We’ve had a couple of weeks off but the late nights begin again on Thursday for Korean racing fans as Ace Korea and Buhwarui Banseok run at Meydan for the second time, with both looking to improve having made stuttering starts to their Dubai World Cup Carnival campaigns.
It’s a stiff ask once more for Buhwarui Banseok as he goes up against a slew of Godolphin runners at 2410M. He wasn’t a factor on his Meydan debut over 2000M on January 17th, however, that’s not to say he ran badly. He picked up momentum late on and ran on through the line pleasingly enough on what was his first ever race on turf. That experience, coupled with the additional distance – half a furlong further then the longest races in Korea – may help and sneaking in at the bottom of the handicap, he gets to carry a nice light weight. Richard Mullen will ride.
Mike De Kock’s Astronomer carries top weight. Previously trained by Aiden O’Brien, he was a winner of four consecutive races in Ireland last year before running 2nd in the Old Rowley Cup Handicap at Newmarket but had a hard time on his first try at Meydan a month ago. The seven Godolphin representatives are sure to be dangerous in what is a very tricky contest.
As for Ace Korea, the start will be important. The colt has generally been a very good starter but in his final race in Korea, the Listed Kookje News Cup, he stumbled coming out of the gate. It didn’t matter that day as he was far too good but over 1200M on the dirt in Dubai, giving rivals any kind of head-start is generally terminal, as it proved to be on his Carnival bow on opening night last month. He’s had a month to fix that and and if he gets away well this time, he should be more than competitive – although he will have to overcome the widest gate. Fabrice Veron will be aboard.
Turkish star Good Curry, a winner of 15 of 22 starts at home carries top weight ahead of Steve Asmussen’s Switzerland, who ran 6th on his Carnival debut last month. Victory Wave will likely be dangerous for Godolphin although likely favourite is Lavaspin, who has been very consistent across six starts so far and is unbeaten in two outings at Meydan, both of which were at this distance, albeit in non-Carnival races.
The races are numbers 6 and 7 on Thursday night’s Carnival program and are scheduled to begin at 2.25am and 3am respecitively on Friday morning Korea time. See www.emiratesracing.com for more information.