Seoul & Busan Sunday Preview (August 21)

Updated accepted nominations of overseas-trained horses for September’s Keeneland Korea Cup & Sprint have been posted on the KRA’s English language homepage here. After the sad passing of Franklin D, another horse from the UK, Solar Deity, is set to make the trip. There are also alterations to horses from Japan and the UAE. Today in Korea, there are 11 races at Seoul from 10:50 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 13:00 to 17:00.


Seoul Racecourse has really changed…A “Baskin Robbins”: outlet opened in the grandstand this weekend

English racecards can be found here. Notes on selected races (overseas simulcast) are below:

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 13:25 (KST)

(9) SPIRIT OF HANSEN led until just before the very end of his debut race on July 10th and he’s the pick to hold on this time at the same distance. Chasing him down will be (1) ACE RUNNER, a creditable 3rd on his own debut last month and a decent prospect himself. Korean-bred (13) SEUNGNI ANGEL, winner of her last two in the domestic ranks, takes her chance against perceived weaker imports here and should go well although she likes to be prominent early and will have to work hard from gate 13. (10) DALLYEORA BEONGAE, 4th to Seungni Angel last time, can match or better that here. A note too for debut-maker (2) COMPETIR, a rare NZ bred in Korea by Mr. Nancho, looked quick in her trial.

Selections (9) Spirit Of Hansen (13) Seungni Angel (1) Ace Runner (2) Competir
Next Best 10, 7, 11, 14, 5, 6
Outsiders 3, 4, 8, 12
Fast Starters 1, 3, 4, 7, 13

Busan Race 2: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:45 (KST)

(9) JERAJIN got her maiden win at the third time of asking last start and while up in class here, has claims to follow-up right away in this all-filly affair. She may not be favourite though. That should be (7) TEXAS RUSH who, while yet to win in seven outings, comes in following three consecutive 2nd place finishes, last time at class and distance and she’ll be well backed to make the breakthrough here. Having won on debut, (5) CHALLAUI JUIN was very disappointing when favourite on her reappearance last month but gets another chance here while (2) MAKGANG JILJU and (3) WINNING GILI, the latter 3rd behind Texas Rush last time, should be competing for places.

Selections (7) Texas Rush (9) Jerajin (5) Challaui Juin (2) Makgang Jilju
Next Best 3, 8
Outsiders 1, 4, 6
Fast Starters 5, 8, 9

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 14:10 (KST)

No fewer than eight of these are up in class for here, six of them following wins last start. Among them, we’ll go for (11) JANGSAN CITY, three length winner of a decent race in June, ahead of (7) KING AHEAD, to follow up. (14) INTO THE WILD prevailed by an eye-catching eight lengths at this distance on July 16th and needs to be considered while (13) CHEONJI SEONGGONG was promoted without a class 5 win but still looks competitive at this level. Of those with prior class 4 experience, Brian Dean’s (8) CHEONGCHUN YEOLCHA, a winner at this class three weeks ago is the pick ahead of (1) TOKTOK YEOJANGGUN.

Selections (11) Jangsan City (8) Cheongchun Yeolcha (14) Into The Wild (13) Cheonji Seonggong
Next Best 1, 5, 6, 7, 3, 4, 12
Outsiders 2, 9, 10
Fast Starters 3, 10, 12, 14

Busan Race 3: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 14:30 (KST)

Banker favourite of the day here as (1) EUROPA, two for two so far steps up in class but should have little difficulty in handling this filed. A gate to wire win seems most likely. The two others up in class, (5) JANGGUNEUI HUYE and (6) GIGA SPEED, both looking for winning hat-tricks of their own, look best placed to stop him with (2) FIRST KING and (3) CLEAN CHOEGANG set to compete for the minor money.

Selections (1) Europa (6) Giga Speed (5) Jangguneui Huye (2) First King
Next Best 3, 4, 8
Outsiders 7, 9
Fast Starters 1, 5

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 14:55 (KST)

(3) SOKBO WANGJA defeated (11) RAON ROUIS by a length as the pair ran 1st and 2nd at class and distance on July 24th and they will be the market leaders. Sokbo Wangja’s victory that day was unexpected and the tables may well be turned today. It’s no two-horse race though, (6) SUN MASTER comes in following back to back 2nd places at class 5 and while up a level here, will be competitive with (1) STAR BONNY BEE and (5) DOLJIN among others with claims. (12) MONGGEULMONGGEUL, winner of two from four returns up in class from a couple of months off and can go well too. There will be quite a dash for the first corner with lots of these wanting to be on the early speed.

