Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 28)

Evening racing finally wraps up at Busan today. There’s a 10-race card from 14:20 to 21:00. On Saturday there is racing at Seoul while both tracks run daytime cards on Sunday.

English racecards are here. Notes on simulcast races 1-7 are below:

Race 1: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 55 Million / 14:20 

(5) ADELE ACE was 3rd on debut on October 7th. He didn’t start especially quickly that day but finished strongly. Expect him to be on speed here and he’ll be the strong favourite. (11) KEUN MABEOP led for much of her debut back in September before fading late on and she can also compete here. Among the debut-makers (1) FREE CARE and (7) CITY WINNER looked best in trials.

Selections (5) Adele Ace (7) City Winner (11) Keun Mabeop (1) Free Care
Next Best 3, 10
Fast Starters 5, 7, 11

Race 2: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 55 Million / 14:45 

Thomas Gillespie’s (8) AGNES was a strong finishing 2nd on debut earlier this month (beating Adele Ace who we saw in race 1) and she’s the pick to go one better today. (2) KEUNJAYU and (7) PARTY TONIGHT have both shown promise in their two starts to date and can threaten here while (1) EOREUM GONGJU gets a top jockey booking, should be on speed early and can make a big improvement from her debut. (11) TEUKGEUP GAMDONG, a much improved 4th last time, looks best of the rest.

Selections (8) Agnes (2) Keunjayu (7) Party Tonight (11) Teukgeup Gamdong
Next Best 1, 12
Fast Starters 1, 4, 6

Race 3: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 15:30 

Nothing much here so Peter Wolsley’s debut-maker (7) TIMELESS has as good a chance as any of making a breakthrough. Kim Young Kwan’s (8) HWANGGEUMBIT JILJU also looks an interesting one having debuted disappointingly in June but was solid in a trial earlier this month. Favourite is likely to be (5) YEONGGWANGUIHUNTER who showed improvement in a decent race over the distance on October 7th and can build on that here. (4) SINMYEONGSEONG recorded back to back 3rd places much earlier this year and returns following seven months off with (1) QUEEN MEDIA and (12) GOLD FLYING looking the best of a limited rest.

Selections (7) Timeless (5) Yeonggwanguihunter (1) Queen Media (8) Hwanggeumbit Jilju
Next Best 12, 4, 11
Fast Starters 4, 5, 7

Race 4: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 16:15 

(9) BIG GOLD was 2nd on her first try at this distance in what was admittedly, a weak race at the end of September. This one isn’t much stronger though and she has as good a chance as any. She’ll likely try to lead all the way. Also on speed early will be (6) FRENCH GIRL, who should have come on for her debut two weeks ago. (7) AREUMDAN OECHIM has been inconsistent in four prior starts but has shown ability and should be considered while (2) TIME CASTLE and (10) SOUL also have potential for improvement.

Selections (9) Big Gold (7) Areumdaun Oechim (6) French Girl (2) Time Castle
Next Best 10, 11
Fast Starters 6, 9

Race 5: Class 5 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:00 

The first of the handicaps and the first of two banker favourites of the day. That’s Thomas Gillespie’s (10) EVERGREEN TREE who impressed with a five-length win on debut and while up in class, should be too good for this lot. Also up in class is (3) TIGER SLAM and he could well prove to be the main danger while (5) REALLY ONE has proven capable of winning money at this level and can do so again. (6) LOOK AT ME was a surprise winner last time beating (7) CHARTERED DREAM. Both are up in class here with the latter looking more likely to be able to make the step up. (8) BEST PERFORMER is best of the rest.

Selections (10) Evergreen Tree (3) Tiger Slam (5) Really One (7) Chartered Dream
Next Best 8, 2
Fast Starters 3, 7, 10

Race 6: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:50 

(1) MADEIN MYEONGSEONG returned from almost ten months off with an encouraging 5th place over 1000M two weeks ago and he can build on that here. Expect him to compete for favourite status with (9) KKOKDAEGI, who was slightly disappointing last time out but can go better here. Also set to improve are (3) GEOWIUI KKUM and (6) NAMYANG TOWER, both of whom have been inconsistent. (12) DONGGWANG JEIL was an improved 5th last start and can match or better it here.

