Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup

Seouri Byeol Stuns Special Stone In Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup

Just when it seemed as though Special Stone was set fair to claim the title of Champion three-year-old filly of 2018 by backing up her Korean Oaks win in the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon, up popped 10/1 chance Seouri Byeol from the rear of the field to deny her in emphatic fashion.

Seouri Byeol - Korea Racing Authority

Seouri Byeol beats Special Stone in the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup (Pic: KRA)

Seouri Byeol had finished similarly quickly in the filly Classic at Busan in July but that day found two too many to pass and had to settle for 2nd as Special Stone dominated. At the top of the stretch this time, Special Stone cruised into the lead as pace-setter and betting favourite Blue Flag started to weaken and under jockey Kim Jeong-jun, seemingly had the race at her mercy.

That was reckoning without Seouri Byeol, however. Last with two furlongs to run, Park Eul-woon found a gap and his filly found top gear. Though still trailing with half a furlong to run it was clear she had the momentum and shortly after, she had the race, winning by no fewer than 4 lengths on the line from Special Stone. Nike Street, last in the Oaks, came home 3rd with a tiring Blue Flag 4th.

A filly by the Japanese-bred sire, Limitless Bid, Seouri Byeol was wining for just the fourth time on what was her twelfth start. Her colours, those of owner Kim Sun-sik, were last seen in the Stakes race winner’s circle on Final Boss after the 2017 Derby. It was a first big race win for her trainer Kim Dong-chul, a former jockey who gained his license in 2016. For jockey Park, it was his fourth success on a Group race.

At Busan, King Of Ace returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in over a year. The American import by Malibu Moon won four of his first five starts in the first half of 2017 before suffering a bad injury. Although he returned at the beginning of this year he hadn’t quit been able to recapture his old form but he looked good when leading gate-to-wire to win the south-coast track’s feature handicap over 1400M.

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Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (September 16)

It’s the final day of racing in Korea before the one week break for the “Chuseok” holiday and there is plenty of action with 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10. The feature race is at Seoul, The Group 3 Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup for three-year-old fillies with Korean Oaks winner Special Stone set to be favourite.

Special Stone Korea Racing Authority

Oaks winner Special Stone returns to action at Seoul on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

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

(6) STRONG VULTURE was an improved 2nd on August 19th in a similar strength race to this and it shouldn’t take much improvement for him to come out on top here. He led until close to home that day and this time will be expected to lead all the way. (1) HUNTER HAWK and (12) SOKBO ONGJU are by some margin the two most experienced horses in this field and while that’s generally not a good thing at class 6, both should have enough about them to challenge for at least places here. (3) HEY DREAMER showed some signs of figuring things out last time and can get closer today. There are four first-time starters and of them, (7) EIFFEL looks the most forward at the moment.

Selections (6) Strong Vulture (7) Eiffel (1) Hunter Hawk (12) Sokbo Ongju
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 4, 6, 7, 11

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

(3) TAMNANEUN YEOIN leaps out from the page having won his her debut but up in class here, she looks up against it. Instead, (1) AREUMDAUN CHEONSA may be a better prospect. She was promoted to this level with back to back 2nd place finishes and then got her maiden win last start getting the best of a tight finish over this distance on August 11th. She looks to be improving each run and could do so again. Seeking to emulate her with a maiden victory after being promoted off the back of consecutive runner-up finishes is (4) BEYOND OVER. She’s run on well both times and should be competitive at this level. (7) BACK TO BACK drops back in trip and may come into consideration while (9) LIVINGSTONE had a hard time on his first try at the distance last start but is worth another go. Similarly (11) DAMON ANGEL, who beat Beyond Over on the latter’s debut, can improve on his latest run.

