It’s a big Sunday of racing in Korea. Pinot Noir heads the field for the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup at Seoul but the most interesting race of the day is in Busan where Grand Prix winner Bold Kings takes on President’s Cup winner Triple Nine and also Gumpo Sky in a real class 1 test.
The first race at Seoul is at 10:50am and the first at Busan at 1pm. 12 races will be simulcast to Singapore and Malaysia while Seoul races 7, 8 and 9 will be shown in Australia on Sky Racing 2.
English language racecards are here. Notes on all simulcast races are below (we spent most of Friday dodging winners so treat with caution):
Busan Race 1: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:00
(6) ILMANGMUJE got back to back wins in December and January and following a creditable 3rd place last time, can get back to winning ways today. She’ll likely come from just off the pace along with (5) QUICK FORCE, how has two 2nds and two 3rds from four starts to date and can go close again. Up front early will be (8) ACE POWER and (3) BLUE STORM, both of whom have claims although on Friday it wasn’t easy for horses to lead all the way. Next best is (7) MAJOR WINNER.
Favourites: (6) Ilmangmuje (5) Quick Force (8) Ace Power (3) Blue Storm
Next Best: 7, 2, 4, 9
Remainder: 1, 10
Fast Starters: 3, 4, 8, 9
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:20
Big field and a competitive one too (2) JISANG BIHAENG just gets the nod over (11) SUSEONG CAPTAIN; both come in following 2nd place finishes at this class with the former having done it at this distance. Both will go forward early and both have claims. (5) BEST TAKER drops back in distance after a decent 4th at 1700M last month and can go well while both (9) GWASOK DOLPUNG and (13) FLY WING can be given further chances after slightly disappointing recent starts. (10) KKUMDONGNE, who beat Gasok Dolpung when winning at class and distance in December, may also be considered.
Favourites: (2) Jisang Bihaeng (11) Suseong Captain (5) Best Taker (9) Gwasok Dolpung
Next Best: 10, 3, 13, 1, 6, 8
Remainder: 4, 7, 12, 14
Fast Starters: 2, 3, 11
Busan Race 2: Class 5 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:40
(14) DAMYANG JANGGUN is up in class and distance following a maiden win at the fifth time of asking last month and he is more than capable of following up here. (11) FOUR STAR actually beat Damyang Janggun when recording his own maiden win in January. He went on to run 3rd behind (3) GARAK GONGWON at this distance on his first try at class 5. Garak Gongwon followed up with another 2nd place and both must be considered here. (6) DAEHANUIMYEONGSEONG returned from a six-month spell with a very solid run over 1300M three weeks ago and can show more progress here. (4) WISH ME LUCK hasn’t excelled in two starts at this class since winning on his debut but gets another chance while (7) PEACE BERY and (10) POWER CUPS are among a number of others not to be overlooked in a really competitive race.
Favourites: (14) Damyang Janggun (3) Garak Gongwon (6) Daehanuimyeongseong (11) Four Star
Next Best: 4, 7, 12, 1, 10, 2, 5
Remainder: 8, 9, 13
Fast Starters: 6, 7, 12, 14
Seoul Race 6: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 14:05
Banker favourite of the day here in the shape of (2) SUPER BROAD. A Korean bred taking on mild imported opposition – who only have one win between them – and a really good winner last time, he’ll come from just off the early pace and it is hard to see him getting beaten. Those with the best chance of pulling off a surprise are (4) PRO MATHEUS, who has shown some glimpses in three starts to date and (5) DALLYEORA GANGJEOK, who has won plenty of money but never finished any better than 3rd. (1) CHIEF DRESSEL and (10) MADURYEONG are others who will be expecting to finish in the money.
Favourites: (2) Super Broad (4) Pro Matheus (5) Dallyeora Gangjeok (1) Chief Dressel
Next Best: 10, 8, 9, 7
Remainder: 3, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14
Fast Starters: 3, 10, 12
Busan Race 3: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 14:30
From Kim Young Kwan’s stable, (13) MATCH POWER makes his racecourse debut here having won a trial in good fashion last month. The Cowboy Cal colt will be expected to go very well. The main obstacle to his securing a debut victory is (9) WORLD QUEEN, a very reliable filly who will be on pace early and won’t let many past here. (12) ILLYUCHEON looks to have a win in her at some point and beat (11) BUYEONG TOWER as the pair raced 3rd and 4th over 1200M last month. (3) SEUNGNI PARK and the up in class (4) GOOD TOUCH are the others with claims.
Favourites: (13) Match Power (9) World Queen (12) Illyucheon (4) Good Touch
Next Best: 11, 3, 5, 7,
Remainder: 1, 2, 6, 8, 10, 14
Fast Starters: 6, 9, 11, 12
Seoul Race 7: Class 4 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 14:55
(3) GANGSEONG DAEGUK, a winner at domestic class 4 and 2nd in a similar race at the end of last month is the pick to claim this competitive affair. He’ll look to lead all the way. (2) BALIOS QUEEN and (7) BEONGAE BIHO both enter following decent 2nd places last time, the latter defeating (11) NEW VETERAN who can also be expected to go well here. (6) PYEONGCHONYEONGUNG has a pair of 2nd places among four previous outings and will surely get a win at some stage. He can come close here. (14) RAON TROY was disappointing last time out but can be given another chance here.
