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Sunday sees the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup, taking place at Seoul Racecourse. (Seoul 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00, Busan 6 races from 12:40 to 17:10). There’s no Triple Crown on the line but the 2000M showpice nevertheless promises to be a fascinating affair as KRA Cup Mile winner Global Chukje and Korean Derby winner Wonderful Fly face-off.

Wonderful Fly won the Derby (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

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

A filly-only maiden to begin with and (4) PRIMA NIKE steps back up in trip after a strong 2nd place over 1000M a month ago looking the one to beat. A good apprentice jockey keeps the weight nice and low and she’s only ever finished outside the top four on one occasions. She can win here. (7) GOLD LEVEL beat a couple of these on her way to 2nd over 1200M on May 19th and shapes to be the main danger here. (1) HAWK ARIRANG finished 5th in that same race which was marked improvement from prior efforts and she can continue to make progress here. (2) SERA YEOJE is best of the rest.

Selections (4) Prima Nike (7) Gold Level (1) Hawk Arirang (2) Sera Yeoje
Next Best 3, 9
Fast Start 4, 5

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

A two-turn maiden and (3) RAON JEWANG is set to be firm favourite. Though yet to win in nine attempts, he’s raced at this distance four time already and has finished no worse than 4th. This should be his day, likely leading from gate to wire. (4) TAP MUSIC showed some promise when stepped up to this trip on just his third start a month ago, running 4th. He should have come on for that run and can continue to improve today, likely trying to close late. (7) RAON STELLA’s best performance to date came at this distance and he steps back up to it today with placing claims, while both (2) INCHEON LION and (11) CHEONJI GISANG can compete for minor money too.

Selections (3) Raon Jewang (4) Tap Music (2) Incheon Lion (7) Raon Stella
Next Best 11, 8
Fast Start 5, 7, 10

Seoul Race 3: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Kim Yong Geun partners (1) SMARTY BLUE for the second time, having ridden the colt to a good 4th place at class and distance on May 11th. He looks nicely in here and has every chance of getting what would be a second career win. (7) CHEONGDAM TIGER was a strong class and distance 2nd on a wet track last start and if he can get close to the early lead again, has every chance of a repeat or better. (6) WELLBEING STORY enters with recent form reading promisingly and has the services of Moon Se Young today. (4) SEOUL SIDAE saw his rating slide sufficiently to drop back in class last start. He promptly won and while back up in grade today, find himself nicely in under a light weight and he can go close again.

Selections (1) Smarty Blue (7) Cheongdam Tiger (6) Wellbeing Story (4) Seoul Sidae
Next Best 9, 3
Fast Start 1, 2, 7, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(5) L CHOICE is the pick here. An admittedly distance 3rd behind a very good winner las start, she’s nicely drawn to get to the lead and if she does, she’ll be hard to catch. Main danger is (7) LUCKY SOCHEON. She drops back in trip after good work around 1300M last start and shouldn’t be far away here. (4) FULL MOON OCEAN was slowly away when well backed for her first try at this level on May 11th. She never had a chance after that but ran on ok and is worth another go today. (11) UNMYEONGE FALLING is up un class after an all the way win on May 5th on just her third career outing. She’s drawn the widest gate but should be competitive at this level. (1) PARTY POWER, going around for the 52nd time today, is more than capable of running into some prize money in this company.

Selections (5) L Choice (7) Lucky Socheon (4) Full Moon Ocean (11) Unmyeonge Falling
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 2, 4, 5, 11

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

(11) PRIVATE MAN enters after a 3rd and a 4th in his latest two and while both times he’s been well back behind good winners, could have enough about him to make the breakthrough here. He’ll come from off the pace so the wide draw is no problem, and he can win. (10) LAO JIN steps back up in trip following two solid 3rd place finishes over 1000M while (3) HEY DREAMER and (5) GEOMBIT YEOLJEONG are both up in class and should be competitive. (4) WANY K was a shock winner at class and distance three weeks ago and while a repeat would be a surprise, she warrants more respect today.

Selections (11) Private Man (10) Lao Jin (5) Geombit Yeoljeong (3) Hey Dreamer
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 5, 8, 10, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Having secured his maiden win in April, (7) GIMABUDAEJANG ran 4th on his first try at class and distance in a similar strength race to this on May 12th. He was only a couple of lengths behind the winner and won’t need to improve much to win this. (4) VEGA THUNDER is up in class having finished as runner-up in both her first two outings. She still has plenty to learn but looks to have solid potential. (1) HAPPY GATE and (3) ULSAN JANGGUN came home with just a nose separating them when they raced each other on May 26th and both should be competitive here. (2) RAON CAESERS looks best of the rest.

Selections (7) Gimabudaejang (4) Vega Thunder (1) Happy Gate (3) Ulsan Janggun
Next Best 2, 6
Fast Start 3, 6, 9

 Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

He has a 3rd and three runner-up finishes from four outings so far and today (5) OKAY TAP really should be getting it right. He was beaten less than a length by a good winner on his latest effort on May 11th and today should be his day, likely leading all the way. If he does come up short once more then (7) NEW PARADIGM could be the one to take advantage. She too is a maiden but is up in class after two good 2nd place finishes and looks to have nothing to fear at this level. (8) FLYING JOY ran 6th behind Okay Tap last start but can improve today under considerably less weight. (10) GOLD PERILLA and (11) MONEY SHARP are others to keep an eye on.

Selections (5) Okay Tap (7) New Paradigm (8) Flying Joy (10) Gold Perilla
Next Best 11, 2
Fast Start 5, 7, 8, 10

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

(4) MACH QUEEN has won both her two starts so far in handy fashion, She’s up in class and slightly in distance today but has strong claims to maintain her 100% record, likely trying to lead from gate to wire. (3) YEONGGWANGUI SIDAE ran 2nd in a good Trophy race in April which allowed her to take her chance in the Korean Oaks. While the extended distance in the fillies’ Classic didn’t appear to suit and she was scarcely a factor, back to sprinting today, she looks firmly in the hunt. (9) JET SKY comes in following 3rd and 2nd places from her latest two, both at this class and both at 1400M. She was on pace both times and may appreciate the step back in trip here. (2) MAN OF THE MATCH had a poor day at the office when tried at a mile last start and can improve back down in distance today.

Selections (4) Mach Queen (3) Yeonggwangui Sidae (9) Jet Sky (2) Man Of The Match
Next Best 5, 7
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 9

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(8) HEUK JEONSA ran 3rd when sent off as odds-on favourite over 1200M at the end of April. He bumped at the start and raced ungenerously throughout to the extent he was sent back to trial. With manners fixed today, he should return to the winner’s circle. (4) BEST EVER also had excuses for a below-par run last time, in his case slight lameness. Fit again., he drops back in trip and firmly into contention. (3) NAM SON enters with recent form reading well and has placing claims while (9) LUCAS and (11) GREEN DARC are others who should be in the frame.

Selections (8) Heuk Jeonsa (4) Best Ever (3) Nam Son (9) Lucas
Next Best 11, 7
Fast Start 2, 8, 12

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Good little race this with none of ten having finished any worse than 6th in their respective latest outings. That means a few of them are up in class here. Strong favourite though will be (4) YEONGSEONGFIGHTING. He ran 6th in the KRA Cup Mile in April before just being beaten a neck by Alphaking Iji at this distance on May 10th with the pair of them fifteen-lengths ahead of the next home. He’ll be on pace here and should have too much. (3) JEONGSU SIDAE and (9) POWER AMAZING came home 4th and 5th when they raced each other at 1400M on May 24th and both have claims to go slightly better today. (5) SUMMIT TODAY was a strong 3rd on her first try at this class on May 10th and can build on it here. (7) VEGA KHAN one of a number of others who can run into a place at their best.

Selections (4) Yeongseongfighting (5) Summit Today (3) Jeongsu Sidae (9) Power Amazing
Next Best 7, 1
Fast Start 1, 3, 4

Seoul Race 8: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Competitive handicap here with (3) DAEGUN JEPAE perhaps having the slight upper-hand. He drops back in trip following a couple of good performances – including his maiden win – over 1700M. From gate 3 he should be up and on the pace early and can lead all the way. (9) JEOKBYEOK SHINHWA, (5) MALIBU GINGER and (6) MUNHAK TSUNAMI came home 5th. 6th and 7th respectively when they raced each other at class and distance on May 19th. All three will be aiming to be more competitive here with Munhak Tsunami especially capable of going much better. (1) MONEY BLADE returns to racing for the first time since March and looks a lice outsider.

Selections (3) Daegun Jepae (5) Malibu Ginger (6) Munhak Tsunami (9) Jeokbyeok Shinhwa
Next Best 1, 11
Fast Start 1, 3, 5, 12

Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(3) CUBAUI YEOLJEONG showed plenty of ability across eight starts up to last summer and returns here following eleven months out. She trialed well in May and can go well first-up here. She’s one of a number of potential winners that also include (5) CHROME MAGIC, who ran 3rd in a fast time in arguably a better race than this on May 19th, and (4) DONGBANG BULPAE, who drops down in trip today and should be on pace from the start. (2) TOKYO BLUE is another who steps down in distance for the first time in a while and merits consideration. (8) YEONGCHEON STAR had a poor day at the office when well back behind Chrome Magic last time out but is better than that and can improve today.

Selections (3) Cubaui Yeoljeong (5) Chrome Magic (8) Yeongcheong Star (4) Dongbang Bulpae
Next Best 2, 9
Fast Start 4, 8, 10

Seoul Race 9: Class Open “The Minister’s Cup” (2000M) Allowance / KRW 600 Million

The third leg of the Triple Crown is to all intents and purposes, are-run of the Korean Derby with nine of the eleven having run in that race. The runaway winner that day was (11) WONDERFUL FLY and while he has drawn the outside gate this time, he’s favoured to go on and win. KRA Cup Mile winner and Derby favourite (5) GLOBAL CHUKJE has a much better draw this time and shouldn’t be caught so wide but it still may not be enough to overturn the form on Wonderful Fly. Nevertheless, he’s the clear next-best. Derby place-getters (2) SIMJANGUI GODONG and (3) POWER WINDY may both appreciate the additional furlong and can be dangerous late in the race. As for the two who didn’t go in the Derby, (7) TRUE VALOR, a winner of three from five so far including a tasty score over 1800M in a Busan handicap last month, looks the more likely to make an impression.

