DIa Road

Jeju Governor’s Cup Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (October 9)

Graded Stakes racing returns to Seoul on Sunday for the first time since the Korea Cup and Korea Sprint five weeks ago with the Jeju Governor’s Cup (1400M KOR-G3) for local-bred fillies and mares taking centre stage. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:15 to 16:45. Here are the previews:

Golden Power and Raon The Spurt will clash again in the Jeju Governor’s Cup (Pic: KRA)

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

Juvenile maiden fillies in the opener with five on the nine racing for the first time. And unlike in so many of these races where we go for experience, this time we’ll go with a first timer. (8) YUKWAEHAN SARANG won a trial in good fashion, running on pace on the bridle and responding well when asked for a brief effort. She looked well within herself and let loose on the track, has every chance first-up. (7) RAON THE FLATTER ran a creditable 4th on debut in July in a fair time before parting company with her jockey right after the start on her re-appearance on August 27th, competing the course pilotless. So long as man and beast stay united here, she should improve on that debut 4th. (2) GANGHAN QUEEN was on pace for much of her debut before weakening late on She should have derived benefit from that run and can be in this a little longer. (4) SEUNGRIUI YEONGHON and (5) VISION STAR are other newcomers who may provide some interest.

Selections(8) Yukwaehan Sarang (7) Raon The Flatter (2) Ganghan Queen (4) Seungriui Yeonghon
Next Best5, 3
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 8

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens here and based on his debut performance, it will be very hard to look past (4) NANOMETA. Having won a July trial, he came out on August 28th and came from off the pace to finish 2nd over 1000M. The additional furlong today should be ideal and with the benefit of that experience, he should take some beating. (5) MORNING PRINCESS was a decent 3rd on debut and while she found herself overmatched on her second appearance which is in the Rookie Stakes at the end of August, she finds herself back in shallower waters here and can be a big player. (2) BAEDARI WANGJA similarly ran well for 2nd on debut and while he couldn’t repeat at start number two on September 4th, he can be given another chance here. (3) HUNTER BLADE and (8) LEMON BLADE others in the placing frame.

Selections(4) Nanometa (5) Morning Princess (2) Baedari Wangja (3) Hunter Blade
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 6

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A big field for this maiden but another short-price favourite seems likely and again Moon Se-young rides it in the shape of (7) STRONG CHARM. He has a 2nd and a 3rd to his name from three starts to date including last time out when he ran through the line well. He comes up in distance here, but it should suit, and he should sign off from class 6 with a win. (3) ROSE GOLD beat a couple of these on his way to 2nd place two starts back and followed up with a 3rd, again at this distance, on September 18th. He has the fastest tie of any of these for the distance and from a good draw can go close. (11) DEVIL K is another who will be up to class 5 with a finish anywhere in the top three. He comes in off back-to-back 3rd place finishes in good times at this distance and can run on well here. (12) MENI ACE, who returns for the first time since February, and (2) SAMBA ZONE, are others in the frame.

Selections(7) Strong Charm (3) Rose Gold (11) Devil K (12) Meni Ace
Next Best2, 9
Fast Start5, 7, 9, 12

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

Juvenile maidens open proceedings on the south coast, with four of the eleven racing for the first time. The hot favourite will be (2) WORLD LEGEND, a good 2nd on debut over 1000M in July and then 4th over this distance in a good time at start number two on August 28th. He draws very nicely to be on pace here and should take some beating. (10) K.AI has been on pace for 3rd and 2nd in two starts so far, both over the 1000M. The draw is a little wider than ideal, but he should handle the distance and can be a danger. So too (8) DOCTOR PANGPANG. He made good ground late to run 2nd on debut over 1000M on August 28th and should appreciate the step up in trip today. (1) ADELE HORANGI and (11) FINAL SEVEN can also be in the hunt for at least places in a race with decent form, given the lack of experience.

