Month: December 2016

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 16)

It’s Grand Prix Stakes weekend. Full coverage of Sunday’s big race to follow but in the meantime, the weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with a ten–race card.

English race cards are here. Notes on races 4-7 below:

Race 4: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 13:35 

Thomas Gillespie’s (7) GOLDEN TROPHY has shown good promise in two starts so far, most recently just beaten a head into 3rd over 1200M on November 18th and he is favoured to break through here. (10) JIBONG YEONGUNG Is yet to score in ten starts but has improved of late, registering his best finish so far of 2nd three weeks ago at this distance and can come close here as can (8) NAVARRA who narrowly beat him the time before. (2) WINNING ALL and (12) STYLISH are among others with claims.

Selection: (7) Golden Trophy (10) Jibong Yeongung (8) Navarra (2) Winning All
Next Best: 12, 4
Rating: –
Fast Starters: 2, 4
Start-200M: 4, 7, 2, 8, 12
200M-Finish: 5, 7, 6, 9, 8 (more…)

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (December 11)

It might be international day in Hong Kong but there’s plenty going on in Korea too. Some of the nations’s best sprinters are in action at Busan while at Seoul, there are several big handicaps throughout the afternoon.


Macheon Bolt, seen here at the Korea Sprint, goes at Busan on Sunday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

English race cards are here. Notes on all overseas simulcast races are below (all of Seoul and races 2-6 at Busan):

Rating: Top five official rated
Fast Starters: Expected to lead the race early
Start-200M: Fastest average time for the first 200M (up to 6 most recent races)
200M-Finish: Fastest average time for the final 200M (up to 6 most recent races)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 60 Million / 10:40

There are nine debut-makers among the field but we’ll go with one of the three with prior-racing experience to score here. That one is (6) WELLBEING JOY, 5th on debut in October behind a couple of decent ones and is difficult to oppose here. Among the debut-makers none looked quick in trials although (2) GLOBAL DREAM won his and so therefore makes it into second pick. (1) BOMBI’S KING, (5) JAKE and (12) NEON GAMDONGIYA looks next best of the first-timers while (11) TOKTOK YEOJANGGUN, also 5th on debut but considerably slower than Wellbeing Joy, can improve.

Selections: (6) Wellbeing Joy (2) Global Dream (1) Bombi’s King (11) Toktok Yeojanggun
Next Best: 12, 5, 3
Rating: –
Fast Starters: 2, 3, 5, 7
Start-200M: 3, 6, 11
200M-Finish: 6, 11, 3

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 11:05

With a 2nd and a 3rd from among three starts so far, (6) LIVE POWER looks set to be strong favourite to get it right at the fourth time of asking. He’s shown decent speed and good potential and should have too much for these. He beat (2) EORIN WANGJA last time out, the latter disappointing after back to back 3rd places but he gets another chance here and can go close. (9) BEST CAMP put in a positive performance on debut last month and can build on the 5th he achieved. (3) LOVELY DAY and (7) SAEROUN SEGYE look to have the most scope for improvement among the rest.

Selections: (6) Live Power (2) Eorin Wangja (9) Best Camp (3) Lovely Day
Next Best: 7, 1
Rating: –
Fast Starters: 2, 7, 9
Start-200M: 9, 2, 7, 6, 3
200M-Finish: 1, 3, 6, 7, 9

Click “more” for the rest…


Miller’s Time: Kiwi Trainer Breaks Through At Busan

Dynamic Star was a winner on debut at Busan on Friday and the 2-year-old Hansen colt landed not only his own maiden win but also a Korean maiden win for New Zealand trainer David Miller.

Miller, who previously trained in Malaysia, has been steadily establishing his stable since arriving in Korea in early autumn and has now assembled a string of 21 horses.

Dynamic Star, a 5/1 shot having put in a reasonably impressive performance in a trial last month, was Miller’s 14th runner and under jockey Chae Sang Hyun, he pulled clear in the closing stages to win by a comfortable three-lengths on the line. Hopefully it will be the first of many.


