The fifteenth running of the Busan Ilbo Cup is the feature race for the weekend with a capacity field of sixteen to face the starter at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon. With the postponement of the Chairman’s Cup due to Covid-19, this will be the first leg of the 2020 Korean Sprint Series. There are 5 races at Busan from 12:15 to 15:30 while at Seoul there are 14 from 10:35 to 18:00. Both meetings are closed to spectators.
Eight of Seoul’s top sprinters will line up against eight of Busan’s best over the 1200m. The Group Three feature was taken out by Gaon Champ last year, who lines up in the event once again.
The winning trifecta of the Segye Ilbo Cup in January will reunite to face off once more. There was less than half a length covering the first three in the 1200m listed feature with Simjangui Godong (1st), Do Kki Blade (2nd) and Gaon Champ (3rd) completing the trifecta. Last year’s Champion Three-Year-Old Simjangui Godong showed a brilliant turn of foot over the sprint distance after dropping back from the 1800m the start prior. Do Kki Blade and Gaon Champ both settled on speed and were gallant up the Seoul straight.
Last start Class One winner Seobu Cat will face his toughest test to date, coming of four successive victories. The four-year-old comes off a dominant two length victory when carrying the featherweight of 51kg, defeating Doraonpogyeongson (2nd/58kg) and Ace Korea (4th/60kg).
Last year’s Korea Sprint runner-up Dia Socks will make the trip to Busan for the feature. The five-year-old comes off a last start fourth behind Global Captain, who is absent from the race. The five-year-old is never the fastest out of the gates, but he did fail to muster early on last start which cost him a closer finish after rattling home late. To make things more difficult, he has been dealt the outside gate but will have the services of Korea’s leading jockey in Moon Se-Young.
M J Power and Morning Daero both come off Class One victories. M J Power saluted over the 1200m in February with just 52kg on his back, he beat home Munhak Winner (3rd/52kg) who will line up in the event as well. Morning Daero comes off a 1400m victory carrying 56.5kg when defeating former KRA Cup Classic Winner Divide Wind (4th/52kg).
King Of Glory was beaten four lengths last start late December over 1200m in Class One grade carrying 56kg, with Hi Sexy finishing well back in the same race. Clean Up Board comes off a last start midfield performance behind Heuk Jeonsa whilst Seongpa and Seongsan Simon saluted in Class 1 events over 1200m and 1400m respectively.
In a wide open version of the Busan Ilbo Cup, Gaon Champ is the on top selection. The five-year-old entire has been so consistent throughout his career to date, winning nine of fourteen and placing on three other occasions. He is drawn to likely find the fence early on, and if not sit at worst one of the fence outside of Seongpa who is a speedy type. His trial in April was encouraging, Lim Gi-won looked statuesque aboard him as he worked home under his own steam to clock a good time. Epsom Derby-winning jockey Alan Munro is the beneficiary of an injured Lim Gi-won and will be legged aboard on Sunday.
Here are previews for all races:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The maidens kick off proceedings on Sunday’s 14 event card. (7) GLOBAL WANGJA looks the one to get punters off to a good start coming off a last start second behind Ganghojeil back in February. The lightly race four-year-old has speedy types drawn either side of him suggesting he should get a trail forward and be able to camp on the leaders’ coattails. (6) PARAN WANGJA is one of those speedy types who will work forward. The Divine Park chestnut was prominent in his debut when placing behind Cheongdam Curling. He completed the 1200m in a slow time on debut but with some improvement he looks an each-way prospect. (3) COIN BLADE hasn’t raced since April last year when finishing third on debut. He trialed in April and the performance couldn’t give us an indication of how he is going. Keep him safe as is if he is sound he could give this a shake. (4) HOEBOK looks next best finishing just behind the placings at his past couple of starts.