Selections (1) Areumdaun Cheonsa (11) Damon Angel (4) Beyond Over (3) Tamnaneun Yeoin
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 1, 6, 9, 11, 12

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

(5) QUEEN FORCE ONE returned from eight months off to run a solid 4th in a similar all-filly race to this over 1000M on  August 26th. She steps up in trip for the first time here and looks to have every chance, most probably from on the early speed. (3) GREEN TEA wasn’t far away from 2nd last start and looks a good placing prospect once more while (8) I AM WINNER is yet to actually be a winner but, last start apart, enters with recent form reading in an encouraging manner and could get close. (4) CHEONNYEON HAPPY, (6) INDY LADY and (9) QUEEN OF CAMP all made promising debuts and can build on them here.

Selections (5) Queen Force One (8) I Am Winner (4) Cheonnyeon Happy (3) Green Tea
Next Best 6, 9, 10
Fast Start 5, 6, 11

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

Juvenile maidens only and there are two stand-outs. (11) DO KKI BLADE was always going to grab some local attention due to his name and he ran well on debut, overcoming a slow start to run on well for 2nd. The step up in trip should suit and he can win. The big threat though is (9) BI PYEONG He’s been 2nd and 3rd in his two outings so far, the latter of which was at this distance and a win is surely not too far away. It would be a surprise if these two didn’t fill out the top two places – and if they do they will both be racing at class 5 next start – but there are a few others who could be involved. (1) BLUE FIRE ran well in 3rd on debut four weeks ago and can build on it today while (2) RULE BREAKER was a much-improved 2nd on his second start on August 26th. (8) UP LIGHT was 4th behind Bi Pyeong last time out and while he has four-lengths to make up on that one, can beat plenty.

Selections (11) Do Kki Blade (9) Bi Pyeong (2) Rule Breaker (1) Blue Fire
Next Best 8, 3
Fast Start 5, 6, 10

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

(4) GUREUM WANGJA was a good all-the-way winner over this distance on August 11th on what was just his second start. H e’s up in class here but is a firm favourite to back up with another win. It took (8) MYEONGJIN MAN four goes to get his maiden win but the Drosselmeyer colt did it in style on July 1st. He too steps up in class and while he has a bit to find if he is to push the favourite, he can go well as well. (12) YEOWOORI was a touch disappointing at 1000M last time but can be better back up in distance today while (7) NEUNGRYEOK SIDAE and (9) DUAL CHOEGANG are others who are most likely to compete for places.

Selections (4) Gureum Wangja (12) Yeowoori (7) Neungryeok Sidae (8) Myeongjin Man
Next Best 9, 3
Fast Start 1, 4, 7

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(8) VICAR BLADE just missed out by a nose over a mile three weeks ago and drops back to the distance at which he earned his previous win today. He’ll be on pace early and is the one to beat. Five of these raced each other at class and distance on August 17th with (6) SIMON MAGIC coming out on top among them, finishing in 2nd place. He can go well again although it could be that a couple of the ones he beat can overturn the form. They’re the confusingly named pair of (3) GANGHAN JILJU and (10) JANGHAN JILJU are both proven performers at the distance with the latter – Janghan – favoured here. (2) SUPER SUPREME was a class and distance winner in June and while he didn’t go especially at a mile on his only start since, should be in the frame today.

Selections (8) Vicar Blade (10) Janghan Jilju (3) Ganghan Jilju (2) Super Supreme
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 8, 9

 Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(1) STRONG RUNNER ran 4th at this distance at class 6 back in May. After that, he dropped back in distance to get his maiden win in June and followed up with back to back 3rd place finishes at 1400M and 1200M, both at this level. He looks ready to move (more…)

World Sun, Choinma Land Juvenile Series Prizes

World Sun and Choinma set themselves up as front-runners for this year’s Juvenile Honours with the pair claiming big prizes at Busan and Seoul this afternoon. Both came from behind to respectively win the Gold Circle and Gyeonggi Governor’s Trophy.

