Globe-trotting jockey Alan Munro will finally make his Korea bow on Saturday. The English Classic winning rider begins an initial four-month license at Seoul Racecourse with five rides across the weekend.
Alan Munro rode his first winner in 1985, aged 18 at Yarmouth, serving his apprenticeship under Barry Hills and Mel Brittain becoming a fully-fledged rider in 1990. A year later, shortly after becoming retained jockey for Prince Fahd Salman he won the Epsom Derby on Generous, trained by Paul Cole. The pair would go on to win the Irish Derby and then the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Munro continued to meet with success throughout the early and mid-1990’s, winning Group races on two continents with Zoman in 1992 before relocating to Hong Kong. There he would win both the Hong Kong Gold Cup and Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Industrialist in 2000.
After taking four years away from the sport, Munro returned to action in the UK in 2005 where he won the Northumberland Plate, Ebor and Cesarewitch on the popular Sergeant Cecil. Since leaving the UK permanently in 2010, Munro has plied his trade around Asia with stints on the NAR circuit in Japan, in Mauritius and most recently in Singapore.
Munro kicks off his Seoul stint on previously unraced three-year-old filly Daegun OK in race 1 on Saturday and also has rides for trainer Kim Hak Soo and Song Moon Gil later in the day. Here’s the race-by-race:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maiden fillies to begin with. Only two have raced before and for one of those, it was eight months ago. The other one, (4) BEST SINHWA didn’t do too much wrong on debut and can match the 4th place she achieved that day. (7) GEUM STAR performed very nicely in her trial, getting out of the gate well and leading for much of it. She should go well first-up. (3) TAP LINE was just a couple of lengths behind in the same heat and can also be competitive. That was Tap Line’s second trial having previously run 2nd to (6) COMPLETE SHOCK, who is another who looks to potentially have some talent. (1) WINNER SAY and (2) CHOWON MARU are others who may be backed first-up here.
|Selections||(7) Geum Star (3) Tap Line (2) Chowon Maru (1) Winner Say|
|Next Best||6, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 7, 10|
Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(9) BINNANEUN RUBY is the likely favourite here. She’s a fifteen-race maiden but recent form reads well, and she beat a couple of these on her way to a close 3rd place at the distance a month ago. She can settle behind a pace that will probably be set by (1) BULUI QUEEN, who steps up in trip following a couple of encouraging performances at 1000M. (3) SPECIAL BIRD is another who will aim for a fast start. She ran 4th at this distance last time and should be looking to better it here. (8) BAEKDU GEOPO and (12) A ONE HAMMER are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(9) Binnaneun Ruby (1) Bului Queen (3) Special Bird (8) Baekdu Geopo|
|Next Best||12, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 6, 12|
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A competitive maiden for three-year-olds. Both (2) SIMJANGUI GODONG and (6) JEONGSANG STAR come in having finished 3rd on their respective debuts. Both are firmly in the hunt here with Simjangui Godong marginally favoured. (1) HEUK JEONSA was an improved 2nd behind Jeongsang Star last time and can continue his progress today. (3) EX BLADE similarly ran pleasingly enough for 5th on his debut last month and may appreciate the extra distance here. There are four first-timers and among them, (10) SPADE MASHIE looks the pick. He showed promise on a trail at the beginning of this month looks nicely placed here.
|Selections||(2) Simjangui Godong (6) Jeongsang Star (10) Spade Mashie (1) Heuk Jeonsa|
|Next Best||3, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 9|
Race 4: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Maidens with seven of the twelve trying two-turns for the first time. (4) MYEONGMA JILU has a best of 3rd from three starts so far. That was at 1000M, but she ran well enough over 1300M last time to suggest she can be a factor here. (3) SINUI CHUKBOK has also only appeared three times, all of them at 1000M. She too has shown a little bit of promise and may suit the big step up in trip. (11) EVERYTHING WIN beat a couple of these on her way to 4th place at 1300M on January 26th and could be ready to give two-turns another shot here. Similarly (7) CHA MARU, who has a 4th place to his name at this distance – albeit almost a year ago – enters with recent form reading positively and can go close. (10) LUCKY FACTORY looks best of a very mediocre rest.
|Selections||(4) Myeongma Jilju (11) Everything Win (7) Cha Maru (3) Sinui Chukbok|
|Next Best||10, 2|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 7|
Race 5: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Two standouts here and they’ll be coming out of the widest gates. (11) BULHUUI MYEONGGOG got his maiden win at the 21st time of asking on January 12th at this distance. The time before he was just beaten a nose. He does carry an additional 4kg today, but he can repeat. (12) MASYA remains a maiden following ten attempts but has come close in her latest two, just going down by half a length over 1300M last time. She tries two-turns for the first time here and it may well suit. (6) BAEKDUI TAEYANG and (9) FIRST QUEEN, the latter 5th behind Bulhuui Myeonggog last month, should both be competitive while (4) HANSEN BAROWS could well get an uncontested lead – he didn’t stay on last time that happened, but gets another chance here.
