Month: December 2016

Busan New Year’s Eve Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 31)

2016 concludes with a bumper New Year’s Eve Saturday card at Busan. There are 15 races from 10:50 to 18:00. They include two big races, one for 2-year-olds and one for 3-year-olds to see the year out with. No live racing at Seoul or Jeju but the racecourses are open for the Busan simulcast. There is no racing in Korea on New Year’s Day.

English race cards are available here. Notes on races which will be simulcast overseas are below:

Race 6: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:25

(4) FREE CARE is up in class following her maiden victory, achieved by making all to score by four lengths over 1000M a month ago. She’s also up in distance for the first time but has every chance of winning again. (10) DINAH is yet to win in four outings but has never finished worse than 3rd and should keep that record going here while (12) TAEYANGUI SINHWA was 3rd on his first try at this level two weeks ago and can continue to develop here. Darryll Holland taking the mount makes (8) MADEIN MYEONGSEONG attractive to continue his recent run of placings while (3) VICAR SARANG and (5) ONLY BLUE are others to consider.

Selections: (4) Free Care (10) Dinah (8) Madein Myeongseong (12) Taeyangui Sinhwa
Next Best: 3, 5
Rating: 8, 5=12, 4, 6
Fast Starters: 6, 4
Start-200M: 8, 12, 4, 6, 7
200M-Finish: 4, 1, 10, 8, 6

Race 7: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:50

Thomas Gillespie’s (4) PARTY AGAIN comes in following 4th place in the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Cup in November and will be strongly favoured to return to winning ways on what will be his first try at 1300M. (1) ADELE ACE is yet to win in three outings but finds himself up in class and distance following two 3rd place finishes and a 2nd and can continue to place here – he should get an easy lead early – while (5) SONATILLED stepped up to a mile for his first attempt at this class three weeks ago and can improve on the 5th he managed that day. (2) MANGANG and (7) BEONGGEULBEONGGEUL others to look out for.

Selections: (4) Party Again (1) Adele Ace (5) Sonatilled (7) Beonggeulbeonggeul
Next Best: 2, 3
Rating: 4, 5, 7=9, 1
Fast Starters: 1
Start-200M: 1, 6, 11, 4, 8
200M-Finish: 4, 1, 7, 9, 5 (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 30)

Seoul takes a weekend off and all tracks take Sunday off so it’s to Busan for Friday and Saturday racing to round out the 2016 season in Korea. There are 8 races at Busan on Friday from 11:55 to 18:00 (and plenty of pony races from Jeju).


Darryll Holland returns to Busan (Pic: Ross Holburt)

UK jockey Darryll Holland, who had a successful year at the track in 2013-2014 returns to Busan this week. He has three rides on Friday with a further eight on Saturday. English race cards are here. Notes on races to be simulcast overseas are below:

Race 3: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 14:05 

Competitive race but while (9) PARTY TONIGHT is yet to win in four outings and up in class, he’s favoured to score here. He was just beaten a head on his first start at this distance a month ago having started poorly. If he can get away better here, he should be tough to beat. (6) MR. SPENDING beat (7) BAEKDUBONG as the pair raced 2nd and 4th over this distance on December 2nd and the former especially should be a danger again today while (1) DANCING STAR comes in following back to back 3rd place finishes, the first of them at class 1, and will be backed. (4) WINNING GILI and (5) YOUARE THE CAPTAIN look best of the rest.

Selections: (9) Party Tonight (1) Dancing Star (6) Mr. Spending (5) Youare The Captain
Next Best: 5, 7, 2, 12, 11
Rating: 1, 5, 2=11, 7
Fast Starters: 1, 7, 9
Start-200M: 9, 3, 1, 7, 8
200M-Finish: 7, 9, 10, 8, 1 (more…)

Dubai World Cup Carnival 2017: Korea’s Contenders At Meydan

Five Korea-trained horses arrived at Meydan on Christmas Eve to begin preparations for their campaigns at the 2017 Dubai World Cup Carnival. Horse Of The Year Triple Nine and Triple Crown winner Power Blade have been joined on the trip by Diferent Dimension, Seoul Bullet and Main Stay. They will be hoping to emulate the feats achieved by Success Story, who managed two 3rd placed finishes at the 2016 Carnival. 


