Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 31)

Juveniles take centre-stage at both Seoul and Busan on Sunday afternoons with the running of the Gwacheon and Gimhae Mayor’s Cups. There are 9 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:10 to 17:30. Here are the previews:

Could it really be the last day behind closed doors?

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

Juvenile maidens get us underway with four of the twelve racing for the first time. (4) REMARKABLE is set to be favourite though. He ran 2nd in a good time on debut over this distance on September 18th before being tried in the valuable Munhwa Ilbo Cup for his second start at 1200M on October 3rd. From a wide draw he never really got going, finishing 6th of nine on the day but dropping back here in shallower waters, drawing well and getting Moon Se-young on his back, there is plenty to like about him. (3) DREAM SPEED has raced twice before, improving in her second outing, when she led at this distance, ultimately finishing 4th in a decent time. She should have made more progress for that and can continue to improve here.  (1) GIANT KILLING ran 3rd on debut on August 22nd, settling midfield and running on. He comes in fresh after ten weeks off and can improve on that here. Among the first-time starters, (7) WONPYEONG GWANGYA was the fastest in trials and can go well first-up.

Selections(4) Remarkable (3) Dream Speed (12) Janggun Byeol (3) Dream Speed
Next Best1, 7
Fast Start1, 3, 7, 12

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(1) NEW STAR YEONGCHEON comes in off two strong showing at 1200M, racing on pace and finishing 3rd and 4th, the latter time having come out of gate twelve. He draws the inside here and while he steps up in trip for the first time, he won’t need to improve much to win this. (5) K N TEUKGEUP also comes up in trip. He has mixed his form across six starts so far but has a 3rd place to his name and generally finishes off well. He gets a good draw and with Antonio Da Silva in the saddle can be aiming for a career best finish. (2) BIG ENERGY has been doing his best work late on in his latest two starts, both times running on strong for 4th over 1200M. The additional half furlong may well be what he needs to get even closer today. (8) SEMYEONG NARAE is the only one in the field to have a runner-up finish in her record and she comes in after beating a couple of these on her way to a fair 6th place at 1200M last start. She also has experience at 1400M which may be of benefit here. (9) MASEONG CHEONHA comes in having scored an on-pace 3rd at his latest start on September 4th and is another in the hunt although he will need a good start from an unfavourable gate.

Selections(1) New Star Yeongcheon (5) K N Teukgeup (2) Big Energy (8) Semyeong Narae
Next Best9, 3
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A tricky race with two standouts. (5) ONE JI is already a winner having struck at class 6 level two starts back when leading all the way at this distance. He then ran a solid 3rd place at this class and distance on September 19th. He is well drawn here, and he could well get to the lead and win again. The main danger is the up in class but sure to measure up (3) YUKWAEHAN SEONTAEK. He has a 3rd, and two runner-up finishes from three starts so far, all of them over 1000M. He has run on-pace all three times and should be able to do the same here from a great draw. He has winning claims. (6) CRAZY TANK comes up in class having broken through at start number five over this distance on September 4th. He was second-up into a comeback after a few months out and could well have progressed further. He likes to be on pace, but can may settle handy and run on here. (11) FASHIONED PASSION has developed a bit of a habit of getting a bit far back in her races. The wider draw may actually help here as she can avoid traffic problems and she certainly has plenty late speed. (4) BIG RED among others in the placing frame.

Selections(5) One Ji (3) Yukwaehan Seontaek (6) Crazy Tank (11) Fashioned Passion
Next Best4, 12
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 5

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Maidens with four of the twelve racing for the first time. (1) GREEN SPEED looks the one to beat. He has run 3rd and 4th in two starts so far, both of them at 1000M, finishing off strong both times. He steps up in trip to 1200M for the first time and it may well suit. (11) WINNER FALCON is a debut-maker sporting the Yoshida colours. The Smart Falcon fill is a late-starter at four-years-old but trialed very competently in a decent time and looks set to make a positive first race start here. (7) CHEONGMA POWER has certainly mixed his form across four starts so far but has run well twice at this trip including his latest start when he was 2nd having been handy throughout. He can settle just behind the early speed here and be a danger at the business end again. (5) MONGTTANG was an improved 4th on his third career start on October 3rd and his first at this distance. The jockey/trainer combination will make plenty take note. First-timer (12) CHOEGANG MIJIGAE another in the placing frame.

