Day: May 16, 2019

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 17)

After last week’s Derby in Seoul, attention switches to the South Coast and the fillies as the 2019 Korean Oaks takes place at Busan Racecourse this Sunday. And it’s at Busan where the weekend’s action gets underway with 9 races on Friday running from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


Former Busan Champion Jockey Kim Yong Geun is one of a number of Seoul-based riders in town for this Sunday’s Oaks (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(1) MAJOR PUNCH debuted all the way back last September but had a number of setbacks before finally returning three weeks ago and running 2nd over 1000M. She’s up in trip today and will be one of many looking to get on pace early but she should have too much for this field. (8) TOHAM IMPACT ran 3rd behind Major Punch last time and is set to be a danger again while (4) TIZBE ran well for 4th on debut a month ago, beating a couple of these in the process and can build on it here. (9) TWO TWO SIMON and first-time starter (11) GIJEOGUI JILJU are others who should be in the hunt.

Selections (1) Major Punch (8) Toham Impact (4) Tizbe (11) Gijeogui Jilju
Next Best 9, 6
Fast Start 1, 8, 9, 11, 13

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

(5) ULTRA POWER is up in class following a two-length score at this distance to secure his maiden win on what was his fourth career start on April 19th. He made all that day and is nicely drawn to get to the lead again with potential for another win. Just shy of a year separated (12) JEONGUIUI GITBAL’s first and second career starts. He came back with a flourish though, registering a five-length victory over this distance on April 12th. He came out of the same wide gate that day and while this is tougher, a repeat isn’t impossible. (2) GAMDONGUI SUNGAN remains a maiden but joins the other two up in class following a couple of near-misses and should be competitive at this level. Of those who have class 5 experience already, (3) YEOWANGUI TANSAENG and (9) NORMAL CLASSIC look the most capable.

Selections (5) Ultra Power (12) Jeonguiui Gitbal (2) Gamdongui Sungan (3) Yeowangui Tansaeng
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 3, 5, 9, 12

Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens here with only five of the fourteen having raced before. Three of those five did reasonably well so we’ll cover them first. (7) YESULUI GYEUNGJI was perhaps the most impressive, running a useful 3rd in a competitive race at this distance on April 19th. HE can have learned from that and can push on here. (10) PAGEUKCHEON too did nothing wrong when 4th on his own debut back in January and while he has had one or two setbacks since, returns here in good shape and can go well. (14) VEGA THUNDER came from off the pace to run 2nd at the beginning of April. She was scratched from a scheduled run two weeks ago when she refused to load into the gate but has since passed her stalls test and if she jumps, she should be close. As for the first-timers, (8) NANSAN YEOJE and (2) PAI BLADE looked best in trials.

Selections (7) Yesului Gyeungji (10) Pageukcheon (8) Nansan Yeoje (2) Pai Blade
Next Best 14, 1
Fast Start 4, 8, 10, 12

Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(9) YEONGGWANGUI CHEER ran an improved 2nd last start on April 19th (beaten by Ultra Power who we saw in race 1) by two-lengths with a couple of these behind him. Under Kim Yong Geun today, he’ll likely look to get forward early and can go one better. (11) CHANGE BACK was 3rd in that race, three-lengths back and can get closer today although the main danger may ultimately be (2) ZET KING. He was an improved 2nd on April 12th and from gate 2, can sit handy and finish strongly. (1) DYNAMIC BOLT and (3) HAENGBOK KOREA are others who should be in at least the placing frame.

Selections (9) Yeonggwangui Cheer (2) Zet King (11) Change Back (3) Haengbok Korea
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 1, 3, 5, 9

Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(12) FUSION PARK has been 3rd in both his latest two outings at 1300M and a mile. He was a beaten favourite last time, but Bart Rice’s colt looks worth another chance to get things right today. (14) NAEGA SAEGANGJA is another who has found himself beaten when market leader, but he’s ever been worse than 4th in five outings to date and surely maintains that record today. While the wide draw does him no favours, he has generally run in stiffer company than this and a breakthrough is not impossible. (1) SMART WINNER and (7) USEUNG STORY are both better than their latest respective results suggest and can improve here while (5) LEGACY is the wildcard. His solitary start was more than a year ago, but he looked handy enough when trialling up in April and the jockey/trainer combination will tempt some.

Selections (12) Fusion Park (14) Naega Saegangja (1) Smart Winner (5) Legacy
Next Best 7, 11
Fast Start 2, 3, 5

Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(9) JOY OF LUCK was last seen running 8th in the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown. Neither company nor distance seemed to suit that day but back in class 4 and back at 1300M, he should be far happier and looks the one to beat. (10) OCEAN PHOENIX (more…)

Johan Victoire Joins The 100-Club

Johan Victoire has become the latest foreign jockey to ride 100 winners in Korea.

Johan VictoireThe French rider reached the milestone when guiding 3/1 chance Fast Fashion to victory in race 4 on Korean Derby day at Seoul Racecourse last Sunday.

Victoire debuted in Seoul in July of 2017 scoring success with his very first mount and has maintained a steady stream of winners ever since.

The 100 came up just after he passed 920 rides in the country making for a win rate of almost 11%.

Victoire now lies in 8th place on the all-time foreign jockey list in Korea which is led by Ikuyasu Kurakane, way out in front in 347, followed by Djordje Perovic on 238.

Of the foreign jockeys currently riding in Korea, Franco Da Silva leads with 156 followed by Masa Tanaka on 133 and Antonio Da Silva on 129.

Victoire is one of three French jockeys licensed at Seoul right now with he and David Breux joined this month by Ryan Curatolo, who is beginning an intial four-month license.