Day: January 17, 2019

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.