New Year’s Eve Sunday At Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (December 31)

We round out 2017 with a bumper 15-race card at Busan! First race at 10:45am and last race at 6pm. Here are the previews:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 55 Million

Strong favourite to kick things off with. That will be (6) DAEDONG WINNER, 2nd on debut at this distance on November 24th, a full eleven lengths behind the very good winner Rainha, but still a good enough showing to suggest he’ll have too much for this lot. (8) JANGSEONGI JILJU and (9) GYOHAKSANGJANG both showed a bit of promise with their respective 4th place finishes and look next best while (1) HOTHAE didn’t disgrace himself on debut either. (3) BUGYEONG BOLT qualified by way of a remarkably slow trial but could be the wildcard.

Selections (6) Daedong Winner (8) Jangseongi Jilju (9) Gyohaksangjang (3) Bugyeong Bolt
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 3, 7, 8

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

Another modest contest but there are a couple of standouts with both (5) ROYAL RIVER and (8) APPLE GOLD showing potential in their limited starts to date and we’ll side with Apple Gold to get the better of the start and lead all the way. Royal River jumped out of the gate awkwardly last time but ran on pleasingly enough and he certainly can challenge today. (1) DONE IT MY put in a poor showing last start but had previously gone ok and therefore gets the third pick here (6) TANGO AND TANGO and (7) EURO SHINHWA are others who can improve.

Selections (8) Apple Gold (5) Royal River (1) Done It My (6) Tango And Tango
Next Best 7, 3
Fast Start 4, 7, 8

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million 

Fillies only here and (5) CORE BLADE will be hot favourite to strike. She was just beaten a neck at this distance on what was only her second outing on November 17th in a stronger race than this and she should have too much today. (2) SEORABEOL YEOJE and (3) DYNAMIC RUN came home 4th and 5th over a mile a month ago. They look set to both be on the early speed here and can be competing at least for places. Similarly (7) BAEKDU QUEEN and (9) PEACE TOUR finished 4th and 5th when they raced each other at this distance on December 1st and both chance chances to get closer today.

Selections (5) Core Blade (2) Seorabeol Yeoje (3) Dynamic Run (7) Baekdu Queen
Next Best 9
Fast Start 2, 3

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Bit more competitive this one and (3) EOMJI CHEOK has shown plenty in her two starts since returning to action, a full eleven months after her underwhelming debut. She has a 3rd and a 2nd, running on nicely both times and while today does look a little deeper in terms of the depth of the field, she can get close. (2) TOP EURO has run reasonably well in her two outings so far, overcoming a heavy bump coming out of the gate to finish 4th last time. She’s up in distance today and could well get an easy lead early on. (7) CHOEGANG STEALTH’s latest two have been in decent company and his 4th at this distance at the end of October is probably the most convincing performance that any of these have put in so far and he must be considered. (1) NOPIGOM NAREUSYA and (4) SAEROUN BARAM also come in off the back of encouraging runs. 

Selections (3) Eomji Cheok (7) Choegang Stealth (2) Top Euro (4) Saeroun Baram
Next Best 1, 10
Fast Start 2

Race 5: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

With two 2nd places and a 3rd in three outings to date, the most recent of which was at this class, (2) KOREAN ANGEL is picked to strike here. It’s still early days here but she looks a cut above the rest of these fillies and could well lead gate to wire. (10) EURO GONGJU comes in off back to back 3rd place finishes, both at this class and should have the beating of plenty of these while (6) EORIN YEOWANG and (8) YUKRYONGI came home 3rd and 4th over this distance on December 1st and both should be looking to at least match here. (7) BOUND TODAY performed poorly last start but is better than that and can be given another chance.

Selections (2) Korean Angel (10) Euro Gongju (6) Eorin Yeowang (8) Yukryongi
Next Best 7, 1
Fast Start 2, 8

Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(6) YEONGGWANGUI CHAMP was a fine winner on what was his second start on October 27th. He’s been off since then and is up in class and distance today but looks to be the class horse here and can win again. (11) CHEONYEONUITAEYANG is also up in class. He’s not won and has been 2nd twice as an odds-on proposition but he’s done ok and should be competitive here and should be off to a fast start. (8) BOLD RULES and (12) NALGAEREUL PYEORA are surely both better than their latest performances suggest and can be given further chances here. (2) GOLDEN KINGS steps back up in trip slightly today and may benefit.

