With Seoul off for the weekend, Busan takes centre-stage on Sunday with a bumper 15-race program. And with the South-Coast track itself dark next week, plenty will be looking to head into the vacation on a positive note. The 15-races run from 10:45 to 18:00.
The past month has been a quiet one for trainer Kim Young-kwan. Since the start of July he’s led in six winners, joint-top among all the track’s handlers but still low by his standards. He did, of course, send two horses to Singapore for the KRA Trophy two weeks ago – both ran well – and then had to contend with the disappointment of losing stable star Power Blade to a fractured sesamoid a day before he was set to jump favourite in the Owners’ Cup. Kim sends out seven runners on Sunday and his three-year-old colt World Day is one of three up-and-comers that make race 10 a tantalizing prospect.
World Day only debuted in April but has won three of four starts so far, going down by a neck in his sole defeat and he faces two other very competent three-year-olds in the shape of Great Rock and Cheonnyeonuitaeyang over seven furlongs on Sunday. All three of them come in having won their latest assignments and all look to have more to offer.
Kim could have a winner earlier in the day when he sends out two-year-old Glitter in race 4. The Officer colt ran well on debut a month ago and will be favoured to score in the juvenile maiden. Rounding out the card, Kim’s Finest Warrior also looks the most likely in race 15, the only class 1 race of the entire weekend. He was overmatched in the SBS Sports Sprint in Seoul in June but beat four of his seven rivals on his return to Busan last month.
In other races, the latest of the “Blades” to roll off the production line should score in race 9. Gioi Blade has won three of four so far and drops back to 1200M today. Favourite backers will also be getting stuck into I’m Your Star, who took eight goes to get his maiden win but shouldn’t have to wait too long for his second in race 6. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
She ran 2nd on her debut a month ago and it would it be a surprise if (3) CAR TWO were not to run out the winner of this modest opener. She didn’t get off to the best of starts that day but overcame it to run well and should be too good. (5) HARVEST GOLD’s best performance so far came at this distance in March and while he had a hard time on his return from three months out at the end of June over 1200M, he should go better today. (6) DAY STAR was 4th, albeit a long way back behind the winner, on what was an improved showing at the distance last month and could continue to get better today, while (7) BREAKING NEWS has also shown some aptitude for the distance and looks good for at least a place.
|Selections||(3) Car Two (7) Breaking News (6) Day Star (5) Harvest Gold|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 6|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(2) DREAM CAT has raced twice, without distinction on either occasion. In between times though, she has shown plenty of speed in trials and coming back almost four months after her latest effort, this is a fresh start of sorts. She has a top jockey on board and against this week set of opposition, can come out on top. (1) DIAMOND KING last raced in January when he finished 4th of 7 over 1300M having led until the top of the straight. He trialed up adequately enough last month and can run well first-up here. (6) SPERO SPERA has a 3rd place to his name and can at least match that today while (7) EL DREAM has been unspectacular but competent enough in two outings so far and may improve.
|Selections||(2) Dream Cat (6) Spero Spera (1) Diamond King (7) El Dream|
|Next Best||3, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 5|
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(8) QUEEN’S FANTASY was a solid 4th on debut over 1000M two weeks ago and Kim Young Kwan’s filly steps up in trip for her re-appearance with a good chance of making-all. (2) OCEAN PHOENIX has shown good promise with a 4th and a 3rd from her two starts to date, both at 1200M and she can continue her development here. (9) CHEONHAUI KKUM has been getting closer and while he is still a maiden after twelve attempts, he can certainly match the 3rd place he secured last time. That day, (4) CHALLANHAN MISO, who was making his debut, ran 4th and he too can build on that here. (5) BICHUI HAENGJIN looks to be the best of a competitive rest.
|Selections||(8) Queen’s Fantasy (2) Ocean Phoenix (4) Challanhan Miso (9) Cheonhaui Kkum|
|Next Best||5, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 8|
Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Maiden for two-year-olds only hence the enhanced prize-money, and precisely half of the field has raced once before. Moreover, they all debuted in the same race at 1000M on July 6th. (8) WONDERFUL IJI came out the best of them that day, coming home in 2nd place although (2) GLITTER and (3) TOUGH GREEN weren’t far away either in 3rd and 4th. With Glitter being from Kim Young Kwan’s stable, he’s sure to be backed to improve here but Wonderful Iji, who was a 13/1 chance that day, showed she has plenty of potential and she cold come out on top again. Those three should be battling it out between them with the other experienced one, (6) MARU JJANG having a bit more to find. Among the debut-makers, (1) YEONGGWANGUI SIDAE and (5) WONDERFUL Lion look to have the best chance of making an impact first-up.