Selections(2) World Legend (10) K.Ai  (8) Doctor Pangpang (1) Adele Horangi
Next Best11, 7
Fast Start2, 6, 10, 11

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

(7) MONSTER POWER ran out a comfortable winner on debut over 1000M on September 3rd, settling midfield and then running on strongly. He comes up in class and in distance, but neither should be an issue and he is the one they need to beat here. (4) STAR RUSH is yet to win in twenty-five attempts, but he has had a fair few near-misses and was a decent 4th in a fair time over 1300M last time out. He has had a couple of months off and looks a place line here. (6) JANGSU NABOM too has placing chances. He weakened having led last time out but at the start prior, he ran a solid 3rd place beating a couple of today’s rivals in the process. He has the fastest start among these and can be in this a long way. (1) COWBOY TANGO and (2) COMPLETE LUCKY are others with minor money claims.

Selections(7) Monster Power (4) Star Rush (6) Jangsu Nabom (1) Cowboy Tango
Next Best2, 5
Fast Start5, 6, 7, 8

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(8) ALPHA V is winless but comes up in class following a 2nd and two 3rd place finishes, all over 1200M. She carries a light weight and he running style suggests that the widest gate – of only eight – shouldn’t be a problem. This is hardly the most intimidating of class 5 fields and this could be her day. (6) GOLD TAP will probably start as favourite. While he comes in having missed the top five for the first time, when 6th over this class and distance on September 16th, that wasn’t a bad run, and the finish was tight. He can sit in pace or handy here and may prove too strong late on. (2) MY SONG is a winner over this distance at class 6 level and while she weakened to only beat one home having led over her previous start at the beginning of September, she is worth another chance today. (1) INDIAN PARTY and (7) WIND PARK others capable of sneaking a place.

Selections(8) Alpha V (6) Gold Tap (2) My Song (1) Indian Party
Next Best7, 4
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 8

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

Small but competitive field with two standouts. It’s time (7) GANA FASHION won a race. She has three runner-up finishes and one 3rd place from four starts so far and came close to making all at class and distance last time out. She can be on pace again and may just be a little sharper in the finish which is what makes her the very marginal top pick over (2) TIZ SUCCESS, who has similar form but with a win in the books and over one race less. She too was an on-pace 2nd last time out, stopping the clock in an identical time to that of Gana Fashion in her race. She comes up one more kilogram than her rival does and also starts here for the first time in three months. It would be a big surprise if those two don’t fill out the quinella so the rest look like battling for the minors. (3) ELITE RULES, (1) JEONGMUN PAPAGO and (4) TIZ FIGHTING all come in off the back of good latest starts.

Selections(7) Gana Fashion (2) Tiz Success (3) Elite Rules (1) Jeongmun Papago
Next Best4, 8
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 7

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


Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 4)

It’s going to be a wet one! The monsoon season arrived in Korea during racing on Saturday and it’s expected to keep on raining for the foreseeable future. There are Sunday cards at Seoul (9 races from 11:00 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 11:30 to 16:30). Blue Chipper faces Doctor Carson once more at Busan while at Seoul there is a heavyweight clash too in the shape of Heuk Jeonsa vs Dia Road. Here are the previews:

It’s been a while since we had some really foul weather

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million

Three-year-old fillies get proceedings underway. (6) MODERN TIMES comes in off a good 2nd on debut when after a bump at the start she showed speed to be on pace and ran on well. She twitched her tail a little every time the jockey urged her forward with the crop but responded well to hands and heels. Hopefully she has learned from that and can improve here. (3) NAMSAN CHOCOLATE has improved at every start and showed a nice effort last time when 2nd over 1000M showing plenty of speed to be at the front and finishing off pleasingly. She returns to the filly ranks today, gets a nice barrier and her jockey’s confidence will have been buoyed by a good win last week. (4) HAPPY DAY has placed in two of three starts to date. Her latest was her first since last summer and she could well have come in for it. (2) MAGIC TIDE’s worst finish to date was at this distance but she hung in at the start and took a bump before finishing well and may be worth some though. (5) PRINCESS SOCKS is the only filly in the field with a win to her name and comes into the calculations based on that.

Selections(6) Modern Times (3) Namsan Chocolate (4) Happy Day (2) Magic Tide
Next Best5
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 6

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(7) AMAZING FOOT is set to be favourite here. He has two runner-up finishes from four starts so far, his latest being a fast race over 1000M on a wet track when he led for much of the way around. He’ll be on speed again here and can go all the way this time.  (2) SEOBU WONDERFUL made an inauspicious start to his career but went back to trial in June and looked a very different prospect. From a good draw, expect to see him on speed here. (1) KING BID has been knocking on the door for a while. He was a good 2nd over 1300M two starts back before leading and then weakening late over 1400M last start. Back in trip today and drawn on the inside can help him go close. The rest of the form in this race is patchy but (5) OMEGA GIRL and (9) QUICK WIND, the latter like Seobu Wonderful having shown promise in a trial since her latest race, which was all the way back last summer, are others to consider.

