Month: April 2016

Sunday Race Notes: Busan Ilbo Cup

Success Story, Beolmaui Kkum, Gamdonguibada, Gumpo Sky, New York Blue. And more. The first leg of the K-Sprint Series which, will culminate in the Korea Sprint on International Day in September, takes place at Busan on Sunday in the shape of the Busan Ilbo Cup and there is a star-studded line-up.

Beolmaui Kkum

Beolmaui Kkum faces Success Story in the Busan Ilbo (Pic: Ross Holburt)

There is also a full card of racing at Seoul where the first race is at 10:50 and the last at 18:00. Busan runs from 13:00 to 17:05. The Cup is one of three races from Busan which will be shown in Australia on Sky Racing 2. English language race cards are here. Notes on the three Sky races:

Busan Race 3: Class 3 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 14:30 (KST)

A small but competitive field and (3) IN THE BACK enters the slight favourite following a 2nd place at class and distance on April 17th. He is from Busan’s top stable and has finished no worse than 2nd in any of his last eight starts. He will try to lead from gate-to-wire. The main danger is (8) SAENA. She hasn’t won since last June when she was successful at class and distance but enters with solid form behind her and she beat two of these when finishing 2nd over 1400M last month. Being back at a mile today should suit. (5) SANBANG TRAIL was 4th in that same race as Saena last month and should at least match that today with (1) JOKWANG and (7) MORNING GANGJA perhaps the best of the rest.

Selections (3) In The Back (8) Saena (5) Sanbang Trail (1) Jokwang
Next Best 7, 4, 6
Outsiders 2
Fast Starters 3, 5

Busan Race 4: Class 3 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 15:20 (KST)

While suffering a severe case of second-itis – he’s never won but has been runner-up in each of his last four outings – (11) DAEJONGCHEON is the pick to finally get it right today. This is by virtue of his having beaten three of these when just going down by a neck over 1400M on April 3rd. He tries this distance for the first time. If Daejongcheon is to find one too quick again – and let’s face it, he might – the Bart Rice-trained (4) GIANT HOLD looks the most likely candidate. A class 4 winner at a mile in March, he was 3rd at this distance, beating Aussie-bred (7) STAR WARP, last time out. There is more Australian interest in this as Peter Wolsley saddles the lightly-raced (9) TURNPIKE. This is just his fifth start and he was beaten by Daejoncheon last time but he may appreciate the extra distance today. (10) SEMPER FI should also enjoy being back at 1800M and should be close with (5) GEOCHIMEOPSI and (6) NAGASINDA the more wildcard choices.

Selections (11) Daejongcheon (4) Giant Hold (9) Turnpike (10) Semper Fi
Next Best 6, 7, 5
Outsiders 1, 2, 3, 8
Fast Starters 6, 10, 11

Busan Race 5: Class Open – The Busan Ilbo Cup (Korea Sprint Series 1L / 1200M / Weight for Age / KRW 300 Million / 16:15 (KST)

(1) SUCCESS STORY is the marquee name here. Last seen running 3rd to California Chrome over 2000M at Meydan in February (in a prep race at the Carnival, not the actual World Cup race) he makes his return home in a hugely competitive 1st leg of the Korean Sprint Series. Success Story is capable at any distance between 1000 and 2000M and he has claims under Italian jockey Paolo Aragoni, but he may well not even be the favourite. That’s because his owner also enters (3) BEOLMAUI KKUM, the highest rated horse in Korea right now. Winner of fifteen of his twenty-five races, he is unbeaten in two races since returning from a six-month spell. A powerful starter, he will take on Success Story for the early lead and has every chance of beating him. (7) GAMDONGUIBADA has been beaten by Beolmaui Kkum in both her last two starts but remains dangerous as does (11) GUMPO SKY, who only ever races in tough company and is intriguingly dropped back to 1200M for the first time since he was a three-year-old. He usually goes forward but may let the others get on with it here. (10) PERDIDO POMEROY takes a big leap up in class but has plenty of potential while (9) NEW YORK BLUE, a very good sprinter in the past is the wildcard returning from seven months out. She looked sharp in trials.

