Sunday is President’s Cup Day. Click here for a full runner-by-runner preview of the most valuable race of the season that is restricted to Korean-bred runners. The big race is race 8 of an 11-race program at Seoul which runs from 10:45 to 18:00. There are also 6 races at Busan from 12:15 to 16:45 with King Of The Match in the feature. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Juvenile maiden fillies in the opener with six of the twelve racing for the first time. And among those debut-makers is the eagerly awaited (10) RAON EMPIRE. She’s half-sister to Raon The Fighter, currently the highest rated horse in Korea and she looked very well in two trials, crossing the line 1st in one and an unhurried 3rd in a fast time in the second when overcoming gate twelve. She will be a very short-priced favourite. (5) NAOL HAEGBOK did nothing on debut in June but was looked a better prospect when trialing up again behind Raon Empire in October. She should go better this time around. (1) YOUNGYOUNG SOCKS put in the best debut of those that have run before, showing on pace before finishing in the middle of the pack. She should have come on for that run and can improve here. (12) RED TAEPUNG should also improve from her debut while (4) WALGADAK looks the second best of the first timers.
|Selections||(10) Raon Empire (5) Naol Haengbok (1) Youngyoung Socks (12) Red Taepung|
|Next Best||4, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 6, 10|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
(5) SUPREME STAR looks the one to beat here. Her best result to date came on debut but she has run well in two starts since including her latest when stepping up to this trip and posting a time as fast as any of the others here have managed when 5th. She sat handy that day which she will probably do again, and this time she can stick to her task. (2) DANAEUN ROSE has a 3rd and a 2nd from her first three outings. Her only poor result so far came when drawn very wide and being unable to find a position. That shouldn’t happen here as she can get an easy run to the front and can be in this a long way. (11) WORLD PLAY has run on pleasingly enough across three starts so far and is showing signs of improvement. He should be aiming to better the 5th place scored last time out at 1000M and can be running on late here. (3) VESPER and (7) NEVER NEVER STOP other potential improvers.
|Selections||(5) Supreme Star (2) Danaeun Rose (11) World Play (3) Vesper|
|Next Best||7, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 8, 10|
Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(6) BLACK CHOCOLATE ran out an emphatic winner on debut over this distance on October 16th, settling midfield before cruising away in the home straight. He comes up in class today, but the manner of that win suggests there is more to come, and he is strongly favoured to maintain his 100% record here. (1) JEONGMUN PAPAGO got promoted to this level with back-to-back runner-up finishes at this distance before running 4th of twelve in a fair time on his first try at this class on October 9th. He can build on that here. (2) CONCORD QUEEN already has a 2nd place finish to her name at class and distance and from another good draw today can be on pace and in this a long way. (9) CHANCELLOR weakened late on at his latest start and may be better for being slightly back in trip today. (4) B. J. STORM another in the placing frame.
|Selections||(6) Black Chocolate (1) Jeongmun Papago (2) Concord Queen (9) Chancellor|
|Next Best||4, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5, 8|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Juvenile maidens in the opener on the south coast. (4) GOODY ran in improved 3rd at start number two over this distance on October 2nd having gone right back from a wide gate and then run on well. He draws inside for the first time here and if he can a little but more prominent, he could win here. (5) FINAL SEVEN enters with a similar record having also improved to 3rd on his second outing on October 9th. He too sat back and ran on and can continue his development here. (8) HAEUNDAE STAR also showed progress when racing for the second time He comes up in trip for the first time here and under a very light weight can be running on well. (3) FLYING TOUCH by contrast ran poorly at her second career start but based on her debut can be given another chance here. There are three debut-makers and among them, (1) MULTI HIT looks to have the best chance of an immediate impact.
|Selections||(4) Goody (5) Final Seven (8) Haeundae Star (3) Flying Touch|
|Next Best||1, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5, 6|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(5) GEOMEUN JILJU was a winner over 1000M at class 6 two starts back before running an admittedly well-beaten 2nd on his first try at this level over 1200M on October 16th having led for much of the way. That day’s winner, Leewolma, put in a fine performance though and there doesn’t appear to be anything similar in this field. Seo Seung-un climbs aboard and he can get his eye in before he takes the plum ride on Winner’s Man in the President’s Cup later. (9) WONPYEONG KILLAR found himself overmatched in the Munhwa Ilbo Trophy at his latest start and was never a factor from a wide draw although he did pass some tired horses late on. He returns to shallower waters today and can be a danger. (3) P N S AI drops back in trip following a creditable 4th over and can come into the reckoning too. (7) CHEONSONGI comes up in class but down in weight and along with (2) BEST MAD CAM is another to consider for the places.
