After an almost four-month hiatus racing returns to Korea on Friday with a 15-race card at Busan from 11:30 to 18:00. Sadly with online betting still outlawed and with the authorities still not allowing people to attend professional sports in person, there is no legal way for loyal local racing fans to watch and wager on the races. The races are, however, simulcast overseas as usual. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Twelve previously unraced three-year-olds get things underway and while we usually advise keeping a close eye on the local market for clues, with no local betting, none will be forthcoming. All have been through at least one trial though so we do have a few things to go on. (12) POWER GATE registered good times in both her trials although the filly was assisted on both occasions by wet tracks. It’s a top trainer/jockey combination and if they can overcome the wide draw, she surely figures. Speaking of jockey/trainer combinations, (11) SECOND WIND showed improvement across her pair of trials, also on similarly wet tracks and can go well first up today. From the inside gate, (1) ALPHA HEART should be on the early pace and can stick around at the business end. (3) CHEON SU HAENG and (7) CHEONMA HASEO also acquitted themselves well in heats while the pair of (2) INDY QUEEN and (9) SWEET BAND, both by President’s Cup and Grand Prix winner Indie Band are intriguing debutantes although their respective latest trials would suggest caution is needed first-up.
|Selections||(12) Power Gate (11) Second Wind (1) Alpha Heart (7) Cheonma Ha Seu|
|Next Best||3, 2, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 9, 11|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
Nine two-year-olds will have their first start in the second event on the card. Trial times and perceived pressure have been reviewed in their qualifying trials and (9) WORLD CHEONSA looks one to follow on debut. The Hansen filly clocked a good time for a debutant when doing it under her own steam until ridden out by Kim Cheol-ho in the last half furlong. She qualified in 62.1 seconds on a dry track which should see her more than competitive in this event. (7) MAGIC DAERO managed to muster quickly in his trial after jumping away in average fashion. The Gyeongbudaero colt was somewhat green working up the Busan straight in his trial but he looks one that can improve with time. (3) TOP MATE clocked a good time for his trial but was ridden out hard by his rider. He should be able to position close-up from a handy drawn. (6) HAPPY WITCH was swamped late in her trial after tiring in the last furlong. If the is improvement with her she can run into the top four.
|Selections||(9) World Cheonsa (7) Magic Daero (3) Top Mate (6) Happy Witch|
|Next Best||2. 8|
|Fast Start||3, 7, 9|
Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Maiden fillies only here with just three of the twelve having prior racing experience. Of those, only (12) MISS ROCKET offered any ability, running 5th of 12 over this distance in February. She backed that up by going well in a May trial and warrants consideration here. (2) STEEL HEART did nothing on debut but did show signs of improvement when trialing again a month ago. We have some sharp looking debutantes though. (5) FINAL PARTY looked every inch a racehorse when cruising to a trial victory over some experienced animals on May 8th. Top jockey You Hyun-Myung is aboard and if she brings that form to the races, she has winning chances. (7) ILNYEOM TONGCHEON was slightly slower but still impressive when making all to win a heat of her own back in March. She’ll be on pace from the start and can be a threat. Joining her on speed will be (4) ANGEL WIND who was similarly composed when running 2nd in her heat in April. Another big chance is (10) QUEEN VRONSKY who has mixed it well with experienced runners in two trials to date, running on very nicely for 3rd in a fast time in her latest heat in April. She’ll come from just behind the speed and debuting at 1200M may well suit. (9) SUSO TANK also is not to be overlooked.
|Selections||(5) Final Party (10) Queen Vronsky (4) Angel Wind (7) Ilnyeom Tongcheon|
|Next Best||12, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 5, 7|
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The three-year-old maiden gallopers line up in the fourth event where six of the twelve runners are on debut. There is plenty of interest around (1) MY QUEEN who trialed in impressive fashion back in March. The Tamna Ace filly had speed to burn early on in the heat before hitting the line with minimum urging. The filly is perfectly drawn to bounce out of the gates, sit on speed and take some running down. (3) YEONGGWANGUI SPEED had the one start back in December before the hiatus where he finished midfield behind Golden Winner who has subsequently proven to be a handy type. The colt was given a trial last month where he was one-paced through the line. He has run over the 1300m in fair style and is considered an each-way chance. (5) ALPHA STAR was disappointing on debut back in January when failing to beat a runner home. He trialed during the hiatus with his performance much better. He jumped well in the trial and sustained a good cruising speed He was not shaken up down the straight and clocked a fair time for this grade. (12) ECHO GOOD looks one to not discount entirely on her trial performances. We will know more about her after this event but keep her safe in your wider selections.
