It’s Friday February 9, 2018 and the eyes of the world are on Korea as one of the greatest sporting events on the planet gets underway. Yes, it’s Friday racing at Busan! 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Very tricky maiden to kick things off with plenty who’ve shown glimpses of promise but haven’t yet delivered. There was almost a year between (12) STORM GOLD’s third and fourth starts but he returned two weeks ago to run a good 4th at this distance. He was drawn wide that day too and if he can get a good start, can go close. (4) SAEROUN BARAM has been 4th in both his two outings. While he hasn’t been the quickest out of the gates, he’s run on well both times and can continue to improve here. Continuing the theme of coming home 4th in latest outings is the trio of (2) SAEROUN BOMUL, (6) EDGE OF WINNER and (8) GRACIELA with the latter of them impressing the most last time.
|Selections||(4) Saeroun Baram (12) Storm Gold (8) Graciela (2) Saeroun Bomul|
|Next Best||6, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 9, 12|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A maiden restricted to three-year-old fillies. We’ve got a potentially exciting debut-maker among them too with (11) S S YOUNG set to be favourite having coasted through a January trial looking very competent. She’s a half-sister to Hangang Ruby, who won five of twelve starts a few years back and while nether he, nor the dam’s other foals, had especially long careers they began well, and S S Young can too. All the others have raced at least once before with (10) GRAY STORM coming in off consecutive 3rd place finishes and looking good to at least repeat. (6) BAEKDU MYEONGWOL was a creditable 5th on debut three weeks ago and can build on that here while (3) NEVER LAND and (7) TOP EURO should also be in the frame. The latter of those stepped up to 1300M last time and struggled but should be happier today.
|Selections||(11) S S Young (10) Gray Storm (6) Baekdu Myeongwol (3) Never Land|
|Next Best||7, 12, 4|
|Fast Start||4, 7, 8, 11|
Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Five of the twelve raced each other over this distance on January 12th with the best of them being (2) FAST AWAY, who finished 2nd a full five lengths clear of the rest. He seems to have started to figure things out in his latest three and should indeed be fast away here on to the early pace and can go all the way. (6) HEUGSEOL GONGJU was the one who was 3rd that day, finishing in that position for the second time in five outings and she can place once more. (11) WONDERFUL MEMORY’s two starts so far have been in stiffer company than this and he will be expected to improve. (8) TESTA MAGIC went reasonably well over a mile last time and comes in fresh after nine weeks off with chances to improve. (12) ACE FORCE also drops back in trip following a solid 4th at a mile just two weeks ago. He’s expected to be on speed early and can compete.
|Selections||(2) Fast Away (11) Wonderful Memory (6) Heugseol Gongju (12) Ace Force|
|Next Best||8, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 11, 12|
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The last of the maidens is for three-year-olds only so sees some boosted prize money. None of them have raced more than four times and quite a few of them have shown some potential. (4) TIME SPEC came home 3rd, several lengths behind a pair of good ones on what was his second start on January 5th. It was at this distance and he got away well that day With a similarly good start today, he’ll have a solid chance. (9) YONGGU and (7) SEOLGWANGHWA finished 4th and 5th at the distance three weeks ago and the former especially will be fancied to match of better that today. Then there are the ones stepping up to the distance for the first time. (5) CHEONNYEONUI BADA was a decent 5th on debut at 1000M a month ago and will be expected to get a first start again here while (10) VIP KING was a much improved 2nd on his fourth outing last month and can get close again. There are three debut-makers too and among them, (3) MACHADO was a comfortable trial winner two weeks ago and can surely be in the hunt first-up.
|Selections||(5) Cheonnyeonui Bada (3) Machado (4) Time Spec (9) Yonggu|
|Next Best||10, 11, 7|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 10|
Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Fillies only. (7) SILLAUI DALBAM returned from five months off to make her first start for David Miller two weeks ago and having trialled up well earlier in January, she ran a good 2nd to favourite Bold Rules. She takes a while to get into full stride, so it would be a surprise to see her on the early pace but so long as she doesn’t leave herself too much to do, she should have a great chance here. (8) FIRE POINT is up in class following a win at the distance on January 12th and while the competition is stiffer here, looks to have improvement in her. (1) DAEDONG WINNER finds herself up in class following back to back runner-up finishes both at 1000M. She’s run on well both times and the additional trip may suit. Last time she beat (11) GYOHAKSANGJANG (from Kim Young Kwan’s stable) who herself went on to score a maiden victory two weeks ago and will also be in the hunt here. A mile didn’t suit (3) SAEROUN JILJU last time so look for her to be better dropped back in trip today. She was only beaten a nose on her last try at 1300M at this class.