Neither were favourite but both ran out convincing winners. In the Gold Circle at Busan, Kim Young Kwan’s Classic Match was punter’s overwhelming first choice having impressed on his debut and for much of the race, it looked as though the Hansen colt was going to dominate from gate-to-wire. In the final furlong, however, he began to start tying-up and World Sun, the 6/1 second-favourite, having come from last place easily swept by to win win by an ever-increasing four-lengths. Captain Force, stablemate of Classic Match and half-brother to 2016 Korean Oaks winner Ottug Ottugi, was 3rd.

Gold Circle Trophy – Busan Racecourse – 1200M – September 24, 2017

1. World Sun (KOR) [Officer – Dancing Desire (Mr. Greeley)] – Lim Sung Sil – 6.6, 1.5
2. Classic Match (KOR) [Hansen – Intouchable (Elusive Quality)] – Ham Wan Sik – 1.0
3. Captain Force (KOR) [Peace Rules – Main Objective (Lion Heart)] – Jo In Kwen – 2.1
Distances: 4 lengths / 1.5 lengths – 9 ran

At Seoul, Icheon Ssal was sent of as favourite in the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup. He arrived two for two although much of that was down to the excellence of Johan Victoire’s ride on a soaking wet track last time. It was always going to be harder to get up today.

As it was, Icheon Ssal never came close as Hoeng Un Gol set the early place only to be ground down in the closing stages by second-favourite Choinma who ran on to win by just over a length.

Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – September 24, 2017

1. Choinma (KOR) [Menifee – Kkumaeul (Curia Regis)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 3.3, 1.4
2. Hoeng Un Gol (KOR) [Forest Camp – Miss Travelin (Lycius)] – Moon Se Young – 2.0
3. Wonderful Jackpot (KOR) [Ingrandire – Endless Heroine (Oath)] – Jang Chu Youl – 2.4
Distances: 1.25 lengths / 3 lengths – 11 ran

Sunday at Seoul also saw another impressive performance by Cheongdam Dokki (To Honor And Serve). The three-year-old was absolutely effortless in winning a class 1 Championship Series race over 1800M by 14-lengths. He moves on to six wins from ten starts and is by far the hottest property at the track right now.

Another Pinot Noir Spring Vintage

Pinot Noir just loves this time of year and she loves this race too. The 7-year-old mare was in fine form as she claimed victory in the Group 3 “Spring Stakes” (planned to be the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup) at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

This race was intended to be the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup but due to the impending Presidential election, that had to be dropped with the Governor himself still potentially a candidate and therefore conflict of interest rules coming into play. Pinot Noir won the race in 2014, was 2nd in 2015 and then won again in 2016. She went cold towards the tail-end of last year but came back into form by running 2nd to Meni Money in the Donga Ilbo Cup –  a prep for this race – a month ago.

This time around, with the race being over an extra furlong and at level weights, punters found it hard to split Meni Money and Pinot Noir, ultimately sending the former off as the very slight favourite. Outsider Gold Wave, one of just two in the race who didn’t take part in the Donga Ilbo, took the initiative while Moon Se Young opted for a steady start on the favourite. Meanwhile Park Hyun Woo on Pinot Noir used the same tactics as always on the mare; drop right to the back at the start before coming wide around the field in the back-straight.

The field was nicely bunched together in the home straight and once it became apparent Gold Wave wasn’t going anywhere, things started to get interesting. Meni Money just couldn’t hit top gear leaving it to Pinot Noir to tackle her inside the final furlong and run on to win by an ever increasing margin.

In total it was Pinot Noir’s 8th win on her 32nd start and the 5th to arrive in Stakes races. She may very well not win again this year but if she’s still racing this time next, it wouldn’t be hugely surprising to see her back here again.

