It’s KRA Cup Eve! The delayed 1st leg of the 2020 Triple Crown takes place at Busan on Sunday but before that, there is a bumper 15-race card at Seoul on Saturday. As ever these days, however, it will be run behind closed doors. The highly thought-of Eoma Eoma will run in the concluding race 15. Due to the Cup Mile, a number of top jockeys including Moon Se Young and Alan Munro are in Busan for the weekend and will not be riding at Seoul. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
The two-year-old debutants line up over the short course in the first where there looks to be some nice types. (5) MOST SPEED is the on top selection after a very speedy trial. The Federalist filly cruised along early before railing like a greyhound and winning by a big margin. The time was good and there looked to be more in the tank. (2) JILJU DAERO handed in a nice trial performance when crossing from the outside to take up the running. Under minimal urging the Gyeongbudaero colt went on to score in a soft trial. He has a good draw and will work forward, whether he can hold out the others we will have to wait and see. (7) HEUNGBARAGI looks to cover the ground with a nice action. The Old Fashioned colt won his trial in good fashion clocking a solid time on a wet track. Lee Joon-chel will need to find a position early on as he has plenty of others with early speed drawn inside of him. (6) LUCKY CLUB worked through the line well in his heat. He settled behind the leader before running through the line in good style. There will be no surprise if any of aforementioned four gallopers take out the opener.
|Selections||(5) Most Speed (2) Jilju Daero (7) Heungbaragi (6) Lucky Club|
|Next Best||8, 3|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 7|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(7) MIR SKY has been sent off at three-figure odds in all three of her outings to date, but such is the weakness of this race, she actually has claims. Those come off the back of managing to finish 4th in her final start before the shutdown and then winning a trial in May in a reasonable time. She drops back to 1000M for the first time. Such is the level, that those who have been hapless on the racecourse so far but have got it together somewhat in subsequent trials must come into consideration. They include (5) CAPTAIN BRAVO and to a lesser extent, (10) HURRICANE SOCKS There are also three debut-makers who, given the circumstance, should also be given a chance. Among them (1) FINE HEART trialed up alongside some experienced horses. It was a slow run heat but he didn’t look out of place. (3) MASEONG HONSIN one paced but got through her latest effort competently enough. Meanwhile, (2) BIROE KING offered few clues across two trials but the jockey booking will tempt some.
|Selections||(7) Mir Sky (1) Fine Heart (5) Captain Bravo (10) Hurricane Socks|
|Next Best||3, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 4|
Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The three-year-old gallopers line up over the short course in the third event. (7) CUPID BISANG is the on top selection based on her most recent trial. The Thunder Moccasin filly sat on speed and worked to the line strong albeit passed by a couple. The winner of the trial was Raon Tough Man who lines up in the KRA Cup Mile and is yet to be defeated. The filly matched strides before the winner booted away, but she must be considered a big chance given the strength of this event. (2) RIDE LUCKY lines up for his second start after finishing fourth on debut back in November. The gelding showed a nice turn of foot running on strong to finish fourth behind Lucky Myeongho. (3) RAON HIGH has placed at two of her three starts but disappointed at her most recent effort when well beaten. She threw in the short strides from the furlong onwards last start and whilst the 1000m will be suitable in this event, options going forward will be limited if she cannot get at least the six furlongs. (4) SANTTEUTHANSEUCHIM trialed fairly in March and lines up for her fourth career start. This looks one of the easier assignments she has been placed in.
|Selections||(7) Cupid Bisang (2) Ride Lucky (3) Raon High (4) Santteuthanseuchim|
|Next Best||10, 11|
|Fast Start||3, 7|
Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maidens here. (5) GREAT WAY improved across three appearances before the shutdown, culminating in 3rd place over 1400M on February 9th. The race was run in an utterly glacial fashion, but the filly has since shown that she has a bit of speed about her, putting in a very good trial in April. Expect her to be on pace and she has good claims to lead all the way from a good draw. (10) SAND POWER was 3rd behind Great Way in that February slog. It was his second consecutive 3rd place finish and while he perhaps doesn’t have the turn of foot required to win, he can hit the board again. The one they’ll need to beat though is (3) SOSEONO LEGEND. She debuted in extremely inauspicious fashion last October and didn’t re-appear again until a May trial. She looked much better in that, finishing a front-running 2nd. Her dam was a Listed winner in Korea and she’s closely related to Subsidy, who also loved this track. (6) CHEONJI BARAM was quickly beaten when returning two weeks ago but has hinted at ability in the past and may improve today. (7) YONGMARU GU can have a line drawn through his debut and he has performed consistently well in trials since then.
