Month: January 2019

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (February 1)

There are 12 races at Busan on Friday from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(10) TWO TWO SPINO was a considerably improved 2nd on his second career start on January 4th. He led for much of the way around and while drawn quite wide here, he has solid claims to go one better this time. (11) YEONGGWANGUI KISS was an encouraging 5th on debut in December and van build on that here while (12) LISTEN TO ME ran well for 4th last start and can continue to improve here. (9) KINGSTON HARBOR did little on debut in December but looked considerably better when trialing up again at the end of the month and will be backed here. Among the four debut-makers, (8) BEYOND trialed nicely and can go well first-up.

Selections (10) Two Two Spino (11) Yeonggwangui Kiss (9) Kingston Harbor (12) Listen To Me
Next Best 8, 4
Fast Start 5, 8, 9, 10

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

Maiden fillies here and plenty in the hunt. (10) BEAUTIFUL MARINE has raced twice before, finishing 3rd on both occasions. She’s shown some decent speed and has as much chance as any here. (1) TWO TWO WAY was an improved 2nd three weeks ago and is well drawn to get to the lead from the inside. (9) JUNGKKOT was a good 3rd on debut earlier this month and looks to have ability too. (8) WONDERFUL IJI ran a couple of times last summer without impressing but following a few months off come back in here having looked significantly more competent in a trial. (12) MABEOP CHEOREOM similarly has had almost three months off since debut and is another who can go well.

Selections (10) Beautiful Marine (1) Two Two Way (9) Jungkkot (12) Mabeop Cheoreom
Next Best 8, 4
Fast Start 1, 4, 8, 12

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

(10) MISS FACT has a 4th and two 3rd place finishes from three outings so far and she’s the marginal top pick in what is a competitive maiden. (4) SECRET LEGACY has improved across three starts and is likely to be on pace early from a good draw. She can go close. (5) CHEONJI KINGS has also shown ability and won’t be far away – he beat three of these on his way to 3rd place last start and can at least match today. (8) VERYVERYTHANK YOU and (12) WILD CASH are others in at least the placing frame.

Selections (10) Miss Fact (4) Secret Legacy (5) Cheonji Kings (8) Veryverythank You
Next Best 12, 7
Fast Start 3, 4, 5, 12

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(9) YEONGGWANGUIFORCE is the one to beat here. He raced once without distinction last summer but returned after five months off at the start of this month and ran a good 2nd over 1000M. He steps up in trip for the first time and won’t need to improve too much to win. (7) YEONGBONGSAN was a much improved 3rd last start and can continue his progression today. (He beat (10) GASOK BULKKOT, who also should be looking to go closer this time. (11) FUSION PARK and (12) FINAL FRONT, the latter a distance 2nd in an odd affair last time out, are others to consider.

Selections (9) Yeonggwanguiforce (7) Yeongbongsan (10) Gasok Bulkkot (11) Fusion Park
Next Best 12, 5
Fast Start 3, 8, 9

Race 5: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(10) MARU JJANG stepped up to this trip four weeks ago and raced competently enough. He can be ridden patiently here and can make his breakthrough. The main danger is (3) ULSAN JANGGUN. He tried this distance last October and didn’t go well but has seemed to come on since and ran a good 2nd last start at 1000M and looks ready for another crack. (1) CRYSTAL ROSE enters following back to back 3rd place finishes and should be in the hunt here while (4) CHOEGANG SEONBONG and (8) SEORABEOL BULKKOT are others who can be considered.

Selections (10) Maru Jjang (3) Ulsan Janggun (1) Crystal Rose (4) Choegang Seonbong
Next Best 8, 7
Fast Start 2, 3

Race 6: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

It’s time (2) GWONTOJUNGLAE returned to the winner’s circle. He ran a huge race in 6th in the Breeders’ Cup in December but was a touch disappointing on reappearance at the end of last month. Likely to be ridden a little closer this time, he should have too much. (4) IGGYDA though is still a slightly unknown quantity. He was a five-length (more…)

Mask & Antonio Da Silva Land Segye Ilbo Cup

Mask ran out a dominant winner of the Segye Ilbo Cup, landing Korea’s first Listed race of 2019 by a commanding two-and-a-half lengths under a fine ride by reigning champion jockey Antonio Da Silva at Seoul Raceourse on Sunday afternoon.

mask sinui myeongryeong

Mask beat Sinui Myeongryeong to win the Segye Ilbo Cup (Pic: KRA)

Second in last year’s Korean Derby, Mask was dropping back to six-furlongs for the first time since he was a juvenile but having ended last season strongly, the Testa Matta colt was sent off as co-favourite alongside Cheonji Storm, 3rd in this race a year ago.

It wasn’t to be for Cheonji Storm, who scarcely threatened, and nor was it for third-favourite Gasokbulpae, for whom the wide draw led to him using up too much energy in getting to his favoured forward position; once he finally made it there, his race was done. Instead it was left to Hansen filly Sinui Myeongryeong, well drawn on the inside to set the pace with while Da Silva had the luxury of dropping Mask in just behind.

That set the race up beautifully for Mask and with Da Silva operating at his fluid finest, the Lim Bong-chun trained colt struck the front just inside the furlong pole and he ran clear for a comfortable win. Sinui Myeongryeong had enough in her to stay on for 2nd place while City Star, runner up last year was a fast finishing 3rd.

