Luna Stakes

Raon Fillies First & Pink On Top At Seoul & Busan

It’s becoming an unwelcome habit that we are posting these things days late, but it was a pair of “full” sisters ( I dislike that term, for some reason), who took top honours at Seoul and Busan last Sunday. Four-year-old Raon First took out Seoul’s Class 1 feature while a year here junior, Raon Pink won the Luna Stakes, the first leg of the 2021 Filly Triple Crown. Both are by Musket Man and out of the Southern Image mare, Pink Candy.

Raon First (Pic: KRA)

Raon First was a champion as a juvenile and has since gone on to establish herself at class 1 level, running 2nd to Dia Road in a Graded race for fillies and mares last year and finishing 2rd in her latest two, including behind Eoma Eoma. In all those races she had led, only to be taken down close to the line every time.

On Sunday though, Raon First would be no sitting duck. acing up and comers Legend Day and Carving Cross, among others, Raon First was drawn wide but instead of being ridden up hard to the pace, after being slightly slow away, Choi Bum-hyun in the saddle took a sit behind the lead and waited patiently. Choi made his move on Raon First at the top of the straight, punching through a gap with ease and the filly ran on to score by a length and a half in a fast time for the 1400M.

Outsiders Cupid Guy and Myeongpum Chukje chased Raon First home in 2nd and 3rd with Legend Day and Carving Cross both enduring poor days at the office and in the case of the latter especially, seeing their chances of qualification for any of the late season Stakes races diminishing. For Raon First it was seventh win in fourteen starts as she stakes her claim to succeed Dia Road as the top filly or mare in training in Seoul.

At Busan, younger sister Raon Pink was imperious in the Luna Stakes. Sent off as favourite in a sixteen-strong field of three-year-old fillies, who had thirty-six race victories between them coming in, Raon Pink jumped well and slowly worked to the lead and was comfortable in the pace she set. On the corner she slipped away and on straightening went well clear and was strong to the finish under Park Tae-jong. Jedi was 2nd and Smart Officer, who missed the break an excellent 3rd as Seoul fillies swept the top five finishing positions.

Raon Pink now moves on as favourite for the Korean Oaks, back at Busan over 1800M on November 14.

Sunday Busan & Seoul: Luna Stakes Day Race-By-Race Preview (October 17)

Following Heat Yegam’s victory in the KRA Cup Mile last weekend, the fillies get their chance this Sunday with the opening leg of the filly Triple Crown, the Luna Stakes, over 1600M at Busan. The race is part of 6-race card at Busan from 12:10 to 17:30 while there is also a 9-race card at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

The scene on Luna Stakes day last year…. (Pic: KRA)

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

As is almost always the case right now, juvenile maidens kick things off and this time four of the nine race for the very first time. One of the experienced ones will be the hot favourite though. That’s (3) TOUGH GUY, who after posting a good time in a trial in August, debuted on September 12th when he put in a front-running effort at today’s trip to ultimately finish 3rd in a good time. He draws well here and should have too much. Running better on debut that his finishing position suggests was (4) AMAZON KING. Ran 6th but in a fast time in a good race. That came off an impressive trial and is the main danger to the favourite here. (8) CHAMJOEUN CHINGU was slowly away from a wide gate on her debut but did make ground late and finished in a decent time in a fats race and she too will be expected to improve here. Among the first-timers, (7) EUNHYE was the fastest in trials and perhaps has the best chance of making an impression first-up. (2) SUNNY BLADE too did nothing wrong in her heat.

Selections(3) Tough Guy (4) Amazon King (8) Chamjoeun Chingu (7) Eunhye
Next Best2, 5
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 9

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

Fillies only here. (5) FLYING FULL MOON has been knocking on the door in his latest three outings including 3rd place last start on September 19th at this distance with a couple of today’s rivals behind him. A front runner, he draws nicely so expect him to be on pace and he can lead gate to wire. (1) VIENTO came home 4th behind Flying Full Moon in that race on what was her fourth career start. She looks like she is figuring things out and from another very good draw she could make further progress today. (4) EOMCHEONGNAN GIRL put in a significantly improved 2nd at this distance on August 15th in a fair time behind a good winner. She had already shown she can finish off her races well but for the first time raced prominently throughout and a similar run should see her in the finish again. (7) SEMYEONG HAETSAL is the only previous winner in the field and as such comes into the calculations after three consecutive 4th place finishes. (11) SISEON JUMA has made an encouraging start to her career with three top five finishes from three starts. She led in her best finish to date when 2nd but has run well from behind as well and steps up to 1300M for the first time with solid claims to continue her development.