Favourites: (3) Gangseong Daeguk (7) Beongae Biho (6) Pyeongchonyeongung (2) Balios Queen
Next Best: 11, 14, 5, 1, 4
Remainder: 8, 9, 10, 12, 13
Fast Starters: 3, 5, 14
Seoul Race 8: Class 2 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 90 Million / 15:45
Much more competitive but the verdict goes the way of (10) SUN STRONG who has beaten (1) SUPER TANK over this distance before. The latter went on to pick up an 1800M victory of his own and is the main danger. Those two will look to come from off the pace, a pace that could be set by (2) GOLD MOUNTAIN and (6) ILJIN HWARANG, both of whom are capable of staying on. (8) CHASING DOLLARS is reunited with jockey Lee Chan Ho, who has gone well on him in the past and should be competitive here.
Favourites: (10) Sun Strong (1) Super Tank (8) Chasing Dollars (2) Gold Mountain
Next Best: 6, 4, 7, 5
Remainder: 3, 9
Fast Starters: 2, 3, 6
Busan Race 5: Class 2 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 16:10
Very open race and (1) HEUKGANGJA makes a quick return following a good 3rd place at a mile two weeks ago and likely to be among the favourites here. (9) MAGIC PARK actually beat Heukgangja over 1800M last month and will have backers to repeat while (3) MEDA GLORIA is up in class following one too many near misses at class 3. She may struggle to win here but should be close. (4) DREAM TOWER and (14) PROFESSOR SILVER raced 4th and 5th at 1900M last month and both can go well here. The wildcard is (11) SUMMIT MYEONGUN. One of the most highly thought-of three-year-olds at the beginning of last season, he hasn’t raced since the KRA Cup Mile almost exactly a year ago. He’s been gelded and came through a barrier trial very nicely earlier this month.
Favourites: (1) Heukgangja (9) Magic Park (11) Summit Myeongun (14) Professor Silver
Next Best: 3, 4, 5, 13
Remainder: 2, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12
Fast Starters: 1, 4, 9
Seoul Race 9: Class Open – The Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup (KOR G3) – 2000M / Allowance / KRW 300 Million / 16:40
This is practically a rerun of the Donga Ilbo Cup, which took place over 1800M on February 28th. All eight fillies & mares who too part that day line up again and with (6) PINOT NOIR having won that race by a full nine-lengths, there aren’t too many reasons to oppose her today. She will go back early and look to hit the front entering the home straight. The other market leaders are likely to be the ones who chased her home forlornly. (1) SMART TIME was 2nd, (3) X FILE was 3rd and (9) MENI MONEY was 4th. Also expected to go ok is (10) LUCKY MUSIC while among the three who didn’t go in the Donga Ilbo, (2) SHINE CLOVER perhaps has the best chance of an upset. But not much.
Favourites: (6) Pinot Noir (10) Lucky Music (9) Meni Money (1) Smart Time
Next Best: 3, 2, 8, 11
Remainder: 4, 5, 7
Fast Starters: 2, 7
Busan Race 6: Class 1 / 2000M / Handicap / KRW 105 Million / 17:05
The big money may have been in the previous event at Seoul but this is undoubtedly the race of the day. Grand Prix Stakes winner (1) BOLD KINGS makes his eagerly awaited four-year-old debut. He’s seven for seven but faces President’s Cup winner (7) TRIPLE NINE over the latter’s preferred distance of 2000M. It could go either way but Bold Kings has raised himself on every occasion so far and there’s no reason why he can’t do it again. It’s set to be a terrific contest. (3) HEBA ran Triple Nine very close last month and can’t be ruled out and while (5) GUMPO SKY could only manage 5th in that race, he was only beaten a neck in the Grand Prix and will surely give a good account of himself. He and Bold Kings will lead, Triple Nine will come from just behind. The evergreen (4) VIVA ACE can never be ruled out of the money.
Favourites: (1) Bold Kings (7) Triple Nine (5) Gumpo Sky (3) Heba
Next Best: 4, 2
Remainder: 6, 8
Fast Starters: 1, 5
Seoul Race 10: Class 3 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 17:30
After the likely fireworks in the previous contest, this is rather more run of the mill. (1) GWANGBOK CHILSIP is favoured to get back to winning ways over this modest class 3 field. (7) BIG MOUNTAIN and (8) JANGSAN TAEYANG provide the sternest competition for the three-year-old while (2) READ AGAIN and (3) HWANGGEUM GASOK can’t be ruled out. However, the most likely outcome is Gwangbok Chilsip leading from gate to wire.
Favourites: (1) Gwangbok Chilsip (7) Big Mountain (8) Jangsan Taeyang (3) Hwanggeum Gasok
Next Best: 2, 6
Remainder: 4, 5, 9
Fast Starters: 1, 6, 9
Seoul Race 11: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 18:00
Really nice contest to finish with which sees four up and coming fillies taking each other on. (2) DONGHAE CHEONHA is unbeaten in two starts and was a dominating winner over this distance at the end of last month. (1) KATIE STAR has been beaten, at this distance at the end of January, but was impressive over 1000M three weeks ago and has very solid claims. The third filly is (6) JEWELRY PARK, an eye-catching six-length winner last month. (7) BEYOND LIMIT won three of her first four and while she has struggled a bit in her most recent two, can get back in form here especially if the others go too fast early. Aside from those it is a slightly older filly, (5) BIHOBARAM who looks next best while (8) SSONSALGACHI and (13) MUHANDOMA can also go well.
Favourites: (1) Katie Star (6) Jewelry Park (2) Donghae Cheonha (7) Beyond Limit
Next Best: 5, 8, 13, 4
Remainder: 3, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14
Fast Starters: 1, 2, 5, 6