Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 19)

Saturday at Seoul sees 11 races from 14:00 to 21:00. Notes on all are below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

1. JEONGSANG GADO – Sole start in February. Re-qualified behind some very quick ones last month. Not yet.
2. CUPID DOCTOR – 4th of 12 ahead of Jeonsin Mukyang on promising debut on July 23rd. In the hunt.
3. BROWN BOMBER – First-time starter. Trialed up ok although others favoured.
4. MALAKAS – Debut-maker. Won his trial in good fashion. First foal out of his dam, who ran very well in Korea. Interesting.
5. CHEONGUN ILHO – Finish in midfield in all of five starts last autumn and winter. First appearance since February. Looked ok in trial.
6. JUNGDONG JIJON – 4th on debut on July 22nd. Can get closer today.
7. BLUE SHARK – Sent back to trial after woeful debut over 1300M. Was entered at that distance because of hanging inwards in training. Drops back today. Trialed ok.
8. CHOWON YEOJEONSA – 10th behind Argo Unique last time. Lots to find.
7. ARGO UNIQUE – Shown some promise in four starts so far although disappointed when odd-on favourite in June. 6th last time ahead of Chowon yeojeonsa and in the frame today.
8. SACHEON DAESEONG – Best from seven outings is a 5th of 11 back in April. Last of 10 on latest at 1300M on July 16th.
9. MAJJABEUN SON 0 7th of 10 on debut on July 15th. Failed to quicken.
10. JEONSIN MUKYANG – 8th of 12 on debut behind Cupid Doctor on debut on July 23rd.

Verdict: The interestingly named (4) MALAKAS looks an interesting prospect. First foal from a dam who was a very good racehorse in Korea and a good looking trial winner, he can win first up. (2) CUPID DOCTOR was an encouraging 4th on debut and can build on that today. At the opposite end of the scale (7) BLUE SHARK was dreadful on debut but (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 18)

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday afternoon with a 10-race card from 14:30 to 21:00. Notes on all races (1-6)  for overseas simulcast below:

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

1. SPECIAL POWER – Three slow efforts so far. 9th of 11 on latest at 1300M. Outsider.
2. BEAUTIFUL ACT – Was 200/1 on debut on May 19th but came 4th. Not seen since but could match that.
3. VICTORY ROAD – Only beat one home on debut at 1000M on July 7th. Lots to find.
4. ATOMIJI – Best result a 2nd over 1300M in June. 3rd of 12 last time ahead of Busan Bolt and favourite to score here.
5. SILVER LINE – Took a while to qualify going through a lot of trials. Can’t be backed first-up.
6. EDGE OF WINNER – First-time starter. Trialed up ahead of Silver Line in July. Watching brief here.
7. FULL HOUSE – Beat Atomiji in trials way back in March but only beat one home on actual debut in May. First start since.
8. BLESS YOU – Best a 3rd place ahead of Beautiful Act Atomiji in May and then 5th last start behind a few decent ones. Two months off since and should be looking for career-best here.
9. SEONHO – First-time who trialed up ok. Half sister to some modest ones who were capable of winning at low levels.
10. BOLD RULES – Looks the best of the first-times. Competent in trials.
11. BUSAN BOLT – Best from nine starts so far is 5th but she was less than length behind Atomiji last time on August 6th and can seek a career best here.
12. GOLDEN AGE – Much improved 2nd on return from three months off on July 14th. Can go well again.

Verdict: (8) BLESS YOU, (2) BEAUTIFUL ACT and (4) ATOMIJI raced each other all the way back in May, finishing 3rd, 4th and 9th respectively. However, it’s Atomiji who has appeared to come on the most since then and Thomas Gillespie’s filly gets the nod here. She beat (11) BUSAN BOLT last time and that one can challenge again as can (12) (more…)

Derby Winners Power Blade & Final Boss Back To Winning Ways

The winners of the last two Korean Derby’s found their ways back into the winner’s circle last Sunday. 2016 Triple Crown winner Power Blade defeated stablemate Triple Nine to win the Busan Owners’ Cup while 2017 Derby victor Final Boss scored in a rather more modest contest at Seoul.