|Selections||(3) Soseono Legend (5) Great Way (7) Yongmaru Gu (10) Sand Power|
|Next Best||6, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5, 12|
Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
There appears to be a lack of speed in the fifth where the Korean-bred gallopers line up over the 1300m all looking for their first victory. (10) GEUMA FLAWLESS looks to have this in the bag already based on the chestnut’s placing last time out back in December behind New Moon Warrior. The three-year-old trialed a fortnight ago and clocked a good time winning the heat. (6) A. P. PATEK looks next best coming off a third behind Dongjjok Glory in January. The three-year-old trialed fairly in April and may be able map closer to the speed. He hit the line well at his most recent race start. (4) JEONGMUN PRINCE looks next best coming off only a fair trial performance. He is another that may be able to map closer after sitting midfield at his first couple of runs. The three-year-old looks a place chance at best. (3) J.S. POWER rounds out the top four in a race lacking depth. He trialed okay but is yet to fill a place after three career starts.
|Selections||(10) Geuma Flawless (6) A. P. Patek (4) Jeongmun Prince (3) J.S. Power|
|Next Best||2, 5|
Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
A very good race for this level with any number of horses potentially on the up. (9) SONGAM TIZ and (11) BEST GUNDAN are both up in class following swift wins over 1000M on their respective latest starts. For both of them, those victories were some time ago – November and January respectively, but both looked well in trials and both go straight into contention at this level. There are plenty of others up in class as well but we’re going to prefer experience at the level and while (4) WONDER K may still be a maiden, that has every chance of changing today. He ran 4th on his first try at this class in a good race at the distance back in February and while his latest trial wasn’t the quickest, from gate 4 he should be on speed from the start and he can lead all the way. (1) WONDERFUL HENNESSY had a poor day at the office on her last appearance before the extended break. She’s already proven more than competitive at this level though and looked good in two trials, the most recent of which was just two weeks ago. She will also be aimed for the lead early by jockey Kim Yong-geun.
|Selections||(4) Wonder K (1) Wonderful Hennessy (9) Songam Tiz (11) Best Gundan|
|Next Best||3, 2, 7, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 4, 9, 10, 11|
Race 7: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
The seventh will see a compact field of nine take to the track over the six furlongs. (6) WORLD BEYOND trialed nicely mid-June and looks forward enough to make an impact upon resuming. Apart from her last start the Gyeongbudaero filly hardly put a foot wrong prior winning once and placing on three occasions. From gate six she should work forward with a lack of speed engaged. The only other runner with significant speed engaged is (9) MONEY SIJANG The Peace Rules filly has been promoted to this class after running second on both starts to date. She clocked a good time trialing but was urged along in the run home. (5) SENTOSA looks next best albeit unable to clinch that maiden victory from the eleven race starts so far. The Rock Hard Ten filly has finished in the top four on nine of her eleven starts and is drawn the best of the favoured runners. (4) WIND RIVER can mix her form but at best can run into some money. She will have the services of last week’s Busan Ilbo winning jockey Kim Yong-geun.
