The weekend’s racing in Korea gets underway at Busan on Friday with 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(1) SPICE ROCK is half-sister to four-time President’s Cup winner Triple Nine and was sent off as long odds-on favourite on debut over 1000M on November 23rd. She only managed 4th but after a few weeks off and stepping up to 1300M today, she’ll be strongly favoured to get it right this time. (6) ROCK HARD QUEEN and (7) GOLDUI INYEON both come in having run 4th in their respective latest starts. The former looks more of a threat here. (3) SEONGSAN POWER ran well for 3rd place on debut in October and while he failed to follow up on re-appearance, can be given another chance here. The solitary debut-maker is (5) JUNGKKOT and having posted a fast time in trials, she has to be given at least a placing chance first-up in this company.
|Selections||(1) Spice Rock (6) Rock Hard Queen (3) Seongsan Power (5) Jungkkot|
|Next Best||10, 7|
|Fast Start||3, 9, 10|
Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maidens only. (3) BARAMEUI KKUM has finished 4th in both her two starts so far, the latter at this distance. She’s not shown much in the way of speed but possibly won’t need to against this distinctly modest set of opponents. From gate 3, she can get an early lead and go all the way. (1) THUNDER BAY defied extremely low expectations to run 4th himself on debut a month ago and while it was in no way shape or form quick, he ran through the line well and the step up in trip may suit. The rest are going to need to improve. (5) YAKSOKDAERO is from Korea’s top stable and will be backed although she’s done nothing in two goes so far. (4) SUNRISE QUEEN has only raced the once and can be given another chance in this weak affair.
|Selections||(3) Barameui Kkum (1) Thunder Bay (4) Sunrise Queen (5) Yaksokdaero|
|Next Best||6, 7|
|Fast Start||5, 6|
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
More three-year-old maidens and while it’s not much stronger than the previous one, there are at least a few with some form. (1) YONGYEON is the slight pick. He’s run 5th and 4th in two starts so far, both at this trip. Most recently, he overcame the widest draw to get close to the early pace and ran on well and from the inside this time, he can go close. (6) IRON WARRIOR was 6th behind Yongyeon on his debut five weeks ago, and he can improve too but the biggest danger will be (8) DONGBANG WARRIOR. He already has a 2nd place to his name, behind the promising Deep Mind in November, and ran 4th to the even better-looking Success Party two weeks ago. The stable is bang in form right now and he can win. (3) BAEKDU DAEHO looks to be figuring things out and can look to place while (5) DAMYANG CHOEGANG has been inconsistent across three starts so far but does have some ability and ran well in a December trial.
|Selections||(1) Yongyeon (8) Dongbang Warrior (5) Damyang Choegang (3) Baekdu Daeho|
|Fast Start||1, 8|
Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Another relatively weak maiden, this time age open. (4) HWANGGEUMBITMASENG is the likely favourite having registered three 4th place finishes from his latest four starts, the latter two in tougher company than this. Jockey Kim Tae Kyung hasn’t been beaten on a favourite for over two years (granted, he has only ridden three) and he could maintain that record. The primary danger is (5) ROYAL BLUE. Thomas Gillespie’s colt hasn’t raced since last July, but he managed a 2nd and a 3rd among six outings before his layoff – a better record than any of the others here. He trialled competently if unspectacularly in December and could go well first-up here. (1) ULSAN JANGGUN and (7) HAPPY MAGIC both come in off encouraging showings last time and looks set to be competing for places.
|Selections||(4) Hwanggeumbitmaseng (5) Royal Blue (1) Ulsan Janggun (7) Happy Magic|
|Next Best||2, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 6|
Race 5: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
The nine of these have a grand total of one 3rd place finish between them. That was by (6) WANBONG and it was some time ago. The pick probably has to be (5) BEOLMA CHEONHA. He hasn’t raced since May but he’s going to be backed based on a rather eye-catching showing in a trial on December 28th which he “won” by twelve-lengths. Well drawn to get on pace here, if he shows a fraction of that ability today, he wins. (3) VERYVERYTHANKYOU also looked a much better horse in a December trial than he has done in his actual races so far while it’s a similar story with (7) FUNKY, a trial winner in October but who could only manage 9th on his sole start so far. We’ll look for them all to (more…)