David Miller

Miller brings the total number of overseas trainers at Busan to four. Finishing 2nd to Dynamic Star on Friday was Agnes, trained by Thomas Gillespie.

The Irish trainer is almost 18 months into his time at Busan and is quietly moving into the upper echelons of the Busan ranks. He currently lies 10th in the 2016 standings and is sure to rise. Gillespie was 2nd only to Kim Young Kwan in prize-money won in November courtesy of Ms. Margaux giving him his first group winner in the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup.

Already firmly established in the top tier of trainers at Busan is Bart Rice. Although the South African’s stable has had a quiet couple of months, he remains in 5th place in the Championship and maintains a very impressive strike-rate. Also in the top tier of course, is Peter Wolsley. The Australian saddled his 400th Korean winner last week and will finish in 2nd place in the Championship.

Three overseas trainers in the top ten can only be good for the overall standard at Busan. Can David Miller make it four in 2017?


Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 9)

Racing gets underway for the weekend at Busan on Friday where there are ten races from 11:30 to 18:00. Six jockeys are in town from Seoul for a Jockey Challenge which will be held across races 7 to 9.

Busan Racecourse

It’s Friday. It’s Busan

English race cards are here. See below for notes on overseas simulcast races 4-10:

Race 4: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 13:35

(5) KING ICE was just beaten a nose last start on November 11th on his first try at this distance and will surely get it right today. He’ll be strong favourite to close from off the pace to win here. Two horses behind him that day are next best. A further length and a half back in 3rd was (1) MAPLE CLASSIC and he’ll be close once more. Setting the pace in that race was (3) HIGH SPEC – he’ll do the same here and can continue to improve. (6) KING CODE and (7) SUPER SONIC look the best of a limited rest.

Selections: (5) King Ice (1) Maple Classic (3) High Spec (7) Super Sonic
Next Best: 6, 4
Rating: –
Fast Starters: 3, 8, 9
Start-200M: 8, 3, 10, 4, 7
200M-Finish: 5, 6, 1, 7, 2

Race 5: Class 4 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 14:20 

Peter Wolsley celebrated his 400th winner in Korea last weekend and if he didn’t get it earlier today, the Aussie trainer could well get number 401 here. He saddles (7) PERLIN, a handy winner on debut just two weeks who at class and distance who has every chance of making all here. (6) DAMYANG HWANHO led for much of her own debut last month only to be passed late on. She finished 3rd and can continue her development here. There are two debut-makers and of the pair, Thomas Gillespie’s (11) GREAT KING, a $30K purchase from Ocala this June, looks the best having won his trial last month. Jockey booking inspires confidence too. Those three stand-out with (1) VALID EFFORT and (12) WORLD TOWER perhaps most likely among the others.

Selections: (7) Perlin (6) Damyang Hwanho (11) Great King (12) World Tower
Next Best: 1, 8, 3
Rating: 7, 6
Fast Starters: 1, 6, 7, 9
Start-200M: 1, 7, 6, 9, 8
200M-Finish: 7, 6, 12, 10, 2

Race 6: Class 5 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 15:05

Nice and tricky race this. (6) GALILEE HO was a surprise winner on debut, beating King Ice, who we saw in race 4, by a nose over 1300M. He is up in both class and distance here and could well follow up. He will be steadily away and look to finish strongly. (1) BEAUTIFUL and (5) ROYAL RUBY were both 5th on their respective first tries at this class last time out and may appreciate the extra distance here while (12) SONATILLED is up in class following a nice-looking maiden win at 1300M three weeks ago and can be respected here. Another up in class is (9) BULBIT JEONSA and he’ll likely be setting the early pace along with (3) CAPE MAGIC. The latter is one of only four to have raced at this distance before and he can look to match the 2nd he achieved over it in October.