Selections (11) Raon Rouis (3) Sokbo Wangja (6) Sun Master (5) Doljin
Next Best 12, 1, 9, 8, 9, 10
Outsiders 2, 4, 7, 13
Fast Starters 2, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12

Seoul Race 8: Class 3 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 15:45 (KST)

(6) SUN ROK should get back to winning ways here following a surprisingly comprehensive reverse at the hands of Suseong Captain on a muddy track last month. He will lead here and this time can make all. (2) RAON BOLAVEN, also rather disappointing last time out, looks to be the main danger although the experienced (4) CARDIFF HWANHUI unexpectedly returned to form with a 3rd place over this distance on July 24th and must be respected a little more today. (3) GRAND CAMP and (7) VALLEY STAR are others who can improve.

Selections (6) Sun Rok (2) Roan Bolaven (4) Cardiff Hwanhui  (7) Valley Star
Next Best 3
Outsiders 1, 5, 8
Fast Starters 3, 6

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 20)

Big fields are back at Seoul on Saturday with no fewer than 142 horses spread across today’s 12 races. First race is 2pm, last at 9pm.

English racecards are here. Notes on races 1-7 below:

Race 1: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 60 Million / 14:00 (KST)

(6) OJEI MYEONGDANG beat two of these on debut when running 2nd last month in a quick race at class and distance and is very much the one to beat here. Those two, (8) SUNKISSED and (10) ARGO AWESOME were 3rd and 5th respectively and both should also look to make progress today. (11) ROYAL PARK was 4th on her own debut last month and also looks to have potential. Among the debut makers, (4) CLEAN UP SKY and (9) MIDEUMUI BIT impressed in trials with the former likely to be well supported here.

Selections (6) Ojei Myeongdang (4) Clean Up Sky (8) Sunkissed (9) Mideumui Bit
Next Best 11, 10, 7, 3
Outsiders 1, 2, 5
Fast Starters 5, 6, 11

Race 2: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 14:45 (KST)

(10) LION WINNER comes in following a 2nd place at this distance having finished very strongly. She’s been getting closer and closer and while it won’t be easy to come from off the pace, this her best chance yet to get her maiden win. Main danger is (5) BOUNDING PARK. She disappointed when favourite in an all-filly race three weeks ago – her first try at this distance. She was slowly away and used up plenty of energy getting into a good position before fading and can be given another chance today. (3) WON AGAIN should be trying to go better than “fourth again” while (1) PUREUN SEDAE and (7) FIRE BALL look capable of the money. The sole debut-maker is (11) GOOD HEART. She took four attempts to qualify but looked good finally doing it at the end of July and she may be considered first up

Selections (10) Lion Winner (5) Bounding Park (1) Pureun Sedae (3) Won Again
Next Best 11, 7, 2, 4
Outsiders 6, 8, 9
Fast Starters 3, 4, 7

Race 3: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 15:30 (KST)

(7) DREAM SLEW, 3rd on debut and then 2nd on his reappearance a month ago, will be strong favourite to go one better this time. He’ll likely settle behind the early pace and should have too much in the closing stages. The rest look distinctly average so the danger may well end up being the only debut-maker (4) SAGYEJEOL. She was very quick in a trial (albeit on a fast running track) at the end of July and if she can translate that form to the races, should go well. (6) MIGHTY MAMBO has shown glimpses in three outings to date while (1) STAR GOLDEN and (2) COUNT DOWN also look to have potential for improvement.

Selections (7) Dream Slew (4) Sagyejeol (6) Mighty Mambo (1) Star Golden
Next Best 2, 9, 11, 12
Outsiders 3, 5, 8, 10
Fast Starters 4, 11

Race 4: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 16:20 (KST)

The last of the maiden races and a competitive one it is too. It’s just for fillies and (8) MINT is the slight top pick having been 3rd in a similar race last month when she led close to home. She could give apprentice jockey Lee Chel Gyung his first winner. 5th in that race last month was (3) MIRACLE GARDEN. She already has a 2nd place to her name at this distance and should be close by once more. (5) MENI VET is more experienced and enters following a 3rd place at this distance having led almost the whole way round last month. She will lead again here. Among the rest, (11) POKPUNG JEONYA has improved in each of three starts so far and the step up in trip may be beneficial with (9) DARK AMBER looking best of the rest.

Selections (8) Mint (5) Meni Vet (11) Pokpung Jeonya (3) Miracle Garden
Next Best 9, 6, 10
Outsiders 1, 2, 4, 7,
Fast Starters 3, 5 8

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

Up in class following his maiden win on July 23rd, (6) DAEGI SOKDO is favoured to follow up here. He made all to win by six-lengths that day and will look to lead right from the gate here too. (4) SAETBYEORI will be on speed with him and looks most likely to run him close although the stable is not in form at the moment. (7) HANIL ENSEMBLE drops back in distance following a pair of 4th place finishes at 1300M and should be competitive. (2) VINCERO S is another who may welcome the drop back in trip as should (10) CURRICLE, yet to win in 17, but worthy of another chance here after some decent efforts at much further.

