Sunday sees International Exchange races at both Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:40 to 17:05) and this year, an intriguing program has been put together for three-year-old fillies and imported horses of the same age. Just over a month out from the Oaks, it’s a chance to see some of the leading fancies for the fillies’ Classic and in the other races, to see some of the hottest young imported talent racing against each other. Here are the previews with horse-by-horse comments for the Exchange races (Busan below):
Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A maiden for fillies only to kick things off and with a 5th and a 3rd from her two starts so far, (2) MENI GRAND is set to be hot favourite to make her breakthrough here. (8) SOLID was much-improved 2nd on her second career start over 1000M last month. She’s out of a Korean Group winner and while she is back up in trip can continue to make progress here. (5) JIOBANA similarly improved on her latest outing and tries this distance for the first time. She may benefit from Alan Munro in the saddle today. (3) COLORS DE LAGO and first-time starter (7) CHOEGANG GONGJU are others to take note of.
|Selections||(2) Meni Grand (8) Solid (5) Jiobana (7) Choegang Gongju|
|Next Best||3, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 8|
Race 2: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(3) RICH RULES was a winner on debut and then ran 3rd on her first try at this class on March 2nd. She’ll be on pace here and has every chance of coming out on top. The other standout is (4) GAL IP. She got her maiden win on her fifth start last time and while up in class today, there looks to be more to come from her. She’ll be challenging for the lead early too. (8) SEMYEONG GISANG was a good 2nd on his first try at this level last month and is another who can go close. (9) GEUP HAENG MA drops back in trip after winning at the level over 1300M on March 10th and must be taken seriously too.
|Selections||(3) Rich Rules (4) Gal Ip (8) Semyeong Gisang (9) Geup Haeng Ma|
|Next Best||6, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 8|
Race 3: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Could it be (4) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON’s time at last? She remains a maiden following sixteen attempts but is by no means a bad racehorse with four 2nds and four 3rds to her name. The latest 2nd was last time, in a decent race at this distance and it could finally be her day. Should she find one or two too quick again then (1) WILD FIGHT and (8) GO GO BI look leading contenders. Both have a best of 3rd place from three starts apiece and have improvement in them. (12) CHAPEL ACE has three wins to his name and showed signs of a return to form with a good 2nd last time. There is one debut-maker and (6) FLORIDA POWER gone well in two trials and arrives with decent claims to go well first-up.
|Selections||(4) Kkeuleojuneun Son (8) Go Go Bi (1) Wild Fight (12) Chapel Ace|
|Next Best||6, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 9|
Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(10) FULL MOON OCEAN has shown steady progress across four starts so far, all at this distance, culminating in 2nd place last time. He’s a front-runner so will need to overcome the wide-draw but he’s the one they need to beat here. (5) JANGSAN EX similarly improved on his second outing, running a good 4th and can maintain his momentum here while (6) O PI M J was disappointing when well-backed over 1300M last start and should be better eased back in trip today. (1) BAEKSANG had a hard time on debut in February but can be given another chance today, two months on and under a much lighter weight. There are two first-time starters and (11) CAPTAIN BEST caught the eye in trials and could go well first-up.
|Selections||(10) Full Moon Ocean (5) Jangsan Ex (6) O Pi M J (11) Captain Best|
|Next Best||1, 3|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 10|
Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Really competitive little race. (5) SOMETHING NOBODYNO has a win and two runner-up finishes from three starts so far. He ran 2nd behind a very good winner last start, and while he is up in distance for the first time today, he has every chance of returning to the winner’s circle. (10) VICAR BRACING could start as favourite though. He’s up in class following an eye-catching nine-length win over this distance on March 2nd and while he has drawn the widest gate, he can run on strongly and can win. (3) BARAMEUL GEURIDA is up in class too after a similarly easy on the eye seven-length score back in February. He made all that day and is nicely drawn to get the front. (2) HANIL MAGIC and (8) MONEY ZIF are others who can go close.
