KNN Cup Sunday: Seoul & Busan Race-By-Race Preview (July 23)

The second leg of the Queens’ Tour Champion Filly & Mare series is the highlight of a busy Sunday of racing in Korea. The KNN Cup will be run over a mile at Busan. There are 6 races at Busan from 13:25 to 17:40 and 11 at Seoul from 11:45 to 19:00. English racecards are here.


Silver Wolf defeated Haeya in the Ttukseom Cup. They race again in the KNN Cup at Busan (Pic: KRA)

Silver Wolf defeated Haeya to win the first leg of the Tour, the Ttukseom Cup at Seoul on June 4th. However, that day Haeya went off a little too fast trying to chase down an early leader and paid for it in the closing stages. She could overturn that form today. Silver Wold will be dangerous but there are concerns over the fitness of another contender, last year’s Oaks winner Ottug Ottugi, about whom a final decision will be made in the morning. If she doesn’t run, it could change the complexion of the contest given her front running style.

Other contenders include Black Sapphire although it is perhaps a furlong shorter than she would like and Seoul raider Areumdaundonghaeng. Last year’s winner Supreme Magic won’t be among the favourites but can’t be completely ruled out. Form comments on all 13 Sunday races fro overseas simulcast are below:

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

1. SINUI MYEONGRYEONG – Hansen 2yo made all to win very easily on debut a month ago. Up in class but should have few problems with this lot.
2. JUGEUKSEONG – Well back in recent outings.
3. USEUNG DESIGN – Maiden winner over 1200M in May but only beat one home on first try at this class.
4. PARTY TIME – Not too far away from minor placings most times and could sneak some here.
5. FIRSTIGE – Up in class following maiden win at 1200M last month. This is harder but he should be competitive.
6. SIMON MISSILE – Up in class after maiden win at 1300M all the way back in April. Not favoured to repeat but can get some minor money.
7. JINGYEOGUI RACE – Yet to win but has come close on plenty of occasions. First try at class 5 and should go well.

Verdict: Four of the seven are racing at this class for the first time and the three that aren’t look to be the outsiders. (1) SINUI MYEONGRYEONG should win and win well at that with (5) FIRSTIGE, (6) SIMON MISSILE and (7) JINGYEOGUI RACE disputing the minor places.

Selections (1) Sinui Myeongryeong (5) Firstige (7) Jingyeogui Race (6) Simon Missile
Next Best 4
Fast Start 1


Busan Race 1: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

1. KEUN MABEOP – 8th behind Windy Park last start and plenty of form to find on some of these.
2. ARENA – Gradually been getting further away at this level. Top jockey on board though.
3. NAVARRA – First start since February. Trialled up ok but outsider here.
4. ROYAL KELLY – promoted to this level without a win but decent enough 5th of 11 on first try at it.
5. BAENGNYEON SONNIM – Comes in following last place over 1300M a month ago. Should be much better for the step back in trip today.
6. DAEJIUI HUIMANG – Beaten a few of these in recent starts and in the frame again.
7. KOREA HUNTER – Much improved 2nd at long odds last start and could make for interesting outsider here.
8. MAIN VICAR – Still to win after 17 outings but has come close in recent starts since being dropped back in trip. Can go close again.
9. CHEONJIGAEBYEOK – Struggled in four efforts at this class so far.
10. WINDY PARK – 28/1 class and distance winner on June 25th. Has to be given more respect today.
11. GEOWIUI KKUM – Started well at this level but has been getting further away recently.

Verdict: (10) WINDY PARK was an outsider last time on what was his first try at this level but he ran out a comfortable winner and there is no real reason why he can’t repeat at the same distance in arguably weaker company today. (6) DAEJIUI HUIMANG looks to be the main danger with (4) ROYAL KELLY and (8) MAIN VICAR others in the placing hunt.

