GC Trophy

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 29)

Two big juvenile races headline Seoul and Busan on Sunday. Both will have strong favourites with Choegang Team looking hard to beat in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup at Seoul while Save The World is set to start at a short price in the Gold Circle Trophy at Busan. We also get to see several of Seoul’s top three-year-olds take each other on as Derby Winner and Runner-up Wonderful Fly and Myeongpum Chukje are joined by Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup winner Clear Geom as well as Thunder Blade and Rapidocus over 1800M in race 11.

There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 plus 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. Here are the Seoul previews with Busan Selections below:

Wonderful Fly Derby KRA

Derby winner Wonderful Fly races on Sunday (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

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

Filly-only maiden to kick things off and what it perhaps lacks in quality, it makes up for in competitiveness. Five of them race for the first time and among these first-timers, (2) CHOEGANGMA was a lively looking trial winner in August and from an inside draw could potentially get to the front and lead all the way. Accordingly, she’s the slight pick. (4) LUCKY SMILE ran a good 3rd on debut at the beginning of this month, coming from off the pace and running on well and she can match or better that today while (6) ELITE LADY has a 2nd and a 4th in two starts so far, the latter in a valuable juvenile race over 1200M which she led until the closing stages. She’ll join Choegangma on pace and looks a real danger. (3) PEACE OF RULES and another debut-maker, (9) NUNBUSIN HANSEN, look best of the rest.

Selections (2) Choegangma (6) Elite Lady (4) Lucky Smile (9) Nunbusin Hansen
Next Best 3, 12
Fast Start 2, 3, 6, 9

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

(10) SYDNEY MONEY came from well off the pace to run a good 3rd in a slightly better race than this on August 10th. He’s shown progress in three starts since returning from a lengthy absence and he could make the breakthrough today. (1) RUFFIAN PARK ran promisingly enough for 4th on debut at the end of July and should have come on for the run and a nine-week layoff. He’ll be on pace early. (3) PUNCH POWER did nothing wrong on his first start four weeks ago and will be expected to improve on the 5th he scored that day. (7) DREAM CHAT debuted in 3rd place all the way back in March. She’s had her setbacks since but looked competent enough in a recent trial. (12) DONGSEO JEPAE was a much improved 2nd last time and is another with placing claims.

Selections (10) Sydney Money (1) Ruffian Park (3) Punch Power (7) Dream Chat
Next Best 12, 9
Fast Start 1, 4, 8, 9

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

(3) RAON BEST MAN is up in class following an eye-catching seven-length win over 1000M on August 31st. He made all that day and while he is up in distance for the first time as well, he has every chance of repeating. (10) KING OF RULES enters off the back of consecutive runner-up finishes and should be going close again while (11) HWARYONG has a 3rd and a 2nd from his latest two and the step up in trip today should suit well. (4) BISAYEON and (9) GEUMBIT YEOLJEONG, the latter just a neck behind King Of Rules last start and likely to challenging for the early lead here, are others in at least the placing hunt.

Selections (3) Raon Best Man (10) King Of Rules (11) Hwaryong (4) Bisayeon
Next Best 9, 5
Fast Start 3, 4, 9

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

(12) RAON TOUGH MAN was a good winner in a fast time on debut on August 11th He only won by a neck but he and the runner-up were a full eight-lengths clear of the rest of the field and while he steps up in both class and distance today – and is drawn in the car park – he can make it two out of two. (4) ROYAL GHOST remains a maiden but comes in having run a very good 2nd on her first try at this class last time out. That was at 1000M, but she’s run well at this distance as well and should go close. (11) DAEHAN CHAMP and (8) IL MARE were both a touch disappointing when well down the field in an admittedly stronger race then this last month. Both should go better today. (9) STAR LIST has been holding her own in useful company lately and can aim for some minor prize money.

Selections (12) Roan Tough Man (4) Royal Ghost (8) Il Mare (11) Daehan Champ
Next Best 9, 6
Fast Start 4, 8, 12

Race 5: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) CITY SONGAM beat a couple of these on his way to 2nd place over 1300M on August 31st. His style across four starts so far has been to come from well off the pace so it’ tempting to suggest that the additional trip – his first time around two turns – should suit perfectly. (10) CHOEGANG SINGI provides French trainer Tony Castanheira with his first Korean runner and it could be a good one. He was just beaten half a length last start six weeks ago and is another who should appreciate a bit of distance. (6) FASTEST already has a 3rd place at this distance to his name and should be aiming to at least repeat. (1) CHEONNYEONUI GODO and (4) MACH SEUNGCHEON are others in the frame.

