Month: February 2019

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

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


Franco Da Silva has had an excellent start to 2019 and has a number of chances of Friday

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

Three-year-old maidens to begin with and while eight of the twelve have raced before, it’s one of the four debut-makers who’s set to be favourite. (6) SMART MOD trialled a couple of times last summer in good fashion, but setbacks kept him from making his debut. He trialled again similarly well last month and if he brings that form to the races, should win. Of those with prior experience, (9) MERCI CHERIE ran well for 3rd on debut at the end of December and while he was a touch disappointing on his return, can be backed to improve here. (3) RAPIDO MAN debuted last September and finally returns having trialled well in February – he is from the track’s top stable and will be expected to improve. (2) BUSAN CITY looks best of the rest.

Selections (6) Smart Mod (9) Merci Cherie (3) Rapido Man (2) Busan City
Next Best 4, 12
Fast Start 3, 7, 12

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

Weak maiden here and (4) LISTEN TO ME, who after a shaky debut, has put in two solid 4th place finishes beating a couple of these in the process. She won’t have to be much better to win this. (5) SINHEUNG JANGSU has shown glimpses of ability with a pair of 5ths among three outings so far. She should be on pace early and can cause problems for the favourite. (8) ARA MYUNGMA managed a 3rd place on her only try at this distance so far. She struggled at 1300M last time but should be better here. (1) WORLD SLAM and the solitary debut-maker (2) RAINBOW PARK are others to consider.

Selections (4) Listen To Me (5) Sinheung Jangsu (8) Ara Myungma (1) World Slam
Next Best 2, 3
Fast Start 5, 9, 12

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

With a 3rd and a 2nd from two starts so far, (5) WONDERFUL MORNING should be making his breakthrough here. He just missed out by half a length at this distance last time having led almost the entire way around and can get it right this time. (1) MAEPSI COLOR was a much-improved 2nd on his latest effort on February 1st and looks set to go well again. (10) USEUNG STORY came home 3rd in that same race, less than a length behind Maepsi Color and he too can be a threat once more. (11) GUKMIN STAR steps back up in trip after a good 3rd around 1000M five weeks ago and should be in at least the placing hunt. (2) DOCTOR WEEK had a poor day at the office when well backed last time out but has run well at this distance before and can be given another chance here.

Selections (5) Wonderful Morning (1) Maepsi Color (10) Useung Story (2) Doctor Week
Next Best 11, 6
Fast Start 1, 5, 8

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

(1) MORNING WANGJA and (6) CHEONJI KINGS came home 3rd and 4th when they raced each other over this distance on February 1st. They were a long way behind the winner and runner-up, but both showed enough to suggest they’ll be competitive in this kind of company. Cheonji Kings is favoured to overturn that form and take the honours here, most likely leading all the way. (10) YEONGBONGSAN has been inconsistent but should have enough about him to challenge for a place here. (2) DARK TEMPLAR and (3) YAKSOKDAERO are others who should go close

Selections (6) Cheonji Kings (1) Morning Wangja (10) Yeongbongsan (2) Dark Templar
Next Best 3, 8
Fast Start 2, 6

Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Ten three-year-old maiden imports here with five having raced before and five making their debuts. Of those first-timers, (6) SSONSAL has gone through plenty of trials, most recently last weekend when he made all in a fast heat. So long as he didn’t leave his race there, the Adios Charlie colt has an excellent chance first-up here. (1) JANGSAN BOBBY and (4) EVERLASTING GIRL are other debut-makers who showed promise in trials but it’s two experienced ones who are likely to be the biggest threats. (8) RETURN OF SUBSIDY and (10) JINJJA GANGJA came home 2nd and 4th respectively when they raced each other on February 1st over 1300M. Both look to be improving and can appreciate the drop back to the minimum trip here.

Selections (6) Ssonsal (8) Return Of Subsidy (10) Jinjja Gangja (4) Everlasting Girl
Next Best 1, 5
Fast Start 5, 6, 8

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

Four of these raced each other at the distance on February 1st and it was (6) CHOEGANG SEONBONG who came out on top, finishing in 2nd place – his best performance in sixteen starts.  He could go one better here, but it won’t be easy. (9) MARU JJANG was 3rd in that race and (3) DYNAMIC BOLT 4th and both have claims to get closer this time. (4) HARVEST SEASON ran a close 4th at this distance just two weeks ago and makes a quick return with Franco Da Silva in the saddle. There’s not much early speed in this race and he could be tempted to try and lead all the way. (11) ALBERT KING is another who comes in following an encouraging performance last time and may be considered.

Selections (4) Harvest Season (6) Choegang Seonbong (11) Albert King (9) Maru Jjang
Next Best 3, 8
Fast Start 4, 8, 9

Race 7: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) RAON ARES got his maiden win in impressive fashion at the beginning of January over 1000M but was a significant let-down when well-backed for his first try at this level over 1300M later that month. He steps back slightly in trip today, should be on pace from the start, and can be given another chance. (8) POWER WINDY was another who performed significantly below market expectations last time. He raced most ungenerously but does have ability and if his manners are better, he’ll be much closer this time. (2) HEUIMANG YEOJEONSA won on debut back in October and finally reappears here following a couple of setbacks. He was quite ordinary in a trial last week but was competent enough and can go well. Also returning for the first time since October is (1) MUJEOK VETERAN. He displayed plenty of talent across four starts prior to the layoff and looked good when trialling two weeks ago. (7) TWO TWO SPINO is up in class today and despite remaining a maiden, should be comfortable in this company.

