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

Grand Prix Stakes 2014 – 25 On Ballot For Season-Ending Showpiece

Now in its 33rd year, the Grand Prix Stakes isn’t the richest event on the Korean racing calendar, but it is definitely the most prestigious. Modelled after Japan’s Arima Kinen, racing fans get to vote on which horses they want to invite to run in the race which will be held at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday December 14.

Gamdonguibada is on the ballot again. She won the Grand Prix in 2012

Gamdonguibada is on the ballot again. She won the Grand Prix in 2012

This year 25 horses have been entered on the ballot. A maximum of 16 will get in and punters have until November 23rd to vote. Last year’s winner Indie Band is on the long-term injured list but 2012 winner Gamdonguibada, fresh from her victory in Sunday’s Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup is there as is Gyeongbudaero, who claimed the President’s Cup at Seoul earlier this month.

Here is the full list of nominations:

Seoul

Rush Forth (USA)
Samjeong Jewang (USA)
Wonder Bolt (USA)
My Day (KOR)
Jangmi Eondeok (USA)
Unbeatable (USA)
Impetus (KOR)
Damyang Chukje (USA)
Clean Up Cheonha (USA)
Clean Up Joy (USA)

Busan

Beolmaui Kkum (USA)
Gyeongbudaero (KOR)
New York Blue (USA)
Multi Luck (USA)
Strictly Two Step (USA)
Magic Dancer (KOR)
Nobody Catch Me (USA)
Gamdonguibada (USA)
Major King (KOR)
All Su (KOR)
Hangangui Gijeok (KOR)
Ghost Whisper (KOR)
Cheonji Bulpae (AUS)
Gumpo Sky (KOR)
Heba (USA)

The race will be run over 2300 metres. The normal sub-zero temperatures and occasional snow only add to the occasion. We will have plenty more build-up as the big day gets nearer.

Gamdonguibada Completes The Queen Sweep

Gamdonguibada was back to her dominant best at Busan on Sunday as she crushed her opposition to win the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup and in doing so, complete the full Queens’ Tour set, having won the Ttukseom Cup and KNN Cups earlier in the season.

Gamdonguibdada wins the Gyeongnam Governor's Cup (Pic: KRA)

Gamdonguibdada wins the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup (Pic: KRA)

She was sent off as the slight odds-on favourite for the 2000 metre, with New York Blue, who had beaten her over the same distance last month – albeit carrying less weight – second in the market.

In the end, it wasn’t even close. While outsider Silver Classic set the pace for much of the race, Gamdonguibada was always on her shoulder and pounced as they entered the home straight.

A slight drift over to the stands side barely registered as the 5-year-old sprinted away for a 4-length win. New York Blue was 2nd while prolific placer Ms. Margaux was 3rd.

It was a 6th Stakes win for Gamdonguibada and the $31,000 purchase from Ocala in 2011 has now earned almost $2Million in prize money. He biggest win came in the 2012 Grand Prix Stakes and her name is on the ballot for this year’s event too.

New York Blue in 2nd showed that she too is of high quality at any distance while it was another superb training performance from Peter Wolsley to send out Ms. Margaux into 3rd. Yereobunuiyeowang, under Japanese jockey Nozomu Tomizawa was 4th while Dragon Hill led home the Seoul contingent in 5th.

Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 2000M – Nov 16, 2014

1. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.7, 1.1
2. New York Blue (USA) [Candy Ride – Aim For the Moon (Deputy Minister)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.2
3. Ms. Margaux (USA) [Midnight Lute – Sixtyone Margaux (Cozzene)] – Park Geum Man – 3.1

Distances: 4 lengths / Neck
Also Ran: 4. Yeoreobunuiyeowang (JPN) 5. Dragon Hill (USA) 6. Jangmi Eondeok (USA) 7. SIlver Classic (USA) 8. Shining Future (KOR) 9. Big Power (USA) 10. Heba (USA) 11. Seungbu Sinhwa (USA) 12. Winner’s Marine (USA) 13. Changiparang (USA)

Queens’ Tour Finale: Gamdonguibada Goes For a Clean-Sweep in Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup

The Queens’ Tour series of three races to decide the nation’s champion filly or mare, the first of which was all the way back in March, finally concludes at Busan this Sunday.

