Francois Herholdt will take his first mounts in Korean racing on Friday’s card at Busan. The South African jockey begins an initial four-month license with three rides across the eleven-race meeting on the South Coast which runs from 11:30 to 18:00.
The globe-trotting rider has ridden in several countries amassing over 1000 winners in a career which began as an apprentice in Durban in 1989 and has taken in spells in Singapore, Dubai, Mauritius, France and Saudi Arabia as well as his native South Africa. Herholdt has ridden six Group winners in South Africa as well as notching up several more in neighboring Zimbabwe and was Champion Jockey in Mauritius in 2004. Earlier this year, the 44-year-old travelled to Ng’ong Racecourse in Nairobi to win the Kenya Derby on Freewheeler. Herholdt is well prepared for the challenges of making it in a new country and is finding his feet having arrived in Busan earlier this month.
“I was a bit lost the first two days but I’m a quick learner” said Herholdt “I’m really looking forward to riding on Friday”. He gets underway in race 1 where he partners the previously unraced two-year-old My Hero for trainer Cho Young Bae but it is another first-timer starter, Fusion Park in race 2 for fellow South African Bart Rice, that perhaps offers Herholdt his best chance of hitting the board on his first day.
Even if it takes a bit longer, he is prepared. “I’ve been watching a lot of the racing here and am very excited to start. My goals are to do well and I’m very confident that I will”. Herholdt will be joining Franco Da Silva as one of only two overseas jockeys currently full-time at Busan and who in his two years so far at the track has a Korean Derby victory among his almost 120 winners.
Da Silva may well be the man to follow on Friday too as he has ten rides across the day, including Jumbo Blade in the feature race 5. The Mineshaft colt steps up to class 2 for the first time having run out a four-length winner on his latest start to move to three wins from seven total outings and looks to have plenty more in the tank to enable him to win the 1800M handicap:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Maidens to begin with and five of the twelve are making their racecourse debuts. We’ll start with the experienced ones though and (5) GOLD TICKET improved to 2nd place on what was his third career start a month ago, beaten less than a length at this distance but a good winner. He’s well drawn here to lead and can go all the way. (11) YEONGSEONG STAR has raced twice so far, finishing in 3rd place on both occasions. She’s led until close to home both times and so long as she doesn’t have to use up too much effort getting to the front from gate 11, she can go close again. (4) SEUNGNI DAEJANG raced three times in the Spring recording two 3rd places of his own. He subsequently had some respiratory problems that resulted in surgery and he makes his return here having trialed adequately but unspectacularly at the end of last month. He could go well. Of the first-timers, both (2) SPARKLE and (8) HALLA HWANGHU caught the eye in trials and should go well first-up in what is quite limited company.
|Selections||(5) Gold Ticket (2) Sparkle (11) Yeongseong Star (8) Halla Hwanghu|
|Next Best||4, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 8, 11|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Juvenile maidens with just two of the twelve having raced before. This two debuted together on October 19th and while (11) I AM CHAMPION did nothing, beating just one home, (3) DOCTOR THUNDER ran rather well, coming back in 3rd place, running on nicely after a slow start. That may be enough to make her favourite here. Peter Wolsey and Jo Sung Gon combined for plenty of winners last week and they could get off to a god start this week too with (2) NAKITA. She’s the pick of the first-timers having looked competent trialing with experienced racehorses last Saturday. (5) YEONGSEONG HOPE and (8) MAN OF THE MATCH both won their trials, the latter in more impressive fashion, and both will also be well backed here. Bart Rice’s (10) FUSION PARK also looked like he knows what he’s doing and could go well first-up under South African jockey Francois Herholdt, who is making his Busan debut today.
