Dolkong is back and Korea’s Dubai World Cup Carnival is straight back in the deep-end as he faces a host of the nation’s top horses in the Busan Mayor’s Cup on Sunday afternoon. There are 6 races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10 while in Seoul there are 11 from 10:45 to 18:00.
Dolkong will have thirteen for company in the race which is often described as the “Summer Grand Prix”. They include last year’s winner Cheongdam Dokki, who comes in having raced surprisingly flat in the YTN Cup last month. That race was won by Moonhak Chief, the up and coming four-year-old, in a dominant performance that may well earn him favourite status here. Also going is New Legend and the ever-reliable Shamrocker.
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
A field of twelve line up over the short course in the first including five debutants with trial form to dissect. (12) NONGBUI SUCHEAHWA handed in one of the better trial performances over the 1000m. The filly bounced out of barrier eight and sat three wide before going down a head. She ran 1.02.2 when ridden hands and heels in sloppy conditions. (8) KOOKA CAT is having her third start and drops back to the 1000m after failing to run a strong six furlongs. His debut run over the 1000m was reasonable and this looks a weaker assignment. (5) DASI DUSON finished second in her qualifying trial. She ran a slow time albeit on a dry track when going down a nose. She had more up her sleeve and can provide a forward showing. (7) GOLD HERO looks the best of the rest in an inexperienced field.
|Selections||(12) Nongbui Sucheahwa (8) Kooka Cat (5) Dasi Duson (7) Gold Hero|
|Next Best||10, 6|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 8, 10, 11|
Seoul Race 2: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Not too often we find a Class 5 event as competitive as this event where a case can be made for more than half of the field. (9) RUNNING BOX ran the arms off the clock at her second start when running 59.2 for the 1000m. She is having just her third start and the speedy type finished second over the 1300m at her first start suggesting the 1200m should be ideal. (5) BIG PRO is another that possesses early speed. He looks well weighted in this and from gate five expect the colt to work forward. (4) GENERAL ROSE is yet to finish worse than fourth from four career starts. The consistent type will settle in the leading division and is an each-way chance. (10) SIMON QUEEN broke through at odds last time out when sitting on speed for Moon Se-Young. Kim Hyo-Jung takes over today as the filly has her first run in Class 5 company.
|Selections||(9) Running Box (5) Big Pro (4) General Rose (10) Simon Queen|
|Next Best||3, 7|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 6, 9, 10|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Plenty of chances line up in the thirds where a field of twelve will go over the 1300m. (4) JANGGUNUI SIDAE ran on strongly last time out when coming from the tail over 1300m. The in-form Lim Gi-Won will have his first ride on the filly who may be able to settle closer with a better draw today. (5) KING OF EAGLE went over the 1700m last time out when feeling the pinch after trying to lead throughout. The three-year-old ran some fair performances over 1300m prior to last start and can figure in this event. (6) NAE GIRUI BIT has placed at his past two runs over the 1300m. The chestnut has to carry 56kg but his consistency should get him a long way in this type of race. (1) GEUMSUNI STAR is another that’ drops back from the 1700m after failing to run on. The Menifee colt placed behind Set The Pace two starts back over the 1300m.
|Selections||(4) Janggunui Sidae (5) King Of Eagle (6) Nae Girui Bit (10) Geumsuni Star|
|Next Best||8, 12|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 10, 12|
Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Another field of twelve Class 6 gallopers will go over the 1300m in the fourth on the card. Once again it appears a rather open event with (3) FAMILY PARK looking one of the main chances. The filly is having just her third start coming off a much improved third behind Hwanggeum Doyaji last time out. Alan Munro is back in action this week and will ride her again after he piloted her last start. (2) TO THE VICTORY has placed on two occasions from seven career starts. The Raconteur filly sat third in the run last time out when having to come across from a wide draw. She has finished in the top four her past two starts and with the right run can figure. (4) YAHO M J CAT ran on fairly last time out to pick up a cheque. The Chapel Royal filly may appreciate stepping back up to the 1300m with more maturity on her side. (1) MANSEOK JIGI looks the best of the rest in a race where there could be some large place dividends.
