Month: April 2018

Silver Wolf Beats Power Blade in Sprint Series 1st Leg

Champion mare Silver Wolf downed Power Blade in a stretch battle to win the Busan Ilbo Cup, the 1st leg of the 2018 Korean Sprint Series at Busan on Sunday afternoon.

Power Blade was sent off the hot favourite but with a slightly more favourable draw, jockey Kim Dong Soo kept his nerve and kept Silver Wolf on the rail where she was able to gain valuable lengths on her rival as they rounded the turn. Power Blade meanwhile went wide around the field and had significant ground to make up in the straight.

Make it up he did and when Silver Wolf took the lead from early front-runner Perdido Pomeroy, Power Blade was right there. He got to within a length and no more, however, as Silver Wolf held on for what may not have been the richest win of her career but was certainly the best.

More to follow on the race over the next couple of days.

Busan Ilbo Cup – Busan Racecourse – 1200M – Sunday April 29, 2018

1. Silver Wolf (AUS) [Orotorio – Ready For More (More Than Ready)] – Kim Dong Soo – 6.0, 1.4
2. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain)] – Lee Hyo Sik – 1.1
3. Doraonpogyeongseon (USA) [Kantharos – Smartybegone (Smarty Jones)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.6
Distances: 0.5 lengths/4 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Perdido Pomeroy (USA) 5. Paran Juuibo (USA) 6. Saengil Gippeum (USA) 7. Morning Daero (USA) 8. Dynamic Star (KOR) 9. Success Story (KOR) 10. Party Again (KOR) 11. Macheon Bolt (KOR) NR: Cheonha TOngil (KOR)

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Power Blade vs Silver Wolf – Race-By-Race Preview (April 29)

The road to the Korea Sprint begins at Busan on Sunday and the Sprint Series gets underway with a heavyweight clash as Grand Prix Stakes winner Power Blade faces Queens’ Tour champion Silver Wolf over 1200M in the Busan Ilbo Cup. There are 6 races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05 and 11 at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00.

Power Blade Owners

Power Blade (Pic: KRA)

After spending the first part of 2017 in Dubai where he placed in Group 2 company, Power Blade ran 2nd to Japan’s Graceful Leap in the Korea Sprint. He went on to finish the year in style, winning a memorable Grand Prix Stakes over the longest race distance in Korea, 2300M, in December.

Although he skipped Dubai this year, the Busan Ilbo is his first start of 2018 but he went through trials in March and earlier this month, looking in good shape and he will be very hard to beat on Sunday.


Silver Wolf (Pic: KRA)

Entering in good form though is Silver Wolf. The Aussie-bred 6-year-old mare by Orotorio, was 5th in the Korean Sprint and finished back down the track in the Grand Prix but has been spectacular in everything else though. She made a clean sweep of the Queens’ Tour series last year, including two wins at Busan and has begun her year with facile wins in the Donga Ilbo Cup in February and then in a handicap tune-up at this distance a month ago. Both Lee Hyo SIk on Power Blade and Kim Dong Soo on Silver Wolf are likely to employ similar tactics and ride patiently and it could be quite the finish.

There is plenty of other talent in the field too. Success Story and Perdido Pomeroy will likely set a hot early pace and the favourites will have to come past them while the dangerous Doraonpogyeongseon and Morning Daero are there as well.

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

After getting it all wrong on debut in January, (12) BAEKSAN FORCE was a much improved 2nd over the distance on March 25th. The wide draw shouldn’t matter, and she should have far too much for her rivals here.  It’s just three-year-old fillies here and (4) GONG SAN has made a promising start, especially her 3rd place at 1300M on April 1st. She drops to the minimum distance for the first time today and looks the clear second-favourite. (2) HIN BYEOL and (9) I’M HAPPY have shown some glimpses of ability too while among the five first-timer starters, (10) L CHOICE looks the most progressive for now having won her trial last month.

