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

Haemaru Completes Owners’ Trophy/Herald Business Double

Haemaru defied the doubters to add the Herald Business Cup to his Stakes race haul at a blustery Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

A five-year-old gelding, Haemaru won the Owner’s Association Trophy over 1200M last month and while five of his six opponents on Sunday were among the vanquished that day, he made those of us who insisted that Sotong Sidae would have his number at today’s 2000M look utterly foolish as he strode to victory by a full seven lengths.

Haemaru isn’t generally a front-runner but in today’s small field and with Sotong Sidae’s late speed such a danger, it was widely expected that jockey Choi Bum Hyun would opt to go forward on Haemaru. He did. Sotong Sidae also briefly appeared at the front early on before being restrained but that would be as good as it got for the market favourite who had nothing to give in the home straight as Haemaru ran on to win by a full seven lengths.

Herald Business Cup (L) – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – April 17, 2016

1. Haemaru (KOR) [Vicar] – Choi Bum Hyun – 4.1, 1.9
2. Sotong Sidae (KOR) [Gold Money] – Park Byeong Yun – 1.3
3. Power City (KOR) [Archer City Slew] – Park Tae Jong
Distances: 7 lengths / Nose
Also Ran: 4. Goldholic 5. Singgereounachim 6. Seonbong 7. Gumaseok

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview

Sunday is a big day of racing on the peninsula. Yesterdays rain has cleared up overnight but it will still be very wet underfoot at both Seoul and Busan. Seoul’s eleven race card begins at 10:50 while Busan’s six get underway at 13:00.

Night time

English language race cards can be found here. Notes on all races after 1pm here:

Busan Race 1: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:00 (KST)

A very open race to start with, (3) REALLY ONE and (6) GRAND JO are both up in class following maiden wins last time out. The latter’s was at this distance and it is he who has the slightly stronger claims here. Thomas Gillespie’s (2) GOLD SUN won an all-filly race at this distance on her debut in January and while she didn’t go well last time, looks very nicely in here as does (7) CHOA. He faded a little close to home when well backed at 1300M last time and should go better today. (4) BIGBANG BID is the other one who should go close.

Selections (2) Gold Sun (7) Choa (6) Grand Jo (3) Really One
Next Best 4, 12, 10, 11
Outsiders 1, 5, 8, 9
Fast Starters 2, 3, 6, 8

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:25 (KST)

(7) CHEONJI TAP is up in class following her maiden win over 1000M last time out. She has had seven weeks off since her four-length triumph so comes in fresh and is favoured to see off this field at this same distance. Both (5) SEONGBULOREUM and (10) EOJJUGURI should appreciate dropping back to 1000M today, the former beat the latter as they ran 1st and 2nd in a race back in December and both should be competitive here. (3) YEONGGWANGUIGEUNAL is yet to win in ten starts but is also yet to try this distance and after a chastening experience at 1700M last month, he may well welcome it. Wildcard is (6) KKUM KAERA. She returns after just over a year out. She looked a potential talent with a win and a 3rd in two starts and came through a trial in good order last month

Selections (7) Cheonji Tap (5) Seongbuloreum (6) Kkum Kaera (10) Eojjuguri
Next Best 3, 9, 4, 1, 8, 12
Outsiders 2, 11
Fast Starters 1, 5, 6, 7

Busan Race 2: Class 4 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 13:45 (KST)

(1) TOHAMSAN has won three out of four and while he is up in distance to 1400M for the first time today, he can be backed to once more make all here. (2) PHANTOM BLADE is already a winner at the distance and while he hasn’t found it easy in two class 4 starts – being beaten once by (6) HWARYEOHANHAMSEONG – he can go close today. (3) V MAN and (5) MAGIC LINE are both up in class following victories last time. V Man really had to battle in a tight finish over a mile while Magic Line sauntered to a five-length triumph at this distance. The latter is favoured here.

