On Sunday it’s the fillies’ turn to have their Three-Year-Old Classic as the 2020 Korean Oaks takes place at Busan. A field of fifteen will line up in the Group 2 feature which is the last race on Busan’s 5-race Sunday card. At Seoul there are 12 races from 10:25 to 18:00. See below for the race-by-race preview along with horse by horse for the Oaks:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
Plenty of interest lies in the first event with eleven two-year-old gallopers, nine of them unraced taking to the track. (4) GRAY CAT trialed up very nicely early July underneath Song Jae-chul. The Cowboy Cal colt won his trial by six lengths when clocking a solid time for the 1000m. (2) LUCKY JAESAN was another one who trialed up well. The Hansen filly clocked 62.1 seconds for her heat when winning by six lengths as well. She showed early speed in her trial so expect much the same from a good gate. (11) GREEN POKJU is one of two runners that has had a run coming into the race. The Old Fashioned filly hit the line superbly to finish second behind Cobra Ball. She is likely to settle rearwards once again with the outside draw. (6) YEONGUNG DAEMA also lined up in a two-year-old event on debut when fourth behind Samantha Cheetah. She is capable of filling a place.
|Selections||(4) Gray Cat (2) Lucky Jaesan (11) Green Pokju (6) Yeongung Daema|
|Next Best||1, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 4, 9|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A maiden open to both two and three-year-olds here. (6) MUSSANG HWANGHU came from well back to run an improved 3rd over 1200M on what was her second career start on July 18th. The slight step up in trip today can be to her benefit and she has a good chance of making the breakthrough. (7) MAKALU POWER has steadily improved over three outings to date, culminating in a runner-up finish at 1200M last start. His times have not been fast but he won’t need to improve much to be challenging here and has every chance of getting on the early speed. (11) STAR RUSH comes into contention following an improved 4th at 1200M a month ago and is another who may appreciate the small increase in distance. (1) ONE JI has been dreadful in three outings so far but looked much better when trialing two weeks ago in a fast time. Nevertheless, we’ll need to see him actually racing before we can be confident about him. The solitary debut-maker is (2) JANGSAN ENGINE and the Ecton Park filly, who has been trialing for more than a year, looked competent in her latest heat in July.
|Selections||(6) Mussang Hwanghu (7) Makalu Power (2) Jangsan Engine (11) Star Rush|
|Next Best||1, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 7|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Fair to say not the most inspiring field lines up in the third event on the card. (6) POWER MUSIC is the on top selection after finishing third last time out over the 1400m. The Winchester filly will go over the same distance where she is drawn to settle just off the speed and reel of a good sectional with minimal weight on her back. (10) SHINY QUEEN is still lightly raced enough that connections will be hoping she can show something. She improved last time out and is another that can run into the minor money. (7) IRYEO HAYEO looks capable of running a place in a much weaker assignment today. It is hard to include her with one place from twenty-five starts but this is such a weak race. (3) HOSUA is third up after finishing fourth last time out. He hit the line fairly and is another capable of running into the money.
|Selections||(6) Power Music (10) Shiny Queen (7) Iryeo Hayeo (3) Hosua|
|Next Best||5, 1|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Fillies only here for this handicap. (8) SAMANTHA CHEETAH was a revelation on debut, making all to win as easily as she pleased over five-furlongs. She steps up in both class and distance here but the manner of victory means she can go on top again. This is a strong race for the level though. (5) GOOD VOW also steps up in class following a maiden win in which she posted a time even faster than Samantha Cheetah’s and she too should be more then competitive at this level and will also challenge for the lead early. (7) BAEDARI CANDY too was a debut winner with a front-running performance and while she perhaps has a little bit more to find, looks right in the hunt as well. As for those with experience at this level already, (2) TANK SOCKS and (9) OUR SIMON are both proven money winners and should go close. There could be quite a cavalry charge to get the lead.
