Listed action returns to Seoul Racecourse on Sunday when the Herald Business Cup headlines the behind-closed-doors meeting. There are 15 races from 10:25-18:00 while Busan also hosts a 5-race spectator-less program. The Herald Business is the main lead up race to the YTN Cup (G3), which has been re-scheduled for mid-July and features two-time winner Cheongdam Dokki facing the venerable Triple Nine and a host of the biggest names in Korean racing over 2000M. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
Twelve two-year-olds line up in the first on Sunday where they are all on debut. (4) OXFORD KING was impressive when he trialed in April winning his heat in good time. He showed an abundance of gate speed and flattened out nicely hitting the line in professional style. (9) JEONGMUN JJANG clocked a good time in his trial when going up against the more experienced gallopers. He ran on down the centre of the track taking ground of some of his counterparts. (10) QUEEN OF BEST won her trial when showing early speed. The Purge filly crossed from gate eight to sit outside the leader before being nursed to the line suggesting she has more to offer. (2) FORT SEUONE looks next best with a handy draw. The filly was beaten a big margin in her trial but the time was respectable for the two-year-olds.
|Selections||(4) Oxford King (9) Jeongmun Jjang (10) Queen Of Best (2) Fort Seuone|
|Next Best||12, 3|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
More unraced maidens but this time it’s for the three-year-olds with ten fillies and two colts going over the 1000M. (2) WONDERFUL STORM is a half-brother to Dubai Carnival winner Main Stay and trialed the most convincing of this lot. He went through three heats in total, improving each time and he can make his debut a winning one against modest opposition. The only other one of these to even break 63 seconds in a trial is the other colt, (10) AROMA. He demonstrated decent gate speed and should be challenging from the start. So too should (4) BEST FAMILY, whose only trial saw her run 2nd having led for much of the way. (3) ROCK BEAT put in a credible time in the second of her two trials having weakened after leading in the first of them and she should have a good handle on what’s expected of her here. (6) HIT HEART another with a chance of going well first-up. Plenty of these will be looking to lead from the gate.
|Selections||(2) Wonderful Storm (3) Rock Beat (4) Best Family (10) Aroma|
|Next Best||6, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11|
Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A field of twelve are looking for their first win in the third event. (3) MAGIC PLAN lines up for her second start after finishing second on debut in February. The Plan filly ran through the line well and had the remainder of the field covered safely. She has trialed fairly of late and with some improvement can figure in a wide open race. (8) ULTRA ANNIE has placed on two occasions from four career starts to date. The filly has shown plenty of speed in her past couple of starts. She failed to impress in a recent trial but she has the runs on the board in this grade suggesting she can run into the money. (5) HYPER CAR is another that has collected some prizemoney to date. The colt has finished second at his past two starts. He has reeled off some reasonable sectionals previously suggesting the step up to the 1400m will be suitable. The last start performance of (11) HWARYEO cannot go unnoticed. The Hansen filly finished third behind Luisa who looks a nice type. Keep her safe in your wider selections.
|Selections||(3) Magic Plan (8) Ultra Annie (5) Hyper Car (11) Hwaryeo|
|Next Best||1, 12|
|Fast Start||3, 8, 11|
Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(8) ILBO DEUNGCHEON improved across the course of three outings last year, culminating in 2nd place over 1300M in November. He’s just been the through the one trial since, in March, looking well and stepping up to 1400M today, he has a chance of going one better this time. (12) LUCKY SMILE ran twice last year finishing in 3rd place on both occasions. The Menifee filly has kept the consistency going by finishing 2nd in two trials this year, most recently in May. She ran on well in both her actual races, both of which were at 1000M and she may well appreciate the additional distance today. (2) KOREAN PEARL and (4) BOGO TTO BOGO are the only two in the field who have raced at this distance previously. Neither was especially fast but both ran through the line well and improvement is possible here. The latter trialed pleasingly enough in April. (5) AMAZING QUEEN and (7) ALPHA DOK have both performed promisingly at 1300M and both can come into contention at the extended trip today.
