The Busan Mayor’s Cup is one of the highlights of the Korean racing season and this year’s event, which will be run at Busan Racecourse over nine furlongs on Sunday, has attracted a strong field.
Sometimes known as the “Summer Grand Prix” all top five place-getters from last December’s actual Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul will be in attendance as will Korea’s best known racehorse, Success Story. Seven of the full field of sixteen have traveled down from Seoul for what looks an intensely competitive race.
Here’s a runner-by-runner preview. All will carry 58kg except for the two mares, last year’s winner Gamdonguibada and Heba who will carry 56kg. (Name [Pedigree] Age Sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Trainer – Jockey)
Busan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M (Weight for Age) – Sunday July 3, 2016 (16:30)
1. Clean Up Cheonha (USA) [El Corredor – Loh Callado (More Than Ready)] 5 H (18/8/6/2) ST Shim – Lee Chan Ho
5th in the Grand Prix and hasn’t raced since winning at 2000M in January. Came through a trial well last month and he will be handy early but he will be the lesser fancied of the two Clean Ups.
2. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin – Radyla (Country Pine)] 7 M (35/15/5/8) YK Kim – Choi Si Dae
Winner of this race last year at a mile, she also won the first leg of the Sprint Series in May before being beaten in the 2nd leg at Seoul last month. As good as ever at 7, she’ll likely settle just behind the early speed and she has a chance here.
3. Heba (USA) [Peace Rules – Sue’s Temper (Temperence Hill)] 6 M (41/9/7/3) SJ Kwon – Song Keong Yun
Last year’s champion Mare is yet to win in 2016 and has been beaten by Triple Nine on three occasions already. As we say every time she runs, she would perhaps benefit from a spell but always puts in a solid performance and can find the minor money.
4. Damyang Chukje (USA) [Good Reward – Strategy (A.P Indy)] 7 H (33/6/3/4) HJ Bae – Jo Jae Ro
Has lost to a lot of these in recent starts and looks to be overmatched once more here. Generally slow away he will most likely have too much to do.
5. Clean Up Joy (USA) 5 G [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeax Danseur)] (17/9/5/1) ST Shim – Ham Wan Sik
Seoul’s best horse, he is three for three since finishing 3rd in the Grand Prix nehind Bold Kings and Gumpo Sky last December. He usually settles towards the rear of the field and has a strong finish. He can win this.
6. Dongbanjaui Gijeok (USA) [Half Ours – Feisty Cherokee (Cherokee Run)] 6 H (36/5/6/3) BC Lim – Kim Cheol Ho
Big outsider who finds it tough at class 1 at Seoul so will certainly find it tough here.
7. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) 6 H [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] (26/15/3/2) KY Baik – Kim Yong Geun
Extremely talented but has never quite lived up to it in the big races. Only Clean Up Joy is rated higher.It’s been a long time since he took on this distance, he is a front-runner and he must be considered.
8. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke(Pleasant Tap)] 15/9/5/0) YK Kim – You Hyun Myung
The President’s Cup winner at Seoul last year, he was 4th in the Grand Prix Stakes before avenging Bold Kings back at Busan in March. Surprisingly beaten last time at this distance at the end of May, he is a cut above most of these though. He should settle just behind the early speed and if he runs to his best, he won’t be beaten.
9. Space Port (USA) 6 H [Pleasant Tap – Space City (Carson City)] (43/4/10/3) CK Woo – Yoon Tae Hyuk
A perennial runner-up, he beat Winning Andy last time as the pair raced 2nd and 3rd over 2000M in a Seoul Stakes race. This is much harder though and he will be an outsider.
10. Success Story (KOR) [Peace Rules – Power Pack (Lil’s Lad)} 5 H (19/10/2/3) JK Min – Paolo Aragoni
Two 3rd places at the Dubai World Cup Carnival gained him international recognition but he struggled on his return to Korea behind Gamdonguibada in May. Got a bad start that day, he needs to be on pace early and then save energy. If he can do that, he must be considered.
11. Winning Andy (USA) [Cowboy Cal – Belvedere Miss (Pleasant Colony)] 5 H (31/4/7/6) IS Seo – Jo Sung Gon
Busan’s 2015 champion jockey makes a rare return to the south-coast but it’s unlikely to be a winning one. Solid competitor who can give a decent account of himself but looks overmatched here. Goes right back at the start.
12. Rush Forth (USA) [Rush Bay – Fourth Quest (Norquest)] 6 G (30/5/4/6) DY Hong – Kim Ok Sung
Returned to some semblance of form with a 3rd place over 1200M at the end of May but little to suggest he can be competitive here.
13. Dynamic Dash (USA) [Pleasantly Perfect – See Rock City (Tapit)] 4 C (18/9/5/1) BH Kim – Lee Hee Cheon
He comes in off the back of two superb wins over 1800M beating first Gamdonguibada and then Bold Kings. He was able to come from just off the early pace and lead rounding the home turn both times which won’t be so easy in this crowded field but he’s on the up and is to be respected.
14. Gumpo Sky (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] 5 H (30/10/8/4) SJ Kwon – Lim Sung Sil
He was 2nd to Bold Kings in the Grand Prix but was indifferent in his first three outings this year, losing to six of these in the process. He returned to winning ways last month, beating a small field at this distance. He will be on the early speed as usual.
15. Macheon Bolt (KOR) [Old Fashioned – Beech Bag (Devil’s Bag)] 4 G (12/8/7/1) PM Wolsley – Chae Sang Hyun
This stablemate of Bold Kings has eight wins from twelve including two at class 1. He goes around two turns for the first time, has plenty of potential and could challenge.
16. Bold Kings (USA) [Afleet Express – Bold Arrival (Gilded Time)] 4 C (9/7/1/0) PM Wolsley – Ikuyasu Kurakane
Winner of the Grand Prix Stakes last December after which he was seven for seven. He hasn’t managed to follow up so far this year beaing beaten twice, first by Triple Nine and then by Dynamic DashThe outisde gate didn’t help him last time and probably won’t here eitherbut he looked sharp in a trial last week and can’t be ruled out