Selections(5) Flying Full Moon (1) Viento (4) Eomcheongnan Girl (7) Semyeong Haetsal
Next Best11, 10
Fast Start3, 5, 11, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Unchartered territory for all of these maidens as none of them have tackled two-turns before. A few have hinted at ability and finished off their races well at shorter distances, including (5) FLYING BARBIE. She comes on off a decent 3rd place at 1300M, her best performance to date, when she came from well off the pace run down plenty. The extended trip may be what she needs. That’s true too for (4) SEMYEONG CAPTAIN. He ran fairly for 3rd over 1400M at his latest start on August 22nd when he overcame a wide gate to do his best work late. He should be in the finish here. (1) TAEYANGTAGO was 4th in that race behind Semyeong Captain in August and followed it up with another 4th place a month ago, also at 1400M when she made ground from last place entering the straight. She too may like the additional trip. (6) SEONBONG GOLD and (3) HELLO GEUMSEONG are others to consider.

Selections(5) Flying Barbie (4) Semyeong Captain (1) Taeyangtago (6) Seonbong Gold
Next Best3, 11
Fast Start2, 7, 8, 10

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

A small field of juvenile maidens get things underway in Busan and (3) YEONGCHEON SOLEMIO is set to be a warm favourite. He made a bold showing on debut when overcoming gate eleven to lead before being ground down and ultimately finishing 4th in a fast time. He draws better today, should lead and should win (5) FUNNY LIFE registered a faster time than Yeongcheon Solemio when also 4th on her own debut on September 17th although it was on a much wetter and faster track. She too was on pace and looks to be the primary danger here. There are two first-timer starters and both warrant mentions. (8) RAON THE GUTSEN went through two trials, improving in the second of them, crossing the line 3rd in a decent time. He can sit outside the early speed and run-on. (2) LIGHT STORY clearly knows what to do having won his own trial. He draws well and can go well first-up. Returning to those with experience, (6) YOUNG BOSS looks to have the most potential to improve.

Selections(3) Yeongcheon Solemio (5) Funny Life (8) Raon The Gutsen (2) Light Story
Next Best6, 7
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 6

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

We’ll go with (6) THE QUEEN JUSTICE here on the grounds that she has the fastest time of any of these at the distance (albeit recorded on a very wet track) and draws a much better gate than her primary rival. She comes in off a decent 2nd place at class and distance on September 11th when she went back and made ground and from the middle can perhaps pick her spot. That main rival is likely to be (12) JEONGMUN JIJON, who comes up in class after a good win on September 12th when she sat handy to the lead, striking the front in the home straight and running on well. This might be trickier from the wide draw, but she still looks nicely in and should measure up at this level. (4) GO GO STAR led at her latest start at class and distance ultimately finishing in 5th place. She draws nicely to lead again and can be challenging for a money finish. (10) JANGSAN GUARD had a poor day at the office in that race, his first at this class, but is better than that and can be given another chance. (1) YULONG STAR another in the frame.

Selections(6) The Queen Justice (12) Jeongmun Jijon (4) Go Go Star (10) Jangsan Guard
Next Best1, 2
Fast Start2, 4, 9, 10

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

Very tricky race. (11) GIANT CAL steps up to this distance for the first time and it may well suit. He doesn’t run on pace so the wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and last time he emerged from the back to run 3rd in a solid time over 1300M. Today could be his day. (8) TRIPLE STORM comes back in trip after a couple of spins around a mile. He ran well at class and distance three starts back when 3rd in a time faster than any of the others here have recorded at the distance and he has to be considered a leading contender. (3) DAEHOMA has raced eight times, finishing no better than 4th although that is something he has managed on each of his latest four starts. He draws well to get on pace again and has claims here. (10) OLD CHEONHA hinted at ability in two starts in the early part of the year. He hasn’t been seen since April but trialed up adequately last month and a nice race has been picked for his return. (4) RAPIDO QUEEN another who should be competing for at least a place.

Selections(11) Giant Cal (8) Triple Storm (3) Daehoma (10) Old Cheonha
Next Best4, 5
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 6

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

Competitive race. (8) K N LIGHT has finished no worse 5th in six starts to date and comes up in class following a runner-up finish at this distance on August 29th when handy to the lead throughout and briefly leading in the closing stages. The time was good when compared with his rivals here and he should be competitive at this level. (10) CHALLAN HANNAL got preomotd to this class following a win two starts back over 1200M when he flew home from the back of the field. He stepped up to 1300M for his first try at this level on August 29th and almost managed to repeat the trick, ultimately settling for 2nd in a fast race. The slightly extended trip should suit, the draw should be no issue at all, and he will be competitive here. A wide draw shouldn’t be too much of a problem for (12) SECRET BOSS either. He ran 3rd in that race behind Challan Hannal at the end of August and has since repeated the finish, again at 1300M. Expect him to be challenging late here. (9) CHEONGSAN GASE and (2) JOY OF KING are others who can be in the placing frame.

Selections(8) K N Light (10) Challan Hannal (12) Secret Boss (9) Cheongsan Gase
Next Best2, 3
Fast Start2, 3, 8, 11
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