Cheongdam Dokki will bid to complete a clean sweep of the Stayers’ Series when he lines up in the G2 Busan Mayor’s Cup on the south coast on Sunday afternoon. There is a 5-race card at Busan along with a scheduled 12 race program at Seoul. See below for race-by-race previews for both tracks, along with a horse-by-horse guide to the big race:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
Quite a tasty looking juvenile maiden to kick off the Sunday card in the capital with five having raced before, none having finished worse than 5th and six making their racecourse debut. Of those we have seen before, three went in the same event at this distance on July 12th and it was (10) JAY HAWK who came out the best of them, coming home 3rd. Alan Munro takes the mount today and while it looks like the colt may ultimately want further, he should be in the hunt again. It’s similar with (9) GO GO STAR, who was also 3rd on debut after coming from off the pace and who looks nicely in again. The fastest time on debut though was set by (8) BEST TIME although it should be noted that was on a very wet and fast running track. As for the first-timers, (2) SEO E BEONJJEOK made all to win his heat at the end of July while (6) K FRENZY was similarly a trial winner. Both should go well first-up today.
|Selections||(10) Jay Hawk (6) K Frenzy (8) Best Time (2) Seo E Beonjjeok|
|Next Best||9, 4, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 6, 7|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
The second event is an all-aged maiden where it is hard to make a case for many. (5) KILATAS is the on top selection after finishing midfield when first up behind Chodong Rocket. The Thunder Moccasin colt was one-paced through the line but it was a stronger affair that this event. The time he clocked last start should see him be competitive. (1) IRYEO HAYEO looks a chance of figuring after resuming with some handy performances. The mare finished fifth behind Top Seed when resuming and backed it up with a fifth behind The Beast. On both occasions she made up ground in the straight. (4) MONEY LINE is second up and punters should look for some improvement. He felt the pinch up the straight when first-up but given the weakness of this race, he can run into some minor money. (10) SPEED MOUNTAIN looks next best coming off a fair performance when trying to lead throughout last time out and settling for fourth.
|Selections||(5) Kilatas (1) Iryeo Hayeo (4) Money Line (10) Speed Mountain|
|Next Best||3, 11|
|Fast Start||10, 11|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Not the strongest of maidens here so a good opportunity for something to make the breakthrough. The only one to have troubled the placings so far Is (11) MUSSANG HWANGHU, who came home 3rd over 1200M second-up in July 18th. She came from the back and ran on strong so the step up in trip may be to her benefit and she has claims to go even better today. (10) TYCHE FIRE similarly ran on pleasingly for a much improved 5th place on his second outing back in June. Moon Se Young takes over aboard and he should be in the hunt. Both (1) K N WONDERFUL and (4) DIVINE POWER have run creditably at this distance already and look ready for improvement today. There are a couple of wildcards too. (7) SOJUNGHAN GOLDEN hasn’t shown much in the way of speed but also looks as though he has been crying out for a bit of distance. He gets that here and can go better. (8) JANGSAN ENGINE is the solitary debut-maker. She’s been through trial after trial over the course of a year and finally gets her racing chance after a solid showing in a heat last month. In a race completely devoid of early speed, she may be taken to the front early.
|Selections||(11) Mussang Hwanghu (10) Tyche Fire (1) K N Wonderful (4) Divine Power|
|Next Best||7, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 8|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
The fourth event will have a field of eleven line up over the seven furlongs. (10) SARAMIRANEUNBYEOL is the on top selection after a good win at his second start last time out. The Rock Hard Ten colt managed to lead the entire way clocking a time that should see him prove competitive once again. (6) DREAM MONEY has placed at his last two starts and is capable of figuring. Drawn in barrier six expect David Breux to allow the four-year-old to find his feet before reeling off a strong last sectional. (7) KINGLY showed improvement last start coming out of the same race as Dream Money. The Federalist gelding is yet to break maiden status but has shown some reasonable performances in his eighteen starts to date. (2) MANSE is second up after finishing fourth upon resuming. The three-year-old is lightly raced and we may see some improvement from him today.
|Selections||(10) Saramiraneunbyeol (6) Dream Money (7) Kingly (2) Manse|
|Next Best||3, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 10|
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
After an extremely eye-catching win on debut in June, (1) HAEK SOCKS was in no way disgraced when 3rd on his first try at this class and distance on July 25th. He led for much of that race, weakening in the closing stages and should have come on for the experience with the potential to return to winning ways here. Speaking of eye-catching, (10) NEVER WALK ALONE’s maiden victory had been coming and he was impressive when achieving it at the fifth time of asking on July 18th. The Warrior’s Reward colt is up in class today but looks to have more scope to improve. Those two look set to dispute matters but there are others with ability here. (3) CHOEGO BISANG ran the fastest time of any of these at this distance, albeit on a wet track last start and can go close again while (5) BLUE BAND is also capable at this level.