Selections (1) Madein Myeongseong (9) Kkokdaegi (3) Geowiui Kkum (6) Namyang Tower
Next Best 12, 2
Fast Starters 1, 3, 6, 8

Race 7: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 18:30 

(1) DAESTAR will be strong favourite here. He has a win a 3rd and a 2nd in three starts to date and this should be his last appearance at this class. He was 2nd last time ahead of (8) BAEDARI GOSU and it’s that one who is likely to be his biggest danger today. (9) BEAUTIFUL was a narrow winner over 1200M last time and is up in class here. Apart from the favourite there is little to be intimidated about. The very experienced pair of (3) YAKSOKUI SIGAN and (7) SAMDA GONGJU are capable of winning money in this company.

Selections (1) Daestar (8) Baedari Gosu (9) Beautiful (3) Yaksokui Sigan
Next Best 7, 5
Fast Starters 1, 2, 10

Europa Leagues Ahead In Gyeongnam Sinmun

Europa was an easy winner of Sunday’s Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup, Busan’s top juvenile race. The colt now should be set to travel to Seoul for December’s Breeders’ Cup.

Trained by Kim Young Kwan and ridden by Kim Yong Geun, the same combination that won the Triple Crown with Power Blade this year, Europa, who hadn’t raced since August, was sent off as 2nd-favourite for the 1200M test. It was in 2nd position that he raced in the early stages with pre-race favourite Ice Marine showing the way. However, once they hit the straight, Europa took things up and galloped clear to win by a full five lengths on the line.

Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup (Listed) – Busan Racecourse – 1200M – October 23, 2016

1. Europa (KOR) [Sharp Humor – It’s Tru Blue (Yes It’s True)] – Kim Yong Geun – 4.5, 1.6
2. Ice Marine (KOR) [Officer – Runkerry Point (Giant’s Causeway)] – Yoo Hyun Myung – 1.4
3. Illyu Star (KOR) [Officer – Run For Little Bit (Tactical Advantage)] – Lim Sung Sil – 2.1
Distances: 5 lengths / 1.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Mhan Yeoljeong 5. Adeleui Bom 6. Summit Day 7. Choegang Driver 8. Sinuipumgyeok 9. Queen’s Queen 10. Bound Queens 11. Hwarangui Huye

Seouls equivalent race on Saturday was won well by Final Boss. Both will be expected to run in the Breeders’ Cup which will take place over 1400M in the capital on December 4.

Sunday Preview (October 23)

There’s a busy day of racing in Korea today with 11 races at Seoul from 10:40 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:50 to 17:05. 

Feature race is at Busan in the shape of the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup, the southern track’s top juvenile race of the year. English racecards here. Just three races will be simulcast overseas today and notes on them are below:

 Busan Race 4: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 15:20

(9) GABO STAR is the one to beat here. He’s won his last two in comfortable style, beating (6) FOR MY SIS by a length three weeks ago at this distance. Both of them are up in class here. Gabo Star should be on speed early and he can complete a hat-trick of victories. The reliable For My Sis can find the money once again but the main danger may turn out to be (10) BIO BLUE. He’s back in the winning habit with two from his last three and while 1200M may be a touch short for him, he’ll be a danger coming from just behind the early pace. (1) JUNGANG YEOJE has suffered a couple of setbacks when favourite in both his last two outings but will surely find at least the places again while (4) ILMANGMUJE weakened late on in a good race over 1400M last month and should go better back at 1200M today.

