Day: October 14, 2022

Raon The Fighter Heads Strong KRA Cup Classic Line-Up This Sunday

One of the longest standing races on the modern Korean racing calendar returns to Seoul on Sunday when thirteen line up for the 37th edition of the KRA Cup Classic (2000M KOR-G2).

Korea Cup runner-up Raon The Fighter will be favoured to add his name to a list of winners that include Dae Kyeun, Saegangja, Tough Win, Cheongdam Dokki and Dolkong, in a race which serves not only as a big prize in itself, but also a key step towards December’s season finale Grand Prix Stakes.

A total of six emerge from the Korea Cup with Raon The Fighter, King Of The Match and Haengbok Wangja all having finished in the top-five. They are joined by up and comers Good Pilseung, Tuhonui Banseok and Daeam Janggun, while the in-form Lil’ Patron, an also-ran in the race last year, comes in looking much more dangerous this time.

The old guard is there too. Moonhak Chief, Shamrocker and Dolkong may have their best days behind them but can’t be completely ruled outr of still being able to put in strong runs:

1. CRAZY CONTI finished 7th in the Korea Cup after settling midfield. He is a recent class 1 winner over 1800M but this is much harder.

2. GEUMA MYSTIC is yet to win in Class 1 but did manage a 3rd place in the YTN Cup albeit over eight-lengths back behind the winner. That was in similar company to this and he could be thereabouts.

3. KING OF THE MATCH is an improving type who made a good impression in the Korea Cup when settling midfield and while he was well beaten, he ran on resolutely. He previously ran a bottler when dead–heating with President’s Cup winner Simjangui Godong for 2nd place behind Raon The Fighter in the Busan Owner’s Cup. Well drawn and plenty of upside.

4. HAENGBOK WANGJA ran a fair 5th in the Korea Cup after settling midfield. He was the winner of the 2021 Grand Prix Stakes over 2300M and has demonstrated solid form since. He goes better when able to settle forward and back up to 2000M, and having drawn well, he is right in this.

5. MOONHAK CHIEF is a top liner who has won the Korea Cup among many other Group races but who has been a little disappointing in recent starts. At his top, he is right in this but has to be taken on trust at the moment.

6. TUHONUI BANSEOK won his latest start by four lengths on what was his class 1 debut over 2000M with some smart ones behind him. He is very much up in class here and it is on level weights but he is a winner of five from ten and can be considered for more improvement.

7. SHAMROCKER is a grand old campaigner who always gives his best. At his last start he was a distant 4th in the YTN Cup when settled back in the field. This is equally hard but he will be running on late as ever.

8. DAEAM JANGGUN is another who won last time out on what was his class 1 debut. That was over 1800M and he raced forward, stopping the clock in a good time. This is much harder and it is at level weights.

9. LIL’ PATRON has recent form that reads extremely well with three successive wins at class 1 over 1800M. Each time he has settled midfield and run on strongly. He hasn’t had to run elite level times to win those races but he is fit, in top form and could sneak into the calculations in what is a much sterner test.

10. DOLKONG resumed in the Korea Cup after a long layoff and was well back the way. He will have derived benefit from that outing but may still need to lift at this stage. Won this race in 2019.

11. GOOD PILSEUNG ran 2nd in the JRA Trophy over 1800M on international weekend when racing forward. A truer indication of his ability was at the start before though when a close 4th in the Herald Business Cup against this type of opposition. He raced forward on that occasion and can’t be left out.

12. DORAON POPEYE ran a nice 3rd in the JRA Trophy on international weekend when midfield and running on. He is yet to win in class 1 and this is much harder. Watching brief.

13. RAON THE FIGHTER is an outstanding racehorse at seemingly any distance although this will be his first test over 2000 metres. He has huge natural speed and is able to set a pace few can match. He dueled with Japanese raider Sekifu throughout the majority of the Korea Cup at 1800M in September, ultimately seeing him off, only to be caught by local rival Winner’s Man in the very closing stages. He has drawn very wide again and the additional furlong does pose a question, but Raon The Fighter will be a justifiable favourite here.

The Group 2 KRA Cup Classic is race 8 on an 11-race card at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon with a local post time of 16:20.