Selections(1) Green Speed (11) Winner Falcon (7) Cheongma Power (5) Mongttang
Next Best12, 2
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 5

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

(4) SPOT FLATTER comes back into shallower waters following an unsuccessful tilt at the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown, at Busan three weeks ago where he tried to sit behind an extremely hot pace but got overwhelmed, although he still finished with an extremely creditable time. How much that took out of him is a valid question but if he picks up his class 4 form where he left off, winning here on August 14th, then has every chance. (9) LAST BOSS is up in class following a good win over this distance on October 2nd. The time he recorded certainly measures up at this class and Moon Se-young taking the mount won’t harm his chances. (10) TIZ BLACK comes up in class having won his latest two, both at 1200M, by narrow margins. That takes him to three from six in total and he steps up in trip here with solid claims to make it three in a row. The draw is not ideal, but he can go close. Surely lightning doesn’t strike three times in a row with (5) CHEONJI POKPUNG. Twice in a row he has been unfancied yet swept home late to score over 1300M. He is up in class and in distance, but significantly down in weight and warrants some – perhaps reluctant -respect. (2) ULTRA KING another who is up in class today but comes down hugely in weight and draws well.

Selections(4) Spot Flatter (9) Last Boss (10) Tiz Black (5) Cheonji Pokpung
Next Best2, 3
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(10) LANE KILLER has run on very strong for two 3rd place finishes and a 4th in three stats so far, each time making up good ground late. He steps up to a mile for the first time and his racing pattern, suggests that it will suit and that the draw won’t matter. The step up may suit (8) OLD CHEONHA too. He returned to action following six months out on October 17th but didn’t really get into the race finishing down the field. He should have benefited from that though and can improve today. (7) CHEONGMA YEONGUNG ran an improved 3rd over 1200M on his latest start three weeks ago. He has tended to get well back in his races before running on and the additional distance to play with here can suit. (12) SINBIHAN GANGJA is the only one in the race to have a runner-up finish to his name, which came at this distance three starts back and he should be in the placing frame here. (6) TEN TEN QUEEN has the fastest time among the four who have tackled the mile before and she too can have placing aims.

Selections(10) Lane Killer (8) Old Cheonha (7) Cheongma Yeongung (12) Sinbihan Gangja
Next Best6, 1
Fast Start1, 4, 8, 9

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(3) GOLDEN BADGE is yet to score in eleven attempts buy has been consistently close and took to this distance well when stepped up at her latest start back in August when she ran 2nd to promising three-year-old Royal Road. This is her first start since then, but a top jockey is engaged and from a good draw, she can sit handy and run on strong. (5) REDBACK returned from almost six months out to run 3rd behind Last Boss over 1400M on October 2nd. He settled midfield and ran on strong and can step up to two turns with confidence that it will suit. He still looks to have plenty more development in him and has strong claims here. (7) TANK SOCKS has been at this class for a long time, picking up a win at 1200M but she too steps up to this distance for the first time today. She has been running consistent times over 1400M in her latest three appearances and there is no reason why she can’t be in the mix here. It’s a similar story with (6) HEUKRYONG GAMU, who comes in with the fastest average time for the final furlong of all of these. He made up excellent ground late on over 1400M to go from almost last to 4th and is another for who the step up in trip may suit. (4) RUN RUN RUN struggled on his first try at this distance in September but can be given another chance here.

Selections(3) Golden Badge (5) Redback (7) Tank Socks (6) Heukryong Gamu
Next Best4, 11
Fast Start3, 5, 9, 10

Dae Wan Ma & King Socks Claim Seoul & Busan Juvenile Crowns – Set For December Clash

Juveniles took centre-stage at Seoul and Busan on Sunday as each track hosted its 2nd-leg heat of the Juvenile Series. At Seoul Dae Wan Ma produced a gutsy fightback to win the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup, while in the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup on the South Coast, it was King Socks who prevailed in style.

