Areumdaun Jilju Stakes

Juvenile Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (October 2)

The juvenile series kicks off at both Seoul and Busan on Sunday with the Munhwa Ilbo Trophy in the capital and the Areumdaun Jilju Stakes on the South Coast. Both will have hot favourites with the respective track’s “Rookie Stakes” winners Giant Punch and Fantastic Kingdom both expected to kick on. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 with 6 at Busan from 12:15 to 16:40. Here are the previews:

Juvenile Series races in times gone by have been good (Pic KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

An unusual start to the day in that it is for juvenile fillies at class 4 level, so it is targeted at imported horses, the first such race here for a while. Five of the eight race for the first time but they find themselves up against a proven winner in (1) FIRE GIRL. She made all to win over 1200M on debut on August 28th and from the inside gate, the Pioneerof The Nile filly will be odds-on to make it two from two. The main dangers are set to be first timers. (6) MEDICI WOLF won a trial having been handy throughout. The time wasn’t quick, but she did it well and should have derived benefit from it. (2) MOONHAK SONG and (8) BS POWER both went faster than Medici Wolf in their heats and can go well first up. (7) MISS HIGH FLY another who hinted at ability.

Selections(1) Fire Girl (6) Medici Wolf (2) Moonhak Song (8) BS Power
Next Best7, 3
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 7

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

The first division of two juvenile maidens and six of the twelve are racing for the first time. (1) DRAGON STAR gets the nod following a 3rd and a 5th in his opening two races, both in decent times when coming from off the pace. He draws very well here and with some natural improvement can win. The draw doesn’t favour (12) HIGH GRAND. He comes in off a solid 6th and a 4th in his latest two most recently behind Naol Sniper, who has gone on to win again. With a bit of luck at the start, he can find a good position and he can tun on well. (5) JANGBI MUJIGAE ran on well for 5th place in a fast race on a wet drack over this distance on debut and a repeat of that would put him right in this. As for the debut-makers, (9) TOUR QUEEN and (3) CUPID WARRIOR look best equipped to make an immediate impression.

Selections(1) Dragon Star (12) High Grand (5) Jangbi Mujigae (9) Tour Queen
Next Best3, 2
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 10

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

The second division of the juvenile maiden sees five of the twelve making their racecourse debuts. There are a couple of standouts and given the draw, we’ll side with (1) SINUI YEOIN. She ran on for a close 4th on debut over this distance on August 14th in a fast time on a wet track. She can be on pace or handy here and could prove too strong. (10) GLOBAL CHANGA was well-backed on debut when he ran 2nd to Ranut, who takes his chance in the Munhwa Ilbo Trophy later today. He overcame gate eleven that day and while he scarcely draws any better here, he may well start as favourite. (8) DALGEUM is the logical third pick, following an improved 3rd in her second outing on August 20th when sitting in midfield and then running on over a wet track. She can finish strongly again here. (4) GIPPEUM HWANHO didn’t do too much wrong when 5th on debut and should have come on for the run. The debut-makers don’t really jump out here although (5) AMAN BAROWS went through a lot of trials a registered a couple of decent times.

Selections(1) Sinui Yeoin (10) Global Changa (8) Dalgeum (4) Gippeum Hwanho
Next Best5, 12
Fast Start1, 4, 8, 10

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens open proceedings on the south coast. (3) HANSEN COD GIRL was a close 3rd on debut on September 2nd just getting the worst of a desperately tight three-way finish. She draws well to be on pace again and won’t need to improve much on that to win. (12) PISTOL STAR also suffered a near-miss on debut. That was back in July when handy throughout and just narrowly being beaten into 2nd over 1000M. He races for the first time since and if he can get a bit of luck position-wise from the wide draw, he can have a big say in this. There are three first timers and (1) META QUEEN looked good when winning an August trial. She draws well and could sneak a place on debut here. Likewise (9) GEMIJIN was a distance 2nd in his heat to an experienced racehorse but stopped the clock in a fair time and can be competitive. (11) ARTHUR KING IJI is one of a few with the potential to improve on their debut effort.

Selections(3) Hansen Cod Girl (12) Pistol Star (1) Meta Queen (9) Gemijin
Next Best11, 8
Fast Start3, 9, 11, 12

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(6) ARGO TAP has shown potential across three starts to date with a best of 3rd. He has led all three including his latest when he tackled 1200M for the first time and led for most of the way, before ultimately finishing 5th of nine. He should have come on for that experience, can lead again, and this time go all the way. Any top-three finish will put (3) HWANGWOO GANGJA up to class 5 and it could well be a win. He has a 2nd and a 3rd from his latest two, both over today’s trip. Last time she was on pace, something that will be expected again from a good draw, and an apprentice jockey keeps the weight down. He has solid claims. There was a full ten months between (7) CUPID WOW making his debut and re-appearing. He was better the second time around, running 3rd on his return. That was in early July so he has had another three months off since, but a repeat of that run will put him close at the finish. Solitary debut-maker (1) JILJU DAESE and two-time placegetter (8) GEUMA ALLURE are others in the frame.