|Selections||(8) Samantha Cheetah (5) Good Vow (2) Tank Socks (9) Our Simon|
|Next Best||7, 10, 1|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11|
Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Twelve imports face the starter in the fifth where they will go over the 1400m. (11) HAENGBOK WANGJA has been knocking on the door for quite some time and comes into the race with two runner-up performances since the break. Moon Se-young will take over from the injured Yoo Seung-wan. The Moon will have to overcome the outside gate but the horse has been hitting the line strong, suggesting he can let the Daredevil colt have time to find his feet. (2) GRAYDOL looks one that is capable of running into the money. The gelding has been hitting the line strong and gets a much better draw today. Whilst finishing in the money once from six starts, his times suggest he can figure in a weaker event. (6) VICTORY GO GO is second up and should strip fitter for the run. She was only fair first up when finishing fourth behind Level Tap, when one-paced through the line. (7) GOOD SENSE looks next best after placing in a Class 5 event, which is never ideal after commencing your career in Class 4 grade.
|Selections||(11) Haengbok Wangja (2) Graydol (6) Victory Go Go (7) Good Sense|
|Next Best||1, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 7|
Busan Race 1: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
A testing little race for the imported maidens. (5) GOOD FOR YOU was a nice 3rd on debut behind Geuma Mystic, who has gone on to win again and previously finished ahead of Derby winner Save The World in a trial. She ran 8th on her re-appearance at 1300M on July 10th but that was a much stiffer race than this and she was competitive. She can win. (10) HWANHUIUI BANSEOK was a useful 3rd on debut over this distance on July 19th. He was a front-runner that day so the draw is not kind here, but he can overcome that and compete again. (2) POKPUNG EONDEOK and (9) TRAFFIC MARINE underwhelmed in their respective appearances before the shutdown but both looked good in trials and can improve here. There are also four debut-makers and among them both (4) SONIC KING IJI and (6) JESSIEUI KKUM were both trial winners who can go well first up.
|Selections||(5) Good For You (4) Sonic King Iji (10) Hwanhuiui Banseok (6) Jessieui Kkum|
|Next Best||9, 2|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 10|
Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Very competitive affair with plenty of these on the up. (4) JANGSAN BADA wasn’t detained by the lower levels for very long and steps up in class here having won two of three and finishing runner-up in the other. His latest win came in a fast time over this distance and while he carries plenty of weight again, he looks nicely in to just sit on the shoulder of the lead and finish strongly. (3) JEONGMUN BOLT was an all the way winner at 1300M on July 12th and he too steps up in class as he stretches out to 1400M for the first time. He’s well drawn again to lead and could be difficult to pass. (11) LUXURY CAPTAIN and (1) SPEED HEUKRYONG are up in class together having finished 1st and 2nd respectively over this distance on July 19th and both can be competitive at this level even if they perhaps have a little more to find than the others. Of those with experience at this level, (9) EAGLE EYE is rarely far away while (7) DONG JAK intriguingly drops back in trip and could come into play.
|Selections||(4) Jangsan Bada (3) Jeongmun Bolt (7) Dong Jak (9) Eagle Eye|
|Next Best||11, 1, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 7, 11|
Busan Race 2: Class 3 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
The second event is a cracking race with some nice types lining up over 1400m. (1) DAEMANGUI GIL looks hardest to beat coming off a second in the JRA Trophy event which was won by Socks Go. The Run Away And Hide colt had won three of his ten starts with three minor placings as well. Choi Eun-gyeong will be legged back aboard after saluting on him two starts ago, she will have the benefit of the inside draw. (6) DAEHO JILJU comes off a strong performance behind Rising Boy last time out. He steps up a furlong to the 1400m for his third-up assignment and will be ridden by Djordje Perovic. (10) RAPIDO MAN had his first attempt in Class 3 company last start and produced a good performance to finish second behind Success Party. He will go over the same distance as last time out and is best suited when on speed. (11) SUCCESS PARTY lines up again after winning last time out but goes up a whopping 5.5kg. On top of the weight increase, Choi Si-dae will have to overcome the outside draw.
