Month: August 2018

Saturday Seoul: Race-By-Race Preview (September 1)

The first day of September brings with it the last of the afternoon/evening cards of the year as from next week we move to purely daytime racing. There are 12 races at Seoul from 14:00 to 21:00.


It’s Saturday. It’s Seoul!

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Small field of fillies to begin with and (7) RUBY FALLS can build on the 2nd and 3rd she’s achieved in her latest two outings and make the breakthrough here. She’ll look to get on speed from the gate and should be the one to beat. (5) WHITE FLOWER has shown promise across two starts so far and was close to making the placings at this distance last start. She’s had eight weeks off since and can continue her improvement today. (4) NAMJJOK NARA enters off the back of her best finish so far, a 3rd place at 1000M three weeks ago. She tries further than the minimum distance for the first time and it may suit. (1) SOKBO WANGWI and (3) STEEL RUN are others who can challenge for the places.

Selections (7) Ruby Falls (5) White Flower (4) Namjjok Nara (1) Sokbo Wangwi
Next Best 3
Fast Start 2, 4, 7

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

This is a weak contest and accordingly, (10) BLESSING ROAD may have enough to land a maiden win at what will be the eight time of asking. She’ll have to overcome the widest gate to get on speed but if she can do that, she can win. (1) EUNICE was just half a length behind Blessing Road as the pair came home 3rd and 4th over this distance on July 29th. It was her first finish of any note and she can build on it here. (5) FOR J.K. and (6) SUJEBI both have placing finishes to their names already and both can play a role here. The latter will likely challenge Blessing Road for the early speed. (8) ADELE JEONGSANG has done nothing wrong across four efforts so far and is another who could get better.

Selections (10) Blessing Road (1) Eunice (8) Adele Jeongsang (6) Sujebi
Next Best 5, 9
Fast Start 1, 6, 7, 10

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

(4) CHEONSANG GIUN has gone close across each of his three latest outings, culminating in 2nd place at the distance three weeks ago. He was on pace throughout, ultimately going down by two lengths to the favourite, and he can go one better today. (6) VICTORIA SAMBA came home in 4th place in that same race and while she has five lengths to find, looks to be one of the principal dangers here. (2) GOLD STREET is consistently close although Cheonsang Giun has beaten her before and can do so again. (3) OFFICER WOMAN and (5) SEUNGRI PLUS are others who will need to find a little more but can be in the hunt for the placings.

Selections (4) Cheonsang Giun (6) Victoria Samba (2) Gold Street (3) Officer Woman
Next Best 5
Fast Start 3, 4, 5

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

A juvenile maiden with a big prize here and all eight entrants have raced at least once before although none of them have raced at this distance. (8) GEUMA KINGDOM came desperately close on debut, just being bested a head on the line over 1200M. It was an encouraging performance and the Animal Kingdom colt has a chance of going one better today. He’ll settle just behind the early lead so won’t be concerned about the wide draw. (7) TOHAMSAN POWER turned the tables on (2) GOD OF SOCKS, who had beaten him on both their debuts. The pair finished 2nd and 4th at 1200M on July 28th and both will be dangers here with Tohamsan Power the more favoured. (4) HANEULEUL DALRIDA was much improved on his second start and resumes following eight weeks off which a chance to build on it. (6) JEONGMUN SARANG was a useful 4th on debut and is another who can’t be ruled out.

Selections (8) Geuma Kingdom (7) Tohamsan Power (2) God Of Socks (4) Haneuleul Dalrida
Next Best 6, 5
Fast Start 2, 4, 7

Race 5: Class 3 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

(1) WONDERFUL JACKPOT has taken well to racing around two turns with a 2nd place followed by back to back victories since trying this distance for the first time in April. He’s up in class here and this is undoubtedly a stiff test but he could well secure his hat-trick here under what is likely to be a patient ride by Antonio Da Silva. (2) YONGCHONG beat two of these on his way to 3rd place at the distance on August 11th and he’ll be one of the main dangers here and will probably be setting the early pace with (4) MAGIC TEN, a filly who hasn’t quite delivered on her early potential yet and races for the first (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 31st)

It’s the final Friday of afternoon/evening racing at Busan before we switch back to a daytime schedule next week and there is a 10-race card from 14:30 to 21:00. Here are the previews:

Busan Illumina

Last time we’ll need the lights at Busan for a few weeks

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

She’s been 4th in both starts to date and Kim Young Kwan’s (3) QUEEN’S FANTASY is favoured to make the breakthrough today. She drops back to 1000M and is well-drawn to get on pace early and lead all the way. (7) FASHION WANG finished 6th behind Queen’s Fantasy on her last start. She has a 2nd place to her name at this distance as well and should be one of the biggest dangers. (1) BICHUI HAENGJIN and (5) HUNTER PARK have also offered glimpses of talent and can be considered for at least the places as well. There is one debut-maker. (4) FOX COLORING trailed up competently if unspectacularly at the beginning of this month and may have a say in things first-up.

Selections (3) Queen’s Fantasy (7) Fashion Wang (4) Fox Coloring (5) Hunter Park
Next Best 1, 6
Fast Start 3, 6, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens only here and precisely half of the field will make their racecourse debuts. However, plenty of the half with experience already have shown promise and they’re likely to supply the favourites. (4) YEONGGWANGUI FIGHT has raced twice, running 2nd on debut and then 3rd on reappearance just two weeks ago. He’s run on well on both occasions and the step up in trip for the first time may suit. (5) WONDERFUL IJI was a good 2nd on debut at the beginning of July. She bled in training causing her to be scratched from a planned second start four weeks ago and she should be a threat here and another who may well appreciate the additional distance. (1) TRUE WARRIOR and (7) POWER AMAZING too made very encouraging debuts while (6) TROPHY COLLECTOR improved into 4th on his second attempt – beaten by Yeonggwangui Fight – in July. Accordingly, the first-time starters have it all to do with (9) HAPPY GATE perhaps looking the pick among them at this stage.

