Sunday sees the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup, taking place at Seoul Racecourse. (Seoul 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00, Busan 6 races from 12:40 to 17:10). There’s no Triple Crown on the line but the 2000M showpice nevertheless promises to be a fascinating affair as KRA Cup Mile winner Global Chukje and Korean Derby winner Wonderful Fly face-off.
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A filly-only maiden to begin with and (4) PRIMA NIKE steps back up in trip after a strong 2nd place over 1000M a month ago looking the one to beat. A good apprentice jockey keeps the weight nice and low and she’s only ever finished outside the top four on one occasions. She can win here. (7) GOLD LEVEL beat a couple of these on her way to 2nd over 1200M on May 19th and shapes to be the main danger here. (1) HAWK ARIRANG finished 5th in that same race which was marked improvement from prior efforts and she can continue to make progress here. (2) SERA YEOJE is best of the rest.
|Selections||(4) Prima Nike (7) Gold Level (1) Hawk Arirang (2) Sera Yeoje|
|Next Best||3, 9|
|Fast Start||4, 5|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
A two-turn maiden and (3) RAON JEWANG is set to be firm favourite. Though yet to win in nine attempts, he’s raced at this distance four time already and has finished no worse than 4th. This should be his day, likely leading from gate to wire. (4) TAP MUSIC showed some promise when stepped up to this trip on just his third start a month ago, running 4th. He should have come on for that run and can continue to improve today, likely trying to close late. (7) RAON STELLA’s best performance to date came at this distance and he steps back up to it today with placing claims, while both (2) INCHEON LION and (11) CHEONJI GISANG can compete for minor money too.
|Selections||(3) Raon Jewang (4) Tap Music (2) Incheon Lion (7) Raon Stella|
|Next Best||11, 8|
|Fast Start||5, 7, 10|
Seoul Race 3: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Kim Yong Geun partners (1) SMARTY BLUE for the second time, having ridden the colt to a good 4th place at class and distance on May 11th. He looks nicely in here and has every chance of getting what would be a second career win. (7) CHEONGDAM TIGER was a strong class and distance 2nd on a wet track last start and if he can get close to the early lead again, has every chance of a repeat or better. (6) WELLBEING STORY enters with recent form reading promisingly and has the services of Moon Se Young today. (4) SEOUL SIDAE saw his rating slide sufficiently to drop back in class last start. He promptly won and while back up in grade today, find himself nicely in under a light weight and he can go close again.
|Selections||(1) Smarty Blue (7) Cheongdam Tiger (6) Wellbeing Story (4) Seoul Sidae|
|Next Best||9, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(5) L CHOICE is the pick here. An admittedly distance 3rd behind a very good winner las start, she’s nicely drawn to get to the lead and if she does, she’ll be hard to catch. Main danger is (7) LUCKY SOCHEON. She drops back in trip after good work around 1300M last start and shouldn’t be far away here. (4) FULL MOON OCEAN was slowly away when well backed for her first try at this level on May 11th. She never had a chance after that but ran on ok and is worth another go today. (11) UNMYEONGE FALLING is up un class after an all the way win on May 5th on just her third career outing. She’s drawn the widest gate but should be competitive at this level. (1) PARTY POWER, going around for the 52nd time today, is more than capable of running into some prize money in this company.
|Selections||(5) L Choice (7) Lucky Socheon (4) Full Moon Ocean (11) Unmyeonge Falling|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5, 11|
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(11) PRIVATE MAN enters after a 3rd and a 4th in his latest two and while both times he’s been well back behind good winners, could have enough about him to make the breakthrough here. He’ll come from off the pace so the wide draw is no problem, and he can win. (10) LAO JIN steps back up in trip following two solid 3rd place finishes over 1000M while (3) HEY DREAMER and (5) GEOMBIT YEOLJEONG are both up in class and should be competitive. (4) WANY K was a shock winner at class and distance three weeks ago and while a repeat would be a surprise, she warrants more respect today.