Selections (2) City Songam (10) Choegang Singi (6) Fastest (1) Cheonnyeonui Godo
Next Best 4, 8
Fast Start 1, 3, 6

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

(1) DAEGUN POWER won back to back races in June and July to get rapidly promoted to this level and then ran a creditable 3rd on his first try at it on August 25th. From the inside gate, he should be on speed from the start and he can return to the winner’s circle here. (3) GAON FORCE ran in the first two legs of this year’s Korean Triple Crown, and while he finished well back both times, he has ability. His latest run saw him come rom off the pace to run 4th over 1200M last month and he should better that today. (2) SUN OF THUNDER was a class and distance winner last start and while he carries more weight today in what is a tougher race, he warrants respect. (11) P.K. JEONSA is up in class following back to back wins and should be competitive while (12) STRONG VULTURE is another who is very capable on his day.

Selections (1) Daegun Power (3) Gaon Force (11) P.K. Jeonsa (12) Strong Vulture
Next Best 2, 10
Fast Start 1, 2, 3, 11

Race 7: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Another competitive race. (4) SKY DOLPUNG was a class and distance winner on August 11th, coming from off the pace to win by a neck. That was the culmination of a run of good form and he’ll be in the hunt again. He carries 3.5kg more today though and chances are that (6) DADDY GLORY, a couple of lengths back in 3rd that day, will overturn the form. She’s a winner of three from nine and looks to have potential for more. She can sit behind the early speed and be too strong late on. (9) MIREU STORM has beaten plenty of these on his way to back to back runner-up finishes at class and distance and should (more…)

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (September 24)

Two big Juvenile races take centre-stage Sunday, with both Seoul & Busan staging preps for the Breeders’ Cup Championship race. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 while at Busan there are 6 from 12:40 to 17:05.

Busan’s race is the Gold Circle Trophy and has attracted nine runners. Bart Rice’s unbeaten Task Force looks in with a shout although Kim Young Kwan’s Classic Match is likely to begin as favourite. In Seoul it’s the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup and Icheon Ssal is set to be at the head of the market. Also at Seoul, the exciting Cheongdam Dokki goes in race 10. Here’s the race-by-race preview for Seoul:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

3rd on debut all the way back in June, (8) SKY CAMP finally returns to action today and looks to be the one to beat in the opening maiden. (2) CLEAN FLOWER beat (11) BLACK WIND as the pair ran 4th on 5th on what for both of them was their first time on August 26th. There was just a half-length between them and while they were several lengths behind the winner, both were encouraging enough to suggest they can improve. Already showing some improvement is (3) BABY STAR, 4th on her second outing after a lacklustre debut. (7) HESEDEU and (10) GOLDEN RUNNER others who look like having some potential.

Selections (8) Sky Camp (2) Clean Flower (3) Baby Star (11) Black Wind
Next Best 7, 10
Fast Start 7, 8, 10, 11

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

There were seven months between (5) STAR SINBI’s debut and his reappearance but both efforts showed promise and having briefly led close to home over this distance on August 26th, he just got bested by a neck on the line. He is one of three standouts here and has every chance. (8) SHAR NAO was an improved 2nd over this distance three weeks ago and is in the hunt again while the front-running (1) HWANAE JANGSEONG could well get a soft early lead here and can go all the way. The winner should be one of those three but (10) JUNGDONG JIJON and (11) GOLD SEUTAK are not without claims either, at least of a place.

Selections (5) Star Sinbi (8) Shar Nao (1) Hwanae Jangseong (11) Gold Seutak
Next Best 10, 4
Fast Start 1

Race 3: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(5) MUCH MONEY faded a little late on when stepped up to 1700M last month but was still not too far away and should be much happier dropped back in trip today. He may have a habit of finishing 2nd – five times in ten starts – but he is a slight favourite here, ahead of (10) GEUM BONGHWANG, who also steps back in trip today. (4) HUIMANG POINT consistently comes close and should do so again while (12) IN BORN CHAMP comes in following 2nd place at class and distance on August 27th and carries a very light weight under an apprentice jockey. (3) KING PLUCKY is another who had a hard time around two turns last start but should be better today.