Selections (4) Yeonggwangui Fight (5) Wonderful Iji (1) True Warrior (6) Trophy Collector
Next Best 7, 9
Fast Start 2, 4, 7, 10

Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A front-running performance saw (4) THUNDER ALLEY run out a narrow winner at class and distance on August 4th. It had been coming as well with the gelding getting progressively closer in the races leading up to that maiden win and he can score again here. (3) BAEDARI MUNNING outperformed expectations to run a close 3rd that day and he can be a danger again although there are a number of others who can push the favorite close too. (1) DIAMOND KING returned from six months out to record his maiden win at this distance on August 5th and while up in class today, should be competitive. (8) MUCHO remains winless but is up in class having been consistently close behind some promising horses and he too shouldn’t be out of his depth at this level. (7) EURO SHINHWA another who should be in the hunt, dropping back in trip after a 3rd place over 1200M last time out.

Selections (4) Thunder Alley (1) Diamond King (8) Mucho (7) Euro Shinhwa
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 1, 4, 5

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A small field of fillies only and (2) KOREAN QUEEN, just beaten a neck into 2nd place on her latest start, is the one to beat. She’s had seven weeks off since being denied by Vicar Blade on what was her first try at this distance and she can get it right today. (6) DARK TEMPLAR will be expected to set the pace and is capable of staying on to challenge while (1) KEEP GOING had a hard time at a mile last start but should be happier back down in distance today. (4) HUIMANGUI NORAE remains a maiden after twenty-eight attempts but this is the kind of race she can find the money in.

Selections (2) Korean Queen (6) Dark Templar (1) Keep Going (4) Huimangui Norae
Next Best 7, 3
Fast Start 6, 2

Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(6) CHALLANHAN MISO has shown good promise over two starts so far, registering a 4th and a 3rd and it shouldn’t take much more improvement for him to come out on top here. He’ll settle just behind the early lead and should have too much in the latter part of the (more…)

Ecton Blade Enjoys Happy Busan Homecoming

Ecton Blade made his Busan homecoming a successful on Sunday afternoon as the Korean Derby winner ran out a four-length winner of the track’s feature handicap.

The last time he raced at home on the south-coast, Ecton Blade finished a close 2nd in the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown before heading to Seoul where he was an easy winner of the Derby. He couldn’t follow up in the final leg, the Minister’s Cup, but is already assured of Champion Three-Year-Old honours. And while Sunday’s seven-furlong race wasn’t against the most taxing of opposition, the Kim Young-kwan trained colt showed he has plenty of potential for further success.

Under Franco Da Silva, Ecton Blade was quickly away but soon found himself under pressure from Tapipoint and Banjiui Jewang. In the straight, however, he quickly shook them off to run out a comfortable winner to move on to a career total of 6 wins from 11 starts.

On Friday evening, things didn’t go quite so well for another of this year’s Classic winners. World Sun finished 3rd in the KRA Cup Mile and 5th in the Derby before winning the Minister’s Cup. He was sent off an even-money favourite for his return to Busan in the night’s feature class 2 handicap but came up short in 3rd place as Master Win dominated for an all the way victory over 2000M.

Master Win (Peace Rules) was racing at Class 2 for the first time following an eye-catching eleven-length score over 1800M at the end of June. Friday’s win was only the three-year-old colt’s fourth in eleven career starts but he’s a horse that looks to be getting better and better.

At Seoul, Sunday’s most valuable race was a special juvenile contest for graduates of the Jeju Breeze-Up Sale. Only two of the field had raced before and one of the newcomers was a hot favourite going into the race. That was Limitless Bid colt Gyoryong Unu but while he led into the straight, he failed to hold off the fast-finishing Strike Again colt Bal Roe Ja, who took home the big prize by just over a length at odds of 20/1.

On Saturday, Seoul’s 1400M track-record-holder Sanggam Mama (Peace Rules) roared back into top form in the class 1 sprint feature. Coming out of gate 11 he looped the entire field to race into a big early lead and never looked like being caught, ultimately coming home eight lengths in front long-shot Ace Runner, who in turn edged favourite Winner Gold into 3rd.

The victory was Sanggam Mama’s first since his four-race win streak, which included that track record, came to an end late last autumn and moved the six-year-old onto 9 wins from 28 starts. It also saw jockey Antonio Da Silva to a late treble on the day. The Brazilian rider repeated that feat on Sunday, kicking home another three winners early in the card.

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 26)

This year’s Korean Derby winner Ecton Blade returns to his home-track of Busan this Sunday as the colt drops back in trip to contest the class 1 feature handicap over 1400M. It’s the highlight of a 6-race Sunday card at Busan while up in Seoul there are a further 11 races.


Derby winner Ecton Blade & Franco Da Silva are in action at Busan on Sunday

It will be Ecton Blade’s first appearance at Busan since running a close 2nd to Divide Wind in the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown, in April. Last year’s champion juvenile then comfortably won the Derby in Seoul by a full-three lengths but only managed to finish in 3rd in the final leg of the series, the Minister’s Cup, also at Seoul in June. However, that 3rd was enough to assure himself the title of 2018 Champion Three-Year-Old.

While the winner of the Minister’s Cup, World Sun, was beaten on his own return to Busan on Friday evening, things should be different for Ecton Blade. With the rating limit capped at 100, Sunday’s race is not strong by class 1 standards and it is one he should be winning. Nevertheless, there are some useful operators among his ten rivals with Mupae, Miracle Line and Daeho Sidae the ones expected to provide the sternest opposition.

While a tilt at the international Korea Cup two weeks from now was considered for Ecton Blade, it was ultimately decided to keep him in Busan and drop him down to the trip he last ran at when winning the Breeders’ Cup – Korea’s top juvenile race – last year. Franco Da Silva, who rode him in the Derby, partners him once again.

