Cheongdam Dokki Bounces Back To Retain KRA Cup Classic

Cheongdam Dokki successfully defended his KRA Cup Classic crown at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon, taking victory on the 2000M Korean Group 2 event by two-and-a-half lengths and taking the first steps to putting defeat in the Billion Won Korea Cup International race last month firmly behind him.

Dolkong was a morning scratching, the Korea Cup runner-up having injured the frog of his hoof in a gallop this week. Although close to making the race, discretion proved the better part of valour and he was withdrawn as a precaution with the future in mind but that still left a high-quality field for Chongdam Dokki to defeat if he was to bounce back from the humbling he received when trying to match Japan’s London Town for pace in the Cup.

Defeat them he did. Sent off at long odds-on, Cheongdam Dokki led from the gate under jockey Lim Gi-won, who was restored to the mount, and looked a winner every step of the way. Triple Nine, racing for the first time since finishing 3rd behind him in the Busan Mayor’s Cup three months ago, hit his top gear late to come home 2nd while three-year-old US import Munhak Chief (by Pioneerof The Nile) scored a very promising 3rd.

Champion mare Silver Wolf came home 4th but there was no luck for two-time SBS Sports Sprint winner Doraonpogyeongseon, who ended up 6th of the 8 on his first try at 2000M.

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Sunday Seoul: KRA Cup Classic Day – Race-By-Race Preview (October 7)

It’s KRA Cup Classic Day in Seoul and Cheongdam Dokki can begin to put his Korea Cup disappointment behind him as he is set to start as favourite to successfully defend the crown he won last year. There are 11 Sunday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10. Here are the Seoul previews with horse by horse comments for the KRA Cup Classic:

Cheongdam Dokki Mayor's Cup Lets Run Park Busan

Cheongdam Dokki goes in the KRA Cup Classic

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(1) JEOKTO BIMA has shown progression across three starts so far and enters with back to back 4th place finishes. Drawn in gate 1, she steps up in trip for the first time, should be prominent early and can win this. (9) GEOTAP too races for the fourth time today and ran creditably at this distance last time. She should also be on pace early and can go close. (10) GOODCHOICE is more experienced and does have a 3rd place to his name and while a touch one-paced, can improve on the 5th he recorded at this distance last start. (3) BINNANEUN RUBY and (8) FOR J.K. are others who can improve among modest company here.

Selections (1) Jeokto Bima (10) Goodchoice (9) Geotap (8) For J.K.
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 1, 8, 9

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

(1) HANEULEUL DALRIDA started badly and received a heavy bump which he never really recovered from when well-fancied over 1300M on September 1st. He drops back in trip today to a distance at which he was 2nd in July and with a clean start today, will be the one they need to beat in what is another weak contest. (7) SCARLET PERFECT also has a 2nd place at this distance and wasn’t too far away last time. (9) SOKBO WANGWI has been knocking on the door for some time now and is another who shouldn’t be far away. (10) STAR SOCKS is inconsistent but has offered some glimpses of ability. She races for the first time since June and should challenge for the early lead. There are two debut-makers and in a race with a distinct lack of talent in it, they must be given due consideration. Of the pair, (6) GOOD MOUNT seems the more likely to make an impact first-up.

Selections (1) Haneuleul Dalrida (7) Scarlet Perfect (9) Sokbo Wangwi (6) Good Mount
Next Best 10, 3
Fast Start 1, 8, 10

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens here and seven of the twelve have raced before, each of them just the once. The favourites are among them. (1) SENTOSA debuted in a valuable race for Breeze-up Sales graduates and ran reasonably well over 1200M. She was prominent early and dropping back to 1000M today may suit. (9) ACE SOLONGO and (10) WONDERFUL DIXIE both finished 3rd on their respective debuts, both at this distance and both can build on it here. (4) M.J. TOWN was a close in attendance 5th on her first attempt in what was a decent race on September 2nd and she too looks likely to improve. Among the first-timers, (8) IRON HEART and (12) BIG PRO looked best in trials.