Selections (3) Beolmaui Kkum (1) Success Story (7) Gamdonguibada (10) Perdido Pomeroy
Next Best 11, 9, 5, 4
Outsiders 2, 6, 8
Fast Starters 3, 1, 4

Aragoni Debuts At Busan While Dean Cleans Up At Trials

This article by Michael Lee at the Singapore Turf Club’s website explains in detail about Brian Dean’s sweeping of all three barrier trials at Seoul Racecourse on Friday morning.


An essential addition to the discerning punter’s wardrobe

Dean has been an amiable presence around the racecourse since arriving in Seoul in January and with eleven horses in his stable, including the class 1 pair of Cinderella Man and Samjeong Jewang, he is now ready to go.

The former Kranji trainer will send out his first runner, Jangsanjewang, next Sunday May 8th, in a race which will, coincidentally,  be beamed back live to Singapore.

The other Aussie Dean, Dean Holland will ride that horse but two other foreign jockeys are set to have their first rides at Seoul this Sunday. India’s Imran Chisty and Australian Patrick Keane will be in limited action with both expected to have larger books next week.

At Busan on Friday, Italian jockey Paolo Aragoni made his riding debut. He impressed too, guiding the unfancied pair of Northern Trace and Ocean Line to 2nd place finishes in races 2 and 4 respectively. In between, he rode American owner Joe Dallao’s Noble Warrior to his 2nd consecutive 3rd place for trainer Bart Rice in race 3.

While Aragoni was beaten on the only favourite he rode, Blue Cat in race 7, it was a very creditable start. He will ride Success Story in the Busan Ilbo Cup on Sunday. A full preview of Sunday’s meeting, including the very competitive Cup race, will be up on the site later today.

Ikuyasu Kurakane was among the winners on Friday, partnering Thomas Gillespie’s Haneolui Jilju to a hard-fought victory in race 4.

Equine performer of the day was Evangeline, who stepped up to class 2 for the first time in the 1200M closing race 10 and came through late to score her sixth win from nine starts.

Saturday April 30
Seoul Racecourse: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 11:55 to 17:20

Sunday May 1
Seoul Racecourse: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 13:00 to 17:05

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with a ten-race card from 12:40 to 19:00. There will be racing in Seoul on Saturday and then at both Seoul and Busan on Sunday.

Click here for English race cards. Italian jockey Paolo Aragoni makes his debut in race 2. Here are notes on races 2-10:

Race 2: Class 6 / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 13:25 (KST)

(6) GIFTED SUN has shown improvement in each of three starts to date culminating in a 2nd place last time on March 25thand he is strongly favoured to score here. He should have too much for this field but (4) DANGCHAN JILJU will challenge him for the lead early and can stay on well. (11) BAEDARI GOSU was an encouraging 5th on debut earlier this month and should build on that today while (8) B.K. ONE, 2nd in a weak race at this distance in March, and (9) KWAEDO YEOGEOL, who improved on her second start three weeks ago, are the others to consider.

Selections (6) Gifted Sun (4) Dangchan Jilju (9) Kwaedo Yeogeol (11) Baedari Gosu
Next Best 8, 1, 10
Outsiders 2, 3, 5, 7, 12
Fast Starters 4, 6

Race 3: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 14:10 (KST)

(4) CAPE MAGIC beat three of these when finishing 2nd at this distance on April 1st and needs to be respected here accordingly. However, it wasn’t a strong race so we therefore may find ourselves tempted instead by (8) KWAEHAN YEONGUNG, who also comes in following a 2nd place last time but in stiffer company and on what was just his third career start. He started slowly that day but expect him to go forward much earlier this time and he has a solid chance. (3) GORYEOUI KKUM has shown promise with a 2nd and a 4th in two starts to date and can go well here. (12) BANJIUI YEOJEONSA was sent back to trial after a poor outing when well-backed in February. She flew through that trial at the beginning of this month and can’t be ruled out. (7) NOBLE WARRIOR, who seems to be getting some momentum going, is the other one to look out for.