Up at Seoul the most valuable race of the day is a six-furlongs test exclusively for juvenile graduates of the Jeju Breeze-up Sales. A field of eight will go to post and there is set to be a hot favourite in the shape of first-time starter Gyoryong Unu. The Limitless Bid colt trialed up impressively and is expected to have too much for a field which contains just two horses with prior racing experience.

Here is the fill race-by-race preview, beginning with Seoul, scroll down for Busan:

Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(1) MAPAEBONG beat two of these on his way to 2nd place at this distance on July 29th and he looks the most likely to make the breakthrough here. (5) HARD PRINCESS also beat some of her rivals here when recording a much-improved 3rd place four weeks ago. That was her thirteenth career start and he best-finish to date and shoe can maintain that momentum here. (7) RAON STELLA ran a creditable race on debut the same day and should improve for the experience. Similarly (4) JJANGDAE made his racecourse debut running 4th behind Mapaebong and can also have come on for it. (9) DALLYEORA RAON has raced four times so far with two 3rd places to his name and shouldn’t be too far away again.

Selections (1) Mapaebong (5) Hard Princess (9) Dallyeora Raon (7) Raon Stella
Next Best 4, 12
Fast Start 3, 4, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

This race is restricted to maiden fillies and (4) ATHENA V, 2nd on debut at this distance on July 21st is favoured to prevail. She was well-back behind a good winner that day but should have too much here. (12) SOKBO ONGJU and (1) DANGDAE SONYEO came home 2nd and 4th respectively when they raced at the distance on July 22nd. That was the latter’s debut and she may well improve. (6) HALLA DAERO and (10) SUN QUEEN both have 2nd place finishes to their names and can be competitive while among the four first-time starters, (5) SONGAM BARBIE catches the eye. She qualified when winning a trial back in March but didn’t make it to a race. She then re-qualified in good fashion at the end of July and can be considered first-up.

Selections (4) Athena V (1) Dangdae Sonyeo (12) Sokbo Ongju (5) Songam Barbie
Next Best 6, 10, 3
Fast Start 1, 5, 6, 8

Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A very competitive race which sees three horses up in class after recording their maiden wins last time out. In the case of (4) RAON SIRIUS, that win was all the way back in April. However, he looked very good when winning a trial two weeks ago and looks to have a very good chance first-up. He’ll be on pace early alongside (1) DAESEUNG AGAIN, and all-the-way winner at this distance on his third career start on July 14th and who also should go close. The final one up in class, (11) THUNDER MONEY, looks to have a bit more to find but shouldn’t be completely ruled out. Of those with experience at this level, (2) HI EUREKA looks the pick. He’s finished 3rd in three out of his last four starts and with Antonio Da Silva up today, could get it right, while (5) NEUNGRYEOK SIDAE too has gone close. (6) ROAN PRO SENSE didn’t go especially well at 1300M on what was his first try at this class last month but may go better dropped back to the minimum today.

Selections (4) Raon Sirius (2) Hi Eureka (1) Daeseung Again (5) Neungryeok Sidae
Next Best 6, 8, 11
Fast Start 1, 4, 6, 8

Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) TRIPLE HAPPY has run 3rd on both his latest starts and last time was slightly unlucky in a desperately close three-way finish over 1200M. He steps up marginally in trip today and can come from just off the early pace to make a strong challenge. (6) HAENGBOK STAR disappointed when favourite last time beaten by (8) REBECCA, among others. He should at least overturn that form today and can be given another chance. (10) ROYAL PRINCE enters having been 2nd at class and distance on July 22nd and can look to at least match that today. (2) TAURUS is up in class after getting his maiden win on his second start four weeks ago and should be competitive. (1) JI SEONI is better than her latest form suggests and is a potential improver.

Selections (3) Triple Happy (10) Royal Prince (6) Haengbok Star (2) Taurus
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 6, 7, 8

Race 5: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(11) JANGSAN WILD returned to winning ways at class and distance on July 7th, scoring in a decent race by half a length. He carries a bit more weight today but should be prominent throughout and is favoured to win again. (10) SOMETHING MYSTERY ran a close 2nd on his first try at this level four weeks ago. He’s never run worse than 5th in seven outings to date and should be very much in the frame here. (1) CUPID DATE similarly finished 3rd on his own first attempt at this level on the same day at 1400M and looks nicely in here. (5) BLACK MUSIC is already a class and distance winner and he only managed 5th last start under the same weight he carries today, he can aim for a place as can (8) DREAM INDY, who drops back in trip after recent assignments over 1700M.

Selections (11) Jangsan Wild (10) Something Mystery (1) Cupid Date (5) Black Music
Next Best 8
Fast Start 5, 7, 8, 11, 12

Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(8) BEST YEJI has finished 3rd in each of her last three races, two of them at 1700M and then most recently at 1300M, beating a couple of others who go here in the process. 3rd should be a minimum target today and the Friesian Fire filly can come from just behind the early lead to put in a challenge late on. (4) CRAZY FACTOR has been 3rd on both his starts so far and steps up in trip for the first time. He’ll be on pace early and could be (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 25)

Well the typhoon completely missed Seoul but temperatures have eased off from the heatwave that has consumed the peninsula for the past month. We’re into the penultimate weekend of afternoon/evening racing now and there are 12 races at Seoul on Saturday from 14:25 to 21:00.


Saturday means Seoul!

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

A competitive opener with lots in the hunt and (5) MAX THUNDER, who beat three of these on her way to 3rd place at the distance on July 21st has as much chance as any. She’s well-drawn to get off to a fast start here and at the tenth time of asking, this could be her day. (3) CUPID GANGJA steps back in trip after some reasonable efforts at 1300M. He’s the only one of the twelve to have as much as a 2nd place to his name (over 1700M) and he should be a danger. (6) MONEY SHARP has shown progression over three outings to date culminating in 3rd place last time and can continue his development here. (1) KAILLUM YEOJE and the debut-maker (7) TOUR BROTHER are others who could make an impression.