For Mask it was a fifth win in fifteen career starts and his second in Listed company. A Group win still eludes him, but he’ll get a chance to rectify that when most of the top place-getters reconvene in the G3 Owners’ Cup in March over the same distance.

Next weekend at Seoul it’s the turn of the fillies and mares to get in on the Listed action in the shape of the Donga Ilbo Cup over 1800M. Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup winner Sky Bay is expected to be among the runners.

Segye Ilbo Cup Sunday: Seoul & Busan Race-By-Race Preview (January 27)

It’s the first Listed race of the year in Korea in the shape of the Segye Ilbo Cup at Seoul. There are 11 Sunday races in the capital from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. Here are the previews:

FInal Boss Segye

Final Boss won a crowded finish to the Segye Ilbo Cup last year (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

 Six of these raced each other over class and distance on December 23rd. (3) LIVINGSTONE came home the best of them that day in 2nd place, a length ahead of (8) L CHOICE in 3rd. Those two could well be fighting it out for top honours this time. On the same day but in a different race, (11) RAISING ANGEL raced greenly but still did enough to win. She’s up in class but should be competitive. As should (7) FIRENZE HILL, who also steps up in level following her maiden win a month ago. (2) BLUE ANNA, 4th behind Livingstone and L Choice in that race just before Christmas, looks best of the rest although (9) MATCH QUEEN can have a line drawn through her latest effort and can be a factor too.

Selections (3) Livingstone (11) Raising Angel (8) L Choice (7) Firenze Hill
Next Best 9, 2
Fast Start 5, 9, 10, 12

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

Only two of the twelve have raced before and (7) RAON STORM raced rather well, leading for much of the way around on December 2nd, ultimately finishing 2nd in a fast-run race. That experience should serve him well here and he is the one to beat. As for the first-timers, (9) PRIME QUEEN was a trial winner and will be well-supported first-up with Moon Se Young aboard, while (6) YULONG FLYING also caught the eye in heats. (2) GEUM ROYAL and (3) SIMJANGUI GODONG are others who could go well first-up.

Selections (7) Raon Storm (6) Yulong Flying (9) Prime Queen (3) Simjangui Godong
Next Best 2, 4
Fast Start 7, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens here with four of the twelve racing for the first time. (1) SUN OF THUNDER ran 5th on debut in November and then improved to 2nd on reappearance just before Christmas, the latter over 1300M. He drops back to the minimum here and should have too much. (8) MUNG CHI put in a decent effort in 5th on her debut a month ago and can build on that here while (6) TANTAN WINNER was slightly disappointing on his second start but had previously shown promise first-up and can be given another chance here. Among the debut-makers, (4) GEUMA INVINCIBLE’s trial time was slow but the performance was good enough and he will be expected to hold his own. (5) VALLEY QUEEN too is another to keep an eye on.

Selections (1) Sun Of Thunder (8) Mung Chi (4) Geuma Invincible (6) Tantan Winner
Next Best 11, 12, 5
Fast Start 1, 4, 6, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) HAENGBOK STAR and (8) ARES THUNDER came home 3rd and 4th when they raced each other at class and distance on December 23rd. They both look nicely in here to challenge again with Haengbok Star marginally favoured to prevail. The one they’ll both need to beat is (2) HANEULEUL DALRIDA. He ran well for 5th in a stiff 1300M contest last month and tackles this distance for the first time today. It may well suit and he’s likely to be ridden forward. (5) TAEPUNG EYES and (7) KAILASH DANCER are others who can come under consideration.

Selections (3) Haengbok Star (8) Ares Thunder (2) Haneuleul Dalrida (5) Taepung Eyes
Next Best 7, 1
Fast Start 2, 3, 5

Busan Race 1 Selections: 11, 1, 8, 8

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(2) BURUI GORI comes in following two consecutive wins, both at this distance and the most recent at this class. With an apprentice on board, he’s nicely weighted and the only concern is he comes in after twelve weeks out and may need this run. The big danger is (8) GEUMA KINGDOM. He’s never been worse than 3rd in five starts to date and enters having finished in that position in a strong contest at 1300M just before Christmas. He’s up to this trip for the first time today and looks to have good potential. (9) EAST KWAENAM too is up in trip for the first time – he beat a couple of these over 1300M last start, and the extra distance may benefit. (10) MAJJABEUN SON is a two-time winner at this trip and must be respected while (11) MR. TURNER, a maiden after twelve attempts, enters with recent form reading well and can go close.

Selections (8) Geuma Kingdom (2) Burui Gori (11) Mr. Turner (10) Majjabeun Son
Next Best 9, 4
Fast Start 8, 9, 12

 Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(11) SAMBA RHYTHM was a six-length winner over this distance on what was just her second start on December 30th. She’s up in class today but looks to have more to come and she can win this all-filly event. (8) RAON ARES is also up in class after getting her maiden win three weeks ago. It was at 1000M, but she has previous experience of this distance and has a chance here. (2) HWANSANG DOKJU has had an interrupted career so (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 27)

Saturday’s racing is at Seoul and the capital hosts a bumper 13-race program from 10:45 to 18:00:

Dae Wan Ma Dokki Blade Gwacheon Mayor's Cup - KRA

Dae Wan Ma (far side) makes her season debut on Saturday (Pic: KRA)

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Maiden fillies to kick things up with five debut-makers and the other seven having raced once apiece. Of the experienced ones, only (1) NONSTOP FLYING emerged from her debut with much credit, leading before ultimately finishing 5th of 12 over this distance on December 15th. She should go all the way this time.  There’s not much to say about the others who have raced except that (6) ALL MY QUEEN probably has the best chance of improving at this stage. The first-timers are likely to provide the most credible challenges. (5) QUEEN STREET went through two trials and improved in the latter though it was in November. Jockey booking is encouraging. (3) BEST BUDDY and (11) JAENEUNG CHUNGMAN didn’t exactly pull up trees but looked to have some potential ability.

