Queens Tour

Sky Bay Lands Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup / Victoire Bags Seven / Gaon Champ Steps up

Sky Bay ran out the emphatic winner of the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup, the final leg of the 2018 Queens’ Tour at Busan last Sunday. The three-year-old US-bred filly ran away from the field in the home straight to win by five-lengths and secure a first Group race victory for trainer Lee Shin Young.

Sky Bay - KRA

Sky Bay was sent off as favourite for the 2000M test and was prominent throughout. While other early pace-setters Blue Flag and Catch Nine gave way, the Adios Charlie filly was too strong and fast-finishers Seouri Byeol and Damyang Hwanho never looked like getting close. With Sky Bay not having competed in either of the first two legs of the Queens’ Tour, 4th place-getter Cheongsu Yeogeol, winner of the Ttukseom Cup and 2nd in the KNN Cup, was crowned the overall Series winner

Sky Bay [Adios Charlie – KK’s Kitty (Yes It’s True)] was a $95,000 purchase from the OBS 2017 Spring Sale of two-year-olds and has now won five of her nine races. It is the biggest win of trainer Lee Shin Young’s career as she becomes the first Korean female trainer to saddle a Group winner.

For jockey Lee Chan Ho, one of the most naturally gifted riders Korea has produced but who has seen his career weighed down somewhat by suspensions for off-track issues, it was a second Group winner following Choegang Schiller’s triumph in the 2015 Asia Challenge Cup.

Speaking of jockeys, up at Seoul it was a sensational weekend for Johan Victoire. The French rider rode three winners on Saturday and then managed to top that feat on Sunday, partnering four more for a total of seven across the weekend.

Victoire, who is seventeen months into his Korean sojourn, has now ridden 73 winners from 729 rides in the country.

While Sky Bay’s win was impressive, the performance of the weekend, however, may have been up in Seoul. In the very last race on Sunday, Gaon Champ stepped up to class 1 for the first time and completely dominated, running in the second fastest time of the year over 1400M for an untroubled length-and-a-half victory.

Gaon Champ (Ecton Park) is a three-year-old colt whose only defeats so far have come at the hands of Mask, in the Seoul Classic trial back in March, and then in the KRA Cup Mile at Busan when he played up in the gates beforehand. He moves on to six wins from eight total starts and will hopefully be one to look out for in the bg sprints next year. He’ll probably not get the opportunity to carry just 51kg again though.

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Queens’ Tour Finale Day – Sunday Seoul & Busan Race-By-Race Preview (November 11)

The Queens’ Tour concludes at Busan on Sunday afternoon with fifteen fillies and mares linig up for the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup. There are 6 races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10 as well as 11 at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews along with horse by horse for the big race:

Cheongsu Yeogeol Ttukseom Cup - KRA

Cheongsu Yeogeol won the Ttukseom Cup in June, the 1st leg of the Queens’ Tour and was 2nd in the KNN Cup (Pic KRA)

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

Weak maiden to begin with so a good opportunity for plenty of these who otherwise wouldn’t come close to a win. (5) JEONGMUN K has been getting better across five starts so far and comes in off a decent 3rd in a better race than this last time out. He has as much chance as any here. (6) GOD OF SOCKS registered a 3rd place on debut back in July and while he hasn’t yet managed to match that. He doesn’t look completely bereft of ability and should be on pace early today. (4) REIGN too showed improvement last time and should get close here while (1) KING N I and (7) ROAD MAN are slightly lesser prospects but can challenge for the places.

Selections (6) God Of Socks (5) Jeongmun K (4) Reign (1) King N I
Next Best 7
Fast Start 3, 6

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

Juvenile maiden here with all except one having raced before. (4) ACE SOLONGO is one of three who have raced twice and she comes in off a close 2nd place over 1000M a month ago. She ran on well and could benefit from stepping up in trip for the first time. The increased distance may also benefit (2) DOKDO YA, who ran 5th in debut last month finishing off well. (7) GEOM HONG debuted at this distance four weeks ago and ran well for 4th. He started well that day before dropping back and then rallying and today could be on pace. (8) STRIDE UP was 2nd – albeit a fair way behind the winner – when up to this trip for his second start. (5) WONDER BRACING ran very greenly on debut all the way back in August but still managed to finish 3rd. He’s had some time off so it’s a fresh start today and with Antonio Da Silva taking the mount, he can go close.