|Selections||(2) Glitter (1) Yeonggwangui Sidae (3) Tough Green (5) Wonderful Lion|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 7|
Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
After getting his maiden win at 1200M in May, (4) MAGIC STREET was 3rd on his first try at this class and distance on July 6th, beating a couple of these in the process. He led for much of that race, being passed in the closing stages by a couple of useful looking types and is well drawn to get to the front again and this time go all the way. (1) RISING DERBY returned from just over a year out to run 3rd over 1000M on July 8th. It was a good return and with a top jockey booked today, he can build on it. (10) GIJEOGUIMYEONGSEON has been promoted to this level by virtue of two runner-up finishes. He too was returning from a lengthy absence on his latest start and he can be competitive today. (2) PARK MINISTER comes up in class as well, in her case off the back of three consecutive 3rd places. She’s been off since May but won a trial in July in handy fashion and can go well here. (5) DOCHI didn’t do himself justice last start but is much better than that and can be better today.
|Selections||(1) Rising Derby (4) Magic Street (5) Dochi (10) Gijeoguimyeongseon|
|Next Best||2, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 2|
Race 6: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(4) I’M YOUR STAR is up in class having secured his maiden win on his eighth start just two weeks ago. The Testa Matta colt took to the distance very well and is strongly favoured to follow up today. (8) FIRST SUN comes in having beaten a couple of these on her way to 6th place over 1400M last time. She also has a 3rd place to her name at class and distance and while she will need to improve if she is to challenge the favourite, she should have the beating of plenty here. (6) ONNURI GANGJA remains a maiden after thirty-four attempts but enters with positive recent form and can challenge for a place here. (2) WHITE POINT, beaten by First Sun last start, and back up in trip and much better drawn today than in his latest two disasters, (1) MACHADO, are others who should be in the hint for the money.
|Selections||(4) I’m Your Star (8) First Sun (1) Machado (6) Onnuri Gangja|
|Next Best||2, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 4|
Race 7: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(1) TOP OF WORLD was a good winner on debut over 1000M on June 22nd. She’s had a few weeks off and is up in both class and distance today but with an excellent chance of maintaining her 100% record. Two of her main rivals are up in class too following their own maiden victories. (4) MONEY BLACK HOLE scored very comfortably two weeks ago at 1300M while (7) HWANGJE BONSAEK did the same at this distance in early July. Both look well equipped to be competitive at this level with Money Black Hole slightly preferred at this stage. (5) THUNDER STRUCK remains a maiden but is a proven place-getter at this class and distance and he should be there or thereabouts once more. (6) KOREA HUNTER, making his seventy-seventh career start today, is best of the rest
|Selections||(1) Top Of World (4) Money Black Hole (5) Thunder Struck (6) Korea Hunter|
|Next Best||7, 3|
|Fast Start||4, 7|
Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(4) PYEONGCHNG HORANGI ran out a good winner on a wet track over 1000M at the end of June. He’s up in class here but looks very nicely in and could well win again. There is stiff competition in the shape of (1) JOYFUL STORY. He drops back slightly in trip today and can improve on recent efforts. (2) SOJUNGHAN INYEON was an unexpected winner at class 5 over 1300M three weeks ago. That was a big uptick in form and while up in class today, she is another who looks nicely in and is not without a chance. Continuing the up in class theme is (5) GEUMTE, who is very experienced and should be able to hold her own. (7) MAKGANG BOLT is better than his latest two efforts suggest and he too can be in the hunt for some prize-money.
|Selections||(4) Pyeongchng Horangi (1) Joyful Story (2) Sojunghan Inyeon (7) Makgang Bolt|
|Next Best||5, 8|
|Fast Start||7, 8, 9|
Race 9: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(4) GIOI BLADE was beaten into 3rd when favourite and seeking a fourth consecutive win over 1300M on July 8th. He still managed to beat three of these though and will be strong favoured to return to winning ways today. (3) CAPTAIN GUY met early success at a mile and has continued to run at that trip. However, having slightly lost his way in his latest couple of starts, he gets dropped back significantly today and it could well pay dividends. (9) KEUNJAYU also steps back in trip following a good 4th over 1400M at the beginning of July and can go close here. (1) JERAJIN returned from upwards of a year off two weeks ago and while she finished in the latter half of the field, she can come on for that run, while among the ones who were beaten by Gioi Blade last time, (2) UBAKI looks to have the best chance of making more of an impact today. (5) SECRET MARINE has had three months off after a couple of poor performances and trialed up very well in July.
|Selections||(4) Gioi Blade (3) Captain Guy (5) Secret Marine (9) Keunjayu|
|Next Best||2, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 5|
Race 10: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
It took (4) CHEONYEONUITAEYANG eight goes to fully figure things out but he comes in here looking for a hat-trick of wins. His latest was over 1300M on July 6th, when he made all, just as he did when getting his maiden victory the time before. This is his first try at 1400M but he has every chance. (3) GREAT ROCK returned to winning ways at class and distance on June 22nd. He’s now won three of seven. The pair of them will likely set out on pace early and will be joined by another big hope in the shape of (5) WORLD DAY. A winner of three from four so far, including a two-length triumph at this class over a mile a month ago. From Kim Young Kwan’s stable, he may well start as favourite. Those three look head and shoulders above the rest with (1) NIGHT FURY and (6) CHARYONG best of the rest.