Selections (11) Wonderful Fly (5) Global Chukje (3) Power Windy (7) True Valor
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 1, 5, 6, 11

Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

Since returning from fifteen months on the sidelines, (7) BLUE CHIPPER has gone three-for-three in emphatic style which has seen him promoted to class 1 almost unprecedentedly quickly. In addition to the step up in class, he also tackles 1400M for the first time today but he looks a class act and will the question is less whether he wins, but rather by how much he wins. (5) WHINNY WING was a good 2nd on his first try at this level over 1800M on May 26th. He’s dropped back in trip today and is well drawn to get on pace from the start. He may not be able to compete with Blue Chipper, but he has every chance of another place finish. (2) DAEHO SIDAE ran well for 5th at class and distance on May 12th beating a couple of these in the process. (1) DYNAMIC STAR, who can have a line drawn though his latest two, and (4) THE GRAND, are others who can place.

Selections (7) Blue Chipper (5) Whinny Wing (2) Daeho Sidae (4) The Grand
Next Best 1, 3, 6
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 9

Seoul Race 10: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

An also-ran in the Korean Derby, (6) WONDERFUL EVIL skips the Minister’s Cup in order to run here instead and it should pay dividends in the form of a winner’s cheque. A strong finisher, he’s already won at class and distance and while he is carrying a bit more weight today, he should have far too much. (1) RAON DOLPUNG somehow remains a maiden after twenty-one attempts but his recent form reads well and he should be close at hand in this company. (9) SPEED YEONGUNG was a class and distance winner last start and with an apprentice jockey keeping the weight down, can go close here as well. (4) JEJUI HEUKSEON and (7) DAE BYEONHWA are others with placing chances.

Selections (6) Wonderful Evil (1) Raon Dolpung (9) Speed Yeongung (4) Jejui Heukseon
Next Best 7, 10
Fast Start 2, 4, 7

Seoul Race 11: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

Six of the nine raced each other over class and distance on April 20th with (5) RAON MAGIC emerging a comprehensive four-length winner. He carries an additional 3.5kg today but with Moon Se Young aboard and with a central draw that should help him get to the lead early, he can win again. (4) YEONGNONG got the closest to him that day and he can aim for the places once more while further back was (6) P. K. PARTY, who can improve although a bigger threat is likely to come from one who didn’t run in that race. (8) JANGSAN POWER drops back in trip after some solid recent form over 1400M at this class, including a win, and looks nicely in here to go well again.

Selections (5) Raon Magic (8) Jangsan Power (6) P.K. Party (4) Yeongnong
Next Best 7, 3
Fast Start 1, 2, 5
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There are 10 races at Seoul on Saturday from 10:45 to 18:00.

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) 2yo / KRW 75 Million

The first crop of two-year-olds for the new season take to the track in the first on the card. Replay watchers would have identified that the trial from (5) TAKTUEIN was impressive. The big filly was still on the bridle when running 1.02.8 in a 1000m barrier trial in late May. (6) ROLLER BLADE ran a slightly faster time but was asked for more of an effort in his trial on the same day. The Officer colt worked straight to the front and ran through the line strongly. (7) LUCKY BEOPJEON trialed behind the well performed Sky Bay when finishing midfield but running a fast time. Of the remainder (12) JANGSU NABOM ran a reasonable time when overcoming a wide gate in his trial.

Selections (5) Taktuein (6) Roller Blade (7) Lucky Beopjeon (12) Jangsu Nabom
Next Best 11, 9
Fast Start 5, 6, 7, 9, 10

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

A lack of exposed form is the theme of the second where eleven maiden gallopers will line up over the 1300m. (6) NAE GIRUI BIT looks hardest to beat coming off a last start second behind Crazy Q. The chestnut is likely to position just off speed from his middle draw and run home strong. (1) MACH CHEONHA will have her seventh start after being sent out at short odds last start and only managing to finish fifth with no excuses. From the inside expect her to sit prominent. (8) QUEEN STREET worked forward early last time out and capitulated to run fifth behind Simon Queen. If she can get across from barrier eight early on and have an economic trip she can run into the money. (2) J N LEE looks the best of the rest in a field that lacks depth.

Selections (6) Nae Girui Bit (1) Mach Cheonha (8) Queen Street (2) J N Lee
Next Best 7, 3
Fast Start 2, 7, 8

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

A field of eight will go over the 1300m in the third of the day. (4) SMART GUNHWANG showed plenty of promise at his first start when finishing third over the 1300m. The son of Tiz Wonderful finished three lengths behind Gabo Pull Day when they ran a good time for this company. (2) HUSH DAEBO is also having his second run in the event. He settled well back on debut and ran through the line fairly. Moon Se-Young resumes and will take the reins. (8) CRAZY QUEEN was sent out at very short odds last time out coming off a second two starts back. She settled well back last time out and may be forced to do the same with a wide draw. She looks and each way chance with the claim. (3) COLORS DE LAGO improved last time out when third behind Jeongmun Sai. She may have the speed to lead in this race.

Selections (4) Smart Gunhwang (2) Hush Daero (8) Crazy Queen (3) Colors De Lago
Next Best 5, 7
Fast Start 3, 4, 5, 8

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

The fourth on the card has an abundance of early speed engaged. (3) WONDERFUL DIXIE looks one of the better bets on the card coming off successive good performances. The Eurosilver colt finished third last time out behind Tohamsan Power and gets in to this race well weighted. The three-year-old has ran some handy times over the 1000m suggesting the drop back in distance will not concern him. (9) GAL IP had her first run in Class 4 company last time out and performed fairly. She settled midfield before passing a couple in the straight. The 5f will enhance her chances of a forward showing. Expect improvement today and keep her safe in your selections. (7) CHANGSEONG LUCKY was a winner in Class 5 company last time out. The four year old produced a fast sectional to get there in the shadows of the post. (10) UNDEFEATED has picked up a cheque in this company at his past couple of starts and should be kept safe in your selections.

Selections (3) Wonderful Dixie (9) Gal Ip (7) Changseong Lucky (10) Undefeated
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 1, 3, 4, 6

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

The fifth on the car looks a race in two where they will both position on speed. (4) VICTORY KING has drawn well for his assignment. The Magician three-year-old is yet to break maiden status but has placed at his past three starts. The claim of Moon Sung-Hyeok will assist his chances in the race. (5) BLACK PARTY looks the main danger with Moon Se-Young to be legged aboard. The chestnut broke through for a win two starts back and then followed it up with a four length defeat behind Luminesce. (10) CUPID FLYING ran on well last time out in similar company. The Colors Flying colt looks as if he will be forced to settle rearwards once again as he takes some time to find his feet when they jump. (9) TAEPUNG EYES is having his eleventh career start coming off a midfield performance over the 1300m. He placed in this company two starts back and is worth including in your wider selections.

Selections (4) Victory King (5) Black Party (10) Cupid Flying (9) Taepung Eyes
Next Best 3, 11
Fast Start 4, 5, 9, 10

Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A field of nine imports go around in the sixth where only two of them have broken maiden status. (8) DAEGUNUI GEOM is still early on in his career and resumes today after three months away from the track. His effort before going for a break was encouraging. The Majestic Warrior colt finished third over the 1300m behind Daegunui Chang when sitting in the first half of the field. His form lines look the best in a field lacking depth. (5) YORI JORI is another that has only had a handful of runs. She finished fifth last time out over the 1200m when running on encouragingly from the tail of the field. (3) DALLYEORA LEO is by far the most experienced in the field of nine. The six-year-old mare has had twenty-seven starts for the one win and five minor places. She possesses early gate speed so expect Kim Hyo Jung to settle her on speed. (6) MUNHAKUI JEONSA has had just the three starts and has finished in the first half at all starts. Look for improvement. (9) LIL’ PATRON has shown good speed in similar company in his latest two and could have scope for more here.

Selections (8) Daegunui Geom (5) Yori Jori (3) Dallyeora Leo (6) Munhakui Jeonsa
Next Best 9, 1
Fast Start 3, 5, 6

Race 7: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

The seventh on the card is the first to go over two turns as a field of twelve line up over the 1700m. Lightly raced five-year-old (3) SZERENCSE resumed last time out when running and eye-catching second behind Dae Byeonhwa. He may be able to settle closer from barrier three and expect improvement second. The main danger appears to be (10) Black Wingwing who stepped up to the 1700m last time out and performed well. The Volponi three-year-old tried to lead throughout before running second behind Rise Aen Shine. (7) RISE AEN SHINE shoots up in the weights after a last start win in similar grade. She sat on speed last time out so expect her to work forward early on in the race. (5) MYEONGJIN MAN cannot be discounted after his las start third over the 1700m. He comes out of the Dae Byeonhwa race and should be respected.

Selections (3) Szerencse (10) Black Wingwing (7) Rise Aen Shine (5) Myeongjin Man
Next Best 2, 8, 6
Fast Start 5, 7, 10

Race 8: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Several chances are engaged in the eights where a compact field of nine will fly over the twelve furlongs. The race looks a speedy affair and one of those with speed to burn is last start winner (5) BAKCHAOREUM. The three-year-old when straight to the front in similar company and held out the rest of the field going on for a clear win. (7) UNCLE OH looks one to follow after winning two races from his four start career to date. The three-year-old worked forward from an outside gate last time out never to be caught winning by two and a half lengths. The Lee Shin-Young trained galloper drops back to the 1200m in this race. (4) WILD FIGHT is looking for three successive wins. French jockey David Breux has formed a good relationship with the speedy chestnut who goes up in class today. (8) GANGCHONUI BYEOL steps back in to Class 3 company after finishing second in weaker company last time out.

Selections (5) Bakchaoreum (7) Uncle Oh (4) Wild Fight (8) Gangchonui Byeol
Next Best 2, 9
Fast Start 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8

Race 9: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

The ninth looks a race in two as a field of ten will go over the 1800m. (1) BLUE WOLF was superb last time out in similar company when winning over the same distance. Yoo Seung-Wan will be looking to employ similar tactics as per last start when jumping straight to the lead and pulling away for an impressive three length victory. (9) FLYING MUNNING is another who has early speed but is likely to struggle to find the top. Moon Se Young will reunite with the four-year-old who will have to carry 56.5kg. (3) CLEAN UP SECRET is a last start winner who steps up in class and as a result carries just the 51.5kg. The four-year-old should be considered an each way chance but this is tougher. (8) CREMOA POWER was disappointing when going over the 1900m last time out and is one that can improve.

