Month: June 2018

Busan Mayor’s Cup: Cheongdam Dokki vs Triple Nine – Busan & Seoul All-Race Preview (July 1)

One of the highlights of the summer racing season takes place at Busan on Sunday when thirteen of the best horses on the peninsula go to post in the Busan Mayor’s Cup (Korean Group 3) over 1800M. They include last year’s winner I’m Your Father, but all eyes will be on the clash between three-time President’s Cup winner Triple Nine and the new star on the stable-block, Cheongdam Dokki.

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Cheongdam Dokki

Cheongdam Dokki and Triple Nine have met once before, in the Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul in December last year. In a remarkable race, Cheongdam Dokki set a blistering early pace but wasn’t quite able to keep it up over the punishing 2300M – the longest distance currently used in Korean racing – and he ultimately finished 4th with Triple Nine running a big race in 3rd. Dongbang Daero, who closed late on and beat both running 2nd to winner Power Blade, is among those who join them on Sunday.

Since that Grand Prix, Cheongdam Dokki has looked invulnerable. He’s raced three times for three facile victories and has been steadily relieving Clean Up Joy, formerly the top-rated horse at Seoul, of the silverware he had amassed in recent years. Having beaten him in the KRA Cup Classic last autumn, Cheongdam Dokki beat Clean Up Joy in both the Herald Business and YTN Cups this Spring, the older horse having won all three of those races the year before. Now in advance of a likely tilt at the Korea Cup in September, he faces a true test, going to Busan to face Triple Nine on his home track. It is a test he will be expected to pass.

(I didn’t have the multi-million dollar studio at my disposal for this one so here’s a 10 minutes on Moviemaker Special!)

Triple Nine remains the benchmark against which all other horses are judged in Korea. He held his own at the Dubai World Cup Carnival at the start of 2017 and returned to beat stablemate Power Blade on his way to a record-equalling third straight win in the President’s Cup. Power Blade would gain revenge in the Grand Prix but Triple Nine lost nothing in defeat that day. He has only raced once in 2018, making a rare foray into the handicap ranks in March and coming away, inevitably, with another victory. He did trial in public last week although offered few clues. The torch may be passed at Busan on Sunday.

Here are Busan’s Race-By-Race Comments including all-horses in the big race. Scroll down for the race-by-race from Seoul:

Race 1: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(7) SMART DANCER has won her latest two, both at this distance, in front-running fashion and while it means she is rapidly up in class, there is little for her to fear here and she has an excellent chance of making it three in a row. (9) MAY STAR beat (3) BAENGNYEON SONNIM as the pair came home 2nd and 3rd at class and distance on May 27th. Both can go well again with Baengnyeon Sonnim favoured to overturn that form. (1) WONDERFUL SHOW races for the first time in almost a year but has looked competent across a series of trials in the last couple of months and can go well first up. (6) RETURN OF THE KING comes in off a useful 2nd place ahead of three of these on June 10th and can go close again. (8) CHERRY VANQUISH was one of the vanquished that day, but it was just her second outing and she can improve here.

Selections (7) Smart Dancer (3) Baengnyeon Sonnim (8) Cherry Vanquish (6) Return Of The King
Next Best 9, 1
Fast Start 1, 2, 6, 9, 12

Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Franco Da Silva was on (1) WONDERFUL MEMORY for his only previous win and he should be guiding the Lookin At Lucky colt to another here. He was a decent 3rd last time on his first try at this class and should have too much. (7) JANGHAN JILJU and (11) SAKISAKI came home 2nd and 3rd at class and distance on June 1st and look among the most likely to challenge the favourite although (2) JAEDOYAKUI BANSEOK was an improved 2nd last time out and is well drawn to get to the front from the gate once more. (10) WHITE POINT was disappointing behind Janghan Jilju and Sakisaki but came back out just two weeks ago to run a much better 4th and can look to at least match that today.

