After months of preparation, finally it’s the big one.
The first leg of the 2012 Korean Triple Crown will be run at Busan Race Park this Sunday.
The KRA Cup Mile, also known as the “Korean 2000 Guineas” will see four runners from Seoul travel down South to take on a ten strong home team.
One of them could be on the way to emulating J.S. Hold who in 2007, became the first and only horse to complete the Triple Crown. Champion Juvenile of 2011 Good Time leads the line for the home team while Viva Cat, with 5 wins from his 6 starts, heads the challenge from Seoul.
Here is a full list of the runners and riders with pedigrees, race records and jockey:
KRA Cup Classic (KOR.GII) – Busan Race Park – 1600M – Sunday April 8, 15:50
1. Good Time (KOR) [Yehudi-A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] C (8/3/3/0) – Chae Gyu Jun (Busan)
Champion Juvenile of last year and has made steady progress this year up to class 2 level, recording a very easy win over the distance in February.
2. Himchan Jilju (KOR) [Kwaedo Nanma-Wild Triple (Military)] C (8/4/0/1) – Jo Chang Wook (Busan)
Untried at the distance but was impressive last time out and should be in with a chance.
3. Wonderful Namhae (KOR) [Vicar-Make That Call (Glow)] C (6/4/0/0) – Akane Yamamoto (Busan)
Has won his last three in good fashion and with Akane on board, has to be a contender.
4. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee-Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] C (8/4/2/0) – Park Geum Man (Busan)
Over the winter, he was set to be favourite but put in an indifferent performance last time out when he finished behind Good Time over 1800 metres. Could win easily or could finish last, it depends which Gyeongbudaero shows up.
5. Myeongseo Hero (KOR) [Pico Central-Regal Heir (Regal Intention)] C (7/2/3/0) – Song Keong Yun (Busan)
Was disappointing in his only outing over the distance and comes into the race off the back of two second place finishes over seven furlongs at class 3. He’ll need to show much more to challenge here.
6. Cheoneun (KOR) [Forest Camp-Naha (Silver Buck)] F (8/5/1/0) – Choi Bum Hyun (Seoul)
A poor run in the Breeders’ Cup last November and again over 1800 metres last month. Sandwiched between those two though were two very impressive wins and if she can bring that form to Busan, she can’t be discounted.
7. Jigeum I Sungan (KOR) [Ingrandire-Solmaru (Mujaazif)] C (9/3/4/1) – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
A colt that has been getting better with every run. The longer Derby distance might suit him better but more improvement can’t be ruled out here and Moon Se Young would not travel South if he didn’t feel he had a shot at bringing home a big prize.
8. Dolpung Jilju (KOR) [Didyme-Alder Gulch (Gulch)] F (8/3/1/1) – Jun Duk Yong (Seoul)
Without a win since claiming the Gwacheon Mayor’s Stakes last October, she is a talented filly but it would be a surprise if her return to the Winner’s Circle came here.
9. Baekho Janggun (KOR) [Pico Central-Oaks Fever (Old Trieste)] C (9/1/2/2) – Narazaki Kosuke (Busan)
Second over the distance last time out but has done little to suggest that he will be one of the favourites here. Needs improvement.
10. Dream Tower (KOR) [Forest Camp-HUrricane Warning (Thunder Gulch)] C (8/4/1/1) – Kim Yong Geun (Busan)
The most expensive colt of his generation, Dream Tower was third in the Breeders’ Cup last year. Yet to go a mile, he was second over 1500 metres at class 2 in his last race and must be among the frontrunners here.
11. Viva Cat (KOR) [Creek Cat-Babaria (Engagement)] C (6/5/0/0) – Cho Kyoung Ho (Seoul)
A fourth place in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup aside, this colt has done nothing wrong at all. Two smart wins at 1700 metres this year as well as Cho Kyoung Ho on board for the first time make him arguably the favourite. However, Seoul horses do not have a good record at Busan.
12. Bongodong (KOR) [Meisei Opera-Martie’s Prospect (Allen’s Prospect)] C (7/1/2/2) – You Hyun Myung
Undoubtedly the best named horse in the race (with the possible exception of the musically inspired Jigeum I Sungan), Bongodong would have to show form far beyond what he has demonstrated so far if he is to compete here.
13. Sing A (KOR) [Fortitude-Seollimwon (Wheaton)] F (9/2/3/2) – Kim Dong Young
A very nice filly who was second in the Breeders’ Cup behind Good Time and won over course and distance last month with Predict behind her. She’ll need to go quicker than she did that day to win here but she’s tough to oppose.
14. Predict (KOR) [The Groom Is Red-Muhanseungni (Big Sur)] C (7/3/2/0) – Jo Sung Gon (Busan)
Finished behind Good Time and Sing A in his last two starts, both of which were at this distance. Jo Sung Gin can never be ruled out in the big races but he’ll need to find improvement here.