Month: August 2017

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (August 27)

It’s Sunday! 11 races at Seoul from 11:45 to 19:00 and 6 at Busan from 13:25 to 17:35. All races will be simulcast overseas so here’s the full preview:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

1. CREMOA POWER – Well backed on debut following successful trial but only managed 7th of 12 behind Phoenix Heart.
2. MASK – Good 3rd of 12 on debut despite almost slipping on the home turn. Big chance
3. HAE HU – Debut-maker who won his trial. Will have some backers.
4. SPEED CAPTAIN – Last of 12 on debut on July 30th behind Phoenix Heart.
5. CLEAN UP SECRET – 5th of 11 on debut on July 15th, quickening pleasingly enough. A chance.
6. K.N BLUE – First-timer. Did ok in trials and champion jockey’s presence ensures plenty of support.
7. CHEONHA HYEONGGUK – Debut-maker. Ok in trials but watching brief the best idea first-up.
8. PHOENIX HEART – He’ll be strong favourite following a quick 2nd place on debut on July 30th beating a couple of these in the process. Extra distance should suit.
9. I B S MAN – Trialed well and debuts here. Not impossible but won’t be among favourites.
10. SPECIAL LIGHT – 7th of 12 on debut behind Mask. Plenty to find.
11. LUCKY BONGHWA – 5th and 4th in two outings so far. Could get even closer.
12. AMAZING PEACE – Trialed up in average fashion.

Verdict: (8) PHOENIX HEART ran a strong 2nd on debut a month ago and has to be the one to beat here. (2) MASK almost fell on debut but managed to recover and finish a very good 3rd behind Icheon Ssal who has already gone on to better things. He looks the main danger. (5) CLEAN UP SECRET and (11) LUCKY BONGHWA others who could play a role.


Selections (8) Phoenix Heart (2) Mask (5) Clean Up Secret (11) Lucky Bonghwa
Next Best 3, 6
Fast Start 8, 2, 3, 7, 9


Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 26)

The final day of evening racing for 2017 is about to get underway at Seoul Racecourse. There are 12 Saturday races from 14:00 to 21:00. Here are the (brief) simulcast race notes:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Twelve first-timers going here and a few of them stood out in trials and work. (8) FIRE WIND was the most impressive, winning her trial in a fast time and she’s the likely favourite. Both trainer and jockey are in form and can get underway with a win here. (9) DAE BYEONHWA is the mount of champion jockey Moon Se Young and was actually quicker in trials than Fire Wind and is sure to be backed while others who caught the eye are (3) RAON ALICE and (2) SIMPLE RULES.


Selections (8) Fire Wind (9) Dae Byeonhwa (3) Raon Alice (2) Simple Rules
Next Best 1, 12
Fast Start 2, 3, 8, 11


Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million


Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 25)

Just two weeks until the Korea Cup! The final list of accepted nominations will be published shortly but in the meantime, we have racing business to get on with and 10 Friday races at Busan from 14:30 to 21:00. Notes on simulcast races below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

1. LUCKY ADELE – Faded to 6th of 10 on debut on July 14th. Can improve today.
2. CHEONHA MANSE – Debut-maker. Average in trials.
3. GOLDEN KNIGHT – Last of 12 on debut in July and sent back to trial. Looked better on re-qualifying but too early to back.
4. SUPER WINGS – Best of 3rd place was just over a year ago. Only beat one home on latest start.
5. B.K. MASTER – Raced twice last autumn. Trialed up ok a couple of weeks ago.
6. MIO – Beaten into 3rd when odds-on favourite two weeks ago. Another chance here.
7. EURO GONGJU – Much improved 2nd of 8 on August 6th. Big chance again

Verdict: Seems a bit of a two-horse race as (6) MIO and (7) EURO GONGJU look streets ahead of the rest at this stage. Euro Gongju was slightly more impressive in defeat last start so we’ll go with that one to get the maiden win as both likely bid farewell to class 6. (more…)

Victoire Pulls Off Spectacular Juvenile Win On Icheon Ssal As Records Tumble At Soaking Wet Seoul

Have a look at this – Johan Victoire bringing Icheon Ssal from last to first in the final furlong to win a valuable Juvenile race at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday.

