The deep freeze has lifted -at least temporarily – and big race action returns to Seoul on Sunday with the first principal race of the season in the shape of the Segye Ilbo Cup.
Twelve will line-up for the 1200M Listed racewith the likes of Seonbong, Power City and Yaho Sky Cat expected to head the betting market. The Cup is race 8 of a 10-race card at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. There is also a live card at Busan.
Full rundown of the runners and riders below:
Segye Ilbo Cup (Listed) – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – Jan 31, 16:00
1. Power City [Archer City Slew-Power Bull] 5 G (16/9/2/1) – Park Tae Jong
He won three in a row last summer, including the Ilgan Sports Cup. He was then off until the start of this month when he ran 6th behind Seonbong and Geomtan, a run which he should have come on for. He didn’t get forward that day although he finished well enough and should be more prominant here. One of the favourites.
2. Forty Cure [Field Asuka – Sunrise] 5 G (20/5/3/2) – Yuri Takahashi
An outsider, he was relocated from Busan last summer and has a best of 2nd in five starts in Seoul. 9th in the race behind Seonbong on January 3rd, he will need to find plenty here.
3. Always Winner [Creek Cat – Hallat’eukkeup] 4 G (14/4/3/2) – Kim Dong Soo
Well beaten by Seonbong over 1000M in Octboer, he followed up with a 3rd and a 2nd at class 2 both over 1700M. Likely to go forward early but others will be favoured here.
4. Royal Star [Eternal Champion – Royal Champion] 4 F (12/6/2/0) – Nicola Pinna
Nicola Pinna has proven to be a big-race jockey since arriving here and he has an outside chance. Royal Star was a class 2 winner at 1000M in December and while she will need to improve in this company, she can go well.
5. Seonbong [Duality – Megabuck Gal] 4 C (16/6/6) – Lee Joon Chel
Strong claims to be favourite, he won class 2 races at 1000M and 1800M and comes in following back to back 2nd places at class 1. He beat four of his rivals here last time out and can beat them again.
6. Yaho Sky Cat [Peace Rules – The Relentless Cat] 4 G (7/4/1/0) – Djordje Perovic
One on the up, he comes in following three consecutive victories, all of them at 1400M and all of them comfortable. He is yet to race at higher than class 3 so this is a big step-up in terms of opposition but there’s no reason to suggest he will be out of his depth and he will be backed.
7. Global Fusion [Menifee – Morning Red Sky] 7 G (35/6/3/6) – Yoo Seung Wan
An outsider, it’s been a long time since the most recent of his six career wins. Lots of class 1 experience but nothing in his recent form to suggest he can make an impression on this.
8. Geomtan [Ft. Stockton – Alchan Useung] 6 G (33/6/4/8) – Lee Hyeon Jong
He was 3rd behind Seonbong but ahead of Power City last time on what was his first attempt at class 1. Prior to thathe was a solid class 2 winner over 1400M. He’s finished strongly on both his last starts and can be looking to find the money here.
9. Lion Star [Exploit – Oakmart] 4 C (13/4/4/1) – Jo Sung Gon
He has the fastest time of any of these at this distance, achieved when romping home on his most recent start at the end of November. He didn’t have much to beat that day and this is a big step up but he will look to get to the front straight from the gate and could be an interesting outsider.
10. Portray [Ft. Stockton – Miss Impromptu] 5 M (19/3/5/3) – Shin Hyoung Chul
She ran 2nd to the promising OS Hwadap over 1000M in November and generally isn’t too far away. Others should be quicker here though.
11. Long Speed [Commendable – Speed Bag] 6 H (30/5/5/3) – Lee Hyeok
A stablemate of Forty Cure, he was last among the five of these who raced each other on January 3rd. He may once again find this field a little challenging.
12. Magic Dancer [Forest Camp – Wildly Magic] 6 H (24/10/4/2) – Ham Wan Sik
The venerable Magic Dancer isn’t quite the horse he once was and has struggled to make an impact since relocating from Busan. The drop back too this distance though could be very interesting. He likes to lead and flew through a barrier trial on New Year’s Eve before being 5th a week later over 1800M. He can’t be ruled out.
The Seoul track is extremely dry at the moment and will be so tomorrow as well. Temperatures are set to be on the chilly side with highs around 0C. Which is still a vast improvement on last week.
At Busan, the feature race is a class 1 event over 1400M and features a number of big names. Gamdonguibada, Beolmaui Kkum and Cowboy Son are among thirteen runners.