Gamdonguibada in the Ttukseom Cup winner's circle, the first leg of the Queens' Tour. She won the 2nd leg too

Gamdonguibada in the Ttukseom Cup winner’s circle, the first leg of the Queens’ Tour. She won the 2nd leg too

Gamdonguibada, the 2012 Grand Prix Stakes winner, claimed victory in both the Ttukeseom Cup at Seoul and the KNN Cup at Busan in August and has the chance to complete a clean sweep in the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup.

It’s been an up-and-down year for the five-year-old mare but she will have plenty of backers to complete what would be a creditable hat-trick in races over seven, eight and ten furlongs. Of those out to stop her, New York Blue, who she beat in the KNN Cup in June, but who has since beaten her, looks the most interesting.

Here is a full run down of the field for a race which will be simulcasted back to Seoul and will also be shown live on the KRA’s international telecast to Singapore. (Name [Pedigree] (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Korean Rating figure – Jockey (Home Track):

Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 2000M – November 16, 2014 (16:15)

1. Dragon Hill (USA) [Afleet Alex- Caracara (Nashwan)] (20/2/3/5) 110 – Seo Seung Un (Seoul)
2nd in the YTN Cup behind stablemate Big Power, who also goes here, she was 5th in her only outing since and despite Seo Seung Un coming down to ride her, it’s tough to recommend her to beat the Busan horses.

2. Silver Classic (USA) [Chapel Royal – Psychic Friend (Star de Naskra)] (28/4/4/2) 103 – Jo Sung Gon (Busan)
A big jockey booking in the shape of Jo Sung Gon but this mare has found life difficult at class 1 and has struggled in two starts to date at this distance. She was 4th in the KNN Cup in June and a similar result here would be a realistic target.

3. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] (22/11/4/4) 123 – Kim Yong Geun (Busan)
She hasn’t won in three starts since the KNN Cup and was three lengths behind New York Blue last time out over this distance. She was conceding almost 6Kg that day though and will only be conceding 2kg this time. A strong chance of completing a clean sweep.

4. Seungbu Sinhwa (USA) [Bluegrass Cat – Island Rhythm (Skip Trial)] (20/0/3/4) 90 – Lee Dong Kug (Seoul)
She hasn’t won any of her 23 starts and that won’t change. Well beaten in both the Ttukseom Cup and the KNN Cup, she’s yet to graduate from class 2 and doesn’t have the speed to compete strongly here.

5. Yeoreobunuiyeowang (JPN) [Gold Allure – Meijino Joketsu (Silver Hawk)] (13/3/1/4) 89 – Nozomu Tomizawa (Busan)
She was 3rd behind Miss Margaux on her most recent start at 1900M – a filly she beat when winning the Gold Circle Trophy in July – but was tiring in the closing stages and will need to show improvement here. That Gold Circle win was in a quick time and she showed good late speed. She’ll need to get back to that form if she is to compete here.

6. New York Blue (USA) [Candy Ride – Aim For the Moon (Deputy Minister)] (13/5/5/1) 115 – You Hyun Myung (Busan)
Finished 3rd behind El Padrino and Wonder Bolt in the Asia Challenge Cup at Seoul in August over 7 furlongs and then surprised some with a strong 2nd behind Beolmaui Kkum and ahead of Gamdonguibada at this distance a month ago. For that reason, she has the second highest rating in the race, as well as being the fastest, and has every chance.

7. Shining Future (KOR) [Silver Train – Juliet’s Kiss (Kissin Kris)] (29/4/4/2) 101 – Song Keong Yun (Busan)
6th in the Ttukseom Cup and 7th in the KNN Cup. With the exception of a 2nd place in August, recent results haven’t been encouraging and she was sent off at odds of over 170/1 on her last start. An outsider.

8. Heba (USA) [Peace Rules – Sue’s Temper (Temperance Hill) (24/6/4/1) 109 – Kim Dong Young (Busan)
4th in the Ttukseom Cup and 6th in the KNN Cup, she has a quick finish and may be in line for a place if she can find a good position as they head for home. Scored a win over Gamdonguibada at this distance back in January when she benefitted from an 8kg weight advantage. They carry the same here though.