|Selections||(1) Daemangui Gil (6) Daeho Jilju (10) Rapido Man (11) Success Party|
|Next Best||7, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11|
Seoul Race 7: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
A compact field of ten will line up in a speedy affair in the seventh, with all but one of them imports. (1) SOMETHING EXPECT has been good at this three starts to date, winning one of them and placing on both other occasions. He’s a speedy type so expect Kim Jeong-jun to let him roll to the front from the inside draw and try not to get the colours dirty. (4) CLEAN UP BELLA returns to restricted class company after finding them a bit strong in a trophy race back in July. The Oxbow colt was doing everything right before last time out and can bounce back in good style. (9) CHARLIE STYLE saluted in this grade last start and should be kept safe. He is a speedy type who Song Jae-chul can work forward on and give every chance. The downside is the extra 3kg he will carry this time around. (3) FINAL STAR is next best, lining up in this grade for the first time at start five. He has clocked times that will see him more than competitive in this race.
|Selections||(1) Something Expect (4) Clean Up Bella (9) Charlie Style (3) Final Star|
|Next Best||5, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9|
Busan Race 3: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(2) JJUUK produced a big uptick in form to win at class and distance on July 26th, taking advantage of the inside gate to get to the front early and hold off all comers with ease. He carries a couple of extra kilos today but has drawn well again and once more has claims. (6) TOP DAY comes in off the back of a solid 3rd place at this level over 1400M. He has a fast time to his name at this distance and under a light weight and top jockey is nicely in here. Also nicely weighted is (7) TOP OF WORLD. The filly wasn’t at her best when well back in the SLTC Trophy last month but had excuses after hitting the side of the barrier on jumping. She is better than that and can be given another chance today. (4) HAPPY FEVER is up in class after a good win over a mile two weeks ago and is another who should be on the early pace and who can be involved at the business end. (1) ULTRA POWER is another up in class but back in distance who should go close.
|Selections||(6) Top Day (2) Jjuuk (7) Top Of World (1) Ultra Power|
|Next Best||4, 3, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(6) A TO Z is up in class after a fast win over 1300M on July 11th which he achieved emphatically despite hanging inwards in the home straight. He’s not finished any worse than 5th in six outings and while this is a step up in terms of difficulty, this is a good chance for apprentice Kim A-hyun to go close on her first weekend of race riding, especially with the colt benefitting from her 4kg allowance. (4) SONGAM CANDY ran a strong 2nd first-up to Lucky Beopjeon at tis distance on June 21st. He carries an additional 3kg today but looks right in the mix again. (11) HIGH BEAT has shown good form since the restart with a 3rd and a 2nd place to his name and too should come into consideration. (9) HANSEN BAROWS drops back in trip and under Alan Munro, into contention while (8) JEONGSANG ETTEUM is one of those horses who seemed to have benefitted from the enforced layoff having run a much-improved 2nd over 1400M on July 11th.
|Selections||(6) A To Z (4) Songam Candy (11) High Beat (9) Hansen Barows|
|Next Best||8, 10|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 8, 9|
Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
There are plenty of chances engaged in the fourth where they will go over the two turns at Class 4 level. (4) THUNDER KING is the on top selection as he returns to restricted class company. The Thunder Moccasin colt lined up in the KRA Cup Mile last start where he was outclassed. He is a previous winner in this grade and is capable of winning albeit the 57kg. (1) MISS FACT resumed in good style to finish third behind Ice Marine over this distance in the Selangor Turf Club trophy. The filly has shown a liking for the two turns including a third in last year’s Oaks. (9) TIZ POWER has had the three starts this time in and should be rock hard fit for this assignment. She finished second behind the well performed Golden Winner last time out. (5) WONDERFUL EI will line up for his first appearance in Class 4 company. He has resumed in great style, winning his past two starts over the mile. He is quite high in the weights considering this is his first attempt in this grade. Expect You Hyun-myung to work forward shortly after the start.
