Korean Oaks

Golden Power Wins Korean Oaks To Move One Step Away From Tiara Sweep

Golden Power moved to within just one race of sweeping the Filly Triple Crown, as the Luna Stakes winner snared the second jewel in the crown, The Korean Oaks (1800M KOR-G2) at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

Golden Power holds off Raon The Spurt to win the Korean Oaks (Pic: KRA)

The fillies who filled out the top three-places in April’s Luna Stakes, ultimately turned it into a three-way affair in the Oaks as well. Chamjoeun Chingu, nailed on the line last month, was sent off as favourite under Moon Se-young and she would set the pace.

Golden Power, after coming from almost last to first in the closing stages of the Luna, was ridden much more forward this time by jockey Choi Si-dae and immediately tracked the leader.

Raon The Spurt, instead of being ridden hard for the lead like she had been in past races, was settled gently from the widest gate by Choi Bum-hyun and gradually made progress up to 3rd.

By the top of the straight, Chamjoeun Chingu and Golden Power had opened a significant lead on the rest and when Golden Power came past her rival with a furlong and a half remaining, the race looked settled. That was to reckon without Raon The Spurt, however, who moved through the gears in the home straight and suddenly the gap was vanishing alarmingly quickly.

The line came in time though with Golden Power still a neck to the good when it mattered, with Chamjoeun Chingu a further two-and-a-half lengths in arrears in 3rd. There were nine-lengths more back to Eunseong Winner in 4th and then a further nine to a thoroughly outclassed rest.

Winning jockey Choi Si-dae felt the opening part of the race – very different from that in the Luna – today was key to the win. “Last time (in the Luna) the start wasn’t satisfactory” he told in-house broadcaster KRBC. “This time she started great, got into a good position and that was the main reason she could win the race today.”

As for her prospects of sweeping all three legs of the “Tiara” as the filly Triple Crown is known, Choi was non-committal but simply stated: “She got better today. Even better than she was last month. I am looking forward to it.”

That final race is over 2000M, and it is hard to imagine Chamjoeun Chingu posing Golden Power too many problems at the extended trip, even on her home track at Seoul. Raon The Spurt’s run was intriguing as for the first time in any of her races, she wasn’t ridden to lead. While the draw may have had a lot to do with that, it paid off and way she finished makes her a fascinating prospect back at Seoul

With regard to the rest, Wonderful Raise was backed into fourth-favourite, but having begun brightly, was on the end of severe interference at the first corner after Chamjoeun Chingu tightened onto Shy Dragon who in turn came together with Wonderful Raise, who had nowhere to go. The latter was shuffled back in the pack and lost interest in racing after that. Moon Se-young, aboard Chamjoeun Chingu was given a four-day suspension.  Wonderful Raise can perhaps therefore have a line drawn through her last place.

Eunseong Winner, though too far back, posted a final furlong time only one-tenth of a second slower than that of Raon The Spurt and she may pose more of a danger at Seoul.

Golden Power is by Afleet Express and is out of Cherokee Sheik (by Cherokee Run). She is owned by her breeder, Son Boing-chul of Winner’s Farm, and is trained by Kwon Sung-ju

The final leg of the Filly Triple Crown is the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup (2000M KOR-G3) which will be run at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday June 4. Next weekend Seoul hosts the twenty-fifth running of the Korean Derby (1800M KOR-G1).

Korean Oaks Sunday: Busan & Seoul Race-By-Race Preview (May 8)

Sunday’s feature race is the Korean Oaks at Busan – See here for full preview – part of a 6-race card on the south-coast from 12:00 to 16:45. There are also 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Golden Power beat Chamjoeun Chingu is a tight finish to the Luna Stakes. They face off again in the Korean Oaks (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens in the opener. (2) JAY PHOENIX has raced only once and it was back in December, but he ran well, being on pace before ultimately finishing 3rd behind a couple of useful ones over 1000M. He won a trial in early April and from a great draw, will be expected to win first-up here. (4) GRAY THOR has also raced just the once, in his case over 1200M on April 3rd when he settled handy to the lead and ran on for 6th, beating a couple of today’s rivals. That followed a promising trial and with some natural improvement, he can go close today. (10) CUPID SAFE comes in with an improved 3rd and 2nd from her latest two, both at 1300M. In the first of those she settled back in the field and at the most recent she was handy so she is versatile enough to overcome the wide gate here and can be dangerous. (6) ECHO ZONE and (8) NONSTOP ALI the best of the rest.

Selections(2) Jay Phoenix (4) Gray Thor (10) Cupid Safe (6) Echo Zone
Next Best8, 11
Fast Start2, 3, 8, 11

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

Maiden fillies and mares only here. (5) P N S CHANCE enters with a 2nd and a 3rd from her latest two, both at this distance and both times running on strongly. The engagement of an apprentice jockey brings her significantly down in the weights and she can run on strongly and go close here. The main danger is (3) GALSAEK HYANGGI. She comes in following a good 2nd place over 1400M on March 19th when handy throughout. That was her best finish in six starts to date and with similar tactics today, she looks sure to be in the finish again. It’s hard to go past those two for the quinella. (10) HAMPYEONG FIGHTER was well back behind P N S Chance at her latest outing but has hinted at ability. (8) SHINE MUSIC and (12) BARO QUEEN are among others that can be considered for the places.

Selections(5) P N S Chance (3) Galsaek Hyanggi (10) Hampyeong Fighter (8) Shine Music
Next Best12, 6
Fast Start1, 10, 11, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(3) BRAVO MAY will be the favourite here. He looks to be working back up to another win with a good 4th and 3rd from his latest two, both at this class and distance and last time out beating a couple of today’s rivals when settling midfield and running on well. He has posted decent times and from a great draw, has every chance here. (7) FIRST DREAM is yet to win in twenty-one attempts but came back to this trip last start after several goes around two turns and registered a career-best 2nd place on April 3rd when he got to the lead from gate nine and was only beaten by a very good winner. If he can be ridden forward again, he can be in this a long way. (5) PIEONADA ran adequately enough for 5th on her latest appearance on April 10th and may appreciate the step back up in trip here. (8) JISANGUN mixes his form but has placed at class and distance and along with (2) KAILLUM JEWANG, should be in the minor money hunt.

