It’s been a baking hot week on the Korean peninsula and that looks set to continue as we head into the weekend’s racing. Things kick off at Busan on Friday with 10 races from 14:30 to 21:00:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Five of these raced each other over the distance on June 22nd and (5) OFFICE TAP, who was debuting that day, came out the best of them finishing in 3rd place. He was well beaten by the top two place-getters but showed enough to suggest he can build on it here and can win. It is fair to say though that the ones he beat that day aren’t necessarily his main rivals here. Instead, the debut-maker (3) MUJEOK VETERAN looks dangerous following a nice-looking trial and can be backed first up while (4) FASHION WANG was 2nd when sent off as favourite at the distance last month and will be in the frame to go one better here, likely leading from the start. (7) BREAKING NEWS and (11) QUEEN’S FANTASY, the latter another debut-maker and form the strong Kim Young-kwan stable, are others to take into account.
|Selections||(5) Office Tap (3) Mujeok Veteran (4) Fashion Wang (11) Queen’s Fantasy|
|Next Best||7, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 7, 11|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
A maiden for two-year-olds only. Two of the eight have raced before and it’s one of those, (3) YEONGGWANGUICHEON, who will start the strong favourite here. He ran a good 2nd, leading in the closing stages, on his debut on June 22nd and he should be quick out of the gate here and lead all the way. (5) GIMABUDAEJANG was 7th on his own debut in that same race and showed enough to suggest he can build on that here. Thomas Gillespie sends out two first-timers and both can go well first-up. (2) MUJEOK YEONGUNG will be the most favoured of the two having won a trial in fine fashion at the end of June. (8) ACE CRUSH too ran well in his trial, finishing behind a pair of experienced horses while beating other newcomers. (4) B.K. THUNDER looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(3) Yeonggwanguicheon (2) Mujeok Yeongung (5) Gimabudaejang (4) B.K. Thunder|
|Next Best||8, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 3|
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(5) CHEONHAUI KKUM has race eleven times and is yet to finish any better than 3rd but he comes in with recent form reading well having managed a 5th and two 4th place finishes from his latest three in similar strength company to this. He can settle behind the early leaders and may well pass them all late on. (1) MONEY BLACK HOLE is the only one in the field who has a 2nd place finish to his name, achieved over a mile in May. He was well-backed for his re-appearance dropped back to 1200M last month and while he never really got involved – and lost a shoe along the way – could be better at slightly further today. (2) BAENGNYEON JIJON ran a good 5th on debut on May 25th and can build on that under a top jockey today. (8) TOJONG CHAMP and the solitary debut-maker (9) CHALLANHAN MISO, are other who should be in the hunt.
|Selections||(5) Cheonhaui Kkum (1) Money Black Hole (2) Baengnyeon Jijon (9) Challanhan Miso|
|Next Best||8, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 7|
Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
On the strength of a 2nd place over 1200M in June, (7) I’M YOUR STAR was sent off as favourite for his latest start at that same distance two weeks ago. He didn’t get off to a great start that day and then became stuck in kickback which made him run wide around the turn and he ended up in 4th. He’s given a bit more distance today which could well suit, and he gets another chance. (6) SILENT PARK is another for whom the extended trip may benefit. He’s offered hints at ability across three starts so far including a 3rd and a 5th in marginally stiffer company than he faces today. (5) SMART BANK’s best finishes to date have both been at this distance and he should be in at least the placing frame while (1) GOLDEN JOY, beaten by Smart Bank last time, and (9) BIG GAMBLER, who makes just his second start today, are others to watch.
|Selections||(7) I’m Your Star (6) Silent Park (5) Smart Bank (9) Big Gambler|
|Next Best||1, 11|
|Fast Start||5, 7, 9|
Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(10) THUNDER FLY was a winner on debut all the way back in December before suffering a number of setbacks that prevented him from re-appearing until June. When he finally did, he was sent off as favourite but after a slightly troubled trip came home in 3rd place. He should have improved for that run and can win here on what is his first try at this distance. (9) EAST WIND is up in class having registered his maiden win at the third time of asking on June 22nd. It was over this distance and he practically made all and should have little to fear here. (6) SANGSEUNG MULGYEOL is hugely experienced and has been coming back into form of late while (8) SUPER TRAIN’s latest performance gives cause for optimism from a stable that has been doing very well recently. (1) USEUNG TEN the best of the rest.
