Author: gyongmaman

Jeju Governor’s Cup Sunday – Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (November 10)

It’s Jeju Govenor’s Cup day at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday and a full field of sixteen fillies and mares will line up for one of the final Korea Group races of the year over 1400M. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10.

Lead Money 2018 Jeju Governor's KRA

Lead Money held off Sinui Myeogryeong in a battle of the greys in last year’s Jeju Governor’s Cup. She returns to defend her title on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Last year’s Jeju winner Lead Money returns to defend her title as one of the few established class 1 contenders in the race and will accordingly be among the favourites. However, she will face stiff competition from the lightly raced Dia Road as well as other more established runners such as Hello Venus and Doctor Thunder. See below for race-by-race for Seoul with Busan Selections at the bottom:

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens to kick things off with five of the ten having raced before. Of those five, (4) GEOMPO has looked the most promising with a 4th and a 3rd from two starts so far, the latter at this distance. He’s drawn well to lead and can win. None of the others have impressed to any extent so it’s to the first-timers we need to look for the other chances. Possible favourite is (8) WISH ME. She ran out a very good trial winner last month, running on very well and should go well first up. (9) JEONJEONGSAGUEM also won her trial while (1) A TO Z and (3) CHAMILHO hinted at ability too.

Selections (4) Geompo (8) Wish Me (9) Jeonjeongsaguem (1) A To Z
Next Best 3, 6
Fast Start 4, 6, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Very weak maiden. (4) BOMNALUI GIEOK hasn’t shown much in the way of speed – he’s not alone in that regard in this race – but he seems a reasonable type who has run on well in better company than this and if he can put himself in a handy position may be able to pass the rest in the closing stages here. (1) J M FIGHTER looked promising on debut and while he has had a couple of setbacks, looks like he has some ability. (3) J. S. POWER too has run reasonably well in better company and can go close. The only one of the field to have a runner-up finish to their name so far is (5) BEST GOLD. That came at this distance and she comes in following a 4th place last start. That’s enough to put her in the frame today.

Selections (4) Bomnalui Gieok (5) Best Gold (1) J M Fighter (3) J.S. Power
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 2, 3, 8, 9

Race 3: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(2) DONGBANG JIJON comes in off a 3rd place in a similar race to this and having shown proficiency at the distance is the slight pick to finally break his maiden at the thirteenth time of asking. (6) DAECHEON ACE and (10) MAENGJU have both beaten Dongbang Jijon in the past and both come in off reasonably recent outings. (1) CORRE MI CABALLO debuted all the way back in September of 2018 and actually ran rather well. He’s not been seen since but returned to training this autumn and looked very well when 2nd in an October trial, which brings him straight into contention first-up. (4) MY SISTER NINA had a poor day at the office last start but is better than that and can be given another chance here.

Selections (2) Dongbang Jijon (1) Corre Mi Caballo (6) Daecheon Ace (4) My Sister Nina
Next Best 10, 8
Fast Start 4, 8, 10

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) EAGLE EYE ran a solid 4th place over 1000M at the end of September and having previously run 2nd and 3rd at this distance, looks to be the favourite to take the honours here. The others are going to need to step up. (7) SAEROUN BOBAE had to be scratched on the way to the start last week after her jockey aggravated a back injury. The same jockey returns today and so long as they make it to the gate this time, she will have a chance. (3) MACH NEDAN and (4) BAEK HAK have hardly impressed so far but both are likely to be on the early speed and that could be enough to get them close at the end. (10) FAMILY HOPE the best of a limited rest.

Selections (2) Eagle Eye (7) Saeroun Bobae (10) Family Hope (3) Mach Nedan
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 2, 3, 4

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

(6) DYNAMIC PUNCH led all the way to record his maiden win by a length over this distance on October 12th. Although that wasn’t the strongest of races, he and the rest of the place-getters were a full ten lengths clear of the remainder of the field and he looks to have enough development in him to be favoured here. (3) SUNSHINE TEUKGEUP and (5) YEONGGWANGUI BEAT are similarly up in class following maiden victories on their respective last starts and both should be competitive at this level too. (9) GEUMBIT YEOLJEONG comes in off a string of near misses and should be close at hand again while (2) PRIME QUEEN too ran a really good 3rd place at class and distance last start and looks a danger.

Selections (6) Dynamic Punch (9) Geumbit Yeoljeong (2) Prime Queen (3) Sunshine Teukgeup
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 3, 6, 9, 12

Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) ELITE LADY got her maiden win at the third time of asking at the end of September, scoring by four lengths over 1000M, having previously run 4th in a valuable race in August. She is up in class and in distance here but should be able to overcome both of those things and can win again. (9) P.K. HILL is similarly up in class following a maiden win last time, also at 1000M and is set to be competitive too, likely joining Elite Lady on the early speed. (8) CHEONEUN JJANG was beaten a nose on her first try at this class in (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 9)

There are 12 Saturday races in Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Blue Chipper’s Breeders’ Cup exploits noted at the Seoul Racecourse entrance

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile filly maidens to begin with and five of the twelve have raced before. Among those five is the hot favourite, (2) NUNBUSIN HANSEN. She ran 2nd on debut in a decent time on September 29th and a similar performance should see her home on top today. Of the others with previous racing experience, (11) COMPLETE MAGIC ran an improved 5th on her second start in October and can continue to make progress here. Among the first-timers, (4) MONEY SIJANG was a useful trial winner two weeks ago and looks to be the pick. (10) THUNDER SONIA ran 2nd in the same heat and also looks to have some ability. (3) ONE AND ONLY the pick of the rest.

