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 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 maiden win in March. She should be there or thereabouts again and once more may find one or two too quick. (6) ISIDAE YEONGGWANG remains a maiden after thirty-four attempts but has secured plenty of money-finishes including a good 2nd place last time and can’t be ruled out. (9) GOP DDA and (11) MISS TANK are others in the placing hunt.
|Selections||(3) Dragon Nine (7) Nice Humor (2) Sweet Memory (6) Isidae Yeonggwang|
|Next Best||9, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 6, 9|
Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
A three-length winner on what was his seventh career start and second race back following six months out, (1) EXPRESSIVE is up in class today but strongly in with a strong chance at the same distance. He can sit just behind the early lead and finish strongly. The main danger is (6) BAENGNYEON SIDAE, who has been close in each of three attempts at this level since landing his maiden win in January. He was beaten three-lengths into 2nd over 1300M last start and can get closer today. (5) FIRE POINT ran a solid 4th over 1300M two weeks ago and has every chance of matching or bettering it today. The rest will all need to improve and among them (4) SECHAGE looks to have the best chance of doing so. The wildcard is (3) CHIEF TIME. He’s down in class for the first time today and finds himself in much more amenable company than any of his previous races.
|Selections||(1) Expressive (6) Baengnyeon Sidae (5) Fire Point (3) Chief Time|
|Next Best||4, 7|
Race 7: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(9) GREAT ROCK enters following back to back 2nd places at 1300M and 1600M and while he’s been well beaten both times, he really should get back to winning ways today. Triple Nine’s “full” brother has never finished worse than 4th and should be close to the pace throughout here. (7) YES POWER finds himself rapidly up in class having won his latest two in good order. He’s stepping up marginally in trip too but while he will need to improve to challenge the favourite, he should have the beating of plenty here. (3) GO JJANG has been close at hand in recent efforts and shouldn’t be too far away once more. (1) NAMDO GEOSANG is up in class after an all the way win over 1300M last month and is likely to set the early pace along with (4) WINDY PARK, who has lots of experience at this level and can compete for at least the minor money.
|Selections||(9) Great Rock (7) Yes Power (3) Go Jjang (1) Namdo Geosang|
|Next Best||4, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 4|
Race 8: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Competitive race this. (12) EVELYN is up in class following back to back wins, the latest of them a strong performance at this distance three weeks ago and the Shinsuke Yoshida owned filly has an excellent chance of making it three in a row today. As a Korean-bred, Evelyn has been able to win her way up to this level but imported horses have to begin at it. That applies to (5) SMART PRINCE and he’s shown plenty of promise and improvement across three starts to date, all at this level and culminating in 2nd place at this distance on May 6th. He looks a bog danger here. So too – at least for the places – does (10) DELMARUI GIJEOK. The Papa Clem colt is yet to win in sixteen attempts but as been 2nd or 3rd in each of his last six runs and can maintain that record today. (2) RISING PRINCE too is a solid competitor at this level and can come close while (4) SEUNGJA BONSAEK is another who could improve.
|Selections||(12) Evelyn (5) Smart Prince (10) Delmarui Gijeok (2) Rising Prince|
|Next Best||4, 11|
Race 9: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
Wildly competitive feature. The headline is that (2) INDIAN KING races for the first time since running 2nd in last year’s Minister’s Cup. Prior to that he won the KRA Cup Mile and was 4th in the Korean Derby. He trialled up well last month and if he’s at his best, he could win. It’s a tough first day back though. (5) CHODONG SKY managed to win on his return from almost nine months off a month ago. Now a winner of four from seven in total, he is up in class and slightly in distance but looks a real danger. (3) YEONGHUI SIDAE has won her latest two and she too steps up in class. She remains a possible for next month’s Oaks and has plenty of talent. The Kim Young Kwan-trained pair of (7) LUCKY NOVA and (12) TAEYANGUI SINHWA mustn’t be overlooked while (9) DAMYANG JANGGUN, (10) FIVEFOLD and perennial placer (11) ACE POWER are others in the hunt too.
|Selections||(2) Indian King (3) Yeonghui Sidae (5) Chodong Sky (7) Lucky Nova|
|Next Best||12, 11, 9, 10|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5, 11|