It’s Keeneland Korea Cup Day! Full previews of both races can be found here. There is plenty going on with 10 races from 10:45 to 18:00 while Busan also runs a card from 12:40 to 17:25. Here is the race-by-race:
Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A maiden to begin with and (8) HANEUL ACE comes in having scored her best finish to date last time when running 3rd over 1200M. While she was a long way behind the winner, she ran on quite well and could make the breakthrough here. (2) DAEMYEONG SOLAR has been getting closer across her latest three. She should be on pace early and could well stay on while similarly (9) WANY K comes in after an improved 3rd last start. It looks to be between those three with (2) GREEN PARK and (5) GOLDEN SPARK, perhaps the most likely among the rest to challenge for a place.
|Selections||(8) Haneul Ace (9) Wany K (3) Daemyeong Solar (5) Golden Spark|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 7|
Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Another maiden and the wonderfully-named (3) CARROT SEEKER showed signs of improvement as after three very indifferent efforts, he ran 3rd over 1200M on August 11th, handily beating a couple of others who go here. It was a slow race and he’ll need to improve again but if he does, he can win. (6) SO ARA DAEWANG was 4th behind Carrot Seeker in that race, her first at further than the minimum distance and he too can build on it here. (7) GRAND DOLPUNG is the only one of this field who has a 2nd place to his name, achieved over 1000M in June. He’s been 3rd at this distance too and is likely to join Carrot Seeker on the early lead with solid claims to make a breakthrough of his own here. (2) COUNTRY SONG and first-timer starter (1) DAEHAN ILPUM look the best of a limited rest.
|Selections||(3) Carrot Seeker (6) So Ara Daewang (7) Grand Dolpung (1) Daehan Ilpum|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 7|
Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
It’s juvenile maidens only here with precisely half the field having raced at least once before and the other half making their debuts. (2) CHOEGANG STAR, 5th on debut in a competitive time on July 21st returns for a second go after seven weeks off and looks to be the one to beat. With Manoel Nunes in the saddle, he’ll look to lead from the gate and should go all the way. Among the others who have raced already, (3) WONDERFUL EVIL looks the best. He was 4th on debut before beating a couple of the others who go here on his way to 6th on his re-appearance. That leaves the debut-makers and (12) JANGSAN FLY won his trial in a quick time and should go well first up with (6) WHITE VELVET and (8) BUCKETFUL GOLD both looked competent when trialing up together in August.
|Selections||(2) Choegang Star (12) Jangsan Fly (6) White Velvet (3) Wonderful Evil|
|Next Best||8, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 7, 8, 12|
Race 4: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(2) RAON ZEUS comes in having won two in a row, the latest of which was a seven-length romp over 1400M at the end of July. He’s up in both class and distance here but has every chance of continuing the excellent start to his career. It won’t be easy though. (3) KING POSE is up in class too following victory at 1300M four weeks ago. He came very close to winning at this distance in June and should be a real threat. The one they both need to beat though is (1) ECTON SINHWA. Already a class and distance winner, she came close to a repeat a month ago, having to settle for 2nd place but still beating three of the others who go here. She isn’t giving weight away and can win here. (5) MONSTER QUEEN was 3rd behind Ecton Sinhwa last time and can look to get close again while (7) SHARK DAEJANGGEUN looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(1) Ecton Sinhwa (2) Raon Zeus (3) King Pose (5) Monster Queen|
|Next Best||7, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 9|
Race 5: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Competitive race this but returning from a couple of months out, (9) K.N. BLUE could back up his class and distance win achieved in June. He’s actually won two of his last three, both of them at this distance and while he carries plenty of weight today, he can get forward early and win once more. Co top-weight (4) ROYAL AMOS ran a good 2nd at class and distance last time and looks like the main danger. (7) LONG HITTER was well-beaten by Royal Amos last time but prior to that registered two solid runner-up finishes and may be considered here. (6) INCHEON CHAMP and (1) KYE RI can both improve on the 6th and 7th places they scored when racing each other three weeks ago. The latter of the pair looked lively when winning a trial last week. (2) ARCH ARCH is another who is perhaps a little better than recent form suggests
|Selections||(9) K.N. Blue (4) Royal Amos (6) Incheon Champ (1) Kye Ri|
|Next Best||7, 2|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 7, 9|
Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
Juvenile maiden (plus one southern-hemisphere three-year-old) open to foreign bred runners.. Only two have raced before and one of those is the sole Korean bred entrant. That’s (6) SKY JUMP, who has won one of three starts and been 4th on the other two. She’s a tiny little filly who has weighed in at less than 400kg for each of her starts so far but she’s got a bit of pace about her and only carries 50kg. She could go close. The favourite is likely to be (8) HAVANA CHARLIE, an Adios Charlie gelding who looked very good in trials, making all in a fast time. Uncle Mo filly (1) GAON QUEEN and that southern hemisphere three-year-old (2) GOLD HAMMER, a Roman Emperor colt, also won their trials and should go well first up too. Another trial winner was (4) MIGHTY WING and he rounds out the top line of contenders in a race from which a couple of decent prospects may emerge.