|Selections||(3) Family Park (2) To The Victory (4) Yaho M J Cat (1) Manseok Jigi|
|Next Best||11, 12|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 4, 6|
Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
A compact field of eight line up in the fifth where they will go over two turns. Last start runner-up (6) SUPER DOKKI looks hard to beat after showing a brilliant turn of foot in similar company last time out. The Animal Kingdom gelding finished behind Uri who looks a nice type going forward. (1) DAEGUN ILGAL resumes from a spell and has placed on three occasions from five career starts. The US import has had a trial coming into this preparation suggesting he will be fit enough. The barrier is a slight concern as he has minimal early speed suggesting he could get shuffled back on the fence. (4) MIGHTY WING ran a better race last time out for the Italian jockey Manuel Porcu. The colt sat on speed before going down a narrow margin behind Fast Fashion. (8) UP LIGHT ran on strongly last time out when the race was all over. Expect him to drop out early once again.
|Selections||(6) Super Dokki (1) Daegun Ilgal (4) Mighty Wing (8) Up Light|
|Next Best||5, 7|
Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(5) MAGIC FLYING has raced creditably in four goes at this class since getting his maiden win in February, including to 3rd place to Rock Choice, who won the Minister’s Cup two weeks ago and looks to have a real chance here. (7) GRAND YEONGUNG and (10) EL DRAGON are both up in class having registered maiden wins on their respective latest outings. Both should be competitive at this class with Grand Yeongung perhaps having scope for more rapid improvement at this stage but he is untried at the distance. (3) BUSAN BOLT and (9) EOMJI CHEOK are others with placing chances.
|Selections||(7) Grand Yeongung (5) Magic Flying (10) El Dragon (9) Eomji Cheok|
|Next Best||3, 2|
|Fast Start||6, 7, 8|
Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
A lack of speed is engaged in the fifth and the beneficiary appears to be (9) STRONG VULTURE. Alan Munro will have his first ride on the three-year-old who comes off a solid victory in good time. He has been ultra-consistent finishing in the top four on five occasions from six starts. (5) NEUL SACHAN finished just behind the place-getters at her most recent start in what was one of the stronger Class 5 form lines in this race. Lim Gi Won has been riding well and he will pilot the four-year-old from barrier five. (7) SERA YEOJE has placed at her past two starts over the 1300m. Her most recent effort she ran on strong to finish second behind Prima Nike. (4) INDIAN ECO is capable of running a place in this company with a good draw.
|Selections||(9) Strong Vulture (5) Neul Sachan (7) Sera Yeoje (4) Indian Eco|
|Next Best||10, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 9|
Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(8) SEOBU CAT has two wins and three runner-up finishes from five outings to date. In the latest of those, he ran 2nd to the promising Kingston Harbor on what was first try at this class, coming from off the pace. He’s had a few weeks off since then and looks to have solid claims to return to winning ways here. (5) DOCTOR CHIC beat a couple of these on his way to his second consecutive runner-up finish on June 2nd. He led for much of the way around but had to settle for being second-best for the fifth time in his career – it could be a sixth today. (6) TIME SPEC showed a big uptick in form when running 2nd at class and distance three weeks ago in a fast, albeit wet-track assisted time, and can go well again. (7) KING LION returns for the first time since last November. He won two from seven prior to the layoff and looked well when trialing earlier this month and is the wildcard here. (1) MUJEOK VETERAN and (3) GIJEOGUI JEOKTOMA are best of the rest.
|Selections||(8) Seobu Cat (5) Doctor Chic (7) King Lion (6) Time Spec|
|Next Best||1, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 7|
Seoul Race 7: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A field of ten will go over the 1700m in the seventh at Class 5 level. (2) INDIAN could be worth a look at likely generous odds coming off a good performance over the 1700m. He has been promoted to Class 5 company and will be benefited by the claim of Moon Sung-Hyeok. He looks one of only a few pacemakers in the race so he should get every chance from barrier two. (9) LAST JACKPOT ran on well from the tail last time out over the 1700m. Kim Ok Sung stays aboard for the five-year-old’s assignment. Expect him to be snagged back shortly after they jump. (8) NAMJJOK NARA placed last time out in similar company. Cho Han-Byeol has been aboard her past four starts with the most recent of them looking encouraging. (3) TANTAN WINNER is untried over a longer distance but should be kept safe as he consistently finishes in the top four.
