There is a 12-race card at Seoul (10:45 to 18:00) but it’s Busan (just 5 races from 12:40 to 16:20) where the feature action is in the shape of the G3 Owners’ Cup. Last year’s winner Doraonpogyeonseon returns but faces the challenge of the up an comet Blue Chipper over the Busan mile. Horse by horse for the Owners’ Cup, followed by race-by-race for Seoul below:
Busan Race 5: Owners’ Cup (KOR G3) 1600M) Weight for Age / KRW 500 Million
1. ACE KOREA – Ran 4th in the SBS Sports Sprint, his first run back in Korea following an unsuccessful stint at the Dubai Carnival where he blew the start both times. Returned to winning ways with a gutsy effort over 1400M three weeks ago. First try at a mile, he may be a little hesitantly away but should be quickly up with the leaders. Classy animal – don’t rule out.
2. FLYING MUNNING – Seoul raider, he’s consistent having finished in the top four in each of his most recent nine outings dating back a year. Recently promoted to class 1 after a win and two runner-up finishes at class 2 level both around two turns. First try in elite company today, he has drawn well to get on pace, but others are favoured.
3. TOSCONOVA CAT – Has established himself as one of the top class 1 competitors at Seoul and is versatile distance-wise. Comes in having run 3rd, beaten by Winner Gold, over 1400M a month ago. Generally settles towards the middle or rear and has a strong finish. Hasn’t carried this amount of weight in this kind of company before, which is a concern.
4. WINNER GOLD – Rounded out his 2018 campaign with back to back class 1 wins and while he’s yet to strike this term, he’s been in decent form with his most recent outing a 2nd place over 1400M beating Tosconova Cat in the process. Is rating means he has been giving away plenty of weight in his handicap appearances and while he failed to make an impact at level weights in the YTN Cup over 2000M in May, this should suit better.
5. BLUE CHIPPER – The emerging star. He’s had a career interrupted by injury but since his return to action in April he’s won three in a row in effortless fashion, posting some very fast times along the way. It’s his first try at a mile and his first go in elite company but he’ll be favoured get on top early and lead all the way.
6. KING OF GLORY – Same connections as Ace Korea and just like his Peter Wolsley-trained stablemate, he tackles the mile for the first time. He ran a very good 3rd to Gaon Champ in the Busan Ilbo over 1200M in April before winning a handicap at 1400M the following month. In his latest race, he ran 3rd to Baengmunbaekdap at 1200M a month ago. He’ll want to be close to the pace and distance is a question.
7. DORAONPOGYEONGSEON – Now six-years-old, he’s a multiple Stakes winning Sprinter and also the defending Champion having won this race a year ago. Many doubted whether he would get a mile but he proved them wrong when beating the likes of Silver Wolf. He’s run just twice this season, finishing 5th in the Busan Ilbo and 2nd in the SBS Sprint, both times behind Gaon Champ and both at 1200M. Slow away, if he looms up late, he can go close.
8. GOOD CASTING – After a career of near-misses he really started to thrive this year with a pair of wins at class 1 over 1400M and 1800M in the Spring. He then ran a good 2nd in the Busan Ilbo before a slightly disappointing 8th in the SBS Sprint, both at 1200M. Today’s distance should suit a little more and while there is an enforced jockey change due to Franco Da Silva’s injury, he has good chance of finding the money.
9. WILD THUNDER – Second visit to Busan in as many months having been well back in the June’s Mayor’s Cup. That was always going to be a stiff assignment and he looks likely to be outclassed here too.
10. HAVANA CHARLIE – An up and comer with three wins and three runner-up finishes from just seven career starts to date. The only three-year-old in the race, the only doubt is whether this may be a bit too much too soon. He comes in off a very nice win over 1400M at class 2 level in May and while up to a mile for the first time, he gets weight relief and could run into some money. His times have been consistently fast.
11. BAENGMUNBAEKDAP – Very good horse whose only recent disappointment was a poor showing at Seoul in the YTN Cup. That was sandwiched between two very good wins, most recently over 1200M when he beat King Of Glory, but he’s versatile at all distances. He’ll come from off the pace and can finish strongly. Stablemate of Blue Chipper, he may be the second string here, but he’s a real money chance.
