Seoul & Busan Triple Crown Finale Sunday: Race-by-Race Preview (December 12)

The 2021 Triple Crown reaches its long-delayed conclusion on Sunday at Seoul Racecourse as KRA Cup Mile winner Heat Yegam and Korean Derby champion Winner’s Man face off in the “Minister’s” Cup. The big race has only attracted eight runners but should be a fascinating affair nonetheless and is race 8 on the 10-race card at Seoul which runs from 10:45 to 18:00. There are also 7 races at Busan from 11:10 to 16:40. All betting locations within Korea are open but attendance must be pre-booked using the MyCard app and proof of vaccination against Covid-19 is required. Here are the previews:

Winner’s Man beat Heat Yegam in the Derby (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile filly maidens here with two of the twelve racing for the first time. The one to beat is set to be (4) RAON THE ARIA, who has raced twice for 4th and 2nd, both at 1000M and both in fast times, coming from just off the pace. She can go one better today. The main danger is one of the two debut-makers. (1) SAENAE FOREST went through two trials and vastly improved in the second of them, sitting just behind the leader throughout and then running on to cross the lone in front on a fast time on an admittedly wet track. From the inside gate she can sit handy or lead here and if she brings that form to the races, should go well. (5) COSMO won a September trial before running a solid 5th on debut in a fast time at this distance, settling back and running on. He should have come on for that and can be competitive again. (7) DAPHNE and (8) P N S CHANCE others to consider for the places.

Selections(4) Raon The Aria (1) Saenae Forest (5) Cosmo (7) Daphne
Next Best8, 6
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 7

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(12) KING SATURDAY trialed up nicely at the end of October before impressive on debut when 3rd at 1000M on November 7th, starting a touch slowly but quickly ridden up to be handy and then running on. He comes up in trip here and despite the wide draw has every chance of making his breakthrough. (3) CHOEGANG FORCE ran 4th in that same race, improving on his debut 6th. He has run on both times and may appreciate the additional furlong here. (1) DAEHO JEONSEOL didn’t do too much wrong when 5th on debut in October. He had an apprentice on that day so he does come up in weight, but he draws well and should be in the mix. (7) RAON THE GUTSEN also comes up in weight from a good 4th on debut over 1000M, but he too should be competitive here. (10) WISE BOY among others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(12) King Saturday (3) Choegang Force (1) Daeho Jeonseol (7) Raon The Gutsen
Next Best10, 5
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(2) BE CRAZY is likely to be a warm favourite. After winning an October trial, he led on debut over 1200M on November 14th before ultimately finishing 4th. He draws well to lead again, and this time shouldn’t be caught. (10) ROAD ACE should be on pace too. He ran well in his first three outings over 1000M but was never able to get a foothold in the race on his fourth start over 1300M last month. The draw isn’t great but if he can get away well, he can go close. (1) CUPID WONDER has mixed her form over nine prior appearances but overcame a wide draw last time out to run a good 4th at this distance and she should be involved again. (4) SHINE MUSIC has the fastest time among any of these at the distance and comes back in trip after a spin over 1700M last time out that was better than her 8th place finish suggests. Along with (8) B J FLASH, she should be in the hunt for some minor money.

Selections(2) Be Crazy (10) Road Ace (1) Cupid Wonder (4) Shine Music
Next Best8, 14
Fast Start2, 3, 8, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

With a 4th, a 3rd and a 2nd from three starts so far, it’s time for (2) STELL LUNA to go one better and register her maiden win in this all-filly affair. She is up to this trip for the first time, but she has run on well in her races so far and from a great draw it’s hard to look past here. (8) FANTASTIC LOVE tackles further than 1000M for the first time. He is yet to finish any worse than 4th and there is no reason why he can’t handle the additional trip. (7) HAVANA JANE come sin having registered her best finish so far when 2nd over 1300M on November 12th. That day’s winner has gone on to win again and Havana Jane should be aiming for at least a place here. (1) WILD ADELE was 6th behind Havana Jane last time but draws better here and should be competing to get on the early speed. (4) DARI TTEUNI is the only one in the field who has won a race before and enters the calculations on that alone.