Selections(3) Bravo May (7) First Dream (5) Pieonada (8) Jisangun
Next Best2, 4
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 7

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

There are a couple of tempting debut-makers here, but we shall side with experience and put (5) GREAT CAPTAIN on top. He has steadily improved across his four appearances to date, culminating with a strong 2nd at this distance on March 27th, when as has been his style after his debut, he settled just behind the early speed and then ran on well. An apprentice brings his weight down here and today can be his day. (4) STAR MATTA looked very well when winning a trial by as many as he pleased in a fast time on a dry track on April 23rd. His half-brother Lucas Sun has won a couple of races here and a bold showing first-up seems likely. The other first-timer is (1) GEUMA INFINITE. He trialed up in a different heat on the same morning and while he didn’t win the heat, he stopped the clock in exactly the same time as Smart Matta. All three half-siblings to make the track won. Returning to the experienced ones, (8) TRIPLE THUNDER and (7) MEOTJIN HARU look the best.

Selections(5) Great Captain (4) Star Matta (1) Geuma Infinite (8) Triple Thunder
Next Best7, 2
Fast Start4, 5, 6, 8

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(1) HANGANG BOSS will be hot favourite to win here. He got his maiden victory two starts back over 1300M before running a strong 4th from the widest gate on his first try at this class over 1200M on March 19th when he simply couldn’t find a decent position early and had to run on from a long way back. He gets a much better gate today and the additional furlong should favour him. The logical danger is (5) SOJUNGHAN DANGSIN. Despite remaining a maiden, she comes up in class here following a few too many near-misses at class 6 level and has recently been running well over 1300M. She is another for who the slight step up in trip can suit and she should be in the mix here. The form really drops off after those two, though. (4) HAPPY SOCKS has the fastest time of any of these for the distance and that’s enough to put him into the placing frame here. (3) YEONGUNG DAEMA and (2) WHITE WING others to consider for minor money.

Selections(1) Hangang Boss (5) Sojunghan Dangsin (4) Happy Socks (3) Yeongung Daema
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 5

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(5) KING BOSS has only raced twice and has been a beaten favourite twice, finishing 4th and 3rd, both times at 1200M. He has raced prominently both times and draws nicely again to do the same here. His time at the distance is quicker than all but one has recorded, and it can be third-time lucky as market leader today. (2) CHOEGANG MUJIGAE took a few goes to figure things out but has a 2nd and a 3rd to his name now at this level. He draws nicely here and under a light weight, can be in the mix. (4) WORLD FLOWER remains a maiden but comes in off a career-best 2nd place scored at this distance on April 10th when she went right back and ran on. If she doesn’t leave herself too much to do, she can be considered here. (3) CHONGAL CHARM and (1) WONDERFUL DIGGER are others who can have minor money claims.

Selections(5) King Boss (2) Choegang Mujigae (4) World Flower (3) Chongal Charm
Next Best1, 11
Fast Start3, 5, 9, 11

Korean Oaks 2022: Runner-By-Runner Preview

Only the narrowest of noses split Golden Power and Chamjoeun Chingu at the end of the Luna Stakes last month and at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon the fillies meet again in the second leg of their Triple Crown as ten go to post in the Korean Oaks (1800M KOR-G2).

Six of the ten come out of that Luna Stakes, the first leg of the filly Triple Crown which took place over a mile at Busan on April 10th, and they filled out the top six places. In that race, Raon The Spurt was sent off as the favourite and she led a long way before ultimately been passed by long-time stalker Chamjoeun Chingu. However, Golden Power and Choi Si-dae would emerge from the field to nail both on the line.

It was a superb late effort and gives every indication that Golden Power, who went wide and made up fully twenty-lengths in the home straight over fillies who didn’t exactly stop running themselves, can only benefit from the additional furlong.

Chamjoeun Chingu though draws much better this time and with Moon Se-young aboard again, will have plenty of backers to maintain Seoul-trained horses excellent recent record in the race; the Trophy has headed to the Capital four times in the last five years. Raon The Spurt too remains a live contender.

The locally trained Golden Power is not the only hope for the host track. Trainer Kim Young-kwan has prepared no fewer than five Oaks winners and this year sends out Wonderful Raise. She is an on-pace filly who ran a super race in the Luna for 4th and just like Chamjoeun Chingu, draws a much better barrier this time around.

The Korean Oaks is race 5 on the 6-race card at Busan and has a post time of 15:55 KST. Here is a full run-down of the field in race card order:

1.  WONDERFUL RAISE [Menifee – On The Podium (Bold Executive)] – A fast winner at class 5 level over 1400M in February, she drew gate thirteen in the Luna Stakes and ran a creditable 4th. Every chance of coming on for that run, her trainer has won the race five times and it would be no surprise to see her in the finish.

2. MAGIC GRACE [Magic Dancer – Ua Deungseon (Menifee)] – A winner up to class 4 level in Seoul and of three from seven in total. She is yet to go further than 1400M but as an on-pace type she draws well to give herself the best possible chance. Not a top line favourite but a case can be made for some minor money.

3. SHY DRAGON [Menifee – Monday’s Child (Stravinsky)] – Likely to be one of the longest shots on the board, she takes her chance following a good win at class 5 level in an all-filly race over 1200M on March 18th when she sat midfield and ran on well. Yet to run further than 1200M and this is a big step up.

4. CHAMJOEUN CHINGU [Musket Man – Googlette (Exceed And Excel)] – A winner over 1700M at class 4 level in Seoul before losing out in the final stride to Golden Power in the Luna Stakes. That day she had to contend with gate fourteen but gets a much more favourable draw here and should get a much easier run. She has a big chance.

5. GOLDEN POWER [Afleet Express – Cherokee Sheikh (Cherokee Run)] – The Luna Stakes winner, she came from the back of the field to the front in the home straight and just made it on the line by the narrowest of noses. She is yet to go beyond a mile, but she was traveling by far the quickest at the end of the Luna and she has every chance of winning again. Probable favourite.

6. EUNSEONG WINNER [Menifee – Achimsarang (Broken Vow)] – Her solitary win came at class 6 level over 1300M in early March, making all. That led her to take her chance in the Luna and whilst sent off one of the longest shots on the board, she ran a solid 6th. She can settle midfield here and while she doesn’t look a winning chance, she should see out the trip and can aim for some minor money.

7. LUCKY CROWN [Girolamo – Peregian (Grand Lodge)] – Her only win came at class 6 level over 1200M and she as 7th of ten in the Sports Seoul Classic trial. Nevertheless, she took her chance in the Luna and only winner Golden Power posted a faster final furlong time as she came from the back of the field to run on for 5th. On the face of it, the additional trip can suit and don’t rule her out of passing some tired fillies again.

8. ADELE GOLD [Girolamo – Gold Mine (Officer)] – She comes in having picked up her maiden win last time out at what was start number six over 1300M hen she sat handy to midfield and finished off well, scoring easily. This is a big step up in both class and distance and despite the top jockey booking, she will be an outsider.

