The results of the public vote for invitations to the Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul Race Park on December 15 were published today.
Like Japan’s “Arima Kinen” the public gets to choose which horses they want to see run in the season-ending showpiece. This year 42 horses – 21 each from Seoul and Busan – were on the ballot with the top 8 from each track getting the first invites to fill the maximum field size of 16.
Connections are still under no obligation to run but it is expected that most will. 2012 Korean Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan topped the Seoul vote with Smarty Moonhak, 3rd in the race as a 2-year-old in 2011, just behind him. That year’s Grand Prix winner Tough Win was the public’s 3rd choice.
At Busan, Gukje Sinmun winner Beolmaui Kkum headed the poll with recent President’s Cup winner Indie Band in 2nd place ahead of Gyeongbudaero. 2012 Grand Prix winner Gamdonguibada was 4th in the Busan vote.
Peter Wolsley’s Governor’s cup heroine Secret Whisper is sure of a run, having come in 5th but the Aussie trainer’s other hope, Cheongchun Bulpae is missing out at the moment.
Here’s a list of the top 10 vote-getters at each track with their 2013 Stakes race wins (if any) listed:
Seoul Top 10
1. Jigeum I Sungan (KOR) – Seoul Owners’ Cup, Jeju Governor’s Cup
2. Smarty Moonhak (USA)
3. Tough Win (USA) – Busan Metropolitan Stakes
4. Mari Daemul (USA) – KRA Cup Classic
5. Indian Blue (USA) – Segye Ilbo Cup
6. Gippeun Sesang (CAN)
7. Murangae (USA)
8=. Mr. Rocky (KOR)
9=. Berongi (USA)
Busan Top 10
1. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) – Gukje Sinmun Cup
2. Indie Band (KOR) – President’s Cup, Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Cup
3. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) – Busan Owners’ Cup
4. Gamdonguibada (USA)
5. Secret Whisper (KOR) – Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup
6. Useung Touch (KOR) – Ttukseom Cup
7. Cheonji Bulpae (AUS)
8. Lion Santa (USA)
9. Cheongchun Bulpae (KOR)
10. Nuri Choegang (USA)