Selections (10) Windy Park (6) Daejiui Huimang (8) Main Vicar (4) Royal Kelly
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 4, 10


Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

1. JEONGSANG DAEGIL – 2nd in similar contest in June and 4th last time. Defied long odds both times and could go well here.
2. CALL ME JK – Has struggled at this class.
3. GOODMORNING FUSION – Class and distance winner as recently as May. 5th in solitary start since and nicely in here again.
4. HOENG UN GOL – Made all to win by six lengths on debut three weeks ago. Up in class and in distance but should have too much.
5. CHEONNYEONHAMSUNG – Hasn’t found it easy in two starts since maiden win but drops back in trip slightly and could go better.
6. CHANGYOUNG – Promoted to this class without a win. Capable of sneaking some minor money.
7. NEW WORLD STAR – Had a hard time in two outings so far at this level.
8. BAEKDU GWANGJANG – Six races at this level and his been 5th in four of them. That would be a good result today.
9. MANWOLMUN – Recent form very cold. Big outsider.
10. KING AHEAD – Usually beats a few and should do so again.

Verdict: (4) HOENG UN GOL was an eye-catching winner on debut over 1000M three weeks ago and despite being up in both class and distance, has to be favourite to repeat and maintain his 100% record. It’s hard to see anything beating him but perhaps (1) JEONGSANG DAEGIL and (3) GOODMORNING FUSION could give him a race, while (5) CHEONNYEONHAMSUNG looks to have a bit of scope for improvement back at 1200M today.

Selections (4) Hoeng Un Gol (1) Jeongsang Daegil (3) Goodmorning Fusion (5) Cheonnyeonhamsung
Next Best 6, 10
Fast Start 4

Busan Race 2: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million

1. HAPPY GONGJU – Last in the Oaks last month but won at this class and distance in February.
2. HWANHUIUI BYEOL – Back to back 4ths in latest two. Can at least match here.
3. GOOD ONE MAN – Disappointing last of 12 on latest start in June. He’s better than that but others are favoured here.
4. VICAR HOPE – Struggled in three outings at this level so far.
5. CHALLAUI JUIN – 2nd and 4th in latest two. This looks a bit stiffer but placing not impossible.
6. CHOEGANG DREAM – Never worse than 4th and comes in off back to back 2nd places. Very much the one to beat here.
7. ILLYU SINHWA – Recent form doesn’t inspire.
8. NANDA DORI – Beaten by Choegang Dream in both his latest two, would appear to have placing chances at best. Likely fast starter.
9. MAERYEOK DEONGEORI – Offered little in recent efforts.
10. OH DAEBAK –Yet to win in 31 tries. Not likely to change here.
11. YEONGGWANGUICOUNTRY – Keeps coming close, beaten by good ones lately. Surely has another win in him and he’s likely second-favourite here.
12. DARMA – Four consecutive 3rd place finishes since being promoted to this level and every chance of finishing 3rd again.

Verdict: (6) CHOEGANG DREAM has just missed out in his latest two but looks winner’s circle-bound here. He can sit behind the early pace and finish off strongly. (11) YEONGGWANGUICOUNTRY and (12) DARMA are consistent placers at this level and look set to dispute the minor honours again although (1) HAPPY GONGJU and (2) HWANHUIUI BYEOL could also figure.

Selections (6) Choegang Dream (11) Yeonggwanguicountry (12) Darma (1) Happy Gongju
Next Best 2, 4
Fast Start 1, 8


Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

1. BORN WINNER – 2nd at class and distance last start and in the frame today under a light weight.
2. CHEONGSU DOLPUNG – Debut winner in April and then 3rd on first try at this class in May. Resumes after nine weeks off and is one of the favourites.
3. GONSEOL – Improved 4th at class and distance last time. May struggle to repeat that here.
4. WING FLY – First start since last October. Trialled ok but will surely need this.
5. DUMANGANG – Not too far away in recent outings at this level. Could look to place.
6. MY CHAMP – Recent form is cold and will be an outsider.
7. GAECHEOKJA – Up in class following maiden win last time. Should be competitive if an unlikely winner.
8. BRAVE UP – Eye-catching maiden winner last start at this distance. Nicely in and could repeat. Likely fast starter.
9. JEONGSANGJEIL – Hasn’t found it easy at this level.
10. CHAMJOA – Well back in both outings since maiden win in May.