Selections (2) Nunbusin Hansen (4) Money Sijang (3) One And Only (10) Thunder Sonia
Next Best 11, 5
Fast Start 2, 4, 5, 9

Race 2: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

More juvenile maidens, this time with four of them having raced before. (8) CHUNSAN was only beaten a nose into 2nd in a tight three-way finish on debut on October 6th. It was a fast time and she showed enough to warrant being favourite here. (2) CHEONSA PARK was 6th in the same race, an improvement from his first effort and can go better again today. (10) AMIGO RARO missed the kick slightly on his latest appearance three weeks ago but ran on pleasingly enough and can continue his development here while (3) POWER YACHT did nothing wrong on debut and is another who can aim for a place. Of the first timers, (4) CLEAN UP BELLA is the clear pick having run 3rd in a fast trial all the way back in August. It’s taken him a while to get to the track but should go well first-up.

Selections (8) Chunsan (4) Clean Up Bella (10) Amigo Raro (2) Cheonsa Park
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 1, 2, 8, 10

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Only nine runners but a wide-open race. It’s tempting to give (2) PUNCH POWER another chance. Having put in encouraging runs on his first two starts, he never really got going over 1000M last time out two weeks ago and finished back in the pack. Back up in trip today, he may be better. Since returning from seven months off in September, (1) HIT THE PACE has run 4th and 3rd, the latest of which was at this trip. This is a tougher assignment, but he may be considered. (3) GOLD FIELD too swims in slightly choppier waters here but also looks to be on the improve. (7) WIN BLADE came close to making all at length odds last start, only to be caught late on. That was his first try at this distance and a big improvement, so he has to be respected here. (8) RESKA the best of the rest.

Selections (2) Punch Power (7) Win Blade (1) Hit The Pace (3) Gold Field
Next Best 8, 6
Fast Start 1, 3, 7

Race 4: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Valuable juvenile maiden for imported horses with only two of the eleven having raced before. One of those two is (10) BLUE MACARON, who ran 4th on debut on October 6th, just under three-lengths behind the winner. He should have come on for that run and is among the leading contenders here. Both (6) MARK STORY and (7) MOONHAK MISCHIEF won their respective trials last month and both come straight into contention. The latter probably looks best place to make an immediate impact. Quicker than both of those in his trial was (1) FULL BOOSTER, who finished ahead of three of his rivals here – including Blue Macaron – in his heat back in September, and he too is likely to be well backed first up. (4) NANEUN STAR is another who posted a fast qualifying time – be sure to watch the market for additional clues.

Selections (10) Blue Macaron (7) Moonhak Mischief (1) Full Booster (6) Mark Story
Next Best 4, 2
Fast Start 2, 7, 8, 10

Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Back to juvenile maidens here and (10) SIMPLE STYLE ran 6th on debut in a decent time behind some promising looking horses. His manners weren’t great but if he sorts those, he won’t need to have come on too much to be right in this. (4) HEUNGHAENG JILJU ran 3rd on debut over 1000M last month, running through the line well and should appreciate the step up in trip today. (9) GOSOK PEDAL was a decent 4th on debut at long odds on October 5th, also at 1000M. He too steps up in trip with claims to go better. (5) SHINY QUEEN and solitary debut-maker (1) GO UP look best of the rest.

Selections (10) Simple Style (4) Heunghaeng Jilju (9) Gosok Pedal (1) Go Up
Next Best 5, 6
Fast Start 2, 8, 10

Race 6: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) DAE YONGWANG has been knocking at the door for some time and almost made his breakthrough last start, his first at this distance when he was only beaten a nose. In this small field he should be prominent from the start and can win. Also only beaten a nose on his first try at 1700M was (1) ACE SHINE. That was just two weeks ago and was his first start for trainer Tony Castenheira. He can go close again. (8) ANY SEON is another

(more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 8)

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with 11 races from 11.30 to 18.00. Here are the previews:

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(1) TOUCH STAR MAN has a 4th and a 2nd from two starts so fire and while he was the beaten favourite last time but should make no mistake today. Seo Seung-un rides on what is his first mount back after a three-month suspension and it should be a winning one. There are a couple of dangers though. (4) VERRA DAY was a solid 2nd on debut at this distance on October 6th. He was beaten ten-lengths by a very good winner but showed enough to suggest a win of his own will come soon. (7) FASHION KEY also ran well for 4th on her debut and can improve here. (5) BEST HAPPY and (12) SPEED KINGDOM are others who can go well in what is a competitive race.

