Month: April 2019

Exchange Race Round-Up: Medici Glory Impresses At Seoul, Wolsley Doubles At Busan

There were four valuable exchange races in Korea on Sunday, two of them restricted to locally-bred three-year-old fillies and two for three-year-old imports. Here’s what happened:

Tokyo City Keiba Trophy

9/1 chance Smile Girl (Federalist), trained by Lee Shin Young and ridden by Lee Hyeok came through late to snatch victory after pre-race favourite Match Queen weakened badly in the home straight. Daddy Glory was 2nd while Luigi Riccardi’s Mamma Roma closed late for a worthy 3rd.

Jockey Club of Turkey (TJK) Trophy

Medici Glory (Gemologist) put in the performance of the day to crush what had looked to be a very strong field. Trained by Song Moon Gil and ridden by Yoo Seung-wan, the US import defeated Havana Charlie and the previously unbeaten Global Captain, by ten-lengths in a fast time.

Selangor Turf Club Trophy

Peter Wolsley’s filly Top Of World (Federalist) put herself firmly into the Oaks picture registering her fourth win on her seventh start and her first since last September. Thomas Gillespie’s Yeonggwangui Sidae came home 2nd to make it a foreign-trainer quinella.

China Horse Industry Association Trophy

Peter Wolsley completed a double, saddling Pro Consul (Freedom Child) to victory. The US import, who was ridden by Seo Seung-un moves on to three wins from five and is unbeaten in two this year.

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Exchange Race Sunday: Seoul & Busan – Race-By-Race Preview (April 14)

Sunday sees International Exchange races at both Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:40 to 17:05) and this year, an intriguing program has been put together for three-year-old fillies and imported horses of the same age. Just over a month out from the Oaks, it’s a chance to see some of the leading fancies for the fillies’ Classic and in the other races, to see some of the hottest young imported talent racing against each other. Here are the previews with horse-by-horse comments for the Exchange races (Busan below): 

Spring Back KRA

Spring Back is among the exciting young imports in action on Sunday

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A maiden for fillies only to kick things off and with a 5th and a 3rd from her two starts so far, (2) MENI GRAND is set to be hot favourite to make her breakthrough here. (8) SOLID was much-improved 2nd on her second career start over 1000M last month. She’s out of a Korean Group winner and while she is back up in trip can continue to make progress here. (5) JIOBANA similarly improved on her latest outing and tries this distance for the first time. She may benefit from Alan Munro in the saddle today. (3) COLORS DE LAGO and first-time starter (7) CHOEGANG GONGJU are others to take note of.

Selections (2) Meni Grand (8) Solid (5) Jiobana (7) Choegang Gongju
Next Best 3, 9
Fast Start 3, 5, 8

Race 2: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) RICH RULES was a winner on debut and then ran 3rd on her first try at this class on March 2nd. She’ll be on pace here and has every chance of coming out on top. The other standout is (4) GAL IP. She got her maiden win on her fifth start last time and while up in class today, there looks to be more to come from her. She’ll be challenging for the lead early too. (8) SEMYEONG GISANG was a good 2nd on his first try at this level last month and is another who can go close. (9) GEUP HAENG MA drops back in trip after winning at the level over 1300M on March 10th and must be taken seriously too.

Selections (3) Rich Rules (4) Gal Ip (8) Semyeong Gisang (9) Geup Haeng Ma
Next Best 6, 5
Fast Start 1, 3, 8

Race 3: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Could it be (4) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON’s time at last? She remains a maiden following sixteen attempts but is by no means a bad racehorse with four 2nds and four 3rds to her name. The latest 2nd was last time, in a decent race at this distance and it could finally be her day. Should she find one or two too quick again then (1) WILD FIGHT and (8) GO GO BI look leading contenders. Both have a best of 3rd place from three starts apiece and have improvement in them. (12) CHAPEL ACE has three wins to his name and showed signs of a return to form with a good 2nd last time. There is one debut-maker and (6) FLORIDA POWER gone well in two trials and arrives with decent claims to go well first-up.