Selections (1) Sentosa (4) M.J. Town (9) Ace Solongo (10) Wonderful Dixie
Next Best 5, 2
Fast Start 1, 5, 10, 12

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

(7) CHANGPA is yet to win, with a 4th and two runner-up finishes from three efforts to date but despite being up in class here, this could be her day. She has run on well in each of her outings so far and the additional furlong may suit in a race that is not much stronger than the average class 6. Indeed, her main rival is set to be another one up in class in the shape of (12) SABA KINGDOM, who ran out a five-length winner over 1000M on September 9th. He made all that day and will be trying to overcome the widest draw and the step up in trip to repeat here. Among those with experience of this level, (2) DAECHEON HERO and (4) SOKDO SHINHWA should be improving on the 6th and 7th places they recorded when they raced each other at 1000M on September 1st while (11) SPECIAL WINNER drops back in trip following a hard time at 1700M a month ago and can come into consideration.

Selections (7) Changpa (12) Saba Kingdom (2) Daecheon Hero (11) Special Winner
Next Best 4, 10
Fast Start 1, 2, 12

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

(1) TAURUS ran a good 2nd at this distance on what was his first try at this level on August 26th. He’s yet to finish outside the top two in three starts so far and he should maintain that record here. (3) BAEKSAN MENIQUEEN stepped up to this class and (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 6)

It’s been a filthy Friday and it’s set to be a soaking Saturday as rain clouds have stalled over the Korean peninsula. Racing is set to on though with 12 races in the capital from 10:45 to 18:00.

(단신2) 출발 참관 프로그램 (2)

Sadly the weather isn’t going to look like this on Saturday (Pic: KRA)

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(3) EUNICE enters having run 2nd in a similarly weak maiden over the distance on September 1st. She was just beaten half a length that day and given the strength (or lack thereof) of today’s opposition, she can win this. In fact, it’s so weak that twenty-one race maiden (8) GOLD SEUTAK has her best chance to date of registering a win of her own. She has two 3rd places from her latest three and should really improve on that this time. (1) SONGAM BARBIE has trialled again since debuting six weeks ago and may improve. (6) GANGSANUI ACHIM and (9) JEONGSANG GOLD are others who may trouble the place judges.

Selections (3) Eunice (8) Gold Seutak (9) Jeongsang Gold (1) Songam Barbie
Next Best 6, 10
Fast Start 3, 5, 9, 11

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

This race is restricted to juvenile maidens and five of the twelve have raced before. Among those, (2) RAON SERENA, with two 3rd place finishes, both at this distance, has been the standout and she should be at least matching those finishes today and has every chance of going even better. Of the others who have raced before, (12) MISTER HERO did nothing wrong and can build on his 7th of 11 he achieved on debut. However, the favourite is likely to be first-time starter (6) WONDERFUL TRUTH. He blitzed a trial three weeks ago and if he brings that form to the races, should have far too much. Among the others appearing for the first time, (8) DOKDO YA and (10) MAMA ROMA also won their trials and may be considered first-up.

Selections (6) Wonderful Truth (2) Raon Serena (8) Dokdo Ya (10) Mama Roma
Next Best 12
Fast Start 1, 6, 8, 12

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens here although this time we’ll side with the ones with previous experience. There are six of those in total and while (11) CHEON GI has the best finish position among them, running in 3rd on debut in mid-August, both (5) GAON FORCE and (6) WINNER BROWN ran faster times on their respective racecourse bows. Winner Brown previously made all in a trial and is well drawn today to get to the front and potentially lead all the way. Gaon Force was slowly away and with a better start, can get much closer. Among the six first-timers, (1) WHITE COMET was the most eye-catching in trials – he finished ten lengths behind Wonderful Truth from race 2 but nevertheless, looked competent. (7) GEUMSEONGHWANGJE too put in a promising trial effort and could go well. As ever with the first-time starters, watch the market for additional clues.

Selections (6) Winner Brown (5) Gaon Force (1) White Comet (7) Geumseonghwangje
Next Best 11, 12
Fast Start 3, 4, 6, 8

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

Across three starts so far, (4) TOHAMSAN POWER has finished no worse than 5th and while he only managed 4th of 8 on his latest effort at this distance the margins weren’t big, and he overcame some bumping at the start to still run well. He’s very much the one they need to beat here. His two main rivals here, (1) HARD PRINCESS and (2) HWANSANGUI BIT both endured difficult starts in their respective latest outings too, but both ran well to record what was for both a first runner-up finish. They seem to have a bit more to find than Tohamsan Power, but both should be aiming to at least place. (3) MAX THUNDER steps back up in trip after some encouraging showings at 1000M while (7) SAMAE STAR looks to be on the improve too and shouldn’t be too far away.