Selections: (6) Galielee Ho (5) Royal Ruby (1) Beautiful (9) Bulbit Jeonsa
Next Best: 3, 12, 11, 7
Rating: 3=5, 6, 9=12
Fast Starters: 3, 9, 11
Start-200M: 7, 2, 3, 11, 6
200M-Finish: 6, 12, 1, 2, 6

Race 7: Class 4 / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 55 Million / 15:50

The first of three “Jockey Challenge” races so six Seoul based jockeys are taking part. It’s not exactly a field of the highest quality so (4) SAEBYEOK BADA has as good a chance as any of getting his maiden victory. (9) PHILIP AND GIRAFFE is yet to win in four but won a trial in double quick time a couple of weeks ago and will be backed here. (11) CHEOGANG YONGSA hasn’t raced since a 2nd place over this distance in August having picked up an injury but looks nicely in here while (5) GIMAKHIN SEONTAEK and (7) SEUNGJEONPILSA are others to consider.

Selections: (4) Saebyeok Bada (11) Choegang Yongsa (9) Philip And Giraffe (7) Seungjeonpilsa
Next Best: 5, 8
Rating: 5, 9=11, 2, 4
Fast Starters: 3, 7, 9, 12
Start-200M: 9, 12, 7, 4, 3
200M-Finish: 5, 10, 4, 11, 2

Race 8: Class 4 / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 55 Million / 16:35 

The second race of the jockey challenge brings together a slightly better field and the up in class (10) KKOKDAEGI, a two-length winner over 1300M last month has every chance of overcoming the outside gate to score again. (6) PHANTOM BLADE comes in following a slightly disappointing 4th over the distance just two weeks ago and can make amends here from the early speed while (2) ARIKKARI can improve on 6th in a tough race from a couple of weeks ago. (1) FLAMENCO returns for the first time since June and looked sharp in a trial last month while (5) GANGJA DAERO, also disappointing in that race behind Phantom Blade two weeks ago, gets another chance here.

Selections: (10) Kkokdaegi (6) Phantom Blade (1) Flamenco (2) Arikkari
Next Best: 5, 9
Rating: 8, 1, 5, 3, 6
Fast Starters: 3, 6, 9
Start-200M: 3, 9, 6, 2, 8
200M-Finish: 5, 4, 8, 2, 10

Race 9: Class 3 / 1400M / Allowance / KRW 72 Million / 17:30

The final race of the jockey challenge and (2) GOLD LINE beat (1) TURBO ENERGY and the pair raced 2nd and 3rd over class and distance on October 30th and both have claims here with Gold Line being the pick. (3) GIGA SPEED has been no worse than 3rd in each of his last seven outings and there’s no reason why that run can’t continue here. (6) CHOEGANG ADVENTURE is up in class following back to back wins and while this is a stiffer test, he should be competitive as should (12) JANGGUNEUIHUYE, also up in class following a good win over 1400M last month.

Selections: (2) Gold Line (1) Turbo Energy (3) Giga Speed (12) Jangguneuihuye
Next Best: 6, 8, 4
Rating: 5=8, 11, 1, 4
Fast Starters: 6, 7, 8, 9
Start-200M: 7, 6, 3, 12, 11
200M-Finish: 8, 2, 1, 3, 11
Race 10: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 18:00

Back to the handicaps to finish with and (7) VANJEFE was 2nd on debut three weeks ago but finished well and with an extra half furlong to play with today, looks to be the one to beat. (8) ITSAGAINT WARRIOR was an encouraging 4th on his own debut last month and can build on that here. Those two are imports while locally-bred (2) DAESTAR is up in class having won two of his first four outings at the locally restricted classes 5 & 6. He’s a winner at this distance and will be dangerous here. Among the others, the experienced pair of (9) WONDERFULCHEONGHAE and (11) FIRST MOVER look capable of finding the money in this company.

Selections: (7) Vanjefe (2) Daestar (8) Itsagaint Warrior (9) Wonderfulcheonghae
Next Best: 11, 6
Rating: 6, 11, 1=4, 7
Fast Starters: 7, 9
Start-200M: 7, 3, 9, 5, 2
200M-Finish: 8, 2, 6, 5, 7

Chairman Hyun Myung-Kwan Leaves The Korea Racing Authority

So farewell then, Hyun Myung Kwan. On Wednesday afternoon at Seoul Racecourse, a ceremony was held for the outgoing Chairman of the Korea Racing Authority who has retired following the completion of his three-year term.


