KNN Cup Sunday: Seoul & Busan Race-By-Race Preview (July 24)

Sunday sees the 2nd leg of the 2016 Queens Tour and a strong challenge has headed south from Seoul to Busan for the KNN Cup, which will be run over a mile. Also, three Korea-trained horses are in Singapore for this afternoon’s KRA Trophy at Kranji Racecourse.

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For the first time ever in Korea, a “contest” – not actual betting which remains illegal – will be offered on an overseas race, the KRA Trophy in Singapore

Of those three, it is Busan-based Triple Five that looks to have the most chance of making an impact in what looks a tough race over 1200M. The race will be beamed back live to Korea where punters are being offered a free to enter betting “event”. Plenty going on at home though and English racecards can be found here. Notes on selected races at Seoul and Busan, including the KNN Cup below:

Busan Race 1: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:00 (KST)

A comfortable winner on debut over 1000M last month, (3) ICE MARINE steps up in class and is favourite to land this all-filly contest. She should be on speed early and can lead all the way. (8) HWANGGEUM GEOTAP beat (6) TEXAS RUSH and (9) WINNING GILI at 1300M on Jun 24th. All three are accordingly up in class today and Hwanggeum Geotap is favoured to be most suited to this level and looks a danger again. Among those with experience of this class, (7) CHALLANHAN ACE and (10) VICAR HOPE, the latter of whom struggled in wet conditions last start, look the best while front-runner (1) LION PARK can’t be discounted either.

Selections (3) Ice Marine (8) Hwanggeum Geotap (10) Vicar Hope (7) Challanhan Ace
Next Best 6, 1, 2, 4
Outsiders 5, 9, 11, 12
Fast Starters 1, 3

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:25 (KST)

A winner on debut, Brian Dean’s (3) JUNGL DRUMMER couldn’t follow up when favourite for his first try at this class on June 25th, finishing 4th. Since then, he’s gone back to trial – which he won – and he should be given another chance here. (8) DOLCE VITA beat (1) MINSON as they finished 2nd and 3rd respectively at class and distance in June. Minson is slightly favoured here. (4) GEUMTAEPUNG and (10) YAHO GIANT look best of the rest.

Selections (3) Jungl Drummer (1) Minson (8) Dolce Vita (10) Yaho Giant
Next Best 4, 7
Outsiders 2, 5, 6, 9
Fast Starters 3, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 13:50 (KST)

Thomas Gillespie’s (1) HANEOLUI JILJU was the easy winner of a weak race at class and distance on July 3rd and should really have too much against similar opposition today. (9) PRIVATE DANCER saw a run of three straight wins come to an end last time out but can be given another chance here while similarly (6) GABOGAPJJANG disappointed when favourite on his return from five months out last month but can go better today. (7) LET’S WIN is yet to, but has shown promise in two outings and looks ready to try this distance again. A $50,000 purchase and impressive in trials, (3) B.K PARK may be considered on debut.

Selections (1) Haneolui Jilju (9) Private Dancer (7) Let’s Win (6) Gabogapjjang
Next Best 3, 11, 10, 2
Outsiders 4, 5, 8, 12
Fast Starters 1, 5, 8, 9

Busan Race 3: Class 5 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:40 (KST)

Competitive race this but despite being beaten into 4th when favourite last time we’ll make (2) DOCHI, who tries this distance for the first time, the slight favourite. He started badly last time but should be on the early speed here. (8) MAKGANG JILJU is also up in distance following a solid 3rd last start and can be considered. (3) NOBLE WARRIOR was a class and distance winner just two weeks ago and should go well again – he does carry an extra 3.5kg though. (1) YEONGUNG CHULGYEOK and (7) RUN STAR also look capable.

Selections (2) Dochi (3) Noble Warrior (8) Makgang Jilju (1) Yeongung Chulgyeok
Next Best 7, 11, 12, 6, 4
Outsiders 5, 9, 10
Fast Starters 2, 3

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 15:05 (KST)

Up in class following two consecutive wins, (7) GOLD MORNING looks very much the one to beat here. She should make all. (8) RAON ROUIS and (9) SSONSALGACHI are capable and should be competitive while (3) SHINE CLOVER and (6) BARWONJI can find at least the places. Two others up in class following wins are (5) S CLASS and (10) SOKBO WANGJA and both have a bit to find today.

