The weekend’s Korean racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with 10 races from11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maidens only here and ten of the are racing for the very first time. While we often value actual racing experience in these kinds of contests we’re going to make an exception here and focus on the newcomers. Fastest in trials was (8) TAEYANGUI CHUKJE. He looked very much like he knew what he was doing and with the champion jockey up is sure to be well-backed. (4) SUN DAY will have plenty of followers too. From Kim Young Kwan’s stable, she was no better than average in her trial but is a half-sister to Today, a stablemate who has won a remarkable nine of eleven starts so far. (7) USEUNG TICKET is also a half to a couple of very useful types and despite the unfashionable connections, trialled up competently and should come under consideration. (1) MIRACLE ALICE and (3) BICHUI HAENGJIN have also caught the eye in trials. As ever with so many first-timers, keep an eye on the market.
|Selections||(8) Taeyangui Chukje (4) Sun Day (1) Miracle Alice (7) Useung Ticket|
|Next Best||3, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 7, 8|
Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Another maiden for three-year-olds although this time all of them have raced at least once before. With a 2nd and a 3rd from two outings to date, (7) CHEONHA GAMDONG looks the one to beat here. Both have been at this distance and he ran on very nicely for 2nd a month ago in what really looks like stiffer company than this and it shouldn’t take much improvement to see him home on top today. (1) BAEKDU BAEKHO races for the first time in 21 weeks. While he finished 2nd in that latest start in October, he raced extremely ungenerously and was banned for three months with a requirement to pass two consecutive trials before being allowed to race again. It took him no fewer than seven trials to satisfy that requirement and today we’ll see if it was worth it. He really should get a quite easy early lead today and if he behaves himself, we know he has the talent. (6) WINNING AGAIN also raced rather greenly on what was his 3rd start three weeks ago but ran well enough in 2nd and should improve here. (2) CHEOLBI and (8) GRAY STORM both have a little more experience and both have proven themselves competitive in this company at least.
|Selections||(7) Cheonha Gamdong (1) Baekdu Baekho (6) Winning Again (2) Cheolbi|
|Next Best||8, 11|
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Another maiden although this time it isn’t restricted to three-year-olds. (6) USEUNG TEN already has a pair of 3rd places at this distance to his name. He perhaps would have finished a little better than he did last time had he not hung outwards rounding the turn and if Kim Cheol Ho can keep him focused here, he has a good chance of ending his spell at class 6 with a win. (4) MAJOR ALPHA overcame a tardy start to run a much improved 2nd at 1000M on March 2nd. He’s up in trip for the first time today and based on that evidence, it may suit. (2) MY TIME hasn’t been too far away in his latest couple and should get close again while (7) TESTA MAGIC and (8) BELLAMY GONGJU have both hinted at some ability so far and can improve today.
|Selections||(6) Useung Ten (4) Major Alpha (2) My Time (8) Bellamy Gongju|
|Next Best||7, 10|
|Fast Start||4, 5|
Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Small field here and (4) TEXAS SIDAE stepped up to this distance on February 23rd and ran a very solid race, showing at the front before eventually finishing in 4th. He can get to the front again today and this time can hold on. (5) BIG RED IJI has been improving and his latest couple have been against considerably better opposition than this. He moves up to a mile for the first time today and it could well be what he needs to secure a career best finish to date. Peter Wolsley’s (2) JAESAENGMYEONGNI has taken an age to get into top gear in his latest two and is another who may appreciate the chance to go a bit further today. (1) VICTORY ROAD was 7th behind Texas Sidae a month ago and backed up again two weeks ago with an improved 5th, again at the distance and could maintain her momentum of improvement here.
|Selections||(4) Texas Sidae (5) Big Red Iji (2) Jaesaengmyeongni (1) Victory Road|
|Next Best||3, 8|
|Fast Start||4, 7|
Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(6) DAMYANG GONGJU has show plenty of ability across five starts so far and while her best finishes have been at 1000M, she beat a couple of these when 5th on her only previous try at this distance and could well have too much for all of them today. She has every chance of getting a soft lead and can go all the way. (7) PEACE TOUR and (8) DANCING VICAR are both up in class having finished 1st and 2nd respectively at this distance on February 23rd. Peace Tour prevailed by a full five-lengths that day and looks best equipped for an immediate challenge at this level. (5) SECHAGE was also a class 6 winner at this distance and was a good 3rd on her first try at this class six weeks ago. (3) YUHWI didn’t go especially well last time but has shown speed and races at 1300M for the first time today.