|Selections||(10) Vicar Bracing (5) Something Nobodyno (3) Barameul Geurida (8) Money Zif|
|Next Best||2, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5|
Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(9) WELLNESS K has had a stop/start career so far but now he’s finally getting a strong of runs together, he’s looked good, improving to a maiden win last time at this distance. He’s carrying more weight today but looks to have a fair shout of a repeat. Primary danger is (8) WINNING BLADE, who bounced back from a disappointing run in Seoul’s top juvenile race last October to win over this distance in November. He’s only raced once this term, finishing 5th at 1200M in January but coming back from a spell and back down at what seems his best distance, he can win. (7) BIG GARLAND remains a maiden but was 4th first-up after three months off last start and can go close again. (5) RICHARDOFNEWSTEAD and (10) SANTOS are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(9) Wellness K (8) Winning Blade (7) Big Garland (10) Santos|
|Next Best||5, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 7, 8|
Race 7: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(7) DELTA BROTHER got his maiden win over 1300M in February and then ran a strong 2nd on his first try at this class and distance a month ago, beating a few of these along the way. He’ll go to the front early and could well go all the way. (10) BARAM KING beat (3) DOUBLE GOLD and (1) BLACK GINGA on his way to victory at class and distance on March 10th. The draw has not been kind today, but he warrants respect based on that run and can go close again. Double Gold was 3rd in that race and can be competitive again while we will expect improvement from Black Ginga, who came home 4th as favourite – the second time in a row Double Gold has beaten him – and should be better today. (2) RAON MIRACLE is another for who recent form reads well and who should be in the mix at the business end.
|Selections||(7) Delta Brother (1) Black Ginga (2) Raon Miracle (10) Baram King|
|Next Best||3, 6|
|Fast Start||4, 7|
Race 8: Class Open (1400M) Allowance (3yo KOR bred Fillies) / KRW 150 Million – TOKYO CITY KEIBA TROPHY
- SMILE GIRL – 4th behind Daddy Glory in January before beating Mamma Roma on her way to a three-length win at 1300M in February. Stepped up to 1700M last time to run 2nd at class 4. Settles just behind early pace and top-four finish expected.
- BEST HILL – Won her first two over 1000M but has had a harder time at class 4 and at longer distances. Not a fast starter but can run on. Still scope for improvement but others favoured here.
- DADDY GLORY – Beat Smarty Adele and Smile Girl on way to victory over 1300M in January before finishing 3rd behind Match Queen on latest start. She hung out around the turn last time for which a warning was issued and if she fixes that, she has a big chance of overturning the form.
- MAMMA ROMA – Comes in off a run of three consecutive runner-up finishes but was well-beaten by Smile Girl in February. Another for whom the extra distance may be a plus, but improvement will be needed.
- GREEN DARC – Both wins came at 1000M last autumn, she was last seen running way down the track over 1700M in February. One of the outsiders today.
- MATCH QUEEN – She’s won three in a row and four from five in total. Her latest saw her make all over 1300M at class 4 to win by twelve-lengths and while she goes the extra half furlong for the first time, she’s got solid claims to lead all the way again.
- BAKCHAOREUM – Registered three wins in a row over the turn of the year at 1000M and 1300M. Blew the start after being fractious in the barriers last time which explains her poor result. She needs a quick start and if she gets it, she can go close.
- WONDERFUL TRUTH – Won her first two and while she has found it tougher since, she has been racing in good company. The only one of these to run in the Sports Seoul Classic Trial last month, she led that race early only to finish 6th. She will try to lead again, and experience of the distance may help her here.
- SMARTY ADELE – Beaten four-lengths by Daddy Glory in January, she bounced back to score by eight-lengths over 1300M at class 5 n March 3rd. More improvement needed here as it won’t be easy to lead but she could be an interesting outsider.
Verdict: The manner in which (6) MATCH QUEEN won on March 17th to claim her third consecutive win four weeks ago makes her the top pick here but she’s by no means in a certainty in a race in which all but (8) WONDERFUL TRUTH tackle 1400M for the first time. (3) DADDY GLORY was beaten almost four-lengths by Match Queen last time but has Moon Se Young riding for the first time and if she can fix her poor manners, has plenty of scope for improvement. (7) BAKCHAOREUM missed the break last time but was on a three-race winning streak before that and can go close while (1) SMILE GIRL also has plenty of potential for more improvement.
|Selections||(6) Match Queen (3) Daddy Glory (8) Wonderful Truth (7) Bakchaoreum|
|Next Best||1, 4, 9|
|Fast Start||6, 7, 8|
Race 9: Class Open (1400M) Allowance / KRW 150 Million – Jockey Club of Turkey Trophy
- GLOBAL CAPTAIN – Looks the goods; he’s unbeaten in 4 starts by a combined twenty-one lengths and has been running good times as well. He’ll be strong favourite and is hard to oppose. Only possible downside is this is his first start since January.
- SEOUL SIDAE – Yet to finish any better than 4th in eight attempts and recent form doesn’t give any cause to believe that will change here. Outsider.
- INCHEON CHIEF – Began with two 4th place finishes before winning his next two, beating Match Captain by half a length in the most recent of those and coming from just behind the early pace each time. First try at the distance today and has a bit more to find.