|Selections||(12) Masya (11) Bulhuui Myeonggog (4) Hansen Barows (9) First Queen|
|Next Best||6, 2|
|Fast Start||4, 6|
Race 6: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Back to three-year-old maidens here. (9) TO THE VICTORY has been getting closer to victory across three starts. She was a well-beaten 2nd last time at 1000M but should be on pace early here and with a little more progress, can make the breakthrough. (1) WONDERFUL BRUSH has been a touch inconsistent over four outings but has a pair of 4ths to his name already and should improve here. (4) DAE YONGWANG has started knocking at the door too and can come sin following a 3rd and a 4th, the latter at this trip. (7) INDIAN BOSS was a much-improved 2nd last time and can aim to match today. (11) QUEEN OF CAMP looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(9) To The Victory (1) Wonderful Brush (4) Dae Yongwang (7) Indian Boss|
|Next Best||11, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 8, 9, 11|
Race 7: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Fillies only here and (8) MAMMA ROMA was 2nd on her first try at this class on February 3rd having previously landed her maiden win at this distance a month earlier. She looks to have promise and is the one to beat. It’s a good-looking race though. (1) SMILE GIRL was a winner on debut in December and ran 4th on her re-appearance four weeks ago. She’ll be on pace early and could go all the way. (5) MUNG CHI is up in class and distance following a narrow win over 1000M last month and should be competitive. (2) SUN QUEEN ran 4th in a similar race to this last time and can aim to repeat. The wildcard is (4) SUPER YEOWANG, who races for the first time since winning last June. She trialled adequately and could go close.
|Selections||(8) Mamma Roma (1) Smile Girl (5) Mung Chi (2) Sun Queen|
|Next Best||4, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 6|
Race 8: Class 4 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(11) MIGHTY M has a 4th and a 2nd form two starts so far and has beaten three of these along the way. He missed out by less than a length last time and the Mission Impazible colt can get it right today. (3) JOUNIGA was 5th behind Mighty M last time and can seek to get closer today although others will pose stiffer challenges. (7) GISELLE GOEMUL has had plenty of bad luck so far including stumbling at the start last time. He recovered to run 5th and if he gets a clean run today, should be in the mix. (2) KILUI JEWANG and (10) DONGBANG JIJON came home 3rd and 5th respectively when they raced each other in a similar contest to this on January 19th and both should be in the hunt for more prize money today.
|Selections||(11) Mighty M (7) Giselle Goemul (2) Kilui Jewang (10) Dongbang Jijon|
|Next Best||3, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 4|
Race 9: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Three of the ten are up in class having landed their maiden wins on the respective latest starts. All three of (2) WONDERFUL HENNESSY, (3) STRIDE UP and (4) BLACK POKKYEOKGI have potential and all should be competitive here with Wonderful Hennessy the slightly more preferred of the three at this point in time. The one they’ll all need to beat though is (1) TAP LUCK. He has a 2nd and a 3rd in two starts to date at this class and should go close again. Among the others, the very experienced (10) SARYEONI KING comes in off the back of two encouraging runs at 1000M and can go well again.
|Selections||(2) Wonderful Hennessy (1) Tap Luck (3) Stride Up (4) Black Pokkyeokgi|
|Next Best||10, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 9, 10|
Race 10: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
(1) MAGICAL CHOICE stepped up to this class and distance for the first time on January 27th and ran a solid 3rd, beating no fewer than five of these in the process. He was drawn wide that day and was unable to get to his favoured forward position. It should be different here and he should win. Having said that, the one he beat that day most likely won’t be the principle dangers he faces here. (6) BEONGAE LION and (4) BURUI GORI are up in class having finished 2nd and 3rd over 1700M last month. Burui Gori looks to have plenty of potential and should overturn that form today and get close. (2) HWANGGEUM JUMEONI is also up in class following a good win at 1700M and should be in the frame. (7) SHARK DAEJANGGEUN and (10) PALPAL VICTORY, who can have a line drawn through his latest, are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(1) Magical Choice (4) Burui Gori (7) Shark Daejanggeun (10) Palpal Victory|
|Next Best||2, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 5|
Race 11: Class 2 (2000M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
Absolutely anything could win this but we’re going to go with the up and comer. That’s (6) TIZ PLAN, a winner of four from eight so far. He was beaten by a couple of these on his first try at this distance last month but he’s slightly down in the weights today and with Antonio Da Silva aboard, he can win. Those two who beat him are (11) HWANGGEUM BISANG, who can e 4th and (3) JISANGMYEONGRYEONG who was 5th. Both will be dangers again although bigger threat may be (12) DAEBAKIDA. He returned from six months off to run a strong 3rd at 1800M in January and looks set to go well here. Wildcard is (1) JEJUI HANEUL. She won the Oaks in 2017 and on her day is capable.
|Selections||(6) Tiz Plan (12) Daebakida (1) Jejui Haneul (11) Hwanggeum Bisang|
|Next Best||3, 8|
|Fast Start||4, 8|
Race 12: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Strong race to conclude with. (7) JILPUNGGACHI has won two in a row to get promoted to this level. It’s his first time at further than 1000M but he should be able to cope with it. (6) BEST BULLET comes in having run 3rd and 4th in his latest two, both similar races to this and he’ll surely be close. (4) ULTRA CHAMPION and (11) GULCHARMNAMUSUP are both last start winners at this class and while both have done their best work at 1000M, they can’t be ruled out. (12) RAON SIRIUS ran well for 3rd over 1300M a month ago and is another who should be in the frame here. The wildcard is (10) GYORYONG UNU, who tends to be either great or dreadful – with more than a fair share of bad luck too. If he manages to avoid trouble, he could pull off a surprise.
|Selections||(6) Best Bullet (7) Jilpunggcachi (10) Gyoryong Unu (12) Raon Sirius|
|Next Best||4, 11, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 5, 9, 10|