Icheon Ssal (Capital Spending) provided Victoire with his first Korean winner on his first ever ride at Seoul just under a month ago. It was Incheon Ssal’s debut that day too and he reappeared on Sunday in a race exclusively for 2-year-olds who graduated from this Spring’s Jeju Breeze-Up Sales.

It was the ride that got the attention though, as French jockey Victoire brought Icheon Ssal from last to first in the closing stages to grab victory on the line.  Victoire’s performance was one of a number of impressive returns from foreign jockeys across the weekend with Antonio Da Silva at Seoul and both Franco Da Silva and JP Guillambert at Busan also being in top form.

Speaking of top form, Cheongdam Dokki has beenturning heads recently. An American import, 3-year-old Cheongdam Dokki (To Honor And Serve) ran out a 17-length winner over 1800M at class 2 last month, despite playing up in the parade ring and bolting on his way to the gate. The antics were limited this Sunday for what was his first try at both class 1 and 2000M. It went rather well:

Late nominations for the Korea Cup for locally trained runners open briefly on August 25…

Cheongdam Dokki would have broken the track record for 2000M had Kim Yong Geun not almost slowed him to a walk by the time they crossed the line but two record did fall on Sunday on a track that was racing exceptionally fast after 15 hours of continuous downpours. Those were at 1700M where Dangdae Geoljak (Peace Rules-So Original) set a new mark of 1:46.6 in race 8 and then at the Korea Sprint distance of 1200M which now has a new record of 1:10.6 following the efforts of Cheonjiga (Trappe Shot-What A Girl Needs) in the closing race 11.

At Busan, the feature race was won by Triple Nine’s little sister, the Thomas Gillespie trained Black Sapphire (Ecton Park-A Little Poke) while the 2yo Breeze-Up-grads race was won by Kim Young Kwan’s Classic Match (Hansen-Intouchable).

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (August 20)

The Autumn Carnival was officially launched this weekend – see the press release below – but we’ve still got plenty of racing to go before we get to the Korea Cup & Sprint on the second Sunday in September. It’s a wet Sunday morning in Seoul but there are 11 races from 11:45 to 19:00 while at Busan there are 6 from 13:25 to 17:35. See below for form comments on all races for overseas simulcast:

Simulcast Form Comments:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

1. YAHO STRONG CAT – First-time starter. Didn’t catch the eye in trials.
2. DALLYEORA PACHYAI – Much improved 2nd on second outing at this distance July 23rd. Big chance here. Could well lead all the way.
3. WHITE ERICA – First time starter. Watching brief first up.
4. WONDERFUL LUCKY – 10th of 12 on debut on July 28th. Not yet.
5. FANTASTIC QUEEN – Best of 5th from six starts so far. Could improve on that here.
6. SEMYEONG KHAN – 2nd on debut in June but could only manage 8th when stepped up to 1300M last time. Should go much better back at 1000M today.
7. PENETRO – Debut-maker from Japanese owner Kadono Shigeo. Looked ok in trials and will be backed first up.
8. SHUMA – Managed a 2nd place over 1300M back in March. First start since April and makes for an interesting outsider.
9. SAEROUN GUNHWANG – Offered little in two efforts so far.
10. GOLD MONT – Well off the pace in two outings so far. Top jockey on today though.
11. STORMY PASSION – Career best 4th over 1000M on muddy track on July 29th ahead of Fapp Cat. Not impossible.
12. FAPP CAT – Only beat a couple home on debut behind Stormy Passion on July 29th. Not ready yet.