|Selections||(8) Havana Charlie (1) Gaon Queen (2) Gold Hammer (6) Sky Jump|
|Next Best||4, 9, 5|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 6, 8|
Race 7: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(3) JUMEOK DOKKI didn’t take to 1700M last start but drops back in trip today and looks nicely in here. His 5th place at this distance in late June was in tougher company than this and he can return to the winner’s circle today. (7) MAMBO KHAN won three of his first five starts before suffering some setbacks. He returns today after almost eight months off having trialed up very encouragingly last week. He will join Jumeok Dokki on the early pace and can go well. (6) MIGHTY MAMBO drops back in trip today. Last time he ran at this distance in June he was a close 2nd and can get close again. (1) STRONG MAN enters off back to back runner-up finishes and while up in class, should be in the placing frame once more while (2) SIMON RICH is another capable of finding the money.
|Selections||(3) Jumeok Dokki (7) Mambo Khan (6) Mighty Mambo (1) Strong Man|
|Fast Start||3, 7, 6|
Race 8: Class Open “The Korea Sprint” (KOR G1) 1200m Weight For Age / KRW 700 Million
Five international runners take on eight local sprinters here and it’s anyone’s race. We’ll go with Japanese raider (9) MOANIN under the guidance of Kanichiro Fujii to get the win but it certainly won’t be easy. US raider (12) CHUBLICIOUS has looked very good since arriving and should take to the track well while Hong Kong’s (13) FIGHT HERO must be respected too. On the Korean side, (2) TODAY has been drawn well and could possibly overturn the form on (7) DORAONPOGYEONGSEON who beat him in the SBS Sports Sprint here in June. Doraonpogyeongseon is the kind of horse who generally steps up when challenged though so shouldn’t be discounted himself. An interesting outsider could be (1) PERDIDO POMEROY. While his Spring campaign this year didn’t go especially well, he was absolutely flying in a trial at Busan last Saturday and from gate 1 will surely lead early. They’ll have to come past him.
|Selections||(9) Moanin (7) Doraonpogyeongseon (12) Chublicious (2) Today|
|Next Best||13, 1, 5, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 8|
Race 9: Class Open “The Korea Cup” (KOR G1) 1800m Weight For Age / KRW 1 Billion
It’s the moment of truth for (13) CHEONGDAM DOKKI. Korea’s superstar is drawn alongside last year’s winner (14) LONDON TOWN in Korea’s most valuable race and both will be looking to get on the early speed here and they are favourites to dispute the prize. London Town’s build up to the race may not have quite as impressive as it was a year ago but he may still have enough to successfully defend his crown. (2) DOLKONG made a hugely impressive return to racing a month ago. He’ll sit behind the early speed and will come through strongly late on. (1) FOREST RANGER and (6) RIVEN LIGHT have both impressed in work this week and both are established group race horses in Europe. Theyhave drawn well and will be in the hunt. Longer shots who may go well include (12) CHEONJI STORM and Singapore’s (9) MAXIMUS as well, of course, as (15) CLEAN UP JOY.