Verdict: Not a tremendous contest this so we’ll go with the up and comers. (2) CHEONGSU DOLPUNG was 3rd in a decent race on what was just his second ever start back in May. He’s been off since then but looks a prospect and can come close here. Similarly, (8) BRAVE UP was a very good winner over 1300M last time and comes up in class in strong contention. Also up in class following a maiden win last time is (7) GAECHEOKJA while (1) BORN WINNER and (5) DUMANGANG also look capable of places.

Selections (8) Brave Up (2) Cheongsu Dolpung (1) Born Winner (7) Gaecheokja
Next Best 5, 6
Fast Start 4, 8, 9, 10


Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million

1. WORLD NUMBER ONE – Winner at this class over a mile in April, beating Bada Star into 2nd. Struggled in two since but worth another chance dropped back in trip today.
2. FLYING RANGER – Class and distance winner last time, coming from well off the pace. Similar tactics here won’t be as easy but not impossible.
3. KING OF KOREA – 2nd on both starts so far, both sent off as odds-on favourite but beating a number of these each time. It’s time he won. He’s favourite.
4. B.K. PARK – Sole victory was at this distance and recent form encouraging. Could place.
5. MISS BLUE – Generally beats plenty but a few others likely to be too quick.
6. TUFELLO – Two 4ths and a 2nd in three outings to date. Looks clear second favourite here.
7. WONDERFUL CAPTAIN – Class 5 winner over a mile at long odds last month. Going to be hard to repeat here.
8. BADA STAR – 2nd to World Number One at a mile in April but getting further away since. Steps back in trip today.
9. ITSAGAINT WARRIOR – Best of 4th came all the way back on debut last October. Outsider.
10. TTEUGEOUN HAMSEONG – Yet to win in eight but solid 3rd last time and could repeat.
11. ARION METAL –Improved 4th last time out but still a bit to find.
12. SEIZE THE TIME – Only beta a couple home on latest start and has plenty to find here.

Verdict: (3) KING OF KOREA has been sent off as odds-on favourite in both outings so far but each time has just come up short. He has though, accounted for plenty of these along the way and really should be making all to win here. (6) TUFELLO was behind him in one of those races but has since managed a 2nd of his own and looks the main danger. (4) B.K. PARK and (10) TTEUGEOUN HAMSEONG look best of the rest.

Selections (3) King Of Korea (6) Tufello (4) B.K. Park (10) Tteugeoun Hamseong
Next Best 2, 1
Fast Start 1, 3, 8, 9


Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

1. STRONG FIELD – 3rd and a pair of 4ths prior to 7th last time out. Could improve.
2. CHARMING GOOD – Worth another chance today after a pair of lacklustre efforts. Better draw today.
3. JINGYEOGUI CHEONMA – Ran poorly on first try at this level last start after getting away badly. Better draw and better start here should mean he comes close.
4. WAIKIKI – Class and distance winner in May, beating Hurricane Blue. 4th last time and gets close today too.
5. SILLA HWARANG – Comes in off two 3rds and a 2nd from his latest three. Looks the one to beat here.
6. RAON TROY – Steps back in distance after recent outings, including a win, at 1700M. Not impossible.
7. SOKDO SINHWA – Hasn’t found it easy at this level since class 5 victory in February.
8. SUPER CAPTAIN – Won two of his first five but found things quite tough on first try at this level last start.
9. EOMJI GANGHO – Comes in off a 2nd place at class and distance. Outside chance of a repeat.
10. HURRICANE BLUE – Usually not too far away but has been beaten by a few of these lately.
11. JEONSEOLUI MANYEO – Hasn’t found things easy at this level.

Verdict: (5) SILLA HWARANG always goes close and looks ready to score here. He was a close 2nd last time and can win from just behind the early pace. (2) CHARMING GOOD and (3) JINGYEOGUI CHEONMA both look to have draws today that should allow them to get on to the early speed and the latter especially should come closer while (4) WAIKIKI and (6) RAON TROY are others in the hunt.