Selections (1) Touch Star Man (4) Verra Day (7) Fashion Key (5) Best Happy
Next Best 12, 11
Fast Start 1, 2, 5, 11

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Small field and it’s hard to look past (5) YEONGSEONG BRAVO. An improved 2nd in decent company on his latest start on October 11th, he should have too much for this lot. (8) BEAUTIFUL KOREA and (3) SEUNGRIUI BULGIL came home 4th and 5th respectively in that same race and while they have a few lengths to make up, they look to be the most credible dangers here. (6) MAX POWER comes in having run a career best 3rd last start and can aim to match it here.

Selections (5) Yeongseong Bravo (3) Seungriui Bulgil (6) Max Power (8) Beautiful Korea
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 1, 2, 5

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Tricky race. (8) TWO TWO DAY has run twice over 1000M and twice over a mile and has been steadily showing improvement. They split the difference with the distance today and he is likely to be ridden at the front and can win. Joining him on the early pace should be main danger (1) ECHO WHITE. She’s run 5th in both outings to date and will be expected to improve today. (9) PERFECT ANGEL ran well for 3rd on her latest start just two weeks ago and returns quickly with solid claims to at least match that today. (5) TIZ LINE and (6) YEOKJEONUI TAEYANG best of the rest.

Selections (8) Two Two Day (1) Echo White (9) Perfect Angel (5) Tiz Line
Next Best 6, 3
Fast Start 1, 8

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Another competitive race. (9) DAEMANGUI GIL ran 3rd in the Gold Circle Trophy at the end of September and while he disappointed when favourite on his return over 1000M three weeks ago, looks worthy of another chance here. He’ll likely be on pace from the start and can go all the way. (3) SEOBU GENTLEMAN comes in having run 2nd and 3rd in his latest two and should be close by again. (6) KING DOMBO too was an improved 2nd on his latest over a mile and looks in with a shout of the places again. (5) GOLDEN MANE PARIS and (7) JILJU YEOHAENG are others in the placing hunt.

Selections (9) Daemangui Gil (3) Seobu Gentleman (6) King Dombo (5) Golden Mane Paris
Next Best 7, 1
Fast Start 3, 9

Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

It took (1) ROYAL SOLDIER a couple of goes to figure things out but he has shot rapidly up in class having won his latest two in fine fashion. Both were at this distance and both were in fast times and a similar performance here should see him home on top again. (3) RAPTOR CORE ran 3rd in a fast time last start and while she was well beaten by a good winner, should go close here. At the other end of the experience scale, (4) RACHEL comes in following some consistent recent performances and should go close again. (5) EURO SHINHWA and (6) YEONGGWANGUICHEON are others in the hunt.

Selections (1) Royal Soldier (3) Raptor Core (4) Rachel (5) Euro Shinhwa
Next Best 6
Fast Start 1, 3, 6

Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) BANJIUI YOJEONG wan four times between March and June, winning two of them and returns here for the first time in five months. She absolutely blitzed a trial in the middle of October and if she brings that form to the races, she’ll be very hard to beat. (7) HAPPY YEOGEOL is up in class having won well over this distance four weeks ago, taking her record to two wins from three and she is the main danger here, most likely joining the favourite on the early pace. (6) SO MUCH GO led for much of his debut appearance a month ago, weakening a little late on and should have come on for that run. (1) B.K. SOUND and (4) JEONSAUI JILJU are both better than their respective latest outings suggest.

Selections (3) Banjiui Yojeong (7) Happy Yeogeol (6) So Much Go (4) Jeonsaui Jilju
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 1, 3, 6, 7

Race 7: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(5) ONE CHANCE has been consistent across eight starts so far and comes in following a strong 2nd place at this distance last time. She can settle just behind the early pace here and could well come out on top. (8) TRIPLE SILVER and (9) TOHAM STAR are both up in class having come home 1st and 2nd when they raced each other at this distance on October 11th. There was just a neck between them that day and both should be competitive at this level. The experienced (3) YEONGGWANGUIFACTOR had a poor day at the office over a mile last time but can be better dropped in trip today. (11) JOEUN HAE looks best of the rest.

Selections (5) One Chance (9) Toham Star (8) Triple Silver (3) Yeonggwanguifactor
Next Best 11, 1
Fast Start 6, 7, 9, 11

Race 8: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(1) KAHEKILI raced three times between April and June, winning one and running 2nd and 3rd in the other two. She hasn’t raced since but looked well when a close at hand 2nd in an October trial and she’ll be the one to beat here. (6) DAEJI JARANG remains a maiden but is up in class having run a good 2nd at this distance lats start and should be competitive at this level. (2) HAPPY AGAIN struggled last start over 1300M but should be better dropped in trip today. (3) LEMON EYE and (7) CHEONGPUNG NANHYANG are others who can find the places.

Selections (1) Kahekili (6) Daeji Jarang (2) Happy Again (3) Lemon Eye
Next Best 7, 4
Fast Start 1, 2, 8

Race 9: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(8) GRAND JILJU and (1) LEGACY were 1st and 2nd when they raced each other on a wet track at class and distance on October 18th. The pair of them look set to be the leading contenders here with Legacy slightly favoured to come out on top this time. (10) CENTUM BEONGAE recorded his maiden win at the third time of asking last month and is accordingly up in class today but with solid claims to be competitive at this level. He’ll be on pace from the start. (4) HIDDEN BOY and (9) MAJOR PUNCH are others who can go close.

