KNN Cup – The Runners & Riders

Ttukseom Cup Winner Useung Touch Heads Line-Up For Queens’ Tour 2nd Leg

A couple of years ago, the Korea Racing Authority designated a “Year of the Filly”. They raised the upper limit that could be spent on imported fillies and ensured that most racedays would have at least one race with decent prize money that was restricted to fillies and mares. Last year saw the first staging of the “Queens’ Tour”, a series of big-money Stakes races designed to find the nation’s top female horse, be it domestically bred or imported.

Useung Touch being recalcitrant in the Ttukseom Cup winner's circle in April. She is favourite for the KNN Cup

Useung Touch being recalcitrant in the Ttukseom Cup winner’s circle in April. She is favourite for the KNN Cup

The scheme, which is designed ultimately to improve the local breeding stock, seems to be having some success. Last year’s Queens’ Tour winner Gamdonguibada went on to win the season-ending Grand Prix Stakes while coincidentally another filly, Speedy First, won the Korean Derby at Seoul Race Park last month.

Sunday’s KNN Cup at Busan is the second leg of the 2013 Queens’ Tour following April’s Ttukseom Cup at Seoul. The winner of that race Useung Touch (Menifee) heads the field for the mile-long race. Seven have travelled down from Seoul to face nine from Busan. Here is a full run down of the field with pedigree, race records (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) and rider:

KNN Cup – Busan Race Park – 1600M – June 9, 2013 – 16:15

1. Gumpo Yeowang (KOR) [Menifee – Lady Forza (Fuji Kiseki)] (14/3/4/5/) – You Hyun Myung
Has shown good form recently and was 2nd in a fast time over the distance last start but is yet to be tested in this kind of company.

2. Indian Blue (USA) [Henny Hughes – Gamblers Passion (Prospectors Gamble)] (8/3/2/3) – Yoo Seung Wan
The Segye Ilbo Cup winner was 3rd in the Ttukseom Cup and must be given respect here, especially after finishing 3rd in a class 1 outing last month. A chance.

3. Imperial Girl (USA) [Imperialism – Wallena (Wallenda)] (28/3/2/3) – Lee Ah Na
Showed early promise as a 3yo but on reaching class 1 has found things difficult. She will be an outsider.

4. Dongteuja (KOR) [Montbrook – Maremaid (Storm Bird)] (16/7/1/3) – Song Keong Yun
The half-sister of double-Grand Prix winner Dongbanui Gangja was a disappointment in the Ttukseom Cup and was dreadful last start. On her day though, she can beat anyone.

5. Chowonuibyeol (USA) [Rockport Harbor – Arctic’s Angel (Artax)] (15/3/3/2) – Choi Bum Hyun
Has been in poor form this year and is difficult to recommend here. However, Choi Bum Hyun giving up a weekend riding in Seoul to partner her does raise eyebrows slightly.

6. Grand Teukgeup (KOR) [Menifee – Saratoga Campaign (Mt.Livermore)] (17/7/3/1) – Chae Gyu Jun
Second in the Ttukseom Cup and hasn’t run since (although she did win a trail by 26 lengths last month). Should like the distance and is likely to be 2nd favourite behind Useung Touch. Could go one better this time.

7. Blueband Mama (USA) [Purge – Meadow Bryte (Meadowlake)] (26/3/4/2) – Kim Ok Sung
Another who has found things really difficult since graduating to class 1. Little in her favour here.

8. Pokpung Hero (USA) [Henny Hughes – Chitka (Jade Hunter)] (9/3/1/2) – Kanichiro Fujii
Jockey Joe Fujii has a way with the ladies, winning the Grand Prix on Gamdonguibada and the Derby on Speedy First. He has a very promising mount here too who won over the distance last time and looks to be an improver. Could provide some value.

9. Secret Whisper (KOR) [Sea Of Secrets – Generals Passion (General Meeting)] (22/8/3/5) – Jo Sung Gon
Peter Wolsley’s mare was 3rd on her last start behind Yongduseong and should give a game run. Whether it will be a fast enough run though is another matter. Busan’s champion jockey rides.

10. Silver Classic (USA) [Chapel Royal – Psychic Friend (Star De Naskra)] (18/3/3/2) – Jo Chan Hoon
A consistent money winner but not a consistent winner. That won’t change here.

11. Yongduseong (KOR) [Concept Win – C’est Avie (Lord Avie)] (13/8/2/1) – Lim Sung Sil
A late starter, the ligthly raced 5-year old is an interesting prospect. She comes in off the back of 2 victories and could give the favourites some problems.

12. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee – Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] (22/8/7/2) – Choi Si Dae
The 2011 Korean Oaks winner shot back to prominence with 2nd place in the 2012 Grand Prix Stakes. Since then she has been exceptional and won the Ttukseom Cup comfortably before following up with a class 1 victory over a mile last time out. The favourite and deservedly so.

13. Empire World (USA) [Empire Maker – Salty You (Salt Lake)] (20/5/2/3) – Kim Dong Young
A nice little dark horse chance here. 5th in the Ttukseom Cup and then 4th behind Useung Touch next start, she could surprise a few people by stealing a place.

14. Dangdae Jeonseung (CAN) [Put It Back – Diamond Heirloom (Pembroke)] (16/4/1/1) – Lee Sang Hyeok
Not a huge amount going for her here. A talented filly, she is one of those who has reached class 1 and has nowhere to go. An outsider.

15. Kkakjaengi (USA) [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] (20/6/4/4) – Shin Hyoung Chul
A multiple Stakes winner as a 3-year old, she has been less impressive recently, her best result this year being a distant 4th behind Tough Win in a handicap at Seoul. On her day she is still capable of pulling out a big performance but the odds are against it happening here.

16. Sangnyu (USA) [Broken Vow – Midtown Miss (Yes It’s True)] (16/4/3/1) – Park Tae Jong
4th in the Ttukseom Cup, she’s been consistent this year and could have a chance of placing.

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