Selections (12) Baeksan Force (4) Gong San (10) L Choice (2) Hin Byeol
Next Best 9, 1
Fast Start 4, 8, 9, 12

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Six debut-makers and six with at least one start behind them make up this race which is comprised of three-year-old colts and geldings. For the most part, we’re going to favour experience. (7) GANGHWA CHONGGAK and (12) HANSEN VOLT have the most of it with three starts apiece and both have a 3rd place finish to their names as well. Ganghwa Chonggak’s was at this distance while Hansen Volt steps up in trip for the first time and both can go well. (3) HANIL DALBIT was a good 5th on debut all the way back in January, It has been fifteen weeks since we saw him but if he runs the same way he did that day, he should be competitive. (10) MYEONGJIN MAN was a bit disappointing on debut, having won a trial leading up to it. Hopefully he will have come on for the experience and can improve here. We’d best pick one of the newcomers as well and (5) SOMETHING DELIGHT is the standout.

Selections (12) Hansen Volt (7) Ganghwa Chonggak (3) Hanil Dalbit (5) Something Delight
Next Best 10, 2
Fast Start 4, 5, 7

Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) JUNGDONG JIJON has come close on a number of occasions, beaten only by some good horses in the tail end of last year and then running (admittedly a distant) 3rd behind Dokdo Jigi and Chambit on his only start of 2018 so far on April 1st. He surely has a win in him at some point and it could be here. Should he manage to get beaten again then (12) HAMBAK MISO was just a neck behind him in that April 1st race and could overturn the form while both (2) KING POSE and (11) GARA GARA GA are up in class following very useful wins at 1300M and 1200M respectively and should go close here. (4) MONEY ZIF was an also-ran in that April 1st race behind Jungdong Jijon but is worth another chance for a place today.

Selections (3) Jungdong Jijon (11) Gara Gara Ga (2) King Pose (12) Hambak Miso
Next Best 4, 10
Fast Start 6, 7, 8, 10

Race 4: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) BLACK WIND come in seeking a hat-trick of wins following consecutive victories at 1000M, the latter of which was at this level. Her only previous try at further than the minimum distance didn’t go well but she looks ready for another go in this all-filly event. (10) BRAVE UP seemed to lose her way a bit at the end of last year but her latest two starts have been very encouraging with a 3rd and a 2nd, the latter at this distance and she could very well be the one to beat. (8) CHOROK JILJU beat three of these on the way to (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (April 28)

There are 11 Saturday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


David Breux could be among the winners on Saturday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(7) MENI BLADE came up a little short when favourite on debut a month ago, finishing strongly but just running out of track over 1200M. She’s up to 1300M today and will take some beating. (4) SUJEBI was 6th that day and is one who could potentially give Meni Blade a run for her money although the main danger is likely to be (8) SANTOS. True, his only previous start at this distance was his worst performance to date but he ran nicely at 1000M last month, should be on the pace here and can improve. (3) MACH SEUNGNI and (5) MEGA CITY look best of the rest.

Selections (7) Meni Blade (8) Santos (4) Sujebi (5) Mega City
Next Best 3, 6
Fast Start 4, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Pretty weak maiden this although that does make it quite interesting betting-wise. (3) RAON GANGHO is the pick following and improved 4th at the distance last time out. He was a full seven-lengths behind the winner but all three who beat him that day are better than what he faces here – the 3rd place-getter went on to win last week. (9) KHENDUM POWER beat three of these on his was to 5th place at the distance on April 1st and should beat plenty again. That too was a better race than this and he should improve his finishing position. Luigi Riccardi’s (12) GAJA GAJA started badly and never became involved on her latest effort three weeks ago but showed some ability the time before that and could go close. (2) KAY ONE ahould be on the early speed and looks best of the rest.

