KRA Cup Classic

Cheongdam Dokki Bounces Back To Retain KRA Cup Classic

Cheongdam Dokki successfully defended his KRA Cup Classic crown at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon, taking victory on the 2000M Korean Group 2 event by two-and-a-half lengths and taking the first steps to putting defeat in the Billion Won Korea Cup International race last month firmly behind him.

Dolkong was a morning scratching, the Korea Cup runner-up having injured the frog of his hoof in a gallop this week. Although close to making the race, discretion proved the better part of valour and he was withdrawn as a precaution with the future in mind but that still left a high-quality field for Chongdam Dokki to defeat if he was to bounce back from the humbling he received when trying to match Japan’s London Town for pace in the Cup.

Defeat them he did. Sent off at long odds-on, Cheongdam Dokki led from the gate under jockey Lim Gi-won, who was restored to the mount, and looked a winner every step of the way. Triple Nine, racing for the first time since finishing 3rd behind him in the Busan Mayor’s Cup three months ago, hit his top gear late to come home 2nd while three-year-old US import Munhak Chief (by Pioneerof The Nile) scored a very promising 3rd.

Champion mare Silver Wolf came home 4th but there was no luck for two-time SBS Sports Sprint winner Doraonpogyeongseon, who ended up 6th of the 8 on his first try at 2000M.

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Sunday Seoul: KRA Cup Classic Day – Race-By-Race Preview (October 7)

It’s KRA Cup Classic Day in Seoul and Cheongdam Dokki can begin to put his Korea Cup disappointment behind him as he is set to start as favourite to successfully defend the crown he won last year. There are 11 Sunday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10. Here are the Seoul previews with horse by horse comments for the KRA Cup Classic:

Cheongdam Dokki Mayor's Cup Lets Run Park Busan

Cheongdam Dokki goes in the KRA Cup Classic

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

(1) JEOKTO BIMA has shown progression across three starts so far and enters with back to back 4th place finishes. Drawn in gate 1, she steps up in trip for the first time, should be prominent early and can win this. (9) GEOTAP too races for the fourth time today and ran creditably at this distance last time. She should also be on pace early and can go close. (10) GOODCHOICE is more experienced and does have a 3rd place to his name and while a touch one-paced, can improve on the 5th he recorded at this distance last start. (3) BINNANEUN RUBY and (8) FOR J.K. are others who can improve among modest company here.

Selections (1) Jeokto Bima (10) Goodchoice (9) Geotap (8) For J.K.
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 1, 8, 9

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

(1) HANEULEUL DALRIDA started badly and received a heavy bump which he never really recovered from when well-fancied over 1300M on September 1st. He drops back in trip today to a distance at which he was 2nd in July and with a clean start today, will be the one they need to beat in what is another weak contest. (7) SCARLET PERFECT also has a 2nd place at this distance and wasn’t too far away last time. (9) SOKBO WANGWI has been knocking on the door for some time now and is another who shouldn’t be far away. (10) STAR SOCKS is inconsistent but has offered some glimpses of ability. She races for the first time since June and should challenge for the early lead. There are two debut-makers and in a race with a distinct lack of talent in it, they must be given due consideration. Of the pair, (6) GOOD MOUNT seems the more likely to make an impact first-up.

Selections (1) Haneuleul Dalrida (7) Scarlet Perfect (9) Sokbo Wangwi (6) Good Mount
Next Best 10, 3
Fast Start 1, 8, 10

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

Juvenile maidens here and seven of the twelve have raced before, each of them just the once. The favourites are among them. (1) SENTOSA debuted in a valuable race for Breeze-up Sales graduates and ran reasonably well over 1200M. She was prominent early and dropping back to 1000M today may suit. (9) ACE SOLONGO and (10) WONDERFUL DIXIE both finished 3rd on their respective debuts, both at this distance and both can build on it here. (4) M.J. TOWN was a close in attendance 5th on her first attempt in what was a decent race on September 2nd and she too looks likely to improve. Among the first-timers, (8) IRON HEART and (12) BIG PRO looked best in trials.