Selections (1) Tohamsan (2) Phantom Blade (5) Magic Line (3) V Man
Next Best 6, 4
Outsiders 7
Fast Starters 1

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 14:10 (KST)

A weak event but also an open one and it’s a good opportunity for (2) DAEHAN YEONGUNG to get his maiden win on what will be his seventh start. He has shown decent speed and has come close in recent efforts. He will set the pace here and may not be caught. If he is though, it’s a couple who already have winning experience who are the most likely in the shape of (3) POWER SYMPHONY and (4) HWANGGEUM BISANG. The latter was a class and distance winner in January. (7) LET’S GO RUN and (8) MIGHTY HIM are others to look out for.

Selections (2) Daehan Yeongung (4) Hwanggeum Bisang (3) Power Symphony (8) Mighty Him
Next Best 7, 1, 9
Outsiders 5, 6, 10
Fast Starters 2 6

Busan Race 3: Class 4 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 14:30 (KST)

A rare 1800M class 4 event open to imported horses and (6) YEONGCHEON SIDAE is one of all but four here who try this distance for the first time. He was beaten a nose into 4th by (2) GANGJA BONSAEK over 1400M last month but looks to be the sort who will thrive at two turns. He carries hardly any weight and is the slight pick here. (8) ACE SINHWA was beaten by (4) WIN GO MAN and (7) IRON TRAIN when six of those who go here raced each other over a mile last month but has every chance of overturning that today with those other two also having claims. The main danger though could be (12) COTTINPICKINGOOD. Stepped up to a mile last time for his 3rd start he was staying on very nicely for 2nd place and is another who could really welcome this crack at two turns today. (9) CHEONJUNGWANG is another with solid claims for at least a place.

Selections (6) Yeongcheon Sidae (12) Cottinpickingood (8) Ace Sinhwa (9) Cheonjungwang
Next Best 2, 7, 4, 5
Outsiders 1, 3, 10, 11, 13
Fast Starters 4, 10

Seoul Race 7: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 14:55 (KST)

(7) JANGSAN BLADE has been slightly disappointing in two tries at this class since a commanding win on debut last November. However, he should have too much for this modest field and will be a strong favourite. He is one of only a few who won’t necessarily look to lead straight from the gate. Two who will are his main dangers; (9) LITTLE BROWN and (10) SAMJEONG INDIAN, both proven money winners at this level. Beyond those, it looks a bit thin with (1) BARAM SOGEURO and (4) GOLD HORAH perhaps the most likely to show improvement from recent starts.

Selections (7) Jangsan Blade (9) Little Brown (10) Samjeong Indian (4) Gold Horah
Next Best 1, 3
Outsiders 2, 5, 6, 8
Fast Starters 1, 2, 6, 9, 10

Busan Race 4: Class 3 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 15:20 (KST)

(2) IN THE BACK has come home in the front in two out of his last three race and accordingly is up in class today. He is also up to a mile for the first time but that should be well within his ability and he should at least continue his record of being in the top two in each of his last seven starts. (4) BOHEMIAN looks a danger. At five he is in the best form of his career and has ground out victories over 1400M and 1800M in his last two starts. Look for him to be a front-runner here. (10) SINCHEON YEOMANG has had eight weeks off since beating (11) YEONGUNG BOLT as the pair ran 3rd and 4th at class and distance in February and both can go well once more while (12) KKEUTPANNYEOWANG is up in class following victory at a mile last month and can be respected.

Selections (2) In The Back (4) Bohemian (10) Sincheon Yeomang (11) Yeongung Bolt
Next Best 12, 9, 6, 7
Outsiders 1, 3, 5, 8
Fast Starters 1, 3, 4, 6

Seoul Race 8: Class 4 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 15:45 (KST)

(1) MENI MUSIC was 2nd in the Sports Seoul Cup, an early Korean Oaks trial, last month having been one of the most impressive juveniles in the capital last autumn. She didn’t go well on her only previous try at this distance but three months on can go much better here. She will look to lead straight from the gate. The main danger is (4) SAMBONG. He is already a winner at this distance and has a 3rd and a 2nd in two starts so far this year. Also a winner at this distance is (9) STAR BONNY BEE. His narrow class 5 victory in February saw him promoted to this level and he was 3rd behind a good winner last month, again at this distance. (7) QUEEN HUDSON and (6) GRAND PYNX, the latter trying the distance for the first time, are others who should go well.