|Selections||(7) Sillaui Dalbam (8) Fire Point (3) Saeroun Jilju (1) Daedong Winner|
|Next Best||11, 2, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 10|
Race 6: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Kim Young Kwan has 20 winners from 40 starters in 2018 and he’ll have the favourite here. (10) CORE BLADE could only manage 2nd when favourite on his first try at this trip three weeks ago but it was a strong showing nonetheless and he was ahead of a couple of his rivals here. He gets another chance. As does (9) TANGY BITE who was also runner-up when market leader in a different race on the same day. That was at 1300M, so he steps up in trip here but should be comfortable with it and can get close, likely looking to lead early on. (2) K O BARAM has been no worse than 4th in each of his latest four efforts, all of them at this trip. (3) I’M ADELE has chased him home in two of those and is also consistently close without quite threatening to win. (7) JOYFUL STORY, 4th behind Core Blade last time is another to consider.
|Selections||(10) Core Blade (9) Tangy Bite (2) K O Baram (3) I’m Adele|
|Next Best||7, 4|
|Fast Start||6, 7, 9|
Race 7: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(4) GASOK CHAMPION only beat one home in the Korean Oaks last June but came back lame and was out for almost six months. She returned victorious over 1200M in December and then 2nd over the same distance on January 7th having led until close to home. She drops back to the minimum today and will be strong favourite to score. (9) TUFELLO had a best of 2nd from five starts in spring and summer last year and returns to action for the first time in exactly six months. He looked in very good shape when winning a trial two weeks ago and can make an immediate impression here. The experienced pair of (2) OPEN CHAMPION and (5) ROYAL KELLY can both get fast starts here and can go close while of the three debut-makers, (6) WHISPER WISH perhaps has the best chance of making an impact first-up.
|Selections||(4) Gasok Champion (9) Tufello (2) Open Champion (5) Royal Kelly|
|Next Best||6, 10|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5, 8|
Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
After chastening experiences in two big juvenile races in October and December, the latter being where he beat just one home in the Breeders’ Cup in Seoul, (8) SIN STEALTH returned to more amenable company when running 2nd in what was still a good race at 1300M on January 14th. Facing just fellow three-year-olds here, he has an excellent chance of getting back to winning ways and should lead from the gate. The big danger is (9) HIDDEN STAR. Thomas Gillespie’s colt has outperformed his odds to run 3rd and 2nd in two starts so far and can continue his run here. (6) KOREA BLADE on the other hand has slightly underperformed compared to expectations in his two efforts to date but improvement can’t be ruled out. Running in the same colours – although not trained by Kim Young Kwan – will be debut-maker (1) JUMBO BLADE. He trialled up nicely enough. (5) BOGOINNA looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(8) Sin Stealth (9) Hidden Star (6) Korea Blade (1) Jumbo Blade|
|Next Best||5, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 6, 8|
Race 9: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(10) HIDDEN CHAMP comes up in class today having won his latest two in crushing fashion. Last time was at this distance and he made all to win by four lengths in a manner that suggests he shouldn’t be too concerned about what is admittedly stiffer competition today. The draw isn’t perhaps ideal but at a mile he has plenty of time to overcome it. (11) BAENGMANDORI is also up in class having beaten Core Blade (who we saw in race 7) at this distance last month and can be competitive. (8) CHEONNYEONUI GANG as 3rd over 1300M on his first try at this level two weeks ago but David Miller’s colt has won at the distance before and can get close today. (5) FOUR STAR returned to some kind of form with a class and distance 3rd and month ago and can repeat while (7) VEGA KHAN did exactly the same three weeks ago and can also be in the hunt for a place.
|Selections||(10) Hidden Champ (8) Cheonnyeonui Gang (5) Four Star (11) Baengmandori|
|Next Best||7, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 7, 8, 10|
Race 10: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(9) AMERICAN POWER was 3rd in last year’s Korean Derby but only ran once more, finishing well back in the Minister’s Cup. He trialled up both in December and again last week and looked sharp enough and he comes straight back into contention today. This is by no means an easy race to return in though. (4) BAY KINGS and (5) ROYAL HEART were 2nd and 3rd in very tight finish at class and distance on January 12th with just a neck separating them from the winner and both have claims here. (1) B.K. SAY was a class and distance winner in December and while he had a hard time at a mile a month ago, should be a different prospect here and will likely try to lead from the gate. (7) SISEON POCHAK was well back behind Bay Kings and Royal Heart last time but has plenty of experience of finding the money in this type of company and can go close.
|Selections||(9) American Power (5) Royal Heart (4) Bay Kings (1) B.K. Say|
|Next Best||7, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 6|
Race 11: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
Our top three here raced each other over class and distance on January 19th. (4) CHEONHA TONGIL got off to a good start that day and went on to win with (2) RED SIREN and (7) ILLYU STAR, both more fancied in the betting, coming home 3rd and 4th respectively. An apprentice jockey on Cheonha Tongil means he doesn’t carry much extra weight and another on Illyu Star means he carries even less and all three will have their backers today. However, we’ll go with Red Siren to get it right this time. (1) DAMYANG HWANHO got it very wrong over 1400M last start but can get on the early speed here and do much better. (3) YOU’RE HILARIOUS returns from six months out and trialled up creditably enough in January in a manner which puts him in the frame as a wildcard here.
|Selections||(2) Red Siren (4) Cheonha Tongil (7) Illyu Star (1) Damyang Hwanho|
|Next Best||3, 12|
|Fast Start||1, 4|