Day: May 20, 2023

YTN Cup Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 21)

The YTN Cup, the second leg of the Stayer Series is the headline race on Sunday. See here for a fuller preview. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:35 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 11:50 to 16:35. Here’s the race-by-race:

Winner’s Man won the 1st leg of the Stayer Series (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1:  Class 6 (1200M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million

(9) RAON HOLIDAY was a much-improved 3rd at start number four on April 15th, finishing 2nd in a quick time. He raced on the speed for the first time and while he draws wider this time, expect similar tactics today, and he can go one better. (8) CANDY GLOW will be challenging him for the lead. He enters off back-to-back 3rd place finishes, both at this trip and both in good times. She’ll surely be in this a long way. (3) BURUI JILJU returned from nine months out to run 2nd over 1700M on March 26th, sitting handy throughout. That was a big effort first-up, but he’s had eight weeks off since and he will be expected to go close here. (11) NEMO SPIRIT and (1) FINE DAY are other potential improvers.

Selections(9) Raon Holiday (8) Candy Glow (3) Burui Jilju (11) Nemo Spirit
Next Best1, 4
Fast Start1, 6, 9, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million

Not the strongest of maidens and that will make (10) SEONGSIL INDONG a warm favourite. She steps up marginally in trip for the first time following three fair efforts over 1200M when she has run on well each time. Moon Se-young climbs on board today and it will be no surprise if they win. (2) TRES VITE on the other hand comes back in trip after a couple of spins around 1700M including a last start 4th on March 26th when coming from off the pace. He draws well here and should be competitive. (4) WONDERFUL FOX has shown slight but noticeable improvement over her three outings culminating in 5th place last time over this trip. Her times haven’t been quick but if she continues to get better the same rate, then she will merit at least a place chance here. (6) EURO GANGJA and (1) GEOMOON others in the minor money frame.

Selections(10) Seongsil Indong (2) Tres Vite (4) Wonderful Fox (6) Euro Gangja
Next Best1, 8
Fast Start5, 7, 8, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

No fewer than five of the twelve are up in class last stat winners. We’ll side with (10) K N GOLDEN KING. With a 3rd and a 2nd from his first two starts, it was no surprise when he duly obliged when favourite over 1200M on April 8th. He made all that day so he does have the challenge of a wider draw, but he also comes up in trip so has an additional 100-metres to the turn and that could be enough for Moon Se-young to find his desired position. (6) FLYING LIGHT won on debut and while he took a couple of goes to figure things out at this class, he comes in off a strong class and distance 2nd on April 16th, well beaten by a good winner, but a strong performance, nonetheless. He draws well to sit handy or race on pace and a repeat will put him in the finish again. Returning to the up in class ones, (5) HWANGGEUMKKOT and (4) MIR POINT look the most likely to measure up. (8) WALGADAK another of those with experience at this level who can go close in what is a very competitive race.  

Selections(10) K N Golden King (6) Flying Light (5) Hwanggeumkkot (4) Mir Point
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start1, 4, 9, 10

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million

A very competitive maiden to open proceedings on the south coast and it’s hard to be confident about much of the form. The one thing is clear is that (4) VELOCIRAPTOR has the fastest time for the distance among these, recorded three starts back when 3rd, and that is enough to give him a chance here. He didn’t go well over a mile last time but back to 1300M and from a good gate, he has as much chance as any. (5) TOO CUTE GIRL and (9) HAMA come sin having run 3rd and 4th respectively when they raced one another at this distance on April 16th. There wasn’t much to choose between them that day – it was for both their best performance so far – and with them both carrying the same weight, we’ll side with Too Cute Girl by virtue of having the better gate. (2) MIRACULUM and (11) VERLUC are other possibles for the minors.

