He’s currently the most exciting horse in Korea and on Sunday, Cheongdam Dokki (To Honor And Serve) will line up against seven rivals – six of whom he’s beaten before – in the Herald Business Cup over 2000M at Seoul Racecourse. He faces Clean Up Joy, who won the race last year, as well as Sinjo Daehyeop and Shamrocker. The Herald Business is race 9 on an eleven-race card at Seoul which runs from 10:45 to 18:00. At Busan, there are six races from 12:40 to 17:05.
See below for Busan Selections:
Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Competitive opener and (5) SONGAM JEUNE beat a couple of these on her way to a solid 2nd place on what was just her second start on March 24th and has every chance of matching or even bettering today. She’ll be on pace early alongside (7) BAEKDUI TAEYANG, himself a good 2nd at the distance last time and likely to be well supported. The one to beat though might well be (1) HAENGBOK STAR. He’s come 4th and 3rd in his two prior outings and the extra half furlong today may be what he needs to get home in front. (9) GANADORA and first-time starter, the modestly named (3) THE KING, are others who can go close.
|Selections||(5) Songam Jeune (1) Haengbok Star (3) The King (7) Baekdui Taeyang|
|Next Best||9, 4|
|Fast Start||5, 7, 9|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old fillies only here and almost any of them could win. Simon Foster’s (3) SURFING POINT ran poorly on debut but improved last time. David Breux returns to the mount today and she has as much of a claim as any of them. (7) BETTINA and (2) MORAN DONGBEAK came home 2nd and 4th respectively when they raced each other at this distance back in January. Bettina races for the first time since then here while Moran Dongbeak has gone on to put in another couple of promising performances and both may be considered here. (6) STAR LIST did little on debut but could improve today while (8) ENJOY MY SHOW has a 2nd place to her name and could repeat in what is a very modest contest.
|Selections||(3) Surfing Point (7) Bettina (2) Moran Dongbeak (6) Star List|
|Next Best||8, 4, 12|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 8|
Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-olds only and it’s another rather weak maiden. There is, however, an interesting debut-maker in the shape of (3) PRINCE OF SUN. He’s a half-brother to US based Dubai Golden Shaheen winner Mind Your Biscuits and has trialled up impressively. His Korea-based half-brother Baeksan Yeowang hasn’t exactly pulled up trees so far but Prince Of Sun could well have enough to win this. (6) GANGSANUI ACHIM and (11) STRONG LIGHT both come in off 3rd place finishes last time in very similar strength races to this, so both should be looking to at least repeat. (10) RAON OPTIMUS races for the first time since running reasonably well over 1700M in January and can be considered for improvement. (12) RUSSEL showed his first signs of potential ability when running 5th of 12 in an admittedly slow race at this distance a month ago and is another one to take into consideration.
|Selections||(3) Prince Of Sun (6) Gangsanui Achim (10) Raon Optimus (11) Strong Light|
|Next Best||12, 5|
|Fast Start||5, 7, 8, 11|
Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Decent race with plenty entering having shown very solid recent form. The pick of them though is (3) WOOSEORA ICHEON who just came up short when favourite at class and distance on March 24th, his second consecutive runner-up finish. He is well drawn once more to get on pace early and can complete the job this time. (4) JEONGSANG DOLPUNG and (11) BOLD SHINING also come in having performed strongly at this class in their latest efforts and they should be close. Jeongsang Dolpung’s most recent was 2nd at 1000M and he looks ready to take on a longer trip today. Three of the field are up in class following maiden wins last time although for (5) RULE OF SUM, that was a full fourteen months ago. The pick of the up and comers is (10) FRENCH STAR, who also tries further than the minimum distance for the first time.
|Selections||(3) Wooseora Icheon (4) Jeongsang Dolpung (11) Bold Shining (10) French Star|
|Next Best||6, 12, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 10|
Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
A couple of standouts here although both will need to bounce back from slightly below-par showings last start. (6) YAHO SMART CAT won his first two races but could only manage 4th on his first try at both this class and at further than the minimum distance on March 24th. Hopefully he can have come on for that and can return to top form today. He’s likely to drop in just below the early speed which should be set by (10) BRILLIANT. He won two in a row, both at 1300M to rapidly move up to this level but came unstuck when tried at 1700M three weeks ago, He should be much happier back around one turn today. Those two should battle it out but (5) M.J. ROAD is up in class following a decent win at the distance just over a month ago and could be competitive while (4) HAWAII BOSS and (11) SUPER TRICK won’t be friendless in the market either.
