Day: November 1, 2018

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 2)

While Triple Nine’s bid for a fourth consecutive President’s Cup on Sunday is the undoubted headline of the week, there’s plenty to keep us ocupised while we wait. The weekend’s action gets underwat at Busan on Friday where there are 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00:

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You Hyun Myung already leads the Busan jockey standings and with a number of his rivals in Seoul for the President’s Cup, can make further gains on Friday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(5) TROPHY COLLECTOR has run 3rd in his latest two outings, both at this distance and he looks set fair to get his maiden win here. He hasn’t been the fastest of starters so far but is well drawn here to get a good early position and should be too strong. (3) BUGYEONG DANDY was a much-improved 2nd – and only beaten a neck – at this distance three weeks ago and is the expected main danger while (4) BAENGNICHONG and (8) HWANGGEUMIBITMASAENG have both shown signs of figuring things out in their respective latest outings with the latter stepping up to this trip for the first time today. (1) HANEOLUI BIT is the wildcard. He races for the first time since April but looked very competent in a trial two weeks ago and could go well first-up.

Selections (5) Trophy Collector (3) Bugyeong Dandy (1) Haneolui Bit (4) Baengnichong
Next Best 8, 6
Fast Start 5, 8

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

Small field but it’s restricted to juvenile maidens so there’s a big prize on offer. Four of the eight are racing for the first time but it looks to be between two of the ones who have prior experience. (7) TOHAM ACE was a solid 4th on debut at 1000M on September 28th, finishing off very nicely in a manner which suggests the additional trip today can only be beneficial for him. He has solid claims here. (8) TRUE KING also ran 4th on debut and then followed up with a 3rd on his second start. Both those were at 1000M and he too looks the type who can appreciate further. It’s a toss-up between the two and which one to go for may come down to how they look pre-race but for now we’ll side with Toham Ace. The other two with experience haven’t offered much so for next bests we’ll go with debut-makers. (1) TITLE CODE looked good in a trial earlier this month while (4) DONGBANG WARRIOR actually finished ahead of Toham Ace when they qualified together at the beginning of September. As ever, watch the market for clues.

Selections (7) Toham Ace (8) True King (1) Title Code (4) Dongbang Warrior
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 1, 4, 7

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

The second heat of the juvenile maiden sees another set of four first-timers taking on four with experience. (5) RAON ARES ran 4th on debut in a decent time on October 5th. He was close to the pace throughout and today is nicely drawn to lead from the gate and all the way. Of the others with experience, only (4) B.K. VICTOR offered much on debut although (8) THUNDER RAIN looked much better when trialing up again earlier this month after finishing last on debut, so we’ll turn to the first-timers to find some competition. (2) FLYING DANCER has looked good across a number of trials, acquitting himself well in amongst experienced racehorses a couple of weeks ago in the same heat as Thunder Rain. It’s a top trainer and jockey combination and he can begin his career in a positive manner here.

Selections (5) Raon Ares (2) Flying Dancer (4) B.K. Victor (8) Thunder Rain
Next Best 6
Fast Start 2, 4, 5

Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Yet more juvenile maidens this time with just two making their racecourse debuts. However, it’s fair to say that none of the ones with experience have been especially impressive so (1) POWER TOUCH, from the track’s top stable and with a bang in-form jockey aboard, has to be taken very seriously indeed. True, he was no better than average in trials but his stable rarely leaves their best in the mornings and he’ll be well-backed here. There’s a fresh start for (8) GEUMGANG CHILBO. She was favourite on debut in August having won a trial but was slowly away and scarcely involved. She comes back over two months later and should be a different prospect here. (3) DOCTOR WEEK didn’t do too much wrong when 7th of 12 on his debut at the end of last month and the prognosis is for improvement today, while (7) DAMYANG CHOEGANG is another who could potentially go better than he did first-up.