Dae Wan Ma Dokki Blade Gwacheon Mayor's Cup - KRA

Dae Wan Ma (yellow cap) gets up to deby Do Kki Blade (Pic: KRA)

Dae Wan Ma entered the Seoul race with 2 wins and a disqualification to his name, the latter coming in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup last month when despite being 1st over the line, he was thrown out after causing another horse to unseat his rider coming out of the gates.

Under Antonio Da Silva, the Colors Flying colt was quickly on the lead but seemed to be beaten when collared by second-favourite Do Kki Blade with a furlong to run. Dae Wan Ma though looks to be made of stern stuff as he rallied up the inside rail to get back on terms and ultimately get his neck in front on the line. Myeongpum Chukje was a full five-lengths back in 3rd place.

Dae Wan Ma will now head to the Breeders’ Cup on the first week of December, the final leg of the Juvenile Series, as Seoul’s top hope. There he will face King Socks, who had an altogether easier time in the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup at Busan on Sunday afternoon. While Busan’s field was smaller it was no less competitive with the eight youngsters having already combined for 13 wins from 20 total starts.

Lion Sun set the early pace with filly Top Of World going with him. Once they hit the straight, however, neither were any match for the Kim Young-kwan-trained Officer colt as King Socks came alongside the leaders two furlongs out and cruised away to win by eight-lengths on the line under jockey Lee Hyo-sik. Yeonggwangui Secret passed an exhausted Lion Sun and Top Of World to snatch 2nd.

In other noteworthy performances across the weekend, the exciting World Day (Ecton Park) moved onto six wins from seven starts, making all to win Friday’s class 2 feature at Busan over 1800M while also at the Southern track, King Of Ace ran out a comfortable winner of Sunday’s class 1 handicap for Australian trainer Peter Wolsley. The US-bred colt by Malibu Moon burst onto the scene last year winning his first three races before being interrupted by injury but has now won his latest two and looks set to finally fulfil his potential.

Seoul Saturday: Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup Day: Race-By-Race Preview (October 27)

There is a big 13-race card at Seoul on Saturday running from 10:45 to 18:00. The feature race of the day is the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup, Seoul’s heat in the 2nd leg of the Juvenile Series:

Dae Wan Ma Dq

Dae Wan Ma crossed the line 1st in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup onlyh to be DQ’d – he’ll be well backed again in the 2nd leg of the Juvenile Series (Pic: KRA)


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

This is an especially weak maiden and while (7) BARAMUI MISO hasn’t been hugely impressive across her two starts so far, his 3rd – in similar strength company to this – and 5th – in stronger – suggest that with any kind of improvement at all, she should win, Next best is (2) TAP LUCK, who improved to 5th on his second outing last month and first at this distance. (1) SUPER CREED has shown some glimpses of ability too and while beaten by Tap Luck last time, can find the minor money here. (6) VICAR BRACING and (8) BRAIN SPEEDER have only raced once apiece and can be given a chance to improve.

Selections (7) Baramui Miso (2) Tap Luck (1) Super Creed (8) Brain Speeder
Next Best 6, 9
Fast Start 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens here with six of the eleven racing for the very first time. Among those with prior experience, both (2) BLUE FIRE and (9) GEUMA ZENITH have raced twice each with both registering a 2nd on their respective latest outings. Blue Fire’s was at this distance while Geuma Zenith’s was a narrow defeat in a fast time over 1000M and accordingly steps up for first time today. Both look to have serious claims. Of the other three who have raced before, (7) KAHINAH looks the best. Among the first-timers, there are two standouts. (5) NIMUI HYANGGI and (10) FIGHTING HERO both won trials in fine fashion, the latter especially and both can be backed first-up.


