It’s Korean Oaks day at Busan. There are 6 races from 12:40 to 17:10. Meanwhile, the Seoul has just got underway where there are 11 races with the last at 18:00. Notes on Busan races below:
Race 1: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. DANCER – Really struggled in her latest few and can’t be recommended here.
2. JEONSAUI HUYE – Disappointed on first try at this level two weeks ago but is worthy of another chance here.
3. BEONGGEULBEONGGEUL – Capable of beating plenty at this level. Win would be a surprise but should be looking for the places.
4. SEONGGONG PLAN – Struggled in three outings at this level since maiden win in January.
5. PEACE BERY – 2nd of 10 behind a very useful one in a quick time on May 12th and has to be in the frame here.
6. HANNAM ROOKIE – Yet to win in 17 but does occasionally find the minor money. A win would surprise though.
7. TWO TWO KINGDOM – Got his maiden win in April but then only beat one home on first try at this level two weeks ago. Trialled up unconvincingly last weekend.
8. SWAG – Last of 9 on first try at this level three weeks ago. She is better than that though so can be considered for improvement.
Verdict: Small field with two standouts. (2) JEONSAUI HUYE just didn’t go well on what was her first try at this level two weeks ago. She had looked very sharp in two prior outings though and can be given another chance here. (5) PEACE BERY finished a close runner-up to Que Sera Sera in a quick race on May 12th and looks to be the main rival. Besides those two, (3) BEONGGEULBEONGGEUL is competent at this level and should be a threat with (6) HANNAM ROOKIE and (8) SWAG other possibles for improvement.
Selections (2) Jeonsaui Huye (5) Peace Bery (3) Beonggeulbeonggeul (8) Swag
Next Best 6
Fast Start 2, 7
Race 2: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. GLOBAL CHAMPION – Anything but a global champion. As usual, no chance.
2. RISING PRINCE – Got promoted to this level without a win but having come too close at class 6. Began well with a 4th last time at this distance and can’t be ruled out.
3. CAPI RUN – 5th on first try at this level two weeks ago. Steps up to a mile today and could be in the placing frame.
4. CHASEDAE – Still yet to win in 24 but comes in following back to back 3rd places and improvement is not impossible here.
5. WANGGI – Up in class following back to back 2nd places, the latest being at this distance. A bit to find but could be competitive.
6. INDIAN GANGJA – Up in class following a surprise win on second outing a month ago. Up in distance as well so a few question marks here.
7. THE WORLD – 3rd at class and distance last start and in the frame again.
8. BUYEONG TOWER – 20th start today but still looking for a maiden win. Unlikely to come here on recent form.
9. GARAK GONGWON – Occasionally sneaks into the minor money from well off the pace and that will be the aim today.
10. NAMDO GEOSANG – Well back behind Rising Prince on first try at this level on May 14th. Can improve today but still an outsider.
11. VEGA KHAN – Enters following three consecutive 5th place finishes and that would be a par finish again today.
Verdict: It’s a bit of a risk to put a 24-race maiden on top but if ever (4) CHASEDAE is to win a race, it’s here. He arrives in consistent form and really looks the one to beat. If as usual he finds one or two too quick then (5) WANGGI and (7) THE WORLD look the most likely candidates. They’re both maidens too, the former being up in class following a solid 2nd at this distance on May 12th and the latter a creditable 3rd at this class and distance on May 19th. Among those who have won before, (3) CAPI RUN looks best.
Selections (4) Chasedae (7) The World (5) Wanggi (3) Capi Run
Next Best 2, 6
Fast Start 4, 10
Race 3: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million
1. GWANGYAUI JILJU – First start since February. Was in no form then and while he trialled up nicely last week, is unlikely to be well-fancied here.
2. INDIAN PARK – Last on return from near six-months off in March and has had three more off since then. Not much to recommend.
3. SUPER JJANGJJANGI – 5th behind Cheonha Tongil last start but ahead of a couple of others who go here. Can match or better.
4. QUE SERA SERA – Up in class having won two of three so far in fine fashion. Up in distance as well but every chance of making it three in a row.
5. VALKYRIE – Improved 6th of 11 on latest try but looks unlikely today.
6. VICAR HOPE – Always well-backed, including last time when she only managed 7th over 1000M on her first try at this class. Can be given another chance today.
7. ADELEUI JINJU – Bumped all the way up to class 3 last time for a spin around 1800M and did ok. Back in trip and class today and in with a strong chance.