Selections (1) Sentosa (4) M.J. Town (9) Ace Solongo (10) Wonderful Dixie
Next Best 5, 2
Fast Start 1, 5, 10, 12

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

(7) CHANGPA is yet to win, with a 4th and two runner-up finishes from three efforts to date but despite being up in class here, this could be her day. She has run on well in each of her outings so far and the additional furlong may suit in a race that is not much stronger than the average class 6. Indeed, her main rival is set to be another one up in class in the shape of (12) SABA KINGDOM, who ran out a five-length winner over 1000M on September 9th. He made all that day and will be trying to overcome the widest draw and the step up in trip to repeat here. Among those with experience of this level, (2) DAECHEON HERO and (4) SOKDO SHINHWA should be improving on the 6th and 7th places they recorded when they raced each other at 1000M on September 1st while (11) SPECIAL WINNER drops back in trip following a hard time at 1700M a month ago and can come into consideration.

Selections (7) Changpa (12) Saba Kingdom (2) Daecheon Hero (11) Special Winner
Next Best 4, 10
Fast Start 1, 2, 12

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

(1) TAURUS ran a good 2nd at this distance on what was his first try at this level on August 26th. He’s yet to finish outside the top two in three starts so far and he should maintain that record here. (3) BAEKSAN MENIQUEEN stepped up to this class and (more…)

Cheongdam Dokki Downs Clean Up Joy To Cruise To Seoul’s Summit

There is a new force in Korean racing. His name is Cheongdam Dokki.

Even though he was going up against Clean Up Joy, last year’s winner and top-rated at Seoul, and New Citadel, who had already beaten him, nobody really thought he would lose. And he didn’t. However, the ease with which Cheongdam Dokki won the KRA Cup Classic served notice that this really is a potential star.

KRA Cup Classic (KOR G2) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – October 22, 2017

1. Cheongdam Dokki (USA) [To Honor And Serve – Elusive Gold (Strike The Gold)] – Moon Se Young – 1.6, 1.1
2. New Citadel (USA) [With Distinction – Ree Ensign (Proud And True)] – Jo Jae Ro – 1.1
3. Clean Up Joy (USA) [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeux Danseur)] – Djordje Perovic – 1.2
Distances: 4 lengths / 9 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Clean Up Cheonha (USA) 5. Shamrocker (USA) 6. Suseong Captain (KOR) 7. Muhudaeje (USA) 8. Cheonjeok (USA)

It was over by the first corner, champion jockey Moon Se Young taking Cheongdam Dokki into an early lead from the gate and while Clean Up Joy and New Citadel closed the gap and then went with him rounding the far turn, it was clear they were under pressure a long way out.

In the straight there was only ever going to be one winner. The margin on the line was 4-lengths from New Citadel (who may provide some interest over the 2300M of the Grand Prix Stakes) with Clean Up Joy a further 9 lengths back in 3rd. To give some context to it, Clean Up Joy today ran his quickest ever time at 2000M – and he had tackled the distance on no fewer than eight prior occasions, winning on seven of them. Yet he was over two seconds slower than Cheongdam Dokki today.

Cheongdam Dokki, a gelding, was a $20,000 purchase from the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Despite the obvious talent, he hasn’t always been the easiest to handle but has now won four races in a row by margins of his choosing. There are still others he needs to beat; Dolkong at Seoul and of course Triple Nine and Power Blade, but on today’s performance, few would bet against him against any of those. Hopefully, they will meet. While a trip to the Dubai World Cup Carnival unfortunately doesn’t appear to be on his agenda, the next few months could be very interesting.

KRA Cup Classic: Clean Up Joy vs Cheongdam Dokki (Race-By-Race Preview – October 22)

It’s the showdown that we’ve been waiting for. At least for the past three months anyway. It was disappointing that both Clean Up Joy and Cheongdam Dokki swerved the Korea Cup last month but they finally do meet at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday, taking top billing in the local Group 2 KRA Cup Classic. There are 11 Sunday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10. 

Clean Up Joy YTN Shamrocker

Clean Up Joy beat Shamrocker in the YTN Cup earlier this year – he’ll have more than just his stablemate to deal with today (Pic: Alex Cairns)

Here are today’s Seoul notes:

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

Twelve fillies to kick things off and this looks a slightly softer ask for (3) P.K. TIME than when she could only manage 3rd place when favourite over 1000M on September 9th. This is her first try at the distance but she should be at the front early and can go all the way. (5) FOR J.K and (10) FIORE finished 3rd and 4th when racing each other over 1200M a month ago and both should be competitive here with Fiore fancied to overturn that form while the more experienced (12) DONGSEO GADEUK should be getting close in this company too. Similarly experienced, (7) STORMY PASSION is another to take into consideration.

