Korea’s first Group race of 2017 takes place on Sunday with the G3 Owners Association Trophy at Seoul. More on that over the next couple of days. In the meantime, racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with a 10-race card from 11:30 to 18:00.
English race cards can be found here. Notes on races to be simulcast overseas are below:
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
1. MUNHWA DAERO – Beaten a few in four starts to date but much to find.
2. HWANGGEUMBITYEONGU – 5th of 12 his best in January but only beat one home last time.
3. SAMSEONG BLADE – Debut maker from top owner & trainer. Decent trial and will be backed.
4. ASTRA – Won trial and well backed in two starts but flopped both times. May improve.
5. BULMYEORUIMARIPGAN – Debut-maker, didn’t especially catch the eye in trials but from top yard.
6. SINHYEOKMYEONG – 2nd of 12 on debut over 1200M on Feb 3rd. Favourite to score here.
7. MIDAS KING – Has improved in three starts to date. Further improvement possible.
8. WORLD EX – Sent back to requalify after painfully slow debut. Better on return but still not backable.
9. NOBLESSE MAN – Not too far away in each of four outings. Disappointed when favourite last start but in the frame here.
10. SEONGSIL SEUNGNI – 6th behind Sinhyeokmyeong latest. Plenty to find on that one but should beat a few.
11. ROYAL COTTINGHAM – Last of 12 on debut at odds in excess of 500/1.
Verdict: (6) SINHYEOKMYEONG led almost all the way on debut on February 3rd, and while he did get overhauled close to the line, he’s the favourite to go all the way this time. (9) NOBLESSE MAN was 6th but not far away when favourite last start and deserves another chance here while (7) MIDAS KING looks to be an improver. Debut-maker (3) SAMSEONG BLADE is from the Triple Crown winning owner and trainer combination and looked decent in trials so will be well-backed first-up.
|Selections||(6) Sinhyeokmyeong (3) Samseong Blade (9) Noblesse Man (7) Midas King|
|Next Best||10, 4|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 7|
Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. VICAR FAMILY – Maiden win last time, up in class here. Not impossible.
2. METELITSA – Up in class off maiden win at the distance two weeks ago. Plenty to find but can go well again.
3. MAJESTIC POWER – 5th of 12 at class and distance two weeks ago. Needs to find more to make an impact at this level.
4. ECTON BULPAE – 3rd when odds-on favourite at 1200M on Feb 19th. Looks to have plenty of talent. Gets another chance today.
5. DREAM START – Two 5th places at this class so far. Winner at the distance at class 6.
6. EUMSOK JILJU – Surprise 3rd at class & distance in January but reverted to type latest.
7. ARENA – Solid effort in 2nd on first try at this class on Feb 19th ahead of Ecton Bulpae and needs respecting here.
8. SHARP QUEENS – Some minor money finishes at this class. Should beat a few.
9. COMING AGAIN – Maiden win on third try on Feb 17th. Up in class here.
10. TEXAS QUEEN – Yet to win in six but up in class after too many near-misses. Can go close again.
11. LADY CHARTERED – Most experienced in the race. Surprise 2nd at class and distance last time.
12. HWANHAN SESANG – First run since maiden win in October. Trialled up in average fashion.
Verdict: (7) ARENA and (4) ECTON BULPAE came home 2nd and 3rd over 1200M on Feb 19th and while both should be involved again, the latter can overturn the form today. (2) METELITSA was the easy winner of a weak race last month and while up in class should be competitive while it’s a similar story for (9) COMING AGAIN. (8) SHARP QUEENS looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(4) Ecton Bulpae (7) Arena (2) Metelitsa (8) Sharp Queens|
|Next Best||9, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 4|
Race 6: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. MINE – 9th of 12 first up on Feb 12th following lengthy spell.