Selections (8) Kwaehan Yeongung (4) Cape Magic (7) Noble Warrior (12) Banjiui Yeojeonsa
Next Best 3, 11 , 9, 1, 2
Outsiders 5, 6, 10
Fast Starters 2, 8, 12

Race 4: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 15:00 (KST)

(4) DAMNYANG JANGGUN was a seven-length winner of a class 6 race over this distance in February. Stepped up to 1400M for his first try at this class a month ago he was sent off as favourite but could only manage 3rd. Back at 1200M today though he is going to be very tough to beat and will be the strong favourite. If he is to be stopped (5) KWAEHAN MYEONGPUM may be best placed. She beat a couple of these when running 3rd on April 1st, continuing a string of solid recent results. (8) GUMPO DIVA races for the first time this year and in this company should be able to pick up where she left off from in the autumn. It’s pretty thin behind those with (6) COOL RUN and (7) GANGJA DAERO perhaps the best.

Selections (4) Damnyang Janggun (5) Kwaehan Myeongpum (8) Gumpo Diva (6) Cool Run
Next Best 7, 2, 9
Outsiders 1, 3, 10
Fast Starters 1, 4, 5, 9

Race 5: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 15:50 (KST)

(6) EOROK is up in class having landed her maiden win at the ninth attempt on March 25th. It was at this distance and there is no reason why she shouldn’t be able to cope with this level. She can go close. (5) UNFLAGGING HEART beat two of these when 2nd on April 8th and will look to get off to a fast start here and can go close while (3) CLEAN CHOEGANG has a 2nd and two 3rds among his last four outings and should be involved again. (2) YUSEONG STAR beat Unflagging Heart over 1200M in March and while slightly disappointing last start can be given another chance here. (9) SAEBYEOK STAR looks the other one to consider.

Selections (5) Unflagging Heart (6) Eorok (3) Clean Choegang (2) Yuseong Star
Next Best 9, 12, 11, 4
Outsiders 1, 7, 8, 10
Fast Starters 2, 5, 9, 12

Race 6: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 16:40 (KST)

Quite an open contest this but we’ll go with (13) GOLD SKY, 2nd at class and distance on April 3rd to go one better here. It often pays to follow Korean breds in this type of race at this time of year and that could be the case again today. Less than a length behind Gold Sky in that April 3rd race was (9) KWAESOK BARAM and he should come close again today. (5) SEUNGNI UNCLE MO is a class and distance winner already and will look to go forward early here as will (11) GREAT SONG, who did ok on his debut at the end of March behind Seungni Uncle Mo and should have come on for it. (1) BUGYEONG CHAMP was a solid 3rd last start and can match that today.

Selections (13) Gold Sky (5) Seungni Uncle Mo (9) Kwaeseok Baram (11) Great Song
Next Best 1, 10, 14, 4,
Outsiders 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 12
Fast Starters 5, 9, 11

Race 7: Class 5 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:20 (KST)

Three starts and three 2nd place finishes so far for (1) BLUE CAT, each time behind decent ones including Damnyang Janggun, who we saw earlier in race 4. She will lead early here and this is surely her best chance to make the breakthrough. (5) GARAK GONGWON beat (10) DOCHI last time out and those two look most likely to challenge the favourite while the up in class (7) SMART MARINE is capable of at least repeating the 3rd place he has scored in both his last two outings. Also up in class is (4) CHOEGANG EXCELLENT, having won at odds in excess of 100/1 on March 25th. He will struggle to repeat that today but does need to be afforded a bit more respect.

Selections (1) Blue Cat (10) Dochi (5) Garak Gongwon (7) Smart Marine
Next Best 4, 6
Outsiders 2, 3, 8, 9
Fast Starters 1, 9

Race 8: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 18:00 (KST)

It could be a quick double for Bart Rice here as (2) FOR MY SIS looks the slight pick of these. She beat (10) SEUNGNI GRAND when finishing 3rd at class and distance on April 3rd and has nothing to fear in this field. She will likely try to come from just off a pace that will probably be set by (4) TURBO ENERGY, up in class following his second win in four starts and also a contender here. (5) YEONSEUNG JILJU, disappointing at 1400M last month, will also go forward and has much better claims at this distance. Never a winner but a perennial placer, (11) YEONGGWANGUICHUBOK can place yet again, while (1) B.K. KING and (8) BAEDARI BOBAE are others to look out for.