|Selections||(6) Yaho Smart Cat (10) Brilliant (5) M.J. Road (11) Super Trick|
|Next Best||12, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 7, 10|
Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(4) MONTEVIDEO has never been worse than 5th in his five career outings and led for the majority of his latest start on March 24th, only to be passed late and having to settle for 2nd place. He steps back slightly in trip, should be on the speed again and looks to have a great chance to make the breakthrough. There are dangers though. (1) MAKJIMA was a useful 3rd at the distance last time and can go close again while (3) PHILIPPOS finished in the same position over 1300M and should be competitive too. After debuting unimpressively at 1300M last summer, all four of (8) CYBER’s subsequent outings have been over 1000M. He’s come up short as favourite in his latest two and gets sent up in trip for the first time. He should challenge Montevideo for the lead and could go all the way. Debut-maker (5) IGYEOJUMA has been through numerous trials and looked decent when winning the latest of them at the end of March and may be considered first-up.
|Selections||(4) Montevideo (3) Philippos (1) Makjima (8) Cyber|
|Next Best||5, 2|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 8, 9|
Race 7: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(12) AEMA BISANG beat (7) MENI TURBO by half a length as the pair finished 2nd and 3rd at class and distance on March 10th. Meni Turbo was favourite that day, having defeated Aema Bisang on her way to 2nd place at the distance in February and she can get it right again today for a stable that has been coming into form of late. (1) HAEKHANGGONGMOHAM comes in having been 2nd at class and distance four weeks ago and should join Meni Turbo on the early speed and has every chance of at least a repeat. (11) YEONDARA has plenty of experience at this level and should come close once more. (9) MAGIC AI is up in class following her second win in five outings in what was a good race for class 5 a month ago and can’t be ruled out.
|Selections||(7) Meni Turbo (1) Haekhanggongmoham (9) Magic Ai (11) Yeondara|
|Next Best||12, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 4, 6, 7|
Race 8: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Seven of these raced each other over class and distance on March 24th (race 6). (6) BROWN BOMBER finished the best of them that day in 2nd place and while he carries an additional 3kg today, he can repeat that today and win this time. Of the ones behind him that day, (7) WONDERFUL CHAMPION was only half a length back and can challenge once more. The others have a bit more to find with (1) ROYAL TANK and (4) GWASOK DOLPUNG perhaps most likely to find it. It’s possible, however, that the biggest threat didn’t run in that race. (5) SPEED IS KHAN ran at the same distance a week earlier on March 17th, finishing a good 2nd and looks to have more scope for improvement.
|Selections||(6) Brown Bomber (7) Wonderful Champion (5) Speed Is Khan (1) Royal Tank|
|Next Best||4, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 8, 12|
Race 9: Class Open – Herald Business Cup (2000M) / Allowance / KRW 250 Million
- SINJO DAEHYEOP – Made all to comfortably defeat Wonder Bolt, Shamrocker, Space Port and Cheonjeok over 2300M in February and should beat them again but was soundly defeated when he met Cheongdam Dokki last at 1800M last September. His form gives hope, however, and while he is still a long-shot to beat Cheongdam Dokki, if the favourite makes any mistakes, it is not impossible that he could take advantage.
- SHAMROCKER – 4th behind Cheongdam Dokki and Clean Up Joy at this distance in January. That day he took on Cheongdam Dokki for speed early which always seemed doomed to failure and indeed was. He then ran 4th again behind Sinjo Daehyeop and Wonder Bolt at 2300M last time out. Good horse but perhaps lost his way a little.
- WONDER BOLT – 3rd behind Sinjo Daehyeop in January and dropped back to the sprint distances he made his name at to run 2nd to Silver Wolf in a decent 1200M handicap on March 25th. Well back behind Cheongdam Dokki in January, he has plenty to make-up.
