The 2016 “Queens’ Tour” to find the champion filly & mare of the year comes to an end at Busan this afternoon as 13 go in the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup. And it could be a big day for Irish trainer Thomas Gillespie with his Ms. Margaux set to be among the favourites for the race. There are 6 races at Busan from 12:35 to 17:05 and 11 at Seoul from 10:40 to 18:00. English race cards are here.
Here’s a full run-down of the field. Click “More” at the bottom for previews of Busan races 4 & 6:
Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 2000M – Sunday November 20, 2016 (16:15)
1. Santa Gloria (KOR) [Menifee – Pupil (Unbridled)] 3 (11/3/1/2) – Seo Seung Un
5th in the Korean Oaks behind Ottug Ottugi, she was 4th in the Jeju Governors Cup behind the same filly and Touch Flying. Little to suggest that this distance will suit but we’ll call her an interesting outsider.
2. Halla Chukje (USA) [Gottcha Gold – C D Player (Montbrook)] 5 (31/5/6/2) – Lee Hyeok
A front-runner who’s likely to set the pace, she won a strong class 1 rce at Seoul over this distance in April before running 2nd to Bichui Jeongsang in the Ttukseom Cup. Two disappointing outings since mean she won’t be strongly backed here.
3. Hay Queen (USA) [Hold Me Back – Jacks Touch (Touch Gold)] 4 (19/4/6/2) – Park Eul Woon
2nd in last year’s KNN Cup and 5th in this race, she struggled in the Ttukseom Cup this year and doesn’t enter in the greatest of form. She’ll be among the outsiders.
4. Mighty Gem (USA) [Macho Uno – Shimmer (Pulpit)] 4 (15/5/3/3) – Kim Hye Sun
Solid class 1 competitor at Seoul although her only outing since July was a disappointing spin around 1800M at the end of Sepembr. She looks up against it here.
5. Touch Flying (KOR) [Colors Flying – Jeongtongseong (Lassigny)] 4 (11/6/3/0) – Jo Jae Ro
Probably Seoul’s best chance, she won four consecutive races across the spring and early summer including making all over 1800M in the listed Ilgan Sports Cup. 2nd to Indian Star in the Jeju Governors Cup last time, beating Ottug Ottugi and Santa Gloria. She’ll set the pace and could pull off a surprise.
6. Supreme Magic (USA) [Looking At Lucky – Thru N’Thru (Stormy Atlantic)] 4 (16/5/3/2) – Yonekura Satoshi
The shock winner of the KNN Cup warrants respect here as does her 6th place in the Korea Sprint in September. She is a closer and while the distance is new for her, she has to be given a chance.
7. Areumdaundonghaeng (USA) [A.P. Warrior – Leagacy’s Silver (Robyn Dancer)] 4 (18/7/1/2) – Song Jae Chul
Winner of a couple of decent races earlier this year, she finished the lowest in the KNN Cup among those who return today. An also-ran in the KRA Cup Classic last month, she’s among the outsiders here. Stablemate of Hay Queen.
8. Naesarang Damyang (USA) [Super Saver – Marina De Chavon (Exploit)] 4 (18/2/2/3) – Yoon Tae Hyuk
A stablemate of Touch Flying and she is very much the second-strong. Still at class 3 level in Seoul, it’s tough to see her making much of an impact here.
9. New York Blue (USA) [Candy Ride – Aim For The Moon (Deputy Minister)] 5 (26/7/10/2) – Lim Sung Sil
She fell in last year’s KNN Cup and didn’t return to action until May this year. Yet to return to the winner’s circle but she’s raced in tough company 3rd in the Ttukseom Cup and 2nd in the KNN, she will once more be a danger here.
10. Ottug Ottugi (KOR) [Forest Camp – Main Objective (Lion Heart)] 3 (14/7/3/1) – Choi Si Dae
She hasn’t won in four starts since winning the Korean Oaks in July. All of those outings have been in top company, including the Korea Sprint but despite the Oaks win over 1800M, there is little to suggest she suits 2000M. That said, her quality should see her beat plenty of these and she has a chance. As always she will will try to lead from the gate.
11. Bichui Jeongsang (USA) [Wildcat Heir – Persimmon Honey (Colonial Affair)] 5 (23/8/5/3) – Jo Sung Gon
A closer, she won the Ttukseom Cup in June butgot a bad trip in the KNN Cup in July before struggling in the Korea Sprint in September. It’s not going to be easy for her here but she can’t be completely ruled out.
12. Silver Wolf (AUS) [Oratorio – Ready For More (More Than Ready)] 4 (12/5/3/1) – Yoo Seung Wan
4th and 5th in the Ttukseom and KNN Cups respectively, she was then an easy eight-length winner of a class 1 race at Seoul at the end of August She hasn’t raced since then so comes in fresh, will sit handy and has a chance.
13. Ms. Margaux (USA) [Midnight Lute – Sixtyone Margaux (Cozzene)] 5 (28/3/10/8) – Kim Yong Geun
A convincing class 1 winner over this distance in dreadful conditions in September before finishing runner-up to former stablemate Macheon Bolt over 1400M a month ago. She is a closer and at 2000M, she is the one to beat.
For races 4 & 6 click “More”
Race 4: Class 4 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million – 15:20
Irish trainer Thomas Gillespie’s (12) MUJEOK SINHWA beat three of these when racing 3rd over 1400M at the end of October and stepping back up to a mile today, a distance over which he has won before, he is a strong contender here. He will want to be on speed early so the outside gate is not ideal but he should go well. (10) GO JJANG got her maiden victory over this distance last start and while she is up in class today, she should be competitive. (8) GANGHAN NAMJA is a strong finisher who should be much happier back at a mile today; that should give him a chance to get the better of (5) DAEHANUIMYEONGSEONG, who beat him when the pair ran 4th and 5th over 1400M just two weeks ago. (1) PURPLE OCEAN, one of those beaten by Mujeok Sinhwa last time, looks best of the rest.
Selections: (12) Mujeok Sinhwa (8) Ganghan Namja (10) Go Jjang (5) Daehanuimyeongseong
Next Best: 1, 4, 2
Rating: 2, 12, 4=5=8
Fast Starters: 2, 5, 12
Start-200M: 2, 4, 1, 5, 12
200M-Finish: 8, 11, 6, 9, 3
Race 6: Class 2 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 17:05
(9) SAEROUN STEALTH beat four of his rivals here when running 2nd over class and distance on October 23rd. He’ll be quick away and has every chance of landing this very competitive handicap. (4) USEUNG LINE, disappointing in an admittedly tough contest at the end of last month, gets another chance here and is perhaps the main danger but two of those who were beaten by Saeroun Stealth last time, (10) JIBONG MANSE and (11) PUREUN ACE will also be expected to get closer today. One race into a comeback following five months off, (6) WONDERFUL TODAY should also improve and should challenge Saeroun Stealth for the early lead.
Selections: (9) Saeroun Stealth (4) Useung Line (10) Jibong Manse (11) Pureun Ace
Next Best: 6, 8
Rating: 9, 11, 12, 4, 1
Fast Starters: 1, 6, 9
Start-200M: 4, 6, 1, 9, 2
200M-Finish: 12, 3, 4, 11, 7