May’s Korean racing program gets 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 an especially strong opener and that makes it nice and competitive. (4) WINNING AGAIN had to be scratched (not for lameness reasons) from a planned start two weeks ago and he would have been well backed in it. He finished 2nd at this distance in March and while he struggled at 1300M on his reappearance, back at the minimum today and with a favourable draw to get to the lead early, he can win. (8) SAEROUN BOMUL has a pair of 3rd place finishes at this distance to his name and can be a threat. (2) GOLDEN AGE is the most experienced in the race – not really a good thing at class 6 – and she should beat plenty while (10) IHYEN has had excuses in two outings to date and can improve. The big danger though is likely to be the sole first-time starter. (5) HWANGJE BONSAEK looked good when running 3rd in a fast trial three weeks ago and couldn’t have picked better race to debut in.
|Selections||(5) Hwangje Bonsaek (4) Winning Again (8) Saeroun Bomul (2) Golden Age|
|Next Best||10, 11|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 10|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(5) MAJOR THUNDER ran 2nd, a full seven lengths behind the decent-looing Felarof, at this distance on April 6th. That was a continuation of steady improvement she’s shown across four starts so far and with nothing like that day’s winner among the field here, she can go one better. Major Thunder in that race returned the favour on (1) S S YOUNG, who had narrowly defeated her when the pair ran 2nd and 3rd at the distance in February. S S Young has talent too and should go close again, likely challenging Major Thunder for the lead from the start. (3) GIPPEUM SARANG will try for a fast start too and she ran well on her latest appearance just two weeks ago. (2) SWEEP MAN and (7) MANGO PUNCH, the latter showing some promise in a trial last week, are others who could feature.
|Selections||(5) Major Thunder (1) S S Young (3) Gippeum Sarang (2) Sweep Man|
|Next Best||7, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5|
Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Expectations of (6) SANGSEUNG POWER on debut on March 23rd were not high but he ran well, finishing 4th behind the very promising Sun Day and running on very nicely to get within less than a length of the 2nd place-getter. Accordingly, he’ll be much more fancied today to the extent that with an extra furlong to play with, he looks a warm favourite. He’s out of Sangseung Geotap, a mare who ran very well at this track. (1) SEONBAL CAT and (9) B.K. MARINE have both demonstrated ability too. The latter was a good 3rd at this distance in a similar race last start while the former steps up to this trip for the first time and it may well suit. There are two debut-makers and both (4) KKEUTPAN STORM and (7) QUEEN OFFICER did enough in their trials to suggest they should beat a few.
|Selections||(6) Sangseung Power (9) B.K. Marine (1) Seonbal Cat (4) Kkeutpan Storm|
|Next Best||7, 3|
|Fast Start||5, 9|
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(1) BAEKDU MYEONGWOL’s 6th place last time out on March 30th was better than it looked with the margins not huge and the company competitive. She steps back up to 1300M today, a distance at which she already holds a 3rd place finish and she should be firmly in the frame. (3) BREAKING NEWS managed a 2nd at the distance in March and ran creditably enough in 5th of 12 on reappearance a month ago and can get close here. (4) BELLAMY GONGJU and (6) TESTA MAGIC ran 2nd and 3rd at this distance on March 23rd before the former stepped up to a mile and again ran well on April 6th. Testa Magic was less convincing on her own attempt at a mile but both can get close here. (5) GEODAEHAN WONSEOK ran improved 3rd three weeks ago at 1300M and is another set to be involved in the finish.
|Selections||(1) Baekdu Myeongwol (4) Bellamy Gongju (3) Breaking News (5) Geodahan Wonseok|
|Next Best||6, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 6, 8|
Race 5: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(5) WHITE POINT ran a good 2nd on what was his first try at this distance on April 13th, just beaten half a length on the line. This race is of similar strength and he really should be winning. (6) AGUILENA put in a promising debut on March 30th, running 4th of 11 over 1200M. She steps up in trip for her second start and is likely to be setting the early pace with every chance of staying on. (7) TOP HERO was half a length behind Aguilena in 5th that day and he too steps up in trip and can run well. (2) JAESAENGMYEONGNI was 4th of 8 in what was, admittedly a weak race at this distance in March, but he can at least match that here. (3) KWAEHAN SINGANGJA another in the placing frame.