Selections (4) Kkeuleojuneun Son (8) Go Go Bi (1) Wild Fight (12) Chapel Ace
Next Best 6, 9
Fast Start 3, 5, 9

Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(10) FULL MOON OCEAN has shown steady progress across four starts so far, all at this distance, culminating in 2nd place last time. He’s a front-runner so will need to overcome the wide-draw but he’s the one they need to beat here. (5) JANGSAN EX similarly improved on his second outing, running a good 4th and can maintain his momentum here while (6) O PI M J was disappointing when well-backed over 1300M last start and should be better eased back in trip today. (1) BAEKSANG had a hard time on debut in February but can be given another chance today, two months on and under a much lighter weight. There are two first-time starters and (11) CAPTAIN BEST caught the eye in trials and could go well first-up.

Selections (10) Full Moon Ocean (5) Jangsan Ex (6) O Pi M J (11) Captain Best
Next Best 1, 3
Fast Start 3, 5, 10

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

Really competitive little race. (5) SOMETHING NOBODYNO has a win and two runner-up finishes from three starts so far. He ran 2nd behind a very good winner last start, and while he is up in distance for the first time today, he has every chance of returning to the winner’s circle. (10) VICAR BRACING could start as favourite though. He’s up in class following an eye-catching nine-length win over this distance on March 2nd and while he has drawn the widest gate, he can run on strongly and can win. (3) BARAMEUL GEURIDA is up in class too after a similarly easy on the eye seven-length score back in February. He made all that day and is nicely drawn to get the front. (2) HANIL MAGIC and (8) MONEY ZIF are others who can go close.

Selections (10) Vicar Bracing (5) Something Nobodyno (3) Barameul Geurida (8) Money Zif
Next Best 2, 9
Fast Start 1, 3, 5

Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(9) WELLNESS K has had a stop/start career so far but now he’s finally getting a strong of runs together, he’s looked good, improving to a maiden win last time at this distance. He’s carrying more weight today but looks to have a fair shout of a repeat. Primary danger is (8) WINNING BLADE, who bounced back from a disappointing run in Seoul’s top juvenile race last October to win over this distance in November. He’s only raced once this term, finishing 5th at 1200M in January but coming back from a spell and back down at what seems his best distance, he can win. (7) BIG GARLAND remains a maiden but was 4th first-up after three months off last start and can go close again. (5) RICHARDOFNEWSTEAD and (10) SANTOS are others in the hunt.

Selections (9) Wellness K (8) Winning Blade (7) Big Garland (10) Santos
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 1, 3, 7, 8

Race 7: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(7) DELTA BROTHER got his maiden win over 1300M in February and then ran a strong 2nd on his first try at this class and distance a month ago, beating a few of these along the way. He’ll go to the front early and could well go all the way. (10) BARAM KING beat (3) DOUBLE GOLD and (1) BLACK GINGA on his way to victory at class and distance on March 10th. The draw has not been kind today, but he warrants respect based on that run and can go close again. Double Gold was 3rd in that race and can be competitive again while we will expect improvement from Black Ginga, who came home 4th as favourite – the second time in a row Double Gold has beaten him – and should be better today. (2) RAON MIRACLE is another for who recent form reads well and who should be in the mix at the business end.

Selections (7) Delta Brother (1) Black Ginga (2) Raon Miracle (10) Baram King
Next Best 3, 6
Fast Start 4, 7

Race 8: Class Open (1400M) Allowance (3yo KOR bred Fillies) / KRW 150 Million – TOKYO CITY KEIBA TROPHY