Selections (4) Ace Solongo (7) Geom Hong (5) Wonder Bracing (2) Dokdo Ya
Next Best 8, 6
Fast Start 7

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(7) BEST EVER was a five-length winner on debut on October 14th, coming from just off the pace to score impressively at this distance. He’s up in class here and will need to improve but the manner of that win suggests there is more to come. (2) MAPAEBONG was a similarly impressive class 6 winner in August and beat a couple of these on his way to 3rd place on his first try at this level last month. He looks the main danger here. (5) JEWANGUI BYEOL returned from more than six months off to run a creditable 5th at this distance at the end of September. He should come on for the run here. (10) DUSON WANGJA and (12) STAR LIST remain maidens but both come in off the back of useful 2nd places at class and distance and both have a chance to repeat.

Selections (7) Best Ever (2) Mapaebong (5) Jewangui Byeol (10) Duson Wangja
Next Best 12, 11
Fast Start 1, 3, 5, 12

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(6) MAJJABEUN SON was a slightly unexpected winner at class and distance on September 29th, coming from off the pace to record his maiden win at the seventeenth time of asking. She only carries and extra couple of kilos today and Johan Victoire remains aboard and a repeat can’t be ruled out. (1) TRIPLE HAPPY took to this distance well when sent up for the first time last start, running out a close 2nd. He’ll join Majjabeun Son in looking to close strongly. That pace could be set by (2) FLYING JOY who can have a line drawn through his latest effort as he was impeded by a riderless horse and who has shown he can be competitive at class and distance. (3) SISPUMA WINNER and (9) ONNURI ALBA are others to take into account.

Selections (6) Majjabeun Son (1) Triple Hapy (2) Flying Joy (3) Sispuma Winner
Next Best 9, 8
Fast Start 2, 7

Busan Race 1 Selections: 4, 1, 11, 6

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

This isn’t a very strong race so attention needs to be paid to (6) DONGSEO GADEUK, whose 6th place at the distance last time was in stiffer company, He was some way behind the winner but not far off 3rd and can go very close here. (7) POX RANGER remains a maiden but ran well at this distance last time out and should be in the hunt while (4) GEOBOOGI MANSE similarly can be given another chance after a lackluster showing last time out, with good form leading up to it. (2) SO ARA DAEWANG and the up (more…)

Haeya Finally Earns Big Race Glory in KNN Cup

Haeya has finally done it. The five-year-old mare whose career has been a litany of injury and other setbacks won the 2nd leg of the Queens’ Tour the KNN Cup at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon to secure her first Group race triumph.

Haeya’s distant 3rd behind Silver Wolf in this race last year was her only previous experience of racing at a mile and while punters sent her off as slight favourite, there was plenty of doubt as to whether she could lead the whole way round – even in the absence of a clear star like Silver Wolf.

As it was, Haeya, drawn from gate 1, got to the front as usual but this time didn’t let go. Cheongsu Yeogeol and Ice Marine flashed home late but couldn’t quite get there, Haeya holding on by just under a length on the line.

1. Haeya (USA) [Flatter – Luxholic (Macho Uno)] – You Hyun Myung – You Hyung Myung – 2.6, 1.4
2. Cheongsu Yeogeol (USA) [Run Away And Hide – Fan Appeal (Lear Fan)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.9
3. Ice Marine (KOR) [Officer – Runkerry Point (Giant’s Causeway)] – Song Keong Yun – 4.3
Distances: 0.75 lengths / Head
Also Ran: 4. Damyang Hwanho (USA) 5. GOld Blue (JPN) 6. Bright Star (KOR) 7. Ace Spinning (KOR) 8. I’m Your Mother (USA) 9. Shark Run (USA) 10. Rich Yeojanggun (KOR) 11. Hello Venus (KOR) 12. Rocket Queen (KOR) 13. Aceui Seonmul (KOR) 14. Yeonghui Sidae (KOR) 15. Sojunghan Somang (USA) 16. Uju Star (KOR)