Selections (7) Gold Morning (8) Raon Rouis (9) Ssonsalgachi (10) Sokbo Wangja
Next Best 3, 5, 6, 2
Outsiders 1, 4, 11
Fast Starters 3, 5, 7, 8

Busan Race 4: Class 3 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 15:30 (KST)

(6) TOP FIGHTER beat (1) GUMPO MIRACLE (and three others who go again here) by a full ten lengths at class and distance on June 26th. However, while Top Fighter may well end up being favourite, he carries an extra 5kg today and that may be enough to give Gumpo Miracle the edge. (7) BOHEMIAN was another of those beaten that day but can be given another chance here while (2) GOSOK JILJU and (8) MORNING GANGJA look best of the rest.

Selections (1) Gumpo Miracle (6) Top Fighter (7) Bohemian (2) Gosok Jilju
Next Best 8, 4
Outsiders 3, 5
Fast Starters 3, 7

Seoul Race 8: Class 3 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 15:55 (KST)

Small but very competitive field. (6) THEME DEUNGGEUK, an also ran in the Korean Derby, is up in class after a facile win at 1300M last month and looks an intriguing prospect here. He will have to deal with another intriguing prospect in the shape of (7) SEOMGWANGI, who tries this distance for the first time following a solid 2nd place at 1200M at this class a month ago. (4) SPACE SHUTTLE and (8) MUSOE are proven at the distance and will be dangerous while (3) INBEACTIVE looks best of the rest.

Selections (7) Seomgwangi (6) Theme Deunggeuk (8) Musoe (4) Space Shuttle
Next Best 3, 5
Outsiders 1, 2
Fast Starters 6, 7

Busan Race 5: Class Open – The KNN Cup (KOR G3) /1600M / Allowance (Fillies & Mares) / KRW 400 Million / 16:30 (KST)

The 2nd leg of the Queens’ Tour and many see this as a contest between the winner of the 1st leg (14) BICHUI JEONGSANG and (8) NEW YORK BLUE. The latter was 3rd in that race, the Ttukseom Cup and has home-track advantage this time. Bichui Jeongsang looks strong though and the wide gate shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Both look very competitive as does TJK Trophy winner (1) AREUMDAUNDONGHAENG who champion jockey Moon Se Young returned a week earlier than expected from injury in order to ride. Last year’s Oaks winner (4) JANGPUNG PARANG was 5th in the Ttukseom Cup and will be more suited to today’s distance. (13) MS. MARGAUX and (6) SILVER WOLF are among a number of others set to be dangerous.

Selections (14) Bichui Jeongsang (8) New York Blue (13) Ms. Margaux (1) Areumdaundonghaeng
Next Best 4, 6, 9, 15, 11, 5
Outsiders 2, 3, 7, 10, 12
Fast Starters 4, 5, 6, 11, 12

Seoul Race 9: Class 2 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 90 Million / 17:00 (KST)

(8) CHANG SE is up in class following a smart win at 1200M a month ago. Back in March, she won the Sports Seoul Oaks Trial at this distance and it’s hard to see her getting beaten here. The experienced pair of (1) OSAENG MYEONGJANG and (9) CLEAN UP STAR can be competitive in this company while (4) GREY KAISER and (5) BLACK DIA are others to take into consideration.

Selections (8) Chang Se (9) Clean Up Star (1) Osaeng Myeongjang (4) Grey Kaiser
Next Best 5, 2, 7
Outsiders 3, 6
Fast Starters 4, 6, 8

Busan Race 6: Class 2 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 17:30 (KST)

(1) READY WHEN YOU ARE was surprisingly beaten by Power Bullet last start at 1400M having led for most of the way, but coming in after seven weeks off and back at 1200M today, can reverse that form. (6) MORNING DAERO and (7) WORLD LOVE are capable at this class and can go close. (3) POKPUNG CHOEGANG has beaten plenty of these recently and while the new apprentice jockey may deter some, there’s no reason why he can’t perform well.

Selections (1) Ready When You Are (6) Morning Daero (3) Pokpung Choegang (7) World Love
Next Best 8, 4
Outsiders 2, 5
Fast Starters 1, 2, 5

Seoul Race 10: Class 1 / 2000M / Handicap / KRW 110 Million / 18:00 (KST)

Really competitive event to end with and while (3) SPACE PORT was overmatched in last month’s Busan Mayor’s Cup and is carrying 59kg today, he should still be very competitive. At the other end of the weight scale, (5) GOLDHOLIC looks beautifully in here and should have a chance. (8) BICHUI WANGJA will be on speed early and could go all the way while (7) IMPETUS and the returning from a short spell (2) DAEHAN JANGGUN could also be dangerous.