|Selections||(5) Geomeun Jilju (9) Wonpyeong Killar (3) P N S Ai (7) Cheonsongi|
|Next Best||2, 4|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 8, 9|
Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
A competitive race. Having run 2nd on debut, (3) BARAMBARAM obliged as favourite on his second start over 1000M on October 16th, leading almost the entire way around. He comes up in class and a full two-furlongs in distance today, but he has solid claims to win again. (8) GOLDEN POINT is yet to win but has six top-five finishes from eight starts so far. He can sit handy again here and run on into the money once more. Golden Point has every chance of overturning the form on (10) FLOWING RIVER, who won at big odds when they faced each other on October 14th. Flowing River led all the way that day and while the draw is a little less favourable this time and he comes up 2,5kg in the weights, he will warrant more respect. (4) DOCTOR PENTAGON and the up in class (11) DOUBLE TAP among others who can be taken seriously in a race of many chances.
|Selections||(3) Barambaram (8) Golden Point (10) Flowing River (4) Doctor Pentagon|
|Next Best||11, 5|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 9, 10|
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(3) BICHUI DAERYUK returned from almost four months out to run a strong 2nd in a fast time over 1300M on October 9th when racing handy throughout. She comes up slightly in the weights here but draws very well again and surely goes close. (9) MARUMA looks the big danger and possible favourite. He comes back in trip after two decent spins around 1700M including last time when he led. He has got good gate speed compared with most of these and while he may need a touch of luck at the start, he has every chance of getting to the front and going all the way. (8) SMART BLUE got a bit far back last tie out before running on well. If she can get a better start, she should be in a position to challenge late here. (6) FINAL CHARM and (7) YEONGUNG DAEMA among others in the hunt.
|Selections||(3) Bichui Daeryuk (9) Maruma (8) Smart Blue (6) Final Charm|
|Next Best||7, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 8, 9|
Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
It will be hard to go past (8) AGAIN TOUCH here. Since returning from an eleven-month absence in September she has won back-to-back races over 1200M, making all both times and most recently at this class on October 16th. The engagement of an apprentice jockey means his weight rise is negligible and he has every chance of completing his hat-trick. (10) QUEEN ALLIE had a hard time last start but has the fastest time of any of these at the distance, recorded two starts back when 2nd and leading all the way. The draw isn’t ideal, but she is worth another chance here. (5) HWARANG BEST mixes his form, but he comes down 2.5kg from his last start 6th at class and distance on October 23rd and also comes into a better gate which should bring him into contention. (4) KING BROTHER and (6) ECHO LADY others in the minor money frame.
|Selections||(8) Again Touch (10) Queen Allie (5) Hwarang Best (4) King Brother|
|Next Best||6, 3|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 8, 10|
Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(2) FLYING GOLD comes in seeking a hat-trick of wins following back-to-back scores over 1200M and 1300M since returning in September form five months out. He has sat handy on both of those before running on and while he comes up in class and slightly in trip here, he draws very nicely and can win again. (7) K N SKETCH was a winner over this distance at class 5 two starts back before finishing 4th on his first go at this level on October 16th. He has posted good times, draws satisfactorily, and carries a light weight here. (8) MIR BEST comes up in class after a comfortable win over 1300M on October 16th. He is nicely weighted, and the wide draw shouldn’t be a problem in this small field. (6) GUEOKMAAL and (4) SIRIUS ALPHA among others with at least placing claims.
