Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (September 25)

Plenty of action at both Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 12:15 to 16:40) on Sunday. Double Classic winner Hit Yegam goes at Busan while Complete Value, last year’s champion juvenile and one of the main players in this year’s Triple Crown series, lines up at Seoul. Both are looking to get back into form. Here are the previews:

Hit Yegam returns to Busan actions (Pic: KRA)

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

Juvenile maidens to open proceedings with just two of the twelve racing for the first time but al of them tackling the distance for the first time. (7) GIANT INDY ran 4th on debut over 1000M on August 21st, having got well back from a wide draw before working home very nicely. The draw is a touch more favourable today. the extra furlong can suit, and he can win. (4) RAON AMERICAN has raced twice before and improved in the second of those to beat three of today’s rivals at 1000M on August 21st. From a nice draw, he can be on pace here and should go close. (3) SINUI BANJEON also improved at start number two, coming from off the pace to run 2nd. She is another who may appreciate the additional distance today and rates as a big chance. (2) JAEWOO SIDAE and (12) THUNDER BRAVO others in the hunt.

Selections(7) Giant Indy (4) Raon American (3) Sinui Banjeon (2) Jaewoo Sidae
Next Best12, 5
Fast Start2, 4, 9, 12

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

After an indifferent debut, (7) DAECHEON BEAUTY has raced well in his subsequent four outings and comes in here ready to win. He has the fastest time of these at the distance by a wide margin and can race handy or from behind. He should make the breakthrough. As for the next best, it’s hard to look past (9) WONDERFUL MUSKET.  True he had a howler two starts back but otherwise his recent form reads better than any except the favourite with a 3rd and a 4th among his latest three. He can get a bit far back but should run on to a place. (8) SPEAR QUEEN ran 2nd at this distance two starts ago before resuming normal service and beating just two home on her re-appearance. That 2nd though is enough for her to be in the money frame in this company. (4) BARAMSAL and (1) GEOSEON GANGJA others to consider.

Selections(7) Daecheon Beauty (9) Wonderful Musket (8) Spear Queen (4) Baramsal
Next Best1, 2
Fast Start1, 3, 7, 10

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

More maidens here with nine of the eleven fillies. There are two standouts. (9) HANGANG DOLPUNG has been consistent across his five starts so far which include three top four finishes and some good times at this distance. Last time out he sat to the front of midfield before running on for 4th ahead of a couple of today’s rivals, and he has solid chances here. (3) SURE WIN will probably start as the favourite. After running close a close 2nd and 5th in two goes at 1000M, she then got a bit far back before running on for 5th on her first try at this distance on August 27th. She is nicely weighted, draws well, and has every chance. (6) P N S THE KING was 5th behind Hangang Dolpung two starts back before running a solid 3rd over 1400M three weeks ago. An apprentice claims 4kg and that should bring him right into contention. (10) GUK HYANG and (5) NEOREUL EUNGWONHAE among others in the frame.

Selections(9) Hangang Dolpung (3) Sure Win (6) P N S The King (10) Guk Hyang
Next Best5, 7
Fast Start3, 7, 8, 9

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Having impressed behind Captain Yankee in a trial, (3) HONOR CAL was well backed on debut on August 7th. He was on pace for much of that race before ultimately weakening to 7th of eleven. He should have come on for that though and can be given another chance here. (11) SIMON TOP GUN comes in off back-to-back 3rd place finishes, her best to date. She doesn’t get the best of the draw here, but the same apprentice jockey keeps the weight light again and she can place again. (7) PATRIOT returns to action a full fifty-three weeks after his debut last September. He ran well for 5th in that solitary start and looked well when running 2nd in a fair time in an August trial. He will obviously need this, but he couldn’t have picked a more winnable race to return in. (5) PUNGAN JOHWA and (4) TAKE ADELE others who could potentially compete for the minor money.

Selections(3) Honor Cal (11) Simon Top Gun (7) Patriot (5) Pungan Johwa
Next Best4, 12
Fast Start3, 5, 7, 8

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Competitive race. We’ll go with (7) HANGANG HERO who enters with good results from her latest three, including a runner-up finish from her latest three starts. She led for part of the way around last time out on September 3rd, before ultimately finishing 3rd and can be on pace and in this a long way again. (5) ECHO ZONE will probably start as favourite. He comes in following a 2dn and a 3rd from his latest two and has posted the fastest time of any of these for the distance. From a good draw, he should be on pace and may be hard to hold out. (8) PERFECT TIME and (1) QUIET CHARM came home 3rd and 4th when they raced each other over 1400M on August 27th. Both should be competitive again and Quiet Charm comes into a much better gate this time around. (11) BEST BIG BANG another in the placing frame.

Selections(7) Hangang Hero (5) Echo Zone (8) Perfect Time (1) Quiet Charm
Next Best11, 9
Fast Start3, 5, 7, 8

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

Fillies only here and it’s hard to go past (7) DOCTOR OSCAR. An emphatic winner at class 6 level over 1000M in July, she then ran an on-pace 3rd on her first try at this class and distance on August 28th. She comes up just 1.5kg on that and should be leading from gate to wire. (9) TWO OF US was a good winner over this distance in June and while she could only manage 6th of eleven when favourite for her first try at this class over 1300M at the end of July, the margins weren’t huge, and she is worth another chance to get closer today. (1) AGAIN TOUCH returns to action for the first time since January but she comes into contention by virtue of having made all to win a trial in a good time just last week. So long as she didn’t leave her race there, she has a real chance of a bold showing. (3) BAEK GU and the up in class following a maiden win (5) LOUD COLOR are others to take into account.

