It’s Oaks weekend at Busan and while the big race is on Sunday, things get underway with a 10-race Friday card from 14:30 to 21:00. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(4) OCEAN PHOENIX ran a decent race on debut at this distance at the start of June and should come on here with solid claims to win. He’ll settle behind the early leaders and can finish well. (7) ROYAL CLUB started poorly and then suffered in kickback when relatively well-supported last time. He has shown ability though and if he can get away to a good start today, he can go very close. (1) BAEKDU JANGSU offered precisely nothing across his first two outings but was a much-improved 2nd when tried at this distance for the first time four weeks ago and he can build on that here. (3) GIJEOGUIMYEONGSEONG ran very promisingly on debut all the way back last September but only ran once more before being out for nine months. He trialled up well at the end of June and can be backed first-up. There are two debut-makers and of them, (9) GOLD TREE has a top trainer/jockey combination and looked competent in trials.
|Selections||(4) Ocean Phoenix (7) Royal Club (3) Gijeoguimyeongseong (9) Gold Tree|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 7|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Two-year-old maidens here hence the enhanced prize-money. Just two of them have run before and (7) POWER WINDY is likely to be strong favourite. He ran a very solid 3rd on debut in a similar race three weeks ago and the experience should see him in good stead. He led in that race from the gate and can do so again – without being caught this time. (6) TROPHY COLLECTOR debuted in the same race on June 22nd and while he only beat three home, didn’t run badly after a slow start and he can improve here. Of the first-timers, (5) FRIDAY is from the track’s top stable and is out of a Korean Derby winner and will get some backing. Others impressed a little more in trials though, with (2) SINBIHAN YEOIN and (4) YEONGGWANGUI FIGHT looking most likely.
|Selections||(7) Power Windy (2) Sinbihan Yeoin (5) Friday (6) Trophy Collector|
|Next Best||4, 1, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 7|
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Since returning from five months off in early June, (3) INTERCEPTOR has run well twice, coming 3rd over this distance three weeks ago, beating a couple of these in the process. He’s one of a number with a chance in this competitive contest. (4) THE FACT and (6) HORTENSE too come in off the back of 3rd place finishes on what was their respective second and first starts. Both should be firmly in the frame here. Hortense is likely to be on the early pace along with (7) ROYAL BLUE. Thomas Gillespie’s colt has been close in four of his five starts so far and just missed out by a nose at 1200M on June 1st. He can go well here under a brand-new apprentice, who is claiming 4kg. (8) MIRACLE ALICE hung outwards throughout her last start but still managed to finish 5th and with manners no doubt better today, she can get closer.
|Selections||(4) The Fact (3) Interceptor (6) Hortense (8) Miracle Alice|
|Next Best||7, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 7, 8|
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
After a nondescript trial, (6) VICAR BLADE ran on very nicely for 2nd on debut over 1200M, pushing the talented Christiano all the way to the line. It’s been seventeen long weeks since then, but he returns here surely ready to get his maiden win. He’s not necessarily going to be a fast starter but with the extra half-furlong today, should have too much. (9) PEACE RIDER finished four lengths behind Vicar Blade that day. He’s race three times since and has acquitted himself well each time and can get close once more. Aside from those two, we’re looking for improvers. (10) HWANGGEUM BEOLMA did indeed improve last start, registering a 4th place at this distance in what was arguably a deeper field than this and can aim to at least match today. (2) GEODAEHAN WONSEOK and (5) GOLDUI INYEON should contest the early lead and both are capable of staying involved at the business end of the race.
|Selections||(6) Vicar Blade (9) Peace Rider (10) Hwanggeum Beolma (2) Geodaehan Wonseok|
|Next Best||5, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 5|
Race 5: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Bart Rice’s (11) CLEVER WILLIE was a five-length winner on what was his second career start – a full nine months after the first – on June 24th. It was at this distance and while he is up in class and will be coming out of the widest gate, he’s very much the one to beat here. (4) DANCING BLAZE was a touch unlucky in running last start four weeks ago but still finished a very creditable 5th, proving he can be competitive at this class and he can build on that here. (5) HAEDONG YEOGEOL remains a maiden after twenty-two attempts but comes in off the back of a 3rd and a 4th in her latest two, both at class and distance and she should be involved again today – she ran on well after a poor start last time. (7) MAGIC ANGEL has done little in three efforts at this class following her maiden win back in March, but she is a good starter and if he gets to the front again, may improve. (8) Another very experienced maiden, (8) ISIDAE YEONGGWANG is a proven money winner at this level and should beat plenty.
