Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (December 15)

There are Sunday cards at both Seoul (11 races from 10.45 to 18.00) and Busan (6 races from 12.40 to 17.05). Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Twelve two-year-olds line up over the 1000m in the first on the card. (5) HANSEN CHOICE was impressive on debut when finishing second behind Road Ran over the 1000m. She ran a good time in comparison to what we have seen from her rivals in this race. Leading rider Kim Yong-Geun will be legged aboard once again and is likely to work forward on her from barrier five. The chestnut is unique to look at with three white socks and splashes of grey through her coat no doubt from her sire Hansen. (2) BIG PLAN enters the race coming off a solid trial. The filly will jump from barrier two and should be able to enjoy a run just behind the leading division. (1) GWANGYA SIDAE looks a chance to figure if she can find some improvement on her debut run. She ran fourth on a sloppy rated track when jumping from the inside. (6) SAENAE CHOICE was sent for a break after her debut in July and has since trialed. She finished midfield in the trial in a reasonable time.

Selections (5) Hansen Choice (2) Big Plan (1) Gwangya Sidae (6) Saenae Choice

Next Best 7, 3

Fast Start 1, 5

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

The two-year-olds will again line up in the second where we have six debutants and six gallopers lining up for their second career start. (3) MONEY SIJANG ran a promising race on when debuting to finish second behind Nunbusin Hansen. Lee Hyeon-Jong will jump aboard the Peace Rules filly where he will be looking to ride her forward as per last start. (8) CHEONJI BARAM looks one that will appreciate the step up to 1300m after running through the line strong over 1000m on debut. The colt ran a fair time on a rain affected track and with improvement at his second start looks an each way chance. (2) BLUE CHARM ran on well last start but got too far back in the early part of the race. Kim Yong-Geun stays aboard the Colors Flying suggesting he must have a reasonable engine. (6) HERITAGE will benefit from his first up run and should be in better condition this time around.

Selections (3) Money Sijang (8) Cheonji Baram (2) Blue Charm (6) Heritage

Next Best 1, 7

Fast Start 3, 6, 7

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

There is plenty of in-form gallopers in the Class 5 event where we see the Korean-breds line up over the 1000m. (4) COMPLETE KINGDOM looks one of the main chances after a good performance in Munhwa Ilbo Cup when fifth behind the well-performed Roller Blade. The Colors Flying colt is now back in Class 5 company with just 53kg on his back. He looks one that can go through the easier grades quickly. (3) CHEONHA YEOJE finished second behind an impressive winner in the form of East Jet. He’s one of the likely pacemakers and has drawn ideally to get the run of the race. (9) YULONG FLYING has been a model of consistency since resuming from a spell back in Jul. He has finished second at his past two starts in good time and cannot be discounted. (1) SONGAM CANDY broke through at just his second start last time out. He ran on from midfield over the 1000m and looks one to follow as he is stretched out in distance.

Selections (4) Complete Kingdom (3) Cheonha Yeoje (9) Yulong Flying (1) Songam Candy

Next Best 8, 11

Fast Start 3, 4, 7, 11

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

The fourth on the card has an evenly matched field to line up over the 1300m. (6) SUNSHINE TEUKGEUP has had plenty of starts when compared to the majority of her counterparts but her recent runs have been good. She comes out of races where they ran significantly faster times and she was not far away last start. (11) DASHING CANOE will have her third fourth start in Class 5 company, but she is one that can figure in a race with no standout. She has been settling rearwards in her runs and looks as if she will have to once again with gate elevent. (12) COILRO looks an each-way chance for our newest expat trainer Tony Castanheira. The Chapel Royal filly finished second last time out when three lengths behind Yeonhui Ilchul. She needs further improvement to be a winning chance. (9) NUNBUSIN HANSEN is expected to be a main player in the market. Kim Yong-Geun sticks with the lightly weighted filly which is a good push for punters.

Selections (6) Sunshine Teukgeup (11) Dashing Canoe (12) Coilro (9) Nunbusin Hansen

Next Best 7, 11

Fast Start 7,9

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

The first over two turns will see a field of twelve go over 1700m at Class 5 level. (1) CITY SONGAM looks the one to beat coming off a second behind Cutie Barbie. He’s an on-speed runner so the inside draw should see him work forward and take some running down in a mediocre event. (3) GOLD LEVEL has been in reasonable form and looks an each way chance. The filly ran on well from midfield last time out over the same distance. She gets a three-kilogram advantage on City Songam but she cannot get too far back in the run. (7) HAETBINNA gets his easiest assignment in some time and can run into the money. The seven-year-old will have to carry equal top weight as he dropped back in class two starts back. (10) MENI SPEED finished off fairly last time out in a slowly ran race. The Menifee three-year-old has lacked early speed at his past couple of starts and with gate ten he will most likely settle midfield or worse.