Selections (3) P.K. Time (10) Fiore (5) For J.K (12) Dongseo Gadeuk
Next Best 7, 11
Fast Start 3, 6, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile race with enhanced prize money sees seven of the twelve racing for the first time. However, it’s from those with experience that we draw our top picks. Both (2) GLOBAL BANK and (3) THE JIJON came home in 2nd place on their respective debuts in September and it’s The Jijon, who led until the closing stages over 1200M, who is favoured to score here with Global Bank having to settle for 2nd once more. They’re both (more…)

Clean Up Joy Romps Home In KRA Cup Classic

Clean Up Joy today showed why he’s the highest-rated horse at Seoul with an easy win in the KRA Cup Classic on a rainy afternoon in the Korean capital.

Jockey Ham Wan Sik departed from his normal tactics on Clean Up Joy and despite 5-year-old leaping rather awkwardly out of the gate opted to push forward to join the early leaders. On a wet track, it paid off handsomely. Clean Up Joy hit the front as the field entered the home straight and ran on to win by a comfortable seven-lengths on the line.

Clean Up Joy (Purge) was recording his 10th win on what was his 20th career start. He was 3rd behind Bold Kings in last year’s Grand Prix Stakes and 4th in this summer’s Busan Mayor’s Cup, beaten only by Beolmaui Kkum, Triple Nine and Success Story. Despite a reverse at the hands of Winning Andy – who also tried his luck here – when conceding 8kg in August, he fully vindicated punters who sent him off at long odds-on today.

Running 2nd was the ever-reliable Unbeatable (Eddington) while long-shot Cheonjeok (Shakespeare) got up for a very creditable 3rd place.

Clean Up Joy was a $14,000 purchase from the OBS two-year-old sale in Florida in June 2013. He’s now won in excess of $800,000 in prize-money.

KRA Cup Classic (KOR G2) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – October 16, 2016

1. Clean Up Joy (USA) [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeaux Danseur)] – Ham Wan Sik – 1.3, 1.1
2. Unbeatable (USA) [Eddington – Baxter Hall (Rahy)] – Song Jae Chul – 3.2
3. Cheonjeok (USA) [Shakespeare – Celtic Song (Giant’s Causeway)]
Distances: 7 lengths / 3 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Clean Up Cheonha (USA) 5. Dynamic Jilju (USA) 6. Bichui Wangja (USA) 7. Areumdaundonghaeng (USA) 8. Winning Andy (USA) 9. Chief Red Can (USA) 10. Damyang Chukje (USA)

KRA Cup Classic Day Preview

KRA Cup Classic day has dawned overcast in Seoul. Ten runners will go to post this afternoon for the 400 Million Won race with Clean Up Joy, 4th in this summer’s Busan Mayor’s Cup likely to be the favourite.

DE4_4671

Chief Red Can and Park Eul Woon won the KRA Cup Classic last year. They return for another try today (Pic: Ross Holburt)

The KRA Cup Classic is the highlight of an 11 race card at Seoul which runs from 10:40 to 18:00. There are also 6 races at Busan from 12:50 to 17:05. English racecards are here. Notes on the three Sky Racing races, including the Classic are below:

Race 8: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap: Horses which are imported to Korea have to start at class 4 whereas those bred domestically can begin at class 6. Therefore Korea-bred horses who have made it up to this level are generally proven winners. That’s the case with (4) SUBAEKYANG, who has a 2nd and a 3rd from her last two and is favoured to score here with a late run. On speed will be (2) GYODUBO and (11) FLY WING. Both have won at this distance already and they look the main dangers. Also on speed early should be (1) KKUMUI CLUB who tries this distance for the first time and can go well. Also attempting the 1700M for the first time is (7) WANGUI DAERO, who is yet to score in eleven but has often come close and can beat plenty of these.