|Selections||(7) Global Wangja (6) Paran Wangja (3) Coin Blade (4) Hoebok|
|Next Best||2, 8|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 8|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Maiden fillies go around here. (8) RAON BLOOD improved to 3rd place on what was her fourth outing in February. She’s not the quickest but she plugs away well and against this limited set of opposition, she has fair claims having almost made all in a trial earlier this month. (6) IMPERIAL SILK finished 4th behind Raon Blood last time out and looked similarly well when trialing with seemingly scope for more development. (12) HWA SSI BYEOK has finished no worse than 5th in three outings so far. She has been quite one-paced but just with Raon Blood, that may be enough to see her into some money here. Her recent trial was good enough. (5) WONDERFUL CAT has a runner-up finish at class and distance to her name and must be taken seriously while (9) BAEKDUWA HALLA did nothing wrong when 4th on debut in February, running on strongly over 1000M and looks in the hunt over the additional distance too.
|Selections||(8) Raon Blood (6) Imperial Silk (9) Baekduwa Halla (12) Hwa Ssi Byeok|
|Next Best||5, 2, 3|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 7, 8|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The maiden three-year-olds will go over the 1400m in the third with the most experienced gallopers having just the five starts against their name. (6) BLUE CHARM is considered an each-way chance based on his past couple of starts. He finished third behind Punch Power last time out when beaten less than a length. The Tiz Wonderful colt is a strong and leggy type who looks as if he will appreciate the 1400m first up. (9) WILD KINGDOM is a big chance after finishing third behind Dynamic Punch last time out. The Competitive Edge colt has placed twice from the three starts and is one of only a few who can show early speed. (2) ROCK NEWS has been hitting the line better at his past couple of starts. He won his trial in April and further improvement first up is possible. (1) YEONGJU STONE looks next best coming off a last start third when hitting the line strong in the final stages. The chestnut will be aided by an inside draw.
|Selections||(6) Blue Charm (9) Wild Kingdom (2) Rock News (1) Yeongju Stone|
|Next Best||3, 7|
|Fast Start||6, 9|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Fillies only here. (6) SIBERIA made all when odds-on on debut in February for a strong win. She is up in class today and didn’t exactly pull up trees in her trial so while she can win again, there are some question marks. (1) CHOEGANGMA similarly steps up to this distance for the first time. She got her maiden win at 1000M last November and then raced twice at this class finishing 3rd and 2nd beating a few of these in the process. She likes to come from just off the pace and today could be his day again. (4) PRETTY JOY too tries the distance for the first time having run 2nd on her first try at this class in December. Her trial was not as strong as others, however. (10) RAIN K had a hard time on her first start at this level in February when she never got into gear and finished well back but looked much better in a recent trial. If she gets a good start, she can be a factor. The up in class (2) ALL BAEK is another to look out for.
|Selections||(6) Siberia (1) Choegangma (4) Pretty Joy (10) Rain K|
|Next Best||2, 3, 4, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 6, 9, 10|
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
There looks to be a lack of speed engaged in the fifth suggesting the winner will need to be in touch with the leaders at the top of the straight. From an outside draw (12) SAMSEONG VIVA looks one that can work forward and camp on the leaders’ backs. The Tiz Wonderful colt saluted over this distance three starts back, then finished midfield before running second last start behind Jeongsang Dolpung. (3) EAST CHAMP broke through for his first win last start over this distance. He trialed in April and performed only fair but we will include him based on his consistency shown in his four career starts to date. (1) TANK SOCKS has drawn ideally to sit closer to the speed. She comes off a last start fourth when somewhat one-paced to the line. She did win on debut at big odds, suggesting the forced freshen-up may work in her favour. (7) CHEONNYEONUI BARAM is considered an each-way chance based on his last start when third behind Dia Key. The four-year-old has had the sixteen start yielding just the one win and three minor placings, whilst the record is not overly impressive, this isn’t the strongest race.
|Selections||(12) Samseong Viva (3) East Champ (1) Tank Socks (7) Cheonnyeonui Baram|
|Next Best||11, 4|
|Fast Start||6, 11|
Busan Race 2: Class 4 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
After getting his maiden win at odds in excess of 60/1 back in January, (3) MR. HANSEN promptly followed up with another victory, this time at 1400M in February. He steps up in class again but is beautifully drawn to be on pace from the start and has every chance of completing his hat-trick here. (11) BEYOND steps up in class and distance following a nice looking win over 1300M back in January. He usually comes from off the pace so if (more…)