- SPRING BACK – Roared onto the scene with some precocious performances last summer but came up short in the NACF Trophy. Returned to winning ways last start at class 2. Has had a tendency to hang outwards in recent starts and had to trial again after his last race. Expected to be on pace. Big talent and can push the favourite all the way.
- MATCH CAPTAIN – Solitary win came on a wet track at class 5 over 1300M in February, he was beaten into 2nd by Incheon Champ at Class 4 last start. Will aim for a fast start but others are favoured here.
- HAVANA CHARLIE – Finished 2nd in a strong NACF Trophy November beating Super Fluid, Spring Back and Medici Glory. Won a fast race at this distance in February before going down to Lion Rock in his first try at class 2 a month ago. Loves the distance, he should be on pace early and is right in the mix.
- CHEONJI MYEONGJANG – Stablemate of Seoul Sidae and similar to that one, hasn’t offered much in six starts so far. Can be discounted.
- MEDICI GLORY – 6th in the NACF Trophy behind Havana Charlie, Super Fluid and Spring Back, that remains his solitary defeat as he’s won both starts since including a tough race at class 3 over this distance last time. Another who will be looking for a fast start and if he gets it, he’s in the hunt.
- SUPER FLUID – Ran well in the wet for a close 3rd in the NACF Trophy last autumn then won his next outing before running 2nd to Havana Charlie at this distance in February. Disregard his latest start which was the Owners’ Cup and was far too hot too soon for him. Sneaky chance today.
Verdict: An excellent looking race featuring a few who have the potential to go on to be real starts. We’ll side with the unbeaten (1) GLOBAL CAPTAIN, who has won his four races to date in dismissive fashion. It’s true he hasn’t raced since January, but he looks to be the real deal. Should he come up short, (4) SPRING BACK is also a class 2 winner and while he’s not the most straightforward of types, his ability isn’t in question. Fellow graduates from last November’s NACF Chairman’s Trophy, (6) HAVANA CHARLIE, (8) MEDICI GLORY and (9) SUPER FLUID are others who have loads of potential and should be in the frame.
|Selections||(1) Global Captain (4) Spring Back (6) Havana Charlie (8) Medici Glory|
|Next Best||9, 5|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 6, 8|
Race 10: Class 1 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
After an excellent 4th in the President’s Cup, (12) ULTRA ROCKET struggled in the Grand Prix Stakes at the end of last year but has since put in three very solid runs, first in a Listed sprint in January and then a 3rd and a 4th in similar handicaps to this. He’s capable of top-level wins and could get one here with Moon Se Young taking over on board. (5) SUN LIGHTING made all for a very nice win at class and distance on March 16th, with three of these back down the track. He doesn’t suffer too much in the weights and a repeat isn’t out of the question. (6) SINGGEUREOUN GEOM was 5th in that race and can get closer today while the recent form of both (7) HEUNGRYONG and (8) CHANMA reads well and both should be in at least the placing frame.
|Selections||(12) Ultra Rocket (5) Sun Lighting (6) Singgeureoun Geom (7) Heungryong|
|Next Best||8, 10|
|Fast Start||6, 9, 10|
Race 11: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
It’s been a while since (4) ROYAL PRINCE’s solitary win but he’s been coming closer to a repeat and was last seen running 2nd in a slightly stiffer class and distance race to this on March 9th. He won’t lead here but can come from off the pace and could go one better today. (12) MONEY DAERYUK beat Royal Prince in January and subsequently has a win and a 2nd place to her name, both at this class and with plenty of these behind her. She did sweat up a lot last time and carries an additional 3kg today which, along with the wide draw, may go against her but she is clearly to be considered. (5) ISCRA has finished behind Money Daeryuk in both his latest two but seems to be coming back into form and can improve here. (6) GEUMA ZENITH is up in class after a good win a month ago and can be competitive at this level while (11) SWEETLY HUMOR has placing claims too.
|Selections||(4) Royal Prince (12) Money Daeryuk (5) Iscra (6) Geuma Zenith|
|Next Best||11, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 12|
BUSAN RACE 4 / SELANGOR TURF CLUB TROPHY / Class Open (1400M) Allowance (3yo KOR bred fillies Only) / KRW 200 Million
- AMAZON YEOGEOL – Class 4 winner over 1300M last start signalled a return to form following a couple of shaky efforts in January. Top stable and while improvement is needed, she can find it.
- MIGHTY POWER – Ran 2nd in Busan’s Classic Trial over 1400M a month ago, her third consecutive runner-up finish. One of only two who has raced at this distance before, she has a strong finish and is a real contender here. Possible favourite.
- YEONGGWANGUI SIDAE – She hasn’t won since last October although she has been racing in useful company. Top stable and jockey, she will try to come from off the pace and can improve but others are favoured.