Selections (2) Blue Fire (9) Geuma Zenith (10) Fighting Hero (5) Nimui Hyanggi
Next Best 7, 1
Fast Start 2, 5


Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million


This maiden is restricted to fillies only. (6) FIRST RANK put in a solid shift on debut six weeks ago, finishing 3rd over 1000M. She made a lot of ground late on in the race and the additional distance today could well suit. She’s the top pick. (3) GREEN Y was a much improved 2nd on her latest effort at the end of last month. It wasn’t a very strong race but he improvement was notable and she’s another who may benefit from having further to race. (9) WONDERFUL HEELS is another who showed demonstrable improvement on her latest outing and is one to consider. (2) SOKBO WANGWI is a little more experienced and has raced well at this distance already and looks a good shout to place while (8) QUEEN OF CAMP is another who should be in the hunt.

Selections (6) First Rank (3) Green Y (2) Sokbo Wangwi (8) Queen Of Camp
Next Best 9, 5
Fast Start 1, 3, 4

Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Every time he runs now, we make the same jokes about (6) UNDEFEATED being anything but, however, we’ll draw a line through his latest because he’s back down in distance today and in against opposition he has every chance of beating. He’s well drawn to get a decent start and he can return to the winner’s circle. (3) MIREU STORM and (12) WINNER BROWN are both up in class having landed their respective maiden wins. Both should be very competitive here with Winner Brown marginally the favoured of the two. (8) DAESEUNG AGAIN ran 5th on his first try at this class last start and can build on it today. At the other end of the experience scale, (5) SSONSALGACHI ran 2nd in a not too dissimilar race three weeks ago and can aim for a repeat on what will be her fifty-second career start.

Selections (6) Undefeated (12) Winner Brown (3) Mireu Storm (8) Daeseung Again
Next Best 5, 9
Fast Start 3, 7, 8, 9

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

(9) CLEAN FLOWER has run 3rd and 5th in two outings at this level since getting her maiden win in July. Both times she’s more than held her own in stiff company and under Antonio Da Silva, she can win this, likely leading all the way. (10) HEUNG KKAEBI was a winner on debut on September 15th, over 1000M. She ran on well and should be able to handle both the higher class and increased distance with few problems. (12) RAON PRO SENSE and (8) KAILLUM YEOJE come in having finished 3rd and 4th respectively when they raced each other at 1000M at the end of September. With the extra furlong today, Kaillum Yeoje can reverse that form. (11) BODEURAM, 2nd last start at 1000M looks best of the rest.

Selections (9) Clean Flower (10) Heung Kkaebi (8) Kaillum Yeoje (12) Raon Pro Sense
Next Best 11, 6
Fast Start 1, 8, 9

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

(4) GWANGPOK JUHAENG has been showing signs of figuring things out and after a 3rd place last start four weeks ago, he can make the breakthrough today. He’ll likely settle just behind the early pace which should be set by (1) LEADER’S CAMP. She also comes in following a 3rd place last start, albeit against slightly more modest opposition, and should go close again. Another one on speed will be (3) BLACK POKKYEOKGI. It’s been five months since his solitary outing so far but he looked good when making all in a trial earlier this month and could go well first up today. (6) GIVEN WEEKEND and (11) RAON STELLA are others who can go close.

Selections (4) Gwangpok Juhaeng (1) Leader’s Camp (11) Raon Stella (3) Black Pokkyeokgi
Next Best 6, 7
Fast Start 1, 3

Race 7: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Imported maiden juveniles here and six of the eleven have raced before. (4) MUNHAK TSUNAMI was favourite on debut four weeks ago on the strength of a strong trial showing. He only managed to finish 2nd but it was a fast race and with any kind of improvement at all, will take some beating. Expect him to be an odds-on chance. (2) DARK PLAYER was four-lengths back in 3rd place that day and looks to be clear next best here too. Both are likely to be on the early speed. (5) SENSE JAENGI ran 2nd on debut in August before finishing 4th on re-appearance last month. He’ll need to improve to beat the top pair but should have the beating of most of the rest. Among the first-time starters, (6) GLOBAL BOSS a Cross Traffic colt, shoed some aptitude in his trial and looks the most likely to be competitive first-up.