Selections (5) Max Thunder (6) Money Sharp (3) Cupid Gangja (7) Tour Brother
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 1, 5, 7

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

There are twelve juvenile fillies all racing for the very first time here. The most impressive in trials was (12) CHEONNYEON VIKING, who finished well clear of a couple of others who debut here in what was a fast time. She’s a half-sister to New Partner, who won four of his first six starts, and she can overcome the widest gate to go well first-up here. (1) GREEN DARC was the only one to actually win her trial, making all and looking easy on the eye in the process and she’ll have backers while (2) DADDY GLORY and (5) INDY LADY both performed creditably in their respective heats as well. For a longer shot, (8) MISS GELLA finished behind Daddy Glory in her trial but did lead for the first half of the heat and could improve on race day.

Selections (12) Cheonnyeon Viking (1) Green Darc (2) Daddy Glory (5) Indy Lady
Next Best 8, 9
Fast Start 1, 8, 11, 12

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(8) TAEWANG SINHWA is set to be a relatively warm favourite here. Although he was beaten by, among others, (10) MAIN EVENT when the latter ran 2nd over this distance at the end of June, he recovered to turn the tables on that one on his way to 3rd place again at this distance on July 28th. He just needs one more top three finish to find himself up in class 5 and he can settle behind the early speed and finish strongly. (5) MEGA CITY has been inconsistent across his four starts so far but registered a 3rd place at this distance at the end of April and while he disappointed in his only start since, can go better today. (2) SPECIAL DREAM too has run 3rd at the distance and while he was well back behind Taewang Sinhwa on his last start can also improve. (7) HWANSANGUI BIT steps back up in trip today and can go better than she did last time she tried this distance.

Selections (8) Taewang Sinhwa (5) Mega City (2) Special Dream (7) Hwansangui Bit
Next Best 10, 1
Fast Start 4, 5, 7

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

(3) SAGWARANG ran a close 3rd on what was her first try at this class on July 21st. She was sent off favourite that day having broken her maiden with a nine-length all the way score a month earlier. She looks set for an easy lead here and once in front, she’ll be difficult to overhaul. (1) JUNGJEON MAMA is two starts into a comeback following nine months out and she looks to be getting back into the swing of things with a 3rd place at the distance last start. She’ll be a danger here. (8) LAST CONCERT drops back in trip following a good 3rd over 1300M on July 21st and she too should be in at least the placing hunt as will (4) CHUKBOGUI YEOLMAE and (7) VICAR SCOOP.

Selections (3) Sagwarang (1) Jungjeon Mama (8) Last Concert (7) Vicar Scoop
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 3

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

(5) DAEGIL SANGJON returned from ten months off to record his maiden win over the distance on July 22nd and while up in class again, has solid claims to score again. He will settle just behind the early lead and could be too strong late on. It’s a competitive race though with both (9) ULTRA CHAMPION and (10) POX RANGER also up in class for the first time and while they both have a little more to find, can also be competitive. There are plenty with experience at this level to contend with too. (1) GANGHWA CHONGGAK comes in off a decent 4th over the distance last start in a similar strength race to this with (8) GONG SAN finishing just half a length further back. Both can go well here while (6) WITH FRIENDSHIP ran 3rd over 1300M at the end of June and returns slightly back in trip following eight weeks off and is another who should be in at least the placing frame.

Selections (5) Daegil Sangjon (1) Ganghwa Chonggak (9) Ultra Champion (6) With Friendship
Next Best 8, 10
Fast Start 1, 9

Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

The very experienced (1) WHITE CUPID ran 2nd at class and distance on July 1st before dropping back to 1300M at the end of the month and finishing a decent 4th of 8. Back up in trip today, he’s a little one-paced but he can put himself in the middle of the field early and could well out-stay them all. (8) BARAM KING was 4th behind White Cupid in that 1300M race at the end of last month. That was his first go at the level following a maiden (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 24)

A typhoon is due to slam into the Korean mainland any time now. Busan should get plenty of rain but the worst could well be over before Friday racing gets underway (though there is likely to be a lot of water on the track). There are 11 races from 14:30 to 21:00 and Minister’s Cup winner World Sun is due to return to his home track for the first time since winning the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown at Seoul last month.

2018년6월17일 농림축산식품장관배 월드선 최시대 (2)

World Sun is set to be back in action at Busan on Friday

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

Maidens to kick things off as usual and (8) B.K. UNO will be hard to beat here. True, we said that last time when she was sent off favourite in a similar race on July 27th only to lead until close to home but eventually get overhauled, but she surely makes no mistake today. She is the only one who enters with any form of note although (5) THE FACT managed a 3rd place at 1300M back in May and is likely to be second-favourite. (1) YEONGGWANGUI STAR and (4) ON DAY too have shown some glimpses of ability. The other one that jumps out though is (3) YEONGWON CHAMP. One of two debut-makers in the field, she’s a half-sister to a couple of useful performers and the trainer/jockey combination is to be noted as well. She trialed up adequately and this is a great race to debut in.

Selections (8) B.K. Uno (3) Yeongwon Champ (5) The Fact (4) On Day
Next Best 1, 6
Fast Start 4, 6, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

This looks a trickier maiden. (5) TAMNA MENTOR just about gets the verdict having shown a little more than most in her latest two efforts, running 4th and 5th at the distance in competitive times and a similar performance should be enough to win. (7) CHEONJI KINGS drops back to the minimum trip for the first time after three encouraging performances at further and he’s next best. (2) MUJEOK BEAT was an improved 3rd last time and while he hasn’t demonstrated much in the way of speed, can look to repeat here. (1) ALPHA RUNNER and (6) SMART CHOICE have both only run the once with neither offering many clues, but improvement is certainly possible from one or both of them.