Selections (5) Silla Hwarang (3) Jingyeogui Cheonma (4) Waikiki (2) Charming Good
Next Best 6, 1
Fast Start 2, 3, 8, 10


Busan Race 4: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
1. BOUND MYEONGUN – Well back behind Segi Gangja last time but that one aside, the company looks much more amenable today.
2. YESURI MYEONGUN – Recent form cold.
3. SEGI GANGJA – Winner of strong race at class and distance last time. Very hard to oppose here. Not a fast starter but should be too strong in the finish.
4. ACE POWER – Won at this class over 1200M in May before finishing 6th in a good race over 1800M two weeks ago. Firmly in placing frame here.
5. ACE GLORY – Just two starts so far this year and has shown improvement. Can come on further today.
6. SPECIAL LINE – Two starts back since missing a year. Hasn’t shown much so far.
7. IN THE BACK – Down in class today following a string of struggles at class 2. Big gap between the two classes so don’t be surprised to see an improvement.
8. JILJU HWASIN – Manages surprise 3ed over a mile at the end of April but normal service resumed since.
9. WINNING NUMBER – Finds himself back up in class 3 after recent form improvement. No reason to suggest it will be any easier than it was last time he was up.
10. MACHU PICCHU – Decent horse but gone cold of late.

Vedict: Thomas Gillespie’s (3) SEGI GANGJA should have far too much for this lot. He’s not the kind who’s going to make all and win by ten lengths but he’s a strong finisher and Jo Sung Gon should have him in the perfect position to come through in the home straight. (1) BOUND MYEONGUN and (4) ACE POWER were both behind Segi Gangja in June but could challenge here while the down in class (7) IN THE BACK should be much happier today.

Selections (3) Segi Gangja (4) Ace Power (1) Bound Myeongun (7) In The Back
Next Best 5
Fast Start 2, 4, 6, 10


Seoul Race 7: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

1. YONGCHONG – Never involved over 1200M last time but has proven competitive at this level and has a chance today.
2. SOKBO WANGJA – Landed a pair of 3rd places at class and distance in May June but struggled at 1700M last time. Outside placing chance.
3. DARK LADY – Looked on the verge of a win late last year but the moment seems to have passed. Only beat three home last time.
4. CHEONG UN SIDAE – Didn’t quite live up to expectations when asked to go around 1700M a month ago but should be a different prospect today. The favourite to lead all the way.
5. JINMYEONGGITBAL – Recent efforts have all been at 1700M, including a win at this class. Not impossible.
6. NEULPUREUN TIGER – 3rd at class and distance at the end of April but has been on the slide in two since.
7. CHOWONUI CHANGA – 5th behind Sokbo Wangja in June. Generally beats a few but others favoured.
8. CUPID LADY – Likely to challenge for the lead early, he’s won three of six lifetime. First try at 1400M, he has a chance.
9. HAPPY TODAY – Up in class, this one has just the solitary win but has an incredible 10 2nd place finishes. Could get another today.
10. CHEOLLI – First start since winning in March. Won a trial last week and could be an interesting outsider.
11. KEUNBADA – Down in class today. Big gap between the two levels so could improve.

Verdict: (4) CHEONG UN SIDAE didn’t take to 1700M last time but should be much happier dropped back to just one turn today and should try to lead gate to wire. He’ll be challenged early by (8) CUPID LADY, who also seems to be very much on the up and has solid claims herself. (1) YONGCHONG and (5) JINMYEONGGITBAL also look good for places.

Selections (4) Cheong Un Sidae (8) Cupid Lady (5) Jinmyeonggitbal (1) Yongchong
Next Best 9, 10
Fast Start 4, 8