12. PLACES TO GO – A solid class 1 campaigner but he has struggled when asked to run in elite company in the past. First trip to Busan and therefore first go at a mile but recent form suggests this is too stiff.
Selections: (5) BLUE CHIPPER (7) DORAONPOGYEONGSEON (1) ACE KOREA (4) WINNER GOLD
Race 1: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(5) CHOIN GANGJA was sent off as on odds-chance on debut on June 29th and duly obliged in confident fashion. He sat off the pace and ran on well so being up in class and distance today shouldn’t be an issue for him. (7) FLYING JOY remains a maiden but has finished in the top three on no fewer than ten occasions, including his latest two and should go close again. (10) MYEONGMA JILJU was just beaten a head over this distance last time, her second consecutive runner-up finish and will be a danger. (2) JACOB and (11) FEATHER LIGHT others who can go close.
|Selections||(5) Choin Gangja (7) Flying Joy (10) Myeongma Jilju (2) Jacob|
|Next Best||11, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 6, 11|
Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Juvenile maidens with three of the ten having raced before. One of those, (5) JEONGMUN SUMMIT is set to be strong favourite. He ran 3rd on debut in in a good time over 1000M June 29th. He ran though the line well and can only benefit from the extra furlong today. Of the other two with racing experience, (1) STRETTO stumbled on jumping but otherwise did nothing wrong first-up in a challenging event over this trip and can improve today while (3) BAEK HAK has been back to trial since her first time and can get better here. As for the debut-makers. (2) RAPIDO BOLT and (10) HALLA BLOSSOM look the most likely to put in a decent effort. As ever in this type of race, watch the market for additional clues.
|Selections||(5) Jeongmun Summit (1) Stretto (2) Rapido Bolt (10) Halla Blossom|
|Next Best||3, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 5|
Race 3: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(10) WINNER MOUNTAIN has been getting closer across three starts to date, culminating in 2nd place last time. He’s run on well in both his latest two and the significant step up in trip today may suit. The primary danger looks to be (7) COLORS KING showed significant improvement last start, beating a couple of these on his way to a solid 2nd place. It was his first try at this distance and it suited him well. (1) PUER SPES has a 3rd place to his name around two turns and could get another one here. (6) SEOUL CITY makes a significant step up in trip having made all his previous starts at 1000M and can go better too. (3) FASTEST, who to date has been anything but, looks the best of a very limited rest.
|Selections||(10) Winner Mountain (7) Colors King (1) Puer Spes (6) Seoul City|
|Next Best||3, 5|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 8|
Race 4: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(7) GWANGPOK JUHAENG beat (11) TANTAN WINNER came home 1st and 2nd with less than a length between them when they raced each other over class and distance on June 30th. The weights are pretty much the same today and a very similar outcome looks a distinct possibility with Gwangpok Juhaeng again slightly favoured. (10) HAMYANG SANSAM steps up in trip following a solid 3rd place at 1300M a month ago and it may well suit while (2) GEUMSUNI STAR is up in both class and distance following a maiden score over 1300M four weeks ago. He is likely to try and set the pace here and should be competitive. (6) RAON STELLA, also up in class after a maiden win – in his case at this distance – is another one capable of going close.
|Selections||(7) Gwangpok Juhaeng (11) Tantan Winner (2) Geumsuni Star (10) Hamyang Sansam|
|Next Best||6, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 11|
Race 5: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(2) REIGN finished midfield in the Korean Oaks and then an excellent 4th in the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup. She returns to class 5 company today looking in good stead to pick up what would be just her second career win, the first having also been at this distance. She’ll aim to lead from the start. (9) CHEONNYEONUI BADA also got her maiden win at this distance in May before running a good 4th on her first try at this class last month. She ran on really well last time and can be a danger here. (4) MEISEI DREAM is relatively unexposed having only raced twice before, the most recent of them yielding his maiden win over 1300M. Up in class and trip today, she has good potential to show more. (7) JUNGDONG DOKJU is also up in class following a maiden win, in his case at this distance. (more…)