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 24)

Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with 10 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Jockey Moon Se-young is suspended this weekend but there is a return to action for Jo Jae-ro, who has completed his national service. Here are the previews:

Autumn is beginning

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

Juvenile maidens in the opener with nine of the twelve racing for the first time. As so often though, experience gets the nod and (9) CRAZY LOVE is the top pick and warm favourite. She’s the only one here to have raced twice and she improved to 2nd in her latest start over this trip on August 13th when on pace throughout. Her times have been good, and a similar run will win this. (1) YONGAMREX ran pleasingly enough for 5th of eleven on debut on August 21st. He should have come on for that run and with some natural improvement can get closer this time. The pick of the first timers is probably (8) CHROMITE. He stopped the clock in a fair time in a tight finish in his trial and bringing that form to the races will see him in the placing hunt. (11) GEUMSEONG TALHWAN won a trial, albeit not a fast one, and that entitles him to some interest here. (2) BLOOMING STAR another who hinted at ability in his heat.

Selections(9) Crazy Love (1) Yongamrex (8) Chromite (11) Geumseong Talhwan
Next Best2, 4
Fast Start1, 8, 9, 11

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens, this time with eight of the twelve stepping out for the first time. This time we break the rule and side with a newcomer in the shape of (4) LUCKY SUN. He sat handy in his heat before running on well to cross the line in front in a fast time. A similar performance will be enough to win on debut here. (2) TAKE MUSIC led for much of his debut, ultimately weakening to 7th in the closing stages but in a fair time. He should be better for that run, is drawn well here and can be in this a long way again. (1) CHEONJON CHAT has raced twice, running 4th of twelve in the second of them on August 27th. The times haven’t been fast but if he shows similar improvement again, he can be in the mix. Returning to the first-time starters and (6) BEST SUN and (12) JANGHEUNG CLASS, the latter whose trial wasn’t as bad as the slow time suggests, could make an impact first-up.

Selections(4) Lucky Sun (2) Take Music (1) Cheonjon Chat (6) Best Sun
Next Best12, 7
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(2) WONPYEONG TOWN will be hot favourite. He has shown steady improvement across three starts so far, all of them over 1000M and culminating in a runner-up finish in a fast time on August 21st. The additional furlong should be no problem and the inside gate means he can be on pace again and this time lead all the way. (6) GUKDAE CLASS comes in off an improved 3rd place over this distance on August 20th when ridden on pace for the first time having been painfully slow away in his opening two efforts. Expect similar tactics here and potentially a similar or better result. (8) SARANG DAMOA has been much improved since returning from six months off in July, registering a 4th and a 2nd. Third-up today she could be peaking. (7) POWERFUL HWASEONG and (10) LUXSEN among others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(2) Wonpyeong Town (6) Gukdae Class (8) Sarang Damoa (7) Powerful Hwaseong
Next Best10, 3
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 10

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies only here. (10) SAENAE QUEEN made all to win in fine style on debut over 1000M on August 20th. She comes up in class and distance, and isn’t favoured by the draw, but she has firm claims to measure up in this company. (3) RAON GIANT was a good winner on debut over 1000M in July before running 4th on her first try at this class and distance on August 20th when settling handy to midfield and then running on. The Musket Man filly draws well here and may start as the betting favourite. The other main player looks set to be (7) AL SIMON. A winner at this distance at class 6 level two starts back, she ran a more than creditable 5th on her first try at this class on August 20th. She can settle handy or midfield and can play a big role here. (4) HWANGGEUM DALBIT can be forgiven her latest couple and given another chance here and along with (1) WILD RUNNER, who also had a disappointing day at the office last time, is a place chance.

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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 23)

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday where there is an eight-race card from 12:50 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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

Juvenile maidens in the opener and (1) BUDDY BUDDY will be hot favourite. He was an on-pace 3rd on debut in August 7th in a fair time and won’t need to have come on much for that in order to win here. (6) SOLEDAD has raced twice previously, settling back and running on for 4th and 5th placed finishes in decent times. A similar run here will put her in the finish. There are two first-time starters and (8) YEOSU FIGHTER led for much of the way around in his trial, ultimately crossing the line in 2nd place. He can be on pace here and if he can bring that trial form to the races, he can go close. The other debut-maker is (5) I WILL THE STAR and he trialed up fairly too, participating in two heats with positive results. As for the others with experience, (4) PEGACORN looks the most likely to improve.

Selections(1) Buddy Buddy (6) Soledad (8) Yeosu Fighter (5) I Will The Star
Next Best4, 7
Fast Start1, 4, 7, 8

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens, this time with four of the eight racing for the first time. We’ll side with experience though and the likely favourite (5) SOUTHERN JOY. After a positive trial, she ran 3rd on debut on August 28th, sitting handy throughout. She should be on pace here too and with some natural improvement from that run, could be hard to hold out. Among the first-timers, (2) BEST DUO won a trial when leading throughout. It wasn’t especially fast but he wasn’t asked to do too much and has every chance of a bold showing first up here. (7) BARAMBARAM trialed fairly enough and the jockey/trainer combination ensures he’ll get plenty of backing. (3) WONDERFUL ANDOVER and (1) NINE FORCE ONE are others with experience who can improve.

Selections(5) Southern Joy (2) Best Duo (7) Barambaram (3) Wonderful Andover
Next Best1, 4
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 5

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(2) SUNSHINE STAR beat three of these on his way to 2nd place over 1400M on September 2nd. He was a long way behind a good winner that day but has a 3rd place to his name over this distance and from a good draw, looks very much the one to beat here. (10) DOCTOR PENTAGON has picked up significantly in recent outings and enters here following a front-running 2nd place over 1200M on August 26th. He tackles the mile for the first time but there is no reason it can’t suit and he is the main danger to the favourite. (7) JEONGMUN CHITA was a touch disappointing on his latest appearance in August but had been hinting at ability prior to that and looks worth another chance in this company. (1) MEOTJIN HARU and (4) AGAIN HELEN are other sin at least the placing frame.