Selections (1) Nonstop Flying (11) Jaeneung Chungman (6) All My Queen (5) Queen Street
Next Best 3, 9, 8
Fast Start 1, 4, 5, 11

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies here. (11) M.J. TOWN has been getting closer and was less than a length away when 2nd in a good race at this distance on December 15th. She comes from behind anyway so the wide draw shouldn’t be an issue and she can go one better this time. (12) GEOM HONG was 3rd in that same race, just half a length further in-arrears. She’s finished no worse than 4th in three efforts to date and should continue that record today. (2) GAL IP also comes in off the back of two consecutive 3rd place finishes and will be a threat here while (7) DIA STORM ran a useful 3rd herself on debut over 1000M a month ago and can benefit from the additional trip. (8) HAMYANG SANSAM another promising one in a decent looking race.

Selections (11) M. J. Town (7) Dia Storm (2) Gal Ip (12) Geom Hong
Next Best 8, 4
Fast Start 5, 8, 12

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

Weak stuff here to the extent that while (2) K ZONE didn’t go especially well last time finishing 6th in a race that was marginally stronger than this one, but he showed enough in his prior two outings to suggest he has a win in him. He can settle just behind the early lead and today could be his day. That pace is likely to be set by (6) BLACK POKKYEOKGI, a much improved 4th last time out – and very close to 2nd – and who steps up in trip for the first time with claims to go even better. (7) EVERYTHING WIN has done almost everything except win in twelve attempts so far. He probably won’t win this either, but he can go close. (4) SUPER CREED and (12) KAIZEN SILVER are others in the hunt.

Selections (2) K Zone (6) Black Pokkyeokgi (7) Everything Win (4) Super Creed
Next Best 12, 5
Fast Start 6, 10, 11

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(10) LUMINESCE has finished 3rd in both his races so far, both at this distance. He’s a front-runner and if he can overcome the wide draw, he can make it third time lucky and win today. (2) MUDO was 5th in that race on what was his second outing. He ran extremely greenly though and if he can fix his manners today, he should be closer. (5) COLORFUL JOY started dreadfully before making up a lot of ground in the closing stages on debut last month. Over 1000M, he simply ran out of track and should appreciate the step up in trip today. (6) YAHO M J CAT ran 2nd last time at 1000M and should join Luminesce on pace early as should (7) WONDERFUL BRUSH, who has hinted at ability across three attempts so far.

Selections (10) Luminesce (5) Colorful Joy (2) Mudo (6) Yaho M J Cat
Next Best 7
Fast Start 1, 6, 7, 10

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

(3) MUNHAK ARIARI comes in off the back of two 3rd place finishes and a 2nd from his latest three and while it’s true he’s been a fair way behind the winner each time – and that he has been the favourite each time – he is probably worth one more go today. From gate 3, he should get to the early lead and this can finally be his day. (4) PHOENIX WOLF has a similar record and can continue her run of placing finishes. She’ll challenge Munhak Ariari for the early lead as will (6) DAEGUNUI CHANG, who led for much of the way over 1300M last time out only to ultimately finish 2nd. Back in trip, he can be dangerous. (2) AMAZING SOCKS was a class and distance winner last start and while he carries an additional 4kg today, must be respected. (5) THE SPIKER ran a creditable 2nd on debut and is another in contention.

Selections (3) Munhak Ariari (6) Daegunui Chang (4) Phoenix Wolf (2) Amazing Socks
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 3, 4, 5, 6

Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A five-length maiden winner over this distance in a fast time in November, (9) DADDY GLORY followed up by running 2nd in a strong race at this class just before Christmas. She is likely to be ridden on or very close to the pace today and should have too much. (5) SMILE GIRL is up in class and distance having won well on debut at 1000M. She has a (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview

Firday racing is at Busan with 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Jo Sung Gon Jo In Kwen

Jo Sung Gon and Jo In Kwen are both aboard fancied runners at Busan on Friday

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Maiden fillies to begin with. (2) SHE JUST QUEENDOM ran 2nd on debut in November and was well-backed on her return at the end of December but began poorly and showed little interest throughout ultimately finishing 7th. She’s bumped up in trip for the first time today and with extra time to settle, she gets another chance. (6) AMAZING WINNER ran 3rd on her only previous try at this distance on November and should be at least matching that here while (5) QUEEN OF ADELE and (7) HAPPY KOREA have offered glimpses of ability. (9) YAKSOKDAERO makes a quick return having improved to 4th place on her third career start two weeks ago. She’s not shown much in the way of speed so far, but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if she were to go even closer here.