|Selections||(14) London Town (13) Cheongdam Dokki (2) Dolkong (6) Riven Light|
|Next Best||1, 12, 9, 15|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 12, 13, 14|
Race 10: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Back down to Earth with this class 5 contest to finish up the weekend. It’s competitive too although (7) SOMETHING DELIGHT is the pick. A winner on debut in April, he’s gone close in three subsequent starts and ran creditably (despite being the beaten favourite) on his first try at this distance last time out. (4) BURUI GORI is next best stepping up to this trip for the first time. He’s still chasing his first maiden win but it could come here. (3) GIGA LIGHT and (11) SPECIAL WINNER came home 1st and 2nd at this class over 1400M on July 22nd and both are in the hunt here. (2) SHAR NAO looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(7) Something Delight (4) Burui Gori (3) Giga Light (11) Special Winner|
|Next Best||2, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5, 7|
Race 1 Selections: 3, 1, 6, 5
Race 2: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(7) SAKISAKI got her maiden win at the ninth time of asking last start. She steps up to a mile for the first time here but looks to have every chance of backing straight up with another win. (2) I’M ADELE beat a couple of these on his way to 2nd place over 1400M on July 15th. He remains a maiden but has run well at this distance before and should be in at least the placing hunt. One of those I’m Adele beat that day was (10) GASOK TRIPLE. She returned to form three weeks later with a 2nd place of her own at today’s distance on August 5th. Her solitary victory so far came at a mile and she has every chance here. (4) BULMYEORUIMARIPGAN and (11) ONNURI GANGJA look best of the rest.
|Selections||(7) Sakisaki (10) Gasok Triple (2) I’m Adele (11) Onnuri Gangja|
|Next Best||4, 3|
|Fast Start||3, 10|
Race 3: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(1) TANGY BITE returned from five months off a winner at class and distance three weeks ago. He has an extra 4kg to carry today but can repeat. (3) WONDERFUL MEMORY was well back in the field that day but didn’t do himself justice and is worth another chance today. He’ll be on the early pace along with (5) YONGGU, who enters off the back of consecutive 3rd place finishes behind good horses and should be looking to at least match that today. (2) MABEOPUI JILJU and (4) WHITE POINT, the latter up in class following a five-length score over this distance on August 17th, are others capable of going close in what looks a nice and competitive affair.
|Selections||(1) Tangy Bite (5) Yonggu (3) Wonderful Memory (2) Mabeopui Jilju|
|Fast Start||3, 5|
Race 4: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Small but competitive field here with several having chances. (1) BLUE TIME was a good class and distance winner on June 17th, coming off the pace to comfortably score. He comes in after twelve weeks off and can repeat. (8) CORE BLADE won three of her first six starts before suffering a setback. She’s back racing for the first times since winning in March and while her trial was only ordinary, she can be backed to go well first-up. (2) ICE LEG is up in class but should still be competitive while (4) BAEDARI GOSU and (5) CHEONNYEONUI BADA are others to consider. The latter is up in class following a ten-length win over 1300M in August.
|Selections||(1) Blue Time (8) Core Blade (5) Cheonnyeonui Bada (2) Ice Leg|
|Next Best||4, 6|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 6|
Race 5: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(5) JILJU CHOEGANG has shown promise across three starts so far with his best finish of 3rd coming over 1400M in June 29th. The Into Mischief colt isn’t the quickest of starters but he can find a good position here from gate 5 and finish strongly. (2) BOGOINNA and (4) U S MAN came home 2nd and 3rd with just a neck between them when they raced each other at class and distance on August 17th and both can challenge for higher positions here. (6) GO JJANG and (3) PAEGWON TONGIL are others who enter with recent form reading reasonably well and who can challenge for some prize money.
|Selections||(5) Jilju Choegang (2) Bogoinna (4) U S Man (6) Go Jjang|
|Next Best||3, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 9, 11|
Race 6: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(5) DYNAMIC STAR started his career really strongly and while he has found things tougher since reaching this level, he comes in having run a good 4th over class and distance back on July 13th. He’ll likely be close to the front early and is favourite to return to the winner’s circle here. (3) SEGI GANGJA steps up to this distance for the first time having beaten four of these on his way to 2nd place over a mile on August 17th and he should be in the frame. However, a couple of those who finished behind him that day, principally (6) GABOGAPJJANG and (1) MAJOR CHAMP, could well go better at 1800M today (7) UNSEOK won four in a row between March and July. He came 3rd behind two very good ones over 1600M three weeks ago which gets him promoted to this class and while this will be tough, he shouldn’t be ruled out.
|Selections||(5) Dynamic Star (3) Segi Gangja (7) Unseok (6) Gabogapjjang|
|Next Best||1, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 5, 12|