Selections (1) Wonderful Memory (2) Jaedoyakui Banseok (7) Janghan Jilju (11) Sakisaki
Next Best 4, 10
Fast Start 3, 4, 8

Race 3: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(8) WORLD DAY is two for two and the Kim Young Kwan trainee steps up in class and also in distance with solid claims of maintaining his 100% record. This is a significantly stiffer test than what he has faced so far but he should be close to the front from the start and can overcome it. (6) MABEOPUI JILJU and (4) VIVA VICTORY come in having run 2nd and 3rd behind World Day’s stablemate Sun Day at class and distance on May 27th. Both are proven performers at the distance and cause World Day problems. So too can (5) CHOEGANG THUNDER, a winner at the distance in April and 2nd when dropped back to 1300M for his first try at this class three weeks ago. (10) YONGGU is up in class after a surprise win at a mile six weeks ago and while he will need to improve, could be an interesting outsider.

Selections (8) World Day (5) Choegang Thunder (6) Mabeopui Jilju (4) Viva Victory
Next Best 10, 7
Fast Start 1, 2, 4, 8

Race 4: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Eight of the twelve raced each other at class and distance on May 27th (race 4) so we have plenty to go on. The surprise winner that day was (7) YEONGGWANG SEUNGNI, who struck the front late and ran on to win by half a length. She warrants more respect today, but we’ll still fancy her to get beaten. (2) JUSTINE MAGIC led for most of that race, ultimately finishing 2nd in what was his first try at a mile. He should have learned from that and can overturn the form here. (1) DYNAMIC ROOKIE was favourite that day and while he finished well back, is worth another chance today but the other likely ones didn’t run that day. (4) BAENGMUNBAEKDAP is up in class following a convincing win at the distance at the end of April and can be considered while (11) TUFELLO ran a solid 3rd on his first try at this class three weeks ago and should be in the frame as well.

Selections (2) Justine Magic (4) Baengmunbaekdap (7) Yeonggwang Seungni (11) Tufello
Next Best 1, 12
Fast Start 1, 2, 3, 12

Race 5: Class Open “The Busan Mayor’s Cup” (KOR G3) 1800M / Weight for Age / KRW 500 Million

  1. IRON TRAIN – Class 2 winner over this distance in May but only beat one home on his first class 1 try three weeks ago. Generally goes right to the back and closes. May pick off a few in the home straight.

 

  1. CHAMP LINE – Thomas Gillespie’s six-year-old is a very consistent type and he beat Buhwarui Banseok and Saengil Gippeum on his way to 2nd at 2000M last time. Usually runs at further than this but he can certainly make the minor money.

 

  1. DONGBANG DAERO – Ran a huge 2nd in the Grand Prix Stakes last December but has been a little indifferent in five starts since. Another who perhaps wants a little further to be at his most effective, but he could make a value bet for the places.

 

  1. I’M YOUR FATHER – Last year’s winner returned from seven months out to land a narrow win over King Of Ace over a mile at the beginning of June, finishing very strongly. Fergus Sweeney keeps the mount today and he has a chance of an upset.

 

  1. BUHWARUI BANSEOK – Ran 2nd to Triple Nine at 2000M in March and beat Dongbang Daero and Champ Line at the same distance in April. Champ Line returned the favour last time, but this is a very solid, consistent horse. Another who probably prefers further.

 

  1. CHEONJI STORM – Won the Seoul Owners’ Cup over 1200M in March before crushing a class 1 field by ten-lengths in the capital at the end of April. Lots of talent he is a front-runner who is likely to take on Cheongdam Dokki early. That’s risky but anything could happen.

 

  1. WINNER RED – Only two starts in 2018 so far and was a long way behind Cheongdam Dokki in the YTN Cup last time out. An outsider today.

 

  1. CHEONJEOK – Last home in the YTN Cup at the end of May continuing a run of indifferent form. Little to no chance here.

 

  1. WORLD NUMBER ONE – A stablemate of Iron Train, he was a class 2 winner at this distance in March but has been a touch disappointing in two efforts since. Likely to go right to the back from the gate and may improve late but is an outsider.

 

  1. KING OF ACE – Has suffered from a number of injury setbacks and is two starts into his latest comeback. He ran very well for 2nd to I’m Your Father in a tight finish on June 3rd and makes for an interesting outsider here.

