Month: December 2018

Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 30)

The final race meeting in Korea of 2018 is at Busan on Sunday and a big one it is too with 15 races from 10:45 to 18:00.

First day of New year

Happy New Year!

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

We begin with twelve juveniles racing for a big prize. Five of them have raced once before while the rest make their debuts here. It’s a useful looking set of animals too with (2) MAJOR POWER set to be favourite. She ran 3rd on debut at this distance three weeks ago looking nice and competent in the process and with just a bit of improvement, she can come home on top here.  (9) BAEJJANG was 2nd on his debut at 1000M. The time wasn’t hugely impressive, but it was a decent enough performance and he can improve for the extra distance today. (3) SAMBA RHYTHM and (12) FUSION PARK also did enough on their respective first starts to warrant consideration. Among the debut-makers, (10) MERCI CHERIE looked best in trials.

Selections (2) Major Power (12) Fusion Park (3) Samba Rhythm (9) Baejjang
Next Best 10, 11, 5
Fast Start 3, 9, 10

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

More maidens here. Two of the twelve are racing for the very first time and one of them could well start as favourite. That’s (8) FANTASTIC GIRL is half-sister to Ghost Whisper, who won 14 of 32 starts between 2011 and 2015. She trialled a couple of times in September without making it to racing but then looked much better when winning a heat earlier this month. Top jockey aboard and plenty to like first-up. (10) DOCTOR WEEK and (4) GOLDEN SHARP came home 2nd and 5th when they raced each other at 1300M at the end of last month. Both should be contenders here and back down in trip today, Golden Sharp may overturn that form. (1) SECRET LEGACY raced prominently before weakening slightly over 1300M two weeks ago and can improve here while (6) MAN OF THE MATCH did nothing too wrong on debut in November and is another set for improvement.

Selections (8) Fantastic Girl (4) Golden Sharp (1) Secret Legacy (10) Doctor Week
Next Best 6, 12
Fast Start 4, 6, 8, 12

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

He’s finally made it to the track. (8) SUCCESS PARTY is a “full” brother to Success Story, a Korean Stakes winner who also registered two 3rd places in races at the Dubai World Cup Carnival. Success Party won a trial in November in a fast time and should have too much for this less than intimidating set of rivals. (12) DONGBANG WARRIOR and (4) BUGYEONG DANDY both showed improvement in their latest starts and can continue to make progress here while (1) ROSA too has hinted at ability when running 4th and 5th in her first two outings. At the other end of the experience-scale, (2) SERENDIPITER remains a maiden after twenty-three attempts but enters off the back of some positive recent results and can challenge for a place here.

Selections (8) Success Party (4) Bugyeong Dandy (12) Dongbang Warrior (1) Rosa
Next Best 2, 6
Fast Start 1, 8, 12

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

(7) SEONGSAN SIMON raced twice in the first half of this year, registering a 2nd place in June. He’s had plenty of setbacks since but looked fast in a late-November trial and could well be the one to beat in less than stellar company here. Main danger is (5) JOY OF LUCK, who ran on pleasingly enough for 3rd on debut at 1000M back in October and finally returns here up in trip. (1) YEONGGWANGUI STAR looks like he is finally figuring things out with back to back 3rd place finishes in his latest two outings and he could repeat today. (2) BAEKDU DAEHO and (6) KARIN are others with the potential to improve in this company.

Selections (7) Seongsan Simon (5) Joy Of Luck (2) Baekdu Daeho (6) Karin
Next Best 1, 12
Fast Start 5, 8

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

(1) GOLD TICKET is still a maiden but finds himself up in class following a 3rd and two 2nd place finishes from four starts so far. His latest was a close-run thing, leading for much of the race but ultimately narrowly going down in a fast time at this distance on November 16th. The step up in level really shouldn’t be an issue against this lot, and if he repeats the performance from last time, he’ll take some beating. (6) MACH RANGER enters off a useful 3rd last time and can compete while (9) S S YOUNG keeps offering hope that he might finally win a race, putting in a decent 3rd last time as well. (12) HWANSANG DOKJU returns more than six months after registering her maiden win at this distance in June. Her trial run three weeks ago suggests she’ll be competitive in this company. (2) GOP DDA the best of a limited rest.

Selections (1) Gold Ticket (12) Hwansang Dokju (6) Mach Ranger (9) S S Young
Next Best 2, 4, 11
Fast Start 1, 4, 12

Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) BLACK TEN returned from seven months off to run a solid 4th in a very similar strength class and distance affair on November 23rd. He should have come on for the run (more…)

Busan Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 29)

With Seoul taking its one-week winter break, there’s a rare Saturday card at Busan. 10 races from 11:30 to 18:00 and there’s a chance for trainer Peter Wolsley, currently on 499 Korean winner, to hit the 500. Here are the previews:

Ace Korea Wolsley KRA

Peter Wolsley with Ace Korea – who’s now at Meydan getting ready for the Dubai Carnival. The trainer can reach 500 Korean winners this weekend (Pic: KRA)

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Twelve previously unraced juveniles go here. Australian trainer Peter Wolsley is on 499 Korean winners and he may not have to wait too long for number 500 as his (12) MR. AFLEET looked as good as any in trials and is set to start as favourite here. (11) NAEGA SAEGANGJA posted an identical time in his heat and is another to watch out for from a wide gate while (8) EUNGWONHAE was the only one of the twelve to actually win a trial and will therefore have some supporters. (1) SMART WINNER and (3) TRUE SIGNATURE are others who will be expected to show some ability first-up.

Selections (12) Mr. Afleet (11) Naega Saegangja (8) Eungwonhae (3) True Signature
Next Best 1, 7
Fast Start 1, 3, 8, 10

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

(5) SHE JUST QUEENDOM exceeded expectations when 2nd on debut on November 2nd. She began steadily but ran on very well and a similar performance today will see her right in the hunt. One of several who have had interrupted careers so far, (11) MAKGANG YEOGEOL looks to be figuring things out with a 2nd and a 3rd from her latest two outings. (7) SUMMIT TODAY raced three times at the end of 2017, securing two 3rd place finishes and finally returns here. She’s half-sister to a couple of very good ones and trialled up competently in November. (8) HWANGEUMBITMASENG and (9) SWEET PARK, the latter returning for the first time since February but who trialled well two weeks ago, are others in the hunt.

Selections (5) She Just Queendom (7) Summit Today (11) Makgang Yeogeol (9) Sweet Park
Next Best 8, 12
Fast Start 3, 6, 8, 11

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

(10) MAGIC FLYING has shown progression across four starts so far and while his 3rd place over this distance last start wasn’t against the stiffest opposition imaginable, neither is this and with a bit more progress today, he can win. (2) HARVEST SEASON returned from five months out to run a decent enough 6th of 11 at the end of November and should have come on for that run. He’ll likely be on the early speed with (4) ULSAN JANGGUN and (5) LUCKY NUMBER ONE, both of whom have scope for improvement too. (11) HARVEST GOLD weakened on his first try at this distance last start having shown prominently throughout the race and he is another who can go better here.

Selections (10) Magic Flying (2) Harvest Season (4) Ulsan Janggun (11) Harvest Gold
Next Best 5, 7, 12
Fast Start 2, 4, 5

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

(4) I’M YOUR LEMON was a battling winner over this distance at the end of October and then went down into 2nd by a similarly narrow margin on what was his first try at this class on November 30th. He’s well drawn to get to the lead here and could well return to the winner’s circle. (12) MALIBU RULER remains a maiden after twenty-six attempts but hasn’t been too far away in recent efforts. He drops back to the minimum trip for the first time in a while and although his slow starts are a concern, he can go close again. (3) MUCHO and (5) FASHION WANG both struggled on their first attempts at this level last time out, but both can improve today.  (6) B.K. UNO and (7) ONE CHANCE, the latter a narrow winner on debut last month, are others who should be in the frame.

Selections (4) I’m Your Lemon (12) Malibu Ruler (6) B.K. Uno (5) Fashion Wang
Next Best 7, 3, 10
Fast Start 4, 5, 7

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

(6) GOOD DANCER has a 2nd place and a win from two starts so far and that sees him up in class for the first time here. He made all to win at this distance six weeks ago and Bart Rice’s colt has every chance of making an immediate follow-up here. Both (5) YEONGSEONG ACE and (11) TANGENT put in good efforts on their respective first tries at this class following maiden wins. The former came home 4th at this distance while Tangent steps up in trip for the first time Both should be on pace early and both should be close. (3) SISEON GANGTAL is up in class following a two-length win over this distance last start and should be competitive. (1) SONGAK MYEONGJANG looks best of the rest.