Selections(7) Amazing Foot (2) Seobu Wonderful (1) King Bid (9) Quick Wind
Next Best5, 10
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(1) SAENAE WIN looks ready to win after placing at his last two starts. He has tended to be a little bit slow away, but his most recent performance was good one and with a little bit of luck today, he can make the breakthrough. (9) K N LIGHT is a winner at 1200M already. He has had to work hard from wide draws to get to a decent position and has perhaps paid for it in the later stages of his subsequent two races, but he looked well when winning a June trial and can go close here. (4) MAIN OF KING is worthy of consideration based on his last start over 1200M when he settled well back in the field in the field then ran on really well and doing his best work near the finish.  (8) GEUMA FLAWLESS has been there or thereabouts in recent starts. He met some interference early last time out over 1200M and then settled back before running on strong in the straight. 1300M should suit and with an easier run he can be competitive again. Solitary debut-maker (3) KING CRUSH trialed up in 2nd place behind K N Light and has every chance of going well on his racecourse debut.

Selections(1) Saenae Win (9) K N Light (4) Main Of King (8) Geuma Flawless
Next Best3, 11
Fast Start1, 4, 7, 11

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million

(4) RUN FIGHTER has a 3rd and a 2nd to his name from two starts so far, both times coming from off the pace and finishing off well. Those races were at 1200M and 1400M respectively so he splits the difference today and under the in-form Perovic can find a nice sport from a good barrier and be too strong late on. The main danger is (7) WINNER STAR. He’s raced just the once so far when he jumped midfield then settled handy and ran on for 2nd behind Wonder Blade. He should have come on for that experience and the additional half furlong today may suit.   (1) FANTASTIC LEADER has two 3rd place finishes and while he only managed 6th on his first try at this distance last start, he draws better today and can be competitive. (2) USEUNG MELODY and (9) CROWN KING STAR are others with the potential to improve.

Selections(4) Run Fighter (7) Winner Star (1) Fantastic Leader (2) Useung Melody
Next Best9, 8
Fast Start1, 2, 7, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(2) K BLADE is perhaps due a change of luck after three 3rd place finishes at distances out to 1300M. Her racing pattern is to be handy or on the pace and a nice draw here puts her into prime contention. (1) JEONGMUN PRINCE can have his latest start disregarded and instead we’ll look to his previous effort over 1400M when soon after the start he knuckled over but regained his footing before settling near the back and then working home very well for 3rd. He should be in contention here. (6) CHEONDUNGSEJA is the least experienced in the race with five prior outings, but he is showing improvement with a last start 3rd over 1000M. Going out to 1300M here may be a query but his racing pattern to date has been to settle midfield to handy which may suit the longer trip. (8) YEONGUNG DAEMA comes into the picture having been close at his last two starts. Last time over 1300M he was only fairly away but ran on well in the straight. (9) BIG RED the best of the rest.

Selections(2) K Blade (1) Jeongmun Prince (6) Cheondungseja (8) Yeongung Daema
Next Best9, 7
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 9

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

(7) MUJEOK BULPAE tops all the indicators here. Fastest average first furlong, fastest average final furlong, fastest time at this distance. That latter record was recorded two starts back when beating a few of these when 2nd to Adele Pupil on a wet track and he followed up with another runner-up finish when dropped back to 1200M on June 13th. He carries top weight but should be too good. (5) TEAM SKY was well back behind Mujeok Bulpae two starts ago from a horrible draw but stepped up to a mile last time and made all for a narrow win. Ioannis Poullis isn’t likely to hang about here so expect him to lead again and be in the finish. (4) CHOEGANG LIGER was very slowly away last start before rallying for 6th. He is better than that and has placing claims here along with (6) ROCK PEGASUS and (8) YEONGGWANGUIRUNNER.