2. PARTY TONIGHT – Maiden but usually comes close. Has a 2nd at class and distance.
3. VEGA KHAN – Tries distance for the first time but doesn’t appeal.
4. HUIMANG CHANGA – Struggled in four starts at this level. At a mile for the first time.
5. MAJOR SUN – Unexpected 3rd on first try at distance Feb 17th. Can go close here.
6. CHASEDAE – Twenty race maiden and showing few signs of changing.
7. BEONGGEULBEONGGEUL – Steps up in trip after a couple of average performances. Not impossible.
8. BLACK TETRA – 3rd at class and distance two weeks ago. In the frame again.
9. YEONGGWANGUICOUNTRY – 2nd on first try at this class and up in trip today. A chance.
10. NOBLE WARRIOR – Solid effort in 4th first-up following a lengthy spell. Winner at this distance in the past and must be respected.
11. THE BEE GOLD – Class 6 winner at the distance on Feb 17th. Today is harder but he will be a factor.
12. HAESEONG STAR – Ran well on first try at this class a month ago. Steps up in trip here.
Verdict: (2) PARTY TONIGHT remains a maiden but while he failed to get the job done at odds-on last time, he’s probably worth another go here. (10) NOBLE WARRIOR ran very well on return from a long time out and could well go better today while (9) YEONGGWANGUICOUNTRY tries the distance for the first time and it may suit. (8) BLACK TETRA, a solid 3rd last start, should also be considered.
|Selections||(10) Noble Warrior (2) Party Tonight (9) Yeonggwanguicountry (8) Black Tetra|
|Next Best||11, 5|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 10|
Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million
1. LADY CHAMP – Much improved 3rd at class and distance last start and can go well again.
2. NURI BULPAE – Inconsistent but does have talent. Outsider but not impossible.
3. INDIAN PARK – Started career well but suffered many setbacks. Races for the first time since last September. Trialled up in average fashion.
4. GIFTED SUN – Three 2nd places from his last four outings. Repeat possible here.
5. YEONGGWANGUISINHWA – Enters off two solid runs and is a contender.
6. TAMNA QUEEN – 10th of 12 first up after 10 months off. Can improve but lots to find.
7. DAEHOYEOJANGGUN – 5th of 12 behind some decent types last start. May be shorter odds today.
8. KKOKDAEGI – 4th of 12 behind three good horses last time and a previous winner at class and distance. Solid claims.
9. BYEOLMURI – 3rd behind Gifted Sun last start and can challenge for Place money again.
10. B.K. SAY – 2nd at class and distance on Feb 12th. Looks an improver and in with a shout here.
11. BUGYEONG DOLPUNG – 8th of 12 behind Gifted Sun and Byeolmuri last start. Lots to make up.
12. CHALLAUI JUIN – Races for the first time since November. Don’t rule out a solid run.
Verdict: Tricky race this but it looks to be between (4) GIFTED SUN and (8) KKOKDAEGI. Both enter in good form and have solid claims. Beyond those two, Thomas Gillespie’s (5) YEONGGWANGUISINHWA looks capable of winning at this level while (9) BYEOLMURI and (10) B.K. SAY may also be taken into account.
|Selections||(8) Kkokdaegi (4) Gifted Sun (5) Yeonggwanguisinhwa (9) Byeolmuri|
|Next Best||10, 1, 2|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 7, 11|
Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million
1. SORICHYEO – Inconsistent but capable at this level.
2. FLYING RANGER – Solitary start last July. Watching brief here.
3. ALBERT VICAR – Class and distance winner and solid 5th of 12 latest. Not impossible.
4. CHOEGANG YONGSA – Lacklustre last time but two decent efforts prior.
5. TUSCARORA BILL – Improved last start. Could improve again.
6. BAEDARI GOSU – Winner at this class over 1300M last start. Good chance again
7. SEIZE THE TIME – Generally goes better than his odds. Won’t be among favourites but won’t be too far away.
8. HARLEQUIN – Shunsuke Yoshida owned and Kim Young Kwan trained. Wasn’t ready when debuting last autumn. Much better will be expected today.
