With Seoul taking its annual one-week summer break, it makes for a rare Saturday card at Busan. There are 8 races on a twilight card from 16:30 to 21:00.
Jockey You Hyun Myung begins the weekend on 996 career winners and with fifteen rides across Saturday and Sunday, many of them fancied, looks likely to break the 1,000 winner barrier at some point over the weekend.
It’s less good news for another of Busan’s top jockeys though. Seo Seung-un was suspended for three calendar months last Sunday upon the conclusion of an adjourned inquiry into his ride on Mujeok Veteran in race 4 on Sunday July 21st. Mujeok Veteran, a 9/1 chance, was leading when Seo stopped riding at the furlong pole, not noticing that Nangman Jeonsa was directly behind him and closing fast.
Upon discovering the threat, Seo recommenced riding 50 metres from the line but it was too late and Nangman Jeonsa won by a nose. It’s proven to be a costly mistake.
Here are Saturday’s previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Competitive maiden to open proceedings with four of the twelve racing for the first time. (4) THUNDER BAY has been steadily improving across five starts to date culminating in a 2nd place last time out over 1300M. He drops back in trip today and could go one better. He isn’t a fast starter though so he has to be careful not to leave himself too much to do. If he does, then (9) STOLEN BEAUTY is likely to be on pace and can take advantage. She weakened badly over 1300M last start but should be much better at the shorter trip today. Other than that pair it’s the debut-makers who look most dangerous. Both (1) HANEOL BULPAE and (10) BIG PICTURE put in useful trial performances and should go well first-up.
|Selections||(9) Stolen Beauty (4) Thunder Bay (10) Big Picture (1) Haneol Bulpae|
|Next Best||8, 3|
|Fast Start||8, 9, 10, 12|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Juvenile maidens here with precisely half the ten-strong field having raced once before. The most impressive of those was (6) YEONGWON DYNAMO, who ran 3rd on debut, beating to of the others here in the process on July 5th. He won’t need to improve much if he is to win this. (7) CAPTAIN STEALTH was 4th in that race, three-lengths adrift of Yeongwon Dynamo and he has potential to get closer here while (1) YEONGSEONG BRAVO was further back but likewise should have come on for the run. Among the debut-makers, (4) YEONGGWANGUI START has looked competent over the course of two trials and has every chance of making a positive impact first-up today.
|Selections||(6) Yeongwon Dynamo (7) Captain Stealth (4) Yeonggwangui Start (1) Yeongseong Bravo|
|Next Best||9, 3|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 6, 8|
Race3: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(9) TWO TWO CAPTAIN has been knocking on the door for a while now and comes in off the back of three decent showings over this distance. The caliber of opposition he faces today looks significantly weaker and he should finally get that maiden win. (1) ANGEL KING STAR steps up in trip after a solid 3rd over 1300M last time out and looks set to benefit from the additional distance today while (8) JILJU YEOHAENG ran indifferently last time she was tired at a mile but returns after a useful 3rd, also at 1300M, three weeks ago and can go better this time. (3) SEOBU GENTLEMAN and (6) HORTENSE are others with the potential to improve.
|Selections||(9) Two Two Captain (1) Angel King Star (8) Jilju Yeohaeng (3) Seobu Gentleman|
|Next Best||6, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 8, 9|
Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(11) THE FACT was the longest but one shot on the board when getting his maiden win at the fifteenth time of asking just two weeks ago. Normally, we’d be a little bit skeptical of such an outsider repeating the trick right away but he’s not up much in the weights and if anything, faces a weaker set of rivals today. He could win. (4) NEOLBEUN GOEUL returned from six months off to record his maiden win over 1000M in June. He never got going on his first try at this class last month but with a better start today, can be given another chance. (6) THUNDER STRUCK was 5th behind The Fact last start and can get closer today while (8) ONE CHANCE and (9) MAJOR POWER both come in with recent form reading well and can be considered.
|Selections||(11) The Fact (4) Neolbeun Goeul (6) Thunder Struck (8) One Chance|
|Next Best||9, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 8|
Race 5: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
It’s about time (1) CURLIN FANTASY got his maiden win. He had a hard time against stiff opposition at 1800M last start but looks to be in a more suitable spot here. Last time he ran at this distance he was 2nd and can come from off the pace with a strong late run here. (8) EAST WIND has also produced some decent performances at this distance and can be a danger while (3) TAP SOCKS showed signs of life on his latest outing with a solid 5th over 1300M and looks ready to try further once more. (4) KARIN won back to back races in May and June, both at this trip and while she struggled on her first try at this level four weeks ago, she can be given another chance under a light weight and with an eye-catching jockey booking. (7) YEONGBONGSAN looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(1) Curlin Fantasy (8) East Wind (4) Karin (3) Tap Socks|
|Next Best||7, 2|
|Fast Start||4, 7, 8|
Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(5) MR. AFLEET won his first two before running 3rd in a valuable Trophy race in April. He’s not been seen since so comes in here fresh as the one to beat. This is a good little race though. (1) WONDERFUL LION returned from seven months out to beat two of these on her way to 2nd place behind Arcadia over 1200M on July 7th. She’ll be on pace once more and can go similarly close. (8) CLEVER WILLIE was 3rd in that race, just over two-lengths behind Wonderful Lion and he too has the potential to place again. (2) YEONGCHEON HERO enters having also been a close 2nd over 1200M last start and will join Wonderful Lion on pace while next best is (7) ROSA, beaten by Wonderful Lion and Clever Willie in that July 7th race but who followed it up with a useful 4th two weeks ago and who can maintain her momentum here.
|Selections||(5) Mr. Afleet (1) Wonderful Lion (2) Yeongcheon Hero (8) Clever Willie|
|Fast Start||1, 2|
Race 7: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(1) SEOBU CAT has three wins and three runner-up finishes from six starts so far and while he’s up in both class and distance today, is the one to beat once more. From gate 1, he can settle just behind the early speed and run on strongly. (6) KING THE ROAD is also up in class, in her case following a couple of near-misses. She has a bit more to find but can also be competitive at the level. Among those with class 3 experience already, (8) SEONGSAN SIMON comes in off back to back 3rd place finishes and can push to go better here, likely from the front while (9) RED CLOUD is a class and distance winner already and a repeat isn’t impossible. (10) BAENGNYEON SIDAE, up to this distance for the first time and with recent form reading well, looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(1) Seobu Cat (8) Seongsan Simon (9) Red Cloud (6) King The Road|
|Next Best||10, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 8|
Race 8: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(6) TOHAM ACE has won his last four and five from nine in total. He’s up to class 2 for the first time today but the manner of his win over this distance last start suggests that won’t be a problem for him and he can make it five in a row today. (3) HIDDDEN CHAMP beat a couple of these on his way to 3rd at class and distance on June 30th and looks to be the main danger although the up in class (9) KINGSTON HARBOR is a decent prospect as he steps up to two turn racing for the first time. (8) A PURE GOOD MAN is a proven winner at this level and while he has top weight to contend with, can’t be ruled out. (7) WORLD NUMBER ONE looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(6) Toham Ace (3) Hiddden Champ (9) Kingston Harbor (8) A Pure Good Man|
|Next Best||7, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 8|