Selections (4) Munhak Tsunami (2) Dark Player (5) Sense Jaengi (6) Global Boss
Next Best 1, 9
Fast Start 2, 4, 7

Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(12) SOL PARANG has won two from three so far and is up in class following an eye-catching eleven-length score over 1000M on October 7th. He’s also up in distance but he should be ready for it. He doesn’t need to lead from the gate so the wide draw is no real (more…)

Choinma Makes It A Gyeonggi/Gwacheon Juvenile Double

Choinma confirmed his place at the top of the Juvenile rankings by adding the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup to his resume at Seoul Racecourse on Saturday afternoon.

The Menifee colt was a convincing winner of last month’s Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup but with several new exciting youngsters entering the fray for the Mayor’s – the last big test before the nationwide Juvenile title is settled in the Breeders’ Cup on December 3rd, many felt Choinma would need to up his game to stay on track.

Up his game he did as he came through late to beat Hansen colt Sinui Myeongryeong by almost two lengths on the line. The previously unbeaten and well-fancied trio of Global Line, Hae Hu and The Queen Grace all faltered and ended up as also-rans but Wonderful Jackpot, 3rd in the Gyeonggi repeated the trick as that form held up very well. There was also a big run from Icheon Ssal who closed strongly for 4th and should be a very interesting prospect once the distances get longer in the new year.

Inly tme will tell how strong this crop turns out to be but the signs are good so far. Busan holds its own Juvenile Championship race on Sunday afternoon. Whoever comes out on top will have to go some to beat Choinma back here in December.

Gwacheon Governor’s Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – October 28, 2017

1. Choinma (KOR) [Menifee – Kkumaeul (Curia Regis)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 4.3, 1.3
2. Sinui Myeongryeong (KOR) [Hansen – Strawberry Rose (Dr Fong)] – Lim Gi Won – 2.2
3. Wonderful Jackpot (KOR) [Ingrandire – Endless Heroine (Oath)] – Kim Yong Geun – 7.0
Distances: 1.75 lengths / 0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Icheon Ssal 5. Fire Wind 6. Okay Queen 7. Hoeng Un Gol 8. Global Line 9. Hae Hu 10. Raon Alice 11. Eagle Sky 12. Dae Cain 13. The Queen Grace 14. Meni Bada

Seoul Saturday: Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup Race-By-Race Preview (October 28)

Seoul’s top Juvenile will be decided on Saturday afternoon as fourteen two-year-olds line up for the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup. The winner will look to go on to emulate Final Boss by becoming overall Juvenile Champion at the Breeders’ Cup next month before heading to the Triple Crown trial in 2018. Full preview of that – and all of Saturday’s 12 races (10:45 to 18:00) are below:

Choinma Gyeonggi

Choinma won the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup last month and goes for a repeat in the Gwacheon Mayor’s on Saturday (Pic: KRA)

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

Two first-time starters join ten who have each run just once before for the opener and as none of those ten particularly caught the eye on debut, we’re going to give a chance to (5) FUNKY TRAIN to score at the first time of asking. He trialled up well and there’s no reason why he can’t win this. The other debut-maker, (7) GANADORA is not without claims either while among the ones who have already raced, (3) DAE BYEONHWA, (8) BANGGEURI and (11) MERLIN look best.

Selections (5) Funky Train (11) Merlin (3) Dae Byeonhwa (7) Ganadora
Next Best 8, 6
Fast Start 1, 2, 5, 6, 12

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

(1) K.N. BLUE has come close in two outings to date, including 2nd place last start over this distance and he looks hard to oppose here. (5) ÉCLAIR BEAUTY has taken part in three tough races so far and can be forgiven her latest effort. She looks second choice here with (3) BULSA BULPAE, (6) MAIN EVENT and the more experienced (10) WIND POWER others who have claims on getting into the places.

Selections (1) K.N. Blue (5) Éclair Beauty (3) Bulsa Bulpae (6) Main Event
Next Best 10, 8
Fast Start 2, 5, 11

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

(5) ALL OF ME was a creditable 2nd on debut, four-lengths adrift of a good winner and she has strong claims to go one better here, likely leading from the start. Seven of the twelve race for the first time and it’s among those we encounter the main dangers. (2) PALDO DAEJANG looked very sharp winning a trial last month while (3) BIG EAR put in a very fast time in a competitive heat. Both have top jockeys on board and will be backed while similarly (10) RAON DOLPUNG should also go well first-up. Among the others with experience, (8) MAX THUNDER, the only one with two starts behind her, looks best.