|Selections||(2) Indian Boss (9) Last Jackpot (8) Namjjok Nara (3) Tantan Winner|
|Next Best||4, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 4, 6|
Busan Race 4: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(10) SEONGSAN SIMON should have the beating of these. He came up short when favourite on his first try at this distance on May 26th, weakening a little last on but should have come on for that and this winner of four from seven can come out on top this time. (3) CHRISTIANO returned from a year out to run 7th over this distance on May 19th. She obviously needed that and should get closer today. (9) DOCTOR THUNDER is an intriguing one. She was well-backed in the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown, but didn’t look right at all and ended up last. She then took her chance in the Oaks a month ago and likewise did nothing. She’s back in trip and in much more amenable company today and could go better – take a good look at her in the parade ring and on the way to post if possible. Last start class and winner (4) YEONGGWANGUISINHWA and (6) SINHYEOKMYEONG are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(10) Seongsan Simon (9) Doctor Thunder (3) Christiano (4) Yeonggwanguisinhwa|
|Next Best||6, 7|
|Fast Start||3, 7, 8, 10|
Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
A field of ten short course specialists will go over the 1000m in the eights at Class 4 level. (7) RAON STORM continues to impress early on in his career. The Hansen three-year-old is the likely pacemaker and looks well suited with 54kg. The drop back to the five furlongs will suit and Jo Jae-Ro knows the horse well. (4) CHOEGANG STAR is proven in this company and ran good time when winning last start. The 57kg looks the problem but he should get an ideal run from barrier four. David Breux has been aboard the Midshipman colt for all three of his wins. (3) MY HAWK drops back to the 1000m after finishing midfield over 1200m. He had the inside draw for his most recent run and led in the early part. He will be another that works forward early on in this race. (10) YEONGHWAS FLYING is two wins from two starts. She won by a clear three lengths last time out but this looks tougher. She has the outside draw and her competition is much tougher. She is an each-way chance in a good race.
|Selections||(7) Raon Storm (4) Choegang Star (3) My Hawk (10) Yeonghwas Flying|
|Next Best||9, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5, 7|
Busan Race 5: Class Open (1800M) Busan Mayor’s Cup (KOR G2) Weight for Age / KRW 600 Million
- NEW LEGEND – Won his first five races in Korea but has hit the buffers since reaching the elite level running 4th in both the Busan Ilbo over 1200M and YTN Cup at 2000M. Today’s distance may suit a little more but confidence in him has taken a hit. Still loads of ability and can’t be overlooked.
- DIFERENT DIMENSION – Two starts into a comeback following seven months out, he improved last start to 3rd over 1400M. Not quite as good as he used to be and he’ll be an outsider in this company.
- CHEONGDAM DOKKI – Looked to be back on his game when beating Moonhak Chief and Shamrocker by six-lengths in April’s Herald business but looked lethargic when comprehensively defeated when favourite in the YTN. That was a concerning run and the response has been to change the jockey but the talent is still there, he has drawn much better this time and at his best can win.
- CHAMP LINE – The seven-year-old enters in decent touch with a win and a pair of 4th places from his latest two efforts. Back to this trip for the first time since this race last year and this is likely to be a bit stiff.
- WILD THUNDER – Only two starts in 2019 so far and both are a concern as he’s only beaten one home. Stablemate of Cheonji Storm and very much the second string.
- WINNER RED – Struggled for form this year although he ran ok for 7th in the SBS Sports Sprint at Seoul at the start of this month. Always seems to run in the top races when handicaps might be preferable. He’ll be one of the longest shots on the board.
- DOLKONG – First start since the Dubai World Cup at the end of the March. He trialed satisfactorily last week but has only been back in training since the start of the month so this is a tough ask. Further is perhaps better but he’s undoubtedly the class of the field and he could win.
- MOONHAK CHIEF – Absolutely blew them away in the YTN Cup, leading gate to wire for a twelve-length victory. He might not have it all his own way this time, especially with the likes of Cheongdam Dokki having drawn better but he’s still got scope for improvement and is the one they need to beat.
- SHAMROCKER – He spent the early part of his career running 2nd to Clean Up Joy, the middle part 2nd to Cheongdam Dokki and in the YTN Cup he was 2nd to Moonhak Chief for the third time. Probably not got the capacity to win a race like this – something will always be quicker – but he’s super reliable and another place is a strong possibility.
- GREAT KING – Only beat one home in the YTN Cup and although he is better than that, his form leading up to that race was solid rather than spectacular. Big-race specialist jockey Lim Sung-sil takes the ride but it would take a big uptick in form for him to go close here.
- CHEONJI STORM – A brilliant 2nd in this race last year but he’s been unable to build on it since, despite a very creditable 6th in the Korea Cup. Races for the first time since March when he was well back behind Silver Wolf in the Owners’ Cup over 1200M. Goes best when ridden forward early but will have a hard time from this gate.
