The final leg of the 2013 Korean Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup is at Seoul Race Park this coming Sunday.
Korean Derby and Oaks winner Speedy First heads the field in what should be a fascinating race. Here’s a run down of the full field of runners and riders:
Horse Name (KOR) [Pedigree] )Starts/1/2/3) – Jockey (Home Track)
Minister’s Cup (KOR G2) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – October 6, 2013
1. High Five (KOR) [Creek Cat – Nam’s Gulch (Gulch)] (13/4/2/2) – Choi Si Dae (Busan)
Second in the Gold Circle Trophy race last month and 3rd in the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo before that, it would be a surprise if he went any better here. Will get the distance but will struggle in the sprint.
2. Geumbin Mannam (KOR) [Revere – Hwaryeohan Kkum (Sharp Appeal)] – (10/4/2/0) – Park Si Cheon (Seoul)
Comes into the race off the back of three straight victories. He will face far tougher competition here but cannot be discounted from at least a place if he makes further improvement.
3. K Tap (KOR) [Menifee – Summit Party (Ecton Park)] (9/4/2/2) – Jang Chu Youl (Seoul)
A very fragile horse, he’s only run on 3 occasions this year and hasn’t won on any of them. He won’t win this either, but could be within a shout of a place.
4. Major King (KOR) [Pico Central – Still Golden (Gold Fever)] (9/5/2/2) – Jo Sung Gon (Busan)
He was 3rd in the Korean Derby and won last time out. He must be afforded some respect here. Jo Sung Gon does not travel up from Busan unless he thinks he is going to win so Major King is worth at least a place bet.
5. Last Mudae (KOR) [The Groom Is Red – White Aloa (White Muzzle)] (18/2/5/2) – Ikuyasu Kurakane (Seoul)
Beaten into 2nd place by Geumbin Mannam last time out, there is little to suggest he will overturn it this time. Talented but not a winning prospect here.
6. Brig (KOR) [Menifee – Delicias (Deputy Minister)] (11/6/2/0) – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
No horse that Moon Se Yong rides can ever be ruled out and this is no exception. He’ll not be favourite but if the big names don’t perform as they should, Brig could pick up the pieces.
7. Speedy First (KOR) [Menifee – Speedy Deedy (Victory Gallop)] – 8/6/0/1) – Kanichiro Fujii (Busan)
The only filly in the race and the overwhelming favourite. Korean Derby and Korean Oaks winner Speedy First is a class above her rivals here and should be winning this.
8. Unhae (KOR) [Inrandire – Silver Meteor (Creator)] (11/6/2/2) – Lee Sang Hyeok (Seoul)
Seoul’s big hope. Unhae is so far unexposed, missing both the KRA Cup Mile but 2nd in the Derby. The distance is perfect and on form, only Speedy First has the beating of him.
9. Sting Ray (KOR) [Forest Camp – Straight Cash (Straight Man)] (12/4/4/1) – Masakazu Tanaka (Busan)
Since winning the KRA Cup Mile in April, Sting Ray has struggled to live up to his reputation. He can’t be ruled out here but neither will he be among the favourites.
10. Indie Band (KOR) [Ecton Park – Plie (Dixieland Band)] (9/6/1/0) – Lim Sung Sil (Busan)
A really good horse. Indie Band won the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Stakes and is poised to do much more. A Quinella with Speedy First looks a good bet.
11. Rising Joy (KOR) [Forest Camp – Joy Ride (Future Quest)] (15/5/3/2) – Chae Gyu Jun (Busan)
Was 3rd over the distance last time out and will be in the mix here. He probably doesn’t have the speed to force things home though and a place is the most that can be expected.
12. Best Captain (KOR) [Revere – Onethindime (Tactical Advantage)] (6/5/1/0) – Ham Wan Sik (Seoul)
The joker in the pack, Best Captain tasted defeat for the first time in his last race. That’s enough to take him out of the top-tier here, but he could surprise.