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:
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 MINT are two who may improve. There is one first-time starter and that’s (10) LEGACY. He’s the final foal from a prolific mare and looked like he knew what he was doing in trials. Could he turn out to be well-named?
|Selections||(9) Baekdu Queen (6) Gamdongui Sungan (10) Legacy (7) Cool Mint|
|Next Best||1, 11|
Race 5: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Wide open race this and not very strong. (7) CHEONYEONUITAEYANG’s latest form doesn’t read especially promisingly, but he returns here sixteen weeks after his last start and having looked very fast in a trial only last Saturday. So long as he didn’t leave his race there, he has every chance (2) MAJOR ANGEL could only manage 7th on her first try at this class two weeks ago. The margins were small though and she can improve today. (3) ISIDAE YEONGGWANG was 5th at class and distance on April 13th, beating a couple of these in the process and should be beating plenty here too. (4) MIRACLE YEONGUNG remains winless in twenty outings but is capable of picking prize money in this company. (9) PYEONGCHNG HORANGI best of the rest.
|Selections||(7) Cheonyeonuitaeyang (2) Major Angel (3) Isidae Yeonggwang (9) Pyeonchng Horangi|
|Next Best||4, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 9|
Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(3) WHINNY WING is a winner of two from four so far and is up in class following a six-length score over the distance on March 25th. This is a stiffer assignment, but he’s well drawn to get on pace early and can win again. (5) VICTORY BROWN made all to win at this class and distance four weeks ago beating three of these in the process. He carries an additional 5.5kg today but should be a threat again. (1) YEOKJEONUI GIHOE was 4th behind Victory Brown in that race and can get closer today as should (10) THUNDER DOME, who was 6th on what was his first start of 2018. (11) GRAND HWANHO is up in class following back to back 2nd places at this distance and should be competitive.
|Selections||(3) Whinny Wing (5) Victory Brown (11) Gwand Hwanho (10) Thunder Dome|
|Next Best||1, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 6, 11|
Race 7: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(5) SIMON MAGIC beat (11) USEUNG TEN as the pair finished 3rd and 4th on the former’s debut back in early March. Both are up in class today having registered their maiden wins last time but it’s Simon Magic who looks the more progressive and could well be the one to beat. Useung Ten is not without a chance either but (3) SILLAUI DALBAM, who drops back in trip today, and (6) MEISTER GO, a solid class and distance 3rd last time, perhaps have stronger claims. Both have experience of finding the money at this level and both should be firmly in the frame. (2) ATOMIJI has been getting closer in recent outings and can go well too. She should be challenging Useung Ten for the early lead and can stay on.
|Selections||(5) Simon Magic (6) Meister Go (3) Sillaui Dalbam (11) Useung Ten|
|Next Best||2, 10|
|Fast Start||2, 11|
Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(4) VEGA ONE was 2nd (albeit a distance 2nd) to the very good Christiano over 1300M three weeks ago. Although he is a touch inconsistent, he is rarely too far away and has every chance of returning to the winner’s circle today in what is not a very strong race for this level. (9) JET DIA ran 5th in a good race at the distance a month ago and can build on that here in what will be just his sixth career start. At the other end of the experience-spectrum, (7) LADY CHAMP has beaten long-odds to run 4th in each of her latest two and should be looking to at least match that today. Given the race isn’t very strong, we should give some consideration to the debut-maker. Congrats gelding (8) OXALA did nothing wrong in trials and could run well first-up – as ever with the first-timers, watch the market for clues.
|Selections||(4) Vega One (9) Jet Dia (8) Oxala (7) Lady Champ|
|Next Best||1, 6|
|Fast Start||3, 4|
Race 9: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(5) YEONGGWANGUIWINNER only beat one home in the KRA Cup Mile last month and accordingly doesn’t go to this Sunday’s Korean Derby in Seoul. He has already won at class and distance, however, and should be very dangerous here. Fergus Sweeney has a good chance of a first Korean winner in the shape of main danger (3) GREAT ROCK. He was somewhat surprisingly beaten eight-lengths into 2nd when odds-on favourite over 1300M on April 13th and steps up to a mile for the first time. He’s one of Triple Nine’s full-brothers so the distance shouldn’t be an issue and he can win. (4) HAENGBOKAN JILJU is up in class following a smart win over 1300M last time out and he should be a factor while (7) JOYFUL STORY is similarly up in class, in his case following a three-length triumph at this distance. He’ll need to improve here but can come close. (6) DONGBANG BULPAE, 3rd in a decent race at class and distance last start is also in the hunt.
|Selections||(3) Great Rock (5) Yeonggwanguiwinner (4) Haengbokan Jilju (6) Dongbang Bulpae|
|Next Best||7, 8|
|Fast Start||3, 5|
Race 10: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
(5) GYOHAKSANGJANG is one of a number up in class today, in his case following a three-length win at a mile on April 8th. He steps up in distance as well but has every chance of adding to his three wins in seven starts, most likely trying to lead from gate to wire. (1) ROCK HARD SEVEN won three in a row at the end of last year and makes his first start of 2018 under the care of a new trainer. He trialled up encouragingly in April and surely goes close. Also up in class is (7) GEOWIUI KKUM, in his case after winning well at this trip on April 6th and he must be respected. Running 2nd that day was (3) BAENGMANDORI, who actually beat Gyohaksangjang at a mile in March and can also go well here. As for those with experience of the level, (10) BAROGA, 3rd at class and distance last time, looks the best although improvement from (8) GALILEE HO is possible too.
|Selections||(5) Gyohaksangjang (1) Rock Hard Seven (7) Geowiui Kkum (8) Galilee Ho|
|Next Best||10, 3|
|Fast Start||5, 12|