Day: April 8, 2016

Busan Friday Review: Buho Is Back!

Buho, winner of five races from eight as a three-year-old in 2014, strode back into the winner’s circle as a five-year-old at Busan Racecourse this afternoon.

Buho (Vicar), a half-brother of 2008 KRA Cup Mile winner Rainmaker, last won under Joe Fujii on December 21, 2014. That was his fifth win of that year. Unfortunately he would then suffer an injury and 2015 was spent in surgery and rehabilitation. He finally returned to action on January 2nd this year over 1800M. It was too much too soon.

Today was different. Back at 1200M, Buho practically made all to beat favourite Pureun Ace by a length in the class 2 race 10. It was another winner for the Kim Young Kwan/Kim Young Kwan trainer and jockey combination who won the KRA Cup Mile with Power Blade last Sunday.  Buho moves on to six wins from ten career starts.

Also winning for the first time since 2014 was Ready When You Are (In Summation), who claimed race 9 back from a six-month at odds of 22/1. Up and comer World Champion (Didyme) stepped up in class and distance to stroll race 8. Any doubts that the half-brother to last year’s Korean Oaks winner Jangpung Parang would get two turns were dispelled as the ever so modestly named colt landed his fifth win from seven starts. Where he is pointed next could be very interesting indeed.

Speaking of Oaks winners, today’s race 3 winner Power Champ (Menifee) is out of the 2008 winner Jeolho Chance. 3rd in today’s race was Noble Warrior (Biwa Shinseiki). Noble Warrior is owned by Joe Dallao and the American finds himself a prize-money winning owner for the first time. It looked for a moment as though the three-year-old gelding might just get home in front but it wasn’t to be. Even so, it was a very creditable performance by Noble Warrior – who was well prepared and entered by trainer Bart Rice – and whose jockey was sporting Dallao’s colours for the first time:

Busan Friday: Race By Race Preview

The weekend racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with a ten-race card from 12:40 to 19:00.

English racecards can be found here. Notes on races 2-10 are below:

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

(11) CHOEGANG DREAM was sent off an odds-on favourite for his debut in January. He didn’t start well but finished creditably enough to make 3rd. He’s had a couple more months off since and comes in here looking to have a chance. (1) BEOLMAUI SIN has also just started once, that was only two weeks ago when he ran 5th of 14 over this distance. He can improve today. (10) BUGYEONG DOLPUNG has been coming closer with a 4th and a 3rd from his last two attempts. A big danger though will be (8) DANCING STAR. A much improved 4th on what was her 2nd start last month, she will set the pace here and can go well. (2) DORAON GANGJA is another who has shown glimpses of talent in two starts to date and can improve.

Favourites: (11) Choegang Dream (1) Beolmaui Sin (8) Dancing Star (10) Bugyeong Dolpung
Next Best: 2, 5,
Outsiders: 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 12
Fast Starters: 8, 10

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

A host of perennial non-winners here so it is perhaps best to look at those that have done the least wrong so far. (11) DANGCHAN JILJU fits the bill in that regard, finishing an improved 5th last time, four lengths ahead of (4) WINNING OFFICER, and can be in contention today. (7) GOLD RUSH has a 5th and three 6th place finishes in stronger company than this while (1) NOBLE WARRIOR was 7th of 14 on his second run in March, six months after his first. He didn’t quicken in the closing stages that day but should have come on for the run and is in weaker company today. Among the more experienced ones, (6) KWAEHAN EUTTEUM can be looking to match the 3rd place over this distance she achieved last month while (5) FOREST TAEYANG, the only one of these to have a 2nd place to his name, should go forward early and can be considered. (9) POWER CHAMP showed some promise in four runs last summer and returns today following seven months out.

Selections: (11) Dangchan Jilju (7) Gold Rush (1) Noble Warrior (6) Kwaehan Eutteum
Next Best: 5, 9, 3, 2
Outsiders: 4, 8, 10
Fast Starters: 2, 5, 11

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

A competitive even that brings together a number of up and comers. (4) ROCKET BLADE was a winner on debut in January and has performed creditably in three starts at this class since, beating three of these when finishing 3rd at 1300M last time. He will look to come from just off the pace and looks the one to beat here. (2) WORLD FLASH and (7) GOLDEN LEO are both up in class following maiden victories last start. The former was more eye-catching when scoring a five-length victory at this distance and will be better fancied to repeat. Having said that, Golden Leo finished very strongly to get the better of (11) SAEBYEOK STAR at the minimum distance. Saebyeok Star is yet to win but has two 3rds and that 2nd to his name and should be competitive here too. (6) UNFLAGGING HEART, a five-length winner at the distance on Christmas Day, will be fancied to overturn the form on (12) SEUNGNI ICON, who she finished behind last time.

Selections: (4) Rocket Blade (2) World Flash (7) Golden Leo (6) Unflagging Heart
Next Best: 11, 12, 10
Outsiders: 1, 3, 5, 8, 9
Fast Starters: 2, 5, 11, 12

Race 5: Class 4 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 15:50 (KST)

(4) THE QUEEN disappointed on her first try at this class on March 11th, only managing 6th when sent off as favourite. She gets another chance in weaker company today. (3) KKEUTPAN DAEJANG has shown signs of being ready to get back in the winner’s circle and drops down to the minimum distance for the first time in a long time follow a 2nd place last start over 1200M and is the main danger. (6) CLEAN GONGJU never really got going over 1200M last month but can be given another chance here. All the others will need to find plenty but somebody has to take the minor money and (1) LONG STRIDE is perhaps best of the rest.