Selections (5) Raon Ares (1) Mujeok Veteran (7) Two Two Spino (2) Heuimang Yeojeonsa
Next Best 8, 6
Fast Start 2, 5, 7

Race 8: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(6) YEONGGWANGUIFORCE is up in class today having secured his maiden win at the third time of asking four weeks ago. It was at this distance and he prevailed by four-lengths and has every chance of winning again today. Main danger is (5) ROCK CHOICE. His maiden win came at this distance in December and after having a hard time over a mile, he dropped back to 1300M last time for a good 3rd place in what was a fast race. (2) AMAZING WINNER is another one up in class after a maiden win and while she perhaps has a bit more to find, she should be competitive. (8) ATOMIJI and (10) COMING AGAIN are others who should be in at least the placing hunt.

Selections (6) Yeonggwanguiforce (5) Rock Choice (2) Amazing Winner (8) Atomiji
Next Best 10, 1
Fast Start 1, 2

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

(9) VANJEFE comes in here in solid form having beaten plenty of these in recent outings. He was somewhat surprisingly beaten last time by (4) DYNAMIC ROOKIE but has every chance of overturning that form here and can return to the winner’s circle. Dynamic Rookie will be one of the principle dangers but there are plenty of other capable ones here. (5) DUBAI TEUKGEUP is two starts into a comeback following several months out. He ran 5th behind Vanjefe on his latest outing six weeks ago but can get closer today. (2) YONGGU tries this trip for the first time after closing out 2018 with a good 2nd at a mile and can be considered as well. (12) DELMARUI GIJEOK looks best of the rest.

Selections (9) Vanjefe (5) Dubai Teukgeup (4) Dynamic Rookie (2) Yonggu
Next Best 12, 11
Fast Start 5, 9

Race 10: Class 1 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

A rare Friday class 1 and (12) BAENGMUNBAEKDAP is the one they’ll need to beat here. He comes in following a win and a 4th place in two tough races over 2000M and could well have too much. (2) APPROACH and (4) GOOD CASTING both return after short absences and both can go well here but the biggest danger may be the still somewhat unexposed (1) NEW YORK MANGCHI. A winner of four from nine so far, he’s up in class today following a fine and battling win on his first try at this distance on February 1st.  He’ll be on pace from the start and he could go close. (5) PASHA another who should be in the hunt.

Selections (12) Baengmunbaekdap (1) New York Mangchi (4) Good Casting (2) Approach
Next Best 5, 9
Fast Start 1, 3, 8

Race 11: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A winner at this distance at class 5 in January, (10) PRECEDE finished 3rd on his first try at this level four weeks ago. This looks a less onerous assignment and while he needs to overcome the widest gate, he can get on pace early and is likely to lead all the way. (4) WONDERFUL STORY was a class and distance winner last time and while he carries some extra weight today, should be a factor again. (1) JANGHAN JILJU steps up in trip following solid recent work at 1300M and has placing chances. (7) MYEONGSIN POWER and the returning (3) EVELYN are others in the hunt.

Selections (10) Precede (4) Wonderful Story (1) Janghan Jilju (7) Myeongsin Power
Next Best 3, 8
Fast Start 10


Dolkong Goes Again At Meydan Tonight


He did quite well:

Dolkong will make his third Dubai World Cup start when he tries his luck in the Listed Curlin Handicap at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday evening (1.50am Friday mmorning Korea time).

The Simon Foster-trained 5-year-old ran 6th in Group company over a mile in January before running 3rd in a handicap at tonight’s distance of 2000M last month. That day’s winner Salterin Dubai, also returns. Olivier Doleuze will ride Dolkong for the second time.


Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (February 24)

It’s set to be a very mild Sunday and there are big cards at both Seoul and Busan. The captial hosts 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00 while at Busan there are 6 from 12:40 to 17:05. Here are previews of both tracks:


Derby winner Ecton Blade is out of form but is in action at Busan on Sunday

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

(5) SENTOSA has been knocking at the door and got close to being let in last time when just being beaten a neck over this distance in December. She’s had over two months off since and is well drawn to get on pace and potentially go all the way. (3) DAEJI YEOGEOL is the main danger and likely favourite. While she only managed 5th over 1300M last time, she’s gone well at this trip before and looks to have plenty of improvement in her. (1) BORN ANGEL ran 2md on his last try at the distance and should be close while (2) SOBAEK YEONGJU and (4) GIVEN RUNNER are others in the placing hunt.

