This Sunday sees the final leg of the 2018 Korean Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup at Seoul. Seven horses from Busan, including Derby winner Ecton Blade are involved and that means seven jockeys have gone with them and therefore won’t be riding at Busan on Friday. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty of action on the South Coast, with 10 Friday races from 11:30 to 18:00:
Those in the capital include You Hyun Myung, Franco Da Silva and Fergus Sweeney and their absence leaves Jo Sung Gon and Jo In Kwen, former and current champion jockeys at Busan, both on several live chances throughout the afternoon.
Foreign trainers could have a good day as well. Peter Wolsley will saddle Cheonnyeonui Gang in Sunday’s big race in the capital, but he sends out seven on Friday afternoon including Contador, who will be favourite to land his fifth win on his ninth start in race 9. Bart Rice has four, all of whom have at least some claim while Thomas Gillespie’s Royal Blue is set to be favourite for race 4.
Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(4) FASHION WANG produced a much-improved performance to run 4th in a better race than this at the end of March. She’s been out for eleven weeks since then but should have too much for this limited set of opponents. (2) THUNDER SHOWER did nothing wrong on debut three weeks ago and can build on the 5th place she managed. (1) JISAN OREUM steps back in trip to the distance at which he produced by far his best performance to date back in January and looks next best. Aside from that we’ll be looking for big improvements and (3) MACH RANGER and (7) TAMNA HANEUL are perhaps most likely.
|Selections||(4) Fashion Wang (2) Thunder Shower (1) Jisan Oreum (3) Mach Ranger|
|Next Best||7, 5, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 7|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(3) HUNTER PARK ran 4th over 1300M on what was his second career start on April 20th. The Macho Uno gelding has had eight weeks off since then and drops back in distance to the minimum for the first time with every chance of making the breakthrough. (8) CLOVER QUEEN came close to making all with an improved performance at this distance on May 25th. Ultimately, she went down by less than a length, but she’ll be expected to go to the front from the gate again and this time could get home in front. (4) SERENDIPITER has shown improvement in his latest two and can continue the momentum here while (5) MUJEOK BEAT and (7) TRIPLE GOLD look best of the rest.
|Selections||(3) Hunter Park (8) Clover Queen (4) Serendipiter (5) Mujeok Beat|
|Next Best||7, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 8|
Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Tricky contest with plenty in the frame. (3) EURO SHINHWA has started to show some ability in his latest two including a good 2nd last time out over this distance and may well have enough to come home on top here. (5) KKEUTPAN STORM was 2nd on debut, just beaten a nose, at this distance at the beginning of May and while she didn’t go quite so well on reappearance two weeks later, she’s worth another chance here. (9) PEACE RIDER was similarly a touch disappointing last start but has had some good results and should be close. (6) CHOEGANG STEALTH drops back in trip today following some useful finishes behind some reasonable horses and can be involved. There are two debut-makers and one of them, (7) HORTENSE, ran well in a trial last month and there’s no reason why she can’t put in a good showing here. She’s likely to be on the early speed.
|Selections||(3) Euro Shinhwa (9) Peace Rider (5) Kkeutpan Storm (7) Hortense|
|Next Best||6, 10|
|Fast Start||7, 10|
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(8) ROYAL BLUE has come up short when favourite on both his latest starts, missing out by a nose two weeks ago. He should get to the front early here and this time can go all the way. (3) SILENT PARK was an improved 3rd on what was his second start last month, running on pleasingly enough and he is a contender as is (4) SUNSHINE BOLT, who ran creditably on his return from almost a year out last month and should have come on for it. (9) SECRET MEMORY and (10) GANGHAN JILJU came home n 3rd and 4th place at this distance on May 25th with just a head separating them and both can challenge for at least the places. Secret Memory is likely to contest the early lead with Royal Blue and also (6) SOJUNGHAN GIRL, who races for the first time since beating Secret Memory on her way to 2nd place at this distance at the end of April.
|Selections||(8) Royal Blue (3) Silent Park (4) Sunshine Bolt (9) Secret Memory|
|Next Best||10, 6|
|Fast Start||6, 8, 9|
Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(2) CHEONYEONUITAEYANG comes in having run 5th and 4th in his latest two starts both at 1000M and looks ready to step up an extra furlong once more. He should be prominent throughout and is the one to beat. (5) FELICE was a decent 4th two weeks ago at 1000M having led for most of the way. Just like Cheonyeonuitaeyang, his previous try at this distance didn’t go well but he could be ready to try again. (4) JILJU DAEJANG and (11) THUNDER STRUCK both come in with recent form reading positively and both should be factors while (10) SWEEP WINNING showed some progress with 5th of 10 in a decent race a month ago and can build on it today.