|Selections||(1) Haek Socks (10) Never Walk Alone (3) Choego Bisang (5) Blue Band|
|Next Best||6, 8|
Busan Race 1: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Maiden filles (and two mares) go around for a big prize in Busan’s opener. After running 3rd on debut (11) WOLRD CHEONSA led from gate to wire for an easy win in a fast time on her return on July 17th. She is up in class and distance here and while the draw has done her no favours, she can have enough about her to win again. (6) GRAND YEOWANG got her maiden win at this distance in July recording the fastest time of any of these over the 1200M. She stepped up to 1400M last start and beat a couple of her rivals here on her way to a creditable 4th place. Back in trip today, she looks a real chance. (9) CHEONGMA HERO is another up in class having made all for her maiden on July 10th. It was at this distance and while she will need to improve, she should go close. The wildcard is (2) BLUE EMBER, who ran out a winner over 1400M at class 6 a month ago.
|Selections||(11) World Cheonsa (6) Grand Yeowang (9) Cheongma Hero (2) Blue Ember|
|Next Best||5, 8|
|Fast Start||6, 9, 11|
Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
There looks to be a handful of chances in the sixth event where a field of eleven will go over the 1400m. (2) TIZ CITY has been good to date yielding two wins from four careers starts. Antonio Da Silva has relied on his turn of foot to get him home for both wins to date so expect him to let him find his feet naturally. (7) MAMMA ROMA is an each way chance coming off a solid performance when second behind Saenae Spurt. She sat closer to the speed last time out so David Breux may elect to let her roll forward early on with minimal early speed engaged in the race. (9) GREEN DARC looks to have another win in store in her coming runs. The Any Given Saturday filly reeled off a strong sectional last time out to finish fourth behind I’m Your Mother. (8) MISSILE CANDY is a last start Class Five winner and looks capable of running into some money. Alan Munro will take over on the entire with Lee Hyeon-jong out injured.
|Selections||(2) Tiz City (7) Mamma Roma (9) Green Darc (8) Missile Candy|
|Next Best||10, 6|
|Fast Start||6, 7|
Busan Race 2: Class 4 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Musket Man is making quite the impact in Korea and he has another useful one in the shape of (8) RAON SKY MAN. The three-year-old is two for two and while up in class here and marginally in distance, he’s done what’s been asked of him so far in an extremely accomplished manner and there seems little to suggest he won’t be able to continue here. It helps that this is not a strong race for the level with only two of the others ever having won. One of the maidens is (4) DIAMOND MARINE. The Paynter colt may not have won in seven starts but has finished in 3rd or 4th place on no fewer than five occasions. Of those in the race who have tackled the distance before, he has posted the fastest time and he should be the main danger. (2) NEU DAT led for much of the way around at class and distance on July 26th before ultimately finishing 3rd. He should be challenging again. (3) JOEUN HAE is inconsistent but regularly runs a place and can be aiming for the minors again here.
|Selections||(8) Raon Sky Man (4) Diamond Marine (2) Neu Dat (3) Joeun Hae|
|Next Best||5, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 8|
Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(7) LEVEL TAP made all to run out a good class and distance winner on July 11th. He was first up that day and looked a different horse to the one we saw before the layoff. He carries an additional 3.5kg this time around but while regular jockey Lee Hyeon-jong is injured, Moon Se Young is an adequate replacement and he has every chance of winning again. Also a class and distance winner last start was (9) LOOKING FIRST. He too put in a front-running performance to score on July 18th having run 2nd first up in June. He too has more weight on his back today but is still firmly in the hunt once more. (6) EAST BAN remains a maiden after six attempts but the Constitution gelding ran a good 2nd to Looking First in that July race and should be aiming for at least the minors once more. (2) OKRYONG, who beat a couple of these on his way to 3rd place at class and distance last month, looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(7) Level Tap (9) Looking First (6) East Ban (2) Okryong|
|Next Best||4, 3|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 7, 9|
Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
A small but accomplished field line up here. (5) TOP SKY is the pick with both of his wins do far coming at this distance. He was last seen running 2nd to the talented Power Train at class and distance three weeks ago and good have too much here. (1) JINJU SARANG steps up in class and distance following a smart win over 1300M on July 10th. The filly is versatile and still potentially improving and can come from off the pace to go close here. (6) LEGACY races for the first time since February but looked well when trialing two weeks ago and can go well first-up today. (3) GANGHAN NAMJA isn’t likely to win this but is more than capable of finding minor money at this level, something he has done on many occasions including last time when he beat (8) MR. VALOR. That latter colt is capable of improvement today.
