The 2020 Triple Crown concludes at Seoul on Sunday with the running of the Minister’s Cup. There are 12 races at Seoul along with 5 at Busan, both behind closed doors and with no betting. They are likely to be the final race meetings held in Korea for some time.
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The two and three-year-old Korean-bred gallopers line up in the first. Cue the Star Wars puns as (1) JEDI looks hardest to beat coming off a nice performance on debut. The Cowboy Cal filly missed the kick last start before reeling off a strong last sectional to finish third behind Cobra Ball. The step-up to the 1300m looks ideal for the filly, who should put them to the lightsaber late (sorry). (6) REMEMBER WHEN looks next best after finishing second in three-year-old company last start over this distance. The Rock Hard Ten filly finished two and a half lengths off the winner when clocking a reasonable time. (10) CHAMPION GAMUN comes out of the same race as Jedi when finishing fourth. The two-year-old was another that hit the line strong but will need to improve to be considered a winning chance. (3) SUNNY K looks next best after finishing fifth at start two. The Officer filly gets a reasonable draw for the first time in her short career.
|Selections||(1) Jedi (6) Remember When (10) Champion Gamun (3) Sunny K|
|Next Best||4, 11|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Tricky little maiden. (4) POWER MUSIC has the best time of any of these at the distance, achieved when running 3rd on a very wet track in July. She overcame a poor start to run on well for 5th at her latest start three weeks ago at 1300M and if she can just get herself into a decent position this time, she can win. (3) THROUGH THE SKY enters with the most convincing recent form in the race having registered a 2nd and a 3rd in his latest two. He’s well drawn to get on pace early and could go all the way. (11) TYCHE FIRE hasn’t shown much in the way of speed but did run an improved 3rd when stepped up to this trip a couple of weeks ago. Moon Se-young stays aboard and he should have more improvement in him. (8) RUFFIAN PARK and (9) THUNDER WIND are others who should go close.
|Selections||(3) Through The Sky (11) Tyche Fire (4) Power Music (9) Thunder Wind|
|Next Best||8, 2|
|Fast Start||3, 11|
Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
The Class Five gallopers will line up in the third event over 1400m. In a race that lacks form, (9) BIG FACE looks the one to beat albeit the three-year-old still looking to break maiden status. The Simon Pure Colt has placed behind some handy types at his two starts back which puts him in good stead for his assignment. (11) GOSOK PEDAL will be second up after clocking a good time over the 1300m when first up. The Officer colt’s one win was when lining up over this distance. (7) GLOBAL WANGJA is another who is yet to break maiden status. The lightly raced four-year-old will drop back to the 1400m after finishing fifth over the 1700m last time out. His performances over the short course have been good. (4) SUNSHINE TEUKGEUP looks best of the rest but has been stuck in this class for quite some time.
|Selections||(9) Big Face (11) Gosok Pedal (7) Global Wangja (4) Sunshine Teukgeup|
|Next Best||5, 8|
|Fast Start||7, 9|
Seoul Race 4: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(9) JEONGMUN BOLT was an outstanding winner over this distance at class 5 level on a relatively dry track back on July 12th. He reappears today up in class but with every chance of scoring again. He will try to lead from the gate. It won’t be easy. (4) ICE PUNCH was a similarly impressive winner at 1200M a month ago. He’s won two of four starts to be rapidly promoted to this level and from a good draw can sit just off the speed. The slight step up in trip today should only be to his benefit. (3) LUISA perhaps has a bit more to find but nevertheless was a good winner at 1200M last start and can be competitive at this level. As for those with experience at this class, (2) LION YEOJE was a touch disappointing on his first crack at it three weeks ago following a good win in July. With Munro on today, he must be given another chance.
|Selections||(9) Jeongmun Bolt (4) Ice Punch (3) Luisa (2) Lion Yeoje|
|Next Best||5, 10, 11|
|Fast Start||4, 9, 11|
Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
The fifth event will see a field of eleven line up over the 1400m. (4) GO UP is the on top selection coming off a good Class Five victory last time out. The Tiz Wonderful filly clocked a very impressive time (1:12.8) considering it was a dry track. She has accounted for herself well in all of her starts and with 53kg on her back she looks the one to beat. Apart from Go Up, you can throw almost the rest of the field into your selections. (10) LUCKY BONGHWA we will make second elect after a fair performance when resuming last time out. The five-year-old entire finished fifth behind Federal Cat when finishing off strong. The lightly weighted galloper should show some improvement second-up. (3) VICTORY KING has been consistent since resuming, finishing in the top five at all three starts. The Magician gelding comes off a fourth placed performance behind Haedeulmoe, not the strongest form but we will include him for his consistency. (5) BACK SPIN looks best of the rest second up after finishing fourth when first up.