  1. SMILE GIRL – 4th behind Daddy Glory in January before beating Mamma Roma on her way to a three-length win at 1300M in February. Stepped up to 1700M last time to run 2nd at class 4. Settles just behind early pace and top-four finish expected.
  2. BEST HILL – Won her first two over 1000M but has had a harder time at class 4 and at longer distances. Not a fast starter but can run on. Still scope for improvement but others favoured here.
  3. DADDY GLORY – Beat Smarty Adele and Smile Girl on way to victory over 1300M in January before finishing 3rd behind Match Queen on latest start. She hung out around the turn last time for which a warning was issued and if she fixes that, she has a big chance of overturning the form.
  4. MAMMA ROMA – Comes in off a run of three consecutive runner-up finishes but was well-beaten by Smile Girl in February. Another for whom the extra distance may be a plus, but improvement will be needed.
  5. GREEN DARC – Both wins came at 1000M last autumn, she was last seen running way down the track over 1700M in February. One of the outsiders today.
  6. MATCH QUEEN – She’s won three in a row and four from five in total. Her latest saw her make all over 1300M at class 4 to win by twelve-lengths and while she goes the extra half furlong for the first time, she’s got solid claims to lead all the way again.
  7. BAKCHAOREUM – Registered three wins in a row over the turn of the year at 1000M and 1300M. Blew the start after being fractious in the barriers last time which explains her poor result. She needs a quick start and if she gets it, she can go close.
  8. WONDERFUL TRUTH – Won her first two and while she has found it tougher since, she has been racing in good company. The only one of these to run in the Sports Seoul Classic Trial last month, she led that race early only to finish 6th. She will try to lead again, and experience of the distance may help her here.
  9. SMARTY ADELE – Beaten four-lengths by Daddy Glory in January, she bounced back to score by eight-lengths over 1300M at class 5 n March 3rd. More improvement needed here as it won’t be easy to lead but she could be an interesting outsider.

(more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (April 13)

Blossom season is in full flow and we’d best make the most of it as it’s predicted to rain on Sunday. The Cherry Blossom Festival at Seoul Racecourse continues over the weekend and there is plenty of racing too. Saturday sees 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

cherry blossom

Race 1: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) HANYANG NURI ran on very well to win on debut over 1000M back in December. She returns here having had four months off up in class and distance but with solid claims. (3) JEMA TEUKGEUP is up in class and distance following a 2nd place and a comfortable win over 1000M from her first two outings. She’ll be on pace here and could repeat. (4) TAEPUNG EYES is experienced at this level and was a solid 4th last time out in similar company, which he can build on today. (1) MISSILE CANDY steps up in trip for the first time and can improve while (10) KAILLUM YEOJE will try to challenge Jema Teukgeup for the early lead and can at least be in the placing frame.

Selections (5) Hanyang Nuri (3) Jema Teukgeup (4) Taepung Eyes (1) Missile Candy
Next Best 10, 2
Fast Start 3, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW40 Million

Three-year-old maidens only here. (3) TIZ ROSE and (4) VICTORY MAY both finished 4th on their respective debuts and both return after quite lengthy spells out (16 and 12 weeks). Both should go close but for the pick well go with (10) SPEED BELLE. He’s raced three times so far and drops back in trip following a 5th place over 1300M a month ago and can push on here. He’ll have to come around from the outside to get to the front but is capable. We’re scraping around with the rest a bit but (9) MOONHAKCHEETAH offered a few hints of improvement last start and could build on it here.

Selections (10) Speed Belle (3) Tiz Rose (4) Victory May (9) Moonhakcheetah
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 3, 7, 9, 10

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

More three-year-old maidens with eight of the twelve having raced before. (4) PRIME QUEEN was a much-improved 2nd on what was her second career outing on March 2nd. She can settle just behind the early speed and finish strongly. (11) CHEONNYEONUI BARAM has a 3rd and no fewer than four 4th place finishes among six starts so far. He drops back in trip today and should be looking for a career-best result. (8) WONDERFUL PANGPANG also drops back in distance having weakened in her latest two, both at 1300M and can get closer. There are four first-time starters and of them, (2) HAWK HAENGJINGOK and (5) GOLDEN ANGLE both have trial wins to their name and can go well first-up.

Selections (4) Prime Queen (11) Cheonnyeonui Baram (2) Hawk Haengjingok (5) Golden Angle
Next Best 8, 10
Fast Start 1, 2, 5, 8

Race 4: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

A few standouts here. (5) BINNANEUN RUBY ran a close 5th at this distance on March 23rd in very similar company to this. She is a seventeen-race maiden but has a decent shot of changing that here. The two main challengers both try this distance for the first time. (4) MASON has improved across three starts so far and ran 3rd at 1300M last start. The trip should suit, and he can match or better that finish today. (11) BAEKSAEK GWANGCHAE took a couple of goes to figure things out but has been 3rd and 2nd in his latest two and he too should appreciate a bit more distance today (1) PUNGMUNEURO has been inconsistent but is not completely devoid of ability and she too attempts two turns for the first time. (8) REIGN looks best of the rest.