Selections (6) Daegi Sokdo (7) Hanil Ensemble (4) Saetbyeori (10) Curricle
Next Best 2, 8, 1, 3
Outsiders 5, 9, 11, 12
Fast Starters 1, 4, 6

Race 6: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 17:50 (KST)

Big field here and (3) DEOKSAMHO is favoured, as Korean-breds who have won their way up to class 4 often are over the imported horses who have no option but to begin their career at this level. She’s won three of six so far, made all over this distance on July 10th and will look for similar today. Another Korean bred, (8) YEONGGWANGUIGEUNAL beat (4) SMART JOE and set a track record for this distance in the process last month. The conditions are likely to be different today and he carries 5kg more but he needs respect. Smart Joe too can be competitive. (2) BEONGAE FIGHTER has been steadily improving, culminating in a 2nd place on his first try at this distance last month and given a decent start, can match or even better today. Likewise (6) SEONJE ILGYEOK comes in following back to back 2nd place finishes and will be aiming to at least match them here.

Selections (3) Deoksamho (8) Yeonggwanguigeunal (2) Beongae Fighter (4) Smart Joe
Next Best 6, 7, 12, 11, 5, 9
Outsiders 1, 10, 13, 14
Fast Starters 3, 5, 8, 11,

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

Another competitive race and (8) JANGSAN ROCKY beat both (7) SONOGONG and (1) DANGCHANBISANG on a wet track at class and distance three weeks ago. Jangsan Rocky can make the breakthrough here but Dangchanbisang should also perform much better. (2) DUAL POKPUNG struggled in a decent event at 1400M last start but comes following two months off and gets another chance here. (11) EVER A ONE and (12) BEAUTIFUL DON are both winless yet both find themselves up in class following a few too many near-misses at class 6. They’ll find it challenging to make the breakthrough here but should still be competitive in terms of potential for money finishes. Up in class following a win, the modestly named (5) BORN WINNER, also has claims.

Selections (8) Jangsan Rocky (1) Dangchanbisang (5) Born Winner (2) Dual Pokpung
Next Best 11, 12, 14, 7, 13, 3
Outsiders 4, 6, 9, 10,
Fast Starters 4, 8, 14

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 19)

There was a setback in preparation for September’s Keeneland Korea Cup this week with the terribly sad news from Newmarket that Franklin D suffered a fatal accident while working on Wednesday. The up and coming colt was expected to be one of the major contenders in the big race at Seoul next month. Racing goes on though and another busy week of action starts at Busan on Friday.

With summer vacations for all three tracks complete, things are back to a more regular schedule and there will be 11 races at Busan on Friday from 14:30 to 21:00. Peter Wolsley looks like the trainer to follow with four potential favourites among the first eight races. English racecards are here, Notes on races 1-8 below:

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

The first of a couple of valuable maiden races for two-year-olds and (3) ADELEUI BOM, who beat a couple of these when running 3rd on debut a month ago is the one to beat here, He should lead gate to wire. The other ones with previous racing experience are likely to be the main competitors. (6) SEGI GANGJA was 5th behind Adeleui Bom on debut and should have come on for it while (4) PARK MAN has run twice showing signs of improvement when 5th in a quick race at this distance last month. Among the debut makers, (2) DONGNAM DAEBAK and (8) YEONGGWANGUIHUNTER looked best in trials.

Selections (3) Adeleui Bom (4) Park Man (2) Dongnam Daebak (6) Segi Gangja
Next Best 8, 7, 1, 5
Fast Starters 3, 5, 6

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

The second of the valuable maiden races but this time we’ll go with a pair of debut-makers as top choices. (4) DINAH, from Peter Wolsley’s stable, looked very competent in a trial at the end of last month and should be vying for favourite status with Kim Young Kwan’s first-time (2) SINUIPUMGYEOK. He’s the second foal out of a Korean Derby winning filly and won his trial last month. (1) YEONGGWANGUICOUNTRY and (3) NEW PORT both put in underwhelming debuts but can be given another chance here while (7) HAENGUN STORY, who has taken a while to get to the races since qualifying, is the wildcard choice.

Selections (4) Dinah (2) Sinuipumgyeok (1) Yeonggwanguicountry (3) New Port
Next Best 7, 8
Outsiders 5, 6, 9
Fast Starters 1, 2

Race 3: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 15:20 (KST)

Weak race this and it’s hard to see (7) HUIMANG CHANGA failing to prevail here. She should have won at this distance two weeks ago but just weakened late on to be overtaken. There’s nothing of the calibre of horse who beat her that day here though. (3) PYEONGDAEMYEONGMUN is the only other in the field who has shown any glimpse of talent so far so she is second choice with (2) GEUMTE and (4) CHARTERED DREAM a distant next best.