|Selections||(8) Ilbo Deungcheon (12) Lucky Smile (2) Korean Pearl (7) Alpha Dok|
|Next Best||4, 5|
|Fast Start||4, 7, 8|
Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
We can approach the three-year-old fillies race on the card with some confidence as there looks a nice developing type engaged. (8) LION YEOJE showed a brilliant turn of foot at her most recent start when winning over the 1000m at her second start. She looks one that will appreciate the 1300m as she has already shown an ounce of versatility. (12) WONDERFUL HEART looks the likely pacemaker who will need to be run down. The Eurosilver filly was gobbled up in the final stages last time out to finish third over the 1200m in similar company. (4) LUISA broke maiden status last time out when chasing doggedly to the line. She appreciated the step up to the 1300m giving her time to wind up and gun the pacemakers down. She does need to improve a couple of lengths however as her time last start was comparatively slow. (6) LAST MAGIC is another that takes a while to wind up but flattened out in good style last start to break maiden status. Keep her safe in your wider selections.
|Selections||(8) Lion Yeoje (12) Wonderful Heart (4) Luisa (6) Last Magic|
|Next Best||2, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 12|
Race 6: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(9) JANGSAN BADA was an 8/1 winner on debut at this distance in the final day before the shutdown in February, coming from just off the pace to win handily. He’s never actually finished behind another horse having a 100% record in trials too and while he is up in class today, he’s the only winner at this distance and he can repeat. It won’t be easy though. Having scored on debut in December, (1) WANG TAENG I was sent off an odds-on chance for his first try at this level in January. He ran 2nd, unable to get to a good winner, but is certainly worth another chance today. (3) CHEONGDAM CURLING and (5) CARVING CROSS are both up in class following last start maiden wins. The latter looked sensational when blitzing an April trial and both should be competitive at this level. They have contrasting styles with Carving Cross set to attempt to lead all the way while Cheongdam Curling will come from off the pace. Plenty of others with promise as well including (4) GAGANA, who perhaps trialed the best.
|Selections||(9) Jangsan Bada (1) Wang Taeng I (5) Carving Cross (3) Cheongdam Curling|
|Next Best||4, 11, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 5|
Race 7: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
A progressive bunch of Korean-bred gallopers will line up in the seventh with six of the runners last start winners. (7) JILJUUI KKUM is one of those last start winners who saluted in impressive style over the 1200m last time out. The Archarcharch filly ran through the line strong when winning and has had trialed well during the racing hiatus. (11) DIA KEY looks the main threat coming off a last start win when clocking a reasonable time over the 1200m. The colt gets in with just 52kg and is likely to try and slot across in the early stages. The three-year-old has won two his three starts. (1) SAENAE SPURT has proved a consistent type in his short career. The son of Menifee has notched two wins and two minors from six career starts. He saluted last start over the 1300m suggesting the 1400m should be ideal. He lacks early dash so gate one is not necessarily an advantage. (8) HWANGGEUM HAE is yet to finish worse than third from his five career starts. The Chapel Royal colt comes off a last start third over the 1600m behind Raon Khan. He is another one that the 1400m should be ideal on resuming.
|Selections||(7) Jiljuui Kkum (11) Dia Key (1) Saenae Spurt (8) Hwanggeum Hae|
|Next Best||2, 5|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 8, 11|
Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
Twelve previously unraced imports go around for the first time here with three juveniles joining nine three-year-olds. And we have Korean racing royalty of a sort among them as (12) JANGSAN GOLD, a half-sister to Dolkong, winner of the listed Curlin Handicap at Meydan in 2019, makes his racecourse debut. It could be a winning one too as she looked good in both his trials, winning one and coming home 2nd in the other, both in competitive times. The same owner sends out possibly her main rival in the shape of (11) JANGSAN LUCKY He led for much of his trial before being overtaken late on by top sprinter Global Captain. It was an impressive performance nonetheless and he is to be taken seriously here. Also to be taken seriously is (9) ECHO VICTOR. The Gemologist gelding led almost the whole way around to win his trial in unhurried fashion. (5) MIGHTY NEW ran on strongly in both his trials. The New Zealand-bred gelding will probably want further but can go well first up today. (3) BIMURYANG perhaps the best of the rest.