Selections (1) Meni Music (4) Sambong (9) Star Bonny Bee (6) Grand Pynx
Next Best 7, 10,
Outsiders 2, 3, 5, 8
Fast Starters 1

Busan Race 5: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 16:10 (KST)

A winner on debut and close in his next two at longer distances, (8) HONG KONG BLUE will be the strong favourite to score in this JRA Kokura Racecourse Exchange Event. He has a strong finish and will look to come from just off any early pace. That pace could be set by (9) GHOST MADRONE, 4th over the distance last time and he can push the favourite a little closer than he did when they raced each other in February. (6) SMILE QUEEN will also go to the front from the gate and has a solid record of winning money at this class while (5) GANGHO DRIVE and (7) GEOCHIMEOPSI are others capable of being involved.

Selections (8) Hong Kong Blue (9) Ghost Madrone (6) Smile Queen (7) Geochimeopsi
Next Best 5, 1
Outsiders 2, 3, 4
Fast Starters 3, 6, 9

Seoul Race 9: Class Open “The Herald Business Cup” / 2000M / Allowance / KRW 250 Million / 16:40 (KST)

Six of the seven who go here faced each other in the Owners’ Association Trophy last month. That was at 1200M and while (6) HAEMARU prevailed that day, up at 2000M, (2) SOTONG SIDAE, 3rd in that race, has to be favoured to overturn that result here. He was 4th in last year’s President’s Cup and winner of the Sports Chosun, both at this distance. Haemaru nevertheless, still presents the main danger while (1) GUMANSEOK can also challenge. The seven-year-old returned to contention for the best races with back to back wins at 1900M around the turn of the year. 2000M may be just a little far for (3) SEONBONG and (5) POWER CITY while (7) GOLDHOLIC is yet to be proven at class 1. The evergreen eight-year-old (4) SINGGEUREOUNACHIM can never be ruled out of finding the places.

Selections (2) Sotong Sidae (6) Haemaru (1) Gumaseok (3) Seonbong
Next Best 4, 5, 7
Fast Starters 3, 6

Busan Race 6: Class 1 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 105 Million / 17:05 (KST)

(8) APPROACH comes in following a hat-trick of wins which sees him promoted to class 1 for the first time. There is nothing here that is too intimidating in this race which while class 1, is only open to horses rated 95 or below. He should be prominent from the start and can open his account at the top level. Approach will be strong favourite with (10) MR. WHY, also up in class today, among the main contenders to stop him. (5) DARKEST NIGHT, 2nd on his own class 1 debut last month can go well too while the experienced (7) STAR BOLT should be close. 2013 KRA Cup Mile winner (1) STING RAY began his latest comeback with an indifferent performance over 1800M last month but can go better here.

Selections (8) Approach (5) Darkest Night (10) Mr. Why (1) Sting Ray
Next Best 7, 12, 9, 4
Outsiders 2, 3, 6, 11
Fast Starters 2, 4, 6, 8, 9
Seoul Race 10: Class 2 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 90 Million / 17:30 (KST)

An eye-catching eight-length winner over this distance last month (2) MISO WANGJA is up in class today. The Cowboy Cal colt has never finished any worse than 2nd in five starts and there is no reason why he should here. He goes forward and he will stay on. Also up in class for his sixth career start is (3) JINGYEOGUI GEOJANG. He’s had a stop-start career and has never tried further than 1400M but should be capable. More experienced and a class and distance winner already is (7) SUN STRONG and while he carries top weight, he will be well-backed. Also a class and distance winner last time out, (9) TAESAN CHEONJI should go close while (11) FOREVER DAEMUL and (8) DONGBANGUISAEACHIM, who beat Sun Strong in February, are also to be considered.