9. ALPHA SONGDANG [Old Fashioned – Miss Win (Perfect Vision II)] – The wildcard. Since running 3rd on debut at 1000M, she has registered two wins up to 1200M at class 5 level. She has been on pace in all her races so far and while this is a totally different test, she may be interesting and a probable big price. Jockey Kim Hye-sun is the only female rider to have won a Classic in Korea, taking this race on Jejui Haneul in 2017.

10. RAON THE SPURT [Musket Man – Tomiken Spring (Suzuka Mambo)] – She won three of her first four starts before coming up short at this distance at class 3 level at Seoul in February. That didn’t stop her from being sent off as favourite for the Luna, a race she led but ultimately finished 3rd, half a length behind the winner. She is not favoured by the draw as she likes to lead, but she has plenty of quality and if she can find a forward position, she can be in the finish again. Jockey won the race in 2020.

Selections: (4) Chamjeoun Chingu (5) Golden Power (1) Wonderful Raise (10) Raon The Spurt

Luigi Riccardi & Antonio Da Silva Win Korean Oaks With Choegang Black

Luigi Riccardi landed his biggest winner to date as a trainer in Korea as Choegang Black denied hot favourite Raon Pink to win the Korea Oaks at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

Choegang Black was sent off as a 70/1 outsider for the filly Classic having skipped the Luna Stakes prep race and having only won up to class 5 level in Seoul. The Oaks has a habit of producing an unexpected winner though and when Raon Pink was a little awkwardly away after a start that had been delayed following the reluctance of Queens Tour to load, it was clear that the race was anyone’s.

Pureun Jangmi showed the way early with Luna runner-up Jedi for company along with Miss Indie and 2nd-favourite Doctor Fappiano. Antonio Da Silva meanwhile, kept Choegang Black just behind the leading group throughout the early and middle stages of the 1800M race.

At the top of the stretch Raon Pink, under Park Tae Jong, loomed large and one-by-one the challengers fell away. All except Choegang Black that is, who to the inside of the favourite struck the front with a furlong and a half remaining and ran on superbly to win by just over a length on the line.

Raon Pink was 2nd while Serve Ace and Alan Munro came from last to 3rd in the space of the home straight. Queens Tour was 4th and Eodigana 5th as Seoul fillies swept the top-five placings

For Luigi Riccardi, who has been licensed in Korea since the end of 2017, it was by far his biggest local win. For jockey Antonio Da Silva, it was a third Group winner in Korea following success on Dolkong in the 2019 KRA Cup Classic, and Munhak Chief in the Grand Prix the same year.

Choegang Black is by Purge and is out of Allwise (by Mr. Greeley). She was bred by Nokwon Farm and is owned by Lee Kang-woon.

Korean Oaks 2021: Runner-By Runner Preview

Raon Pink was a crushing winner of the Luna Stakes last month and on Sunday the Musket Man filly returns to Busan as the hot favourite to win the 2021 Korean Oaks (1800M KOR-G2). The Oaks is race 6 on Busan’s Sunday card with a post time of 15:50 in Busan. CLICK HERE FOR SUNDAY’S RACE-BY-RACE PREVIEW

Raon Pink, seen here in the Luna Stakes Parade Ring returns to Busan as favourite for the Korean Oaks

Remarkably, of the twelve who will line up, no fewer than nine of them have travelled down from Seoul, including Raon Pink, who won the Luna Stakes by a full eight-lengths on October 17th. That was over a mile, but such was her superiority, few expect the additional furlong to cause problems.

Busan may only field three but among them is something One thing that Raon Pink didn’t have to contend with in the Luna, and that’s Doctor Fappiano. Long thought of as the most forward filly of her crop, the Old Fashioned filly missed the Luna due to a setback but takes her chance in the Oaks as likely second-favourite.

Doctor Fappiano has won at the 1800M distance already and was only three-lengths behind subsequent Derby winner Winner’s Man when they faced each other in August.

All top-five placegetters from the Luna Stakes return for the Oaks while Miss Indie, who finished back in the pack that day, will be expected go better. In addition to Doctor Fappiano, the likes of Cupid Point, Pureun Jangmi and Choegang Black make for interesting newcomers to the Filly Triple Crown trail.

Long-shots have prevailed in the most recent editions of the Korean Oaks, with Ottug Ottugi in 2016, the last pre-race favourite to win the race. Here is a full run down of all the runners:  

1. SMART OFFICER [Officer- So Chic (Private Terms)] – Has only raced five times and won u to class 5 level over 1300M. In the Luna Stakes she was the slowest away and a long last on settling but by the corner had tacked onto the field and looked full of running. She then made excellent ground wide to run 3rd, a super run in the circumstances. Based on that she can’t be ruled out.

2. CHOEGANG BLACK [Purge – Allwise (Mr. Greeley)] – Gets her chance following a class 5 win over 1400M at class 5 level last month when handy to the lead before running on strong in a good time. Two starts back she came from midfield to run 3rd in a fair time over 1700M, her only experience of racing around two-turns. She won’t be among the favourites here, but she draws nicely to find a good position and a top jockey has been persuaded to go down to ride her. Could be interesting.

3. RAON PINK [Musket Man – Pink Candy (Southern Image)] – A filly who has been in outstanding form and in the Luna Stakes jumped well and worked to the lead setting a good pace and slipped away from the field on the corner to go well clear and was still strong at the finish. It’s an extra furlong today but she draws the same gate as in the Luna and a similar performance will make her very hard to beat. Full-sister to Raon First, established at class 1.

4. CUPID POINT [Concord Point – A Girl Named Phil (Distorted Humor)] – Enters in very good form with two wins from her last three. Last time out over 1700M at class 4 level she sat handy to the lead before running on in the final furlong for victory in a good time. That was at the end of August so she has had a bit of time out but from a good draw and under a top jockey, she can go well. Look for her running on late.

5. EODIGANA [Smarty Moonhak – Beneficial Friend (Street Boss)] – Great to see a Smarty Moonhak running in a big race and while she won’t be among the favourites, she is one of only two in the field who has won over 1800M. That came at her latest start on October 10th at class 4 level when she sat behind the lead before taking things up just over a furling out and running on for a comfortable win. This is harder but she can be competitive.

6. SERVE ACE [Tiz Wonderful – Havisham (Bernardini)] – A super winner over 1400M at class 5 level in July she has been perhaps a touch disappointing in her latest two when 6th behind Cupid Point in August and then 4th at her latest four weeks ago, both over 1700M at class 4. She can lead or settle back and run on and Munro remaining loyal and traveling down is a plus, but others are favoured.

7. JEDI [Cowboy Cal – Bichui Yeowang (Midnight Lute)] – Showed promise as a juvenile and has maintained her form this year. She only has three wins from eleven, her latest being at class 4 over 1200M in June but she ran a big race to finish 2nd in the Luna Stakes when settling withing striking distance before saving ground on the turn and then running on strong to the line. Ran 2nd on her only try at 1700M at class 5 level so distance not a concern and she should be in the placing frame again.

