Raon Giant

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (March 11)

Highly thought-of three-year-old filly Raon Giant steps up to 1800M in the class 2 feature at Seoul on Saturday. She will be the main attraction on the 10-race card that runs from 10:35 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Raon Giant easily won the Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy last November (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Special Weight A / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies in the opener and (10) APEX will be at the top of the market. After an inauspicious debut in November, she has since run in a 3rd and a 2nd in two subsequent starts, once from off the pace and once when on the speed, both at 1300M. Despite the wide draw she should have enough about her to get to the lead early here and she won’t have to improve much to win this. The main danger is (5) MUNHAK CENTRAL. She improved to 4th at start number two over this distance on February 4th when coming from well back and while she is yet to stop the clock in a fast time, she should appreciate the slight step up in trip and can continue to make progress. There are two debut-makes and (4) FIJI BLADE could be one to keep an eye on. She went through two trials, improving in the second of them when she led and from a good draw, she can be on pace and in this a long way. (9) LADY TAEPUNG and (2) HAPPY PLAY others who could come into play.

Selections(10) Apex (5) Munhak Central (4) Fiji Blade (9) Lady Taepung
Next Best2, 1
Fast Start1, 4, 9, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Special Weight A / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens with four of the eleven racing for the first time. Three or four of these look ready to win but we’ll side with (9) K N GOLDEN KING. He ran a sold 3rd on debut when he settled midfield and ran on over the same trip as today. It wasn’t a quick race, but he should have derived benefit from the experience and Moon Se-young remains aboard. One of those ready to win is a debut-maker. That’s (1) BULPAE BLADE. Who led every step of the way to win a trial on February 17th in a decent time well clear of the rest. He draws very nicely to lead again and if he brings that form to the races, he can make a bold showing first up. (8) SMARTY FIGHTER improved to 2nd at start number two over this distance on February 4th. He carries the same weight and draws the same gate and can go close again. (7) SINUI HAMSEONG and (3) TAMRA CHOEGANGJA others in the hunt in one of the more intriguing recent maidens.

Selections(9) K N Golden King (1) Bulpae Blade (8) Smarty Fighter (7) Sinui Hamseong
Next Best3, 5
Fast Start1, 6, 8, 10

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million

Regular maiden here and (4) TEUKGEUP DAERO is the one to beat. After a fair debut on Christmas Eve when she was slow away but rallied, she reappeared on February 4th to run a good 2nd behind the favourite over this distance when settling midfield and finishing well. With a little more natural improvement from that, she can win. (5) SONGAM ARCHGIRL is the clear second pick. She managed three top-four finishes from four starts in the first half of last year before suffering a setback that saw her unable to race after June. She looked very well when 2nd in a January trial and while she will clearly need this, it is hardly the most intimidating race to return in. (2) HUMMING BIRD had a poor day at the office at his latest outing in December. Going on his previous start when 2nd at 1200M in November, then he can be right in this (9) BEST PLAN and (3) AREUMDAUN SAI potential improvers.

Selections(4) Teukgeup Daero (5) Songam Archgirl (2) Humming Bird (9) Best Plan
Next Best3, 8
Fast Start2, 5, 7, 8

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1700M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million

Weak maiden which (3) CAMINO should be winning. He has raced just three times with his best being 3rd over 1200M on Christmas Day but he stepped up to this trip on February 26th and ran 5th of twelve  in a time faster than any of the others have managed for the distance. He won’t need to improve much to win, probably leading all the way. (1) TIZ HUNTER got his best result to date when coming up to this distance for the first time on February 12th. He settled right back as he had in every start so far but for the first time was able to run on and finish 3rd, beating a couple of today’s rivals. A similar run will see plenty come back to him again here. (8) GREEN BULPAE was 4th behind Tiz Hunter in that February race, similarly coming from off the pace. That was a marked improvement for her too and she can be considered. (7) CLAIR POWER and (5) UDDUG other placing chances.

