The first leg of the 2013 Korean Triple Crown the KRA Cup Mile – known informally as the Korean 2000 Guineas – will be contested at Busan Race Park this coming Sunday.
A full field of 16 will contend the season’s opening Classic race with 9 horses from host track Busan being joined by 7 from Seoul. Among them are 3 fillies whose connections will be hoping they can emulate 2009 winner Sangseung Ilro, who went on to win the Derby.
It’s potentially a big year for the foreign contingent at Busan. While only domestic bred horses are allowed to compete in Korean Triple Crown races, on the jockey and trainer front, hopes are high.
Since its inception in 2005, 3 jockeys from overseas have won this race; Garry Baker of Australia and Eiki Nishimura and Toshio Uchida of Japan. This year Japan’s Joe Fujii and Britain’s Darryll Holland both have fancied rides.
Meanwhile, on the training front, Australia’s Peter Wolsley saddles two runners in Fantastic Jazz and Amell’s Atom who are both in with a chance.
The big race is under orders at 16:15 on Sunday afternoon and is the highlight of a 6-race card at Busan. The race will also be screened live during the 11 race card at Seoul Race Park. There will be live tweeting on the day at http://twitter.com/korearacing and a full report plus race video on the blog in the evening.
Here is the full run-down of runners and riders – with pedigrees and race records (Runs/1/2/3):
KRA Cup Mile (KOR GII) – Busan Race Park – 1600M – April 7, 16:15
1. Rapide Bullet [Revere – Breadknife (Hansel)] (8/4/1/1) – Jo In Kwen (Seoul)
One of Seoul’s stronger challengers, he comes in off the back of two wins. Seoul’s current top jockey comes down to ride him.
2. Like The Sun [Forest Camp – Binnara (Fiercely)] (7/2/1/0) – Kim Young Jin (Seoul).
Has found it difficult in recent races – he’s only beaten class 5 opposition. The distance should suit but he’ll be an outsider.
3. Pureun Energy [Menifee – Cheongsan Ilho (General Nediym)] Filly (7/3/2/0) – Kanichiro Fujii (Busan)
She was Busan’s champion Juvenile last year and gas a class 3 win over course and distance in the bank this term. Struggled over further last time but must be given respect and has a good jockey on board.
4. Yapung [Menifee – Wild Life (Wild Again)] (9/3/2/1) – Kim Eu Soo (Busan)
Won the Breeders’ Cup at Seoul to become Korea’s overall champion Juvenile in November but hasn’t pushed on quite as much as some others. Finished 3rd to Pureun Energy over this distance and will have to improve to reverse that form.
5. Ruby Canter [Volponi – Crystal Decanter (Encosta De Lago)] Filly (6/2/0/2) – Lee Geum Joo (Seoul)
Difficult to find much in her favour. She looks a decent sprinter and held her own when finishing 4th against a modest field over 1800 metres last time out but she should find many quicker than her here.
6. Last Mudae [The Groom Is Red – White Aloa (White Muzzle)] (11/1/3/1) – Lee Dong Kug (Seoul)
Another one with slim claims. His only victory was at class 5 over 1300 metres back in January and he’s struggled since.
7. Cheonnyeon Dongan [Ecton Park – Honeycakes (Hennessy)] Filly (6/3/0/2) – Oh Kyoung Hoan (Seoul)
Smart victory over 1700 metres last time out at Seoul means she takes her chance here. Winning might be a stretch but she has a good chance of being involved at the business end of the race.
8. Fantastic Jazz [Menifee – Sorority Jazz (Dixieland Band)] (6/4/0/2) – Park Geum Man (Busan)
The first of 2 Peter Wolsley trained runners, this would perhaps count as marginally the second string if only because he’s run just once this year and is untried at further than 1300 metres. Third in the Breeders’ Cup and still lots of potential. Half-brother of 2008 Korean Derby winner Ebony Storm.
9. Amell’s Atom [Menifee – Amell (Boston Harbor)] (8/3/3/0) – Jo Sung Gon (Busan)
Peter Wolsley’s other runner has a win over course and distance last time and was 2nd to Raon Boss the time before that. Stable jockey Jo Sung Gon rides and he has a big chance.
10. Raon Boss [Pico Central – Ivy’s Jewel Stone (Forestry)] (6/4/1/0) – Darryll Holland (Busan)
The long-time favourite for this race put in a shocker of a performance a fortnight ago when he finished last but one over the distance. So long as that was just an off-day, Darryll Holland has a big chance of riding a winner in his first Korean Classic.
11. Rising Joy [Forest Camp – Joy Ride (Future Quest)] (10/4/2/1) – Lim Sung Sil (Busan)
Very nice looking colt with a class 3 win over 1500 metres and a class 2 3rd place over 1800. Regular jockey Jo Sung Gon is retained on Amell’s Atom but this one still has a good chance.
12. Harley [Menifee – Stolen Miss (Miswaki)] (9/4/2/2) – Song Keong Yun (Busan)
A class 2 winner who is yet to go more than 1400 metres. If he gets the extra furlong, he has very good claims. Holds a victory over Sting Ray.
13. Sting Ray [Forest Camp – Straight Cash (Straight Man)] (8/3/4/1) – Kim Dong Young
Half brother to last year’s Korean Oaks winner Rising Glory, he has perhaps the most impressive recent form in the race. Super consistent and his class 2 win over 1900 metres last time – and class 3 over 1500 metres the previous – means he will be on the top of a lot of people’s tickets.
14. Heungnyong Bisang [Ft.Stockton – Miss Alwushush (Alwuhush)] (10/4/1/1) – Kim Hae Sun (Seoul)
Has been in good consistent form winning or placing over the Derby distance of 1800 metres. Should enjoy dropping down a furlong and Should be in contention. Will probably find one or two quicker.
15. Energy Cell [Unaccountedlea – Cobratime (Cobra King)] (8/3/1/0) – Seo Seung Un (Seoul)
Has won 3 out of his lat 4 although he hasn’t beaten much in the process. Possible value one to watch.
16. Global Gangja [Pico Central – Gosokcheol (Big Sur)] (9/4/1/0) – Choi Si Dae (Busan)
A little inconsistent of late but has a win over this distance as well as a second place to Pureun Energy. Choi Si Dae knows how to win the big races and he will have his backers.