Selections(2) Stell Luna (8) Fantastic Love (7) Havana Jane (1) Wilde Adele
Next Best4, 5
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 8   

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(6) DOUBLE TAKE is yet to win in eight attempts but enters with two 3rds and a 4th from her latest three including her last start 3rd on November 7th when she came from well off the pace to swoop home. Munro stays aboard, she carries the same weight and has the same gate and this time she looks the one to beat. (4) BARAMGWA HAMKKE was ridden more forward than in previous starts at his latest outing on November 13th and ended up a significantly improved 2nd. He draws much better this time and can maintain his momentum here. (1) VIENTO led for much of the way around at class and distance at her latest start, ultimately giving way and ending up a good 3rd. She has mixed her form over her six appearances but looks nicely in here on the inside to be on pace again and go close. (13) CHEONGSAN YEONGUNG and (11) TAEYANGTAGO among others to take into consideration.

Selections(6) Double Take (4) Baramgwa Hamkke (1) Viento (13) Cheongsan Yeongung
Next Best11, 5
Fast Start1, 7, 10, 14

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Tricky race. We’ll give another chance to (5) HORAENGI, who has only missed the top five on two of ten occasions so far. She drops back in trip having posted consistent, if admittedly unspectacular, times at 1400M in her most recent starts and she looks to have as good a chance as any here. (1) SUSO POWER is set to be the favourite. She races for the first time since June but went through two trials in November posting good times in both. She draws nicely on the inside and has very chance. (6) JEONSEOLUI PARTY was a much-improved 2nd on her latest outing over 1200M on November 7th. She was found to have bled that day and has since been back to trial which she came through unscathed and can go well again. (7) SEUNGRIUI BULGIL and (4) STATICE others with minor money claims.

Selections(5) Horaengi (1) Suso Power (6) Jeonseolui Party (7) Seungriui Bulgil
Next Best4, 8
Fast Start3, 6, 7, 8

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies only here. (4) PURPLE K will be hot favourite. She was a super all the way winner over 1000M at class 6 level on October 10th before running a very solid 5th in a hot Nonghyup Chairman’s Cup at the end of that month. She could have probably taken her chance in the Korean Breeders’ Cup at Busan last week but goes here instead and really should be winning. (7) COMPLETE STAR has placed in her last three starts, all at this class and the most recent two at this distance. Last time out she posted a fast time in 2nd behind a decent winner and should sit handy again here and can push the favourite close. (11) BLACK SILVER doesn’t draw as well as she did when 3rd at her latest start but still has claims to be involved at the business end again. (1) WOL YEONG I and (9) HANGANG MAGIC are others in the frame.

Selections(4) Purple K (7) Complete Star (11) Black Silver (1) Wol Yeong I
Next Best9, 8
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 11

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

It’s hard to look past (10) DAEJI CHOICE here. He had been working up to his last start win, which came at class and distance on November 14th when he was quickly in front and won by a long way. He had the same wide gate that he has today and the same weight and should win again. (5) SUSO ENGINE made her breakthrough at start number two on November 7th, making all over this distance to win in a decent enough time. She comes up in class here but draws nicely again and she’ll be expected to challenge for the lead and be in this a long way again. (1) BEST HAMSEONG also comes up in class following a win at this distance three weeks ago. She draws well, carries a light weight and is another who should be on pace from the start. (9) MENI GLORY and (8) GOLD LUCK are others in the placing frame.

Selections(10) Daeji Choice (5) Suso Engine (1) Best Hamseong (9) Meni Glory
Next Best8, 3
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 9

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(7) SECRET BOSS has won his latest two stars at class 5 over 1400M and then at this level and this distance. He has proven capable of winning from the front or from off the pace and while he comes up plenty in the weights, he can make it three in a row here. The logical second choice is (9) MUNHAK FIRE. A class and distance winner in a fast time in June, he comes in here having run 3rd in each of his latest three outings, beating a number of these in the process. He likes to be on pace so may need a little early luck in running but he should go close. (1) RACE ROYAL looked on her way to victory over 1400M at her latest outing before getting swamped in the closing stages. She’s yet to win but is yet to finish any worse than 5th and seemed to have sorted out her slow starting issues last time. She has placing chances again. (10) MUNHAK STORM and (6) ROCK LINE others to watch out for.