Selections (5) Sentosa (3) Daeji Yeogeol (1) Born Angel (2) Sobaek Yeongju
Next Best 4, 10
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 10, 11

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

(6) BLACK PARTY is set to be a warm favourite here. Having run 5th n debut in December, he improved to a good 2nd when put up to this distance on his reappearance last month and should have too much for this lot. (11) HAERANG didn’t look to be amounting to much across her first three outings but has improved significantly in her latest two and can continue to make progress today. She was 3rd last time ahead of (12) HIT THE PACE in 5th and he’s another with potential to go better here. (2) DIA PARK steps up in trip for the first time and should be competitive while (7) HAMYANG SANSAM could only manage 7th on her first try at this distance four weeks ago but may have come on for that and can be closer this time.

Selections (6) Black Party (11) Haerang (12) Hit The Pace (2) Dia Park
Next Best 7, 4
Fast Start 2, 6, 7

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(10) MYEONGJIN MAN is the one to beat here. He only ran 4th when favourite on his latest start on January 6th but he was fractious in the barriers and lost ground at the start. He passed a subsequent stalls test and should be better today. It’s a similar story with (1) PARRHESIA, who stumbled at the start last time and never really recovered. That was over 1700M, so we’ll give him another chance here as he won impressively at this distance in December. (8) TRI THUNDER steps up in trip and into contention here while (3) MAPAEBONG and (4) MENI SMART are others who can be forgiven lacklustre latest outings and should both be in the frame today.

Selections (10) Myeongjin Man (1) Parrhesia (8) Tri Thunder (4) Meni Smart
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 1, 4, 6

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

(6) BEST STAR made all to win by five-lengths on debut at this distance on January 19th. He’s up in class here but the manner of that win is enough to put him on top for a repeat. (9) SOMETHING NOBODYNO was almost as easy on the eye when scoring on what was his second career start a month ago. He too led all the way and looks to have what it takes to handle himself at this level and beyond. (3) RAISING ANGEL won on debut just before Christmas and then finished a creditable 4th on her first try at this level in similar company last month. She can build on that today. Draw a line through the latest effort from (1) POP STREET – he suffered a bad start and was later found to be lame – after almost three months off, he gets a fresh start. (2) DAMON ANGEL too is better than his latest outing suggests.

Selections (6) Best Star (9) Something Nobodyno (1) Pop Street (3) Raising Angel
Next Best 2, 11
Fast Start 1, 5, 6, 11

Busan Race 1 Selections: 8, 5, 2, 7

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Fillies and mares only and it’s a strong race for the level. (8) DADDY GLORY has won two out of her latest three in fine fashion and is up in class following a four-length score last time. She can set up camp behind the early speed and finish strongly. Plenty of others with a chance too though. (4) MATCH QUEEN is up in class too after a seven-length win at 1000M and while a previous try at this distance didn’t go well, she looks ready for another crack. (9) ACE SOLONGO has won twice at this distance and comes in after a close 3rd in a similarly strong race over 1000M last month. (3) GONG SAN was a class and distance winner in December and must be respected while (11) BODEURAM too has solid claims for at least a place.

Selections (8) Daddy Glory (9) Ace Solongo (3) Gong San (4) Match Queen
Next Best 11, 2
Fast Start 2, 4, 6, 12

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

(2) GREAT WIN is up in class following a dominant win at this distance on January 18th. Well drawn to be on speed again, he has every chance of following up. (3) POWER AMAZING was a touch disappointing last time but has a 3rd place at class and distance and top jockey on here. (11) LUCKY ADELE steps up in distance for the first time and can get close. (7) NEW JACK SWING is another who has demonstrated some ability at this trip (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Alan Munro To Make Seoul Debut – Race-By-Race Preview (February 23)

Globe-trotting jockey Alan Munro will finally make his Korea bow on Saturday. The English Classic winning rider begins an initial four-month license at Seoul Racecourse with five rides across the weekend.

(단신2) 출발 참관 프로그램 (2)

Alan Munro rode his first winner in 1985, aged 18 at Yarmouth, serving his apprenticeship under Barry Hills and Mel Brittain becoming a fully-fledged rider in 1990. A year later, shortly after becoming retained jockey for Prince Fahd Salman he won the Epsom Derby on Generous, trained by Paul Cole. The pair would go on to win the Irish Derby and then the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Munro continued to meet with success throughout the early and mid-1990’s, winning Group races on two continents with Zoman in 1992 before relocating to Hong Kong. There he would win both the Hong Kong Gold Cup and Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Industrialist in 2000.

After taking four years away from the sport, Munro returned to action in the UK in 2005 where he won the Northumberland Plate, Ebor and Cesarewitch on the popular Sergeant Cecil. Since leaving the UK permanently in 2010, Munro has plied his trade around Asia with stints on the NAR circuit in Japan, in Mauritius and most recently in Singapore.