Selections (1) City Songam (3) Gold Level (7) Haetbinna (10) Meni Speed

Next Best 11, 9

Fast Start 1

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Wide open race over the mile at Busan with several having serious claims on the win. We’ll side with last start winner (9) CASTEL CORE to overcome the 3kg penalty extra he has to carry today and win again. He loves the distance and has beaten several of these in recent outings. Although that win on November 10th, was his maiden, he looks to have more in the tank. (1) MARU JJANG ran 2nd to Castel Core in that race a month ago. It was the second time in a row he has finished within half a length of our pick and he can get close to him once more. (5) TOUCH STAR MAN had to be scratched from a planned start two weeks ago when he got caught in the gate prior to the start. He’s suffered no ill-effects and steps up to a mile for the first time with his last start form having taken a boost by the horse he beat, Thunder King, striking by nine-lengths on Friday. He should be a real factor here. (12) LEGACY is another who tackles a mile for the first time today and comes in off the back of two good 3rd places over 1300M. (7) FINAL FRONT looks best of a talented rest.

Selections: (9) Castel Core (5) Touch Star Man (12) Legacy (7) Final Front

Next Best: 1, 8

Fast Start: 7, 9, 12

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

The sixth on the card in far from the strongest Class 4 we have seen at Seoul. (8) MUSTANG RUN looks hard to beat coming off a last start second over the same distance. Lee Hyeok will ride the chestnut who is likely to push forward in the early stages. The past two runs of (6) MEOTJIN WANGJA suggests that the two-year-old will appreciate the step up to the 1700m for the first time. The Temple City colt ran through the line strongly last start and he gives Boo Min-Ho a good chance to notch his first


Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 14)

There is a full card of 13 races at Seoul on Saturday running from 10:45 to 18:00:

(단신2) 출발 참관 프로그램 (2)

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

Twelve maidens go around in the opener with three of them racing for the first time. (6) OUR SIMON beat three of these when improving the 2nd place on what was his fourth start on November 16th. He led from the start, ultimately going down late on to the favourite in a fast time, and a similar run today should see him home on top. (5) HWANSANG TOUCH was 5th in that race, an improvement on her prior outings and she can aim to go better here although she probably has too much to make up on the top choice. (3) LAST MAGIC ran 6th on what was her debut and likewise can build on that here. Of the three first-timers, (7) UNBREAKABLE participated in a fast trial and with little to fear here, looks nicely in for a good debut.

Selections (6) Our Simon (7) Unbreakable (5) Hwansang Touch (3) Last Magic
Next Best 9, 11
Fast Start 5

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens here and this time four of the twelve are making their racecourse debuts. A couple of very promising types are engaged too. (5) SIMPLE STYLE ran 2nd to a good winner on a dry track on what was his second start a month ago. He was sent off favourite that day and he and the winner were well clear of 3rd place. He’s worth another chance here. The main danger is (8) MIRACLE ICHEON. The colt ran 3rdover this distance on debut at the end of October, showing enough in the process to suggest he has plenty of potential. (7) K N WONDERFUL is heading in the right direction with a 5th and a 3rd from two outings to date, running on nicely last start. (4) GOSOK PEDAL was some way back behind Simple Style last start but has the potential to improve. OF the four first-timers. (3) UARYUNG looked the best in trials.

Selections (5) Simple Style (8) Miracle Icheon (7) K N Wonderful (4) Gosok Pedal
Next Best 3, 2
Fast Start 5, 7

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

Fillies only for this maiden. (11) BAEK HAK may have been beaten by a couple of these two starts back but recovered to run well for 2nd over this distance on November 10th. She was well-beaten by a good winner but ran on pleasingly enough to suggest that there is more to come from her and she is the pick here. (12) BIANCA looks like she’s figuring things out and has recorded a 3rd and a 2nd from her latest two. She too has drawn wide here but should be able to overcome that and go close. The interesting entry is (2) RAIN K. She’s only raced once, all the way back in July when she finished 2nd, five lengths behind K N Road, who went on to acquit himself well in some of the bigger juvenile races this autumn. She looked useful when trialing up last week – but likewise didn’t exert herself too much – and she can go nicely first up here. (1) CLEAR STORY and (8) HWANGGEUM STAR are others in contention for at least a place.

Selections (11) Baek Hak (2) Rain K (12) Bianca (8) Hwanggeum Star
Next Best 1, 9
Fast Start 4, 6

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

Bog standard maiden here but a few come in looking as though they are ready to step up and go close. (6) JEONGSEONG STAR is the pick. She has two 3rd place finishes from four outings to date and ran well in what was arguably a tougher assignment than this last time. From the middle gate she should be on pace from the start and today can be her day. (7) EAST CHAMP and (8) STRONG RED both step up in trip for the first time. Both ran on well in their respective latest outings and both can be involved here with East Champ the more favoured of the pair right now. (10) YEOLRIN MUN got to within a length of the winner last start at this distance a month ago and should be challenging again. Along with (11) DALRINEUN BITKKAL, he’ll be needing to overcome a wide draw to get on speed but shouldn’t be too far away.