Busan Race 5: Class Open (1600M) KNN Cup / KRW 400 Million

1. AREUMDAUNDONGHAENG – Winner of strong race over 1800M at the end of April but couldn’t follow up over 2000M last start. Can go well here.
2. QUEEN TWO HEARTS – 5th over 1400M at class 2 latest. Looks a big ask here.
3. O.K. YEONDAB – Still class 3 but 3rd in strong race last start. Big ask but top jockey comes down from Seoul to ride.
4. SANTA GLORIA – Decent filly but looks a little overmatched today.
5. HAEYA – She’s had setback after setback but she is the class horse of the race. 2nd in the Ttukseom Cup, if she’s at 100%, she wins.
6. MIGHTY GEM – Another who has had plenty of setbacks, she was a super 3rd in the last race of this series at Busan last year. 5th in Ttukseom. Strong finisher.
7. GOLD BLUE – 4th in Ttukseom Cup, finishing strongly. Extra furlong in her favour and she can find the money again.
8. OTTUG OTTUGI – Last year’s Korean Oaks winner, remarkably she’s not won since. Plenty of places though and should be there or thereabouts. She’ll join Haeya on pace early.
9. SUPREME MAGIC – The 70/1 winner of this race last year, she’s not won since but nor has she raced at a mile since. 8th in Ttukseom Cup and recent form not in her favour.
10. BLACK SAPPHIRE – Triple Nine’s half-sister enters in solid form. First time in really top company and can go well.
11. SILVER WOLF – Ttukseom Cup winnershe has to be respected. 3rd in this race last year so Busan not a problem, with a patient ride, she could do it again.
12. QUEEN’S QUEEN – Her best win has been at class 5 but she managed 6th in the Oaks last month. This is surely a bit stiff though.
13. GAENARI – This will be the furthest she’s raced but she’s a regular class 1 placer at Seoul and she could find the money. Likes to be at the front so gate not ideal.
14. THE QUEEN SILVER – Won a big prize last time over 1800M. This is much tougher though.
15. STEAL THE SHOW WHY – Class 2 winner over 1200M last time. That was back at the end of April so that is a concern, as is the distance.

Verdict: The second leg of the Queen’s Tour. The first leg was won by (11) SILVER WOLF, who beat five of her rivals here in the process. She was 3rd in this race last year so has no issues with Busan and she could do it again. 2nd that day was (5) HAEYA though and if she is at full fitness – and there’s no reason to suggest she won’t be – she is the one to beat. She’ll be on pace early alongside (8) OTTUG OTTUGI, another who if fully fit, will be a danger. Later arrivals on the scene are likely to be (1) AREUMDAUNDONGHAENG, (10) BLACK SAPPHIRE and possibly (6) MIGHTY GEM and last year’s winner (9) SUPREME MAGIC

Selections (5) Haeya (11) Silver Wolf (8) Ottug Ottugi (10) Black Sapphire
Next Best 1, 9, 6, 13
Fast Start 5, 8, 12, 13


Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
1. DANGCHAN MOSEUP – 2nd in latest two, both at class and distance. Still under a light weight today and a big chance.
2. SOKBO GANGJA – Recent form doesn’t inspire.
3. GEOM NOA – 3rd last time was a big improvement. Tougher today but can look for another solid performance. Big step up in trip.
4. EONJE EODISEONA – 2nd in similar class and distance race in May and 3rd last time at 1300M. Should be close again.
5. AREUMDAUN SIGAN – 4th start today and up to two turns for the first time. Looks to be improving.
6. ARACH CHI – Best of 3rd place was all the way back in January. Outsider here.
7. SARYEONI HEALING – A winner at this distance at class 5 in April and two solid performances at this level since. Big chance here.
8. YEONGUNG BULPAE – Occasionally sneaks the minor money but others favoured.
9. JWACHEONGNYONG – 3rd at class and distance in April but three starts since have been less than inspiring.
10. NALSSAEN GANGHO – Class 5 winner at this distance in March and solid 2nd last time out. Not impossible.
11. SWEET ROCK – Winner of three from five so far, including at this distance, and has been odds-on favourite each time. Won’t be odds-on today but is a danger.

Verdict: Competitive contest this. For the first time in his career, (11) SWEET ROCK probably won’t start as odds-on favourite. He was 6th on his first try at this level but comes in here following seven weeks off and could well return to the winner’s circle. (1) DANGCHAN MOSEUP looks very nicely in and after a couple of near misses looks poised to score while the likes of (5) AREUMDAUN SIGAN and (7) SARYEONI HEALING look to have strong claims too.