Selections (2) Miso Wangja (7) Sun Strong (9) Taesan Cheonji (3) Jingyeogui Geojang
Next Best 8, 11, 5, 1, 10
Outsiders 4, 6
Fast Starters 2, 3, 5

Seoul Race 11: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 18:00 (KST)

(3) SUPER START is up in class following three straight wins, making all in each of them. He’ll no doubt try similar today but while he has strong claims and is the pick, it will be tougher. (2) GRAND BLEU is very capable and drops back down to this distance for the first time since last September and will likely challenge Super Start for the lead early on. Filly (6) QUEEN CREEK CAT is also up in class following a sharp looking win at this distance on March 19th and is to be considered as are proven money winners at this class (1) TRIPLE LIGHT and (7) JEIL JAL NAGA. Those two, along with Grand Bleu, all beat (9) THUNDER STEP over 1400M in February but the latter came back out and recorded a solid 4th last month at this distance, something he can repeat today.

Selections (3) Super Start (6) Queen Creek Cat (2) Grand Bleu (1) Triple Light
Next Best 7, 9, 8
Outsiders 4, 5, 10, 11, 12
Fast Starters 2, 3, 6

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview

It’s Friday so it’s Busan! Ten races at the south coast track with the first getting underway at 12:40 and the last at 19:00.

Click here for English racecards and see below for notes on races 2 to 10:

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

(8) MACH BOLT was an improved – and still unfancied – 2nd when she beat (3) HAPPY JILJU over this distance last month and she is one of a number with claims here. (5) SMART MARINE has come close in both his last two starts and will be well-supported. (9) EUNGNIBYEOSU finished 4th behind him last time and that one too has claims to improve. Another improver is (1) DAEJIUI HUIMANG, a solid 4th last time and can keep the momentum going today.

Selections: (8) Mach Bolt (5) Smart Marine (1) Daejiui Huimang (3) Happy Jilju
Next Best: 9, 10
Outsiders: 2, 4, 6, 7
Fast Starters: 3, 10

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

(6) CAPITAL GANGJA raced once, all the way back last June and did well, finishing 2nd at 1400M. She’s not been seen since but comes back here as a four-year-old having looked sharp in a barrier trial earlier this month and she should have too much for this modest field. Main danger looks to be (5) CHEONJI CHAMP, who has a couple of 5th place finishes among three starts to date and should improve while (3) LUCKY JILJU has been one-paced but can have enough to find the money. (2) KING CODE and (9) BEST CHEONGCHUN are others to consider.

Selections: (6) Capital Gangja (5) Cheonji Champ (3) Lucky Jilju (9) Best Cheongchun
Next Best: 2, 7
Outsiders: 1, 4, 8, 10, 11
Fast Starters: 6, 7, 8

Race 4: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 15:00 (KST)

Another bunch of maidens here and it’s (5) SMART KING who looks best place to emerge the winner here. He will likely go forward from the gate and has every chance of making all. Last time, Smart King beat (7) RAON BENTREE by just under a length and that one can challenge again today. Main danger looks to be (3) FERNANDO, who has a best of 2nd from four starts to date and should have a win in him at some point. (1) OLYMPIA QUEEN and (6) GODAE are the other capable ones here.

Selections: (5) Smart King (3) Fernando (7) Raon Bentree (1) Olympia Queen
Next Best: 6
Outsiders: 2, 4, 8
Fast Starters: 5

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

A winner on debut in February and then 3rd, albeit a long way behind a good winner, on her first try at this class a month ago, (2) BLACK TETRA is the obvious pick to score here. She will try to come from just off the pace which is likely to be set by (9) YEONGGWANGUISINHWA. She was 5th in a tight finish in what was her first try at the level on April 1st having led for much of the way and can go well here. (11) IMPASSIONED MARINE has found one too quick on both her last two starts but should be close by again today while (1) RUN STAR and (4) KKEUTPAN JILJU – who was beaten by Black Tetra last start – are others who can challenge for the money.

