Day: May 28, 2022

YTN Cup Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (May 29)

The second leg of the Stayer Series, the YTN Cup (2000M KOR-G3) highlights the 11-race Sunday card at Seoul which runs from 10:45 to 18:00 while at Busan there is a class 1 sprint headlining the 6-race program from 12:00 to 16:45. Click here for a runner-by-runner guide to the YTN Cup. Here is the race-by-race:

Moonhak Chief won the YTN Cup during his breakout 2019 season (Pic: KRA)

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

Three-year-old maidens open the program with four of the twelve racing for the very first time. (7) DAPHNE has hinted at some ability when 3rd over 1000M at start number three last December. She hasn’t raced since but looked well when 2nd in a trial on May 6th and from a likely on pace position, she has as good a chance as any here. (3) OKCHEON CHOEGANG has finished in 4th place in both outings so far, both of them over this distance and most recently when beating a couple of today’s rivals on April 30th. He’ll be challenging Daphne for the early lead and has every chance of going all the way. (6) CHOEGO BLACK was 5th behind Okcheon Choegang on what was his debut on April 30th. He should have come on for that run and can get closer today. Of the first-time starters, (4) EURO TEUKGEUP improved in his second trial and from a great draw can go well first up. (9) KINGS EYE another in the frame after an adequate debut.

Selections(7) Daphne (3) Okcheon Choegang (6) Choego Black (4) Euro Teukgeup
Next Best9, 2
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 7

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

Filly maidens only here. (5) TIFFANY BLUE looks to be the one to beat following an on-pace narrow runner-up finish over 1300Mon April 10th. She has run well at this distance too and with an apprentice jockey taking 3kg off her back, she looks extremely well in here. (6) SWEET KAKAO similarly gets the benefit of an apprentice claim, in her case a full 4kg. That brings her down from her back-to-back 4th places in her latest two where she has settled behind the early speed and run on. There isn’t much early speed here so she should be on the pace and can go all the way. (10) NAMSAN KKOT was 5th behind Sweet Kakao on her latest appearance on May 1st having run 4th the time before that and should be in at least the placing frame here. (2) HAMPYEONG FIGHTER and (11) NAEGILUI BYEOL are others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(5) Tiffany Blue (6) Sweet Kakao (10) Namsan Kkot (2) Hampyeong Fighter
Next Best11, 4
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 6

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It has been a full forty-nine weeks since we last saw (7) VICTORY SAM in a race. He did quite well that day to, running 2nd over 1000M on her third career outing. She has had setbacks since but seemed very much over them with a bold showing in a trial on April 22nd when she led from gate to wire. She couldn’t really pick a nicer race to return in and despite her absence, she will be a strong favourite here. (4) SHINE MUSIC is yet finish in the top-two places in fifteen starts but she has shown some consistency in her latest few outings and comes in off a useful enough 5th at her latest start on May 8th. She can settle behind the early leaders here and run into some money. (3) FAMILY CAPTAIN has a 2nd place to his name at this distance three starts back and after two indifferent spins when carrying 56kg, gets a 4kg allowance with an apprentice climbing aboard. That should bring him into the placing frame here. (12) GLOBAL CASTLE and (2) BEST BIG BANG are others in the hunt.

Selections(7) Victory Sam (4) Shine Music (3) Family Captain (12) Global Castle
Next Best2, 5
Fast Start3, 5, 7, 11

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

Three-year-old filly maidens in the South Coast opener. (1) QUEEN ALLIE gets the nod following an encouraging debut over 1200M on May 6th when she settled back before running on well for 2nd place. She should have come on for that run, she has a great draw, and the additional half furlong should pose no problems. (8) HANEUL JILJU has improved across her three starts to date, culminating in 3rd place last time out when leading until the closing stages. She will be on pace again and should be in this a long way. (5) ALL CROWN already has positive experience at this distance, running a good 2nd at it on her latest appearance on March 20th. She settled back and ran on and similar can be expected here. (9) STAR CATCH ad (2) CROWD ONE are others with at least placing claims.