Sunday Seoul & Busan: KNN Cup Day Race-By-Race Preview (August 19)

It’s a big Sunday of racing in Korea with the KNN Cup, the 2nd leg of the Queens’ Tour at Busan being the highlight. In total there are 6 races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10 and 11 at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Previews for every single race are below (including horse by horse for the KNN Cup). Busan first with the Seoul ones below:

Cheongsu Yeogeol Ttukseom 2

Cheongsu Yeogeol won the 1st leg of the Queens’ Tour last month and is among 16 fillies & mares lining up for the KNN Cup at Busan today (Pic: KRA)

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

(3) MUJEOK YEONGUNG was a very nice-looking winner on debut on July 20th over 1000M and while he is up in both class and distance today, the manner of it suggests Thomas Gillespie’s colt will be hard to beat today. He’ll go to the front from the gate and should stay there. (2) OFFICE TAP comes up in class after his maiden win too. His victory, on what was his second career start, was slightly less eye-catching but nevertheless, he should be very competitive at this level. (1) COOL MINT got promoted after finishing runner-up in both his first two outings. He stepped up to this class on July 15th, running a decent 5th over 1400M. He drops back to this trip for the first time today and can look to at least place. (6) NURI ACHIM, a class and distance winner in May, and (10) RACHEL, who did the same a month later, are others who can go close.

Selections (3) Mujeok Yeongung (2) Office Tap (1) Cool Mint (6) Nuri Achim
Next Best 10, 12
Fast Start 3, 6

Race 2: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A smart winner at this class over 1300M on July 20th to make it three wins from seven career starts, (1) ICE LEG is slightly favoured to prevail again. It’s his first time at 1400M but an apprentice jockey on board means he carries scarcely any extra weight and he could have too much. (6) ISLE CAT ran 2nd that day and while she has a bit to find on the favourite here, can run well again and certainly should beat plenty. Stiffer tests may come from (8) CITY WINNER and (2) FINE POWER, who came home 2nd and 3rd respectively when racing each other at class and distance on July 15th, getting within half a length of winner Oryong, who was landing his third straight win. (4) RISING PRINCE came home 5th in that race and is another who could have a say about the places.

Selections (1) Ice Leg (8) City Winner (2) Fine Power (6) Isle Cat
Next Best 3, 11
Fast Start 4, 8

Race 3: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) BAENGNYEON SONNIM rather unexpectedly finished ahead of (5) SMART DANCER when they raced each other at this distance three weeks ago coming home 2nd and 3rd and bringing the latter’s winning streak to an end at three. They face each other again here but this time we’ll expect Smart Dancer to put things right and return to the winner’s circle. Baengnyeon Sonnim is probably the biggest danger here along with (7) WINNING AGAIN, who was rapidly promoted to this class with a pair of wins in May and June. He ran 3rd on his first try at this level on July 13th and should be close here. There is one debut-maker and he looks an interesting one. US import (4) JJUUK trialled up competently last month and the Min Jang Gi trained colt can go well first up.

Selections (5) Smart Dancer (3) Baengnyeon Sonnim (7) Winning Again (4)Jjuuk
Next Best 2, 1
Fast Start 4, 5, 7

Race 4: Class 1 (2000M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

After a setback early in his career which saw him lose almost his entire three-year-old campaign, the recent rise of (3) SILLAUI JEONSEOL has been rapid. He’s won three in a row to get up to class 1 here and he looks very nicely in to potentially take his winning streak to four. He’s up to 2000M for the first time an there’s no doubt this is a tough ask but he could do it. (9) STEALTH beat tree of these on his way to a good class and distance victory on July 8th and must be respected. Once again, he carries a low weight, has strong claims and should be favourite. (10) SAENGIL GIPPEUM doesn’t carry a low weight but showed signs of coming back into form when finishing 4th in the Owners’ Cup at the end of July and could maintain that momentum here. (5) FOUR NINES and (2) DORAON HYEONPYO were both beaten by Stealth last time – both were nominated for September’s Korea Cup last week and likely need big performances here in order to be confident of getting on.