Selections (6) Jeongsang Star (7) East Champ (8) Strong Red (10) Yeolrin Mun
Next Best 11, 3
Fast Start 6, 10, 11

Race 5: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) BLUE BAND has started improve in his recent starts, culminating in a runner-up finish in what was his first try at this distance on November 9th. He came from off the pace that day, running on well and he is the slight pick to prevail here. (12) HOSUA was 4th in that race, just over two-lengths in arrears and he can be a threat today but the main danger is (6) FIRST THUNDER. He beat a couple of these on his way to a good 2nd over 1300M last


Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 13)

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday where there is a big card of 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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

A fresh batch of juveniles will debut in the first at Busan on an eleven race card. (4) FIRST MOCCASIN is the on top selection based on her trial. She ran a reasonable time on a dry rated track when fast out of the gates. She has drawn well for her first career start and based on the efforts of her counterparts in their respective trials, she is the one to beat. (2) YEONGGWANGUI EAGLE looks the main danger. The Chapel Royal colt looked to be fully asked for in his trial when running a fair time. He is another that had early speed in his trial and from barrier two Jeong Dong-Cheol may elect to hunt his mount out of the gates and hold the rail in the leading division. (6) SEUGNI QUEEN looks a place chance based on her trial effort. Jo Chang-Wook will ride the Hansen filly for trainer Lee Sang Young. (3) JOYFUL LAND looks best of the rest in a race where the majority of the field ran slow trial times.

Selections (4) First Moccasin (2) Yeonggwangui Eagle (6) Seugni Queen (3) Joyful Land

Next Best 10, 1

Fast Start 2, 4

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

There appears to be plenty of speed engaged in the second on the card where the likely pacemakers are all drawn wide. One of the speedy types engaged is (10) K.B. BOSS. The filly debuted last start when running third behind Halla Biho. She bounced out of the gates on that occasion and went down less that a length when clocking a good time. (8) RAINBOW PARK has placed at his past two starts. At his most reason run he sat on speed before finishing second behind Wonderful Iji. He has had nine starts yielding six top five performances. (11) THUNDER GO is on debut after running a handy qualifying trial when clocking 62.2 seconds for the 1000m She is out of a lightly raced mare Fly Lady who had ten starts from two wins before heading to the breeding barn. (6) KKUMEUL NEOMEO will line up for her second career start. The filly was fair on debut when sitting on speed before letting a couple pass her in the straight and eventually finishing fourth.

Selections (10) K.B. Boss (8) Rainbow Park (11) Thunder Go (6) Kkumeul Neomeo

Next Best 9, 3

Fast Start 7, 8, 10, 12

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

The third race is an intriguing affair with many of the engagements evenly matched. (3) BURNING FLY looks a big chance coming of her debut performance when finishing second. She sat on speed in both her trial and first start. Given she has drawn barrier three she is likely to lead and take some running down. (2) MASTER BELLA has drawn better for her second start. The form lines out of her last start read well. Oasis Girl finished second in the race where she ran third and has since gone on and won a Class 5 event. She is also aided by top jockey You Hyun-Myung being named to ride her. (12) JINJU SARANG was much improved last time out when finishing third in similar company. The Federalist filly ran on strong from the tail and will be helped in this event if they go helter skelter. (8) TOP LUCKY looks a place chance based on her debut run and should be kept safe in your novelties.

Selections (3) Burning Fly (2) Master Bella (12) Jinju Sarang (8) Top Lucky

Next Best 7, 10

Fast Start 3, 7

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

A field of twelve maiden gallopers will line up in the fourth over the 1300m. The improvement from (1) THUNDER KING at his second start was impressive. The colt bounced out of the gates last time out when leading before being ran down by Touch Star Man. His times have been good at both starts and from barrier one the Thunder Moccasin colt looks the one to beat. (6) SMILE WINNER lines up for her sixth start coming off a last start second. The Colors Flying filly will get the polished services of You Hyun-Myung for the first time and is likely to take a sit behind the pacemakers. (5) INDIAN CHUJANG produced a fast sectional last time out to finish third behind Wakanda. Jung Do-Yun will need to stay in touch with the leaders should he want to be a winning chance. (9) THUNDER BAY was disappointing at short odds last time out but he looks to have a Class 6 win in him with time.

Selections (1) Thunder King (6) Smile Winner (5) Indian Chugang (9) Thunder Bay

Next Best 2, 8

Fast Start 1, 6, 9

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

There is limited early speed in the fifth which makes the 1300m event hard to dissect. (4) FASHION KEY ran home strongly last time out over the same distance to finish third behind Touch Star Man. She is lightly weighted with just 52.5kg. She looks to map potentially closer to the leader in this event with limited speed from her rivals combined with a good barrier. It is just her third run so expect improvement from the filly. (3) VERRA DAY can bounce back after a disappointing performance last time out when sent out a short price. The chestnut has a better draw for this assignment and showed plenty two starts back when debuting. (8) PERFECT ANGEL cannot be discounted based on recent efforts. She was well beaten last time out by Echo White but there should be further improvement on that run. (7) TOHAM STRONG was good last time out when third and can run into the minor money.

Selections (4) Fashion Key (3) Verra Day (8) Perfect Angel (7) Toham Strong

Next Best 11, 6

Fast Start 6

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

There’s an abundance of speed engaged in the fifth on the card which should be an honest run race. (4) DAEMANGUI GIL ran out of skin in the Gyeongnam Domin Ilbo Cup when fourth behind Doctor Carson. He should be extremely hard to beat returning to restricted class company. His last win was two starts back in Class 6 company when clocking an impressive time over the


2019 Grand Prix Stakes Sunday: Race-By-Race for Seoul & Busan (December 8)

The season finale Grand Prix Stakes takes place at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. It’s no longer the richest race in the nation, nor the biggest in terms of betting, but it’s the oldest race on the Korean calendar and one that everybody wants to win. This year the race is sponsored by MBC and will be shown live on their MBC Sports+ channel. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 while at Busan there are 6 from 12:40 to 17:10. 

