The final day of racing in Korea for 2019 sees a bumper standalone meeting at Busan with 15 races from 10.45 to 18.00. All the fields are big and there are some really competitive races. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
A field of lightly raced Korean-breds will kick off proceedings on a bumper Busan card with fifteen races. (6) PINEUI KKUM looks the goods in the first and should get punters off to a winning start. The Old Fashioned colt lines up for his fourth start coming off a fourth in relatively quick time on a dry-rated track. Leading Busan rider You-Hyun-Myung will jump aboard the juvenile for the first time and is likely to work forward on him early. He comes out of a much stronger event and will appreciate the lack of depth engaged in this race. (11) FUTURE KING drops back to the five furlongs after finishing midfield over 1300m last time out. He did run well two starts back over this distance, he is likely to settle further back in this due to a wide draw. (10) GABO TODAY lines up for his second start after finishing midfield on debut. The Ecton Park colt drops back to the 1000m after failing to make an impression over the 1300m. He is worth including in your wider selections as he performed fairly in a soft trial over 1000m. (1) ZENITH POWER looks best of the rest after a midfield performance on debut.
Selections (6) Pineui Kkum (11) Future King (10) Gabo Today (1) Zenith Power
Next Best 7, 8
Fast Start 6, 7
Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
An absolutely wide-open maiden is second up on the card. We’ll go with (14) HAPPY YOJEONG, who did nothing wrong when 2nd on debut over 1000M on October 25th. She ran on strongly, improving through the line against a set of opposition at least as good as this one and while being drawn in the car park may not be ideal, she should be able to overcome it. (6) NAMYANG SEUNGNI ran well for an improved 4th on what was his second start three weeks ago and should be a danger. (4) POWER TRAIN failed to quicken when well fancied on his second outing earlier this month but saw out the trip ok and can be competitive coming from off the pace here while (12) BUGYEONG MISO has shown slow but encouraging improvement across three starts so far and can continue to get closer today. The wildcard is (2) FUSION PARK. He hinted at some ability in six starts up to May this year with a best finish of 3rd coming at a mile. He’s been off since then but returns today having been adequate if unspectacular in a trial a couple of weeks ago.
Selections: (14) Happy Yojeong (4) Power Train (12) Bugyeong Miso (6) Namyang Seungni
Next Best: 2, 3
Fast Start: 8, 9, 12, 14
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
A field of fourteen maidens will take to the track in the third over 1300m. (12) BURNING STAR lines up for his third career start after handing in a solid performance last start when second behind Yeongseong Victory last time out. They ran a good time on that occasion, and he settled off the speed which is an important trait as he may be forced to settle further back in this assignment. (2) MONOPOLY was sent out favourite at his most recent start when he only managed to finish third. He was somewhat one paced to the line, but he looks to have a maiden victory in him soon. (7) GOLDEN RAIN is third-up in his current preparation. The chestnut comes off a fourth over the same distance behind First Star. He should be at peak fitness for this, so punters can expect further improvement. (8) SMILE WINNER has been sent out at rather short odds his last two starts and managed to finish second and fourth most recently. The Color Flying filly retains the services of You Hyun-Myung which should be seen as a good lead.
Selections (12) Burning Star (2) Monopoly (7) Golden Rain (8) Smile Winner
Next Best 1, 10
Fast Start 2, 7, 12
Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(7) TOP BEST has run twice and finished 3rd twice, at 1000M and 1300M respectively, both times finishing off well. He steps up to a mile for the first time here and it’s possible that could be what he needs in order to make his breakthrough. This time he’ll most likely be ridden closer to the pace from the start and he can go all the way. Four of these raced each other over the distance on December 6th, a race emphatically won by the promising Blue Power. The best of those who go here was (9) BAEDARI CAPER in 3rd. He performed above expectations that day but can go well again although that day’s 4th placed (8) TWO TWO DAY may be able to overturn the form. The latter will join the favourite in making the early running. (1) CHEONNYEONUI GIL has a best of 2nd in three starts so far, all of them at 1300M. He achieved that on debut in September and steps up in trip for the first time today. (13) JEONSEOLUI FIGHT has been beaten by both Top Best and Cheonnyeonui Gil but is another who may appreciate trying the mile for the first time.