|Selections||(1) My Queen (3) Yeonggwangui Speed (5) Alpha Star (12) Echo Good|
|Next Best||8, 6|
Race 5: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(10) GEUMA KAIROS has been well-backed in both his starts to date and while he struggled on debut in December, he was an improved 4th running on well on his February reappearance. He looked well in an April trial and the step up to 1400M may suit here. (3) JEMA TUJI has improved across three outings and ran a good 2nd on a wet track over 1300M in January. She wasn’t asked for much in his recent trial and she can go well first up today. So too can another filly, Thomas Gillespie’s (4) YEOWANGUI MISO. A solid 3rd at lengthy odds on debut, she ran well in a trial just two weeks ago and You Hyun Myung, who rode her in the heat, gets back aboard today. (6) HALEAKALA justified strong support when 2nd over a mile in January. She performed well enough in an April trial on a sloppy track and can be in the placing frame again. (5) JANGSAN MANGCHI is “full” brother to Derby Winner Ecton Blade and improvement is possible while (8) JEONSEOLUI BOSS is another firmly in the hunt in a competitive race.
|Selections||(10) Geuma Kairos (4) Yeowangui Miso (3) Jema Tuji (5) Jangsan Mangchi|
|Next Best||8, 6, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 8, 10|
Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
An even assembly of gallopers line up in the fifth where a case can be made for the majority of the field. The race looks difficult enough without the added complexity of the recent racing hiatus. (7) PERFECT JEWANG is the on top selection as he ticks two boxes, the first being he blew his rivals away in Class 6 company back in February winning by a substantial nine length margin. The second being he trialed in impressive time in April when clocking 60.9 seconds on a dry track and beat the second placed horse by five lengths. The time was one of the better figures for that particular set of trials. (11) GOOD THUNDER looks a winning hope in the open field. The Thunder Moccasin colt has proved himself beyond the 1000m multiple times, placing over 1200m last start and breaking maiden status over the 1300m two starts back. He handed in an average trial in April which was no gauge of his condition. He has been on speed at his past three race starts and it is likely that Lee Hyo-sik will look to cross shortly after the gates open. (3) HAEUNDAE THUNDER broke maiden status back in February at his third race start. The son of Strike Again has drawn ideally to allow Francisco Da Silva engage the same tactics as per when he won. The step up to the 1200m first up is the query. (5) BANJIUI MAGIC still looks for his first win but comes out of a strong three-year-old race where he was defeated by Barbarian, who looks to have some ability. With the lightweight on his back, the chestnut should be considered an each-way hope.
|Selections||(7) Perfect Jewang (11) Good Thunder (3) Haeundae Thunder (5) Banjiui Magic|
|Next Best||9, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 7, 9, 11|
Race 7: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
A really good looking race involving plenty of up and comers. (3) GREAT BOSS won on debut over 1200M in February and while it wasn’t an especially fast time on what admittedly was a slow-running track that day, he showed he’s got plenty of speed about him when recording a sub one-minute trial on May 30th. So long as he didn’t leave his race on the track that morning, he has strong claims today. So too does (7) NEW PROSPECT, a colt who appears well-named presently. He won at the second time of asking in February and looked similarly fit and well in a trial last month. He’ll join Great Boss on the early pace. It took (11) SPACE POWER a little longer to notch up his first victory, which he achieved at the fifth time of asking. Also up in class today, he is another who should be on speed but perhaps has a little more to find. (5) JUST WIN is yet to actually win but comes up in class off the back of consecutive runner-up finishes and should be competitive here. (1) YEONGGWANGUI TIME is always sent off at short-odds and usually isn’t too far away while (6) GUKMIN STAR and (8) ARAGAYA WANGSEONG are among a number of others who can aim for minor places.