KRA Grand Prix Finish 2018 Triple Nine Cheongdam Dokki Today

A year ago, Triple Nine beat Cheongdam Dokki and Today to land the Grand Prix at the fourth time of asking (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Cheongdam Dokki, 4th two years ago and runner-up last year, is set to be favourite. Here’s the long version of the video preview:

And the shorter version:

Horse by horse:

  1. SHAMROCKER – A horse with far more talent than his 6 wins from 37 starts suggests, the six-year-old has spent his career running in the best races and chasing home the best horses, first Clean Up Joy, then Cheongdam Dokki and Moonhak Chief. This is his first time in this race, but he comes in having been his usual solid self over the season. He probably can’t win this, but he will run on strong late and can run into some money. He is the only horse in the race to have won at this distance – albeit a long time ago.


  1. TODAY – A revelation a year ago when 3rd to Triple Nine having briefly led close to home. He was still thought of as a sprinter then having never previously run further than a mile. He backed up his staying credentials by winning over 2000M a month later but then suffered an injury which kept him out of action until September when he returned in the Korea Sprint. That was too much too soon but he was 3rd to Dolkong and Cheongdam Dokki in the Cup Classic in October and then 2nd to stablemate Baengmunbaekdap over 1400M three weeks ago. He may be peaking at the right time. He’ll aim to lead from the start.


  1. NEW YORK MANGCHI – Stablemate of Today and not to be overlooked. He has though been handily beaten by Great King of two of his latest three starts – although he did previously beat him – which suggests he may well be found wanting when facing the very best here. Distance shouldn’t be a problem – he was 2nd to Great King over 2200M in September. Capable of running fast sectionals late on but may have too much to do.


  1. SILVER WOLF – The great mare. She’s a perfect five for five in 2019 although with the rules changed this year enabling her to participate in the Queens’ Tour races, she’s only faced the boys on one occasion. That was the Seoul Owners’ Association Trophy over 1200M where an out of sorts Cheongdam Dokki was among those she beat. We learned little from her three easy Queens’ Tour wins except that she is in good form. She ran in this race two years ago and found it tough but is arguably better now. A big placing chance.


  1. SHARK DAEJANGGEUN – By some margin the lowest rated horse in the field although he does tend to take on stiff company. Ran a good 2nd in the JRA Trophy on international weekend in September before finishing an excellent 5th in the President’s Cup a month ago. He is a closer so the additional trip will likely suit him, but the quality of the opposition should be too much here.


  1. GREAT KING – Enters in very good form having won his latest two in fine fashion leading all the way over 2200M and 2000M. with the likes of New York Mangchi, Jumbo Blade and Dongbang Daero behind him. He’ll go to the front here and while leading for the entire 2300M at Seoul is no easy task, he looks a quality horse who should go close.


  1. MOONHAK CHIEF – Sixth last year, he made his breakthrough at the elite level when winning the YTN Cup by a full twelve-lengths back in May before pushing Dolkong very close in the Busan Mayor’s Cup the following month. He then beat Cheongdam Dokki to comfortably win the international Korea Cup over 1800M in September. A lackluster performance in the KRA Cup Classic in October is of some concern but if he’s at his best, he will be a big danger. Antonio Da Silva, who rode him in Busan this summer, replaces the injured Moon Se Young aboard. He’ll be challenging for the lead at the start.


  1. JUMBO BLADE – A decent competitor but he has been beaten by several of these in his recent outings and form of 6th, 5th and 5th doesn’t inspire a huge amount of confidence. Likely to settle in the middle of the pack, he should see out the trip without any problems, but the competition looks too stiff.


  1. CHEONGDAM DOKKI – Could it finally be his year? He has a 4th and a 2nd to his name in the race and he enters the likely favourite. He had a difficult start to the year but his performances in his latest two outings when 2nd in both the Korea Cup and the KRA Cup Classic suggest that he is – if not back to his absolute best – at least somewhere approaching it. Whereas in the past two runnings he has set the early pace, this time he’ll most likely be content to let others do the early work. He is the one to beat.


  1. DONGBANG DAERO – Ran a huge 2nd to Power Blade in this race two years ago, finishing superbly and only denied a head at odds in excess of 150/1. His form since has only been patchy though and he comes in having been well beaten in his latest two. We know he likes the track and the distance suits, but it would be a big surprise were he to repeat his former heroics

And race by race for Seoul:

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

The first on the card will see twelve Korean-bred gallopers go over the short course. Hansen filly (3) ONE AND ONLY gets a good opportunity to notch a win at her second start. She was good on debut when finishing fourth running a fast time when compared to her opposition in this assignment. She has drawn well and should take improvement from her first run. (6) LADY KELLY trialed well when qualifying for her first start. She was strong through the line and should be ready for a forward showing at her first start. (5) BAEKSAN THUNDER sat on speed at her first start before feeling the pinch late. She still clocked a good time given the track rating, expect improvement as from the Thunder Moccasin filly. (9) GRAND FLY looks the best of the rest handing in a fair trial performance.

