It’s one of the biggest days of racing of the year; Korean Derby day! There are 10 races at Seoul from 10:50 to 18:00 and 6 races at Busan from 13:00 to 17:30.
Yeongcheon Ace won last year’s Derby (Pic: Ross Holburt)
English Racecards are available here. Full preview of the Derby here. Three races from Seoul, including the Derby, will be shown on Sky Racing 2 in Australia. Here are notes on them:
Race 7: Class 2 “The Sports Kyunghyang Cup” / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 90 Million / 15:05 (KST)
(5) BLACK TRAIN has a knack of finding one or two too quick but he is a strong finisher and is slightly favoured to come from off the early speed to claim what would be his first win since last August. (10) DORGON defeated both Black Train and (7) SIMSIN JIRYEO when the three of them met in February and should be respected, however, the main danger looks to be (8) JINGYEOGUI GEOJANG. Unlike many of these, he is still on the way up and while the Aussie bred colt struggled on his first try at 1800M last month, he should be much happier back in a one-turn race today. He’ll look to lead early. (2) ILGI DANGCHEON and (11) SEUNGNIYEOJE look best of the rest.
Selections (5) Black Train (8) Jingyeogui Geojang (7) Simsin Jiryeo (10) Dorgon
Next Best 2, 11, 3, 9
Outsiders 1, 4, 6, 12
Fast Starters 2, 6, 8
Race 8: Class 1 – “China Horse Industry Association Trophy” / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 110 Million / 15:55 (KST)
(10) LUCKY LIGHT beat five of these when running 2nd over this distance on April 3rd and he looks to be the one to beat here. He is a fast starter and will look to lead straight from the gate. Among those he beat last time, (7) CHEONMANG got the closest to him and that one can also be considered for improvement today, however, it’s likely to be (9) SEONBONG who punters consider the greater threat. His 2016 hasn’t really got going yet but he is a very solid sprinter and he can come from just behind the speed here. (12) BRIG has the outside gate to deal with but like Seonbong, will likely be content to avoid the cavalry charge to the corner and will still have plenty of backers. (5) MAGIC DANCER has perhaps seen better days but remains a threat.
Selections (10) Lucky Light (12) Brig (9) Seonbong (5) Magic Dancer
Next Best 7, 8, 2, 1, 3
Outsiders 4, 6, 11
Fast Starters 1, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11
Race 9: Class Open – The Korean Derby / 1800M / Allowance / KRW 700 Million / 17:00 (KST)
SEE HERE FOR A FULL RUNNER BY RUNNER PREVIEW
(12) POWER BLADE won the 1st leg of the Triple Crown, the KRA Cup Mile, last month by a facile four-lengths and will be strong favourite to add the second jewel today. He has drawn gate 12 but that won’t matter as his style is to be away patiently and then improve in the back straight. On all form, he looks the best. It’s wide open behind though. (3) STEALTH and (4) ZETTABYTE ran 3rd and 4th in the Cup Mile with the former slightly favoured again at the extra distance today. (1) BANJIUI JEWANG ran poorly in the Cup Mile but performed well at Seoul in the Breeders’ Cup last year and can be given another chance. The biggest threat to Power Blade though may come from his own stablemate. (13) WORLD CHAMPION didn’t get to the Cup Mile but comes to Seoul after four consecutive victories, the most recent of which was a gate-to-wire romp at this distance. He’ll get forward early and the favourite will have to come past him. (9) GONGRYONG and (10) WINNERS GLORY look to be Seoul’s best chances while (7) EVER IN EVER and (14) TOHAMSAN look decent outside bets. Another longshot angle is that (6) SISEON POCHAK has been moved to a new trainer specifically so that he can take part in this race (trainers and owners may not enter any more than two horses in the same race – he was with Power Blade and World Champion).
Selections (12) Power Blade (13) World Champion (10) Winner’s Glory (1) Banjiui Jewang
Next Best 3, 9, 7, 4, 14, 6, 5
Outsiders 2, 8, 11, 15
Fast Starters 1, 10, 13, 14