Selections (5) Goldholic (3) Space Port (8) Bichui Wangja (7) Impetus
Next Best 11, 9, 2, 12
Outsiders 1, 4, 6, 10
Fast Starters 4, 8

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 23)

It’s evening racing at Seoul on Saturday. 12 races from 14:00 to 21:00. There’s also a card of pony racing on Jeju.

English racecards are here. Notes on races 1-9 at Seoul below:

Race 1: Class 6 / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 60 Million / 14:00 (KST)

(4) DAEGI SOKDO was 2nd on debut on June 26th and while well beaten by a good winner, will be strong favourite to go one better today. (9) MIGHTY MAMBO was 5th in that very same race, following on from an encouraging 4th on debut and can get closer today. All except one of the rest are debut-makers and among them (5) REBECCA and (6) DOUBLE A looked best in trials.

Selections (4) Daegi Sokdo (9) Mighty Mambo (5) Rebecca (6) Double A
Next Best 3, 1
Outsiders 2, 7, 8
Fast Starters 1, 4

Race 2: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 14:45 (KST)

(4) LUCKY EYE has shown the most of these so far and while she could only manage 3rd when sent off as favourite over 1200M last month, back at the minimum distance today she is very much the one to beat again, (2) FIRE BALL looked promising when less than a length behind Daegi Sokdo, who we saw in race 1, last time and can go close while (5) PRIVATE PARK and (7) GASOKDOLPUNG look to have scope for development. Returning from eight weeks out, (1) BONGWHA DON should also like the drop back in distance.

Selections (4) Lucky Eye (2) Fire Ball (5) Private Park (7) Gasokdolpung
Next Best 1, 3, 11, 8
Outsiders 6, 9, 10, 12
Fast Starters 1, 2, 3, 6

Race 3: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 15:30 (KST)

Two standouts here and we’ll go with (2) CLAY SHOOT to just get the better of (3) NEULPUREUN KOKO. Both fillies enter having come close to their first win and both will be on the early speed. Best of the rest is (5) GWACHEON WONDER, 5th at the distance last time and capable of better here. (7) AGAIN SINHWA has been well supported in both his starts so far but is yet to perform. An apprentice jockey takes some weight off today and he’ll be backed once more. (8) CHOEGOUI CHANSA returned from six months out in June and looked promising and can go better today.

Selections (2) Clay Shoot (3) Neulpureun Koko (7) Again Sinhwa (5) Gwacheon Wonder
Next Best 8, 10,
Outsiders 1, 4, 6, 9
Fast Starters 2, 3, 7

Race 4: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 16:20 (KST)

With two 3rd places among her past three, (7) CHEONJI GONGSA is the pick to get it right today. She’ll come from behind the early speed and can finish strongly. On the speed will be the main danger (3) MENI VET, the only one of these with 2nd place to her name and not without a chance of finally making the breakthrough. (4) LION WINNER is consistent and should find the money again with (2) PUREUN SIDAE also likely to be involved. (5) EONJE EODISEONA and (10) CHOEGODA DANGSIN put in creditable debuts last month on which they can both build.

Selections (7) Cheonji Gongsa (3) Meni Vet (2) Pureun Sidae (4) Lion Winner
Next Best 10, 5, 8, 6
Outsiders 1, 9, 11
Fast Starters 3, 6, 9

Race 5: Class 5 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:10 (KST)

Competitive race here in which any number have claims. (3) SAETBYEORI and (7) ELECTRIC CHROME both come in following 2nd place finishes last start. Saetbyeori is generally quicker away and that could be key here. (1) YEOUI KING makes a quick return following a dreadful effort just two weeks ago and should go better today. (9) BRAVO JINSEONMI and (10) NEW NANCHO looks best of the rest.

Selections (3) Saetbyeori (7) Electric Chrome (1) Yeoui King (9) Bravo Jinseonmi
Next Best 10, 4, 5
Outsiders 2, 6, 8
Fast Starters 2, 3, 9

Race 6: Class 4 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 17:50 (KST)

This race is open to imports but the favourites are likely to be the Korean-bred runners who have won their way up this level. (5) BONGHWA SARANG and (1) KKUM KAERA were both winners at this distance on their respective last starts and both should go well here with Bonghwa Sarang the slight pick. (10) TIZ KING and (2) OPEN BANK also have strong claims while the best of the imports is (4) GANGTA, who is yet to win but is quick and should be looking for a career-best finish here.