|Selections||(5) Top Sky (1) Jinju Sarang (8) Mr. Valor (6) Legacy|
|Next Best||3, 2|
Seoul Race 8: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
The eighth looks a handy race on paper where they will line up over 1200m. (7) ELITE LADY has proven herself to be a progressive type notching four wins from seven career starts. The filly resumed with a bang winning a Class Four event over the six furlongs. She gets into the race with just the 52kg and looks one of the main chances engaged. (9) I AM STAR comes off a last start second behind Wonderful Truth in this grade. The seven-year-old doesn’t win all that often but is capable of filling a place. (8) CIRCLE DANCER is another that bobs up for some minor money now and then. The Vicar mare finished second behind East Kingdom early July, form that reads well for a race such as this. (3) HYEONMU looks next best coming out of the same race as Circle Dancer. The six-year-old finished fifth when trying to lead throughout. He is drawn well today.
|Selections||(7) Elite Lady (9) I Am Star (8) Circle Dancer (3) Hyeonmu|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 7|
Busan Race 4: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
This is a really good race with almost every single horse having credible claims. (4) SECRET LEGACY is up in class having won at the distance on July 31st. She can be competitive again but will have to improve to win at this level. (5) DRAGON NINE has run 3rd and 4th in his latest two beating a few of these along the way. He’s drawn well to get on pace and can go very close. (10) JAEDOYAKUI BANSEOK has run the fastest time of these at the distance, breaking 1:12.0, which not many can do. He was 5th behind Dragon Nine in June but that was first up and he may improve today with the addition of Perovic aboard a plus. Also second-up today is (9) YEONGCHEON HERO. He drops back in trip after 3rd place at a mile at the end of June and should be in contention. (1) QUEEN OF CAPTAIN is first-up today and while she doesn’t often win, she rarely misses a place.
|Selections||(10) Jaedoyakui Banseok (4) Secret Legacy (5) Dragon Nine (9) Yeongcheon Hero|
|Next Best||1, 2, 6, 3|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 6|
Seoul Race 9: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Tricky race here. Only two of them have won a race at the distance but both are out of form so we’ll look to those who may be a little more progressive. (6) YEONGJU STONE remains a maiden but finds himself up in class for the first time following three 3rd place finishes at class 6. He has run on strongly each time making up ground late over shorter distances so it could well be that the 1700M is what he needs to make the breakthrough. (10) RESKA has won at 1300M but similarly steps up to two-turns for the first time. She ran 3rd over 1400M at the beginning of July and she too looks as though she will suit the extended trip today. (4) RED SUN has a 3rd place to his name at this distance. He is first up today having last run in February but should be competitive here. (9) STRONG QUEEN disappointed a touch a month ago but she was first-up that day and has previously performed well at this distance and should come on for that run. There is no early speed here so although it didn’t pay off last time, Song Jae-chul may be tempted to take her to the front again.
|Selections||(6) Yeongju Stone (10) Reska (4) Red Sun (9) Strong Queen|
|Next Best||2, 5|
Busan Race 5: Class Open (1800M) Busan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Cup (KOR G2) / KRW 600 Million
1. TIZ PLAN – Runner-up to Cheongdam Dokki in both the Herald Business and the YTN Cup the Tiznow five-year-old does have a Graded win in him but Dokki is likely to prove too strong again. Settles towards the front of midfield and finishes strongly but it may be too late.
2. CHEONGDAM DOKKI – Experiencing a renaissance since the restart, he dominated the field in both the Herald Business and YTN with a cruising speed the others couldn’t match and he simply ran away from them. Level weights again and with a better draw, he is very hard to oppose.
3. GREAT KING – Well back in the Herald, he should be a different prospect back at Busan. Could well go to the front and take on Cheongdam Dokki and while he may not be able to beat him, could run on for some minor money.
4. DONGBANG DAERO – Skipped the Herald Business and YTN but didn’t really catch the eye in recent handicaps here and has been beaten this year by the likes of Sillaui Jeonseol, Buhaerui Banseok and Jumbo Blade. Goes back and runs on but this is hard.
5. FLYING MUNNING – Came from well back to finish ahead of Cheongdam Dokki in a handicap in February but he was getting 6.5kg that day. 6th in both the Herald and the YTN, he has a lot of form to overturn here.
6. JUMBO BLADE – First start since June 19th when he ran 3rd to Buhwarui Banseok in a handicap at 2000M. Solid class 1 performer but a win over a first-up and out of sorts Triple Nine aside, yet to prove he can beat the very best. Settles midfield and finishes strongly.
7. SHAMROCKER – Has spent his entire career running 2nd or 3rd to the likes of Clean Up Joy, Cheongdam Dokki and Moonhak Chief. Really good game horse who has a strong finish on him. He ran 3rd in both the Herald Business and YTN and you wouldn’t bet against 3rd again.