Selections (3) Raon Gangho (9) Khendum Power (12) Gaja Gaja (2) Kay One
Next Best 11, 5
Fast Start 2, 9, 12

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

(4) GLOBAL QUEEN won on debut all the way back on Christmas Day 2016. She didn’t race again for fifteen months. However, when she finally came back on March 25th this year, she ran very well, finishing 2nd at class and distance and has a very good chance of winning this all-filly contest from the front. (10) MAGIC ROAD certainly caught the eye when running out a seven-length winner on debut on March 31st. She’s up in class here and should have claims again. (12) MENI SMART won over 1300M on her second career start in January. Lameness forced her to be scratched from a planned outing last month but fit again, she should go close here and can overcome the wide draw to get on speed early. (2) ROYAL BRONZE is more experienced and can be competitive in this company. (9) FOREVER WINNER was an all-the-way winner at 1300M on March 3rd and while she is up in class and back in trip, she too can go close.

Selections (4) Global Queen (10) Magic Road (12) Meni Smart (2) Royal Bronze
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 2, 3, 4, 12

Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) GULCHARMNAMUSUP beat (12) RAON RRIMER as the pair finished 1st and 2nd on what was both their debut outing at 1000M on January 20th. Since then, Raon Primer secured another 2nd place at that distance which got her promoted to this level and then followed up with a close 3rd at this level over 1300M on March 25th. That was a decent race and her performance that day is enough to give her the slight edge here. For her part, Gulcharmnamusup has run just once since that day in January, finishing a creditable enough 4th again at 1000M on early March. He steps up in trip for the first time and should be in the frame again. Both will face a stern test from (1) GUREUM SONJITHAE. Like Raon Primer, he is yet to get a win but now has three 2nd place finishes including last time out four weeks ago. (2) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON has been a frustrating (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (April 27)

Grand Prix Stakes winner Power Blade will return to action at Busan on Sunday when he takes on top mare Silver Wolf in the Busan Ilbo Cup. Prior to that though, the South-Coast track hosts a ten-race Friday card from 11:30 to 18:00.


Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Not a bad little maiden this, which is restricted to three-year-olds and two of the three first-timers catch the eye. Top trainer Kim Young Kwan sends out (8) WORLD DAY. The first foal out of his dam, a winner of five of twelve races at Busan, he was a strong winner of a trial at the end of March running nicely through the line and a debut at 1200M should suit perfectly. He’ll be expected to win. Also debuting having won a trial is (2) GWANGHWAMUN SIDAE and while it has taken him a while to get to the track for an actual race, he should go well first-up here too. Of the ones with experience, both (5) PEACE RIDER and (9) BAENGNYEON DAERO come in having run 2nd in their respective latest starts and both should be in at least the placing hunt again. (4) B.K. UNO has a 4th and 3rd from two outings to date and steps up from the minimum distance for the first time with every chance of going close.

Selections (8) World Day (2) Gwanghwamun Sidae (5) Peace Rider (9) Baengnyeon Daero
Next Best 4, 12
Fast Start 1, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(6) SEOLGWANGHWA ran poorly when favourite over a mile last start on April 6th, getting away badly and suffering for it later. She was favourite for a reason though, having been narrowly beaten a nose at this distance in March. Back in trip today, she’s worth another chance. (5)  YEONGGWANGUI CHIC returned from a lengthy spell to run a good 4th at this distance on March 30th and while she’s not the fastest of starters, she has a strong finish and should be close again. The rest of these are all going to need to show lots of improvement. (4) SOJUNGHAN GIRL has demonstrated some ability and could challenge for the places as could (8) HEUGSEOL GONGJU. The intriguing one is (2) NEPTUNE, who last ran just one day shy of a year ago. He had shown no ability at all in three starts at that time but trialled up sharply – albeit in a heat that was made quick by the presence of Power Blade and Doraonpogyeongseon – and he’s the wildcard here.

Selections (6) Seolgwanghwa (5) Yeonggwangui Chic (4) Sojunghan Girl (2) Neptune
Next Best 8, 10, 3
Fast Start 4, 6

Race 3: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(8) GANGHAN JILJU was a close 4th at class and distance last time and while he is yet to finish any better than 3rd, looks to be an improving type and could go very close today. (9) GOLDEN JOY and (6) SMART BANK came home 2nd and 3rd when they raced each other at class and distance on March 30th and both should be in the hunt again with Golden Joy once more the more favoured of the pair. (4) GAO landed a career-best 2nd place at the distance on April 6th with a couple of these further back down the track. It wasn’t expected at all buy he must be given some respect this time. It’s not often that horses in Korea make their debuts at a mile but that’s what (2) JEONGSU SIDAE is doing. He won a trial in good order earlier this month and could very well get an easy lead in this race. Whether he stays is another matter, but he is the wildcard here.