Selections (5) Bonghwa Sarang (1) Kkum Kaera (4) Gangta (10) Tiz King
Next Best 2, 6, 11
Outsiders 3, 7, 8, 9
Fast Starters 1, 2, 7, 8

Race 7: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 18:30 (KST)

Another competitive event, this one for fillies & mares only. (1) BEST QUEEN is the slight pick having come from well off the pace to finish a strong 2nd on June 18th over 1400M. So long as she doesn’t leave herself too much to do here, she has strong claims. (8) BOKDEOGI is up in class and distance following her maiden win over 1200M and should be competitive while (3) GEUMGOKSEONG can improve on a 4th place in a similar event last month. (4) HEEL TOWER and (6) ECTON GAYA are among others capable of finding the money.

Selections (1) Best Queen (8) Bokdeogi (3) Geumgokseong (6) Ecton Gaya
Next Best 4, 2, 5
Outsiders 7, 9
Fast Starters 3, 4, 8, 9

Race 8: Class 5 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 19:00 (KST)

(5) CHOWON GANGTA is up in class following victory on his return from almost a year out and he can be considered once more today. (8) HONEY BUTTER NINO was slightly disappointing in a tough race at this distance last month and should go much better today while (6) WELLBEING STORY proved he can be competitive at this class with a battling 4th last time out and can build on it here. (2) WANJEON MUGYEOL and (7) LUCKY SHARP may also provide some interest.

Selections (5) Chowon Gangta (8) Honey Butter Nino (6) Wellbeing Story (7) Lucky Sharp
Next Best 2, 9
Outsiders 1, 3, 4
Fast Starters 2, 4, 6, 9

Race 9: Class 3 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 19:30 (KST)

Another really competitive one but Brian Dean’s (7) MUHUDAEJE looks superior having beaten two of these when winning over 1800M last month. (1) NIGHTOUTONTHETOWN, 4th in that race, and (10) ROYAL JIBBLY look to be the main dangers, the latter being a class and distance winner and racing for the first time since a 5th place in the YTN Cup at the end of May. (6) USEUNG HOUSE and (9) NAESARANG DAMYANG look best of the rest.

Selections (7) Muhudaeje (1) Nightoutonthetown (10) Royal Jibbly (6) Useung House
Next Best 9, 8, 4
Outsiders 2, 3, 5, 11
Fast Starters 1, 8

Dallao Does It Again

Two weeks ago we were able to report that Joe Dallao seen a horse of his win for the first time in Korea. Now, the American owner, one of the first batch of foreign owners to be licensed in the country – and the only one to be resident in Korea – has had another as Majestic Beauty ran out the winner of race 3 at Busan in the Dallao colours on Friday afternoon.

Majestic Beauty (Whywhywhy) took a long time to get to the track but had shown wnough promise in a 4th and 2nd in two starts this year to be sent off as favourite for the 1300M event. And under jockey Kim Yong Geun, fresh from completing the Triple Crown on Power Blade last week, she pretty much made all to win by a length on the line.

Dallao’s first winner was Noble Warrior and the Biwa Shinseiki gelding runs again at Busan on Sunday. Both he and Majestic Beauty are trained by Bart Rice, who’s reamarkable run of form continued with a further winner later in the day. The South African trainer is currently in Singapore to oversee Triple Five’s challenge in the KRA Trophy at Kranji on Sunday.

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 22)

It’s another big weekend of racing on the peninsula, culminating in the KNN Cup, the second leg of the Queens Tour at Busan on Sunday. It’s at Busan where things get underway on Friday with a ten-race card from 14:30 to 21:00.

English racecards can be found here. Notes on Busan races 1-9 below:

A number of jockeys from Seoul are in town today and Seoul’s champion jockey Moon Se Young combines with Busan’s top trainer Kim Young Kwan in races 1 and 4. Also to note is that trainer Bart Rice has a win rate of 40% in July so far and could conceivably have three more winners this afternoon.

Race 1: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 55 Million / 14:30 (KST)

Nine of these twelve two-year-olds are debut-makers and the most promising of those looks to be (12) ADELE STAR, one of two who come in having won their trial. The outside gate isn’t ideal and the start will be important but he looks promising. The other trial winner is (7) S PARIS and he too will have backers. (10) PARK MAN and (11) BRACHAH both put in encouraging debuts last month. The latter is trained by Kim Young Kwan and with Seoul’s champion jockey Moon Se Young on board, he is sure to have a lot of support. (2) INDIAN KING looks best of the rest at this stage.

Selections (11) Brachah (12) Adele Star (7) S Paris (10) Park Man
Next Best 2, 9, 3, 1
Outsiders 4, 5, 6, 8
Fast Starters 7, 12

Race 2: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 14:55 (KST)

(5) SMART LADY was 3rd on debut in an all-fully race last month and she’s the pick to go on and score here. Main danger is (12) MISS CANBERRA, who has been close in each of her five outings to date without making the breakthrough and is sure to be close again. (1) ROAD TO SUCCESS has shown signs of improvement across his three starts so far as has (7) DANCING STAR and both can be considered. (3) MACH IMPACT, who also improved on what was his second start last month is another who can go well in a race where most will be vying to lead from the gate.

