It’s the summer Grand Prix! Fifteen horses will line up at Busan on Sunday afternoon for one of the highlights of summer, the Busan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Cup.
Only two have made their way down from Seoul – credit to their connections for having the courage to make the journey – but the home team more than makes up for it with a veritable who’s who of the track’s older horses turning out for the race.
Here’s a full rundown of the field (Name) [Pedigree] Age Sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Trainer – Jockey):
Busan Mayor’s Cup (KOR G2) – Busan Racecourse – 1600M – July 5, 2015 (16:30)
1. Magic Light (KOR) [Exploit – Savannah Miss (Broad Brush)] 7 H (33/5/5/5) Woo Chang Ku – Youn Tae Hyuk
Well done to connections for actually sending him and saving Seoul from absolute disgrace but he unfortunately has no chance here. He was last in the winner’s circle in October 2012 and hasn’t run at all since January.
2. Cinderella Man (KOR) [Southern Image – Tiza Fast Kat (Tiznow)] 4 G (13/9/3/0) Bart Rice – Jo Sung Gon
A huge chance. After five straight wins he was 2nd to Gumpo Sky but beat Gyeongbudaero and Spring Gnarly over 1800M on May 31. At just 4, he is one of the up and coming stars of Korean racing and he surely has a big race win in him. It could be today.
3. Gumpo Sky (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] 4 C (21/8/7/3) Sung-J Kwon – Kim Dong Young
The winner of that race against Cinderella Man, Gyeongbudaero and Spring Gnarly, he is to be respected. He led from gate to wire that day and back at a mile today will probably try to get to the front early again. He has a chance.
4. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] 6 H (31/12/7/8) Oh Moon Sik – Choi Si Dae
The President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner. He is probably one of the finest racehorses ever produced in Korea and while he hasn’t won his past two races, he has been giving weight. He will be close to the pace and he has a chance of winning yet another big race here.
5. Cowboy Son (USA) [Cowboy Cal – Nosmallacheivement (Smart Strike)] 4 C (17/10/1/2) Lee Sang Young – Jo Chang Wook
He was a very creditable 3rd in this race last year when it was run at 2000M. That becomes even more creditable when you consider that if today’s race was shorter, then he would be very hard to beat. Cowboy Son is a sprinter and against this caliber of opposition, a mile may just be too far.
6. Oreuse (USA) [Smoke Glacken – Heavenly Splendor (Point Given)] 6 H (27/12/4/3) Youn Joo Hyuk – Masakazu Tanaka
A real chance. On his only start so far this year, Oreuse was second to Cowboy Son over six furlongs. Similar to Cowboy Son he is most at home as a sprinter but has won over 1800M too. Likely to be close to the front early on,this is another horse who has a big win in him.
7. Hwanggeumjijon (USA) [Medallist Milady Sadie (Meadow Monster)] 6 G (31/3/2/3) Seo Jung Ha – Lee Dong Kug
The second of Seoul’s contenders isn’t any more likely than the first although his last win was slightly more recent. Not in anything resembling form and unlikely to be competitive here.
8. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] 5 H (22/13/3/2) Baik Kwang Yeol – Nobuyuki Oyama
He always must be considered and he is another who will surely appreciate not giving his opponents as much weight as usual. The highest rated horse in Korea, he likes to lead from the front but it has been very difficult to do that and stay on in recent big races (Jangpung Parang in the Oaks an exception). Japanese rider Nobuyuki Oyama gets a great opportunity in the saddle.
9. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] 6 M (28/13/4/6) Kim Young Kwan – Lim Sung Sil
A multiple Stakes winner, she comes in here following her first victory of 2015, beating Heba by two lengths. She drops back to a mile for the first time since winning the KNN Cup last year and will try to come from just off the pace. A chance.
10. Chogwang (AUS)[Lion Heart – Colonial Dancer (Pleasant Colony)] 6 H (33/4/6/5) Min Jang Gi – Park Geum Man
A very consistent money-winner, he comes in following a victory over Eongmandori in a quick race over this distance although he has been beaten by many of the others who go here in recent starts. He won’t be among the favourites but could provide some value for a place.
11. Eongmandori (USA) [Purim – Allbow (Rainbow Blues)] 6 H (30/4/7/4) Koo Young Jun – Nozomu Tomizawa
Beaten by Chogwang last time out, he hasn’t actually won since April 2013 and never at class 1. He won’t win this either and despite being consistently in the money – he beat Gumpo Sky over 2000M in April – will find it tough today.
12. Gumpo Daeseung (AUS) [Shaft – Vicwood Fashion (Bahhare)] 4 C (11/5/2/0) Lee Sang Young – Yang Young Nam
Still a class 2 horse, he takes his chance here but this is a big step up to what he is used to. Plenty of potential to become a class 1 winner at some point surely not today.
13. Heba (USA) [Peace Rules – Sue’s Temper (Temperance Hill)] 5 M (31/7/5/1) Sung J. Kwon – Song Keong Yun
Last seen inadvertently smoothing the way for Esmeraldina in the Ttukseom Cup at Seoul, Heba is a consistently reliable race mare who is perhaps one notch below the top level. She has been beaten by most of her rivals here in recent starts and any kind of money finish today would be an achievement.
14. Baksuchyeo (USA) [Bob And John – Say Amen (Pulpit)] 4 G (9/6/1/2) Peter Wolsley – Chae Sang Hyun
Another one making a big step up, Baksuchyeo raced for the first time this year three weeks ago, scoring his first class 1 win in the process. It was over 1400M and took him to 6 wins from 9 career starts but he will be a big outsider today.
15. Spring Gnarly (USA) [Master Command – Spring Tide (Unbridled’s Song)] 5 G (13/8/0/1) Kim Young Kwan – Kim Yong Geun
It’s risky to refer to any horse as being Kim Young Kwan’s second string as they usually have as much chance as the supposed first. However, he was beaten by Gumpo Sky, Cinderella Man and Gyeongbudaero last time out. The only real closer in the field, he has good late speed and can be a danger here.