Korea Cup & Korea Sprint Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 4)

The 5th Korea Cup and Korea Sprint are set to be run at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon and with Typhoon Hinnamnor getting ever closer, there is set to be heavy rain and probably thunderstorms all throughout the day. There are 10 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:00 to 17:05. The Korea Sprint is race 7 at 15:35 and the Korea Cup is race 8 at 16:35. Here are the previews of all races:

Moonhak Chief will finally have a successor as Korea Cup winner (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens in the opener although all but one have raced at least once before. The favourite will be (2) BAEDARI WANGJA. He ran a good 2nd on debut over 1000M on July 31st when he settled back and ran on, beating three of today’s rivals in the process. He should have come on for the run and the additional furlong should suit. Logical second pick is (7) RAON THE COBRA who also debuted in that July 31st race, coming off the pace and running 4th. He too should appreciate and extra furlong to get stuck into. (6) PERFECT GUN MAN has raced twice already, both over 1000M and improving in the latter. At the same rate of improvement, he can go close here. (4) KWAEHYANG, 6th behind Baedari Wangja and Raon The Cobra on what was his second start, and (3) WONDERFUL INDY others in the frame.

Selections (2) Baedari Wangja (7) RaonThe Cobra (6) Perfect Gun Man (4) Kwaehyang
Next Best 3, 1
Fast Start 1, 4, 6, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(11) SUN DRAGON sat handy early on debut over 1000M, before taking things up entering the home straight and running on to win comfortably. He comes up in both class and distance here but is favoured to win once more, despite the wide draw. The main danger is (9) JISANGUN. He has consistently run good times and possesses the fastest one at this class and distance, recorded when a close runner-up at his latest start on July 24th, when handy throughout. He carries his fair share of weight but should be right in this. (1) RAON THE WILD could be an interesting one at probable big odds. He ran on pleasingly enough for 5th last time out, stays under a light weight and comes into a much better gate. (2) QUEEN OF RACING and (3) BLOOD MOON are others in the hunt.

Selections (11) Sun Draon (9) Jisangun (1) Raon The Wild (2) Queen Of Racing
Next Best 3, 8
Fast Start 5, 6, 11, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Tricky race. (1) MORNING PEARL returned form six months out to run a good 4th over this distance on July 24th, on what was also her first try at this class following too many near-misses at class 6. She should have come on for the run and can be in the mix here. The probable favourite is (6) CHANGER. A winner at this distance two starts back at class 6 level, he was a front-running 4th at class and distance on July 30th. He’ll be on pace here and could go all the way. (9) DUSON DRIVE returned from six months out away to secure his maiden win over this distance on July 30th. He is up in class here but can measure up in this company. (7) RULES CLASS came from off the pace to run a strong 2nd at class and distance on July 9th in a fast time. He can settle back here and run into some money again. (2) DOLBAE another in the minor money hunt.

Selections (1) Morning Pearl (6) Changer (9) Duson Drive (7) Rules Class
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 2, 6, 8, 11

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

A small field of eight juveniles here with precisely half racing for the first time. There are two standouts, one with experience and one debuting. We’ll side with experience and (1) TWOTWO FLYING.  Following a couple of ordinary trials, he ran a useful enough 5th of nine on debut over 1000M on August 7th when handy throughout and finishing in a decent time. He should have come on for that run and nicely drawn on the inside, he can go even better here. (7) RAON THE TANGO is the promising debut-maker. He went through two trials, running faster in the second of them and crossing the line 3rd behind, but not far away from, two experienced racehorses, having settled back and run on. If he brings that form to the races, he has every chance. (5) FINAL SEVEN posted a good enough time in his heat to suggest he can go well first-up. (2) HAMPYEONG SHINE and (3) TAP DREAM others to consider.