Selections(2) Sunshine Star (10) Doctor Pentagon (7) Jeongmun Chita (1) Meotjin Haru
Next Best4, 11
Fast Start5, 7, 9, 10

Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(8) BETELGEUSE was an impressive winner on debut in July before running 5th of eight in the Rookie Stakes over 1200M on August 28th. The step up in trip today can suit and he is the one to beat. (5) SMILEY LARRY has a 2nd place and two 3rd places from his three outings so far up to 1300M. He has achieved those both from on pace and coming from behind and he too should appreciate the extra distance. (7) S. L. KING has had an interrupted career but comes up in class having won over 1400M on August 28th when he made all. Back in the dim and distance past, he also notched a win over today’s trip and he should measure up in this company. (10) TRIPLE THUNDER and (4) FINAL FRONT are others who can go close.

Selections(8) Betelgeuse (5) Smiley Larry (7) S. L. King (10) Triple Thunder
Next Best4, 5
Fast Start5, 7, 8, 10

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

(8) CAPTAIN GOLD is yet to finish any worse than 3rd and followed up his all the way win over 1200M in July by almost repeating the trick on his first attempt at this class, ultimately finishing 2nd over 1300M on August 26th. The engagement of an apprentice takes his weight down here and he may take some beating. (11) J.S. DAY comes up in class following an all the way win of her own at start number two on September 2nd. She too is nicely weighted and while she may need a touch of luck at the start from the wide draw, if she can find a decent position, she can go close. (3) HAMPYEONG MAN comes up in class and in distance following consecutive runner-up finishes over 1000M, leading both times. He draws well to lead again, comes down in the weights, and can be in this a long way. (5) TRIPLE JILJU and (7) PEOPLE POWER are others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(8) Captain Gold (11) J.S. Day (3) Hampyeong Man (5) Triple Jilju
Next Best7, 6
Fast Start3, 7, 8, 11

Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

A class and distance winner two starts back, (2) HAMYANGEUN SANSAM overcame gate twelve to beat a couple of today’s rivals on his way to 4th place again at class and distance on September 4th. He has to contend with the same 58kg today but he comes into a much better gate and has every chance of returning to the winner’s circle. This is a good race though with only two of the twelve having finished outside the top-five in their respective latest outings. (1) HALLOWEEN PARTY won well over 1300M at class 5 level in July before running 2nd in a fast race over 1200M at this level on August 19th. She’ll be on pace from the inside gate here and has solid claims again. (10) QUEEN ALLIE led from the gate until the closing stages at class and distance on September 2nd, ultimately finishing 2nd in a fast time. She comes up a little in the weights and draws a little wider but is very much in this. (8) HANSEN ICHEON, up in class, and (6) LINE BREAKER among plenty of others in the hunt.

Selections(2) Hamyangeun Sansam (1) Halloween Party (10) Queen Allie (8) Hansen Icheon
Next Best6, 4
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 10

Busan Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Fillies and mares only here and it’s a quite a wild mix. We’ll take a chance on (4) ALPHA THOR one of the first new imports to be registered since restrictions on them were lifted. The Sharp Azteca filly fairy bolted up in trial at the start of this month and if she brings that form to the races, she will be hard to hold out. (8) UNBREAK returns to action a full forty-weeks since her debut last December. It was a very good debut as she won over this distance and she looked well when trialing up in August. If you prefer existing and recent form, then (1) GOOD SOCKS is the one. She comes up in class having made all to win over this distance on August 7th but still looks nicely in here and draws well. (10) NAMED and (12) MENI AGAIN came home 1st and 2nd when they raced one another at class and distance on August 21st and both should be in the mix once more.

Selections(4) Alpha Thor (8) Unbreak (1) Good Socks (10) Named
Next Best12, 11
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 8

Busan Race 8: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Competitive race to conclude with and (7) GALLANT WARRIOR perhaps has the slight edge. He has run 3rd and 4th in two efforts at this class, both over 1800M and both times leading. He comes slightly down in trip and is well weighted under today’s handicap conditions and has every chance. (6) UNJU HERO comes up in class following a runner-up finish over this distance on August 19th when starting slowly and running on. He comes down significantly in the weights here and that should be enough to bring him into contention. (9) DOCTOR FAITH is a front-runner who has proven competitive at both class and distance including beating a couple of these last time out on his way to 4th. (2) CATCH THE SKY and (3) FLAT BABE are others to take into account.

Selections(7) Gallant Warrior (6) Unju Hero (9) Doctor Faith (2) Catch The Sky
Next Best3, 12
Fast Start3, 4, 8, 9

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (September 18)

There is plenty to get stuck into this Sunday as Seoul runs an 11-race card from 10:45 to 18:00 while Busan has 6 races from 12:15 to 16:40. Here are the previews:

Two weeks after Winner’s Man won the Korea Cup, racing returns to Seoul (Pic: KRA/Ross Holburt)

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

Juvenile filly maidens with eight of the twelve racing for the first time. We will side with experience and (10) RAON FOREST, who has two starts under his belt, having run 2nd on debut in July before following up with a 5th place on August 13th both over this distance and both in decent times. He draws a touch wide again but can settle handy and it can be third-time lucky. The pick of the first timers is (6) MAESTRA. She ran a solid 2nd in her heat in a fair time and Moon Se-young’s presence on board is in her favour. (4) FOUR ACE finished 6th of eight on debut on August 14th, however, the time was fast and the margins not big and he should have benefitted from the experience. Returning to the debut makers, (12) ARA MOA and (2) SMART SOCKS are others to consider.