Selections (1) Blue Wolf (9) Flying Munning (3) Clean Up Secret (8) Cremoa Power
Next Best 2, 6
Fast Start 1, 3, 7, 9

Race 10: Class 3 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

The last on the card appears to lack early speed perhaps making it hard for runners that get too far back. (1) GUREUM WANGJA is building a nice record as he looks for his fifth win at just his tenth start. The Old Fashioned colt closed off nicely last time out when second behind Bakchaoreum. (3) STAR POWER is coming off a solid performance behind True King. The five year old rarely wins but on recent form he should be considered a chance. (7) WILD DRAGON is a perfect bread and butter horse for connections. The four year old has collected a cheque at his past seven starts including three wins. (4) KING MESSENGER reeled off a brilliant sectional last time out to win in Class 4 company. This will test the five year old but keep him safe in your wider selections.

Selections (1) Gureum Wangja (3) Star Power (7) Wild Dragon (4) King Messenger
Next Best 8, 9
Fast Start 6, 7
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Menifee has died. The runner-up in the 1999 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, who went on to become a sensation at Stud in Korea, suffered a heart attack at the KRA Jeju Stud Farm on the morning of June 13th. He was 23.

Menifee [Harlan-Anne Campbell (Never Bend)] was a very good racehorse. He won both his starts as a juvenile at Monmouth and Saratoga and kept his winning streak intact on his three-year-old debut at Gulfstream Park in February of 1999. He suffered his first defeat when 2nd in the Tampa Bay Derby, but quickly returned to winning ways in the G1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

Kentucky Derby [1999] Charismatic - YouTube

Menifee next went to the Kentucky Derby, running 2nd under Pat Day to long-shot Charismatic. A certain Ecton Park was back down the track that day – those two had not seen the last of one another. Menifee then tackled The Preakness and while sent off as favourite, once more succumbed to Charismatic.

1999 Haskell Invitational Stakes - Menifee - YouTube

Menifee would finish 8th in the Belmont Stakes but would prove his class when winning the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth in August. He concluded his racing career running 3rd in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga and then 2nd – to Ecton Park – in the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs that October.

Mary Lukas, who worked for Menifee’s trainer Elliott Walden at the time, remembered Menifee the racehorse as “One of the smartest horses I was ever around. Even as a two-year-old, he had a presence around him; everyone in the barn knew he was going to be something special. He used to pull his hot-walker around the barn to catch up with the horses in front of him.”

While a four-year-old campaign was planned, injuries meant Menifee was retired to Stud, standing at Stone Farm in Kentucky. He had middling results and in November 2006, arrived in Korea as the latest addition to the Korea Racing Authority’s then growing Stallion program on Jeju Island.

Menifee at Stone Farm in Kentucky (Pic: Mary Lukas)

Menifee’s Korean progeny began racing in 2010 and met instant success and Menifee would become Leading Sire in Korea in six consecutive years from 2012 to 2017. During that time, he produced five consecutive Korean Derby winners, including his best, Power Blade, winner of the Triple Crown in 2016.

Power Blade on his way to the Triple Crown

Menifee’s time on Jeju was not without drama – he overcame a life-threatening illness in 2011 – but pushed along by his racing rival Ecton Park, also imported to Korea and standing privately at Isidore Farm approximately ten miles away, Menifee became the most successful sire in Korean racing history. Just as he finally bested him at the end of his racing career, Ecton Park relieved Menifee of his Leading Sire crown in 2018, but Menifee leads the 2019 race and with several more crops to come, is set to be around for some time yet.

Menifee, Korea’s leading sire, walks in the rain

Menifee adapted to life in Korea well. Always intelligent, the saying “Menifee speaks Korean” became something of a cliche at the Jeju Stud Farm, as he quickly learned to respond to Korean words and phrases. Like any stallion, caution was warranted when in his presence, but he could be amenable too and he was extremely popular among both the staff who worked with him everyday and with visitors, of whom there were many.

His fame here can’t really be overstated. One example is from when Menifee was brought up for an outing to Seoul Racecourse a couple of years ago. When it was announced over the PA system that he was present and about to be walking (or strutting, as it transpired) in the parade ring, there was quite the stampede of punters, all eager to see just exactly who that horse was whose name they had seen in brackets next to winners in the race card so often. That isn’t normal in Korea.

Menifee

Nothing Menifee did in Korea was normal. He has been called “Korea’s Sunday Silence” and maybe time will prove that true. For now we remember a wonderful racehorse and a unique and irreplaceable stallion. Korea’s Menifee leaves a precious legacy.

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The final leg of the 2019 Korean Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup, takes place at Seoul this Sunday but the weekend’s action gets underway on Friday at Busan with 9 races from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

It’s Friday! It’s Busan!

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

An inexperienced field of eleven will go over the five furlongs to get things underway at Busan. (5) QUEEN OF ADELE brings the dominant form lines into the race finishing in the top three on two occasions from her past three starts. Expect polished jockey Seo Seung Un to position the Colors Flying filly close to the speed. (9) STOLEN BEAUTY showed early speed last time out over the five furlongs when managing to settle second from the outside gate. Her draw is marginally better and this looks a slightly weaker assignment. (3) CHODONG JINJU is having her fourth start after finishing well back last time out. Her performance two starts back was good when producing a nice turn of foot. (10) DARUI BADA passed a few in the straight last start and appears a place chance at best.

Selections (5) Queen Of Adele (9) Stolen Beauty (3) Chodong Jinju (10) Darui Bada
Next Best 4, 6, 1
Fast Start 4, 5, 9, 11

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

There is a lack of exposed form in the second with the field having a collective twenty-nine starts between them for just five top three finishes. The lack of form suggests that debutant (10) PARADISE KING can figure in this event after a handy trial. The Hansen colt finished second in the trial when ridden hands and heels through the line. The trial time was 1.02.6 which will see him be competitive. He showed early speed in the trial so expect him to sit in the first half of the field. (7) TOHAM IMPACT has placed on two occasions from four career starts. He was slightly disappointing last time out when sent out at short odds and only beating a few home. Look for him to bounce back in this event where he drops back to the 1000m. Seo Seung Un will ride (3) CHODONG YEOSIN for the first time today after she finished second (2.5L) behind Goldui Inyeon. (6) SPICE ROCK has shown she can run home well and appears a place chance on recent runs. (2) BEAUTIFUL KOREA was much-improved last time and can build on that run here.

Selections (10) Paradise King (7) Toham Impact (3) Chodong Yeosin (6) Spice Rock
Next Best 2, 4, 1
Fast Start 3, 4, 10, 12

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

First starter (4) WONDERFUL COUNTRY has had two trials as he comes into his debut preparation. The three-year-old ran 1.03.2 when winning a barrier trial on 19/06/01. The Menifee chestnut was asked for an effort but still appeared to have plenty in the tank. He will most likely jump at an each-way price in a wide open field. (5) ZET KING appears the main danger with the drop back in distance to 1300m looking ideal. Trainer Kim Byung hak has engaged Seo Seung Un for the ride and from barrier five it is expected he will work forward early. (8) DONGBANG NARAE has been sent out at reasonably short odds at her first two career starts. She has only managed to finish midfield and both runs have been on wet tracks. Look for her to improve. (3) BAEDARI CAPER has been around a while having twenty starts and yet to finish closer than third. He is a place chance at best.

Selections (4) Wonderful Country (5) Zet King (8) Dongbang Narae (3) Baedari Caper

 

Next Best 2, 10
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 12

Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Three-year-old Officer filly (3) MAJOR PUNCH looks as if she will appreciate the mile as she lines up in race four. She was last on the turn at her most recent run and finished off well to finish fifth.  If she gets away well at the start she will take some beating. (7) PARTY WINNER is having start six in this event and has managed to finish in the top five on three occasions from his five starts to date. (6) CHEONNYEONUI ULRIM showed early speed last time when finishing fifth behind Karin who has gone on for successive victories. Expect him to sit just behind the speed and look for improvement at start four. (8) YEONGWON CHAMP appears the best of the rest and is a place chance. (1) GRAND CAPTAIN has hinted at improvement recently and can also be a threat for the money.

Selections (3) Major Punch (7) Party Winner (6) Cheonnyeonui Ulrim (8) Yeongwon Champ
Next Best 1, 4, 9
Fast Start 1, 3, 4, 7

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

A field of ten will go over the mile in the fifth of the day. Three-year-old (10) DAEHO JILJU looks as if he will appreciate stepping back up to the mile after winning two starts back over the distance. He has been consistent since starting his career in December. He has shown he is versatile in his short career after settling both on speed and midfield. (7) YEONGGWANGUI CHEER was sent out favourite by punters last time out and won by a head. He has to carry the 55kg in this but is considered an each-way chance. (1) URANUS J has been consistent at this level at his past few starts and will be aided by an inside draw. He worked overtime last time out with a wide draw but will have an economic run in this event. (4) ALBERT KING took ten starts to break maiden status two starts back. He followed it up with a midfield performance behind Bobae Dream last time out. He looks one to include in your exotic bets.

Selections (10) Daeho Jilju (7) Yeonggwangui Cheer (1) Uranus J (4) Albert King
Next Best 3, 6
Fast Start 1, 7

Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(8) FINE TRUMPET has his second start this preparation after finishing fifth when resuming over the mile. The Hansen colt drops back to the 1300m which looks more suitable considering he won over this distance last preparation. He should be fitter after the first up run and expect Seo Seung Un to use his early gate speed and put him on speed in the first furlong of the race. (1) SEONGSAN POWER is yet to break maiden status but finds herself in Class 5 company due to her consistency. She drops back to the 1300m after three attempts over the mile. She has a fifty percent strike rate of finishing in the top three over the 1300m. (9) DODOHAN handed in a form reversal last time out when winning over the 1300m at big odds. Based on his most recent performance he is worth including but consistency appears to be the problem. (10) WANBONG has had a few starts in Class 5 company after saluting four starts back. Look for further improvement.