Selections (3) Sillaui Jeonseol (9) Stealth (2) Doraon Hyeonpyo (5) Four Nines
Next Best 10, 1
Fast Start 1, 2, 3

 

Race 5: Class Open “The KNN Cup” (KOR G3) / 1600M Allowance / KRW 400 Million

  1. HAEYA – She was favourite for the Ttukseom Cup but put in a flat performance ending up in 6th. Hard to recommend her to win at a mile although she did manage to come 3rd in this race last year and as one of the few true class 1 horses in the race, it would be no surprise if she was sent off as favourite. She’ll try to do it gate to wire.
  2. YEONGHUI SIDAE – Sent off as second-favourite in the Oaks last month but never travelled fluently and ended up well back in the field. She has though won at this distance at class 3 and could be a factor here. Runs best when leading, something she hasn’t been able to do in her last two starts.
  3. I’M YOUR MOTHER – Struggled over 1800M on her latest but she is a winner at a mile at class 4. Her solitary win did come at this distance in May, but it was at class 4 and she has a lot to find here.
  4. SOJUNGHAN SOMANG – Beaten by Shark Run in April but returned to overcome some good ones on her way to a valuable prize over 1400M at the beginning of June. First try at a mile, she’ll likely settle in midfield and look to finish strongly. Place is not impossible.
  5. ACEUI SEONMUL – Good winner over this distance on July 6th, enabling her to take her chance here. That was at class 3 and while she shouldn’t be too far away she will need to improve if she is to challenge for a place.
  6. CHEONGSU YEOGEOL – Comfortable winner of the Ttukseom Cup at the beginning fo June coming from just off the pace to win well. This will be her first attempt at a mile but there is no reason why it shouldn’t suit and she’ll be firmly in the hunt to maintain her bid for a sweep of all three races in the series.
  7. RICH YEOJANGGUN – Winner of five of her first six starts, she’s come unstuck since reaching class 2. Not many of these have managed to get to that level though so she may well find the company today amenable. First try at the distance, she settles in the middle of the pack and looks to launch a bid late on.
  8. ACE SPINNING – First start since winning the Singapore Turf Club Trophy last September, this is a big ask first-up but she’s certainly capable. Looked good in two trials, the latest of which was last week. First try at a mile too but like Haeya, she is a class 1 horse, and this is not impossible. Settles in midfield.
  9. ROCKET QUEEN – Beat Cheongsu Yeogeol over 1400M in April before running 4th in the Ttukseom Cup. A solid class 2 competitor who is not far away from class 1, she tuned up in a barrier trial in Seoul last Saturday which she won very comfortable. She has a chance. Likely settles closer to the back than the front and finishes strongly.
  10. GOLD BLUE – Absolutely flew home for 3rd place in the Ttukseom Cup having been last entering the home straight. She is inconsistent though as was shown when she only beat one home on her reappearance on July 8th. That was at class 1 thugh and both company and distance should be more suitable today. An outside chance.
  11. DAMYANG HWANHO – Finished strongly for a surprise 2nd place in the Ttukseom Cup. It perhaps shouldn’t have been a surprise though as she had previously registered a class 2 win at 1200M. It’s been a long time since she ran further than 1400M and she previously didn’t show any aptitude for it but she’s a better horse now and another surprise isn’t impossible.
  12. BRIGHT STAR – 2nd in last year’s Oaks and Jeju Governor’s Cup she’s no doubt got plenty of talent. She recorded a solid 3rd place at class 2 before running 7th in the Ttukseom Cup, she can be frustratingly inconsistent. She probably won’t be among the fancied ones here but should be on the early pace.
  13. ICE MARINE – Two starts into a comeback following almost exactly a year off. She was a really impressive winner over 1400M at class 2 on July 6th. That form got a boost when the second place-getter that day, Taeyangui Sinhwa, won well on Friday. She had to go wide all the way that day and it’s likely she’ll have to do so again but she looks very capable of challenging for at least a place and possibly even the win.
  14. UJU STAR – Top trainer Kim Young Kwan’s only representative in the race. She’s only raced three times this year, winning a class 2 race over 1400M in May. She’s been well back in the other two though including behind Ice Marine last time. It’s dangerous to rule out anything from this stable but she’ll need to find significant improvement.
  15. SHARK RUN – Headed into the Ttukseom Cup on the back of consecutive victories at class 3 and came with a huge late run to make it to 5th in that race. Scratched from a scheduled start in early July with some soreness, she’s back fit now and could be a real danger here.
  16. HELLO VENUS – Couldn’t get on speed in the Ttukseom Cup although she did improve for a 6th place finish. Returned to Busan to run 2nd over 1800M on July 13th leading all the way only to beaten by a nose on the line. She was drawn in gate 1 that day and today has the hardest ask of all to get to where she likes to be.