Selections (7) Huimang Changa (3) Pyeongdaemyeongmun (2) Geumte (4) Chartered Dream
Next Best 6, 1, 8, 5
Fast Starters 2, 4

Race 4: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 16:10 (KST)

The final maiden race of the day and we’ll go with (8) CHEONGCHUN CHAMP, a much improved 2nd last time to benefit from the slight step up in trip and get the job done here. (5) HWAJEONG was beaten twelve-lengths into 2nd last start, her best in five so far while (9) LADY LUCK also secured her best finish to date with a 3rd place in a slightly better race on July 22nd. They look to be the main dangers. (6) HUIMANG PARADE and (1) DARK HOSTA can improve on less than impressive starts to their careers.

Selections (8) Cheongchun Champ (9) Lady Luck (5) Hwajeong (1) Dark Hosta
Next Best 6, 2
Outsiders 3, 4, 7
Fast Starters 2, 6

Race 5: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:00 (KST)

(6) GABO STAR was beaten into 2nd when odds-on favourite over class and distance two weeks ago. That was his second time in a row of being beaten when maker leader but we’ll hope for third time lucky today in a race that even more than those previous two, he really should be winning. He should lead early and this time should not be caught. If he is caught, (1) BIGBANG BID, a winner at class and distance last time may be the one to do it. That win was his maiden on his 18th career start though and lightning may not strike again so quickly. (3) SKY WINNER is up in class following back to back 3rd place finishes at class 6 and should be competitive at this level. (9) MINIME is proven to be competitive – at least for the placings – at this level and should be so again.

Selections (6) Gabo Star (1) Bigbang Bid (3) Sky Winner (9) Minime
Next Best 8, 4
Outsiders 2, 5, 7
Fast Starters 2, 6, 8

Race 6: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:50 (KST)

Competitive race but another Peter Wolsley one is the firm top choice here. (7) LIMITLESS WIN was a three-length winner at this class over 1200M on July 15th, coming from well off the pace and the extra half furlong today should suit nicely. (6) CHOEGANG ADVENTURE was 3rd in that race, maintaining his very consistent run having never finished worse. He should keep that performance going today. (2) SHARP WIN and (3) MAJOR SLAM are both competent at this level and may be considered (9) SUPER SWEET has struggled in two starts at this level since winning on debut in April but can be given one more chance today. (8) CONCEP DREAM is up in class following an unlikely win last month and has plenty to find.

Selections (7) Limitless Win (6) Choegang Adventure (3) Major Slam (9) Super Sweet
Next Best 2, 10, 4, 8
Outsiders 1, 5,
Fast Starters 1, 6, 9

Race 7: Class 5 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:30 (KST)

After three consecutive 2nd place finishes, most recently at class and distance on July 24th, it’s time (2) THE WORLD entered the winner’s circle at what will be the 8th time of asking. She’s got good closing speed and should come from just behind the early leaders. Should she decide to find one too quick again then (1) POWER CHAMP, also 2nd at class and distance last start but a winner in the past, could be one to opt for while (3) LUCKY HANMA has been getting progressively closer at this class and steps up to a mile for the first time. He is a front-runner and staying on will be key. (8) GERMAN JEONCHA is up in class and distance following success in a weak contest a month ago while (5) GANGHO IRON is still yet to win in 21 outings but is certainly capable of finding the money in this company.

Selections (2) The World (1) Power Champ (3) Lucky Hanma (5) Gangho Iron
Next Best 8, 9
Outsiders 4, 6, 7
Fast Starters 3, 8

Race 8: Class 3 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 19:10 (KST)

Yet another of Peter Wolsley’s is top choice here. (2) WISH ME LUCK is up in class and distance having won his last two, both at a mile. He is a front-runner and there is no reason why he can’t cope with the extra furlong here and make it three in a row. It’s not going to be easy though. (6) SISEON POCHAK was an also-ran in two legs of the Triple Crown but is a proven winner at this distance and will be dangerous. Meanwhile, (1) BOHEMIAN has a lot of solid experience at this level and beat two of these when racing 2nd at class and distance on July 24th. Then there is (8) CAP IN ALL who got his first win in more than two years at this distance in July and needs to be respected.

Selections (2) Wish Me Luck (6) Siseon Pochak (1) Bohemian (8) Cap In All
Next Best 4, 3, 5
Outsiders 7
Fast Starters 1, 2

Gun Pit, Rich Tapestry, Wild Dude, Franklin D, Super Winner Among All-Star International Nominations for Korea Cup & Sprint

Horses in training in Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, France, UAE and Singapore have been nominated to run in the inaugural Keeneland Korea Cup and Keeneland Sprint at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday September 11, the Korea Racing Authority announced on Saturday.


Seoul Racecourse will host the Keeneland Korea Cup & Sprint on September 11

Preliminary nominations closed last Friday and eight international horses have been accepted into each race. They will be joined by up to eight Korea-trained runners. For the first time, Hong Kong, France, the UK, Ireland and the UAE are set to send runners to Korea.