- SPACE PORT – Returned to action after a long layoff in January but hasn’t impressed and looks to be overmatched here. Will go back at the start and hope to pass a couple later in the race.
- CHEONJEOK – It’s been a long time since he was competitive at this level. Beaten by plenty of these in recent efforts and almost certainly will be again.
- STRONG ROAD – A while since his last win but his recent form has been encouraging. 3rd behind Clean Up Joy n March and then 4th at this distance two weeks ago. Tough ask here though and unlikely to find the money. The only one of these who Cheongdam Dokki hasn’t beaten – they’ve never met.
- CHEONGDAM DOKKI – Currently the most exciting horse in Korea; even though he didn’t win the Grand Prix, the way he ran made for an absolutely brutal contest and he still managed to come 4th. Easily beat Clean Up Joy, Shamrocker and Wonder Bolt on his only appearance so far this year. There’s an enforced jockey change today with Lim Gi Won replacing the injured Moon Se Young but they tuned up together in a trial at the end of March and he will be expected to lead gate to wire.
- CLEAN UP JOY – Last year’s winner. In January, he finished strongly to get within three-lengths of Cheongdam Dokki before returning to the winner’s circle at this distance in March. Cheongdam Dokki has finished in front of him in all of their meetings so far but he still looks to be the most credible threat.
Verdict: (7) CHEONGDAM DOKKI continue to assert his dominance over Seoul by making all to win comfortably. The tactics of the others may be interesting. In January, (2) SHAMROCKER challenged Cheongdam Dokki for the lead early and pushed him hard. While it ultimately did Shamrocker no good, what it did do, no doubt inadvertently, was set up his stablemate (8) CLEAN UP JOY for a strong finish and while he only got to within three lengths, Cheongdam Dokki was perhaps feeling a touch of pressure by the end. Whether anything takes him on today, is the big question. Clean Up Joy again looks the most likely should Cheongdam Dokki be beaten although (1) SINJO DAEHYEOP goes very well at this distance and is perhaps better than when the favourite beat him by fourteen lengths last September. Shamrocker’s recent results have been disappointing but he still should beat a few here while (3) WONDER BOLT too is capable of a good run.
|Selections||(7) Cheongdam Dokki (8) Clean Up Joy (1) Sinjo Daehyeop (2) Shamrocker|
Race 10: Class 3 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(8) ARGO AWESOME was a very good 2nd over 1900M on his first try at this level on March 17th. In his prior start in February, he was a solid class 4 winner at this distance and he is the one to beat today. He will likely take a sit early behind (1) OKAY QUEEN, a filly with good potential who steps up in both class and distance following a victory over 1300M a month ago. She should be able to stay on and compete at the business end of the race. Another filly with plenty of potential is (4) MAGIC TEN. She saw her run of four consecutive victories come to an end when stepped up to 1800M for her first try at this class last time but should be given another chance here. Those three look the prime contenders but don’t rule out strong showings from (2) CHEONHABI and (6) NEW WHY FI.
Race 11: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(6) GOLDEN BLACK is up in class having finished 2nd on debut in February and then narrowly winning by a nose on reappearance in March. He also steps up in trip to 1400M for the first time but is very nicely weighted and has every chance. (8) MONEY BLADE was a narrow winner at class and distance on March 25th, making all to win by a neck. After a couple of setbacks in stiff company around the turn of the year, he’s now won two from five in total and could repeat. (1) SHARK RUN was a winner at 1300M a month ago and should get close again. (7) SOJUNGHAN SOMANG and (11) JINGYEOGUI TYRANNO are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(6) Golden Black (8) Money Blade (1) Shark Run (7) Sojunghan Somang|
|Next Best||11, 3|
|Fast Start||4, 7, 11, 12|
Busan Selections (On Friday there were numerous withdrawals at Busan due to a prohibited substance being detected in feed – horses who may have been exposed were withdrawn as a precaution with so far four stables affected. Selections are made based on no withdrawals, but note not all of these may run.
Race 1: 10, 2, 3, 7
Race 2: 5, 6, 2, 10
Race 3: 9, 6, 4, 7
Race 4: 4, 10, 6, 11
Race 5: 1, 7, 12, 2
Race 6: 3, 1, 2, 4