|Selections||(6) World Beyond (9) Money Sijang (5) Sentosa (4) Wind River|
|Next Best||3, 2|
|Fast Start||6, 9|
Race 8: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(3) LUXURY CAPTAIN cruised to victory on his third career start back in January 4th, winning by as easily as he pleased over this distance. It’s fair to say that he didn’t catch the eye when trialing in late May but this is not the most intimidating class 5 race around so we’ll stick with him to make it two in a row. (6) INDIAN BOSS was in solid form before the shutdown and beat a couple of these on his way to 4th at class and distance in his latest race back in January. Like Luxury Captain, he only finished well back in an April trial but it was a decent time and he’ll be a danger today. (10) MISTER HERO has had a stop-start career with only six runs since debuting almost two years ago. While his only run at this distance didn’t go well, he looked good when winning a trial on May 29th and comes into contention here. (4) THUNDER MONEY and (9) SOUTHERN MAN are others who looked well in trials and may have benefited from the enforced absence.
|Selections||(3) Luxury Captain (6) Indian Boss (4) Thunder Money (10) Mister Hero|
|Next Best||9, 2|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 9, 10|
Race 9: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
There is plenty of early speed engaged in the ninth where the Korean-bred gallopers go over the 1200m. Menifee colt (5) MENI CHAMP lines up for his seventh start aiming for his third win. The three-year-old finished fourth behind Choegang Team last start which reads well for this event. He trialed well in the hiatus, clocking a good time on a good rated track. His racing pattern suggests Jo Sang-beom will work forward and sit in the first couple. (6) BUCKETFUL GOLD is somewhat of a non-winner but is always never far away. He is another that sits in the leading division and is likely to follow Meni Champ across from gate six. (4) GOLD PERILLA gets his easiest assignment in quite some time. He did not show his customary speed at his past couple suggesting he will camp on the leaders’ back. He is lightly weighted and is a chance of running into the minor money. (8) K TOP KING stepped up into this class last start and lined up against East Jet. The three-year-old has won two from five and with some improvement must be considered an each-way chance. There is a slight query with the 1200m.
|Selections||(5) Meni Champ (6) Bucketful Gold (4) Gold Perilla (8) K Top King|
|Next Best||9, 2|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 6, 8|
Race 10: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
A small field of eight maiden imports go around here and for a number it looks like their best chance to win a race. We will though start by talking about the solitary debut-maker (7) TOP PLAY. The Goldencents colt certainly looked the part when bounding out of the gate and leading all the way to win his solitary trial as easy as he pleased back in March. It was over three months ago now and it was a wet track but if he gets to the lead here, he could well start his career with a victory. Aussie import (3) FINAL CANGINO recorded his best finish to date when 2nd on the weekend of the shutdown in February. It came over this distance and he looked well in a trial three weeks ago and should be a threat. (6) FINAL STAR weakened in the closing stages over 1300M last start but has a 3rd place to his name at this distance and likewise trialed nicely to bring himself into contention. (1) D K BYULCCI and (8) MOONHAK DREAM are others in the hunt on the back of positive recent trials.
|Selections||(7) Top Play (3) Final Cangino (6) Final Star (8) Moonhak Dream|
|Next Best||1, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 7, 8|
Race 11: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Just the nine runners to face the starter in the eleventh event. It appears one of the weaker races on the card and for that reason (8) AMIGO RARO gets a good opportunity to break maiden status at start seven. The Summer Front colt finished off strongly last start to finish third over the 1400m behind Moonhak Empire. The 1200m might be a bit short but with fresh legs he looks one you can take each way. (5) YORI JORI resumed back in February before the forced break. The mare finished fourth behind Global Socks in a similar event when running a good last sectional. Her trial in April was fair and she will get every chance from a central draw. (4) EAGLE EAGLE was starting to find form before the break. The four-year-old finished third over the 1400m behind Daegun Pheonix when trying to lead throughout last start, back in February. He looks one of two pacemakers engaged. (6) GEUMA FALCON looks next best after hitting the line strong last start in December. In saying that the chestnut has just the one placing from nine starts.