Spring Stakes (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – March 26, 2017

1. Pinot Noir (KOR) [Capital Spending – Neungnyeokchungman (Pacificbounty)] – Park Hyun Woo – 2.4, 1.1
2. Gold Wave (KOR) [Volponi – Geumbit Yuhok (Exploit)] – Kim Yong Geun – 3.2
3. Meni Money (KOR) [Menifee – Pocketful Of Money (Running Stag)] Moon Se Young – 1.1
Distances: 1 length / 0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. The Queen Silver 5. Argo Champ 6. Namsan Chukje 7. Lakshmi 8. Simsin Jiryeo

At Busan, Sunday’s feature saw Perdido Pomeroy (Pomeroy) fall to defeat. The four-year-old who last year won the Korea v Japan race at Seoul, had returned to the winner’s circle in January but turned in a flat performance this time over 1400M as Doraonpogyeongseon (Kantharos), two starts into a comeback from a lengthy absence, took the honours.

This coming week it’s Triple Crown time!. The first jewel in the crown, the KRA Cup Mile (Korean Guineas) will be run at Busan on Sunday April 2nd.

Seoul Sunday: “Spring Stakes” – Full Preview

Meni Money and Pinot Noir came 1st and 2nd in the Donga Ilbo Cup last month and on Sunday at Seoul Racecourse, they take their rivalry to Group level in the newly named G3 Spring Stakes.

Meni Money Donga Ilbo

Meni Money (far side) beat Pinot Noir & Argo Champ in the Donga Ilbo Cup. They all go again on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Sunday’s race was originally called the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup but with said Governor considering a presidential run the race needed to have its name changed and so the Spring Stakes it is. Meni Money and Pinot Noir – the latter of whom won this race last year – will be favourites to fill out the quinella once more.

There’s plenty happening at Busan also on Sunday where Perdido Pomeroy will be favoured to get back into winning form in the feature seven-furlong sprint. In total there are 11 Sunday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10.

English race cards can be found here. Three Seoul races, including the Spring Stakes will be available on Sky Racing in Australia. Form comments for those races are below:

Race 8: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

1. KING AHEAD – Improved 4th last time under this jockey, beaten 2.5 lengths by Compass so still some form to make up.

2. HAPPY SENSATION – Beaten a length behind Kyma when favourite last time but 7-length winner ahead of Star Bonny Bee and Compass the time before. Favourite here. (more…)

Pinot Noir Easily Wins Gyeonggi Governor’s / Triple Nine Beats Bold Kings

In a near repeat of February’s Donga Ilbo Cup, Pinot Noir dominated the Group 3 Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday.

Last month’s Donga had been run in a snowstorm but while the weather was very different at a sun-bathed Seoul, the result was exactly the same. Sent off as the hot favourite ahead of the other seven who raced in the Donga – as well as three less than stellar others – Pinot Noir hit the front as they began to turn for home and raced on for an easy victory.

The always game X File came home in 2nd with Smart Time in 3rd. The mismatch, coming so soon after the Donga, wasn’t a great advert for Stakes racing – the inevitable result of extra big money races for fillies and mares in order to encourage owners to buy them but as yet there not being much depth of talent, especially at Seoul. Hopefully Pinot Noir will face tougher challenges in the Queens’ Tour races later this year.

Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – March 27, 2016

1. Pinot Noir (KOR) [Capital Spending – Neungnyeokchungman] – Park Eul Woon – 1.3, 1.1
2. X File (KOR) [Exploit – Dorothy Dee]- Kim Dong Soo – 1.7
3. Smart Time (KOR) [Ft. Stockton – Charon] – Djordje Perovic – 1.6
Distances: 2.5 lengths / Neck
Also Ran: 4. Lucky Music 5. Meni Money 6. Pureun Geotap 7. Argo Asset 8. Space Shuttle 9. Punggwae 10. Shine clover 11. Queen’s Win

At Busan, Grand Prix Stakes winner Bold Kings suffered the first defeat of his career on what was his eighth start. Under Kim Yong Geun, Bold Kings was beaten by President’s Cup winner Triple Nine by a length with Gumpo Sky just a nose back in 3rd.