Selections (1) Legacy (8) Grand Jilju (10) Centum Beongae (4) Hidden Boy
Next Best 9, 5
Fast Start 2, 4, 8, 10

Race 10: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(8) REVERSE SWEEP returned from almost eight months off to run a good 2nd at class and distance on October 11th. He should have come on for that run and will be the one they need to beat today. (1) ECHO SUN is rapidly up in class having won his latest two in fine style, most recently at this distance, and he’ll be competitive today. (2) SANGSEUNG POWER has run 4th and 5th in two starts at this class following a good win back in August and he too looks nicely in here. (7) AMAZON YEOGEOL hasn’t quite lived up to her early promise but could improve today while (9) WONDERFUL COUNTRY is another who will be expected to go close.

Selections (8) Reverse Sweep (2) Sangseung Power (9) Wonderful Country (1) Echo Sun
Next Best 7, 10
Fast Start 1, 6, 9

Race 11: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(8) SEONGSAN SIMON come sin off back to back runner-up finishes, both at 1400M and both times in similar strength company to today. He led last time before getting headed late on and back down in trip today can go one better. (1) FASHION OF MARINE was beaten by Seongsan Simon two starts back but ran a good 2nd behind the talented Seobu Cat a month ago and should be in the hunt here. (3) DAEJI CHAMP is another who has a recent reverse to Seongsan Simon but can get closer today. (6) CHEONNYEONUI BADA returns for the first time since March and looked good in trials.

Selections (8) Seongsan Simon (1) Fashion Of Marine (6) Cheonnyeonui Bada (3) Daeji Champ
Next Best 7, 2
Fast Start 1, 3, 4

President’s Cup 2019: Full Preview / Seoul & Busan Sunday Race-By-Race (November 3)

This decade there have only been four different President’s Cup winners. From 2010 to 2012, the great Dangdae Bulpae monopolised the race. Indie Band and Gyeongbudaero then each took a turn in the winner’s circle before Triple Nine won the first of what would be four straight successes in 2015.

There will be a new name on the trophy this year. Now aged seven, Triple Nine is back in training but he hasn’t made the starting gate and instead sixteen horses will vie to succeed him in winning the President’s Cup (KOR G1-2000M), the nation’s richest age-open race for Korean-bred horses at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10. Race-by-race notes for Seoul below followed by Busan selections.

Simjangui Godong KRA

Simjangui Godong (Pic: KRA)

It’s a deep field. The last two Korean Derby winners, Ecton Blade and Wonderful Fly, are present but both will be outsiders in a bunch headed by Simjangui Godong. The three-year-old ran 2nd in the Derby and 6th in the Minister’s Cup but has since embarked on a purple patch of three wins including the Ilgan Sports and HRI Trophies.

Jockey Moon Se Young had more than one option but ultimately plumped for Simjangui Godong. However, a heavy fall on Saturday that landed him in hospital, seems likely to rule him out of the mount and a chance of winning one of the few elite races still to elude him.

Speaking after Thursday’s barrier draw, Moon had been bullish about Simjangui Godong’s chances and excited to ride a horse on whose sire, Jigeum I Sungan, he finished 3rd in the race in 2013. “I rode his sire in this race. We didn’t win it, but he was a great horse and I would love to win on his son. He’s a good horse, so it’s down to me. He’s so good that we can overcome even one mistake – obviously if we make more, it will be difficult”.

In gate 5, Simjangui Godong also has the plum draw. “In the President’s Cup, it’s so hard to win if you’re not within the inside 10. Gate 5 is perfect”, said Moon. Should Moon not make the race, a replacement rider has yet to be confirmed.

New Legend hasn’t quite lived up to his early promise. A Korea bred, he spent the early part of his career in the United States, even winning at Arlington Park, and for his first few outings back home looked unstoppable. The he hit the elite level and things haven’t been so easy with his latest being a disappointing run in the Keeneland Korea Cup (KOR G1).

This time though, New Legend faces only domestically-bred rivals and Kim Uk, assistant trainer to Kim Young-kwan, believes better is to come. “There is a myth that Menifee’s progeny aren’t good around 2000M or further, but we know that’s not true after Gyeongbudaero and Power Blade (both Grand Prix Stakes winner at 2300M). But we heard it again after New Legend was beaten (in May’s YTN Cup). We think he’s ready. After the Korea Cup he had a bit of a rest then we brought him back and started training him early with this in mind. We put him through a trial, and he went really well, and we think he is a chance here.”

Another serious chance is New Legend’s stablemate Captain Force. The four-year-old, by Peace Rules, is a winner of nine from twenty so far, but last raced in June. That doesn’t concern jockey Lee Hyo-sik. “He has been out a while and we initially wanted him to run once before this race, but we trialled him and felt he wasn’t ready so went back to training. We trialled him again at the beginning of October and were really happy with him so decided to come straight here. He did his fast work on Thursday and he was excellent. He’s exactly where we want him to be.”

Busan’s strong challenge is fortified by Final Energy. The Testa Matta gelding ran 5th behind Blue Chipper in the Keeneland Korea Sprint (KOR G1) in September but showed his staying credentials when beating fellow contender here Toham Ace in a strong race over 1800M five weeks ago.