8. SUPERNOVA IJI – Lost her way a little of late but top jockey booking for a stable that shouldn’t be ruled out.
9. CHEONHA TONGIL – Beat three of these on her way to 2nd place at class and distance last time and has to be strongly in the frame today.
10. MACHO MYEONGUN – 6th behind Cheonha Togil last start, he comes in under a nice light weight and could improve.
11. YEONGGWANGUICHUBOK – Back to back 2nds from his latest two; others will be favoured once more but a money finish isn’t impossible.
12. KWAEHAN TANSAENG – Back to back wins got him bumped up in class quickly. Last on first try at this level having led most of the way. Steps back slightly in trip and should be better.
Verdict: (4) QUE SERA SERA has looked good in winning her latest two and while up in both close and distance today, could well have what it takes to make it three in a row. Having beaten three of his rivals here last time, (9) CHEONHA TONGIL has to be taken seriously today; (3) SUPER JJANGJJANGI was 5th in that race and she too can get close here. (7) ADELEUI JINJU looks best of the rest.
Selections (4) Que Sera Sera (9) Cheonha Tongil (7) Adeleui Jinju (3) Super Jjangjjangi
Next Best 12, 6, 11
Fast Start 1, 3, 4, 12
Race 4: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
1. BULKKOT NORI – 7th of 12 on first try at this class last time having won 4 from 8 before that. Beaten by Short Stop and Miracle Bolt but worth another chance.
2. BYEOLMURI – Struggled on step up to this level following unexpected class 4 win in March. Looks to have work to do again.
3. LION PARK – First start since December. First start for David Miller and trialled well but a watching brief may be best today.
4. LOAD CELL – Comes in off back to back 5th places at long odds. Last time behind Short Stop.
5. MIRACLE BOLT – 4th behind Short Stop on latest start two weeks ago. Should be looking to at least match that today.
6. EUROPA – Won Busan’s top juvenile race last October but passed on the Classics this season. Two 3rds and a 5th at this level and in the hunt today.
7. CHOA – Beaten by Short Stop in both March and April, he comes in following a 5th place last start. Can match that today.
8. EVER IN EVER – Drops back to this distance for the first time in a long time. Solid 2nd place last time at 1400M and has placing chances again.
9. TURBO ENERGY – First start since February. Looked ok in two recent trials but this is a tough ask first-up.
10. JERAJIN – Up in class having won two of his last three, both at this distance. Strong finisher and looks the one to beat here.
11. V DIVA – Up in class following a smart win over 1000M a month ago. Beaten by Jerajin the time before, she has a bit to find but could go close.
12. SHORT STOP – Three 2nd places from four attempts at this level so far. Another 2nd is possible today.
Verdict: (10) JERAJIN looks to be on the up and she can continue her rise here. She won a competitive class 4 contest over this distance on May 14th and coming out of gate 10 today can set up camp behind any early speed and finish strongly. Stablemate (6) EUROPA hasn’t quite lived up to his early potential but has consistently found the money and will be a danger. (1) BULKKOT NORI finished well back behind (12) SHORT STOP last time out but both are worthy of another chance today while (4) LOAD CELL looks best of the rest.
Selections (10) Jerajin (6) Europa (12) Short Stop (1) Bulkkot Nori
Next Best 4, 8
Fast Start 1, 3, 5, 8
Race 5: Class Open (1800M) Allowance “The Korean Oaks” / KRW 600 Million
1. SUN SMART – Maiden win last time out at Seoul over 1300M at class 6. Considerable step up here.
2. HAPPY GONGJU – Won 3 of first 4 but latest two haven’t been impressive. 10th of 11 on first try at this distance a month ago. One of only two to have raced at 1800M before.
3. BRIGHT STAR – Two for two and very handy winner of both. Still totally unexposed, she is going to be among the favourites.
4. TEUKBYEOL STAR – From Seoul, yet to win in 10 and surely won’t end that run here.
5. ICE MARINE – The most proven by some margin, she is ahead of all of these in achievements and has to be the favourite. Will probably try to dominate from the start.
6. YONGWANGDAM – Useful 2nd place over a mile on latest start at the end of April. Should be capable of beating plenty of these. Placing chances.
7. YESANGBAEK SEUNG – Class 4 winner over 1200M last start but has never been further than 1300M and the Seoul visitor has plenty to find here.
8. MORNING BARAMSE – Has held her own in a couple of tries at class 4, including over a mile. Could challenge for minor money or better here. 3rd to Uju Star last time.