Class 1 Handicap – Busan Racecourse – 2000M / March 27, 2016

1. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke] – You Hyun Myung – 2.0, 1.1
2. Bold Kings (USA) [Afleet Express – Bold Arrival] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.2
3. Gumpo Sky (KOR) [Vicar – Perfect Storm] – Seo Seung Un – 1.8
Distances: 1.25 lengths / Nose
Also Ran: 4. Heba 5. Cheonji Bulpae 6. Viva Ace 7.Forest Bold 8. Nobody Catch Me

Next week, the three-year-olds take centre-stage with the first leg of the Triple Crown, the KRA Cup Mile, at Busan.

Full Sunday Preview: Bold Kings v Triple Nine, Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup

It’s a big Sunday of racing in Korea. Pinot Noir heads the field for the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup at Seoul but the most interesting race of the day is in Busan where Grand Prix winner Bold Kings takes on President’s Cup winner Triple Nine and also Gumpo Sky in a real class 1 test.

DSC_3289-select (1)

Bold Kings beat Gumpo Sky by a neck in the Grand Prix. They face off again, with Triple Nine also in attendance, on Sunday

The first race at Seoul is at 10:50am and the first at Busan at 1pm. 12 races will be simulcast to Singapore and Malaysia while Seoul races 7, 8 and 9 will be shown in Australia on Sky Racing 2.

English language racecards are here. Notes on all simulcast races are below (we spent most of Friday dodging winners so treat with caution):

Busan Race 1: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:00 

(6) ILMANGMUJE got back to back wins in December and January and following a creditable 3rd place last time, can get back to winning ways today. She’ll likely come from just off the pace along with (5) QUICK FORCE, how has two 2nds and two 3rds from four starts to date and can go close again. Up front early will be (8) ACE POWER and (3) BLUE STORM, both of whom have claims although on Friday it wasn’t easy for horses to lead all the way. Next best is (7) MAJOR WINNER.

Favourites: (6) Ilmangmuje (5) Quick Force (8) Ace Power (3) Blue Storm
Next Best: 7, 2, 4, 9
Remainder: 1, 10
Fast Starters: 3, 4, 8, 9

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:20 

Big field and a competitive one too (2) JISANG BIHAENG just gets the nod over (11) SUSEONG CAPTAIN; both come in following 2nd place finishes at this class with the former having done it at this distance. Both will go forward early and both have claims. (5) BEST TAKER drops back in distance after a decent 4th at 1700M last month and can go well while both (9) GWASOK DOLPUNG and (13) FLY WING can be given further chances after slightly disappointing recent starts. (10) KKUMDONGNE, who beat Gasok Dolpung when winning at class and distance in December, may also be considered.

Favourites: (2) Jisang Bihaeng (11) Suseong Captain (5) Best Taker (9) Gwasok Dolpung
Next Best: 10, 3, 13, 1, 6, 8
Remainder: 4, 7, 12, 14
Fast Starters: 2, 3, 11

Busan Race 2: Class 5 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:40 

(14) DAMYANG JANGGUN is up in class and distance following a maiden win at the fifth time of asking last month and he is more than capable of following up here. (11) FOUR STAR actually beat Damyang Janggun when recording his own maiden win in January. He went on to run 3rd behind (3) GARAK GONGWON at this distance on his first try at class 5. Garak Gongwon followed up with another 2nd place and both must be considered here. (6) DAEHANUIMYEONGSEONG returned from a six-month spell with a very solid run over 1300M three weeks ago and can show more progress here. (4) WISH ME LUCK hasn’t excelled in two starts at this class since winning on his debut but gets another chance while (7) PEACE BERY and (10) POWER CUPS are among a number of others not to be overlooked in a really competitive race.

