Day: May 7, 2022

Korean Oaks Sunday: Busan & Seoul Race-By-Race Preview (May 8)

Sunday’s feature race is the Korean Oaks at Busan – See here for full preview – part of a 6-race card on the south-coast from 12:00 to 16:45. There are also 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Golden Power beat Chamjoeun Chingu is a tight finish to the Luna Stakes. They face off again in the Korean Oaks (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens in the opener. (2) JAY PHOENIX has raced only once and it was back in December, but he ran well, being on pace before ultimately finishing 3rd behind a couple of useful ones over 1000M. He won a trial in early April and from a great draw, will be expected to win first-up here. (4) GRAY THOR has also raced just the once, in his case over 1200M on April 3rd when he settled handy to the lead and ran on for 6th, beating a couple of today’s rivals. That followed a promising trial and with some natural improvement, he can go close today. (10) CUPID SAFE comes in with an improved 3rd and 2nd from her latest two, both at 1300M. In the first of those she settled back in the field and at the most recent she was handy so she is versatile enough to overcome the wide gate here and can be dangerous. (6) ECHO ZONE and (8) NONSTOP ALI the best of the rest.

Selections(2) Jay Phoenix (4) Gray Thor (10) Cupid Safe (6) Echo Zone
Next Best8, 11
Fast Start2, 3, 8, 11

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

Maiden fillies and mares only here. (5) P N S CHANCE enters with a 2nd and a 3rd from her latest two, both at this distance and both times running on strongly. The engagement of an apprentice jockey brings her significantly down in the weights and she can run on strongly and go close here. The main danger is (3) GALSAEK HYANGGI. She comes in following a good 2nd place over 1400M on March 19th when handy throughout. That was her best finish in six starts to date and with similar tactics today, she looks sure to be in the finish again. It’s hard to go past those two for the quinella. (10) HAMPYEONG FIGHTER was well back behind P N S Chance at her latest outing but has hinted at ability. (8) SHINE MUSIC and (12) BARO QUEEN are among others that can be considered for the places.

Selections(5) P N S Chance (3) Galsaek Hyanggi (10) Hampyeong Fighter (8) Shine Music
Next Best12, 6
Fast Start1, 10, 11, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(3) BRAVO MAY will be the favourite here. He looks to be working back up to another win with a good 4th and 3rd from his latest two, both at this class and distance and last time out beating a couple of today’s rivals when settling midfield and running on well. He has posted decent times and from a great draw, has every chance here. (7) FIRST DREAM is yet to win in twenty-one attempts but came back to this trip last start after several goes around two turns and registered a career-best 2nd place on April 3rd when he got to the lead from gate nine and was only beaten by a very good winner. If he can be ridden forward again, he can be in this a long way. (5) PIEONADA ran adequately enough for 5th on her latest appearance on April 10th and may appreciate the step back up in trip here. (8) JISANGUN mixes his form but has placed at class and distance and along with (2) KAILLUM JEWANG, should be in the minor money hunt.

Selections(3) Bravo May (7) First Dream (5) Pieonada (8) Jisangun
Next Best2, 4
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 7

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

There are a couple of tempting debut-makers here, but we shall side with experience and put (5) GREAT CAPTAIN on top. He has steadily improved across his four appearances to date, culminating with a strong 2nd at this distance on March 27th, when as has been his style after his debut, he settled just behind the early speed and then ran on well. An apprentice brings his weight down here and today can be his day. (4) STAR MATTA looked very well when winning a trial by as many as he pleased in a fast time on a dry track on April 23rd. His half-brother Lucas Sun has won a couple of races here and a bold showing first-up seems likely. The other first-timer is (1) GEUMA INFINITE. He trialed up in a different heat on the same morning and while he didn’t win the heat, he stopped the clock in exactly the same time as Smart Matta. All three half-siblings to make the track won. Returning to the experienced ones, (8) TRIPLE THUNDER and (7) MEOTJIN HARU look the best.

Selections(5) Great Captain (4) Star Matta (1) Geuma Infinite (8) Triple Thunder
Next Best7, 2
Fast Start4, 5, 6, 8

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

(1) HANGANG BOSS will be hot favourite to win here. He got his maiden victory two starts back over 1300M before running a strong 4th from the widest gate on his first try at this class over 1200M on March 19th when he simply couldn’t find a decent position early and had to run on from a long way back. He gets a much better gate today and the additional furlong should favour him. The logical danger is (5) SOJUNGHAN DANGSIN. Despite remaining a maiden, she comes up in class here following a few too many near-misses at class 6 level and has recently been running well over 1300M. She is another for who the slight step up in trip can suit and she should be in the mix here. The form really drops off after those two, though. (4) HAPPY SOCKS has the fastest time of any of these for the distance and that’s enough to put him into the placing frame here. (3) YEONGUNG DAEMA and (2) WHITE WING others to consider for minor money.

Selections(1) Hangang Boss (5) Sojunghan Dangsin (4) Happy Socks (3) Yeongung Daema
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 5

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(5) KING BOSS has only raced twice and has been a beaten favourite twice, finishing 4th and 3rd, both times at 1200M. He has raced prominently both times and draws nicely again to do the same here. His time at the distance is quicker than all but one has recorded, and it can be third-time lucky as market leader today. (2) CHOEGANG MUJIGAE took a few goes to figure things out but has a 2nd and a 3rd to his name now at this level. He draws nicely here and under a light weight, can be in the mix. (4) WORLD FLOWER remains a maiden but comes in off a career-best 2nd place scored at this distance on April 10th when she went right back and ran on. If she doesn’t leave herself too much to do, she can be considered here. (3) CHONGAL CHARM and (1) WONDERFUL DIGGER are others who can have minor money claims.

