The three-year-old Classic season gets underway this weekend and it’s the fillies who get the first crack at it with the Luna Stakes (1600M – Listed) making up the first leg of the Triple Tiara – the filly Triple Crown – over a mile at Busan Racecourse this Sunday.
Twelve fillies, seven from the host track and five who have travelled down from Seoul, will line up for the what is the Korean 1000 Guineas, which leads into June’s Korean Oaks also at Busan, and then the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup at Seoul in July.
Heading the Seoul contingent is Raon Giant. The Park Jong-kon trained galloper has won five of her seven starts so far, including the Listed Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy last November. Moon Se-young comes down to Busan to ride and she has every chance.
Disputing favourite status with Raon Giant will be Jeulgeounyeojeong. She has a fast 2nd place over the Mile when a very solid 3rd at class 3 level. She will though need to overturn the form on Listed Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Trophy winner Doctor Oscar, who finished 2nd to her 3rd when the pair raced over 1800M. Jeulgeounyeojeong was giving away 3kg that day, but they will be at level weights this time.
Raon Forest and the so far relatively unexposed Gold Cheonsa are among others in the frame for what should be a competitive renewal:
1. JEOMSUNI GO – Only raced four times, winning one over 1200M at maiden level and was most recently 2nd over 1400M at class 5. Her times have been consistently quick, and she may appeal for a place at probable big odds.
2. FURIOSA – Runner-up to Raon Giant in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy, coming from off the pace. Subsequently registered a 4th and 6th at class 4 level up to 1400M. Drawn well but will need to find more here.
3. PEOPLE POWER – One of just four who have tackled the mile before and while she only beat one home, she has since found her form again with a 2nd and then a win over 1400M, both at class 4 level in quick times. On those runs she has minor money claims here.
4. WONDERFUL WEEK – Yet to finish worse than 4th she is a probable pacesetter from a good draw. She has recorded fast times at the shorter distances and enters off a runner-up finish over 1800M when leading most of the way. Not impossible.
5. RAON FOREST – Enters off a seven-length win at class 4 level over 1400M on March 5th when settling handy and running on. A try over 1700M was her worst to date but the mile can suit, and she has at least place claims here. Can sit behind the speed and run on.
6. DOCTOR OSCAR – Made all to win the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo in November and comes in off two front-running runner-up finishes at a mile and 1800M. Will be on pace here and is a serious contender.
7. JEULGEOUNYEOJEONG – Beaten just under a length by Doctor Oscar when they raced each other over 1800M at class 3 on March 24th, she previously ran 3rd over a mile at the level in a quick time. Level weights with Doctor Oscar today can see her overturn that form, and she has a real winning chance. Will try to sit handy.
8. GRAPHENE RAP WORLD – Only missed the top two once from six starts and enters off a swift win over 1200M in all-filly company at class 4 on March 24th. Tactically versatile she can be on pace here, but the distance is a question and others are favoured.
9. GOLD CHEONSA – Won her first two before running 2nd over 1400M on March 31st when coming from off the pace and running through the line strongly. Still early for her but the mile may suit.
10. RAON GIANT – A winner of five from seven including the Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy last November. The only filly in the race to have made it up to class 2 level, she very nearly made all over 1800M on March 11th only to be caught close to home. The draw isn’t ideal but it’s a long back straight at Busan and if she can find the front, she will be hard to pass.
11. ATLAS – She has mixed her form a little but was 3rd in the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo behind Doctor Oscar and Magic Class and has since won over 1400M at class 4. Ran fairly when stepped up to 1800M last time out and the mile can be in her favour.
12. MAGIC CLASS – Ran 2nd in the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo but struggled when stepped up to a mile in February at class 4 level. Hasn’t raced since but looked very well when winning a March trial in a quick time. The wildcard, but others favoured.
Selections: (10) Raon Giant (7) Jeulgeounyeojeong (6) Doctor Oscar (5) Raon Forest