Jockey Lim Sung-sil won this race on Indie Band in 2013 and likes what he sees in Final Energy. “It’s his first time around 2000M so we’ve been working on his stamina. He’s got good gate speed so I wasn’t worried about the draw although getting gate 7 is great, we just have to make sure he sees out the whole race. If he does that then he’s right in there. He travelled well, has eaten well and he likes it at Seoul – the stable here is bigger!”

There are plenty of other contenders too. Among the three-year-olds, Minister’s Cup winner Rock Choice takes his chance while top filly Clear Geom will also be in the gate. Among older contenders, the prolific winner Dokdo Jigi, a winner of eight from eleven lifetime starts, returns to action for the first time in five months and while he was given an easy time in a barrier trial last week, has plenty of quality about him. As for foreign interest, Thomas Gillespie saddles Toham Ace while Richard Oliver rides Ecton Blade and Ioannis Poullis gets the big leg-up on New Legend.

Seoul Comments

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(5) GEOSEN JILU comes in having run 2nd and 3rd in two starts so far, both at 1000M and both times running on well. She steps up in trip for the first time today and could well be the one to beat. (4) DAESEUNG QUEEN ran well for 2nd on debut on October 5th. She too steps up in trip for the first time and looks to be a danger. (7) ILBO DEUNGCHEON does have experience of this distance having run 4th in what was quite a strong race last start and must be considered for improvement. (2) CHOGANGGUK and (8) BAEKDUSAN CHEONJI look to be the best of the rest.

Selections (5) Geoseon Jilju (4) Daeseung Queen (7) Ilbo Deungcheon (8) Baekdusan Cheonji
Next Best 2, 6
Fast Start 5, 6, 7

Race 2: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Competitive – if not especially strong – maiden. (6) SHARK JJANG and (4) EAST BAN came home 5th and 6th respectively when they raced each other on September 28th. That was just East Ban’s second start and e should have improvement in him. He’s drawn better today to get to the lead and can win. (2) MUNHAKUI JEONSA already holds a win over 1200M and while he disappointed last start can be given another chance today back at the minimum. (9) POP STREET comes in off a very narrow defeat last time out over 1700M and is interesting dropped all the way back to 1000M today. (5) GOLDEN SERVICE (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 2)

There are 12 races at Seoul on Saturday from 10.45 to 18.00. Here are the previews:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

We begin with juvenile maidens with five of the twelve having raced before. Of those five, (7) SHINY FIRE and (8) GYORYONGDEUKSU will be expected to push on from competent debuts and go close here. The favourite will be a first-time starter though. (4) BAEKSAN THUNDER ran out a ten-length winner of a trial on October 11th making all in a facile manner in a faster time than any of the experienced ones here managed on their racing debuts. If he brings that to the track today, he’ll not be beaten. Of the other newcomers, (6) HURRICANE SOCKS and (9) EAST ONE look to have the most promise at this stage.

Selections (4) Baeksan Thunder (8) Gyoryongdeuksu (7) Shiny Fire (6) Hurricane Socks
Next Best 9, 3
Fast Start 4, 7, 8, 12

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens this time with just three having previous experience. None of them have really caught the eye although the pair who have raced twice, (1) WONDERFUL ORANGE and (8) LUCKY MYEONGHO will be expected to improve here. That leaves us once more with first-timers. There were three standouts in trials. (11) RIDE LUCKY came from off the pace to record a strong 2nd in a good time. His stable has been in solid form of late and he is the likely favourite. The only trial winner among them is (10) USEUNG GAK, who made all to take his heat by a neck. It wasn’t particularly fast, but Moon Se Young is aboard, and he will attract plenty of support. (2) CUPID HONEY recorded the fastest trial time of any of them when 5th in a good heat last month.

Selections (11) Ride Lucky (10) Useung Gak (2) Cupid Honey (1) Wonderful Orange
Next Best 8, 6
Fast Start 1, 3, 8, 10

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(4) JOEUN GAMUN ran an improved 3rd on what was his second career start on September 21st. He’s had six weeks off since and is nicely drawn to get to the lead here with solid claims of coming out on top this time. (1) DANGCAHN BARAM has run in two solid performances so far, last time finishing 5th in what was arguably a better race than this. She too should be on pace from the start and can go close. (9) STUNNING AGAIN has been up and down across eight starts so far but should be beating plenty of these. (6) DALRINEUN BITKKAL and (11) PEACE OF RULES look best of the rest.

Selections (4) Joeun Gamun (1) Dangchan Baram (9) Stunning Again (11) Peace Of Rules
Next Best 6, 7
Fast Start 1, 4, 9, 11

Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) CAPTAIN BEST comes in having run 2nd and 3rd from his latest two and needs only a top three finish to be bumped up in class. Last start he hung inwards to the extent he gave his jockey great difficulty riding him out and was accordingly sent back to trial. He came through that and if he behaves himself today, he should win. Main danger looks to be (3) JANGSU NABOM. After an indifferent debut, he’s recorded a 2nd and a 3rd, both at this distance and should be challenging Captain Best for the early lead. (10) P.K. DOLPUNG was well back in a good race last time but proved himself capable of running a decent time and can improve today. (4) SPECIAL CHAMP and first-timer (9) KING KANMOREU are others who can go close.

