It’s Derby weekend! The big race is at Seoul on Sunday afternoon and we’ll have plenty of build up over the next couple of days. Before that, however, there is the regular Friday card at Busan to negotiate and it features 10 races from 11:30 to 18:00. English race cards can be found here while notes on races to be simulcast overseas are below:
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
1. JIBONG YEONGUNG – Decent 4th over 1200M in March but well back behind Sharp Bell last start.
2. CHOEGANG BOLT – Last of nine on debut in February and sent back to trial. Nothing special in the trial but the yard is to be respected so improvement today is possible.
3. SHARP BELL – Much improved 4th latest over a muddy track on April 7th. Could look to match or better that here.
4. JUNE MORNING –2nd at 1200M a month ago on just her second start, running on nicely. Strong chance here.
5. MADOBIYEON – Offered little in six starts so far although his most recent, a 5th of 11 on first try at this distance, was his best to date.
6. CHEONGCHUN DAERO – 4th in a slow race in January but last of 11 on only subsequent outing three weeks ago.
7. BUSAN BOLT – Enters following back to back 5th place finishes and improvement is possible.
8. DAMYANG YEONGUNG – Hasn’t managed to build on a 3rd place on debut in January but could come good.
9. SEDA – Improved 7th last time but still much to find.
10. INDIAN GANGJA – Only beat one home on debut and any improvement will be considered a success.
11. HWARYEOHAN YONGSA – Best in 13 so far is a 3rd place, ahead of Jibong Yeongung in February. Outside chance of minor money here.
Verdict: Weak contest here so (4) JUNE MORNING will be strong favourite having run 2nd over 1200M a month ago. She finished well that day and the extra half furlong here should suit. (3) SHARP BELL and (7) BUSAN BOLT have showed improvement in their most recent efforts and look next best while (5) MADOBIYEON and (8) DAMYANG YEONGUNG look to be the others capable of contesting the places.
Selections (4) June Morning (3) Sharp Bell (7) Busan Bolt (5) Madobiyeon
Next Best 8, 1
Fast Start 5, 6, 9
Busan Race 5: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
1. ONNURI GANGJA – 6th, behind Rich Bolt two weeks ago. Yet to win in 11 but could come a bit closer here.
2. URI GIPPEUM – Back to back 3rd places in February and March but he was well back behind Wanggi a month ago.
3. TEXAS RUBY – Comes in off two consecutive 3rd place finishes and can look to match at least today.
4. SWEEP IJI – Just two prior outings and did show some improvement last time.
5. BULMYEORUIMARIPGAN – He’s slow but he plods on and accordingly could match the 5th he got last time.
6. RICH BOLT – Best finish was a 2nd place over 1300M in in February. Went ok over this distance two weeks ago when 5th ahead of Onnuri Gangja. A chance.
7. WANGGI – Got his first 2nd place, albeit 14 lengths behind a good winner, three weeks ago and has to be in the frame here.
8. JEOLDAE JIJU – Well back behind three of these last start.
9. MALIBU RULER – Offered few clues from four prior outings.
10. STONE BLADE – Promising 3rd place on debut last month. Top trainer/jockey combination and could well be favourite. Big chance.
11. GEUMBIT HWANHO – Managed a 2nd place in a weak affair in January but hasn’t looked like following up.
Verdict: (10) STONE BLADE was 3rd on debut on April 14th and looked like she knew what she was doing to the extent that she is the pick to score here. There was nothing special about the performance but a repeat should be too good in this race. (7) WANGGI was 2nd, a long way behind an impressive winner (who has gone on to get beat at a higher level since) and looks to be the main danger but (1) ONNURI GANGJA, (3) TEXAS RUBY and (6) RICH BOLT are also capable of competing.
Selections (10) Stone Blade (7) Wanggi (1) Onnuri Gangja (3) Texas Ruby
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 2, 4
Race 6: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. BLACK TEN – Up in class following a winning debut at the end of March. Came from a handy position to score by over a length and is in the frame over the same distance.