Selections (6) Good Dancer (5) Yeongseong Ace (11) Tangent (3) Siseon Gangtal
Next Best 1, 10
Fast Start 5, 6, 10, 11

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

A winner of two from five so far, (9) MIGHTY POWER took his chance in the Breeders’ Cup, Korea’s top juvenile race, on December 2nd and acquitted himself very handily, coming home in 4th. It’s perhaps a little surprising seeing him drop right back in trip considering he has won at a mile, but he could well have the beating of these. (4) SINBIHAN BARAM is a year older but also has two wins from five, getting the second of those with an impressive three-length score on his return from layoff a month ago. He’s up in class but should be competitive. (11) FELAROF won three races in a row between April and June but hasn’t been seen since. Nevertheless, he looked good when trialling in mid-November and can’t be ruled out here. He made all in each of his wins and while that will be harder today, he’s got a chance. (2) SUNGANUI BEOPCHIK and (6) THUNDER ALLEY are others who should go close.

Selections (9) Mighty Power (11) Felarof (4) Sinbihan Baram (6) Thunder Alley
Next Best 2, 12, 3
Fast Start 1, 3, 6, 7

Race 7: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(6) BLACK ARROW has defied the odds in both his latest two to record comfortable victories. The latest was at class and distance on November 11th and while he does carry a little more weight today, he warrants considerably more respect this time. Plenty will be prepared to take him on though as this is a good race. Both (2) CEEYOUDOWNTHETRACK’s two efforts so far have been against stiff opposition and he may just go closer today. (1) BIG RED IJI’s recent form reads well, especially his four-length win last time out at class and distance and he must be taken seriously today. (9) QUEEN OF CAPTAIN was also a good winner last start at 1300M and while she was beaten by (5) VEGA KHAN last time she tried this distance, she can be a factor too. (11) BUGYEONG BOLT is another last time winner who while up in class, is more than capable of repeating.

Selections (6) Black Arrow (11) Bugyeong Bolt (2) Ceeyoudownthetrack (9) Queen Of Captain
Next Best 1, 5, 12
Fast Start 4, 6, 9

Race 8: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(10) MUJEOK YEONGUNG went down to his first defeat last time out in the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Trophy. It was a disappointing performance as he had run much better than that in his three prior victories and he’s well worth another chance today. (3) RAON JEONSEOL will be a danger. He’s up in class after a good win over this distance amonth ago and looks to have scope for more progress. (4) ADELE STAR and (2) MAPLE CLASSIC came home 2nd and 3rd respectively when they raced each other at class and distance on November 30th. Maple Classic was returning to action that day for the first time since May while for Adele Star it was a second consecutive solid performance, and both should be in the frame here. (6) MISS PERFECT is another who saw a winning streak come to an end last time and while 1000M would seem to be her best, she could challenge for the places. (1) SEOGANGDAERO another capable of finding the money at this level.

Selections (10) Mujeok Yeongung (2) Maple Classic (4) Adele Star (3) Raon Jeonseol
Next Best 6, 1, 11
Fast Start 6, 8, 10, 12

Race 9: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Four of these raced each other over class and distance on November 18th and it was (9) MORNING KOREA who came out on top that day, grabbing the win by a neck over (1) I’M YOUR MOTHER in 2nd place. A repeat isn’t impossible but he’s up a full 3.5kg in the weights today and therefore we’re going to go with I’m Your Mother to overturn that result. (11) IRON COR is a winner of two from six so far and while he could only manage 3rd when favourite last start, he comes in here after seven weeks off and can get closer. (3) ADELEUI JINJU and (8) MABEOPUI JILJU are others who should be competitive in this company.

Selections (1) I’m Your Mother (11) Iron Cor (9) Morning Korea (8) Mabeopui Jilju
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 1, 7, 9

Race 10: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

(4) NEW YORK MANGCHI may have been disappointing over 1800M two weeks ago but he’s back in trip today and should be a lot more dangerous in what is a really nice-looking race. (9) ICE MARINE’s latest three have all been in Group level company. The last time she ran in a race like this, she was a winner and she can do the same from off the pace here. (3) PERFECT BOSS is up in class after a pair of comfortable victories in his latest two and he’ll be in the frame under a nice light weight. (5) KING OF GLORY has had an interrupted career so far and returns to action today five months after his last start. He was impressive in trials two weeks ago and can go well first-up. With five wins from six, (11) THUNDER FLY has rapidly ascended the classes. Don’t rule him out completely but this is a hard ask.