Verdict: Two standouts here. (2) DALLYEORA PACHYAI improved a lot on his second start, running a close 2nd. If he can get the early lead here, he could be tough to beat. The other is (6) SEMYOUNG KHAN who put in a solid shift on debut but found it harder when asked to travel further on reappearance. He should be better today. (11) STORMY PASSION looks to be figuring things out while debut-maker (7) PENETRO looks potentially intriguing.


Selections (2) Dallyeora Pachyai (6) Semyoung Khan (11) Stormy Passion (7) Penetro
Next Best 5, 8
Fast Start 2, 5, 6, 7


Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

1. CRYSTALGACHI – Yet to trouble the judges in five outings.
2. ENJOY MY SHOW – Has had an extremely luckless time but on the rare occasions she’s got to the track, she has shown promise. First start since December, trialed ok and not impossible.
3. KHENDUM POWER – Well backed on debut after promising trial but only beat one home on July 29. Worth another chance here.
4. ONE TWO THREE – Best of 5th from four goes so far. Can at least match that in this company.
5. BLACK TRIGGER – Debut-maker who didn’t catch the eye in trials. Watching brief here.
6. UPDATE – Been showing signs of figuring things out. 5th, ahead of Best Mission on latest and looks among the favourites.
7. SUPER COBRA – Debut-maker. Less than impressive in trials. All half-siblings have won though.
8. BEST MISSION – Managed a 4th place back in January but offered little since.
9. BIG MASTER – Improved 5th last time. Still a bit to find.
10. GIJEOGUI JEWANG – Debuted almost a year ago with a 2nd place but only raced twice since. First start since Christmas Day. Trialed up well.
11. CAPTAIN POWER – 9th of 12 on debut on July 22nd. Lots to find.
12. MR. KING – The most experienced in the race. 6th of 11 last time but has managed a 3rd. Not impossible.

Verdict: Not a strong race and that means a lot could be in the hunt. We’ll go with (6) UPDATE, who looked hopeless in his first few but has shown clear signs of figuring things out. Likewise it’s a fresh start for (2) ENJOY MY SHOW trialed well and has plenty of talent. (3) KHENDUM POWER disappointed on debut but we’ll not give up just yet while (4) ONE TWO THREE could also improve.


Selections (2) Enjoy My Show (6) Update (3) Khendum Power (4) One Two Three
Next Best 10, 12
Fast Start 2, 1, 3, 6


Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 19)

Saturday at Seoul sees 11 races from 14:00 to 21:00. Notes on all are below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

1. JEONGSANG GADO – Sole start in February. Re-qualified behind some very quick ones last month. Not yet.
2. CUPID DOCTOR – 4th of 12 ahead of Jeonsin Mukyang on promising debut on July 23rd. In the hunt.
3. BROWN BOMBER – First-time starter. Trialed up ok although others favoured.
4. MALAKAS – Debut-maker. Won his trial in good fashion. First foal out of his dam, who ran very well in Korea. Interesting.
5. CHEONGUN ILHO – Finish in midfield in all of five starts last autumn and winter. First appearance since February. Looked ok in trial.
6. JUNGDONG JIJON – 4th on debut on July 22nd. Can get closer today.
7. BLUE SHARK – Sent back to trial after woeful debut over 1300M. Was entered at that distance because of hanging inwards in training. Drops back today. Trialed ok.
8. CHOWON YEOJEONSA – 10th behind Argo Unique last time. Lots to find.
7. ARGO UNIQUE – Shown some promise in four starts so far although disappointed when odd-on favourite in June. 6th last time ahead of Chowon yeojeonsa and in the frame today.
8. SACHEON DAESEONG – Best from seven outings is a 5th of 11 back in April. Last of 10 on latest at 1300M on July 16th.
9. MAJJABEUN SON 0 7th of 10 on debut on July 15th. Failed to quicken.
10. JEONSIN MUKYANG – 8th of 12 on debut behind Cupid Doctor on debut on July 23rd.