Hyun Myung Kwan (R) at his retirement ceremony at Seoul Racecourse on Wednesday

All heads of what are known as “public” companies in Korea are appointed by the government and it is almost unheard of for a public company Chairman to serve for longer than three years but until recently the 75-year-old Chairman Hyun looked likely to be an exception and receive an extension. However, that was before the “influence peddling” affair which is currently convulsing Korean politics, business and society.

The significance of the extraordinary ongoing scandal across Korea cannot be overstated (read this and this for the best overview in English). 2.3 Million people demonstrated on the streets of Seoul last Saturday evening demanding the resignation of President Park Geun Hye and her government has effectively ground to a halt with an impeachment vote due on Friday.

This past Tuesday, the Chairmen of Korea’s biggest companies; Samsung, Hyundai, SK, LG, Lotte, Hanjin, CJ and Hanwha, were questioned by lawmakers live on national television over donations to “foundations” set up by the President’s alleged confidante Choi Soon Sil, who is currently under arrest, suspected of essentially running government policy and decision making.

Chung Yoo Ra, the horse loving daughter of Choi Soon Sil was a member of the Korean dressage team that won Gold at the 2014 Asia Games and it is now alleged that much of the machinery of state – both public and private – was mobilized towards getting her into that position and then going forward, to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Along with Samsung Electronics and others, the KRA is one of the organisations alleged to have granted Chung special favors to this end. Accordingly, the Presidential office instructed the KRA to recruit a new Chairman at the end of Hyun’s term.

Hyun’s tenure has been eventful and in terms of international affairs, arguably more progress has been made under him than under any previous Chairman. He green-lighted first the Asia Challenge Cup and then the ambitious staging of the Korea Cup and Sprint earlier this year. Domestically, as a former Samsung executive, he focused on improving customer service. This involved the re-branding of the Off-Track betting centers into “Cultural Centers” with 100% assigned seating, the introduction of the mobile betting app and the upgrading of the on-course facilities including the construction of the massive 128-metre long “multi-vision” screen. Foreign ownership of racehorses has been allowed and the maximum ceiling price on imported horses abolished.

The recruitment process for a new Chairman is underway. The final say over the appointment lies with with the President of South Korea.

Holland To Return / Havlik, Sanna Licensed / Belli Extended / Park Geum Man Retires

There’s news on the overseas jockey front with three new additions to the licensed ranks from the start of this month.


Darryll Holland was most recently in Korea to ride in the Keeneland Korea Cup in September (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Darryll Holland, who enjoyed a successful spell at Busan a couple of years ago, returns to the south coast on a four-month initial license. He’ll be joined by Italian Mirko Sanna. Meanwhile at Seoul, Jan Havlik is set to join. The Slovakian is set to renew his rivalry with Djordje Perovic with whom he has reportedly regularly competed with across Europe. Meanwhile, Marcello Belli has come to the end of his initial four months and has been renewed for a further six:

Name/Nationality Racecourse Type License Period
Jan Havlik (Slovakia) Seoul New
(4 months)
– 2017/03/31
Mirko Sanna (Italy) Busan New
(4 months)
– 2017/03/31
Darryll Holland (UK) Busan New
(4 months)
– 2017/03/31
Marcello Belli (Italy) Seoul Extension
(6 months)
– 2017/05/31

Jan Havlik (42) turned professional in 1994 and in addition to his native Slovakia, has ridden in many countries across Europe for in excess of 300 career winners. He will be based at Seoul Racecourse.

Mirko Sanna (32) is from Italy. He began race riding in 2000 and has been primarily based in Italy but has also ridden in Malaysia, Australia, Germany, France and most recently in Canada. He will ride at Busan Racecourse.

