Seoul Sunday: Ttukseom Cup, SROA Trophy Race-By-Race Preview (August 23)

It’s Double Graded Stakes Sunday at Seoul with the Ttukseom Cup and Seoul Racehorse Owners’ Association Trophy set to be r0un in the capital. There are 12 races in Seoul from 10:25 to 18:00.

Morfhis, Do Kki Blade and Eoma Eoma are to renew hostilities in the SROA Trophy (Pic: KRA)

In The Ttukseom Cup, Silver Wolf will get the opportunity to avenge defeat earlier this year at the hands of Dia Road while the SROA Trophy brings SBS Sprint winner Morfhis back together with Do Kki Blade and exciting newcomer Eoma Eoma. See below for previews of all Seoul races plus horse by horse for the two Stakes.

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

The two-year-old gallopers will kick off proceedings on a twelve event card from Seoul. (10) VICTORICA is the on top selection after powering to the line last start to finish fourth behind Hwanggeum Power. The Colonel John filly can position in the second half of the field before reeling of a quick sectional. (2) KKANGDORI looks as if she is one of the debutants ready to fire early in her career. The grey won her trial in good style clocking a reasonable time for the juveniles. (4) DAESAN TEUKGEUP is another trial winner who looks capable of performing at his debut run. He overcame a wide gate and covered the ground nicely to win his heat when clocking 62.7 seconds on a muddy track. (3) ACE PRINCE comes out of the race that Victorica lined up in where he finished fifth. With some improvement he can be considered an each way chance.

Selections(10) Victorica (2) Kkangdori (4) Daesan Teukgeup (3) Ace Prince
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start2, 4, 6

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(11) NINE EYE was a significantly improved 2nd when stepped up to this trip for the first time on August 2nd recording in the process the fastest time of any of these so far over the 1300M. He’ll have to overcome the outside gate to work forward but should be capable and can in. (2) GEUMSEONG ACE looks to be steadily improving and is another who has demonstrated that she can run a time. She remains nicely weighted and should go close here. (4) GO GO GO debuted in that race, coming from off the pace to run 5th. She He should have come on for that and get closer this time. (7) LOVING DANCER tackles the distance for the first time following a useful enough 3rd over 1200M. She hasn’t shown much in the way of speed so far but that was a big improvement and she can build on it today.

Selections(11) Nine Eye (2) Geumseong Ace (7) Loving Dancer (4) Go Go GO
Next Best10, 1
Fast Start2, 3, 11

Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

The third will see the Class Five gallopers go over the 1300m where there are numerous chances. (3) GLOBAL GOLD is the on top selection coming off a third behind Jeonjeongsaguem where the Thunder Mocassin gelding powered to the line in the final stages. With a better draw Lee Hyeok should be able to settle the three-year-old closer before unleashing him as they balance up for the run home. (2) LAO JIN is second up after finishing third behind Tiz City in similar company last time out. The filly will get the services of Moon Se-young for the first time. (5) TANK SOCKS is another that is second-up coming off a good performance. The filly finished second when resuming over this distance after sitting in the leading division. If Park Eul-woon can cross the filly early on she looks a big chance. (1) GOLD FIELD looks a place chance from an inside draw. The filly broke maiden status two starts ago before finishing midfield behind Yeolrin Mun last time out.

Selections(3) Global Gold (2) Lao Jin (5) Tank Socks (1) Gold Field
Next Best4, 11
Fast Start5, 9

Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(8) COIN BLADE came from way back to get his maiden win over 1200M on June 28th. Having previously run 3rd on debut at 1300M all the way back in early 2019. He looks set to be a two-turn horse but 1400M should give him enough opportunity to stretch out and he can win again today. This is a really good race for the level though. (3) TOP SEED got his maiden win at this distance in June, making all, but was touch slow away on his first crack at this level last month, ending up in 3rd. With a better start he can be right back in the mix today. (1) CHEONJI YEOGEOL and (6) UNOECHANCHEON are both up in class following maiden wins last month at 1300M and 1200M respectively. Both ran through the line strong and should adapt to the increased trip with few difficulties. (5) CHEOGANG MAGIC comes in following a class and distance 3rd a month ago and can aim to follow up here while (7) CHOEGANG PARTY drops back in trip following a useful 3rd place around 1700M last start and is one of a number of others who can also come into consideration.