8. SILLAUI JEONSEOL – Solid and reliable class 1 competitor who comes in off the back of consecutive 3rd place finishes at a mile and 2000M respectively, the latter just two weeks ago. Versatile he may challenge for the lead but is up against it here.
9. BAENGMUNBAEKDAP – Struggled in Dubai earlier this year but has a win and a 2nd in two starts since returning home. More noted as a miler though he has won up to 2200M. Strong finisher and jockey booking catches the eye. The wildcard.
10. BUHWARUI BANSEOK – Made all to win over 2000M in June before running a very game 4th in the YTN Cup. He didn’t try to challenge Cheongdam Dokki for the early lead but ran his own race and can do similar again.
Verdict: (2) CHEONGDAM DOKKI was an outstanding winner of the YTN Cup, setting a new track record in the process. He is back to his best and has won at Busan before and looks very hard to beat again. (1) TIZ PLAN is the best of the rest at the moment. He worked home solidly in the YTN and should have too much for all but Cheongdam Dokki again. (7) SHAMROCKER is always gallant and will be close at hand. That has been the trifecta in both legs of the series so far and it would raise no eyebrows at all if it was repeated. (10) BUHWARUI BANSEOK ran a big race in Seoul in the YTN Cup and can go close again while (3) GREAT KING is likely to be better back at Busan. (9) BAENGMUNBAEKDAP is another more than capable of running into some money.
|Selections||(2) Cheongdam Dokki (1) Tiz Plan (7) Shamrocket (9) Baengmunbaekdap|
|Next Best||10, 3|
Seoul Race 10: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
The tenth event looks a good race with some progressive types to line up. (5) CLEANUP SHINE has been good in her four starts to date, never finishing worse than fifth. The US bred was thrown in the deep end in a filly race where she performed admirably, finishing fifth behind Geosen Jilju last time out. Back in restricted grade with a light weight on her back, she has to be considered as one of the main chances. (7) BYEOLNARA SINSA steps up in class today after winning over 1400m in good style last start. He went straight to the lead last time out never to be headed, expect Moon Se-young to employ the same tactics. (1) MALIBU GINGER is second-up after a solid performance when finishing third behind Eoma Eoma when resuming. From the inside he should get the chance to take a sit behind the leaders and hit the line strong come the top of the straight. (2) SLEEP WELL looks the likely pacemaker with a handy draw. The lightly raced galloper finished fifth last time out after feeling the pinch late in the straight. He has won two from three and warrants some respect.
|Selections||(5) Cleanup Shine (7) Byeolnara Sinsa (1) Malibu Ginger (2) Sleep Well|
|Next Best||8, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 11: Class 2 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 110 Million
(9) BRIGADIER GENERAL finds himself up in class 2 having won back to back races since the restart, both over this distance. Despite it being his first attempt at this class, he carries 56kg and really, the times he recorded in winning those races shouldn’t be competitive. However, he’s been stepping up when requested another win isn’t impossible. That’s because he doesn’t meet many in form today. (7) HEUNGBOK DREAM beat a couple of these on his way to 2nd place at class and distance on July 18th and that’s enough to put him firmly in the hunt in this company. (5) PRO MATHEUS is up in class but nicely weighted after 3rd place in a decent class 3 race at this distance two weeks ago and can feature. (3) JEWANGUI BYEOL and (10) BLUE WOLF have both won at this distance and while they usually find this level challenging, could be competitive in this weak company. Even (1) CHEONMA, who ran 7th of 15 in the Herald Business Cup, for once finds himself in suitable company and could go close in a race anything could win.
|Selections||(9) Brigadier General (7) Heungbok Dream (5) Pro Matheus (3) Jewangui Byeol|
|Next Best||10, 1, 4|
|Fast Start||4, 6|
Seoul Race 12: Class 1 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
The twelfth on the card is a Class One sprint at handicap conditions. (5) LEONNING STROM is the on top selection but with little confidence. The five-year-old is no champion but has performed well for connections at a high level for quite some time. With just 51kg on his back he looks well poised to bring up his sixth win. (3) YAHO SMART CAT has a brilliant winning strike rate winning eight of his nineteen starts. The Korean-bred galloper went off the boil towards the end of last preparation, but his first up run was fair and we can suggest him on an each-way basis in this event. (6) YEONGNONG was another that performed fair when first up, finishing fourth behind Cheungdam Genie over the 1200m. The seven-year-old should be able to sit behind the leading division and hit the line strong. He looks a perfect horse for Alan Munro with his patient hands. (11) GOLDEN GATE won in Class 2 company last start and steps up in Class for the first time in quite a while. He is not the fastest horse out of the gates so the outside draw is not a big negative.
|Selections||(5) Leonning Strom (3) Yaho Smart Cat (6) Yeongnong (11) Golden Gate|
|Next Best||9, 4|