Verdict: The interestingly named (4) MALAKAS looks an interesting prospect. First foal from a dam who was a very good racehorse in Korea and a good looking trial winner, he can win first up. (2) CUPID DOCTOR was an encouraging 4th on debut and can build on that today. At the opposite end of the scale (7) BLUE SHARK was dreadful on debut but (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 18)

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday afternoon with a 10-race card from 14:30 to 21:00. Notes on all races (1-6)  for overseas simulcast below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

1. SPECIAL POWER – Three slow efforts so far. 9th of 11 on latest at 1300M. Outsider.
2. BEAUTIFUL ACT – Was 200/1 on debut on May 19th but came 4th. Not seen since but could match that.
3. VICTORY ROAD – Only beat one home on debut at 1000M on July 7th. Lots to find.
4. ATOMIJI – Best result a 2nd over 1300M in June. 3rd of 12 last time ahead of Busan Bolt and favourite to score here.
5. SILVER LINE – Took a while to qualify going through a lot of trials. Can’t be backed first-up.
6. EDGE OF WINNER – First-time starter. Trialed up ahead of Silver Line in July. Watching brief here.
7. FULL HOUSE – Beat Atomiji in trials way back in March but only beat one home on actual debut in May. First start since.
8. BLESS YOU – Best a 3rd place ahead of Beautiful Act Atomiji in May and then 5th last start behind a few decent ones. Two months off since and should be looking for career-best here.
9. SEONHO – First-time who trialed up ok. Half sister to some modest ones who were capable of winning at low levels.
10. BOLD RULES – Looks the best of the first-times. Competent in trials.
11. BUSAN BOLT – Best from nine starts so far is 5th but she was less than length behind Atomiji last time on August 6th and can seek a career best here.
12. GOLDEN AGE – Much improved 2nd on return from three months off on July 14th. Can go well again.

Verdict: (8) BLESS YOU, (2) BEAUTIFUL ACT and (4) ATOMIJI raced each other all the way back in May, finishing 3rd, 4th and 9th respectively. However, it’s Atomiji who has appeared to come on the most since then and Thomas Gillespie’s filly gets the nod here. She beat (11) BUSAN BOLT last time and that one can challenge again as can (12) (more…)

Derby Winners Power Blade & Final Boss Back To Winning Ways

The winners of the last two Korean Derby’s found their ways back into the winner’s circle last Sunday. 2016 Triple Crown winner Power Blade defeated stablemate Triple Nine to win the Busan Owners’ Cup while 2017 Derby victor Final Boss scored in a rather more modest contest at Seoul.

For Power Blade it was a first start since returning from the Dubai World Cup Carnival where he scored a couple of very creditable 3rd place finishes. He won the domestic Triple Crown last year with ease but had to play second fiddle to stablemate Triple Nine, one year his senior, in the later season races. On Sunday, at a mile though, it was all about Power Blade who gave jockey Franco Da Silva his first Korean Group race winner.

Owners’ Cup (KOR G3) – Busan Racecourse – 1600M – August 13, 2017

1. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain)] – Francisco Da Silva – 9.5, 2.3
2. Triple Nine (KOR) [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] – Lim Sung Gil – 1.0
3. Doraon Hyeonpyo (KOR) [Colors Flying – Kilcoe Castle (Gone West)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.7
Distances: 1 length / 0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. City Star 5. Success Story 6. Zettabyte 7. Beolmaui Sin 8. Baedari Bobae 9. Two Two Raptor

Up at Seoul, this year’s Derby winner was also triumphant, albeit in slightly less illustrious company. Nevertheless, Final Boss still had to defeat Sinjo Daehyeop, one of the track’s top class 1 handicappers, as well as his greatest danger – his own erratic style – to prevail over 1800M.

