising. Has to overcome 57kg.
  9. GOD OF SOCKS – Has finished well back in recent runs and hard to make a case for in this event.
  10. CHACACHACACHA – Yet to place from eight starts. Hard to suggest.
  11. ROYAL TANK – Nineteen start maiden who will most likely struggle from an outside gate.
  12. K. GUNJU – Broke through at his third career start when leading throughout over the 1300m. Expect Park Eul Woon to bustle the three-year-old out of the gates and get on speed.

VERDICT: (4) HANSEN BAROWS has improved of late and is normally competitive in this class. (12) P.K. GUNJU may prove hard to run down should he find the lead from the outside gate. (8) STRIDE UP was racing well prior to last start when missing the jump. (6) BUCKETFUL GOLD appears an each-way chance.

Selections (4) Hansen Barows (12) P.K. Gunju (8) Stride Up (6) Bucketful Gold
Next Best 3, 1
Fast Start 4, 6, 7, 12

 

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300m) Special Weight C / KRW 40 Million

  1. MANSEOK JIGI – Resumed last start when finishing fifth in muddy conditions. Should hold a position in the first half of the field.
  2. SPADE MASHIE – Stepped up to the 1700m last start where he appeared to struggle to run through the line strong. Drops back to the 1300m where he has shown some good form. Each way chance.
  3. FAMILY PARK – Ran through the line better than some last start but would need to improve to figure.
  4. SUHO – Well fancied last start but disappointed when only managing to finish sixth. Previous runs were strong enough to fill a place. Keep safe.
  5. SOARA HEUKJANGGUN – Produced a fast sectional to finish fourth last start over the 1300m. Previous runs have been one paced.
  6. DOUBLE DUNDAS – Second career start in this event after finishing well back on debut. Looks safely held.
  7. EAGLE EYE – Debut was fair when finishing fourth and overcoming a wide gate. Expect improvement at her second start.
  8. HUSH DAEBO – Testa Matta colt making his debut for trainer Jeon Seung Gyu. Finished third in a moderate time. Moon Se Young rode in the trial and retains the ride which may be a good lead.
  9. HWANGGEUM DOYAJI – Eye-catching run last start when coming from the tail to finish third. Step up to the 1300m will suit the three-year-old.
  10. JAENEUNG CHUNGMAN – Third start for the Colors Flying filly after a good effort to finish third last start behind Running Box. Lim Gi Won to be legged aboard.
  11. CITY SONGAM – Debuted last start when sent out unwanted by punters. Managed to finish midfield and one that may improve with more racing experience.

VERDICT: (9) HWANGGEUM DOYAJI appears one that will appreciate the step up allowing her to wind up. (2) SPADE MASHIE is aided by a good gate and did not see the 1700m out strongly last start. The 1300m will suit. (10) JAENEUNG CHUNGMAN has the services of polished hoop Lim Gi Won. (4) SUHO can bounce back after a poor performance.

Selections (9) Hwanggeum Doyaji (2) Spade Mashie (10) Jaeneung Chungman (4) Suho
Next Best 7, 1
Fast Start 1, 2, 7

 

Seoul Race 4: Class 4 (1300m) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

  1. FIORE – Has been struggling to figure in races of similar strength. Would need to improve to figure.
  2. GEUMSEONGHWANGJE – Solid start to the three-year-old’s career winning two from six starts along with a handful of places. Ran second behind Nimui Hyanggi last start in similar company. One of the main chances.
  3. BEYOND OVER – Back marker who leaves herself too much to do come the top of the straight. If she can sit closer she can be considered an each-way chance.
  4. DAEGIL SANGJON – Has struggled since entering Class 4 company. Alan Munro has his first ride on the four-year-old. Needs to improve.
  5. YEOKDAE CHOEGO – Sensational win last start in Class 5 company when running on from a midfield position. Featherweight of 52kg puts him right in this race.
  6. ISCRA – Antonio Davielson has his first ride on the four-year-old. Punters have sent him out at short quotes his past few starts but has struggled to figure. Do not discount but needs to find a few lengths to place.
  7. SOMETHING NOBODYNO – Korean bred who has started off his career in good style. Promoted to this company after successive places in Class 5 company. Expect to sit on speed but will find this harder. 1300m should suit the three-year-old son of Simon Pure.
  8. SUPER YEOWANG – Another progressive type who is firing early on in her career. Has led at all three starts to date this preparation. Steps up in grade but has taken all before her so far.
  9. SIMON RICH – Looks safely held in a race full of speed.
  10. HANEULUI STAR – Lightly raced five-year-old who is having his third start this preparation. Ran second when resuming over the 1000m and then midfield at his second start back. Place chance.
  11. JILPUNG GANGJA – Went through the lower grades with ease but has found this type of company tougher. First time stretched out to the 1300m and needs to improve to figure.
  12. TIAGO TOUCH – Has previously won in Class 4 company and should be respected in this event with just 54kg. May be forced to settle rearwards from the gate.