Selections (2) For My Sis (5) Yeonseung Jilju (4) Turbo Energy (11) Yeonggwanguichubok
Next Best 8, 1, 10
Outsiders 3, 6, 7, 9
Fast Starters 4, 5, 8

Race 9: Class 3 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 18:30 (KST)

Small field here and following on from a 2nd place at class and distance on April 8th, (1) GOSOK JILJU is favourite to land this one. That performance was much improved on his other recent starts and he can keep the momentum going here. (5) REALLY KING beat (8) JUNGANGUI JANGSU and (4) CHEONJI HERO at his distance in February but hasn’t raced since. (6) GLOBAL KING didn’t go well at 1200M last start but should be more comfortable today. (7) USEUNGIJI has struggled in his last two outings but should go right back here and the race could set itself up quite nicely for him. He has a chance.

Selections (1) Gosok Jilju (6) Global King (5) Really King (7) Useungiji
Next Best 8, 4
Outsiders 2, 3
Fast Starters 2, 6, 8

Race 10: Class 2 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 19:00 (KST)

(8) EVANGELINE is up in class following her fifth win in eight starts at the start of this month. It was at this distance and she still looks to have plenty of potential for development which can begin with victory here. (1) SUPREME MAGIC finished off her three-year-old campaign with a pair of victories last autumn but hasn’t raced since. She looked sharp though in a trial earlier this month and should be considered as one of the main dangers to the favourite here. Other dangers include (12) JIBONG SARANG and (2) YUSEONG FIGHTING, both proven winners at this class with the former slightly favoured here while the latter will almost certainly set the early pace. (6) ACE CHEONBOK was one of four of these beaten by (11) CHOEGANG BULPAE at class and distance at the end of March but is another with potential for improvement. (4) FRENCH BOY was another of those beaten that day. He may just have found his level at class 2 after winning five of his first eight but he can’t be ruled out just yet.

Selections (8) Evangeline (12) Jibong Sarang (1) Supreme Magic (2) Yuseong Fighting
Next Best 6, 4, 11, 9
Outsiders 3, 5, 7, 10
Fast Starters 2, 3, 4

Success Story Headlines Sprint Series 1st Leg

Success Story made his mark at a mile and at 2000M in Dubai earlier this year but he drops all the way down to 1200M for his first start back home in Busan in Sunday’s Busan Ilbo Cup, the first leg of the inaugural Korean Sprint Series.


Back at Busan: Success Story

And what an opportunity it is for Italian jockey Paolo Aragoni who gets the plum ride on Success Story on his first weekend riding in Korea.

That said, it is a very tough race. Beolmaui Kkum – who along with Success Story is owned by Lee Jong Hun – will be there along with up and comers Indian Star and Perdido Pomeroy.  Gamdonguibada, Oreuse  and the always-game Gumpo Sky are also among those with claims..

The Sprint series is new for this year with Sunday’s Busan Ilbo Cup being followed by two international races; the SBS Korea/Japan Cup on June 5th and then the $700K Korea Sprint on September 11th, both of which will be run at Seoul. All three races are to be contested over 1200M.

Success Story placed 3rd in both his races in Dubai, exceeding expectations back in Korea where it had been hoped he would simply manage to stay with the field. Cheongu, who also went to Dubai, put in a slightly disappointing performance on his own return to domestic racing at Seoul last weekend, coming home 6th in a class 1 handicap.

Speaking of Seoul, the capital’s entry for the Busan Ilbo Cup is disappointing – although not unexpected – so credit to the connections of the three who are having a go.

We will have a full runner by runner preview of the race (along with the rest of Busan’s Sunday card) up on Saturday. In the meantime, here is the full field (Name [Sire] Age Sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Trainer – Jockey).

Busan Ilbo Cup (Listed) – Busan Racecourse – 1200M – May 1, 2016 (16:15)

1. Success Story (KOR) [Peace Rules] 5 H (20/10/2/4) JK Min – Paolo Aragoni
2. Damyang Chukje (USA) [Good Reward] 7 H (32/5/3/4) HJ Bae – Jo Jae Ro
3. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) [Put It Back] 6 H (25/15/3/3) KY Baik – Seo Seung Un
4. Indian Star (KOR) [Adcat] 4 F (11/8/1/1) JB Mun – Ikuyasu Kurakane
5. Oreuse (USA) [Smoke Glacken] 7 H (33/13/4/4) YG Yoon – Kim Dong Young
6. All Su (KOR) [Perfect Vision II] 8 H (66/9/9/10) HJ Bae – Yoon Tae Hyuk
7. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin] 7 M (34/14/5/7) YK Kim – Choi Si Dae
8. Daepungnyeon (KOR) [Pico Central] 4 G (13/70/1) BH Kim – Song Keong Yun
9. New York Blue (USA) [Candy Ride] 5 M (21/7/8/1) KM Lim – You Hyun Myung
10. Perdido Pomeroy (USA) [Pomeroy] 3 C (5/4/0/1) JB Mun – Kim Yong Geun
11. Gumpo Sky (KOR) [Vicar] 5 H (28/9/8/4) SJ Kwon – Lim Sung Sil

