Following Heat Yegam’s triumph in the KRA Cup Mile a week ago, it’s the turn of the fillies to kick of their Triple Crown with the first leg coming in the form of the Luna Stakes (1600M) at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.
After a long period of Busan domination, fillies from Seoul have won three of the last four editions of the Korean Oaks and won the inaugural running of this race last year with White Queen, whose half-sister Jedi takes part this time as one of eight who travel down from the capital to join the same number from the host track in a full sixteen-strong field.
This year’s favourite was set to come from the host track with Doctor Fappiano having already won at the Oaks distance of 1800M at class 3 level. A fetlock joint injury sees her on the sidelines though and Seoul provides the favourite in the shape of Raon Pink. Here is a full run-down of the field:
1. MISS INDIE [Indie Band – In Escrow (Vindication)] – One of only two in the field to have run at this distance already when she ran 2nd on October 1st at class 4 level well beaten by a good winner. She likes to be on pace so draws well on the inside. Never been worse than 2nd and while others are favoured, that mile experience may be beneficial. Half-sister to established class 1 stablemate Mr. Afleet.
2. NAMDO QUEEN [Mischievously – Gnarley Girl (Dehere)] – Experienced but has perhaps found her level at class 4 where she has been running solid but unspectacular times over 1400M. Has been doing her best work late in her races so may appreciate the mile but not among the favourites. Will settle back and run on.
3. RAON PINK [Musket Man – Pink Candy (Southern Image)] – A winner of five from seven and a leading contender here having made all over 1400M at class 3 level on August 28th when she overcame gate twelve. She has consistently run fast times, draws beautifully, and if she can get a lead then she has every chance of going all the way. She is a “full” sister to Raon First, who has made it to class 1 level.
4. ACHIM GISANG [Colors Flying – Ella Belle (Elnadim)] – A winner of four from five with her only defeat coming on her first try at 1400M when she was first-up after six months out. Super all the way winner over 1200M last start at class 5 level but in a very fast time. Up in trip but well drawn, she will surely be aiming to lead and can’t be ruled out.
5. MUSIC BOX [Indie Band – Saeroun Bulpae (Northern Afleet)] – One of two Isidore Farm homebreds in the race, both with trainer Thomas Gillespie. Need to draw a line through her latest effort when well back over 1200M on her first go at class 4 level. The time before she was a smart class 5 winner at 1300M but this is much harder.
6. JEDI [Cowboy Cal – Bichui Yeowang (Midnight Lute)] – Half-sister to White Queen, who won this race last year, she was one of the early developers having registered her maiden win more than a year ago. She has won up to 1200M and class 4 level but she has a 2nd place over 1700M at class 5. Decent times to her name and while she doesn’t look a winning chance here, minor money is possible.
7. SEUNGNI MAGICQUEEN [Simon Pure – Seungni Laser (Menifee)] – Still unexposed with two wins from three starts up to 1300M and class 5 level and her only defeat on debut to the still undefeated Success Macho. She’s been on pace or handy in those two wins and can go well. Place chance.
8. SMART OFFICER [Officer – So Chic (Private Terms)] – Won two of her first three up to class 5 and 1300M before coming unstuck on her first try at class 4 over 1700M on August 29th. She had come from off the pace in her two wins but just didn’t get back over the extended trip. The beaten margin wasn’t huge and she still has plenty of potential but this may be a bit much too soon.
9. GOOD TANK [Officer – Clean Up Speed (Pico Central)] – Won her first two starts over 1200M and has then run very consistent times in three outings at 1400M since. At her latest outing she ran 5th at class 4 level having led. She has a big race jockey aboard but others favoured at this stage.
10. LUCKY BREAK [Federalist – Myeongseo Dolpung (Yankee Victor)] – She ran a super time when winning by ten-lengths over 1400M at class 6 level in July before almost matching it when 2nd in August. At her latest start she was tried at 1800M at class 4 when she sat on the pace early but ultimately weakened and came last. She is better than that and a top jockey is booked but her inconsistency across her ten starts is a slight concern. Along with Miss Indie, the only one to have raced at a mile before.
11. S. TAKE [Take Charge Indy – S. S. Belle (Sweetshouthernsaint)] – She has won up to 1400M and class 5 level and gets to take her chance following a runner-up finish in a good time over that distance at class 4 in Seoul in August. She has a decent start on her and has generally run on but is perhaps drawn a little wider than ideal. Will need to improve.
12. YEONGGWANGUI MISO [Hansen – Perfect Scip (Scipion)] – Her juvenile half-brother Yeonggwanguilegend won the Areumdaun Jilju Stakes two weeks ago and she looks to be improving too having run some serious times in her recent races including a close 2nd to Spot Flatter, who ran in last week’s Cup Mile, at her latest start at class 4 over 1400M. Tactically versatile, a top jockey has come from Seoul to ride her and a bold showing is possible.
13. QUEENS TOUR [Colors Flying – Daisy A Day (Smart Strike)] – Just the one win but no worse than 4th in six starts. Her win came at class 6 level over 1400M, leading gate to wire and she since has two runner-up finishes over the same distance at class level. She has a good finish on her so the step up in trip may benefit and while not one of the favourites, she could be an outsider for a place.
14. ECOPIA [Colonel John – Epithet (Gulch)] – Runner-up to Lucky Break two starts back she caught the eye when winning by five-lengths over 1400M on September 9th when sitting handy and running on strong. She has the fastest final furlong average time of anything in the field from either track (not taking into account different distances) so she should be able to finish off well and while the draw is against here, she may sneak something.
15. B J MISS [Bob And John – New Windy (Forest Wildcat)] – Another Isidore Farm homebred in the care of Thomas Gillespie, she is a half-sister to Power Windy, who ran 3rd in the 2019 Korean Derby. That suggests that on the surface she should get the trip although all six of her starts, from which she has three wins, have been at 1200M. She has run solid times and has a top jockey on, and while it won’t be easy from the wide gate, she is not without a chance.
16. LONDON SPEED [Colonel John – Oriental Pass (Forest Camp)] – A nice opportunity for apprentice rider Lim Da-bin to test himself in a big race but this won’t be easy. London Speed comes in off a good win over 1200M on September 4th over 1200M, but her times haven’t been especially eye-catching, and she will need plenty of luck from the outside gate.