2. QUE SERA SERA – Up in class after her maiden victory at the second time of asking on Good Friday. Big chance again.
3. WONDERFUL CAPTAIN – Just the one win from 34 starts. Occasionally sneaks into the money but looks up against it here.
4. HANNAM ROOKIE – Yet to score in 17 and recent form doesn’t suggest that’s likely to change.
5. U S MAN – Generally beats a few and probably will again. Stepped back in trip for the first time in a while.
6. PEACE BERY – 4th, just a nose behind Korea Hunter on latest start. Probably won’t get his maiden win here but can find the money again.
7. OH MY CAPTAIN – First start since finishing 4th, ahead of Hannam Rookie, in February. Could match that today.
8. JEOKDOUI HWASIN – Capable at class and distance. 3rd last time out and could match or even better that here. A chance.
9. KOREA HUNTER – 3rd, ahead of Peace Bery on April 14th. That was a big improvement on recent starts and maintaining it here won’t be easy.
10. HALLAUI DOLPUNG – Just the one win from 17 so far. 5th behind Jeokdoui Hwasin in March.
11. WORLD PEACE – 3rd over 1200M in March followed by a 6th but well back last time.
Verdict: Two up in class one look to be the picks here. (2) QUE SERA SERA impressed when scoring by three lengths on what was his second start a month ago and Bart Rice’s gelding looks well placed to strike again. Meanwhile (1) BLACK TEN was a winner on debut, beating one who went on to score himself next time, and he reappears for the first time today. Both will likely get off to fast starts and both have claims but we’ll side with Que Sera Sera on this occasion. If they are to be beaten then (8) JEOKDOUI HWASIN, who was a solid 3rd two weeks ago, looks the one most capable and needs to be strongly considered. Beyond those, (6) PEACE BERY and (7) OH MY CAPTAIN look best of the rest.
Selections (2) Que Sera Sera (1) Black Ten (8) Jeokdoui Hwasin (6) Peace Bery
Next Best 7, 5
Fast Start 1, 2
Race 7: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million
1. JUNGANG SINHWA – 5th behind Dongbang Bulpae last start and could match that today.
2. DELMARUI GIJEOK – A little inconsistent but was a decent 4th last start and can looks to possibly have a win in him at some stage. Could be today.
3. SEOHAE – Not beaten many in recent outings.
4. BAEDARI GOSU – A winner over 1300M in February, she can be respected but she hasn’t looked like following up in two starts since.
5. DONGBANG BULPAE – In consistent form with two 3rds and two 4ths from his last four. A couple will probably be too quick again but prize money is possible.
6. GALILEE HO – Won three of his first four and while it has been tougher recently, he looks nicely in here with an apprentice on board.
7. BONUS II – Much improved 2nd on what was just his second appearance on April 16th, he has every chance today.
8. CHOEGANG POWERFUL – Solid effort in 4th over 1200M last start but will need more here.
9. CHOEGANG YONGSA – 6th behind Bonus last start. First try at the distance today and plenty to find.
10. BAEKDU YEONGUNG – Good 4th place over 1400M on latest start at the end of March. Should be in the frame here.
11. HYEUKSIN SIDAE – Three starts have been well spaced out and have offered few clues.
12. KWAESOK BOLT – Back to back 5th places from his latest two. Stable is to be respected and could be an interesting outsider.
Verdict: Competitive race this and while (6) GALILEE HO has gone a little cold since a red hot start to his career, he is a proven winner at the distance and only carries 53kg today. It could be his day. (7) BONUS II, from Kim Young Kwan’s stable was a much improved 2nd on his second start last month and steps up in distance today. He will be well backed. (2) DELMARUI GIJEOK has shown glimpses of talent in his six starts so far without finishing any better than 3rd but looks the type who can come good while (10) BAEKDU YEONGUNG comes in following a solid 3rd place over 1400M last time and should be in the hunt again.
Selections (6) Galilee Ho (2) Delmarui Gijeok (7) Bonus II (10) Baekdu Yeongung
Next Best 1, 5
Fast Start 2, 5
Race 8: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million
1. GANGJA DAERO – 5th behind Hyper Loop last start. That would be a good result again.
2. CLEAN CHOEGANG – Cold of late and little to recommend.
3. ECTON BULPAE – Never worse than 3rd in five starts. Up to a mile for the first time and should maintain that record here.