Munro kicks off his Seoul stint on previously unraced three-year-old filly Daegun OK in race 1 on Saturday and also has rides for trainer Kim Hak Soo and Song Moon Gil later in the day. Here’s the race-by-race:

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies to begin with. Only two have raced before and for one of those, it was eight months ago. The other one, (4) BEST SINHWA didn’t do too much wrong on debut and can match the 4th place she achieved that day. (7) GEUM STAR performed very nicely in her trial, getting out of the gate well and leading for much of it. She should go well first-up. (3) TAP LINE was just a couple of lengths behind in the same heat and can also be competitive. That was Tap Line’s second trial having previously run 2nd to (6) COMPLETE SHOCK, who is another who looks to potentially have some talent. (1) WINNER SAY and (2) CHOWON MARU are others who may be backed first-up here.

Selections (7) Geum Star (3) Tap Line (2) Chowon Maru (1) Winner Say
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 2, 7, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(9) BINNANEUN RUBY is the likely favourite here. She’s a fifteen-race maiden but recent form reads well, and she beat a couple of these on her way to a close 3rd place at the distance a month ago. She can settle behind a pace that will probably be set by (1) BULUI QUEEN, who steps up in trip following a couple of encouraging performances at 1000M. (3) SPECIAL BIRD is another who will aim for a fast start. She ran 4th at this distance last time and should be looking to better it here. (8) BAEKDU GEOPO and (12) A ONE HAMMER are others in the hunt.

Selections (9) Binnaneun Ruby (1) Bului Queen (3) Special Bird (8) Baekdu Geopo
Next Best 12, 7
Fast Start 1, 3, 6, 12

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

A competitive maiden for three-year-olds. Both (2) SIMJANGUI GODONG and (6) JEONGSANG STAR come in having finished 3rd on their respective debuts. Both are firmly in the hunt here with Simjangui Godong marginally favoured. (1) HEUK JEONSA was an improved 2nd behind Jeongsang Star last time and can continue his progress today. (3) EX BLADE similarly ran pleasingly enough for 5th on his debut last month and may appreciate the extra distance here. There are four first-timers and among them, (10) SPADE MASHIE looks the pick. He showed promise on a trail at the beginning of this month looks nicely placed here.

Selections (2) Simjangui Godong (6) Jeongsang Star (10) Spade Mashie (1) Heuk Jeonsa
Next Best 3, 9
Fast Start 1, 9

Race 4: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Maidens with seven of the twelve trying two-turns for the first time. (4) MYEONGMA JILU has a best of 3rd from three starts so far. That was at 1000M, but she ran well enough over 1300M last time to suggest she can be a factor here. (3) SINUI CHUKBOK has also only appeared three times, all of them at 1000M. She too has shown a little bit of promise and may suit the big step up in trip. (11) EVERYTHING WIN beat a couple of these on her way to 4th place at 1300M on January 26th and could be ready to give two-turns another shot here. Similarly (7) CHA MARU, who has a 4th place to his name at this distance – albeit almost a year ago – enters with recent form reading positively and can go close. (10) LUCKY FACTORY looks best of a very mediocre rest.

Selections (4) Myeongma Jilju (11) Everything Win (7) Cha Maru (3) Sinui Chukbok
Next Best 10, 2
Fast Start 3, 6, 7

Race 5: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Two standouts here and they’ll be coming out of the widest gates. (11) BULHUUI MYEONGGOG got his maiden win at the 21st time of asking on January 12th at this distance. The time before he was just beaten a nose. He does carry an additional 4kg today, but he can repeat. (12) MASYA remains a maiden following ten attempts but has come close in her latest two, just going down by half a length over 1300M last time. She tries two-turns for the first time here and it may well suit. (6) BAEKDUI TAEYANG and (9) FIRST QUEEN, the latter 5th behind Bulhuui Myeonggog last month, should both be (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (February 22)

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

You Hyun Myung rides

You Hyun Myung has been in top form so far in 2019

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

Three-year-old maidens to kick things off with seven of the twelve having raced before. Of those, (3) FINAL RULES ran 2nd on debut on January 18th and the filly is the pick to go one better this time. A couple of the others have shown some ability too. (12) TWO TWO FIRE has a 3rd and a 4th from two starts so far and should be looking to place again while both (1) BROWN PIE and (9) TRUE SIGNATURE also put in useful performances when running 4th in their respective latest outings. There is one stand-out among the first-timers. (2) TOHAM IMPACT is a half-sister to Jeongan Kingdom, a solid campaigner at Seoul, and he went well in a trial, albeit all the way back in November. Jockey booking a plus too.

Selections (3) Final Rules (2) Toham Impact (12) Two Two Fire (1) Brown Pie
Next Best 9, 10
Fast Start 1, 3, 6, 9

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

More maidens although this time all but one have raced before. (8) NAEGA SAEGANGJA lines up for the third time and having run 2nd and 3rd in the prior two and should be the one to beat here. None of the others especially impressed although (1) B.K. LUNA didn’t do too much wrong when 4th of eight on debut six weeks ago and can build on that here. Likewise, (4) ACE CRUSH has been inconsistent across seven outings so far but has registered a pair of 4th place finishes and can be competitive here, while (7) QUEEN OF ADELE too has hinted at ability. One interesting entrant is (3) BONINARA. She offered little on debut in December but has since been back to trial and looked much better. She could go well.