Selections (8) Fine Trumpet (1) Seongsan Power (9) Dodohan (10) Wanbong
Next Best 2, 5
Fast Start 1, 8

Race 7: Class 4 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

The Korean-breds go around in the seventh where there are several different form lines to assess. (7) FIGHT MAGIC looks one with a big chance dropping back to Class 4 company. The Tiz Wonderful filly comes out of the Korean Oaks where whilst she looked outclassed, she was also given a torrid run when having to tramp wide throughout over the 1800m. Her form heading into the Oaks was good and the 1300m is much more suitable. She carries just 51kg and looks hard to beat. (2) IRON WARRIOR has drawn ideally for his style of racing. He has finished second at three of his past four starts with the most recent in similar company and demands respect in this field. (9) TRIPLE SILVER has finished midfield at his three starts to date in Class 4 company. Look for improvement as Seo Seung Un jumps aboard. (5) WINNING AGAIN has been thereabouts ironically without winning for quite a lengthy period but looks a place chance.

Selections (7) Fight Magic (2) Iron Warrior (9) Triple Silver (5) Winning Again
Next Best 10, 4
Fast Start 2, 3, 7

Race 8: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

Whilst we have had no standouts in the first half of the card (8) CHALLANHAN MISO looks one of the better bets on the day. Punters will most likely have to take the short odds but his performances of late have been good and he is looking for his sixth win at start twelve. He is not necessarily a fast starter so the draw should not affect his chances. (3) SMART PRINCE has had two starts in Class 2 and whilst he has not placed yet he looks a place chance with a good draw and a lightweight. (7) HIDDDEN CHAMP should be respected on recent performances when close up behind the likes of Muhan Yeoljong and Haneol Nuri. Import (5) WORLD NUMBER ONE was demoted to this class some time ago but based on recent performance can finish in the top four.

Selections (8) Challanhan Miso (3) Smart Prince (7) Hiddden Champ (5) World Number One
Next Best 2, 10
Fast Start 2, 3, 7, 9

Race 9: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

The last on the card is a competitive affair with numerous chances. (5) SINBIHAN BARAM finished second behind I’m Your Lemon last time out when they ran a slick time. Kim Eu Soo should work forward early from barrier five and the Sharp Humor colt should take some running down. (11) SPOT looks one of the main chances coming off a second behind Hawk King over the same distance. The barrier is a concern for the speedy grey but if he can cross without using too much gas he will be right in the finish. (12) YEONGGWANGUISINHWA ran on strongly in the Hawk King race last time out. With the lightweight look for him to be doing his best work late. (9) MUJEOK YEONGUNG is second up after five months away from the track. He resumed in May when fifth behind I’m Your Lemon and should be respected with improvement to come out of that run.

Selections (5) Sinbihan Baram (11) Spot (12) Yeonggwanguisinhwa (9) Mujeok Yeongung
Next Best 3, 4
Fast Start 1, 5, 6, 11
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Busan rider Jeon Jin-Gu is bound for France where he will represent Korea in the Prix Longines Future Stars race over a mile at Chantilly Racecourse on French Oaks Day this Sunday June 16.

Jockey Jeon Jin-Gu, seen here after riding his first winner (Pic: KRA)

“I was really honoured to get the call-up and it’s exciting to get the opportunity to ride horses abroad” said Jeon Jin-Gu of his invitiation. “I’m looking forward to riding local (French-trained) horses and getting to ride at Chantilly Racecourse”.

Now 23-years old, Jeon Jin-Gu debuted in 2017 and has amassed 42 wins from 593 rides so far for a win-rate of 7.1%. He has a quinella strike-rate of 14.5% with 21.1% of his mounts finishing in the first three.

“I rode my first winner on just my second race ride” said Jeon “That’s the most memorable moment of my career so far”.

In addition to the race itself, jockeys will also have the opportinity to ride trackwork for local trainers. Other jockeys set to participate in this year’s even include Thomas Stockdale of Australia and Kabelo Matsunyane of South Africa, the latter coached by former Korea-based Jockey Trainer Robert Moore.

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No Stakes action in Korea on Sunday but there’s still plenty going on with 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. Full preview on Seoul races with Busan selections at the bottom:

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

The first to get us underway on the eleven-event card has ten gallopers lining up for their first victory. (8) GEOM HYANG looks hardest to beat coming off successive placed performances over the 5f. The Clear Attempt filly does her best work late so expect her to sit midfield and pass them in the straight. (2) PARK BLADE has her second run today after finishing midfield on debut. The Lee Shin-Young trained galloper should improve second-up. (6) TIZ ROSE also debuted last time out when finishing 5.5L behind Wonderful Dixie back in December. The three-year-old has had a trial coming into this preparation. (4) GYEONGGUKJIMA should sit on speed from barrier four and looks an each-way chance in a field with limited form.

Selections (8) Geom Hyang (2) Park Blade (6) Tiz Rose (4) Gyeonggukjima
Next Best 9, 3
Fast Start 3, 4, 8

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

An inexperienced field of nine will take to the track in the second where there appears to be only a few chances. (5) WONDERFUL MARINE showed improvement last time out when finishing second at odds over the 6f. The three-year-old passed a few in the run home and looks a chance in a field that lacks depth. (9) JEONDONG SARANG ran on well last time out when finishing fourth over the 5f. The Any Given Saturday filly will appreciate the step up in distance allowing her to settle before hitting the line strong. (4) CUTIE BARBIE looks a place chance on recent performances albeit beaten big margins. (6) BINNANEUN RUBY is yet to salute from twenty-one starts but looks one that will eventually breakthrough in this company.

Selections (5) Wonderful Marine (9) Jeongdong Sarang (4) Cutie Barbie (6) Binnaneun Ruby
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 1, 5, 8

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Eleven maiden fillies will take to the track in the third where (9) AN MOK HANG looks the one to beat coming off a strong debut performance. The Exploit filly overcame a wide draw at her only start to sit on speed and run through the line strong. (3) WIND RIVER has placed in similar company over the 5f. She requires time to settle into stride but will produce a good sectional for Moon Sung Hyeok. (9) JEONGSEONG STAR makes her debut today after a promising trial. The Colors Flying is the only two-year-old engaged in the race. (5) SINBU appears the best of the remainder and is a place chance.

Selections (9) An Mok Hang (3) Wind River (11) Jeongseong Star (5) Sinbu
Next Best 6, 8
Fast Start 2, 5, 8

Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

A compact field of eight will line up in the fourth where there is an absence of speed engaged. (2) NALARA HILL looks one that will appreciate the lack of speed. The Colors Flying should be able to sit in the leading division and run through the line strongly as she did last time out. (1) KINGS CARRIAGE settled midfield last time out when running on fairly to finish third. The inside draw won’t necessarily assist his chances but given the lack of speed he may be able to sit slightly closer to the lead. (8) YULONG FLYING steps up to the 6f after showing a good turn of foot last time out over the 5f. It may pay to follow the three-year-old when he finds a race with more speed engaged. (7) DIAVOLA has her second start today after passing a few in the straight last time out. Keep her safe in the exotics.

Selections (2) Nalara Hill (1) Kings Carriage (8) Yulong Flying (7) Diavola
Next Best 5, 6
Fast Start 1, 2, 6

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

Three-year-old (3) FULL MOON SKY looks one of the main chances engaged in the fifth after going down just over a length in similar company last time out. The Indian Evening colt appreciated the step-up to the 1700m and should be prominent in the run once again from barrier three. (7) DAL SUNI broke maiden status last time out with a comprehensive four length win over the 1700m. She carries just the 52kg in this event and looks an each-way chance. (5) CHOEGANG PARTY broke through in good style last time out with a gutsy performance when holding off Hope Kingdom by a nose. David Breux retains the ride and the Korean-bred will drop two kilograms with the rise in grade. (2) CHEONNYEON HAPPY is still looking for her first win but was promoted to this company after some consistent performances in Class 6 company.

Selections (3) Full Moon Sky (7) Dal Suni (5) Choegang Party (2) Cheonnyeon Happy
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 2, 3

Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

The consistent (5) BARAMEUL GEURIDA looks the one to beat in the sixth race after a last start second in similar company. The speed map looks to suit the three-year-old where it looks like he should take up the running and be hard to gun down albeit the 57kg. (7) INDEPENDENCE broke through last time out for his first win. The Thunder Moccasin colt was one of the first to get going last time out so expect a positive ride from
Kim Yong Geun once again. (8) ARABIA GONGJU resumed last time out and ran a solid third behind a dominant winner in Red Blade. The five-year-old is capable of filling a place once again. (11) SET THE PACE won in good fashion last time out at her third start. It looks a tough task from a wide draw but if she can get on speed like her namesake she can figure.

Selections (5) Barameul Geurida (7) Independence (8) Arabia Gongju (11) Set The Pace
Next Best 12, 6
Fast Start 5, 7, 11

Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

There appears plenty of chances engaged in the seventh on the card over the 6f. (7) GAENARI SONG goes up in weight after winning in this company last time out. The three-year-old looks hard to beat winning three of his five starts to date. The chestnut normally settles off speed and pings home so barrier seven should suit his racing pattern. (6) BROWN ROSE has been a model of consistency recently. In her most recent performance, she went down a length in similar company after sitting just off the pace. Lee Hyeong-Jong replaces Moon Se-Young who is currently suspended. (4) NIMUI HYANGGI continues to earn for his connections. He saluted in this class two starts back and followed it up with a seven length third behind a handy type in Best Star. (8) SEMYEONG GISANG finds himself in Class 4 company after three successive second placed performances in weaker grade. He is mighty consistent so keep him safe in your novelties.

Selections (7) Gaenari Song (6) Brown Rose (4) Nimui Hyanggi (8) Semyeong Gisang
Next Best 1, 11
Fast Start 2, 4, 7, 8

Race 8: Class 3 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A compact field will line up in the eighth where it appears (2) DAEGUNUI GIL looks the one to beat. The three-year-old is yet to finish worth than fourth from his six career starts. The import ran through the line doggedly last time out when winning and further improvement would not surprise. (5) HAETSAL WANGJA has some strong form lines around him including a second behind KRA Cup Mile winner Global Chukje two starts back. The five-year-old has won just three from twenty-three starts but is an each-way contender. (6) JUMBO CAPTAIN is well performed over the middle distance and finds an easier assignment today. The four-year-old may sit closer in this assignment as there is an absence of early speed. (3) YES YOU CAN mixes his form but appears the best of the remainder in the small field.