|Selections||(11) Private Man (10) Lao Jin (5) Geombit Yeoljeong (3) Hey Dreamer|
|Next Best||4, 6|
|Fast Start||5, 8, 10, 12|
Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Having secured his maiden win in April, (7) GIMABUDAEJANG ran 4th on his first try at class and distance in a similar strength race to this on May 12th. He was only a couple of lengths behind the winner and won’t need to improve much to win this. (4) VEGA THUNDER is up in class having finished as runner-up in both her first two outings. She still has plenty to learn but looks to have solid potential. (1) HAPPY GATE and (3) ULSAN JANGGUN came home with just a nose separating them when they raced each other on May 26th and both should be competitive here. (2) RAON CAESERS looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(7) Gimabudaejang (4) Vega Thunder (1) Happy Gate (3) Ulsan Janggun|
|Next Best||2, 6|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 9|
Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
He has a 3rd and three runner-up finishes from four outings so far and today (5) OKAY TAP really should be getting it right. He was beaten less than a length by a good winner on his latest effort on May 11th and today should be his day, likely leading all the way. If he does come up short once more then (7) NEW PARADIGM could be the one to take advantage. She too is a maiden but is up in class after two good 2nd place finishes and looks to have nothing to fear at this level. (8) FLYING JOY ran 6th behind Okay Tap last start but can improve today under considerably less weight. (10) GOLD PERILLA and (11) MONEY SHARP are others to keep an eye on.
|Selections||(5) Okay Tap (7) New Paradigm (8) Flying Joy (10) Gold Perilla|
|Next Best||11, 2|
|Fast Start||5, 7, 8, 10|
Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(4) MACH QUEEN has won both her two starts so far in handy fashion, She’s up in class and slightly in distance today but has strong claims to maintain her 100% record, likely trying to lead from gate to wire. (3) YEONGGWANGUI SIDAE ran 2nd in a good Trophy race in April which allowed her to take her chance in the Korean Oaks. While the extended distance in the fillies’ Classic didn’t appear to suit and she was scarcely a factor, back to sprinting today, she looks firmly in the hunt. (9) JET SKY comes in following 3rd and 2nd places from her latest two, both at this class and both at 1400M. She was on pace both times and may appreciate the step back in trip here. (2) MAN OF THE MATCH had a poor day at the office when tried at a mile last start and can improve back down in distance today.
|Selections||(4) Mach Queen (3) Yeonggwangui Sidae (9) Jet Sky (2) Man Of The Match|
|Next Best||5, 7|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(8) HEUK JEONSA ran 3rd when sent off as odds-on favourite over 1200M at the end of April. He bumped at the start and raced ungenerously throughout to the extent he was sent back to trial. With manners fixed today, he should return to the winner’s circle. (4) BEST EVER also had excuses for a below-par run last time, in his case slight lameness. Fit again., he drops back in trip and firmly into contention. (3) NAM SON enters with recent form reading well and has placing claims while (9) LUCAS and (11) GREEN DARC are others who should be in the frame.
|Selections||(8) Heuk Jeonsa (4) Best Ever (3) Nam Son (9) Lucas|
|Next Best||11, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 8, 12|
Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Good little race this with none of ten having finished any worse than 6th in their respective latest outings. That means a few of them are up in class here. Strong favourite though will be (4) YEONGSEONGFIGHTING. He ran 6th in the KRA Cup Mile in April before just being beaten a neck by Alphaking Iji at this distance on May 10th with the pair of them fifteen-lengths ahead of the next home. He’ll be on pace here and should have too much. (3) JEONGSU SIDAE and (9) POWER AMAZING came home 4th and 5th when they raced each other at 1400M on May 24th and both have claims to go slightly better today. (5) SUMMIT TODAY was a strong 3rd on her first try at this class on May 10th and can build on it here. (7) VEGA KHAN one of a number of others who can run into a place at their best.
|Selections||(4) Yeongseongfighting (5) Summit Today (3) Jeongsu Sidae (9) Power Amazing|
|Next Best||7, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 4|
Seoul Race 8: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Competitive handicap here with (3) DAEGUN JEPAE perhaps having the slight upper-hand. He drops back in trip following a couple of good performances – including his maiden win – over 1700M. From gate 3 he should be up and on the pace early and can lead all the way. (9) JEOKBYEOK SHINHWA, (5) MALIBU GINGER and (6) MUNHAK TSUNAMI came home 5th. 6th and 7th respectively when they raced each other at class and distance on May 19th. All three will be aiming to be more competitive here with Munhak Tsunami especially capable of going much better. (1) MONEY BLADE returns to racing for the first time since March and looks a lice outsider.
|Selections||(3) Daegun Jepae (5) Malibu Ginger (6) Munhak Tsunami (9) Jeokbyeok Shinhwa|
|Next Best||1, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5, 12|
Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(3) CUBAUI YEOLJEONG showed plenty of ability across eight starts up to last summer and returns here following eleven months out. She trialed well in May and can go well first-up here. She’s one of a number of potential winners that also include (5) CHROME MAGIC, who ran 3rd in a fast time in arguably a better race than this on May 19th, and (4) DONGBANG BULPAE, who drops down in trip today and should be on pace from the start. (2) TOKYO BLUE is another who steps down in distance for the first time in a while and merits consideration. (8) YEONGCHEON STAR had a poor day at the office when well back behind Chrome Magic last time out but is better than that and can improve today.
|Selections||(3) Cubaui Yeoljeong (5) Chrome Magic (8) Yeongcheong Star (4) Dongbang Bulpae|
|Next Best||2, 9|
|Fast Start||4, 8, 10|
Seoul Race 9: Class Open “The Minister’s Cup” (2000M) Allowance / KRW 600 Million
The third leg of the Triple Crown is to all intents and purposes, are-run of the Korean Derby with nine of the eleven having run in that race. The runaway winner that day was (11) WONDERFUL FLY and while he has drawn the outside gate this time, he’s favoured to go on and win. KRA Cup Mile winner and Derby favourite (5) GLOBAL CHUKJE has a much better draw this time and shouldn’t be caught so wide but it still may not be enough to overturn the form on Wonderful Fly. Nevertheless, he’s the clear next-best. Derby place-getters (2) SIMJANGUI GODONG and (3) POWER WINDY may both appreciate the additional furlong and can be dangerous late in the race. As for the two who didn’t go in the Derby, (7) TRUE VALOR, a winner of three from five so far including a tasty score over 1800M in a Busan handicap last month, looks the more likely to make an impression.
|Selections||(11) Wonderful Fly (5) Global Chukje (3) Power Windy (7) True Valor|
|Next Best||2, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 6, 11|
Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
Since returning from fifteen months on the sidelines, (7) BLUE CHIPPER has gone three-for-three in emphatic style which has seen him promoted to class 1 almost unprecedentedly quickly. In addition to the step up in class, he also tackles 1400M for the first time today but he looks a class act and will the question is less whether he wins, but rather by how much he wins. (5) WHINNY WING was a good 2nd on his first try at this level over 1800M on May 26th. He’s dropped back in trip today and is well drawn to get on pace from the start. He may not be able to compete with Blue Chipper, but he has every chance of another place finish. (2) DAEHO SIDAE ran well for 5th at class and distance on May 12th beating a couple of these in the process. (1) DYNAMIC STAR, who can have a line drawn though his latest two, and (4) THE GRAND, are others who can place.
|Selections||(7) Blue Chipper (5) Whinny Wing (2) Daeho Sidae (4) The Grand|
|Next Best||1, 3, 6|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 10: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
An also-ran in the Korean Derby, (6) WONDERFUL EVIL skips the Minister’s Cup in order to run here instead and it should pay dividends in the form of a winner’s cheque. A strong finisher, he’s already won at class and distance and while he is carrying a bit more weight today, he should have far too much. (1) RAON DOLPUNG somehow remains a maiden after twenty-one attempts but his recent form reads well and he should be close at hand in this company. (9) SPEED YEONGUNG was a class and distance winner last start and with an apprentice jockey keeping the weight down, can go close here as well. (4) JEJUI HEUKSEON and (7) DAE BYEONHWA are others with placing chances.
|Selections||(6) Wonderful Evil (1) Raon Dolpung (9) Speed Yeongung (4) Jejui Heukseon|
|Next Best||7, 10|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 7|
Seoul Race 11: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
Six of the nine raced each other over class and distance on April 20th with (5) RAON MAGIC emerging a comprehensive four-length winner. He carries an additional 3.5kg today but with Moon Se Young aboard and with a central draw that should help him get to the lead early, he can win again. (4) YEONGNONG got the closest to him that day and he can aim for the places once more while further back was (6) P. K. PARTY, who can improve although a bigger threat is likely to come from one who didn’t run in that race. (8) JANGSAN POWER drops back in trip after some solid recent form over 1400M at this class, including a win, and looks nicely in here to go well again.
|Selections||(5) Raon Magic (8) Jangsan Power (6) P.K. Party (4) Yeongnong|
|Next Best||7, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 5|