Selections(7) Mujeok Bulpae (5) Team Sky (4) Choegang Liger (8) Yeonggwanguirunner
Next Best6, 2
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million

(8) THE QUEEN JUSTICE ran a good race on her first try at this class when she settled midfield and ran on wide in the straight over 1300M. She comes back to 1200M after a seven-week freshen up and looks nicely in here. The faovurite will be (4) MORNING HILL. He was a good winner of his opening two races but weakened having led over 1400M on his first try at class 5 level on June 5th. Back at 1200M and very nicely drawn, he has every chance of returning to winning ways. (9) CHEONBISEONG comes in after a good 2nd when he settled handy to the leaders and then ran on well on the rails beating a number of these in the process. The draw isn’t ideal but he looks a placing chance. Further back in that race was (6) GREEN POKJU. We’ll give that filly another chance based on her win to starts back at class 6 level when she made all over this distance. (10) STREET GANGJA another in at least the placing frame.

Selections(8) The Queen Justice (4) Morning Hill (9) Cheonbiseong (6) Green Pokju
Next Best10, 2
Fast Start4, 6, 7, 9

Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

(8) SUCCESS MACHO has won both his starts so far in fine fashion with front running performances over both 1200M and 1300M with winning margins of six and five-lengths respectively. He is up in both class and slightly in distance today, but neither should present any issue and he will be hotly favoured to complete a hat-trick of victories. (1) DONGBANUI SIJAK also comes up in class in her case after a less spectacular, but commendably solid start to her career. She comes in after a good 2nd in a fast time to Miss Indie over 1300M and the additional half furlong may suit under a light weight. (2) WONDERFUL KING is yet to score in ten attempts but has four runner-up finishes ad was a decent 4th at this class and distance having led last time out. He draws nicely and can be on pace early. (6) WONDERFUL JAZZ comes up in class and in distance after a decent win over 1200M on June 12th. He can sit on the pace or handy and can be competitive at this level. (9) CHEONNYEONUIGUREUM another with placing hopes.

Selections(8) Success Macho (1) Dongbanui Sijak (2) Wonderful King (6) Wonderful Jazz
Next Best9
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 8

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million

(5) RAPIDO ARES gets the nod here. Disregard her latest start when she was caught a little wide early from less-than-ideal barrier. She had good form prior to that when on the pace or settled in a handy position and today’s draw helps her chances. (1) LOVE RACE is competitive at most distances. She has tended to get back in her races but from the inside gate here, Antonio Da Silva may opt to have her handy and she comes into the calculations. (6) MONEY SILK is a hard horse to get too enthused over but, in this field, he is a genuine place chance based on times he has run. Last time he was wide but still ran on and should go better here. It’s been a while since (8) MAMMA ROMA placed but she does seem to prefer this distance, and this isn’t the toughest of races. He racing pattern is to settle midfield and run on, she has light weight and looks a money chance. (3) IL MARE mixes his form but is another one who in this company, can aim for a money finish.

Selections(5) Rapido Ares (1) Love Race (6) Money Silk (8) Mamma Roma
Next Best3, 9
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 6

Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

It’s rare in Korea for a horse to tackle 1800M at just his second start but (8) GEUMA STORMING is a four-year-old who went through a good number of trials before making his debut at a mile on June 13th and running a very creditable 2nd having led for much of the race. He should have learned a bit from the experience and is from the track’s top stable. He looks to have an excellent chance of winning here. (9) SEUNGNI TOUT was a last start winner at a mile on May 22nd. That was his maiden win but he has finished in the top four in seven of nine attempts to date and is set to be one of the main dangers here, most likely sitting handy and then running on. That day in May he beat (10) TWO TWO CARLTON, who himself was a class and distance winner in April (with Seungni Tout in 4th). Two Two Carlton likes to settle midfield so the draw should not be a problem. With Perovic taking the ride, there was a chance in tactics on (4) DOCTOR SKY and it did the trick has with a front-running performance he recorded a good 2nd over a mile in a fast time and that brings him into contention here. (5) TOP BEST the best of a competitive rest.