Selections (8) Ganghan Jilju (9) Golden Joy (6) Smart Bank (2) Jeongsu Sidae
Next Best 4, 1
Fast Start 2

Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Bart Rice’s (8) QUEEN THE QUEEN has never been worse than 3rd in five efforts so far, all of them at this distance. She was a strong 2nd to a good winner at this class last start on April 1t and has every chance of making all in this all filly/mare contest. She’s favourite but (4) SWEET MEMORY was just a nose behind her in that April 1st race. It was Sweet Memory’s first try at this class following her maiden win and she has every chance of winning at this level too. (6) MAJOR ANGEL and (7) PULL OFF are both up in class after their own maiden wins with Major Angel looking the better equipped to immediately be competitive. (10) TANGO AND TANGO finished 3rd behind Major Angel back at the beginning of March and followed up with another 3rd later that month. Accordingly, she (more…)

Cheongdam Dokki Takes Care Of Business

Cheongdam Dokki eased to victory in the Herald Business Cup on Sunday, dismissing seven rivals, including Clean Up Joy, in the most facile of manners.


Cheongdam Dokki and Lim Gi Won in the clear (Pic: Ross Holburt)

It was only Cheongdam Dokki’s second outing of 2018, having beaten Clean Up Joy and Shamrocker over the same distance in January. That time there had been something of interest in that Shamrocker had taken the favourite on for speed early. Futile, but momentarily interesting. He didn’t do it again and in a race utterly devoid of any tension, Cheongdam Dokki eased to his ninth win on his fourteenth career start. Clean Up Joy and Shamrocker chased him home with Sinjo Daehyeop in 4th.


Lim Gi Won partnered Cheongdam Dokki for the first time (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Bigger tests surely await although it is hard to imagine anything at Seoul challenging him, certainly up to 2000M. Having taken both the KRA Cup Classic and now Herald Business off Clean Up Joy, he could well add the YTN Cup to his name in late May – Clean Up Joy won that last year too. The Busan Metropolitan Mayor’s Cup could be interesting, as he would likely run into Power Blade – also owned by Kim Byeong Jin. The big target though, must be September’s Korea Cup.

Herald Business Cup – Seoul Racecourse – 2000M – April 22, 2018

1. Cheongdam Dokki (USA) [To Honor And Serve – Elusive Gold (Strike The Gold)] – Lim Gi Won – 1.4, 1.1
2. Clean Up Joy (USA) [Purge – Greta’s Joy (Joyeux Danseur)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.1
3. Shamrocker (USA) [Dublin – Portera (Lemon Drop Kid)] – Jang Chu Youl – 2.2
Distances: 2.5 lengths / 1.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Sinjo Daehyeop (USA) 5. Wonder Bolt (USA) 6. Cheonjeok (USA) 7. Storng Road (KOR) 8. Space Port (USA)

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Cheongdam Dokki / Race-By-Race Preview (April 22)

He’s currently the most exciting horse in Korea and on Sunday, Cheongdam Dokki (To Honor And Serve) will line up against seven rivals – six of whom he’s beaten before – in the Herald Business Cup over 2000M at Seoul Racecourse. He faces Clean Up Joy, who won the race last year, as well as Sinjo Daehyeop and Shamrocker. The Herald Business is race 9 on an eleven-race card at Seoul which runs from 10:45 to 18:00. At Busan, there are six races from 12:40 to 17:05.