Selections (2) She Just Queendom (6) Amazing Winner (7) Happy Korea (5) Queen Of Adele
Next Best 9, 4
Fast Start 3, 4, 9

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

More maiden fillies. (1) ROSA has improved across three starts so far and last time ran 2nd to the highly anticipated debut-maker Success Party at this distance. She couldn’t get close to that one, but she’ll likely get it right today and will be a strong favourite. (5) ARA MYUNGMA beat a couple of these on her way to 3rd place on her second appearance on December and steps up in trip today. She should be at least matching that 3rd. (9) FANTASTIC GIRL ran a creditable 5th on debut four weeks ago and can build on it today. (2) HARVEST SEASON and (6) TRUE SIGNATURE are others who can challenge for a place, if not the win.

Selections (1) Rosa (5) Ara Myungma (9) Fantastic Girl (6) True Signature
Next Best 2, 4
Fast Start 1, 6, 9

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

(8) TRUE VALOR was well-backed on debut back in November but after getting hampered at the start, never really fired. He’s had a couple of months off since and it’s a fresh start today in what looks a winnable race. (5) NAEGA SAEGANGJA and (7) WONDERFUL MORNING came home 2nd and 3rd in what for both was a debut outing on December 29th over 1000M. The increased trip today can suit both and they should be involved at the business end. (9) ROCKHARD FORCE made his own debut at this trip that same day and finished 2nd. He was beaten five lengths and will need to improve but he shouldn’t be too far away.

Selections (8) True Valor (5) Naega Saegangja (7) Wonderful Morning (9) Rockhard Force
Next Best 4, 1
Fast Start 3, 7

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

Wide open maiden. (2) ACE CRUSH has been inconsistent across six outings so far, but he has posted some useful performances and looks to have as good a chance as any of scoring here. (7) GUKMIN STAR was an improved 2nd on a slow-running track on December 30th, with a couple of these well back down the track behind him. It was a big improvement and he can maintain that momentum today. (5) BAEJJANG was only beaten a nose at this distance on debut and ran 4th over 1300M on re-appearance at the end of December. He’s likely to be on pace early here and has a chance. (3) BAEKDU HERO and (8) BYEOLBIT OREUM are others with placing claims.

Selections (2) Ace Crush (7) Gukmin Star (5) Baejjang (8) Byeolbit Oreum
Next Best 3, 11
Fast Start 4, 5, 9

Race 5: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(4) KWAEHAN SINGANGJA remains a maiden after twelve attempts but has put in some decent performances along the way, not least last time out when he ran 2nd over this distance three weeks ago. He was beaten seven-lengths by a good winner, but he faces (more…)

Today Passes Weighty Test But Spring Back Stunned By 100/1 Shot At Seoul

Today was a revelation in the Grand Prix Stakes running a big – and unexpected – 3rd behind Triple Nine and Cheongdam Dokki. And at Busan on Sunday, the one-time confirmed sprinter burnished his two-turn credentials by winning the class 1 feature handicap over 2000M, despite carrying top weight of 60kg.

He was made to work for it though as under jockey Lee Hyo-sik, Today duelled for the entire length of the home straight with Great King, himself 5th in the Grand Prix and getting 4kg in weight from the favourite this time. Having come together with two furlongs to go they went back and forth all the way to the line. Neither Lee nor Great King’s partner Kim Hye Sun had any idea who had won but it was Today who had his nose down at the right time. A stride either side of the line, Great King was in front.

A winner of ten of his first twelve starts, Today went to Kranji in Singapore and ran 3rd over 1200M last July before being an also-ran in the Korea Cup in September. He ran 4th to Ace Korea in a Listed race in November before his unexpected appearance at the Grand Prix. It seems that at five-years-old, his near-future at least is at the further distances.

Up at Seoul, the banker favourite of the day was defeated as Spring Back went down as a heavy odds-on favourite in race 10. The three-year-old Gemologist gelding began his career so impressively last year but today couldn’t overcome 100/1 shot Super Socks who struck the front late and ran on to win by a length for Italian trainer Luigi Riccardi.

In the concluding feature at Seoul, another favourite was beaten as Panorama Show, a very solid winner last time out, had a poor day at the office. It was, however, slightly less of a shock than Spring Back’s reverse as the very good Gangtoma came on strong late to register victory. For the four-year-old Testa Matta gelding, it was a seventh win in thirteen career starts and his first at class 1.


Racing returns to Korea next weekend when the first Listed race of the year will be run. The Segye Ilbo Cup over 1200M will take place at Seoul on Sunday.

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (January 20)

Sunday sees a big day of racing at both Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:40 to 17:05). Today, who ran so well for 3rd in the Grand Prix Stakes in December, headlines Busan’s feature, while Spring Back and Panorama Show are both in action at Seoul.


Today, seen here at the Korea Sprint – he’s since transformed into a stayer (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Today was thought of as a sprinter until that Grand Prix Stakes when over 2300M, he still looked like winning with just a furlong to go. He ultimately finished 3rd but it seems as though his immediate future lies at racing around two-turns. He headlines Busan’s Sunday Class 1 feature over 2000M but he is going to have to defy an impost of 60kg if he is to see off a very good looking field, that also includes Grand Prix 5th place-getter Great King (who Today is giving 4kg to) and Today’s own stablemate Baengmunbaekdap (who gets 8kg).