 

  1. TRIPLE NINE – The gold standard in Korean racing. He beat four of these when winning his only start of 2018 to date in March, giving them plenty of weight too. He offered few clues when trialling up half-heartedly last weekend. Superior to all of these except Cheongdam Dokki and were he to win, it would be arguably his greatest achievement yet. He won’t challenge the Seoul horse for the lead but at this distance, neither will he let them get too far away. He often takes some time to hit top gear and that may be his undoing at 1800M.

 

  1. SAENGIL GIPPEUM – Has been beaten by plenty of these in recent starts at varying distances. Plenty of talent and has Busan’s champion jockey on board but will be an outsider here.

 

  1. CHEONGDAM DOKKI – His three outings this year have simply confirmed what we already knew – he is now better than Clean Up Joy. Here he has a chance to stamp his authority on all of Korean racing by beating Triple Nine at his home track. He is stepping back in trip for the first time since last September but even that should be in his favour. The widest gate is perhaps not ideal, but he has the speed to get to the front anyway and it would be a surprise were he not to hold off all-comers – including Triple Nine.

 

VERDICT: (13) CHEONGDAM DOKKI should take a big step towards asserting his hegemony by defeating (11) TRIPLE NINE. He’ll be on pace early and while there is a risk of an early speed battle with (6) CHEONJI STORM, he should have too much to able to cope with this and to see off everything else over 1800M. Cheonji Storm can go well as well as can last year’s winner (4) I’M YOUR FATHER. (2) CHAMP LINE and (10) KING OF ACE make for some potential value.

 

Selections (13) Cheongdam Dokki (11) Triple Nine (4) I’m Your Father (6) Cheonji Storm
Next Best 2, 10, 3
Fast Start 6, 13

Race 6: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Small field to finish with and there are two up and comers here. After a few near misses, (1) UNSEOK has now won three in a row by handy margins and while he’s up in class and slightly in distance today, has every chance of making it four.  (3) GEUMSURYEONG has the best chance of beating him. He’s won three from five and was runner-up in the other two and there could well be more to come. He will lead early and Unseok will have to (more…)

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 30)

It’s the final Saturday day meeting before Seoul moves onto a summer twilight schedule for July and August and two trainers with exceptional strike-rates in June can round out the month with more winners. There are 11 Saturday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00.

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Jeon Seung Gyu has only sent out ten runners so far this month but four of them have returned as winners and just one has missed out on finishing in the top three.  He saddles three on Saturday and all have very solid claims. The improving Burui Goda is fancied to get his maiden win in race 2 while Chapel Ace, who has won two of his last three, is one of a number in with a significant chance in the very competitive race 5.

Jeon can round out his day and his month with another winner when he legs up jockey Moon Se Young on The King in race 7. The colt was a beaten favourite last start when sent up to 1700M but should put things right this time at a shorter trip.

Luigi Riccardi has an even better strike-rate for the month than Jeon Seung Gyu. The Italian trainer has visited the winner’s circle four times with just eight starters this month and maintains a placing strike-rate of 44% for his entire time in Korea so far. He has three runners on Saturday and while they will be slightly less fancied than Jeon’s, both Undefeated in race 4 and Choego Money in race 9 have legitimate claims.

The day’s feature race is race 10, a class 1 handicap over 2000M. It’s a competitive affair with Wild Thunder, 5th to Cheongdam Dokki in last month’s YTN Cup, and Yaho Sky Cat, seeking a third straight class 1 victory, look set to head the market.

Here are the previews:

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

(2) ENJOY MY SHOW has been knocking at the door in recent outings and if she can get away to a good start here, the five-year-old – the only one of these to have a 2nd place to her name – may finally be able to get her maiden win. (8) RAON GANGHO has also been getting closer, registering a 3rd place last time over 1300M and has claims here. (3) OFFICER WOMAN returned from ten months off at the end of May to run a decent 3rd and can have come on for that while (1) TWO M OKAY and (11) SHARP WANNABE are others who can go close.