Horse Of The Year Triple Nine leads the Korean contingent in Dubai (Pic: Alex Cairns/TheWinningPost)

Diferent Dimension (USA) [Into Mischief – Pardon My Sarong (Souvenir Copy)] 4-year-old Gelding
Breeder: Larkspur Thoroughbreds (Kentucky), Owner: Mun Kyung Sook, Trainer: Peter M. Wolsley
Race Records: 15(9/2/2)
The only US bred among the Korean contingent. It’s not a spelling mistake, he’s named after a lyric in a Katy Perry song (or something like that, I’m told) and was a $30,000 purchase from OBS in April 2014 (having previously gone through Keeneland as a yearling). He’s won at distances up to 1800M but could go further. He was 3rd last month at 2200M but was giving 7kg to the pair who beat him and should be fresh having not been able to get a run in the Grand Prix. He’s saddled by Australian trainer Peter Wolsley.


Diferent Dimension (Pic: Seungho Ryu)

Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] 4-year-old Colt
Breeder: Isidore Farm (Korea), Owner: Choi Byeong Bu, Trainer: Kim Young Kwan
Race Records: 20(11/7/1)
As a three-year-old, he was 2nd in both of the final two-legs of the Triple Crown before asserting his talent with victory in the Presidents Cup. He’s now a two-time winner of that race having successfully defended his title this autumn and accordingly, Triple Nine was this past weekend crowned Horse Of The Year in Korea for 2016. He finished 3rd in the Korea Cup and 2nd in the Grand Prix Stakes and has comfortably defeated Power Blade on three consecutive occasions.


Triple Nine arrives (Pic: Seungho Ryu)

Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain)] 3-year-old Colt
Breeder: Kim Jung Du (Korea), Owner: Kim Hyeong Ran. Trainer: Kim Young Kwan
Race Records: 13(8/3/1)
He was the Champion Juvenile of 2015 he then dominated the three-year-old division in 2016, comfortably winning all three legs of the Korean Triple Crown. He has gone on to show his class against older horses with 4th place in the Korea Cup, 2nd in the President’s Cup and 3rd in the Grand Prix, the latter over 2300M. Triple Nine has finished ahead of him in all three of those races. In the middle of those races, he dropped down to 1400M to beat Seoul Bullet in a valuable race at Busan.


A blurry Power Blade on the Meydan track (Pic: Seungho Ryu)

Main Stay (KOR) [Tale Of The Cat – No Bull Baby (Indian Charlie)] 3-year-old Gelding
Breeder: Nokwon Farm (Korea), Owner: SH. Baek, Trainer: Kim Young Kwan
Race Records: 16(9/3/0)
Classed as a Korean bred as he was imported in-utero when his dam was purchased for $32,000 at the 2012 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale. As such he wasnt eligible for the three-year-old Classic races but has gone on to establish himself as one of the top sprinters in Korea with four wins from his last five starts. He is yet to run in Stakes company but has run and won at distances of up to a mile. Comes in having beaten Seoul Bullet narrowly over 1400M in December.


Main Stay arrives (Pic: Seungho Ryu)

Seoul Bullet (KOR) [Peace Rules – Wild Guess (Wld Rush)] 5-year-old Gelding
Breeder: Kim Chae Hyung (Korea). Owner: Cho Tae Man, Trainer: Kim Young Kwan
Race Records: KOR: 10(7/2/0) USA: 4(0/0/1)
He’s had an interesting career having spent the first year of it in the United States where he ran four times for one 3rd place in Florida and even managed to get claimed out of a race at Gulfstream. He was claimed back and returned to Korea where he promptly won his first six starts. He was then sidelined for fifteen months before finally returning to action this summer. He pushed Power Blade all the way over 1400M in October before winning a class 1 race at the same distance very handily. Narrowly defeated by Main Stay last time out.