VERDICT: (2) GEUMSEONGHWANGJE looks right in this with the good draw. Showed last start he can prove competitive in this grade. (5) YEOKDAE CHOEGO looks to be suited by the 1300m. (7) SOMETHING NOBODYNO is progressive and one to follow. (6) ISCRA is an each-way chance based on what we’ve seen from him to date.

Selections (2) Geumseonghwangje (5) Yeokdae Choego (7) Something Nobodyno (6) Iscra
Next Best 3, 11
Fast Start 2, 6, 7, 8

 

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1200m) Special Weight B / KRW 40 Million

  1. BLACK SPIRIT – Looking to break maiden status at start fifteen. Produced a better performance last time out when second behind Songam Barbie. On the two-week back up and drops back to the 1200m.
  2. SABA KINGDOM – Finally drawn an inside gate after a run of wide barriers. He led throughout when he broke maiden status five starts back in Class 6 company so look for Johan Victoire to be positive out of the gates. Form of last has been poor and needs to improve.
  3. WINNER SAY – Henny Hughes filly who broke through for a 2.5L win last time out over the 1000m in Class 6 company. Showed improvement last start to win and should be kept safe once again.
  4. GENERAL ROSE – All three career starts have been encouraging including a win in Class 6 company. Stepped up to the 1300m last start and accounted for herself well when fourth behind Udaeryung.
  5. KAHINAH – Broke through for her maiden win last start when Moon Se Young was legged aboard for the first time. Won by a nose last start and this looks tougher. 1300m suits.
  6. WANY K – Hard to suggest on recent form when well beaten in events similar to class of this race. Prefer others.
  7. SOBAEK YEONGJU – First time beyond 1000m this preparation. Found himself midfield last start and ran on well to finish fourth. Each way chance.
  8. EAGLE SKY – Fifth run this preparation. Placed at big odds last time out with just 51kg on his back. Has to carry 56kg in this event as he steps back up to 1300m and looks a hard task.
  9. ACE ZAPPER – Dropped back to Class 5 company four starts back and has still struggled.
  10. FIRE – Been quite some time since we have seen an encouraging performance from him. Looks safely held here.
  11. WINNER CROWN – Broke through two starts back when sent out by punters at a short quote. Followed his win up with a midfield finish in Class 5 company overcoming a wide gate. No easier today.
  12. WONDERFUL HENNESSY – Has speed to burn and should work forward early on from the outside gate. Been gobbled up in the home straight at her past couple when managing to hold on for a place.

(more…)

Cheongdam Dokki Strolls Home In YTN Cup

It was easy for Cheongdam Dokki. He confirmed his position as Seoul’s best horse by beating Clean Up Joy by five-lengths to win the YTN Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

There was general agreement before the race that only a mistake by Cheongdam Dokki, a restrictive favourite, could see him lose and that if that happened, Clean Up Joy would be the only one equipped to take advantage. In the end, it was Clean Up Joy who made the mistake. Never a fluent starter, the 7-year-old made his customary leap as the gates opened and was even slower into stride than usual, making a tall order next to impossible. Cheongdam Dokki meanwhile, who had as usual been a handful in the parade ring, glided regally out of the barrier and into a lead he was never in danger of giving up.

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So easy for Cheongdam Dokki in the YTN Cup (Pic: KRA)

Under Park Tae Jong, Clean Up Joy ran his usual race, looping the field in the back-straight to move into 2nd place in the home turn. That he had enough in him to comfortably see off stablemate Shamrocker, speaks volumes about what a good horse Clean Up Joy is. But he’s not as good as Cheongdam Dokki. Right now in Seoul, nothing is.