Selections(8) Coin Blade (3) Top Seed (5) Choegang Magic (6) Unoechangcheon
Next Best7, 1, 4, 9
Fast Start3, 10

Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A field of eleven will line up over the seven furlongs in the fifth. (2) HAENGBOK WANGJA looks extremely hard to beat notching two runner-up performances in a row since resuming. The Daredevil colt comes off a last start second behind Mighty New which reads extremely well for this event. (4) SOUL MERIT will be sure to attract attention in betting markets. The American Pharoah colt trialed up in good fashion and was a Class Four winner before the racing hiatus. The three-year-old will have to carry 57.5kg, a substantial increase on the 52.5kg he carried to victory last start. (5) GOOD SENSE produced a solid performance when resuming last start. The Street Sense four-year-old is up in class on the strength of a second last start and as a result will carry just the 52kg. (7) BULGULUI RUNNER looks next best after finishing third behind Jangsan Forever last time out. The King Cugat gelding has been settling rearwards this time in before hitting the line strong in the final stages.

Selections(2) Haengbok Wangja (4) Soul Merit (5) Good Sense (7) Bulgului Runner
Next Best1, 8
Fast Start4, 5

Race 6: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Entertaining little race this. (1) RUNNING BOX has looked in good form since the restart. She ran 3rd behind East Jet, who has very quickly gone on to better things, in June before running a narrow 2nd to My Hawk last month when having a hard time getting a good position from a wide draw. She has the inside gate today and could well be peaking with a real winning chance. (8) RAON TAP MAN has only finished outside the top three once in seven starts and comes in having scored at class 4 over this distance in June and then run 2nd on his first try at this class a month ago. She carries significantly less weight this time and has a real chance. (9) NEUL PUREUN CAT was well back behind Running Box last start but that was his first-up run and he has previously proven himself more than competitive at class and distance. (3) CHOIN BOLT hasn’t quite lived up to his early promise but has a class and distance 3rd place to his name since the restart and should be in at least the placing hunt again.

Selections(1) Running Box (8) Raon Tap Man (3) Choin Bolt (9) Neul Pureun Cat
Next Best6, 7
Fast Start5, 6, 8

Race 7: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

The Class Four gallopers will go over the two turns in the seventh event where four of the engagements come off last start wins. (8) JEONGSANG YEOSIN is the on top selection after a very consistent career to date. The Colors Flying filly has notched four wins from ten starts with two minor placings. She resumed in good style when finishing second behind Best Lucky over the 1700m. (9) JANGSAN BADA is another progressive type who has notched two wins and a minor from three career starts. The Old Fashioned colt sits handy in his runs and has clocked some good times in his short career to date. (5) GAROSUGIL was a surprise winner last time out when leading throughout. The win was over the two turns, he is up in class but will carry just 54kg. (6) JEONJEONGSAGEUM is another progressive type notching two wins from the four starts as well. Lim Gi-won has been aboard the filly at all four starts to date. She normally has plenty of early speed so expect her to shoot across from barrier six. Good race.

Selections(8) Jeongsang Yeosin (9) Jangsan Bada (5) Garosugil (6) Jeonjoengsageum
Next Best11, 4
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 10

Race 8: Class 3 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

This is a super race for the level and is suitably tricky to solve. (1) GEUMA WHOLESOME has not only recorded the fastest time of those who have raced at the level before but also beat a number of these on his was to 3rd place behind Brigadier General on July 26th. He carries even more weight today but has plenty of quality and should go close. No fewer than three last-start winners are up in class here. (5) ECHO BILL won well at this distance on July 6th in a useful time. He was beaten by (6) SHU LEUB first-up in June, also at today’s distance, but can overturn that form today. (8) MOONHAK EMPIRE was a good winner over 1400M on July 19th and steps up to two-turns for the first time. His running style to date would suggest that won’t be a problem and he should be competitive here. (2) SHARK JJANG and (4) MUDO are others in the hunt.

Selections(8) Moonhak Empire (1) Geuma Wholesome (5) Echo Bill (4) Mudo
Next Best2, 6, 11
Fast Start3, 6, 11

Race 9: Class Open (1400M) Ttukseom Cup (KOR G2) Allowance / KRW 400 Million

The time-honoured Ttukseom Cup is the ninth event on the card where the fillies and mares will line up over the 1400m at Korean Group Two level. A field of fourteen will face the starter where last year’s winner Silver Wolf will rematch Dia Road, who turned the tables on the eight-year-old back in January winning the Donga Ilbo Cup. Here’s a look at each of the runners:

  1. DAEBAK HAENGJIN – Good performance last start to finish third behind Wang Beotkkot when second-up. Somewhat of a non-winner notching just one victory from fifteen starts. Looks to be up against it at set weights.
  2. SKY BAY – Light raced five-year-old who needs to be considered an each way chance after a very good win at Class 1 level when first up over the 1400m. Never been able to match Silver Wolf previously but has resumed in great order.
  3. SILVER WOLF – Last year’s champion mare clean sweeping the Queen’s Tour. Found the Grand Prix not suitable and then finished second to Dia Road in the Donga Ilbo before the enforced hiatus. Will be interesting to see her run after a lengthy break.
  4. RAON FIRST – Seems the logical choice to line up in after struggling to run a strong 1600m out in the Luna Stakes and subsequentially bypassing the Oaks. A winner of four from six she is an on-pace runner that must be respected.
  5. SEOURI BYEOL – Has performed admirably at the highest level behind the likes of Dia Road and Silver Wolf. Whilst she is unlikely to match their efforts, she is normally a live place chance. Query lies with the 1400m.
  6. ICE MARINE – Winner of eight from twenty-six including a last start victory when defeating last year’s Oaks winner Deep Mind. The seven furlongs not her ideal distance as she normally takes time to find her feet before hitting the line strong.
  7. HWA GI – Hard to suggest on her two performances since resuming in June.
  8. SEONNYANG CHEOLLI – Class 3 winner last start over 1200m. Yet to be stretched beyond the six furlongs and she looks outclassed against this field.
  9. DIA ROAD – A winner of seven from eight starts including the Donga Ilbo back in January when beating Silver Wolf. She is all class and looks the one to beat. Resumed with a win when made to work for it over 1800m. The one to beat.
  10. DAMYANG HWANHO – A long time between drinks and looks safely held.
  11. CHEONGSU YEOGEOL – Lacks to class to match it with a field of this caliber. Unlikely.
  12. LEAD MONEY – Resumed in good fashion to finish third behind Dia Road over the 1800m. Always thereabouts in Class 1 level. Place chance at best.
  13. CHOCO CANDY – Last start Class 2 winner when carrying only 53.5kg. Another filly who is capable of finishing in the minor money.
  14. UJU DAEWANG – Career best performances to date include a win in Class 3 company. Looks outclassed.

VERDICT: (9) DIA ROAD showed us in January that she has more than enough ability to stamp herself as the best filly or mare in Korea. Now we get to see this rematch between her and (3) SILVER WOLF for the first time since the Donga Ilbo. There is so much intrigue watching these two superstars face each other at equal weights. In January’s Donga Ilbo Silver Wolf had to carry 5kg more than Dia Road only going down three lengths. At set weights with fresh legs she is more than capable of regaining the upper hand. (2) SKY BAY showed us that she has resumed in brilliant style when winning over this distance last time out. She has placed behind the likes of Silver Wolf previously and we know she can carry weight. (4) RAON FIRST knows one way only and that is to jump and run. The Musket Man filly looks perfectly suited over the 1400m with a good draw.

Selections(3) Silver Wolf (9) Dia Road (2) Sky Bay (4) Raon First
Next Best12, 6
Fast Start2, 4, 9, 14

Race 10: Class Open (1200M) SROA Trophy (KOR G3) Weight for Age / KRW 400 Million

1. WONDER BOLT – The 10-year-old never disgraces himself and will likely finish in midfield again but he simply doesn’t have the kind of speed anymore to be a serious contender in races such as this.

2. SPRING BACK – Good class 1 sprinter but perhaps not quite of the elite level at equal weights. Finished 7th in the SBS and while he could better that, he has a little too much to make up.

3. ULTRA PUNCH – Establishing himself as a competent class 1 campaigner although he is yet to win at the top level. Ran 2nd to Complete Sweep last start. Great draw so expect him to challenge for the early lead but others should end up too quick.

4. COMPLETE SWEEP – Good all the way win at this distance in July before running 3rd in a fast race on a very wet track earlier this month sandwiched between Jjang Kong and Mask in 3rd place. He’ll be aiming to get on speed from the start but isn’t among the favourites.

5. M J POWER – A very good 4th behind Do Kki Blade in the Busan Ilbo, he skipped the SBS and instead ran 2nd to Sky Bay over 1400M. Likes to come from just off the pace with a strong finish, he is unlikely to win but shouldn’t be far away.

6. EOMA EOMA – The up and comer put in a huge run to finish a desperately close 3rd in the SBS, his first serious race after three easy wins. He had to come from gate 10 that day but has fared much better with the draw this time. Moon Se-young being available means Song Jae-chul misses out despite doing everything right last time. Expect a fast start and this time he can win.

7. JJANG KONG – Put in a massive effort to run 2nd at this distance on a very wet track, beating Complete Sweep and Mask, on August 1st. That earns him his shot here but while he will grind away, aiming to close from a midfield position, surely this is too hard

8. CHEUNGDAM GENIE – Well back behind Morfhis in June, he takes his chance here having pulled off a good win over the distance on July 12th. Still potential to improve but may not have the speed to compete for the money here.