4. DAEHO CHUKJE – 3rd over 1300M at this class last start and strongly in the placing frame again.
5. MORNING GANGJA – Recent form doesn’t inspire. 4th of 7 last time.
6. GORYEOUI KKUM – Struggled in three outings at this class since a January win.
7. OCEAN LINE – Not too far away in latest too and only beaten a neck over 1800M on April 2nd. Placing chances here.
8. JAYU DAERO – In good, consistent form at the moment. Usually finds one or two too quick and probably will here too but he can place.
9. GASOK CHAMPION – She’s two for two and up in class and distance. She’s not to be ruled out but this looks a much stiffer test.
10. HYPER LOOP – Three for three and has won at this level. First try at the distance but the strong favourite.
Verdict: (10) HYPER LOOP has looked strong in winning all three of his outings so far. While the winning margins have come down as both class and distance have risen, he should still have too much on his first try at a mile today. It may be a little tougher for the other unbeaten one (9) GASOK CHAMPION, but she should give it a good go from the front and can’t be totally ruled out. (3) ECTON BULPAE and (4) DAEHO CHUKJE can both continue the promising starts they’ve made to their careers while the more experienced pair of (7) OCEAN LINE and (8) JAYU DAERO have also come back into form and may be considered.
Selections (10) Hyper Loop (3) Ecton Bulpae (4) Daeho Chukje (7) Ocean Line
Next Best 9, 8
Fast Start 4, 5
Race 9: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
1. BLACK SAPPHIRE – Come in following three narrow defeats behind good horses. Should get it right today.
2. GEOCHIMEOPSI – One race into a comeback following a lengthy absence. Didn’t show much on reappearance.
3. BLUE SIERRA – Surprise class and distance winner in April beating a couple who go here. Couldn’t follow up two weeks ago but can’t be completely ruled out.
4. QUEEN ELEGANCE – Recent efforts have been uninspiring.
5. FINE DREAM – Managed 2nd place over a mile at the end of March. Did little on reappearance behind Daseot Me two weeks ago but could find the minor money here.
6. SMART GENTLEMAN – Down in class today having long ceased to be competitive at class 2. Could improve here.
7. SAEROUN BEOPCHIK – Down in class and still plenty to find although with all who drop from class 2 to 3, should be far more comfortable.
8. DASEOT ME – 4th last time out two weeks ago ahead of three of these, he can look for the money again.
9. ACE SINHWA – 4th behind Blue Sierra last time out. Stablemate of Black Sapphire and should be in the hunt for at least a place here.
Verdict: (1) BLACK SAPPHIRE has come close in each of her last three, beaten each time by strong horses and she should have too much for this field today. Her main danger may be stablemate (9) ACE SINHWA, beaten by (3) BLUE SIERRA last time out but can overturn that form here. (8) DASEOT ME looks best of the rest.
Selections (1) Black Sapphire (9) Ace Sinhwa (8) Daseot Me (3) Blue Sierra
Next Best 5, 6
Fast Start 1, 3, 4
Race 10: Class 2 (2000M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
1. PPUDEUT – Took hi eight tries to get his maiden win but he now has two in a row. Up in class today, it will be tougher but he’s in the frame again.
2. GYEOUL WANGGUK – Has been beaten by a few of these lately but can look for at least the minor money.
3. BEOLMA SONYEON – 3rd behind Ppudeut in March, he’s followed up with a 3rd and a 5th. Similar can be a target today.
4. SISEON POCHAK – Two outings so far at this level and did improve to 5th behind Miracle Iji and Furious Park last start.
5. FURIOUS PARK – 3rh, just half a length behind Miricle Iji last start and can get close again.
6. WILD BURNING – Improved 4th over 1200M on April 7th but still an outsider here.
7. MIRACLE IJI – Likely favourite having turned the tables on Furious Park last time out. A winner at this class in the past, he is the one to beat.
Verdict: (7) MIRACLE IJI and (5) FURIOUS PARK ran 2nd and 3rd over 1800M just three weeks ago and they look to be the two to battle it out again. They have faced each other over this distance as well recently with Miracle Iji coming out on top then as well and there’s no reason to suggest it will be different this time. Aside from those two, the up in class (1) PPUDEUT still looks to have more to offer while (3) BEOLMA SONYEON enters in decent form and could sneak a place in this small field.
Selections (7) Miracle Iji (5) Furious Park (1) Ppudeut (3) Beolma Sonyeon
Next Best 2, 4, 6
Fast Start 1