The weekend’s racing in Korea gets underway on Friday afternoon with a 10-race card at Busan with the first at 12:40 and the last at 19:00. English cards are here.
Last week at Busan saw plenty of odds-on favourites – and plenty of them got beaten. The races look a little more open this week. Form jockey at the moment is Seo Seung Un, who has ridden ten winners in June already. He’s on some fancied ones today too. Here are brief notes on races 2-10:
Race 2: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 13:25 (KST)
(5) EUNGNIBYEOSU pushed a good winner all the way only to be beaten by a neck over 1000M last month and back up at 1200M today looks ready to win. (2) BAEKDU YEONGUNG got his second consecutive 3rd place that day and can be close again but the one attracting most interest is likely to be (1) FEISTY. For a Kim Young Kwan trainee, the gelding was unusually unfancied on debut three weeks ago after trialling indifferently but he scored a solid 2nd and should have come on for it. (3) TAEYANG GWANGSOK and (6) TONGHAP ACE are others to consider.
Selections (5) Eungnibyeosu (1) Feisty (2) Baekdu Yeongung (6) Tonghap Ace
Next Best 3, 4
Outsiders 7, 8
Fast Starters 1, 2
Race 3: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 14:10 (KST)
A 2nd and a 3rd from two starts so far, (2) IKSAN DAEWANG is favoured to make the breakthrough here. He’s not the fastest of starters and has left himself just a little too much to do in both outings so far so the slight step up in distance may suit. (10) CAPE MAGIC also looks on the verge of going up in class. He was narrowly beaten into 3rd last start at this distance and can go well again. Fifth in that race was (6) RAON BENTREE, who should be competitive in this company. (3) SUPER SONIC returns from seven months out and may be considered while (12) KWAESEOK BOLT is more than capable of matching the 3rd places he has achieved in each of his last two outings.
Selections (2) Iksan Daewang (10) Cape Magic (12) Kwaeseok Bolt (6) Raon Bentree
Next Best 3, 11, 8, 4
Outsiders 1, 5, 7, 9
Fast Starters 8, 5
Race 4: Class 6 / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 15:00 (KST)
(12) NORTHERN TRACE has been coming into form lately and following a narrow 3rd last time, looks ready to win here. He’ll look to get to the front early from the outside gate and has strong claims. (2) TAKE AGAIN and (8) YEONGGWANGUI JAEIN are others who do look to have a win in them at this level with the latter slightly favoured. Debut-maker (3) ROSETTA won a trial a couple of weeks ago and must be given a chance in this company although the jockey booking will deter some. (10) BEATBOX was dreadful last start but had shown glimpses before.
Selections (12) Northern Trace (8) Yeonggwangui Jaein (2) Take Again (3) Rosetta
Next Best 10, 9, 11, 5
Outsiders 1, 4, 6, 7
Fast Starters 3, 4, 6, 12
Race 5: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 15:50 (KST)
(7) TOUGH COUNTRY has shown good improvement over his last two starts and can continue to progress in this modest affair. 3rd last time out, he’s the best of the imports here. That leaves us with a couple of Korean bred horses, both of whom were victorious last time out. (2) DAEHO GANGJA looks the pick, winning by five lengths at domestic class 5 three weeks ago. She will likely get an uncontested lead here and can win once more. (1) WINNING NUMBER won at lengthy odds over 1400M on the same day and is in the best form of his lengthy career. (6) CHEONMA CHUPUNGO and (8) CINNADAR are hard to recommend to win but they may make the places.
Selections (2) Daeho Gangja (7) Tough Country (1) Winning Number (6) Cheonma Chupungo
Next Best 8, 10, 4
Outsiders 3, 5, 9
Fast Starters 2
Race 6: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 16:40 (KST)
(3) LUCKY TIME was a six-length winner two weeks ago on what was just his second start – his first was all the way back last November after which he got himself gelded – and while up in class here, looks set to go on and make it two in a row. Also up in class following a victory is (1) CHOEGANG ADVENTURE. He’s a front-runner and will be hard to pass. This two look head and shoulders above the rest with (4) YUSEONG VICTORY next best. He was a little disappointing last start but is quick and tries this distance for the first time. (2) AREUMDAUN KKUM also disappointed when favourite last start but can go better today.