Selections (2) Captain Best (3) Jangsu Nabom (10) P.K. Dolpung (4) Special Champ
Next Best 9, 11
Fast Start 2, 3, 10

Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(1) NOLBU CHEONHA was an improved 3rd on his second career start on October 6th. He perhaps left himself a bit too much to do from a wide draw that day, but this time has the inside and can settle just behind the early speed and if he quickens the same way again, can win. (5) SAMSEONG VIVA also improved on his second start and should go even better stepped up in trip today. He’s the main danger although (7) PENUMBRA already has a 2nd place to his name at this distance and should go close again too. (2) SAEROUN BOBAE and (4) JACKS KHAN are others who can challenge for at least places.

Selections (1) Nolbu Cheonha (5) Samseong Viva (7) Penumbra (2) Saeroun Bobae
Next Best 4, 9
Fast Start 2, 3, 9

Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Good race this. (2) GALLOP CURLIN has run 2nd and 3rd in his latest two, both over this distance and a win seems likely sooner rather than later. He’ll go right to the front here and it could be today. (1) MIGHTY WING ran a good 2nd over 1700M last time out and dropping back in trip today looks to be the main danger, also from the front. (5) DAEGUN ILGAL has been hovering around the periphery of the places and also drops back from 1700M and into contention. (9) BEST EVER and (10) ACE CHAN are others who can be competitive in this company.

Selections (2) Gallop Curlin (1) Mighty Wing (5) Daegun Ilgal (10) Ace Chan
Next Best 9, 8
Fast Start 1, 2, 4

Race 7: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) STUNNING HANSEN should have too much here. A very good winner in a fast time over this distance on debut last month, she is up in class today but really should be repeating. (6) YULONG FLYING got his maiden win in impressive fashion at the start of September before running a solid 2nd on his first try at this class. He’ll join the favourite in challenging for the early lead and can go close. (4) SENTOSA is a maiden but rarely misses by much and should be around the places again. (10) BLUE DAEJAYEON and (11) LOOKING GOOD – the latter racing for the first time in six months but was looking good in an October trial – are others to consider.

Selections (5) Stunning Hansen (6) Yulong Flying (4) Sentosa (11) Looking Good
Next Best 10, 7
Fast Start 5, 6, 10, 11

Race 8: Class 5 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(3) BLADE STORM returned from six months off to get his maiden win first-up in September. He followed that up by running 3rd on his first try at this class on October 5th. Both those races were over 1000M, but he looks ready to tackle the increased distance and is the one to beat here. (12) MASEONG JILJU steps up in class having registered his maiden win at the fourth time of asking in October. It was at this distance and he made all and has very chance of being competitive at this level. (9) WONDERFUL RUBY only managed 7th last start but the margins were narrow, and she was first-up after four months. She should improve today. (2) ROYAL GHOST and (11) IL MARE are others in the placing hunt.

Selections (3) Blade Storm (12) Maseong Jilju (9) Wonderful Ruby (11) Il Mare
Next Best 2, 7
Fast Start 3, 9, 12

Race 9: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) BUCKETFUL GOLD is a winner of one form eight so far but comes in having been runner-up in each of his latest three outings, including the most recent at class and distance. From the inside gate he should be prominent early and can go one better. It took (4) BACK SPIN five attempts to make her breakthrough but she clearly enjoyed winning as she immediately followed up with another. That’s brought her rapidly up in class and while this is obviously tougher, she should be competitive again. (7) CHODONG BOBAE won three in a row between April and July and has continued her solid form with a pair of 3rd place finishes. 3rd would be a minimum requirement today. (3) HANSEN BAROWS and (11) RAON PATRICK are others who can compete for places.

Selections (1) Bucketful Gold (7) Chodong Bobae (4) Back Spin (3) Hansen Barows
Next Best 11, 6
Fast Start 1, 4, 7, 8

Race 10: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(5) DAEBAK HAENGJIN beat a couple of these on her way to 2nd place at class and distance on September 22nd. She remains a maiden after ten attempts but that was her fifth runner-up finish. She has a chance here and should be on pace but may have to settle for 2nd again. That’s because (3) KILIUI JEWANG is also present. He drops back in trip following spins around 1700M and 1600M. This should suit better, and he could well lead gate to wire. (12) CHOIN BOLT won three of his first four and while he may well have found his level now, he should be very competitive here. (2) JANGSAN BEARS and (7) K.N ACE are others with claims on at least the places.

Selections (3) Kiliui Jewang (5) Daebak Hanegjjin (12) Choin Bolt (7) K.N Ace
Next Best 2, 4
Fast Start 3, 9, 10, 12

Race 11: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(12) PRIMO ran 3rd in a good race at class and distance on September 22nd. He has plenty of solid results at this level and while drawn wide, he doesn’t need to lead, and could well come home on top here. (6) MONEY DAERYUK drops back in trip after a good 2nd over 1400M at the end of September. She came from well off the pace today and will look to do similar here and even at the shorter distance is capable. (1) BACK TO BACK wilted in that same race behind Money Daeryuk last time but is better than that and back in trip today should be better. (3) GEUMA THUNDER and (9) GLOBAL NEWS, the latter returning for the first time since March, are others in the hunt.