Selections (8) Naega Saegangja (3) Boninara (4) Ace Crush (1) B.K. Luna
Next Best 7, 10
Fast Start 1, 3, 6, 7

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

(8) VERYVERYTHANKYOU was beaten half a length into 2nd by a nice-looking winner (Miss Fact) over this distance on February 1st. The pair were eleven-lengths clear of the rest of the field, which included a couple of those who go here too, and he really should be winning today. (3) HWANGGEUMBITMASENG looks the most credible challenger having run a solid 2nd last time out over 1000M and has previously gone well at this distance too. (5) HOT GIRL and (11) MAGIC FLYING are others who should be in the placing frame.

Selections (8) Veryverythankyou (3) Hwanggeumbitmaseng (11) Magic Flying (5) Hot Girl
Next Best 7, 2
Fast Start 1, 7, 8, 10

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

Yet more three-year-old maidens. (8) RAON CAESERS didn’t do much on debut in November but was a much improved 2nd at this trip five weeks ago. He’ll be on pace here and looks the one to beat. (10) HWARANGUICHAMPION ran a very solid 2nd on debut on December 30th and should have come on for it after eight weeks off while (11) HOLIDAY PARIS was 3rd on her first start a month ago and should benefit from the additional distance today. (There are four debut makers among whom (4) CHOEGANG BOSS looks the pick, however, the most intriguing entry is one who has already raced once, albeit unimpressively and a full seven months ago. That’s (3) FRIDAY, the first foal out of 2013 Korean Derby and Oaks winner Speedy First. Last of seven on his only start last July, he’s not been seen since, but now returns, gelded, and having looked much more competent in a trial last month. He has a chance.

Selections (8) Raon Caesers (3) Friday (10) Hwaranguichampion (11) Holiday Paris
Next Best 4, 5
Fast Start 3, 5, 7, 8

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

(6) FIGHT MAGIC has run 5th and 3rd from two outings to date and steps up to a mile for the first time with solid claims of making her breakthrough. She’ll be on pace early as will potential dangers (8) DAEDONG MANSE, a much-improved 2nd when bumped up to this trip last time, and (9) GRAND JILJU, who has done all his work at shorter distances so far but may benefit from a step up in trip today. Another contender is (5) ROYAL TICKET, who has finished off well in both efforts over 1300M so far and is another who can appreciate the mile today. The other “royal”, (1) ROYAL BLUE, returned from six months off to run a decent 5th over 1000M last month and should have come on for it. He too tries the distance for the first time.

Selections (6) Fight Magic (5) Royal Ticket (9) Grand Jilju (1) Royal Blue
Next Best 8, 4
Fast Start 6, 8, 9

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

One of the trickier contests on the card but the recent form of (2) HAPPY DRAGON suggests he has a good chance of winning here. He comes in having run 3rd in a similarly strong race at class and distance on January 25th with a couple of his rivals here behind him. He’ll come from off the pace and with a bit of luck, can win. Plenty of others enter (more…)

Ioannis Poullis Rides 1st Korean Winner / Road Winner Strolls At Seoul But World Day Goes Down At Busan

Richard Oliver did it on Friday and on Sunday it was the turn of Ioannis Poullis to make his Busan breakthrough and ride his first Korean winner. The Cypriot jockey did it the hard way too, guiding 60/1 chance Jeongsang Korea to victory in a hard-fought concluding race 6.

Poullis debuted at Busan just before the Lunar New Year holiday but started in earnest this Friday when he made the places for the first time. His book of four rides on Sunday looked uninspiring and so they had proved to be with his first three mounts of the afternoon only beating one horse between them.

That all changed in the last though as Poullis brought Jeongsang Korea, who last won in December 2017, through late to score by just over a length in the 1200M class 2 contest. 90/1 chance Ubaki got closest to the winner, making for an unlikely 2700/1 exacta.

It was a good day for the most established foreign rider at the track. Franco Da Silva won race 1 on odds-on favourite Tongil Hanguk and then claimed the spoils in the feature 2200M Class 1 Handicap on Jumbo Blade. World Day, who came into the race having won eight of his previous nine starts was sent off as the odds-on favourite, but he reared up as the gates opened, instantly losing too much ground to be a serious factor.

Meanwhile Da Silva kept Jumbo Blade handy and he was able to comfortably outsprint top-weight Great King and the fast-finishing Choegang Thunder for a four-length win. With that victory Jumbo Blade, a four-year-old US-bred colt by Mineshaft, moved on to five wins from ten career starts.

Seoul saw a similarly long-distance feature race but there were no problems for the odds-on favourite in the capital. Road Winner was an also-ran in the Grand Prix Stakes at the end of 2018 but had subsequently won over 1800M and back up to 2300M today, had little difficulty in dispatching eight class 1 rivals by a comfortable five-length margin. A four-year-old by Discreet Cat, he moves onto seven wins from ten outings.