Selections (2) Daegunui Gil (5) Haetsal Wangja (6) Jumbo Captain (3) Yes You Can
Next Best 4, 7
Fast Start 3, 6

Race 9: Class 1 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

The ninth on the card should get all racing fans excited as we see some of Korea’s classiest line up over the 1800m. (11) DIA SOCKS has his first run since November last year after sustaining an injury. He has trialed well prior to resuming and his form last year was sublime, including a second placed performance behind the now-proven Gaon Champ. (6) MORFHIS has now shown his class by winning in this company last time out. He goes up 1kg for his assignment today and regular rider Johan Victoire will do the steering. (3) OP SEVEN has drawn well to suit his racing style. He comes out of the Morfhis race where he was only beaten one length. (13) DOKDO JIGI normally has speed to burn early and will be looking to work forward in the first furlong. He finished fourth behind Morfhis last time out in his first attempt at Class 1 company. Look out for the cavalry charge at the start – loads of these will be looking to get to the front.

Selections (11) Dia Socks (6) Morfhis (3) Op Seven (13) Dokdo Jigi
Next Best 2, 4
Fast Start 3, 9, 13

Race 10: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(7) SOL PARANG appears a progressive type who was given a very ambitious ride last time out. She did miss the kick last start before Moon Sung-Hyeok asked too much of her when taking off a long way home. To her credit she plugged away and finished a reasonable fifth. If she jumps well today, she will take some beating with the featherweight of 51kg. (8) BIG EAR is mighty consistent and as a result carries 56kg in this event. She ran through the line well last time out when third behind Best Bullet. (10) MUSA has been in this company for quite some time but has managed to fill a place now and then. (11) WELLBEING JOY can settle back and hit the line strong so be sure to include her in your exotics.

Selections (7) Sol Parang (8) Big Ear (10) Musa (11) Wellbeing Joy
Next Best 3, 2
Fast Start 6, 10

Race 11: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

(5) YAHO STRONG CAT has been extremely consistent in his short career winning five from fifteen and finds himself well weighted after winning in this company two starts back. He was sent out well fancied last start in a tougher event and ran fourth when getting too far back. Put a line through that run and trust he will bounce back. (4) PRIMA QUEEN finished third last time out when finishing four lengths behind Yaho Strong Cat. She is having her third run this preparation and should be reaching peak fitness. (7) JANGSAN WILD settled further back than anticipated last start but his customary early speed normally sees him in a prominent position at the top of the straight. With the smaller field Kim Yong Geun may try and position him on speed. (6) V KHAN looks the best of the rest and is a place chance.

Selections (5) Yaho Strong Cat (4) Prima Queen (7) Jangsan Wild (6) V Khan
Next Best 3, 2
Fast Start 6, 7, 10

Busan Selections

Race 1: 3, 6, 8, 2
Race 2: 3, 2, 8, 5
Race 3: 4, 5, 3, 8
Race 4: 2, 1, 9, 3
Race 5: 9, 7, 2, 4
Race 6: 4, 10, 7, 3

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After a wet Friday, the clouds have cleared and we’re set for 10 races at Seoul on Saturday from 10:45 to 18:00:

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

Quite an open maiden to begin with. (5) CHEONHA YEOJE gets the verdict on the back of an improved 2nd place in a fast time on a wet track at this distance on April 27th. She led for most of the way round that day, is well drawn to lead again and this time may not be caught. Four of these raced each other at this distance on May 12th. (6) P.K. GUNHWANG finished the best of them in 5th and can build on that here although (2) BAEKSAEK GWANGCHAE and (9) CHOEGANG MAGIC were within a couple of lengths and should be in the frame here. (1) WONDERFUL PANGPANG was a little further back in that race but has hinted at ability and the jockey booking and the better draw, will tempt some.

Selections (5) Cheonha Yeoje (2) Baeksaek Gwangchae (1) Wonderful Pangpang (6) P.K.Gunhwang
Next Best 9, 4
Fast Start 1, 5

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Small field but competitive. (5) ROYAL SMARTY has improved across four starts so far culminating in 2nd place over 1300M last start, having come from well off the pace from the widest gate. Expect him to be ridden closer forward from the start today and he can go one better. (2) BLUE DAEJAYEON did nothing wrong when 5th on debut a month ago and can build on it today while (7) CHEONNYEONUI GODO and (8) VIRTUS have both hinted at ability and may improve here. There is one debut-maker and (6) RED SUN looked sharp in a late-May trial and could go well first-up. Watch how he goes in the market.

Selections (5) Royal Smarty (6) Red Sun (2) Blue Daejayeon (8) Virtus
Next Best 7
Fast Start 5, 6, 8

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

(4) SA SA has been knocking at the door in her latest three not missing out by much in similar company to today. She should be on pace from the start here and looks the one to beat. (6) DAECHEON VOW warrants respect having won at class and distance on May 11th, making all. She carries an additional 4kg today but should be right in the mix once more. (5) DRAGON BOAT was 3rd in that same race and can shouldn’t be too far away again. (3) SPEED BELLE should be better dropped back in trip today while (11) HAE WANG’s recent form is promising and he could run into some minor money.

Selections (4) Sa Sa (6) Daecheon Vow (5) Dragon Boat (3) Speed Belle
Next Best 11, 8
Fast Start 2, 4, 6, 10

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

(5) COLORFUL JOY is up in class after a six-length win over 1300M on May 12th. The stable is in great form at the moment and the colt is well-drawn to lead again and can back up with another win. (3) HUIMANG STAR remains a maiden but beat a couple of these on her way to 3rd place at class and distance four weeks ago and should beat plenty again. It’s a similar story for (4) SEUNGRI PLUS, winless after seventeen attempts, but a proven money winner in this type of company. (1) SPEED HEUKRYONG and (6) CHOWON MARU are others who should be in at least the placing hunt.

Selections (5) Colorful Joy (3) Huimang Star (4) Seungri Plus (1) Speed Heukryong
Next Best 6, 9
Fast Start 5, 6, 8, 11

Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(12) THE SPIKER has never finished worse than 4th in six outings so far and ran 2nd last time over 1300M. He’s down slightly in trip here and today should be his day. (10) GANGHWA CHONGGAK has a 2nd and a 3rd in two attempts at this level and is the principal danger. He’ll be on speed early and may be tough for the favourite to overhaul. (5) SEUNGNI GIEOK hinted at a return to form when 4th last start and can build on that here while (2) LIAM’S MOONEY and (6) DREAM YEONGCHEON are others to take into consideration.

Selections (12) The Spiker (10) Ganghwa Chonggak (5) Seungni Gieok (2) Liam’s Mooney
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 3, 6, 7, 10

Race 6: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) GEUMA WHOLESOME ran 2nd over 1800M on his first try around two-turns having scored his maiden win at 1300M the previous start. He carries plenty of weight, but it’s no more than last time, and he can win again. (6) CHONGAL GACHI was a five-length winner over this distance at class 5 level in April before running 3rd at this class a month ago. He’ll look to lead from the gate and if he gets in front, won’t be easy to dispose of. (10) MY SISTER NINA was a somewhat unexpected winner over 1700M last time out and while this looks tougher, shouldn’t be ignored. (7) FIGHT TODAY was 3rd behind Geuma Wholesome on debut and gets sent up in trip today with plenty of potential and a nice light weight on his back. (9) SUN START is best of the rest.

Selections (3) Geuma Wholesome (6) Chongal Gachi (10) My Sister Nina (7) Fight Today
Next Best 9, 4
Fast Start 3, 5, 6, 10

Race 7: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) DELTA BROTHER found himself overmatched in the Korean Derby last month but prior to that was a good winner at this distance and back in more amenable company and with a light weight, he could return to the winner’s circle today. (5) RAYMOND is up in class following a good win at this distance in April and looks well in here to go close again. (8) CLEAN FLOWER is a proven money winner at this level and is likely to be ridden forward early today, the same way he was when a class and distance 3rd in March. (1) LIVINGSTONE and (4) HAPPIEST are others more than capable of finishing in the money in this company.

Selections (3) Delta Brother (5) Raymond (8) Clean Flower (1) Livingstone
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 3, 6, 8

Race 8: Class 4 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(1) VICAR BRACING came from off the pace to win well over this distance on April 28th. He’s up in class today but from the inside gate can look to do similar again. He certainly has potential for more wins. So too does (7) UDAERYUNG, winner on a wet track in a fast time last start and also up in class today. Like Vicar Bracing, he’ll be expected to be ridden patiently. That’s’ true as well for (8) MAGPIE, a late scratching from a scheduled run in April but a winner of back to back races prior to that. (4) MONE FLYING is one race into a comeback following five-months off and can improve today while (9) KAILLUM YEOJE is up in class after two solid wins at the distance and a third can’t be completely ruled out.

Selections (1) Vicar Bracing (7) Udaeryung (8) Magpie (9) Kaillum Yeoje
Next Best 4, 5
Fast Start 2, 3, 5, 10

Race 9: Class 3 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(5) DONGBANGUI GIEOK has a severe case of second-itis, having finished as runner-up in five of his eleven races to date. He was beaten only half a length by the very good The King on his latest outing three weeks ago and today could be the day he finally makes his breakthrough. If he does fall short once more then (2) BURUI GORI could be the one to take take advantage. He returns more than three months after a very good win 1800M and while he carries plenty of weight today, he can overcome it. (1) JUNGDONG JIJON was a touch disappointing last time out but can be given another chance today, while (4) STRONG RUNNER looks best of the rest.