Seoul Bullet strolls at Meydan (Pic: Seungho Ryu)

Havlik Off The Mark On Christmas Day

It hasn’t taken Jan Havlik long to get off the mark in Korea. The Slovakian jockey debuted at Seoul Racecourse on Saturday and within 24 hours he had ridden his first winner, striking on board 10/1 chance Yeongung Geonmu (Exploit) in race 4 on Christmas Day.

That success enabled the 42-year-old Havlik to pick up a number of spare rides later in the day and he came very close to scoring again on another long shot, 22/1 Strong Road in the day’s final race, only to be denied by Mighty Gem, 3rd in last month’s Busan Governor’s Cup, right at the end. Saturday had been up and down for the newcomer as while he gt some good runs out of horses with low expectations, he had to miss his final mount of the day after suffering a injured toe. He was fit again in time for Sunday though.

Havlik and Djordje Perovic had previously been rivals for several years in Europe and with the early breakthrough will do no harm at all for the “Slovak Moore” as he seeks to emulate the “Serbian Frankie” at Seoul.

*In the weekend’s valuable 2-year-old races, Meni Bracing (Menifee) took Saturday’s contest for Korean-bred juveniles while US bred Dolkung (Afleet Alex) took the one for the imports on Sunday.

Christmas Day Racing At Seoul: Race-By-Race Preview (December 25)

Christmas Day sees a bumper day of racing in Seoul with 15 races from 10:40 to 18:00. English race cards can be found here.


Notes on races 6-15 are below. It’s going to be cold and crisp but dry day. Christmas Day at the races in Seoul is surely something everybody should do once!

Race 6: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:30 

(1) DREAM SUN was a creditable 4th behind three decent ones over 1300M at the end of last month and should have too much here. (3) HAWK EYES, who returned from a lengthy spell to run 2nd over 1000M on December 3rd, can go close again while (2) GONSEOL and (11) CLAY SHOOT are also capable of going close while (4) HWANGGEUM NEUGDAE returned from six months off in the race behind Dream Sun last month, looked like he needed the race and can go better here.

Selections: (1) Dream Sun (3) Hawk Eyes (2) Gonseol (4) Hwanggeum Neugdae
Next Best: 11
Rating: 1, 12, 3=6, 4
Fast Starters: 4, 11
Start-200M: 11, 4, 12, 7, 6
200M-Finish: 1, 3, 6, 5, 9

Race 7: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 14:00 

(1) SIMCHEONG SADAL got his maiden win at the third attempt last start. He’s had two months off since and is up in class today but will be favourite to score once more. (8) DAEJANGGEUM has come close in several tries at this level and should be looking to get close once more while (9) GIANT TEUKGEUP may be up in class despite being without a win but can get among the places again after consecutive 2nd place finishes. (3) FLYING STORM and especially (10) SPASTAR have too proven their competitiveness at this level and are not to be discounted.

Selections: (1) Simcheong Sadal (10) Spastar (8) Daejanggeum (9) Giant Teukgeup
Next Best: 5, 3, 11
Rating: 10, 1, 7, 5, 8
Fast Starters: 1, 7, 8
Start-200M: 1, 7, 8, 9, 2
200M-Finish: 3, 5, 10, 11, 12 (more…)

Saturday Seoul: Race-By-Race Preview (December 24)

It’s Christmas Eve! So what better to do than get out on the punt? Plenty of opportunities to do so today as well with a bumper 15-race card at Seoul Racecourse.