Selection(10) Raon Forest (6) Maestra (4) Four Ace (12) Ara Moa
Next Best2, 8
Fast Start2, 6, 7, 8

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

(7) JAKDUKONG is yet to finish in the top two but enters with her recent form reading well with a 3rd and two 4th place finishes in her latest three and has good times for this distance. She has tended to get a bit far back in her races but can be ridden handy here and can win. (9) TOP POSITION has hinted at ability over six starts so far. She finishes off her races well so the wide draw shouldn’t be too problematic, and she can be aiming for a career-best showing. (1) FLYING GOLD returns to action for the first time since April. His best run to date came on his final run before the layoff when runner-up over 1200M. He looked well in his trial in late August and should go well first-up here. (2) BOLD AGAIN and (6) GENTLE RULES are among others who can go close.

Selection(7) Jakdukong (9) Top Position (1) Flying Gold (2) Bold Again
Next Best6, 3
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(7) ROSE GOLD will be the favourite here based on his last start effort on August 14th when he sat handy and then ran on strongly, denied by the favourite by a narrow margin on the line. That continued a run of improving results and he can crown that with victory here. (9) DAESEUNG GAON is yet to finish in the top two but comes in off a solid 3rd place at this distance on August 13th when coming from well back. A good apprentice takes 2kg off her back and that can bring her into contention. (5) GOLD KAISER returns to action for the first time since January. She has two 3rd places from her four starts but will be backed here based on her good trial on August 26th when she crossed the line 2nd in a good time. If she brings that form to the races, she won’t be far away. (6) SECRET KING should be on pace and can improve on his debt performance while (8) CHEONMA CHAT is another in the hunt.

Selection(7) Rose Gold (9) Daeseung Gaon (5) Gold Kaiser (6) Secret King
Next Best8, 3
Fast Start4, 5, 6, 7

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

Juvenile maidens open proceedings on the south coast and four of the twelve are racing for the first time. There is some useful experience entered though and (9) THUNDER FURY will be the favourite. After a good trial showing, he ran a solid 3rd place on debut in a good time over 1000M on August 7th. He settled back and ran on that day and the additional furlong should be to his benefit.  (12) MOTHER MOUNTAIN also put in a good 3rd on debut on August 21st. She must contend with the outside gate today, but the same apprentice keeps the weight very low, and she can be competitive again. (11) ADELE HORANGI also comes in off a 3rd place on debut. He was a long way behind the first two home but should have come on for the experience and can get closer this time. The pick of the newcomers is (5) WONDERFUL VOW. She led for most of the way around in her trial, crossing the line in front in a fair time. (10) I’M KING IJI another who can improve on his debut effort.

Selection(9) Thunder Fury (12) Mother Mountain (11) Adele Horangi (5) Wonderful Vow
Next Best10, 8
Fast Start5, 7, 10, 12

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(8) KINGS EYE has been consistent across his four starts so far with a 3rd place at 1200M his best. Last time out on August 20th he overcame gate ten to beat a couple of today’s rivals on his way to 4th in a good time over this distance and he could well have too much for this lot. (5) GOMANARU showed significant improvement at start number two over this distance at the very end of July, coming from midfield to run 4th.  She can settle back again here and be running on strong at the business end. (11) SHOOTING REVERSE has a 2nd place to her name among three starts so far. She has been doing her best work late on in her races so far so the wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and the slight step up in trip may assist. (3) TANSAN and (6) GEUMA WITTY among plenty of others with placing claims.

Selection(8) Kings Eye (5) Gomanaru (11) Shooting Reverse (3) Tansan
Next Best6, 7
Fast Start1, 6, 9, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 17)

Racing returns to Seoul today (Saturday) with a 10-race program from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Seoul is back

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

A juvenile maiden kicks off Seoul’s autumn season and seven of the twelve are racing for the first time. (3) GLOBAL POWER has raced twice before, improving to 3rd at the second attempt on August 13th when settling midfield and running on. It was a good time and from a good draw, he can get closer today. There is not much to choose between him and (1) DREAM SKY, who enters with very similar form. She has a 5th and a 3rd from her two appearances to date and will be expected to be on the pace from the inside gate here. She has every chance of going all the way. Moon Se-young aboard a first-time starter is always going to attract plenty of attention and (10) DAEWANG SOCKS finished off his trial very well having been slowly away and then sat at the back throughout. He looks the pick of the debutants. (5) CUPID SWING and (2) BIG SMART others to keep safe.

Selections(3) Global Power (1) Dream Sky (10) Daewang Socks (5) Cupid Swing
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

The second division of the juvenile maiden and this time eight of the twelve are first-timers. Once more we’ll side with experience and (5) POWERFUL SOCKS, who has raced twice before, settling right back both times and then running on. He should have come on for those experiences and with a bit more improvement here, he can win. A couple of debut0makers caught the eye in trials. (7) G MOTION held his own on pace in company with some experienced runners, stopping the clock in a fair time and with an apprentice claiming 2kg, can be a danger first up here. (3) MOONHAK EDEN won her trial and from a good draw is set to be on the speed here and can make a bold showing. Returning to the experience, (11) EIFFEL TAP and (6) GEOMEUN JILJU are others who can improve.

Selections(5) Powerful Socks (7) G Motion (3) Moonhak Eden (11) Eiffel Tap
Next Best6, 10
Fast Start3, 5, 7, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens this time and it’s hard to look too far past (7) BEST FALCON. She has steadily improved across her latest three culminating in a runner-up finish over this distance in an all-filly affair on August 13th. She has the fastest time among these at the distance, she likes to be on pace and once she hits the front here, she may prove hard to catch. (8) DEVIL K has also shown promise in her latest couple including a close 3rd place last time out over this distance in a good time. Her only bad run so far was on debut when she was slowly away and got too far back but she should be running on strong here. (2) MAGIC JUDE has a couple of places to her name already. She returned from eight months out on August 27th to run an on-pace 3rd at this distance and from a good draw, can challenge Best Falcon for the lead. (3) MY GONGJU will go back and run on and has already proven he can place while of the three first-time starters, (10) LEEWOLMA, runner-up in a late July trial, looks to have the best chance of making an immediate impression.