Selections (1) Power Touch (8) Geumgang Chilbo (3) Doctor Week (7) Damyang Choegang
Next Best 2, 5
Fast Start 1, 7

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

(2) MORNING BRAVO debuted all the way back in October of 2017 in very indifferent fashion. He didn’t reappear until August of this way, by which time he had been gelded, and he has been much better, running up consecutive 2nd place finishes., both at this distance. That does mean that he is up in class for the first time here but he looks to have scope for more improvement in him and he could win today. (7) BUGYEONG STORY is also still a maiden having been promoted to this level with back to back runner-up finishes in August and September. She ran a solid 3rd on her first try at this level on October 7th and should be close again here. (3) MUCHO and (5) GOLDEN KNIGHT have both proven competitive at this class already and have claims on going close. (9) HOPEFUL SIMON, a stablemate of Golden Knight, is yet another who has been promoted while still a maiden but shouldn’t be out of his depth at this level.

Selections (2) Morning Bravo (7) Bugyeong Story (5) Golden Knight (3) Mucho
Next Best 9, 1
Fast Start 1, 2, 7

Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Maiden juvenile imports compete for a big prize here and four of them are racing for the first time. They’ll have a hard time beating (1) CURLIN TIME though. The colt was 2nd on his debut in a fast race at this distance and it would be a surprise if he didn’t have far too much here. He doesn’t look particularly vulnerable but he did of course get beaten as favourite on his debut and on the off-chance he does come up short again, first-timers, (more…)

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Can He Make It Four In A Row? Triple Nine’s President’s Cups So Far

A year ago, Triple Nine emulated Dangdae Bulpae in winning the President’s Cup for the third consecutive year. Now the six-year-old has a chance to enter unchartered territory as he bids to take home the trophy an unprecedented 4th time.

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Triple Nine (Picture: Alex Cairns)

It’s not only never been done in the President’s Cup before but it would be a first time in any Korean Group Race. Here are his wins so far:

2015 – Reward at least after Classic near-misses

Having finished 2nd in the Korean Derby to Yeongcheon Ace and 2nd in the Minister’s Cup to Rock Band, Triple Nine beat both his fellow three-year-olds to more than make amends for missing out in the Triple Crown races. Under Lim Sung-sil, Triple Nine was sent out as slight faovurite and stalked the early leaders before unleashing in the home straight to score by three-lengths from Rock Band and outsider Ildeung Hanghaesa.

2016 – Putting his Stablemate, the Triple Crown winner, firmly in his place

Stablemate Power Blade had won all three legs of the Triple Crown but he was no match for Triple Nine, who two months earlier had also finished ahead of him in the inugural Korea Cup. The younger horse could get no closer than three-lengths on the line as Seo Seung-un steered Triple Nine to a comfortable win. Success Story, who had run well at the Dubai World Cup Carnival at the stand of the year came home in 3rd place. Two months later, both Triple Nine and Power Blade would themselves jet off for successful stints in Dubai.

2017 – Beating Power Blade Again

With Power Blade having recently finally started to get the better of his rival, most pundits were of the opinion that this time there would be a changing of the guard. Not a bit of it as with Lim Sung-sil up once more, Triple Nine collared Power Blade with a furlong to go, zipping by him as if he was wasn’t there to claim his hat-trick by two-legnths on the line. The board ended up identical to that od 2016 with Success Story once more in 3rd.

Dangdae Bulpae won three consective President’s Cups between 2010 and 2012 but while he did attempt a fourth in 2013, it proved a race too far as he finished 10th of 16 as Indie Band took victory and was retired afterwards. Both Indie Band and Dangdae Bulpae are now retired at Isidore Farm on Jeju Island – the farm where Triple Nine was foaled.

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Dangdae Bulpae now has his own bronze statue at Busan Racecourse (although his greatest wins were at Seoul he, just like Triple Nine, was trained on the South Coast). Triple Nine’s statue is already assured. If he wins on Sunday, it may just be in Gold.