Busan hosts its first Stakes race of the year this coming Sunday as nine horses go to post for the Busan Ilbo Cup.
It has attracted a high quality field with last year’s winner Yeonseung Daero set to have his work cut out to retain the trophy as three-time President’s Cup winner Dangdae Bulpae the likely favourite. Here’s a full run down of the runners with name, pedigree, sex, age, weight (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) and Jockey:
Busan Ilbo Cup – Busan Race Park – 1600M – Sunday February 24, 2013 – 16:15
1. Dangdae Bulpae (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki – Indeed My Dear (Alydeed)] H 6 61kg (28/18/2/2) – Jo Sung Gon
One of the best Korean bred horses there has ever been. A three-time winner of the President’s Cup and the winner of more Stakes races than any other horse in Korean history. Against Korean bred opposition he should always be favourite at any distance between 1400 metres and 2000 metres and he will be here. The only consolation for his rivals is that he has never won when carrying more than 60kg and when he’s not on form, he’s really not on form. If he’s anything close to his best, he wins.
2. Dongseo Jeongbeol (KOR) [Vicar – Rendezvous Bay (Wonderloaf)] H 5 55.5kg (21/9/3/0) – Kanichiro (Joe) Fujii
Minister’s Cup winner in 2011, he struggled for form last year although he did finish 2nd in this race and picked up a win over the distance. He ended the year in good shape but will have to improve to win here but taking into weight and jockey, cannot be ruled out.
3. Road To Prince (KOR) [Pico Central – Ransom Bay (Red Ransom)] C 4 58kg (9/6/2/0) – Lim Sung Sil
A horse who has really crept up to class 1 under the radar. This will be his debut at this level and as such is a slightly unknown quantity. Seems to have plenty of improvement in him and will like the distance.
4. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] C 4 58.5kg (16/5/4/5) – Choi Si Dae
Remarkably this colt hasn’t won since he took the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown, last April. The reason is that he only ever runs against the best. 3rd in the Derby, 2nd in the Owners’ Cup, 3rd in the Minister’s Cup, 3rd in the President’s Cup. He usually runs into just one or two who are faster. That could well be the same here.
5. Alpha Myeongjang (KOR) [Pico Central – Lend (Coronado’s Quest)] C 4 61kg (16/7/5/0) – You Hyun Myung
An out-and-out sprinter he was very exposed in the Minister’s Cup last year. If the race was 400 metres shorter, he’d be favourite. It’s not, so he is an outsider. The consitions of the race also land him with 61kg, the same as Dangdae Bulpae.
6. Born To Win (KOR) [Archer City Slew – Bayou Blues (Cure The Blues)] M 5 54.5kg (25/4/5/3) – Narazaki Kosuke
She may well be Born To Win but she doesn’t do it very often and he’ll not do it here either. A pair of class 2 victories last autumn propelled her into the elite class and she beat some useful horses when finishing second over 1900 metres last month but there’s not much in her favour here.
7. Yeonseung Daero (KOR) [Creek Cat – Sensationalkris (Cryptoclearance)] H 7 56.5kg (47/17/9/5) – Park Geum Man
A wonderfully game horse and the defending champion. Yeonseung Daero has been campaigned almost exclusively against foreign-bred horses, hence “only” having 17 wins to his name. Struggled for much of 2012 but was right back in form at the end of the year, he can never be written off. Stablemate of Gyeongbudaero.
8. Geumsangeo (KOR) [Volponi – Dactique’s Quest (Coronodo’s Quest)] M 5 52kg (20/3/5/3) – Chae Gyu Jun
A relative unknown who has risen to class 1 through placing more than winning. Has never faced a field of this quality before and while she does have a big weight advantage, it would be a surprise to see her involved at the business end of the race.
9. Powerful Korea (KOR) [Distilled – Bound To Score (Quick Score)] G 5 58kg (20/6/3/4) – Kim Dong Young
He spent his 2-year old season in the USA and even ran in 3 races in Florida but Powerful Korea has never really lived-up to his potential. He has just a solitary class 1 victory to his name and while he has undoubted ability, will need to find a lot of improvement to win here.
Gyongmaman’s verdict: Even taking into account the weight (which is too high – horses do not need to be carrying this kind of weight in a race that isn’t even a handicap but this is an argument for another day) it is difficult to look beyond Dangdae Bulpae for the win but there won’t be much value in that. Therefore, Gyongmaman will probably leave him alone in the betting and look for options involving Yeonseung Daero and Dongseo Jeongbeol both of whom are carrying reasonable weights, have good jockeys and are almost certain to run solid races.