Korean Derby 2011: Final Preview
It’s Derby Day and this race is anybody’s. Soseuldaemun comes to Seoul on Sunday to attempt to win the second leg of the 2011 Triple Crown in the 14th Korean Derby. He’ll have thirteen out to stop him.
Does a competitive field mean we have a weak crop of three-year olds this year? We’ll decide that at the end of the season, for now we can savour the prospect of a genuinely unpredictable race. It’s going to be a gorgeous day – albeit slightly breezy – and there’s sure to be a massive crowd in attendance.
Here’s the final run-down of the runners, pedigrees, race records, riders and a comment on their chances:
Korean Derby (KOR.GI) – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – May 15, 2011 – 16:35
1. Shoot In [Exploit – Doneitmyway (Northern Flagship)] – (5/3/2/0) – Shin Hyoung Chul
Half-brother of last year’s winner Cheonnyeon Daero, he was a late entrant and is improving all the time. Won’t be among the favourites but could spring a surprise after taking the lead early on.
2. Singgereounachim [Exploit – Singgereoun (Mr. Adorable)] (9/3/1/2) – Jo In Kwen
Won so easily last time out that there’es surely more to come. A strong chance.
3. Useung Touch [Menifee – Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] (Filly) (6/3/1/1) – Choi Si Dae
An unknown quantity at this distance, the filly will be at long-odds. She’ll start quickly and is the fastest horse in the race, but will she stay?
4. Sun Hero [Menifee – Strategic Reward (Bold Revenue)] (9/4/2/1) – Moon Se Young
Last year’s champion juvenile is proving tough to handle in races at three and a dreadful performance in the Cup Mile makes him hard to recommend for anything more than an outside chance at a place.
5. World Winner [Yankee Victor – Wakired (Red Ransom)] (11/2/3/2) – Jo Sung Gon (Busan)
Although untried at the distance, it shouldn’t be a problem but despite winning his last two, has shown nothing to suggest he’s capable of he massive improvement required to win here.
6. Soseuldaemun [Meisei Opera – This Ole Way (Vigors)] (10/3/3/1) – Toshio Uchida (Busan)
The KRA Cup Mile winner and on-course for the Triple Crown. He will be well-fancied and with Uchida on board, cannot be discounted.
7. Yeongung Icheon [Concept Win – Saratogasplash (Wild Again)] (9/3/2/1) – Park Tae Jong
Jockey Park has won the Derby twice before but it would be a major surprise if he added another here.
8. Champion Belt [Exploit – Telegraph Road (Royal Academy)] (6/2/2/2) – Lim Sung Sil (Busan)
An intriguing late entry, his dam also produced the very talented Blue Pin and Northern Ace, and his two recent wins suggests plenty more to come. Could be worth an each-way bet at decent odds.
9. Daeseung Yegam [Silent Warrior – Tolp’ung-Yegam (Land Rush)] (10/3/1/1) – Kim Myoung Sin (Busan)
Too inconsistent to recommend here. Will be one of the outsiders.
10. Cheonji Horyeong [Buster’s Daydream – Sorority Jazz (Dixieland Band)] (9/2/3/1) – Chae Gyu Jun (Busan)
Half-brother to 2008 winner Ebony Storm and fourth in the Cup Mile, many believe there is plenty more to come from Cheonji Horyeong. Should be there or thereabouts.
11. Geuma Champ [Vicar – Stormcloudrising (Stormy Atlantic)] (7/2/3/1) – Jung Ki Yong
A month ago it was Geuma Who? But an impressive second behind Super Rich last month has put him right into contention. Has looked fantastic in trackwork and will have a lot of backers.
12. Double Light [Menifee – Iruda (Glorify)] (8/3/3/1) – Cho Kyoung Ho
All around the most complete looking horse. Second in the Cup Mile, he will most likely be the favourite.
13. Gwangyajeil [Vicar – Hurricane Havoc (Jade Robbery)] (6/4/0/0) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
An impressive winner of his last two starts, if he’s on form, he has every chance
14. Prime Galloper [Strodes Creek – Apple G (Carson City)] (7/3/4/0) – Hwang Soon Do
Some decent performances behind him but nothing to suggest he can beat some of the better known names. An outsider.
So, who’s it going to be? This is a very open race so there is plenty of scope for betting. Gyongmaman will be losing a little bit of money on likely outsiders Champion Belt and Useung Touch. While he’ll be watching to see if any of Double Light, Soseuldaemun, Gwangyajeil or Geuma Champ offer any unexpected value, he will be sure to have a win bet on Singgeureounachim.
Sunday May 15
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 18:05 (including the 2011 Korean Derby at 16:35)
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:30 to 17:00