Selections (9) Ice Marine (4) New York Mangchi (5) King Of Glory (3) Perfect Boss
Next Best 11, 6
Fast Start 1, 8


Seoul Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 23)

Sunday sees the final card of 2018 at Seoul (don’t worry, we have Busan next weekend) and there is a bumper 15-race program with the highlight being the Trainers’ Cup. The 1st race is at 10:45 and the last at 18:00:

Gaon Champ KRA

Gaon Champ goes in the Trainers’ Cup (Pic: KRA)

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

Draw a line through the latest from (1) GEUMA ZENITH as it was in one of the strongest juvenile races of the year. This is completely different, and he ran in a close 3rd at the distance at the end of October. A similar performance today can see him home on top. (11) GEUP HAENG MA and (2) MONEY SHARP finished 2nd and 3rd when racing each other at the distance on November 25th. Both are showing signs of figuring things out and should be in the hunt today. (4) VICAR BRACING has had an interrupted career so far but ran well for 2nd over 1000M a month ago and looks ready to step back up in trip today. (7) HANAMICHI went well in a trail at the end of November and could challenge for a place.

Selections (1) Geuma Zenith (11) Geup Haeng Ma (2) Money Sharp (4) Vicar Bracing
Next Best 7, 10
Fast Start 1, 8, 10, 11

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

Maiden fillies here. (5) MODU DREAM ran a strong 2nd on debut at this distance on November 24th and with even a slight amount of progression here, she can win. Another one who was promising on debut was (8) DAEJI YEOGEOL, who ran a close 3rd and can similarly do even more this time. (1) NAREUDUSI and (3) CHOEGANG DIA have shown a little bit more promise than their bare results suggest so don’t be surprised if both get much closer today. There are two debut-makers and (2) RAISING ANGEL is set to be well-backed. She won a trial in a fast time at the end of November and if she brings that form to the races, will be right in the mix.

Selections (5) Modu Dream (2) Raising Angel (8) Daeji Yeogeol (1) Nareudusi
Next Best 3, 12
Fast Start 1, 2, 12

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

(9) DALGWA GUREUM debuted inauspiciously in June before being put away for five months. He’s run well in two starts back, most recently only going down half a length having almost made all over this trip on December 1st. He should be on pace here and can lead all the way. (12) BANGTANMA has been a touch inconsistent across five outings so far but has taken her chance in tough company and run well. She should be right up there (5) EVERYTHING WIN is a bit more experienced and has run 3rd at this distance already. (4) ROAD HILL STORM and (7) CHEONNYEONUI BARAM have offered glimpses of ability and could get close here.

Selections (9) Dalgwa Gureum (12) Bangtanma (7) Cheonnyeonui Baram (5) Everything Win
Next Best 4, 8
Fast Start 8, 9, 12

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

Juvenile maidens here. (10) NIMUI HYANGGI was only beaten a nose on debut at this distance at the end of October and while he weakened for 7th on his reappearance last month, looks worth another shot today. (7) GAL IP improved to 3rd on what was her second career start, three months after the first. She came from way off the pace that day and should appreciate the step up in trip here. (1) SUN SPIKE was slowly away on debut last month but rallied for 3rd place and he too should benefit from more distance today. (3) WONDERFUL BRUSH and (5) SUN OF THUNDER are others firmly in the frame.

Selections (10) Nimui Hyanggi (7) Gal Ip (1) Sun Spike (5) Sun Of Thunder
Next Best 8, 3
Fast Start 1, 3 10

Race 5: Class 4 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Four of these raced each other over this distance on November 25th and (10) GEUMSEOK DOLPA was the somewhat surprising winner, coming from off the pace to score by just under two-lengths. He carries a bit more weight today and this is a tougher race, but a repeat is not impossible. More likely though is that the runner-up that day, (4) SPEED WINNER gets things right. He’s been 2nd in both outings so far and last time got off to a bad start which possibly cost him the race. He’s the pick today. (7) INCHEON CHIEF was 4th in that race, just under a length behind Speed Winner and should also be competitive. Among those who didn’t go that day, (9) DAEGUN JEPAE ran a strong 2nd on debut at this distance on November 18th and should be dangerous while (5) FIGHTING LANGFUHR has run well twice at 1000M so far and steps up in trip for the first time with claims to go close.