Selections (3) One And Only (6) Lady Kelly (5) Baeksan Thunder (9) Grand Fly

Next Best 4, 1

Fast Start 3, 5


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

A field of twelve Korean bred maidens will go over the 1300m in the second event. (11) P.K. DOLPUNG was much-improved last time out when finishing second behind Jangsu Nabom. Lee Hyeok put him into the race early last start and it is assumed that he will employ those tactics once again. He has drawn wide but look for him to come across shortly after they jump. (7) SISEONJIPJUNG ran on strong from well last time out over the 1300m. Well performed rider Lim Gi-Won will ride the Volponi colt for the first time. He struggles to muster speed early so expect another strong sectional from him. (3) SUN FIGHTING is a place chance if she continues to improve. She is lightly weighted and has drawn well. (9) ACE SHINE has placed at his past two starts. He drops back significantly in distance to 1300m and will have to lump the top weight from a wide draw. Johan Victoire, who comes off a riding treble last weekend will be looking to settle the Colors Flying colt in the first half of the field.

Selections (11) P.K. Dolpung (7) Siseonjipjung (3) Sun Fighting (9) Ace Shine

Next Best 8, 11

Fast Start 8, 9, 11


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

The third on the card is wide open with several chanced engaged. Two-year-old filly (10) GEOSEN JILJU saluted over this distance last start when breaking maiden status is Class 6 company. She posted an impressive time for this class when leading throughout, expect Park Eul-Woon to work forward from the wide draw and try and take up the running once again. (6) YEONGGWANGUI BEAT cannot be discounted as a winning chance. The Clear Attempt gelding ran on last start from near last to finish second behind Dynamic Punch. Yoo Seung-Wan will be legged aboard him for his assignment, it appears he has options as the horse has previously been settled both on speed or worse than midfield. (4) KINGLY is still looking for his first victory but ran a handy race last time out in this (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 7)

It’s Grand Prix Eve! We’ll have a full preview of Sunday’s big race up later but in the meantime there is a big Saturday card at Seoul to get through with 13 races from 10:45 to 18:00.

Here are the previews – Alan Munro could well be the jockey to follow today with plenty of live chances:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

The opener is a juvenile maiden with a full field of twelve, all but two of whom have raced before. The pick is (6) GEOMPO, who races for the fourth time having gotten progressively closer across his preceding three. He was sent off as odds-on favourite last start only to go down by a length to good winner Wish Me, but is well worth another chance today, Lee Hyeon-jong will send him to the front and he can lead all the way. Top Busan jockey Seo Seung-un is in town to ride in Sunday’s Grand Prix Stakes and he picks up a nice ride in the shape of (12) MONEY CHAMP. He’s recorded solid times in his three outings to date and should be aiming to at least match the runner-up finish he scored a month ago, (2) CHEONGSAN GASE has hinted at ability and may improve but it’s the two first-timers who look next best. Both (5) DREAM GIRLS and (10) GLORY FIGHTER looked competent in trials and both should go well first-up.

Selections (6) Geompo (12) Money Champ (5) Dream Girls (10) Glory Fighter
Next Best 2, 11
Fast Start 2, 5, 6, 12

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(9) CHOEGANG TEUKGEUP performed creditably for 2nd place on debut over 1000M on November 2nd, finishing three-lengths behind Lucky Myeongho, who last week went on to finish runner-up at a higher level. He steps up slightly in trip today and he could well be the one to beat. (4) A TO Z and (2) JEONJEONGSAGUEM came home 3rd and 4th respectively when they raced each other at this distance on what was both of their debuts on November 10th. There was just a neck between them that day and both should be in the hunt to match or better those finishes today. (6) HEUNGHAENG JILJU displayed poor manners on his first try at this distance last start but still managed to finish 4th and he can go better here. (10) RUFFIAN PARK overcame a poor start last time to run 3rd over this trip and is another in the frame.

Selections (9) Choegang Teukgeup (10) Ruffian Park (6) Heunghaeng Jilju (2) Jeonjeongsaguem
Next Best 4, 12
Fast Start 2, 4, 6, 9

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

Alan Munro is aboard another leading chance here with (10) SAMSEONG VIVA set to be favourite. He ran a solid 2nd on his third career start – and first over this distance – on November 2nd, running on well but unable to get to a good winner. He’s drawn wide but should be able to overcome that to get on pace and can win. (12) CHOEGANG MAGIC had a poor day at the office last start but is better than that having previously managed a 2nd and a 3rd place and looks well worth another shot here to return to the money. (1) HAWKUI YEONGGWANG missed the kick by a length last time but recovered to run 3rd, one place ahead of (4) SAEROUN BOBAE in 4th. Both will be aiming to match those finishes today. (3) A. P. PATEK raced greenly for 4th on debut four weeks ago and with better manners can improve further here.