*Starts for Success Story and Gamdonguibada include those in races overseas

Four Foreign Jockeys Newly Licensed In Korea

Four foreign jockeys have recently been licensed in Korea. Japan’s Yonekura Satoshi began riding at Busan on Friday and is about to be joined on the south-coast by Italian Paolo Aragoni. Meanwhile at Seoul, India’s Imran Chisty and Australian Patrick Keane have arrived in the capital and are set to start as soon as possible.


Paolo Aragoni is set to join Busan (Pic: Supplied by jockey)

35-year-old Paolo Aragoni debuted in Italy in 1997 and has ridden seven Group 3 and numerous Listed race winners in his home country among more than 700 career winners overall. His riding weight is 53kg.

Yonekura Satoshi has been riding in Japan’s NAR since 1994, most recently based at Kanazawa Racecourse. The 40-year-old jockey has partnered over 1300 winners throughout his career and has a riding weight of 51kg.

Imran Chisty turned professional in 1997. The 39-year-old Indian rider has mainly been at the Bangalore Turf Club where over the past three years he has 216 winners while achieving a Moon Se Young-esque quinella strike-rate of 33%.He can ride at 50kg.

The youngest of the newcomers is up and coming Australian jockey Patrick Keane. Based in Victoria, 23-year-old Kean has a quinella strike rate of 15.3% over the last three years on the ultra-competitive circuit there.

Aragoni and Satoshi join Makoto Okabe, Ikuyasu Kurakane and Pasquale Borelli at Busan taking the foreign jockey contingent on the south-coast up to five following Nozi Tomizawa’s departure last month.  Chisty and Kean’s addition at Seoul mean there are now four foreign jockeys in the capital, Djordje Perovic and Dean Holland being the others.

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview

It’s set to be a dry, albeit misty Saturday in the South Korean capital of Seoul. There are eleven races in total from 10:50 to 18:00. English Racecards can be found here. Notes on races 4-11 are below:

Race 4: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:00 (KST)

A three-length winner on debut, (4) LAST CODIE steps up in class and distance but is still the strong pick to make all and win here. Main danger (2) HIGH VET is also up in class but is yet to win in eight starts and will need to improve as will (3) CHOWONUI CHANGA , who raced poorly at 1300M last month and needs a better start today. (8) EUNSANDEOKAE was 2nd at 1300M last start and can go close again while (10) AMERICA DREAM and (12) PARTY TIME look to be the others to consider.

Selections (4) Last Codie (2) High Vet (8) Eunsandeokae (10) America Dream
Next Best 3, 12, 1
Outsiders 5, 6, 7, 9, 11
Fast Starters 1, 4, 11

Race 5: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:50 (KST)

Up in class after his maiden win at this distance on March 19th, (1) DANGDAE GEOLJAK is one of three standouts here. He is likely to go straight to the front from the gate and has every chance of staying on for the win. The two other fancies raced each other at this distance on March 26th and it was (10) DIDORPHIN who finished 2nd to (8) GWANGYANG DOLPUNG’s 3rd. The latter was favourite that day and both will be well fancied here. Already a winner, Gwangyang Dolpung is slightly favoured again this time. The rest will need to find plenty but (4) CHOWON BOLT and the up in class (11) SEONGEUP GANGTOL look the pick of them.