Selections (1) Twotwo Flying (7) Raon The Tango (5) Final Seven (2) Hampyeong Shine
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 1, 2, 3, 7

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

This is a tricky one. (7) BLACK CHARM’s latest two including a class and distance runner-up finish in a fast time and then a 5th place in a strong race for the class is probably enough to earn him the pick. He got too far back last time behind running on well and if he can be ridden a bit further forward this time, he can win. He doesn’t win out of turn though, hence being still at this level. (12) SAENAE WIN was a winner at this class last time out in June when making all over 1300M. The draw is not good here and he comes up 3.5kg in the weights but he should be competitive. The draw is very kind to (1) BYEORAK and he can use it to get a potentially soft lead. He was behind Saenae Win in that June race, but he subsequently ran 4th over 1300M in July and meets him better at the weights here. He is a chance. (2) GLOBAL STORM is up in class following a win at start sixteen. He’ll be big odds here but is well drawn and he could sneak a place. (11) EUNHYE RECORD another in the hunt.

Selections (7) Black Charm (12) Saenae Win (1) Byeorak (2) Global Storm
Next Best 11, 9
Fast Start 1, 3, 4, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Maidens and it’s hard to look past (7) MIGHTY STORM here. He wasn’t ready when he debuted last November, but he was put away after that for seven months and since returning in June has raced three times and finished 4th in all three. His latest was his best, when he ran a good time in competitive company and any similar run will see him home on top here. (2) BURUI YEOSIN beat a couple of these on his way to 6th of eleven last time and that along with the good draw and the apprentice claim is enough to make him the second pick. Solitary debut-maker (8) YEONGUNG ROAD won a trial and although it wasn’t fast – he was the only one of the seven in his heat to be inside the qualifying time – he did it easily enough and he couldn’t pick a softer race to debut in. (5) NICE DAY and (11) TAKE ADELE others who could potentially get some minor money.

Selections (7) Mighty Storm (2) Burui Yeosin (8) Yeongung Road (5) Nice Day
Next Best 11, 4
Fast Start 4, 5, 8, 10

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

(7) HATMURI is the pick here. After getting his maiden win at class 6 level two starts back, he then ran a strong 2nd behind a good winner at this class over 1300M on July 23rd. He steps up to two-turns for the first time but his running style to date gives every indication that it can suit, and he will be a warm favourite. It’s fair to say that (9) AMAZING WHIZ has mixed his form so far but he has a 2nd place to his name at class and distance and ran 4th on his latest outing on July 30th when settling right back and running on. He looks nicely in here and has solid claims for a place. So too (5) P N S GAMBOL, who has the fastest time among those who have tackled the 1700M before. That came on his latest outing on August 14th when he led for most of the way around, ultimately finishing runner-up and under today’s handicap rather than set-weight conditions, he even comes down a kilo. (1) FINAL CHARM and (12) CAMP SAVER others in the frame.

Selections (7) Hatmuri (9) Amazing Whiz (5) P N S Gambol (1) Final Charm
Next Best 12, 11
Fast Start 1, 2, 5, 12

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

There are two clear standouts in this maiden. (9) SPICE ECTON trialled promisingly and then ran 2nd on debut on August 7th. That day’s good looking winner Graphene King didn’t exactly pull up trees on re-appearance at class 5 this past Friday, but Spice Ecton showed enough running on from midfield to suggest that he may have some ability and with some natural improvement can win this. (8) SMILEY LARRY showed some of that natural improvement when following up his 3rd place on debut with a 2nd place over this distance in a fast time on August 7th. He was on pace that day although the race was devoid of early speed, and he will be challenging Spice Ecton for the early initiative here. (2) SPEED MAST is the clear third pick. He has been much better since a four-month layoff and comes in following a career-best runner-up finish over this distance last start when on pace. He is a place chance again. (1) ECTON POWER and (11) BRAVO HAMYANG are others who can compete for the minors.

Selections (9) Spice Ecton (8) Smiley Larry (2) Speed Mast (1) Ecton Power
Next Best 11, 7
Fast Start 2, 7, 9, 11