Selections(1) Queen Allie (8) Haneul Jilju (5) All Crown (9) Star Catch
Next Best2, 6
Fast Start2, 6, 8, 10

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies only here and while plenty enter in good form, (7) RAON THE WEEKEND is the one to beat. Her solitary win to date came at this distance in a good time at class 6 level three starts back and since then she has run well in two attempts at this level. First, she overcame gate thirteen to get to the speed but ultimately end up 6th over 1200M and then most recently, on April 9th, went right back after a slow start but finished off well for 4th. With a better start today, she will prove hard to go past. (4) INVICTUS is the logical second pick. Her win over 1200M at class 6 at the beginning of April had been coming and she showed she can measure up at this level when 4th over 1400M on May 1st. She can sit on the speed or settle back and run on and should be a factor here. (2) GREEN JJANG took a couple of tries to get to grips with this level but has been coming back into form in her latest two, especially her last start 2nd at 1200M. From a good draw, she can be on the speed here and go close. (11) CUPID JUMBO and the up in class (6) V QUEEN among others in the hunt.

Selections(7) Raon The Weekend (4) Invictus (2) Green Jjang (11) Cupid Jumbo
Next Best6, 5
Fast Start2, 3, 7, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(7) GEUMA INFINITE ran a solid 3rd place on debut over 1300M on May 8th when settling midfield and finishing off well. The additional half-furlong should suit and with some natural improvement from that run, he should be winning this. He will be a hot favourite in a field where the form of the rest is less than convincing. (2) BOUNTY HUNTER doesn’t look in any danger of winning a race, but he has picked up minor money on five of eleven occasions so far. An apprentice brings him down 3kg in the weights here and from a good draw, he can be aiming for a career best finish. (10) MILK DAY too has been loitering around the minors, most recently beating a couple of these on his way to 4th place over 1300M on May 13th. The wide gate shouldn’t matter, and he looks a solid placing chance. (5) THE PRINCESS and (8) YEONGGWANGUI RIDER others who can find some minor money although the latter does tend to save his best for barrier trials.

Selections(7) Geuma Infinite (2) Bounty Hunter (10) Milk Day (5) The Princess
Next Best8, 4
Fast Start4, 6, 8, 10

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

After seven top-five finishes, it’s about time (7) REMARKABLE finally came home in top. He enters after back-to-back 3rd places at class and distance, both in good times and once more carries a light weight. He draws fairly, and today can be his day. (6) NONSTOP CAT enters off two consecutive runner-up finishes at class and distance, both times having been drawn wide. From a better gate today, he can pose a threat again.  (1) K N SKETCH is up in class following a maiden win over 1300M on May 1st when he sat behind the leader before taking things up just before the furlong pole and never looking back. He draws well for Antonio to sit handy here and he should measure up at this level. (12) COMPLETE WEAPON was a winner at start number two at 1200M on April 2nd. It wasn’t a fast time, but he looks to have potential the wide draw isn’t too much of a concern. (5) CONCORDE SPURT among others with placing chances.

Selections(7) Remarkable (6) Nonstop Cat (1) K N Sketch (12) Complete Weapon
Next Best5, 3
Fast Start6, 7, 8, 9

YTN Cup 2022: Runner-By-Runner Preview

Winner’s Man was a dominant winner of the first leg of the Stayer Series earlier this month, but last year’s Korean Derby faces perhaps his sternest test yet as he must contend with Grand Prix Stakes winner Haengbok Wangja in the second race of the series, the YTN Cup (2000M KOR-G3) at Seoul Raecourse on Sunday.

Winner’s Man in the Herald Business Winner’s Circle (Pic: KRA)

The YTN Cup was one of the races that didn’t make it into the abbreviated Stakes program that was crammed into the final three months of 2021. There is one former winner going around though, as Moonhak Chief, who bagged the 2019 edition along with the Korea Cup and Grand Prix Stakes on his way to Horse of the Year honours, returns, amplifying the test for Winner’s Man.

Haengbok Wangja will be favourite. The five-year-old ran out a three-length winner of the season-ending Grand Prix Stakes (2300M KOR-G1) on Boxing Day. In his only race so far this year, he ran a close 2nd to President’s Cup winner Simjangui Godong at the end of March and having sat out the first leg of the Stayer Series, the Herald Business Trophy, he can be ready to peak here.