Selections (8) Gwangyang Dolpung (1) Dangdae Geoljak (10) Didorphin (11) Seongeup Gangtol
Next Best 4, 9, 5, 7
Outsiders 2, 3, 6
Fast Starters 1, 2, 9, 10, 11

Race 6: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 14:40 (KST)

We’ll go with (7) TRIPLE SHINING, who comes in following 3rd and 2nd place finishes to go forward from the gate and get his maiden win. Already a winner at class and distance, (1) SMOKEN JOE looks to be the main danger while (8) MADURYEONG is yet to strike in eight attempts but closed really strongly for 3rd last time out and can go well. (12) TONGILDAEBAK has beaten plenty of these recently and should be competitive while (2) OPEN BANK and (9) POWER BISEUL are others to watch.

Selections (7) Triple Shining (1) Smoken Joe (8) Maduryeong (9) Power Biseul
Next Best 12, 10, 2
Outsiders 3, 4, 5, 6, 11
Fast Starters 1, 2, 6, 7

Race 7: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 15:30 (KST)

Banker favourite of the day here and it will be (4) CITY STAR, a nine-length winner over 1200M on March 26th. He is up in class today but there is little here that should trouble him. Also up in class is (10) YEONGNONG. His maiden win was slightly less visually impressive and it was at 1000M but he won it well and will be competitive here too. Of those with experience at this level (2) STORM RYKER just struggled to stay on down the rail and was just beaten in a very tight finish when favourite last month at 1200M. Given a better trip today, he can be dangerous. (3) DAL HANGARI is yet to win in twenty-one outings but regularly comes close while (5) I AM STAR is also capable in this company.

Selections (4) City Star (2) Storm Ryker (10) Yeongnong (3) Dal Hangari
Next Best 5, 8, 6
Outsiders 1, 7, 9, 11, 12
Fast Starters 2, 4, 5

Race 8: Class 4 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 16:30 (KST)

(2) JEWELRY PARK enters after three consecutive wins, including one at this class. She is the likely pace-setter and will be well supported but she may not be favourite to keep that winning streak going. That favourite is likely to be (1) CHANMA, who is up in class following a very solid four-length win at 1300M on March 13th and should show further development as the distances get longer. (5) SINGGEUREOUNBOM is a capable performer at this level and should be placing with (6) OFFIDAY and (8) MY HAPPY posing the most credible threats.

Selections (1) Chanma (2) Jewelry Park (5) Singgeureounbom (6) Offiday
Next Best 8
Outsiders 3, 4, 7
Fast Starters 2

Race 9: Class 3 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 17:00 (KST)

Another three-race winning streak is on the line here and this time it is (6) OCULUS, who beat a couple of these when completing his hat-trick, who is the one looking to make it four in a row. However, he hasn’t run since January and others look more attractive here. (4) TOUCH FLYING is up in class and in distance following a nine-length win over 1700M on March 13th and looks very nicely in here. (5) LUCKY MUSIC comes in following 4th place in a fillies & mares stakes race last month and should be very competitive in this company while (3) ROYAL VICTORY was 2nd to Oculus in January and has gone on to record two subsequent solid results in tougher races. (2) ROYAL STEP, 3rd last time out at the distance is also capable of finding the money.

Selections (4) Touch Flying (5) Lucky Music (6) Oculus (3) Royal Victory
Next Best 2, 1
Outsiders 7
Fast Starters 4, 7

Race 10: Class 3 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 17:30 (KST)

Really open race this one but Aussie jockey Dean Holland has been doing well on horses of limited talent since arriving in Korea and here he gets an opportunity with one who has a chance so we’ll go with (10) ATLAS TWO, who really should have more than just the one win to his name, to get the job done here. (1) BIG MOUNTAIN beat three of these over this distance last month and is a danger as is the up and coming (5) JEONSEUNG DAESE, who is yet to finish outside the top three in five starts and there’s no reason to suggest that should change today. Up in class (11) SHAMROCKER won at 1700M last month and is a threat with (8) NAESARANG DAMYANG able to improve on recent form.

Selections (10) Atlas Two (5) Jeonseung Daese (1) Big Mountain (11) Shamrocker
Next Best 8, 2, 4
Outsiders 3, 6, 7, 9
Fast Starters 1, 5

Race 11: Class 2 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 90 Million / 18:00 (KST)

Another open race to finish with but (2) SINJO DAEHYEOP, though up in class following a 2nd place at the distance last month looks the one to beat. He has never finished any worse than 3rd in six outings to date and 3rd will be a minimum requirement here. (12) TAEYANGWANG was 4th on his first try at this class last month and can go better than that today while (5) JEOLMYOHANSEONTAEK comes in after a good 3rd at 1400M and is to be considered. (10) A. P. STAR beat (9) DOUBLE LUCKY as the pair raced 1st and 2nd over this distance at class 3 on March 20th. The latter is the more favoured today.