Selections (2) Enjoy My Show (8) Raon Gangho (11) Sharp Wannabe (3) Officer Woman
Next Best 1, 9
Fast Start 1, 2, 5, 11

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(7) BURUI GORI has a 4th and a 2nd from two starts so far, coming from well off the pace both times. He steps up slightly in trip today and should take some beating for a stable that is in red-hot form right now. (3) HADALRAE showed a bit of promise across two starts earlier this year and looked in good touch in a trial earlier this month. He should be on the early pace here and he looks like being the main danger along with (4) ISCRA, who ran a solid 4th on debut on June 2nd and can build on it today. (6) ACE CARLSON, the most experienced runner in the race, and (8) GREEN PARK, 6th on debut last month, are others who can play a role.

Selections (7) Burui Gori (3) Hadalrae (4) Iscra (6) Ace Carlson
Next Best 8, 1
Fast Start 3, 6

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

(2) BARAM KING is slowly but surely figuring things out and ran well for 2nd place over the distance on June 3rd. He’s well drawn to get to the front straight from the gate and is favourite to score here. (8) RUBY FALLS also enters off the back of a career-best 2nd place last time. That was a big improvement and she can back it up here. (10) TAEWANG SINHWA looks to be improving too. A couple of starts ago he beat (9) GOODCHOICE, the latter racing for the first time since then and can improve. (1) MAIN EVENT and (11) FLYING HERA also in the placing hunt.

Selections (2) Baram King (8) Ruby Falls (10) Taewang Sinhwa (9) Goodchoice
Next Best 1, 11
Fast Start 2, 8, 11

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

(3) WINNER SPIRIT ran out a three-length winner on debut over this distance on June 3rd and while he’s up in class today, he looks to have plenty more in him and can win again. It was always going to be risky naming a horse (9) UNDEFEATED and Luigi Riccardi’s colt duly came unstuck at the second time of asking at the beginning of this month. He didn’t run badly though, beaten just half a length, and has every chance of getting back to winning ways today. (8) GONG SAN remains a maiden but is up in class following some (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 29)

Friday racing at Busan sees 9 races from 11:30 to 18:00 on what is the final Friday before we shift to evening racing from next weekend for July and August. Here are the previews:

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It’s Busan Friday!

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

(3) JOYFUL MEMORY races for the first time since coming back lame when favourite over a mile in January. She’d shown ability over eight starts prior to that and trialled up very nicely earlier this month. She drops back to the minimum distance today and can make a winning return. (5) KING’S POWER was an improved 2nd last time on June 1st, continuing the progress he’s been making across five outings to date and he can get close again. (6) BREAKING NEWS got a warning for hanging outwards in his latest effort and with better manners can improve here. (8) DARK TEMPLAR steps back in trip after two encouraging runs at further and he should be a factor too. There are four first time starters and among them (2) RENAISSANCE MAN is likely to attract most attention.

Selections (3) Joyful Memory (8) Dark Templar (5) King’s Power (6) Breaking News
Next Best 2, 4
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 9

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

(3) MONEY BLACK HOLE isn’t the most optimistic name an owner can select for a horse, but the colt ran well when sent up to a mile for just his second start in May. He finished 2nd that day having been prominent throughout. He’s back down in trip today and should be on pace again. (7) SEONGSAN SIMON was encouraging in 4th on debut on April 20th, coming from well back in the closing stages over 1000M. He had to be scratched with a lame left foreleg from a planned reappearance at the end of May but is fit again now and may appreciate the extra furlong today. (1) HARVEST GOLD demonstrated some improvement on his second start in March. He hasn’t raced since and has moved to a brand-new trainer, but he trialled well earlier this month and can be a contender on the early speed. (11) KEEP GOING was awkwardly away on debut five weeks ago but ran on nicely and can go better today while (8) BLACK SHIELD is another who should be in the hunt.

Selections (3) Money Black Hole (7) Seongsan Simon (11) Keep Going (1) Harvest Gold
Next Best 8, 5
Fast Start 1, 3, 8, 10

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

Tight race this with the nod going to (10) MACH MAJESTIC on the strength of her runner-up finish at this distance on June 8th. She’s been inconsistent across five starts so far but with next to no early speed in this race, is expected to get to the front possibly uncontested and can go all the way. (9) GANGHAN JILJU actually beat Mach Majestic as the pair raced 2nd and 3rd over a mile back in April. He’s been solid if unspectacular in two efforts since and can be a threat here. (2) TRIPLE BOSS improved on his second start last and looks to have more development in him. (6) KWAEHAN DREAM did nothing wrong on debut and should have come on for it. (3) HUIMANGUI NORAE races for the 28th time and he last few efforts have been creditable She’ll beat a few of these.