Favourites: (14) Damyang Janggun (3) Garak Gongwon (6) Daehanuimyeongseong (11) Four Star
Next Best: 4, 7, 12, 1, 10, 2, 5
Remainder: 8, 9, 13
Fast Starters: 6, 7, 12, 14

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 14:05

Banker favourite of the day here in the shape of (2) SUPER BROAD. A Korean bred taking on mild imported opposition – who only have one win between them – and a really good winner last time, he’ll come from just off the early pace and it is hard to see him getting beaten. Those with the best chance of pulling off a surprise are (4) PRO MATHEUS, who has shown some glimpses in three starts to date and (5) DALLYEORA GANGJEOK, who has won plenty of money but never finished any better than 3rd. (1) CHIEF DRESSEL and (10) MADURYEONG are others who will be expecting to finish in the money.

Favourites: (2) Super Broad (4) Pro Matheus (5) Dallyeora Gangjeok (1) Chief Dressel
Next Best: 10, 8, 9, 7
Remainder: 3, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14
Fast Starters: 3, 10, 12

Busan Race 3: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 14:30

From Kim Young Kwan’s stable, (13) MATCH POWER makes his racecourse debut here having won a trial in good fashion last month. The Cowboy Cal colt will be expected to go very well. The main obstacle to his securing a debut victory is (9) WORLD QUEEN, a very reliable filly who will be on pace early and won’t let many past here. (12) ILLYUCHEON looks to have a win in her at some point and beat (11) BUYEONG TOWER as the pair raced 3rd and 4th over 1200M last month. (3) SEUNGNI PARK and the up in class (4) GOOD TOUCH are the others with claims.

Favourites: (13) Match Power (9) World Queen (12) Illyucheon (4) Good Touch
Next Best: 11, 3, 5, 7,
Remainder: 1, 2, 6, 8, 10, 14
Fast Starters: 6, 9, 11, 12

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 14:55

(3) GANGSEONG DAEGUK, a winner at domestic class 4 and 2nd in a similar race at the end of last month is the pick to claim this competitive affair. He’ll look to lead all the way. (2) BALIOS QUEEN and (7) BEONGAE BIHO both enter following decent 2nd places last time, the latter defeating (11) NEW VETERAN who can also be expected to go well here. (6) PYEONGCHONYEONGUNG has a pair of 2nd places among four previous outings and will surely get a win at some stage. He can come close here. (14) RAON TROY was disappointing last time out but can be given another chance here.

Favourites: (3) Gangseong Daeguk (7) Beongae Biho (6) Pyeongchonyeongung (2) Balios Queen
Next Best: 11, 14, 5, 1, 4
Remainder: 8, 9, 10, 12, 13
Fast Starters: 3, 5, 14

Seoul Race 8: Class 2 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 90 Million / 15:45

Much more competitive but the verdict goes the way of (10) SUN STRONG who has beaten (1) SUPER TANK over this distance before. The latter went on to pick up an 1800M victory of his own and is the main danger. Those two will look to come from off the pace, a pace that could be set by (2) GOLD MOUNTAIN and (6) ILJIN HWARANG, both of whom are capable of staying on. (8) CHASING DOLLARS is reunited with jockey Lee Chan Ho, who has gone well on him in the past and should be competitive here.

Favourites: (10) Sun Strong (1) Super Tank (8) Chasing Dollars (2) Gold Mountain
Next Best: 6, 4, 7, 5
Remainder: 3, 9
Fast Starters: 2, 3, 6

Busan Race 5: Class 2 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 16:10

Very open race and (1) HEUKGANGJA makes a quick return following a good 3rd place at a mile two weeks ago and likely to be among the favourites here. (9) MAGIC PARK actually beat Heukgangja over 1800M last month and will have backers to repeat while (3) MEDA GLORIA is up in class following one too many near misses at class 3. She may struggle to win here but should be close. (4) DREAM TOWER and (14) PROFESSOR SILVER raced 4th and 5th at 1900M last month and both can go well here. The wildcard is (11) SUMMIT MYEONGUN. One of the most highly thought-of three-year-olds at the beginning of last season, he hasn’t raced since the KRA Cup Mile almost exactly a year ago. He’s been gelded and came through a barrier trial very nicely earlier this month.