|Selections||(4) Thunder King (1) Miss Fact (9) Tiz Power (5) Wonderful Ei|
|Next Best||3, 7|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 6, 7|
Seoul Race 9: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The Class 5 gallopers will go over the two turns in the ninth where a competitive field will line up. (1) CHEONJI YEOGEOL is the on top selection coming of a win last start over the 1300m. She looks one that will get the 1700m and can be ridden forward to ensure she gets every chance of figuring. (10) THE DREAM has been consistent since we resumed racing. The Menifee gelding is yet to break maiden status but has finished runner up at his past two starts. Lee Joon-chel is likely to cross before the first turn. (11) TOP SEED is another each way chance that has also drawn wide for his assignment. The three-year-old comes off a last start third behind Jangsan Bada when he hit the line well. (6) GABO PULL QUEEN finished second when resuming, having her first start over the 1700m first up. She lacks early dash but should be hitting the line strong late.
|Selections||(1) Cheonji Yeogeol (10) The Dream (11) Top Seed (6) Gabo Pull Queen|
|Next Best||7, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 7, 8, 10|
Busan Race 5: Class Open (1800M) Korean Oaks (KOR G2) Allowance / KRW 700 Million
- HANSEN FLASHY – 4th in the Luna Stakes, she ran on well suggesting that the increased distance today may be in her favour. Shouldn’t be too far away but will need to improve to overturn that form. Settles safely in midfield.
- SECRET ILLUSION – Skipped the Luna and instead took out a class 5 filly race over 1200M, coming from just behind the early speed. Beaten by Gold Candy the start before. Can get close to the pace from a good draw but this looks tough.
- UARYUNG – A little slow away in the Luna and then checked off the heels of another and ultimately finished in 9th. She was first-up that day and should have come on for the experience having previously shown ability. Improvement likely with a better start.
- QUIET ADELE – A really good 2nd in the Luna despite not having early speed and settling midfield. Worked home really well that day and gets barrier 4 today which is much better. She is a solid placing chance.
- TWO TWO GREAT – 6th in the Luna having made it up to 3rd at one point in the home straight. She was first-up having recorded good wins up to class 3 earlier this year. Should settle handy and don’t rule out.
- DIVINE MUSIC – 4th behind Queen Of The World in February, she returned to make all over 1400M for a very easy win at class 5 level on June 26th. Top jockey booking she’ll be aimed towards the front early. Others are favoured though.
- TK DAY – A really good 3rd in the Luna and while the margin wasn’t small, that can be disregarded somewhat as she broke from barrier 15 and continued wide giving up plenty of ground. She still found the line well and the additional trip should be to her benefit. A chance.
- YEOWANGUI MISO – Maiden win over 1600M on July 17th allows her to take her chance here. She settled handy and won easily in a time that suggests she’ll win at higher levels. Top jockey aboard. Can go well but might be expecting a bit much for her to win.
- WHITE QUEEN – Always prominent in the Luna, she had lots of speed and won very nicely. That was first up, and she looked fresh to the extent that she may even be more settled this time. Neither the distance nor the draw look a problem and she is the one to beat.
- RAON YEOGEOL – Very slow to muster speed in the Luna losing considerable ground before racing five wide with no cover from the 800M. Passed some tired ones to finish 10th. It was first-up so with a better start there may be improvement but the draw again isn’t kind.
- GOLD CANDY – Turned her head as the gates opened in the Luna and took a bump on the nose and then tried to duck in. Then came back lame. She was reasonably well-thought of coming into that race and today’s distance should suit but too much went wrong in the Luna to have any confidence.
- WISH ME – The only filly with a 100% record. She won well on debut last November and then again on June 21st when she made all and held on comfortably despite drifting right over to the stands-side. This is perhaps too much too soon but can go well.
- FINAL PARTY – Only raced twice but posted a good time when 2nd over 1400M two weeks ago at class 5. Front-runner so the draw does her no favours and while the jockey booking is eye-catching, this is surely too much too soon.