|Selections||(10) Thunder Fly (9) East Wind (8) Super Train (6) Sangseung Mulgyeol|
|Next Best||1, 5|
|Fast Start||3, 9, 10|
Race 6: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(8) WHIPLASH MARINE was well-backed over 1300M on July 6th but was fractious in the barriers before rearing up when the gates opened, blowing her race completely. She’s since passed a stalls test and looks a serios contender in this competitive race. (3) GOLDEN WAVES is yet to win in nine attempts but ran a close 6th in a tough contest at class and distance a month ago and can go even closer here. (4) MANGO PUNCH did himself absolutely no favours with his racing manners last time but is significantly better than that and can should be a factor today on his first try at 1400M. (7) DAL GEURIDA was 3rd in that race ahead of Mango Punch, a big uptick in form and he could maintain it here. (10) MACH MAJESTIC finds herself up in class having had one too many near-misses at class 6 and she too shouldn’t be out of her depth.
|Selections||(8) Whiplash Marine (3) Golden Waves (10) Mach Majestic (4) Mango Punch|
|Next Best||7, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 7, 8|
Race 7: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(9) WORLD DAY stepped up to both class and distance on July 1st and suffered his first defeat, going down by a head to Choegang Thunder after leading almost the entire way around. He still has scope for development and can get back to winning ways today. (6) CHEOLBI got within three-quarters of a length of World Day back in June at 1400M, her second consecutive runner-up finish and that’s enough to send her up in class here with claims to go close again. Those two are local-bred who have won their way up to this level while (4) WHISPER WISH is an import who had to begin at this class. She’s more than held her own though and was narrowly beaten into 2nd place last time out over a mile, beating a couple of these in the process. She’ll likely challenge World Day for the early lead and can push her all the way. (2) CAPE MAGIC and (5) WHIIK, two of those beaten by Whisper Wish last time, are others who can aim for at least the places.
|Selections||(9) World Day (6) Cheolbi (4) Whisper Wish (5) Whiik|
|Next Best||2, 10|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 9|
Race 8: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(2) ICE LEG won back to back races in January and February to get promoted to this level. He’s finished 5th and 6th in two cracks at it so far but both times have been in stronger company than tis and today could be his day. He generally goes right back at the start and closes strongly. (7) ISLE CAT also found things tough on her first try at this level three weeks ago and can improve dropped slightly back in trip today. (5) BAENGNYEON SIDAE is up in class here following a good win over 1200M last month. He’s run well at this distance as well and can go close. (1) CHARYONG and (8) RICH MONEY are others who should be in the hunt.
|Selections||(2) Ice Leg (5) Baengnyeon Sidae (7) Isle Cat (8) Rich Money|
|Next Best||1, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 7|
Race 9: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
It took (9) JUMBO BLADE a couple of goes to figure things out but he’s now won two in a row and has beaten no fewer than five of his rivals here over the course of those two victories. Last time he came from of the pace for a class and distance score, he doesn’t carry much extra weight and he can win again. (8) I’M YOUR MOTHER was 2nd to Jumbo Blade at a mile back in April. She’s pushed on since with a win of her own followed by 3rd place over 1400M last month. She tries two turns for the first time today, is very nicely weighted, and should be a factor. (4) KING JJANG races for the first time since only beating one home in the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Triple Crown in Seoul last month and should be happier in more amenable company today. (11) TTEUGEOUN HAMSEONG, and (12) ITSAGAINT WARRIOR weren’t too far back behind Jumbo Blade last time and can get close again.
|Selections||(9) Jumbo Blade (8) I’m Your Mother (11) Ttegeoun Hamseong (4) King Jjang|
|Next Best||12, 7, 2, 10|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 7, 12|
Race 10: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
A winner of four of her five starts so far, (6) CLASSIC MATCH returns from eight weeks out and steps up in class today. She’s made all in each of those wins so far and if she gets to the front from the gate, will be very difficult to beat once more. This is probably her sternest test though and (5) HANEOL GONGJU also steps up in class having won a good race over 1300M five weeks ago. She’ll likely take a sit behind Classic Match and look to pounce late on. (2) BAEDARI HANI has been a bit middling of late but has talent while (3) EUROPA and Haneol Gongju’s stablemate (7) YEONGGWANGUI PARK are others who can be involved.
|Selections||(6) Classic Match (5) Haneol Gongju (2) Baedari Hani (3) Europa|
|Next Best||7, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 6|