|Selections||(12) Jangsan Gold (11) Jangsan Lucky (9) Echo Victor (5) Mighty New|
|Next Best||3, 10|
|Fast Start||9, 11|
Race 9 Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
A mixture of Korean-bred gallopers and the imports go over the two turns in the ninth event. Ina race that lacks early speed, (10) KING OF RULES has built a solid record over the middle distances at his past few starts and looks one of the main chances. The four-year-old has finished in the top three on nine occasions from twelve starts. He trialled in April recording a good time for the 1000m. (11) CHEONNYEONUI BI has been prepared by Park Dae-Heung as a middle distance type for quite some time. Her last nine starts have been over the 1700m yielding two wins and a minor placing. At her last start she finished second behind Simon Queen suggesting she can play a part first up. The lightly raced (12) SURISURIMA will be stretched out to the 1700m for the first time after showing a nice turn of foot at her past couple of starts. She was beaten a big margin last start but it is clear she will appreciate the extra two furlongs. (7) ECHO BILL looks an each-way chance based on his five runs to date. At his most recent start the three-year-old settled last before sustaining a long run eventually finishing second behind Moonhak Empire. He looks another that will appreciate the step up to 1700m for the first time.
|Selections||(10) King Of Rules (11) Cheonnyeonui Bi (12) Surisurima (7) Echo Bill|
|Next Best||3, 2|
|Fast Start||6, 10|
Race 10: Class 3 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
This is a really good looking race with plenty having live chances. A winner of three from five (6) LEGEND STORM has racked up some decent times along the way too. The concern would be that he is stepping up in trip to two-turns for the first time and he was beaten on his previous longest trip, 1400M, in January. Nevertheless, he looks worth a go here. There are no concerns about the trip for (4) MUDO. He’s up in class too but has won at this distance and is a very game 100% effort type of horse who can’t be ruled out. (12) CHEON GOE SEONG beat Mudo last November when constructing a three-race winning streak of his own, all of them coming at this distance. He labored a little on a wet track over 1800M on his first try at this class in January and offered few clues in a May trial but he surely has claims here. (9) UP LIGHT was a 27/1 winner on a muddy track at this class over 1800M in January – with Cheon Goe Seong back in the pack – and warrants more respect today while (11) RAON KHAN is another one who has tasted success at this distance and comes in following a last start win at a mile.
|Selections||(12) Cheon Goe Seong (6) Legend Storm (4) Mudo (11) Raon Khan|
|Next Best||9, 10, 7|
|Fast Start||6, 8, 12|
Race 11: Class 2 (1900M) Allowance / KRW 110 Million
Some classy types line up over the two turns where it should be a very honest run 1900m. The consistency of (7) RED BLADE suggests he will be hard to beat. The four-year-old rarely runs a bad race. From his past eight starts, he has won four and placed on three occasions. This is his first time over the 1900m but he looks as if he will run it out strong. (11) RAYMOND has turned out to be a handy galloper notching five wins from nineteen starts. He got within half a length of Munhak Tiger last start after settling off the speed. He was put through his paces in a barrier trial during the racing hiatus and ticked all the boxes. (10) FLYING FORD is up in class but has been doing everything right. The Shackleford colt has only had the eight runs yielding three wins including a victory last start over the mile when he was resuming. The 1900m will suit him down to the ground and he has one of Seoul’s best long distance riders in Alan Munro. (2) IGYEOJUMA can mix his form but his second to Global Captain should be taken into account when doing form for this race. He lacks early dash and with plenty of speed engaged, should be able to get an economic run on the inside before reeling off a solid last three furlongs.