Verdict: As in the Ttukseom Cup, this race is fascinating as so many could win it. All things being equal, (1) HAEYA is the best in the race and will most likely begin as favourite but the distance and her inconsistency make her beatable. (6) CHEONGSU YEOGEOL’s Ttukseom Cup win was impressive and she has claims too but there were other big runs in that race as well from (11) DAMYANG HWANHO and especially (9) ROCKET QUEEN and (15) SHARK RUN. We’re going to go for new challengers who didn’t (more…)

Doraonpogyeongseon Seals Second SBS Sports Sprint Win / Cheongsu Yeogeol Claims Ttukseom Cup

Doraonpogyeongseon produced a thundering late run to win the SBS Sports Sprint for the 2nd year running at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. The five-year-old gelding saw off a field studded with some of the country’s top sprinters to win by a length.

Doraonpogyeongseon SBS

Trained at Busan by Min Jang Gi, Doraonpogyeongseon seems to love racing at Seoul. After his win in this race last year, he returned to the capital in September to run a huge 3rd in the Korea Sprint. A repeat attempt on that race, the final leg of the Sprint Series is surely inevitable.

Having finished 3rd in the 1st leg of the series, the Busan Ilbo Cup last month, Doraonpogyeongseon was duly sent off as third-favourite in the betting market behind champion mare and winner of that 1st leg Silver Wolf, second-favourite behind the Kim Young Kwan trained Today, a winner of 10 of his 12 prior starts and running in Stakes company for the first time.

Silver Wolf was never in contention. The wide draw wasn’t supposed to be a problem but under Kim Dong Soo, who had successfully navigated a way through traffic in the Busan Ilbo, she found herself at the back of the sixteen-strong field on the turn and had to go very wide to find a run in the straight. She could only make it up to 6th. Doraonpogyeongseon, on the other hand, coming out of gate 2 was able to settle in on the fence just behind the early speed of which Today was a big part.

Main pace-setters Indian Star and Perdido Pomeroy weakened early in the straight leaving Choegang Schiller in front with a furlong to go. It looked as though Today would be the track-record holder’s primary challenger until Doraonpogyeongseon’s late show. Final Boss came with a big run for 4th.

Doraonpogyeongseon [Kantharos – Smartybegone (Smarty Jones)] was a $50,000 purchase form the OBS two-year-old sales at Ocala in 2015. He’s won 9 of his 22 starts and is approaching $1Million in prize-money. Trainer Min Jang Gi was winning a Stakes race for the third time while for jockey Kim Cheol Ho, a revelation since transferring to Busan at the start of this year, it was his first success in a principle race.

The Ttukseom Cup, while more valuable than the SBS Sports Sprint, had been overshadowed by the other race in the build-up. That was partly because it was expected to end with a comfortable winner. It did, but not the one that was expected.

Haeya, runner-up last year was sent off as the prohibitive favourite but scarcely featured as Cheongsu Yeogeol, a three-year-old who had only raced six times previously, struck the front a furlong from home and ran on to win by three-lengths under a delighted Moon Se Young. Busan-trained pair Damyang Hwanho and Gold Blue were 2nd and 3rd with Haeya only managing 8th and the well-backed Hi Sexy even further back in 13th.

