The delayed 2020 Korean Triple Crown will finally conclude this weekend with the Minister’s Cup at Seoul on Sunday. Before that, things kick off with a 15-race behind closed doors Friday card at Busan from 11.30 to 18.00.
Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
A pretty average set of maidens to kick things off. (2) ROYALIST hasn’t exactly been quick across three starts so far but he has been consistent and he has shown he can run on pace. He led most of the way around before weakening to 5th over 1300M two weeks ago and dropping back in trip today could be the one to beat. Of those who have tackled this distance before, (5) BEODEUL BARAM has recorded the fastest time. The track condition had plenty to do with that but she dead-heated for 3rd that day so clearly knows how to race and can be a threat. (10) MOVIE BROTHER was a much-improved 2nd on his latest start two weeks ago and while that was, if anything, an even poorer race than this, gives some confidence about another good performance. (1) THALE NOI and (7) NEW LUX are others who can improve.
|Selections||(2) Royalist (5) Beodeul Baram (10) Movie Brother (7) New Lux|
|Next Best||1, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 8|
Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Eleven maidens of which five are unraced will line up in the second event over the six furlongs. (11) CHOEGANG CUPID has had two starts to date and comes off a last start second when clocking a time that reads well for this assignment. He has sat on speed at both of his starts to date, expect Lee Hyo-sik to ask him to work forward as soon as the gates open. (5) TOP OF KOREA lines up for his second start after finishing fourth behind Geuma Bonny on debut. He was unable to reel in the leading division on that occasion, but he should take some improvement from the run. (7) COLOR WIND will line up for her second start after finishing midfield over the short course on debut. She clocked a time that with some improvement will see her figure in this event, as long as she can run the 1200m out strong at this point in time. (3) HAVE A GOOD TIME debuts after a fair trial and is capable of finishing in the minor money.
|Selections||(11) Choegang Cupid (5) Top Of Korea (7) Color Wind (3) Have A Good Time|
|Next Best||9, 8|
|Fast Start||5, 8, 11|
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
(4) BARAMAUI YEOSIN beat a couple of these on her way to 2nd place behind Eagle Star at this distance on August 7th. There have been a couple of false dawns for him in the past but he won’t need to improve much on last time to be winning here. (9) GENERAL ANN ran well for 3rd over 1200M earlier this month. She finished well and steps up to 1300M for the first time with solid claims to go close. Similarly, (5) DAEHO ARA was a solid 3rd first-up just over a month ago. He too tries this distance for the first time and continue his positive momentum today. (8) YEONGGWANGUI EAGLE was 5th behind General Ann last start and does have a runner-up finish to his name already. In this company he can get close. Three of the runners get to carry just 50kg due to having apprentice jockeys claiming the maximum 4kg. Of the three, (2) TWO TWO CHALLENGER, impressive in a trial earlier this month, is perhaps the one to look out for.
|Selections||(4) Baramui Yeosin (9) General Ann (5) Daeho Ara (2) Two Two Challenger|
|Fast Start||2, 4|
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
The fourth is an all-aged maiden for the Korean-bred gallopers. (6) DIVINE QUEEN looks hardest to beat in a weak affair. She improved significantly at her most recent outing when finishing third behind Echo Good. She normally jumps with them and should sit just behind the pace in the run. (2) JANGMI GONGJU is another galloper that improved last time out when finishing third behind Doctor Khan over the six furlongs. A similar performance to that of last start will see him as an each way chance in this assignment. (10) QUEEN FLYING looks the likely pacemaker and it will be a case of how long she can hold on. (9) FAMILY DANCER is first up after some reasonable performances earlier on in the year. She trialed up only fairly coming into this new preparation.
|Selections||(6) Divine Queen (2) Jangmi Gongju (10) Queen Flying (9) Family Dancer|
|Next Best||7, 5|
Race 5: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
(1) ROCK PEGASUS significantly improved to finish strongly for 2nd place over 1300M on July 31st. It was a useful time albeit on a wet track, and the step up in trip to 1400M today may well suit. (10) MARK STAR has put in
two decent runs over this distance since the restart. He isn’t the quickest but looks nicely in against his lot and with him only needing a top three finish to progress to class 5, this should be his last start in the lowest grade. (9) JANGSAN PRIDE drops back in trip following a solid effort over a mile last time and looks in contention here. (5) SWEET BAND has a best of 4th from three starts so far but has run on well enough each time to suggest that the additional ground to cover today can be in her favour.