|Selections||(7) Red Blade (11) Raymond (10) Flying Ford (2) Igyeojuma|
|Next Best||12, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 7, 9, 10|
Race 12: Class Open “Herald Business Cup” (Listed) 2000M Allowance / KRW 300 Million
The first big race back after the hiatus and 2000M is no mean ask first-up. Could the enforced break mean a changing of the guard as old champions (12) TRIPLE NINE and (8) CHEONGDAM DOKKI take on the young pretenders. Cheongdam Dokki has won the last two runnings of this race but last year’s edition, which was held in its usual April slot, remains his most recent victory. He’s certainly not run badly since but there is that feeling that his best days – when he could go it in front and relentlessly run away from all-comers – are behind him. He’ll not be far away though. Triple Nine is a nine-year-old and returned from over a year out to run 3rd when giving away an awful lot of weight in a January handicap at Busan. He has been Mr. Consistency through his career and while he takes an awfully long time to hit top gear, so long as he doesn’t give the rest too much of a head start, he can run plenty down late on.
(1) HEUK JEONSA has quietly made his way up the grades winning seven from eleven including his latest three. He carries a nice light weight which makes him attractive for a good run. It’s the weight that is a concern for (2) TIZ PLAN. If this race was run at level weights, there would be a case for making him favourite but as it is, his best wins have come when getting weight for others and he had a hard time in the KRA Cup Classic last year. His recent form is on wet tracks so he is going to need raise himself to get on the board here. (3) SHAMROCKER rarely wins but always races in top flight company and always gives a good account of himself. Expect him to run on strong late and it would be a surprise if he misses the prize money.
The real new kid on the block is (4) WORLD POWER. He’s a stablemate of Triple Nine and a winner of four from nine. Although he has never even raced at higher than class 2, his times have been elite class and the weight allowance he gets puts him firmly in the hunt. (7) GREAT KING ran well at the Dubai World Cup Carnival and makes his first start since returning to Korea. A possible concern is that previous trips to Seoul haven’t gone well but on his day he can beat anyone. Rounding out the leading contenders is (10) ROCK HARD SEVEN. Both his recent form and the weight he carries, put him right into contention for at least a place.
|Selections||(12) Triple Nine (1) Heuk Jeonsa (7) Great King (4) World Power|
|Next Best||3, 8, 2, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 7,|
Race 13: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
There are plenty of chances in the thirteenth event where the Class 4 gallopers go over the 1300m. (10) SOMETHING NOBODYNO has runs on the board in this class finishing second last start over this distance behind Complete Kingdom. The speedy type tried to lead throughout when being caught in the run to the line. Expect Kim Jeong-jun to work forward once again. (2) SONGAM CANDY has been impressive at his four starts to date. The lightly raced four-year-old saluted last start in wet conditions when positioning behind the leaders. This is tougher but he has been racing well and is considered an each-way chance. (6) BROWN ROSE has finished second at the past two starts in this grade. She has drawn ideally to suit her racing pattern, taking a trail behind the leaders before unwinding in the straight. (4) RAON HANNIBAL was an impressive winner two starts back before finishing fifth last start over the six furlongs. The Simon Pure filly has finished behind some handy ones in her short career.
|Selections||(10) Something Nobodyno (2) Songam Candy (6) Brown Rose (4) Raon Hannibal|
|Next Best||7, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 8, 9, 10|
Race 14: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(1) GLOBAL SOCKS came from well off the pace on debut on February 22nd to score at class and distance. He hasn’t trialed during the shutdown and he does carry an additional 4kg today, but likewise, he could well have enough about him to strike again. (12) BAEDARI PRINCE was a last start winner back in January at this distance. He too carries more weight today but the Oxbow colt looked well when trialing up behind Eoma Eoma in April and if he can overcome the wide gate, is a real prospect. Cairo Prince filly (6) CHUNSAN offered plenty of speed in her first two outings and while she failed to get to grips with things over 1300M in February, she won a trial in fine order in April and can be given another chance here. (7) DADDY KHOZAN remains a maiden but has trialed well and should be aiming to try and at least match the 3rd place she scored at 1300M on January. (9) WORLD CAPTAIN, 3rd behind Chunsan on debut last November, is perhaps best of the rest.
|Selections||(1) Global Socks (12) Baedari Prince (6) Chunsan (7) Daddy Khozan|
|Next Best||9, 8|
|Fast Start||3, 9, 10, 12|