At Seoul, Spring Back gets the chance to rekindle his early precocious form in race 10 while Panorama Show looks to make it six wins from nine starts in the class 1 finale. Here are the Seoul notes while Busan selections are below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens to kick things off with and nine of the twelve have prior racing experience. Among them, (1) SANGGAM CHEONGJA ran 4th on debut in a decent time a month ago and from gate 1 can get away well with chances of going all the way. (3) BORN ANGEL and (12) CHAMP K have both raced three times and both have shown steady improvement to the point that a win would come as no great surprise, with Born Angel perhaps the more likely here. (8) SPEED BELLE did nothing wrong on debut either and can go close. For the pick though, we turn to a first-time starter. (2) CHOIN BOLT was all set to be well-backed on a scheduled debut last November but was found to be lame. He’s fit now and won a trial for the second time at the start of this month. Moon Se Young is aboard and there’s plenty to like.

Selections (2) Choin Bolt (1) Sanggam Cheongja (3) Born Angel (8) Speed Belle
Next Best 12, 9
Fast Start 1, 8, 12

Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A maiden winner at this distance in November, (6) SATO ROYAL came out on the wrong end of a three-way photo-finish for 2nd place on her first try at this level on December 22nd. She’s well drawn to get on pace early today and if she runs to her best, the only photograph that will be required is the win picture. (12) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON stubbornly remains a maiden after fourteen attempts but is by no means a bad horse. She ran well for 3rd place over 1000M in early December looks ready to come back up to this trip today. (3) MAMKKEOT DALYEO was a winner over 1700M in November before running poorly at the same distance a month later. He’s inconsistent but capable. (4) AQUA STROM is up in class having come from behind to win over this distance on December 16th. He’s two starts into a comeback following five months out and looks to have more progress in him (2) BLESSING ROAD is getting to grips with this level and is another who can challenge for the places.

Selections (6) Sato Royal (12) Kkeuleojuneun Son (4) Aqua Strom (2) Blessing Road
Next Best 3, 10
Fast Start 2, 6, 11

Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(1) JILPUNGGACHI was an eye-catching five-length winner over this distance on just his second start a month ago. He is up in class here and will need to improve in what is testing company here, but he can step up and can win, almost certainly trying to make all. (2) TRI THUNDER was a winner on debut in September and has followed up with a 5th and a 3rd in two subsequent outings at this level. A strong finisher, he has claims here. As does (5) BACK TO BACK who is down in trop today having beaten four of these over 1300M last month. He was 2nd the last time he ran at this distance and can aim to at least match that today. (7) WINT SEVEN was one of those behind Back To Back last time and he should be better back down in trip here. (11) FINAL STORM perhaps best of the rest.

Selections (1) Jilpunggachi (7) Wint Seven (2) Tri Thunder (5) Back To Back
Next Best 11, 9
Fast Start 1, 3, 7, 10

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

(1) PRO HAMSEONG was the winner of a fast race at class and distance on what was just his second outing on December 16th. He made all and while he carries more weight today, should be repeating. Carrying the same amount of weight today and entering with almost identical form from two starts is (3) UNCLE OH. He was slightly less impressive when scoring his maiden win last time but did the job well enough an is the primary danger. (4) TOP BRAIN struggled on his first start after being gelded in early December, weakening badly late on to the extent he was sent back to trial He looked very good in that trial and can go much better today. (2) CUPID GUY and (8) MAGIC ROAD are others in the placing hunt.

Selections (1) Pro Hamseong (3) Uncle Oh (4) Top Brain (8) Magic Road
Next Best 2
Fast Start 1, 4

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

Three-year-old maidens here with eight of the twelve having raced before. Of those, (3) SOMETHING NOBODYNO ran well for 2nd place on debut on December 15th and with a similar performance today, will be the one to beat. (9) DAECHEON VOW also came home as runner-up on her first start a day later and while she perhaps has more to find, can be a danger. (2) STORM FORCE has raced twice, registering 4th and 3rd place finishes, both at this distance and she can continue her solid start here. (12) BLADE STORM has also proved competent over two starts so far and is another who can place. Of the debut-makers, (10) GEUMA SUPREME “won” the slowest trial imaginable in December and could spring a surprise.

Selections (3) Something Nobodyno (9) Daecheon Vow (2) Storm Force (12) Blade Storm
Next Best 10, 5
Fast Start 3, 9, 12

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

(2) WONDERFUL DIXIE made all to score by four-lengths at this distance on his third career start on December 22nd. He’s up in class here but can get on top early and could well win again. (4) CHEONROK was the one who got closest to him that day and in recording his second runner-up finish, also finds himself up in class. There’s nothing to be too afraid of here and he should be competitive. (9) SA SA ran 4th on her first try at (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 19

There are 13 races at Seoul on Saturday from 10:45 to 18:00:

(단신2) 출발 참관 프로그램 (2)

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens to kick things off with precisely half the field having raced before. Of those experienced ones, two have shown ability. (11) DIA PARK has finished 3rd in both of two starts, having raced prominently each time while (9) RAON PATRICK was much improved when 5th on his second attempt in December. Both will be contenders here. Among the debut-makers, (1) BEST STAR looked very good in trials two weeks ago, making all to win his heat. An unfashionable jockey booing may put some off but if he brings that trial form to the races, he’ll probably win. (8) ROYAL GHOST and (10) SUHO also showed promise in trials and can go well first-up.