Selections: (13) Raon The Fighter (3) King Of The Match (4) Haengbok Wangja (9) Lil’ Patron

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 15)

Saturday sees 10 races in the capital from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Korea Derby runner-up Seungbusa is in action at Seoul on Saturday but faces a stern test (Pic: KRA)

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

Juvenile maidens in the opener with three of the nine racing for the first time. (1) COMPLETE FORCE impressed in a July trial and then ran well enough for 6th of eleven on debut on August 21st. He should have derived benefit from that run, should be on pace from the inside gate, and will take some beating. Clear second choice is (4) INDIANUI BYEOL. The Hansen colt won his trial in fine enough fashion, even if the time wasn’t first. Moon Se-young aboard a first timer will always catch the eye and he appears set for a bold showing first-up. (6) WHITE WITCH has run fairly for 4th and 6th in two starts so far, posting decent times. She won’t need to improve much to get in the places here. (8) CUPID SWING and (2) RAON THE CHARLIE are others who could improve on their debut showings.

Selections(1) Complete Force (4) Indianui Byeol (6) White Witch (8) Cupid Swing
Next Best2, 3
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

The second division of the juvenile maiden sees four of the ten racing for the first time, and it looks a very competitive race. (10) LEGAL HIGH has raced twice so far, recording a 7th and a 6th in fair times. She has settled back both times and while she may need further, the wide draw may be of some help here in getting a trouble-free trip and under a light weight, she has as good a chance as any. (7) HAENGBOKAN MUNMAK is the only other one to have raced twice. She ran 4th of eight on debut in a good time and while she was unable to follow up, she is worth another chance here and should be on pace. (4) NANGJU YEOGEOL ran 4th of twelve on her debut in an all-filly maiden on September 18th. The time was good and while with no apprentice engaged today, she comes up in the weights, she can be involved. (9) GEUMA FIERY looks the best of the first-time starters while (2) STAR K is another who can improve on his debut effort.

Selections(10) Legal High (7) Haengbokan Munmak (4) Nangju Yeogeol (9) Geuma Fiery
Next Best2, 5
Fast Start4, 6, 7, 9

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

Luigi Riccardi continues to hold a narrow lead at the top of the Trainers’ Premiership, and he can get another on the board here with (3) HUIMANG GADEUK. The filly returned from seven months out on August 20th to finish a front-running 2nd in a time half a second faster than anything else here has managed over this distance. She should have come on for that run, she should be on the early speed again, and she can win.  Busan jockey Park Jae-I had a fruitful weekend in Seoul last week and while once more he isn’t on one of the favourites in Sunday’s Group race, he picks up a nice ride here in (7) JAKDUKONG. After taking a few goes to figure things out, he enters in consistent form and should be running close. (4) BOLD AGAIN beat Jakdugong as the pair ran 2nd and 3rd over this distance on September 18th. That was his first start in almost precisely a year, and he should have come on for it. (8) ARCH MEMORY and (9) SECRET KING among others in the placing hunt.

Selections(3) Huimang Gadeuk (7) Jakdukong (4) Bold Again (8) Arch Memory
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 9

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

Fillies (and one mare) only here. (12) LAROMANEE is done no favours by the draw. But she enters in good form with her maiden win two starts back being followed by a 3rd place on her first try at this class on August 27th when settling handy and running on. She is back slightly up in trip today and with a bit of luck at the start she can be right in this. (1) HAPPY SOCKS beat a couple of these on her way to 5th place at this class over 1400M on September 17th. She posted a good time when 4th at this distance three starts back, and from the inside draw, she should find her way to the front early. She will be in this a long way. (5) BEST MAD CAM was 6th behind Happy Socks in that September 17th race. At the start before, she got her maiden win over this distance and with an apprentice on, her carried weight once more makes her competitive. (3) EUNHYE DREAM comes up in class following too many near misses. She remains a maiden but is well drawn and well weighted here and can measure up. (8) JEJUUI YOJEONG, the solitary mare, came from well back for 3rd place last time out and can be considered here.

Selections(12) Laromanee (1) Happy Socks (5) Best Mad Cam (3) Eunhye Dream
Next Best8, 6
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 12

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