Selections(6) Argo Tap (3) Hwangwoo Gangja (7) Cupid Wow (1) Jilju Daese
Next Best8, 4
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 7

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A big field of maidens but (9) MIGHTY STORM will be expected to score. After three consecutive 4th place finishes, he managed 3rd on his latest outing at 1200M on September 4th when settling midfield and running on. The slight step up in trip today might be what he needs, and he is the one to beat. (11) GOLDEN RACER has finished off both her races to date very well over 1200M, especially last tie out when running on for 4th. The wide draw shouldn’t matter to her, and the additional half furlong should be appreciated. (5) TEUKGEUP CAMP is another up slightly in trip having done his recent work over 1200M. He ran good times at this distance and may well be ridden a bit further forward today with there being not much genuine speed in this race. (10) HALLA BAEKDU and (3) ECTON POWER among others in the minor money hunt.

Selections(9) Mighty Storm (11) Golden Racer (5) Teukgeup Camp (10) Halla Baekdu
Next Best3, 1
Fast Start2, 5, 9, 10

Yeonggwanguilegend & Complete Value Land Juvenile Prizes While Cheongdam Dokki Wins First-Up For Tony Castenheira

Juvenile honours were handed out at both Busan and Seoul on Sunday afternoon before one of the grand old gallopers of the track took to Seoul Racecourse to produce a timely reminder that he may not be done just yet.

Cheongdam Dokki (KRA)

The inaugural Areumdaun Jilju Stakes at Busan resulted in a procession for Yeonggwanguilegend [Concord Point – Perfect Scip (Scipion)], the only runner in the race who had participated in the track’s Rookie Stakes a month earlier. Exciting from the widest gate. Djordje Perovic guided the Concord Point colt to an early lead and from then on it was a one-act affair with much of the field behind him racing greenly and immaturely, including pre-race favourite Clifton King.

On the line the winning margin was five-lengths, jockey Perovic – notching his third winner on the card – able  to spend the last 20 metres posing for the still Covid-enforced sparse crowd. Besides Yeonggwanguilegend, the only two to emerge with much credit were Hwarang Best and Daeji Choice, who both closed strongly to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.

That’s to take nothing away from Yeonggwanguilegend, as he booked his place in the Korea Breeders’ Cup on December 5th with a fine performance in a fast time. Moreover, he ran as thugh he will be able to take on far more lengthier assignments than today’s 1200M and even beyond the 1400M of the Breeders’ Cup.

At Seoul thirty minutes later, Complete Value [Girolamo – Ft. Sduction (Ft. Stockton)] made it a perfect four from four to start his career as added to his success last month in the capital’s division of the Rookie Stakes by taking out the Munhwa Ilbo Cup. While he had begun the Rookie Stakes awkwardly and then almost got caught up in traffic in the Rookie, this time jockey Lim Gi-won made sure luck – or lack of it – would not be an issue as he took Complete Value straight to the shoulder of early leader Wonpyeong Gasok.

While Wonpyeong Gasok battled on gamely, Complete Value got his nose in front at the furlong pole and ran away to a three-length win on the line. Bencal Princess, 2nd in the Rookie Stakes, came home in 3rd place. The time for the 1200M was slower than that of Yeonggwanguilegend at Busan, but faster than that of the preceding 1200M race in the capital.

If all goes to plan, they will meet at 1400M in Busan on December 5, a distance that looks like it will suit both and they will be joined most likely by plenty who skipped today’s races. For now, Yeonggwanguilegend and Complete Value lead the race to become Korea’s overall Champion Juvenile.

It wasn’t just horses at the beginning of their careers who starred on Sunday. Now seven-years-old, Cheongdam Dokki began the latest chapter of his storied career as he made his first start for his new trainer, Tony Castenheira, in Seoul’s class 1 finale over 1800M.

Cheongdam Dokki has never been straightforward. A brilliant talent but with an equally brilliant temper, even back in his juvenile days dueling with the likes of Dolkong, he was not the easiest to handle or to ride.  Lining up today for the first time since June, when he finished 4th behind Jjang Kong, much of the local racing media didn’t fancy his chances, while local win-pool punters stayed loyal.  