Selections (5) Tamna Mentor (7) Cheonji Kings (2) Mujeok Beat (6) Smart Choice
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 4, 5, 6

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

(8) P.K. NINE enters having run 2nd and 3rd in his latest two outings, at 1200M and this distance respectively. That leaves him requiring just one more finish inside the placings to be promoted to class 5 and he can exit the bottom level with victory here, most likely looking to lead from gate to wire. After an inauspicious debut, (9) TIME SPEC has been consistently close across five subsequent starts with two 3rd place finishes followed by three consecutive 4ths. He is a bit one-paced but he can join P.K. Nine at the front early and can beat most of these. (6) PEACE RIDER was a touch disappointing when well backed at this distance on July 13th but his form prior to that was good and he’s worth another placing chance here. (3) GURI TOWER and (7) BAENGNICHONG look best of the rest.

Selections (8) P.K. Nine (9) Time Spec (6) Peace Rider (7) Baengnichong
Next Best 3, 2
Fast Start 4, 8, 9

Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) TONGIL HANGUK debuted very encouragingly back in April running a good 3rd in a very similar strength contest to this. He has had a couple of setbacks since including some mild lameness and a brief crush with colic but he makes his return here looking very much the one to beat. He led in that debut race and could well get an uncontested lead today. They could have a very hard time getting past him. (4) BIG FOOT also debuted well, in his case all the way back in January. He looked sharp in a trial at the end of July and can be a danger first-up here. (6) FIRST VICTORY ran a good 2nd over 1300M four weeks ago suggesting that a first victory is not impossible either. (9) SERENDIPITER came even closer last time, just going down a head over this distance. That marked a big uptick in form and he can build on it today. (11) SWEEP MAN has been consistently close across his latest few starts and shouldn’t be too far away again today.

Selections (2) Tongil Hanguk (4) Big Foot (6) First Victory (9) Serendipiter
Next Best 11, 5
Fast Start 2

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

(3) QUICK MOVE was a two-and-a-half length winner on debut on July 27th. He’s up in class here but drops back slightly in trip and is well drawn to get on the early pace. It won’t be easy but he could win again. (1) BAENGYEON DAERO ran a good 4th on her first try at this level on June 29th following her maiden win a month earlier. She’s had eight weeks off since and should be a big danger here. (10) FASHION OF MARINE comes in having won his latest two, the most recent of them being at this class on July 22nd. All three of his outings to date have been at 1000M so he’s into unchartered territory today but he’s run on well in all of his races so far and should still be a factor. (2) USEUNG TICKET is another up in class, in her case having got her maiden win at the fourth time of asking four weeks ago. She’ll take a sit behind the early lead and can finish strongly. (4) BUGYEONG BOLT was a winner on debut last New Year’s Eve and after a bit of a wobble looks to be coming back into form with a solid 3rd place at class and distance at the end of July.

Selections (3) Quick Move (1) Baengnyeon Daero (10) Fashion Of Marine (2) Useung Ticket
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 3, 6, 7

Race 6: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Can (10) GANGHAN JILJU finally get his maiden win at what will be the fourteenth time of asking? He’s come desperately close in his latest two attempts, beaten a nose and half a length into 2nd place at this class, over 1300M. He races at 1400M for the first time today although he has a 2nd place over a mile to his name as well and it could be his day. (1) WONDERFUL STORY is also in search of his first win. He’s up in class following back to back 2nd places at 1300M and should be very competitive here as he goes an extra half (more…)

Haeya Finally Earns Big Race Glory in KNN Cup

Haeya has finally done it. The five-year-old mare whose career has been a litany of injury and other setbacks won the 2nd leg of the Queens’ Tour the KNN Cup at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon to secure her first Group race triumph.

Haeya’s distant 3rd behind Silver Wolf in this race last year was her only previous experience of racing at a mile and while punters sent her off as slight favourite, there was plenty of doubt as to whether she could lead the whole way round – even in the absence of a clear star like Silver Wolf.

As it was, Haeya, drawn from gate 1, got to the front as usual but this time didn’t let go. Cheongsu Yeogeol and Ice Marine flashed home late but couldn’t quite get there, Haeya holding on by just under a length on the line.

1. Haeya (USA) [Flatter – Luxholic (Macho Uno)] – You Hyun Myung – You Hyung Myung – 2.6, 1.4
2. Cheongsu Yeogeol (USA) [Run Away And Hide – Fan Appeal (Lear Fan)] – Kim Yong Geun – 1.9
3. Ice Marine (KOR) [Officer – Runkerry Point (Giant’s Causeway)] – Song Keong Yun – 4.3
Distances: 0.75 lengths / Head
Also Ran: 4. Damyang Hwanho (USA) 5. GOld Blue (JPN) 6. Bright Star (KOR) 7. Ace Spinning (KOR) 8. I’m Your Mother (USA) 9. Shark Run (USA) 10. Rich Yeojanggun (KOR) 11. Hello Venus (KOR) 12. Rocket Queen (KOR) 13. Aceui Seonmul (KOR) 14. Yeonghui Sidae (KOR) 15. Sojunghan Somang (USA) 16. Uju Star (KOR)

Sunday Seoul & Busan: KNN Cup Day Race-By-Race Preview (August 19)

It’s a big Sunday of racing in Korea with the KNN Cup, the 2nd leg of the Queens’ Tour at Busan being the highlight. In total there are 6 races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10 and 11 at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Previews for every single race are below (including horse by horse for the KNN Cup). Busan first with the Seoul ones below:

Cheongsu Yeogeol Ttukseom 2

Cheongsu Yeogeol won the 1st leg of the Queens’ Tour last month and is among 16 fillies & mares lining up for the KNN Cup at Busan today (Pic: KRA)

Race 1: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) MUJEOK YEONGUNG was a very nice-looking winner on debut on July 20th over 1000M and while he is up in both class and distance today, the manner of it suggests Thomas Gillespie’s colt will be hard to beat today. He’ll go to the front from the gate and should stay there. (2) OFFICE TAP comes up in class after his maiden win too. His victory, on what was his second career start, was slightly less eye-catching but nevertheless, he should be very competitive at this level. (1) COOL MINT got promoted after finishing runner-up in both his first two outings. He stepped up to this class on July 15th, running a decent 5th over 1400M. He drops back to this trip for the first time today and can look to at least place. (6) NURI ACHIM, a class and distance winner in May, and (10) RACHEL, who did the same a month later, are others who can go close.