9. Jangmi Eondeok (USA) [Midnight Lute – Sea Gift (A.P.Indy)] (13/3/4/1) 105 – Kim Ok Sung (Seoul)
Kim Ok Sung was riding in Tokyo in midweek when he rode the 11th horse home in the Korea/Japan Interaction Cup. He could well be finishing 11th in this one too. She’s only run twice since finishing in that position – 11th – in the Ttukseom Cup and those runs do not inspire confidence.

10. Big Power (USA) [A.P.Warrior – Dixie Satin (Dynaformer)] (26/4/2/2) 107 – Lee Hyeok (Seoul)
A good winner of the YTN Cup back in August, she was (a well-beaten) 6th of 13 against a competitive field on her class 1 debut the following month. She won the YTN Cup from just off the pace but there are plenty here who can finish strongly she’s going to need to find improvement.

11. Winner’s Marine (KOR) [Volponi – Graceful Ballerina (Posse)] (11/5/2/1) 105 – Lee Sung Jae (Busan)
This 3-year-old won her first five races before coming 9th in the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown. She hasn’t won since although she did manage 3rd in the Korean Oaks in August before finding things very tough at Seoul in the Minister’s Cup last month. She should do better here but is tough to recommend for the win.

12. Miss Margaux (USA) [Midnight Lute – Sixtyone Margaux (Cozzene)] (13/1/6/6) 103 – Park Geum Man (Busan)
Peter Wolsley’s filly had recorded six 2nds and six 3rds before finally breaking her maiden at the 13th attempt last month. The line only just came in time that day in what was a slowly run race and she steps up a further 100 metres here. She’s demonstrated she has plenty of speed in the past though and she may well be up there competing for a place again.

13. Changiparang (USA) [Touch Gold – Victory Roll (Deerhound)] (27/2/5/3) 105 – Shin Hyung Chul (Seoul)
She’s spent the past year running at sprint distances at which she regularly picked up minor places until graduating to class 1 where she has found herself out of her depth. Her return to racing around two-turns of the track is likely to be no easier.

Korean Horses Try Hard But Found Wanting In Interaction Cup

There was to be no repeat of Watts Village’s sensational 2013 win for Korea in the latest edition of the Japan/Korea Interaction Cup at Ohi Racecourse in Tokyo on Tuesday night.

Here He Comes and Moon Se Young in the Ohi paddock (Pic: KRA)

Here He Comes and Moon Se Young in the Ohi paddock (Pic: KRA)

Three Korean trained horses made their way to the Japanese capital to take their chances in the 1200M race. However, they were to come up short against a strong line-up of local sprinters, with the race won by the favourite, 6 year-old US-bred Satono Daytona (Tapit).

Here He Comes, ridden by Moon Se Young, came home in 9th, with Parang Juibo in 11th under Kim Ok Sung and Useung Iyagi, who set the early pace under Ikuyasu Kurakane, finishing last of the 13. All horses and riders finished safely and will return to Korea later this week.

Jockey Kim Ok Sung explains what went wrong to the media after Parang Juibo finished 11th (Pic: KRA)

Jockey Kim Ok Sung explains what went wrong to the media after Parang Juibo finished 11th (Pic: KRA)

Regardless of the result, the successful running of the race was another step forward as Korean racing, after decades of isolation, finally starts to establish its presence internationally.

And while it was unquestionably disappointing for Korean racing fans that the best domestic sprinters were not put forward for the trip, especially after the unexpected win last year, sometimes it is the taking part that counts.

With this bilateral race with Japan set to continue, and the successful hosting of the Asia Challenge Cup earlier this year, “Interaction” is finally happening.

Gyeongbudaero Wins President’s Cup At Third Attempt

The expressway between Seoul and Busan is called “Gyeongbu”. Given that so much big race prize-money has disappeared down that road from the capital, it is perhaps appropriate that a horse called Gyeongbudaero, returned back South with the biggest prize of them all in the President’s Cup yesterday.