|Selections||(4) Go Up (10) Lucky Bonghwa (3) Victory King (5) Back Spin|
|Next Best||1, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 7|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A maiden for three-year-olds and down with just four of the eleven having raced before. Of those four, (2) CHOEGANG DRAGON has appeared the most, racing three times already and in the latest of those recorded a 3rd place
finish having led for much of the way over 1300M. That form reads well enough to suggest she has a real chance here. (7) ANGEL WIND was dreadful on debut, capitulating from a promising early position to finish last and get sent back to trial. She looked a different animal in the subsequent trial earlier this month, winning her heat and she is in the frame here. As for the first timers, (10) BABY LINE recorded the fastest trial time, albeit on a wet track, while (6) CAL MARK and (9) MIRACLE SON also caught the eye.
|Selections||(2) Choegang Dragon (7) Angel Wind (6) Cal Mark (9) Miracle Son|
|Next Best||10, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 7, 10|
Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(7) LEGEND DAY was a strong winner on debut, narrowly winning a home straight tussle with the promising Auckland Socks. He returns here at the same class, the same distance and carrying the same weight and it would be no surprise if it was the same result. (11) SPRING KING won quite emphatically on what was his second start on July 26th. He made all that day from the inside gate and while he has drawn wide this time, if Lee Dong-ha can get him to a prominent position, then he should be going very close again. (8) GEOMISON is yet to match a strong 2nd on debut but has a significant weight allowance today and looks in the hunt. (1) MOONHAK SKY and (6) GANGNAM MAN are among others to look out for.
|Selections||(7) Legend Day (11) Spring King (8) Geomison (1) Moonhak Sky|
|Next Best||6, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 10, 11|
Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
The Class 5 gallopers will go over the 1300m in the second event. (1) ACEUI GIPPEUM is lining up for just her third start after finishing second at her two starts to date. The Ecton Park filly sat on speed last time out and from gate one she should ping out of the gates and prove hard to run down. (5) DYNAMIC RUSH is another looking for his first win and comes off a good performance when second behind Echo Good. Jin Kyum will be legged aboard the three-year-old for the first time. (4) DREAM CHASER comes off a last start second behind Fashion Key. They clocked a reasonable time for the 1300m which he will line up over once again. (10) BANJIUI MAGIC will have the claim of Mo Junho and as a result will carry just the 53kg. He is always competitive in his racing and cannot be ruled out as a winning chance. Open race.
|Selections||(1) Aceui Gippeum (5) Dynamic Rush (4) Dream Chaser (10) Banjiui Magic|
|Next Best||3, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 4, 6, 10|
Seoul Race 7: Class 5 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The seventh on the card will see the Class Five gallopers line up over 1400m. (4) WINNER TEMPLAR goes on top after a nice return to racing last start when finishing second behind Jeonjeongsageum. The filly ran through the line nicely and should be aided by the step up to the 1400m. (6) GOLD BRIDGE was a last start winner at start eight. The three-year-old showed a nice turn of foot when coming from midfield and going on to win clocking a reasonable time. (8) MEISEI DREAM is second up after a fair performance when fifth over 1200m. The filly has shown some previous good efforts over longer so the 1400m should not be a problem. (11) FAMILY PARK resumes for her tenth start after a nice trial. She looks one that can run into the minor money.
|Selections||(4) Winner Templar (6) Gold Bridge (8) Meisei Dream (11) Family Park|
|Next Best||5, 10|
|Fast Start||4, 5|
Busan Race 3: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
It took (7) GANGHAN JILJU thirty-four attempts to get his maiden win. He promptly went a won again on his first try at this class on start thirty-five. Lightning surely doesn’t strike three times though. (6) GOLDEN WINNER comes in off a distance 2nd to Crazy Conti earlier this month. Crazy Conti didn’t exactly frank that form on Friday but Golden Winner looks to have scope for more improvement and should go close here. He will most likely lead from the start. (3) YEONGGWANGUI PARTY had a hard time in the Derby but he is a class and distance winner and the return to restricted company today should see him much more comfortable. He carries top weight here but should be good enough to overcome it. (1) DAEHO JILJU and (4) GYEONGJUUI DUREBAK are the other chances in this small but competitive field.