Cheongsu Yeogeol [Run Away And Hide – Fan Appeal (Lear Fan)] cost just $8500 as a yearling at Keeneland in September 2016.

SBS Sports Sprint/Ttukseom Cup Day: Full Race-By-Race Preview (June 3)

On this weekend last year, Silver Wolf was setting out on a clean-sweep of the Queens’ Tour Series with a narrow win over Haeya in the Ttukseom Cup. This Sunday at Seoul, it’s surely Haeya’s turn to win the Ttukseom while Silver Wolf turns her attention to the SBS Sports Sprint, the 2nd leg of the Sprint Series, having already won the Busan Ilbo Cup last month. The exciting Today, a winner of 10 of 12 starts is among a full field of fifteen rivals and the Aussie-bred superstar will be under huge pressure in the 1200M test, but she has the class to overcome it. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05.

Silver Wolf Power Blade Busan Ilbo 2018

Silver Wolf beat Power Blade in the 1st leg of the Sprint Series. Can she win again in the SBS Sports? (Pic: KRA)

A$40,000 yearling purchase, Silver Wolf was last year’s champion filly/mare in Korea. In between winning all three legs of the 2017 Queens’ Tour series, she also went sprinting, winning the Munhwa Ilbo Cup and running a strong 5th in the Korea Sprint. Silver Wolf has made an unbeaten start to 2018 with three consecutive victories including the Donga Ilbo Cup at 1800M in February and significantly, the 1st leg of the Sprint Series at Busan last month, when she downed Today’s stablemate Power Blade over this distance.

Six-years-old and arguably still getting better, the mare by Orotorio is the one to beat. Tactically versatile, she can win from anywhere but is usually ridden patiently and with lots of early speed in the race, it may well play to her advantage.

Drosselmeyer colt Today was imported in-utero and has set about winning ten of his twelve starts so far at distances of up to a mile. The Kim Young Kwan stable has such an embarrassment of riches that Today has gone somewhat under the radar and with any stable only permitted to run a maximum of two in any race, he is yet to get the opportunity to run in Stakes company. However, with Power Blade kept home, Today gets his chance here.  He enters on a four-race winning streak with his latest having been at this distance on March 25th. Jockey Franco Da Silva rode the winner of the Korean Derby three weeks ago and returns to Seoul with another big chance.

The three who contested last year’s finish all return. Doraonpogyeongseon got the decision that day by the narrowest of margins ahead of Parang Juuibo and Choegang Schiller. Doraonpogyeongseon has won just the once since but was an excellent 3rd in the Korea Sprint, beating Silver Wolf, and remains a danger at the top level.

Parang Juuibo isn’t quite of the elite but rarely finishes outside the top five – although making top five will take some doing this time. Choegang Schiller has only raced four times (and switched trainers twice) since the race a year ago. He’s won two of them, most recently in February at this distance and broke the track record in the other and is a live chance.

There are wildcards. Today’s stablemate Finest Warrior gets to step up. A winner of four from seven so far, he was unconvincing when sent up to class 1 for the first time last month but it’s unlikely trainer Kim Young Kwan has opted to bring him to Seoul simply for the experience. There is further Australian interest as Peter Wolsley brings Ace Korea up from Busan. The three-year-old Smiling Tiger colt has won his latest two in facile fashion, both at this distance and while this is a huge step up, he’s highly thought of. It’s a massively competitive contest bit Silver Wolf can win it from Today, Doraonpogyeongseon and Cheogang Schiller.

The Ttukseom Cup should be a little bit more straightforward in terms of finding the winner.

Haya at the Korea Sprint

Haeya (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Haeya is rated no fewer than 27 points higher than the next best and that fact alone tells its own story. She’s been plagued by soundness issues across her career which has restricted her to thirteen starts of which she has won six. The ones she has lost, however, have tended to be in top class company. She was 2nd to Silver Wolf in this race last year before running 3rd in the second leg, the KNN Cup at Busan.

