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:
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|
|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, (4) MUPAE CHARLIE, (8) GIANT CAPTAIN and (9) TAEYANGI TTEUNDA are the potential beneficiaries. All looked competent in trials and should go well. Of the others who have raced before, (2) BABEL DREAM had a hard time first-up over a mile in September but looked much happier at this distance in a trial three weeks ago and can improve today.
|Selections||(1) Curlin Time (4) Mupae Charlie (9) Taeyangi Tteunda (8) Giant Captain|
|Next Best||2, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 8|
Race 7: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(2) TIARA WINNER was very optimistically-named but showed she has some ability when getting her maiden win over 1000M on September 28th. She’s up in both class and distance for the first time today but neither should be too much of a burden for her. She could well get a soft lead here and if she does, should have a great chance of going all the way. (4) URANUS J ran 6th if 12 on his first try at this level over 1200M on October 12th. The margins weren’t huge and with a bit of progression, he can be the main danger. (8) MALIBU RULER and (5) DYNAMIC GO come in having finished 3rd and 5th when they raced each other at this class and distance on October 5th. Both remain maidens but both should have designs on the places here. Another maiden, (9) DANCING VICAR was a touch disappointing last time but is proven at the level and can improve.
|Selections||(2) Tiara Winner (4) Uranus J (8) Malibu Ruler (5) Dynamic Go|
|Next Best||9, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 4|
Race 8: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(4) QUEEN OF CAPTAIN was an also-ran in the Korean Oaks in July but has since dropped back in trip to run 2nd over 1300M and 4th at a mile, both at this class and both times in useful company. She looks set to make the pace here and could well find her way into the winner’s circle. The clear danger is (1) BIG RED IJI, who is up in class after consecutive 2nd place finishes, both of them at a mile and he can get close here. (3) HWANGGEUM BEOLMA is up in class too, in his case having put in an eye-catching seven-length score at a mile at the beginning of October. That was somewhat unexpected but he has to be given a chance today. (6) VEGA ONE and (7) JOYFUL STORY both have plenty of experience at this level and should be there of thereabouts as well.
|Selections||(4) Queen Of Captain (1) Big Red Iji (3) Hwanggeum Beolma (7) Joyful Story|
|Next Best||6, 8|
|Fast Start||4, 7|
Race 9: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(6) PRO CONSUL ran 3rd on debut on October 12th over 1000M only beaten a length and a half having raced prominently throughout. He has an additional 300M to play with here and the Freedom Child colt will be expected to be on pace early and can lead all the way. (7) STAR ROAD similarly ran 3rd on his own debut last month. His was on a wet track at 1200M and he ran on strongly to close. He is the main danger here. Much more experienced is (5) JANGHAN JILJU. It’s been a while since her solitary win but she comes in with recent form reading well and was only narrowly beaten into 2nd last time out over 1200M. Similar is (11) ISLE CAT, who was beaten by even less when 2nd at class and distance on October 14th and will surely be dangerous again, most likely challenging Pro Consul for the early lead. There is one first-time starter. (2) CEEYOUDOWNTHETRACK only cost $15,000 at the OBS Sale earlier this year but looked sharp when winning a trial two weeks ago and can go well first-up.
|Selections||(6) Pro Consul (7) Star Road (11) Isle Cat (5) Janghan Jilju|
|Next Best||2, 9|
|Fast Start||6, 11|
Race 10: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(9) CORE BLADE has four wins from eight career starts and is just two races into a comeback following five months off. He ran out a class and distance winner on October 12th on what was his first try at this distance and he looks very much the one to beat again. (1) RISING AGAIN and (2) MABEOPUI JILJU are both up in class having won their respective latest outings, both over a mile. Both attempt two turns for the first time today and look nicely in the frame. (8) PARK MAN has been running consistently well lately and is a proven winner at this level. It would be a surprise where he too far away from the places once more. (5) ADELEUI JINJU is two starts into a comeback following a lengthy spell out. He steps back up in trip today which should suit him more and he can improve.
|Selections||(9) Core Blade (2) Mabeopui Jilju (1) Rising Again (8) Park Man|
|Next Best||5, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 9|
Race 11: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(2) MAJOR CHAMP enters off the back of two runner-up finishes, both at class and distance. He was only beaten a head in the latest of them, just two weeks ago and he has every chance of going one better here. (11) YEONGHUI SIDAE was an also-ran in both the Korean Oaks and KNN Cup but returned to winning form with a gutsy score at class and distance on October 7th. She’ll be on pace again and won’t go down without a fight. (4) CHOEGANG DREAM was 4th in that race, just a couple of lengths behind Yeonghui Sidae. Punters still weren’t convinced about him despite a victory at this level over 1800M on his previous start but he looks likely to get a bit more respect today. (1) BARAMUI HEUNJEOK has run consistently close lately and looks to have solid placing chances once more while (10) HANEOL NURI returned from six months off to run a very good 2nd over 1200M on October 21st, on what was his first attempt at this level. He can be considered to match that here.
|Selections||(11) Yeonghui Sidae (2) Major Champ (1) Baramui Heunjeok (10) Haneol Nuri|
|Next Best||4, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 10, 11|