|Selections||(2) Cheonyeonuitaeyang (5) Felice (11) Thunder Struck (4) Jilju Daejang|
|Next Best||10, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 5, 6|
Race 6: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
This is a good race for class 5 level and accordingly there are a number of strong contenders. Any horse trained by Kim Young Kwan that was a winner on debut is going to be well-backed for his second start and (3) WORLD DAY is no exception. He returns seven weeks after that win, which he achieved by a length and three-quarters and is up in both class and distance today but has very solid claims. We’re going to take him on though. (1) MR. SCAT won on his own debut in January but didn’t make it back to the track until May 18th. He was favourite having blitzed a trial six days previously but only managed to finish 4th. He’s up to 1400M and well worth another chance here. (2) CHEOLBI was beaten a nose by a longshot over 1300M a month ago but has every chance of going one better here while (4) STORM GOLD and (9) GOLDEN WAVES are up in class having run 1st and 2nd at 1300M last time. Storm Gold won by five lengths and accordingly has the better chance of making an impact at this level. (6) POWER BOW was a surprise maiden winner last month on what was his first start for eight months although perhaps should be treated with caution here. (10) CHIEF LEADER can also be given another chance.
|Selections||(1) Mr. Scat (2) Cheolbi (3) World Day (4) Storm Gold|
|Next Best||10, 7, 9, 6|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 10|
Race 7: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(9) LUCKY KOREA is up in class having won two of her four starts so far and was a comfortable four-length winner two weeks ago over this distance. This is a significantly stiffer assignment, but she’ll be on pace early and has every chance of coming through it. (5) HANEOL GONGJU enters with recent form reading well and looks to be the main danger. His latest two have been 2nd and 3rd place finishes in similar strength races and a repeat of those would be a minimum expectation. (2) PRIME RACE ran a very solid 2nd at class and distance last time having briefly led a furlong out and can go close again. (3) GEUJIKOJI is up in class after a good, if somewhat unexpected, win at 1200M last month and can be in the hunt while (11) ICE LEG ran well enough for 5th on his first try at this level a month ago and is another with placing claims.
|Selections||(9) Lucky Korea (5) Haneol Gongju (2) Prime Race (11) Ice Leg|
|Next Best||3, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 8, 9|
Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Bart Rice’s (3) BALLONDOR IJI came from well back to run 5th over 1000M three weeks ago. He’s raced with his head up both times but with a bit of progress today, could make the breakthrough. (2) KOREAN FORCE and (4) LUCKY BLESSING both come in off solid 3rd place finishes at this class. Neither have really threatened to break their maidens – although Lucky Blessing came close in March – but both look to have very good chances here. They’ll likely join Ballondor Iji in taking a sit behind the early speed. That speed could be set by, among others, (10) JOEUN HAE, who is up in class following three straight runner-up finishes at domestic class 5. He drops back slightly in trip today and may appreciate it. Also dropping back is (1) WONDERFUL CAPTAIN and he too could improve.
|Selections||(3) Ballondor Iji (10) Joeun Hae (4) Lucky Blessing (2) Korean Force|
|Next Best||1, 9|
|Fast Start||8, 9, 10|
Race 9: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(5) CONTADOR ran out a good class and distance winner on May 20th, his fourth win in eight starts, and he’s favoured to overcome the additional weight he carries today to continue his impressive run of form, likely leading from the front. (2) YEONGGWANGUISINHWA was 5th in that race and the experienced mare could get a little bit closer today although a more legitimate challenger is (8) BUGYEONG DAEBAK. A winner of four from seven, he was well back behind a good winner last start four weeks ago but is a talent and while Contador probably has the edge, he can run him close. (1) ADELE STAR and (7) MIRACLE BOLT both come in following encouraging latest runs and should be in the frame as well.
|Selections||(5) Contador (8) Bugyeong Daebak (2) Yeonggwanguisinhwa (7) Miracle Bolt|
|Next Best||1, 10|
|Fast Start||5, 8, 10|
Race 10: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(9) KASBAH PRINCE beat four of these on his way to 2nd place behind Contador over 1200M on May 20th. He’s run well at this distance before and could go one better today. (8) CUBAUI YEOLJEONG beat Kasbah Prince when running 3rd on what was the former’s most recent outing in April. A winner of two from five so far, he’ll be firmly in the hunt here. (5) I’M YOUR MOTHER and (10) SINHYEOKMYEONG are up in class following good wins in May. The distance is perhaps a mild concern for Sinhyeokmyeong as he’ll try to make all, but he has a chance. I’m Your Mother has won at a mile been 2nd at this distance and is possibly a touch more convincing. (11) POTENTIAL somehow remains a maiden but she’s run 2nd to some decent horses and it’s not impossible she could get it right this time.
|Selections||(9) Kasbah Prince (11) Potential (5) I’m Your Mother (10) Sinhyeokmyeong|
|Next Best||8, 4|
|Fast Start||6, 8, 10|