The chestnut sweated profusely on his way to the gate but once the race was underway and jockey Antonio Da Silva had taken him straight to the front, Cheongdam Dokki was strictly business as the pair controlled the race down the back and into the home straight. Looming up though was Jjang Kong and while he was only getting 5kg from Cheongdam Dokki this time compared with the 8kg when he beat him four months ago, it was clear he posed a serious threat.

Under Alan Munro, Jjang Kong chipped away at Cheongdam Dokki’s advantage through out the final two furlongs. At one point it looked inevitable that he would go past but Cheongdam Dokki and Da Silva dug deep and found enough to repel him, crossing the line a neck to the good. It was his by no means the finest of his eighteen wins, but the time was good and the manner of it encouraging.

The Grand Prix Stakes still eludes Cheongdam Dokki with him having recorded a 4th, a 2nd and a 3rd in his three attempts so far. It still remains unlikely given the amount of talent he will have to contend with, but for Castenheira and Cheongdam Dokki, a Boxing Day miracle no longer looks completely impossible.

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (October 3)

Three months of Stakes action gets underway on Sunday with both Seoul and Busan hosted Listed races for the top juveniles from this year’s crop, the Munhwa Ilbo Cup at Seoul and the Areumdaun Jilju Stakes at Busan. There are 9 Sunday races at Seoul – with the great Cheongdam Dokki also putting in an appearance – from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:10 to 17:30. The Seoul meeting will be run behind-closed-doors but Busan will be open for customers with a reservation made on the MyCard app. Here are the Previews:

It will be behind closed doors but there will finally be some Stakes action on Sunday!

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

Juvenile maidens go around here with eight of the twelve racing for the first time. We’ll side with experience and (4) SARYEONI FIRST who ran 2nd to – and well beaten by – Aspen Taeyang on debut on August 21st. He settled back and then ran on, finishing in a fast time on a wet track and with some natural improvement for that experience, he can be the one to beat today. (3) MENI WONDERFUL is a colt for whom there are high hopes. He’s the first foal to make the track from his dam Meni Money, a winner of eight races and herself out of a one-time track record holder here over the 1800M. He ran pleasingly enough for 4th on debut at this distance on August 15th and it would be no surprise if he improved sufficiently to win this. It would be a surprise if the quinella featured anything other than these two but there are one or two first-timers to keep an eye on. (6) COSMO will be third-favourite in the market having won her trial on a wet track on September 10th. She was always prominent and while her time was no better than fair, she can acquit herself well. (1) RAON THE JET and (10) YONGAM BOSS others who went reasonably well in their heats.

Selections(4) Saryeoni First (3) Meni Wonderful (6) Cosmo (1) Raon The Jet
Next Best10, 11
Fast Start3, 4, 69

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It’s hard to go far past (5) BYEOLUI SUNGAN here. He’s run 3rd and 2nd in two starts so far, both times only beaten by similarly promising animals and both times running on strong over 1000M. The additional furlong should suit and he’s the one to beat. If anything is to beat them, then the prime candidate is the sole previous winner in the race, (9) GREEN FEELSTAR. Her victory came two starts back over this distance when she settled towards the front of midfield and then ran on well in a fair time. She returned on August 28th to beat a couple of these on her wat to a decent enough 5th place. (11) JANGSAN LASER ran 6th on his only start to date which was all the way back in January. He finally returns here having looked well in a September trial alongside some good horses and has placing claims. So too (12) NEW STAR YEONGCHEON, who improved significantly at his second start on August 29th when he was always prominent before ultimately finishing 3rd. The draw may not be kind here, but he can go close. There are two first time starters and (10) NEW SMART perhaps has the best chance of making an immediate impact. He showed at the front in his trial, finishing 5th in a decent enough time.

Selections(5) Byeolui Sungan (9) Green Feelstar (11) Jangsan Laser (12) New Star Yeongcheon
Next Best10, 6
Fast Start4, 9, 10, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A race of many chances. We’ll take a chance on (6) BORI BORI overturning a bit of form from her latest start when she got the worst of a tight three-way finish over this distance. She has run some consistent times and draws nicely here. The one she needs to upend the form on is (9) KOREA GIJEOK. The Hansen gelding ran 2nd in that race to Bori Bori’s 4th, his best finish to date in a fourteen-race career. He can sit handy here and run on with a maiden win not out of the question. (1) SEOUL DAY gets in nicely with an apprentice jockey keeping the weight low. From the same gate last start he led until the closing stages over 1400M, ultimately finishing 2nd and he should be in this one for a long time too. (2) MIGHTY SUNSHINE may be an interesting outsider. He improved at start number two when 3rd over 1000M and his first time up in trip today may suit. (4) K N UNDERKING ran a useful enough 5th on debut on September 9th and can build on that today.