Selections(7) Best Falcon (8) Devil K (2) Magic Jude (3) My Gongju
Next Best10, 9
Fast Start2, 7, 8, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

While we usually side with experience, we are going to take a chance on one of the two debut-makers here. (8) HANGANGUI GISANG was so bad in his first trial that he failed to qualify but he looked a totally different animal when reappearing on August 26th to lead his heat from gate to wire and cross the line in a fast time. If he brings that kind of form to the races, he has every chance. On the experienced side, (5) DONGTEUJA WAY is the pick. He comes in off an on-pace 3rd place over this distance in a quick time on August 14th and a similar run will put him in the finish again. (6) BICHUICA was also on the speed as he recorded his best finish to date in 2nd place over this distance on July 9th. He comes in fresh after two months and can be a danger again. (1) PURGE DAY ran twice last year with a 2nd over 1000M in the second of thm. He reappears here for the first time since last November but looked very well in an August trial and is worth keeping safe first-up. The consistent (7) ALL FOR YOUR DREAM is another with minor money claims.

Selections(8) Hangangui Gisang (5) Dongteuja Way (6) Bichuica (1) Purge Day
Next Best7, 10
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 8
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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 16)

Racing is back. After a one-week hiatus, the action kicks off again at Busan on Friday where there are eight races from 12:50 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Busan’s Back.

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

Racing gets back underway with a field of maiden juvenile fillies with all but two racing for the very first time. The experience is favoured. (5) GREAT MISS won a trial before debuting on August 7th when she settled midfield and then ran on strongly for 2nd place, well beaten by a good winner but also herself well clear of the 3rd placed finisher. The time was good, and she won’t need to improve much to win here. Pick of the first timers looks to be (3) FLYING TOUCH. He improved significantly in the second of two trials, running a solid 2nd to the experienced Seobu Cat in a fair time. If he brings that for to the races, he’ll go close. (2) CUQUEMAN should have come on for his debut on August 21st when he drew the widest gate but ran solidly for 5th. (12) BLUE ICON, who beat Cuqueman in a trial, and (11) JANGSAN DEFI are other debut-makers who can impress.

Selections(5) Great Miss (3) Flying Touch (2) Cuqueman (12) Blue Icon
Next Best11, 7
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 11

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

We all love Hansen and (4) I LOVE HANSEN will be favoured to score here. After an inauspicious debut, he improved at start number two at this distance on August 21st, sitting handy and running on for 3rd in a fair time. If he continues to improve here, then he is the one to beat. (6) VICTOR BASIUM put in a couple of encouraging front-running performances six months apart back in 2021. He reappears here for the first time since last November but comes in having been through two trials in mid-August and earlier this month, running good times in both and on the front both times. He can go well first-up here. (7) SPECIAL HERO has shown improvement across her three starts so far and ran 4th to I Love Hansen’s 3rd over this distance on August 21st. That was her first race since February, and she was ridden further forward than in her previous two. She’ll be close to the pace again and is a chance. (2) TEUKGEUP CAMP and (1) EURO STAR others in the hunt.

Selections(4) I Love Hansen (6) Victor Basium (7) Special Hero (2) Teukgeup Camp
Next Best1, 9
Fast Start2, 4, 6, 9

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

It’s hard to look too far past (4) ADELE FLY here. He comes in off his best finish to date when 2nd over this distance on August 19th with a couple of today’s rivals behind him. He has the fastest time for the 1400M among these and today he can go one better. The logical main danger is (3) ILGANG DAERO. He steps up in trip for the first time following three solid showings over 1000M which yielded finishes between 3rd and 5th. He comes up a bit in the weights but finished off those races well and today may suit. (2) STAR MATTA has three top-five finishes, one of them at this distance. He comes in off a solid 4th over 1200M last time out and should be aiming to crack the top-three today. (8) CHONGAL CHARM and (6) NAREUCAT others to look out for.

Selections(4) Adele Fly (3) Ilgang Daero (2) Star Matta (8) Chongal Charm
Next Best6, 7
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 8

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

A big field here but (1) O.K. THUNDER will be a warm favourite. He has four top-four finished from five starts so far including a good runner-up finish in a fast time at this distance. From the inside gate, Franco Da Silva should be able to pick his spot, and he can be running on strong at the finish here. (8) WIND CROSS is yet to win in eight attempts, but the colt has only missed out on top-four on one occasion. He comes in off a good 2nd place at this class over 1300M on August 7th when he overcame gate eleven and he should be right in this again. (4) GOLD TAP has run fairly in three attempts at this class following his maiden win. He carries his fair share of weight here but can be in the finish. (11) DOCTOR KONGSUNI is another who has mixed his form, but he can be running on from wide here. (6) KING BOSS another in the placing frame.

Selections(1) O.K. Thunder (8) Wind Cross (4) Gold Tap (11) Doctor Kongsuni
Next Best6, 3
Fast Start6, 7, 8, 11

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

(3) JEONGDEUN-RO enters with recent form reading well, posting good times at this level in competitive races. She draws very nicely here and with there not being much speed in this race, could potentially get to the front and go all the way. (7) GEUMA UNO is yet to win in four starts but comes up in class following back-to-back runner-up finishes over 1200M and 1300M. He’ll be on pace here and the trainer/jockey combination means that he will almost certainly start as the betting favourite. (12) JOSEPHINE QUEEN had a luckless day at the office at this class and distance on August 6th. Her previous form was good though and while the draw does her no favours here, she can be given another chance. (9) FRIGATE BIRD races for the first time since April but looked well when winning a trial, albeit back at the end of July. (6) MY STAR another who can enter the calculations.