Selections: (7) Top Best (8) Two Two Day (1) Cheonnyeonui Gil (13) Jeonseolui Fight
Next Best: 9, 5
Fast Start: 5, 7, 8, 11
Race 5: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
There’s an abundance of speed engaged in the fifth on the card where a field of twelve will line up over the five furlongs. (8) NANSAN YEOJE won in good style last time out when settling just off the speed. The chestnut goes up 2.5kg on her last win but she still looks a good chance based on her last start performance. The face that she has won in this grade goes a long way in this race as there is a lack of depth. (4) TOP ACE has placed on two occasions in similar company since breaking maiden status mid-year. The juvenile has speed to burn early in his races, with barrier four Jeong Dong-Cheol will have every chance to sit on speed and hold on for some cash. (3) PULL OFF went off the boil for quite some time after his maiden win. His last two starts have been better and she has clocked some reasonable times. (2) BYEOLBIT OREUM is lightly raced with just the five starts under her belt. She has managed to win once and finish in the top five on two other occasions from five career starts. She is unlikely to match the early dash of her counterparts here, but she should park behind them and run on late.
Selections (8) Nansan Yeoje (4) Top Ace (3) Pull Off (2) Byeolbit Oreum
Next Best 5, 11
Fast Start 3, 4, 7, 12
Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
With three runner-up finishes and a 3rd from four starts so far, it’s time that (3) BANJIUI JEONSEOL registered a win. In that time, he’s found himself up in class and has finished behind good horses, most recent Daemangui Gil just two weeks ago. There are some decent opponents here too but from gate 3, Seo Seung-un should make the front early and lead all the way. (1) WONDERFUL PEACE weakened badly late on when tried around a mile a month ago. She is a winner at this distance though and should prove a much different prospect today. (14) JEONSEOLUI BULKKOT has drawn wide but if he can overcome that to get a decent position, then he should go well – he led until the closing stages, ultimately having to settle for a close 3rd at class and distance four weeks ago. (4) FIRST STAR and (5) MASTER KING both step in class following their respective maiden wins at this distance and both have the tools to be competitive at this level.
Selections: (3) Banjiui Jeonseol (1) Wonderful Peace (14) Jeonseolui Bulkkot (4) First Star
Next Best: 5, 2
Fast Start: 3, 12, 13, 14
Race 7: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The main chances in the seventh appear to be back markers suggesting tactics early in the race will likely decide the race’s outcome. (13) TWO TWO FAIRY won in good style last time out with a perfect rails-hugging ride by Jung Do-Yun. The Hansen filly looked dour running through the line which is a good indication as she steps up to the mile for the first time in her short career. (1) ECHO WHITE backed up her Class 6 victory with a second last time out when behind King Dombo over 1600m. She’s drawn the inside and sits on speed in her races, several of the other galloper’s connections will be hoping she goes helter-skelter early on setting up a genuine speed in the race. (10) NAGWON DAERO comes out of the same race as Echo White where he finished fourth. The son of Menifee broke through over this distance two starts back and followed it up with a fair performance. (14) QUEEN UP has improved at her past couple of starts with a placing and a win in Class 6 company. She seems to have clicked when it comes to racing, displaying a good turn of foot at her past couple of starts. Given she settles back, barrier fourteen should not be too much of a problem.
Selections (13) Two Two Fairy (1) Echo White (10) Nagwon Daero (14) Queen Up
Next Best 5, 9
Fast Start 1, 2, 4
Race 8: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(14) RAON TOWN got his maiden win in May since when he has specialized in near-misses, including three consecutive runner-up finishes leading into today, all of them at this distance. He’s had some narrow reverses along the way and has posted some fast times. The widest gate may not be ideal, but he doesn’t need to lead so if Choi Si-dae can find him a nice spot then he has every chance. It’s another good race though and both (4) TOP FIRE and (7) MAJOR GUY find themselves rapidly up in class having both won their respective latest two outings. Top Fire’s have been especially impressive and under a nice light weight, Thomas Gillespie’s juvenile looks dangerous again here. Another contender is (6) HAPPY DRAGON. A class and distance winner two starts back before running 2nd to the handy Socks Go last time out. He has to carry 57kg today but has a chance. So too does (12) BLACK SHIELD. She ran out a six-length winner over 1200M at this class a month ago and while it is slightly surprising to see her tackle a mile for the first time here, she can go close. Breeders’ Cup also-ran (9) MARK ONE is another in at least the placing hunt.