9. MASK – Returned from a lengthy absence to run 4th behind Jjang Kong and Complete Sweep on August 1st. That was a good first-up run and he has consistently posted solid times at this distance. In this company though, a few others may just be a bit quicker.

10. GLOBAL CAPTAIN – Loads of talent but he is unreliable in terms of manners. From an unpromising gate, he managed to run 6th in the SBS, coming from well back late on. At his best he is capable of winning but there are too many questions over him.

11. MEDICI GLORY – Made his way rapidly up the levels and ran a very solid 5th in the SBS. Runs best on the early speed but both draw and quality of opposition will make it difficult for him to get there. Matching that SBS performance would be a good result.

12. DO KKI BLADE – Brilliant winner of the Busan Ilbo and he can desperately close in the SBS before Morfhis snatched it away. A front-runner, his draw is worse today then in both the Busan Ilbo and SBS and he has a lot of speed inside him. Nevertheless, his quality should see him close.

13. EAST JET – A winner of five from his first six he was then a revelation in the SBS when he ran a close at hand 4th. One of just two three-year-olds in the race, along with Eoma Eoma, he gets weight allowance, but the draw isn’t kind. Will be hard to better that 4th but not impossible.  

14. MORFHIS – That rarest of things in Korea; a closer who wins Group level Sprints. As in the SBS, the wide draw is arguably in his favour as he can keep out of both trouble and kickback and run his own race until the business end. If he is to repeat though he will need a lot to go right for him. A real chance once more.

15. SEONGPA – Struggled in the Busan Ilbo and skipped the SBS in order to run in the Jjang Kong race in which he finished 8th. He has posted a fast time when winning at this distance but it’s hard to make a case for him on most recent form.

VERDICT: (14) MORFHIS will aim to repeat his SBS Sports Sprint win with his customary late charge and it’s not impossible he could be successful. However, the up and comer (6) EOMA EOMA impressed that day and has drawn a much better gate. It may be that by the time Morfhis arrives on the scene, it’s too late. This time the draw does no favours to (12) DO KKI BLADE but he has plenty of quality and should be present at the business end of the race. Likewise (13) EAST JET will have to come from wide, but the wily Munro isn’t one to throw the kitchen sink early and he’ll surely be around to challenge late on. (9) MASK and (10) GLOBAL CAPTAIN are among others in the hunt for the minors in what should be a tremendous race.

Selections(6) Eoma Eoma (14) Morfhis (12) Do Kki Blade (9) Mask
Next Best13, 10, 11
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 10, 12

Race 11: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

There looks an abundance of speed engaged in the eleventh where a field of eleven will line up over the 1400m. (4) DAEGUN CHEONHA has been a model of consistency in his thirteen start career. The Verrazano colt has won just the two races but has never finished worse than fifth including eight minor placings. From barrier four he should get every chance to figure, expect him to be hitting peak fitness at his third start back from the racing hiatus. (7) FLYING FORD put his brilliant turn of foot on display last start when gobbling up a good bunch of gallopers. The Shackleford four-year-old goes up a considerable 4.5kg which will make his task tougher, but his last win was very good. (3) KILIUI JEWANG is second-up after a midfield performance behind Munhak Tiger in this company last start. Expect improvement from the five-year-old second-up. (2) INCHEON CHIEF will drop back to the 1400m after finishing midfield at his first start back. He will take improvement out of that first up run, expect him to be on speed from gate two over the 1400m.

Selections(4) Daegun Cheonha (7) Flying Ford (3) Kiliui Jewang (2) Incheon Chief
Next Best6, 1
Fast Start2, 4, 6

Race 12: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) STRETTO came back into form with a strong 2nd place over class and distance on August 1st. He gets in again under a very light weight and going one better isn’t impossible. (10) LUMINESCE and (11) HIGH BEAT came home 1st and 2nd at class and distance with not much between them on July 18th. Winner Luminesce was giving away 3kg that day but it’s up to 5kg today and that, coupled with the former being drawn much wider this time, may be enough to allow the consistent High Beat to overturn the form. (5) JEONGSANG ETTEUM almost made all but ultimately finished 2nd over 1400M on July 11th. From a good draw, he’ll be on pace again and has every chance. (1) PSYCHIC BOSS and (6) GLOBAL CHEONHA came home 3rd and 4th when they raced each other on July 25th at class and distance and both can aim to go close again.

Selections(3) Stretto (11) High Beat (10) Luminesce (5) Jeongsang Etteum
Next Best1, 6
Fast Start5, 6, 7

2 comments

    1. Busan isn’t simulcast anywhere at all today so we didn’t do it. Given how badly we have started at Seoul today though, that is probably a good thing!

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