Selections (1) Best Star (9) Raon Patrick (11) Dia Park (8) Royal Ghost
Next Best 10, 3
Fast Start 4, 9, 11

Race 2: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(2) CRAZY WIKI has been getting closer across five outings to date, running a very solid 4th on his latest outing on December 15th, He isn’t the quickest of starters, but if he can work his way into a good position from a nice draw, this could be his day. (1) TRIPLE KHAN is the main danger. He has a best of 3rd from three starts so far, all at this distance. He’s shown decent speed and if he gets to the front early, will be hard to get past. (5) HEUNGBOK DREAM already has a win to his name, scoring over 1200M last October. He hard a hard time in tricky company on re-appearance but this should suit nicely, and he can challenge Triple Khan for the early lead. There are a couple of debut-makers. (4) SOULY MAJESTIC showed a good turn of foot in trials and can be backed first-up.

Selections (2) Crazy Wiki (5) Heungbok Dream (1) Triple Khan (4) Souly Majestic
Next Best 9, 8
Fast Start 1, 5, 8

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

A full field of twelve maidens with just one debut-maker. But that’s the one we need to deal with first because (7) ACHIEVE put in one of the most eye-catching trials of last month, cruising home eleven-lengths ahead of the rest of his heat. Moon Se Young partners him for his debut today and with punters having let the former champion jockey win on a first-time starter at longs odds last week, he’s likely to be very well backed here. (5) WHITE FLOWER is probably the best of those with experience. She ran a good 2nd at this distance on November and was a useful 4th last time out. She comes in after seven weeks out and should go close. (6) MONEY SHARP has also not been too far away in recent starts and looks good for at least a place while (10) HAE WANG improved considerably on his latest outing and steps up in trip for the first time. (3) GWANGPOK JUHAENG is best of the rest.

Selections (7) Achieve (5) White Flower (10) Hae Wang (6) Money Sharp
Next Best 3, 1
Fast Start 3, 7, 9, 10

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies only here. (7) BLACK PARTY raced very keenly on debut in December which did her no favours at all, but she still finished in 5th place. She’s clearly got ability and with improved manners today, she can win. (3) SAENAE VICTORY improved last time out, registering a good 3rd place. She’s not the fastest of starters but can finish strongly. (5) REIGN races for the first time since a 2nd place back in November. That wasn’t the strongest of races, but it was at this distance and she can challenge for at least the places again. (1) IRON HEART has made progress across his three efforts to date and can continue here. (8) COMPLETE MOTION did nothing wrong when 4th on debut and is another in the money hunt.

Selections (7) Black Party (3) Saenae Victory (5) Reign (1) Iron Heart
Next Best 8, 4
Fast Start 2, 4, 8, 11

Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Four of these raced each other at this distance on December 16th. (9) A ONE HAMMER was favourite that day and led for much of the way around, just weakening in the final furlong and allowing two to come by. One of those was (7) CHA MARU, who finished 2nd, a length ahead. Both will be in contention here and we’ll go for A One Hammer to overturn that form. (4) KING N I ran 5th in that race and can aim to match or better that here but a stronger challenge may come from one who didn’t go that day. That’s (6) BINNANEUN RUBY, who enters off the back of a good 4th place finish in a stiff filly only contest at this distance a month ago. She’s still a maiden after fourteen starts but seems to be figuring things out. (2) FOR J.K looks best of the rest.

Selections (9) A One Hammer (6) Binnaneun Ruby (7) Cha Maru (4) King N I
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 5, 7, 8

Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Fillies and mares only. (3) DONGBANG JIJU took a couple of races to get to grips with this level but has a 4th and a 3rd from her latest two and steps up to two-turns for the first time with every chance it may suit. She’s likely to be on pace from the start and can go all the way. It’s a really competitive race though. (4) DAESEONG RUBY’s recent work has all been over 1000M so it’s a big step up for her today. Jockey booking is positive though and she will be backed. (7) CHEONGCHUN YEOLCHA and (8) SONGAM GONGJU both have experience at this distance, and both have performed well at it. That’s true too for (2) GEOBOOGI MANSE, who races for the first time since running 3rd over this distance in November and who is another one who should be considered here.

Selections (3) Dongbang Jiju (4) Daeseong Ruby (8) Songam Gongju (7) Cheongchun Yeolcha
Next Best 2, 6
Fast Start 1, 3, 4

Race 7: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Strong race. (7) DAEGUN ILGAL stepped up to this distance on December 15th to record his second runner-up finish in four career starts. He ran on nicely behind a good winner and could well go one better today. (5) EMORY SOCKS was 3rd in that race, just half a length back and also finishing strongly. She’s carrying a very light weight here and can go close again. (6) GEUMSEOK DOLPA is likely to be a big danger. A winner over 1300M in November, he’s up to this trip for the first time and his running style suggests it will suit. (3) HANYANG GONGJU comes in following a 2nd and a 4th in her latest two, both at class and distance and she’ll be close again. (8) FINE HEART and (9) LONG HITTER others to take into consideration.