Darryll Holland (44) is a former Champion Apprentice in the United Kingdom. He returns to Busan Racecourse where he rode 66 winners from 350 mounts between February 2013 and June 2014.

Marcello Belli (44) has been licensed at Seoul Racecourse since August 2016. The Italian jockey has ridden 4 winners from 88 mounts and his license has been extended for a further 6 months.

In other jockey news, 2010 Korean Derby winning jockey Park Geum Man has opted to turn in his license. The 37-year-old debuted when Busan Racecourse opened in 2005 and rode 270 winners from just under 3000 career rides. His license expired at the end of November and he didn’t request a renewal.

Cheonnyeon Daero

Cheonnyeon Daero and Park Geum Man win the 2010 Derby (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Park had a relatively slow start to his career but under the guidance of trainer Peter Wolsley developed into, for a time, one of the top riders at Busan. His biggest win came on Cheonnyeon Daero in the 2010 Derby and he would go on to win the Busan Owners’ Cup on the same horse later that year. His other two group race wins both came in 2012 on Gyeongbudaero in the 2012 KRA Cup Mile and on Yapung in the Breeders’ Cup.

Final Boss Is Korea’s 2016 Juvenile Champion

Final Boss swept home late to land the Breeders’ Cup at Seoul today and be crowned Champion Korean Juvenile of 2016. The Menifee colt followed up his victory in October’s Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup to land a rare triumph for Seoul-trained horses over their Busan rivals. 

Busan’s Europa, winner of the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup and from the Kim Young Kwan training machine, was sent off as the slight odds-on favourite but while he was well placed entering the home straight, he was able to offer little in the closing stages, coming home in 4th.

Indeed the early pace-setters, Evergreen Tree, Circle Dancer, Athena Thunder and Ice Marine, would all fade as the closers took command late on. Second favourite Daeho Sidae struck the front a furlong out and was joined by the Yonekura Satoshi ridden Muhan Yeoljeong. But on the outside, just as he did in the Mayor’s Cup, Final Boss pounced, jockey Choi Bum Hyun timing things perfectly to go past in sight of the line and take the glory by just under a length.

Breeders’ Cup (KOR G2) – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – December 4, 2016

1. Final Boss (KOR) [Menifee – Sinsok Dolpa (Lindo Shaver)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 12.4, 3.5
2. Daeho Sidae (KOR) [Simon Pure – Ara Mireu (Didyme)] – Choi Si Dae – 2.2
3. Muhan Yeoljeong (KOR) [Officer – Ridemetothemoon (Malibu Moon)] – Yonekura Satoshi – 4.0
Distances: 0.75 lengths / 1 length
Also Ran: 4. Wonder Wall 5. Europa 6. Indian King 7. Kkumui Silhyeon 8. Meni Bracing 9. Rocket Queen 10. Illyu Star 11. Sunkissed 12. Ice Marine 13. Lead Money 14. Circle Dancer 15. Evergreen Tree 16. Athena Thunder

Final Boss moves on to four wins from six outings and heads into the New Year as Seoul’s big hope to land one of the three-year-old Classics. It’s great news for Seoul, however, it will be tempered by the fact that the next five place-getters were all from Busan.

More to follow…

Sunday Seoul & Busan Preview: Breeders’ Cup 2016 (December 4)

It’s the penultimate Stakes race of the year in Korea on Sunday as the juveniles take their turn to sort out the champion for 2016. A full field of 16 will contest the Breeders’ Cup over 1400M at Seoul Racecourse. The race is the highlight of an 11-race card at Seoul which runs from 10:40 to 18:00 while Busan goes from 12:35 to 17:05.


Final Boss won the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup, Seoul’s Breeders’ Cup trial, in October

Europa and Final Boss, who won Busan and Seoul’s respective trials for this race will both be there to contest the race that Power Blade won a year ago before going on to sweep the Triple Crown as a three-year-old. Irish trainer Thomas Gillespie also saddles his first runner in the capital as the unbeaten Pegasus Farm-bred Evergreen Tree takes her chance.