For Power Blade it was a first start since returning from the Dubai World Cup Carnival where he scored a couple of very creditable 3rd place finishes. He won the domestic Triple Crown last year with ease but had to play second fiddle to stablemate Triple Nine, one year his senior, in the later season races. On Sunday, at a mile though, it was all about Power Blade who gave jockey Franco Da Silva his first Korean Group race winner.

Owners’ Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 1600M – August 13, 2017

1. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain)] – Francisco Da Silva – 9.5, 2.3
2. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] – Lim Sung Gil – 1.0
3. Doraon Hyeonpyo (KOR) [Colors Flying – Kilcoe Castle (Gone West)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.7
Distances: 1 length / 0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. City Star 5. Success Story 6. Zettabyte 7. Beolmaui Sin 8. Baedari Bobae 9. Two Two Raptor

Up at Seoul, this year’s Derby winner was also triumphant, albeit in slightly less illustrious company. Nevertheless, Final Boss still had to defeat Sinjo Daehyeop, one of the track’s top class 1 handicappers, as well as his greatest danger – his own erratic style – to prevail over 1800M.

Champion juvenile last year, Final Boss was well fancied heading to Busan for the first leg of this year’s Triple Crown, the KRA Cup Mile in April but arrived looking out of sorts and blew his race in the early stages before rallying for 5th. He then won the Korean Derby despite running wild and wide in the closing stages before beng lackluster once more in the Minister’s Cup with another 5th place.

On Sunday, champion jockey Moon Se Young, freshly returned from a stint in Singapore, took the mount and took Final Boss forward early, stalking the leader before hitting the front turning into the home straight and going clear to win comfortably. Sinjo Daehyeop, who was conceding 6kg, could only finish 4th.

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (August 13)

Sunday is a huge day of racing in Korea with potential Korea Cup & Sprint implications too. Stablemates Triple Nine and Power Blade renew hostilities in the graded Owners’ Cup at Busan while Derby winner Final Boss will seek to get back to winning ways at Seoul. There are 12 races at Seoul from 11:45 to 19:00 and 5 at Busan from 14:15 to 17:40. Notes on every race below:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

1. BLACK MUSIC – Two 4ths among latest three. Can repeat.
2. BEST SIDAE – 5th of 11 in similar race last month.
3. BULHUUI SEUNGJA – First try at this distance. Likely front-runner.
4. C.K.QUEEN – Best of 2nd, comes in off 4th of 12 in similar race last time and can go better here.
5. DAEHAN GANGSAN – Improved 2nd on first try at this distance last time. Big chance.
6. HERO KING – Managed three 4th places among seven starts. Would be a good result today.
7. ONLY BARAM – 9th of 11 on debut last month. Not backable yet,
8. JEGUKUI HUYE – Interrupted career so far with four starts spread over almost a year. Did improve last time.

Verdict: Small field to start with and (5) DAEHAN GANGSAN is top choice having showed a liking for this distance on his first attempt at it last time out. He can sit behind the early speed and finish strongly. That speed can be set by (3) BULHUUI SEUNGJA, who along with (4) C.K. QUEEN, look to be the main dangers.


Selections (5) Daehan Gangsan (3) Bulhuui Seungja (4) C.K. Queen (1) Black Music
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 1, 3


Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 12)

Big 15-race card at Seoul on Saturday. Race 1 is at 14:00 and Race 15 at 21:00. Full preview below:


Playtime’s over. Moon Se Young is back in town 9Pic: Ross Holburt)


Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million


1. MINDEULRE CHUKJE – Best of 5th from six outings.
2. YAHO WORLD STAR – 8th on both tries so far. Showed prominently last start but weakened.
3. HWANGGEUM YEONMOT – Improved 4th ahead of Kaiser Queen on latest start at odds of 120/1. May be shorter today but still others favoured.
4. KAISER QUEEN – Beaten by Hwanggeum Yeonmeot in early July but recovered two weeks ago to run 3rd of 11 in wet conditions. Chance today.
5. NOBLE QUEEN – Well backed on debut following winning trial but came last after stumbling out of the gate. Three months off since and fresh start today.
6. CUPID DATE – Took a while to qualify and then only beat two on debut a month ago.
7. BEST DOLPUNG – Average trial followed by average debut last month.
8. SHARK KING – Just second start for this 5-year-old. Raced once last autumn – came last. Trialed up ok but a total wildcard here.
9. HONEY BAROWS – About time this one won. Has had a couple of hard luck stories and also just run badly a couple of times but can put things right here.
10. DUAL CHOEGANG – Has been steadily improving. 4th last time over 1000M and can continue to progress today.


Verdict: Pretty competitive opener with (4) KAISER QUEEN and (9) HONEY BAROWS the top picks. Both have been close but inconsistent and we’ll go with the latter to step up here. (3) HWANGGEUM YEONMOT defied lengthy odds last time to improve and could maintain that here while (10) DUAL CHOEGANG looks best of the rest.


Selections (9) Honey Barows (4) Kaiser Queen (3) Hwanggeum Yeonmot (10) Dual Choegang
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 2, 3, 4, 9


Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 11)

Friday is nominations day for the 2017 Korea Cup & Sprint which will be run at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday September 10th. Horses from almost all corners of the globe are likely to be among the accepted entries. In the meantime though, we have racing to attent to, principally in the form of a 14-race Friday card at Busan which will run from 14:30 to 21:00. Busan Mayor’s Cup winner I’m Your Father is in action in the feature race:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

1. TRUMPET MAJOR – Improved 6th last time. Still more to find.
2. GIPPEUM SARANG – 6th behind Haneolui Gisang last start. Can improve here.
3. MAKGANG BOLT – Best of 4th in six outings so far. Not shown much in the way of speed. Might not need to place here.
4. HANEOLUI GISANG – Encouraging 5th on debut albeit in slow race. big chance here.
5. SILLAUI SIDAE – Exceptionally slow in all five outings so far. Steer clear.
6. HWARYEOHAN TAEYANG – Ha a couple of 3rd places among 13 prior efforts. Steps back in trip for first time in a long time and is a contender in this company.
7. YUKWAEHAN JILJU – Not beaten many in three starts so far.
8. CHOEGANG SEONBONG – Last of seven on debut.

Verdict: Not a strong race but something’s got to win and purely on the grounds of having done the least amount wrong so far, we arrive at (4) HANEOLUI GISANG, 5th on debut last month and ready to push on here. He finished just a head in front of (2) (more…)

Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 6)

Big day at Busan tomorrow. Not only are there 15 races from 11:45 to 19:00, the first 11 of those will be distributed through Sky Racing World for wagering in the USA for the very first time. English racecards can be found here and notes on all races for simulcast are below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 55 Million

1. MAY STAR – half brother has won four of eleven so far. Adequate in trials but others favoured first up.
2. QUEEN’S ROYAL – Came through a good trial with experienced racehorses last month. Placing chances.
3. EURO GONGJU – 6th in both starts today and hasn’t shown much in the way of speed. Won’t be favoured.
4. KING’S POWER – Half brother to a lot of very average horses. Trial was average too. Top jockey booking.
5. YEONGHUI SIDAE – Odds-on favourite on debut but just fell short. This Hansen colt should get it right this time.
6. BEOLMA HAMSEONG – Top trainer/jockey combination, especially with 2-year-olds. Nothing special in trials but looked competent enough.
7. ACE DOLPUNG – Cowboy Cal colt who was 5th of 8 on debut on June 30th. Just weakened a bit late on and should improve on that today.
8. YEONGCHEON STAR – 4th on debut on June 30th, ahead of Ace Dolpung. Has to be in the placing frame here.

Verdict: Hansen’s first Korean crop looks very promising and (5) YEONGHUI SIDAE should be the latest of them to make the breakthrough and get his maiden win here. He fell short when a prohibitive favourite on debut in June but a month on and Thomas Gillespie should have him just right for this. He’s hard to bet against but if we do take (more…)