Cheongdam Dokki

See below for Busan Selections:

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Competitive opener and (5) SONGAM JEUNE beat a couple of these on her way to a solid 2nd place on what was just her second start on March 24th and has every chance of matching or even bettering today. She’ll be on pace early alongside (7) BAEKDUI TAEYANG, himself a good 2nd at the distance last time and likely to be well supported. The one to beat though might well be (1) HAENGBOK STAR. He’s come 4th and 3rd in his two prior outings and the extra half furlong today may be what he needs to get home in front. (9) GANADORA and first-time starter, the modestly named (3) THE KING, are others who can go close.

Selections (5) Songam Jeune (1) Haengbok Star (3) The King (7) Baekdui Taeyang
Next Best 9, 4
Fast Start 5, 7, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old fillies only here and almost any of them could win. Simon Foster’s (3) SURFING POINT ran poorly on debut but improved last time. David Breux returns to the mount today and she has as much of a claim as any of them. (7) BETTINA and (2) MORAN DONGBEAK came home 2nd and 4th respectively when they raced each other at this distance back in January. Bettina races for the first time since then here while Moran Dongbeak has gone on to put in another couple of promising performances and both may be considered here. (6) STAR LIST did little on debut but could improve today while (8) ENJOY MY SHOW has a 2nd place to her name and could repeat in what is a very modest contest.

Selections (3) Surfing Point (7) Bettina (2) Moran Dongbeak (6) Star List
Next Best 8, 4, 12
Fast Start 4, 5, 8

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-olds only and it’s another rather weak maiden. There is, however, an interesting debut-maker in the shape of (3) PRINCE OF SUN. He’s a half-brother to US based Dubai Golden Shaheen winner Mind Your Biscuits and has trialled up impressively. His Korea-based half-brother Baeksan Yeowang hasn’t exactly pulled up trees so far but Prince Of Sun could well have enough to win this. (6) GANGSANUI ACHIM and (11) STRONG LIGHT both come in off 3rd place finishes last time in very similar strength races to this, so both should be looking to at least repeat. (10) RAON OPTIMUS races for the first time since running reasonably well over 1700M in January and can be considered for improvement. (12) RUSSEL showed his first signs of potential ability when running 5th of 12 in an admittedly slow race at this distance a month ago and is another one to take into consideration.

Selections (3) Prince Of Sun (6) Gangsanui Achim (10) Raon Optimus (11) Strong Light
Next Best 12, 5
Fast Start 5, 7, 8, 11

Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Decent race with plenty entering having shown very solid recent form. The pick of them though is (3) WOOSEORA ICHEON who just came up short when favourite at class and distance on March 24th, his second consecutive runner-up finish. He is well drawn once more to get on pace early and can complete the job this time. (4) JEONGSANG DOLPUNG and (11) BOLD SHINING also come in having performed strongly at this class in their latest efforts and they should be close. Jeongsang Dolpung’s most recent was 2nd at 1000M and he looks ready to take on a longer trip today. Three of the field are up in class following maiden wins last time although for (5) RULE OF SUM, that was a full fourteen months ago. The pick of the up and comers is (10) FRENCH STAR, who also tries further than the minimum distance for the first time.

Selections (3) Wooseora Icheon (4) Jeongsang Dolpung (11) Bold Shining (10) French Star
Next Best 6, 12, 5
Fast Start 2, 4, 10

Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A couple of standouts here although both will need to bounce back from slightly below-par showings last start. (6) YAHO SMART CAT won his first two races but could only manage 4th on his first try at both this class and at further than the minimum distance on March 24th. Hopefully he can have come on for that and can return to top form today. (more…)

Afleet Again, 2011 Breeders’ Cup Marathon Winner, Has Died

Afleet Again, longest shot on the board when winning the Breeders’ Cup Marathon at Churchill Downs in 2011, has died at Stud in Korea. The 11-year-old was struck down with colic and passed away on April 12th. 

Afleet Again [Afleet Alex – Lucky Again (Wild Again)] won one race as a juvenile, over 1700M, at Philadelphia Park and won again at the same track at the start of his three-year-old campaign in February 2010 before going on to score in the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct later that Spring.