Selections (3) Mujeok Yeongung (2) Office Tap (1) Cool Mint (6) Nuri Achim
Next Best 10, 12
Fast Start 3, 6

Race 2: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A smart winner at this class over 1300M on July 20th to make it three wins from seven career starts, (1) ICE LEG is slightly favoured to prevail again. It’s his first time at 1400M but an apprentice jockey on board means he carries scarcely any extra weight and he could have too much. (6) ISLE CAT ran 2nd that day and while she has a bit to find on the favourite here, can run well again and certainly should beat plenty. Stiffer tests may come from (8) CITY WINNER and (2) FINE POWER, who came home 2nd and 3rd respectively when racing each other at class and distance on July 15th, getting within half a length of winner Oryong, who was landing his third straight win. (4) RISING PRINCE came home 5th in that race and is another who could have a say about the places.

Selections (1) Ice Leg (8) City Winner (2) Fine Power (6) Isle Cat
Next Best 3, 11
Fast Start 4, 8

Race 3: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) BAENGNYEON SONNIM rather unexpectedly finished ahead of (5) SMART DANCER when they raced each other at this distance three weeks ago coming home 2nd and 3rd and bringing the latter’s winning streak to an end at three. They face each other again here but this time we’ll expect Smart Dancer to put things right and return to the winner’s circle. Baengnyeon Sonnim is probably the biggest danger here along with (7) WINNING AGAIN, who was rapidly promoted to this class with a pair of wins in May and June. He ran 3rd on his first try at this level on July 13th and should be close here. There is one debut-maker and he looks an interesting one. US import (4) JJUUK trialled up competently last month and the Min Jang Gi trained colt can go well first up.

Selections (5) Smart Dancer (3) Baengnyeon Sonnim (7) Winning Again (4)Jjuuk
Next Best 2, 1
Fast Start 4, 5, 7

Race 4: Class 1 (2000M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

After a setback early in his career which saw him lose almost his entire three-year-old campaign, the recent rise of (3) SILLAUI JEONSEOL has been rapid. He’s won three in a row to get up to class 1 here and he looks very nicely in to potentially take his winning streak to four. He’s up to 2000M for the first time an there’s no doubt this is a tough ask but he could do it. (9) STEALTH beat tree of these on his way to a good class and distance victory on July 8th and must be respected. Once again, he carries a low weight, has strong claims and should be favourite. (10) SAENGIL GIPPEUM doesn’t carry a low weight but showed signs of coming back into form when finishing 4th in the Owners’ Cup at the end of July and could maintain that momentum here. (5) FOUR NINES and (2) DORAON HYEONPYO were both beaten by Stealth last time – both were nominated for September’s Korea Cup last week and likely need big performances here in order to be confident of getting on.

Selections (3) Sillaui Jeonseol (9) Stealth (2) Doraon Hyeonpyo (5) Four Nines
Next Best 10, 1
Fast Start 1, 2, 3