Selections (10) Mach Majestic (9) Ganghan Jilju (2) Triple Boss (3) Huimangui Norae
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 10

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

(4) IHYEN is up in class following a four-length win at the distance on June 1st and she has every chance of making it two in a row. She’s well drawn to get to the front straight from the gate and can make all once more. (7) RANKING TOP and (6) PYEONGCHNG HORANGI came home 3rd and 5th when they raced each other over 1200M on May 25th. Pyeongchng Horangi was favourite that day and led for much of the race before weakening in the closing stages. Back at 1000M, he can overturn the form today. (1) POWER BOW can be forgiven his latest start when he was slow to begin and scarcely improved while (2) REALLY ONE has plenty of experience and in this kind of company can challenge for the places.

Selections (4) Ihyen (6) Pyeongchng Horangi (2) Really One (7) Ranking Top
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 4

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

No fewer than four of the nine come in having won their respective latest starts with three of them up in class here. We’ll begin though with the one whose victory came at (more…)

Spero Strikes in Sports Chosun Cup

Spero went to the front and outlasted them all to win the Sports Chosun Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. The 7/1 chance was never under any serious pressure as he cruised to a five-length victory under jockey Park Byeong Yun.

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Spero & Park Byeong Yun win the Sports Chosun Cup (Pic: Korea Racing Authority)

 

True, it wasn’t the greatest field ever assembled for a Listed race in the capital – that’s not going to happen with a rating cap of 80 but it does usually attract some up and comers on their way to class 1. The closest to fitting that description this year was Nasca Prince and he would be sent off as the even-money favourite ahead of last year’s Korean Oaks winner Jejui Haneul.

Jejui Haneul and Nasca Prince would have to settle for 2nd and 3rd respectively in the 2000M test as Spero took the lead early and maintained his advantage all the way around, leading by five lengths at the top of the stretch and never looking like being caught. The margin on the line was the same- five lengths.

A four-year-old locally bred colt by Chapel Royal, Spero was winning for the fifth time on what was his seventeenth start. It was a third big race win for his trainer, Derby winning jockey Shim Seung Tae, following two successes last year with sprinter Always Winner. Jockey Park Byeong Yun was winning the race for the second time, having partnered Sotong Sidae to victory in the 2015 running.

In other races on Sunday, US import Winner Gold continued his progress up the ranks. The Wildcat Heir colt’s win-streak came to an end at five on his first try at class 1 last month, but he was back to winning ways in Sunday’s finale. He had to work for it though, grinding is way up the rail to down fellow US import Gwangbok Chilsip by half a length on the line. A US$55,000 purchase form the OBS two-year-old sale last year, Winner Gold has now amassed over $200,000 in prize money.

At Busan, Finest Warrior took out Sunday’s feature sprint. The Kim Young Kwan-trained three-year-old had shown decidedly little when sent to Seoul to run in the SBS Sports Sprint earlier this month but back on his home track, avenged a defeat he suffered to Banjiui Jewang in May to score by three lengths over 1200M under champion jockey Jo In Kwen. The Majestic Warrior gelding moved on to four wins from eight starts. Jockey Jo landed a double on the six-race Sunday card as did Irish/Brazilian rider Franco Da Silva.

Sports Chosun Cup Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 24)

It’s one of the oldest races on the Korean Racing calendar and while it’s not one of the biggest or most prestigious, there’s plenty of interest in the 26th running of the Sports Chosun Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. There are 11 Sunday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12.40 to 17:05.