Selections(5) King Boss (2) Choegang Mujigae (4) World Flower (3) Chongal Charm
Next Best1, 11
Fast Start3, 5, 9, 11

Korean Oaks 2022: Runner-By-Runner Preview

Only the narrowest of noses split Golden Power and Chamjoeun Chingu at the end of the Luna Stakes last month and at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon the fillies meet again in the second leg of their Triple Crown as ten go to post in the Korean Oaks (1800M KOR-G2).

Six of the ten come out of that Luna Stakes, the first leg of the filly Triple Crown which took place over a mile at Busan on April 10th, and they filled out the top six places. In that race, Raon The Spurt was sent off as the favourite and she led a long way before ultimately been passed by long-time stalker Chamjoeun Chingu. However, Golden Power and Choi Si-dae would emerge from the field to nail both on the line.

It was a superb late effort and gives every indication that Golden Power, who went wide and made up fully twenty-lengths in the home straight over fillies who didn’t exactly stop running themselves, can only benefit from the additional furlong.

Chamjoeun Chingu though draws much better this time and with Moon Se-young aboard again, will have plenty of backers to maintain Seoul-trained horses excellent recent record in the race; the Trophy has headed to the Capital four times in the last five years. Raon The Spurt too remains a live contender.

The locally trained Golden Power is not the only hope for the host track. Trainer Kim Young-kwan has prepared no fewer than five Oaks winners and this year sends out Wonderful Raise. She is an on-pace filly who ran a super race in the Luna for 4th and just like Chamjoeun Chingu, draws a much better barrier this time around.

The Korean Oaks is race 5 on the 6-race card at Busan and has a post time of 15:55 KST. Here is a full run-down of the field in race card order:

1.  WONDERFUL RAISE [Menifee – On The Podium (Bold Executive)] – A fast winner at class 5 level over 1400M in February, she drew gate thirteen in the Luna Stakes and ran a creditable 4th. Every chance of coming on for that run, her trainer has won the race five times and it would be no surprise to see her in the finish.

2. MAGIC GRACE [Magic Dancer – Ua Deungseon (Menifee)] – A winner up to class 4 level in Seoul and of three from seven in total. She is yet to go further than 1400M but as an on-pace type she draws well to give herself the best possible chance. Not a top line favourite but a case can be made for some minor money.

3. SHY DRAGON [Menifee – Monday’s Child (Stravinsky)] – Likely to be one of the longest shots on the board, she takes her chance following a good win at class 5 level in an all-filly race over 1200M on March 18th when she sat midfield and ran on well. Yet to run further than 1200M and this is a big step up.

4. CHAMJOEUN CHINGU [Musket Man – Googlette (Exceed And Excel)] – A winner over 1700M at class 4 level in Seoul before losing out in the final stride to Golden Power in the Luna Stakes. That day she had to contend with gate fourteen but gets a much more favourable draw here and should get a much easier run. She has a big chance.

5. GOLDEN POWER [Afleet Express – Cherokee Sheikh (Cherokee Run)] – The Luna Stakes winner, she came from the back of the field to the front in the home straight and just made it on the line by the narrowest of noses. She is yet to go beyond a mile, but she was traveling by far the quickest at the end of the Luna and she has every chance of winning again. Probable favourite.

6. EUNSEONG WINNER [Menifee – Achimsarang (Broken Vow)] – Her solitary win came at class 6 level over 1300M in early March, making all. That led her to take her chance in the Luna and whilst sent off one of the longest shots on the board, she ran a solid 6th. She can settle midfield here and while she doesn’t look a winning chance, she should see out the trip and can aim for some minor money.

7. LUCKY CROWN [Girolamo – Peregian (Grand Lodge)] – Her only win came at class 6 level over 1200M and she as 7th of ten in the Sports Seoul Classic trial. Nevertheless, she took her chance in the Luna and only winner Golden Power posted a faster final furlong time as she came from the back of the field to run on for 5th. On the face of it, the additional trip can suit and don’t rule her out of passing some tired fillies again.

8. ADELE GOLD [Girolamo – Gold Mine (Officer)] – She comes in having picked up her maiden win last time out at what was start number six over 1300M hen she sat handy to midfield and finished off well, scoring easily. This is a big step up in both class and distance and despite the top jockey booking, she will be an outsider.

9. ALPHA SONGDANG [Old Fashioned – Miss Win (Perfect Vision II)] – The wildcard. Since running 3rd on debut at 1000M, she has registered two wins up to 1200M at class 5 level. She has been on pace in all her races so far and while this is a totally different test, she may be interesting and a probable big price. Jockey Kim Hye-sun is the only female rider to have won a Classic in Korea, taking this race on Jejui Haneul in 2017.

10. RAON THE SPURT [Musket Man – Tomiken Spring (Suzuka Mambo)] – She won three of her first four starts before coming up short at this distance at class 3 level at Seoul in February. That didn’t stop her from being sent off as favourite for the Luna, a race she led but ultimately finished 3rd, half a length behind the winner. She is not favoured by the draw as she likes to lead, but she has plenty of quality and if she can find a forward position, she can be in the finish again. Jockey won the race in 2020.

Selections: (4) Chamjeoun Chingu (5) Golden Power (1) Wonderful Raise (10) Raon The Spurt