Selections (10) Samseong Viva (3) A. P. Patek (12) Choegang Magic (1) Hawkui Yeonggwang
Next Best 4, 9
Fast Start 2, 4, 7, 10

Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens with only two of the twelve having lined up in the gate before. Neither (7) DIA KEY nor (11) GOSOK JUHAENG impressed at all on their respective debuts although Dia Key didn’t do much wrong and has scope for improvement. That means we’ll turn to the first-timers to find our picks. (12) ICE PUNCH is a half-brother to a number of decent ones, most notably Mirae Yeongung, a winner of 11 from 39 across his career. Ice Punch looked good when 2nd in a trial at the end of October and despite the wide draw, looks a real chance here. Filly (10) CHEONGDAM YEOGEOL also ran well for 2nd in her trial just a couple of weeks ago and should be the principal danger. (4) POTENTIAL ENERGY and (8) RAON HIGH are others who caught the eye in the mornings and can transfer their talents to the races.

Selections (12) Ice Punch (10) Cheongdam Yeogeol (8) Raon High (7) Dia Key
Next Best 4, 2
Fast Start 3, 4, 7, 8

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

One should really exercise caution when recommending a twenty-eight race maiden but if (5) CITY CHAMP runs like he did when a close at hand 5th over class and distance on November 17th, then he really should be winning this. It was a competitive time for this level – helped by a wet track – and continued his run of good form. If today isn’t his day, it may well never be. (2) DAE YONGWANG is up in class having scored his maiden win last start. He now has a win and a 2nd place in two attempts at this distance and can maintain his good run of form today, although he will probably need to improve on the times he’s registered if he is to win. (4) WONDERFUL DANCER also comes up in class following a maiden win last start over 1300M. A previous try around two-turns didn’t go especially well but he looks ready for another crack at it today. Also up in trip is (1) ECHO FIRST ON. He’s an import who found himself demoted from class 4 but looks to have ended up in a nice spot here with his latest effort encouraging. (7) PRINCE OF SUN best of the rest.

Selections (5) City Champ (2) Dae Yongwang (1) Echo First On (4) Wonderful Dancer
Next Best 7, 11
Fast Start 4, 7

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

(4) GO UP made all on debut over this distance on November 9th to record a stylish looking win. Accordingly, she’s up in class as she makes her return today but she looks to have plenty of potential and won’t need to improve by very much in order to win this. This is a decent looking race though. (8) EAGLE EYE ran out a nine-length winner at this distance last month and also steps up in class. She’ll have to go some to repeat that but nevertheless will be competitive at this level. (10) WINNER BLUE left himself too much to do when 3rd last start. Expect him to be ridden on pace today and he can be a danger. (3) CHO ORONG MA and (6) MASYA both enter with recent form reading well and both look good to challenge for at least the places.

Selections (4) Go Up (8) Eagle Eye (10) Winner Blue (3) Cho Orong Ma
Next Best 6, 7, 12
Fast Start 1, 4, 10, 12

Race 7: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Very competitive race with plenty having solid claims. (2) MENI STAND blew the start and blew his chances when racing at class and distance on November 2rd. She had been going well prior to that and provided she gets out of the gate on good order today, should get much closer. (10) JANGSU NABOM is up in class following an all the way score over this distance at the start of November. This is significantly stiffer but if he gets in front again, he may well go close. (1) CHEONGSU BIG EAR and (4) SEUNGNI JEONSEOL had less than a length separating them when they came home 3rd and 4th in what was arguably a stronger race than this on October 20th. Both have serious chances here. Among the rest, (6) BLUE DAEJAYEON remains a maiden but has shown he is capable of running a time and could end up in the mix today.

Selections (2) Meni Stand (1) Cheongsu Big Ear (10) Jangsu Nabom (4) Seungni Jeonseol
Next Best 6, 5
Fast Start 6, 10, 11, 12

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

Having run 3rd on debut in September, (2) GLOBAL PARTY returned and put in a rare sub one-minute time over the 1000M to win by three-lengths on November 3rd. He gets another crack at this class and while he does carry more weight and tackles an additional furlong and a half, he looks a worthy favourite. (10) GEUMJAYU looked all at sea in her first two efforts but has started to figure things out in her second two, running 3rd and 2nd, last time beating a couple of her rivals here. She led until close to the finish last time and should be on speed again. Another one in the leading division early will be (3) MOONHAK MISCHIEF. She did nothing wrong when 3rd on debut in a decent race over 1000M and can build on it today. (7) GOLDEN SERVICE and (12) EUNEO CHUKJE are others in at least the placing frame.

Selections (2) Global Party (10) Geumjayu (3) Moonhak Mischief (7) Golden Service
Next Best 12, 9
Fast Start 2, 3, 7, 10

Race 9: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) DYNAMIC PUNCH has moved rapidly up the classes with back to back wins and the manner of his latest one, where he crushed a useful looking class 5 field by a full six-lengths suggests there is plenty more to come. From an ideal draw, he’ll aim to lead all the way again and is likely to be hot favourite to complete his hat-trick. (1) STRIDE UP’s recent form has been good and he beat three of these on his way to his second consecutive 3rd place finish last time out. He’ll sit behind the early speed and finish strongly. (7) MAMMA ROMA pulled hard first-up three weeks and then failed to see out the 1700M. She should be better for that run and can improve today. (9) CHAMP K was 5th behind Stride Up last start and can get closer while (11) RAON PATRICK is better than her latest couple of efforts suggest and she too can challenge for some minor money.

