Sunday sees the running of two group races at Seoul and first up is the SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup, the first international race in Korea this year. Three Japan-trained horses have traveled over to participate in the race, which will be screened live on the SBS Sports channel.
The first Korea/Japan race took place in 2013 and was won by the visiting Tosen Archer. The race evolved into the Asia Challenge Cup in 2014 when it was won by Singapore’s El Padrino and remained that way in 2015 when Choegang Schiller, who runs this time around, took the honours. This year it is back as a straight contest between Korea and Japan and Dreadnought, Kimon Avalon and Best Wish, all from the NAR’s Ohi Racecourse in Tokyo, will be flying the Japanese flag in Seoul.
Dreadnought looks to have the best chance among them but all three are going to be up against it in the 1200M sprint. 2012 Grand Prix Stakes, 2015 Busan Mayor’s Cup and 2016 Busan Ilbo Cup winner Gamdonguibada has come back to the capital to lead a very strong home challenge which along with Choegang Schiller, also features the exciting up and comers Perdido Pomeroy and Tongil Sidae and the experienced Mirae Yeongung.
The SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup is live on SBS Sports on cable and satellite in Korea from 3:50pm on Sunday afternoon. Here is a full run down of the field (Name [Pedigree] Age Sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Trainer – Jockey:
SBS Sports Korea/Japan Cup (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – June 5, 2016 (16:05)
1. Best Wish (JPN) [White Muzzle – Cross My Heart (Special Week)] 7 H (58/3/10/11) K Arayama – Ryuji Tatsushiro
Managed a 2nd place over this distance at Ohi at the beginning of April but only beat a couple home last time out. Not generally a fast starter and he looks to be up against it here.
2. Mirae Yeongung (KOR) [Aragorn – Willing Miss (More Than Ready)] 5 H (24/11/6/0) MG Son – Moon Se Young
He comes in having beaten OS Hwadap and Cheongu when winning over 1400M on April 24th having been 2nd to Clean Up Joy, perhaps Seoul’s best current horse, the time before over this distance. HE comes from off the pace and while regular jockey DJordje Perovic is suspended, he has an adequate replacement in the shape of champion Moon Se Young.
3. Tongil Sidae (USA) [Munnings – American Tradition (Quiet American)] 3 C (7/4/2/0) YK Kim – You Hyun Myung
He’s burst onto the Busan scene this year, winning his class 1 debut over 1800M on April 1. He was downed by a neck last start at the same distance. He races at 1200M for the first time since his winning debut and at Seoul for the very first time. A stablemate of Gamdonguibada, he will be on the early speed here and has every chance.
4. Perdido Pomeroy (USA) [Pomeroy – Boldest Of All (Bold Executive)] 3 C (6/4/1/1) JB Mun – Kim Yong Geun
A real potential talent and potential winner of this race. He was beaten by Gamdonguibada in the Busan Ilbo Cup last month but beat Success Story by three lengths. Another who will be on the early speed here, he could turn the tables on Gamdonguibada this time.
5. OS Hwadap (USA) [Friesian Fire – Meg’s A Lady (Menifee)] 3 C (7/5/0/2) IS Seo – Jo Sung Gon
Another up-and-comer, he was 3rd behind Mirae Yeongung and ahead of stablemate Cheongu on his first attempt at class 1 in April. HE is another who goes forward from the gate and while this is his toughest assignemnt to date, he can find the money.
6. Kimon Avalon (JPN) [South Vigorous – Grand Heat (Special Week)] 7 H (53/9/7/7) K Arayama – Daisuke Mashima
This is jockey Daisuke Mashima’s fourth visit to Seoul but he’s likely to return empty-handed once more. Kimon Avalon comes in following a 2nd place at this distance at Ohi on April 19th but will have to find plenty here if he is to aim for anyting more than the minor money.
7. Cheongu (USA) [Old Fashioned – So Much Fun (Speightstown)] 4 H (13/5/1/4) IS Seo – Yoo Seung Wan
Globe-trotter Cheongu was a slightly disappointing 6th on his return to KOrea from Dubai at the end of April; beaten by Mirae Yeongung and stablemate OS Hwadap. 3rd in last year’s Asia Challenge Cup, if he can get to the front straight out of the gate, anything can happen.
8. Rise And Shout (USA) [Utopia – Ooh Yeah (Dismissed)] 6 H (35/4/6/2) SG Kim – Lee Hyeon Jong
An outsider, he enters in little form having beaten few home in four starts so far this year. Eleven weeks since his last start, when he was a long way behind Mirae Yeongung, there’s not a whole lot to recommend here.
9. Choegang Schiller (USA) [Artie Schiller – Changeable (Miswaki)] 5 G YH Ji – Lee Chan Ho
He won the Asia Challenge Cup last August but has only run twice since then due to various issues. His only tart so far this year was in February at 1800M and didn’t go well (although Mirae Yeongung had an off day too thenbut he is reportedly fit now and a fit Choegang Schiller has every chance here.
10. Yuseong Fighting (KOR) [Didyme – Maggie’s Prayer (Songandaprayer)] 4 C (18/6/3/3) KH Choi – Lim Sung Sil
A pure sprinter, his win record would be much better had he not run so many times at unsuitable distances. Comes in following a 2nd place at this distance at class 2 at Busan, he has plenty to find here but he is capable of the money.
11. Dreadnought (KOR) [Meisho Odo – Bonnes Mare (Starborough)] 8 G (32/7/2/1/4) K Hashimoto – Takayuki Yano
Looks to be the best of the Japanese visitors with a 1400M Ohi win to his name this year. He is likely to look for a fast start and if he can get o the front, there is no reason why he can’t get home.
12. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] 7 M (34/15/5/7) YK Kim – Choi Si Dae
Likely to be the betting favourite, she just keeps going and going. She enters here having been a five-length winner of the Busan Ilbo Cup on May 1st, beating Perdido Pomeroy into 2nd. Stablemate of Tongil Sidae, the general rule in Korean racing is that whatever happens, Kim Young Kwan wins in the end. Gamdonguibada is the form horse and she can win this.