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (February 17)

It’s Stayers’ Sunday! Horses who like a bit of distance to get stuck into don’t get many opportunities in Korea but they do – kind of – this Sunday in that the feature Class 1 handicaps at both Seoul & Busan are at the maximum distance in use at the respective tracks; 2300M at Seoul (the Grand Prix distance) and 2200 at Busan. There are in total 11 races at Seoul (10:45 to 18:00) and 6 at Busan (12:40 to 17:05). Previews for Seoul followed by Selections for Busan are below:

Road Winner winning the JRA Trophy - KRA

Road Winner will be action at Seoul on Sunday (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Race 1: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Two standout contenders here will be expected to dispute the honours between them. (2) YAHO THUNDER CAT and (4) WONDERFUL DIXIE were both impressive maiden winners at the end of last year and both ran well on their respective first attempts at this level in January. Yaho Thunder Cat perhaps has the slight edge at the moment and he’s the narrow top pick. (5) SKY STORM was 3rd behind Wonderful Dixie last time out and while he has three-lengths to make up, looks to have the best chance of challenging the favoured pair. (1) FINAL STORM and the up in class (10) DRAGON BOAT are others who may step up.

Selections (2) Yaho Thunder Cat (4) Wonderful Dixie (5) Sky Storm (10) Dragon Boat
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 1, 2, 4, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(12) PUNGMUNEURO has been knocking at the door for a while now, culminating in a good run for 2nd place at this distance last month. In all her previous outings there’s always been at least one obvious one to beat her but that’s not the case here and for the first time she is set to start as favourite. She’ll need to overcome the wide draw and if she comes up short again, (5) WIND RIVER looks best placed to capitalise. She had a bit of bad luck when a close 6th last time and should benefit from the increase in trip today and will be expected to overturn the form on (11) CHEONHA YEOJE, who finished ahead of her. (2) GWANGPOK JUHAENG and (8) FOR J.K both look to be getting closer and can be considered while (3) WONDERFUL HEELS may have been poor on her latest two outings but carries a very light weight here and has shown ability in the past.

Selections (12) Pungmuneuro (5) Wind River (8) For J.K (2) Gwangpok Juhaeng
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 2, 6, 11, 12

Race 3: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(2) HANEULEUL DALRIDA stepped up to this trip last time and ran 3rd having led almost the entire way around. He will hopefully have come on for that and while today’s opposition is marginally stiffer, he can win. So too can (7) HANEUL NARAE. He overcame a poor start to go close over 1300M last time and should suit today’s extended distance. (3) RAON MIRACLE remains a maiden but looked competent when tackling this distance for the first time three weeks ago and can improve. (8) CLEAR GEOM is definitely competent at the trip. He was stepped up to it for just his second career start a month ago and it resulted in his maiden win. He’s up in class but has potential. (5) VICTORY STAR and (6) BAEKDUUI JEONGSANG are others with at least placing claims.

Selections (2) Haneuleul Dalrida (7) Haneul Narae (8) Clear Geom (3) Raon Miracle
Next Best 5, 6
Fast Start 1, 2, 7

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

Three-year-old maidens here. (2) FEATHER LIGHT has placed 3rd in both tries at this distance to date. He was a long shot last time out but ran well and shouldn’t need t improve much if he is to win this. The main danger is (4) BARAMEUL GEURIDA. All of his starts so far have been at 1000M (finishing well in front of Feather Light on one occasion) but the extra distance isn’t too much of a concern and he will try to lead all the way. (11) GEUMSUNI STAR and (12) CHEONJI POKPUNG both look to be improving and both come in having finished 3rd on their latest outings. Both are in contention. Best of the rest is (5) INDEPENDENCE.

Selections (2) Feather Light (4) Barameul Geurida (12) Cheonji Pokpung (11) Geumsuni Star
Next Best 5, 9
Fast Start 2, 4, 12

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

Very competitive handicap. (9) NIMUI HYANGGI and (10) FULL MOON SKY are both last start winners who are up in class today. Both should be competitive with Nimui Hyanggi, having won well at this distance, the slightly more favoured of the pair. Neither are top pick though. That’s (8) FIGHTING HERO, a winner on debut last October, who just came up short when favourite at class and distance last time out, beaten a length into 3rd. He looks to have talent and can get it right this time. (3) GLOBAL CHEONHA steps up in trip for the first time and has solid claims too while (11) NEUL SACHAN does the opposite and drops down in distance after enduring a tough time around 1700M last month. She should be better today.

Selections (8) Fighting Hero (9) Nimui Hyanggi (10) Full Moon Sky (3) Global Cheonha
Next Best 11, 2
Fast Start 3, 7, 9

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

Twelve imported horses going over the minimum distance here and the only previous winner among them is (11) PRO HAMSEONG, who saluted over this distance in fine fashion in December. He only managed 4th on reappearance last month but Johan (more…)

Richard Oliver Rides First Korean Winner / New Legend Continues Stroll Up Busan Ranks

After a string of near-misses, the hard work paid off for Richard Oliver at Busan Racecourse on Friday afternoon, the British jockey riding four runners-up throughout the day before finally being rewarded with victory on Core Blade in the concluding race 12.