Selections (3) Dynamic Punch (1) Stride Up (7) Mamma Roma (9) Champ K
Next Best 11, 2
Fast Start 2, 3, 10, 11

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

Having finished as an also-ran in the Korean Derby and Minister’s Cup, (11) DO KKI BLADE was given four months off and seemed to benefit for it when running out a seven-length winner on his return to action on October. He comes in fresh again here following nine more weeks off and while up in class, looks very much the one to beat again. He’s drawn wide but will attempt to get across and make all. (7) HYEONMU was the longest shot on the board when pulling off a shock win at class and distance on November 2nd. Lightning probably won’t strike twice although that day’s runner-up (2) GUREUM SONJITHAE can aim for a place again. A bigger danger is likely to be (6) MIREU STORM. He’s run 2nd in three of his latest four outings, all of them at class and distance and 2nd will be a minimum aim again. (5) VALLEY QUEEN is up in class after showing lots of speed over 1000M. This is her first try at further than the minimum distance and if she gets the trip, she’ll go close. (3) WONDERFUL TRUTH found herself overmatched in the Jeju Governor’s Cup last month but should be better in shallower waters today.

Selections (11) Do Kki Blade (6) Mireu Storm (5) Valley Queen (3) Wonderful Truth
Next Best 2, 1
Fast Start 2, 3, 5, 11

Race 11: Class 3 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Two starts into a comeback, (6) GOLD HAMMER came from just off the pace to secure his maiden win at class and distance on November 3rd. He carries an additional 3kg today, but looks to have plenty of potential for further progress and he is the one to beat. (3) SABA KINGDOM is up in class having won his latest two, both at this distance, in fine order. He’ll be up with the pace from the start and the favourite will have to try and come past him. (9) ALIBABA MARINE’s woeful performance last start can be explained by the fact he was found to be lame afterwards. He’s had two months off since and back fully fit, should be a very different proposition today. (4) CHANGE MAKER too has excuses for his poor run last time, having missed the jump, and should be better here. (7) UP LIGHT looks best of the rest.

Selections (6) Gold Hammer (3) Saba Kingdom (4) Change Maker (9) Alibaba Marine
Next Best 7, 5
Fast Start 3, 8, 11

Race 12: Class 2 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million

(2) MYEONGPUM CHUKJE finished 5th, 4th and 2nd in the three legs of the Triple Crown this year and comes in having been an also-ran in last month’s President’s Cup. He was 4th on his first try at this class back in September and has the ability to win this. There is a big danger though in the shape of (9) COLORFUL JOY. A winner of four from seven in total, he steps up in class having scored over 1700M with a front-running performance back in October. He tackles the additional half furlong for the first time but that shouldn’t be a problem and he has every chance of winning again. (5) RAPIDOCUS returned to form with a strong 2nd place last time and while he hasn’t yet lived up to his early promise as the competition has become stiffer, he still has plenty of time. He’ll be ridden patiently here and can finish strongly. (12) SUPER FLUID was 3rd behind Rapidocus last start and can aim for another placing finish here. (4) MEGALIOS is a class and distance winner and warrants respect.

Selections (9) Colorful Joy (2) Myeongpum Chukje (5) Rapidocus (12) Super Fluid
Next Best 4, 8
Fast Start 2, 6, 7, 11

Race 13: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

(11) SKY BAY spent the summer and autumn chasing home Silver Wolf in all three legs of the Queens’ Tour, finishing 4th, 2nd and 4th. She returns to handicaps here very nicely weighted and if she’s at the top of her game, she’ll take some beating. (2) ANOTHER SMART ONE is two starts into a comeback following six months out. He’s posted fast times when running 5th ion both those races which were arguably better than today’s. A similar run should see him much closer. (9) GANGTOMA went a bit cold over the summer but comes in after three months off and should be better for the layoff. (7) WINNER RED’s recent runs have been in Stakes and Listed company and he is another who should appreciate the more limited opposition today. (10) DYNAMIC JULJU is best of the rest.

Selections (11) Sky Bay (2) Another Smart One (9) Gangtoma (7) Winner Red
Next Best 10, 5
Fast Start 1, 2

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 6)

It’s Grand Prix weekend and ten horses, headed by Cheongdam Dokki will line up for the traditional end of season finale at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. Before that though, raing kicks off at Busan on Friday with 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00.

Busan World Sun

Plenty of decent betting contests across the card. Here’s Royce with the previews:

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

A field of twelve Korean 2yo’s line up in the first on the card with seven of them on debut. Look for improvement from (3) GLOBAL TOP after finishing midfield when debuting last start. The Peace Rules filly sat wide throughout before running through the line fairly. With the better draw she should sit closer to the speed and be gifted an economic run. (8) ECHO MOON trialed well when qualifying. The filly clocked a good time in comparison to her opposition in this assignment and can figure first-up. (1) INDIAN CHAMP finished fifth on debut when he failed to muster shortly after the start. He picked up the bit and to run home strongly but still beaten a big margin. (11) YOU CAN MAGIC looks the best of the rest in a maiden with limited exposed form.