Selections (5) Smart Lady (12) Miss Canberra (7) Dancing Star (1) Road To Success
Next Best 3, 2, 11, 4
Outsiders 6, 8, 9, 10
Fast Starters 1, 5, 6, 8, 12

Race 3: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 15:45 (KST)

Just fillies here with and Bart Rice’s stable continuing to be in excellent form, (11) MAJESTIC BEAUTY has to be the pick to score, lengthening out to 1300M for the first time. She’ll be strong favourite. (1) DANCING BLAZE was 2nd on debut in a relatively weak event over 1000M on June 24th, a full five-lengths ahead of (2) SOLYEONJISE, and can build on that here. (7) RAPA CHUKJE beat a couple of these when 3rd at 1000M in May and returns after two months off while (5) OH DAEBAK is yet to win in fourteen outings but is capable of placing. (4) QUEEN STEALTH can build on a quietly encouraging debut.

Selections (11) Majestic Beauty (1) Dancing Blaze (7) Rapa Chukje (5) Oh Daebak
Next Best 4, 8, 2, 6
Outsiders 3, 9, 10
Fast Starters 6, 8, 11

Race 4: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 16:35 (KST)

Kim Young Kwan and Moon Se Young combine once more, this time with (11) JERAJIN, who was 4th on debut three weeks ago. The additional distance should be in her favour here and she can win. (9) GORYEOUI KKUM was beaten a long way into 3rd by a couple of good ones last month but can get much closer today. (8) PYEONGDAEMYEONGMUN is another who was 4th on debut last month and will likely join Jerajin on the early speed. She too should appreciate the extra distance. (10) TONGHAP ACE looks the best of an average rest.

Selections (11) Jerajin (9) Goryeoui Kkum (8) Pyeongdaemyeongmun (10) Tonghap Ace
Next Best 1, 5
Outsiders 2, 3, 4, 6, 7
Fast Starters 8, 11

Race 5: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:25 (KST)

(10) EUROPA steps up in class and distance having been a four-length winner on debut on June 17th. He made all that day and will be on speed once more and should be competitive. (9) COT WING is yet to win in nine starts but has finished no worse than 4th in any of his last seven outings and a breakthrough is possible. (3) SEUNGNIUI CHUKJE was last seen out of his depth in the Korean Derby two months ago but back at 1300M and in this company, he should be much happier and should be looking to lead early. (2) GOLD SUN and (5) GIFTED SUN are similar in name and in record and both can be looking to at least place here.

Selections (10) Europa (9) Cot Wing (3) Seungniui Chukje (2) Gold Sun
Next Best 5, 1, 4, 11
Outsiders 6, 7, 8, 12
Fast Starters 2, 3, 10

Race 6: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 18:05 (KST)

Another Bart Rice prospect here, (7) CHALLAUI JUIN was a winner on debut on July 1st, coming from off the pace to win well at this distance and while up in class here, looks the one to beat. (3) PANGPANG LEGEND comes in following three consecutive 2nd place finishes including last time at this class, beating a couple of the others who go here and she looks to be the main danger. One of those she beat last time was (8) DONGBANG BULPAE, who was making his first start at this level and can be considered for improvement. Kim Young Kwan’s (5) HWANGJEUI TANSAENG returns for the first time since winning in January and looked decent in a trial last week while (10) BIGBANG BID is yet to win in seventeen and probably won’t here but is capable of placing.

Selections (7) Challaui Juin (3) Pangpang Legend (8) Dongbang Bulpae (5) Hwangjeui Tansaeng
Next Best 9, 10, 12, 6, 2
Outsiders 1, 4, 11
Fast Starters 1, 2, 6, 12

Race 7: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 18:45 (KST)

Two wins from four and up in class today, (1) JANTEUGAREU looks to have promise and he can make all here to keep his good run going. (4) WONIL ROOKIE, a class and distance winner already, did disappoint last start, beaten by (5) ACE MARINE, among others, but can go better today although more favoured is likely to be (6) KWAEHAN MYEONGPUM who has been no worse than 4th in each of her last four outings and can go close again. (10) MAJOR WINNER, just beaten a neck into 2nd on her first try at this level on June 26th, is another strong contender.