For Cheongdam Dokki, it was a 10th career win on his 15th start. The time was slower than his win at the same distance in the Herald Business last month but he looked utterly within himself. Next stop is scheduled to be the concluding leg of the “Stayers’ Series”, the Busan Mayor’s Cup, on the south coast, on July 1st. Three Busan horses beat Cheongdam Dokki in the Grand Prix last December – Power Blade (who has the same owner), Triple Nine and Dongbang Daero. That was at 2300M. It would be a brave punter who takes on Cheongdam Dokki at 1800M. If he overcomes that, a serious attempt at the Korea Cup has to be on agenda.

YTN Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – May 27, 2018

1. Cheongdam Dokki (USA) [To Honor And Serve – Elusive Gold (Strike The Gold)] – Lim Gi Won – 1.1, 1.0
2. Clean Up Joy (USA) [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeax Danseur)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.2
3. Shamrocker (USA) [Dublin – Portera (Lemon Drop Kid)] – Jang Chu Youl – 1.5
Distances: 5 lengths / 4 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Wonder Bolt (USA) 5. Wild Thunder (KOR) 6. Moonhak Chief (USA) 7. Places To Go (USA) 8. Miso Wangja (USA) 9. Winner Red (USA) 10. Areumdaundonghaeng (USA) 11. Chanma (KOR) 12. Cheonjeok (USA)

Round-up:

BUSAN SUNDAY

At Busan, Sun Day (Ingrandire) made it three wins from four starts in race 3. She’s half-sister to stablemate Today (Drosselmeyer) through their dam Gone Goodbye. Today has won ten of his twelve outings to date and is due to travel to Seoul to run in the SBS Sprint next Sunday. In Busan’s Sunday feature, Dynamic Dash (Pleasantly Perfect) returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in just over two years, outstaying a strong class 1 field over 2000M.

SEOUL SATURDAY

Manoel Nunes rode his first winner since taking up a full-time license in Korea. The Brazilian rider, three times champion in Singapore guided Two Kay (Biwa Shinseiki) to an all the way victory in race 11. Two Kay, an older half-brother of Korean Derby 3rd place-getter Choinma, was winning for the fifth time in eighteen starts. Two Kay would turn out to be the final winner saddled by trainer Ha Jae Heung, who retired after a 35-year career on Sunday.

BUSAN FRIDAY 

It was left to the track’s foreign grooms and in some cases trainers themselves to saddle and lead up their horses as local stable staff went on strike. Open The Sky (Sky Mesa), 7th in last year’s Korea Sprint returned for the first time since that September day in Seoul. Though favourite, the three-year-old, with five wins from nine prior starts, would have to settle for 2nd as fellow Kim Young Kwan trainee Uju Star (Officer), took the win. Both Peter Wolsley and Bart Rice played their part in keeping the show on the road, carrying out parade ring duty with their horses and both were rewarded with winners; Rice combining with jockey Fergus Sweeney as the promising Geumsuryeong (Vicar) moved on to three wins from five in race 9.

COMING UP NEXT WEEKEND

It’s mini International Week in Seoul with a string of Exchange races, but the big action comes in the form of a pair of big group races on Sunday afternoon:

SBS Sports Sprint: The 2nd leg of the Sprint Series and having beaten Power Blade in the 1st leg at Busan last month, Silver Wolf will look to follow up with a win on her home track. Power Blade won’t travel but a strong Busan continegent will with Today, Perdido Pomeroy and last year’s winner Doraonpogyeongseon expected to make the trip.

Ttukseom Cup: The 1st leg of the Queens’ Tour for fillies and mares aged 5-year-old or younger. Silver Wolf won this series last year but is now too old so Haeya, who spent most of 2017 chasing her, will have a real chance to get some big wins on the board.

YTN Cup Full Preview: Cheongdam Dokki Takes On Clean Up Joy Again

Cheongdam Dokki has spent the past few months systematically replacing Clean Up Joy as Seoul’s top horse. Cheongdam Dokki beat the older horse in both the KRA Cup Classic last October and the Herald Business Cup last month with Clean Up Joy the defending champion in both and found time in between to finish ahead of him in the Grand Prix Stakes and beat him in a handicap for good measure. A year ago, Clean Up Joy won the YTN Cup and on Seoul on Sunday, Cheongdam Dokki will be odds-on to take it off him. 

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Cheongdam Dokki & Lim Gi Won winning the Herald Business (Pic: Ross Holburt)

A field of twelve will assemble for the YTN Cup, which the 2nd leg in the “Stayer’s Series” – the Herald Business was the 1st and the Busan Mayor’s Cup is the final leg on July 1st on the South Coast.

