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. Je was well beaten by Cheonnyeonui Bada a couple of starts back but looks to have come on a bit since then. (11) LAST JACKPOT, who ran 3rd last time despite losing ground at the start, can also be considered.
|Selections||(2) Reign (9) Cheonnyeonui Bada (4) Meisei Dream (7) Jungdong Dokju|
|Next Best||11, 10|
|Fast Start||2, 6|
Race 6: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(7) MENI SMART ran a good 3rd in similar class and distance company on June 29th. She led for much of that race, capitulating very late on. That was her first try at the distance so hopefully she’ll have learned a bit from the experience and can stick on the whole way today. (6) EORIN WANGJA knows how to win around two turns, having down it somewhat against expectations on June 16th, getting the best of a tight three-way finish. He’ll come from just off the pace and will be much better fancied today. (2) BEST VICTORY has also proven himself capable at this distance and returns up in trip following a decent run last start over 1300M. (1) STRONG CAPTAIN and (8) CHEONHA HYEONGGUK are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(7) Meni Smart (6) Eorin Wangja (2) Best Victory (1) Strong Captain|
|Next Best||8, 11|
|Fast Start||4, 7, 10|
Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
One of very few Canadian-breds running in Korea, (10) GO GO BI got her maiden win at class and distance last start, scoring by a nose. She doesn’t carry too much extra weight and that win had been coming. She doesn’t need to lead so the wide draw is not so much of a problem and she can win again. (8) RAISING ANGEL got her maiden win at this distance in May before running a good 3rd on her first try at this class last time out. She’ll come from just off the pace here and can match or better that performance. (12) MUNHAK WINNER remains winless from four attempts but has never been worse than 4th and should maintain that record today. (9) SOULY MAJESTIC and debut-maker (1) DYNAMIC COMING are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(10) Go Go Bi (8) Raising Angel (12) Munhak Winner (1) Dynamic Coming|
|Next Best||9, 7|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 7, 12|
Race 8: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(9) CHOEGANG STAR has won his latest three and four from eight in total. He’s up in class here and while all his wins so far have come over 1000M, he could well be ready to tackle the additional distance too. (3) RAON SERENA certainly won’t have a problem with the distance having won two of her latest three at 1200M and 1300M. She is up in class here but should be on pace and could lead all the way. Five of these raced each other over class and distance on June 22nd. (4) SOMETHING MYSTERY finished the best of them that day in 3rd place and he can go well again although (12) MONEY DAERYUK, who ran 4th has solid claims to overturn that form. (7) LUXURY HAPPY was further back in the same race but is better than that and can improve here.
|Selections||(3) Raon Serena (9) Choegang Star (12) Money Daeryuk (4) Something Mystery|
|Next Best||7, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 6, 9|
Race 9: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(8) DIXIE AGAIN was a comfortable nine-length winner over this distance last time, his second win in just three starts. He’s up in class today but looks to have a lot of potential and can win again from the front. It’s a good race though, with plenty of other useful looking types. (1) HAWK HAENGJINGOK is similarly a winner of two from three and has strong chances again. (4) MENI GRAND won two in a row in April and May to get promoted this level, running 4th on her first attempt at it last month. She can better that here. (9) STRONG VULTURE has been an eye catching winner of both his latest two, both at this distance, to rapidly move up in class. Today’s is a significantly sterner examination, but he could well be equal to it. (7) TRI THUNDER the best of a competitive rest.
|Selections||(8) Dixie Again (9) Strong Vulture (1) Hawk Haengjingok (4) Meni Grand|
|Next Best||7, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 8, 11|
Race 10: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(7) WELLNESS K has won two in a row to get promoted to this level. Both have been at 1000M so he’s up in trip for the first time today, but this isn’t an intimidating race and he could complete a hat-trick of victories. (6) MATCH CAPTAIN dropped back to this distance to record an improved 4th place last time in sterner company than this and can go better today while (4) GAON QUEEN had a poor day at the office on her latest start but can be given another chance here. (3) CRAZY FACTOR returns for the first time since February and looked sharp when winning a trial earlier this month. (8) PRO HAMSEONG is another who is better than recent finishes would suggest.
|Selections||(7) Wellness K (6) Match Captain (4) Gaon Queen (3) Crazy Factor|
|Next Best||8, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 4|
Race 11: Class 1 (2000M) Allowance / KRW 110 Million
(8) K.N BLUE has been remarkably consistent and comes in having run a good 2nd over 2300M in May. That was his first run in class 1 company and it seems only a matter of time until he gets a top level win. It will most likely be today with him dropping back to 2000M and aiming to lead all the way. (3) THUNDER LIGHT beat a couple of these on his way to a three-length win at this class over 1800M last start. He carries an additional 3kg today but has claims for a repeat. (9) JANGSAN COWBOY and (6) GUTONGSA come in having run 3rd and 5th respectively when they raced each other over 1800M in June and both can be competitive here.
|Selections||(8) K.N Blue (3) Thunder Light (6) Gutongsa (9) Jangsan Cowboy|
|Next Best||2, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 8|
Race 12: Class 2 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million
(8) THANK YOU CHARLIE hasn’t done his best work in the wet, nor at 1400M, but he does look the class horse of the field here. He’ll not be favourite though. (9) BAKCHAOREUM is up in class on the back of consecutive wins. He’s won five from nine so far including one at this distance and he has every chance of burnishing his record further here. (11) JANGSAN WILD only managed 6th over 1200M last time but it was a tight finish and he can go better than that today while (5) SAEBYEOGI comes in after back to back runner-up finishes and he too looks like he can maintain his form here. (10) DAE JYUSIN and (7) GOLD MOUNTAIN are back in trip after running 2nd and 3rd respectively when racing each other over 1800M on June 29th. Both are capable of finding at least the minor money here.
|Selections||(8) Thank You Charlie (9) Bakchaoreum (11) Jangsan Wild (10) Dae Jyusin|
|Next Best||5, 7|
|Fast Start||5, 8, 9, 11|