Selections (1) Janteugareu (4) Wonil Rookie (6) Kwaehan Myeongpum (10) Major Winner
Next Best 5, 7
Outsiders 2, 3, 8, 9
Fast Starters 1, 4

Race 8: Class 4 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 19:35 (KST)

Competitive race this but (8) QUEEN ELEGANCE is slightly favoured to get her maiden win at what will be her tenth attempt. She comes in following a decent 2nd place at class and distance, beating a couple of these in the process on June 10th and can go one better today. Main danger looks to be (12) MAGIC LINE, who tries this distance for the first time while (2) ARION METAL and (3) CHOEGOUI SUNGAN, who finished 2nd and 3rd over 1400M on June 24th should be competitive again. (11) OHHWAMA looks best of the rest.

Selections (8) Queen Elegance (12) Magic Line (3) Choegoui Sungan (2) Arion Metal
Next Best 11, 6, 4, 7
Outsiders 1, 5, 9, 10
Fast Starters 8, 12

Race 9: Class 3 / 1900M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 20:30 (KST)

Banker favourite of the day here is (4) BUHWARUI BANSEOK. He has beaten plenty of these in recent starts; has never finished any worse than 3rd and should really be returning to the winner’s circle here. Main danger looks to be (6) GOLD BLUE, 3rd over this distance last start and with potential for improvement. (3) IRON TRAIN and (8) GOLD MOON ran 5th and 6th behind Buhwarui Banseok and can chase him home once more with (2) DASEOT ME the other one to consider.

Selections (4) Buhwarui Banseok (6) Gold Blue (3) Iron Train (2) Daseot Me
Next Best 8, 1, 5, 7
Fast Starters 6, 8

Korea Festival & KRA Trophy Set For Singapore Kranji This Sunday

Three Korea-trained horses are in Singapore where they will race this coming Sunday in the KRA Trophy at Kranji Racecourse, the highlight of a “Korean Festival” day at the Singapore Turf Club.

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KRA promoting its free Exacta event for the KRA Trophy

The three horses, Always Winner, Parang Juuibo and Triple Five arrived in Singapore last Friday. Michael Lee has written a comprehensive account with pictures for STC here. The three do look up against it in the 1200M race with Bart Rice’s up and coming Triple Five perhaps the most intriguing. For any of them, however, a top-five finish would be viewed as a success.

On Sunday at Kranji, in addition to the race, the Korea festival will include Korean food and a performance by “rookie” K-Pop girl group “HADY” (most likely doing covers of more well-known songs). The day’s races from Seoul & Busan will also be simulcast live.

Just like last year, the KRA Trophy itself will be beamed back live to Seoul, Busan and Korean OTB’s. Betting on inbound simulcast remains illegal in Korea, however, a free contest will be available for the race on the mobile betting platform. Punters will be asked to pick the top five horses to finish with a prize of 5 Million Won to be split between those who get them correct.

This is the second year that Korea-based horses have trvelled to Kranji for the race. Singapore-trained horses have run in Seoul the past two editions of the Asia Challenge Cup with El Padrino winning the race in 2014. They are expected back for this year’s edition, which will be run as the “Korea Sprint” on September 11th and also for the new Korea Cup on the same day. Former Singapore-based trainer Brian Dean is now training i

Power Blade Wins The Korean Triple Crown

As if there was ever any doubt. At Seoul Racecourse today, Power Blade looked every inch the champion the Triple Crown series has been waiting for as he utterly dominated the Minister’s Cup in the same fashion he did in both the KRA Cup Mile and the Korean Derby.

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Power Blade in the Minister’s Cup winner’s circle (Pic: Jo Kim @krapresenter )

Punters sent Power Blade off as the odds-on favourite ahead of stablemate and Korean Oaks winner Ottug Ottugi. The filly as usual set the pace early on with Kim Yong Geun happy to keep Power Blade handy. For as moment at the top of the straight there was a chance that the favourite, sitting in fourth on the rail may find himself boxed in. That moment was fleeting.

As soon as they entered the straight the gap opened up. Kim Yong Geun took it and from there the race was won. The margin on the line was seven lengths but Power Blade wasn’t stretched. So superior he is to the rest of this crop, he could win by a margin of his choosing.

Just as in the Korean Derby, Zettabyte chased him home a distance 2nd, four lengths ahead of Baedari Bobae, who ran a big race in 3rd, finishing ahead of the tiring Ottug Ottugi.

Power Blade is trained by Kim Young Kwan, who records yet another Classic win and ridden by Kim Yong Geun. His next target will now surely have to be the Korea Cup International race over 1800M on September 11th where he can be tested against overseas horses.