Champion juvenile last year, Final Boss was well fancied heading to Busan for the first leg of this year’s Triple Crown, the KRA Cup Mile in April but arrived looking out of sorts and blew his race in the early stages before rallying for 5th. He then won the Korean Derby despite running wild and wide in the closing stages before beng lackluster once more in the Minister’s Cup with another 5th place.

On Sunday, champion jockey Moon Se Young, freshly returned from a stint in Singapore, took the mount and took Final Boss forward early, stalking the leader before hitting the front turning into the home straight and going clear to win comfortably. Sinjo Daehyeop, who was conceding 6kg, could only finish 4th.

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (August 13)

Sunday is a huge day of racing in Korea with potential Korea Cup & Sprint implications too. Stablemates Triple Nine and Power Blade renew hostilities in the graded Owners’ Cup at Busan while Derby winner Final Boss will seek to get back to winning ways at Seoul. There are 12 races at Seoul from 11:45 to 19:00 and 5 at Busan from 14:15 to 17:40. Notes on every race below:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

1. BLACK MUSIC – Two 4ths among latest three. Can repeat.
2. BEST SIDAE – 5th of 11 in similar race last month.
3. BULHUUI SEUNGJA – First try at this distance. Likely front-runner.
4. C.K.QUEEN – Best of 2nd, comes in off 4th of 12 in similar race last time and can go better here.
5. DAEHAN GANGSAN – Improved 2nd on first try at this distance last time. Big chance.
6. HERO KING – Managed three 4th places among seven starts. Would be a good result today.
7. ONLY BARAM – 9th of 11 on debut last month. Not backable yet,
8. JEGUKUI HUYE – Interrupted career so far with four starts spread over almost a year. Did improve last time.

Verdict: Small field to start with and (5) DAEHAN GANGSAN is top choice having showed a liking for this distance on his first attempt at it last time out. He can sit behind the early speed and finish strongly. That speed can be set by (3) BULHUUI SEUNGJA, who along with (4) C.K. QUEEN, look to be the main dangers.


Selections (5) Daehan Gangsan (3) Bulhuui Seungja (4) C.K. Queen (1) Black Music
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 1, 3


Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 12)

Big 15-race card at Seoul on Saturday. Race 1 is at 14:00 and Race 15 at 21:00. Full preview below:


Playtime’s over. Moon Se Young is back in town 9Pic: Ross Holburt)


Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million


1. MINDEULRE CHUKJE – Best of 5th from six outings.
2. YAHO WORLD STAR – 8th on both tries so far. Showed prominently last start but weakened.
3. HWANGGEUM YEONMOT – Improved 4th ahead of Kaiser Queen on latest start at odds of 120/1. May be shorter today but still others favoured.
4. KAISER QUEEN – Beaten by Hwanggeum Yeonmeot in early July but recovered two weeks ago to run 3rd of 11 in wet conditions. Chance today.
5. NOBLE QUEEN – Well backed on debut following winning trial but came last after stumbling out of the gate. Three months off since and fresh start today.
6. CUPID DATE – Took a while to qualify and then only beat two on debut a month ago.
7. BEST DOLPUNG – Average trial followed by average debut last month.
8. SHARK KING – Just second start for this 5-year-old. Raced once last autumn – came last. Trialed up ok but a total wildcard here.
9. HONEY BAROWS – About time this one won. Has had a couple of hard luck stories and also just run badly a couple of times but can put things right here.
10. DUAL CHOEGANG – Has been steadily improving. 4th last time over 1000M and can continue to progress today.


Verdict: Pretty competitive opener with (4) KAISER QUEEN and (9) HONEY BAROWS the top picks. Both have been close but inconsistent and we’ll go with the latter to step up here. (3) HWANGGEUM YEONMOT defied lengthy odds last time to improve and could maintain that here while (10) DUAL CHOEGANG looks best of the rest.


Selections (9) Honey Barows (4) Kaiser Queen (3) Hwanggeum Yeonmot (10) Dual Choegang
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 2, 3, 4, 9