Selections(8) Geuma Storming (9) Seungni Tout (10) Two Two Carlton (4) Doctor Sky
Next Best5, 6
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 8

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million


Dia Road Dethrones Silver Wolf in Ttukseom While Alan Munro Lands 1st Korean Stakes Win on East Jet in SROA Trophy

Dia Road firmly established herself at the top of the filly and mare division by taking out the Ttukseom Cup (KOR G2) at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon and in doing so, beat perennial champion Silver Wolf for the second consecutive time. One race later, British jockey Alan Munro recorded his first Korean Stakes race victory when guiding East Jet to a smart victory in the Seoul Racehorse Owners’ Association (KOR G3).

Coming into the Ttukseom Cup, the first leg of the Queens’ Tour, Dia Road [Captain Coltish – Gieongnal Geunal (Menifee)] had won seven of her eight prior races, including that meeting with stablemate Silver Wolf in the Donga Ilbo Cup prior to the shutdown earlier this year when she had a 5kg weight advantage.

At level weights this time, Dia Road was slowly out of the gates but by the end of the back straight, jockey Kim Yong-geun had threaded a way through the field and was up just behind the leaders. She struck the front at the top of the home straight and powered away from the rest to record a six-length win from early pacesetter Raon First and closer Ice Marine. Silver Wolf, who took a long time to find space for a run, came home 5th.

If all goes to plan – and that is a big “if” with Korean racing in an uncertain position due to the recent COVID-19 resurgence, the four-year-old Dia Road and the eight-year-old Silver Wolf will most likely meet again in the final two legs of the Queens’ Tour – of which Silver Wolf is already a two-time winner – in the autumn.

The SROA Trophy (KOR G3) brought back together some of the nation’s top sprinters including the first five home in last month’s SBS Sports Sprint. Most pre-race attention focused on the young up and comer Eoma Eoma who after three straight wins, had suffered her first career defeat when a gutsy 3rd in the SBS Sports Sprint a month ago.

Despite a much better draw, this time Eoma Eoma had to settle for 2nd place as East Jet [Strike Again – Lend (Coronado’s Quest)], the only other three-year-old in the race, made short work of a wide draw to get right on pace with the leaders and then proved too strong in the straight, holding off Eoma Eoma by just under a length. SBS Sports Sprint winner Morfhis produced his customary late charge but had to settle for 3rd.

First Korean Stakes winner for Alan Munro (Pic:KRA)

East Jet was ridden by Alan Munro, who was recording his first Koream Stakes race victory. Munro, who only returned earlier this month from a broken wrist suffered prior to the KRA Cup Mile has now ridden 67 winners from 570 rides in the country since debuting in February 2019.

Dia Road Downs Silver Wolf In Donga Ilbo Cup

It’s happened – she’s been beaten by a filly. Super mare Silver Wolf saw her hopes of a third consecutive victory in the Donga Ilbo Cup dashed in the Seoul snow by her own stablemate as Dia Road swept home to claim glory in the Listed event.

Dia Road Donga Ilbo

Dia Road in the Donga Ilbo Winner’s Circle

Having brushed aside the distaff division in all three legs of the Queens’ Tour for the second time in 2019, Silver Wolf did conclude last year with an uncharacteristically lacklustre performance against the boys in the Grand Prix Stakes in December.

While back in restricted company on Sunday, Silver Wolf wasn’t quite the overwhelming favorite she has been in these kinds of events in recent times. She was sent off as market leader but only narrowly ahead of Dia Road and last year’s Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup winner Clear Geom.

For a moment in the home straight it looked as though any concerns were unwarranted as Silver Wolf loomed up on the shoulder of Dia Road, who had led from the start, and briefly went past.

It didn’t last. Under jockey Kim Yong Geun, Dia Road fought back immediately and, with a 5kg weight advantage, pulled away to win by a full three-lengths on the line. Long shot Hwa Gi came in 3rd a further five-lengths adrift of Silver Wolf.

Dia Road, a four-year-old filly by Captain Coltish and out of the Menifee mare Gieongnal Geunal, moves on to six wins from seven starts with her only defeat coming at the hands of Clear Geom in the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup. Like Silver Wolf, she is trained by Song Moon-Gil and has been similarly sensibly campaigned.

As for Silver Wolf, she didn’t lose much in defeat, putting in a game effort while giving away considerable weight in blizzard-like conditions. She may still pose a formidable test for the younger fillies later in the year.

Dia Road and Silver Wolf could well clash again this summer when the Queens’ Tour gets underway with the Ttukseom Cup at Seoul on July 5th.