Gyeongbudaero (far side) just edges Best Captain in the President's Cup (Pic: KRA)

Gyeongbudaero (far side) just edges Best Captain in the President’s Cup (Pic: KRA)

Now five-years-old, Gyeongbudaero won the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Korean Triple Crown in 2012.

He followed it up with a third place in the Korean Derby and that year’s President’s Cup. Last year he would come back to Seoul and finish second. This year he finally got it right in the nation’s richest race.

It was another Busan raider, Hangangui Gijeok, who was sent off as the pre-race favourite, with Magic Dancer also ahead of Gyeongbudaero in the betting. And it was Magic Dancer who set much of the early pace with the favourite and Ganghae, a shock third in the Minister’s Cup, in close attendance.

This would turn out to be a race for the closers though and as first Ganghae disappeared and then Hangangui Gijeok Magic Dancer began to wane, it was Gyeongbudaero and outsider Best Captain who took full advantage. They would battle all the way to the line but it was Gyeongbudaero who got there first by a head.

Magic Dancer came home three lengths back in third ahead of Hangangui Gijeok with Derby and Oaks winning filly Queen’s Blade in fifth.

It was a tenth career victory for Gyeongbudaero and his fourth Stakes win. Twelve of his twenty-seven starts have been in Stakes company and he is now approaching the KRW 2 Billion mark in prize-money won.

If connections want it, they will be sure of getting an invite back to Seoul next month for the season-ending Grand Prix Stakes. Gyeongbudaero’s sixth place in last year’s race is one of only two occasions to date on which he has been out of the money.

President’s Cup (KOR G1) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – November 9. 2014

1. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae – 6.7, 1.9
2. Best Captain (KOR) [Revere – Onethindime (Tactical Advantage)] – Ikuyasu Kurakane – 4.9
3. Magic Dancer (KOR) [Forest Camp – Woldly Magic (Peterhof)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.7
Distances: Head / 3 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Hangangui Gijeok 5. Queen’s Blade 6. Haneuli Chubok 7. Gumpo Sky 8. New And Best 9. Gwanggyo Bisang 10. Success Story 11. Gumanseok 12. Heukgisa 13. Ganghae

* So yet another big race win for Busan and it is the southern track that looks likely to take the honours when horses from the two tracks clash again next Sunday – this time on the South Coast – in the Gyeongnam Owners’ Cup, the final leg of the Queens’ Tour.

President’s Cup: Thirteen To Contest Korea’s Richest Race

It’s the big one. Not in terms of prestige – that belongs to the open to all comers season-ending Grand Prix Stakes – but in terms of prize money, nothing in Korea can top the President’s Cup which will be run at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday.

Hangangui Gijeok and You Hyun Myung win the Owners' Cup at Busan. Can they add a President's Cup too? (KRA)

Hangangui Gijeok and You Hyun Myung win the Owners’ Cup at Busan. Can they add a President’s Cup too? (KRA)

Restricted to Korean bred horses, the Derby and Oaks winner is here in the shape of Queen’s Blade. She’s the only filly among a very competitive field of 13 that includes old favourites such as Gyeongbudaero and young up-and-comers like Hangangui Gijeok.

It will be one of the biggest betting races of the year Here is a full run-down of the field (Name [Pedigree] Age Sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Korean Rating – Jockey):

President’s Cup (KOR G1) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – Sunday November 9, 2014 – 16:40

1. Gumanseok [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] 5 G (27/9/5/5) 115 – Seo Seung Un
Beaten into third last time out by a very impressive Gwanggyo Bisang and the much-hyped Yeongsan II, this is a tough gelding who has some big wins on his resume. Not likely to be winning this but he can challenge for a place.

2. Ganghae [Didyme – Ocelot (Catrail)] 3 C (15/5/5/1) 109 – Choi Bum Hyun
A revelation in the Minister’s Cup last month when he stayed on for a very creditable 3rd behind Never Seen Before and Gumpo Sky. Again, he may find one or two too quick for him here but another big run can’t be ruled out.

