Juvenile fillies take centre stage on Sunday at both Seoul and Busan with the Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy in the capital and the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Trophy on the south coast providing a stiff test as well as a big prize for next year’s Triple Tiara hopefuls.
The Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup (1200M Listed) was last run in 2019 when it was won by Raon First. That year, the race was open to all juveniles, irrespective of sex or of where they were bred and Raon First crushed them, scoring by six-lengths. She would go on to dominate the filly and mare ranks for the next two years before returning to take on the boys when 3rd in the Korea Sprint and then last Sunday, winning the President’s Cup.
With just her Korean-bred contemporaries to contend with this time, another Musket Man filly and stablemate of Raon First, RAON GIANT has strong claims to take out this year’s edition of the Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy. She has raced three times so far, winning two of them by big margins and her only defeat came at the hands of older horses.
Raon Giant likes to race forward, and despite being drawn the widest of ten, she can carry the green Raon colours home to another big race win. Moon Se-young, who last week had to settle for chasing Raon First home in 2nd place aboard Simjangui Godong in the President’s Cup, will be aboard.
It’s a tough race though. FIRE GIRL is unbeaten in two starts and has equally solid chances. At her second appearance on October 2nd, she overcame an awkward start before settling midfield and running on to win by an impressive five-lengths in a quick time. She seems set for a big show again.
Trainer Tony Castanheira sends out SEONGSILGONGJUPINK. She comes into the calculations based on her last start easy win at this distance. It was at class 6, and this is undoubtedly harder, but the time was very competitive. Alan Munro will partner.
One at odds could be STARLET, a winner of two from four so far, including last time out at this distance. She is a filly who likes to get forward early so the draw can be of assistance. Starlet will be ridden by Johan Victoire, who last Sunday reached two-hundred Korean winners.
Down at Busan there is a fourteen-strong field for the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Trophy (1200M Listed).
ATLAS was a winner first-up in very wet conditions before running a good 3rd in the Areumdaun Jilju Stakes behind current number one ranked juvenile colt Fantastic Kingdom. Coming back into filly only company today and drawn very well, she has solid claims.
Facing the challenge of the widest gate is DOCTOR OSCAR. She was a big winner on debut in the wet before running 3rd – also to Fantastic Kingdom – in the Busan Rookie Stakes at the end of August. In her only start since she was a close 2nd in a smart time at this distance at class 5 level.
HANSEN COD GIRL won at her second start in a very good time but veered out wide when coming out of the gate on her latest appearance. Her draw this time should prevent that from happening and with a more mature run, she can be expected in the finish.
A possible long shot is PEOPLE POWER, who has improved at every run so far. Her latest appearance saw a huge win over 1300M in a smart time. She does like to lead and so has the challenge of the barrier but at each-way odds, she may be worth a chance.
The Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy is race 8 on Seoul’s 11 race program on Sunday with a post time of 16:15. The Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Trophy follows at Busan, the final even on the 6-race card there, at 16:45.
Gwacheon Mayor’s: (10) Raon Giant (6) Fire Girl (5) Seongsilgongjupink (2) Starlet
Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo: (2) Atlas (14) Doctor Oscar (4) Hansen Cod Girl (10) People Power