9. SEOHAE – Has not run since last July. Looked ok in trials but others favoured.
10. SECRET ROSE – 7th of 12 last start. Would do well to better that today.
11. ADELE STAR – Slow start and never really involved on first try at this class last month. Can go better today.
12. HURRICANE RUNNER – 7th of 12 on debut in decent company last month. Promising.
Verdict: (11) ADELE STAR was disappointing on his first try at this class last month but is worthy of another opportunity here, however, having won a decent test at class and distance on February 12th, (6) BAEDARI GOSU is favoured to prevail once again. (3) ALBERT VICAR should never be ruled out and can come close while (4) CHOEGANG YONGSA and (5) TUSCORORA BILL can also improve.
|Selections||(6) Baedari Gosu (11) Adele Star (3) Albert Vicar (5) Tuscorora Bill|
|Next Best||4, 8|
|Fast Start||3, 8, 10, 12|
Race 9: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million
1. CHEONUNMYEONG – Shown little in five outings to date.
2. SAMIL STAR – Back from lengthy lay-off. Not without talent.
3. PARTY AGAIN – Got demoted to 2nd having been first past the post last start. Can do it without interference today.
4. EURI EURI – Struggled in three starts back from long time off.
5. FLAMENCO – Gone cold of late. Only beat a couple home last time.
6. GANGJA DAERO – Class and distance winner in January when weights favoured. Beaten by Party Again last start but should be a factor here.
7. BEONGAEUI SIN – Yet to score in nine and has something to find here.
8. SUPERSTAR JOHN – First start since last April but trainer and jockey will tempt.
9. CHOEGANG OFFICER – Up in class following a win at the distance on Feb 5th. Nicely weighted and to be considered.
10. BAEKDUBONG – 5th last start and first try at a mile today. Could feature.
11. THE STARS – Plenty of experience but a little inconsistent of late.
12. DREAM WINNER – Won two of four but races for the first time since last August.
Verdict: (3) PARTY AGAIN was a narrow winner last start but found himself demoted having laid out in the closing stages. This time he can get it right. Up in class, (9) CHOEGANG OFFICER looks nicely in here and can go well again while (6) GANGJA DAERO has already won at class and distance and can be dangerous.
|Selections||(3) Party Again (9) Choegang Officer (6) Gangja Daero (10) Baekdubong|
|Next Best||7, 8, 12|
|Fast Start||3, 9|
Race 10: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
1. JEONGSANG JEAP – Coming back into form in past two starts. 2nd ahead of two other fancies here last time and is in the frame again.
2. UBAKI – 2nd to Baedari Bobae in January but reverted to form last start.
3. ACE CHEONBOK – First start since last April. Trialled really well in December. Plenty of talent.
4. IN THE BACK – Well back on first start of the year in February.
5. WILD BURNING – First start since November. Wasn’t beating many then.
6. BAEDARI BOBAE – Winner over 1200M in January before being beaten by Jeongsang Jeap and You’re Hilarious at 1400M last start. The one to beat today.
7. WORLD LOVE – 5th behind Baedari Bobae in January. Could match that.
8. HWANGGEUMBITJIJUNG – Down in class and back in trip. Could be interesting.
9. REALLY KING – Beaten very few in three starts since layoff.
10. YOU’RE HILARIOUS – 2nd and 3rd in two starts at this level so far. And highest rated here. Strong chance.
11. BANJIUI JEWANG – Beaten by plenty of these in two starts back but improvement is possible.
12. GOLD MOON – Struggled in two outings to date at this class.
Verdict: Back at 1200M (6) BAEDARI BOBAE, one of the best three-year-olds of last year, does look like the one to beat here and he can overturn the form on (1) JEONGSANG JEAP and (10) YOU’RE HILARIOUS who beat him at 1400M last start. Those three should be on top again although (3) ACE CHEONBOK makes an intriguing return and we’re still not ruling out the old (11) BANJIUI JEWANG showing up one of these days.