|Selections||(2) Nakita (3) Doctor Thunder (8) Man Of The Match (10) Fusion Park|
|Next Best||5, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 7, 8|
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
More juvenile maidens and this time five of the twelve have raced before. And all five of them acquitted themselves very reasonably indeed. Bart Rice’s (4) GOOD DANCER ran a good 2nd on debut a month ago, showing prominently and briefly leading close to home before being headed. A week later it was a similar story for (6) GABO DAY, who led almost the whole way around on his first appearance before ultimately having to settle for 3rd. Both were promising and the additional trip should suit. Good Dancer is marginally favoured between them (8) REVERSE SWEEP debuted at this distance and while he was a well-beaten 2nd, he did nothing wrong and can build on it here. (9) SEONGSAN POWER too raced well for 3rd on his racecourse bow on October 12th, also at 1300M and should be in the frame again. The one they’ll all need to beat though is first-timer starter (7) TRUE VALOR. Half-brother to some very useful racehorses, he’s looked strong and fast in two trials so far and could well come out on top first-up.
|Selections||(4) Good Dancer (7) True Valor (6) Gabo Day (8) Reverse Sweep|
|Next Best||9, 12|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 7|
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(7) MAKGANG YEOGEOL was just beaten a nose on what was her fourth career start three weeks ago. She steps up in trip for the first time here, should be on pace early and could go one better today. (3) CHEONNYEONUIJILJU also has a 2nd place to his name and he too tries further than the minimum for the first time today. (5) GIPPEUM DAY has raced at this distance before and while it didn’t go well, it was a full ten months ago. She returned form a long lay-off with a decent 2nd place over 1000M in October, beating a couple of these along the way and should go close here. (1) BAENGNICHONG and (2) TIZ LINE, the latter making just his second start having debuted in a tough race in September, look best of the rest.
|Selections||(5) Gippeum Day (7) Makgang Yeogeol (3) Cheonnyeonuijilju (2) Tiz Line|
|Next Best||1, 12|
|Fast Start||4, 7, 9|
Race 5: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(2) JUMBO BLADE is a winner of three from seven so far and steps up to this class following a four-length score at this distance last month. He actually holds a Grand Prix Stakes entry and if he’s to have any hope of getting into that race, he needs to be winning this and winning it well. He’s favourite but it won’t be easy. (7) CALL UP THE GUARD was 2nd in that race behind Jumbo Blade and accompanies him up in class here. He ran well that day from the front and finds himself very nicely weighted today. Overturning the form is not impossible. (6) HEUMUT beat four of these on his was to 3rd place at class and distance on October 26th and warrants respect here. Heumut’s stablemate (10) PASHA is two starts into a comeback following a lengthy spell out and returned to winning ways at this class over a mile two weeks ago. With an apprentice on board, she’s nicely in here and shouldn’t be discounted. (3) WORLD NUMBER ONE has gone a little cold of late but hasn’t run badly in his latest two and retains ability.
|Selections||(2) Jumbo Blade (7) Call Up The Guard (6) Heumut (10) Pasha|
|Next Best||3, 4|
|Fast Start||5, 7, 10|
Race 6: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Back to maidens here and (9) DOCTOR CHIC has a 3rd and a 2nd place from his two starts so far, just beaten a nose on the most recent of them. He debuted at this trip when he was on pace for most of the race and should be prominent here with every chance of going all the way. He’ll be hard to beat but the one with the best chance of stopping him is (8) B.K. GAMBOL. After an indifferent debut, she’s recorded back to back 3rd places and just like the favourite, only needs another top-three finish to find herself up in class. She’ll likely challenge for the lead early. (4) HARVEST GOLD steps up in trip having managed some decent efforts over 1000M recently and can be considered for the places, as can (12) INTERCEPTOR who wasn’t far away at all when 4th over this distance last month. The wildcard is (7) CHEONGDAM BLADE who returns to racing four months on from three solid if unspectacular outings. He’s still in Kim Young Kwan’s stable so he will have backers.
|Selections||(9) Doctor Chic (8) B.K. Gambol (12) Interceptor (7) Cheongdam Blade|
|Next Best||4, 11|
|Fast Start||3, 8, 9|
Race 7: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(1) TIME QUEEN struggled a little last time but it was a tougher race than this and she’d drawn the widest gate. Franco Da Silva returns to the mount today, gate 1 should be more to her liking and the competition is more amenable. She can win. So too can (8) BUGYEONG STORY. She remains a maiden but has been very close in all her recent four, just going down by a nose last time out and will surely be close again. (6) NOPIGOM NAREUSYA beat four of these on his way to 2nd place last time out four weeks ago and while he was some way behind a good winner, can be competitive again here. (2) FASHION WANG is up in class following a three-length maiden score at this distance last month and shouldn’t be out of her depth. She’ll join Time Queen in looking to lead from the start. (7) YES RED showed signs of getting some form back with an improved 3rd place at this distance three weeks ago and can aim to match that here.