|Selections||(2) Flying Gold (7) K N Sketch (8) Mir Best (6) Gueokmaal|
|Next Best||4, 3|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 6, 8|
Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(10) HORAENGI is a maiden filly who nevertheless has ten top-five finishes from thirteen attempts. She comes in having beaten a couple of these on her way to 2nd place at class and distance on September 30th when settling midfield and running on. She is third-up this preparation and could be peaking fitness-wise and today can be her day. (8) WISH LUCK is up in class following a soft win over a mile on October 14th. She carries a similar weight here and tackles the two-turns for the first time. Keep her safe. (7) DOCTOR PERSIA is another who is trying the staying trip for the first time. He ran on nicely enough for 2nd last time out over 1400M when drawn in the widest gate and may get an easier run today. (4) NEW CROWN broke his maiden status at his latest start, which came at this class and distance on October 16th with three of today’s rivals behind him when slowly away and then working forward. This is no harder and he should be in the finish. (2) TODAY STAR another in the minor money picture.
|Selections||(10) Horengi (8) Wish Luck (7) Doctor Persia (4) New Crown|
|Next Best||2, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 9, 10, 11|
Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(5) K FRENZY was a beaten favourite on October 15th when settling midfield and running on but only making it up to 3rd. That was his first run around two-turns though and he should have derived benefit from it and can win today. (9) BLACK MASK enters off a runner-up finish over a mile on October 2nd when leading for most of the way around. Ultra-consistent he looks ready for another crack at two turns and while he may find one too quick again, he should be in the finish. If K Frenzy is to win, it will mean reversing the form on (6) CHEONBISEONG, who won that October 15th race at odds of 16/1 jumping away into the lead and then setting a sensible pace and holding on. An apprentice jockey means he actually carries less here than he did that day, and he warrants respect. (3) AMAZING WHIZ and (7) SISEONJIPJUNG, 3rd and 4th respectively when they raced one another at this class over 1400M, are others to consider.
|Selections||(5) K Frenzy (9) Black Mask (6) Cheonbiseong (3) Amazing Whiz|
|Next Best||7, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 6, 9|
Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
(2) WARRIOR CLASS is very consistent and has placed on both his starts at this class at 1400M and then last time on October 14th over this distance when he beat several of today’s rivals having overcome gate twelve to race handy. He comes up very slightly in the weights but that should be more than countered by a much better draw and he will be favourite. (6) POKPUNG EONDEOK was a winner at class and distance in August and ran 3rd behind Warrior Class in that October 14th race. He usually settles midfield and runs on and the apprentice claim continues to keep his weight manageable. (11) DAEJI CHOICE was an also-ran in the final leg of the Triple Crown but is in good form with a 3rd and a win from his latest two, most recently at this class over 1400M. He has won at 1800M too at the lower levels and is set for a big show here despite the 4kg rise in weight. (1) DUNCAN doesn’t win out of turn but is always a threat. He prefers to race forward so draws well and is nicely in with an apprentice claim. (4) YEONGCHEON SOLEMIO seems to have lost his way a little at this class but could be an each-way chance.
|Selections||(2) Warrior Class (6) Popkpung Eondeok (11) Daeji Choice (1) Duncan|
|Next Best||4, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 11, 12|
Seoul Race 8: Class Open (2000M) President’s Cup (KOR G1) Weight for Age / KRW 900 Million
The most valuable race of the year restricted to Korean-bred horses. (10) WINNER’S MAN is the nation’s leading stayer and a winner of thirteen races in total including the 2021 Derby. He comes in having won the International Group 3 Korea Cup over 1800M on September 4th, is tactically versatile, and despite the wide draw, will be the hot favourite to come through here. (3) SIMJANGUI GODONG won this race last year and other than an out of character run in Korea Cup in September, has been consistent since. He is nicely drawn today as he is at his best when racing forward and at his best, he is capable of an upset. That applies too to (2) HEUNGHAENG JILJU. He’s an in-form stayer who has won his last two in Class 1 over 2000M. he can race forward or settle midfield and draws well again. This is a tougher assignment but base don times he has recorded at the distance, he is right in this. (7) CAPTAIN YANKEE represents the three-year-old crop having won a couple of legs of the Triple Crown, including the Minister’s Cup over this course and distance. He is likely to race midfield and run on and with a bit more maturity can put in a bold showing. (6) RAON FIRST is Korea’s leading mare and while is more renowned as a sprinter – her last start was a super 3rd in the Korea Sprint over 1200M, she has won at two turns. This is an interesting ask of her, but she is a great talent.