Selections(7) Secret Boss (9) Munhak Fire (1) Race Royal (10) Munhak Storm
Next Best6, 2
Fast Start6, 9, 11, 12

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

(5) PURE KING comes up in class but significantly down in weight and is worth thought based on his 1400M form including his latest start when 2nd to the promising Mongttang. He can sit handy early here and looks the one to beat. (6) ACE DAY was a good class and distance winner two starts back when leading all the way. He comes out in trip today but does have a 2nd place at this distance on his record. He likes to lead in his races and if he can get into a rhythm, he can be in the finish. (9) INFINITY POWER is another up in class following a 1400M win when racing forward. He drops in weight here and though he draws a touch wider than ideal, he’ll be in this. Draw a line through the latest effort from (3) HAPPY WOMAN when she was very wide early. This should suit better as from gate three she should be able to get to her preferred handy position without too much trouble.  (11) GALAXY ORB the best of the rest.

Selections(5) Pure King (6) Ace Day (9) Infinity Power (3) Happy Woman
Next Best11, 4
Fast Start2, 6, 8, 11

Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(1) JANGSAN LASER is the hot favourite here. He was fair 4th last start at this class and distance beating a couple of these in the process when ridden on pace. He is nicely drawn here, has Moon Se-young aboard and plenty in his favour. (5) EOSEOWA will be in the market following his 2nd place at class and distance on November 13th when on pace. Bar the favourite, this is probably a softer race, and he can repeat. (7) ILBO DEUNGCHEON comes in having been a close 3rd at this class and distance when handy to the leaders early and running on wide and well in the straight. He can go close again. Outside of those three the form tapers off but (2) STAR RUSH can have claims. He was 5th behind Jangsan Laser last start in a fair time having come from well off the pace and today he gets a better draw. (9) DREAM PELLA another who could compete for minor money.

Selections(1) Jangsan Laser (5) Eoseowa (7) Ilbo Deungcheon (2) Star Rush
Next Best9, 4
Fast Start3, 5, 9, 12

Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) ENDLESS RUNNING can have his last start disregarded when wide all the way over 1400M. He comes back to 1200M today, a distance at which he has won at both times he’s tried it. He went through a trial a couple of weeks ago and looked very well and he can win today. (2) GREAT GOOD has won at this class and distance in filly & mare company but recorded a good time in the process when coming from well back. She needs to make sure she doesn’t leaver herself too much to do but will surely be coming home strong again here. (8) YEONGDO GALMAEGI is up in class and down in weight having won over 1400M at class 5 level on September 12th. This may be on the short side, but he comes in fresh and if he can get a forward position, could be interesting. (6) NAMDO QUEEN is consistent at this class and distance and while she finished well back in the Luna Stakes, she beat a couple of these on her way to 6th last start and has a nice light weight here. (4) CAPTAIN STEALTH perhaps the best of the rest.

Selections(3) Endless Running (2) Great Good (8) Yeongdo Galmaegi (6) Namdo Queen
Next Best4, 5
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 6

Seoul Race 7: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(1) ETERNAL MEMORY is the likely favourite here based on his latest two starts at class and distance which resulted in a win and a 3rd place, the latter the most recent when he sat in behind the leaders and was resolute in the straight. He carries the same weight today, is nicely drawn and is the one to beat. (2) GYEONGBU DORYEONG has been running fair times and has led at his last few starts. His solitary win was a long time ago, but it came at this distance, and he is worth thought here. (5) WONDERFUL K can have his latest start disregarded and instead go on his previous run which was a win. Granted it was at class 6, but a repeat of that run would put him in this. (9) SARYEONI FIRST is a lightly raced two-year-old who comes up to 1700M here at just his fourth start. His class 6 form was good at the shorter journeys, and he could be competitive here. (12) CHEONGSAN GANGHO and (7) STORM WARRIOR are others in the placing hunt.