Race 5: Class Open “The KNN Cup” (KOR G3) / 1600M Allowance / KRW 400 Million

  1. HAEYA – She was favourite for the Ttukseom Cup but put in a flat performance ending up in 6th. Hard to recommend her to win at a mile although she did manage to come 3rd in this race last year and as one of the few true class 1 horses in the race, it would be no surprise if she was sent off as favourite. She’ll try to do it gate to wire.
  2. YEONGHUI SIDAE – Sent off as second-favourite in the Oaks last month but never travelled fluently and ended up well back in the field. She has though won at this distance at class 3 and could be a factor here. Runs best when leading, something she hasn’t been able to do in her last two starts.
  3. I’M YOUR MOTHER – Struggled over 1800M on her latest but she is a winner at a mile at class 4. Her solitary win did come at this distance in May, but it was at class 4 and she has a lot to find here.
  4. SOJUNGHAN SOMANG – Beaten by Shark Run in April but returned to overcome some good ones on her way to a valuable prize over 1400M at the beginning of June. First try at a mile, she’ll likely settle in midfield and look to finish strongly. Place is not impossible.
  5. ACEUI SEONMUL – Good winner over this distance on July 6th, enabling her to take her chance here. That was at class 3 and while she shouldn’t be too far away she will need to improve if she is to challenge for a place.
  6. CHEONGSU YEOGEOL – Comfortable winner of the Ttukseom Cup at the beginning fo June coming from just off the pace to win well. This will be her first attempt at a mile but there is no reason why it shouldn’t suit and she’ll be firmly in the hunt to maintain her bid for a sweep of all three races in the series.
  7. RICH YEOJANGGUN – Winner of five of her first six starts, she’s come unstuck since reaching class 2. Not many of these have managed to get to that level though so she may well find the company today amenable. First try at the distance, she settles in the middle of the pack and looks to launch a bid late on.
  8. ACE SPINNING – First start since winning the Singapore Turf Club Trophy last September, this is a big ask first-up but she’s certainly capable. Looked good in two trials, the latest of which was last week. First try at a mile too but like Haeya, she is a class 1 horse, and this is not impossible. Settles in midfield.
  9. ROCKET QUEEN – Beat Cheongsu Yeogeol over 1400M in April before running 4th in the Ttukseom Cup. A solid class 2 competitor who is not far away from class 1, she tuned up in a barrier trial in Seoul last Saturday which she won very comfortable. She has a chance. Likely settles closer to the back than the front and finishes strongly.
  10. GOLD BLUE – Absolutely flew home for 3rd place in the Ttukseom Cup having been last entering the home straight. She is inconsistent though as was shown when she only beat one home on her reappearance on July 8th. That was at class 1 thugh and both company and distance should be more suitable today. An outside chance.
  11. DAMYANG HWANHO – Finished strongly for a surprise 2nd place in the Ttukseom Cup. It perhaps shouldn’t have been a surprise though as she had previously registered a class 2 win at 1200M. It’s been a long time since she ran further than 1400M and she previously didn’t show any aptitude for it but she’s a better horse now and another surprise isn’t impossible.
  12. BRIGHT STAR – 2nd in last year’s Oaks and Jeju Governor’s Cup she’s no doubt got plenty of talent. She recorded a solid 3rd place at class 2 before running 7th in the Ttukseom Cup, she can be frustratingly inconsistent. She probably won’t be among the fancied ones here but should be on the early pace.
  13. ICE MARINE – Two starts into a comeback following almost exactly a year off. She was a really impressive winner over 1400M at class 2 on July 6th. That form got a boost when the second place-getter that day, Taeyangui Sinhwa, won well on Friday. She had to go wide all the way that day and it’s likely she’ll have to do so again but she looks very capable of challenging for at least a place and possibly even the win.
  14. UJU STAR – Top trainer Kim Young Kwan’s only representative in the race. She’s only raced three times this year, winning a class 2 race over 1400M in May. She’s been well back in the other two though including behind Ice Marine last time. It’s dangerous to rule out anything from this stable but she’ll need to find significant improvement.
  15. SHARK RUN – Headed into the Ttukseom Cup on the back of consecutive victories at class 3 and came with a huge late run to make it to 5th in that race. Scratched from a scheduled start in early July with some soreness, she’s back fit now and could be a real danger here.
  16. HELLO VENUS – Couldn’t get on speed in the Ttukseom Cup although she did improve for a 6th place finish. Returned to Busan to run 2nd over 1800M on July 13th leading all the way only to beaten by a nose on the line. She was drawn in gate 1 that day and today has the hardest ask of all to get to where she likes to be.

Verdict: As in the Ttukseom Cup, this race is fascinating as so many could win it. All things being equal, (1) HAEYA is the best in the race and will most likely begin as favourite but the distance and her inconsistency make her beatable. (6) CHEONGSU YEOGEOL’s Ttukseom Cup win was impressive and she has claims too but there were other big runs in that race as well from (11) DAMYANG HWANHO and especially (9) ROCKET QUEEN and (15) SHARK RUN. We’re going to go for new challengers who didn’t (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 18)

The heatwave has finally broken! Temperatures have dropped to the summer normal with highs of “only” 32C expected in Seoul on Saturday. There is a 12-race card in the capital from 14L25 to 21:00. With lots of Seoul jockeys down at Busan for Sunday’s KNN Cup, there is a big chance for some of Seoul’s overseas jockeys to have a very good day. Here are the previews:

Seoul Night

It should be a cool(ish) evening at Seoul on Saturday

Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(1) HANIL DALBIT will be hard to beat here. He came very close to getting his maiden win back in April and last time out finished 3rd, well clear of four of his rivals here over 1200M. He’ll be on pace from the gate and should have too much. (9) ISCRA has finished 4th and 3rd in his two starts to date and while he has been extremely well beaten in both of them, looks to have more about him than most here. (7) WANY K’s three consecutive 6th place finishes have been in stiffer company than this and she should improve today. (6) BEST LEVEL is, along with Hanil Dalbit, one of just two to have a 2nd place finish to his name and while he was well back behind the favourite last time, can get closer today. Debut-maker (2) SEOKGWA BULSIK trialed competently enough and may be considered for some minor money first-up.

Selections (1) Hanil Dalbit (7) Wany K (9) Iscra (6) Best Level
Next Best 2, 5
Fast Start 1, 3

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Another weak maiden and (5) SOKBO WANGWI could be the one to make the breakthrough. She drops back to the distance at which she secured her solitary 2nd place to date at back in May and comes in off a useful 4th at 1200M a month ago. A similar performance to either of those runs could see her home on top. (8) LUCAS ran encouragingly on debut in June and is probably worth another chance despite flopping on re-appearance four weeks ago while (7) GWANGPOK JUHAENG has shown a couple of glimpses of ability and can improve today. (6) ULTRA MISSILE will likely set the early pace and can hang on for a place while (3) FAPP CAT showed a slight sign of improvement on his latest.

Selections (5) Sokbo Wangwi (8) Lucas (7) Gwangpok Juhaeng (3) Fapp Cat
Next Best 6
Fast Start 6

Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(7) LOVELY NUTE is up in class following an eye-catching seven-length win on her return from seven months off three weeks ago. She drops back kin trip as well but can get on pace early here and win again. (9) YEOWOORI remains a maiden after nine attempts but was only beaten a half-length at this class over 1200M last time and looks a big danger here. (6) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON also came close to getting her maiden win last time, just running out of track as she closed to within half a length of the winner on July 21st. She beat three of these in the process and it’s not impossible she could get that elusive first win. (1) BEST MAID and (4) DAMON ANGEL, the latter up in class, are others in the hunt.