|Selections||(5) White Point (6) Aguilena (7) Top Hero (2) Jaesaengmyeongni|
|Next Best||3, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 6|
Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
The lightly raced five-year-old (2) STAR LINE comes in of a 4th and a 3rd from his latest two, both at 1000M and steps back up to 1200M for the first time since July 2016. This time he looks ready to win although he will need things to go his way. He’s not a fast starter but then neither is main rival (3) SAKISAKI, who just missed out by a neck at this distance on March 30th and will surely be close again despite having to move up in class here. Also up in class are (5) DAEHO MYEONGGA and (6) PERFECT BOSS. Both were winners last start, the former at a mile and the latter at 1300M and both should be in the hunt again with Daeho Myeongga likely on speed early. (7) REALLY QUEEN looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(2) Star Line (3) Sakisaki (5) Daeho Myeongga (6) Perfect Boss|
|Next Best||7, 10|
|Fast Start||4, 5|
Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(7) UJU DAEWANG narrowly missed out on her first two starts, coming home 2nd and 3rd but has made no mistake in the three since, winning them all comfortably including her latest at class and distance on March 9th when she prevailed by four-lengths. She is carrying an additional 5.5kg today which is 2kg more than her previous highest impost but she should overcome it. (8) WINNING NUMBER was 3rd that day with almost six lengths to make up so we’ll look for others to be bigger dangers. (1) GENERAL returned from almost a year off to win at 1000M on April 13th and looks the most convincing rival although (4) CHEONJIGAEBYEOK only missed out by a neck at class and distance on April 6th and should be close again. (3) YEONGGWANG VICTORY is a bit of a wildcard having run 5th of 12 on debut a month ago and could well improve.
|Selections||(7) Uju Daewang (1) General (4) Cheonjigaebyeok (3) Yeonggwang Victory|
|Next Best||8, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 7|
Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(1) MAJOR ALPHA has won his latest two to quickly be promoted two classes. He only won by a head last time, but it was another promising one, Catch Nine, who he beat in a fast race and he doesn’t have too much to fear here. He can make all and win again. (2) AMAZING TAPIT is an import who has raced just twice and has shown promise without being spectacular. He’s from Kim Young Kwan’s stable, however, and improvement will be expected here. (3) LUCKY BLESSING has been inconsistent and indeed is yet to find the winner’s circle but he has been close a few times and should beat a few of these while (5) MAY STAR and (6) GOOD BAND also look to have scope for improvement.
|Selections||(1) Major Alpha (2) Amazing Tapit (6) Good Band (3) Lucky Blessing|
|Next Best||5, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 7|
Race 9: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
(6) SIGANUI JIHYE has beaten plenty of these across his latest two starts, both at class and distance. He has been favourite both times but ultimately only finished in 2nd and 3rd but should have enough to see off his rivals once more here and this time come home on top. (12) SILLAUI JEONSEOL, one of the few Siganui Jihye hasn’t beaten yet, looks to be the main danger and steps up to this trip for the first time after running 2nd over a mile n April 1st. In that race (4) DYNAMIC ROOKIE – who actually beat Siganui Jihye at 1300M back in January – was 3rd. (2) TTEUGEOUN HAMSEONG is inconsistent but capable of going well while (10) BRAVO MARINE, 4th behing Siganui Jihye last time, is another who can find the places.
|Selections||(6) Siganui Jihye (12) Sillaui Jeonseol (2) Tteogeoun Hamseong (4) Dynamic Rookie|
|Next Best||10, 3, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 8, 9|
Race 10: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
Absolutely wide-open race to conclude with as lots of them enter in good form. We’ll go with the filly (12) BRIGHT STAR, 2nd in last year’s Korean Oaks and Jeju Governor’s Cup and making just her ninth career start, to show her talent. She’s up in class but back in trip following a really good battling win over 1900M on March 30th and has every chance here. Both (4) TAEYANGUI SINHWA and stablemate (7) LUCKY NOVA enter in very consistent form and will surely be close while (11) TURBO ENERGY has won his latest two, including a three-length score at class and distance last time out and has to be respected. (8) ROCKET BLADE led home (3) TOUGH COUNTRY and (1) SEGI GANGJA as the three of them filled out the top of the board at this distance on April 6th and all three have at least placing chances again.
|Selections||(12) Bright Star (7) Lucky Nova (4) Taeyangui Sinhwa (1) Segi Gangja|
|Next Best||11, 8, 3|
|Fast Start||2, 6, 12|