Selections (5) Binnaneun Ruby (4) Mason (11) Baeksaek Gwangchae (1) Pungmuneuro
Next Best 8, 5
Fast Start 1, 6, 10, 11

Race 5: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Since returning from six months off, (9) ICHEON SSAL has shown some signs of returning to form. He ran 2nd at this distance in early March and may have finished better than 5th last time had he not had a poor start. Today could be his day although this is a desperately open race. (5) ECHO GOLD remains winless after fourteen attempts but has been knocking on the door of late and could go through it today while both (3) RISING SOCKS and (4) CHEONGDAM TIGER are better than their respective latest outings suggest, and both should be involved here. (8) SUN START is another maiden and steps back up in trip with recent form reasonably encouraging.

Selections (9) Icheon Ssal (3) Rising Socks (5) Echo Gold (4) Cheongdam Tiger
Next Best 8, 1
Fast Start 4, 12

Race 6: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(4) FIRENZE HILL is set to be a warm favourite here. He’s run 3rd and 2nd in two starts at this level since getting his maiden win back in December, being beaten both times by better than what he faces here. He can lead all the way. (6) QUEEN FORCE ONE enters having won somewhat unexpectedly at class and distance on March 16th and she obviously warrants respect today. (12) ACE TRIPLE came home 4th in that same race, his first try at this class, and he has claims to get closer this time. (1) FINAL STORM and (10) FULL MOON SKY look best of the rest.

Selections (4) Firenze Hill (6) Queen Force One (12) Ace Triple (10) Full Moon Sky
Next Best 1, 9
Fast Start 1, 2, 12

Race 7: Class 4 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Eight imported maidens go here. (5) DAEGUN CHEONHA will be a pretty strong favourite coming in as he does with two 3rd places followed by a very close 2nd, just losing out by a head last time at this distance. From gate 5 he will be on pace early and should make no mistake today. (2) THE SPIKER has finished no worse than 4th in four attempts so far and should be looking to match the 2nd place he scored on debut – he’ll aim to go with the favourite early. (3) MUNHAK WINNER and (4) FIGHT TODAY both showed promise on their respective debuts while (8) LIL’ PATRON too ran well on debut back in February and though he disappointed on his return three weeks ago, can be given another chance here.

Selections (5) Daegun Cheonha (2) The Spiker (4) Fight Today (3) Munhak Winner
Next Best 8
Fast Start 2, 5

Race 8: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

A winner of four from five so far, (9) RAPIDOCUS is up in class today off the back of a six-length score over 1700M on March 2nd. He steps back in trip and has every chance of making all once more. Another up in class pair, (2) GOLDEN DIAL and (7) CHEUNGDAM GENIE both look to have more improvement in them and look best equipped to challenge the favourite. Both are up to this distance for the first time. (5) JANGSAN BEARS drops back in trip and can aim for the places while (12) DORAON NALRI raced a touch ungenerously last start but still managed 5th and can aim to at least repeat today.

Selections (9) Rapidocus (7) Cheungdam Genie (2) Golden Dial (5) Jangsan Bears
Next Best 12, 6
Fast Start 7, 9

Race 9: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(1) BEST LINE has two wins and two runner-up finishes from four outings so far, the latest of which was his first try at this distance. He steps up in class today but looks in good stead to win again. (9) DO KKI BLADE put in a very promising juvenile campaign, finishing 2nd to Dae Wan Ma in the Gwacheon Governor’s Cup. After running 7th in the Breeders’ Cup he had a wind operation and returns for the first time since, having trialled up encouragingly twice, most recently last Friday. He has a chance. (7) DUMANGANG and (6) STRONG RUNNER came home 2nd and 3rd when they raced each other at class and distance a month ago. Strong Runner can overturn that form today. (2) UP LIGHT is another in at least the placing hunt.