Selections (5) Dongbangui Gieok (2) Burui Gori (1) Jungdong Jijon (4) Strong Runner
Next Best 7, 3
Fast Start 6, 7

Race 10: Class 2 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million

A winner of five from ten so far, (2) SUPER SOCKS weakened for 5th when tried over 1900M on May 12th. He’s back in trip today and also carries less weight and looks the one to beat. (4) SAMSEONG DONGHANG is up in class following a couple of near-misses and should be competitive at this level while (9) MUNHAK JOY is another who may benefit from being dropped back in distance today. (1) BULMYEORUI JEWANG and (10) HWA GI are others to take into consideration

Selections (2) Super Socks (9) Munhak Joy (4) Samseong Donghang (10) Hwa Gi
Next Best 1, 6
Fast Start 2, 4, 8, 10
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There has been quite a bit of rain across the peninsula over the past 24 hours including at Busan which is where Friday’s racing takes place. There are 9 races from 11:30 to 18:00:

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

(7) PAGEUKCHEON has finished 4th in both starts so far. Bart Rice’s colt should be on speed from the gate and is favoured to make his breakthrough today. (11) CHOEGANG WINNER ran an improved 3rd last start and while he has drawn wide can continue to make progress today. (1) NEOLBEUN GOEUL raced three times without distinction last year but returns following six months off having looked a different horse when winning a trial in a fast time at the end of April. He’ll be expected to go well first-up here. (5) LUCKY TOGETHER and (10) ARA MYUNGMA are others who can improve in a weak race.

Selections (7) Pageukcheon (11) Choegang Winner (1) Neolbeun Goeul (5) Lucky Together
Next Best 10, 3
Fast Start 1, 7, 8, 11

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

After an inauspicious debut at the end of last year, (8) BARAMGWA GUREUM has run well in three subsequent outings, all at this trip. He was a touch disappointing when finishing 5th as favourite last time out but looks worth another chance here. (10) SPERO SPERA was the longest shot on the board that day but managed to finish 4th, half a length in front of Baramgwa Gureum. He’ll warrant more respect today. (9) FUNKY struggled at 1300M last start but should be better dropped back to the minimum today. Debut-makers (1) THE SUN OF GOD and (2) FOREVER RUNNER did nothing wrong in trials and can be competitive here. Watch the market with both.

Selections (8) Baramgwa Gureum (9) Funky (1) The Sun Of God (10) Spero Spera
Next Best 2, 4
Fast Start 2, 8, 9

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(5) LEGACY returned after over a year out to run 3rd at this distance on May 17th. He was favourite that day but should have come on for the run and should be sent off at the top of the market here too. He should lead all the way. (1) FINAL WIND has a 2nd place to his name at this trip and is set to be one of the principal dangers while (12) ACRA improved last start and looks ready to try this extended trip once more. (10) HIDDEN BOY steps back in distance after a solid showing over a mile last start and should be in at least placing contention while (6) NOVELLA races for the first time since last November and showed some promise over the course of a couple of recent trials.

Selections (5) Legacy (1) Final Wind (10) Hidden Boy (12) Acra
Next Best 6, 7
Fast Start 1, 4, 6

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens only here. (11) HUSE JEWANG is the slight pick. He’s shown steady – if somewhat sedate – progress across three outings so far and could be the one to step up here. Plenty of other candidates too. (9) TIZ JOYFUL was an improved 4th over 1000M in decent company last time out, running on well, and should appreciate the step up in trip today. (4) GEUMGANG CHILBO ran poorly last start in April but has since been through two trials in eye-catching fashion and enters consideration. (3) TIZBE and (7) CHARGE POWER are others in the hunt.

Selections (11) Huse Jewang (9) Tiz Joyful (7) Charge Power (4) Geumgang Chilbo
Next Best 3, 6
Fast Start 4, 5, 7

Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) LUCKY NUMBER ONE is up in class having made all to secure her second career win over a mile two weeks ago. Intriguingly she’s dropped all the way back to the minimum distance today but she’s a front-runner who can get forward from the inside and can win again. (3) HALLA HWANGHU also steps up in class following an eye-catching five-length win over this distance on May 10th and should be firmly in the hunt again. (7) LUCKY ADELE was 2nd that day and comes u in grade as well with the potential to be competitive. Continuing the theme of those taking on class 4 company for the first time, (5) BLACK SHIELD returned from nine months off in March to make all and win over 1200M and looks very nicely in here. As for those with experience of this level, (2) BUGYEONG STORY looks the best of them.

Selections (1) Lucky Number One (3) Halla Hwanghu (5) Black Shield (2) Bugyeong Story
Next Best 7, 6
Fast Start 1, 3, 5, 8

Race 6: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) HANSEN DREAM was a battling winner over this distance on debut on May 3rd. He’s up in class today but is nicely drawn to get on speed from the start and could win again. The main danger is (4) KAHEKILI. She led all the way to win by six-lengths on what was just her second start a month ago and looks to have potential for more. (10) YEONGSEONG STAR enters with recent form reading well and beat a couple of these on her way to 3rd place last start. She needs to overcome the widest draw but looks to have placing claims. (1) JIGYRYEOK PALPAL and (7) HOPEFUL SIMON are others in the frame.

Selections (4) Kahekili (5) Hansen Dream (10) Yeongseong Star (7) Hopeful Simon
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 1, 4, 5, 10

Race 7: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(7) ROSE BULLET got his maiden win on his fourth start at the end of March. It came at 1300M, but his style has suggested he will run well at further and he gets his chance over a mile today. He’s up in class but looks the one to beat. (8) KARIN and (2) YEONGBONGSAN are both up in class too having finished 1st and 2nd respectively at this distance on May 10th. Both should be competitive here. (1) KWAEHAN SINGANGJA was a class 6 winner in January at this distance. He weakened on his first try at this class in April but can be given another chance today. (6) ACE JILJU looks best of the rest.

Selections (7) Rose Bullet (8) Karin (1) Kwaehan Singangja (2) Yeongbongsan
Next Best 6, 9
Fast Start 1, 7, 8

Race 8: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(11) KINGSTON HARBOR was a seven-length winner at class and distance on May 12th. Gate 11 shouldn’t be too much of a problem for him here and while he carries an additional 4kg, he looks to have every chance of scoring once more. (8) GIANT’S BIZ got his maiden win two weeks ago over 1200M. He’s up slightly in both trip and weight today and will be the main danger. (2) MAGIC STREET comes in following a useful 4th place at 1200M in April – he actually beat Giant’s Biz that day on what was the latter’s debut. He can go close here. (1) B.K. GAMBOL was a good winner over the distance four weeks ago and steps up in class today. She’ll need to improve but looks capable. (5) EOROK is best of the rest.

Selections (11) Kingston Harbor (8) Giant’s Biz (2) Magic Street (1) B.K. Gambol
Next Best 5, 9
Fast Start 2, 8, 9, 11

Race 9: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

It took (2) ALPHAKING IJI a couple of goes to figure things out but he’s won his latest two well and while he’s up in class as a result, he looks a progressive type who should be able to cope with the additional distance today. Also looking for a hat-trick of wins is (11) BRAVE KINGDOM. He perhaps has a little more to find but was a good winner over a mile last time and is nicely weighted here. (7) GIANT HOLD and (9) U S MAN were 1st and 2nd when they raced each other at class and distance on May 12th. Neither were especially fancied that day, but both should get more respect here. (3) MALIBU BYEOL was beaten by U S Man on his latest start in April but has potential for improvement and is another who could well take to this distance.

Selections (2) Alphaking Iji (3) Malibu Byeol (11) Brave Kingdom (7) Giant Hold
Next Best 9, 6
Fast Start 2, 6, 9, 11
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It’s a massive day of double Graded Stakes action at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. The second leg of the Sprint Series sees Busan Ilbo Cup winner facing off against Ace Korea and two-time winner Doraonpogyeongseon. Meanwhile, the great Aussie mare Silver Wolf will be hot favourite to win the Ttukseom Cup. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10.

Gaon Champ won the 1st leg of the Sprint Series (Pic: KRA)

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

(3) CHEONNYEONUI BARAM is the most experienced galloper of the field and has started to show some consistency in his racing. He finished second last start behind Geumbit Yeoljeong in a time that was good considering a dry track. (8) NEOSEONG BYOKRYOK has placed at his last two starts over the 1000m. With four weeks between runs he should be freshened up for another good performance over the 1000m. (10) O PI M J has ran some handy races over the 1000m prior to this event. Expect the three-year-old to drop back as he normally does suggesting the wide draw will not be a problem. (9) HYEONGMA PUBU is first up since July last year but had a trial coming into this event. The four-year-old showed some promise in this type of race last year.

Selections (3) Cheonnyeonui Baram (8) Neoseong Byokryok (10) O Pi M J (9) Hyeongma Pubu
Next Best 6, 11
Fast Start 3, 11, 12

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

The second on the card has twelve engaged all looking for their first win. (2) UTGE HAEJULGE gets his best chance to notch his maiden win. The three-year-old has drawn ideally for his style of racing. He should sit right behind the speed and Lim Gi-Won can produce him at the top of the straight. (6) SEOUL MAGIC has shown some form over the 1000m of late. The chestnut has early speed so expect him to be in the first couple in running. (3) ANYANG LEOPARD finished runner up behind Independence last start which a few of these are coming out of that particular race. (8) MOONHAKCHEETAH notched his first place finish last start and can improve today.

Selections (2) Utge Haejulge (6) Seoul Magic (3) Anyang Leopard (8) Moonhakcheetah
Next Best 5, 10
Fast Start 5, 6, 10

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

The third has a field of twelve engaged where we can make a case for almost half the field. (3) CAMP BADA saluted in good fashion last time out when dropping back to the 1000m. With the similar draw to that of last time she will be in this for a long way down the Seoul straight. (2) MISS GELLA doesn’t like winning but she continues to keep the stakes rolling over for connections. She can jump quickly and sit in the leading division. (5) BAEKSANG showed a clean set of heels last time out when leading from gate to line. Moon Sung-Hyeok retains the ride and gets small weight relief with the rise in class. (4) GABO PULL QUEEN saluted at an each-way price last time out over the 1300m when overcoming barrier eleven. This is tougher but keep her safe.

