Although Areumdaun Jilju, arguably Busan Race Park’s most formidable horse in 2008 won’t be there, this year’s running of the KNN Cup, which takes place at the Gyeongnam Province track this coming Sunday, still has the makings of an intriguing race.
Last year’s Derby winner, Ebony Storm goes as does this year’s best colt, Namdo Jeap. While Sangseung Ilro, the filly who defeated him in both Triple Crown legs to date won’t be there as she takes a different route to the Oaks, among those who will be lining up are Sandeomi, Mirae Cheonsa, Yeongung Manse and Sinheung Gangja.
The race is open to Korean bred horses and is the first opportunity for three year olds to take on more experienced horses for a big prize. The form guide can be downloaded here (Korean). Here’s the run-down of the runners and riders with race records (Runs/1st/2nd/3rd):
KNN Cup – Busan Race Park – 1600M – June 14, 2009, 15:35
1. Ebony Storm [Buster’s Daydream – Sorority Jazz (Dixieland Band)] – (20/6/4/4) – Park Geum Man
The longest shot on the board when he won the Derby, he’s pushed on to be a solid performer and won last time out.
2. Raon King [Psychobabble – Geum Seul (Roughcast)] – (15/5/0/3) – Kim Do Hyun
Graduated to the top tier of Korean racing earlier this year but has been at his best over shorter distances.
3. Wellbeing Sidae [Psychobabble – Winning Design (Beau’s Eagle)] – (34/5/3/4) – E. Nishimura
In good form this year, the experienced mare could spring a surprise.
4. Namdo Jeap [Ft. Stockton – Wandering Katie (Tejano)] – (7/3/3/1) – Chae Gyu Jun
But for one filly, he would be a double classic winner by now. Only Sangseung Ilro has beaten him this year.
5. Yeoin Cheonguk [Creek Cat – Ze No Evil (Pentelicus)] – (37/6/3/7) – Jung Si Won
Another experienced mare, she won last time out after a disappointing 2008.
6. Yeongung Manse [Sharp Appeal – Saratogasplash (Wild Again)] – (14/7/3/2) – Jo Chang Wook
Has never been out of the money in his 14 starts. Landed four straight victories last autumn and won over the distance in March.
7. Mirae Cheonsa [Millennium Wind – Harboring (Boston Harbor)] – (27/11/4/1/3) – Kim Tae Kyung
She was dominant as a three year old, winning eight straight races in 2006 and 2007. After a difficult 2008 she’s been winning again this year and is always liable to be in the mix in the home straight.
8. Sandeomi [Commendable – Regal Meg (Regal Classic)] – (10/5/1/1) – Yoo Hyun Myoung
The highest placed finisher in the KRA Cup Mile not to try for the Derby, Sandeomi is faster than Namdo Jeap over 1600 metres and must be considered.
9. Sinheung Gangja [Archer City Slew – Recondite (Silver Deputy)] – (22/5/3/6) – Han Sang Gyu
Disappointed when sent to Seoul for the Minister’s Cup last October but has two class 1 wins to his name. Hasn’t been showing his best form since beating Ebony Storm in January.