Selections (12) Primo (6) Money Daeryuk (1) Back To Back (9) Global News
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 3, 4, 7, 9

Race 12: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

(1) SUPER FLUID and (11) CHEUNGDAM GENIE came home 1st and 2nd with just a head between them when they raced each other over class and distance on September 22nd. They are both up in the weights today although the raise is more severe on Super Fluid and that may well be enough for that form to be reversed today. (7) JJANG KONG drops back in trip following a decent 4th over a mile on October 6th and should be in the hunt to improve here. (4) RAPIDOCUS and (6) SIN DOLGYEOK are others with placing claims.

Selections (11) Cheungdam Genie (1) Super Fluid (7) Jjang Kkong (4) Rapidocus
Next Best 6, 2
Fast Start 2, 11

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 1)

It’s President’s Cup weekend up at Seoul but before that, November’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with an eleven-race card from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Busan World Sun

A number of Busan’s top jockeys are in Seoul so Choi Si Dae could have a good day at Busan (Pic: KRA)

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maiden with only four of the twelve having raced before. (3) JEONSEOLUI BULKKOT is set to be firm favourite having run 3rd and 2nd in his two starts to date. He’ll be leading early and it’s hard to see anything stopping him here. Of the others who have raced before, (2) SPRING WALTZ was perhaps the most promising but greater threats should come from the first-timers. (10) JANGMI GONGJU ran 3rd in a trial (eight-lengths behind Triple Nine) in early October while (5) DOCTOR GREY and (7) QUEEN GRACE also hinted at some competence. As every with the debut-makers, watch the market for additional clues.

Selections (3) Jeonseoului Bulkkot (5) Doctor Grey (7) Queen Grace (10) Jangmi Gongju
Next Best 2, 9
Fast Start 2, 3, 4, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens here and ten of the eleven are fillies. Four of them have raced before. The slight pick is (4) OASIS GIRL. Having run 4th on debut, she was 6th on her reappearance at the end of September. She was less than a length behind 2nd and this looks to be a simpler task so she could well come out on top today. (3) WONDERFUL SMARTY did nothing wrong when 4th on debut at the beginning of October and can build on that here, but there are some promising first-time starters. (11) MASTER BELLA ran 2nd in a trial on October 5th in a fast time. She’s drawn wide but if she brings that form to the track, then she should go well first up. (9) KKUMEUL NEOMEO ran a fast time in what was a slightly unusual trial and looks to be in the hunt. (2) SIMON LADY was another mature looking trial performer.

Selections (4) Oasis Girl (11) Master Bella (2) Simon Lady (3) Wonderful Smarty
Next Best 9, 5
Fast Start 2, 8, 10, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(8) SMILE WINNER ran an improved 3rd on what was her fourth career start on September 20th. It was her first try at this distance and she can build on it today. The one she’ll need to beat is (5) ACE JACKPOT. She was considered good enough to be allowed to take her chance in the Gold Circle Trophy at the end of September and while she only managed 6th of 9, didn’t run badly. She can run well from the front today. (2) WILD GERANIUM drops back in trip following a couple of useful spins around a mile since returning from five months out in September. (1) CENTER FORWARD and (9) DAESAN GAPBU are others in the placing hunt.

Selections (8) Smile Winner (5) Ace Jackpot (2) Wild Geranium (1) Center Forward
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 4, 5

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) WORLD TODAY ran 4th on debut over 1000M on October 8th. He started steadily and ran on well and stepping up to 1300M here should be in his favour. He’ll probably be ridden on pace this time and looks the one to beat. (3) WORLD SLAM and (4) RAON FLYING came home 3rd and 5th respectively when they raced each other over this distance on October 4th. Both should be competitive again here with World Slam again (more…)

President’s Cup 2019: Runner-By-Runner Notes

For the first time since 2014, a horse not named Triple Nine is going to win the President’s Cup. The four-time winner of the richest all-aged race in the country that is restricted to Korean-bred runners – and resultingly, Korea’s all-time leading money-earner – came back into training in late summer with a tilt at five in a row in mind, but a setback in early October means he hasn’t made it.

Triple Nine KRA 1

Four-time winner Triple Nine won’t be defending his President’s Cup (Pic: KRA)

A full field of sixteen have though and they will line up in race 9 this Sunday over the 2000M at Seoul. We’ll have selections up later in the weekend but for now, here are all sixteen contenders.