Among the best known names are Hong Kong’s Gun Pit, who goes for the Cup against Japan’s Chrysolite and Great Britain’s Franklin D, a winner at Glorious Goodwood only last month. To add to the international theme, one of the French horses in the big race is the Moroccan bred star Famous Mark.

The Sprint, while less valuable, has also attracted well-known names. Hong Kong’s globe-trotting Rich Tapestry is entered alongside another Santa Anita Sprint champion, Wild Dude, who has recently been moved to Ireland.

Keeneland Korea Cup (1800M) Total Purse: 1 Billion Korean Won


Famous Mark (MOR) [Mr. Sidney – Empreinte Celebre (Peintre Celbre)] 4 year-old colt
A Moroccan bred who won all six of his races at Rabat and Casablanca before joining up with Pascal Bary in France. He has since finished 3rd in a Listed race on dirt in Sweden.

Hong Kong

Gun Pit (AUS) [Dubawi – Magic Tori (Ali-Royal)] 6-year-old Gelding
The dirt superstar of Sha Tin dirt, he’s practically unbeatable on his favourite surface. He managed a 2nd at Meydan in March before struggling on World Cup night. A previous trip to Chukyo at this distance didn’t work out but if he takes to the sand the way he does the dirt, he’s the one to beat.


Chrysolite (JPN) [Gold Allure – Chrysoprase (El Condor Pasa)] 6-year-old Gelding
A five-time Stakes winner, most recently claiming his second Diolite Kinen at Funabashi in March and was 3rd in the Group 3 Heian Stakes at Kyoto in May.


Infantry (NZ) [Tavistock – The Nightingale (Stravinsky)] 4-year-old Gelding
He’s won four of eleven career starts and has a win and a 2nd in his last two both over a mile. He will tackle 1800M for the first time.

Order Of The Sun (AUS) [Encosta De Lago – Sequin (Lure)] 6-year-old Gelding
4th behind Quechua in the Chairman’s Trophy, his most recent win came at this distance in February. He is a front runner.

United Arab Emirates

Gold City (IRE) [Pivotal – Storm Lily (Storm Cat)] 7-year-old Gelding
A winner of two from ten in the UK before relocating to the UAE in 2013. Finished 2nd behind Frosted at 1800M on the dirt at Meydan in February

Need To Know (SAF) [Western Winter – Promisefrommyheart (Elliodor)] 8-year-old Gelding
Winner of four in the UAE, he scored back to back 2nd places on the Meydan turf this January.

United Kingdom

Franklin D (USA) [Medaglia d’Oro – Kissed By A Star (Kingmambo)] 4-year-old Colt
Winner of the Betfred Mile at Glorious Goodwood in July. That was his second consecutive win having landed a Newmarket handicap two weeks previously.

Keeneland Korea Sprint (1200M) Total Purse: 700 Million Korean Won


Love Spirit (GB) [Elusive City – Indian Maiden (Indian Ridge)] 6-year-old Gelding
An also ran in the Group 1 Prix Maurice De Gheest at Deauville in August, he does have seven wins to his name. Trainer Louis Baudron has recently returned from a stint in Australia so is well acquainted with international racing

Ross Castle (IRE) [Bushranger – Bulrushes (Byron)] 3-year-old Colt
Young sprinter who has wins this year at Chantilly and Maisons Lafitte to his name.

Hong Kong

Rich Tapestry (IRE) [Holy Roman Emperor – Genuine Charm (Sadler’s Wells)] 8-year-old Gelding
A seasoned globe-trotter, he’s won at Santa Anita in the USA and twice at Meydan in Dubai, most recently in February this year.

Super Jockey (NZ) [Sandtrap – Pennies In Heaven (Pompeii Court)] 8-year-old Gelding
Beat Rich Tapestry when 2nd in the 2015 Golden Shaheen at Meydan; he was 5th in this year’s race Good – if limited – record on dirt.


Wild Dude (USA) [Wildcat Heir – Courtly Choice (Doneraile Court)] 6-year-old Horse
The Florida bred has spent his career in the United States. He won the Group 2 Kona Gold Stakes over six and a half furlongs on the dirt at Santa Anita in May, his 8th win in 22 career starts. He was 6th in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Moved this summer to training in Ireland.


Grape Brandy (JPN) [Manhattan Café – Wine And Rose (Judge Angelucci)] 8-year-old  Horse
A three-time Stakes winner earlier in his career, he was 3rd in the Negishi Stakes at Tokyo in January and 2nd in the Tokyo Sprint at Ohi in April.


Super Winner (AUS) [Kaphero – Millie Rose (Testa Rossa)] 5-year-old Horse
He beat three Korea-trained horses when winning the KRA Trophy at Kranji last year. Has four wins in seven starts in 2016. Usually settles just behind the early speed.