Moonhak Chief has mixed his form since that stellar 2019 campaign but remains very good on his day while trainer Kim Young-kwan brings two contenders up from his Busan base. Touch Star Man won two legs of the Triple Crown in 2020 and ran a strong 2nd in the Grand Prix Stakes last December. Meanwhile the relatively unexposed King Of The Match has won five of eight starts, never finishing outside the top three, and he takes his chance against the elite for the first time.

As for Winner’s Man, he won the Herald Business by a full four-lengths. Another step up today in the YTN isn’t impossible and would almost certainly go down as his most impressive achievement to date. Here is a full look at all the runners in the YTN Cup which is race 8 on an 11-race program at Seoul on Sunday:

1. TOUCH STAR MAN (KOR) [Testa Matta – Useung Touch (Menifee) 5-H

Owner: Uh Mun-sik Trainer: Kim Young-kwan Jockey: Lim Sung-sil

(Runs/1st/2nd/3rd) 20/5/5/2 – (Career Earnings) KRW 1,031,380,000

The winner of two legs of the 2020 Triple Crown, he hasn’t actually crossed the line 1st in eleven starts since the latter of those, the Minister’s Cup, over this distance twenty-one months ago. However, he ran a big 2nd here in the Grand Prix Stakes (2300M KOR-G1) here last December and meets that day’s winner Haengbok Wangja 4kg to the better here. Beaten by Winner’s Man in both of his latest two but draws well today and could well put in a big run. Worth an each-way chance.

Recent Race Video: December 26th (2021), Grand Prix Stakes (2300M KOR-G1) 2nd:

2. HAENGBOK WANGJA (USA) [Daredevil – First Installment (Broken Vow)] 5-H

O: Lee Bang-hoon T: Park Youn-gu J: Kim Yong-geun

17/8/4/1 – KRW 735,510,000

A winner of eight of his last ten starts, he was runner-up in the KRA Cup Classic at this distance last November before winning the Grand Prix Stakes here in December. His only run since saw him run 2nd to Simjangui Godong at this distance on March 27th when hand and wide and going close under the same weight as today. Tactically versatile, he can be on pace or settle back and run on but given the favourable draw, is likely to go forward and he will be a big player here.

March 27th, Class 1 (2000M) 2nd:

3. GEUMA MYSTIC (USA) [New Year’s Day – Stormy Allure (Stormy Atlantic)] 5-H

O: Kuem A Industry Co Ltd T: Lee Sang-young J: Kim Cheol-ho

15/6/3/3 – KRW 251,510,000

A winner of six up to class 2 level and 1800M. He ran 2nd on his only previous try at this distance, which was at class 2 behind Power Wonderful. Well fancied for his first crack at class 1 on April 8th but finished down the pack and is one of the outsiders here.

March 6th, Class 2 (2000M)) 2nd:

4. MOONHAK CHIEF (USA) [Pioneerof The Nile – Tallulah Lula (Old Trieste)] 7-H

O: Kwon Kyung-ja T: Jung Ho-ik J: Johan Victoire

30/14/5/3 – KRW 2,252,900,000

The winner of this race in 2019, the year he went on to score in both the Korea Cup and Grand Prix Stakes. He has mixed his form of late, last winning four starts back at 1800M. A good 2nd to Simjangui Godong at 2000M in February is sandwiched by two disappointing showings in the Grand Prix Stakes and then last time out in the Herald Business when he settled midfield but failed to quicken and only beat two home. Grand galloper who can still mix it with the best on his day, you just need to catch him right. A chance.

February 27th, Class 1 (2000M) 2nd:

5. KING OF THE MATCH (USA) [Cairo Prince – Fought The Fight (War Front)] 4-C

O: D R M City T: Kim Young-kwan J: Choi Si-dae

8/5/2/1 – KRW 213,850,000

An up-and-comer who enters off super wins at 1800M at class 2 level and then an on-pace score over a mile on his first try at class 1 on April 15th, narrowly beating Barbarian over a mile, both in fast times. This is his first time among the elite, his first time at Seoul and his first time at 2000M, but he gets weight from the leading lights and a top jockey comes up to ride him. He’ll be on or close to the pace and a bold showing is expected. Stablemate of Touch Star Man.