Big card, big fields and Slovakian jockey Jan Havlik makes his Korea debut with five rides. English race cards are here. Notes on overseas simulcast races 5-15 are below:

Race 5: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:25 

Just the one win in eleven to date but a solid 3rd place at class and distance in a decent contest a month ago makes (2) CLEAN UP WHISTLE favourite to take this. The draw should allow her to get on the early speed and make all. (4) SHINE QUEEN and (5) NHA TRANG have both shown ability and this level and can compete while (3) GOLDIE EARTH and (11) BLACK POINT are both up in class following maiden victories last time out with the latter looking more equipped here.

Selections: (2) Clean Up Whistle (4) Shine Queen (5) Nha Trang (11) Black Point
Next Best: 3, 9
Rating: 4=5=11, 2=3
Fast Starters: 2, 3, 10
Start-200M: 2, 10, 1, 4, 11
200M-Finish: 4, 11, 9, 5, 6

Race 6: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 14:10 

After two consecutive 2nd place finishes, just beaten a nose last time out, (7) GEUMTAEPUNG can go one better today. He’s only won one of nineteen so far but can sit handy early, finish well and looks the one to beat. (3) GEUMGOKSEONG did actually beat him over 1200M in September and has been solid into starts since as well so must be considered while (6) NEW WHY FI and (8) J BAEK both enter following victories, the latter at this class and distance. (1) LIM FARM was an unexpected 2nd last start, just beaten a neck and will be better supported today.

Selections: (7) Geumtaepung (6) New Why Fi (3) Geumgokseong (8) J Baek
Next Best: 1, 5
Rating: 2, 8, 3, 6, 7
Fast Starters: 2, 3, 5
Start-200M: 5, 2, 3, 6, 7
200M-Finish: 3, 11, 8, 6, 7 (more…)

Lee Yang Ho Inaugurated As KRA Chairman

The Korea Racing Authority has its 35th Chairman as Lee Yang Ho was inaugurated at a ceremony at Seoul Racecourse on Wednesday morning.


New KRA Chairman Lee Yang Ho speaks at his inauguration ceremony on Wednesday (Pic: KRA) 

Lee replaces Hyung Myung Kwan, who left the Authority earlier this month. As is normal in the public sector in Korea, Lee, whose appointment was approved by the Presidential Office at the end of last week, was an external candidate.

Lee Yang Ho was born in Gumi in North Gyeongsang Province in 1959 and graduated from Yeongnam University in 1982. He completed a Masters degree at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand in 1992. A career civil servant, Lee has spent the vast majority of his working life in the Ministry of Agriculture, the branch of government under which the KRA is administered, rising to a senior position.

Lee, who speaks good English, has been appointed to run the Racing Authority for a three-year term.


The big screen at Seoul Racecourse welcomes Lee Yang Ho’s appointment on Wednesday (Pic: Jo Kim)

Clean Up Joy Wins The 2016 Grand Prix Stakes

Clean Up Joy downed Triple Nine and Power Blade to win the 2016 Korea Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.


Clean Up Joy & Ham Wan Sik win the 35th Grand Prix Stakes (Pic: KRA)

Two-time President’s Cup winner Triple Nine was sent off as the odds-on favourite with Clean Up Joy splitting him and his stablemate, Triple Crown winner Power Blade, in the betting market.

And while Beolmaui Kkum set the early pace he was surprisingly joined at the front right away by Clean Up Joy – generally a bad starter but here away very keenly from the outside gate. This was bad news for the field with the most proven stayer in the race already at the front.

Clean Up Joy looked strong all the way around. Just as in the Korea Cup, Beolmaui Kkum’s race was over early and it was left to Triple Nine and Power Blade to give chase in the home straight. However, Clean Up Joy was away. His five-length advantage at the top of the stretch was down to under two on the line but jockey Ham Wan Sik had time to ease up and pose for the cameras as they passed the line.

Triple Nine was 2nd, besting Power Blade for the third time in a row before they both head to Dubai later this week. Goliath Marine ran a huge race in 4th while the ever honest Heba came home an excellent 5th.