8. MISS INDIE [Indie Band – In Escrow (Vindication)] – Half-sister to Mr. Afleet, who won the KRA Cup Classic (KOR G2) over 2000M at Seoul three weeks ago. Her wins came at class 6 level but her two runner-up finishes were behind Hill More and Alpha Star, both of whom are useful. She was away well from the inside gate in the Luna and was prominent for a long time before Raon Pink’s tempo perhaps took its toll. Should have come on for the experience and with likely less early intensity in this race, can improve.

9. QUEENS TOUR [Colors Flying – Daisy A Day (Smart Strike)] – Sole win to date came ay class 6 level over 1400M but she’s earned her spot here through a 5th place in the Luna, when she settled in the rear division but finished strongly, passing plenty of tired fillies in the final coupe of furlongs. Likely to employ similar tactics today, minor money again would be a very good result.

10. DOCTOR FAPPIANO [Old Fashioned – Feversham (Distorted Humor)] – A setback caused her to miss the Luna Stakes, a race for which she would have been favourite. That was before the blistering performance of Raon Pink but Doctor Fappiano has excellent claims. She ran 3rd behind subsequent Korean Derby winner Winner’s Man two starts back at class 2 level over this distance and then stepped back to class 3 and won, again at today’s distance on September 5th. She is a front-runner, so Raon Pink has got the better of the draw but don’t rule her out. Big Chance.

11. PUREUN JANGMI [Old Fashioned – Dancing Desire (Mr. Greeley)] – Lightly raced with just four starts but she has two wins and two runner-up finishes, including her latest, an all the way score over 1400M at class 5 level on October 15th. This is stiffer and it is not easy from a wide gate over 1800M at Busan. She clearly has potential though and the trainer/jockey combination will make plenty take note. Interesting wildcard.

12. YEONGGWANGUI MISO [Hansen – Perfect Scip (Scipion)] – Gets her chance here having run 4th in the Luna when settling midfield from a similarly wide barrier and in the straight challenged Jedi in 3rd all the way in a run full of merit. She will need plenty of luck from the widest barrier, but she should be able to give a good account of herself again.

Oaks Day 2021: Busan & Seoul Race-By-Race Preview (November 14)

The 2021 Korean Oaks will be run at Busan on Sunday afternoon – full horse-by-horse preview to follow. There are 7 races at Busan from 11:10 to 16:40 and 10 at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. The racecourses and all betting locations are open at restricted capacity, however, there is no walk-in admission and attendance must be pre-booked through the MyCard app. Proof of vaccination against Covid-19 is also required. Here are the previews:

Uaryung won the Oaks last year (Pic: KRA)

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

A small field of juvenile maidens assemble for the opener with a few standouts. Both of (5) CHEONJI JIDAE’s starts to date have been over 1000M and both times he has recorded decent times, finishing in 3rd and 4th and running on well. He steps up to 1200M here and should have solid claims to be on pace throughout. The main danger is (8) CHAMJOEUN CHINGU. She too has operated only at 1000M prior to today and ran an improved 3rd on her second start on October 17th. She’s from a red-hot stable and can continue to show progress here. (6) SPEED GALLOP similarly improved to 2nd place at start number two on October 10th. She was a long way behind a good winner, but she ran on well and the additional furlong may suit. Solitary debut-maker (3) TITAN SOCKS led in his most recent trial, ultimately crossing the line in 2nd place in a fair time and can go well first-up. (4) JILJUE BADA is one of only two who have tackled the distance before and could challenge for the places.

Selections(5) Cheonji Jidae (8) Chamjoeun Chingu (6) Speed Gallop (3) Titan Socks
Next Best4, 1
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 8

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Small field of two and three-year-old maidens. (8) WONDERFUL FAGER looks set to be the one to beat, despite returning from twenty-two weeks out. He’s finished 3rd in three of his four starts and finished in that very same position in a trial two weeks ago. He can sit handy here and run on strong. (2) DAEHO NURI comes in having taken his chance in a Listed juvenile race last time out when he ran 6th of ten in a fair time over this distance. He showed handy to the lead that day and will be expected to do similar today with solid claims to be in this a long way. Also likely to be on pace this time will be (3) ADELE CHUKBAE, who may appreciate the step up in trip. All three of his starts so far have been at 1000M and with a slightly less intense early part of the race here, he can find a better position. (5) NEW CROWN and (6) WONDERFUL DIGGER are others in the placing hunt.

Selections(8) Wonderful Fager (2) Daeho Nuri (3) Adele Chukbae (5) New Crown
Next Best6, 7
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 8

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

Big field and from the inside spot, (1) SARYEONI FIRST may prove hard to beat. He ran 2nd to Aspen Taeyang on debut before finishing 3rd behind Meni Wonderful and Icheon Arch at his second start on October 3rd. Both were over 1000M, and he made good ground late both times. The additional furlong can suit, and he’ll be favourite to salute at the third time of asking. (3) LONDON POWER enters off a good 4th place finish at class and distance on October 16th. She draws similarly well today and should be able to grab an early lead. She won’t necessarily be easy to go past. There is one first-time starter in the shape of (5) BE CRAZY. There are sure to be plenty of eyes on the three-year-old gelding as he is a half-brother to top line Seoul-based sprinter East Jet. He won a barrier trial in an unhurried fashion a month ago and has every chance of going well first-up. (10) SMART JEONSA and (6) DONGSEO YEOGEOL are others in the placing hunt.

Selections(1) Saryeoni First (3) London Power (5) Be Crazy (10) Smart Jeonsa
Next Best6, 7
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 6

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

After an inauspicious debut, (10) DAEJI CHOICE has run well in three subsequent starts including a 3rd place in the Listed Areumdaun Jilju n Stakes for juveniles at his latest outing on October 3rd over 1200M when he emerged out of the pack late on, a long way behind the winner but well clear of 4th. The step up in trip may be to his benefit and he can win here. The big danger is (3) DAEHOMA. The three-year-old comes in off his best finish to date when 2nd at this distance on October 17th when always on pace from the same gate he has drawn today and beating several of these in the process. He’ll be the one to aim at here and could go all the way. (8) HANSEN ICHEON races for the third time, having improved to run 3rd behind Daehoma at start number two. He was on pace that day and is likely to be challenging for the lead again here. (11) GIANT CAL and (1) GWANGDAESEUNGCHEON, who also went in that race, are others in the hunt.