|Selections||(1) Time Queen (8) Bugyeong Story (2) Fashion Wang (6) Nopigom Nareusya|
|Next Best||7, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 7, 8|
Race 8: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(4) WINNER CINDY has won two of her latest three, both at this distance. She’s drawn well to get off to a good start once more and it could be her day again. Plenty come in with recent form reading well though and they include (3) WINNING AGAIN, 2nd last time out at class and distance, and (5) RETURN OF THE KING, who led for much of the way over 1300M three weeks ago before weakening late on He remains a maiden after seventeen attempts but picks up plenty of prize-money and can do so again. (10) CLEVER WILLIE has been favourite for all three of his starts since getting his second career win back in July but has found one or two too quick each time. He probably won’t be favourite this time but he’s certainly competitive at this level and should be in the hunt. (8) TIZ EMPRESS, Clever Willie’s stablemate, looks to be the wildcard. She’s had setbacks but a line can be drawn through her return to action after several months out three weeks ago. She’s shown she’s quick in trials and back at 1000M today, she may be much better.
|Selections||(4) Winner Cindy (5) Return Of The King (10) Clever Willie (8) Tiz Empress|
|Next Best||3, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 4, 6|
Race 9: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(3) HAPPY TOUR ran well for 3rd place over 1200M on October 26th, finishing off nicely and looks nicely in here. He can sit just behind the early pace and finished strongly with a chance of winning here. (1) USEUNG TICKET too has recent form reading nicely and while she came up a bit short when favourite at 1000M last start, she can be given another chance today. (5) POWER WINDY too was sent off favourite over 1300M on October 19th but ultimately only beat one home. He was found to be lame in both hind legs but given her recent work, that seems to have cleared up and he should be much better today. (10) HALLA SKY and (12) SMART MARINE are others who can challenge for at least the places.
|Selections||(3) Happy Tour (1) Useung Ticket (5) Power Windy (10) Halla Sky|
|Next Best||12, 8|
|Fast Start||5, 8, 9, 10|
Race 10: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(6) CHOEGANG FOREST and (4) DAMYANG GONGJU came home 4th and 5th respectively when they race each other over 1000M on October 21st. Both should be in the hunt today but Damyang Gongju was finishing off very quickly that day and with the extra trip today, she could well overturn the form. (8) QUEEN OFFICER’s recent work has been done in tougher company than this and she should get close today. (1) YEONGGWANGUI CHAMP is a couple of races into a comeback following a few months out and he seems to be just about finding his feet again. (10) NEULHAERANG and (5) ROYAL GOLD came home together last time out at class and distance on October 14th and both have an outside chance of making the places.
|Selections||(4) Damyang Gongju (8) Queen Officer (6) Choegang Forest (1) Yeonggwangui Champ|
|Next Best||5, 10, 2|
|Fast Start||6, 7, 8|
Race 11: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(12) MISS PERFECT is up in class having won four in a row. She’s won at this distance as well and while she can be competitive here, it’s going to be hard for her to get the early lead she needs from the widest gate and the likely result is that her streak comes to an end. (2) USEUNG HWANHO was a close 2nd last time out three weeks ago with three of these behind him. He’s well drawn to get on the early speed and can go all the way. (3) BEAUTIFUL ACT has won two out of three including a good race at class and distance last time out six weeks ago and is another who should be on the early speed and has solid claims. (7) UJU DAEWANG was just half a length back in 2nd behind Beautiful Act last time and can go close again. (4) SHORT STOP was 4th in that same race, his first back for a few months and he can build on that here. (11) CONTADOR returns to action for the first time since June. He was going well before the layoff and looked sharp when winning a trial two weeks ago.
|Selections||(3) Beautiful Act (11) Contador (2) Useung Hwanho (12) Miss Perfect|
|Next Best||4, 7, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 7, 12|