- JUMBO BLADE – Came from off the pace to run 3rd in the YTN Cup, prior to which he was a class 1 winner here over this distance. From the same ownership group as Cheongdam Dokki, he looks to have more improvement in him and could run into some money.
- BUHWARUI BANSEOK – Solid campaigner who has just tended to fall a little short in the best company. He was 9th in the YTN Cup and has plenty to make up here. From a wide draw likely to be ridden patiently and hope to mop some up late on.
- WORLD DAY – A winner of nine from eleven so far and two from three at class 1. Beaten by a couple of these over 2200M in February but today’s distance is more suitable. He’s a front-runner so the draw is a concern as is the weight in this type of company.
|Selections||(7) Dolkong (8) Moonhak Chief (3) Cheongdam Dokki (9) Shamrocker|
|Next Best||1, 14|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 4, 14|
Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
The ninth on the card has a field of twelve Korean-bred gallopers to line up over the 1300m. Lee Dong-Ha picks up a nice ride with Moon Se-Young riding in Busan, in the form of (4) CHOIN BOLT. The Menifee colt has won three from four with one of his strongest traits – his early speed. Expect Lee Dong-Ha to bustle him out early from barrier four. (2) TRI THUNDER has been racing well of late including a win over 1000m last time out. He’s up in class but has placed over the 1300m on numerous occasions so keep him safe in your selections. (7) CHEONHA HYEONGGUK ran on strongly last time out to finish second behind Red Blade in reasonable time for this grade. (11) WINNER SPIRIT will put himself into the race early from a wide draw. He needs to improve a few lengths but can place with the right run.
|Selections||(4) Choin Bolt (2) Tri Thunder (7) Cheonha Hyeongguk (11) Winner Spirit|
|Next Best||6, 12|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 4, 11|
Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1800M) Handicap
(9) MORNING KOREA beat four of these at this class over 2000M on May 24th. He only carries an additional 2kg here and the drop back in trip is in his favour as well. He has every chance of winning again. (3) MAJOR ALPHA was 3rd in that race and has solid placing claims again while (10) ROYAL HEART was further back in 6th but can improve here. A bigger danger though is likely to be (1) HIDDDEN CHAMP. He only managed 6th last time out when beaten by, among others, (8) WORLD NUMBER ONE, but he has plenty of ability and should be in the frame here.
|Selections||(9) Morning Korea (3) Major Alpha (1) Hiddden Champ (8) World Number One|
|Next Best||10, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 2|
Seoul Race 10: Class 1 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
A very handy bunch of galloper will take to the track in the tenth on the card. The well performed and ultra-consistent (13) TIZ PLAN has won three of his past five starts and has proven he is a genuine Class 1 galloper. The four-year-old went around in the Korean Group 3 YTN Cup last time when finishing an admirable sixth behind some of Koreas best gallopers. He’s weighted suitably and can win. (12) NASCA PRINCE broke a run of outs last start when winning over 2300m. Yoo Seung-Wan has been riding well and knows the five-year-old well. He performs best when sitting on speed so expect him to try and cross before they hit the first turn. (11) ULTRA ROCKET is the highest rated galloper in the race and with good reason. He has finished just behind some very hand types and was a winner just two starts back in similar company. As they say, weight can stop a train and the 57kg looks a big impost over 1800m. (10) GLOBAL LINE had his first start in Class One company last time out when flying from the tail to finish fourth over 1400m. The step up to the 1800m should suit the Rock Hard Ten gelding. Good race.
|Selections||(13) Tiz Plan (12) Nasca Prince (11) Ultra Rocket (10) Global Line|
|Next Best||8, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 9, 10|
Seoul Race 11: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
A compact but interesting race to see us out on Sunday. Interesting things to not Empire Kingdom raced ungenerously last time out with a warning placed on him by stewards whilst M J Power suffered a bleeding attack and has trialed to the satisfaction of stewards since. (3) MUNHAK TIGER has performed well at just his two runs this year. The three-year-old import finished second last time out over 1400 behind Cheungdam Genie. Kim Dong-Soo will have his first ride aboard the progressive type who is well weighted. (4) LOVELY NUTE hasn’t had a run since March but her three runs this year have all been encouraging. She is considered an each-way chance being freshened up for a run over 1400m. (7) M J POWER is a consistent type and performed well over 1400m last time out. Lim Gi Won will have his first race ride aboard the three-year-old. (1) INCHEON CHIEF has drawn well and is a light weight chance in an open event.
|Selections||(3) Munhak Tiger (4) Lovely Nute (7) M J Power (1) Incheon Chief|
|Next Best||8, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5|