Selections (5) Much Money (10) Geum Bonghwang (12) In Born Champ (4) Huimang Point
Next Best 3, 9
Fast Start 1, 3, 6, 9

Race 4: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Only two of these have raced before and neither of them (them being (2) FLYING CAR and (7) GAL PYOBEOM) impressed. That leaves us with ten debut-making imports to consider. (4) JEONGSANG BULPAE almost made it to the starting gate back in June but was scratched. He was forced to requalify as a result and he did that with aplomb three weeks ago, running a fast time. Accordingly, we’ll make him favourite here. (1) MYEONGGA JEWANG and (6) BULMYEORUI JEWANG also went well in their heats and (more…)

Chang Se & Ottug Ottugi Land Oaks Trials, Doraon Hyeonpyo Wins Again

Chang Se and Ottug Ottugi ran out the dominant winners of the Sports Seoul and GC Trophies at Seoul and Busan respectively and to head into the Spring Classics as the top rated 3-year-old fillies.


Chang Se was restless in the Sports Seoul winner’s circle

At Seoul, Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup winner Waikiki was scratched from the Sports Seoul leading Daehan Cheonwang and Chang Se to be sent off almost as co-favourites. In the end though it was Chang Se all the way as she led from gate-to-wire under apprentice jockey Lee Hyeon Jong to win by four lengths on the line.

Sports Seoul Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – March 6, 201

1. Chang Se (KOR) [Forest Camp – Daecheonpung (Fiercely)] – Lee Hyeon Jong – 2.6, 1.6
2. Meni Music (KOR) [Menifee – Morning Music (Songandaprayer)] – Park Eul Woon – 2.8
3. Sidaeyeowang (KOR) [Vicar – Fier Time (Fiercely) – Djordje Perovic – 2.0
Distances: 4 lengths / 1.25 lengths – 7 ran

In the GC Trophy at Busan, Ottug Ottugi fully justified punters’ confidence in backing her into odds-on as she made all to romp home by six lengths under Oh Kyoung Hoan. Second favourite, the previously unbeaten Hoseungjibyeok, was a disappointment, beating only on home.

GC Trophy – Busan Racecourse – 1400M – March 6, 2016

1. Ottug Ottugi (KOR) [Forest Camp – Main Objective (Lion Heart)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 1.9, 1.3
2. Yuseong Tiger (KOR) [Discreet Cat – Comarille (Deputy Commander)] – Kim Dong Young – 4.1
3. Santa Gloria (KOR) [Menifee – Pupil (Unbridled)] – Pasquale Borelli – 6.3
Distances: 6 lengths / 1.5 lenghts – 6 ran

In other news, Doraon Hyeonpyo (Colors Flying) continued his impressive run of form, lugging top weight around 1800M in Busan’s feature and not only getting up in the final strifes to win by a nose, but breaing the track record for the distance at the same time. Champion Juvenile back in 2014, Doraon Hyeonpyo had a middling first half to his three-year-old season but really stepped up as the year drew to a close and has now won four in a row to become one of the top rated horses in the country.

Sunday Filly Classic trials: Full Preview

The current cream of the domestic bred three-year-old filly crop are in action at both Seoul and Busan on Sunday with the running of a pair of early season classic trials, the Sports Seoul Cup in the capital and the Gold Circle Trophy on the south coast.

Ottug Ottugi

Ottug Ottugi goes in Busan’s early Oaks trial

Unsurprisingly the fields are small but nevertheless interesting. Seoul on Sunday runs 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00 while Busan runs 6 from 13:00 to 17:05.

English Racecards can be found here. Entry to the racecourse is free for all punters on Sunday to compensate for the loss of four races due to the weather (among a number of issues) last Sunday.

Here’s a full rundown of the fields in both trials. All are three-year-old fillies and all will carry 55kg.

Name [Pedigree] (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Trainer – Jockey

GC Trophy (Special) – Busan Racecourse – 1400M – March 6, 2016 (16:10)

1. My Alice [Limitless Bid – Allie’s Premo (Alex’s Pal)] (3/2/1/0) JB Mun – Ikuyasu Kurakane
A possible front-runner here, she’s done little wrong so far although is tried at the distance for the first time. Four-length winner last start.

2. Yuseong Tiger [Discreet Cat – Comarillo (Deputy Commander)] (4/2/1/0) DS Bang – Kim Dong Young
The most likely to be happy to sit back and let others lead, she was an easy five-length winner last time over 1300M and can go close.