Selections (9) Gabo Star (10) Bio Blue (1) Jungang Yeoje (6) For My Sis
Next Best 4
Rating 2=8, 3, 10, 7
Fast Starters 1, 4, 7, 9
Start-200M 7, 1, 4, 9, 5
200M-Finish 6, 10, 1, 5, 7

Busan Race 5: Class Open – The Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 250 Million / 16:15

This race is Busan’s top juvenile race of the year with those who perform well likely to go to Seoul in early December to contest the overall Championship. It’s a tricky one too with plenty of unknown quantities. We’ll start with the known though and on that basis, (9) ICE MARINE gets the nod. She’s won three of four so far and beat three of these in a valuable race for domestic sales graduates last month. A fast starter, she’ll possibly be the favourite here. Of those she beat in that race on September 11th, (3) ADELEUI BOM and (7) MUHAN YEOLJEONG look capable of going well here. Trainer Kim Young Kwan saddled winner and runner-up last year; those two went on to win the Oaks and the Triple Crown respectively and Korea’s top trainer comes in well-armed again today. (2) EUROPA is the pick of his pair. He tied up from two furlongs out when up against older horses over 1300M last start but has had two months off since and should be factor here. Kim’s other entrant (6) SINUIPUMGYEOK was 3rd in challenging company at the distance last month and is also likely to have come on. (4) ILLYU STAR comes in two for two and is another who’ll want to be on speed early while (1) QUEEN’S QUEEN and (11) HWARANGUI HUYE are the wildcard picks, both running under in-form expat jockeys.

Selections (6) Sinuipumgyeok (9) Ice Marine (2) Europa (11) Hwarangui Huye
Next Best 4, 10, 3, 1
Fast Starters 2, 4, 9
Start-200M 9, 4, 7, 2, 8
200M-Finish 11, 4, 1, 7, 3

Busan Race 6: Class 2 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 17:05

Another competitive race and while (10) SAEROUN STEALTH demonstrated that he can get two turns with a solid 2nd over 1800M last month but it is at this distance and shorter where he has excelled most so far and he is very much the one to beat here. (4) PUREUN ACE beat (2) AJU CHOEGANG when the pair ran 4th and 5th at class and distance exactly a month ago and both can challenge here with the latter favoured to overturn that result while (3) SEONGSAN PAECHEONG returned to form with a 2nd place at class and distance two weeks ago and can build on that here despite carrying an extra three kilos. (11) MORNING DAERO enters following back to back 2nd place finishes most recently at class and distance and can be fancied for a late charge here.

Selections (10) Saeroun Stealth (2) Aju Choegang (11) Morning Daero (4) Pureun Ace
Next Best 3, 8, 7
Rating 4, 1=11, 2, 3
Fast Starters 5, 6, 10
Start-200M 5, 6, 11, 10, 7
200M-Finish 2, 11, 3, 4, 5

Final Boss Means Game Over For Rivals In Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup

5/1 chance Final Boss swept to victory in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Saturday afternoon. The 2-year-old colt took out the capital’s top juvenile race by almost two-lengths under jockey Choi Bum Hyun. 


Final Boss in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup winner’s circle

Three horses entered the 1200M race with unbeaten records to defend and punters sent two of them, Athena Thunder and Meni Bracing off as almost co-favourites. Both would disappoint.

After Kkumui Silhyeon veered wide out of the gate, dumping jockey Lee Hyeon Jong on the floor in the process, it was the third unbeaten entrant, Circle Dancer, who set the pace with Final Boss only leading longest shot on the board Calling King as they entered the straight.

Once home was in sight though, jockey Choi brought Final Boss around the outside and unleashed his sprint. The favourites had nothing to offer and he was 3rd a furlong out. From then on it was inevitable. Circle Dancer rallied but couldn’t repel the winner but did just manage to edge out Calling King, who had joined Final Boss on his late romp forward.

Final Boss [Menifee – Sinsok Dolpa (Lindo Shaver)] entered following back to back wins, most recently a seven-length stroll over the same distance a month ago. Champion jockey Moon Se Young rode him that day but partnered Meni Bracing today. Choi Bum Hyun got the benefit and may very well keep the ride when he faces Busan’s best in the Breeders’ Cup on December 4th. Busan holds its championship juvenile race, the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup, on Sunday afternoon.

Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup (Listed – Seoul Racecourse – 1200M – October 23, 2016

1. Final Boss (KOR) [Menifee – Sinsok Dolpa (Lindo Shaver)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 5.4, 1.6
2. Circle Dancer (KOR) [Vicar – Uribada (Al Naba)] – Lee Dong Ha – 2.8
3. Calling King (KOR) [Field Asuka – Lovely Shine (French Deputy)] – Kim Cheol Ho – 17.7
Distances: 1.75 lengths / Nose
Also Ran: 4. Castle Royal 5. Meni Bracing 6. Silla Hwarang 7. Athena Thunder DNF: Kkumui Silhyeon

Busan Friday: Race By Race Preview (October 21)

The weekend’s racing gets uunderway at Busan on Friday. 10 races from 14.20 to 21.00. Notes on races 1-7 below:

Race 1: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 55 Million / 13:20 (SIN)


Kim Young Kwan’s (1) GABO QUEENS was beaten five lengths on debut last month but led briefly and showed enough to suggest she will be strong favourite to go one better here. She should lead from gate to wire. (2) BEONGGEULBEONGGEUL has also shown potential in two prior outings with a 3rd and a slightly disappointing 5th after getting a poor start last time. She looks the main danger here. (8) SINBIHAN JILJU debuted badly in August but looked much better in a trial earlier this month and should improve. Among the debut-makers, (12) PRIZE KING and, to a lesser extent, (11) SHARP KING look the ones to watch.



(1) Gabo Queens (2) Beonggeulbeonggeul (8) Sinbihan Jilju (12) Prize King

Next Best

7, 11, 3


Fast Starters



1, 3, 6, 7, 2


2, 6, 1, 7, 8


Race 2: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 55 Million / 13:45 (SIN)


More competitive here but we’ll go with experience again and put (5) TWO TWO RAPTOR on top. He was 2rd on debut last month and while he may eventually prefer slightly further, should be capable of winning in this company. Behind him that day was (3) JOYFUL STORY and he too can improve here. Among the others with prior experience, (11) UJU JEONGBEOL was a bit one-paced on debut but can build on it here. Bart Rice sends out (2) KKEUTPAN AERO for her debut here. She beat (12) WRECKING BALL and (1) PERFECT DIVA when winning a trial at the beginning of this month and should debut positively.



(5) Two Two Raptor (2) Kkeutpan Aero (11) Uju Jeongbeol (3) Joyful Story

Next Best

8, 10


Fast Starters

2, 6


6, 11, 7, 10, 5


3, 5, 10, 11, 4


Race 3: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 14:30 (SIN)


After back to back 3rd place finishes, most recently at this distance, (2) MAJOR DANCER looks ready to win at what will be the fourth time of asking. He’ll be handy early and can finish strongly. Similarly (10) RECHAE beat two of these when racing 3rd at this distance on September 23rd when coming from well off the pace and will be a danger again. (12) MISWICK MYEONGUN has shown potential in three starts since a lengthy lay-off. She’s a strong finisher and the outside gate should pose no problems. Among the rest, (7) DESTINY and (9) HAESEONG STAR look most likely make their breakthrough.



(2) Major Dancer (12) Miswick Myeongun (10) Rechae (7) Destiny

Next Best

9, 3, 4


Fast Starters

8, 9


9, 3, 7, 1, 6


10, 9, 7, 5, 4


Race 4: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 15:15 (SIN)


Banker favourite of the day here in the shape of Peter Wolsley’s (11) ROYAL RUBY. He was beaten seven lengths into 2nd on debut at this distance last month but should have far too much for this indifferent lot. The inconsistent (7) MAGIC WINNER is perhaps the main danger. He was a narrowly beaten 3rd two weeks ago and should be looking for a career best finish here. (1) QUEEN STEALTH showed signs of improvement last start and can continue here while (8) NAMBANG JEONSEOL, who debuted all the way back in December last year, finally returned to action at the end of last month in encouraging style and can place here. (6) PUREUN GANGJA and (10) CHEONJI CHAMP best of a limited rest.



