Triple Crown winner Power Blade will be the prohibitive favourite when he makes his return to his home track of Busan for the first time since winning the first jewel in the Crown all the way back in April. He has scared off all but four other entrants in the Kookje Sinmun Cup which will be run over 1400M on Sunday afternoon.
While still lightly campaigned – Power Blade has only raced a total of ten times in his career, there were fears among some that a trip to Seoul for the Korea Cup last month would be a race too far. He defied those to some extent by finishing 4th in the Cup, albeit a full twenty lengths behind winner Chrysolite and four lengths behind Stablemate Triple Nine in 3rd.
It’s another stablemate that could provide the main danger in Sunday’s kookje Sinmun. Seoul Bullet, who was six for six before injury struck in Spring of 2015 and perhaps returned a little too soon when racing last when finally reappearing in August. Significantly better is expected of him today.
Kookje Sinmun Cup (Listed-Weight for Age) – Busan Racecourse – 1400M – Sunday October 9 (16:15)
1. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee] 3 C (10/7/2/0) – Kim Yong Geun
The Triple Crown winner drops back to seven furlongs for the first time since he was a juvenile – a race in which he recorded a faster time than any of his oppponents here have managed at this distance. Tactically versatile, fully fit or not, he should have far too much for these.
2. Hangangui Gijeok (KOR) [Didyme] 5 G (15/10/1/0) – Choi Si Dae
Two years ago he was one of the best horses on the peninsula. Ruled out with tendinitis for seventeen months from March of 2015 until August of this year, his return was an inauspocious one, only beating one home over 1200M. Two months down the line we’re expecting improvement. We’re not expecting him to beat Power Blade. Likely to lead.
3. Yuseong Fighting (KOR) [Didyme] 4 C (21/6/3/0) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
Decent sprinter whose connections are never afraid to send him out in tough company. Beat Seoul Bullet on the latter’s return from injury. He’ll join Hangangui Gijeok in looking for the early lead and he he should stay on to be competitive.
4. Seoul Bullet (KOR) [Peace Rules] 5 G (7/6/0/0) – Seo Seung Un
Sent to Florida as a juvenile he raced there four times for one third before returning to Korea towards the end of his three-year-old season. Stronger, fitter and more muscular than his contemporaries, he promptly went six for six before injury intervened. He lost his unbeaten record on his return after fifteen months out in August, behind Yuseong Fighting. He’ll settle handy probably close to Power Blade.
5. Royal Impact (KOR) [Cielo Gold] 5 H (33/5/6/0) – Song Keong Yun
Drops back to 1400M for the first time in some considerable time, he has struggled to make an impact in class 1 but scored a creditable 5th behind Triple Nine in the Owners’ Cup at a mile in August. He’ll settle at the back and try to be the closer here.
The Kookje Sinmun Cup is the feature among a 6-race card at Busan from 12:50 to 17:05. There are also 11 races at Seoul from 10:40 to 18:00. The Seoul meeting will be broadcast live on Sky Racing in Australia and a full race-by-race preview will follow.