Selections (6) Yeonggwangui Champ (11) Cheonyeonuitaeyang (12) Nalgaereul Pyeora (8) Bold Rules
Next Best 2, 9, 3
Fast Start 5, 11

Race 7: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Plenty enter with good recent form but (7) YEONGGWANGUIWINNER is the pick of them. After creditable finishes in Busan’s top two juvenile races of the year, he got his maiden win on November 24th with a facile nine-length victory over (1) RED CLOUD and really should be winning again today. Red Cloud joins him up in class and should be able to beat plenty of these while also up today and not without hope (4) MR. KOREA and (8) JEIL MUJEOK. However, greater dangers may be a pair who have already come close at this class. Both (2) HANEOL GONGJU and (5) CONTADOR came home in 2nd place on their respective first class 5 outings, both at this distance and they can give the favourite a run for his money here.

Selections (7) Yeonggwanguiwinner (5) Contador (2) Haneol Gongju (4) Mr. Korea
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 1, 5

Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Juveniles only here with half of them racing for the first time. Some of the experienced ones have shown plenty of potential though with two winners among them already and (4) AWESOME KING IJI primed to join them here. He was narrowly beaten by (8) WHIIK last start when they raced over this distance and it would be no surprise to see the pair of them fighting out the finish once more. It could go either way but this time we’ll side with Awesome King Iji. (1) GLOBAL JILJU was 3rd that day and has every chance of placing again. (3) SHE JUST WIN did exactly like it says on his stable door (although he is a colt, not a filly) in his first two outings before running 2nd behind a much more experienced one on his reappearance. He’s sure to be a danger. One obvious debut-maker to take note of is (2) NEW YORK MANGCHI. Champion jockey and trainer combine and while his trial was on the average side, watch the market.

Selections (4) Awesome King Iji (8) Whiik (3) She Just Win (2) New York Mangchi
Next Best 1, 12
Fast Start 4, 12

Race 9: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 55 Million

4th on debut behind three we saw in race 8 (Whiik, (8) KOREA BLADE looks intriguing here. Up in distance, this Pioneerof the Nile colt could get a soft lead and conceivably go all the way. It looks pretty open though. (12) WONDERFUL CAPTAIN has proven inconsistent but has also gone well at this distance, not least when running 2nd last start ahead of a couple of these and he’s in with a major shout.  (10) BLUE TIME has won at this distance, albeit over a year ago when she looked like potentially being a star. She’s not lived up to that, but she showed signs of coming back into form running 2nd in a quick 1300M contest in November and she has a chance of going well here too. (2) TUSCARORA BILL weakened on his first try at this distance last start but is worth another chance while (3) US MAN may never have won but is usually good for some minor prize money.

Selections (8) Korea Blade (12) Wonderful Captain (10) Blue Time (2) Tuscarora Bill
Next Best 3, 4
Fast Start 8

Race 10: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million 

(5) KING JJANG comes in having been 4th in the Breeders’ Cup, Korea’s top juvenile race, at Seoul last month and was a winner last time he raced at this distance, making all. He’ll be on speed early here and surely has too much. (9) RED YOUNG MYEONGUN and (1) BOUND QUEENS came home 3rd and 4th when they raced each other at class and distance on December 1st and look to be next best with both proven at this level. (6) WINDY PARK comes in off a decent 2nd place at 1200M and could get close again while the experienced (3) FIRST KING usually isn’t too far away.

Selections (5) King Jjang (9) Red Young Myeongun (3) First King (1) Bound Queens
Next Best 6, 2, 8
Fast Start 2, 5, 6

Race 11: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 55 Million 

Open race this but (11) MAPLE CLASSIC enters on a hat-trick having won his latest two, both at this class. On November 26th, he beat four of these over 1800M, leading all the way and with an apprentice jockey taking some weight off here, can repeat. (8) SINBIHAN JILJU was only a neck back that day and will be a threat again as will (12) CHEONJI CHAMP who finished 4th but a couple who didn’t go that day could pose even greater dangers. Kim Young Kwan’s (3) DIVIDE WIND won two of his first three before taking his chance at Seoul in the Breeders’ Cup. He made little impact there in a race won by stablemate Ecton Blade, but he gets intriguingly bumped up in trip today for just his fifth start and he could be very interesting. (7) SEUNGSEUNG JANGGUN is already a winner at this trip and was 2nd behind the very good-looking Rock Hard Seven at the same distance last time out and will surely be in the hunt too.