Selections (1) Best Line (9) Do Kki Blade (6) Strong Runner (2) Up Light
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 3, 5, 11

Race 10: Class 2 (1900M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

(4) GEUMBIRANG toughed out victory by a neck at this class over 1800M on March 3rd. He is giving weight away to every other horse here, but he has the ability to overcome it and can win again. Should the impost prove too much, (7) MEGALIOS is the one to take advantage. A winner of three of his last five, he’s up in class today having scored over 1700M last time. It’s his first time at 1900M today but with a nice light weight to carry, he can win. (1) SMART PARK and (2) YESANGBAEK SEUNG both come in with recent form reading well while (6) O.K. YEONDAB is another in the hunt.

Selections (7) Megalios (4) Geimbirang (2) Yesangbaek Seung (1) Smart Park
Next Best 6, 9
Fast Start 7, 9

Race 11: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Six of these raced each other at class and distance on March 16th. (7) YAHO SMART CAT finished the best of them that day in 3rd place and he is favoured to prevail over them once more, coming home on top this time. Of the ones he beat that day, (10) MAGIC TEN probably has the most realistic chance of overturning the form but he’ll face stiffer challenges from the likes of (1) STORM RYKER and (11) GRAY SOCKS, both of whom went well last start. (2) K KING is up in class after a good win over 1000M last time and is another who can challenge for at least a place.

Selections (7) Yaho Smart Cat (1) Storm Ryker (10) Magic Ten (11) Gray Socks
Next Best 2, 12
Fast Start 1, 3, 7, 9

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (April 12)

There are 10 races at Busan on Friday from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

RH7_2448

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(11) GAMDONGUI SUNGAN beat three of these on his way to his second 3rd place finish last start. He only needs a top three finish to be up in class next time and he can exit the bottom tier of racing with a win here.  (7) FINE TRUMPET has shown some ability in two starts so far, finishing 5th and 4th and can continue to make progress here. (4) SPICE ROCK, half to Triple Nine is yet to offer much and was well back behind Gamdongui Sungan last start but still has every chance of coming good and can improve today. (6) GASOK BULKKOT and (12) SMILE KOREA are others with the potential to get better.

Selections (11) Gamdongui Sungan (7) Fine Trumpet (4) Spice Rock (12) Smile Korea
Next Best 6, 5
Fast Start 6, 7, 11

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(4) NEW QUEEN comes in having been 2nd and 4th in her latest two, both at this distance, and looks the one to beat. From a good draw she can settle just off the early pace and finish strongly. (5) SILVER BEST finished 5th behind New Queen four weeks ago. He has a length and a half to find here and is another who can improve. (11) BAEKDU DAEHO drops back in trip after a couple of useful performances at a mile and can be involved. (6) DONGBANG NARAE finished 5th on debut three weeks ago and can build on the here while the wildcard is (12) JEONGUIUI GITBAL. He too finished 5th on debut a year ago almost to the day. He trialled up nicely in March and can go well first-up here.

Selections (4) New Queen (5) Silver Best (12) Jeonguiui Gitbal (11) Baekdu Daeho
Next Best 6, 2
Fast Start 2, 10, 11

Race 3: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Small but competitive field. It’s hard to recommend a twenty-race maiden but (2) DONE IT MY really has as good a chance as any. He ran well for a strong class and distance 4th last start, beating a couple of these in the process and today could be his day. (4) HANEOLUI BIT is a maiden too, although he has only raced eight times. He registered a good 2nd at this distance in December to get promoted to this class and then ran a creditable 5th on his first latest outing in February. He comes in off seven weeks rest and can play a big role. (3) TORNADO KING was one of those beaten by Done It My last start but should get to the front here and can go better. (1) MUJEOK BEAT and (7) INTERCEPTOR best of the rest.

Selections (4) Haneolui Bit (2) Done It My (7) Interceptor (3) Tornado King
Next Best 1, 6
Fast Start 3, 4

Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(4) CHEONNYEONUIJILJU is yet to win but has now finished 2nd on no fewer than four of his seven career starts. Franco Da Silva takes the mount for the first time. He should be on pace early and today should be his day. If he does fall short once more then (2) SUMMIT TODAY, who ran 3rd to (8) ON DAY’s 2nd last time at class and distance, looks the biggest danger. He’ll be on pace as well and should certainly overturn the form on On Day and challenge the favourite. (11) DOCTOR WEEK is up in class after a nice-looking three-length win at this distance three weeks ago. The draw has not been kind, but he can be competitive. (12) GHOST RIDER is a proven money winner at this level and should be in at least the placing frame.