Selections(10) Daeji Choice (3) Daehoma (8) Hansen Icheon (11) Giant Cal
Next Best1, 9
Fast Start3, 4, 8, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(1) JIGEUMYEOGIE did precisely nothing across twelve starts at sprint distances up until August. He was then given a couple of months off, trialed up well and then tried over 1700M for the first time, a distance at which he proceeded to make up excellent late ground and to run 2nd. The time was not quick but quick is one thing he will not need to be in this race and frankly, he is hard to oppose. (6) HANI ran 4th behind Jigeumyeogie at his latest start and that’s enough to bring him too into contention here while (3) TAEYANGTAGO also scored a career-best 4th on her first try at this distance a month ago and similarly can be looking to go at least one better today. As for the rest, (10) SOUTH BAN and (2) SAENAE HWANGJE perhaps have the best chance of competing for a place.

Selections(1) Jigeumyeogie (6) Hani (3) Taeyangtago (10) South Ban
Next Best2, 5
Fast Start2, 5, 7, 10

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) PURE KING is the one to beat here. A good winner over 1200M at class 6 level two starts back, he then beat a couple of these on his way to a runner-up finish on his first try at both this class and distance on October 8th when he was on pace throughout. He only comes up marginally in the weights and draws well again and should have enough to see off this small field. (4) MONGTTANG comes up in class having registered his maiden win when coming from midfield to score over 1200M just two weeks ago. The additional trip can suit and under a light weight and a nice draw, he should measure up at this level. (6) RUN FIGHTER and (2) DOCTOR TEXAS came home in 5th and 4th respectively behind Pure King a month ago and both can be considered for at least places here. (7) SMARTY DOLPUNG comes up in class and in distance following a coast-to-coast score over 1300M in September. He has had nine weeks off since but can’t be left out of the calculations here.

Selections(3) Pure King (4) Mongttang (6) Run Fighter (2) Doctor Texas
Next Best7, 5
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 4

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Quite a good race with boosted prize money as it is a race where either the sire or dam of a runner must have raced in Korea. (7) WONDERFUL K is a perfect one for one at this distance having come from a handy position to score emphatically on his first crack at it at class 6 level on October 10th. He’ll probably need to run a faster time to repeat today but he looks to have scope for improvement. (1) TYCHE FIRE is a winner at this class and distance and comes in having run 4th in each of his latest four outings. He comes in having beaten a few of these at this latest start over 1400M, running on strong from the back as is his style and he will probably start as favourite here. (9) MAKALU POWER comes up in trip having run on well in his latest outings over shorter. A nineteen-race maiden, he doesn’t seem a likely winner but could place. (6) RUFFIAN PARK and (3) GYEONGBU DORYEONG are others in the minor money frame.

Selections(7) Wonderful K (1) Tyche Fire (9) Makalu Power (6) Ruffian Park
Next Best3, 2
Fast Start2, 3, 7, 12

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

A good race but (8) WONDER BLADE should have the edge. He raced twice in October for 2nd and 4th places, both at this class, first at 1200M and then at 1400M. He does come up a full 4kg in the weights for that latest effort, but Perovic climbs back aboard, and he looks firmly in the hunt. (12) CLIFTON KING was a good winner on debut which led him to be sent off as favourite for the Areumdaun Jilju Stakes on October 3rd, a juvenile Listed race. That status was perhaps more to do with his stable rather than his actual prospects in that race, but he should have come on for the experience and can go much closer here. (2) NAMED races for the first time since getting her maiden win back in ay when she made all in a fast time at this distance. That in turn was nine-months after her debut as a juvenile so we know she can go well first up. She trialed up nicely a couple of weeks ago and gets a nice gate. (3) CROWN KING STAR comes up in class after a good win over the distance on October 15th. From a good gate he can sit handy and be competitive. (7) GLORY KING was well back behind Wonder blade on his first try at this class six weeks ago but has proven himself capable of running good times at this distance and is perhaps worth another chance here.

Selections(8) Wonder Blade (12) Clifton King (2) Named (3) Crown King Star
Next Best7, 10
Fast Start2, 6, 7, 10

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

Tricky race. (3) GOLD SPIKE is the narrow top pick having won at this distance in a fast time at class 6 level two starts back before running a good 4th on her first try at this class on October 10th. Her style is to sit back and run on and she has as good a claim as any here. (8) RAON THE TIGER had a poor day at the office at his latest start back on August 21st. He had a couple of months off after that and only came back into full work at the end of last month but going on prior form where he has run and won in fast times at this distance, he has to come into the calculations and is a probable front-runner. (2) MEOTJIN GUY enters with almost identical form to Gold Spike having won two starts back at class 6 level before finishing 4th on his first try at this class, both at today’s distance. He too tends to get back in his races before running on and is a chance here. (7) FLYING FULL MOON comes up in class following an all the way win over this distance four weeks ago and is another who should be on pace. (9) OLD SPECIAL has mixed form at this level but is another who has run a fast time at this distance and could challenge for minor money at least.

Selections(3) Gold Spike (8) Raon The Tiger (2) Meotjin Guy (7) Flying Full Moon
Next Best9, 11
Fast Start7, 8, 9, 10

Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Competitive race. We’ll take a chance on (5) COOL GUY, a colt who has never finished worse than 3rd in seven outings to date but who steps up in trip to a mile for the first time. Both his wins have come at 1200M, but he has posted decent times at 1400M and has finished off his races well. He comes in here off a nine-week layoff but trialed up last week in good order and can win. (1) MAGIC FLYING is the probable favourite. He may have only won two of his thirty-five starts so far but he has a further ten top three finishes to his name and enters after an excellent 2nd place behind Sky More over 1800M on October 17th. Tactically versatile, he draws well here and has every chance. (10) HAPPY WOMAN was a fast winner over 1400M at class 5 level on October 3rd and then three weeks later, stepped up to this class and distance and ran a super 3rd with a number of today’s rivals behind her. She carries next to no weight at all and despite the wider draw, has a winning chance again. Plenty of others are in at least the placing frame with (3) SEUNGNI TOUT and (6) CRONUS the most prominent.

Selections(5) Cool Guy (1) Magic Flying (10) Happy Woman (3) Seungni Tout
Next Best6, 7
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 5

Korean Oaks Sunday – Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (August 9)

On Sunday it’s the fillies’ turn to have their Three-Year-Old Classic as the 2020 Korean Oaks takes place at Busan. A field of fifteen will line up in the Group 2 feature which is the last race on Busan’s 5-race Sunday card. At Seoul there are 12 races from 10:25 to 18:00. See below for the race-by-race preview along with horse by horse for the Oaks:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Plenty of interest lies in the first event with eleven two-year-old gallopers, nine of them unraced taking to the track. (4) GRAY CAT trialed up very nicely early July underneath Song Jae-chul. The Cowboy Cal colt won his trial by six lengths when clocking a solid time for the 1000m. (2) LUCKY JAESAN was another one who trialed up well. The Hansen filly clocked 62.1 seconds for her heat when winning by six lengths as well. She showed early speed in her trial so expect much the same from a good gate. (11) GREEN POKJU is one of two runners that has had a run coming into the race. The Old Fashioned filly hit the line superbly to finish second behind Cobra Ball. She is likely to settle rearwards once again with the outside draw. (6) YEONGUNG DAEMA also lined up in a two-year-old event on debut when fourth behind Samantha Cheetah. She is capable of filling a place.

