Thirteen horses will line up on Sunday afternoon for Korea’s first domestic Group race of 2017, the Seoul Owners’ Association Trophy. And there are plenty in with a shout in the Group 3 contest.
(Always Winner made all to beat a number of his rivals here in the Segye Ilbo Cup in January. Can he do the same on Sunday?)
The Owners Trophy is race 9 on an 11-race Sunday ard at Seoul which runs from 10:45 to 18:00. There are also 6 races at Busan from 12:35 to 17:05. Here’s a run down of the field:
1. Cheonji Storm – 6th in last year’s President’s Cup and class 1 winner over 1800M on season debut a month ago. Steps back to 1200M for the first time since debut as a 2-year-old. Front runner and strong claims.
2 . Cheonnyeonuigippeum – Has suffered plenty of setbacks and last raced at the beginning of December, only beating two. Hard to see him having the required speed to be a danger here.
3 . Chang Se – Won a good race last summer but has gone cold in three starts since, most recently a one-paced effort over this distance on Feb 5th. Improvement not impossible but big upturn in form needed.
4 . Sambong – Consistent performer who, surprisingly, has never actually raced at 1200M before. Latest was 2nd behind Cheonji Storm at 1400M in February and he should be a danger again.
5 . Haemaru – Won this race last year and followed up with 2000M Stakes win a month later. Only returned to winner’s circle once since & was 5th in the Segye Ilbo Cup, despite suffering interference and laying out throughout. A closer, even in sprints, he’ll need some luck in running but it’s not impossible.
6. Global Fusion – 3rd in the Segye Ilbo running on really well having been bumped at the start. Good winner at the distance the time before. Tactically versatile, Djordje Perovic take the mount for the first time and he has a chance.
7. Winner’s Glory – 4th in last year’s Korean Derby, he enters having won three in a row around two turns. Back to 1200M for the first time since he was a juvenile, he should be on pace early and has solid claims.
8. Theme Deunggeuk – Beaten by plenty of his rivals here in his last two races but both were over 1800M. He was a winner at class 2 over 1400M last November. Won’t be among the favourites but can give a decent account of himself.
9. Always Winner – Got the jump on the field to make all in the Segye Ilbo Cup ahead of five of these at odds of 20/1 in February. Tougher ask today but with a good start must be respected.
10. Best Guy – 2nd to Always Winner in the Segye Ilbo running on very nicely. He is a decent sprinter with class 1 wins to his name. Others will be favoured but another good run can’t be ruled out.
11. Jangsanjewang – Brian Dean’s gelding is a top-class sprinter who won his first class 1 outing at this distance last month. Trialled up very nicely last week, this is his toughest ask to date but he has every chance.
12. Gorgeous Dream – Looked a potential star winning 8 of his first 9 starts but has gone off the rails lately. Had excuses when beaten in November but fewer in his last two, including 7th in the Segye Ilbo Cup. Undoubetedly talented though and will be backed.
13. Gumanseok – Very solid competitor who won over 1800M in January beating a couple of these. Well back behind Cheonji Storm last time though. Steps back to this distance for the first time since this race last year, he always gives an honest account of himself.