Selections (4) Cheonnyeonuijilju (2) Summit Today (11) Doctor Week (12) Ghost Rider
Next Best 8, 5
Fast Start 2, 4, 9, 11

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

Four of these raced each other at class and distance on March 15th. It was (5) HALLA HWANGHU who came out on top that day, finishing in 3rd place – having been sent off as favourite – and she’s worth another chance today. (6) NALGAEREUL PYEORA was 4th in that race, less than a length in arrears and should get close again while (11) MORNING BRAVO was further back in 6th but can improve on that today. Among those who didn’t go in that race, (9) ACE BOOM is up in class after a solid win at this distance four weeks ago. She was beaten by Halla Hwanghu in February but looks to have come on since. (2) POWER AMAZING, a “full” brother to Triple Crown winner Power Blade, was a winner at this class over a mile last start and interestingly drops right back in trip here. He will have backers.

Selections (5) Halla Hwanghu (2) Power Amazing (9) Ace Boom (6) Nalgaereul Pyeora
Next Best 11, 3
Fast Start 5, 9, 11

Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(11) JET SKY broke the track record for this distance on her way to victory on March 10th. It was a very wet track that day and it was a big uptick in form – she was sent off seventh best in the betting – but she looks nicely in here and can repeat. (4) AMAZING TAPIT (more…)

Manuel Porcu Opens Korean Account With Weekend Double

While most of the attention this past weekend was focused on the opening leg of the 2019 Triple Crown at Busan, up at Seoul it proved to be an excellent couple of days for Manuel Porcu, as the track’s newest overseas jockey notched his first wins in Korea.

Porcu, who is from Italy, made his Seoul debut on March 30th but drew a blank on his first weekend with his best finish being a 4th. Returning last Saturday with a more promsing book of rides, it didn’t take long for him to make his breakthrough, the 25-year-old scoring on race 2 on Winner Say for trainer Luigi Riccardi and owner Katsumi Yoshida. Porcu guided the filly, who began as favourite,  to her maiden victory by almost three lengths.

Sunday saw a repeat for Porcu, as he took race 3 on 7/1 chance Royal Shalom. He would then conclude his weekend’s work with a close 2nd place on 50/1 outsaide Bright Cat in the class 1 feature.

Porcu, who can ride at 51kg, joins five other foreign jockeys in the weighing room at Seoul. They are French pair Johan Victoire and David Breux, Antonio Da Silva of Brazil, the UK’s Alan Munro and Japan’s Masa Tanaka.

Global Chukje Blows Away Cup Mile Rivals To Claim Triple Crown 1st Leg

If there is to be a Korean Triple Crown winner this year, his name will be Global Chukje, the colt running out a dominant winner of the 1st leg, the KRA Cup Mile at Busan on Sunday afternoon.

The Rock Hard Ten Colt, trained at Seoul by Choi Sang-sik, entered the race having won four of his previous five starts and was sent off as the 5/1 co-favourite.  Drawn in gate 10, Global Chukje was able to avoid a coming together at the start that disadvantaged a number of those on his inside and, under jockey Yoo Seung-wan, was able to take up a position just off the lead.

When early leader Lion Sun started to weaken on the turn, Global Chukje assumed command and never looked like being caught, running on to win by a full eight lengths on the line. Filly Dae Wan Ma came home in 2nd under Antonio Da Silva and now looks a strong favourite for the Korean Oaks, while betting favourite Precede came home 4th, one place ahead of stablemate Glitter.

Disappointment of the race was Doctor Thunder, who started the race as co second-favourite but after showing towards the front early on, weakened to finish last.

The race time of 1:40.5 was exactly the same as Power Blade’s in 2016 and ranks exactly in the middle of average times for this race. The margin of victory was the biggest since Money Car’s eleven-length romp in 2011. Global Chukje is the first Seoul-trained horse to win the race, since Cheongnyeong Bisang in 2014.

For trainer Choi Sang Sik, it was a second Group win, his first coming in the Seoul Owners’ Cup all the way back in 1995, although he did win the Listed Segye Ilbo Cup for the same owner, Jang Jae-hyeung, with Global Fusion in 2016. For jockey Yoo Seung-wan, it was his first Classic victory, however, as regular rider of the great mare Silver Wolf, he is no stranger to the Graded Stakes winner’s circle.