Selections (3) Lucky Time (1) Choegang Adventure (4) Yuseong Victory (2) Areumdaun Kkum
Next Best 6, 7
Outsiders 5, 8
Fast Starters 1, 4, 7
Race 7: Class 5 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:20 (KST)
(11) WISH ME LUCK beat five of his rivals here when finishing 2nd – just beaten a neck – over class and distance on May 20th. He does carry 2.5kg extra today but he will look to get to the front early and can win this. It’s the ones he beat in that race who will be his main rivals once more. (10) FOUR STAR was just a nose behind Wish Me Luck in that race and can challenge once more while (4) MAYA COUNTRY and (8) THE STARS were 4th and 5th that day and may also be considered. Among those who didn’t go in that race, (1) NOBLE WARRIOR is up in class but may also appreciate the increase in distance while (2) GANGHO IRON comes in following a couple of placings in decent events and can be considered.
Selections (11) Wish Me Luck (10) Four Star (8) The Stars (1) Noble Warrior
Next Best 4, 2, 6, 9
Outsiders 3, 5, 7
Fast Starters 11
Race 8: Class 4 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 18:00 (KST)
Full sister to President’s Cup winner Triple Nine, (10) BLACK SAPPHIRE ran well within herself when recording her second victory over 1300M three weeks ago. She is up in class here but is the one to beat. (11) MAGIC LINE has run into a couple too good on both his starts at this level to date but he is the main danger here. He beat (1) HWARYEOHANHAMSEONG when they faced each other at this distance in April and the latter can also be competitive here. (6) HAEUNDAE GISANG was beaten on her first try at this class last month but will set the early pace here and may be considered. Bart Rice’s (2) DAEHANUIMYEONGSUNG is up in class but should be competitive at this level.
Selections (10) Black Sapphire (11) Magic Line (6) Haeundae Gisang (2) Daehanuimyeongsung
Next Best 1, 9, 12, 7
Outsiders 3, 4, 5, 8,
Fast Starters 5, 6
Race 9: Class 2 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 18:30 (KST)
(1) SAENGIL GIPPEUM saw a run of three straight victories come to an end on his first try at this level last month. He was well beaten by a good winner but showed enough in 2nd to suggest he will be competitive at class 2. He is a front-runner, he should lead and he is the one to beat. (7) IN THE BACK was a little disappointing on his first go at this distance last start but wasn’t beaten too badly and can go better today while last year’s Derby winner (4) YEONGCHEON ACE can place. (2) GHOST BLONDE and the back following surgery (6) AXION are others to look out for in what is a competitive event.
Selections (1) Saengil Gippeum (7) In The Back (4) Yeongcheon Ace (2) Ghost Blonde
Next Best 6, 5, 3
Fast Starters 1, 7
Race 10: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 19:00 (KST)
A disappointment in the KRA Cup Mile but a creditable 5th in the Korean Derby last month, (8) BANJIUI JEWANG should be much more at home both in this company and back at a sprint distance and is favoured to return to winning ways. (9) USEUNG LINE beat five of these when finishing 3rd over 1400M on May 20th and is the main danger; he’s won two from four so far and looks a solid prospect. (1) FURIOUS RUNNER didn’t go well when stepped up to a mile last time but should be much happier at this distance and is a threat while class and distance winner (6) GHOST MADRONE will be on the early speed and will be competitive. (3) GOLD BANK looks best of the rest.
Selections (8) Banjiui Jewang (9) Useung Line (6) Ghost Madrone (1) Furious Runner
Next Best 3, 7, 4, 11
Outsiders 2, 5, 10, 12
Fast Starters 4, 6, 8