Selections (4) Gray Cat (2) Lucky Jaesan (11) Green Pokju (6) Yeongung Daema
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 1, 2, 4, 9


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

A maiden open to both two and three-year-olds here. (6) MUSSANG HWANGHU came from well back to run an improved 3rd over 1200M on what was her second career start on July 18th. The slight step up in trip today can be to her benefit and she has a good chance of making the breakthrough. (7) MAKALU POWER has steadily improved over three outings to date, culminating in a runner-up finish at 1200M last start. His times have not been fast but he won’t need to improve much to be challenging here and has every chance of getting on the early speed. (11) STAR RUSH comes into contention following an improved 4th at 1200M a month ago and is another who may appreciate the small increase in distance. (1) ONE JI has been dreadful in three outings so far but looked much better when trialing two weeks ago in a fast time. Nevertheless, we’ll need to see him actually racing before we can be confident about him. The solitary debut-maker is (2) JANGSAN ENGINE and the Ecton Park filly, who has been trialing for more than a year, looked competent in her latest heat in July.

Selections (6) Mussang Hwanghu (7) Makalu Power (2) Jangsan Engine (11) Star Rush
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 1, 7


Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Fair to say not the most inspiring field lines up in the third event on the card. (6) POWER MUSIC is the on top selection after finishing third last time out over the 1400m. The Winchester filly will go over the same distance where she is drawn to settle just off the speed and reel of a good sectional with minimal weight on her back. (10) SHINY QUEEN is still lightly raced enough that connections will be hoping she can show something. She improved last time out and is another that can run into the minor money. (7) IRYEO HAYEO looks capable of running a place in a much weaker assignment today. It is hard to include her with one place from twenty-five starts but this is such a weak race. (3) HOSUA is third up after finishing fourth last time out. He hit the line fairly and is another capable of running into the money.

Selections (6) Power Music (10) Shiny Queen (7) Iryeo Hayeo (3) Hosua
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 6


Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Fillies only here for this handicap. (8) SAMANTHA CHEETAH was a revelation on debut, making all to win as easily as she pleased over five-furlongs. She steps up in both class and distance here but the manner of victory means she can go on top again. This is a strong race for the level though. (5) GOOD VOW also steps up in class following a maiden win in which she posted a time even faster than Samantha Cheetah’s and she too should be more then competitive at this level and will also challenge for the lead early. (7) BAEDARI CANDY too was a debut winner with a front-running performance and while she perhaps has a little bit more to find, looks right in the hunt as well. As for those with experience at this level already, (2) TANK SOCKS and (9) OUR SIMON are both proven money winners and should go close. There could be quite a cavalry charge to get the lead.

Selections (8) Samantha Cheetah (5) Good Vow (2) Tank Socks (9) Our Simon
Next Best 7, 10, 1
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11


Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Twelve imports face the starter in the fifth where they will go over the 1400m. (11) HAENGBOK WANGJA has been knocking on the door for quite some time and comes into the race with two runner-up performances since the break. Moon Se-young will take over from the injured Yoo Seung-wan. The Moon will have to overcome the outside gate but the horse has been hitting the line strong, suggesting he can let the Daredevil colt have time to find his feet. (2) GRAYDOL looks one that is capable of running into the money. The gelding has been hitting the line strong and gets a much better draw today. Whilst finishing in the money once from six starts, his times suggest he can figure in a weaker event. (6) VICTORY GO GO is second up and should strip fitter for the run. She was only fair first up when finishing fourth behind Level Tap, when one-paced through the line. (7) GOOD SENSE looks next best after placing in a Class 5 event, which is never ideal after commencing your career in Class 4 grade.

Selections (11) Haengbok Wangja (2) Graydol (6) Victory Go Go (7) Good Sense
Next Best 1, 3
Fast Start 1, 6, 7


Busan Race 1: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

A testing little race for the imported maidens. (5) GOOD FOR YOU was a nice 3rd on debut behind Geuma Mystic, who has gone on to win again and previously finished ahead of Derby winner Save The World in a trial. She ran 8th on her re-appearance at 1300M on July 10th but that was a much stiffer race than this and she was competitive. She can win. (10) HWANHUIUI BANSEOK was a useful 3rd on debut over this distance on July 19th. He was a front-runner that day so the draw is not kind here, but he can overcome that and compete again. (2) POKPUNG EONDEOK and (9) TRAFFIC MARINE underwhelmed in their respective appearances before the shutdown but both looked good in trials and can improve here. There are also four debut-makers and among them both (4) SONIC KING IJI and (6) JESSIEUI KKUM were both trial winners who can go well first up.

Selections (5) Good For You (4) Sonic King Iji (10) Hwanhuiui Banseok (6) Jessieui Kkum
Next Best 9, 2
Fast Start 4, 5, 10


Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Very competitive affair with plenty of these on the up. (4) JANGSAN BADA wasn’t detained by the lower levels for very long and steps up in class here having won two of three and finishing runner-up in the other. His latest win came in a fast time over this distance and while he carries plenty of weight again, he looks nicely in to just sit on the shoulder of the lead and finish strongly. (3) JEONGMUN BOLT was an all the way winner (more…)

Deep Mind Five-Star In Oaks For Kim Young-kwan

Never write-off Kim Young-kwan. It’s the golden rule of Korean racing but some of us still fall prey to it from time-to-time. Just when it looked as though the nation’s dominant trainer could go through a season without winning one of the three-year-old Classic races, up pops Deep Mind to trounce fifteen rivals and win the Oaks by eight-lengths. At odds of 23/1.

While neither were expected to win, Deep Mind wasn’t even trainer Kim’s first-string. That was Amazon Yeogeol, but under Seo Seung-un, Deep Mind bounded out of gate 14 and got across to the lead. It was a simple plan – get in front on a very wet track and let the rest of them get in trouble in the mud and spray behind. It worked.

Dae Wan Ma, Sports Seoul Trophy winner and 2nd in the KRA Cup Mile, was sent off as the prohibitive favourite but having settled in the front half of the pack, jockey Antonio Da Silva had to get to work on her a full three-furlongs from home. The response was muted and she finished well down the field.