Global Chukje is by Rock Hard Ten and out of the Forest Camp mare Spin Up. Spin Up did her racing in Korea, winning three of eighteen career starts between 2011 and 2013. She began prodigiously, winning two of her first three but failed to win after the January of her three-year-old season. Her only previous foal, only raced twice.

Of the eleven previous winners since the Cup Mile became the first leg of the Triple Crown in 2008, two of them have gone on to win the Derby, Sangseung Ilro in 2009 and Power Blade on his way to sweeping the Triple Crown in 2016. This year’s Derby is at Seoul Racecourse on May 12th.

KRA Cup Mile Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (April 7)

The KRA Cup Mile, the 1st leg of the 2019 Korea Triple Crown takes place at Busan today. It’s race 5 on a 6-race card which runs from 12:40 to 18:00.  SEE HERE FOR FULL CUP MILE PREVIEW. There is also an 11-race card at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Race-By-race for Seoul is below with Selections for the rest of the Busan card at the bottom:

power-blade-kra-cup-mile.jpg.jpeg

Power Blade won the Cup Mile on his way to the Triple Crown three years ago

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(3) MENI SPEED has shown progress over his three starts so far and was 3rd last time out at this distance three weeks ago. She can settle behind the early lead here and can finish strongly. (1) GEOTAP is a little more experienced and has a decent record over this distance. She too was 3rd last start, despite a troubled start, and should be close here. (5) GWANGPOK JUHAENG was 7th in the same race but had previously registered a 2nd place at the same distance and can be competitive today as can (6) MAIN EVENT and (8) GREEN PARK.

Selections (3) Meni Speed (1) Geotap (5) Gwangpok Juhaeng (6) Main Event
Next Best 8, 7
Fast Start 4, 5

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(3) VICTORY KING has steadily improved over three outings so far and was a more than useful 2nd at this distance last start despite getting his run checked in the closing stages. He should take some beating here. (7) CHAMP K has a 3rd place to his name at this distance and can be a threat while (2) NONSTOP WINNING will need to improve but can be respected after 3rd place in an admittedly slow time at this distance last start. The solitary debut-maker (5) COIN BLADE has looked competent enough in trials and can be a factor first-up here.

Selections (3) Victory King (7) Champ K (5) Coin Blade (2) Nonstop Winning
Next Best 8
Fast Start 3, 7

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Fillies only in this maiden. (3) SINBU enters following a 3rd and a 4th from her latest two starts, both at the distance. She should be on pace here and could well have too much. (4) STAR SOCKS and (9) ANYANG LEOPARD both put in improved performances, finishing 4th in their respective latest starts and both have placing claims while (7) ROYAL SHALOM got sent back to trial after a disappointing effort last time and came through the subsequent heat looking much better. The main threat to the favourite, however, looks to be one of the first-timers, namely (8) MIGHTY LUCK. She ran 2nd in a trial in a decent time and this looks an excellent race to start off in.

Selections (3) Sinbu (8) Mighty Luck (4) Star Socks (7) Royal Shalom
Next Best 9, 6
Fast Start 3, 7, 8

Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(6) GEUM ROYAL is up in class after registering his maiden win at the second time of asking a month ago. He made all that day and while he will need to improve, he should be competitive. Likely favourite though is (4) SA SA. An impressive maiden winner last November, he’s found his feet at this level and was 3rd in a stronger race than this last month. He’ll be on pace and could be hard to beat. The very experienced (10) PARTY POWER was 2nd at class and distance three weeks ago and should be in the placing hunt again as should (2) MY HAWK and (8) ROYAL BRONZE.

Selections (4) Sa Sa (6) Geum Royal (10) Party Power (2) My Hawk
Next Best 8, 1
Fast Start 1, 2, 4, 8

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

This is a very nice-looking race but (2) DOKDO YA is the slight pick. He was 2nd in a fast contest on an admittedly wet track at the distance last start and returns after a couple of months off with strong claims to go one better. It won’t be easy. (7) SINGGEUREOUN (more…)