|Selections||(1) Rock Pegasus (10) Mark Star (9) Jangsan Pride (5) Sweet Band|
|Next Best||11, 3|
|Fast Start||2, 3|
Race 6: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
The maidens will line up over the mile in the sixth event where there is limited early speed engaged. (4) FANTASTIC MAN is the on top selection after finishing second last time out behind Alpha Heart over the mile. He sat behind the leaders last start but with no early dash from his counterparts here he may be able to take up the lead. He finished off well last time out and the mile might be what he is looking for. (9) GREAT GO showed improvement last start to finish second over the six furlongs. The filly has shown a good turn of foot previously and if she can do so once again she can run into the money. (8) GOLD MAGIC lines up in the event after finishing third behind Doctor Max three weeks back. He passed a few on that occasion but the time was only fair. (1) KWAEHAN HWANGGEUM comes off successive placings including a third over this distance last time out. He may be flat-footed at the start as we’ve previously seen suggesting gate one is no real advantage.
|Selections||(4) Fantastic Man (9) Great Go (8) Gold Magic (1) Kwaehan Hwanggeum|
|Next Best||6, 7|
|Fast Start||4, 6|
Race 7: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(11) MAGIC HORSE beat three of these on her way to 3rd place at class and distance on August 14th. She carries an identical weight today and has drawn similarly wide and she could well go even better today. (2) HAENGBOK KOREA came from well back to run 4th in that race and can go close again with apprentice Park Jong-ho once more ensuring his mount will carry very little weight. (6) YEOWANGUI MISO had a hard time in the Korean Oaks over 1800M three weeks ago. She was previously a good winner over this distance though and has every chance of returning to form here. Punters (and pundits) have been burned by (3) PORRIMA a couple of times already. He steps up in class and in distance today but with the addition of Djordje Perovic in the saddle, plenty will be tempted to have a nibble again. He does surely have a win in him at some stage. Also still a maiden is (4) DOCTOR SKY. He’s finished as runner-up on no fewer than four occasions though, including at class and distance as recently as July. Expect him to be ridden closer to the speed today and another place finish is a possibility.
|Selections||(6) Yeowangui Miso (11) Magic Horse (3) Porrima (4) Doctor Sky|
|Next Best||2, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 4|
Race 8: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
The Class 5 gallopers take to the track in the eighth over 1400m. (2) DOCTOR FASHION looks a progressive type who comes off a very slick maiden win last start, clocking one minute flat for the 1000m. The Old Fashioned colt will have the services of Lim Sung-sil who only jumps on when they can win. (1) TOP LUCKY is another last start winner who won over the 1200m in good style. He looks well-weighted in the event and should get a soft run from the inside draw. (8) PAI BLADE also comes off a win which came at his third start. The lightly raced four-year-old has had three starts for the win and two minor places. He is proven over the 1400m. (5) ILNYEOM TONGCHEON is yet to breakthrough but has been promoted to this grade on the strength of two runner-up performances. He will have the services of Busan’s leading jockey You Hyun-Myung.
|Selections||(2) Doctor Fashion (1) Top Lucky (8) Pai Blade (5) Ilnyeom Tongcheon|
|Next Best||7, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 5, 8|
Race 9: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Having made all to register her maiden win in impressive fashion in July, (4) GRAND YEOWANG has a 4th and a 2nd to her name at this class. She is a front-runner with a nice turn of foot and while this is a competitive race, she could win here. Three of the eleven are up in class here following last start maiden wins. (6) TWO TWO WILD THING has a bit of pace about him and gets in the weights very nicely with a good apprentice on board. He will be challenging for the lead from the gate and should go close. (9) NICE ONE and (10) ACHIM BUT both got their first wins at this distance and both should also be competitive here – they too are likely to challenge for the lead early. (7) HAPPY MAGIC came from well back to run 3rd at class and distance on August 7th and could pass a few late on again today.
|Selections||(4) Grand Yeowang (6) Two Two Wild Thing (9) Nice One (7) Happy Magic|
|Next Best||10, 11|
|Fast Start||7, 6, 8, 9, 10|
Race 10: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
The tenth is a Class 4 event where there looks only a handful of winning chances. (7) BURNING FLY is the on top selection after resuming well, finishing third behind Union Queen. The speedy-type is drawn best of the likely pacemakers and looks capable of finding the fence first. (6) GOOD THUNDER comes off a win in Class 5 company when clocking a good time. The Thunder Moccasin colt has finished in the top three on five occasions from six starts. (10) DIVINE MUSIC had a crack at the Korean Oaks last start but was heavily outclassed. The start prior to the Oaks was good when winning a Class 5 by leading all the way. Back in restricted company she looks an each way chance (9) CENTUM BEONGAE is another each way chance but is now up in the weights after winning in this class two starts back. He backed it up with a reasonable effort finishing fourth behind Geuma Mystic. Perovic takes over from Choi Si-dae.
