Sunday is KRA Cup Mile Day at Busan. There are 6 races on the south coast from 12:40 to 17:10. Meanwhile at Seoul there are 11 from 10:45 to 18:00. See here for a full preview of the Cup Mile, the opening leg of the 2017 Triple Crown.
English language race cards are here. While the Cup Mile itself isn’t being simulcast overseas, three of the late races at Seoul are. Form comments for those are below:
Race 9: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 150 Million
1. WONDER BOLT – Last win was his last try at this distance in the corresponding race last year. Has a hard time in handicaps due to high weight but better chance today.
2. CUPID POWER – Has been well backed but found things tough in two starts at this level to date.
3. HALLA CHUKJE – Always starts fast and then fades. Steps back in trip which may benefit even though others will be favoured.
4. CHOEGANGJA – Brian Dean’s stable star has won four in a row. He’s quick out of the gate and trialled up imperiously last week. Has to be the favourite.
5. DYNAMIC JILJU – First time at this distance since August 2013 in Busan. Decent 5th last time and could well be a factor here.
6. JANGSANJEWANG – Stable-mate of Choegangja, it didn’t work out for him in last month’s Owners’ Cup but he’s a class 1 winner at this distance and can look to place.
7. MIRAE YEONGUNG – Gone a little cold of late so won’t be favoured here but still has plenty of ability.
Verdict: (4) CHOEGANGJA has been in remarkable for since moving to Brian Dean’s stable and there’s every reason to believe his 100% record for the Australian handler will be maintained here. He blitzed through a trial last week and is very much the one to beat. (1) WONDER BOLT is still paying for past glories in terms of his handicap mark but dropping back to this distance may be exactly what he needs and he can be expected to go well here. That latter point could hold true too for (5) DYNAMIC JILJU who hasn’t raced at this distance since he was a two-year-old. Choegangja’s stablemate (6) JANGSANJEWANG can’t go any further than 1200M but he is a class and distance winner and can be respected.
Selections (4) Choegangja (1) Wonder Bolt (6) Jangsanjewang (5) Dynamic Jilju
Next Best 7, 2, 3
Fast Start 3, 4
Race 10: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
1. BULGEUN GISANG – Has raced in tough company recently so not necessarily as weak as latest form suggests.
2. ANYANG TIGER – 3rd at class and distance last September. 7th behind Dixie Ploit latest and improvement is possible today.
3. GANGHO SIDAE – Steps back up to two turns but little to suggest it will suit.
4. GANGTORI – Started his career well but has found his level. Tough ask here.
5. LUCKY MUSIC – First start since last August. Trialled up well and likely to be on speed early but this won’t be easy.
6. DIXIE PLOIT – Class 3 winner at 1700M and 4th on both tries at this level. Steps up to 1800M for the first time. He’s a strong closer and has every chance here.
7. GREY KAISER – Back up to two turns for the first time for a year, he has plenty to find.
8. S ROSE – Very experienced at this level. Went cold towards the end of last year but showed signs of improving again over 1200M last month.
9. ROYAL VICTORY – Came back into form with an unexpected 4th place at class and distance three weeks ago suggesting he needs to be taken seriously here.
10. CHASING DOLLARS – Finished behind two of these last time. Recent form uninspiring.
11. PERFECT SHINE – Up in class having come close a few too many times at class 3. Not impossible but big ask.
12. GUY START – 9th of 14 on his first outing of 2017 a month ago and plenty to find here.
Verdict: Only a couple stand out here so aside from those, we are looking for something to defy their recent form. Those stand-outs are headed by (6) DIXIE PLOIT has been 4th on both outings at this class so far and can score on what is his first try at this distance. He generally doesn’t make life easy for himself though, closing (sometimes too) late and if that happens, (9) ROYAL VICTORY, not exactly a front-runner himself, could take advantage having shown significant improvement last start. Now on to the others. (2) ANYANG TIGER wasn’t too far behind Dixie Ploit last time and is proven at this distance while (8) S ROSE too showed signs of coming back into some semblance of form last start and could challenge for a place.
Selections (6) Dixie Ploit (9) Royal Victory (2) Anyang Tiger (8) S Rose
Next Best 10, 1, 7
Fast Start 5, 7
Race 11: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
1. HONGNAM BULPAE – Hung out badly throughout last time and sent back to trial. Others favoured here.
2. STORYTELLING – Getting closer in recent starts culminating in 2nd last time at his distance. Looks to have another win in him. Should be on speed here.
3. DALLYEORA GANGJEOK – First start of this year. She had some good results last summer/autumn and could have benefitted from the spell.
4. GOOD TO YOU – Followed up a pair of 2nd place finishes with a 5th behind Giant Killer last start. Yet to win but can find the money again.
5. SAND WHIZZ – Last in most recent two outings and much to find here.
6. BABYLON WANGJA – Returned from five months off with a 5th of 9 over 1900M in February. Very nicely weighted here but not easy to back.
7. FORMER MISSION – Beaten by Storytelling in both his latest two but not far away on either occasion. Not impossible.
8. DAEHAN YEONGUNG – Beaten by plenty of these in recent starts so lots of form to overturn.
9. GIANT KILLER – A winner over 1700M at this class on February 25th. He’ll be close to the pace early here and while he does carry an extra 4kg, can win again.
10. TOTAL WALKER – Still without a win after 21 outings. He probably won’t win this either but he is more than capable of finding the money at this level.
11. JEOLDAE BYEONGGI – Well back behind Storytelling and Former Mission latest.
12. ECO WANGJA – 7th of 12 on first outing this year three weeks ago. Plenty to find here.
Verdict: (9) GIANT KILLER and was a winner over 1700M last start and is sure to be well-backed here. Likewise, (2) STORYTELLING has been getting closer and closer to a return to the winner’s circle, just missing out last time. Both are firmly in the hunt here but so too is the much better weighted (4) GOOD TO YOU, who does have a few lengths to find on Giant Killer but may not get a better chance to finally land her maiden win. (7) FORMER MISSION too looks set to get closer to Storytelling today while (10) TOTAL WALKER is generally good value for a money finish.
Selections (4) Good To You (2) Storytelling (9) Giant Killer (7) Former Mission
Next Best 10, 3
Fast Start 2, 8, 9, 12