Selections (4) Speed Winner (9) Daegun Jepae (7) Incheon Chief (10) Geumseok Dolpa
Next Best 5
Fast Start 3, 5, 9

Race 6: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Both (6) BEST HILL and (8) MY HAWK, are up in class having won their respective debuts last month. Of the pair, Best Hill looks best equipped at this stage to make the step up and is favoured to win again. (3) BLUE ANNA enters off the back of a 4th and a 3rd at class and distance, running well both times and she can get close once more here. (4) RULER had a hard time when stepped up to 1300M at the end of October and was later found to have been lame. She’s hag eight weeks off since and should be much better back at the (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 22)

There’s a big day of racing at Seoul on Saturday with 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00 and the feature is arguably the strongest class 1 handicap of the year. Silver Wolf, Shamrocker, Winner Gold, Cheonji Storm, Mighty Ssing and Cheongdam Jewang are among 12 horses lining up for a top class 1800M test. Here are the previews: 

Silver wolf Gyeongnam

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

(6) TOUR BROTHER is the likely winner here. He’s shown more than the rest of them in his 2nd and 4th place finishes leading into this and a similar performance today should be enough to come out on top. (2) TANTAN WINNER ran well for 5th on debut four weeks ago and is likely to join Tour Brother on the early speed. He’s one of two main threats along with (12) DAESEONG HANEUL, who struggled a little over 1300M on his second start last month but was beaten less than a length when 3rd at this distance on debut in October. (4) RECOVERY TAP and debut-maker (3) KAIZEN SILVER are others to look out for.

Selections (6) Tour Brother (2) Tantan Winner (12) Daeseong Haneul (3) Kaizen Silver
Next Best 4, 10
Fast Start 2, 6, 10, 11

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

Juvenile maidens here with only four of the twelve having raced before. (12) CHEONROK finished 2nd on debut three weeks ago, briefly touching the front not far out. He ended up going down by four-lengths, but it was encouraging enough to give him a big chance here. (7) MONEY BLUE was 4th and even further behind the winner on his own first start a month ago but the time was creditable, and he should come on for it. (3) WONDERFUL DIXIE hasn’t done anything wrong across two starts so far and could improve here. Of the first-time starters, (11) P.K. GUNJU made all to win a November trial and so long as he can overcome the outside gate to get on speed, should have a big chance first-up. (1) COLORS DE LAGO also ran well in trials and is another one to consider.

Selections (1) Colors De Lago (11) P.K. Gunju (12) Cheonrok (7) Money Blue
Next Best 3, 9
Fast Start 1, 4, 10, 11

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

More juvenile maidens and once more only four of the twelve have previous racing experience. The only one of those to catch the eye even briefly so far is (7) SLING STONE, who ha run in a 5th and a 4th in two outings to date. He’s well drawn to lead here and if it’ experience you value, he’s the pick. (8) MISS SUNSHINE did nothing too wrong on debut and previously impressed in a trial so may improve. Other than those it’s to the debut-makers we turn. (3) SMILE GIRL is the pick from trials, making all to win a tune-up only last week having previously run a decent time a month before. If she gets away well, she’ll be the one to beat. (5) GENERAL ROSE and (9) SPEED BELLE are two others who recorded impressive times in morning trials and can go well first-up. As ever in races such as this, watch the market.

Selections (3) Smile Girl (7) Sling Stone (9) Speed Belle (5) General Rose
Next Best 8, 6
Fast Start 3, 5, 7, 9

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

Fillies only here. (1) LUCAS comes in after back to back runner-up finishes in similar races and while she’s been well-beaten by the winner both times, she has as much chance as any of going one better in this ultra-competitive contest. (2) HEUNG KKAEBI ran a close 3rd over 1200M last time and steps up to this trip for the first time. She was the beaten favourite in that race but ran on well and the slight increase in distance may suit. (8) DAMON ANGEL is another stepping up in trip for the first time and should be able to cope with it. Draw a line through (4) BARAMUI SORI’s last outing, she’s shown much better than that and already has two 3rd place finishes at this level. (11) MONEY POCKET is up in class after a four-length score at this distance on what was just her second career outing last month and she’s sure to be a threat. (10) FAPP CAT was a good winner last time and is up in class too but likely to find it much harder.