Seoul Race 6: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(5) GRAY CAT is very consistent. He comes in off a runner-up finish at this class over 1800M on July 31st, his first try at this level when, as is his style, he settled off the pace and ran on. That style is not noted to suit at a mile, but he is drawn well to find a good position and he will be strong late on. He’s the one here. (2) MANSEOK JIGI ran out an all the way winner at this class over 1800M on July 23rd. He draws beautifully again to get on the speed and the engagement of an apprentice means he carries even less weight than he did last time out. (8) DUSON MEONGGUN is yet to win and is another drawn perhaps a little wider than ideal, but he comes in following a runner-up finish over class and distance on July 16th and another bold showing shouldn’t be ruled out. The 1600M at Seoul is a tricky start so it may not be easy for (10) K N LIGHT to extend his winning streak to four. He comes in following almost five months out and while he looked well enough in an August trial and comes down 3.5kg in the weights from his last start, the layoff and, especially, the wide draw is going to make this very hard. The coveted inside gate for the very short run to the corner goes to (1) YEOLRIN MUN. He produced a big uptick in form to run 2nd at this class over 1800M last time out. Under today’s conditions and with an apprentice, couple with that draw, he is a chance again.

Selections (5) Gray Cat (2) Manseok Jigi (8) Duson Meonggun (10) K N Light
Next Best 1, 3
Fast Start 1, 4, 6, 8

Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies and mares only here. (12) RADAR will be favourite. She returned from five months out to win comfortably over 1200M on August 21st. She comes up in class as well as in trip, but she won from gate twelve last time and at 1400M will have even more time to find her preferred position. (2) MY SONG won over this trip two starts back at class 6 level before running 3rd on her first try at class 5 on August 6th, again over 1400M, when she led for much of the wat. She comes up a little in weight but draws well and has claims. (3) DIXIE BAND was a winner at start number two over 1300M on August 7th when handy and running on. She is a half-sister to some Group race winners in Korea and there could be more to come. (1) QUEEN STAR and (10) TWO TWO BRAIN are among several others with placing chances.

Selections (12) Radar (2) My Song (3) Dixie Band (1) Queen Star
Next Best 10, 5
Fast Start 3, 5, 9, 12

Seoul Race 7: Class Open (1800M) Korea Sprint (G3) Weight for Age / KRW 1 Billion

The big question with all the internationals is how they take to the track surface and regardless of how they have worked during that week, nobody can ever be sure until the actual race, especially now it is almost certainly going to be very wet. Japan-trained horses are less of a risk as they will have encountered similar loose sand surfaces and in (9) RAPTUS they have another potential winner. His form is at 1400M but that’s no issue and his gate speed is such that he can get to the lead. Hs jockey has raced at Seoul before, and he looks a big chance. (8) COMPUTER PATCH may not win out of turn, but he spends his Hong Kong days racing against Sha Tin’s best. He has placed at Group 1 level and last start was an unlucky 6th at Group 3. His style can suit here, and it would be no surprise if he were to go close. Singapore-based mare (3) CELAVI has caught the eye during training this week. She is big and powerful and fast and with the great draw can get to the lead and be in this a long way. The big loser from the barrier draw was local hope (12) EOMA EOMA who now has the hardest task of all from the outside. He has undoubted quality though and he can still be in the finish. (7) MORFHIS will be coming home strong as usual. He enters having beaten Black Musk and Eoma Eoma to win June’s SBS Sports Sprint, employing his usual hold up and run style. Don’t rule him out.

Selections (9) Raptus (8) Computer Patch (3) Celavi (12) Eoma Eoma
Next Best 7, 11
Fast Start 5, 6, 9, 10, 12

Busan Race 5: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(2) CHOEGANG FORCE got his maiden win over 1400M at class 6 level two starts back before running a very good 2nd over the same distance in this class on August 6th. He steps up to the mile for the first time but his style of settling back and running on can suit and he has a big chance here. (7) HERO MAN has plenty of experience over this distance, winning at it at class 6 and he also has two placing over 1800M. He enters in consistent form and shouldn’t be far away again. (3) HWARANG SKY is another who steps up to a mile for the first time. From a good draw, she can settle on pace or handy and she can be a place chance. (1) SUN MOUNTAIN and (12) BOUNTY HUNTER are others who could potentially run into some money.