Although he managed some decent placings, Afleet Again wouldn’t win again for the rest of that season or during the first ten months of his four-year-old campaign and arrived at Churchill Downs for the Marathon as the 41/1 outsider. Under jockey Cornelio Velasquez, Afleet Again came down the outside to win handily from Birdrun and Giant Oak.

He ran once more a month later, finishing 4th of 6 in the Valedictory Stakes at Woodbine before being retired and sold to Korean interests.

In Korea, Afleet Again stood privately at a place called “Happy Farm”, which is home to a band of broodmares and a couple of others stallions including Australian-bred Delago Brom. Among his two crops that have so far made the track, Afleet Again is yet to get any real stars but a good proportion of his progeny have been winners and in line with expectations in terms of the quality of mare he received.

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (April 21)

While it’s expected to rain on Sunday, Saturday should be bright and sunny and there is an eleven-race card to get stuck into at Seoul Racecourse from 10:45 to 18:00:


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

Maiden for three-year-olds only to begin with and it involves three debut-makers along with nine with some experience. Among the experienced ones, both (3) MAY PRINCE and (4) GEOBOOGI MANSE improved to 2nd in their latest starts and while neither were in particularly impressive races, they should both be looking to at least repeat here. May Prince is a better starter and cold possibly start favourite. (5) CHEONGANG SEONG managed 3rd place on debut all the way back last July. He finally made his second start a month ago and while he weakened late on, he could go better here. (6) DAECHEON HERO too has shown some glimpses of ability. The main danger looks to be one of the first-timers though. (1) VICAR BRACING looked competent running on well in a trial two weeks ago and should be involved.

Selections (3) May Prince (1) Vicar Bracing (4) Geoboogi Manse (5) Cheongang Seong
Next Best 6, 2
Fast Start 3, 5, 6

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Regular maiden here and quite a competitive one. (3) BEST VICTORY and (2) BLUE ANNA came home in 3rd and 4th place respectively when they raced each other over this distance on March 17th. For Best Victory that was a big improvement but for Blue Anna, it was her first start in eight months and she looked good. She has the fastest time of any of these over the distance and could well get home on top today. An unfashionable jockey on may provide some value too. (10) CUPID GANGJA drops all the way back in trip to the minimum after 2nd place in a weak race at 1700M last month and should be in the frame here. (4) SPEED YEOWANG and (5) ARGO GALLOPER both come in off the back of positive performances and can be involved again. (8) BAEKDUUI JEONGSANG has also shown some ability and could get in the placing frame.

Selections (2) Blue Anna (3) Best Victory (4) Speed Yeowang (10) Cupid Gangja
Next Best 5, 8
Fast Start 2, 4, 7, 11

Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(7) GANGTOMA was first across the line on what was his third start on March 11th but ended up being disqualified for shifting outwards on the turn, an action that saw a rider of another horse unseated (Moon Se Young, who is still side-lined with the resulting injury). Aside from that he ran impressively as he has in his two results so far that do stand, and he should be first back again today. (1) THE JIJON has a 5th and a 4th in two starts at this level so far, both at 1000M but he has proven himself capable at this distance in the past and he can be a threat. He will likely be on the early speed along with (3) FLYING JOY, who is up in class after going close too many times at class 6. The competition here isn’t significantly stronger and he has the services once more of the in-form David Breux. (6) HAPPY MAUNTAIN and (10) MALAKAS others who should be in the hunt.

Selections (7) Gangtoma (3) Flying Joy (1) The Jijon (10) Malakas
Next Best 6, 11
Fast Start 1, 3, 5, 10

Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(7) HURACAN ran so badly in January that he was suspended for two months and forced to take two trials before being allowed to race again. He completed that process and returned in good fashion at this distance on March 17th, showing at the front and running on for a good 2nd place and he should be firmly in the frame here. That was a decent race with less than three lengths separating 1st and 6th. (1) GOLD SEVEN came home in 3rd that day with (8) GLOBAL NEWS, who was favourite, 6th and both of those can be considered dangers here. (4) YAHO STRONG CAT ran a good 2nd at the distance on March 4th and can look for at least the places again while (3) BACK TO BACK hasn’t been too far away in three outings at this class to date and should go close once more.