With a mile considered her limit, she didn’t run in the concluding race of the series but did take a crack at the Korea Sprint in which she finished 11th. Haeya has begun 2018 in good form with a win and a 2nd place in two class 1 outings, both at this distance of 1400M. Her last start was in March, but she was kept ticking over with a trial win in late April. A front-runner, this could be her year.

Behind Haeya though, it is anyone’s race, with all fifteen other competitors having at least some claim on the places. Hi Sexy and Cheongsu Yeogeol look to have the best claims but Luigi Riccardi’s Rocket Queen might make for an interesting one at odds. Here is the race-by-race:

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

Just one debut-maker among the eleven who kick us off but he’s probably going to start the favourite. (1) WINNER SPIRIT took part in an outrageously fast trial on May 18th, registering the kind of time that would win the vast majority of actual class 6 races at this distance. It was a wet track, but he certainly looked competent and while he will surely be slower today, can still win. (2) LIVINGSTONE comes in off back to back 4th place finishes and looks to be improving, despite disappointing when favourite last start. (5) I’M HAPPY and (6) MONKEY SOCKS have both shown glimpses of ability and should go close. (11) RAON SITIEOSEU beat (3) GOLD SEUTAK and (8) NAMJJOK NARA as the trio filled out 3rd to 5th at the distance on May 5th and he should beat plenty again.

Selections (1) Winner Spirit (2) Livingstone (5) I’m Happy (6) Monkey Socks
Next Best 11, 3
Fast Start 1, 2, 6, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(4) BARAM KING beat a couple of these on his way to 4th place at this distance on April 29th. He’s not been too far away in five of his six starts so far and against this modest opposition, with Moon Se Young taking over in the saddle, looks the most likely to make the breakthrough. (8) SEUNGNI PLUS started favourite against Baram King last time but could only manage 6th place. Nevertheless, he is one of only two horses in the race who have managed a 2nd place finish and he can be given another chance. The other one with a 2nd is (6) KHENDUM POWER though he looks to have more to find on recent form. (5) ROAD WOMAN and (11) MACHO HIME can improve on recent starts while (10) DAEJIUI SAESSAK was so slow on debut last month, she was sent back to trial. She completed that trial well last week though and could do much better this time around.

Selections (4) Baram King (8) Seungri Plus (11) Macho Hime (5) Road Woman
Next Best 1, 9, 10
Fast Start 3, 6, 8

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

(4) SPECIAL GOLD got her second 3rd place finish from four starts so far and she could well be the one getting it right in this maiden for three-year-olds. She’s finished well in all her starts so far and so long as she doesn’t leave herself with too much to do, she can win. She was chased home that day by (5) HANEUL ACE and (1) HYEONGMA PUBU, the (more…)

Silver Wolf Completes Queens’ Tour Sweep

Silver Wolf cruised to victory in the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup on Sunday and in doing so, completed a clean sweep of the 2017 Queens’ Tour, assuring her the title of Champion Filly or Mare of the year.

Silver wolf Gyeongnam

Silver Wolf & Yoo Seung Wan complete the Queens’ Tour sweep (Pic: KRA)

Having narrowly won the Ttukseom Cup over 1400M in June and then easily winning the KNN Cup at a mile a month later – and finding time then to run 5th in the Korea Sprint and win the Munhwa Ilbo Cup – Silver Wolf was sent off a prohibitive favourite for the 2000M final leg, a race in which she could only manage 8th place last year and 7th in 2015.

It was never in doubt this time. Queen’s Queen provided the early drama by dumping Song Keong Yun on the ground exiting the starting gate but the race from then on was routine with jockey Yoo Seung Wan content to keep Silver Wolf in 2nd behind early pacesetter Hello Venus. Entering the home straight, they struck the front and never looked like being caught, finishing two lengths clear of fellow Seoul-raider O.K. Yeondab. Gold Blue arrived on the scene late to take 3rd with KNN Cup runner-up Mighty Gem in 4th.

Silver Wolf [Oratorio – Ready For More (More Than Ready)] is a five-year-old Australian-bred mare. She was a $40,000 purchase from the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling sale in 2014. She’s won nine of nineteen outings to date with career winnings not in excess of US$1Million.