Selections: (14) Raon Town (4) Top Fire (6) Happy Dragon (7) Major Guy
Next Best: 12, 9, 13
Fast Start: 4, 9, 10, 12
Race 9: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
A mixture of Korean-bred and imports will face the starter in the ninth over the short course. (7) FANTASTIC ROAD looks hard to beat on his two starts to date. The Elusive Quality colt won on debut when pouncing out of the gates in quick fashion, going on to win well. He then backed it up with a midfield performance in the Gyeongnam Domin Ilbo Cup behind Doctor Carson. He looks well placed in this field with 55.5kg and Choi Si-Dae sticks with him which is a ggood sign. (1) ROCKY SKY comes out of the same race as Fantastic Road where he finished last in the principal juvenile race. On debut the Sky Mesa gelding got away quickly and took care of a reasonable Class 4 field. He has the inside barrier which suggests he will map on speed. (6) HEUIMANG YEOJEONSA was poleaxed out of the gates last start which resulted in her settling well back and having too much ground to make up. We suggest putting a line through her last run and her form prior to that reads well including three wins from four starts. (3) DIAMOND MARINE finished behind Fantastic Road last time out. Expect improvement at his second start after clocking a reasonable time on debut.
Selections (7) Fantastic Road (1) Rocky Sky (6) Heuimang Yeojeonsa (3) Diamond Marine
Next Best 4, 12
Fast Start 3, 6, 7
Race 10: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Pegasus Stables bred and owned horses are having a wonderful end to 2019, powered by their stallion Thunder Moccasin. He looks to have gotten another decent one in the shape of (4) KAHEKILI, who produced a bullet all the way win on a dry track at class and distance on December 15th. If that didn’t take too much out of him then he can defy the additional 3kg here and win again. (2) CHOEGANG TOUCH is a winner of two from four so far and steps up in class here after a very nice score over this distance last time. She hasn’t posted the kind of times that Kahekili has but she’s fast and will be on pace early. So too should (7) DONGTEUJA DAY. She’s had a hard time in her latest two starts – the Breeders’ Cup Trial and then the Breeders’ Cup itself, but dropped back to the minimum trip today, she should be a different prospect. (6) EURO GONGJU and (9) TWO TWO TURBO are others to consider for the places.
Selections: (4) Kahekili (2) Choegang Touch (7) Dongteuja Day (6) Euro Gongju
Next Best: 9, 12
Fast Start: 1, 2, 4, 7
Race 11: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
The eleventh on the card is a Class 4 event for the fillies and mares. We are seeing the development of a lovely filly in (10) RAON YEOGEOL. The two-year-old has had just the four starts which she breezed through the restricted Korean grades and followed it up with some handy performances in the juvenile series against the colts and imported types. Back in Class 4 company she looks ready to blitz this field and she appears one of the best on the card. (11) TWO TWO GREAT comes out of a Class 5 race where she won in good style posting a quick time. Jung Do-Yun stays aboard the Simon Pure filly who is shooting for her third win at just her fourth start. (9) AMAZING WINNER has been thereabouts in similar company. The three-year-old is not the quickest out of the gates but has displayed a nice turn of foot recently. The 56kg makes it tough for her but she can run into some money. (6) LOVE LETTER steps into Class 4 company for the first time. The Koo Young-Jun trained four-year-old has won just one race from nineteen starts but has placed at her past four starts posting some good times.
Selections (10) Raon Yeogeol (11) Two Two Great (9) Amazing Winner (6) Love Letter
Next Best 4, 12
Fast Start 3, 6, 7
Race 12: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(8) ROYAL SOLDIER is turning into a really nice gelding and enters here having won his latest four in fine style, leading all the way in the most recent three of them. He’s won under this weight before, albeit in more limited company, and he can make it five in a row today. (10) BANJIUI YOJEONG has a winning streak of her own to defend with three wins dating back to June. She’s won her last two by a combined fourteen lengths and while she carries 4.5kg extra today, she shall be a danger. (5) JAEDOYAKUI BANSEOK was 2nd to Banjiui Yojeong last start and is capable of placing again while (7) TANGENT may be up in class but has run the type of times to suggest that he has little to fear at this level and he too has strong placing claims. (12) RAPTOR CORE, who races for the first time since running 2nd Royal Soldier, beaten four-lengths, is another who can compete for minor money.