Selections (7) Lovely Nute (6) Kkeuleojuneun Son (4) Damon Angel (9) Yeowoori
Next Best 1, 3
Fast Start 4, 5, 7

Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(2) UNDEFEATED, who is now anything but, looks ready to win again. He disappointed in 5th place when favourite at 1300M on July 22nd, finishing 5th but steps back in trip today and can win. Manoel Nunes rode Undefeated in the colt’s latest two outings but he gets on (6) BAEKDUUI JEONGSANG today. He’s got a 2nd and a 3rd in two starts at this level so far and will join Undefeated on the early pace with a solid chance of going all the way. (7) JUMBO CAPTAIN was 4th in that race behind Baekduui Jeongsang and can look to match or better today. (5) BACK TO BACK has been a little underwhelming in his recent efforts but could improve here and along with (4) HANIL MAGIC, looks to be best of the rest. (9) GEUMA GLORY steps up in class following a win on debut at 1000M but will need to improve.

Selections (2) Undefeated (6) Baekduui Jeongsang (5) Back To Back (7) Jumbo Captain
Next Best 4, 9
Fast Start 2, 3, 6, 9

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

(6) MIRACLE HANSEN enters off back to back 2nd place finishes, both at class and distance and really should be going one better today. He led until close to home last time and with Lee Chan Ho in the saddle today, can hold on this time. (8) WINNING WIN came from well off the pace to score a class and distance victory on July 21st. He doesn’t carry too much extra weight here and can go very close again for a stable that has come into form. (4) MYEONGPUM BOBAE, a stablemate of Miracle Hansen, was also a class and (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 17)

It’s KNN Cup weekend at Busan with the 2nd leg of the Queeens’ Tour series being run at the track on Sunday. That means top Seoul jockeys Lim Gi Won and Kim Yong Geun are both in action on the south coast on Friday when there is an 11-race card from 14:30 to 21:00:


Lim Gi Won will be riding at Busan this Friday

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

Rather weak maiden to begin with to the extent that it might be worth looking to one of the three first-time starters purely on the grounds that they’ve done nothing wrong so far. Of them, (1) URANUS J fits the bill having looked competent and reasonably fast when running 2nd in a June trial. He couldn’t ask for a better race to debut in. Of those who have raced before, (2) TIZ POWER registered back to back 4th place finishes in March. She’s been out since but trialed reasonably well last weekend and go well first-up. (6) PARTY WINNER did ok on debut at this distance and while he didn’t go so well at 1200M on his reappearance, can be better dropped back to the minimum today. (4) YEOWANGUI GWIHWAN and (9) BUGYEONG STORY are others who could improve.

Selections (1) Uranus J (2) Tiz Power (6) Party Winner (4) Yeowangui Gwihwan
Next Best 9, 10
Fast Start 1, 5, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

A maiden for two-year-olds and just two of the eleven runners have raced before. Of the two, (7) YEONGGWANGUI FIGHT was by some margin the better, running 2nd at this distance on July 13th and that experience can stand him in good stead here. Kim Young Kwan’s debut-makers always attract attention and (3) KING SOCKS will be no exception. He trialed well enough and a top jockey is booked. Slightly preferred at this stage though is (5) TRUE KING. The Hansen colt raced prominently in his trial posting a good time and looks ready to hit the ground running. (2) MIGHTY POWER went through a pair of trials and was quicker in her latest one last week. The stable tends to have plenty of success with juveniles and the champion jockey is aboard. (6) JEONSAUI JULJU is another who showed promise in her trial and can be considered.

Selections (7) Yeonggwangui Fight (5) True King (2) Mighty Power (3) King Socks
Next Best 6, 1
Fast Start 5, 7, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More two-year-old maidens, this time with four debut-makers and the rest having raced once each. Beginning with experience, (11) TIARA WINNER beat a couple of the others who go here on the way to 2nd place over this distance on July 20th. Seoul jockey Lim Gi Won, in town to ride in Sunday’s KNN Cup, takes the mount and she has a chance. (3) SINBIHAN YEOIN similarly beat two of today’s rivals on her debut a week earlier. She ran a solid 3rd that day and can build on it here. She too is ridden by a currently Seoul-based jockey as Kim Yong Geun – former Busan champion – returns for the weekend. Of the other experienced ones, (9) ARCADIA did nothing wrong when 5th on July 6th and should be in the hunt. As for the first-time starters, one of them may well begin as favourite. That’s (7) GEUMGANG CHILBO, who looked very sharp when winning a trial on July 21st in a quick time ahead of some experienced horses. While slightly slower, (4) GIDAEHAE went round in the same heat and also acquitted herself well.

Selections (11) Tiara Winner (7) Geumgang Chilbo (3) Sinbihan Yeoin (9) Arcadia
Next Best 4, 5
Fast Start 4, 5, 8

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

Back to regular maidens here and (9) MUJEOK VETERAN, 3rd on debut at 1000M on July 20th, looks very much the one to beat. He ran on well and will likely benefit from the additional distance today. (6) GOLDEN JOY and (1) SMART BANK came home 3rd and 4th when they raced each other over a mile on July 20th and both can look to at least match those finishes today. (3) ROYAL CLUB registered her best finish to date on her only previous try at this distance back in May. She comes in following a solid 4th place at 1200M last time and should be in the hunt. There is just one first-timer starter. (2) TRUE WARRIOR won a trial two weeks ago and must be taken seriously.

Selections (9) Mujeok Veteran (3) Royal Club (2) True Warrior (1) Smart Bank
Next Best 6
Fast Start 3, 5, 9

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

(8) QUEEN OFFICER looked to be making all on her first try at this class on July 13th, only to get overhauled by a long-shot in the closing stages and ending up in 2nd. Nevertheless, it was an encouraging performance and suggests that it won’t be too long before she adds to the maiden win she achieved back in June. (6) JANGHAN JILJU’s 7th last time was perhaps a touch disappointing but was in tougher company than this over 1400M and she can get closer today. It’s similar with (1) SIMON MAGIC, who had a hard time in a (more…)