President’s Cup (KOR G1) 2000M / KRW 800 Million

  1. WONDERFUL FLY – The easy winner of the Korean Derby in May, he struggled in the Minister’s Cup the following month. He then won at class 3 over 1400M but had a hard time on his class 2 bow over 1800M at the end of September. That Moon Se Young gets off him to ride Simjangui Godong perhaps tells its own story but there was a more than capable replacement in Alan Munro. Will be a front-runner but whether he can stay on at this trip in this company is questionable.
  2. SHARK DAEJANGGEUN – Well back behind Simjangui Godong on a wet track in July’s Ilgan Sports but redeemed himself somewhat when 2nd in the JRA Trophy over 1800M on international weekend. Yet to win at higher than class 3. Generally operates as a deep closer so may need some luck but he can pass plenty late on.
  3. NASCA PRINCE – A good class 1 winner over 2300M in May so his staying credentials are not in doubt. His form perhaps is though with him coming home 19th and 7th in two subsequent starts, both at 1800M. Nicely drawn to get to the front early and he can give a good account of himself although others are favoured.
  4. KINGSTON HARBOR – One of two in the race for trainer Baik Kwang-yeol. A three-year-old, he didn’t make it onto the Classic trail but won three in a row between May and July to get to class 2 level. Since then he has put in two 3rd place finishes, both at 1800M. Likely to settle just behind the early pace, this is his first try at the distance and in this company. Can go well but perhaps too much too soon.
  5. SIMJANGUI GODONG – Ran 2nd in the Derby and 6th in the Minister’s Cup but has been very good since then, winning the Ilgan Sports Cup and HRI Trophy in back to back starts in July and September and most recently scored over a mile at class 2 at a mile. Four of his five wins have come on wet tracks, but he looks to be the improver of the field and jockey Moon Se Young gets on him instead of the Derby winner. He’ll be close to the pace early and has a big chance.
  6. TOHAM ACE – An up and comer from Thomas Gillespie’s stable, he recorded a five-race winning streak between March and August this year which saw him go from class 5 to class 2. That streak came to an end when 3rd behind Final Energy at 1800M on September 27th. He tests the distance for the first time and You Hyun-myung comes up from Busan to ride him. Goes best when at the front, this is a tough ask, but improvement is possible.
  7. FINAL ENERGY –Managed an excellent 5th behind Blue Chipper in the Korea Sprint over 1200M here in September before returning to Busan and winning in a very fast time for 1800M ahead of Toham Ace at class 2 level at the end of September. It’s his first time over the additional furlong today but he should be equal to it and has a big race jockey aboard. He has a chance.
  8. DOKGO JIGI – A winner of eight from eleven, this is his first start since June, when he was a class 1 winner over 1800M. A mild bout of colic and injury have kept him out since then but he looked well enough when trialling up last week. His only defeat this year was his first try at class 1 back in April. He generally settles just off the pace and while this is a very tough ask first-up, he is a class act.
  9. NEW LEGEND – Began his racing career in the United States, picking up a win at Arlington Park, before returning to Korea last autumn. He won his first four efforts easily before finding his match once he reached elite level company. Nevertheless, he has more than held his own with his only really disappointing run coming in the Korea Cup. He was 4th to Moonhak Chief here in the YTN Cup in his only previous try at this distance but this looks the ideal race for him. He has a chance.
  10. MYEONGPUM CHUKJE – One of the better three-year-olds, he was 5th in the KRA Cup Mile, 4th in the Derby and then 2nd in the Minister’s Cup. Since the conclusion of the Triple Crown, he has picked up one win in three starts and while it was only at class 3, it was over 1900M. He’s a colt who seems to need a bit of distance so this should suit and while he has suffered reverses to four of his rivals today among his latest five starts, he could run into some minor money.
  11. ROCK CHOICE – Joined the Triple Crown trail in the final leg and duly won the Minister’s Cup extremely handily at odds in excess of 20/1. He then returned to Busan and promptly won at class 3 over 1800M but has failed to make an impact in two subsequent starts at class 2 level. The Minister’s Cup win was the only race he’s been ridden forward in, but he has won from behind before, albeit in weaker company. Can’t be completely ruled out.
  12. MAJOR ALPHA – A very consistent type, he got his first class 1 victory at odds of 40/1 when dropped back to 1400M in August. He bled for the first time in that race and was accordingly stood down for a month and sent back to trial, which he passed at the end of September. He has a 3rd place at class 2 to his name at this distance. While up against it here, he’ll come from off the pace and can pass some in the latter stages of the race.
  13. ULTRA ROCKET – A very good 4th in this race last year, he has subsequently established himself at class 1 level and comes into contention after a good win in the HKJC Trophy at 1800M on International weekend in September. He usually comes from off the pace with a strong finish which, given his draw, looks to be the likely tactics again here. He could go close.
  14. ECTON BLADE – The 2018 Korean Derby winner has had an interrupted career since then, with only one subsequent victory to his name and that was all the way back last August. He returned just three weeks ago from eight months off and while he was well beaten, it was clear he needed the run. Obviously scope for improvement but this is a tough race and he’ll be among the outsiders.
  15. CLEAR GEOM – A somewhat surprising winner of the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup, the concluding leg of the “Triple Tiara” at this distance in June, she has since backed up that form with two wins from three more outings. She upset both Myeongpum Chukje and Wonderful Fly last start on September 29th over 1800M. She likes the distance and as both a three-year-old, and the only filly, she is getting weight from the entire field making her an interesting wildcard.
  16. CAPTAIN FORCE – Stablemate of New Legend, he is one of the few genuine established top-class performers in the field with four wins at class 1 to his name. He comes in having won his latest start, which was over this distance, in very handy fashion. That was back in early June, so he has been off for five months. He did go through a barrier trial in October, which he won in good fashion. Likes to be close to the front so the draw does him no favours, but if he s at his best, he has an excellent chance.