|Selections||(5) World Day (4) Cheonyeonuitaeyang (3) Great Rock (1) Night Fury|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 5|
Race 11: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(6) KOREAN ANGEL steps up in class having made all to win a fats contest at this distance in mid-June. She’s had seven weeks off since and looks well equipped to put in a big effort here. Both (5) HUIMANG QUEEN and (2) SAENURI CHOEGANG were a bit ordinary when they raced each other at the distance three weeks ago – although Huimang Queen outperformed her odds – and both can be competitive here. (4) RETURN OF THE KING remains a maiden but can go close in this company. The start may be important here and if (1) DAEHOYEOJANGGUN can get away a bit better than she has in recent efforts, she too could be a factor.
|Selections||(6) Korean Angel (2) Saenuri Choegang (4) Return Of The King (5) Huimang Queen|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 6|
Race 12: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(3) KOREA DRAGON has a 3rd and a 2nd from two starts to date, both at this distance and both times with others he faces here behind him and the Animal Kingdom gelding should go one better this time. (4) FLYING RANGER has been behind Korea Dragon in both those races and shouldn’t be too far away again. (7) PAEGWON TONGIL also remains a maiden, in his case after nine attempts but he improved to a career-best 2nd place on July 20th and can build on that here. (8) HAESEONG STAR is perhaps a little better than her latest two efforts suggest and she can be involved. (9) HIT TARGET is the wildcard. She raced twice poorly late last autumn and then didn’t re-appear until April. On her return she was much better, running 2nd at 1000M. She’s been off a full sixteen weeks since so it may well be a case of watch the market.
|Selections||(3) Korea Dragon (7) Paegwon Tongil (4) Flying Ranger (8) Haeseong Star|
|Next Best||9, 2|
Race 13: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
A winner of two of his four races so far, (3) CHROME MAGIC is up in class today off the back of a good win over 1400M at the end of June. He tackles a mile for the first time as well but there is nothing to suggest that it won’t suit and Thomas Gillespie’s Union Rags colt is favoured to score again here. (2) GOLD MOON, (4) DYNAMIC ROOKIE and (1) MORNING KOREA filled out 2nd, 3rd and 4th at class and distance on July 1st and all three should be in the hunt here. Gold Moon is the only one of the three who has raced since then, finishing a good 2nd over 1400M three weeks ago. (6) HWANGGEUM GEOTAP enters with recent form reading well and she has every chance of find the places.
|Selections||(3) Chrome Magic (4) Dynamic Rookie (6) Hwanggeum Geotap (2) Gold Moon|
|Next Best||1, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5|
Race 14: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
A nice big competitive class 2 handicap and there are plenty in the hunt. We’ll side with (9) WORLD NUMBER ONE to get back into form. A class and distance winner already, he unsurprisingly found himself overmatched in the Busan Mayor’s Cup and while he disappointed the start before that too, he has a quality about him that can re-assert itself today. He’ll be ridden patiently and can finish strongly. (10) BAEKMUNBAEKDAP is rapidly up in class following back to back wins at 1300M and a mile. The Tapizar gelding is up in trip too but is beautifully weighted and looks to have potential for more. It’s a similar story with (2) RUNNING SOCKS, also rapidly up in class and trying the distance for the first time under a nice light weight and with every chance of running well again. (5) KKEUTPAN BOOSTER, who finished ahead of World Number One when they met in early June, and (11) DAMNYANG TAEYANG have placing chances.
|Selections||(9) World Number One (10) Baekmunbaekdap (2) Running Socks (11) Damnyang Taeyang|
|Next Best||5, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 10, 11|
Race 15: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
(3) FINEST WARRIOR beat four of these on his way to a comfortable class and distance victory on June 24th and he’ll be hot favourite to repeat here. He’s not been hugely convincing when facing really top opposition but at this distance and against these rivals, should have too much. (6) USEUNG LINE was 2nd in that race and returned in July to register a win of his own. He has beaten Finest Warrior in the past but will need to find more here. (4) MORNING DAERO and (8) STEAL THE SHOW WHY are others who were beaten in the June 24th race who have hopes of getting closer today. The wildcard is (7) MIRACLE LINE. He’s only raced once in the past fifteen months – a lackluster effort all the way back on Christmas Eve – but this is a horse who had some serious talent. He blitzed a race-trial last month, hinting that he may well be finding fitness and form again. If he is, then he has a chance. Then there is (2) DONGBANG DAERO. While he hasn’t really pushed on from his Grand Prix heroics from last year, he is top-rates of these by some margin. He’s dropped back to a sprint distance for the first time in a long time and can’t be ruled out.
|Selections||(3) Finest Warrior (6) Useung Line (2) Dongbang Daero (4) Morning Daero|
|Next Best||8, 7|
|Fast Start||3, 8|