It was perhaps fitting that the win came on Core Blade, the filly who provided Oliver with his first Busan mount as a late pick-up a month ago. Since then there has been the Lunar New Year holiday and Oliver returned for the first meeting back in fine form, dead-heating for 2nd on his opening mount of the afternoon, Lucky Number One in race 3.

Oliver then guided 10/1 chance Baekdu Daeho to the runner’s up spot in race 6 followed by 23/1 shot I’m Your Hope to a close 2nd in race 9 followed. Mr. Scat duly gave the jockey his fourth near-miss in race 11 although, in truth, they were only ever racing for silver in that one.

Core Blade had been well-fancied when 27-year-old Oliver got the late call-up a day after arriving in the country last month. However, the Menifee filly was heavily bumped coming out of the gate and while she recovered well, could only manage to finish 3rd that day. This time there were no such difficulties as the pair got away well and stayed handy until proving too strong in the closing stages, scoring by two-and-a-half lengths on the line.

The reason Mr. Scat was only every likely to be competing for 2nd in race 11 is that the race saw the fourth Korean start of New Legend.

The four-year-old was bred in Korea but broke his maiden at Arlington Park last summer. He returned home in the autumn and has since gone on to establish himself as the hottest up and coming talent in the country. Under jockey Lee Hyo Sik, the colt made it four out of four with a facile victory, cruising away from a class 3 field to win by four-lengths and continue his stately through the levels.

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview February 16)

A big 13-race card to welcome racing back to the capital following the Lunar New Year holiday. Race 1 at 10:45 and race 13 at 18:00. Here are the previews:

New Citadel Korea Racing Authority

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

The opener is restricted to three-year-old maidens. (4) BIG PRO has shown some ability over three outings so far. He was a narrowly beaten favourite over a slow-running track last month and is well worth another chance to get things right today. (8) O PI M J did nothing on debut in December but returned last month to run a much improved 2nd place, running on very pleasingly and into contention today. (5) BUCKETFUL GOLD raced greenly in his two starts last autumn to the extent that he got suspended for two months and ordered to do two trials. He’s looked much more competent when completing those and with improved manners, we should see an improved performance today. (6) BLACK WINGWING was a disappointing last on January 6th but went well on debut and gets another chance. (1) P. K. JEONSA and (3) PINEAPPLE MARK others in the frame.

Selections (4) Big Pro (5) Bucketful Gold (6) Black Wingwing (8) O Pi M J
Next Best 1, 3
Fast Start 1, 2, 5, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(7) MAGPIE was a 50/1 chance on debut over 1000M on January 19th but didn’t run like one as she came from of the pace to come home 2nd. She steps up in trip today and she should win. (2) REAL GANGJA has a couple of 3rd places to his name already and if we draw a line through his latest effort, can go close. (1) KAHINAH and (4) JEOKTO BIMA have also hinted at some ability and should be looking to place. Wildcard is (12) SERA YEOJE who left It far too late on debut but did actually finish off nicely and is another who may like the step up in distance.

Selections (7) Magpie (1) Kahinah (2) Real Gangja (12) Sera Yeoje
Next Best 4, 9
Fast Start 4, 8, 10, 11

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

(11) OKAY TAP was 3rd on debut and 2nd on re-appearance last month, the latter at this distance. Finishing anywhere inside the top three will be enough to send him up in class next time and it’s likely he’ll bow out of the bottom tier a winner here. (9) JEONGMUN SARANG’s showed promise as a juvenile and was an also-ran in Seoul’s top race for two-year-olds. He’s not run since, but this looks a nice assignment to ease back into things. (5) COILRO ran a solid 3rd on debut and while she was 6th of 9 on her second start, she too should be closer today. (3) DELTA BROTHER and (7) MENI SPEED both ran adequately on their respective debuts at 1000M and both could show improvement here.

Selections (11) Okay Tap (9) Jeongmun Sarang (5) Coilro (3) Delta Brother
Next Best 7, 6
Fast Start 3, 5, 9

Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies only here. Eight of them have raced before, none especially convincingly. Fortunately, we have a couple of promising debut-makers. Both (2) SIMON QUEEN and (5) GEOM HYANG showed well in trials and couldn’t have picked a nicer race to start in. The latter of the pair is the more fancied first-up. They’ll have to beat a returnee who didn’t cover herself in glory on debut on December 1st. That’s (9) JEMA TEUKGEUP, who after getting bumped at the start proceeded to first hang outwards and then veer out of running completely around the turn. Stewards ordered her to trial three times before being allowed to race again and she has looked steadily more impressive over the course of them. Manners shouldn’t be a problem this time and she can win. Of the ones who have actually completed a race, (1) CENTER POLE and (4) COMPLETE MOTION look best.