Selections (2) Choegang Force (7) Hero Man (3) Hwarang Sky (1) Sun Mountain
Next Best 12, 5
Fast Start 3, 7, 10, 12

Seoul Race 8: Class Open (1800M) Korea Cup (G3) Weight for Age / KRW 1 Billion

This is a super renewal of the Korea Cup. (4) SEKIFU is a three-year-old from Japan with international form and was very impressive last time out coming from last to first to be narrowly beaten in the Unicorn Stakes at Group 3 level. He also-ran a close 2nd in the Saudi Derby after being held up. He is the likely favourite here and so long as he takes to the track, he has every chance. Korea’s current boom horse is (10) RAON THE FIGHTER, who excels at sprinting and middle distance, but he has won at this distance back in class 3 company. His comprehensive win in the Busan Mayor’s Cup, makes him the best of the Korean runners. The 2021 Korean Derby victor (6) WINNER’S MAN is a winner of his last four starts at local Listed and Group level. He doesn’t know how to run a bad race and has a nice draw today as he likes to be forward. If he’s right, he is in this. (11) SIMJANGUI GODONG is always there or thereabouts with local group placings in his latest two. The draw shouldn’t matter as he runs on well and is a place chance again. (1) KINGS SHIELD is an on-pace Hong Kong Galloper, who gets the inside gate. That can give him an advantage in the early part of the race.

Selections (4) Sekifu (10) Raon The Fighter (6) Winner’s Man (11) Simjangui Godong
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 7, 10, 11, 13

Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A very competitive race. (8) DOKBO has finished in the top-five in all her six races so far and comes in having led almost the entire way around on her latest start on August 6th, only to be beaten by a good winner late on. She can be on pace here again, is very nicely weighted and can win. Dokbo carries 6kg less than (6) JJANG I. A winner of three from five, at her latest start on July 29th, Jjang I sat handy before running on to score comfortable at this class and distance in a good time. Despite the weight, she may start as favourite here. (12) HAMYANGEUN SANSAM has won three of four with his only defeat being in a too much too soon attempt over 1800M in May. He too carries plenty of weight and he must contend with the outside gate, but he should be competitive. (7) CROWD ONE is rapidly up in class having won his latest two, both times leading from gate to wire. This is harder but she carries a low weight and can measure up. (2) KING ALLIE another in the hunt.  

Selections (8) Dokbo (6) Jjang I (12) Hamyangeun Samsan (7) Crowd One
Next Best 2, 9
Fast Start 1, 2, 4, 8

Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

The first division of the class 4 Handicap over 1400M sees (7) DREAM K up in class on her last start when she won over 1300M, running on from midfield to take her record to two wins from three starts. Although this brings her rapidly up in class, she is down in the weights, and she can measure up.  (8) FOX POWER has good form at this class having won and placed at this distance. He carries his fair share of weight today and will have to overcome the barrier, but he still has a great chance. (5) COOL PRINCESS can have a line drawn through her latest at class and distance when she was never a factor from a wide gate. Instead, go on her form leading up to to that, which was consistently good. (2) P N S CHANCE is versatile as she can settle forward or midfield. At her latest start she as competitive at this class when tried around two-turns for the first time. She is nicely drawn here and could pull off an upset. One who doesn’t win out of turn is (4) IL MARE. His reward for a last start victory over this distance is to come up in class but he registered a time that can be competitive here and he comes down in weight and into a nice gate.

Selections (7) Dream K (8) Fox Power (5) Cool Princess (2) P N S Chance
Next Best 4, 3
Fast Start 1, 3, 5, 7

Seoul Race 10: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

The second division of the class 4 handicap and (1) WONDERFUL KITTY is building an imposing record, having won her last two starts, most recently at this class over 1300M in a great time. Her racing pattern is to settle midfield so the inside gate may not necessarily be in her favour and she is up in the weights, but she has solid claims to make it three in a row. (8) EOSEOWA was a class and distance winner two starts back and on his best form is a contender here. Draw a line through his latest, he comes in here fresh following two months out and can go close. A solid winner at this distance at Class 5 level in July when settling last and pulling off a super run in the straight, (9) MAKALU POWER can be hard to catch but looks nicely in here. The barrier is of no concern. (7) SIRIUS ALPHA is a filly with good form to class 5 level. She likes to race forward but she will have two inside her with speed. She has place at 1400M and is worth thought.  A last start winner over 1700M, (3) JEONGMUN PRINCE comes up in class but down in the weights and can measure up in this company.

Selections (1) Wonderful Kitty (8) Eoseowa (9) Makalu Power (7) Sirius Alpha
Next Best 3, 6
Fast Start 2, 5, 8, 7