Selections(4) Velociraptor (5) Too Cute Girl (9) Hama (2) Miraculum
Next Best11, 8
Fast Start3, 6, 10, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies (and one mare) only here. (1) BURUI KKOT is yet to win from twelve attempts but has no eleven top five finishes including four as runner up. She comes back in trip after several near misses at 1300M, she has the plum inside gate, which should get her on to the speed with a minimal amount of fuss and an apprentice jockey takes her weight down. This could be her day. The main danger is (8) TROT QUEEN. She was 5th to Burui Kkot’s4th with little between them when they raced one another over 1300M on April 8th. She too is yet to win but has good times at this distance and she will be running on strong late. (5) WONPYEONG GWANGYA comes back in trip after weakening late on over 1300M in her latest two. From a good gate and under a light weight, she can be on pace and in this a long way. (10) GOLDEN LUCKY and (3) HONEY PUNCH, the latter who can have her latest outing forgiven as she was first up following a lengthy absence, are others to consider.

Selections(1) Burui Kkot (8) Trot Queen (5) Wonpyeong Gwangya (10) Golden Lucky
Next Best3, 11
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(2) HANEUL MISO remains a maiden following thirteen starts but enters with her recent form at class and distance reading very well. She has been back to trial since her latest 3rd place on April 16th and se won her heat in fine fashion three weeks ago. She draws well here, carries a very light weight, and today can be her day. (7) DOCTOR CUCKOO is up in class having secured his maiden win on April 28th when stalking the lead early before taking things up turning into the straight and going on to win by however many he please. This is tougher but the manner of that victory suggests there is more to come, and he shouldn’t be dismissed. (8) SEOGWI CHUKJE is another maiden, but she comes in following three consecutive runner-up finishes at this class, two of them at today’s distance. Among them was the fastest time for any of these over the 1200M and the wide draw shouldn’t be an issue. (6) B.K. GALLOP and (1) CHEONGMA POWER others in the placing frame.


Winner’s Man Heads Stayer Series 2nd Leg Field Sunday

The Stayer Series holds its second leg at Seoul Racecourse this Sunday as ten go to post for the YTN Cup (2000M KOR-G3). And with Raon The Fighter now firmly ensconced atop the sprinting ranks following his dominant wins in the Busan Ilbo Sprint in April and the SBS Sports Sprint last weekend, the path appears clear for Winner’s Man to continue his dominance over the longer trips. 

Winner’s Man won the 1st leg of the Stayer Series from Tuhonui Banseok. (Pic: KRA)

Having won the Korea Cup and Grand Prix Stakes in 2022, WINNER’S MAN, who also won the Korea Derby as a three-year-old, began the Stayer Series as the one to beat and he duly obliged in the first leg, the Herald Business Trophy (2000M KOR-G3) on April 16th when he struck the front in the home straight and ran on to win by three-lengths. Over the same distance and under a set weight scale, it is hard to see any other result on Sunday.

Winner’s Man does throw in the odd poor run though. He looked undercooked when 3rd behind Raon First in last November’s President’s Cup, and he was out of sorts when 4th on his seasonal re-appearance at class 1 level over 1800M in February. He was giving 8kg away that day but with all due respect to that day’s winner Flat Babe, Winner’s Man shouldn’t have been losing to her.

As for those who can take advantage should the favourite be below his best, TUHONUI BANSEOK looks the most likely. He was another who had an off day in that February Class 1 behind Flat Babe although in finishing 3rd, he did at least beat Winner’s Man. He ran 2nd in the Herald Business building on his breakthrough performance when 3rd in the Grand Prix Stakes, when he made excellent ground to almost catch Winner’s Man and Raon The Fighter. One of two in the race for trainer Bart Rice along with lively outsider Jessieui Kkum, Tuhonui Banseok will be a clear second-favourite again.

Tunhonui Banseok isn’t the only one in the gate to have finished ahead of Winner’s Man. SIMJANGUI GODONG did that when 2nd to Raon First when attempting to defend his President’s Cup (2000M KOR-G1) last November. He skipped the Herald Business but returned to the winner’s circle at Class 1 level over 2000M in April.  Moon Se-young returns to the ride and he is a clear place chance again.

The top-three in the Herald Business was rounded out by BARBARIAN, a length and a quarter in arrears of Tuhonui Banseok. He too will be backed to place again. BLACK MASK had a poor day at the office in the Herald Business but shapes as the next best in what will be a final Group race ride for the retiring jockey Ham Wan-sik.

The YTN Cup is race 8 on Sunday’s 11-race card at Seoul Racecourse with a local post time of 16:10.