Favourites: (1) Heukgangja (9) Magic Park (11) Summit Myeongun (14) Professor Silver
Next Best: 3, 4, 5, 13
Remainder: 2, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12
Fast Starters: 1, 4, 9

Seoul Race 9: Class Open – The Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup (KOR G3) – 2000M / Allowance / KRW 300 Million / 16:40

This is practically a rerun of the Donga Ilbo Cup, which took place over 1800M on February 28th. All eight fillies & mares who too part that day line up again and with (6) PINOT NOIR having won that race by a full nine-lengths, there aren’t too many reasons to oppose her today. She will go back early and look to hit the front entering the home straight. The other market leaders are likely to be the ones who chased her home forlornly. (1) SMART TIME was 2nd, (3) X FILE was 3rd and (9) MENI MONEY was 4th. Also expected to go ok is (10) LUCKY MUSIC while among the three who didn’t go in the Donga Ilbo, (2) SHINE CLOVER perhaps has the best chance of an upset. But not much.

Favourites: (6) Pinot Noir (10) Lucky Music (9) Meni Money (1) Smart Time
Next Best: 3, 2, 8, 11
Remainder: 4, 5, 7
Fast Starters: 2, 7

Busan Race 6: Class 1 / 2000M / Handicap / KRW 105 Million / 17:05 

The big money may have been in the previous event at Seoul but this is undoubtedly the race of the day. Grand Prix Stakes winner (1) BOLD KINGS makes his eagerly awaited four-year-old debut. He’s seven for seven but faces President’s Cup winner (7) TRIPLE NINE over the latter’s preferred distance of 2000M. It could go either way but Bold Kings has raised himself on every occasion so far and there’s no reason why he can’t do it again. It’s set to be a terrific contest. (3) HEBA ran Triple Nine very close last month and can’t be ruled out and while (5) GUMPO SKY could only manage 5th in that race, he was only beaten a neck in the Grand Prix and will surely give a good account of himself. He and Bold Kings will lead, Triple Nine will come from just behind. The evergreen (4) VIVA ACE can never be ruled out of the money.

Favourites: (1) Bold Kings (7) Triple Nine (5) Gumpo Sky (3) Heba
Next Best: 4, 2
Remainder: 6, 8
Fast Starters: 1, 5

Seoul Race 10: Class 3 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 17:30 

After the likely fireworks in the previous contest, this is rather more run of the mill. (1) GWANGBOK CHILSIP is favoured to get back to winning ways over this modest class 3 field. (7) BIG MOUNTAIN and (8) JANGSAN TAEYANG provide the sternest competition for the three-year-old while (2) READ AGAIN and (3) HWANGGEUM GASOK can’t be ruled out. However, the most likely outcome is Gwangbok Chilsip leading from gate to wire.

Favourites: (1) Gwangbok Chilsip (7) Big Mountain (8) Jangsan Taeyang (3) Hwanggeum Gasok
Next Best: 2, 6
Remainder: 4, 5, 9
Fast Starters: 1, 6, 9

Seoul Race 11: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 18:00

Really nice contest to finish with which sees four up and coming fillies taking each other on. (2) DONGHAE CHEONHA is unbeaten in two starts and was a dominating winner over this distance at the end of last month. (1) KATIE STAR has been beaten, at this distance at the end of January, but was impressive over 1000M three weeks ago and has very solid claims. The third filly is (6) JEWELRY PARK, an eye-catching six-length winner last month. (7) BEYOND LIMIT won three of her first four and while she has struggled a bit in her most recent two, can get back in form here especially if the others go too fast early. Aside from those it is a slightly older filly, (5) BIHOBARAM who looks next best while (8) SSONSALGACHI and (13) MUHANDOMA can also go well.

Favourites: (1) Katie Star (6) Jewelry Park (2) Donghae Cheonha (7) Beyond Limit
Next Best: 5, 8, 13, 4
Remainder: 3, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14
Fast Starters: 1, 2, 5, 6