|Selections||(11) Clever Willie (4) Dancing Blaze (5) Haedong Yeogeol (8) Isidae Yeonggwang|
|Next Best||7, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 7, 8|
Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(5) YUSEONG SPEED comes in having won three from five so far. All her wins have been at this distance with the latest being an impressive showing at this class on June 10th. She carries 4kg extra today but should be more than equal to the task and should win again. (4) WINNING AGAIN also enters having won his latest two. He beat the promising filly Ihyen in May but had to work much harder last time out at the beginning of June and is up in class here. It’s not impossible that he could be winning again here but he will need to improve to beat the favourite. (6) SAENURI CHOEGANG is up in class after a 2nd place finish in a decent race at the distance last month and can be considered for the places here. (1) BAENGNYEON SONNIM and (11) Queen The Queen are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(5) Yuseong Speed (4) Winning Again (6) Saenuri Choegang (11) Queen The Queen|
|Next Best||1, 12|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 7, 8, 11|
Race 7: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(2) JITTERBUG is up in class following a four-length win over this distance on June 8th, breaking her maiden at the second time of asking. This is tougher, but she looks to have improvement in her and she has a chance, likely leading from the start. The big danger is (4) DOCHI. He started badly and had had a difficult trip last time but still got to the front and held on to win by a neck at class and distance and while he’s up 3.5kg today, must be taken very seriously. Just like Jitterbug, (11) QUEEN OFFICER is up in class after a four-length score at the distance last time out. She made all that day and wile she has a wide draw to contend with this time, may be considered. (7) ATOMIJI was a close class and distance 2nd on June 24th and benefits from Fergus Sweeney in the saddle today and should be a threat. (9) NEW JACK SWING, another one up in class following a victory last time, is the other one to take into account.
|Selections||(2) Jitterbug (7) Atomiji (4) Dochi (11) Queen Officer|
|Next Best||9, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 7, 9|
Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Four of these raced each other at class and distance on June 15th (race 8) and three of them at least should be firmly in the hunt here. That day, (12) KOREA DRAGON made his debut and ran a very good 3rd place, with (2) FLYING RANGER and (7) KOREAN FORCE coming home in 4th and 5th respectively. There was a couple of lengths between them but Korean Force, who had some trouble in running, could overturn the form today. Korea Dragon can build on that debut while Flying Ranger, who outperformed expectations considerably, can also go well. It would be no surprise if those three filled out the board but among those who didn’t run on June 15th, (4) BUGYEONG DOLPUNG and (5) YEOWANGUI TANSAENG, look best. The latter is returning forty-two weeks after her last appearance and trialled up very nicely in June.
|Selections||(7) Korean Force (12) Korea Dragon (2) Flying Ranger (5) Yeowangui Tansaeng|
|Next Best||4, 10|
|Fast Start||4, 5|
Race 9: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(3) ROCK HARD SEVEN has won five in a row dating back all the way to last October. He is up to class 2 for the first time and this race should pose a considerably sterner test than anything he has faced so far, but he has every chance of coming through it. On his only previous try at the distance, he won by a full nine-lengths, leading all the way and will likely attempt similar tactics here. (2) LUCKY NOVA is up in distance after a really good win at this class over 1400M three weeks ago. He’s a winner of six of ten and the there is no reason why this trip won’t suit. He’ll be ridden patiently and can finish strongly. (7) DYNAMIC STAR has a similarly impressive record and enters following back to back 2nd places at 1200M and a mile. He too races around two turns for the first time. (1) HELLO VENUS has gone a little cold in her latest two but is a proven winner at this level and must be taken seriously. (8) MUHAN YEOLJEONG too is proven at this level and can challenge for at least a place.
|Selections||(3) Rock Hard Seven (2) Lucky Nova (1) Hello Venus (7) Dynamic Star|
|Next Best||8, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 8, 9|
Race 10: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(1) SWICH beat (8) CUBAUI YEOLJEONG as the pair came home 1st and 2nd respectively at class and distance on June 14th. Cubaui Yeoljeong was favourite that day while Swich was longest but one shot on the board and while Swich will need more respect this time, Cubaui Yeoljeong can overturn the form. (4) RUNNING SOCKS enters in consistent form and should be close while (7) AWESOME KING IJI drops back in trip after a very disappointing go around 1800M last start. He had been in a promising position early in the race and is perhaps worth another chance back at one-turn here. (5) DUBAI TEUKGEUP, well back behind Running Socks last time, looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(8) Cubaui Yeoljeong (4) Running Socks (1) Swich (7) Awesome King Iji|
|Next Best||5, 2|
|Fast Start||6, 7, 8|