Selections (4) Tohamsan Power (2) Hwansangui Bit (1) Hard Princess (3) Max Thunder
Next Best 7, 5
Fast Start 2, 3, 4

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

(4) ROMAN BLADE has already come up short when favourite a couple of times but ran well enough when 3rd behind a couple of useful horses at class and distance on September 1st. He was drawn in the widest gate that day and breaking from a more favourable position this time can get on pace early and potentially lead all the way. (10) SHANGHAI JORDAN was a winner on debut and has held his own in two starts since. He lost ground at the start in his latest effort on September 8th but rallied well for 5th and looks to be the main danger here. (7) INDIAN ECO too put in a decent performance in 3rd at class and distance last time and can build on that here. (5) SUJEBI is up in class having (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 5)

There are 11 Friday races at Busan from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Silver Wolf Power Blade Busan Ilbo 2018

It’s Friday. It’s Busan

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(9) YEONGSEONG STAR was a close 3rd on debut on September 7th, leading for much of the race and she’ll be firm favourite to get her maiden win here. She should get to the front straight from the gate and lead all the way. Having debuted all the way back last October, (5) MORNING BRAVO returned to run a good 2nd at the end of August and along with (3) POWER AMAZING, who has run 3rd and 5th in two outings to date, look to be the main dangers to the favourite. (2) GRADE QUEEN and (6) TONGIL HANGUK are others who have hinted at some ability and can improve.

Selections (9) Yeongseong Star (3) Power Amazing (5) Morning Bravo (6) Tongil Hanguk
Next Best 2, 7
Fast Start 5, 6, 8, 9

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

All twelve of these juveniles are racing for the very first time. Thomas Gillespie’s (6) SILLAUI MISO was the most expensive of these ad was the only one to win her trial, prevailing with an all the way effort in a heat in early September. She has solid claims for an in-form stable. Emerging from the same trial, (1) RAON ARES looks to have plenty of potential too. He looked competent in that heat running an unhurried 2nd and is likely to be joining Sillaui Miso on the early pace here. (11) TANGENT also showed some ability in trials, running 2nd in a well-run heat three weeks ago. Further back in that one but doing nothing wrong was (4) LUCKY NUMBER ONE who, coming from Kim Young Kwan’s stable, is bound to be backed. (12) PRECEDE trialed up alongside some very experienced racehorses and didn’t look out of place and he too can go well first-up.

Selections (6) Sillaui Miso (1) Raon Ares (11) Tangent (12) Precede
Next Best 4, 8
Fast Start 1, 3, 4, 6

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

(8) SMART BANK came desperately close to getting his maiden win three weeks ago, just going down by a neck at this distance. That continued an encouraging run of recent form and he could well go one better today. (5) SPERO SPERA and (9) SONGAK MYEONGJANG both enter off the back of positive efforts and both should be challenging for at least places here. (2) EL DRAGON returns from a five-month lay-off and trialed up well in mid-September. He’ll be expected to be on the early speed along with (6) WILD CASH, who has two 3rd places among her latest three outings and can look to at least match those today.

Selections (8) Smart Bank (5) Spero Spera (9) Songak Myeongjang (6) Wild Cash
Next Best 2, 7
Fast Start 2, 6, 7

Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Tricky contest here but (8) CHEONNYEONUI ACHIM was a class and distance winner on September 7th with a couple of these well back behind him and though he carries an additional 3.5kg today, he’s the one they’ll need to beat again. (2) BUGYEONG BOLT enters off the back of a pair of solid 2nd place finishes at 1200M. He’s been runner-up at this distance in the past and can get close today. (6) EURO SHINHWA has a 3rd and a 2nd in two starts at this level since getting his maiden win back in June and should be a danger also. (12) YEONGGWANGUI SIDAE is up in class having registered her maiden win with an all the way score over this distance three weeks ago. While she’ll need to overcome the widest draw today, she looks to have the potential for more.

Selections (8) Cheonnyeonui Achim (12) Yeonggwangui Sidae (2) Bugyeong Bolt (6) Euro Shinhwa
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 6, 8, 9, 12

Race 5: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(2) RED CLOUD returns to racing for the first time since early March. He raced six times prior to the layoff, finishing 2nd in no fewer than five of them. He looked good winning a trial three weeks ago and this could be his day on what will be his first try at a mile. There’s a bit of a “red” theme about this race. (8) BIG RED IJI ran a good 2nd at this distance on September 9th and should be the main danger. He’ll be ridden patiently and (more…)

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (September 30)

Juveniles take centre-stage at both Seoul and Busan as the “Juvenile Series” gets underway. Busan hosts the Gold Circle Trophy while it’s the Munhwa Ilbo Cup at Seoul. There are also Grand Prix trials being hosted at both tracks. Seoul has 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00 while Busan has 6 from 12:40 to 17:05.