- MASEONG TUHON – Ran on well for 7th from a wide draw in the Luna despite not getting the cleanest of runs. When she won, it was from the front but that was a sprint and given the draw will likely go back again and pass a few – but not enough – late on.
- QUEEN OF THE WORLD – No worse than 5th in six outings so far and was last seen running 2nd over 1200M at class 4. She’s either led or been close to the pace in all her starts so far so this looks very challenging from the widest gate, but she has a lot of ability and can overcome it to get close.
Verdict: The Luna Stakes looks a reliable enough form line here and the same place-getters could very well dispute top honours in the Oaks. (9) WHITE QUEEN is the one to beat and a deserved on-top selection but both (4) QUIET ADELE and (7) TK DAY ran extremely well in the Luna and, for slightly different reasons, can both be confident of going even better this time.
|Selections||(9) White Queen (7) TK Day (4) Quiet Adele (5) Two Two Great|
|Next Best||12, 15, 3, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 6, 9, 15|
Seoul Race 10: Class 3 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
Tricky little two-turn race here. Like most of these, (9) BRANDON doesn’t win out of turn but he returned from the hiatus with a good 2nd place over 1800M just two weeks ago and backs up quickly here with claims to go one better. The outside draw is no problem and he can settle outside the lead and finish strong. The break may also have been good for (4) RAON SERENA, who had started to drift a little, but returned in late June to run 2nd over 1800M. It wasn’t a fast time but it was a good effort first-up and she briefly hit the front in the closing stages. She can go close again. (6) CHOIN BOLT and (5) GEUMA KINGDOM came home 4th and 5th respectively when they raced each other over 1400M three weeks ago. Geuma Kingdom is the more proven of the pair at this distance but Choin Bolt still looks to have potential for improvement. (1) MUDO, 4th at class and distance two weeks ago, is another in the hunt.
|Selections||(9) Brandon (4) Raon Serena (1) Mudo (6) Choin Bolt|
|Next Best||5, 3|
Seoul Race 11: Class 1 (2000M) Allowance / KRW 150 Million
The Class 1 event on the card will see a field of nine line up over 2000m. (6) SANGGAM MAMA is the on top selection after finishing fourth last time out over 1800m when first up. He has been a grand campaigner winning eleven of his thirty-eight starts. He gave the indication that he can run out a strong 2000m last time out, in contrast to the approach connections took last preparation. (3) THUNDER LIGHT cannot be ignored possessing such a strong strike rate. The six-year-old entire comes off a second behind Super Socks last time out which reads well for this race. (5) MEGALIOS has always been a consistent galloper over the two turns. With just 54kg on his back he can be considered an each-way chance. (9) MYEONGPUM CHUKJE was a Class 2 winner last start over the 1800m. He is one a few that has early speed and is likely to work forward in the early stages.
|Selections||(6) Sanggam Mama (3) Thunder Light (5) Megalios (9) Myeongpum Chukje|
|Next Best||8, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 6, 9|
Seoul Race 12: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(9) CRAZY FACTOR ran a fast and strong 2nd on what was admittedly a fast running track, at class and distance on July 19th, beaten only by the very talented Wang Beotkkot. He even got a warning for his manners in the straight so if he can fix them, he looks to have a great chance here. The draw is not ideal but he has enough gate speed to get to the lead and if he can do that, he can put the race to bed early. Plenty of talent out to stop him though. (3) CUPID GUY ran 2nd in an extremely tight three-way finish behind Gaenari Song on June 28th and looks very nicely in here once again. He won’t lead but has a strong finish and should go close. (11) WONDERFUL TRUTH is up in class after a really good win this distance on July 12th. This is a significant step up in terms of opposition but she showed that day – on a good track – she is capable of running competitive times. Back in trip, (2) KILIUI JEWANG is another who can improve on recent outings.
|Selections||(9) Crazy Factor (3) Cupid Guy (11) Wonderful Truth (2) Kiliui Jewang|
|Next Best||8, 1|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 6, 9|