Selections (3) Camp Bada (2) Miss Gella (5) Baeksang (4) Gabo Pull Queen
Next Best 10, 6
Fast Start 3, 4, 5, 8

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A field of eight maidens take to the track in the fourth where there only appears to be a few chances. The Kim Soon-Keun trained (3) ROYAL GHOST looks hard to beat at her fourth career start. Kim Yong Geun will partner the three-year-old who had a trial earlier this month. Expect her to sit closer in the small field. (7) MIGHTY LUCK was promising on debut last time out when she finished fourth over the 1000m. Expect improvement from the athletic looking chestnut today. (6) COILRO looked green in the run home last time out. She was beaten a big margin, but she did still have fuel in the tank at the post unlike the majority who finished behind her. (4) MACH THUNDER appears the best of the rest in a maiden that lacks form.

Selections (3) Royal Ghost (7) Mighty Luck (6) Coilro (4) Mach Thunder
Next Best 2, 1
Fast Start 3, 7

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

The engagement of Kim Yong-Geun gives confidence when looking at the chances of (5) CHODONG BOBAE. The filly hit overdrive in the last furlong when winning last time out, but she did look like she would benefit from a senior rider. (11) PRIME QUEEN broke maiden status last time out in good style. She wasn’t given the most economic run by Moon Se-Young but her brute strength won her the race. She is a winning chance and will be ridden by Johan Victoire with Moon Se-Young on forced vacation. Look for improvement from (4) BIG PRO after and encouraging second last start when running through the line strong. (8) MAPAEBONG has finished in the top five on eight occasions from eleven starts and should be considered in your novelties.

Selections (5) Chodong Bobae (11) Prime Queen (4) Big Pro (8) Mapaebong
Next Best 2, 9
Fast Start 2, 9, 11

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A small field of eight will line up over the 1300m in the second at Busan. It appears that there will be a short-priced favourite in the form of (3) ULTRA POWER. The three-year-old broke maiden status two starts back in Class 6 company and then backed it up with a respectable fourth last time out when beaten 2.5L by Dodohan who has a significant weight advantage. This looks a weaker task and the colt gets the services of the in-form Seo Seung-Un. (4) CHOEGANG STEALTH starts a new preparation and has the benefit of a trial coming into this assignment. The five-year-old has shown glimpses of ability including a last start second before going to the paddock. Four-year-old (7) WANBONG looks the best of the rest. He failed to muster last time out and was hemmed away on the fence in traffic. His runs prior were respectable and he can be considered a place chance. (8) ROYAL CLUB has been out of form recently but has placed in this company.

Selections (3) Ultra Power (4) Choegang Stealth (7) Wanbong (8) Royal Club
Next Best 5, 6
Fast Start 3

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

Three-year-old daughter of Menifee (3) TAP LINE looks hard to beat after a dominant win over 1300m last start. She jumped out of the gates and went straight to the lead only to accelerate in good fashion at the top of the straight. Johan Victoire takes over from the suspended Alan Munro. (5) MALAKAS won in similar company last time out in a blanket finish. She rises 2kg in the weight scale is considered an each-way chance. There are some speedy ones engaged in this event so it won’t surprise if she gets a fair way back. Sharp Humor colt (6) UNDEFEATED has been competitive in this grade. From six goes in Class 4 company the four-year-old has placed on four occasions. (1) MY HAWK was a Class 5 winner last start when sitting on speed throughout. The three-year-old and Tap Line are the likely pacemakers in a speedy affair.

Selections (3) Tap Line (5) Malakas (6) Undefeated (1) My Hawk
Next Best 8, 4
Fast Start 1, 3, 8

Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

There are plenty of chances engaged in the third which is over a mile. The lightly raced (2) OXALA ran on gamely last time out after sitting in the kickback behind the leading division. The four-year-old ran through the line strongly and gets the polished services of Seo Seung-Un. (9) CURLIN FANTASY comes out of the same event as Oxala where they crossed the line together. The Lim Keum-Man trained galloper has finished in the top three at three of his past five starts. He is looking to break maiden status at start fifteen. (4) TUFELLO handed in a better performance last time out when finishing third over the mile. The five-year-old had his first run in Class 4 company for quite some time and appreciated the weaker company. (6) RAON POWER is one that can improve and fill a place.

Selections (2) Oxala (9) Curlin Fantasy (4) Tufello (6) Raon Power
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 2, 4, 6

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

The seventh on the card looks a competitive affair where there appears to be some value on offer. (4) HENNESSY DANCER has returned to form in her past couple of starts and her last was encouraging when going down less than a length in similar company. The fact that she has put two good runs in successively gives confidence she can run well today and is likely to be an each-way price. (8) RED BLADE is likely to start favourite in the event. The three-year-old blew them away last start in Class 5 company. A similar performance will see him go close. (6) RULE BREAKER was dour to the line last start over 1700m and drops back to 1300m. He has been a model of consistency of late including some good performances over 1300m. (5) GWANGMA HILL looks a place chance on recent runs.

Selections (4) Hennessy Dancer (8) Red Blade (6) Rule Breaker (5) Gwangma Hill
Next Best 2, 7
Fast Start 4, 8

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Seo Seung-Un looks to have a very handy bunch of rides today and this is no exception. (3) DOCTOR CHIC looks the one to beat coming off 2nd place performance behind Yeongsong Ace. The three-year-old can ping out of barrier three and sit on speed. He appreciated the drop in distance last start and looks the one to beat. (12) CHEONNYEONUIJILJU has been a model of consistency of late and is suited at 1300m. The three-year-old who is yet to break maiden status has placed at his past five starts and gets in with the lightweight of 52kg. (6) MUJEOK VETERAN was sent out favourite last time out and did the job for punters. The Lim Keum-Man trained galloper drops back to the 1300m but is in form. (7) BOLD RULES should be included in your wider novelties. She is always thereabout and can run a place in this company.

Selections (3) Doctor Chic (12) Cheonnyeonuijilju (6) Mujeok Veteran (7) Bold Rules
Next Best 11, 4
Fast Start 5, 6, 11, 12

 Seoul Race 8: Class Open (1200M) SBS Sports Sprint (KOR G3) Weight for Age / KRW 300 Million

  1. ACE KOREA – Having run 5th in the Korea Sprint last year and then easily won the Kookje Sinmun, there were high hopes of him as he headed to Dubai for the Carnival, but he failed to break from the gate well in both outings at Meydan. That’s the major concern here as well. If he goes in and if he breaks well then, he’ll be on pace and he has every chance. He did it well in a trial last week.
  1. KASBAH PRINCE – Registered a couple of good wins at class 2 over 1400Mearlier this year but really struggled on his first go at class 1 in April. Good draw but may not be sharp enough out of the gate to take advantage of it. This looks too tough.
  1. FINEST WARRIOR – Only beat one home in the Busan Ilbo but is a proven class 1 winner at this level and is from the nation’s top stable. Struggled in this race last year and is perhaps not quite of the elite level. Has a good draw so can sit handy.
  1. WINNER RED – Enters in no form and did well to beat four home in the Busan Ilbo. Just as he was that day, he’s likely be one of the slowest out of the gate and will aim to pass one or two late on.
  1. DROP THE BEAT – Solid class 1 campaigner although he does tend to fall short at the very top level. Ran a creditable 6th in the Busan Ilbo, running on well late. Likely to settle in midfield and look to pass horses late on.
  1. GASOKBULPAE – It’s been over a year since his last win although he has registered some solid results in good races in including an excellent – if unexpected – 3rd place in the 2000M President’s Cup last November. He’ll aim to be on pace from the start, but this might be a bit too hot.
  1. PARANG JUUIBO – The nine-year-old has lost a yard of pace now and while he’s still capable of getting out the gate well from a nice draw, it’s only a matter of time until he’s passed by a field of this quality.
  1. DORAONPOGYEONGSEON – Winner of this race in both 2017 and 2018, he also boasts placed finishes in the last two Korea Sprints. An ill-conceived tilt at the KRA Cup Classic over 2000M Never hit top gear on his solitary start so far this year, 5th place in the Busan Ilbo. Loves sprinting at Seoul though and can’t be ruled out. Settles in midfield and finishes srongly.
  1. FINAL BOSS – The 2017 Korean Derby winner has been frustrating ever since. He makes his first start since last September’s Korea Cup. He trialled up in ordinary fashion in May. You never really know what you’re going to get with Final Boss, but a win would be a major surprise. He settles in midfield.
  1. GLOBAL CAPTAIN – He won his first four in excellent fashion before suffering his first defeat in the TJK Trophy over 1400M last month when he weakened late on. A big potential talent, this may be a little too much too soon in terms of winning but if he runs as he has so far, a place is a real possibility.
  1. GAON CHAMP – Won the Busan Ilbo Cup last month with an emphatic all-the-way win. Making just his twelfth start today, he still has the potential for improvement. He’s drawn wide today but was even wider (gate 13) in the Busan Ilbo so it’s not a major downside. He’s the one to beat.
  1. ROAN PORTEOUS – Takes his chance here having won his latest two at 1200M and 1400M respectively. The latest was only at class 2, however, and he’s yet to run the kind of times that would put him in contention here. A learning experience.
  1. CHOEGANGJA – Returns to action for the first time since sustaining a serious injury last March. He won a trial in April and was a very good sprinter as a four-year-old. This is a really tough ask first-up though.
  1. MORNING DAERO – A reliable Class 1 sprinter, yet another who is perhaps not quite among the elite. 12th in the Korea Sprint last autumn and 7th in the Busan Ilbo in April. He’ll be towards the back of midfield early and will attempt to pass a few late on.
  1. GOOD CASTING – Hasn’t finished outside the top-four in over a year. He ran a huge ran in 2nd to Gaon Champ in the Busan Ilbo last month and enters here in excellent shape. Franco Da Silva knows him inside-out and he’s a real chance despite the wide draw. That is going to impact his tactics somewhat, but he doesn’t need to lead, and he will finish strongly.
  1. PHOENIX SUN – Outstanding last start winner at this distance on April 28th. It was a fast time, but it was a wet track and was at class 2. This is some orders of magnitude trickier and the draw has done hm no favours. One for the future and intriguing to see how he goes in this company.

Verdict: Great looking race. (11) GAON CHAMP was a sensational winner of the Busan Ilbo and will be a deserved favourite here. It won’t necessarily be easy though. If (1) ACE KOREA can overcome his starting woes, then he is at least Gaon Champ’s equal and if he can get on pace from the inside gate, he will be very difficult to get past. It could be all or nothing with him. (8) DORAONPOGYEONGSEON may have been out of sorts in his most recent outings but a sprint at Seoul could be just what he needs to return to form and a third consecutive win isn’t impossible. (15) GOOD CASTING enters in great form and can go close while (10) GLOBAL CAPTAIN and (16) PHOENIX SUN are the up and comers.

