Busan Racecourse – February 3
Trial 1: Very slow heat even considering the conditions. Only three passed. Jungang Yeoje won three of her first four starts in 2016 but went badly off the boil. She last raced in August 2017. Daeho Myeongga stood in the gate on his last start in Decmber and was sent back to two starting tests and barrier trials. One more to go.
Trial 2: American Power was 3rd in last year’s Korean Derby but only raced once more on 2017, finishing well down the field in the Minister’s Cup. He had already re-qualified in a December trial but was sent to sharpen up in this one in which he came 2nd, a neck behind Sinhyeokmyeong, who recorded a 2st and a 2nd in two outings early last year before suffering suspensory ligament damage. He looked sharp. Among others successfully re-qualifying were Seungniui Chukje and Barry Irwin’s Swoop.
Trial 3: Australian bred seven-year-old Gumpo Daeseung was out of his depth at class 1 last year but is back following eight months off. Baedari Bobae, 4th in the 2016 Minister’s Cup was among several others re-qualifying.
Seoul Racecourse – February 2
Trial 1: A group of unraced three-year-olds went round first and were headed by Drosselmeyer colt Myeongjin Man.
Trial 2: Newcomer Hambak Miso (Stromberg Carlson) crossed the line 1st, ahead of Colorful Cat, a winner of three from ten and who will do another trial this coming Friday before returning to racing. Two others qualified for the first time.
Trial 3: Unraced L Car (Sharp Humor) started slowly but ran on nicely enough to win the heat ahead of brand new US import Golden Black (Spring At Last). Eight-year-old Impetus, a winner of seven from forty-four (although last in the winner’s circle in 2014) was a close 3rd. He last raced in August of last year.
Trial 4: Aussie import Arnis (Skilled) only cost A$12,000 but even that looked too much as he finished a tailed off last on debut last September. He’s moved to Luigi Riccardi’s barn now and looked a different animal cruising round here under Johan Victoire. He could be one to watch when he returns to racing soon.