United Arab Emirates

Art Wave (IRE) [Art Connoisseur – Musical Review (Jade Robbery)] 5-year-old Horse
Winner of an all-weather race in the UK before moving to the UAE in 2014. Landed three consecutive wins at Jebel Ali around the turn of this year.

Triple Nine Bests Success Story & Rock Band

Triple Nine returned to the winner’s circle in some style as he defeated Success Story and stablemate Rock Band to win a strong renewal of the Owners’ Cup at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

Despite having suffered reverses to Diferent Dimension and Beolmaui Kkum in his last two outings, Triple Nine was sent off the slight odds-on favourite for the mile long race which was dominated by the favourites for the duration.

Success Story and Rock Band started quickly as expected but under Kim Yong Geun, Triple Nine was always handy and comfortably got the best of them in the home straight, running on to win by a length from Success Story with Rock Band a further half back in 3rd.

Success Story keeps his run of solid performances going since returning from Dubai. He is yet to win but has two 3rds and now a 2nd racing in very tough company. Rock Band, three races into a comeback following a lengthy spell out through injury also showed he is back to near his best.

Triple Nine and Success Story were both among preliminary nominations for September’s Korea Cup at Seoul. Given the strength of some of the overseas nominations, they are going to be very much up against it. Success Story was up against it in Dubai too though and he exceeded expectations. Hopefully they can both exceed expectations next month.

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview of Owner’s Cup Day (August 14)

Overseas-trained accepted nominations for the Keeneland Korea Cup & Sprint have been released as have the preliminary ones for Korean-trained horses. And some of those Korean-trained ones will line up at Busan on Sunday afternoon in the valuable Group 3 Owners’ Cup.

Triple Nine, Success Story and Gumpo Sky are all nominated for the Cup and they along with Rock Band will be the top fancies for the Owner’s Cup which will be run over a mile and will be available for betting on the TAB in Australia. English racecards are here. Brief notes on selected races below:

Seoul Race 6: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 12:20 (SIN)

(6) HONEY BUTTER NINO is ready to win again on what will be his fourth attempt at this class. Beaten four lengths into 2nd last time, he can go one better here. The danger is (8) DEVIL MAN, who’s had a string of near misses and drops back in trip following back to back 3rd places at 1700M Both will look to come from just off the pace. That pace is likely to be set by (2) PINK STAR, who’s been in form of late and can stay on while (5) WANJEON MULGYEOL and up-in-class (1) HAPPIEST are others with claims.


Selections (6) Honey Butter Nino (8) Devil Man (2) Pink Star (1) Happiest
Next Best 5, 3, 12, 4
Outsiders 7, 9, 10, 11
Fast Starters 2, 3

Busan Race 1: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 12:40 (SIN)

(10) FEISTY flopped when favourite in a competitive race over 1300M on July 8th but Kim Young Kwan’s gelding showed good ability in two starts prior to that and is favoured to come back into form here. Similarly disappointing when well backed last time was (8) ICE MARINE and she too should improve today. One who ran to expectations last time was (6) CHOA, the gelding running 2nd over class and distance on July 15th and a repeat should be aimed for here. (4) SUNGANUI BEOPCHIK and (5) ONLY BLUE are also in contention.

Selections (10) Feisty (8) Ice Marine (6) Choa (5) Only Blue
Next Best 4, 9, 7
Outsiders 1, 2, 3
Fast Starters 5, 8

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 13:05 (SIN)

With two wins from four and back to the minimum distance today, (1) GOLD MORNING has plenty of potential and is the one to beat here. She should lead gate-to-wire. It won’t be a procession though. Both (5) JOARA and (9) GOLD MUSIC have proved capable at this level and will be dangerous. The former beat (2) BEYOND LIMIT last start but Beyond Limit too could welcome the opportunity to run at the minimum distance again. (10) JINNGYEONGUI GEOIN hasn’t really pushed on from an impressive start to his career but was a close 5th last time and is one of the quickest of these on his day.

Selections (1) Gold Morning (2) Beyond Limit (10) Jinngyeongui Geoin (5) Joara
Next Best 9, 4, 3, 8
Outsiders 6, 7, 11
Fast Starters 1, 7, 8, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 13:25 (SIN)         

Small but competitive field here. Both (5) OCEAN LINE and (6) ACE SINHWA drop back in trip today, the latter for the first time in many months. Ocean Line will look to lead while the Aussie-bred Ace Sinhwa will try to come from just off the pace and both should be involved at the business end of the race. (8) BIO BLUE is two races into a comeback following a lengthy absence. Neither have gone especially well but both have been at 1000M and the increased trip should be beneficial and we will expect an improvement today. (9) TOUGH COUNTRY is still looking for his maiden win but comes in following consecutive 3rd places and should match. (1) SEVEN PARTY will welcome the drop back in distance.