J.S. Hold won a Triple Crown in Korea in 2007, however, great achievement though it was, it was before the current era of Seoul and Busan. Today in its 9th running, we got a true Triple Crown winner and his name is Power Blade.

The Minister’s Cup (KOR G2) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – July 17, 2016

1. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.3, 1.0
2. Zettabyte (KOR) [Menifee – Fight Back (Sakura Seeking)] – Lim Sung Sil – 1.6
3. Baedari Bobae (KOR) [Colors Flying – Geumgang Gongwon (Pacificbounty)] – 5.2
Distances: 7 lengths / 4 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Ottug Ottugi 5. Stealth 6. Saeroun Stealth 7. Siseon Pochak 8. Kkeutpan Hero

Triple Crown Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (July 17)

Sunday is potentially Triple Crown day. Power Blade aims to add the Minister’s Cup to his KRA Cup Mile and Korean Derby triumphs at Seoul Racecourse at 2.20pm.

There is plenty more happening though. English Racecards are here. Notes on selected races as follows:

Busan Race 1: Class 5: 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:00 (KST)

Open contest to begin with but we’ll make (10) YUSEONG VICTORY, 3rd in a similar contest last month and with the in-form Seo Seung Un on board the slight favourite to prevail. (6) WHITTE QUEENS was 2nd in Busan’s top juvenile race last year but only ran one more time before getting injured and requiring surgery. She’s back after eight months out, looked recovered in trials and is a contender. Also back after a spell, albeit not as long is (8) GIGA SPEED. A winner at this class in March he was very sharp in a trial last weekend and is a contender here. The up-in-class (2) NORTHERN TRACE can go close as can (4) TRIPLE PARTY.

Selections (10) Yuseong Victory (6) Whitte Queens (8) Giga Speed (2) Northern Trace
Next Best 4, 3, 5, 11
Outsiders 1, 7, 9, 12
Fast Starters 4, 5, 6

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:25 (KST)

(2) SILVERGRAY CAT beat (5) CHEONJI TAP and (4) NAREUSYA QUEEN as the three of them raced 2nd, 3rd & 4th at class and distance on June 19th. Cheonji Tap led for much of the way that day and we’ll go for her to lead all the way this time. Aside from those three, Brian Dean’s (9) HAPPY EAGLE, who was stepped up to 1200M for his first attempt on class 5 last month, should be happier back at 1000M today while (1) PERFECT BIC C has struggled of late but is another for whom the distance should suit.

Selections (5) Cheonji Tap (2) Silvergray Cat (4) Nareusya Queen (9) Happy Eagle
Next Best 1, 7
Outsiders 3, 6, 8
Fast Starters 1, 2, 5

Busan Race 2: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 13:50 (KST)

Three of these are up in class today and should be competitive. (3) HAENGUN MANNAM was a solid winner at 1000M last start, has a strong finish and can go well. (7) DYNA’S DREAM has won four of her last five with the only defeat coming in the KRA Cup Mile in April. She’s had a couple of months off but will be on speed early and can go well. (5) GASI GONGJU hasn’t been seen since March when she came 2nd on what was just her second outing, coming from well off the pace. She’ll likely go forward here. None of them may be favourite though with (4) B.K. PHIL, 3rd at class and distance a month ago looking to be the one to beat. The down in class (1) GOLDEN LASS may also be considered.

Selections (7) Dyna’s Dream (3) Haengun Mannam (4) B.K. Phil (5) Gasi Gongju
Next Best 2, 1, 6, 8
Fast Starters 5, 7

Seoul Race 6: Class Open “The Minister’s Cup” / 2000M / Allowance, 3yo Colts & Fillies / KRW 500 Million / 14:20 (KST)

The final leg of the 2016 Korean Triple Crown sees (7) POWER BLADE looking to complete the set having been a dominant winner of both the KRA Cup Mile and the Korean Derby. He came from off the pace in the Mile and made all in the Derby and whatever tactics jockey Kim Yong Geun employs today, he will be favourite. The main danger is his stablemate, Korean Oaks winning filly (4) OTTUG OTTUGI who is one of only two horses to have beaten him. She will lead from the gate and Power Blade will have to come past. 2nd in the Derby, (8) ZETTABYTE can go well again and should like the extra furlong with (3) STEALTH and (5) SISEON POCHAK next best in a race that isn’t necessarily going to be simply a procession for Power Blade.