Selections (7) Huracan (4) Yaho Strong Cat (8) Global News (1) Gold Seven
Next Best 3, 12, 10
Fast Start 4, 6, 7, 8

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

Fillies & mares only here and (3) DANCING BLADE steps up in class having secured her maiden win at this distance on her second start on March 18th. It wasn’t a strong race, even for class 6, but she won well enough and could repeat. She’s not a fast starter so she (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (April 20)

* Update: After a prohibited substance was detected in feed, horses who may have been exposed to it have been scratched from their races as a precaution – currently four trainers affected.

Another big weekend of racing in Korea is in store with the current hottest name on the peninsula, Cheongdam Dokki, headlining the Herald Business Cup at Seoul on Sunday. Things get underway at Busan on Friday with 10 races from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Not a huge amount of form to go on here so we’ll side with (1) DREAM CAT. She debuted all the way back in November last year but wasn’t seen again until looking good in a trial on the last day of March. That performance is enough to put her on top here. She led for much of that trial and will look to lead here along with (2) HEUGSEOL GONGJU, who missed the kick last time but does have a 3rd and 4th to her name and can do better here. Thomas Gillespie’s (5) ROYAL BLUE is another likely to look to lead. While he hung-in early on his debut in February, it was a much better performance than 7th place suggests, and improvement will be expected. (7) SMART DANCER registered a couple of 3rd places from four outings last year. She trialled up creditably behind Dream Cat and can go well first up. There are four debut-makers and among them, (10) DARK TEMPLAR looks the pick.

Selections (1) Dream Cat (7) Smart Dancer (5) Royal Blue (10) Dark Templar
Next Best 2, 12, 3
Fast Start 1, 3, 5

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(5) WINNING AGAIN has weakened twice over 1300M but sandwiched between those two, was a strong performance at this distance on March 2nd when she finished a solid 2nd. Back in trip today, she can get to the lead from a favourable draw and can win. Similarly, (6) GRACIELA has twice run well at this distance and steps back after a tough time over 1300M last start. (10) NEW QUEEN proved a bit of a pain for her jockey last time but still ran a much-improved 3rd. Franco Da Silva takes the ride today and if she can run a bit straighter, she’ll be in the frame. (8) BEOLMA CHEONHA ran 5th behind Winning Again in that March 2nd race and could get closer. (1) KING’S POWER returns for the first time since last October and trialled up reassuringly.

Selections (5) Winning Again (10) New Queen (6) Graciela (8) Beolma Cheonha
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 5, 6, 8, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(11) SINGAEBYEOK just missed out by a nose when favourite at 1000M on February 2nd. That was his second start having been 3rd on debut at the same distance in January. He comes in here after eleven weeks off up in trip, and likely to take some beating. (1) WONDERFUL MEMORY could only manage 3rd when favourite of seven over this distance on March 16th, hanging outwards around the turn and into the straight. The jockey that day attributed that to the colt being sensitive in the mouth – a not uncommon issue here. She had run 2nd the time before though so does have talent and looks the most credible threat. (12) GAMDONGUI SUNGAN was just a head back in 4th in that race behind Wonderful Memory five weeks ago and can be involved here. (2) STORM GOLD also ran 4th at the distance last start and can at least match it here. (3) GOLDUI INYEON, making just her second start, looks best of the rest.