Selections(3) Camino (1) Tiz Hunter (8) Green Bulpae (7) Clair Power
Next Best5, 4
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 7

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

Having run 2nd on debut, (7) ORCHID VALLEY was a good winner at start number two on January 14th, providing Antonio Da Silva his 300th Korean winner in the process. He comes up in class here as well as marginally up in trip, but he comes down in the weights and from a central draw can sit handy and prove too strong. (6) STRENGTH got his maiden win in eye-catching fashion two starts back but was a touch disappointing when sent off as favourite for his first try at class and distance on February 11th, leading for much of the way but ultimately weakening to finish in the middle of the pack. He can be given another chance here. (9) MAGLE DAY comes up in class having won at start number four over this distance on February 11th, having raced handy throughout. He had been building up to that win and with some more natural improvement, he can measure up here. (8) RIVER TAEYANG and (2) COWBOY TANGO are others who can enter the calculations.


Raon Giant & Doctor Oscar Dominate Juvenile Filly Trophy Races

The juvenile filly division had their big day at Seoul and Busan on Sunday and Raon Giant and Doctor Oscar both ran out dominant winners of their respective track’s feature races.

Raon Giant spread the field out in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy (Pic: KRA)

Raon Giant was only sent off as second favourite for the Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy (1200M Listed) at Seoul with punters giving the previously unbeaten Fire Girl the nod at the top of the market.

Fire Girl wouldn’t play much of a role though as Raon Giant quickly looped across from gate ten to seize the initiative under Moon Se-young and opened up a lead that she never looked like relinquishing. Fire Girl was close in the early stages, as was the well-supported Global Changa, but they couldn’t keep up with the tempo Raon Giant set and she was ultimately three-lengths to the good at the line.

Furiosa, a 50/1 chance, ran on from the back for a fast-finishing 2nd while Medici Wolf, who had taken a sit behind the early pace, ran on solidly for a creditable 3rd. Raon Giant moved on to three wins from four starts.

Trained by Park Jong-kon and bred by her owners, Raon Giant is by Raon’s own stallion Musket Man and out of Raon Bold (by Big Brown). Raon Bold was a $65,000 purchase from the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2011 and did her racing in Korea, winning three times. Raon Giant is her third foal to make the racecourse with the other two, Raon Beat and Raon The Teukgeup both winners too.

The widest drawn filly at Busan also ended up victorious in the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Trophy (1200M Listed).

Doctor Oscar was overlooked for favourite status in part for having drawn gate fourteen while the highly thought-of Atlas, third in last month’s Areumdaun Jilju Stakes against the colts, had the benefit of gate two.

Doctor Oscar was an easy winner at Busan (Pic: KRA)

Under Choi Si-dae, Doctor Oscar made extremely light of being drawn in the car park and sat handy early before taking things up approaching the first corner. She shrugged off early challengers Hansen Cod Girl and Dream Of Queen and ran on to match Raon Giant with a comfortable three-length score. 25/1 chance Magic Class was 2nd while Atlas was 3rd.

Doctor Oscar is by Old Fashioned and is out of Jangsan Yeoje (by Peace Rules) a Korean-bred who won three races. She is a “full” sister to Doctor Fashion, a winner of seven from nineteen races. She was bred by Lee Yong-dae of Youngmun Farm and was purchased by owner Kwon Hyeok-hui for 45 Million Won at the 2021 KTBA October yearling sale.

Next weekend it’s the turn of the older fillies and mares with the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup (2000M KOR-G3) at Busan on Sunday. While the nation’s top mare, Raon First won’t be there following her President’s Cup heroics last week, Raon will be represented by Raon The Spurt. Triple Tiara winner Golden Power will also be in attendance while KNN Cup winner Calm Strong and Wish Me, who won the the Jeju Governor’s Cup in track-record breaking style, are among others scheduled to be in the starting gate.