Selections (5) All Of Me (3) Big Ear (2) Paldo Daejang (10) Raon Dolpung
Next Best 8, 1
Fast Start 2, 5, 8, 10

Race 4: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Tricky contest this especially with all but one of them racing at the distance for the first time. That one (5) FIRE didn’t go especially well at it but did improve in one start since and may be considered for the minor money. Favourites look to be (3) BEST MISSION and (12) NEULPUREUN CHEONHA. They were both 3rd in their latest efforts but it’s the latter (more…)

Life’s A Beach For Waikiki in Mayor’s Cup

Filly Waikiki was the shock 48/1 winner of the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Saturday afternoon, in the process becoming a rather unlikely champion 2-year-old for the capital city track.

The previously unbeaten Meni Music had been sent off the slight favourite for the 1200M test but with a whole host of unexposed and very lightly raced entrants, the likelihood of a surprise was always high.

Second favourite Winners Glory was prominent for much of the race and looked to have the race won entering the final furlong. However, Waikiki, who had been very slow to jump and only led one entering the home straight, flew home in the closing stages under jockey Park Byeong Yun to snatch victory on the line.

Waikiki had raced twice previously, finishing 2nd on both occasions. She is now likely to race in the Breeders’ Cup at the end of November when the bet Seoul juveniles will face the best of Busan’s. Indeed, the Busan version of the Mayor’s Cup – the Gyeongnam Sinmun Trophy – will take place this afternoon on the south coast. Ottug Ottugi, currently two for two, is set to start as favourite.

Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – Oct 10, 2015

1. Waikiki (KOR) [Pico Central – Wyvern (Didyme)] – Park Byeong Yun – 49.0, 7.4
2. Winners Glory (KOR) [Strike Again – Luck And Fame (Western Fame)] – Kim Dong Soo – 1.5
3. Gaia Thunder (KOR) [One Cool Cat – Now Cope With This (Tiznow)] – Song Jae Chul – 14.0
Distances: 0.5 lengths / 1 length – 12 ran

Cosmos King, Rafale Take Juvenile Honours At Seoul & Busan

It was 2-year-old Championship weekend at Seoul and Busan and it will be Cosmos King and Rafale who head to the Korean Breeders’ Cup at Seoul next month as the top juveniles from their respective tracks.

Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – Oct 11, 2014

1. Cosmos King (KOR) [Ingrandire – Lovely Shine (French Deputy)] – Lee Hyeok – 2.4, 1.3
2. Dream Queen (KOR) [Creek Cat – Fine Jilju (Duality)] – Seo Seung Un – 1.6
3. Keunbada (KOR) [Menifee – Keungori (Essence Of Dubai)] – Jang Chuyoul – 1.9
Distances: 1 length / 2 lengths – 10 ran

Cosmos King was sent off as the slight favourite for the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup at Seoul on Saturday, just ahead of fellow unbeaten colt Raon Rusa. Punters were proved right as, under Lee Hyeok, Cosmos King closed from 5th to 1st in the final furlong to win by a length from filly Dream Queen.

On Sunday, it was Busan’s turn to run its Championship race. And there was a little more of a surprise here as 9/1 chance Rafale overcame hot-favourite Doraon Hyeonpyo in a final stretch battle to take the prize. The two were a dominant 6-lengths ahead of their nearest other rival on the line.

Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup – Busan Racecourse – 1200M – Oct 12, 2014

1. Rafale (KOR) [Colors Flying – Dongbang Choego (Al Naba )] – You Hyun Myung – 9.6, 2.1
2. Doraon Hyeonpyo (KOR) [Colors Flying – Kilcoe Castle (Gone West)] – Jeong Song Cheol – 1.1
3. Yuseong Fighting (KOR) [Didyme – Maggie’s Prayer (Songandaprayer)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.5
Distances: 0.75 lengths / 6 lengths – 11 ran

The best 2-year-olds of this year’s crop from both Seoul and Busan will reconvene in the capital at the end of next month for the “Breeders’ Cup” to decide the nation’s overall Juvenile Champion.