Cheongdam Dokki was very much a handful last year with mounting yard and post parade antics making him a difficult watch for those who had backed him at short odds. Since his 4th place in the Grand Prix Stakes when he set blistering fractions only to run out of steam in the closing stages of the 2300M, he appears to have calmed down and looks to be maturing as a racehorse too. Under Lim Gi Won, who keeps the mount despite both previous riders Moon Se Young and Kim Yong Geun being back from injury, he will be expected to dictate from gate to wire.

It’s still a ten-furlong horse-race though and anything can happen. Clean Up Joy, got within two and a half lengths of him in the Herald Business Cup and clearly isn’t a spent force yet. He will run his usual race, being badly away from the outside gate, which connections always request due to his awkward way of starting, and then improving in the back straight before finishing strongly. If he can be close enough at the top of the straight so Cheongdam Dokki feels he has some competition, then we may have a race.

Clean Up Joy’s stablemate Shamrocker will be there too as will Places To Go, who provides a final Stakes runner for trainer Ha Jae Heung, who retires this weekend. Places To Go enters off three consecutive class 1 wins and may have a say. Pioneerof The Nile colt Moonhak Chief, with five wins from his eight starts so far also takes his chance. It is probably a little too much too soon, but he looks to have plenty of promise for the future.

  1. AREUMDAUNDONGHAENG – Formerly top mare who has gone very cold of late David Breux tasked with bringing some spark to her.
  2. SHAMROCKER – Took on Cheongdam Dokki for speed in January which was predictably futile. Ran his own race in the Herald Business and did better, finishing a good 3rd. Should place again.
  3. WINNER RED – 4th behind Places To Go at 1400M on only start this year. Outsider but may challenge for the lead which could be interesting.
  4. WONDER BOLT – 2nd to Silver Wolf in the Sports Donga in March but well back behind Cheongdam Dokki, Clean Up Joy and Shamrocker in the Herald Business.
  5. PLACES TO GO – A revelation this year going 3 for 3 at Class 1. Tougher opposition today but placing chances.
  6. CHEONGDAM DOKKI – If he runs anything approaching his best, he wins leading from gate to wire.
  7. CHEONJEOK – Well back in the Herald Business and a big outsider today.
  8. MISO WANGJA – Not much in recent form stands out. Another who may well opt to take on Cheongdam Dokki early.
  9. CHANMA – Decent enough at class 1 finishing 4th behind Places To Go last start. Big ask here but outside chance of the minor money.
  10. WILD THUNDER – Class 2 winner at this distance on April 21st which allows him to take his chance here. Big step up in competition though.
  11. MOONHAK CHIEF – Plenty of promise and the only three-year-old in the race. First time at the distance and perhaps a little too much too soon.
  12. CLEAN UP JOY – Still very dangerous, if Cheongdam Dokki does anything wrong, he’s the one to take advantage.

Selections: (6) Cheongdam Dokki (12) Clean Up Joy (2) Shamrocker (5) Places To Go

Easy For Clean Up Joy In YTN Cup

It always looked a mismatch and so it proved as Clean Up Joy effortlessly won the YTN Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

Ultimately it was an exceptionally well-paid workout for the 2016 Grand Prix Stakes winner who moves on to three for three this year, without being seriously tested in any of them.

This time, as expected, the only semblance of a challenge came from stablemate Shamrocker, whose jockey Kim Yong Geun pulled off a rather audacious move around the field in the back-straight to come to challenge Clean Up Joy. The two then moved well clear of the rest of the field before Clean Up Joy pulled away with a furlong to go and won with plenty in hand.

Clean Up Joy moves onto 14 wins from 24 starts and five consecutively. There’s little to challenge him at Seoul.

YTN Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – May 28, 2017

1. Clean Up Joy (USA) [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeux Danseur)] – Djordje Perovic – 1.1, 1.0
2. Shamrocker (USA) [Dublin – Portera (Lemon Drop Kid)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.2
3. Clean Up Cheonha (USA) [El Corredor – Loh Callado (More Than Ready)] – Lee Hyeok – 3.9
Distances: 4 lengths/11 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Sotong Sidae (KOR) 5. Unbeatable (USA) 6. Cheonjeok (USA) 7. Bichui Jeongsang (USA) 8. Winner Red (USA) 9. Argo Brain (USA) 10. Hwanggeumbiyul (USA) 11. Samjeong Jeguk (USA)

At Busan, Bart Rice and Darryll Holland combined to land the big race of the day, a Championship Series event over 2000M with Buhwarui Banseok.

