Day: May 10, 2018

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 11)

It’s the Korean Derby this Sunday at Seoul and Busan is set to provide the top two favourites to win the 2nd leg of the 2018 Triple Crown. It’s the south-coast track that gets the weekend’s action underway with a 10-race Friday card from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


It’s Friday! It’s Busan!

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

One debut-maker among the ten fillies who line-up here and she’s in with a chance. (1) MISS PERFECT trialled up very nicely in a quick time in mid-April, running on very well and this 1300M trip looks an ideal introduction. She’s the eleventh foal out of her dam with all the previous ten went on to win at least one race and she could keep that record intact immediately here. If experience is preferred, then (9) NEW QUEEN is the one to go for. She steps up in trip for the first time after three solid attempts at 1000M and can get close. (5) BLACK SHIELD was a decent 4th on debut all the way back in February and returns here in the frame with (2) ROYAL CLUB another who has shown some ability. (8) EVELYN ran an unexpectedly good 2nd on debut last November but then refused to load on a scheduled re-appearance in March. She’s trialled since and evidently has some talent but do handle with care.

Selections (1) Miss Perfect (9) New Queen (8) Evelyn (5) Black Shield
Next Best 2, 3
Fast Start 1, 5, 7

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) ROYAL BLUE was an improved 3rd on what was his second career start on April 20th and he can make the breakthrough today on what will be his first try at further than the minimum trip. (1) DARK TEMPLAR was 5th in that April 20th race on what for her was her debut and she can push on here although a sterner test may be posed by (10) GOLDEN REX, a much improved 2nd over 1000M last start and with potential to advance again. (6) EURO SHINHWA and (11) EONJENA SEUNGNI have also shown signs of figuring things out and may be considered for at least the places.

Selections (2) Royal Blue (10) Golden Rex (1) Dark Templar (6) Euro Shinwha
Next Best 11, 3
Fast Start 1, 2, 10

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

A useful 4th on her first try at the distance on March 23rd, (1) MENIFEE HOPE returns after seven weeks off looking the one to beat here. She led for much of that race, just weakening in the closing stages and she can get on pace again today and stay on this time. (11) YES POWER was 3rd on debut over 1000M a month ago and can build on that here with the extra trip likely to be of benefit. (6) EL DRAGON steps back in trip following a couple of decent efforts over a mile and should be in the frame. (9) SUNSHINE BOLT races for the first time since last June and trialled up competently enough a couple of weeks ago to suggest that he can run well first-up here. First-time starter (2) JITTERBUG is the wildcard.

Selections (1) Menifee Hope (11) Yes Power (6) El Dragon (2) Jitterbug
Next Best 9, 5
Fast Start 1, 11

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

Jockey Fergus Sweeney gets his first taste of Korean racing here, but he’s up against it here on (8) BAEDARI CAPER . That horse is actually one of only a few in this competitive field that a case can’t easily be made for though. (9) BAEKDU QUEEN was a disappointing 6th when well backed at the distance four weeks ago. She started slowly that day and didn’t get the best of trips, so we’ll give her another chance to come good today. There were five months between (6) GAMDONGUI SUNGAN’s first and second outings but he ran well on both occasions and should be a danger here. (1) THE FACT and (7) COOL (more…)

Manoel Nunes & Fergus Sweeney Set For Weekend Debuts at Seoul & Busan

There are two new foreign jockeys making their full-time Korean debuts this weekend. Three-time Singapore Champion Manoel Nunes will be in action at Seoul while British racing stalwart Fergus Sweeney will be legged up for the first time at Busan. Both riders are on initial four-month licenses.


Manoel Nunes looks on at Seoul Racecourse last weekend

Manoel Nunes is no stranger to Seoul, having ridden in International Jockey Challenges and also having partnered Singapore-based horses in the Asia Challenge Cup and Korea Cup in the capital but this is his first time riding full time in Korea.

A native of Brazil, Nunes topped the Jockey Premiership in Singapore in three consecutive years between 2014 and 2016 and was runner-up in 2017, picking up numerous big race wins along the way.

42-year-old Nunes is also a six-time champion in Macau  where he is the most successful rider in the Macau Jockey Club’s history.  Nunes will be based at Seoul where his first ride is in race 3 on Saturday when he partners Lucky Race for trainer Yu Jae Gil.

Belfast-born Fergus Sweeney has had a long and distinguished career in the United Kingdom where he is closing in on 1000 career wins. His biggest success to date was on Twilight Son in the Group 1 Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock Park in 2016.

The 40-year-old Sweeney has some live chances at Busan on Friday including Great Rock for Thomes Gillespie. He’s the third British licensed jockey to ride at Busan after Darryll Holland and JP Guillambert. And Sweeney doesn’t just ride horses – the Noraebangs of Haeundae have been warned: