The horses have arrived, the draw has been made and everything is set for history to be made on Sunday afternoon as Tosen Archer, Big Gulliver and Final Score become the first foreign-trained horses to run in Korea.
From left: Final Score, Tosen Archer and Big Gulliver
They are accompanied by three Japanese jockeys; Daisuke Mashima, Takehiro Kashiwagi and the veteran 57-year-old Fumio Matoba. Delegations from the Singapore Turf Club and the Dubai Racing Club are also in Seoul for the event.
From left: Daisuke Mashima, Fumio Matoba, Takehiro Kashiwagi
Ultimately it comes down to a horse race though and it is an intriguing one. The Japanese trio have impressed all who have seen them in morning workouts since they arrived in Seoul just over a week ago.
Tough Win, seen here w Home hope: Tough Win (KRA)
However, the confirmation that Tough Win, considered to be the best horse in training in Korea, will run has given a huge boost to local hopes of a Korean win in the event.
Here is a full run-down on the field of 14 that will contest the big race, shown live on SBS-ESPN at 4:20pm:
SBS Korea-Japan Goodwill Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – September 1, 2013 – 16:20
1. Pureun Miso (USA) [Malibu Moon] 3 Filly (10/4/1/3) – Jun Duck Young
A nice looking filly who looks set to improve more in future. She has, however, been beaten by a number of her rivals here this year.
2. Dongbanjaui Gijeok (USA) [Half Ours] 3 Colt (9/5/2/0) – Moon Se Young
Flopped last time out over this distance in his class 1 debut. Hopefully that was a one-off as he had been showing a lot of promise up to that point. He has the champion jockey on board but it would still be a surprise if he was troubling the places.
3. Tosen Archer (JPN) [Barathea] 9 Horse (47/5/2/5) – Fumio Matoba
Looks like there is little to choose between him and Bug Gulliver as the best of the Japanese visitors, the 9-year-old has been very impressive in trackwork this week and his seemingly unimpressive 5 wins from 47 starts may not mean much.
4. Mari Daemul (USA) [Go For Gin] 4 Colt (17/5/3/2) – Shin Hyoung Chul
Well beaten when finishing 2nd to Tough Win last time out, even though this is a much shorter distance, that will probably happen again. Having said that, he won’t be far off the pace.
5. Sydney Jewelry (AUS) [Lion Heart] 4 Colt (13/6/2/1) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
The only Aussie-bred in the race has come close but has never won since reaching class 1. He should enjoy dropping down in distance and could be an outside bet for a place.
6. Celebrate Tonight (USA) [Songandaprayer] 5 Horse (24/5/2/4) – Jang Chu Youl
Not in the best of form and while he is another who should enjoy a rare opportunity at running in a one-turn race, it would be a surprise to see him challenge here.
7. Watts Village (USA) [Forestry] 3 Colt (10/5/1/1) – Seo Seung Un
Very nice looking colt, especially over sprint distances. He won’t be favourite but he will have his supporters who believe he can pull off an upset. Worth watching the tote board for some value, be it to win or to show.
8. Gold Big (USA) [Henny Hughes] 4 Colt (24/5/1/1) – Yoo Seung Wan
A solid campaigner but is unlikely to have the turn of foot necessary to compete here. Unlikely to be in contention at the business end of the race.
9. Nolbu Manse (USA) [Simon Pure] 4 Colt (22/5/4/3) – Kim Ok Sung
At one time seen as future star, he has really struggled recently and was well beaten by Watts Village over the distance last time out.
10. Remember Bulpae (USA) [After Market] 3 Horse (8/4/1/1) – Jo In Kwen
The JRA Trophy winner is in really good form and looks a really good prospect. He prefers longer distances but if there is an upset, he could be the one to pull it off. It’s unlikely but if it’s value you are looking for, he could well provide it.
11. Big Gulliver (JPN) [Tap Dance City] 5 Horse (28/8/8/2) – Takehiro Kashiwagi
Another who has really impressed in his trackwork this week, he won his last start last month over this distance and could well start favourite.
12. Tough Win (USA) [Yonaguska] 6 Gelding (29/22/2/1) – Cho Kyoung Ho
The home team’s big hope. He has won at every distance from 1000M to 2000M and given the home bias of punters, he will probably be favourite. If he runs to his best, it will take an exceptional performance from one of the visitors to beat him.
13. Indian Blue (USA) [Henny Hughes] 3 Filly (10/3/2/3) – Ikuyasu Kurakane
Her jockey is in incredible form right now and although the filly hasn’t won since landing the Segye Ilbo Cup in February, she will love this distance and is not without a chance of good finish.
14. Final Score (JPN) [Fusaichi Pegasus] 8 Horse (40/6/7/4) – Daisuke Mashima
The least impressive of the Visitors since arriving in Koreaand also on recent form. However, that is not to say he will be too far out of touch. It would be a surprise if he was to win though.
Sunday September 1
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 13:00 to 18:00 including the SBS Korea-Japan Goodwill Cup at 16:20
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 16:45 to 19:40