Selections (11) Maple Classic (7) Seungseung Janggun (3) Divide Wind (8) Sinbihan Jilju
Next Best 12, 2
Fast Start 3, 4, 11

Race 12: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Back to strong favourites for this race which (1) CAPTAIN BLADE enters having returned to action on December 1st following five months off and promptly extending his winning streak to four. That race was at this distance and he three of today’s rivals in the process. He does carry an extra 5kg today but there’s little to suggest he won’t be able to overcome that. Of the ones behind him – a long way behind him – that day, (7) YEONGGWANGUICOUNTRY, who got a bad trip that day but still finished 3rd, looks best equipped to offer more of a challenge here but there are others to consider too. (3) BAEDARI HANI just ended on the wrong side of a really tight finish at the distance a month ago and if she gets a good start may play a role. Less than a length back in that finish was (10) GOLD FLYING and a place is very possible for her too. (4) CHOEGANG ADVENTURE was a useful winner of a decent race at this distance three weeks ago, leading all the way and is another who with a good start, can threaten – it could get quite crowded at the front early in the race.

Selections (1) Captain Blade (3) Baedari Hani (7) Yeonggwanguicountry (4) Choegang Adventure
Next Best 10, 11
Fast Start 1, 3, 4, 8, 12

Race 13: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(7) POTENTIAL certainly demonstrated some when running 2nd to Yeongcheon Derby in the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Cup on November 19th. She’s up in class as a result of that having two 2nd place finishes among her three outings to date and she has as much chance as any of making the breakthrough here. Her other 2nd place was behind (6) BLUE CHIPPER. He ran last in that Cup race having been difficult to load, starting badly and that hanging out wide. He was sent back to trial which he came through in good fashion earlier this month and he goes right back into the frame here. (8) DANGDAE ALPHA has won five of eight so far including at class and distance last time so must be respected although it is worth noting than in one of his defeats in October, he finished behind three of these. (9) FINEST WARRIOR was beaten by (3) BRAVO MARINE on debut but followed up with a comfortable win on reappearance on December 1st. He’s up in class today but with every chance of going well.  (10) TOKYO BLUE finally got his maiden win in October and is rarely far away.

Selections (7) Potential (6) Blue Chipper (9) Finest Warrior (10) Tokyo Blue
Next Best 8, 12, 2, 3
Fast Start 4, 8, 9, 12

Race 14: Class 1 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million 

The final Class 1 race of the year sees a somewhat surprising return for (5) DONGBANG DAERO, three weeks after his Grand Prix Stakes heroics in Seoul which saw him finish furiously to just be beaten a Head by Power Blade in Korea’s most prestigious race. Accordingly, his rating has sky-rocketed and he’ll carry 59kg today but respect for him has gone up considerably too. The furious early pace of the Grand Prix worked out well for a closer like Dongbang Daero and today’s – probably less frenetic – pace will likely be set by (3) APPROACH, who went all the way for a three-length win at this distance in September and is nicely in the weights today. He’ll be joined by (10) SUCCESS STORY, who races in a regular Handicap for the first time since March and who should surely stay on for a place. (8) TWO TWO RAPTOR and (9) GREAT KING, 2nd and 3rd at class and distance on November 17th are others in at least the placing frame.

Selections (5) Dongbang Daero (10) Success Story (3) Approach (8) Two Two Raptor
Next Best 9, 1, 2
Fast Start 3, 8, 10, 11

Race 15: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million 

(2) ILLYU STAR was a touch disappointing when 6th over 1400M three weeks ago but drops back today to a distance at which he’s won his most recent two starts at and he looks to have every chance here. In the same race, (10) PHANTOM BLADE was even more of a disappointment but he’s also worthy of another go. (7) QUEEN TWO HEARTS and (9) BARAMUI HEUNJEOK both enter having won at class and distance on their respective latest starts and should be firmly in the hunt today with (8) CHEONHA TONGIL, 3rd behind Baramui Heunjeok last time, another to consider for the places.

Selections (2) Illyu Star (7) Queen Two Hearts (10) Phantom Blade (9) Baramui Heunjeok
Next Best 8, 1
Fast Start 1, 4, 8, 9

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