Selections (1) Lucas (2) Heung Kkaebi (11) Money Pocket (8) Damon Angel
Next Best 4, 10, 6
Fast Start 3, 4, 6, 9

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

A few of these come in off the back of near-misses but the recent form of (9) SKY MARINE looks the most convincing. True she’s had nine weeks off since her last outing, but she looks nicely in here and can win. (12) UP LIGHT ran a good 2nd over this distance on his first try at this class a month ago. He’s proven tactically versatile so can overcome the wide draw and can match or even better today. (1) CHANGSEONG LUCKY and (5) DAE BYEONHWA both enter after very solid showings last time and can compete for at least places. (10) SHADOW MONEY was 5th last time over 1200M but the margins were tight, and he has every chance of getting closer today.

Selections (9) Sky Marine (12) Up Light (1) Changseong Lucky (5) Dae Byeonhwa
Next Best 10, 4
Fast Start 1, 6

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

All of these are imports and all are maidens. (8) CHEUNGDAM GENIE and (4) PHEONIX WOLF are the two who have the best chance of shedding that tag here having finished just half a length apart when 2nd and 3rd at this distance on December 1st. That was Cheungdam Genie’s debut while for Phoenix Wolf it was a third effort. Phoenix Wolf (more…)

Ecton Blade & Mask Beaten But New Legend’s Successful Homecoming Continues

The Korean Derby 1st and 2nd place-getters both rounded out their three-year-old campaigns on Sunday but there wasn’t to be a successful conclusion as both Ecton Blade and Mask were beaten favourites in the respective features at Seoul and Busan. However, there is a new prospect on the Korean racing block as New Legend continued his impressive homecoming.

Mask at least ran well. In an ultra-competitive class 1 handicap over 1400M which also featured the dangerous Gangtoma and the ever-improving Morfhis, Mask met traffic at the top of the stretch but once he found his run finished smartly under Yoo Seung Wan. However, he was too late to catch winner Jangsan Power, who had stolen some lengths on the rail around the turn and ran on to score by just over a length.

Jangsan Power, an also-ran in the Derby in 2017, was registering his seventh win on his twentieth career start. Mask, Gangtoma and Morfhis filled out 2nd to 4th and all three could have a bright class 1 future.

Ecton Blade was more disappointing at Busan. The Derby winner had won comfortably on his last try at 1400M and was sent off at only slightly better than even money. However, he couldn’t go with the early pace of Perdido Pomeroy and Gasok Engine and then never quickened in the home straight as outsider Mupae took the win.

An American import, Mupae (Paddy O’Prado) won five of his first six starts but entered a 24/1 chance having been winless for in excess of a year. Keep out of trouble by Lee Hyo Sik, who rode Today so well in last week’s Grand Prix Stakes, he finished strongly down the outside to score by three-lengths ahead of Daeho Sidae and Morning Daero.

New Legend (Menifee) was bred in Korea but sent to the United States by the KRA Stud Farm to begin training and racing. He raced seven times stateside, picking up a win at Arlington Park in July of this year. He returned home in the autumn after fetching nearly 200 Million Korean Won in the sales ring, made his local debut at Busan on November 25th, scoring by three-lengths over 1300M.

On Sunday, New Legend stepped up to 1800M in race 3 at Busan and without needing to get out of second gear, cruised to a nine-length win on the bridle. It was only at class 4 level, but this stablemate of Ecton Blade – and indeed of Triple Nine – will be one to watch very closely in the New Year.

Mupae winning Busan race 5:

Jangsan Power winning Seoul race 12:


Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 16)

Ecton Blade and Mask came home 1st and 2nd in the Korean Derby in May and the pair of them are in class 1 action on Sunday afternoon in the respective feature races at Busan and Seoul. There are 12 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 5 at Busan from 12:40 to 16:15.