Selections: (4) The Queen (3) Kkeutpan Daejang (6) Clean Gongju (1) Long Stride
Next Best: 5, 7, 2
Fast Starters: 3, 4

Race 6: Class 5 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 16:40 (KST)

Plenty of up and comers here. (12) SAEROUN STEALTH was a winner on debut over 1000M at the end of December and comes in following a 2nd and a 3rd place in his last two starts. Although well beaten by good winners in both, he is favoured to get his second win here trying the distance for the first time. (10) MR. SPENDING got his maiden victory the same day Saeroun Stealth did and with a 3rd and two 4ths in three subsequent starts must be strongly considered. He’s twice beaten (1) DOCHI, himself a winner in January and another who looks to have more improvement in him despite letting punters down when well backed both times since. Likely pace-setter is (2) ONLY BLUE, another who tries the distance for the first time and if he stays on, can go well. (9) MINE is the other one to look out for. An impressive winner at 1200M in February, she was 4th at 1300M a month ago and should enjoy the extra half furlong today.

Selections: (12) Saeroun Stealth (10) Mr. Spending (2) Only Blue (9) Mine
Next Best: 1, 11, 6, 3, 5
Outsiders: 4, 7, 8
Fast Starters: 2, 6, 8

Race 7: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 17:20 (KST)

(10) HAEUNDAE GISANG got her second win in four starts last month and is sent out against imported opposition for her first try at class 4. It looks a shrewd entry as she should have too much for this limited field. She will be strong favourite and will likely look to lead the whole way. (9) CHEONMA CHUPUNGO is yet to win in fourteen outings but was a useful 3rd last start and in this company should at least match that. Also 3rd last start was Japanese import (12) GOLD BLUE. It was the filly’s debut and she showed enough to suggest she should be much shorter than the almost 50/1 she was that day. (4) JAYU DAERO was 5th in a very similar race at 1200M on March 11th and can match or better that here while (5) ARION METAL made his first appearance of the year behind Cheonma Chupungo last month and should have come on for it.

Selections: (10) Haeundae Gisang (12) Gold Blue (9) Cheonma Chupungo (5) Arion Metal
Next Best: 4, 6, 8
Outsiders: 1, 2, 3, 7, 11
Fast Starters: 3, 8, 10

Race 8: Class 3 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 17:00 (KST)

(8) WORLD CHAMPION is up in class and distance today having won four of his six starts to date and finishing 2nd in the other two. Half-brother to an Oaks winner, the distance shouldn’t be a problem. Trainer Kim Young Kwan shuffles his jockeys and Choi Si Dae rides for the first time but the colt should looks capable here. Main danger is (7) DONGNAM CHEONHA, 3rd behind KRA Cup Mile winner Power Blade a couple of starts ago and a good 2nd at this distance last month. This two are a significant cut above the rest. (1) BEOLMA SONYEON and the down in class today (5) YANKEE DREAM are perhaps best placed for the minor money.

Selections: (8) World Champion (7) Dongnam Cheonha (1) Beolma Sonyeon (5) Yankee Dream
Next Best: 3, 4
Outsiders: 2, 6
Fast Starters: 8

Race 9: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 18:30 (KST)

(8) B.K. PHIL won his first two races at the turn of the year and was 3rd at class and distance last start. He likes to lead and if he can get forward early, he will be tough to get past. (7) BAEKDU was disappointing on his first start of 2016 over 1800M just two weeks ago but should go much better dropped down to 1200M today. (4) AJU CHOEGANG has shown plenty in three outings so far and is another who will look to get forward early while (6) YOU’RE HILARIOUS makes his first start of the year and looked sharp when winning a recent trial. (5) HANBANDO JEONGBOK returns after a couple of months spelled and can improve.

Selections: (8) B.K Phil (7) Baekdu (4) Aju Choegang (6) You’re Hilarious
Next Best: 5, 11
Outsiders: 1, 2, 3, 9, 10
Fast Starters: 3, 4, 5, 8

Race 10: Class 2 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 19:00 (KST)

(2) PUREUN ACE beat six of these when racing 2nd over a mile on March 11th and as such must be strongly considered to go one better this time. (12) GYEOUL WANGGUK was one of those beaten but came back out just two weeks ago, also over a mile and was a 15/1 winner and therefore must be respected. (7) SEMPER FI has won just three of twenty-one outings but very rarely misses the money and there’s no reason why he should today. The wildcard is (9) BUHO. The winner of five from eight as a three-year-old in 2014, he missed all of last year. He returned indifferently over 1800M last month but mustn’t be overlooked here. (4) UBAKI and (6) SANGSEUNG MODE, 4th in that race behind Pureun Ace, are the others to look out for. (3) NAMHAE SINHWA returns for the first time since last year’s KRA Cup Mile – he was talented but it may be best to take a watching brief first up.

Selections: (2) Pureun Ace (7) Semper Fi (9) Buho (12) Gyeoul Wangguk
Next Best: 4, 6, 11
Outsiders: 1, 3, 5, 8, 10
Fast Starters: 4, 7, 9