Geombit Gangja

Geombit Gangja won the Sports Chosun Cup last year – he’ll be hard pushed to successfully defend it though (Pic: KRA)

Restricted to horses with a rating of 80 or less, the 2000M test was last year won by Geombit Gangja and the now five-year-old gelding returns for another crack having only run once in the meantime. He’s joined by last year’s Oaks winner Jejui Haneul, the improving Nasca Prince – a winner of five from eight and likely favourite – and five others making up a field of eight where all have at least some claim and all have some kind of vulnerability. That may leave the reliable pair of Golden Gate and Spero being well backed. Here are the Seoul previews, with Busan Selections below;

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

After winning a trial, (5) SAGWARANG was sent off as favourite on debut at this distance on May 27th. She could only manage 3rd place but showed enough to suggest she can be winning sooner rather than later. She should have come on for that run and can get away to a better start today and if she does that, can win. The big danger is (3) STAR LIST, who already has a 2nd place to her name at this distance. She was a bit one-paced over 1200M last time out but drops back in trip today and has the services of Moon Se Young for the first time. (2) WANY K and (9) MIRACLE GOLD both put in encouraging debuts last month and can build on them here while (6) STAR SOCKS was just beaten a neck on her latest appearance, beating a couple of these in the process. She’s had ten weeks off since then and can go well today.

Selections (5) Sagwarang (3) Star List (2) Wany K (6) Star Socks
Next Best 9, 1
Fast Start 5, 6

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

After positive showings in his first two efforts, including only being beaten a neck at this distance at the end of April, (4) HANIL DALBIT was sent off as favourite on his latest start on May 27th. He never really got going that day, ending up in sixth place, but his prior performances mean he is worth another chance here. The trainer/jockey partnership has been on good-form recently and they can get another win here. (7) MYEONGJIN MAN was 4th behind Hanil Dalbit last time and the Drosselmeyer gelding could get a little closer today. (9) STRONG RUNNER has shown improvement across four starts to date and if he continues on that trajectory, should be looking for at least a place. (3) DONGHAE SILVER has shown glimpses of ability and will likely try to get on the early speed with Hanil Dalbit. (11) SOKBO WANGWI had shown absolutely nothing in four starts prior to a surprise 2nd last time out and will need to be treated with care here.

Selections (4) Hanil Dalbit (7) Myeongjin Man (9) Strong Runner (3) Donghae Silver
Next Best 11, 10
Fast Start 3, 4, 10, 11

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

(6) MENI BLADE got her maiden win with a six-length score at this distance on April 28th. She was sent up to 1700M for her first try at this level at the end of last month and while she began as odds-on favourite, she didn’t look comfortable from start to finish and ended up well down the field. Dropped back in trip today, she should be a vastly different prospect. This is a competitive race though. (2) HAENGBOK STAR may still be a maiden but is up in class today having been close at hand in each of his four outings so far. He was beaten five-lengths by Meni Blade back in March but seems to have come on a bit since and can be a factor. (9) HANIL MAGIC and (10) DAECHEON ACE are both a little more experienced and have placing finishes to their names at this class which they can repeat. (3) NEUNGRYEOK SIDAE and (4) PRINCE OF SUN (half-brother to American star Mind Your Biscuits) are others to take into account. (11) VICAR SCOOP the wildcard.

Selections (6) Meni Blade (10) Daecheon Ace (9) Hanil Magic (2) Haengbok Star
Next Best 3, 4, 11
Fast Start 1, 6, 8, 11

Race 4: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Very tricky contest this. We’ll side marginally with (1) KING POSE, who ran well enough on his first try at 1700M a month ago to suggest he has some aptitude for it. Prominent throughout, he only managed to finish 5th but can get back to the front today and this time go all the way. (3) MAMKKEOT DALYEO was only 7th in the same race but he has already shown ability at the trip and he too can be given another chance here. (4) GANGSEO EUTTEUM is up in class having won at this distance on May 26th. He looks to have more improvement in him and should be competitive. (5) MONEY ZIF tries two turns for the first time having run on well for 2nd over 1300M last month. (6) CLEAN UP DREAM and (10) DUMANGANG are among several others who can go close.

Selections (1) King Pose (4) Gangseo Eutteum (3) Mamkkeot Dalyeo (5) Money Zif
Next Best 6, 10, 8
Fast Start 1, 3

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

(8) RAON ACE beat (2) GOLD FASHION as the pair finished 1st and 3rd at class and distance on May 27th. For Gold Fashion that was a big uptick in form but Raon Ace, while a little inconsistent, has shown plenty of ability and has every chance here. A big danger is (1) M.J. ROAD. She comes in off the back of consecutive 3rd place finishes at class and distance, both times behind good horses. She can take up a position just behind the early leaders and can finish strongly. (5) COMPLETE SWEEP won two of three outings around the turn of the year, his only defeat being 3rd place behind Sinui Myeongryeong and (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 23)

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

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It’s Saturday! It’s Seoul!