Selections(3) Jeongdeun-Ro (7) Geuma Uno (12) Josephine Queen (9) Frigate Bird
Next Best6, 8
Fast Start3, 7, 8, 12

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

(9) JEONGMUN DRAGON gets the nod here based on his class and distance win on August 19th, when he settled back, before gradually improving and running on to win emphatically. He comes up 5kg for that performance (it would be 6kg were it not for an apprentice claiming 1kg) but he looks to have the potential to strike again. (7) B.K. HANA ran 3rd in that race, her first try at this class following a solid class 5 win over 1300M in July. She meets Jeongmun Dragon much better int the weights today and can get closer. (3) COLORFUL WIND also comes in having won at class and distance at his latest start. He wasn’t quite as impressive as Jeongmun Dragon but doesn’t come up so much in the weights either and he can be in contention here. (5) GLORY KING and (11) ALPHA SONGDANG among others who shouldn’t be discounted.

Selections(9) Jeongmun Dragon (7) B.K. Hana (3) Colorful Wind (5) Glory King
Next Best11, 8
Fast Start3, 5, 10, 11

Busan Race 7: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(9) BABEL DREAMER enters off very solid recent form and has finished ahead of plenty of today’s rivals. He comes up 3kg on his latest at class and distance on August 19th, but an apprentice jockey takes the edge off and while he isn’t the flashiest of performers, he can grind away and that might be enough to see him home here. (7) K K WON is another who doesn’t exactly win out of turn but looks to be nicely in here. He enters off a runner-up finish at class and distance on August 6th when handy throughout and while he too comes up a little in the weights, he can be very competitive. (6) DAEJI SPECIAL comes up in class following a win over 1300M at class 5 level last time out. He is up in trip too but should be equal to both challengers. (5) WINNER’S TIME and (2) TRAFFIC MARINE others in the hunt for the minors.

Selections(9) Babel Dreamer (7) K K Won (6) Daeji Special (5) Winner’s Time
Next Best2, 1
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 7

Busan Race 8: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Good race to conclude. (4) DONGTEUJA BOY comes up in trip and also significantly in weight on his win at this class over a mile on August 21st. He has ten top-three finishes from twelve starts so far and should be able to contend with the additional furlong today. (5) ORANGE GARAGE comes up in class following three consecutive runner-up finishes over this distance at class 4 level. He comes down in the weights today and can measure up. (7) ALIVE CAPTAIN ran 2nd to Dongteuja Boy over the mise on August 21st. He too comes up in the weights but can be in the finish again. (3) YEONGCHEON SOLEMIO and (9) GALAXY ROAD are among plenty of others who have a shot at getting a place.

Selections(4) Dongteuja Boy (5) Orange Garage (7) Alive Captain (3) Yeongcheon Solemio
Next Best9, 6
Fast Start2, 4, 8, 9

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

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

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

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

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

Selections(2) Baedari Wangja (7) RaonThe Cobra (6) Perfect Gun Man (4) Kwaehyang
Next Best3, 1
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 7

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

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

Selections(11) Sun Draon (9) Jisangun (1) Raon The Wild (2) Queen Of Racing
Next Best3, 8
Fast Start5, 6, 11, 12

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

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

Selections(1) Morning Pearl (6) Changer (9) Duson Drive (7) Rules Class
Next Best2, 8
Fast Start2, 6, 8, 11

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

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

Selections(1) Twotwo Flying (7) Raon The Tango (5) Final Seven (2) Hampyeong Shine
Next Best3, 7
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 7

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

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

Selections(7) Black Charm (12) Saenae Win (1) Byeorak (2) Global Storm
Next Best11, 9
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 12

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

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

Selections(7) Mighty Storm (2) Burui Yeosin (8) Yeongung Road (5) Nice Day
Next Best11, 4
Fast Start4, 5, 8, 10

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

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

Selections(7) Hatmuri (9) Amazing Whiz (5) P N S Gambol (1) Final Charm
Next Best12, 11
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 12

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

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

Selections(9) Spice Ecton (8) Smiley Larry (2) Speed Mast (1) Ecton Power
Next Best11, 7
Fast Start2, 7, 9, 11
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Joe Fujii on Korea Cup & Sprint: “Japanese horses have an Advantage”

When it comes to the Korea Cup and Korea Sprint, few know as much about winning than jockey Kanichiro “Joe” Fujii, the only person to have ridden the winners of both races, having guided Chrysolite to victory in the 2016 Cup and Moanin in the 2018 Sprint.

Moanin & Fujii won the Sprint in 2018 (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Fujii, who remains in hospital in Japan after a devastating race-fall earlier this year, rode full-time in Korea from 2012 to 2015. After returning home, he became the go-to man for Japanese connections bringing their horses to run in big races in Korea, following his success on Esmeraldina in the Ttukseom Cup in 2015.

“I was so happy to get the opportunity to ride Chrysolite in the Korea Cup” recalled Fujii this Cup week.  He was a horse who didn’t like to race among other horses, so the way the race panned out was ideal. Kurino Star O led, and (Chrysolite) was able to sit off the speed and at the end he was very strong.”

Fujii’s 2018 Sprint win on Moanin, can potentially serve as a template for those who have missed out on drawing an inside gate as he emerged from gate nine, while Hong Kong’s Fight Hero, who he duelled with in the home straight and ultimately beat by a Head, started from gate thirteen.

“I knew Moanin was a good horse because he won a Group level race in the JRA but (the Korea Sprint) was his first time running in a 1200M race and I knew Korean horses are very quick out of the gate and very fast in the early part of the race so I couldn’t really keep up with the speed in the early stages. He was off the bridle all the way but once he got out, he really showed a good turn of foot and he fought with the Hong Kong horse. I was never really confident until the last 100 metres because, you know, Hong Kong horses can fight pretty hard.”

Chrysolite & Fujii won the Cup in 2016 (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Fujii believes that the Japanese horses are in a strong situation compared to other horses coming to Korea, simply due to practical reasons. “I think Japanese horses have a good advantage because the surface of the racecourse is very similar. Transportation wise, Japan to Korea is pretty much next door so it is an easy trip.”

This time around there is one Japanese horse in the Korea Cup, three-year-old Sekifu, who is already a seasoned traveller, while six-year-old Raptus makes his first trip out of Japan to run in the Korea Sprint. Both are strong contenders.

“Sekifu is a horse that likes to get back in his races and can finish very strong. His jockey Fujioka (Kota) is a good jockey.” Similar to Moanin before his Sprint bid, Raptus has been mostly racing over 1400M and Fujii sees no reason that he can’t emulate his performance, especially with a not-so-secret weapon in the shape of his rider. “Raptus has been running in short races and I’m pretty sure he’ll be running in the first three or four. Raptus will be ridden by Miyuki (Hideaki) and he rode Kurino Star O (behind Chrysolite) so he knows the track well.”

As for the pair’s overall chances: “It’s hard to compare with the Korean horses and the other international horses, but (Sekifu and Raptus) have above average form in Japan, so if they do what they have been doing there, I’m sure they will be right up there.”

The Cup, Sprint and Ttukseom Cup weren’t the only big Korean races that Joe Fujii won. “I stayed in Busan and Kim Young-kwan was the champion trainer and he was giving me a lot of opportunities like Speedy First in the Derby and Gamdonguibada in the Grand Prix so that’s why the Japanese connections asked me to ride the Cup and the Sprint. At that time, I wasn’t a jockey in the JRA; I always wanted to be so these victories really opened up my road to becoming a jockey in the JRA.”

Fujii achieved his lifelong goal, but as has been well reported, he now has another, much bigger task ahead of him. “Four months ago, I had a spinal cord injury from the race fall. Ever since then I have been in the hospital. I have been doing a lot of rehab seven days a week, so it is a long long recovery road for me, I’m just trying to get the sensation back into my legs so it is a new challenge for me.”

“I stayed in South Korea for three years; I was so happy with all the people and all the connections giving me a great opportunity and without my South Korea experience I could never ever get into JRA so that was one of my dreams. I won all the big races, the Cup and the Sprint, the Derby and the Grand Prix so the South Korean fans are very important to me, and I hope one day that I can travel again and show my face at the racecourse.”   

Seoul Trophy Exchange Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 3)

The day before the international Korea Cup and Korea Sprint sees a 10-race card at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. There are Trophy Exchange races with the Macau Jockey Club, Singapore Turf Club, Japan Racing Association, Hong Kong Jockey Club and Horse Racing Ireland. Each is worth 150 Million Won so plenty of good fields have been attracted. Here are the previews:

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

Juvenile maidens contest a big prize in the opener and six of the ten race for the very first time. Unusually, we will side with one of the first timers. (4) FARCIARZ went through two trials, drawn wide both times and improving in the second of them. He gets a good gate and a top jockey, and a bold showing seems likely first-up. (10) STRONG CHARM ran 2nd on debut and while he couldn’t follow up on his next outing, he still ran a good time. He won’t need to improve much on that to go close here. (7) MONSTER POWER was an on-pace 3rd in his trial in a fast time. He should be able to get on the pace here as well and can be in it a long way. (8) CATS EYE improved in the second of his two trials. It wasn’t a fast run heat so he could have potential to improve here. Returning to those with experience, (5) BEST CLONE didn’t do too much wrong on debut and can improve.

Selections(4) Farciarz (10) Strong Charm (7) Monster Power (8) Cats Eye
Next Best5, 2
Fast Start2, 7, 8, 10

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

Fillies only here. (1) VESPER was beaten by a couple of these when a slightly below-par 4th on her latest start on August 13th. She can get a bit far back in her races but has shown a good turn of foot and if she can get herself in a spot where she is in contention, she has solid claims here. (2) P N S SING ran 2nd in that August 13th race, her best finish to date. She was on pace that day and is well drawn to do the same here and she should be in the finish again. (9) SONGAM NURI ran 3rd in that race, her best finish to date. An apprentice keeps her weight light again and she can be competitive. As for those who didn’t go in that August race, (6) HANGANG HERO enters with a 2nd and a 5th from her latest two, both in good times and along with (7) ARCH MEMORY, is another in the hunt.

Selections(1) Vesper (2) P N S Sing (9) Songam Nuri (6) Hangang Hero
Next Best7, 11
Fast Start2, 3, 8, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A very ordinary set of maidens. (6) P N S THE KING is the only one of the twelve to have as much of a runner-up finish to his name and that, along with the fact he has shown some consistency is enough to make him favourite here. He comes in off a fair 5th of twelve in a good time over 1200M on August 20th and won’t need to improve too much on that here. (3) EUREKA has also put in some consistent efforts with three 4th place finishes from six starts. He steps up to this trip for the first time, should be on pace and should be looking for better than 4th this time. (8) BEST BIG BANG registered a 3rd place two starts back over this distance and that’s enough to put him in the frame here while (9) TWO ACE is yet to finish any better than 6th but does have the best time among those who have tackled the distance before. (10) SAEBYEOK BAND among others in the frame.

Selections(6) P N S The King (3) Eureka (8) Best Big Bang (9) Two Ace
Next Best10, 11
Fast Start3, 4, 8, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class Open (1200M) Macau Jockey Club Trophy / Allowance / KRW 150 Million

An also-ran in the Korean Derby, (7) BULBANGUL has since won back-to-back races at class 4 level, both over this distance, that latest an easy score in a fast time. That takes his record to four from seven in total and he will be a warm favourite here. He likes to settle back and run on, and he will take some beating. (4) WILD SOCKS enters having won his latest three, the latter two over 1400M at class 4 level. He has posted fast times at this distance too and from a good gate, can sit handy and finish well. (2) VICEROY is firmly established at class 3 level with three placings and a 4th from four attempts at it since winning at class 4 in February. He is up considerably in the weights from his last start 2nd but draws well to be on the pace and can be competitive again. (3) TOUGH GUY has only raced up to class 5 but exited that level with a last start over this distance in a very smart time. He is nicely suited under these conditions and can be competitive. (5) JOEUNGIRL, who has had an interrupted career but who has loads of ability, is the wildcard.