Selections (11) Gaon Champ (1) Ace Korea (8) Doraonpogyeongseon (10) Global Captain
Next Best 15, 16
Fast Start 1, 3, 6, 11, 12

Busan Race 5: Class 1 (2000M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

The fifth on the card has points up for grabs in the Road to G1 series. There are several chances engaged with a strong group on stayers lining up over the 2000m. (1) ADELEUI CHUKJE has ran solid races at his past couple of starts and gets in well at the weight scale with just 52kg. Expect him to site behind the speed and run through the line strong. (6) CAPTAIN FORCE steps up to the 2000m for the first time this year. The four-year-old brings strong form lines into the race with a third behind Jumbo Blade last time out who has subsequently placed in the YTN Cup. (9) CHAMP LINE oozes class but the weight is a concern. He did win with 58kg two starts back and will have to carry the 58.5kg in this assignment with an outside gate. Veteran galloper (2) DORAON HYEONPYO is another ultra-consistent type who can dill a place from barrier two.

Selections (1) Adeleui Chukje (2) Doraon Hyeonpyo (9) Champ Line (6) Captain Force
Next Best 7, 8
Fast Start 2, 7, 8

 

Seoul Race 9: Class Open (1400M) Ttukseom Cup (KOR G2) Allowance / KRW 400 Million

  1. SEOURI BYEOL – Good filly who ran 3rd to Silver Wolf in the Donga Ilbo over 1800M in February. Last start 6th over this distance. Probably best at further but capable of beating plenty of these. Goes way back at the start.
  1. SILVER WOLF – One of the best racemares ever in Korea, she won all three races in this series two years ago. Won her latest two at 1800M and 1200M and back against other mares and fillies she should be way too good again. Likely to come from off the pace.
  1. DAMYANG HWANHO – First start since February and form prior to the layoff wasn’t strong. Won a trial in good fashion in April and big race jockey on board. Can sit handy from gate 3 but others favoured.
  1. CHERRY VANQUISH – Third start this preparation and comes in off a win over this distance at class 3. She led from the start that day and may look to do the same here. Perhaps a bit much a bit soon but she has potential.
  1. YEONGHUI SIDAE – Thomas Gillespie’s filly returned from five months off to win over 1200M at class 2 in April. She’s won at that level at this distance as well. She’ll look to come from just off the pace and could run into some prize money.
  1. CORE BLADE – A class 2 winner at this distance at Busan in February and then ran an excellent 3rd to Good Casting at class 1 in March. Trialled well in April and arrives here in fine fashion. Tactically versatile she can finish strongly and if Silver Wolf slips up at all, she is one who is capable of taking advantage.
  1. ICE MARINE – Beaten by plenty of these last year, she’s only raced once in 2019, running 2nd..
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June gets underway with a 10-race program at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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

(8) CLEAN UP TRIO has been knocking on the door for some time and while he was slightly disappointing in a tougher race at this distance last time out, his could be his day to make the breakthrough. There are plenty of others in with a chance though. (3) FIRST THUNDER has looked promising since returning from ten months off in April. He was a solid 5th last start at the distance and can get closer today. (1) WONDERFUL HEELS and (5) FLYING BULLET have also hinted at ability and this is a very good opportunity for them to improve. (6) CHEONJI POKPUNG looks best of the rest.

Selections (8) Clean Up Trio (3) First Thunder (5) Flying Bullet (1) Wonderful Heels
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 3, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Ryan Curatolo made his Seoul breakthrough last week and the French jockey has an excellent opportunity to add another with (8) STRONG VULTURE, a much-improved 3rd last start. He should be on pace early and can win. (9) YEONGGWANGUI BEAT looks the main danger having finished 3rd on debut over 1200M, running on well. (5) IRON HEART was favourite for her latest start back in March but raced ungenerously throughout ultimately finishing in 5th place. She had shown ability prior to that and if she fixes her manners, she has a real chance. (3) COMPLETE MOTION and (4) JIOBANA are others in the hunt.

Selections (8) Strong Vulture (9) Yeonggwangui Beat (5) Iron Heart (4) Jiobana
Next Best 3, 6
Fast Start 4, 5, 8

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

(9) CUPID GUY was a brisk winner at class and distance on April 27th, coming from just off the speed to win by half a length over decent opposition. He carries an extra couple of kilos today but can win again. (11) CHOEGANG STAR is up in class having secured an equally impressive victory at this distance four weeks ago. The Midshipman colt will need to overcome the widest draw but looks to also have potential for more improvement. (3) MUNHAK FIRE enters after back to back 4th place finishes and could go closer here while (5) K.N ACE and first-time starter (6) MOONHAK EKATI are others to keep an eye on.

Selections (9) Cupid Guy (11) Choegang Star (5) K.N Ace (3) Munhak Fire
Next Best 6, 1
Fast Start 3, 4, 7, 11

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Back to maidens here. (2) NAE GIRUI BIT finished off very nicely for 4th over 1000M on May 11th. He steps back up in trip today looking ready to go very nicely from a similarly off the pace run. (1) J N LEE ran 5th that day, half a length behind Nae Girui Bit. That was an uptick in form and while the distance is more of a question for him, he can go close again. (3) RECOVERY TAP has been a little one-paced so far but offered some evidence of improvement which she can maintain here, while (7) MACH CHEONHA too showed promise when stepped up to this distance for the first time three weeks ago.

Selections (2) Nae Girui Bit (7) Mach Cheonha (3) Recovery Tap (1) J N Lee
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 3, 6

Race 5: Class 4 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(12) TOHAMSAN POWER was a very solid winner over 1200M at this class last time out on May 4th. He’s carrying an extra 4kg here and has the widest gate, but both can be overcome, and he can win again. (10) HWANG GEUM SAJA also needs to defy a wide draw and get to the front early but if he can do that, he has a very good chance as his recent form reads well. (3) SENSE JAENGI can have a line drawn through his latest and given another chance today while (1) GOOD CAIRO improved when tried at this trip for the first-time last start and can continue to make progress here. (8) PRETTY ODD BOY looks best of the rest.

Selections (12) Tohamsan Power (10) Hwang Geum Saja (1) Good Cairo (3) Sense Jaengi
Next Best 8, 6
Fast Start 3, 10, 12

Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Both (1) FEATHER LIGHT and (5) QUEEN OF CAMP have had a number of near-misses across their respective starts. Both have gone well over this distance already and both look to have an excellent chance to finally make the breakthrough here. It’ a toss-up but we’ll go with Feather Light. (2) RAON PRO SENSE has come back into form lately with back to back 3rd place finishes and could take advantage if the favourites fail to fire. (9) MENI SPEED is up in class after three consecutive 3rd places, including one at this distance, and can be competitive. (6) GOLDEN WEDDING looks best of the rest.

Selections (1) Feather Light (5) Queen Of Camp (2) Raon Pro Sense (9) Meni Speed
Next Best 6, 8
Fast Start 1, 4, 5

Race 7: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(8) DIXIE AGAIN was a six-length winner on debut at this distance before running 3rd on his first attempt at this class on April 28th. Today’s company looks a little bit more amenable and he should be returning to the winner’s circle. (5) TANTAN WINNER beat a couple of these on his way to 3rd on his own first attempt at this level last time out and is set to be the main danger. He’ll be expected to join Dixie Again on pace early and they can battle it out all the way. (1) SEUNGRI LIKE ran 4th behind Tantan Winner last start and can get close today while (4) HANYANG NURI had a hard time on her first class and distance attempt but is worth another chance following seven weeks off. (11) ASTER is best of the rest.

Selections (8) Dixie Again (5) Tantan Winner (4) Hanyang Nuri (1) Seungri Like
Next Best 11, 6
Fast Start 5, 8

Race 8: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(1) BODEURAM beat four of these on her way to a three-length victory at class and distance on May 5th. She only carries an extra 2kg this time around and is favoured to prevail once more. Of those behind her that day, (3) DONG JAK and (6) DAECHEON ACE look to have the best chance of overturning the form but the principle dangers are perhaps from elsewhere. (2) LUMINESCE is up in class and distance having been a dominant all the way winner over 1300M last start. He’ll be on pace from the start and if he sees out the trip, he can go very close. (5) CUPID DATE also enters with recent form reading well and is likely to come off the pace late on.

Selections (1) Bodeuram (2) Luminesce (3) Dong Jak (5) Cupid Date
Next Best 6
Fast Start 2, 3, 6

Race 9: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

(3) SPEED JOY won consecutive races across the turn of the year including one at this class over 1200M. He stepped up to this distance last time and ran 3rd in useful company. He was favourite that day but this time around an apprentice jockey takes 3kg off his back and he looks very much the one to beat. (2) DARK PLAYER was a front-running winner over this distance last start and is accordingly up in class today. He is beautifully weighted and is a real contender. (7) YONGCHONG beat a couple of these on his way to a class and distance 2nd four weeks ago and is should go well again. The wildcard is (1) SPECIAL STONE. A winner of four from nine and only out of the top three on one occasion, she returns for the first time since last October. She trialled up adequately and at anything like her best, she’ll be right in this.

Selections (3) Speed Joy (2) Dark Player (7) Yongchong (1) Special Stone
Next Best 5, 4
Fast Start 1, 2

Race 10: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(8) DAEGUNUI CHANG us yet to finish any worse than 3rd in five career starts. He comes in having just been taken down late on to finish 2nd over 1400M last start and dropping back to 1200M today, should be hard to beat. (7) EAGLES GRIFTER is a capable type who enters off a runner-up finish behind the useful Hwa Gi last time out. He’ll join Daegunui Chang on pace early and poses a credible threat. (1) PRO HAMSEONG has met trouble in his latest two but looked very good when trialling in May. (3) PUREUN MAE and (9) MUNHAK ARIARI look best of the rest.

Selections (8) Daegunui Chang (7) Eagles Grifter (1) Pro Hamseong (9) Munhak Ariari
Next Best 3
Fast Start 1, 7, 8
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