Selections (9) Jema Teukgeup (2) Simon Queen (5) Geom Hyang (1) Center Pole
Next Best 4, 3
Fast Start 2, 3, 4

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

Fillies only and it’s a really competitive handicap. Slight pick is (10) CHARON BLADE, who beat a couple of these on her way to a solid 2nd place on her first try at this class on January 12th. Prior to that she beat (6) HORSE QUEEN by a nose when scoring her maiden win at this trip in December and she can win today. Horse Queen followed up by making all to win at this distance in early January. She’ll have to improve today but should be in the hunt as should (3) UDAERYUNG, one for one having sored on debut by a cool three lengths a month ago. The latest outings of both (4) ROMAN BLADE beat (1) HOMECOMING as the pair ran 2nd and 6th over this distance on January 6th. The latter has a low draw for the first time and looks set to improve. We can also strike a line through the latest effort from (2) THANK YOU MOTHER. She drops back in trip today and should be a very different prospect.

Selections (10) Charon Blade (1) Homecoming (2) Thank You Mother (3) Udaeryung
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 1, 2, 5, 8

Race 6: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Another competitive race although this time we have a set of maidens who look equal in their fragility. Only five have tried the distance before, the others sent up to try something different. That may pay off for (4) RAON STELLA, who has finished either 4th or 5th in all five of her appearances to date. She has always been making ground at the (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (February 15)

Racing returns from the Lunar New year break with a bumper 12-race Friday meeting at Busan from 11:30 to 18:00. Top jockey Seo Seung-un is back from national service and gets straight into action with ten mounts across the card. There is also an appearance by New Legend, seeking to take his undefeated streak in Korea to four. He’s hot favourite in race 11. Here are the previews:

Joy lucky Seo Seung Un

Seo Seung-un is back – let’s hope he looks in the right direction, unlike in this picture (KRA)

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

(2) GOLDEN SHARP will be the pick here. Having hinted at ability across his first four starts he improved to 2nd last time behind a good-looking winner. He’s well drawn to lead and can make the breakthrough here. (8) B.K. SOUND was ordinary on debut but has since registered a 2nd and a 3rd and is sure to be close here. (11) FUNKY ran a good 3rd last start and with a top jockey on today can at least match while (10) HAPPY GATE also looks to be figuring things out. There’s just one debut-maker. (4) FINE TRUMPET trialled all the way back in November behind the excellent Seobu Cat and while it’s taken him a while to get to the track, both stable and jockey – he’s the first ride back for Seo Seung-un – make for some appeal.

Selections (2) Golden Sharp (4) Fine Trumpet (11) Funky (8) B.K. Sound
Next Best 10, 12
Fast Start 2, 3, 8

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

More three-year-old maidens here with six of them racing for the first time. It’s hard to look too far past (11) HALLA HWANGHU though. She’s shown good progress over her three outings to date and was a front-runner 2nd on her latest effort six weeks ago. She’s drawn wide here but can overcome that and can win. (4) ACE BOOM on the other hand is drawn nicely – much better than on two previous tries at this distance – and she can improve on the 4th she registered at 1300M last time out. Neither (5) ECTON SMILE nor (8) MUNHWA SIGNATURE did too much wrong on their respective debuts and both can improve here, as can (9) DOCTOR MIMI, whose 5th last start was her best so far.

Selections (11) Halla Hwanghu (4) Ace Boom (8) Munhwa Signature (9) Doctor Mimi
Next Best 5, 3
Fast Start 3, 4, 11

Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(8) SILLAUI MISO is up in class having notched her maiden win by five-lengths on January 18th and she could well score again in this very competitive all-filly affair. Three others join her in stepping up in level, all following their respective maiden scores and of them (4) FANTASTIC GIRL and (7) LUCKY NUMBER ONE look best equipped to make an immediate impact.  Five of the others faced each other at this class and distance on January 18th, a race won by promising filly Nakita. (1) S S YOUNG finished the best of them that day in 2nd and she can go well once more. (10) USEUNG TICKET and (2) MAKGANG YEOGEOL came home 3rd and 4th and they too should be competitive.

Selections (8) Sillaui Miso (7) Lucky Number One (1) S S Young (4) Fantastic Girl
Next Best 10, 2
Fast Start 4, 7, 8, 9

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

(3) NORMAL CLASSIC was a much-improved 2nd on his second career start on January 18th, leading for much of the way at this distance before ultimately being beaten. He should have come on for that run and can be on pace once more, this time coming home on top. (8) DAMYANG CHOEGANG also comes in having finished 2nd on his latest outing. That was in an admittedly weak class and distance affair on January 11th, however, he did beat (6) DONGBANG WARRIOR and (10) DAEHEUNG SIDAE, who came home within a length of him in 3rd and 4th. All three should be competitive here. (7) WONDERFUL SINGS is another who looks to have improvement in him; he came from well off the pace to run 4th over 1000M last month and looks ready to try this distance again today.

Selections (3) Normal Classic (8) Damyang Choegang (7) Wonderful Sings (6) Dongbang Warrior
Next Best 10, 2
Fast Start 3, 8

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

This is a strong race for the level. The pick is (7) RACING GALLOPER, who ran a close 2nd on his first try at this level last time having picked up his maiden win in December. He should be close to the early pace and can win. So too can plenty of others. (2) GHOST RIDER finished 3rd on his first try at the level last month. This is his first attempt at 1300M, and he should go close. (12) ROCK HARD QUEEN steps up in class after a nice (more…)