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

(4) YOLO enters after back to back 3rd places at the distance and seems to be figuring things out and beat a couple of these last time. He gets out of the gate well and if he can get to the lead then he’ll be the one to beat. The in-form Antonio Da Silva partners (7) RAON PRO SENSE, a much improved 2nd at 1200M last time. He should be on pace early too and can go well again. (6) JOEUN NADEURI and (9) BEST HUNTER both enter improved showings. The former was 4th behind Yolo last time while latter is a five-year-old who has only run twice but could yet eke out a decent career. (2) MIDAS CHIEF is another with scope for improvement.

Selections (4) Yolo (7) Raon Pro Sense (6) Joeun Nadeuri (9) Best Hunter
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 4, 7, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Take Charge Indy is one of the most exciting young stallions to be imported to Korea in recent times to the extent that some back in the USA have lamented his sale. His first Korean crop is yet to take to the track but in the meantime, we have a foal of his, (2) LUCAS, who was imported in-utero, making her debut here in this valuable juvenile contest. Lucas took a couple of trials to get her bearings but showed some ability in a heat at the end of May and has as much chance as any here, likely looking to lead from the start. (5) WINNING BLADE was half a length behind Lucas in that trial and can also go well first up. (11) ULTRA CHAMPION was faster than both of them in his trial and the Gemologist gelding will have plenty of backers of his own. (1) DAE WAN MA and (6) RAON JAMES are others who caught the eye in trials. As ever with a race like this, watch the market for additional clues.

Selections (2) Lucas (5) Winning Blade (11) Ultra Champion (1) Dae Wan Ma
Next Best 6, 7
Fast Start 2, 4, 5, 11

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

(10) FAST FASHION beat a couple of these on his way to 2nd place over 1700M four weeks ago. That was his first start since early February and he looked a much better prospect. Back down in trip today, he looks a solid contender. (2) BRAVO ILSIN comes in having recorded his best finish to date in 3rd over this distance on May 20th. He was able to get to the front for the first time that day and similar tactics will be expected here. (3) ROAD MAN too enters off a career-best 2nd three weeks ago, albeit beaten seven-lengths by a good winner and he should get close. (4) GOLD STREET, 5th behind Fast Fashion last time, and (11) DAE CAIN are others who should be in at least the placing frame.

Selections (10) Fast Fashion (2) Bravo Ilsin (3) Road Man (11) Dae Cain
Next Best 4, 1
Fast Start 2, 6

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

She’s registered a 3rd and a 2nd from her latest two, both at class and distance, and it’s hard to see anything stopping (5) JEJUI BARAM from getting her second career win here. She’s well drawn to get out of the gate on top and she should then take some beating. The very experienced (3) LITTLE LIGHT has run well for 3rd in each of her two most recent efforts and she can go close again while (4) FANTASTIC QUEEN was well back behind Jejui Baram last time but is better than that and can get closer today. (7) J.S STORM remains a maiden but his latest 6th of 12 was in tougher company than this and he can target a place. (9) BLUE ANNA is up in class following her maiden win a month ago and she too can be competitive.

Selections (5) Jejui Baram (3) Little Light (4) Fantastic Queen (9) Blue Anna
Next Best 7, 8
Fast Start 5, 7, 8

Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(12) ARGO ROCKET has reached class 4 in double-quick time after a pair of victories, both at this level. She’s got talent but she’s going to have to improve if she is to maintain her 100% record here. (3) MAGIC ROAD is up in class too, following two wins and a 2nd place (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 22)

The weekend’s racing kicks off at Busan on Friday with a 9-race card from 11:30 to 18:00 and last year’s KRA Cup Mile winner Indian King finally returns to action for the first time since running 2nd in the final leg of last year’s Triple Crown, all the way back last July.