Selections(6) Bori Bori (9) Korea Gijeok (1) Seoul Day (2) Mighty Sunshine
Next Best4, 11
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 10

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(12) MAN OF THE YEAR has run 4th on both his starts so far, most recently on September 5th when after jumping well, he went right to the back before running on strong over 1200M. He comes up in distance today, Perovic knows him well having ridden him both times, and the wide draw shouldn’t matter. He has a real chance. (11) CHEONGHO LEADER comes in off a strong 2nd at class and distance when he led into the straight. That was his best performance to date and a similar run today will put him in the finish. In that race, Cheongho Leader overturned the form on (5) CATCH THE SUN, who finished 3rd and had previously beaten him in July when they came home 4th and 6th respectively at today’s distance. Catch The Sun has been consistent across her four outings to date and with the draw in her favour this time, can go close. (2) SAEMANGUIVISION ran 5th, splitting Catch The Sun and Cheongho Leader in that July race and returns for the first time since then today. She too draws nicely and has placing claims. (4) ANNIKA GIRL, an improved 2nd at her latest start is another in the hunt.

Selections(12) Man Of The Year (11) Cheongho Leader (5) Catch The Sun (2) Saemanguivision
Next Best4, 6
Fast Start4, 9, 10, 12

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

(2) SEUNGBUSA is a two-year-old colt with a solid class 6 win before a 3rd place in the Rookie Stakes over 1200M on September 5th when he dwelt slightly at the start before racing keenly to be up and on the pace and running on resolutely. He is up in trip slightly today but that shouldn’t be an issue and the fact that he skips today’s Munhwa Ilbo in favour of this, may be telling. (11) RAON CHAMPSELY returns to action for the first time since May. Still a maiden, she has registered three runner-up finishes from five starts and posted some very good times along the way. She prefers to be a front-runner – although one of her 2nd places did come from the back – so the draw may not be ideal and there is the obvious question about race sharpness as well, but she looked well when recording a fast time in a September trial. (4) REMEMBER WHEN is a mare who must be considered on her consistency. At her last start, when advancing to class 5, she was wide and on the pace most of the race and ran on well for 3rd. She is a placing chance here. So too (8) EUNHYE PADO, who is finding her feet in class 5. She ran 2nd on her latest start over 1400M, making up good ground in the straight. She hasn’t got a lot of early speed but will be closing. (3) SOARA BABA similarly settles back and often needs luck in running but can offer some each-way value.

Selections(2) Seungbusa (11) Raon Champsely (4) Remember When (8) Eunhye Pado
Next Best3, 5
Fast Start2, 4, 9, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

No fewer than eight of the twelve raced against each other at class and distance on September 10th so there’s the race of reference. None of them won – that was Honey Star by a full three lengths – and there wasn’t much between quite a few of them.  (5) SEONGSAN BULKKOT was 4th that day, having reached 2nd in the straight but ultimately being edged out. That came off the back of a career best 2nd over 1400 the time before. He can be close to the pace here and has much chance as any of coming out on top. (12) SINBIHAN GANGA came him in 6th place in that race having been one paced throughout. The time before though he beat several of these when 2nd at this class and distance and with Seo Seung-un climbing aboard today, he is worth another chance. (9) SINJIN GANGHO was the best of these on September 10th. Coming from well off the pace to make up a lot of ground in the straight. That was a significant improvement on anything he had done in his previous twelve starts but he warrants more respect today. If you don’t rate that September 10th race at all then (6) DONGBU STAR or (2) YEONSEUNG BRAVO are probably the one to go for.

Selections(5) Seongsan Bulkkot (12) Sinbihan Gangja (9) Sinjin Gangho (6) Dongbu Star
Next Best2, 10
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 11

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million

(5) VICEROY was a big winner in class 6 and is now adapting to class 5. He put in a good effort last start when a little awkwardly away before settling on the pace and battling on for a close 3rd in a good time. A repeat of that performance puts him right in it. (2) GEOSEON POWER is up in class on his last start win at this distance. He was wide all the way, so the win was perhaps a bit better than the narrow margin suggested. He draws well for an easy run here and should enter the calculations. (1) CHOIN SPARK remains a maiden but comes up in class based on his 2nd place to Geoseon Power on September 4th. With this race being run under handicap conditions, he meets him at slightly better weights, and he could cause an upset. (6) HWA SSI BYEOK could be an interesting outsider. On the face of it there’s not much to go on but she has been running times that are competitive in a field such as this and she could run into a place. (11) RULES CLASS another in the placing frame.

Selections(5) Viceroy (2) Geosen Power (1) Choin Spark (6) Hwa Ssi Byeok
Next Best11, 4
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 9