The 2022 Triple Crown series gets underway at Busan on Sunday with the running of the KRA Cup Mile – the Korean 2000 Guineas. Click here for a full runner-by-runner guide to the race. The Cup Mile is race 5 on a 6-race card at Busan which runs from 12:00 to to 16:40. There are also 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. All betting locations are open and walk up attendance is permitted at both Seoul and Busan. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maidens in the opener and (1) SONGAM BEST has two 3rds and a 4th from three starts so far, with one of the 3rd places coming at this distance. From a great draw, she can get a soft run to the lead here and once in front, she may not be caught. (10) COMPLETE JOY improved a little at start number two in a slowly run race over this distance on February 19th. She comes in fresh after two months off and can improve again here. (11) TOP CLASS raced a couple of times last summer and didn’t do too badly. After a couple of setbacks, he came back to trial in March, putting in a decent effort and has every chance of going well first-up today. Debut-maker (8) GANGCHEOL BUDAE came through the same March trial as Top Class. That was his second heat and he looked capable in both. (9) HWANGWOO GANGJA raced twice at the end of last year without distinction but looked much better when trialing up again at the end of March.
|Selections||(1) Songam Best (10) Complete Joy (11) Top Class (8) Gangcheol Budae|
|Next Best||9, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 6, 9|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
(8) LUCKY INDY was a much-improved 2nd when leading for much of the way around at this distance on March 12th. She is the only one in this field to have a runner-up finish to her name and she also has a 3rd, as well as the fastest time among these for the distance. She should be on pace or handy here and has solid claims. (11) JANGGUN BYEOL also led for a long way at his latest outing on February 20th over 1300M, ultimately finishing 3rd. The draw doesn’t make things easy here, but he should have enough about him to get close to the speed again and can be in this a long way. (1) TROT QUEEN is the big beneficiary of the draw, and she can use it to settle handy to the lead. She too comes in off a good 3rd place at 1300M at her latest start and can build on that here. (3) MONEY STONE and (5) RALLY QUEEN are others in the placing frame.
|Selections||(8) Lucky Indy (11) Janggun Byeol (1) Trot Queen (3) Money Stone|
|Next Best||5, 6|
|Fast Start||8, 9, 10, 11|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
A small field of fillies and mares. (1) FIRST ROAD is set to be a warm favourite. She was sent off as market leader at her last start over this distance on March 19th, but while she didn’t run badly, she could only manage 4th. She gets a better draw today, carries marginally less weight, and is the one to beat. (7) HAPPY DREAM managed to do just that when finishing 3rd ahead of First Road in that March 19th race. That was her best finish to date and marked the second consecutive race where she has beaten a couple of today’s rivals. She tends to settle back and then run and can be a danger today. (2) TORUK MAKTO was 5th in that same race, marking an uptick in recent form and well-drawn again, she should be on the pace early and make the others go around her. (5) SHINE MUSIC and (8) EOMCHEONGNAN GIRL are other sin at least the placing frame.
|Selections||(1) First Road (7) Happy Dream (2) Toruk Makto (5) Shine Music|
|Next Best||8, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 5, 6|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Having run 2nd in a fast trial, (6) KING BOSS was 4th on debut on March 25th, sitting 3rd or 4th the entire way around. He was favourite that day based on his trial, but should have come on for the experience, and can win here. That will mean overturning the form on (3) FLYING REGAL. He ran 3rd in that race having been handy throughout, continuing the positive start to his career that saw hm get a 2nd and a 4th from his opening two races. A top-three finish will see him promoted to class 5 and from a great gate and with an in-form jockey aboard, he could be going up a winner. There are two debut-makers and (8) MAN OF THE MAN could make an immediate impact. He went through two trials, improving in the second of them when crossing the line 4th in a fast time on a dry track. (4) YEONGCHEON POWER and the other first-timer, (7) GEUMA NIMBLE, who trialed up behind King Boss, others who could sneak some money.
|Selections||(6) King Boss (3) Flying Regal (8) Man Of The Man (4) Yeongcheon Power|
|Next Best||7, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5, 6|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(12) EUNHYE CHUNGMAN warrants favourite status here, having run 2nd at class and distance in a fast time on a wet track on March 13th. Although it was assisted by the conditions, the time was faster than any of the others have achieved for the distance and given the way she won from off the pace at 1200M last December, the wide draw shouldn’t be too much of an issue and there isn’t a lot of speed here anyway. The main danger hasn’t drawn much better. (11) COOL PRINCESS looks to be working back towards another win having been getting closer in her recent outings, culminating in a runner-up finish in an all-filly race at class and distance on March 20th. Like Eunhye Chungman, the draw shouldn’t stop her from getting forward early. (7) LUXURY KING ran a fair 4th at big odds, on March 19th over 1300M finishing off very well from an unpromising position. That was an uptick on her recent form and a repeat or better isn’t impossible. (8) BLUE HAMMER and (2) COWBOY TANGO are others who can enter the placing calculations.
|Selections||(12) Eunhye Chungman (11) Cool Princess (7) Luxury King (8) Blue Hammer|
|Next Best||2, 3|
|Fast Start||4, 8, 11, 12|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
A small field of maiden fillies and mares. (3) MAGIC HILL weakened having been handy and then briefly leading at this distance on February 18th but still finished a creditably 6th of fourteen. It was her first race since last June and while she has had another eight weeks off since, she should have come on for it, can get the lead again from a great draw, and this time go all the way. (5) B. K. HANA will be competing for the early lead and the pair should be competing all the way. She hasn’t had the easiest time in her latest two appearances but has a fast time at this distance and this looks the ideal race for her. (1) WONDERFUL TIZ draws a good gate for the first time and with Moon Se-young climbing aboard, will be expected by plenty to improve. (2) WONDERFUL SMARTY and (6) SEUNGRIUI BULGIL are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(3) Magic Hill (5) B. K. Hana (1) Wonderful Tiz (2) Wonderful Smarty|
|Next Best||6, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5, 7|