Selections: 4, 2, 11, 1
Next Best: 7, 6, 12, 3
Rating: 12, 2=4, 11, 7
Fast Starters: 2, 9, 11, 12
Start-200M: 12, 10, 1, 9, 11
200M-Finish: 12, 2, 7, 4, 1

Race 9: Class Open – The KRA Cup Classic (KOR G2) (2000M) Weight for Age: Big prize money on offer here and (9) CLEAN UP JOY is favoured to take it home. He’s the top-rated horse at Seoul and won his first three races this year before refistering a by no-means disgraced 4th place in a very tough Mayor’s Cup at Busan in July. On his return to the capital in August he was somewhat surprisingly beaten by (6) WINNING ANDY over 1400M but he was giving 8kg away and should overturn that under weight for age today. Clean Up Joy is expected to drop right to the back of the field early and then close strongly. His stablemate (2) CLEAN UP CHEONHA is two races into a comeback following a lengthy spell. Neither suited and he is expected to improve today. (3) BICHUI WANGJA was a gate to wire winner over this distance in July and while he disappointed, he should get an uncontested lead here and can be considered to stay all the way. (1) DYNAMIC JILJU, an also-ran in the Korea Cup last month and (10) CHIEF RED CAN, winner of this race in 2015, are others to be respected.

Selections: 9, 3, 1, 2
Next Best: 6, 1, 7, 5, 8, 4
Rating: 9, 2, 1, 10, 5
Fast Starters: 3
Start-200M: 2, 3, 5, 1, 9
200M-Finish: 9, 6, 5, 2, 4

Race 10: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap: Competitive race to finish with. (4) GAIA THUNDER looks to be the pick, having been a class and distance winner in August before going on to beat four of his rivals here when running 2nd over 1700M a month ago. He’ll settle just behind any early leaders and has a strong finish. (3) CHOWONUI CHANGA was 4th in that race, just under a length behind (10) MIRACLE CAT – who was over-performing – and will be a danger today. (11) GEUMGANGJEGUK was a surprise winner over 1200M on August 27th beating (1) LAST CODIE and (9) BEST ROAD. All three of them find themselves up in class here and Last Codie especially, with three wins from five outings to date, looks set to overturn that form today.

Selections: 4, 1, 3, 9
Next Best: 2, 7, 11, 10
Rating: 4, 2, 5, 11, 7
Fast Starters: 1, 2, 6, 7
Start-200M: 1, 9, 6, 2, 7
200M-Finish: 4, 10, 3, 11, 9

Ikuyasu Kurakane Wins KRA Cup Classic on Samjeong Jewang

The year just keeps on getting better for Ikuyasu Kurakane. The Japanese rider, who is 2nd in the Jockey Championship, got his first Group win or his second stint in Korea by riding Samjeong Jewang to the narrowest of victories in the KRA Cup Classic at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday.

Samjeong Jewang just gets up to beat Rush Forth (obscured) in the KRA Cup Classic (Pic: KRA)

Samjeong Jewang just gets up to beat Rush Forth (obscured) in the KRA Cup Classic (Pic: KRA)

Indian Blue, who Kurakane has had success on in the past, was sent off as the odds on favourite, but despite a change in tactics from jockey Moon Se Young, the filly still found herself left with too much ground to make up in the final furlong.

Instead, it was Samjeong Jewang who beat out a determined challenge by outsider Rush Forth and filly My Day to win by a nse on the line. Indian Blue came hom in 4th but last year’s winner Mari Daemul could only manage 10th.

Samjeong Jewang moves on to six wins from nine career starts and a possible run for the Grand Prix Stakes in December.

KRA Cup Classic (KOR G3) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – October 19, 2014

1. Samjeong Jewang (USA) [Patriot Act – Ms.Sadira (Dixieland Heat)] – Ikuyasu Kurakane 3/5, 1.6
2. Rush Forth (USA) [Rush Bay – Fourth Quest (Norquestor)] – Kim Ok Sung – 6.0
3. My Day (KOR) [Touch Gold – Smart Advice (Smart Strike)] – Jang Chuyoul – 3.6
Distances: Nose/0.5 lengths
Also ran: 4. Indian Blue (USA) 5. Unbeatable (USA) 6. Cheonma (USA) 7. Sun Speed (USA) 8. Him Jjang (USA) 9. Hwanggeumbiyul (USA) 10. Mari Daemul (USA) 11. Mani Income (USA) 12. Daehan Janggun (USA)