Ecton Blade

Ecton Blade was Champion Juvenile last year – the 2018 Series gets underway at Seoul & Busan today

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

The opening maiden is for fillies only and (9) YEOGEOL VISION ran 2nd on debut at this distance on August 26th. She was a long way behind a good winner but beat two of these and looks the one to beat here. (7) QUEEN FORCE ONE was 4th in that race. She has a 2nd to her name already and will be a danger as will (4) NAMJJOK NARA, wh0 drops back in trip having scored a 2nd of her own at 1300M last time out and is likely to set the early pace. However, a bigger threat could be first time starter (1) CAMPING MANIA. She was a good trial winner at the end of August and should go well first up here. (5) JEONGSANG YEOSIN, who did little wrong when 6th on debut, another who can be involved.

Selections (9) Yeogeol Vision (1) Camping Mania (4) Namjjok Nara (7) Queen Force One
Next Best 5
Fast Start 1, 4, 7, 10, 11

Seoul Race 2: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(9) DANGDAE SONYEO got her maiden win on what was her second start at this distance on August 26th (beating Yeogeol Vision from race 1). She’s up in class today but could well have enough to win again. (1) BEST BULLET beat two of these on his way to 2nd place in a quick race at this class and distance last time out and is set to be the main danger. The pair who were beaten that day, (7) RAON PRO SENSE and (7) THUNDER MONEY can both be given another chance too. As can (4) YOLO who offered little when bumped up to 1300M last start but can be better back at the minimum today.

Selections (9) Dangdae Sonyeo (1) Best Bullet (5) Raon Pro Sense (4) Yolo
Next Best 3, 10, 6
Fast Start 4, 8, 9, 11, 12

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

Having been 2nd on debut, (8) WINNING BLADE got his maiden victory with a hard-fought triumph over 1000M on September 2nd. He’s up in both class and distance today but should have too much once more. (5) SMARTY BLUE had a poor day at the office when favourite at class and distance on his last start back in June. He comes in after three months off with an apprentice giving him a big weight allowance and can be given another look here. Similarly, (2) GANGHWA CHONGGAK and (7) JACOB are potentially better than their respective latest starts suggest and should be in at least the placing hunt here. (9) MORAN DONGBEAK is inconsistent but could aim to match the 3rd place she managed last start.

Selections (8) Winning Blade (5) Smarty Blue (7) Jacob (2) Ganghwa Chonggak
Next Best 9, 6
Fast Start 2, 3, 6, 8

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Since getting his maiden win in June, (4) JUMBO CAPTAIN has managed a 4th and 2nd at this class, both over 1200M. He steps slightly up in trip today to a distance at which he has finished 2nd in the past, and he can return to the winner’s circle here. (10) JEWANGUI BYEOL ran well in three starts up to March this year including a 2nd place at this class and distance. He returns here for the first time in over six months having trialled up pleasingly and goes straight into the frame. (9) GONG SAN beat a couple of these on her way to 4th place at 1200M a month ago. Although she remains a maiden after seven attempts she’s never too far away and should be close once more. (6) RULE OF SUM and (7) DAE BYEONHWA look best of a useful rest.

Selections (4) Jumbo Captain (10) Jewangui Byeol (9) Gong San (6) Rule Of Sum
Next Best 7, 8
Fast Start 7, 10, 11, 12

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(1) DREAM INDY beat three of these on the way to 2nd place over 1300M on August 26th. He’s a winner at this distance already and is one of a number with solid claims here. (3) A winner of three of his last five, (11) CLEAN UP SECRET enters having run a slightly disappointing 4th at class and distance on a wet track a month ago. He can get closer today. Also disappointing in that same race was (3) CHOIN DAEBO. It was his first try at two turns and he’s worth another shot here. He’s likely to join Dream Indy on the early pace. By contrast, (8) CREMOA POWER is set to go back at the start and look to close strongly. He’s run well in two tries at this level so far and can hold his own here too. (9) SOMETHING MYSTERY, well back behind Dream Indy last start, is another potential improver.