(11) Royal Ruby (7) Magic Winner (8) Nambang Jeonseol (1) Queen Stealth

Next Best

6, 10


Fast Starters



12, 8, 7, 6, 10


11, 4, 7, 9, 6


Race 5: Class 5 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 16:00 (SIN)


(3) DAEBOREUMDAL and (1) MACHO MYEONGUN were 9th and 11th respectively in the betting at class and distance on September 23rd. They defied that to finish 3rd and 4th and both will be much shorter today. Bart Rice’s (10) RACHEL was much more fancied in that race but only managed 6th, weakening late on. Nevertheless, she’s shown enough in her two outings to date to suggest she can overturn that here and despite the wide draw, she’s the slight pick. (9) HUIMANG CHANGA went badly in that race but also gets another chance today while (5) HANNAM ROOKIE is yet to win in eleven but is usually close and should be once more.



(10) Rachel (3) Daeboreumdal (1) Macho Myeongun (5) Hannam Rookie

Next Best

9, 7


4, 3, 1=9=10

Fast Starters

3, 5, 9, 10


10, 9, 5, 3, 6


10, 1, 9, 8, 3


Race 6: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 16:50 (SIN)


Tricky race this with any number in with a chance. (2) ARIKKARI enters in the most promising form though, with a 2nd and a 3rd in his most recent two outings, both times at this distance and both times in reasonable company for this level. He should sit handy early and could come very close. (8) AREUMDAUN YEOWANG and (9) GANGHO IRON have just one win between them but both look very nicely in here. The former will be slowly away but finishes well. (4) WONDER BOY failed to get a mile last start but should be much happier back at 1200M today while the up in class (10) LADY LUCK may also be considered.



(2) Arikkari (4) Wonder Boy (8) Areumdaun Yeowang (10) Lady Luck

Next Best

9, 3, 1


4, 3, 9, 1=2

Fast Starters

1, 4


1, 2, 4, 5, 8


9, 8, 7, 2, 3


Race 7: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:30 (SIN)


(10) INDIAN KING beat Royal Ruby, who we saw in race 4, by seven lengths over this distance on September 23rd. He is up in class here but he’ll be on speed early and he looks the one to beat. His main rivals are up in class too. (7) CHOEGANG OFFICER was 3rd to Indian King’s 2nd when the pair raced in August and went on to beat (1) PARK MAN by a length to score his maiden win last month. Both have claims here with Choegang Officer’s marginally stronger. He’ll be on speed early. As for those with prior experience at this level, (4) SUNGANUI BEOPCHIK was a much improved 2nd a month ago and can aim to match it here while (5) FIRST SUN also showed signs of improvement.



(10) Indian King (7) Choegang Officer (1) Park Man (4) Sunganui Beopchik

Next Best

5, 8


4, 10, 3, 2=7

Fast Starters

3, 5, 7, 10


7, 10, 3, 5, 4


1, 6, 5, 7, 10


Japan-Raced Stallions Biwa Shinseiki & Eagle Cafe Have Died

Biwa Shinseiki, sire of three-time President’s Cup winner Dangdae Bulpae, has died aged 18. The Japanese-bred stallion was standing privately in Korea. Eagle Cafe, winner of the NHK Mile in 2000 and Japan Cup Dirt in 2002, also passed away on Jeju Island in September.

Dangdae Bulpae Jo SUng Gon

Biwa Shinseiki’s best was Dangdae Bulpae, seen here on one of his three visits to the President’s Cup winner’s circle

Bred by Hayata Farms, Biwa Shinseiki [Forty Niner – Oceana (Northern Dancer)] was a very good racehorse in Japan landing 10 wins, 7 places and 8 shows from a total of 33 starts in a career lasting from 2001 until 2004. Those wins included two big Stakes races as well as five consecutive victories between May and December in 2002.

That winning streak came to an end when he was 2nd in that year’s Tokyo Daishoten at Ohi, a race in which he would finish 3rd in 2003. Also in 2003, he was 2nd in the February Stakes, one of the few Grade 1 races in Japan to be run on dirt. Usually run over a mile at Tokyo Racecourse, in 2003 it was held at Nakayama over 1800M.