Instead, Deep Mind galloped away from the pack for a dominant triumph. Heung Buja got closest in 2nd place ahead of Miss Fact in 3rd making for a trifecta dividend in excess of 20,000/1. Peter Wolsley’s Top Of World was 4th and Luigi Riccardi’s Mamma Roma a creditable 5th.

For jockey Seo Seung-un it was a first win in the race but for trainer Kim it was a fifth with him previously having won four consecutive editions between 2013 and 2016. It’s also a first Classic win this season for Busan-trained horse after Seoul based gallopers Global Chukje and Wonderful Fly took out the KRA Cup Mile and Korean Derby respectively.

Deep Mind is by Menifee and is out of Urrikot (by Creek Cat), who was bred and raced in Korea. It was the seventh race of her career and her fourth win.

Korean Oaks Day 2019: Race-By-Race Preview For Busan & Seoul (May 19)

The 2019 Korean Oaks takes place at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon and a full field of 16 runners are set to assemble for the fillies’ Classic. There are 6 races in total at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10 while at Seoul there are eleven races from 10:45 to 18:00.

Special Stone Korea Racing Authority

Last year, Special Stone won the Korean Oaks for Seoul (Pic KRA)

Dae Wan Ma is set to be hot favourite for the Oaks. She ran 2nd in the KRA Cup Mile having won Seoul’s Classic trial a month earlier. She’s been to Busan before when 2nd in last December’s Breeders’ Cup and she is the one to beat.

Last Sunday we saw an odds-on chance go down in the Korea Derby, however, and Dae Wan Ma is no sure thing. The beaten jockey last week was Yoo Seung-wan and he arrives in Busan with the chance to put things right on Smile Girl, winner of Seoul’s Oaks trial in April.

Peter Wolsley’s Top Of World looks firmly in the hunt as well, while Mighty Power and Amazon Yeogeol are also in contention for two trainers, Baik Kwang-yeol and Kim Young-kwan, who are in danger of having an unusually fallow Classic series. Doctor Thunder, so disappoitning in the Cup Mile, is the wildcard. Here is horse by horse for the full cards at both Seoul & Busan:

Seoul Race 1: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

  1. GEUMSEONG YEOWANG – Best of 5th from 10 starts so far. Drops back in trip having finished last on muddy track over 1300M three weeks ago. Hard to recommend here.
  2. BEST MAID – 10th behind Tri Thunder at 1300M on April 20th but was 4th on most recent effort at this distance in March. Minor money at best.
  3. ECO BROTHER – Winner on debut at this distance on wet track in December. 10th and 6th in two starts at this level since. Better draw today and outside place chance.
  4. GOLD PERILLA – Up in class having registered his maiden win at the ninth time of asking making all over this trip on April 21st. More to find in this company but solid placing chances again under good apprentice jockey.
  5. UNAK HABIO – Recent form very cold. Only possible angle is he drops back in trip and has a top jockey on board, but neither are enough to make him a recommend.
  6. BLUE FIRE – Still a maiden after ten attempts but has been very close with four runner-up finishes including last time at class and distance. Generally sits just off the pace, top jockey stays on and a big chance here.
  7. PARTY POWER – Makes her 51st start today, and occasionally picks up some minor prize money. Always runs on late but usually leaves a little too much to do and similar is likely today.
  8. NAMJJOK NARA – Her best finishes at this level have been at 1700M and while she carries a light weight here, she wouldn’t seem to have the speed to make an impact.
  9. TRI THUNDER – Winner on debut last September and has been no worse than 6th in six subsequent outings at this level. Back in trip today after a 3rd place over 1300M last time and solid claims.
  10. STRONG CUPID – Yet to finish any better than 9th in six attempts during which she’s been dropped in class to little effect. Avoid.
Selections (6) Blue Fire (9) Tri Thunder (4) Gold Perilla (7) Party Power
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 3, 4, 5, 9


Seoul Race 2:  Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

  1. EDWIN – Never better than 5th in six starts so far. Back in trip today but slow starter and easy to toss here.
  2. TOUR BROTHER – Looked ready to score at the end of last year and was sent off odds-on favourite in consecutive races finishing 3rd in the first of them but last in the second having hung-out throughout. Last seen running 8th over 1300M in March. Talented but unreliable.
  3. RAON HAWK – Offered very little in three starts so far and will need some significant improvement here.
  4. JEONGMUN SARANG – Ran 2nd in valuable juvenile race in September but struggled against the track’s best of his crop a month later. Disappointing 4th when hot favourite at the end of March but with a good start, can go close here.
  5. JEONGDONG SARANG – Only two starts so far – sent off at nearly 400/1 last time and ran like it. Booking of Alan Munro the positive and while he might need to get off and push, that might be enough to find the minor money here.
  6. SEOUL CITY – Getting closer across three outings and was a good and close 2nd at the distance last time having led until close to home. Can get on pace again and could go one better.
  7. WONDERFUL BRAVO – No better than 7th in seven tries and comes in after a slow 7th of 12 over this distance last time. Much improvement required.
  8. DALLINEUN ACE – Yet to offer much in the way of speed though recent some modest support two weeks ago after a promising trial. Promptly finished 9th of 12. This is weak though so improvement possible.
Selections (4) Jeongmun Sarang (6) Seoul City (2) Tour Brother (5) Jeongdong Sarang
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 2, 4, 6


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

  1. NONGBON JARANG – Last all the way round on debut last October and not seen again until trialling underwhelmingly at the end of March. Watching brief here.
  2. REGINA – Managed a 4th place two starts ago but struggled on latest a month ago at this trip. Has been slowly away on three of her four starts so far and is an outsider here.
  3. JACKS KHAN – Hasn’t beaten many in four attempts so far and was sent back to trial after latest effort in March. Leave well alone.
  4. JEONGMUN SAI – 3rd on debut at 1000M was followed by a 2nd place over 1300M when he led until the closing stages. Back in trip by half a furlong today and a big chance of leading all the way.
  5. WIND SKY – Much improved 2nd over 1300M last start. Will need to find more here but can be considered for further progress.
  6. BLUE BAND – “Full” brother to President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner Indie Band, he’s not quite lived up to that so far with 5th and 7th from two starts. Showed prominently over 1300M last start before weakening in closing stages. Could improve at 1200M today.
  7. MEISEI DREAM – First-time state but she just scraped through a trial in the slowest possible qualifying time. Watching brief here.
  8. COLORS DE LAGO – Some high hopes on debut after a positive trial and has offered glimpses. 5th of 9 at this distance last time and can improve.
  9. SONGAM RAPUNZEL – Debut-maker. Nothing special in trials although it was run at a slow pace. Others are preferred.
  10. HAWK ARIRANG – Has shown slight but noticeable improvement across three starts so far and was 6th of 12 last time, running on creditably. Can improve again.
  11. GOLD LEVEL – Getting slightly better and comes in following back to back 5th place finishes. Top jockey on again and a chance in this company.
Selections (4) Jeongmun Sai (5) Wind Sky (6) Blue Band (11) Gold Level
Next Best 8, 10
Fast Start 4, 6


