Sports Seoul

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (March 4)

Choinma vs Gaon Champ at Seoul / Divide Wind vs Captain Force & Haeya vs Captain Blade at Busan

Sunday’s Sports Seoul Cup at Seoul Racecourse may have only attracted a field of eight-runners but it features two of the hottest three-year-olds at the track right now as Choinma and Gaon Champ meet over 1400M. Meanwhile at Busan, Divide Win faces stablemate Captain Force as well as Gimhae Mayor’s Cup winner Major Sun in another big three-year-old contest, the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup


Choinma was Seoul’s best juvenile in 2017 but he didn’t have to race Gaon Champ (Pic: KRA)

Choinma was Seoul’s top juvenile of 2017 winning both the Gyeonggi Governor’s and Gwacheon Mayor’s Cups before running 2nd to Busan prospect Ecton Blade in the Breeders’ Cup in December.

Gaon Champ wasn’t involved in any of those races, however, the Ecton Park colt only debuted at the start of December and picked up two modest races before blowing away a strong field in a valuable juvenile race in December, two weeks after the Breeders’ Cup. He’s won his three starts to date by a combined margin of thirty-lengths. There have been concerns throughout about his soundness and he does race at 1400M for the first time, but he is reportedly fit and ready to go and will surely be hard to beat.

Choinma has raced once as a three-year-old already, surprisingly beaten into 2nd in his first try around two turns at 1700M in January but he is still very much in the hunt. Neither he nor Gaon Champ are front-runners so the early pace will most likely be set by Mask and Sinui Myeongryeong, both good prospects themselves, while Sharp Kaylan too looks a better horse than he was when beaten by Gaon Champ in December – since then he’s won two in a row by six and four-lengths respectively.

The Sports Seoul Cup is the highlight of an eleven-race Sunday program at Seoul while at Busan, The Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup headlines five races. Only Seoul is available on overseas simulcast so only full comments for Seoul but Busan Selections are at the bottom:

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

This one looks to be (11) ROAN DOLPUNG’s to lose. The Victoire Pisa gelding didn’t show much in his first two starts but has since followed up with consecutive 3rd place finishes both at this distance and at 1000M and should take some beating today. Despite being drawn wide, he should get on the early speed and lead all the way. The others have plenty to find. (3) BLACK SPIRIT and (7) SPEED YEONGUNG have both hinted at some potential talent, the latter beating a couple of these on his latest outing. (8) EOMJI YEOWANG showed signs of improvement when 5th last start and could maintain that momentum here. (2) FIRST THUNDER the best of a limited rest.

Selections (11) Raon Dolpung (8) Eomji Yeowang (7) Speed Yeongung (3) Black Spirit
Next Best 2, 12
Fast Start 5, 6, 10, 11

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

(2) DAE CAIN was considered promising enough by connections to be given a run in Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup, one of Seoul’s top juvenile races, las October. He was overmatched, only beating two home. He has since bounced back and his latest two starts, both at this distance and ending in 4th and 2nd placed finishes suggest a maiden win isn’t too far away and he’s the pick to score. (10) ONLY BARAM enters off back to back 3rd places and should be competitive again, while one of those he beat a couple of starts ago, (6) MIGHTY COOL, hasn’t been too far away in his recent tries and can be close again. (7) RUN AWAY was an improved 4th last time and enters the placing frame as does (12) SKY DOLPUNG, who can be given another chance after a lacklustre effort behind Dae Cain a month ago.

Selections (2) Dae Cain (10) Only Baram (6) Mighty Cool (7) Run Away
Next Best 12, 11, 4
Fast Start 1, 7, 8, 9

Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(2) GULCHARMNAMUSUP finished strongly to record a maiden win on debut on January 20th and while she is up in class today, she showed enough to suggest she is going to be very dangerous once more. (4) GANGCHONUI BYEOL used different tactics on her own debut two weeks later, leading from the gate, but the result was the same as she made all for a very comfortable win and she too steps up in class. At least one 100% record is going to be broken and it could go either way. We’ll come down marginally on the side of Gulcharmnamusup. Should both be beaten then it’s another up in class one, (7) SEONGBUL CHAMP, who could be best placed to take advantage. She has never been worse than 5th and was a really good winner last start at this distance. (1) HI EUREKA was a decent class and distance 4th last time while (8) SIMPLE RULES is better than the 8th place he registered on his first try at this class back in December and should be better dropped back in trip today.

Selections (2) Gulcharmnamusup (4) Gangchonui Byeol (7) Seongbul Champ (8) Simple Rules
Next Best 6, 9
Fast Start 2, 4, 6, 7

Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(2) JEONGSANG DOLPUNG steps up in class today following a commanding four-length win over 1000M at the end of January. On his only previous try at this distance he led early only to fade to 5th late on but he should be better now and can stay on this time. The big danger is (7) HYEONMU. He couldn’t get on the early pace from a wide draw when well-backed last time but looks better positioned to do so today and is a proven performer at this class. (9) DICE KING must be respected entering as he does a class and distance winner a month ago. It wasn’t an especially strong race, but Dice King won (more…)


Not Much Power In Sports Seoul Cup

Powerful Miss G Wins Seoul Oaks Trial / Dangdae Bulpae Downs Dongteuja

Less than two months away from the Korean Oaks, we’re no clearer to finding a winner if today’s disappointing renewal of the Sports Seoul Stakes was anything to go by.

Although the winner, 11/1 chance Powerful Miss G, can hardly be blamed, there were few other positive performances.

