The fillies take centre stage on Sunday with the twenty fourth running of the Sports Seoul Cup (see full preview), the highlight of another busy – and likely very hot – weekend of racing on the peninsula.
Busan gets things started on Friday, it’s Seoul and Jeju’s turn on Saturday and, as usual, all three tracks run on Sunday. Aside from those going in the Sports Seoul on Sunday, Machine Gun and Saebyeok Dongja face each other in Saturday’s Seoul feature.
South African jockey Stephan Swanepoel will make his Busan debut on Sunday having requested a move down to the southern track after a lack of opportunities at Seoul. Meanwhile, Toshiyuki Kato of Japan makes his debut at Seoul on Saturday.
Busan Race Park
Friday June 26, 2009: 11 races, first post 12:30
Sunday June 28, 2009: 6 races, first post 12:40
Seoul Race Park
Saturday June 27, 2009: 12 races, first post 11:20
Sunday June 28, 2009: 11 races, first post 11:20
Jeju Race Park hosts cards on Saturday and Sunday with a first post time of 12:10 on both days.
Ten fillies will line up when the Sports Seoul Cup, Seoul Race Park’s main Korean Oaks trial race goes to post on Sunday afternoon. Whether any of the ten will eventually travel down to Busan in August to potentially face double classic winner Sangseung Ilro at her home track is another matter but in any case, the Sports Seoul looks an entertaining race in its own right.
The most experienced filly in the race is Love Cat. Sent to Busan to race the colts (and of course, one other filly) in the KRA Cup Mile in April, she wasn’t able to do herself justice. Off the track since, she will still have plenty of backers.
She’ll be up against a number of fillies who have impressed at sprint distances but have yet to appear over anything approaching the 1700 metres this race will be contested at. Isanghwa, Good Leader, Morning Rush and Ganghan Speed fall into this category as do the lightly raced Tummim and Jeongsang Cheonji. Abigail is the only other filly with form over this distance.
The Sports Seoul is one of Korea’s longest established races with its first running in 1986. It only became restricted to female horses in 2004 and to three year olds in 2006. Baekpa won the race in 2007 before going on to land the Oaks later in the year, however, last year’s winner Samsimnyeonsarang has since failed to live up to her promise.
Full list of runners, pedigree, race records and riders:
Sports Seoul – Seoul Race Park – 1700M – June 27, 2009
1. Love Cat [Creek Cat – Love Cue (Curia Regis)] – (9/5/0/2) – Choi Beom Hyun
Hasn’t run since her disappointing eleventh in the KRA Cup Mile at Busan. Before that she won twice over this distance. Currently races several classes above anything else in this race.
2. Ganghan Speed [Lethal Instrument – Devil’s Mama (Devil’s Bag)] – (8/3/1/1) – Yoo Sang Wan
Has beaten some useful horses at shorter distances.
3. Good Leader [War Zone – Kkummaeul (Curia Regis)] – (8/3/0/0) – Moon Jung Kyun
Returned to form last time out after some poor efforts during the Spring.
4. Victor Hunter [Social Charter – Angel’s Walk (Commemorate)] – (8/0/2/3) – Kim Ok Sung
The only maiden in the race and little to suggest that she’s going to break it here.
5. Tummim [Lost Mountain – Skip The Trial (Skip Trial)] – (4/2/1/1) – Moon Se Young
Won impressively last time out and is an interesting prospect if she makes the step up in distance.
6. Rose Cat [Creek Cat – Rose Bouton (Somethingdifferent)] – (8/2/2/1) – Park Tae Jong
The other “Cat” in the race, she took on the foreign horses last time out in the STC Trophy race but finished a well beaten 10th.
7. Morning Rush [Al Naba – Ireun Achim (Psychobabble)] – (4/2/0/0) – Shin Hyoung Cheol
A smart winner last time out, she’s never gone more than six furlongs.
8. Abigail [Exploit – La Finale (Dunbeath)] – (6/1/3/1) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
A rare Korean bred winner of a race open to foreign horses in April bumped her up in class, she finished third behind the unbeaten gelding Holy Dreamer over this distance.
9. Isanghwa [Didyme – Sugar Lips (Miswaki)] – (6/3/1/0) – Ham Wan Sik
Has won three of her last four and must be considered.
10. Jeongsang Cheonji [Didyme – Gypsy Fire (Best Western)] – Jun Deok Young
She’s only run three times and won two of them. Has been off the track since early April when she breezed to a seven length victory over decent opposition.