Selections (3) Global Top (8) Echo Moon (1) Indian Champ (11) You Can Magic

Next Best 2, 5

Fast Start 8


Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

A field of twelve two-year-olds will all debut in the second on the card. The trial of (12) GOLDEN WINNER looked sensational to the eye. The two-year-old looked like a seasoned racehorse doing everything right for Choi Si-Dae who will ride him on debut. He coasted through the line in the trial extending nicely in the straight and he looks like a potentially nice horse. (4) ONE PICK is another that comes off a nice trial performance. He responded well to the persuader in the straight to run through the line strong and record a respectable time when compare to his opposition. (9) MINYEOBONG has a tricky draw on debut but the filly showed early speed in her barrier trial. She looks one to keep safe in your wider selections. (3) MR. VALOR sat on speed in his trial when recording a fair time. He can fill a place if he gets away cleanly.

Selections (12) Golden Winner (4) One Pick (9) Minyeobong (3) Mr. Valor

Next Best 6, 5

Fast Start 12, 4


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

A field of twelve maiden gallopers line up over the 1300m in the third where they have all previously been to the track. (12) POWER TRAIN was sent out at massive odds at his first start when finishing third. The colt settled well back on debut but was eye-catching when hitting the home like his namesake. The step-up to the 1300m looks ideal as he will get time to find his feet and reel of his strong sectional. (5) GOLDEN RAIN resumed last start when finishing second behind Yeongsong Bravo. The Tiz Wonderful colt should work forward early in this race and give the remainder of the field something to chase down. (10) TOP OF THE GIRL ran through the line in good fashion last time out. She is another that will be suited by the 1300m after settling back last time out. (6) FIRST STAR has been sent out short at her past couple of starts. She was sluggish away last time out but if she can sit closer to the speed she can figure.

Selections (12) Power Train (5) Golden Rain (10) Top Of The Girl (6) First Star

Next Best 9, 3

Fast Start 5, 9


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

The fourth on the program has a field of twelve maidens to line up over the 1300m. (10) OASIS GIRL looks one of the better bets on the card. The filly was caught wide throughout last time out and still managed to clock a good time. Choi Si-Dae will be legged aboard for her fourth run where with the step-up to 1300m he can allow her to settle. She has previously shown a turn of foot and a maiden win shouldn’t be too far away. (8) MONOPOLY is another lightly raced galloper who ran fourth over the same distance last time out. The Simon Pure colt was somewhat one-paced through the line but did not yield ground. He will need a positive ride from Jeong Dong-Cheol to give the horse its best chance. (9) SEOBU GENTLEMAN is looking to break through at start ten. He placed twice in a row before finishing fourth last time out when short in the market. (12) SUPER GREAT looks a place chance at best on recent runs.

Selections (10) Oasis Girl (8) Monopoly (9) Seobu Gentleman (12) Super Great

Next Best 5, 1

Fast Start 9, 10


Race 5: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

There appears to be plenty of early speed engaged in the fifth on the card where a field of twelve will line up over the 1600m. Francois Herholdt appears to have a handy book of rides and that includes (4) BLUE POWER. The Blue Pin two-year-old will be suited if they go helter-skelter early as he will be ready to strike at the top of the Busan straight. He has had the four career starts, placing on two occasions and never finishing worse than fifth. (7) PARTY LION has each way claims based on recent performances. The Colors Flying filly has been well thought of in the market on numerous occasions but has failed to get closer than third. She normally has early speed so expect her to settle in the leading division. (8) TWO TWO DAY placed over the 1600m two starts back when finishing behind Afleet Young. His form lines are reasonable and has finished third at his past two starts. (5) JANGGUNEUI JILJU is one of the more experienced gallopers engaged. The filly is another that has placed over the 1600m and should be kept safe in your wider selections.

Selections (4) Blue Power (7) Party Lion (8) Two Two day (5) Jangguneui Jilju

Next Best 9, 12

Fast Start 4, 7, 8, 5


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

The halfway mark of the card will see a field of twelve line up over the short course. Choi Si-Dae has another strong hope in the form of (6) NEOLBEUN GOEUL. The lightly raced (more…)

Dolkong Ruled Out Of Grand Prix & Dubai After Sesamoid Injury

It’s Grand Prix Stakes week but Dolkong, one of the biggest stars in Korean racing, won’t be lining up for the traditional season-ending race this coming Sunday. The five-year-old has suffered a proximal sesamoid fracture in his left foreleg.

Dolkong KRA Cup Classic

Dolkong winning the KRA Cup Classic in October (Pic: KRA)

The injury was discovered after Dolkong comfortably won a trial on November 22nd, an outing intended as a tune-up for the Grand Prix on December 8th. He was then scheduled to return to the Dubai World Cup Carnival and potentially attempt to get into the inaugural Saudi Cup.

Dolkong came to international attention when winning the Listed Curlin Handicap at Meydan in February. He followed it up with 3rd place in the Maktoum Challenge Round 3, earning a sport in the World Cup itself.

After returning to Korea, Dolkong shifted stables but was straight back in form, winning the Busan Mayor’s Cup in June. A somewhat lackluster performance in the Korea Cup followed but he returned to winning ways in the KRA Cup Classic in October and was set to be favourite for the Grand Prix before injury struck.

The injury is reportedly treatable and while owner Lee Tae In has held out hope of him returning to the track (Dolkong previously returned from a ten-month injury absence in his four-year-old season), if he is ultimately unable to race again, he will be retired to Stud. For now he remains at Seoul Racecourse for treatment.