Selections (2) Sinjo Daehyeop (12) Taeyangwang (9) Double Lucky (5) Jeolmyohanseontaek
Next Best 7, 10, 4, 1
Outsiders 3, 6, 8, 11
Fast Starters 1, 6, 8

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview

It’s Friday and it’s Busan! 10 races from 12:40 to 17:00. English racecards can be found here. Here are notes on races 2-10:

Race 2: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 13:25 (KST)

(4) HAEGA TTEUNDA has shown a little more than her rivals here in three starts prior to today with a 2nd place last start on April 1st being her best so far. It was the first time she had got off to a good start and if she can do that again, she can win. (5) ENTER WAY QUEEN was a much improved 2nd last start over 1200M and she, along with (12) BUGYEONG DOLPUNG, who has come close in each of her last three, looks to be the main danger. (9) OH DAEBAK should be better back at 1000M today while in such a weak race the sole debut-maker (6) VALENTINE DREAM, who was creditable enough in trials, has to be considered.

Selections (4) Haega Tteunda (12) Bugyeong Dolpung (5) Enter Way Queen (6) Valentine Dream
Next Best 9, 10, 3, 2
Outsiders 1, 7, 8, 11
Fast Starters 3, 4, 6, 8, 12

Race 3: Class 6 / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 14:10 (KST)

Thomas Gillespie’s (9) MAJOR SLAM comes in following back to back 3rd place finishes and after disappointing at odds-on last start, can get the job done today. (11) TEXAS RUSH looks to be the main danger with an improved 3rd place last time out and can build on that today. (10) VICAR SARANG was 5th behind Major Slam last time and can go close again with (8) TAMNA CHEONHA and (7) DON’T STOP looking best placed among the others to improve on indifferent prior efforts.

Selections (9) Major Slam (11) Texas Rush (10) Vicar Sarang (8) Tamna Cheonha
Next Best 7, 12, 2
Outsiders 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
Fast Starters 9

Race 4: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 15:00 (KST)

Bart Rice’s (3) SILENT LAGO was beaten by (4) GREAT PEARL at this distance on March 25th but has shown enough to suggest she does have a win in her and while not the quickest starter, she has a strong finish and can make the breakthrough in this all-filly affair Great Pearl must be considered too but the main danger may be (6) YEONGUNG CHULGYEOK. A pair of 3rd places is the closest she has come so far but she has raced in good company and looks nicely in here. (2) YEONGGWANGUI JAEIN and (5) SARATO MYEONGUN look capable of improvement while (7) TIME CASTLE scored an unexpected 3rd place on her second start last month and can go well again.

Selections (3) Silent Lago (6) Yeongung Chulgyeok (4) Great Pearl (5) Sarato Myeongun
Next Best 2, 7, 12
Outsiders 1, 8, 9, 10, 11
Fast Starters 2, 12

Race 5: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 15:50 (KST)

(10) V DIVA was one of very few favourites who got up on March 25th and she did it in style over 1000M. Up in class as well as distance today but a solid chance of getting another win. Another up in class following a maiden victory is (4) SVADILFARI. His triumph came at this distance and he too should fear few here. The third one up in class is (5) RAON BLUE but he is as yet winless and has more to find than the other two. (8) HUIMANG QUEEN has already registered a pair of 4ths at this level and looks dangerous. In a race with plenty of early speed, she’ll be a quick starter as will be (11) BLUE STORM, 3rd at class and distance on March 27th and a contender here. (7) PERFECT HUMOR was beaten by Huimang Queen on his first try at this level in February but returned to run a solid 4th last month and that can be matched today.