Selections: (2) Black Tetra (9) Yeonggwanguisinhwa (11) Impassioned Marine (1) Run Star
Next Best: 4, 10, 5
Outsiders: 3, 6, 7, 8, 12
Fast Starters: 9

Race 6: Class 5 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 16:40 (KST)

A couple step up in class here after maiden victories last time out. (12) SEUNGNIUI CHUKJE was an eye-catching eleven-length winner at 1000M on March 18th and must be considered although equally eye-catching is the decision to put him up to 1600M so soon which is unusual here. Should go well. (11) SPECIAL ROOKIE is from Busan’s top stable and got her maiden win by a length last start at 1300M having made all. She’ll go forward again although she will find it tougher to stay on here. Favourite may end up being (7) SANTA GLORIA, 3rd in an Oaks Trial in March and then beaten into 4th when favourite at this distance last time. She’ll go forward and can go better here. (1) THE STARS beat Santa Gloria last time and should be considered while (10) MAYA COUNTRY was a solid 2nd at 1400M last month and should appreciate this distance. (6) FOUR STAR and (9) EUNHA, an unlikely winner last time out, may also come into consideration in what is a competitive race.

Selections: (12) Seungniui Chukje (7) Santa Gloria (11) Special Rookie (10) Maya Country
Next Best: 6, 1, 9, 8, 2
Outsiders: 3, 4, 5
Fast Starters: 7, 11, 12

Race 7: Class 4 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 17:20 (KST)

No world-beaters here so we’ll look to the two who have winning experience. They are the Korean-bred pair of (4) GIMAKIN JILJU and (10) GANGHAN NAMJA, with the former slightly favoured to strike having finished ahead when they raced each other early last month. Among the imports, (2) CINNADAR, 4th in a similar race last start which was won by big outsiders, looks the best although (5) OHHWAMA and (8) TAMNA JEONGBEOL are also worthy of consideration.

Selections: (4) Gimakin Jilju (10) Ganghan Namja (2) Cinnadar (5) Ohhwama
Next Best: 8, 7, 12, 11
Outsiders: 1, 3, 6, 9,
Fast Starters: 2, 7, 11

Race 8: Class 3 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 18:00 (KST)

A winner at this class over a mile at the end of February, (8) BUHWARUI BANSEOK is up to 1800M for his third career start and there’s no reason why he can’t make it a hat-trick of wins today. Also on a hat-trick is (2) SAENGIL GIPPEUM and he beat five of these when winning at class and distance three weeks ago. He made all that day and will try similar today. Favourite in that race was (3) MIRACLE IJI who just gave himself a little bit too much to do but should be more alert today. (11) BADA DOSI is yet to win in nine outings but has been 2nd on four occasions and can come close once more while (1) RISING CAPTAIN and (6) NOBEL SINHWA are the others to look out for.

Selections: (8) Buhwarui Banseok (2) Saengil Gippeum (3) Miracle Iji (11) Bada Dosi
Next Best: 6, 12, 1, 9
Outsiders: 4, 5, 7, 10
Fast Starters: 2

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

Small field but at least three of them have solid winning claims. (3) DONGBANG DAERO is up in class following back to back victories at this distance and needs plenty of respect while (1) DIFERENT DIMENSION was narrowly beaten by a couple of these last month but can be backed to overturn that form today. (5) YEONGCEHON ACE won the Korean Derby last May but hasn’t really pushed on and hasn’t actually won a race since. Nevertheless, he was a close 2nd last time and comes back in here fresh after three months out. Those three should be the ones involved at the business end of the race although (6) WILD BURNING and (7) GHOST BLONDE can’t be completely ruled out.

Selections: (1) Diferent Dimension (5) Yeongcheon Ace (3) Dongbang Daero (6) Wild Burning
Next Best: 7, 2, 4
Fast Starters: 2

Race 10: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 19:00 (KST)

(2) GLORY DAYS was 2nd, coming back from six months off at the end of February at the minimum distance and looks an interesting proposition here. The rest of the fancied ones raced each other at class and distance on March 18th. Unexpectedly, (8) WINNING NUMBER was the best of them that day but (3) NURI BULPAE and (4) WONIL ROOKIE both look better best today. As does (1) POKPING SINHWA. She faded badly in that March 18th race but is likely to get an uncontested lead here and can stay on better.

Selections: (3) Nuri Bulpae (2) Glory Days (1) Pokpung Sinhwa (4) Wonil Rookie
Next Best: 8, 6, 9
Outsiders: 5, 7
Fast Starters: 1