Selections (6) Geumseok Dolpa (7) Daegun Ilgal (3) Hanyang Gongju (5) Emory Socks
Next Best 8, 9, 1
Fast Start 2, 3, 4, 8

Race 8: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(10) GYORYONG UNU hasn’t had the best of luck over his five starts to date but when he has been good, he has been very very good, and he made all to win by fourteen lengths at this distance on December 9th. He’s up in class today but if he gets a clean run, he should win again. There are a couple of good rivals here though. (3) ACE SOLONGO has won his latest two, both over 1300M and both by five-lengths and he will be a big danger as will the similarly in-form (12) MIREU STORM, who has won three in a row dating back to last August. It would be a surprise if the three of them don’t complete the trifecta but (1) GULCHARMNAMUSUP and (7) GEUMA THUNDER could slip into the placings as well.

Selections (10) Gyoryong Unu (3) Ace Solongo (12) Mireu Storm (1) Gulcharmnamusup
Next Best 7, 6
Fast Start 1, 3, 10, 12

Race 9: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

After showing poor manners when 4th in November and then having a hard day at the office when drawn wide in tough company in December, this should be a much better day for (4) FIGHTING HERO. From gate 4 he should be on pace early and can go all the way. (10) THE FINAL closed out 2018 with a solid 4th place in a similar test to this on December 16th and should be looking to better that here. (8) RAON KEVIN is up in class having won comfortably over 1000M on December 2nd. That wasn’t a strong race, and this is his first time over 1300M, but he should cope. (3) MASYA, starting for the first time since running 3rd at class and distance in October, and (5) HANIL MAGIC, look best of the rest.

Selections (4) Fighting Hero (10) The Final (8) Raon Kevin (3) Masya
Next Best 5, 11
Fast Start 4, 8, 11

Race 10: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(2) BENEDICT enters off the back of a win and a 2nd place from his last two starts, with the runner-up finish coming at class and distance on December 23rd. He’s giving plenty of weight away here but is very much the one to beat. Main danger is (1) FIGHTING LANGFUHR, who remains a maiden but has shown plenty of ability and was 2nd in a very fast race over 1000M in November. He ran well for 5th on his first try at this distance last time and should be a big factor here. Speaking of factors, (9) KEY FACTOR is still seeking a maiden victory but managed his best finish to date when 3rd over this distance last month and can build on that today.  (8) SUPER TRICK and (11) DONGBANG JIJON are others who could go close.

Selections (2) Benedict (1) Fighting Langfuhr (9) Key Factor (8) Super Trick
Next Best 11, 3
Fast Start 1, 2, 7, 9

Race 11: Class 3 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

Fillies and mares only. (8) BEST YEJI beat (1) BLUE MA STAR by a length hen the pair finished 2nd and 4th over 1700M on December 23rd. Back down at 1300M today, that form is likely to be overturned and Blue Ma Star could well win. She’ll come from the back as will the two other main hopes here, (5) TO GO WIN and (7) LOVE IT. Both enter in solid recent form and despite both being maidens, it wouldn’t be a surprise if one of them was to shed that tag here. (11) WOMAN VOLT beat three of these on her way to 2nd place at class and distance on December 8th and should be in the placing hunt here. (6) GAON QUEEN ran poorly that day but can be given another chance.

Selections (1) Blue Ma Star (5) To Go Win (7) Love It (11) Woman Volt
Next Best 6, 12
Fast Start 4, 6, 9, 10

Race 12: Class 2 (2000M) Allowance / KRW 110 Million

(11) LION ROCK ran well across three starts between September and December last year (despite being well back in the President’s Cup behind brother older Triple Nine. He ran 3rd in a good race over 1800M on December 1st and up at 2000M today, can return to the winner’s circle for the first time since last April. (2) JISANGMYEONGRYEONG and (8) WONDERFUL JACKPOT are both up in class having both registered back to back victories in their latest two outings. Both stretch out to 2000M for the first time as well with Wonderful Jackpot the one most likely to push the favourite close. (6) HWANGGEUM BISANG and (9) TIZ PLAN are two others who could cause an upset.

Selections (11) Lion Rock (8) Wonderful Jackpot (9) Tiz Plan (8) Jisangmyeongryeong
Next Best 6, 10
Fast Start 1, 10

Race 13: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(7) GUREUM WANGJA had a tough time when trying this class for the first time last month bringing to an end a four-race win streak. He got caught in kickback and lost plenty f ground late on. He’s better than that though and is worth another chance today. (2) PHILLANIKE and (12) GLOBAL NEWS came home 2nd and 3rd when they raced each other at class and distance at the beginning of December. The former came back out and ran creditably enough in a stiff race just before Christmas and both can go close today. (1) MONEY CAMP has proven competitive at this level and has solid placing chances while (4) RAON ROCKY is up in class after a good win last time and shouldn’t be out of his depth.

Selections (7) Gureum Wangja (2) Phillanike (1) Money Camp (12) Global News
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 1, 10


Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 18)

It’s Friday! It’s Busan! There are 11 races on the South-Coast from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A filly maiden to begin with and having run well for 3rd on debut in October at this distance, (9) SILLAUI MISO was long odds-on favourite when stepped up to 1300M a month later. She led early but weakened to 4th in the final furlong. Back down in trip today, she should go close. (4) B.K. SOUND improved to 2nd place on what was her second outing on December 14th. She too will be looking for a fast start and is the main danger and likely favourite. The solitary four-year-old in the race, (12) SWEET PARK returned from ten months out to run a good 2nd place at this distance three weeks ago and she can aim to at least match here. (5) BROWN PIE and first-time starter (11) ECTON SMILE, a stablemate of B.K. Sound, are others who can compete for at least places.

