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|
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 too is up in class today, but she has shown good consistency and shouldn’t be too far away.
|Selections||(8) Queen The Queen (4) Sweet Memory (6) Major Angel (7) Pull Off|
|Next Best||10, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 8|
Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(7) YEONGCHEON STAR comes in following a 2nd and a 4th, both at 1200M and the latter time as favourite in what was his first try at this class. He drops back to the minimum distance today which is where he earned his sole victory to date and looks to be the one to beat. (2) JUSTINE MAGIC was favourite on debut over 1200M on April 1st but could only manage 6th. He didn’t have the best of trips that day and didn’t enjoy the kickback but, dropped back to 1000M today, if he gets a good start, he could show a big improvement. (9) CHODONG TEUKGEUP finished ahead of Justine Magic in 3rd place that day and can get close again while (10) ABILITY also comes in following a 3rd place on his latest start and drops back in trip and into the frame. (12) CALL UP THE GUARD showed a bit of promise on debut all the way back on New Year’s Eve. He’s not raced since and could be the wildcard here.
|Selections||(7) Yeongcheon Star (2) Justine Magic (9) Chodong Teukgeup (10) Ability|
|Next Best||12, 1, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 9, 10, 11|
Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Small but competitive field. (7) SAEROUN BARAM is the pick, the Peter Wolsley trainee having run a solid 3rd at this distance on his first try at this level on March 18th. From the outside gate, he can settle just off the lead and finish strongly. (2) QUEEN OF CAPTAIN and (5) MISS TANK both steps back up in trip after running well over 1000M in their latest starts and they can go close here. (4) TAGONAN JILJU has a 2nd, 3rd and a 5th from three outings at this level and while he remains a maiden, he should be right in the mix here. Two 2nd places from two starts see the wonderfully named (6) A PURE GOOD MAN up in class and while he will need to find a little bit more, he can be competitive.
|Selections||(7) Saeroun Baram (2) Queen Of Captain (4) Tagonan Jilju (6) A Pure Good Man|
|Fast Start||5, 6|
Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(6) CLASSIC MATCH was one of the most promising juvenile fillies of last autumn, winning two of her three starts and finishing 2nd to World Sun in the other. She then suffered an injury but came back into training in March and performed well in a trial two weeks ago. She has a chance here. She may well need the run though so we’ll marginally side with (2) DORAON GUNHAM, 4th but less than half a length behind the winner in a very tight finish over class and distance earlier this month and looking ready for another win. (5) CHARYONG returns from an even lengthier lay-off but trialled up reasonably well and can place while (4) GOP DDA can improve for being put back up in trip today.
|Selections||(2) Doraon Gunham (6) Classic Match (5) Charyong (4) Gop Dda|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 6|
Race 8: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
It took (2) PEACE TOUR seven attempts to get her maiden win but she evidently enjoyed it as she promptly followed up with another. Both were at this distance and while she steps up in class for the second race running here, she can win this all filly-mare race. (5) SUPER STEAL was narrowly beaten into 2nd place over 1400M last start. She benefitted from being dropped back from a mile that day and may also appreciate the further step back today. (8) HANEOL GONGJU and (9) DINAH came home 5th and 6th when they raced each other in an arguably tougher contest than this on March 30th and both should be in the hunt today. (11) BOLD RULES, up in class following a good win over the distance on his last start returns from a three-month absence and can go close too.
|Selections||(2) Peace Tour (5) Super Steal (9) Dinah (8) Haneol Gongju|
|Next Best||11, 6, 10|
|Fast Start||4, 7, 11|
Race 9: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Good race this with plenty entering in form. (9) ACE DOLPUNG gets the nod having returned from almost five months off to run 2nd at this distance on April 6th. That was a fast race in wet conditions, but he should be on speed here and can win. (5) FIVEFOLD beat three of these on his way to victory at class and distance on March 9th and has to be respected. He does carry an additional 4kg this time which is a concern, but he should be going close. One of those beaten by Fivefold was (4) SIN STEALTH but he came back out just two weeks later to run 3rd at 1200M and he should be in the frame today. (6) SINUIPUMGYEOK and (8) ACEUI SEONMUL look the two most likely out of a handful of others who have at least placing chances.
|Selections||(9) Ace Dolpung (5) Fivefold (4) Sin Stealth (8) Aceui Seonmul|
|Next Best||6, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 9, 10|
Race 10: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(11) WORLD NUMBER ONE beat six of these on his way to a narrow victory at class and distance on March 30th (race 10) and a repeat is not impossible today. He went right back at the start that day, before coming home wide and late, just getting up on the line. He carries more weight today though and several of those who finished behind him that day will fancy their chances of overturning the form. (2) BOUND KOREA and (1) MUHAN YEOLJEONG came home 3rd and 4th on that occasion and Muhan Yeoljeong especially looks to have claims. He just weakened a little in the final strides that day but can finish off better this time. (4) ROYAL RUBY came 3rd over 2000M in early March and after having to be scratched from a race two weeks ago kept ticking over nicely in a barrier trial last weekend and he can be a factor. (10) QUEEN’S QUEEN steps up in class after a good win at the distance last time and while this is a big step up, she’s accordingly nicely weighted and can give it a go.
|Selections||(1) Muhan Yeoljeong (11) World Number One (2) Bound Korea (4) Royal Ruby|
|Next Best||10, 6, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 9|