Selections (10) V Diva (8) Huimang Queen (4) Svadilfari (7) Perfect Humor
Next Best 11, 3, 5
Outsiders 1, 2, 6, 9
Fast Starters 2, 4, 5, 8, 11

Race 6: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 16:40 (KST)

Up in class having taken a similar all-filly event at class 6 a month ago, (6) JIBONG BLUE is favoured to come from just off the early pace and strike here. (3) RAON VERA beat three of these when winning at this level over 1200M in February and while she didn’t impress on her reappearance last month, she must be respected with an apprentice taking 2kg off. One of those Raon Vera beat in February was (5) QUICK FORCE. She showed plenty when getting her third 2nd place from five starts at the end of March and can go close again today. Also specialising in 2nd places is (9) ALBERT VICAR who is up in class having been runner-up in both outings to date while (4) PLOIT BALI is another who, while perhaps lacking the speed to win, should be close.

Selections (6) Jibong Blue (5) Quick Force (3) Raon Vera (9) Albert Vicar
Next Best 11, 4, 8, 2
Outsiders 1, 7, 10
Fast Starters 3, 9, 10, 11

Race 7: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 17:20 (KST)

(1) WORLD QUEEN has been no worse than 4th in six attempts at this class and she is favoured to finally get back in the winner’s circle here. The main danger is (3) MY ALICE. She can be forgiven last place in a Korean Oaks trial last month and should be far happier in this company today. (5) DAEHOYEOJANGGUN always comes close and while she may find one or two too quick again, she will be involved while (7) MACH CHAMP may have been beaten by a couple of these last month but can overturn that form today. Debut-maker (11) NO SMALL KOREA will attract attention due to being saddled by Busan’s top trainer Kim Young Kwan. She showed promise in her trial.

Selections (1) World Queen (3) My Alice (11) No Small Korea (5) Daehoyeojanggun
Next Best 7, 8, 4, 6
Outsiders 2, 9, 10
Fast Starters 3, 5, 7, 11

Race 8: Class 4 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 18:00 (KST)

The smallest field of the day but a competitive one nonetheless. (2) SWEET MYEONGUN beat three of these when flying home late to win at class and distance on March 25th. The form was all over the place that day so we’ll need to be wary of reading too much into it but he does need to be respected. He beat (5) FIRST KING into 2nd that day and with the latter enjoying a 5kg weight advantage, there is a strong chance that result can be overturned here. Also dangerous is (6) PANGPANG HERO. He is yet to score in twelve outings but comes in following three consecutive 2nd places. He should get an uncontested early lead and will get few better opportunities to break his maiden. (3) CHOEGANG MONSTER, 5th behind Sweet Myeongun last time, and (7) SEUNGNI PARK look the best of the rest.

Selections (6) Pangpang Hero (5) First King (2) Sweet Myeongun (7) Seungni Park
Next Best 3, 1
Outsiders 4
Fast Starters 6

Race 9: Class 2 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 18:30 (KST)

(9) RISING BRAVO is up in class having made all to win by a nose at this distance last month and he looks very nicely in to follow up. (8) CHOEGANGIJI is a regular money winner at this class and was a fast-finishing 3rd at the distance at the start of the month. With a slightly more enterprising ride, he could be winning this. (7) ROYAL IMPACT is never far away and will be involved here while (2) CHEONJI PARK raced wide – and altogether badly – last time out at this distance but can be given another chance here. Last year’s Oaks winner (1) JANGPUNG PARANG makes her first start of 2016. She performed solidly in three subsequent efforts following her Classic triumph and while a win looks tough, she is a strong contender for a money finish.

Selections (8) Choegangiji (9) Rising Bravo (1) Jangpung Parang (7) Royal Impact
Next Best 2, 4, 6
Outsiders 3, 5, 10, 11
Fast Starters 1, 4, 11

Race 10: Class 3 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 19:00 (KST)

(3) MORNING DAERO won at this class over 1200M, beating a couple of these, on March 20th. Although two previous attempts at a mile haven’t gone well, he gets another chance here and is the slight pick. A winner at class and distance in December, (9) BAEKDU looks the main danger while (2) SOUL BLADE – also a class and distance winner and with plenty of potential – returns after three months off and should be competitive. (8) TARIAT TALE and (11) BRAVO MARINE, both up in class, are the others to consider. (12) MR. JILJU, back after over a year out, is the wildcard.

Selections (3) Morning Daero (9) Baekdu (2) Soul Blade (8) Tariat Tale
Next Best 11, 7, 12
Outsiders 1, 4, 5, 6, 10
Fast Starters 1, 6, 12