- AMAZING WINNER – Got her maiden win in January and ran a good 2nd over 1300M at class 5 last month. She has potential and while this might be a bit too much too soon, she can go well.
- TOP OF WORLD – She won her first three races but came up short in the two big juvenile races at the end of last year. She returned in February with a solid 4th place at class 3 over 1200M. She will be on pace here and if she can see out the trip, she has a chance.
- I’M YOUR LEMON – A winner of three from six, she was just beaten a neck at 1200M at class 3 on March 17th. That was a strong performance and puts her right in the mix here. It’s her first time at 1400M but it can suit.
- TOUGH GREEN – The most experienced in the field, she makes her tenth start today. She comes in off the back of three consecutive runner-up finishes. Two of those were at a mile so the trip today is no problem and while she will need improvement to be a factor in the finish, she can aim for a place.
- MISS FACT – A stablemate of I’m Your Lemon, she’s won her latest two over 1300M and accordingly gets her chance here. She’s come from well off the pace both times and will go back here as well. It will tough to win but she could run into some money late on.
Verdict: Competitive race that may give us some clues with the Oaks just over a month away. The pick is (2) MIGHTY POWER, who ran 2nd in the Busan Classic trial and has consistently been holding her own against stiff opposition. She can come from behind an early pace set by (5) TOP OF WORLD and (7) TOUGH GREEN and could be too strong. Those front-runners should stay on to contest the finish while (1) AMAZON YEOGEOL and (6) I’M YOUR LEMON are dangers too.
|Selections||(2) Mighty Power (5) Top Of World (6) I’m Your Lemon (1) Amazon Yeogeol|
|Next Best||7, 4|
|Fast Start||5, 7|
BUSAN RACE 5 / CHINA HORSE INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION TROPHY / Class Open (1400M) Allowance / KRW 150 Million
- STAR ROAD – Raced twice last autumn with a 3rd on debut. Not seen since and offered few clues in a March trial. Outsider.
- YES PERFECT – Finished 3rd behind Pro Consul and World Power over this distance in February before winning up at a mile on March 15th at class 3. Trialled last week to get some experience of being off the pace as may not be able to lead here and is a leading contender.
- WORLD POWER – Won his first two before running 2nd to Pro Consul and ahead of Yes Perfect on February 24th at this distance. Has come from well back and closed strongly in all three starts. From Korea’s top stable, he surely goes close.
- PRO CONSUL – Only one start so far this year but it was a winning one, beating World Power and Yes Perfect over this distance in February. Carries significantly more weight today but is not alone in that and is the one to beat.
- ALPHA RUNNER – Won over a mile in January but struggled in two subsequent class 3 starts, both at 1800M. Should appreciate the drop back in trip today but still has plenty to do.
- FIRST CHANGER – Won the Gyongnam Do Min Ilbo Trophy – a top juvenile race – on just his second start, beating three of these. Beaten into 5th on his first try at this distance last month but it was at class 2, a level none of the others here have raced it. Big chance.
- OCALA TEUKGEUP – A stablemate of World Power and very much the second-string. Has a best of 3rd from three starts so far and significant improvement will be needed here.
- DORAON SINSEDAE – All but first two attempts have been over a mile, which is where he secured his best result so far, 3rd at class 4. Outsider here.
- SSONSAL – A green win on debut was followed up with 4th place in a fast race over 1300M on March 22nd. Plenty of scope for further improvement and a top jockey on board. This may be a bit too much too soon.
- MR. AFLEET – Two for two having debuted with a win just before the turn of the year and returning to win extremely well on March 24th. Tougher test today and up to this distance for the first time but has potential. Stablemate of Pro Consul.
Verdict: Returning three months after running 5th in the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Cup, (4) PRO CONSUL looked to have come on significantly when comfortably defeating (3) WORLD POWER and (2) YES PERFECT at today’s distance in February. He’s the one to beat today. Yes Perfect and World Power are the main dangers but a couple of others may come into play too. Fellow Peter Wolsley trainee (10) MR. AFLEET is unbeaten in two and looks to have plenty of potential although this may be a little too hot too early while (6) FIRST CHANGER already has big race winning experience having taken the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Cup last November.
|Selections||(4) Pro Consul (2) Yes Perfect (3) World Power (10) Mr. Afleet|
|Next Best||6, 9|
|Fast Start||4, 6|
Other Busan Selections
Race 1: 6, 2, 3, 4
Race 2: 3, 2, 8, 4
Race 3: 3, 7, 12, 4
Race 6: 1, 8, 5, 4