Selections (7) Power Blade (4) Ottug Ottugi (8) Zettabyte (3) Stealth
Next Best 5, 1, 2, 6
Fast Starters 4

Busan Race 3: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 14:50 (KST)

Bart Rice’s stable is in top form right now and that should continue here with (11) SUPERNOVA IJI, who can overcome the outside gate to get the lead here and get her second win in this filly-only race. Thomas Gillespie’s (5) MAJOR SLAM, 2nd at class and distance on June 24th, looks to be the main danger although (6) MISS BLUE, who has finished no worse than 3rd in each of her last four outings may also be considered. (2) BAEDARI GOSU was 4th, beaten by (9) GO JJANG on her first try at this class last month. (8) MACH BOLT ran poorly in that race but can improve today.

Selections (11) Supernova Iji (5) Major Slam (2) Baedari Gosu (6) Miss Blue
Next Best 8, 7, 10, 9
Outsiders 1, 3, 4
Fast Starters 5, 6, 11

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 15:15 (KST)

Competitive race this but we’ll make (3) SSAENGSSAENG DORI the narrow top pick. He was beaten by (7) SHINING TRY when favourite over class and distance last month but can overcome that form today and win from the front. Shining Try will be a danger once more, however, perhaps more backed will be (5) CHEONHABI and (1) MR. TANK, who ran 3rd and 4th at class and distance on June 18th and who both look to have wins in them at this level.

Selections (3) Ssaengssaeng Dori (5) Cheonhabi (1) Mr. Tank (7) Shining Try
Next Best 6, 4, 2
Fast Starters 3, 5

Busan Race 4: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 15:40 (KST)

5th in the Korean Oaks on her last start (10) SANTA GLORIA is favoured to get back to winning ways taking on for what is the most part modest imported opposition here. Indeed it is fellow Korean breds that provide the main danger, chief among them (4) VALKYRIE, who comes up in class following a good four-length win at this distance last month and the consistent (3) SSI F STAR, who can improve on recent minor money fishes. (6) ROCKET BLADE is also up in class but races for the first time since early April and has plenty to find. Among the imports, (8) PARTYINTHEDESERT looks the best.

Selections (10) Santa Gloria (4) Valkyrie, (3) Ssi F Star (8) Partyinthedesert
Next Best 12, 6, 9, 11
Outsiders 1, 2, 5, 7
Fast Starters 4, 6, 12

Seoul Race 8: Class 3 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 16:05 (KST)

A really open race here but we’re going to go for (12) HANBIT NARA to finally get her maiden win. She’s yet to win to win in eight starts but has been runner-up on no less than five occasions including last time at this distance. If she is to be defeated again, (1) WHIZ RUN looks to be the most likely to do it, looking ready to return to two turns after winning two of his last three. (7) RAON BOLAVEN is up in class following a win at this distance on June 19th while (4) SEOCHANG BIHO and (6) SUPER COMMANDO, the latter being the only one of the twelve who is yet to race at this distance, others to look out for.

Selections (12) Hanbit Nara (1) Whiz Run (7) Raon Bolaven (6) Super Commando
Next Best 4, 5, 2, 9
Outsiders 3, 8, 10, 11
Fast Starters 1, 12

 

Seoul Race 9: Class 3 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 17:00 (KST)

(4) SUN ROK is up in class today having won five of his first seven starts. He has both a win and a loss at this distance but should be on speed early here and have too much for this field. Clear second-favourite will be (2) SUSEONG CAPTAIN. He is up in class following back to back wins at 1400M and 1300M and while he tries this distance for the first time, he should be competitive. He will likely join Sun Rok in looking to lead from the gate. (5) LUCKY HEART generally comes close and can place while (1) GEUMGAGI and (3) VALLEY STAR are best of the rest.

Selections (4) Sun Rok (2) Suseong Captain (5) Lucky Heart (3) Valley Star
Next Best 1, 7, 6
Fast Starters 2, 4

Seoul Race 10: Class 2 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 90 Million / 18:00 (KST)

(8) GOREOUS DREAM is up in class having won five of his six previous outings. He generally leads from gate-to-wore and that’s what he’ll try to do here too. He does get a jockey change for the first time due to his regular rider being injured but Lee Chan Ho is a capable replacement. Also up in class is (2) THUNDER STEP following a really quick win over 1300M in May. He has had a couple of months off and can go close here. (1) SHARK and (3) HOLIDAY DREAM have experience at this level and both can put in solid races. Joining Goreous Dream setting the early pace will be (7) JANGSAN HORANGI, who showed signs of coming back into form when racing 4th over 1400M three weeks ago.

Selections (8) Goreous Dream (2) Thunder Step (3) Holiday Dream (1) Shark
Next Best 7, 4, 6
Outsiders 5, 9
Fast Starters 5, 7, 8