|Selections||(3) Yeonggwangui Party (6) Golden Winner (1) Daeho Jilju (4) Gyeongjuui Durebak|
|Fast Start||4, 6|
Seoul Race 8: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
A winner of three from four so far, (4) MIGHTY GO has put in some mighty good performances along the way. He carries more weight today and steps up to 1400M for the first time but neither should be a problem and he can win again. This is though a good race. (11) LORD BAN enters off very solid 2nd place at this distance in the TCK Trophy race last month. The wide draw isn’t ideal but he can overcome it. (2) UNCLE OH comes in off consecutive runner-up finishes, the most recent being a fast race at this distance and from a nice draw, he will be a danger again. (7) GEUMA AGILE is up in class after a good 2nd to Clean Up Bella at this distance back in June. The Shackleford gelding still looks to have progression in him and today should be a good test. He’ll aim to get forward early. (1) CHEONGDAM DRIVE and (10) FLASH JET, both back in trip today, are others in the hunt in a very tasty looking race.
|Selections||(4) Mighty Go (11) Lord Ban (2) Uncle Oh (7) Geuma Agile|
|Next Best||1, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 4, 6, 11|
Busan Race 4: Class 2 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 110 Million
The penultimate race on the Busan card is a ripping affair with many chances. In a wide-open event, (6) SAMSEONG DOKKI is the on top selection coming off a third in this grade behind Toham Ace. The Colors Flying gelding has won five of his eight starts and is well performed over this distance. (8) WORLD TODAY is on the two-week backup after saluting in Class 3 grade. He is another stamping himself as a very handy horse, winning five of his ten assignments to date. (4) SUCCESS PARTY has been promoted to this grade after finishing third last time out behind Rapido Man. He drops 4kg with the rise in class and is another each way chance engaged. (2) HIDDEN CHAMP looks next best but perhaps more of a place chance as he has been in this grade for quite some time.
|Selections||(6) Samseong Dokki (8) World Today (4) Success Party (2) Hidden Champ|
|Next Best||1, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 7 ,8|
Seoul Race 9: Class Open (1200M) Allowance / KRW 150 Million
The inaugural running of the Rookie Stakes for the two-year-old Korean-bred gallopers is the ninth on the card and what a cracking race it is! There are many chances to line up in the field of fourteen and we don’t know their full potential yet. (3) HEUNGBARAGI goes on top after a superb performance on debut early July. The Old Fashioned colt bounced out of the gates, took up the lead and went on to win by an astonishing eight lengths. Truth be told it could be the fastest horse Lee Joon-chel has sat on. (11) OXFORD KING has had the two career starts for a second and a win, which came last start. The Summer Front colt showed a brilliant turn off foot on that occasion to clock a very good time over the 1000m. (13) SAMANTHA CHEETAH looks a winning chance in the race. She blitzed her rivals in a small field when on debut winning by six lengths and clocking 60.7 seconds on a dry track. She has plenty of early speed, but so do many of her rivals so her barrier is her likely downfall. The effort of (5) WHITE CHARM on debut cannot go unnoticed after clocking a sub-minute 1000m. The winning margin was only half a length on a day where they were clocking quick times. The horses that he beat, (6) JILJU DAERO (2nd) and (4) CHEONGDAM WICKED (3rd) also line up in this spectacle and are not without a chance.
|Selections||(3) Heungbaragi (11) Oxford King (13) Samantha Cheetah (5) White Charm|
|Next Best||6, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 12, 13, 14|
Busan Race 5: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
Fascinating little sprint. Both (5) SSONSAL and (9) SEOBU CAT found things tough in Graded Stakes company recently but both four-year-olds still look to have progression in them and they may end up disputing this between them. At the distance and despite the draw, Seobu Cat is marginally favoured. (2) PARTY AGAIN returns to action for the first time since running 3rd to Seobu Cat – his stablemate – at this distance all the way back in February. He looked well in a May trial and with Perovic aboard can go well first up today. (1) FINEST WARRIOR drops back significantly in trip but from the inside gate can potentially get on speed early and can make a nuisance of himself late on.
|Selections||(9) Seobu Cat (5) Ssonsal (2) Party Again (1) Finest Warrior|
|Next Best||3, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 9|
Seoul Race 10: Class Open (2000M) Minister’s Cup (KOR G2) Allowance / KRW 600 Million
1. YEONGCHEON JILJU – A class 4 winner over 1800M in Busan, he came from well back to run 8th in the Derby. Deep closer who should appreciate the additional trip, but he does have a bit to find.
2. BLUE POWER – He was 6th in the Cup Mile and then closed strongly to run 4th in the Derby. The extra furlong is in his favour and a similar or better finish will be expected here.
3. COMPLETE KINGDOM – Ran 3rd behind Heunghaeng Jilju at 1700M in June before making all to win over the same distance at class 4 level in July which allows him to take his chance here. Should be on pace but may find others too strong late on.
