KNN Cup Sunday Busan & Seoul: Race-By-Race Preview (July 17)

Korea’s top mare meets the winner of the Filly Triple Crown as Raon First and Golden Power clash for the first time in the KNN Cup (1600M KOR-G3) at Busan on Sunday afternoon. It’s the final race on a 7-race card at Busan which runs from 11:35 to 17:05. At Seoul there are 10 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Raon First won the Ttukseom Cup and is hot favourite for the KNN Cup (Pic: KRA)

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

Juvenile maidens in the opener with seven of the eight making their racecourse debuts. It’s the sole one with experience though who will be the hot favourite. That’s (8) NAOL SNIPER who, following an encouraging trial, was sent off as favourite on debut over this distance on June 18th. Though on pace he had to settle for 4th, but it was a good time, and he won’t need to improve much on that to win this. (4) P N S LOOK was the fastest among the newcomers in trials. She ran a close 2nd in the heat, running on pace throughout and if she brings that form to the races, she can go well first-up. (2) DRAGON STAR beat a couple of today’s rivals on his way to winning a June 24th trial. He draws nicely here and can beat them again. (3) HAENGBOKAN MUNMAK also win a trial, overcoming a wide gate to do so and along with (7) HIGH GRAND is another to consider.

Selections(8) Naol Sniper (4) P N S Look (2) Dragon Star (3) Haengbokan Munmak
Next Best7, 1
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 8

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

(2) GRAY THOR should have too much here. After two fair showings in his first two races, he was a significantly improved runner-u p at the third time of asking over this distance on June 18th when he led almost the entire way around. He carries the same weight; he draws well, and he can go all the way this time. (3) YAMUJIN WANGCHO also comes in following a 2nd place finish at his latest start on June 26th over 1300M. He too was on pace throughout the race and today he draws much better. He can go close again. (5) QUEEN OF RACING is yet to finish in the top-two but nevertheless has six top-five finishes. With an apprentice engaged, she comes down 3kg in the weights today and should be in the finish. (6) GEONGONILCHEOK and (8) CHEONMA CHAT others in the placing hunt.

Selections(2) Gray Thor (3) Yamujin Wangcho (5) Queen Of Racing (6) Geongonilcheok
Next Best8, 4
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 7

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

Juvenile maidens get things underway on the south coast and six of the seven are racing for the first time. As so often in these kinds of races, we are going to value the experience here of (5) FANTASTIC KINGDOM. Having won a May trial, he ran a good 3rd on debut on June 24th in a good time over this distance, settling in midfield and running on well. He should have come on for that run and can win here. (4) JEOLGEOUNYEOJEONG is the clear pick of the first-time starters. She ran on very well from a handy position to comfortably win her trial in the kind of time that would win plenty of races at this class and distance. If she brings that form to the races, she has every chance.  (7) HWANGU FIGHTER ran 2nd in his trial on a wet track while (2) TAP DREAM and (3) ADELE HORANGI, the latter a trial winner, are other first-timers who could make an impression.

Selections(5) Fantastic Kingdom (4) Jeolgeounyeojeong (7) Hwangu Fighter (2) Tap Dream
Next Best3, 6
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 5

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(7) DAPHNE should be winning this. On her return from five months out in May she parted company with her jockey but came back two weeks later on June 11th to run a solid 4th in a good time over this distance. That time was faster than anything else in this race has achieved and with Moon Se-young climbing aboard as well as the limited opposition, it would appear today is the day. (8) SWEET KAKAO needs a line drawn through her latest effort on May 29th but her form leading up to that was adequate enough to suggest she can go well here. She is up in the weights without the benefit of an apprentice claim but should be ridden forward here. (1) CUPID KOREA led over 1300M on his first start in seven months on June 11th. He ultimately weakened but should have benefited for the run and can get closer today. (5) DIVINE FUTURES and (3) GENTLE RULES other placing contenders.