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

  1. UNJU YEONGUNG – Yet to finish any better than 7th in nine attempts and it would be no surprise if that record was maintained here.
  2. RAISING ANGEL – A winner on debut last December, her worst in four subsequent starts was her only other try at further than 1000M. Nevertheless, she beat a couple of these last time and is well drawn to get on pace. A chance.
  3. BLESSING ROAD – Six starts at this level since maiden win last September with a best of 3rd. 5th behind some useful ones last time and jockey booking a plus.
  4. SPECIAL GOLD – First start since last August. She trialled adequately enough in April but others likely to be favoured first-up here.
  5. SUJEBI – Recent form has been uninspiring. Did manage a 5th place at 1000M in February but has struggled when asked to go any further.
  6. PRIVATE MAN – Still a maiden but no worse than 5th in six starts to date. Up in class after latest near miss but should be competitive.
  7. HUNTER HAWK – Finished last on his return from five months out in April. Never any better than 3rd and up against it here.
  8. P.K. JEONSA – Got promoted to this class with back to back runner-up finishes in February and March but was 8th on first try at the level on April 21st. Should be on pace and worth another chance today.
  9. VICTORY KING – Up in class today after consecutive 2nd place finishes. No worse than 6th in five outings to date. Will need to improve but not impossible.
  10. RICH RULES – Winner on debut and then 3rd in both subsequent starts at this class. Up in trip for the first time today, the draw isn’t ideal but is she gets away well, she has a real chance.
  11. MAENGSAN HERO – Yet to finish in the top three, he’s an import who has been dropped from class 4 but hasn’t found things much more amenable.
Selections (10) Rich Rules (2) Raising Angel (9) Victory King (8) P.K. Jeonsa
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 2, 3, 8, 10


Seoul Race 5: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

  1. DAEGUN CHEONHA – Never worse than 3rd, he got his maiden win over 1300M last start. Up in class today, he looks well in again and can win again.
  2. MALIBU GINGER – 3rd behind Crazy Wiki and M J Power over 1200M on April 20th. Previous effort at this distance didn’t go well but can be given a chance here.
  3. NEUNGRYEOK SIDAE – Class and distance winner at the end of March and followed up with 5th of 10 on a wet track three weeks ago. Apprentice jockey gets the weight back down today and she’ll be in the hunt.
  4. FLYING BOSS – Still a maiden after fourteen attempts but he’s had plenty of near-misses. However, he comes in having finished 11th behind several of these last time so has plenty of form to overturn.
  5. CHEUNGDAM GENIE – Maiden winner in February but weakened on first try at class and distance in tough company on April 13th. Worth another chance here.
  6. GOLDEN DIAL – Hung inwards throughout last start which was his first at this class. With better manner can improve today.
  7. M J POWER – 2nd behind Crazy Wiki over 1200M on April 20th, coming from well off the pace. Attempts this trip for the first time and could make for an interesting outsider.
  8. MUNHAK TIGER – First start since running 3rd behind M J Power in February and first at this distance. Can come from off the pace and finish strongly.
  9. CRAZY WIKI – Beat four of these on his way to a four-length win at this class over 1200M on April 20th. First try at this distance today, he’ll be on speed again and a repeat isn’t impossible.
  10. MATCH CAPTAIN – Struggled in the TJK Trophy last month, losing a shoe in the process. Going well before that though so don’t completely write-off.
  11. MUNHAK TSUNAMI – 4th behind Crazy Wiki at 1200M on April 20th when sent off as favourite. Today’s distance should suit better, and he can overturn that form.
  12. JEOKBYEOK SHINHWA – A winner at this class over 1400M on April 21st. He carries an additional 4kg today but could potentially repeat. Will look to come from well off the pace so draw not a problem.


Special Stone Wins The 2018 Korea Oaks

Special Stone has won the 2018 Korean Oaks. The Limitless Bid filly, sent off as a 22/1 chance among the sixteen-strong field, raced away to win the fillies’ Classic by a clear seven-lengths, ridden by trainer Kim Jeong-jun for Seoul trainer Kang Hwan-min at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

Special Stone Korea Racing Authority

Special Stone wins the 2018 Korean Oaks under Kim Jeong-jun (Pic: Korea Racing Authority)

In a race that always looked fiendishly difficult to predict, Yeonghui Sidae was ultimately sent off as a very slight favourite, ahead of Blue Flag, Gyohaksangjang and Yeongcheon Derby. None of them would get close though with Blue Flag the best of the in 4th. By the time she crossed the line, jockey Kim Jeong-jun was celebrating his biggest career win to date.

Special Stone began steadily as an overly keen Star Cat set the early pace. Jockey Kim kept his mount to the rail and the pair steadily gained ground in the back straight, improving to 2nd on the turn for home. Once they hit the straight and others swung wide, Special Stone found the front and then found another gear, leaving the rest trailing far down the track.

Seoul horses completed an unlikely 1, 2, 3 with Firewind coming home in 2nd and Seouri Byeol beating out Blue Flag in the photo-finish for 3rd, the Tierce paying out on that combination at 25850/1.

Trainer Kang Hwan-min only took out his license a year ago and has now won a Classic having had only slightly over 100 starters.

Special Stone is by Limitless Bid, a Korea-based Japanese-bred stallion by Sunday Silence. He is out of Grey Stone, Korean-bred mare who did her racing at Seoul, winning 2 of 28 starts between 2010 and 2013. Special Stone was her first foal. Grey Stone was by Walkslikeaduck (Blushing John), who was imported to Korea in 2002.

Korea Oaks (KOR G2) – Busan Racecourse – 1800M – July 15, 2018

1. Special Stone (KOR) [Limitless Bid – Grey Stone (Walkslikeaduck)] – Kim Jeong-jun – 22.9, 7.6
2. Fire Wind (KOR) [Colors Flying – Chukje (Bellamy Road)] – Jeong Jeong-hee – 5.7
3. Seouri Byeol (KOR) [Limitless Bid – Busanui Byeol (Generous)] – Parl Eul-woon – 16.3
Distances: 7 lengths / 0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Blue Flag 5. Gyohaksangjang 6. Yeongcheon Derby 7. Catch Nine 8. Mone Flying 9. Yeonghui Sidae 10. Peace Tour 11. Queen Of Captain 12. Magic Ten 13. Yuhwi 14. Star Cat 15. Uju Daewang 16. Nike Street