Selections(1) Eternal Memory (2) Gyeongbu Doryeong (5) Wonderful K (9) Saryeoni First
Next Best12, 7
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 9

Busan Race 7: Class 1 (2000M) Allowance / KRW 110 Million

(5) KING OF GLORY is a winner of five in this class and despite being well back in a somewhat unusual Owners’ Cup three weeks ago, has generally been consistent of late and is due a change of luck. He is nicely drawn, and a (good) apprentice claim brings him down in the weights to a very competitive level. Yet to win at 2000M but can change that here. (6) ALPHAKING IJI ran 2nd to a track-record breaking Fantastic Man at 2000M on November 12th, beating three of these in the process. He hasn’t won at class 1 but comes in here race fit and is worth thought. (8) GREAT KING was 3rd in the Fantastic Man race and 3rd behind King of Glory at the start before. A great campaigner and still competitive as his latest two show, he should be in the finish again. (7) THE SABER is up in class here on a solid 1800M win in July. He hasn’t raced since but looked sharp in a trial and carries a very light weight. (11) SMART PRINCE the best of the rest.

Selections(5) King Of Glory (6) Alphaking Iji (8) Great King (7) The Saber
Next Best11, 10
Fast Start1, 5, 8, 12

Seoul Race 8: Class Open “Triple Crown 3rd Leg (Minister’s Cup)” KOR G2 Allowance / KRW 450 Million

The concluding leg of the 2021 Triple Crown and it is unchartered territory for all the runners as they tackle 2000M for the first time. Based on his Korean Derby win, in which he overcame many challenges, we’ll side with (8) WINNER’S MAN. It was an outstanding staying performance after being slowest away and then wide and he showed real fight in the closing stages to beat his rival on the line. That rival is KRA Cup Mile winner (2) HEAT YEGAM who put in a huge performance on his first try around two turns in the Derby, leading for most of the way and demonstrating huge tenacity in battling back and almost winning. He should get a soft lead from a great draw, and he has every chance. (1) CHOEGANG GAME ran very strongly for 4th in the Derby, completing his three wins already. Drawn on the inside he’s unlikely to give away too much ground and can’t be dismissed here. (3) CHIEF INDY ran 6th in the Derby but he was well back early in contrast to his usual racing pattern and was then wide in the straight. It was a big run in the circumstances and in this smaller field expect hm to race more prominently. (7) GALAXY ROAD, who appears for the first time since the Cup Mile, is perhaps the most likely of the others to upset the favourites.

Selections(8) Winner’s Man (2) Heat Yegam (1) Choegang Game (3) Chief Indy
Next Best7, 4
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 8

Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(3) RAON BEAT is building a good record and scored at his first try at two turns over 1700M on October 23rd. He is up in the weights here but that’s somewhat offset by the barrier, and he can win again here. (7) GEUMA SUPREME is very competitive having placed five times at this class and was a close 2nd last time out at this class and distance with a few of today’s rivals back down the track. This race is no harder and he only carries an additional kilogram so should be right in it. (12) STAR BLADE was a nice 4th at his last start after being wide for most of the trip. He may need some luck in the run from the wide draw but has won at 1700M and can be competitive here. (9) WINNER TEMPLAR was a nice 5th over 1400M at her most recent outing and while yet to win at two turns, has been running on in her races. Along with (10) MANSE, she is a place chance here.

Selections(3) Raon Beat (7) Geuma Supreme (12) Star Blade (9) Winner Templar
Next Best10, 5
Fast Start3, 8, 11, 12

Seoul Race 10: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(1) GLOBAL SOCKS has been a model of consistency at this class and while his recent outings have been over staying distances, he has won at this trip and from a nice draw looks the one to beat here. (10) BYEOLNARA JILJU come sin having run 2nd over 1200M at class 4 level when handy to the lead on November 7th. He is up in class but there looks to be plenty more to come and he is firmly in this. (5) J. S. GUNJU may be worth taking a chance on at odds. He is up in class but down 4kg in weight on his win at this distance on November 13th and could sneak a place here. (12) MIGHTY BOOM has proved she can measure up in this class with a 2nd and a 4th at 1200M in her two latest attempts. She has a class 4 win at 1400M under her belt and can be running on strong today. (9) MUNHAK ZENYATTA another in the hunt.

Selections(1) Global Socks (10) Byeolnara Jilju (5) J.S. Gunju (12) Mighty Boom
Next Best9, 6
Fast Start6, 8, 10, 12