Selections(7) Daphne (8) Sweet Kakao (1) Cupid Korea (5) Divine Futures
Next Best3, 2
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 8

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

Another race with a hot favourite here. (8) CAPTAIN GOLD won a May trial in fine fashion leading him to be sent off as market-leader on debut on June 3rd. He ran well and on pace but ultimately had to settle for 2nd place over this distance. He should have come on for that run and it would be a surprise were he to be beaten again. (6) ALPHA V is the logical second pick. She returned from five months out to run a good 3rd over 1200M on May 22nd when settling midfield and running on well. She’ll do the same here and will challenge at the business end of the race. (9) GEUMA UNO raced once without distinction last December but looked well when winning a June trial, leading all the way. The trainer/jockey combination will ensure he has backers. There are four first-time starters and the wonderfully named (4) I LOVE HANSEN looked well in trials and along with (2) MIGHTY STORM – who does have experience – looks a potential place chance.

Selections(8) Captain Gold (6) Alpha V (9) Geuma Uno (4) I Love Hansen
Next Best2, 11
Fast Start5, 8, 9, 10

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Tricky maiden this. Her last start run over 1200M was slow, but she did manage to finish 2nd and that’s enough to take a chance on (2) THAT’S MY GIRL. She comes back up to a trip at which she has a run a time as quick as any here (albeit not that quick and on a wet track) and from a good draw, she can win. (9) NEW SMART has a time equal to that achieved by That’s My Girl for the distance. She too comes back up in trip after a decent showing around 1200M last time out, in her case on when 3rd on June 19th. She draws wide but should have enough speed to get a good position and she has every chance. (5) P N S THE KING showed un uptick in form when 2nd over 1300M on July 2nd. Prior to that he had a tendency to get a bit too far back in his races so that was encouraging and Song Jae-chul getting the ride will his chances no harm. (7) BITNANEUN JILJU and (8) STAR PRINCESS among others to consider.

Selections(2) That’s My Girl (9) New Smart (5) P N S The King (7) Bitnaneun Jilju
Next Best8, 6
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 9

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Several chances here. (5) HWARANG SKY is one of three up in class following a maiden win at their respective latest starts. In her case, it came over this distance on June 19th when she beat Unju Star, who went on to record a win of his own on Friday. It was a fair time, and he can measure up in this company. (4) ANY LINE made all for his maiden win at start number fifteen on June 17th, overcoming gate ten in the process. He has run well at this distance and 1400M in the past and from a good draw can get on the speed and be in this a long way. (3) HOLLYWOOD PARTY similarly led from gate-to-wire to score on June 12th, also at 1200M. She has made good progress over her three outings to date and looks nicely in here. As for those with prior experience at class 5, (1) DOCTOR PRO came from well off the pace to run 3rd at class and distance on June 26th. He draws much better today and should be in this. (2) D’LOVELY QUEEN could compete for the minors.

Selections(5) Hwarang Sky (4) Any Line (3) Hollywood Party (1) Doctor Pro
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 7

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

(9) FURIOSA ran out a comfortable winner on debut over 1000M on June 18th having previously won a trial in a similar manner. She comes up in class and in trip here, but the manner of that victory suggests more to come, and she can win again. The main danger looks set to be (11) LAST PUNCH. She has plenty of experience at this level with two placings including her last start 3rd over 1300M. She went back that day and ran on, and similar tactics might be expected here form the wide gate. (6) MYEONGJIN CANDY is up in class after an all the way win over 1200M on June 19th. The same apprentice jockey keeps her weight nice and low, and she can be a danger here again. Disregard the last start from (4) DAEMUL as it was in the Korean Derby. He returns to shallower waters today and can be competitive. (5) CLOUTER among numerous others with genuine placing hopes.

Selections(9) Furiosa (11) Last Punch (6) Myeongjin Candy (4) Daemul
Next Best5, 2
Fast Start1, 6, 8, 9

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

(6) SEOBU TEUKGEUP is the one to beat here. She got her maiden win over 1200M at start number three on May 20th when making all the running but then was slow away on her first try at this class over the same distance on June 17 th. Draw a line through that and with a clean getaway today, she may take some catching. (4) RUN AND GUN is one of those potentially good enough to do the catching. She too had a poor day at the office last time out, but her prior form was good, and she can sit on or just behind the speed here and run on. Continuing the theme of drawing lines through latest appearances, (2) HAMAN BONGHWASAN knocked up quickly last time when favourite. She has a 3rd place at class and distance to her name and from a nice gate and slightly down in the weights, can be a danger. (8) FIRST PARK and (1) SEUNGRIUI BULGIL others in the placing frame.