|Selections||(3) Great Boss (7) New Prospect (5) Just Win (6) Gukmin Star|
|Next Best||1, 11, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5, 7, 8|
Race 8: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
The eighth on the program has a mixture of lightly raced gallopers and others who have had several chances to prove themselves in this grade. (6) MR. VALOR is still yet to break maiden status but his past few runs have been promising. He chased hard at his most recent race start when finishing three lengths behind Hit The Road who he lines up against once again. The Ecton Park colt trialed well early May when crossing the line with the well performed Great King. They clocked a good time and with only 53.5kg on his back he should take some beating. (12) HIT THE ROAD is the second elect for reasons aforementioned, beating Mr. Valor back in February. The colt has had the one trial during the hiatus when finishing fourth in good time, he carried 56kg in the trial. Franco Da Silva, who rode him to victory last start will be legged aboard once again. He controlled the race last start by taking up the running shortly after the start, from a wide gate he is likely to work forward once again. (10) ECTON STEALTH is a last start class and distance winner who goes up 4kg for the win. The four-year-old defeated Tower Captain by a length last start when coming from well back. This is a tougher ask but he can be considered an each-way chance. (8) TURBO SPEED trialed well in April and looks one to have place claims over the 1400m.
|Selections||(6) Mr. Valor (12) Hit The Road (10) Ecton Stealth (8) Turbo Speed|
|Next Best||9, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 6, 12|
Race 9: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(11) TOP SKY made all to register his maiden win over this distance on a muddy track back on Valentine’s Day and he looks to be a progressive type with plenty more in the tank. He trialed pleasingly enough and while up in class, he can win again. He does though run slap-bang into a horse who has beaten him before. That’s (6) POWER TRAIN, who races for the first time since beating Top Sky back in January. He offered few clues in an April trial but has plenty of ability and can be a danger from just off the pace. Both of them will go well to beat (7) TOP BEST though. Having registered his maiden win at this distance in December, he shrugged off a challenging introduction to class 5 in January by then running a good 2nd in February. It’s a top trainer/jockey combination and they have a chance. (10) FINAL FRONT was a class and distance winner in February and while he does have to deal with an additional 5kg today, he warrants respect. (8) MISS ADELE was back behind Final Front that day on her first attempt at a mile but she may improve here. Stepping up to the distance for the first time, (12) JEONSEOULUI BULKKOT is a strong finisher and this may suit.
|Selections||(11) Top Sky (6) Power Train (7) Top Best (12) Jeonseolui Bulkkot|
|Next Best||10, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 11|
Race 10: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
A mixture of Korean-bred and imported gallopers line up in the tenth over the six furlongs. (11) RISING BOY was impressive when winning his last start back in late January. The Bodemeister four-year-old sat in a congested leading division before Lee Sung-Jae asked him to extend as they came into the straight. He unwound in good style hitting the line in a dogged fashion winning by a length, never in danger of being passed. Weight is the concern as he goes up a hefty 5kg for his last start win. He has trialled well during the hiatus and this assignment does not appear to be the strongest on paper. (12) SPICE CANDY looks the main threat who is likely to follow Rising Boy across from their wide draws. The Korean-bred hasn’t put a foot wrong since starting her career in October 2019. From three starts she has yielded two wins and a placing. She saluted in good style last start and trialled well in May. This is her toughest assignment to date but she carries the featherweight of 52.5kg. (10) FUTURE KING is another progressive Korean-bred who has won his past two race starts. The query, especially first up is the 1200m, with the three-year-old having one start beyond 1000m and finishing midfield. (8) WONDERFUL PEACE is another last start winner. The Peace Rules filly steps into this grade for the first time and looks a chance of running into the placings. She will have the services of Busan’s top jockey You Hyun-Myung.
|Selections||(11) Rising Boy (12) Spice Candy (10) Future King (8) Wonderful Peace|
|Next Best||3, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 8, 11, 12|
Race 11: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(1) BARBARIAN is making stately progress up the classes with two wins from three starts so far, his latest a facile six-length score over 1300M just before the shutdown. He tackles 1400M for the first time today but neither that nor the ostensible step up in class should be of any concern and he should be winning again. (8) MUNHWA SIGNATURE got the closest to Barbarian last start and his reward is to have to come up in class with him. He has plenty to find but another placed finish is not an impossibility. There are plenty of other contenders though. (10) DAEMANGUI GIL has a runner-up finish to his name at this class and was very fast in a May trial. He tackles the distance for the first time and there’s every indication it will suit. (2) ROSA was beaten in that same May trial and may well have benefitted from the break as she looked to have come back a bit soon from a previous lay-off in February and can go much better today. (3) KAHEKILI, (5) BEAUTIFUL MARINE and (9) CAPTAIN STEALTH are others with claims on a place. It may also be worth keeping an eye on (12) MAN OF THE FIELD. Three of his six starts so far were in Busan’s top juvenile races and he held his own. This is his three-year-old debut and he ran well in two trials last month.