3. Hangangui Gijeok [Didyme – Legendary Destiny (Giant’s Causeway)] 3 G (10/8/1/0) 124 – You Hyun Myung
The latest phenom to emerge from Busan, he comes into the race off the back of seven consecutive wins, most recently the Busan Owners’ Cup in September. He will come from off the pace and has very good late speed. On form, he will be tough to beat and while it will be his first time at Seoul, he is difficult to oppose.

4. Gwanggyo Bisang [Menifee – Touch Upon (Touch Gold)] 4 G (16/11/1/3) 122 – Park Tae Jong
A double Stakes winner last year, he comes in with three consecutive victories and was especially impressive carrying 60kg to victory over this distance a month ago. He is perhaps Seoul’s best hope but he is going to need to find even more improvement to beat the visitors from Busan.

5. New And Best [Trick Of Fate – Yongungch’eon (Phizam)] 7 H (61/4/6/3) 101 – Kim Ok Sung
No. His 4th place over this distance last time out was his first money finish since January. He has been a good and competitive horse but is overmatched here.

6. Haneului Chubok [Revere – Mina D’Oro (Afleet)] 6 G (33/6/10/4) 118 – Kim Tae Kyung
Fourth in the Busan Owners’ Cup last time out, just three lengths behind winner Hangangui Gijeok, eh may go close again but with both Magic Dancer and Gyeongbudaero also both ahead of him that day, it is difficult to see him reversing that form here.

7. Magic Dancer [Forest Camp – Wildly Magic (Peterhof)] 4 C (16/10/4/0) 126 – Kim Yong Geun
A proven winner at Seoul, having taken the Jeju Governor’s Cup back in June over this distance, this is a classy horse who must be respected. He will be towards the front throughout and will stay on. He also has the fastest final furlong among this field. Beaten by Hangangui Gijeok in the Busan Owners’ Cup, he will have supporters to overturn that form here. Jockey Kim Yong Geun opts for him over Queen’s Blade.

8. Gyeongbudaero [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run) 5 H (26/9/6/7) 125 – Choi Si Dae
One of the stars of the track over the past three years, he doesn’t have the win record that he might have had with eleven of his starts coming in Stakes races. His third place in the Busan Owners’ Cup was his first start since February. He has only been out of the money twice in twenty-six starts and it will be a brave punter who leaves him off his or her tickets here.

9. Queen’s Blade [Menifee – Harboring (Boston Harbor)] 3 F (12/7/3/0) 113 – Masakazu Tanaka
The Derby and Oaks winner was beaten eight lengths into fifth in the Minister’s Cup at this distance last month when sent off as favourite. Three of those who beat her in that race go again today. It has been a long season for her and while she is clearly a huge talent, this may be a race too far. It would be fantastic to be proved wrong.

10. Gumpo Sky [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] 3 C (14/5/5/2) 111 – Park Geum Man
Second in the Minister’s Cup a month ago, this is another horse whose win record doesn’t reflect his talent. Expect him to be close to the pace early and force the rest to try to come past. He should be aiming for at least a place.

11. Best Captain [Revere – Onethindime (Tactical Advantage) 4 C (17/7/5/3) 116 – Ikuyasu Kurakane
A very consistent money winner who has only failed to bring home a prize once out of his seventeen outings to date. A comfortable winner over 1800M last time out. He won that from the front and is likely to be among a large number here looking to get to the front early and stay there.

12. Success Story [Peace Rules – Power Pack (Lil’s Lad)] 3 C (9/5/0/2) 100 – Jo Sung Gon
He came into the Minister’s Cup last month off the back of three consecutive wins and showed the way for much of that race. He was found wanting in the final furlong though and that makes him difficult to support here. Jockey Jo Sung Gon doesn’t come to Seoul unless he thinks he has a chance though, so he will have some supporters.

13. Heukgisa [A.P.Dancer – Mansumugang (Half Term)] 5 G (22/9/5/2) 119 – Yoo Seung Wan
A very good-looking nine-length class 1 win over this distance a month ago is what gives him such a high rating here and also means he must be respected. Another who likes to be at the front early, he won’t be favourite but can’t be ruled out.