|Selections||(10) Winner’s Man (3) Simjangui Godong (2) Heunghaeng Jilju (7) Captain Yankee|
|Next Best||6, 5|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 7, 10|
Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
It’s hard to go past (3) KING OF THE MATCH here. His last five outings have all been in Group company with 2nd in both the Busan Owners’ Cup and KRA Cup Classic as well as 4th in the Korea Cup. He comes back in trip today but has won at sprint distances at the lower levels and with the big drop in class compared to what he has been used to recently, he is a serious contender and will be hot favourite. (10) YES PERFECT is in good form and we can disregard his last start two weeks ago in elite company in the Kookje Shinmun Trophy. The faovurite aside, this is easier, and the barrier is of no concern as he prefers to settle midfield. (2) BEOLMAUI STAR comes in off two tries at class 1 that he didn’t need to do, both over 1200M. The shy at the stumps hit as he ran 4th and then 1st on October 16th, beating plenty of these in the process. The handicapper punished him to the tune of fifteen rating points but in this company he is still nicely in, will be on pace and can be in the mix for a long way. (8) BUSANHANG GALMAEGI and (5) SEOBU CAT others to consider.
|Selections||(3) King Of The Match (10) Yes Perfect (2) Beolmaui Star (8) Busanhang Galmaegi|
|Next Best||5, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 7, 8|
Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(3) LEEWOLMA is two for two following a soft win over this distance at his latest start on October 16th in a smart time. He comes up in class but very marginally down in weight, he races froward and from a good draw, should be hard to beat. (2) GANA FASHION is yet to win but has placed at all five starts so far. She too comes up in class but is significantly down in weight and well-drawn as she likes to lead. While there is a big chance there will be one too quick again, she can maintain her ultra-consistent run of form. (6) CHEONGCHUN VIVA is a winner of two at this class and distance and is perhaps a bit better than recent runs suggest. Last time out he was looking around as the gates opened and was subsequently slowly out, but he ran on well for 4th. (1) MUNHAK STORM has place at this class and distance and he was a touch out of character last time out when wide all the way. A nice draw today can help him as he has placed when racing forward. (7) ALEXANDER ONE another with claims in a small but competitive race.
|Selections||(3) Leewolma (2) Gana Fashion (6) Cheongchun Viva (1) Munhak Storm|
|Next Best||7, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 6, 8|
Seoul Race 10: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(1) SKY FUTURE is a very lightly raced five-year old, who returns to action for the first time since getting his maiden win at start number six in June over this distance. He comes up in class today and without an apprentice claim, carries more weight. However, he draws well and looked good when winning a trial two weeks ago. He should be right in this. (7) TAPDOWN is yet to win in seven but enters in good form with two 4th place finishes and a 3rd from his latest three. He is nicely in at the weights gain and should go close. (2) GREAT THUNDER returns to action for the first time since May. He trialed up very well in late October and a combination of today’s handicap conditions and an apprentice claim means he carries next to no weight from a great gate. (6) MOONHAK AFLEET did nothing on debut in September but has since trialed up again encouragingly and can be given another chance here. (5) ELITE LINE another with minor money chances.
|Selections||(1) Sky Future (7) Tapdown (2) Great Thunder (6) Moonhak Afleet|
|Next Best||5, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 4, 6|
Seoul Race 11: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Big field in the last but (5) BULBANGUL shapes as the warm favourite. An also-ran in the Korean Derby, he secured back-to-back wins over 1200M at class 4 level in in June and July before running a good 2nd in a trophy race over the same distance on international weekend in September. This is his first time at this distance (although he has unsuccessfully gone further, including in the Derby) but his running style suggests it should suit. (4) JANGSAN MONSTER is up in class after a super win at this distance on October 2nd, making all in a fast time. He comes in under slightly less weight, draws well and can put in a big run again. (3) CHOEGO RACE is a serial placegetter at this class and has run some fast times over the distance. He comes up 2.5kg from his latest start but should be in the mix again. Up in class and seeking a hat-trick of wins, (9) JISANGUN, as well as last start class and winner (2) DUSON MEONGGUN are among plenty of others in the frame in a good finale.
|Selections||(5) Bulbangul (4) Jangsan Monster (3) Choego Race (9) Jisangun|
|Next Best||2, 12|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 9, 12|