April 15th, Class 1 (1600M) 1st:

6. CONSTI SOLO (USA) [Constitution – Solo Survivor (Pleasant Tap)] 5-G

O: Park Cheol-geun T: Jeon Seung-gyu J: Jang Chu-youl

6/3/3/0 – KRW 116,550,000

A first start since last August when he ran 2nd to the then hype horse Carving Cross. A winner of three from six, his running style suggests the distance won’t be an issue for him but while he won a trial in fine style two weeks ago, this is a very stern test first-up.

August 28th 2021, Class 2 (1800M) 2nd:

7. SHAMROCKER (USA) [Dublin – Portera (Lemon Drop Kid)] 9-H

O: Cho Mong-ju T: Song Moon-gil J: Song Jae-chul

53/6/12/10 – KRW 1,306,450,000

The old warhorse. It’s been thirty-three runs since he has saluted back in 2017, however, he has been regularly picking up a check right up until very recently, and only ever racing among the elite. At his last start he ran 7th in the Herald Business Cup and given recent form, a midfield finish will be expected but with the potential to sneak a 4th or 5th place money finish,

May 1st, Herald Business Trophy (2000M KOR-L) 7th:

8. MUNHAK TIGER (USA) [To Honor And Serve – A Precious Memory (Honor Grades)] 6-H

O: Hwang Bong-ki T: Park Jae-woo J: Lim Gi-won

27/5/4/2 – KRW 369,550,000

Only beat three home in the Herald Business when he had the challenge of the outside gate. That wasn’t out of keeping with recent form though and it has been eight starts since he managed to finish in the placings. He will drop back and look to pass a few in the home straight, aiming for minor money.

May 1st, Herald Business Trophy (2000M KOR-L) 10th:

9. LOOKING GOOD (KOR) [Federalist – Quail Run (Wagon limit)] 6-H

O: Shin Woo-chul T: Jeon Seung-gyu J: Lee Hyeok

16/4/0/6 – KRW 175,170,000

A big 3rd place in the Sports Chosun Trophy (2000M KOR-L) on March 20th at odds of 75/1 enables him to take his chance there, although with that race having been restricted to Seoul-based Korean-bred horses, this is much tougher. Nevertheless, he went right to the back that day, making up excellent ground in the home straight and similar tactics may see him pick a few off again.

March 20th, Sports Chosun Trophy (2000M KOR-L) 3rd:

10. SENSE JAENGI (USA) [Munnings – Balansense (Street Sense)] 6-G

O: Kim Jong-chul T: An Byung-ki J: Cho Han-byeol

28/1/2/0 – KRW 186,690,000

Sense Jaengi running in Graded Stakes company is probably not something many had on their 2022 bingo card. Unable to get into a full class 3 race back on January 8th, the then twenty-five-race maiden was thrown in at class 2 to get a run and duly won at odds of 130/1. In both outings since, he has run 2nd, both at 1800M. He loves to – or at least has recently discovered he loves to – go right back and run on but surely this is too hard.

March 26th, Class 2 (1800M) 2nd:

11. WINNER’S MAN (KOR) [Musket Man – Winner’s Marine (Volponi)] 4-C

O: Lee Gyeong-hui T: Choi Ki-hong J: Seo Seung-un

15/10/2/1 – KRW 861,730,000

Last year’s Korean Derby winner and very hard to find fault with here. He is in terrific form, winning three of his last four starts including the Herald Business by a full four-lengths at this course and distance on May 1st. He likes to race forward, and while he draws wider and is up in weight on the Herald Business Cup win, he cannot be left out.

May 1st, Herald Business Trophy (2000M KOR-L) 1st:

Data Summary

RatingWin %Quinella %2000M Win %2000M Time
2125562.5%587.5%438.5%11 2:06.3
11115247.1%2 70.6%77.7%12:07.2
11044 46.7%463.3%22:07.2
1st Furlong Avg.*Final Furlong Avg.*
113.76   13.0

*In seconds, calculated by an average of the most recent 6 starts regardless of distance

Selections: (2) Haengbok Wangja (11) Winner’s Man (4) Moonhak Chief (1) Touch Star Man

Next Best: 5, 6