Clean Up Joy (Purge) is a 5-year-old gelding. He was  $14,000 purchase from the OBS June 2013 Two-Year-Old sales. The Grand Prix was his 11th win on his 21st career start and took him to career earnings of over US$1.25Million. It was a career highlught win for both trainer Song Moon Gil and jockey Ham Wan Sik.

It also saw the Grand Prix being won by a horse trained at Seoul for the first time since Tough Win’s triumph in 2011 and means that whatever happens, the traditional season-ending finale will be run in the capital once more next year.

Grand Prix (KOR G1) – Seoul Racecourse – 2300M – Dec 18, 2016

1. Clean Up Joy (USA) [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeaux Danseur)] – Ham Wan Sik – 5.5. 1.7
2. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] – Seo Seung Un – 1.0
3. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain)] – Kim Yong Geun – 2.1
Distances: 1.25 lengths / 5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Goliath Marine (KOR) 5. Heba (USA) 6. CLean Up Cheonha (USA) 7. Success Story (KOR) 8. Dongbang Daero (USA) 9. Unbeatable (USA) 10. Speace Port (USA) 11. Gumpo Sky (KOR) 12. Halla Chukje (USA) 13. Cheonjeok (USA) 14. Winner Red (USA) 15. Muhudaeje (USA) 16. Beolmaui Kkum (USA)

Grand Prix Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (December 18)

It’s The Grand Prix Stakes 2016. Full runner by runner guide to the big race is here. There are plenty of other races going on as well. English race cards are here. Notes on every overseas simulcast race are below:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 10:40

(10) GOLDEN STEP was a much improved 2nd on his second start and can make the breakthrough here under Djordje Perovic. Gate 10 isn’t idea though so many punters may look to (1) DEO MIREO BUCHEO, another one who has shown improvement across three prior starts. Among the others with experience, (8) GEOCHIN OREUM and (9) RAON ROCKY both have 3rd places to their name while of the two debut-makers, (5) HUNTER HAWK looks the best.

Selections: (10) Golden Step (1) Deo Mireo Bucheo (9) Raon Rocky (8) Geochin Oreum
Next Best: 5, 3
Rating: –
Fast Starters: 9, 10, 1, 8, 6
Start-200M: 9, 10, 1, 8, 6
200M-Finish: 2, 12, 10, 9, 8

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 11:05

(10) DANBI comes in having been 4th in both her last two starts and despite the outside gate, really should be getting a career best finish here. She can win against underwhelming opposition. Main danger could come from the other side of the gate as (1) ENDLESS LOVE also finds herself in against weaker opposition than she’s used to and she too should be getting her best finish to date. (2) FIRE BALL has been one-paced but reliable so far and can find the money while other factors may be (5) UNAK HABIO and (9) LITTLE WING.

Selections: (10) Danbi (1) Endless Love (2) Fire Ball (5) Unak Habio
Next Best: 9, 6
Rating: –
Fast Starters: 2, 3, 5, 10
Start-200M: 10, 2, 3, 5, 8
200M-Finish: 4, 10, 2, 1, 5 (more…)

The Grand Prix Stakes 2016: Runner-By-Runner Preview

It’s the big one, it’s the Grand Prix Stakes! The Korea Cup may have burst on to the racing calendar this year usurping the trip of Derby, President’s Cup and Grand Prix as the nation’s most valuable race but for now, the Grand Prix remains the most prestigious and the one race that is known outside racing circles in Korea.


Triple Nine won his 2nd President’s Cup last month and enters the Grand Prix as favourite (Pic: Alex Cairns/TheWinningPost)

Some of the most emotive names in Korea’s short racing history have won the race, the likes of Pogyeongseon, Ka Shock Do, Saegangja, Subsidy, Bally Brae, Dongbanui Gangja, Mister Park and Tough Win have won the race which is now in its 35th year. And we are guaranteed a new champion this year as for the first time in a decade, no previous winner will line up for the 2300M test at dusk on Sunday.