Selections(6) Seobu Teukgeup (4) Run And Gun (2) Haman Bonghwasan (8) First Park
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 6

Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

This is a good race but (9) MIR BEST is perhaps the one to beat. He was a winner over 1300M at class 6 level on May 21st when handy throughout and then ran 4th on his first try at this level at 1300M on June 18th. He tackles two turns for the first time but there is no reason why it can’t suit, and he can win. (6) MONEY GARAK certainly likes the distance. He comes in following a 2nd and a 4th from his latest two, both times settling back and running on. He has his fair share of weight again, but he has a strong finish on him and should be involved at the business end. (2) GEUM SEDA won at class and distance on June 11th, taking things up around the side of the course and then running on well. He comes up 2kgs for his troubles but should be competitive again. (10) GREEN FEELSTAR and (8) LUNAR SILVER others to consider.

Selections(9) Mir Best (6) Money Garak (2) Geum Seda (10) Green Feelstar
Next Best8, 5
Fast Start5, 8, 9, 10

Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(5) BEOLMAUI STAR returned to winning ways with an effortless score at class and distance on June 24th, leading all the way. HE comes up a full 5.5kg in the weights but he will be strongly favoured to add to his tally here. (1) GREAT GOOD was 2nd in that June 24th race, coming from well back to sweep home five-lengths in arrears. She meets the winner on much better terms today (5kg) and has a better draw. If the favourite slips up at all, she is the one to take advantage. (3) ONE PICK comes up in class here and while he doesn’t exactly win out of urn, he has solid enough form to suggest he can be competitive. He tends to get a bit far back in his races but comes down in weight here and gets a nice draw. (4) GODDESS MOON resumed in May for the first time in ten months. She finished well back but has since been sent back to trial and she looked well winning a heat in late June. She should be fitter today and can go close. (6) UNJU EUTTEUM gets a much more appropriate assignment than he has received of late and is another placing contender.

Selections(5) Beolmaui Star (1) Great Good (3) One Pick (4) Goddess Moon
Next Best6, 7
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 7

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(7) WOW WOW returns to shallower waters following an excellent 5th in the Korean Derby in May and then a chastening 9th in the Minister’s Cup in June. He is already a winner at this class over 1400M and his Derby run proved the distance is of no concern. He should return to winning ways here. (4) DOUBLE EDGE also went in both the Derby and the Minister’s Cup although in his case, the latter proved the better as he ran on well to snatch 5th. He will sit back and run on and should run the favourite close. (5) WONDERFUL DEVIL is generally consistent at this level and is another who will go back and run on. (2) LAPIEO BAN comes up 2kg for a class and distance win on May 29th when making all. The additional weight is balanced somewhat by a much better draw, and she can be in this again. (3) SERVE ACE another in the frame.

Selections(7) Wow Wow (4) Double Edge (5) Wonderful Devil (2) Lapieo Ban
Next Best3, 6
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 7

Busan Race 6: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

(2) CLEAR will be a hot favourite here on the strength of winning his latest two starts, most recently at this class and distance on June 19th in fine style when close to the speed throughout and scoring by two-lengths with some of today’s rivals behind him. He comes up in the weights, but the set weight scale means that the main dangers do too. He should win again.  (3) CLEAN SHOT ran 2nd to Clear in that June 19th race, coming from off the pace. He meets Clear just 1kg better but if he can avoid getting too far back, he can be a danger in the closing stages. (6) DUNCAN could be one at an each-way price. He has run good times at this distance and while this is his first start since February, he showed well in a trial a couple of weeks ago. (9) JESSIEUI KKUM comes up in trip having run a decent 4th over 1400M at his latest start on June 10th at this class. He has finished off his races well and can measure up. (7) POKPUNG EONDEOK another to consider.