Selections (11) Sweet Rock (7) Saryeoni Healing (1) Dangchan Moseup (5) Areumdaun Sigan
Next Best 4, 10
Fast Start 1, 2, 4, 11


Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
1. CHEONJI PARK – Yet to score at class 1 but comes in with a 3rd and 5th from latest two following three months off.
2. YUSEONG DREAM – 3rd behind Approach on June 11th ahead of three of these. Well back behind Tongil Sidae the time before though.
3. TONGIL SIDAE – 5th behind Approach last start so form to make up here. Plenty of ability though.
4. APPROACH – Roared back into form with a 2nd place behind I’m Your Father on June 11th, beating four of these. Still beautifully weighted and must have a chance.
5. STEALTH – Has found his level it seems since getting up to class 1. Well back in both tries at tit, beaten by two of these both times.
6. DORAON HYEONPYO – He was out for almost a year before returning in February and seems to be rediscovering some of his old form. Beaten by Tongil Sidae and Dynamic Dash in May but can overturn that here following another ten weeks off.
7. ZETTABYTE – Class 1 winner at 1400M in February, he was the worst of the five who raced each other on June 11th. 6th that day and can sneak minor money.
8. MS. MARGAUX – Tremendous mare who always runs well. Comes in just two weeks after a great 5th in Busan Mayor’s Cup. Strong finisher and a chance.
9. SUPER CHEOLIN – Settled into class 1 well but may have a bit to find on some of these.
10. TURNPIKE – Had a real hard time of it at class 1 so far. Outsider here.
11. DYNAMIC DASH – Beaten by Tongil Sidae in May and then by Approach and Yuseong Dream last time as he ran 3rd and 4th. Can repeat this finishes today.
12. GOJI JEONGBEOL – Came back into form with a 4th place over 1200M last time. Difficult but not impossible today.

Verdict: Very tricky contest to solve this one so we’ll go with (4) APPROACH to confirm the form he showed to defeat four of his rivals here on his way to 2nd place behind subsequent Mayor’s Cup winner I’m Your Father on June 11th. (6) DORAON HYEONPYO can continue his long road back to form and get close while you can never count out the remarkable (8) MS. MARGAUX. (7) ZETTABYTE and (11) DYNAMIC DASH look to be the most likely of the others but this isn’t a race in which many can be safely ruled out.

Selections (4) Approach (8) Ms. Margaux (6) Doraon Hyeonpyo (11) Dynamic Dash
Next Best 7, 2, 5, 9
Fast Start 3, 4, 6


Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
1. PEACEFUL LIFE – Winner of two from four so far and up in class today. First try at two turns and in the frame.
2. YEOL QUEEN – Dead-heated for victory over 1200M on June 25th. First try at two turns and solid chances.
3. SUN CREST – Down in class today but still won’t be easy.
4. CHEONGCHUN YEOLCHA – Bit average in latest two but is proven at class and distance.
5. SARYEONI KING – Recent form doesn’t inspire.
6. YUJIGYEONGSEONG – Generally beats a few and is capable of finding the minor money on his day.
7. FIRE DREAM – Narrowly beaten 2nd at class and distance in April, he had a hard time in tougher company in two subsequent starts. Can get back on track today.
8. ROAD HILL – She’s had an interrupted career and races at two turns for the first time since 2015. 4th at 1300M last start, she could place today.
9. J.S. ONE – Not offered much in four outings so far this year.

Verdict: (1) PEACEFUL LIFE tries two turns for the first time and there’s no reason to suggest it won’t suit. He can lead all the way. Likewise (2) YEOL QUEEN, who dead-heated for victory last time over 1200M tackles a proper distance for the first time and is the main threat. (7) FIRE DREAM and (8) ROAD HILL best of a nicely competitive rest.

Selections (1) Peaceful Life (2) Yeol Queen (7) Fire Dream (8) Road Hill
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 1, 8


    1. They aren’t being simulcast so I didn’t add them. However, they are Race 10: 4, 9, 1, 7 (really tough race) and Race 11: 1, 3, 4, 7

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