|Selections||(7) Burning Fly (6) Good Thunder (10) Divine Music (9) Centum Beongae|
|Next Best||1, 8|
|Fast Start||7, 9, 10, 11|
Race 11: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(1) MORNING TAEYANG is up in class having won at this distance on July 31st. He is also the joint-holder of the fastest time at a mile of any of these and gets in carrying a very light weight. From the inside gate, You Hyun-myung can work forward early and he can win again. (4) DAEJI JARANG was 2nd to Morning Taeyang in that race and joins him up in class. While naturally, he has a little more to find, he should still be competitive. (8) ALPHA KING and (11) GLOBAL TOP are also both up in class having scored over 1400M on their respective last starts. Both can go well here although it is Global Top who is perhaps the more progressive looking at this stage. (10) RAON TOWN will carry 5kg less than he did when running 3rd at class and distance on July 17th. He was well back behind the winner but the prolific place-getter can be involved in the finish again today.
|Selections||(1) Morning Taeyang (11) Global Top (10) Raon Town (4) Daeji Jarang|
|Next Best||8, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 10, 11|
Race 12: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
A field of eleven imports line up in the twelfth event where the majority are lightly raced. (10) HWANHUIUI BANSEOK is the on top selection after placing at his first two starts. The Congrats gelding finished second last start behind a pretty smart galloper so based on the strength of that placing he looks the one to beat. (1) KING ALIBABA will line up for his fourth start since the enforced break. The three-year-old has clocked some reasonable times of late and this looks his weakest assignment this preparation. (7) POKPUNG EONDEOK is second up and comes out of the same race as Hwanhuiui Banseok where he finished eighth. Whilst he finished well back that form line reads well and he can improve at his second start back. (2) TAEPUNG SORI debuts after a couple of trials. The most recent of them was fair, we will keep him safe as we are not too sure what he can do yet.
|Selections||(10) Hwanhuiui Banseok (1) King Alibaba (7) Pokpung Eondeok (2) Taepung Sori|
|Next Best||11, 5|
Race 13: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(1) TOP SKY had a slightly underwhelming day at the office over a mile two weeks ago finishing in 6th place when better was expected. Perovic takes the mount today as the three-year-old steps up to a mile for the first time and he warrants firm consideration here. (7) SEONGSAN POWER beat a couple of these when 2nd at class and distance to Power Train on August 7th. He continues under a relatively light weight today and should be going close again. (4) HAPPY GATE ran 3rd in that same race getting very close to Seongsan Power. He doesn’t win out of turn but is rarely far away and should be among the contenders here. A similar non-winning type is (5) CHANGE BACK. He was 4th behind Seongsan Power back in July and is another in the hunt for at least a place today.
|Selections||(1) Top Sky (7) Seongsan Power (4) Happy Gate (5) Change Back|
|Next Best||11, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 4|
Race 14: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
The fourteenth on the card is a ripping race with some very progressive types to go over the two turns. (8) CRAZY CONTI is the on top selection on the basis of his annihilation of a Class 3 field last start, as per this race. As a result he will have to carry an additional four kilograms but after the eleven length victory he showed us last time out, he looks mighty hard to beat. (6) CURLIN FANTASY placed behind Crazy Conti last start when third. He is yet to win from twenty-one starts but has finished in the top five on fourteen occasions. (7) CURLIN TIME should be kept safe in your selections. The four-year-old finished second behind Ganghan Jilju last time out over the 1400m. Whilst he has not been stretched out to the two turns yet, he did show us a strong performance over the mile when winning back in February. (2) FRIDAY resumes and is a winner of four races from twelve starts. Keep him safe with fresh legs on his side.
|Selections||(8) Crazy Conti (5) Curlin Fantasy (7) Curlin Time (2) Friday|
|Next Best||9, 3|
|Fast Start||7, 8, 9|
Race 15: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(2) RAINHA has had woeful luck with injuries throughout her career but when she is right, she is very good as shown by her four wins from nine starts and that she holds the track record at this distance. She races for the first time since February and looked very well when trialing two weeks ago. She will obviously need this but a first-up win shouldn’t be ruled out. (3) HAWK KING beat three of these on his way to 2nd place at class and distance on July 26th. He only carries an additional kilogram today and looks right in the hunt again. (10) WONDERFUL LION was 3rd in that same race and shapes to go close once more too. (5) A PURE GOOD MAN and (8) SUPER STORM are others who may not win, but are rarely too far out of the reckoning.
|Selections||(2) Rainha (3) Hawk King (10) Wonderful Lion (5) A Pure Good Man|
|Next Best||8, 4|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 7|