4. ROLLER BLADE – Undoubtedly has the ability but 2000M has to be a question given how he weakened in the Derby. That was first-up and he should have come on for it so we’re not ready to rule him out yet. Settles just behind the lead this time.
5. TOP DAY – Intriguing newcomer to the Triple Crown trial, he is the highest rated horse in the field having won at class 2 level earlier this month. That was at 1200M though so distance must be the big question. A stablemate of Touch Star Man, the tactics will be interesting, and he is not without a chance.
6. LUXURY CAPTAIN – All the way winner over 1400M last month to take his record to two wins from five. That was only at class 5 level though, so this is a big step up. Most likely aims to lead.
7. A TO Z – The mount of Moon Se-young is always going to be of interest and this one is certainly a speedy type as shown by his smart win over 1300M last month. That was his maiden win at start six though which suggests this might be a big jump up.
8. HEUNGHAENG JILJU – A winner at class 4 level over 1700M, he produced a super run to finish 3rd in the Derby. He will settle in midfield and look to close and has to be considered a real chance.
9. TOUCH STAR MAN – The Cup Mile winner never really got going in the Derby. He eventually came from an unfavourable position to run home strongly for 5th. Seo Seung-un climbs aboard this time and is likely to ride him a touch closer to midfield. He has the quality and he can win.
10. RAON TOUGH MAN – He ran 5th in the Cup Mile but put in a very strong run to finish 2nd in the Derby. The additional trip should be no problem and he is a strong contender again. Likely to settle in the front half of the field and run on strong.
11. DETERMINATION – Scratched from the Cup Mile when he threw his jockey in the post parade, he went on to run 9th in the Derby. He’ll go back and aim to finish strong but while the distance should be in his favour, others may be a touch faster.
12. MIRACLE INCHEON – Came from well back to win over 1400M a month ago which allows him to take his chance here. That was at class 5 level and he has plenty to find here.
13. THUNDER KING – Last home in the Cup Mile, he skipped the Derby and stayed in Busan to emphatically win over 1800M on August 9th, leading all the way. The draw has not been kind to him here, as he needs to lead or at least be close, but he makes for an interesting outsider.
Verdict: With Derby winner Save The World injured and likely heading straight to retirement, there is no clear favourite for the final leg of the Triple Crown. KRA Cup Mile winner (9) TOUCH STAR MAN didn’t quite get the rub of the green in the Derby and while he finished off strong, left too much to do. He is slightly favoured here to return to the winner’s circle. (10) ROAN TOUGH MAN and (8) HEUNGHAENG JILJU both ran on very well to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Derby and will be firmly in the hunt over the extended trip today. Also appreciating further should be the Busan-trained pair of (1) YEONGCHEON JILJU and (2) BLUE POWER. Derby-aside (4) ROLLER BLADE remains a class act.
|Selections||(9) Touch Star Man (10) Raon Tough Man (8) Heunghaeng Jilju (4) Roller Blade|
|Next Best||1, 2, 5, 13|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 13|
Seoul Race 11: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
The eleventh on the card has attracted a competitive field to go over the two turns. (3) PLATINUM EURO resumed in good style last time out, when finishing second over 1400m behind Gallop Curlin. The Eurosilver gelding has previously shown good form over the two turns and will have the services of Moon Se-young. (4) SAENAE SPURT is untested over the two turns but has been consistent in his eight starts to date. He comes off a good win when clocking a fast time over 1400m. He is versatile and should have no problem settling over the two turns. (9) GEUMA KINGDOM is one worth considering in your wider selections. He has placed over the two turns on numerous occasions in this company previously. (11) HAEDEULMOE is up in grade but produced a solid win last time out in Class Four company. Naturally, this is a much tougher assignment.
|Selections||(3) Platinum Euro (4) Saenae Spurt (9) Geuma Kingdom (11) Haedeulmoe|
|Next Best||6, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 6|
Seoul Race 12: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
A nice little sprint to finish things off. (3) CRAZY FACTOR very nearly led gate to wire at class and distance on July 19th only to be denied on the line by Wang Beotkkot. It was a super run and while he does carry an additional 2kg today, he is right in the mix. (6) CUPID GUY races fro the first time since beating Crazy Factor and a couple of others who go here back on June 28th. He is capable of running competitive times and will be a danger. (8) RAON STORM was another also-ran in that race. He wasn’t at his best but is worth another chance and has a strong start. (10) THUNDER MARK is perhaps the wildcard. The filly races for the first time since last December when she was beaten by Crazy Factor, among others. She trialed well and gets Moon Se-young in the saddle.
|Selections||(3) Crazy Factor (6) Cupid Guy (8) Raon Storm (10) Thunder Mark|
|Next Best||11, 2|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 5, 8|