See here for runner-by-runner form comments. Here for English race cards. And below for brief notes on the three races which will be simulcast overseas.

Race 8: Class 2 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 90 Million / 15:45

(1) WINNERS GLORY is up in class following a three-length win over this distance on October 30th. He carries a light weight here and runs best on or close to the early speed so gate 1 will suit. He has an excellent chance. Gate 12 will suit (12) SINJO DAEHYEOP who beat both (8) DOUBLE LUCKY and (9) VENI WIN when victorious over 1400M in October. A strong finisher, this is his first time around two-turns and he should take to it well. (11) GAIA THUNDER has already shown aptitude for the distance with a 2nd place in September. He’s up in class following a 3rd place last month at 1400M and will be competitive. Already established at this level is (7) LION STAR. He has placed in each of his last four outings and there’s no reason to suggest that run will end here.

Selections: (1) Winners Glory (12) Sinjo Daehyeop (7) Lion Star (11) Gaia Thunder
Next Best: 8, 4
Rating: 12, 10, 7, 9, 8
Fast Starters: 1, 2, 7
Start-200M: 2, 8, 7, 4, 1
200M-Finish: 12, 11, 10, 8, 1


Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 2)

This Sunday will see Korea’s Juvenile Champion of 2016 crowned at Seoul Racecourse. There’s plenty going on before that though with 10 races at Busan on Friday from 11:30 to 18:00.

English race cards can be found here. Notes on simulcast races 4-10 are below. With a number of the track’s top jockeys already in Seoul for Sunday’s big race, Seo Seung Un is very much the one to follow on Friday afternoon:

Race 4: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 13:35 

Fillies only in this maiden race and (2) SULTRY HUMOR is favoured to be the one to make the breakthrough having scored 3rd place finishes on both her two starts to date. She beat two of her rivals here last time and can lead from gate to wire. Her main danger is (7) KING STORM. She was 2nd on debut in an admittedly slow race on November 11th and should be close again here. (11) DONGNAM CHOEGO has shown glimpses since coming back from seven months out while the experienced pair of (4) PALMYRA and (5) IGIPPEUM GEUDAERO should be capable of finding minor money in this company.

Selections: (2) Sultry Humor (7) King Storm (11) Dongnam Choego (4) Palmyra
Next Best: 5, 10
Rating: –
Fast Starters: 2, 3
Start-200M: 3, 2, 11, 6, 10
200M-Finish: 5, 6, 11, 12, 10

Race 5: Class 5 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 14:20 

A winner on debut all the way back in July, (1) ADELE STAR has failed to fire on two subsequent stats, both at 1200M and most recently in Busan’s top juvenile race. Back at 1000M and in more amenable company today, she can return to form. In as good a form as he’s ever been in four-year-old gelding (5) MOMENT. He has three 2nd places among his last four starts and should be continuing that record here. (7) VEGA KHAN must be respected having beaten (4) MADEIN MYEONGSEONG as the pair ran 2nd and 3rd at class and distance last month and both should be competitive here with the latter favoured to overturn that form today. (8) NAMYANG QUEEN and (10) PARTY CONCEP are both up in class here and both have potential for development.

Selections: (1) Adele Star (5) Moment (4) Madein Myeongseong (10) Party Concep
Next Best: 8, 11, 7
Rating: 5, 4, 6=7, 1
Fast Starters: 1, 4, 8
Start-200M: 8, 1, 10, 4, 6
200M-Finish: 6, 4, 11, 5, 2

Race 6: Class 4 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 15:05 

(1) SANDIEGO MARINE was an impressive winner on debut at this distance on November 18th and while he carries an extra 3kg today, there’s no reason why he can’t follow up. (5) AMERANCE FASHION also won on debut before running 5th in a tough race over 1200M a month ago and can come into consideration here while (7) WHITE BLUE returns to racing for the first time since July. She won two of her first five races and impressed in a November trial. (10) YEONGGWANG SEUNGNI debuted in 4th in the same race as Sandiego Marine while the wildcard is (8) SECRET RHAPSODY. She returns for the first time since April but looked quick in a trial a month ago.