Selections (11) Singaebyeok (1) Wonderful Memory (2) Storm Gold (3) Goldui Inyeon
Next Best 12, 8
Fast Start 4, 10

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(9) GOLDEN WAVES has been getting progressively closer across six starts so far and looks to still have scope for improvement He’s not a fast starter but runs on well and if he gets dropped into a position with a chance here, he can win. Last time on March 23rd, Golden Waves finished in 3rd place, ahead of (12) CHEOLBI in 5th and (11) GRAY STORM in 7th. This two have also both raced six times and showed some promise with Cheolbi perhaps the biggest threat to Golden Waves here. He was a touch unlucky in running last time and can get closer today. (2) HANEOLUI BIT was an improved 3rd on his first try at (more…)

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (April 15)

Sunday sees an 11-race card at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and a 6-race card at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05:



Antonio Da Silva (centre) was among the winners on a good day at Seoul for foreign jockeys on Saturday. Can he get more on Sunday? (Pic: Ross Holburt)

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

Three debut-makers among the ten who go here and one of them stands-out. That’s (2) NAE GIRUI BIT, a Raconteur gelding, who went through a couple of trials in March, making all in the latest of them. That was impressive enough to suggest that if he runs anything like it in this modest contest, he could win. Fellow first-timer (6) RISING SOCKS trialled well too and should be in the hunt although the biggest danger is likely to be (3) TIAGO TOUCH. While indifferent on debut over 1200M in December, he returned at the end of February to run a much improved 2nd at this trip and must be taken seriously here. He’s certainly the best of those with prior race experience although (1) SEUNGNI LIKE and (8) DAEJI GONGJU may improve.

Selections (2) Nae Girui Bit (3) Tiago Touch (6) Rising Socks (1) Seungni Like
Next Best 8, 9
Fast Start 2, 3, 4, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(6) NAEGA KKEUTPANWANG has been close in each of his latest four with two 3rds and two 4ths, all of them at this distance. He’s drawn well to get on speed early here and can win. Luigi Riccardi’s (9) DUAL CHOEGANG enters in promising form too. He beat a couple of these on his way to a useful 4th last time out and can get closer here. One of those two in that race three weeks ago was (1) CHOWON YEOJEONSA back in 5th. Just like Dual Choegang, she remains a maiden after thirteen attempts but has enough about her to beat plenty here. She’s not a fast starter but can pick off horses late on. (2) RAON PRO SENSE and (7) WHITE PUNCH are others to take into account.

Selections (6) Naega Kkeutpanwang (9) Dual Choegang (1) Chowon Yeojeonsa (7) White Punch
Next Best 3, 10
Fast Start 2, 6, 10, 122

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

(1) BEST CHAPEL secured her maiden win at the third time of asking with a front-running performance at this distance on March 3rd. She’s up in class today but has little to fear and can make it two in a row in this all filly/mare contest. (6) SEOUL STORY and (9) NEUNGRYEOK SIDAE join her up in class following maiden wins of their own and while the pair of them perhaps have a little more to find, both can be competitive. Of those with prior experience at this level, (4) KWAEHAN YEBONGSAN is the biggest danger. She was a decent 5th last time at this distance and is likely to join Best Chapel in competing for the early lead. She has every chance. (10) LEAD UP also comes in with encouraging recent form and is another one with good gate speed.

Selections (1) Best Chapel (4) Kwaehan Yebongsan (6) Seoul Story (9) Neungryeok Sidae
Next Best 10, 5
Fast Start 1, 4, 6, 10

Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(10) SUPER FLY returned from a nine-month layoff to run a good 3rd over class and distance on March 10th, beating a couple of these in the process. He should have come on for that run and if he has, he’s take some beating. (9) THE FINAL finds herself up in class after beginning her career with three consecutive 3rd place finishes. While the level may be different, the strength of the opposition is nothing to fear and she can be competitive. (5) SPECIAL LIGHT ran 5th behind Super Fly last time and while he has plenty to make up on the favourite, he should be beating plenty of the others. (11) HAETSAL WANGJA and (12) JAJINMORI both enter off encouraging latest runs and can come into consideration.

Selections (10) Super Fly (5) Special Light (9) The Final (11) Haetsal Wangja
Next Best 12, 1
Fast Start 8, 10, 12

Race 5: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Jimmy Creed colt (4) SPEED JOY was a very encouraging 2nd on debut at 1000M back in January running on nicely. He’s had plenty of time off since and should appreciate the additional distance that he has to play with here. (9) GEUMA FALCON gave out similarly positive signs on his first start last month and looks to have an excellent chance of (more…)