Buhwarui Banseok (Tizway-Aim For The Moon) is a four-year-old colt who was winning for 6th time in 15 starts and scoring his second triumph at class 1.

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Clean Up Joy in YTN Cup: Preview (May 28)

The best horse in Korea will make his third start of 2017 on Sunday afternoon and Clean Up Joy looks odds-on to add the YTN Cup to his ever growing collection of big race wins. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10. English race cards can be found here.

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Clean Up Joy will bid to make it 3 out of 3 for 2017 (Pic: KRA)

The 6-year-old son of Purge won the KRA Cup Classic last October and then went on to defeat Triple Nine and Power Blade in the season ending Grand Prix Stakes in December. While the vanquished pair went on to race with distinction at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, Clean Up Joy stayed home.

Clean Up Joy has raced twice so far in 2017 although “raced” is a rather strong word so superior has he been, sauntering to a handicap victory in February before claiming the Herald Business Cup in April and it would be a brave punter who takes him on in the YTN.

After long-time regular jockey Ham Wan Sik relocated to Busan at the start of the year, Djordje Perovic has been the lucky one to replace him on Clean Up Joy. To do that he’s had to get off Shamrocker, who ran 3rd to Clean Up Joy las month – albeit ten lengths behind – and it’s Shamrocker who looks to be the closest thing to a rival to the favourite on Sunday.

It is racing of course and anything can happen but having beaten seven of this field across his last four starts, Clean Up Joy will surely be recording his 14th career win.

Here are notes on races to be simulcast overseas, including the YTN Cup:

Race 9: Class Open “The YTN Cup” (2000M) / Allowance / KRW 200 Million

1. UNBEATABLE – Not unbeatable but he rarely misses by much. 3rd behind Clean Up Joy and Soting Sidae at the distance last time, he carries lots more weight today but can place again.

2. BICHUI JEONGSANG – One of the best mares in Korea. 6th behind Clean Up Joy and Shamrocker last time, she is a strong closer who could get nearer today.

3. HWANGGEUMBIYUL – Last on solitary start of 2017 so far and a big ask here.

4. SHAMROCKER – 3rd behind Clean Up Joy last start and a strong winner of two class 1 races prior. May opt to set the pace here and is the biggest danger to the favourite.

5. WINNER RED – Hasn’t quite pushed on as expected but comes in following two creditable outings since being well back behind Cheonjeok in March. Minor money possible. (more…)

Miso Wangja Easily Wins YTN Cup

Miso Wangja was far too good as he dominated his rivals and claimed an 8-length win in the YTN Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday.

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Miso Wangja in the YTN Cup Winner’s Circle

The three-year-old US import had won three of six coming into the race but was most recently a surprisingly disapointing 3rd on his first try at Class 2 in April. Punters were happy to give Miso Wangja another chance  on Sunday and sent him off as the strong favourite ahead of nine modest rivals for the 2000M race.

The result never seemed in any doubt. Champion jockey Moon Se Young took Miso Wangja to the lead straight from the gate and there never looked to be any prospect of the colt being caught. The totally separate contest for 2nd place was won by outsider Cheonjeok with Dangsan Daehyeop a further four lengths back in 3rd.

Miso Wangja [Cowboy Cal – Auntie Soph (Valiant Nature)] was a $30,000 purchase from the OBS 2015 Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in training.

YTN Cup (Listed) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – May 29, 2016

1. Miso Wangja (USA) [Cowboy Cal – Auntie Soph (Valiant Nature)] – Moon Se Young – 1.7, 1.2
2. Cheonjeok (USA) [Shakespeare – Celtic Song (Giant’s Causeway)] – Yoo Seung Wan – 11.6
3. Dangsan Daehyeop (USA) [Indy King – Miss Daisy (Dynaformer)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 1.7
Distances: 8 lengths / 4 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Gwangbok Chilsip (USA) 5. Royal Jibbly (USA) 6. Chasing Dollars (USA) 7. Wanseung Bulpae (USA) 8. Argo Brain (USA) 9. The Ssen Champ (USA) 10. Cheonnyeon Yusan (USA)

Next weekend sees the first leg of the 2016 Queens’ Tour for fillies and mares in the shape of the Ttukseom Cup and also the SBS Korea v Japan Cup, both at Seoul on Sunday June 5. Three Japanese horses arrived at Seoul Racecourse last Friday and will take on a very strong home challenge. Full previews of both races will follow later this week