|Selections||(8) Amigo Raro (5) Yori Jori (4) Eagle Eagle (6) Geuma Falcon|
|Next Best||2, 3|
|Fast Start||3, 4|
Race 12: Class 3 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
(1) PLATINUM EURO rattled off four consecutive victories between March and November last year at distances between 1300M and 1700M to begin his career in spectacular fashion. His streak came to a halt on his first try at class 3 back in January when he ran 4th at this distance, leading early but weakening late on. He’s only trialed once during the hiatus, not doing too much with a front-running 2nd in a useful time and he should really be returning to winning ways here. It’s no formality though. (10) GALLOP CURLIN drops back in trip following a runner-up finish at this class back in January. After a shaky start to his career he’s been consistent since shrugging off a couple of setbacks and he has solid claims to continue his good form here. (7) GAON FORCE ran in the first two legs of last year’s Triple Crown and while that was perhaps a step too far for him, he is a winner at this level and is capable of running fast times. He may well challenge Platinum Euro for the lead and will certainly keep him honest. (4) K KING’s form was patchy before the shutdown but his May trial was very good and he can come into the placing frame. (6) TIAGO TOUCH is also a proven winner at this class and can aim for some minor money.
|Selections||(1) Platinum Euro (7) Gaon Force (10) Gallop Curlin (4) K King|
|Next Best||6, 5, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 7, 9|
Race 13: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
The Class 4 gallopers go over the two turns in the thirteenth event. (4) CHOIN GANGJA goes on top in a wide open race. The Menifee colt cruised through the easier classes before finding his match in this grade. He lined up in stronger fields before the hiatus performing respectably. He trialed well during the break and should appreciate the lack of depth in this field. (2) SIMON QUEEN comes off a last start victory in this class and distance. The handicapper penalized her 3.5kg for the run which will be testing. She has drawn well as she lines up for her fourth win at start twelve. (6) MANSEOK JIGI lines up for his first run in quite some time, with his last start back in October last year. He trialed in March running well, and he is proven over the two turns with both career wins over this distance. (8) WIND SKY comes off a Class 5 victory last start when leading throughout. Expect Kim Yong-geun to employ the same tactics from barrier eight. His trial during the break was only fair.
|Selections||(4) Choin Gangja (2) Simon Queen (6) Manseok Jigi (8) Wind Sky|
|Next Best||7, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 8|
Race 14: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 100 Million
(5) HWANSANG STAR has only won one of fifteen starts to date but has finished in the minor placings on no fewer than ten occasions. His latest outing in January saw him finish 3rd on his first try at this level over 2000M. His solitary win came the start before at class 3 and he could get another here. He’ll settle just off the early speed and look to finish strong. In that same January race, (10) MYEONGPUM CHUKJE came home in 7th place when well fancied in the market. He bounced back to record a 3rd place, again at 2000M in February. A quality horse who was one of the top three-year-olds of last year, he surely goes close again today. (7) CHOINMA is another who doesn’t win out of turn and at class 2 has found his level but is more than capable of sneaking into some money in races like this. (8) BEST EVER is up in class after a win and two runner-up finishes at class 3. A versatile performer who can go well from on or off the pace, he also tackles 1800M for the first time but should be in the hunt.
|Selections||(5) Hwansang Star (10) Myeongpum Chukje (8) Best Ever (7) Choinma|
|Next Best||1, 4|
|Fast Start||5, 8|
Race 15: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
The last race on the card is the most anticipated as we see the return of (7) EOMA EOMA. The Algorithms colt has been sensational at his two starts to date winning by nine lengths at his first start, then ten lengths at his second. Song Jae-chul gets the plum ride once again and as per previous starts the galloper seems to know one way, which is to head straight to the front and don’t get the silks dirty. (2) FASHION PEOPLE has been ultra-consistent at his past few starts including a last start second in this grade. The Old Fashioned colt is normally given time to find his feet before hitting the line strong. (3) CATS MIRACLE was disappointing last time out when well beaten by Lord Ban. That was somewhat of an outlying performance as he has been extremely consistent for the most part of his career to date. He trialed in April when not fully asked for in the heat. (8) ACE SOLONGO looks next best and has previously finished close up in this grade. She trialed in good style and is capable of running into the money.
|Selections||(7) Eoma Eoma (2) Fashion People (3) Cats Miracle (8) Ace Solongo|
|Next Best||11, 12|
|Fast Start||7, 8, 10|