Selections(2) Clear (3) Clean Shot (6) Duncan (9) Jessieui Kkum
Next Best7, 5
Fast Start2, 6, 7, 8

Seoul Race 8: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(9) ILGYEOK PILSAL has good form up to 1400M, winning two starts back at class 4 level. He was a close 3rd on his first try at class and distance on June 19th settling midfield and running on. His style means the barrier isn’t a concern here and he even comes down slightly in the weights. (6) SKY DOLPUNG comes in off a class and distance win back in April when he defied 20/1 odds. He has had twelve weeks off since and he does come up 3kg in the weights and he can challenge here. (5) CHEONGSAN GANGHO is a class 4 horse who takes his chance here. That means he comes down hugely in weight and with Munro remaining aboard, he could sneak a place. (8) JEONGMUN BOLT and (2) SIMON QUEEN others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(9) Ilgyeok Pilsal (6) Sky Dolpung (5) Cheongsan Gangho (8) Jeongmun Bolt
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start1, 3, 6, 9

Busan Race 7: Class Open (1600M) KNN Cup (KOR-G3) Allowance / KRW 450 Million

(11) RAON FIRST won the first two legs of the Queens’ Tour series, and she will be hot favourite to take the third too. She is the highest rated mare in the country and is in peak form having won her latest five. She easily won the Ttukseom Cup over many of these rivals over 1400M at Seoul last month and she has won races at up to 1800M. Perhaps the only doubt is she has never won at a mile or at Busan, but she should fix both those things today. (13) GOLDEN POWER comes in having swept all three legs of the filly Triple Crown this year. She didn’t face anything like Raon First during that series, but she is versatile and got better as the series progressed. She may prefer a bit further when it comes to taking on the elite, but she should put in a bold showing here. (9) WISH ME is sure to be competitive again. She has run 2nd in her last three starts including in the Ttukseom when she led. She may not turn the tables on Raon First, but she has placing chances. (5) LADY KELLY has been consistent of late placing in class 2 company at the sprint journey and a good 3rd on the Ttukseom. She is yet to win beyond 1400M, but she looks to be on the improve, and gets a nice draw. (6) CLEAR GEOM another in the minor money frame.

Selections(11) Raon First (13) Golden Power (9) Wish Me (5) Lady Kelly
Next Best6, 3
Fast Start1, 3, 6, 9

Seoul Race 9: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

(2) LEGEND DAY will be favourite here having run out a last start class and distance winner on June 12th. This is perhaps a slightly stronger field, but he only comes up 1kg and is nicely drawn to enable him to race forward. (1) MIGHTY GO has solid 1400M form at this class. His disappointing showing when beaten by a few of these back in May was out of character and this should suit more. He has the inside gate and benefits from an apprentice claim. (4) RAON TAP MAN’s best showings have been at 1200M, but he finished a class 4th at this class and distance behind Legend Day on June 12th. He should have derived benefit from that experience and can be close again today. (6) DAEHAN JILJU has an excellent win rate and comes up in class and down in weight and should be right in the mix. (8) MASK another with minor money claims.

Selections(2) Legend Day (1) Mighty Go (4) Raon Tap Man (6) Daehan Jilju
Next Best8, 5
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 6

Seoul Race 10: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(8) SOBERANIA gets the nod here having placed every time at this distance. Last time out she was a very close 3rd at class and distance on June 12th having led for much of the way around and despite being drawn a touch wide, she can lead again and go all the way. (2) SOEWAKKOT is a recent winner at this distance in a good time. She then ran 4th n her first try at this class on May 8th. She tends to get a bit far back in her races but could offer some each-way value here. (9) MJ POINT is yet to win in fifteen starts but she has a solid record of finding the minor money. She will be on pace here and can be in this a long way. (1) CHEONDUNGSEJA and (5) QUICKSILVER KITTEN are others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(8) Soberania (2) Soewakkot (9) MJ Point (1) Cheondungseja
Next Best5, 7
Fast Start1, 5, 8, 9