|Selections||(6) Damyang Gongju (7) Peace Tour (5) Sechage (3) Yuhwi|
|Next Best||1, 8, 4|
Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Absolutely wide-open handicap here with any number having claims. (12) KOREA BLADE ran poorly when well-backed over a mile two weeks ago. He didn’t have much in the way of an excuse either but he’s back down in trip today and can go better. (3) TUSCORORA BILL went much better at a mile a month ago, coming home in 4th place. He too steps back in trip today and should be in contention and is well drawn to get on the early lead. (8) GO JJANG returns following fifteen weeks off, prior to which he was on a pleasing run of form. He trialled competently enough last week and comes immediately into the frame. (10) PARK MAN was 2nd at class and distance in a very similar strength race three week ago and must be respected. There is one debut-maker, Congrats filly (2) JET SKY. She went through two trials separated by a full five-months but the Champion jockey rides, so she will have some backers.
|Selections||(3) Tuscarora Bill (10) Park Man (8) Go Jjang (12) Korea Blade|
|Next Best||6, 2|
|Fast Start||3, 7, 12|
Race 7: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
He’s up in class today but (3) SINHYEOKMYEONG should take an awful lot of beating here. A nine-length winner at 1200M on his return from ten months off in February, he is up to 1300M for the first time today but should be leading from gate to wire. (9) BAEKDU JEONGGI won back to back races at this distance in January and February and while he then had a chastening time in the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup three weeks ago, should be much happier today and he can push the favourite. So too can (2) FIRST KING, whose 6th place at class and distance last start, was a little better than it looks on paper. (1) HAPPY GONGJU and (8) MORNING BARAMSE too have placing claims.
|Selections||(3) Sinhyeokmyeong (9) Baekdu Jeonggi (2) First King (8) Morning Baramse|
|Next Best||1, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 7, 9|
Race 8: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Hard to oppose (3) LUCKY NOVA here. True he was one of three of these beaten by (1) CHOA at class and distance on January 26th but that was Lucky Nova’s first race since last August and he returned to win over a mile in February. He’ll be close to the pace early and should be too good. (4) DAMNYANG TAEYANG’s recent form has been strong and he steps down in trip here. He’ll be joining Lucky Nova on the early speed and will be there at the business end of the race. (2) BAEDARI GOSU and (8) YEONGHUI SIDAE were also among those beaten by Choa in that January race and Baedari Gosu was then beaten by Lucky Nova last month. Both should be challenging today though, especially Yeonghui Sidae, who has won four from eight so far and still looks a good prospect. As for Choa himself, he re-appeared last month at class and distance but was fractious in the barriers and missed the jump, finishing well back. He’s been through a starting test since though and if he does get away better today, a place can’t be ruled out.
|Selections||(3) Lucky Nova (8) Yeonghui Sidae (4) Damnyang Taeyang (2) Baedari Gosu|
|Next Best||1, 11|
|Fast Start||3, 4|
Race 9: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
(4) SIGANUI JIHYE debuted inauspiciously all the way back last June but was then put away for seven months and has returned with a 2nd place and a win, the latter being at a mile. He is up in both class and distance today but the To Honor And Serve gelding should be able to deal with both and can win. It won’t be easy though as it’s a decent race. Both (10) TTEUGEOUN HAMSEONG and (11) QUEEN’S QUEEN are proven money winners at this level and should get close. (7) BAROGA narrowly beat Queen’s Queen when the pair of them ran 2nd and 3rd at a mile in January before Queens’ Queen returned the favour last month. He is another who can be in at least the placing hunt here, along with (5) RUN STAR, a solid 4th at class and distance six weeks ago with every chance of at least matching today. (6) JUNGANG SINHWA, who returns from an enforced layoff after racing most ungenerously last time, looks the wildcard along with the up in class (8) SUPERSTAR JOHN.
|Selections||(4) Siganui Jihye (6) Jungang Sinhwa (10) Tteugeoun Hamseong (8) Superstar John|
|Next Best||11, 7, 5|
|Fast Start||4, 8, 11|
Race 10: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(8) CHEONHA TONGIL has got the better of (7) RED SIREN in both of their latest two starts, both of them at class and distance. Both should be competing again, and Red Siren could make it third time lucky against his rival. Plenty of others in the hunt too. (10) WORLD LOVE beat three of these on his way to 2nd place at class and distance three weeks ago and should be firmly in the hunt once more, although he was behind both Cheonha Tongil and Red Siren when facing them in January. (1) YEONGTO DAEWANG was just half a length behind World Love last time in 3rd place and can aim to at least match that here. (3) BESTOWED and (9) IN THE BACK both drop back in trip today and look to have solid claims to improve on recent performances.
|Selections||(7) Red Siren (8) Cheonha Tongil (9) In The Back (10) World Love|
|Next Best||3, 1, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 8, 9, 11|