It’s the penultimate Stakes race of the year in Korea on Sunday as the juveniles take their turn to sort out the champion for 2016. A full field of 16 will contest the Breeders’ Cup over 1400M at Seoul Racecourse. The race is the highlight of an 11-race card at Seoul which runs from 10:40 to 18:00 while Busan goes from 12:35 to 17:05.
Europa and Final Boss, who won Busan and Seoul’s respective trials for this race will both be there to contest the race that Power Blade won a year ago before going on to sweep the Triple Crown as a three-year-old. Irish trainer Thomas Gillespie also saddles his first runner in the capital as the unbeaten Pegasus Farm-bred Evergreen Tree takes her chance.
See here for runner-by-runner form comments. Here for English race cards. And below for brief notes on the three races which will be simulcast overseas.
Race 8: Class 2 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 90 Million / 15:45
(1) WINNERS GLORY is up in class following a three-length win over this distance on October 30th. He carries a light weight here and runs best on or close to the early speed so gate 1 will suit. He has an excellent chance. Gate 12 will suit (12) SINJO DAEHYEOP who beat both (8) DOUBLE LUCKY and (9) VENI WIN when victorious over 1400M in October. A strong finisher, this is his first time around two-turns and he should take to it well. (11) GAIA THUNDER has already shown aptitude for the distance with a 2nd place in September. He’s up in class following a 3rd place last month at 1400M and will be competitive. Already established at this level is (7) LION STAR. He has placed in each of his last four outings and there’s no reason to suggest that run will end here.
Selections: (1) Winners Glory (12) Sinjo Daehyeop (7) Lion Star (11) Gaia Thunder
Next Best: 8, 4
Rating: 12, 10, 7, 9, 8
Fast Starters: 1, 2, 7
Start-200M: 2, 8, 7, 4, 1
200M-Finish: 12, 11, 10, 8, 1
Race 9: Class Open – The Breeders’ Cup (KOR G2) / 1400M / Allowance / KRW 500 Million / 16:40
This race will decide Korea’s champion juvenile for 2016. Last year’s winner Power Blade went on to complete the Triple Crown as a three-year-old. Both Seoul and Busan held trial races for this in October. Busan’s was won by (6) EUROPA by a full-five lengths and he is set to be favourite here and is likely to be on the early speed. Seoul’s trial went to (8) FINAL BOSS, who finished strongly to beat three others who go here but he will need to be at his very best to see off the Busan challenge. (11) ICE MARINE was 2nd to Europa in that trial and should be a danger again but it is two unbeaten ones who may provide the most interest. Both (3) DAEHO SIDAE and Thomas Gillespie’s (16) EVERGREEN TREE are two for two in their short careers and while the former, having won very easily at 1300M last time, may be favoured in the market, both look intriguing prospects. Filly (5) KKUMUI SILHYEON, who unseated her jockey in Seoul’s trial and then went far too fast on her return to action two weeks ago is the wildcard choice, providing she gets a more sensible ride this time.
Selections: (6) Europa (8) Final Boss (16) Evergreen Tree (3) Daeho Sidae
Next Best: 5, 11, 13, 2, 12
Rating: 6=10, 8, 11, 9
Fast Starters: 1, 6, 9, 10
Start-200M: 10, 1, 9, 14, 11
200M-Finish: 16, 12, 7, 4, 13
Race 10: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 17:30
Small field but competitive. The two stand-outs are both up in class following convincing wins and, returning from eight weeks off, (3) SIDAEUIYEOWANG is the pick to score once more. The other is (4) SO ARA YEOWANG who has exceeded expectations to land both her last two races in impressive fashion. Both favourites will likely sit handy behind an early pace set by (2) SSEN SKY and (5) HORURAGI, both of whom disappointed last time out but get another chance here. (1) CARDIFF HWANHUI and (7) PERFECT SHINE will both be ridden patiently and could capitalise if the leaders go too fast while (6) ACE DOUBLE is finally down in class and should find the company more amenable than in recent outings. She’ll still be the outsider of the seven.
Selections: (3) Sidaeuiyeowang (4) So Ara Yeowang (1) Cardiff Hwanhui (5) Horuragi
Next Best: 2, 7, 6
Rating: 1=6, 2=7, 4
Fast Starters: 2, 5
Start-200M: 5, 2, 3, 4, 6
200M-Finish: 4, 3, 1, 7, 5