Selections (6) Ace Sinhwa (8) Bio Blue (5) Ocean Line (9) Tough Country
Next Best 1, 4, 3
Outsiders 2, 7
Fast Starters 3, 5, 8

Busan Race 3: Class 3 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 14:15 (SIN)

 He struggled in the Korean Derby and also in the Minister’s Cup, the final two legs of the Korean Triple Crown at Seoul, but back in Busan and back at seven furlongs today, (8) SAEROUN STEALTH should have far too much for this field. (3) SUPER STORM and (6) MACHU PICCHU, who ran 2nd in decent races at 1400M and 1600M respectively last time are the two with the strongest claims to be able to compete with the favourite while (4) BYEOLMURI was an improved 5th (behind Super Storm) last start and can look for more improvement. Second place specialist (2) WIN GO MAN is rather unfortunate to find himself up in class here but should be able to give a good account of himself.

Selections (8) Saeroun Stealth (3) Super Storm (6) Machu Picchu (2) Win Go Man
Next Best 4, 7
Outsiders 1, 5
Fast Starters 3, 4

Seoul Race 9: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 15:00 (SIN)

Up in class following a comfortable victory over a decent class 4 field at 1200M at the end of June, (7) CLEAN UP KING can make an immediate impact here. Most likely content to let others lead, he has strong finishing speed and the lightly raced three-year-old can win this. (1) MENI MUSIC hasn’t quite lived up to her early potential but is always well backed and generally gives a good account of herself. She will set the pace here and winning this is within her scope. (8) JEWELRY PARK was a well-beaten 3rd of 7 on her first try at this level last month but with champion jockey Moon Se Young returning to the ride, she’ll have backers to make amends here. (2) HUIMANG ROCKET, up in class after a solid win, and (6) NORTHERN HOJAE best of the rest.

Selections (7) Clean Up King (1) Meni Music (8) Jewelry Park (2) Huimang Rocket
Next Best 6, 5
Outsiders 3, 4
Fast Starters 1, 2, 5

Busan Race 4: Class Open – The Owners’ Cup (KOR G3) – 1600M / Weight for Age / KRW 400 Million / 15:30 (SIN)

(5) TRIPLE NINE has suffered unexpected reverses in his last two races but he will still be heavy favourite to triumph here. He won Korea’s richest race last year and beat Success Story by a nose in the 1800M Mayor’s Cup last start. He is the one to beat. (8) SUCCESS STORY landed two 3rd place finishes at the Dubai World Cup Carnival earlier this year and since returning to Korea has added two more 3rd places. He’ll be on speed early as ever and this time can go at least one better. (10) ROCK BAND is Triple Nine’s stablemate and was his big rival last autumn before injury saw him out of action for several months. He returned in June and was back in the winner’s circle in July winning an admittedly indifferent handicap over 1800M. With a bit more progress he will be competitive again here. (4) GUMPO SKY was well beaten in the Mayor’s Cup but remains a danger and will be on the early speed. (7) CHEONJI PARK is an improver and looks to be the wildcard.

Selections (5) Triple Nine (8) Success Story (10) Rock Band (4) Gumpo Sky
Next Best 7
Outsiders 1, 2, 3, 6, 9
Fast Starters 2, 4, 8, 10

Seoul Race 10: Class 3 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 16:00 (SIN)

It took (4) BOEUN YONGSA ten goes to get his maiden victory but once he did, another win followed right away at class and distance and he’s got every chance of making it three in a row here. Although he did win at class 4 carrying this weight, today he’s giving plenty away, including 5kg to (8) FORMER MISSION. The US import by Temple City is up in class following his own maiden win on July 17th. The class gap shouldn’t be a problem and the increased trip should be to his advantage. (2) REWARD HIGH is up in class following her maiden win at the ninth time of asking and can be competitive at this level while (7) KWAESOK POWER completes the set of those at this level for the first time and is a winner at this distance.  (1) TRIPLE SHINING should improve today in more favourable company than his last two outings.

Selections (8) Former Mission (4) Boeun Yongsa (2) Reward High (1) Triple Shining
Next Best 7, 3
Outsiders 5, 6
Fast Starters 1, 5

Seoul Race 11: Class 1 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 120 Million / 16:30 (SIN)

A disappointingly small field here as Seoul’s class 1 contingent remains in its boxes instead of facing (7) CLEAN UP JOY, who will be a prohibitive favourite to maintain his 100% record at his home track this year. He was beaten by Triple Nine and Success Story by a length in the Busan Mayor’s Cup last month but is superior to his rivals here even if he is giving them all a minimum of 8kg. That weight is perhaps the only doubt and should anyone wish to take him on they should look to YTN Cup winner (5) MISO WANGJA who is still a work in progress with plenty of potential. (3) BEST RUN and (4) WINNING ANDY are other candidates for places.