Ecton Blade

Ecton Blade headlines at Busan on Sunday: (Pic: KRA)

While the Derby was at 1800M, the pair look set to be pointed at shorter distances for the foreseeable future. After winning May’s Classic, Ecton Blade ran 3rd in the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup over 2000M in June, but found older horses at that distance a completely different prospect when 9th of 16 in the President’s Cup last month. However, between those two races, he returned to Busan and dropped back to Sunday’s trip of 1400M to record a comfortable class 1 victory.

South African jockey Francois Herholdt will get the leg-up on Ecton Blade in Sunday’s race 5 and the colt will be favoured to prevail with the likes of Morning Daero and Daeho Sidae likely to provide the stiffest examinations.

As for Mask, he ran 4th in the Minister’s Cup before having a couple of near-misses around two turns in September and October. A month ago he dropped back to 1400M and returned to the winner’s circle, taking out a class 2 handicap by three-lengths.

Sunday will be Mask’s first try at class 1 and it won’t be easy as he meets Gangtoma, a winner of six from ten, and who, like Ecton Blade was an also-ran in the President’s Cup but should pose a much sterner test this time. Track record holder for the distance Sanggam Mama is also among a competitive field of twelve who will contest the concluding race 12 in the capital.

Earlier at Busan, New Legend will get the chance to show what he is made of. Though Korean bred, the Menifee colt began his racing career in the United States, winning a maiden special weight contest at Arlington Park in July. The three-year-old returned to Korea in the autumn and was an easy winner over 1300M three weeks ago. In Sunday’s race 3 at Busan, he steps up to 1800M and runs straight into the in-form Challanhan Miso for his first real local test. He will be expected to come through it.

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

(6) K ZONE may be a fourteen-race maiden but recent forms reads well and having been knocking at the door for some time now, he could go through it today. (10) ROAD WOMAN also looks to be figuring things out and comes in after a career best 3rd. She should be on pace early and can go all the way. (3) AQUA STROM returned from five months off to run a good 4th a month ago and should be in the hunt. (1) MEGA CITY and (4) A ONE HAMMER others who should go close.

Selections (6) K Zone (10) Road Woman (3) Aqua Strom (4) A One Hammer
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 4, 8, 10

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

Juvenile maidens here and only four of the twelve have raced before. Three of those four look promising though including probable favourite (2) DIA PARK. She ran 3rd on debut at this distance a month ago, having led early. She’s well drawn to lead again and this time may not be caught. (12) MENI STAND overcame some heavy bumps at the start to run 4th on her first outing and can build on it today while (5) GEUMSEONGHWANGJE ran a solid 5th first-up in October before weakening over 1300M on reappearance three weeks ago. Back at the minimum trip today, he’ll go better. Of the first times, (4) SANGGAM CHEONGJA looks the pick having won a trial in good order although (8) DAECHEON VOW also showed some promise.

Selections (2) Dia Park (12) Meni Stand (4) Sanggam Cheongja (5) Geumseonghwangje
Next Best 8, 7
Fast Start 2, 3, 4 ,5

Seoul Race 3: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Juvenile imports chasing a substantial prize here and there’s a proven winner among them. (10) CATS MIRACLE led from gate to wire over this distance on debut on November 10th and is favoured for a repeat today. (9) DONGBANG JIJON and (5) PRO HAMSEONG came home 3rd and 5th respectively when they raced each other at 1300M on November 18th. It was the latter’s debut, and both should be contenders here. (2) TRIPLE KHAN has run 5th and 3rd in two outings to date and is well drawn to lead and continue his development. There are two first-time starters and of them, (8) MIGHTY M looks best having caught the eye in two trials to date.

Selections (10) Cats Miracle (5) Pro Hamseong (8) Mighty M (2) Triple Khan
Next Best 9, 3
Fast Start 2, 4, 5, 10

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Maidens here and (7) STRIDE UP comes with a pair of 4ths and a 2nd from three starts to date. He steps back to the minimum trip here and looks to be the standout by some margin. (8) FIRENZE HILL has hinted at some ability across two efforts, both at this distance and looks to have potential to step up but the rest of them will need to show something they’ve so far kept concealed if they are to challenge. (6) MAX THUNDER does have a couple of 3rd place finishes to her name and while she put in a poor effort last time, she’s had a couple of months off and trialled up adequately since. (9) HAE WANG (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 15)

There are 12 Saturday races at Seoul with the first at 10:45 and the last at 18:00. Here are the previews:

(단신2) 출발 참관 프로그램 (2)

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

Weak maiden to begin with. (5) CAMPING MANIA has been well-backed for both her starts so far off the back of a trial win in late summer. She’s finished in mid-pack both times and she ran greenly, hanging inwards in her latest effort. If she can fix her manners, she should have the ability to win this under a top jockey. Going on bare results, (4) JEONGMUN K has a pair of 3rd place finishes from his latest two and is one of several for whom just a bit of improvement today can result in a win. (11) QUEEN FORCE ONE is the only one in the field who has run 2nd and will also attract some support. She beat (10) JILPUNGGACHI last time out, the latter making his debut and can improve today. (3) CHEON GI ran well on debut and while he’s struggled in two since, can be given another chance here.

Selections (5) Camping Mania (10) Jilpunggachi (4) Jeongmum K (3) Cheon Gi
Next Best 11, 8
Fast Start 5, 11

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Maiden fillies only. (7) LUCKY SOCHEON stepped up to this trip on November 10th and was beaten less than a length into 2nd place. She’s not the fastest of starters but can finish well and can go one better today. 3rd in that race was (6) M.J. TOWN. She didn’t get the best of trips that day but took to the distance well and has every chance of cutting into the three-lengths that Lucky Socheon had on her. (10) GEOM HONG has run 4th and 3rd in two outings so far, showing promise. She’s likely to try to get forward early and despite the wide draw, if she can find a good spot, she can go close. (4) SAMAE STAR didn’t take to 1700M last time and should be better today while the only first -time starter, (5) OUR SIMON, trialled up well in November and jockey booking is a plus.

Selections (7) Lucky Socheon (10) Geom Hong (6) M.J. Town (5) Our Simon
Next Best 4, 1
Fast Start 2, 6, 9, 10

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens and all except one have raced before. (8) DOKDO YA was an improved 2nd when stepped up to this trip for his second career start on November 11th. He was beaten five lengths by a good winner, but it was enough to suggest he can win soon himself. He’s likely to try to get on pace here and will be joined by (6) LUMINESCE who ran 3rd on debut at this distance a month ago having been prominent through out and looks well in here. (10) PRIVATE MAN hasn’t been the best of starters but has finished off nicely in both tries so far. (1) FAMILY HOPE and (9) P.K. JEONSA are other potential improvers.

Selections (8) Dokdo Ya (6) Luminesce (10) Private Man (1) Family Hope
Next Best 9, 3
Fast Start 6, 8, 9

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

Juvenile maidens with only two of the twelve having raced before and it’ one of that pair who will start as favourite. (4) PRIMA NIKE ran 3rd on debut on November 17th having led for much of the way. She’s drawn ideally to lead again and should go all the way. Of the first-timers, (3) NONSTOP FLYING won a trial last month while (7) KISS IN THE PARK and (12) SOMETHING NOBODYNO also hinted at a bit of ability in their respective heats. (1) HANYANG NURI and (6) COLORFUL JOY trialled up together and both have the ability to run well first-up. As ever with this kind of race, watch the market for additional clues.

Selections (4) Prima Nike (3) Nonstop Flying (12) Something Nobodyno (7) Kiss In The Park
Next Best 6, 1, 7
Fast Start 3, 4, 5, 10, 12

Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) BEST BULLET has won his latest two in fine style, the most recent of which was a three-length score at this class over 1200M. He carries an additional 4.5kg but drops back in trip and could complete a hat-trick here. (3) GLOBAL QUEEN is a winner of two from seven and comes in with a pair of 2nds and a 3rd at this level. She should lead here and will be in the mix at the end. (10) DANCING BLADE too has proven competitive at this level and shouldn’t be far away while (2) EONEU MEOTJIN NAL improved significantly last start and can continue that momentum here. (7) SURFING POINT is better than last time and is another who could find the places.

Selections (1) Best Bullet (3) Global Queen (10) Dancing Blade (7) Surfing Point
Next Best 2, 4, 8
Fast Start 3, 4, 7

Race 6: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) SA SA is up in class following an all-the-way win over the distance on November 10th and has every chance of following up in this filly and mare only handicap. She’s joined at the level for the first-time by (9) HOMECOMING who gets promoted having run 2nd in both her two outings to date and should be competitive. (6) RAON WILLIAMS and (10) (more…)