As a filly who finished seventh in the Derby in her last start, Powerful Miss G perhaps should have been given more respect by punters. Instead they opted to make the undoubtedly talented but frustratingly inconsistent Cheoneun close to even-money favourite.

Unfortunately for those punters, while she and Jjak Kkung looked great sprinting for the first corner, the pair of them looked less great when they inevitably paid for their exertions in the home straight, weakening badly as Powerful Miss G led home a train of fillies down the outside.

It was short train though. All In Win was eased out of the race in the last furlong while Recent High lost interest in the back straight. There was nothing wrong with her as when Cho Kyoung Ho finally got her moving in the right direction she recorded the fastest final furlong time. Probably due to being well-rested. Both All In Win and Recent High will receive a ban and neither will feature in the Oaks.

Trailing Powerful Miss G by 7 lengths was Dolpung Jilju, a return to form of sorts for a filly who was great as a 2-year-old but has been dreadful this term. Speedus, who has at least been consistent, albeit in being consistently average, grabbed third.

While a match-up between Powerful Miss G and Busan’s Grand Teukgeup will be worth watching, this year’s Oaks, which will be run at Busan in August, is not yet setting the pulse racing.

Sports Seoul Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – June 24, 2012

1. Powerful Miss G (KOR) [Revere – Miss Geology (Jade Hunter)] 0 Shin Hyoung Chul – 11.7, 2.0
2. Dolpung Jilju (KOR) [Didyme – Alder Gulch (Gulch)] – Ham Wan Sik – 3.9
3. Speedus (KOR) [Menifee – Tourney’s Gold (Ten Gold Pots)] – Jo In Kwen – 1.5

Distances: 7 lengths/1 length
Also Ran: 4. Dodo Gongju 5. Cheoneun 6. Jjak Kkung 7. I Love You DQ. All In Win (beaten 100 lengths) DQ. Recent High (beaten 100 lengths)

There was disappointment for another filly at Busan today as Dongteuja (Montbrook) saw her unbeaten record end at 6 in emphatic style. Not that it was any surprise or disgrace for the 3-year-old half-sister of double Grand Prix winner Dongbanui Gangja.

Back to his best: Dangdae Bulpae ended Dongteuja’s unbeaten record

Dangdae Bulpae (Biwa Shinseiki) looked back to his devastating best as he strolled to a 9 length victory with Dongteuja a well beaten fourth. Dongteuja has time on her side though and was up against a classy field of older horses.

Having been born in Korea but sired overseas, Dongteuja can’t run in the Oaks. If she could, tonight she would be the overwhelming favourite

Weekend Preview: Oaks Trial At Seoul, Dongteuja Bids For 7 At Busan

We’re still nearly two months away from the Korean Oaks but Seoul’s top three-year old fillies will face off against each other this coming Saturdayin the Sports Seoul Cup, the capital’s top trial for the filly Classic.

Cheoneun winning earlier this year – can she find her form again in the Sports Seoul?

Just nine will run in the race, which will be contested over the Oaks distance of nine furlongs. Cheoneun and Dolpung Jilju are the best known having first made an impact as two-year olds last season. Both were well-beaten in the Derby as were Powerful Miss G and Jjak Kkung.

Improving filly – and commentator’s nightmare – I Love You, will have claims as will Recent High and Dodo Gongju, who’s won four of her six starts. See below for a full run-down of runners and riders.

Down at Busan another three-year old filly headlines the main event. ALthough born in Korea, Dongteuja (Montbrook) was sired overseas and therefore isn’t eligible for the Oaks. If she were, she’d be hot favourite and on Sunday afternoon her unbeaten record of six wins from six starts is on the line against class 1 opposition for the first time.

And she’s going to run slap-bang into two-time President’s Cup winner Dangdae Bulpae (Biwa Shinseiki) in what is going to be by far her toughest test to date. Japanese jockey Narazaki Kosuke gets the ride on the filly.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday June 22

Busan Race Park: 10 races from 12:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:30

Saturday June 23

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:00

Sunday June 24

Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 11:00 to 17:45
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:15 to 16:45

Here’s the full list of runners and riders for the Sports Seoul Cup along with pedigree and race records (Runs/1st/2nd/3rd):

Sports Seoul Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – Sunday June 24, 16:15

1. Jjak Kkung (KOR) [Forest Camp – Fab Four (Yes It’s True)] (7/3/0/3) – Lee Sang Hyeok
2. Cheoneun (KOR) [Forest Camp – Naha (Silver Buck)] (11/6/1/0) – Moon Se Young
3. All In Win (KOR) [Pico Central – Better Daze (Glitterman)] (5/3/1/0) – Moon Jung Kyun
4. Recent High (KOR) [Exploit – Charon (Jade Robbery)] (7/3/3/0) – Cho Kyoung Ho
5. Dodo Gongju (KOR) [Sunday Well – Speed Supreme (Formal Gold)] (6/4/0/0) – Kim Jeong Jun
6. I Love You (KOR) [Chief Pete – Make Believe (Defensive Play)] (5/3/0/0) – Park Tae Jong
7. Dolpung Jilju (KOR) [Didyme – Alder Gulch (Gulch)] (10/3/1/1) – Ham Wan Sik
8. Powerful Miss G (KOR) [Revere – Miss Geology (Jade Hunter)] (8/1/3/1) – Shin Hyoung Chul
9. Speedus (KOR) [Menifee – Tourney’s Gold (Ten Gold Pots)] (9/3/2/1) – Jo In Kwen