Selections(7) Bulbangul (4) Wild Socks (2) Viceroy (3) Tough Guy
Next Best5, 10
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 11

Seoul Race 5: Class Open (1200M) Singapore Turf Club Trophy / Allowance / KRW 150 Million

Fascinating filly and mare race with a big prize. (11) WISH ME has nine top two finishes from eleven starts and comes in having finished runner-up to Raon First in the Ttukseom Cup and to Calm Strong in the KNN Cup, both times with plenty of today’s rivals behind her. She comes back in trip, but she likes to be on pace and while the draw is a little wide, she can go close. (1) RAON THE SPURT was one of the standouts of the Filly Triple Crown trail with a 3rd and two runner-up finishes in the three races. She returned to class 3 company to win over 1800M on July 30th and while this is her first time back at a sprint distance since she was a juvenile, she had previously excelled at it. She can be on pace and is a big chance. (2) VICTOR MOON and (3) LOVELY K are both front-runners with class 2 form and should be competitive here while (13) LUCKY JAESAN is rising through the grades having won her latest two and has every chance of measuring up in this company.

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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 2)

The draws for the international Korea Cup and Korea Sprint took place at Seoul Racecourse on Thursday ahead of the big races on Sunday. The weekend’s action though gets underway at Busan on Friday where there are 8 races from 12:10 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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

Juvenile maidens to open with and four race for the first time. (4) YEONGGWANGUI TANK is the probable favourite. He has raced twice so far, improving in the second of them when he was runner-up in a good time over this distance. Experience can be important in these kinds of races and he has solid claims to go one better today. (3) BUILD UP has also raced twice, posting decent times in both when running 3rd and 4th. Expect him to be close to the pace here and he too can continue the solid start to his career. As for the first-timers, (6) ATLAS and (8) VERLUC came home 1st and 2nd in fair times when they trialed up together on August 5th and Atlas especially will have backers for a bold showing. (1) HOTFLEX perhaps the best of the rest.

Selections(4) Yeonggwangui Tank (3) Build Up (6) Atlas (8) Verluc
Next Best1, 2
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 8

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

Filly and mare maidens and (9) GAMDONG ENERGY comes in having run a strong 3rd on August 7th, beating a couple of today’s rivals in the proves. That was her second placing finish and an apprentice jockey keeps the weight nice and light again. She has as good a chance as any. (10) J. S. DAY debuted in that August 7th race, running a solid enough 5th. Given the stable, she will be expected to improve for that run and may well start as favourite. (8) LET IT GO has two 3rd place finishes from her latest three, including last time out when she sat handy and ran on over 1300M. She is another who benefits from an apprentice keeping the weight low and she can go close again. (6) URI JOEUNNAL and (4) WONDERFUL SMARTY among others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(9) Gamdong Energy (10) J. S. Day (8) Let It Go (6) Uri Joeunnal
Next Best4, 11
Fast Start2, 3, 9, 10

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(5) DOCTOR KHALIFA will be a warm favourite here having made steady progress across his five starts so far, culminating with a 3rd and a 2nd from his latest two, both at this distance and both times beating a number of today’s rivals. He comes in under the same weight, draws well, and this time can win. (11) FASHION FORCE ONE ran 3rd behind Doctor Khalifa over this distance on August 7th, her second consecutive 3rd place finish. The draw does her no favours here but with a bit of early luck, she can be in this again. (2) SUNSHINE STAR was 4th in that same race. He was first-up that day following five months off and can strip fitter here and get closer. (1) YEONSEUNG GLORY and (10) MEOTJIN HARU are others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(5) Doctor Khalifa (11) Fashion Force One (2) Sunshine Star (1) Yeonseung Glory
Next Best10, 8
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 11

Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(10) MAGIC CLASS made all to comfortably win at start number two over 1000M on July 29th. She comes up in class and slightly up in distance too, but there is no reason why either of those things should be a problem and she has solid claims to win again. The main danger is (1) HUIMANG PUNCH. A winner at this distance three starts back, she has since run twice at this level, registering a useful enough 4th place last time out when sitting handy. She draws well and should go close. (11) GRAPHENE KING is another up in class following a maiden win, in his case when making all over 1200M on August 7th. The margin was eye-catching and while just like Magic Class, he may need a bit of luck from the wide gate, he has every chance of a repeat. (12) OCEAN STORM and (7) WORLD FLOWER among others in the minor money hunt.

Selections(10) Magic Class (1) Huimang Punch (11) Graphene King (12) Ocean Storm
Next Best7, 9
Fast Start1, 10, 11, 12

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

(7) RAP VERSA impressed in trials and then duly obliged on his racecourse debut on August 6th, sitting handy early then taking up the running midway through over 1200M before going to score by as many as he pleased. He comes up in class and marginally in trip too but the manner of that win suggests there is more to come and he will be big favourite to strike again. (1) INDY CHOICE has been working himself back towards another win. He comes in after two front-running placings at this class over 1200M and from a great draw can get an easy run early on here and can be a danger. (6) WIDAEHAN HAMAN made all to win over 1200M on debut on July 29th. The time was as good as Rap Versa’s and she will be expected to measure up in this company. (2) SMARTY DOLPUNG and (11) TRIPLE JILJU among others in the hunt.

Selections(7) Rap Versa (1) Indy Choice (6) Widaehan Haman (2) Smarty Dolpung
Next Best11, 5
Fast Start1, 6, 7, 12
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