Due to its dirt and its distance, the February Stakes is a popular race among Korean breeders with past winners Meisei Opera (1999), Admire Don (2004) and most recently Testa Matta (2012) all going on to stand at stud in Korea. Following a racing career in which he earned in excess of 370 Million Japanese  Yen, Biwa Shinseiki was purchased by Korean interests in 2005 to stand at Pureun Farm.

For a privately standing sire, he got plenty of mares but it was in his very first season at Stud, in 2006, when he covered the Alydeed mare Indeed My Dear. She had produced some very average racehorses beforehand but the resulting foal would become one of the best horses Korea has seen.

Dangdae Bulpae would win 19 of his 32 races between 2009 and 2013. He was quite a late-developer as a three-year-old only managing 3rd in the 2010 Korean Derby but he won the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup, in October and a month later returned to Seoul the following month to claim Korea’s joint-richest race, the President’s Cup, something he would go on to do for the following two years.

Dangdae Bulpae’s exploits helped Biwa Shinseiki to 8th place on the Leading Sire list on 2010, to 10th in 2011 and 12th in 2012. None of his other foals would be anything like as good although he produced many winners even if few made it up to class 1 level. Biwa Shinseiki died on September 28. Cause of death is yet to be officially confirmed.

Also passing away in September was Nokwon Farm’s Eagle Cafe (Gulch), another horse who raced in Japan. He was the winner of just five races, however, they included the NHK Mile Cup at Tokyo in 2000 and then in 2002, the Japan Cup Dirt (now known as the Champion’s Cup) under Frankie Dettori.

Eagle Cafe [Gulch – Net Dancer (Nureyev)] was bred in the US but trained in Japan. He also raced in Dubai and France. He came to Korea to stand at Nokwon – a farm with close Japanese ties – in 2011 but covered few mares and was to all intents and purposes retired in 2014. His gelding Honey Butter Nino is the first Korea-based horse in training for Japanese owner Shigeo Kadono. Eagle Cafe died from colic aged 19 on September 30.

Clean Up Joy Romps Home In KRA Cup Classic

Clean Up Joy today showed why he’s the highest-rated horse at Seoul with an easy win in the KRA Cup Classic on a rainy afternoon in the Korean capital.

Jockey Ham Wan Sik departed from his normal tactics on Clean Up Joy and despite 5-year-old leaping rather awkwardly out of the gate opted to push forward to join the early leaders. On a wet track, it paid off handsomely. Clean Up Joy hit the front as the field entered the home straight and ran on to win by a comfortable seven-lengths on the line.

Clean Up Joy (Purge) was recording his 10th win on what was his 20th career start. He was 3rd behind Bold Kings in last year’s Grand Prix Stakes and 4th in this summer’s Busan Mayor’s Cup, beaten only by Beolmaui Kkum, Triple Nine and Success Story. Despite a reverse at the hands of Winning Andy – who also tried his luck here – when conceding 8kg in August, he fully vindicated punters who sent him off at long odds-on today.

Running 2nd was the ever-reliable Unbeatable (Eddington) while long-shot Cheonjeok (Shakespeare) got up for a very creditable 3rd place.

Clean Up Joy was a $14,000 purchase from the OBS two-year-old sale in Florida in June 2013. He’s now won in excess of $800,000 in prize-money.

KRA Cup Classic (KOR G2) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – October 16, 2016

1. Clean Up Joy (USA) [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeaux Danseur)] – Ham Wan Sik – 1.3, 1.1
2. Unbeatable (USA) [Eddington – Baxter Hall (Rahy)] – Song Jae Chul – 3.2
3. Cheonjeok (USA) [Shakespeare – Celtic Song (Giant’s Causeway)]
Distances: 7 lengths / 3 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Clean Up Cheonha (USA) 5. Dynamic Jilju (USA) 6. Bichui Wangja (USA) 7. Areumdaundonghaeng (USA) 8. Winning Andy (USA) 9. Chief Red Can (USA) 10. Damyang Chukje (USA)