Selections (3) Choin Daebo (11) Clean Up Secret (1) Dream Indy (8) Cremoa Power
Next Best 9, 12
Fast Start 1, 3, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Since finishing 3rd on debut in June, (12) FASHION OF MARINE has been flawless since with three straight victories most recently an eye-catching twelve-length score over 1200M on August 24th. Accordingly, he’s up in class here, as well as slightly in distance but neither should be a concern and he can make it four in a row. (10) YEONGGWANGUI SECRET enters with a 100% record to defend having won both starts so far, the latest a four-length triumph at this distance four weeks ago. That means he too is rapidly up in class but has plenty of potential for more plus a 4kg weight advantage over Fashion Of (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 29)

Seoul is back! There is a bumper 13-race card in the capital on Saturday with the 1st at 10:45 and the last at 18:00. Here are the previews:

Start

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

A maiden to begin with that is perhaps best described as “weak”, even for this this level. Jockey Bang Choon-sik has had something of a renaissance recently and he can pick up from where he left off before the break by winning here on (6) BLESSING ROAD. The filly has seemingly started to figure things out in her latest two and has as much chance as any of making the breakthrough here. She’ll be off to a fast start along with (7) LEADER’S CAMP who weakened last start at 1300M but should be better back at the minimum today. (1) BEST LEVEL ha put in some encouraging performances over 1200M and is another who should have a say in things. (10) GREEN TEA and (11) LUCKY RACE others who can be considered.

Selections (6) Blessing Road (7) Leader’s Camp (1) Best Level (10) Green Tea
Next Best 11, 9
Fast Start 4, 6, 7, 9

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

Another modest affair and (4) BEST HUNTER, 4th last time out at the distance and with a 3rd place to his name as well, may just about have enough to come home on top here. The five-year-old has only raced four times is never going to a star but is well drawn to lead here and can win. (12) SAEROUN CAPTAIN has raced creditably in two outings since returning from eight months off and while he must overcome the widest gate, looks a threat. (1) YONGUI JUDO and (6) GWANGPOK JUHAENG have hinted at ability and both should be in at least the placing frame while (3) BLACK GINGA is another with potential to improve.

Selections (4) Best Hunter (12) Saeroun Captain (3) Black Ginga (1) Yongui Judo
Next Best 6, 5
Fast Start 4, 11, 12

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

A third maiden but it looks slightly stronger than the previous two. (1) TAEWANG SINHWA enters with a 3rd and a 4th from his latest two starts, both at this distance and he’ll be among favourites to get the win here. From the inside gate he can sit just off the early lead and finish strongly. (2) RAON GANGHO actually beat Taewang Sinhwa when the two of them finished 3rd and 4th at the distance back in June. He’s followed that up with three solid if unspectacular efforts since and is one of the primary dangers. (10) WONDERFUL EVIL beaten five-lengths by a good winner at 1000M three weeks ago. He races at further than the minimum trip for the first time and can be a factor. (7) WHITE FLOWER and (8) RAON STELLA are others who should be in the hunt.

Selections (1) Taewang Sinhwa (2) Raon Gangho (10) Wonderful Evil (7) White Flower
Next Best 8, 5
Fast Start 7, 9, 10, 11

Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies only here. (5) LOVELY NUTE has a 3rd and a 2nd in two tries at this class since landing her maiden win in July. Last time out was her first try at this distance and while she was a beaten favourite, she can go one better today. (4) HEUNG OREUM was a good winner at this distance on August 19th on what was her third career start. She’s up in class today but can be a threat. She made all that day and will look to do the same here. (10) FLYING HERA was 2nd in that race, three-lengths back and comes up in class too While she obviously has a bit to find on the one that beat her, she should be competitive. (9) CLEAN FLOWER steps back up in trip after good recent work at 1000M including her maiden win in early July. (1) GREEN DARC was a surprisingly comfortable winner on debut on August 25th and while she’s up in both class and trip today, can be respected.

Selections (5) Lovely Nute (4) Heung Oreum (9) Clean Flower (1) Green Darc
Next Best 10, 7
Fast Start 1, 4, 7, 9

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

(5) MIREU STORM got his maiden win on his second start on August 19th, leading all the way at this distance. He’s up in class today but is nicely drawn to get on pace early again and can repeat. (1) ROYAL PRINCE was scarcely involved over 1300M on his latest outing at the end of August but dropped back in trip today should be much more dangerous. Simon Foster’s tiny filly (4) SKY JUMP has held her own in two efforts at this class so far and with a good start today has claims too. (3) NAEGA KKEUTPANWANG and (10) LUCKY (more…)