3. Steal The Show Why [Whywhywhy – Steal The Show (Cat Thief)] (8/2/2/1) KY Baik – You Hyun Myung
A four-length winner at class 5 over 1300M last time beating one who went on to win very smartly on Friday, she will sit just off any early pace.

4. Hoseungjibyeok [Didyme – Everything Nice (Elusive Quality)] (3/3/0/0) BE Kang – Song Keong Yun
Unbeaten and a class 4 winner at this distance beating the well-thought of Evangeline last time. She will want to settle in midfield and will be second favourite.

5. Ottug Ottugi [Forest Camp – Main Objective (Lion Heart)] (6/4/1/0) YK Kim – Oh Kyoung Hoan
This is the favourite, however her only previous try at 1400M – the Breeders’ Cup in Seoul, she did not stay on for this distance. We are three months on now and we will give her another chance. She sets the pace and she is the favourite.

6. Santa Gloria [Menifee – Pupil (Unbridled)] (4/1/0/1) KY Baik – Pasquale Borelli
The outsider of the field, she has been beaten by Yuseing Tiger and is yet to perform at anything higher than class 6. The only one for whom a win would be a big shock.

Sports Seoul Cup (Listed) – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – March 6, 2016 (16:40)

1. Chang Se [Forest Camp – Daecheonpung (Fiercely)] (7/3/2/1) JW Park – Lee Hyeon Jong
She’s won three of seven and beat imported opposition at class 4 last time. Tries the distance for the first time but will stay. Could lead and in the absence of Waikiki is the likely favourite.

2. La Reine [Menifee – Souther Splendour (Southern Halo)] (2/1/0/0) YJ Choi – Jo Sung Gon
A winner on debut in an event where all were previously unraced, she showed nothing next up and is an outsider here.

3. Sidaeyeowang [Vicar – Fier Time (Fiercely)] (4/2/0/0) JW Park – Djordje Perovic
Two wins and two fourths and has been beaten by Meni Money, she will need to find something here. Likely to sit behind the early lead.

4. Ujuchoegang [Creek Cat – Sonoray (Gone West)] (3/0/0/0) HS Seo – Bang Choon Sik
An outsider, she;s one of two yet to win and it’s hard to see her doing so here.

5. Meni Music [Menifee – Morning Music (Songandaprayer)] (7/3/1/1) YG Park – Park Eul Woon
At one time believed to be the pick of the crop, she has stuttered as the competition has grown stronger. Goes at this distance for the first time, she will probably look to lead but others will be favoured.

6. Argo Queen [Creek Cat – Lunar Colony (A.P. Indy)] (6/0/1/1) BJ Choi – Kim Dong Soo
Along with Ujuchoegang, this one hasn’t wn and she probably won’t here either. Still at class 6 and not much to recommend.

7. Daehan Cheonwang [Forest Camp – Seonju Jangsu (Happy Jazz Band)] (5/3/1/0) HJ Bae – Lim Gi Won
Can be forgiven her most recent try in January, she is a winner at this distance at class 5. She will sit just behind any early pace and may be considered.

8. Waikiki [Pico Central – Wyvern (Didyme)] (6/2/2/0) JH Ha – Park Byeong Yun

Weekend Preview

So the Derby has been and gone but we’ve plenty to keep us occupied this weekend, including a small but ultra-competitive field for the Gold Circle Trophy at Busan on Sunday.

The big race of the weekend is at Busan

The big race of the weekend is at Busan

Only eight run in what is without doubt the feature race of the weekend but they include the unbeaten pair of Diferent Dimension (complete with deliberate spelling error) and Seoul Bullet as well as the highly promising Macheon Bolt, who comes in having won his past five races. They are joined by proven winners Vicar Gold, Yeongung Champ and Champ Line for the 1600M race.

Seoul also hosts a big race on Sunday afternoon when a full field of fourteen will contest the Herald Business Cup over 1400M. Like the GC Trophy, it is open to horses rated up to 105.

Click here for full race cards

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday May 22
Busan Racecourse: 10 races from 12:50 to 19:00
Jeju Racecourse: 8 races from 13:15 to 17:05

Saturday May 23
Seoul Racecourse: 12 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:20

Sunday May 24
Seoul Racecourse: 10 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:30