Fantastic Kingdom can complete an unprecedented sweep of all the year’s top juvenile races when he bids to add the Breeders’ Cup (1200M KOR-G2) to his three already bagged trophies at Busan on Sunday afternoon. But with an embarrassment of riches among the juvenile ranks this year, any victory is going to be hard-earned among a full field of sixteen, who have already racked up twenty-six race victories between them.
First to deal with those who are not there. Betelgeuse has been sent a different route, tackling 1800M and winning up at class 4 level last weekend as he is targeted to emulate stablemate Winner Star’s successful Derby campaign. Nonghyup Chairman’s Trophy winner Saenae Town likewise swerves the race having only returned to training just over a week ago.
Of the sixteen who will line up on Sunday as Busan and Seoul’s best two-year-olds meet for the first time having been in separate races for the lead-up, eight are from the home track and eight have travelled down from Seoul. Very few could be said to be without a chance but the one to beat is FANTASTIC KINGDOM.
After running 3rd on debut, Fantastic Kingdom won second-up and then preceded to win the Busan Rookie Stakes, the Areumdaun Jilju Stakes and the Gimhae Mayor’s Trophy, all over 1200M. He steps up to the 1400M for the first time but is well drawn and will be hard to beat again.
Seoul’s Rookie Stakes was won by GIANT PUNCH, who ran on after racing handy to the lead. He hasn’t raced since his 3rd place in the Munhwa Ilbo Trophy on October 2nd when he was hampered slightly at the start before settling midfield and running on well. He will need some luck from the relatively wide barrier but looks suited to 1400M.
Filly JEULGEOUNYEOJEONG was a winner at this distance in a fast time in class 4 company at the end of September before running a huge race when a close 2nd to Fantastic Kingdom in the Gimhae Mayor’s Trophy. She’s never finished any worse than 2nd and is a big chance here.
Then there is SUN DRAGON. A winner at class 5 over 1300M, he led almost the entire way around in the Nonghyup Chairman’s Trophy, only to be denied by Saenae Town in the shadow of the post. He gets a fantastic draw on the inside here and he shouldn’t be ruled out.
Plenty of others are in the money frame as well. LUCKY SUN is the only one in the race with an unbeaten record as he comes in two for two with the second of those having been over this distance. Another 1400M winner is NAOL SNIPER. Along with SPEED YOUNG, who was 2nd in the Areumdaun Jilju Stakes, he was the wide draw to contend with but can’t be ruled out.
The Breeders’ Cup is the concluding race on a six-race program at Busan on Sunday with a local post time of 16:40. There are also eleven races at Seoul on Sunday.
Selections: (5) Fantastic Kingdom (11) Giant Punch (6) Jeolgeounyeojeong (2) Lucky Sun