Selections (7) Clean Up Joy (5) Miso Wangja (3) Best Run (4) Winning Andy
Next Best 1, 6, 2
Fast Starters 2, 5

Triple Crown Winner Power Blade Set To Lead Home Challenge in Korea Cup

Preliminary nominations closed on Friday for the inaugural runnings of the Keeneland Korea Cup and Keeneland Korea Sprint, which take place at Seoul Racecourse on Friday September 11. Overseas-trained nominations will be published over the weekend but Korea-trained nominations came out Friday afternoon and it’s a who’s who of the top horses on the peninsula with Triple Crown winner Power Blade set to lead the domestic challenge in the Billion-Won Cup.


Triple Crown winner Power Blade is nominated for the Keeneland Korea Cup (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Triple Nine and Beolmaui Kkum as well as Success Story join Power Blade in being nominated for the Cup while Oaks winning filly Ottug Ottugi and Perdido Pomeroy are among nineteen who hope to take their chance in the Sprint.

Here’s the full list of nominations for both races. It’s expected that eight Korea-trained horses will run in each race against eight overseas-trained horses:

Keeneland Korea Cup (1800M-KOR G1)

Beolmaui Kkum (USA) [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] 6-year-old Horse
Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke( Pleasant Tap)] 4-year-old Colt
Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmachong (Lost Mountain)] 3-year-old Colt
Gumpo Sky (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] 5-year-old Horse
Success Story (KOR) [Peace Rules – Power Pack (Lil’s Lad)] 5-year-old Horse
Dynamic Dash (USA) [Pleasantly Perfect – See Rock City (Tapit)] 4-year-old Colt
Saengil Gippeum (USA) [Parading — Minny’s Niece (Quiet American)] 3-year-old Colt
Dongbang Daero (USA) [Curlin – Willa Joe (El Gran Senor)] 4-year-old Colt
Diferent Dimension (USA) [Into Mischief – Pardon My Sarong (Souvenir Copy)] 4-year-old Colt
Buhwarui Banseok (USA) [Tizway – Aim For The Moon (Deputy Minister)] 3-year-old Colt
Choegangiji (USA) [Mineshaft – Woodland Shadow (Woodman)] 4-year-old Colt
Mighty Gem (USA) [Macho Uno – Shimmer (Pulpit)] 4-year-old Filly
Wonder Bolt (USA) [Desert Warrior – Little Champ (Great Gladiator)] 6-year-old Gelding
Mirae Yeongung (KOR) [Aragorn –Willing Miss (More Than Ready)] 5-year-old Horse
Bichui Jeongsang (USA) [Wildcat Heir – Persimmon Honey (Colonial Affair)] 5-year-old Mare
Dynamic Jilju (USA) [Forestry – Beat Your Feet (Dixieland Band)] 5-year-old Horse
Damyang Chukje (USA) [Good Reward – Strategy (Foot Stone)] 7-year-old Horse

Keeneland Korea Sprint (1200M-KOR G1):

Ubaki (KOR) [Menifee – Cadillac Caper (An Eldorado)] 6-year-old Gelding
Bit Blade (KOR) [Rockport Harbor – Natalie Beach (Tempranero)] 4-year-old gelding
Ottug Ottugi (KOR) [Forest Camp – Main Objective (Lion Heart)] 3-year-old filly
Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin –Radyla (Country Pine)] 7-year-old Mare
Oreuse (USA) [Smoke Glacken – Heavenly Splendor (Point Given)] 7-year-old Horse
Perdido Pomeroy (USA) [Pomeroy – Boldest Of All (Bold Executive)] 3-year-old Colt
Miracle Line (USA) [Latent Heat – Great Thought (Empire Maker)] 4-year-old Colt
Macheon Bolt (USA) [Old Fashioned – Beech Bag (Devil’s Bag)] 4-year-old Gelding
First Magical (USA) [First Dude – Magical Promise (Montbrook)] 3-year-old Colt
Supreme Magic (USA) [Lookin At Lucky – Thru N’ Thru (Stormy Atlantic)] 4-year-old Filly
Tapipoint (USA) [Concord Point – Peace pledge (Our Emblem)] 4-year-old Gelding
Triple Five (USA) [Girolamo – High Falutin Gal (Silver Deputy)] 3-year-old Gelding
Gabo Myeongun (USA) [Sharp Humor – Tingwithasting (Wild Rush)] 4-year-old Colt
Cheongu (USA) [Old Fashioned – So Much Fun (Speightstown)] 4-year-old Colt
Parang Juuibo (USA) [With Distinction – Spicy Souffle (French Deputy)] 6-year-old Horse
Goreous Dream (KOR) [Sharp Humor – Hey Gorgeous (Cherokee Run)] 3-year-old Colt
Choegang Schiller (USA) [Artie Schiller – Changeable (Miswaki)] 5-year-old Gelding
Zentenary (USA) [First Defence – Celestic (Sky Classic)] 5-year-old Gelding
Haemaru (KOR) [Vicar – Forest Flower (Timber Country)] 5-year-old Gelding