9. QUEEN’S QUEEN – Class 5 winner over a mile on May 7th, she seems the type to benefit from the additional distance and could well be in the frame.
10. TAKE FOUR MEALS – She has won 3 of 4 so far and was a comfortable winner over a mile last time out. Distance should be fine and she has a chance
11. UJU STAR – She’s won three in a row with varying degrees of ease. Comfortably defeated Morning Baramse last start. Big chance.
12. GASOK CHAMPION – Won her first two but could only managed 6th of 10 over a mile on first try at class 4 last start behind Daeho Chukje and Ecton Bulpae. Likely on speed but an outsider.
13. ECTON BULPAE – Trained by Peter Wolsley, she was 4th behind Daeho Chukje last time. Distance may suit and looks to have outside chance of a place.
14. GOLDSTAR HILLS – Stablemate of Teukbyeol Star, she’s been inconsistent at Seoul and her most recent 4th over 1300M doesn’t inspire.
15. JEJUI HANEUL – 2 wins from 5 but she also holds a 2nd place over 1700M. Unlikely but she could be an interesting outsider.
16. DAEHO CHUKJE – 3rd over a mile last time beating Ecton Bulpae and Gasok Champion in the process. She will have backers here, at least for a place.
Verdict: (5) ICE MARINE is by some margin ahead of these in terms of experience and accomplishment and while she only managed 6th in the KRA Cup Mile, she looks a talent and is very much the one to beat. Trainer Kim Young Kwan has won the Oaks for each of the past four years and if he is to make it five, it will be with (11) UJU STAR. She looks to have plenty of potential and while she is yet to be seriously tested, will surely be 2nd favourite. Also untested is (3) BRIGHT STAR, who is the only one to still be unbeaten while (10) TAKE FOUR MEALS and (16) DAEHO CHUKJE are also likely to appeal to some punters.
Selections (5) Ice Marine (11) Uju Star (3) Bright Star (10) Take Four Meals
Next Best 16, 9, 13
Fast Start 3, 5, 12, 15
Race 6: Class 1 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
1. YUSEONG FIGHTING – Well back behind Tongil Sidae at this distance in March, his last couple have been at shorter and he improved a little with 6th of 11 over 1400M last start.
2. JUNGANG DAEHAE – Class 2 winner at this distance in March. 8th on first try at this level on May 14th. Tough ask.
3. APPROACH – Two starts into a comeback following a lengthy absence. Yet to show much of his old talent.
4. CHOEGANG PLUS – Unexpected class 2 win over a mile in March got her promoted to this level. Struggled on first go.
5. TONGIL SIDAE – The distance is right and he has beaten plenty of these over it recently including last start. Big chance for jockey Andrea Mezzatesta if he can get away well.
6. I’M YOUR FATHER – First try at 1800M for David Miller’s colt. He looks a talent and carries a light weight. Could do it.
7. BAEKDU – 7th behind Tongil Sidae and Dynamic Dash on May 14th, improvement is possible today.
8. DYNAMIC DASH – 3rd place, just a neck behind Tongil Sidae last time. Once more the weights are not in his favour but once more he can be competitive.
9. YUSEONG DREAM – Beaten by plenty of these in recent starts, he did though achieve a 3rd and a 4th at class and distance in January and March and a repeat isn’t impossible.
10. ZETTABYTE – Runner-up in two legs of last year’s Triple Crown and 5th in the President’s Cup, he’s got plenty of talent. 4th behind I’m Your Father last time, really light weight and a lot to like.
11. BAEDARI BOBAE – 4th in last year’s President’s Cup, he’s a very fast finisher who could be dangerous late on. Don’t overlook.
12. JIBONG SEUNGNI –Has found things very tough in three starts at this level this year.
Verdict: Competitive race with Championship Series points at stake. (5) TONGIL SIDAE is probably the one to beat having got the better of plenty of these in recent outings. Best when he is on or close to the early lead, he’s got a big chance here. (6) I’M YOUR FATHER is an up and comer who just fell short on his first try at this class three weeks ago. He steps up to two turns for the first time today and looks in the frame under a light weight. Light weights may also benefit (10) ZETTABYTE and (11) BAEDARI BOBAE while (7) BAEKDU is also not to be ruled out.
Selections (6) I’m Your Father (5) Tongil Sidae (10) Zettabyte (11) Baedari Bobae
Next Best 7, 8
Fast Start 1, 2, 3, 5