Selections: (8) Royal Soldier (10) Banjiui Yojeong (7) Tangent (5) Jaedoyakui Banseok
Next Best: 12, 11
Fast Start: 8, 10, 11, 12
Race 13: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
A capacity field of fourteen will line up in the thirteenth with some progressive types engaged. (4) YEONGGWANGUI SECRET is a Korean-bred who has won five of his nine starts. He won in this grade last start over the same distance when running a solid time of 1:25.9 on a dry rated track. He has drawn ideally to position in the first half of the field which will be important with the top weight of 57kg on his back. (5) OCEAN PHOENIX is third up since a spell and showed significant improvement last time out. The Menifee filly finished second behind Royal Soldier when they ran a very fast time for the six furlongs. In previous preparations she has been best suited by these shorter sprint races and she looks ready to peak. (9) DIAMOND KING was a surprise winner last time out in this class. The return to form was good to see as the gelding showed plenty of promise when commencing his career in brilliant fashion. (10) CLINCHER is a promising two-year-old import who found the Gyeongnam Domin Ilbo Cup a bit tough last start, prior to that though he saluted in Class 4 company in good style.
Selections (4) Yeonggwangui Secret (5) Ocean Phoenix (9) Diamond King (10) Clincher
Next Best 8, 13
Fast Start 8, 10
Race 14: Class 2 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million
(4) MR. AFLEET is an outstanding colt with five wins from seven starts to date. He races for the first time since dispatching no fewer than seven of his rivals here when winning at class and distance on October 27th. He trialed up earlier this month and looked in very good shape so while he has 57kg on his back, he’s very much the one to beat. (12) SMART PRINCE got to within a head of Mr. Afleet that day. He’s not exactly a prolific winner but is a very useful hose at this level and he will be a danger again. (3) WORLD POWER is an up and comer from Kim Young-kwan’s stable. He’s up in class following his third win in seven starts – a dead-heat in a fast time at this distance on December 1st. He has a fast finish and is in with a shout. (10) ALPHA RUNNER ran out a thirteen-length winner at this distance at class 3 level at the beginning of November and can’t be completely ruled out here. (2) DUBAI TEUKGEUP, another of those behind Mr. Afleet in October, best of the rest.
Selections: (4) Mr. Afleet (3) World Power (12) Smart Prince (10) Alpha Runner
Next Best: 2, 11, 13
Fast Start: 2, 4, 7, 12
Race 15: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
We save the best for last on the big Busan race card with fourteen to line up over six furlongs at Class 1 level. With the big spread in the weights it is an interesting affair however (12) ACE KOREA still looks the one to beat. He has returned to good form winning in Class 1 company two starts back and then backing it up with a third in the Kookje Shinmun behind Baengmunbaekdap. The 59kg is obviously the biggest hurdle but he is racing well and did defeat Mujeok Yeongung by three lengths in that Class 1 event two starts back. (8) MUJEOK YEONGUNG is the second elect finishing runner-up at his past two starts in similar grade. With the featherweight of 51kg he will give a good sight and will take some running down. (1) MORNING DAERO is a last start Class 1 winner and has been a brilliant horse for connections. He sat on speed last time out when winning, given the inside draw one would imagine Choi Si-Dae will elect to urge him out of the gates and avoid the kickback. (4) DOCTOR THUNDER has done good things in her twelve-start career to date. She did find the Jeju Governor’s Cup somewhat tough but prior to that she was racing well including a third in this grade behind Core Blade. She’s a natural frontrunner and will be in this for a long way up the straight. (10) KING OF GLORY and (5) HI SEXY are both winners in this grade of late and cannot be ignored.
Selections (12) Ace Korea (8) Mujeok Yeongung (1) Morning Daero (4) Doctor Thunder
Next Best 10, 5
Fast Start 1, 4, 8, 12, 14