(Please take a moment out to look at our video preview – includes past races and trackwork of the leading contenders. More clicks mean we’ll have more chances to persuade the powers that be to approve a budget and resources to make more of these!)

Two-time President’s Cup winner Triple Nine will be the strong betting favourite but no favourite has won since 2009 when Dongbanui Gangja romped to his second Grand Prix. Could Triple Crown winner Power Blade top off an historic season or could Clean Up Joy claim victory for a Seoul trained horse for the first time since 2011. Or could another triumph, perhaps Success Story or Beolmaui Kkum? Or perhaps an outsider.

There is foreign interest in the race. Brian Dean saddles Muhudaeje, who will stay the distance but will be an outsider as will be Unbeatable who will be partnered by Djordje Perovic. However, both Yonekura Satoshi and Francisco Da Silva have chances on board Success Story and Beolmaui Kkum respectively.

Here are form comments for each runner:

The Grand Prix (KOR G1) – Seoul Racecourse (2300M) Sunday December 18, 2016 (16:40) – Weight for Age (4yo & Up: 57kg, F&M/3yo: 55kg)

1. Dongbang Daero (USA) C 4 [Curlin – Willa Joe (El Gran Senor)] 16/4/8/1
T: Oh Moon Sik, J: Choi Si Dae
Enters having beaten Beolmaui Kkum and Heba to win by 3 lengths over 1800M on October 30th. Late developer and no worse than 2nd in each of his last 9 starts. All wins at 1800M. First trip to Seoul. Usually settles in midfield.

2. Unbeatable (USA) H 6 [Eddington – Baxter Hall (Rahy)] 46/7/9/12
T: Lim Bong Chun, J: Djordje Perovic
1 win from 9 in 2016, he was a distant 2nd to Clean Up Joy in the KRA Cup Classic in October. 3rd try in this race, he was last in 2015 but does get the distance as proved when just beaten a neck by Cheonjeok last month.

3. Power Blade (KOR) C 3 [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain)] 12/8/3/0
T: Kim Young Kwan, J: Kim Yong Geun
The Triple Crown winner has been bested by Triple Nine in both his last two visits to Seoul, the Korea Cup in September and November’s President’s Cup. Trainer felt tactics failed in the latter race. Distance is a question mark but he gets a good draw and may well lead. A chance.

4. Space Port (USA) H 6 [Pleasant Tap – Space City (Carson City)]
T: Woo Chang Ku, J: Jo Sung Gon
3 wins from 10 outings in 2016, most recently at 1800M in October. 4th behind Cheonjeok and Unbeatable at this distance a month ago. He will settle at the back of the field and can close strongly but others should be too strong.

5. Triple Nine (KOR) C 4 [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] 19/11/6/1
T: Kim Young Kwan, J: Seo Seung Un
He comes in having won his second consecutive President’s Cup, easily defeating Power Blade in the process. 4th in the race last year, he is a better horse this time around. Tactically versatile but usually handy, his two predecessors as President’s Cup winner both went on to win this race. He has a big chance to join them.

6. Gumpo Sky (KOR) H 5 [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] 33/10/8/4
T: Kwon Sung Ju, J: Lee Yong Ho
2nd in last year’s race, he hasn’t raced since a hugely creditable 6th in the Korea Cup in September. A barrier trial well within himself last week offered few clues. Has been a front-runner throughout his career but opted out of setting the pace in the Cup and it paid dividends. Gets the distance.

7. Success Story (KOR) H 5 [Peace Rules – Power Pack (Lil’s Lad)] 22/10/8/4
T: Min Jang Gi, J: Yonekura Satoshi
A 2nd and three 3rd place finishes since returning from Dubai all in Stakes company. In those races, he’s been beaten by Triple Nine (three times), Power Blade and Beolmaui Kkum so he has form to overcome. Front-runner, he has won at 2000M but the distance is a question mark.