Indian King

Indian King suffered a suspensory ligament injury but is finally back to take his place in what is the Friday feature, a competitive class 2 handicap over 1400M. Earlier in the card, Yeonggwanguicheon, half-brother to last week’s Minister’s Cup winner World Sun makes his racecourse debut in race 2 while Great Rock will be expected to get back to winning ways in race 7. Here are the previews:

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

A maiden for three-year-olds only kicks things off and (8) MISS PERFECT, 4th on debut over 1300M last month having led until close to home, drops back in trip today and is strongly favoured to score. (4) MUCHO was an improved 3rd last start three weeks ago and looks to be the main danger although (5) TAMNA MENTOR and (7) YEONGGWANGUI STAR look to have the potential to improve. There are three first-time starters here and among them, (3) OFFICE TAP was the only one who showed enough in trials to suggest he may warrant some support first-up.

Selections (8) Miss Perfect (4) Mucho (5) Tamna Mentor (7) Yeonggwangui Star
Next Best 3, 1
Fast Start 5, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Eleven unraced two-year-olds make their debuts here chasing a valuable prize of almost $40,000 for the winner. Last Sunday, jockey Choi Si Dae partnered World Sun to win the Minister’s Cup, the final race in the Korea Triple Crown series. Back to Busan today, he rides World Sun’s half-brother (6) YEONGGWANGUICHEON. He’s not without a chance either having been one of the more impressive ones in trials and is likely to be on pace from the start. A couple of others are slightly more favoured though. (8) SUNDAY GLORY won his trial beating a couple of these in the process while (7) GIMABUDAEJANG also looked good across a pair of heats in April and May and will be backed to go well first up. Others who look to already have a bit of promise include (2) POWER WINDY and (9) BIG GAMBLER, who trialled up together looking competent enough two weeks ago.

Selections (8) Sunday Glory (7) Gimabudaejang (6) Yeonggwanguicheon (2) Power Windy
Next Best 9, 11, 4
Fast Start 2, 6

Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Three of these stand out. (11) EAST WIND improved to 3rd over 1300M on what was her second start a month ago. She hasn’t shown all that in the way of speed so far, but this isn’t a strong race and a little bit more improvement today could see her home in front. (6) NOPIGOM DODASHA ran three times last year before being absent for eleven months. She returned to racing with a solid 3rd place over 1000M on May 25th and can have come on for that run. She looks set to lead here and could win. (7) CHEONHAUI KKUM has a best of 3rd over ten starts so far but has been showing some encouraging signs in his latest two and can get close. (2) P.K. NINE was well supported last time but didn’t get the greatest of trips on his way to a disappointing 8th place. He can improve today while (3) BAEKDU QUEEN is another who can potentially be involved.

Selections (6) Nopigom Dodasha (11) East Wind (7) Cheonhaui Kkum (2) P.K. Nine
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 6, 7, 9, 11

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

Both (4) PERFECT ACE and (5) BLACK ARROW came home in 4th place on their respective debuts on May 25th. The latter’s was at 1200M compared with 1000M for the former but both finished off well and both look set to be competitive here. (9) ROYAL TREE was sent off an odds-on favourite at this distance last month but just got pipped to the line having briefly led close to home and the Thomas Gillespie trainee looks well worth another chance here. (2) INTERCEPTOR returned from five months off to run 5th of 11 at 1200M to weeks ago. He has acquitted himself reasonably well at this distance in the past and should be in the placing frame at least here. Peter Wolsley’s (7) GAMDONGUI SUNGAN comes in off back to back 4th place finishes, both at this distance and could improve today.

Selections (9) Royal Tree (5) Black Arrow (4) Perfect Ace (7) Gamdongui Sungan
Next Best 2, 1, 8
Fast Start 4, 5, 8

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

(3) DRAGON NINE was an eye-catching seven-length winner over this distance on a muddy track on May 18th. He’s up in class today and the conditions are likely to be quite different but it’s hard not to put him on top and he should win again. (7) NICE HUMOR is also up in class and while his victory was slightly less emphatic, there’s no reason why he won’t be able to compete at this level. Already proven at this level is (2) SWEET MEMORY, who has finished 3rd, 4th and 2nd in three class 5 efforts since getting her (more…)