Selections: (1) Sandiego Marine (5) Amerance Fashion (7) White Blue (10) Yeonggwang Seungni
Next Best: 8, 12
Rating: 1=5, 6=9, 4
Fast Starters: 1, 5, 7, 11
Start-200M: 11, 1, 7, 4, 10
200M-Finish: 5, 1, 6, 10, 11

Race 7: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 15:50 

(6) ADELEUI BOM won over 1000M in August and has run exactly to expectations when recording a 4th and 5th in two tough races since, both over 1200M. He tries 1300M for the first time but could well get an uncontested lead here and if he runs to expectations again, he wins. It’s a similar story for (8) BAEKDUBONG who while slightly less impressive, has shown potential. (3) GANGHO IRON is yet to win in twenty-four attempts but is always close and will be close again while the up in class (1) HWAJEONG and the returning from a spell and making a first start for a new trainer (2) JEONGMAL JOA look best of the rest.

Selections: (6) Adeleui Bom (8) Baekdubong (3) Gangho Iron (1) Hwajeong
Next Best: 2, 7
Rating: 5, 6, 3=8, 1
Fast Starters: 6
Start-200M: 6, 8, 7, 4, 1
200M-Finish: 3, 8, 6, 1, 5

Race 8: Class 3 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 16:35

(7) SISEON POCHAK was 2nd at class and distance, two lengths behind the useful Beolmaui Sin and plenty ahead of three who go here and he has solid claims to go one better today. He’s one of two stand-outs, the other being (11) SPECIAL ROOKIE. She was 4th in the Korean Oaks at this distance in June and can be forgiven her last start in a big Stakes race at Seoul in October. She’ll be on the early speed here and has every chance of going all the way under an apprentice jockey who gives her even more of a weight advantage. (9) GLORY DAYS was 3rd, seven lengths behind Siseon Pochak last month and can compete for the places again while (3) FINE DREAM and (12) BOUND MYEONGUN can also have similar ambitions.

Selections: (7) Siseon Pochak (11) Special Rookie (9) Glory Days (3) Fine Dream
Next Best: 12, 5
Rating: 7, 1=5, 3=9
Fast Starters: 6, 9, 11
Start-200M: 11, 6, 9, 7, 8
200M-Finish: 2, 1, 3, 5, 4

Race 9: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 17:30

2nd on debut over this distance on November 11th, (11) GOOD CASTING looks to be the one to beat here. The wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and he can finish well. Kim Young Kwan’s (6) SUPER MATCH was 4th on debut and is sure to go well again while (1) SPEED MARK was a creditable 6th in a Listed race on what was just his second career start last month and can be competitive today. The more experienced Korean-bred (4) ACE POWER will be dangerous from the early speed while (9) POKPUNGUI JEWANG also looks to have potential for further development.

Selections: (11) Good Casting (1) Speed Mark (6) Super Match (4) Ace Power
Next Best: 9, 2
Rating: 9, 11, 1, 2, 5
Fast Starters: 4, 8, 9
Start-200M: 12, 4, 9, 8, 5
200M-Finish: 7, 1, 6, 9, 2

Race 10: Class 2 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 17:00 

Up in class following five wins from eight career starts, (10) JANTEUGAREU is very much the one they need to beat here. The wide draw isn’t ideal but he should be able to overcome it to sit handy and finish strongly. The experienced (4) JEONGSANG JEAP beat two when racing 3rd over class and distance last time out as indeed did (8) SUPER STORM and those two look to be the main dangers. (1) WORLD LOVE and (6) SINHEUNG GOSU were the two defeated ones on each occasion and they look best of the rest here.

Selections: (10) Janteugareu (4) Jeongsang Jeap (8) Super Storm (6) Sinheung Gosu
Next Best: 1, 9
Rating: 9, 3=5, 7, 8
Fast Starters: 4, 6, 8
Start-200M: 2, 4, 3, 6, 8
200M-Finish: 9, 8, 10, 6, 7