Selections (9) Sillaui Miso (4) B.K. Sound (12) Sweet Park (5) Brown Pie
Next Best 11, 8
Fast Start 1, 4, 9, 12

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

More maidens, three-year-olds only this time. (5) THUNDER RAIN has improved across three starts so far and while he came up slightly short when favourite on December 14th, he ran well enough to suggest that a win isn’t far away and really, it should be here. (3) GOLDEN SHARP has three 5th places finishes, and a 6th from four outings so far. He’ll be expected to join the favourite in contesting the early lead and at a minimum should be getting his best placing to date here. (8) DAEHO JILJU and (9) SILVER BEST have both hinted at some ability across a pair of starts each and are in the placing frame.

Selections (5) Thunder Rain (3) Golden Sharp (8) Daeho Jilju (9) Silver Best
Next Best  6, 4
Fast Start 3, 5

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Maidens here with just four of the nine having raced before. (1) MERCI CHERIE debuted over 1300M finishing 3rd having raced prominently throughout. Down to the minimum trip today, he only needs a bit of improvement to be right in the mix here. He’ll need to beat (5) LUCKY NUMBER ONE. Kim Young Kwan’s filly led for much of the way around 1300M last time only to finish 3rd. That was her best to date and it would be a surprise if she doesn’t better that here. Among the first-time starters, (6) PAGEUKCHEON won a trial in late December and should go well first-up. (2) HOLIDAY PARIS and (3) FINAL RULES also went well in their respective heats. As ever with races like this, keep an eye on the market.

Selections (6) Pageukcheon (1) Merci Cherie (5) Lucky Number One (3) Final Rules
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 3, 5, 6

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

(6) MR. COLORS returned from five months off to run a solid 3rd place over this distance on December 30th. That was an uptick in form, and he could well keep it going here. He’ll be on pace along with main rival (10) GREAT WIN. He ran 3rd on debut a month ago over 1000M and should have come on for the run. (7) CHOEGANG CLEAR ran well for 4th at this distance last time and should be aiming to at least repeat while the experienced (3) SERENDIPITER may still be a maiden after twenty-four attempts but his recent form reads well and he’s likely to be there or thereabouts. (4) HURRICANE BAY returns for the first time since last September and a trial victory a month ago gives cause for optimism about possible improvement.

Selections (6) Mr. Colors (10) Great Win (7) Choegang Clear (4) Hurricane Bay
Next Best 3, 9
Fast Start 4, 5, 6, 10

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

(9) DOCTOR WEEK has come close in his latest two outings, both of which were arguably in tougher company than this. He has a 2nd place at the distance and is likely to be ridden forward here. He should win. (11) YEONGSEONGFIGHTING ran well on debut and while he was beaten a full ten-lengths into 2nd place by promising filly Nakita, he beat a couple of the others who go here and ran through the line in a manner that suggests he will appreciate the additional distance today. (1) ACE BOOM was 4th in that race on what was (more…)

Richard Oliver Set For Busan Debut Friday

There’s a new face in the overseas jockey ranks in Korea as Great Britain’s Richard Oliver prepares to embark on an initial four-month license at Busan Racecourse this weekend.


Not that there’s been much time for acclimatization for Oliver, who showed up at the racecourse fresh off the plane on Wednesday – coincidentally declarations day – and left having been booked for two rides, one each on Friday and Sunday. “They were a last-minute pick-up, I was there for my orientation. I wasn’t initially planning to ride this week!”.

Last minute or not, the twenty-seven-year-old Oliver has landed on his feet, as he gets the leg-up on talented filly Core Blade for trainer Kang Eun-Seok in Friday’s class 2 finale. Core Blade has won four of ten starts so far and while up in class and back in trip, will be among the favourites in the seven-furlong test. It’s a whirlwind start but for the 27-year-old, the journey to Korea has been some years in the making.

“I found out about Korea when I was an apprentice riding in California in 2016, (and read a news article) naming it as an up and coming ‘racing superpower’ and it kind of stuck in my head.” A native of Great Britain, Oliver chose to go to the USA to complete his apprenticeship and make his breakthrough as a jockey and has subsequently ridden winners in France, Germany, Bahrain and Mauritius, as well as back at home.

The chance to come to Korea and get a foothold in Asia was always at the back of his mind though. “I heard more and more about it but wasn’t at a stage in my career where I’d proven qualified to come here until now, so I applied and waited.”

During the wait, Oliver has built a successful career and comes in having experienced a standout 2018 during which he won feature races in both France and the UAE. However, the jockey rates his recent stint in Mauritius as his favourite memory to date: “I think my best day came on my first day riding in Mauritius where I had a treble. This was particularly satisfying as I was competing in a highly competitive environment with leading riders from South Africa, Australia and the USA”.

It will be competitive too at Busan and Oliver, who can ride at 52kg, joins Franco Da Silva and Francois Herholdt, who make up the small overseas contingent at the track. He’s set himself ambitious but achievable targets. “I want to maintain a respectable strike-rate throughout my time here, ride as many winners as possible and would like to hold a spot among the top five riders”.

Richard Oliver’s Korean debut will come in the very last race of Friday’s 11-race card at Busan which runs from 11:30 to 18:00 local Korea time. He’ll get a further taste of the Busan track on Sunday afternoon when he partners New Jack Swing in race 2.