8. Goliath Marine (KOR) G 5 [Volponi – Queenie Bee (Geri)] 33/6/6/4
T: Choi Ki Hong, J: Lim Sung Sil
Flew home to finish 2nd to Heba over 2200M at Busan last month and this distance may suit but his only class 1 wins have come when getting a significant weight allowance. Very much a closer, he will aim to pick off horses in the closing stages.

9. Halla Chukje (USA) M 5 [Gottcha Gold – C D Player (Montbrook)] 32/5/6/2
T: Yu Jae Gil, J: Lee Hyeok
She was in good form in the first half of the year including a 2nd place in the Ttukseom Cup in June. Has struggled of late though and only beat one home in the Governor’s Cup at Busan last month. Usually likes to lead but surely won’t last long here.

10. Cheonjeok (USA) G 5 [Shakespeare – Celtic Song (Giant’s Causeway)] 39/4/5/6
T: Choi Bong Ju, J: Yoo Seung Wan
He comes in having made all to win over this distance on November 12th with Unbeatable, Muhudaeje and Space Port all behind him. That was though his first win since April 2015 and he will be hard pushed to repeat it here. He was though 3rd in the Cup Classic and can beat plenty.

11. Heba (USA) M 6 [Peace Rules – Sue’s Temper (Temperence Hill)] 47/10/7/4
T: Kwon Sung Ju, J: Lee Hyo Sik
7th in this race last year after a hard fought season that saw her crowned champion filly and mare. She finally returned to the winner’s circle last month, beating Goliath Marine over 2200M. Always an honest, reliable runner, she’s tactically versatile and not likely to be on the early speed here.

12. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) H 6 [Put It Back – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] 29/16/4/2
T: Baik Kwang Yeol, J: Francisco Da Silva
Having finally achieved a really big win when making all in the Mayor’s Cup at Busan in July, he comes in following a couple of disappointing performances. He went too fast too early in the Korea Cup and was then beaten by Dongbang Daaero when giving up weight and with an apprentice jockey aboard. Gate 12 may be a blessing in disguise here as it will be hard for him to lead.

13. Winner Red (USA) G 3 [Put It Back – Red Hot Jul (Essence Of Dubai)  11/5/3/0
T: Woo Chang Ku, J: Choi Bum Hyun
The up and comer of the field, he enters having won his last four races although he has never faced the kind of opposition there is here. The furthest distance he has run and won at is 1900M and while the draw isn’t ideal, he doesn’t need to lead. Next year he could be a real contender, this year he could be the wildcard.

14. Muhudaeje (USA) C 4 [Majestic Warrior – Crafty Queen (Crafty Prospector)] 19/4/3/2
T: Brian W. Dean, J: Jeong Jeong Hee
3 wins from 7 outings since moving to Brian Dean’s stable. He was 3rd at this distance behind Cheonjeok and Unbeatable last month but showed he can stay on well. That was his first try at class 1 so he is untried against the calibre of opposition he faces here and will be an outsider.

15. Clean Up Cheonha (USA) H 5 [El Corredor – Loh Collado (More Than Ready)] 21/8/6/2
T: Kim Dong Kyun, J: Jo In Kwen
5th in this race in 2015 but while he started this year with a January win, he hasn’t been able to push on and has only made three starts since. Showed signs of returning to form with 4th place in the KRA Cup Classic in October but still has plenty to find here.

16. Clean Up Joy (USA) G 5 [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeux Danseur)] 20/10/6/1
T: Song Moon Gil, J: Ham Wan Sik
3rd in last year’s race. An awkward starter, the trainer has requested and received the outside gate. Seoul’s highest-rated horse he was a facile 7-length winner of the KRA Cup Classic in October. He was beaten by Beolmaui Kkum, Triple Nine and Success Story in the Busan Mayor’s Cup in July but at Seoul and at this distance, he’s a danger. He’ll be slowly away and look to improve in the back straight.