Raon Morris, Jungang Gongju Claim Juvenile Titles

With the Korean Breeders’ Cup, the nation’s most important 2-year-old race, just over a month away, Seoul and Busan decided their own champions this weekend.

At Seoul, a front-running performance did the business for Raon Morris (Yankee Victor) in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup on Saturday. The colt came into the race with 2 wins and a 2nd in his 3 previous starts and never looked like being troubled as he took victory by a length.

Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1200M – October 12, 2013

1. Raon Morris (KOR) [Yankee Victor – Thunder By Night (Thunder Gulch)] – Moon Se Young – 4.0, 1.5
2. Gamunui Chukje (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki – Gamun N’Yeonggwang (Concept Win)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 3.3
3. Forever Daemul (KOR) [Exploit – Charming Roman (Gadabout)] – Park Tae Jong – 2.1

Distances: 1 length/1 length – 10 ran

At Busan this afternoon, fillies were in charge as Jungang Gongju (Menifee) won the battle of the closers in the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup with Queen’s Blade.

The two fast-finishers came late on either side of Yonggwanguichampion, who finished 3rd. Leading sire Menifee was responsible for all 3 place-getters.

Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup – Busan Race Park – 1200M – October 13, 2013

1. Jungang Gongju (KOR) [Menifee – Command And Hope (Commands)] – Choi Si Dae – 4.2, 1.6
2. Queen’s Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Harboring (Boston Harbor)] – Kanichiro Fujii – 1.6
3. Yeonggwanguichampion (KOR) [Menifee – Manwang (Road Of War)] – Song Keong Yun – 1.9

Distances: 0.5 lengths/0.5 lengths – 14 ran

The Korean Breeders’ Cup race, where the winners will face each other, takes place at Seoul Race Park on December 1.

Weekend Preview: Juvenile Cups At Seoul & Busan

Juveniles take centre-stage this weekend as both Seoul and Busan hold their respective Championship races for 2-year-olds. The best performers in each race will then meet in Seoul next month to decide the peninsula’s overall best up-and-coming young horse.

The weather has been beautiful this week and should remain so over the weekend for the Champion Juvenile races

The weather has been beautiful this week and should remain so over the weekend for the Champion Juvenile races

As has been the case for the past few years, Busan looks to have the edge in terms of quality. A total of 14 runners – 7 colts and 7 fillies – will line up for the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup on Sunday afternoon, only 2 of whom are yet to win. Yeonggwanguichampion and Cheonha Ullim have perhaps been the most impressive coming into the race but anything could happen in what looks a very competitive field.

Up at Seoul just 8 colts and 2 fillies will take their chance in Saturday’s Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup. Nubi Queen, Cheonwang Dungi and Raon Morris have been the stand-out performers among them so far.

In the week that it was announced that US 2011 Breeders’ Cup winner Hansen would be coming to Korea, there is plenty of diversity among the stallions represented in both races, unlike the Menifee and Forest Camp dominance of the past 2 years. Freshman sires here One Cool Cat and Peace Rules both have runners in Korean Stakes races for the first time.

The weekend’s other race of note is the last at Seoul on Saturday as Fly Top Queen (Henny Hughes) makes her 4th appearance. The 3-year-old filly – Korea’s most expensive ever imported racehorse – has won her first three races in dismissive fashion and will be heavily favoured to make it 4. If all goes to plan, she will travel to Tokyo next month to represent Korea in the 2nd leg of the Korea vs Japan Challenge races.

Down on Jeju, Saturday’s short 5-race pony card forms part of the Jeju Horse Festival and includes the Jeju Open and Jeju Classic, the track’s 2 richest races of the year.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday October 11

Busan Race Park: 13 races from 12:00 to 18:00

Saturday October 12

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00 including the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup at 16:30
Jeju Race Park: 5 races from 12:20 to 16:00

Sunday October 13

Seoul Race Park: 13 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 4 races from 12:50 to 15:20 including the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup at 14:30