|Selections||(1) Barbarian (10) Daemangui Gil (12) Man Of The Field (3) Kahekili|
|Next Best||5, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 10, 12|
Race 12: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
A lack of speed engaged in the twelfth suggests that the two likely favourites in Blue Power and World Today should be able to cross the field early on. (9) BLUE POWER is the on top selection based on his dominant display back in February over this distance. The three-year-old has taken a liking to the middle distances winning three races from eight starts, two of them over the mile and the most recent over the 1800m. He carries top weight but he looks to have the class to win. He trialed early last month where he missed the kick before running through the line fairly. Fair to say a 1000m trial is not the best indication of how the galloper will go over the 1800m first up. (4) RAON TOWN looks to have each way claims in the race. He hit the line nicely in February to finish second behind Thunder King suggesting he will handle the 1800m. You Hyun-Myung takes over the riding commitments and is likely to position just behind the leading division from a handy draw. (10) WORLD TODAY is a winning chance. The Ecton Park four-year-old has won two of his six starts including one over the mile. He was a winner two starts back and carried 57kg to victory, suggesting the 56kg is manageable in this event. (7) YEONGCHEON JILJU is best of the rest and trialed well in April. He has multiple Class 4 placings including a last start third behind Blue Power.
|Selections||(9) Blue Power (4) Raon Town (10) World Today (7) Yeongcheon Jilju|
|Next Best||6, 5|
|Fast Start||9, 10|
Race 13: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
After taking a couple of races to figure things out, (4) TOUCH STAR MAN has won three on the spin and at the time of racing’s suspension, he was looking among the best of the three-year-old crop. He’s shown speed on both wet and dry tracks and being out of a Korean Oaks winner, should have little difficulty in handling to step up to 1800M today. He kept his fitness up during the break, winning a trial in April and while this is by no means a weak race, he looks very hard to beat. (7) MYEONGSIN POWER won at class and distance in January and while he struggled on reappearance at 1400M, can be competitive today. (9) TRUE VALOR is the only other one in the field to have won at this distance and if he can recapture his form of a year ago, he too can aim to place. (6) EAST WIND and (1) TOUGH GREEN chased home the exciting Save The World last time out and both can aim for places again today.
|Selections||(4) Touch Star Man (6) East Wind (7) Myeongsin Power (1) Tough Green|
|Next Best||9, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 10|
Race 14: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
There are some very progressive types in the fourteenth on the card over the 1400m. (10) SPEED FURY is turning out to be a very handy galloper. The lightly raced five-year-old has won five of his seven starts steaming through the easier classes. Whilst this is his toughest test to date he won his most recent race by six lengths. To add to our confidence, he won a trial in April clocking a good time. (12) BANJIUI YOJEONG is another progressive type winning four of her eight races and placing in the other four. The speedy filly with no weight on her back is likely to spring the gates and work forward to sit on speed. All four of the races she has won she has carried 54kg or less so she’s ideally weighted with 52kg. (2) BRAVE KINGDOM has rarely finished far from them in his ten start career to date. He trialled well in April, with a drop in the weights he can play a part come the finishing line. (1) TOP OF WORLD has won five from ten starts and looks to get the perfect run from an inside draw. She targeted the three-year-old fillies’ series last year where she performed admirably, including a fifth in the Korean Oaks. She only had two starts after the Oaks where she won a Class 3 event and then failed to impress in the KNN Cup for the fillies and mares. Keep her safe as she is back to restricted company
|Selections||(10) Speed Fury (12) Banjiui Yojeong (2) Brave Kingdom (1) Top Of World|
|Next Best||9, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 9, 10, 12|
Race 15: Class 1 (2000M) Handicap / KRW 150 Million
A number of these raced each other at class and distance on January 19th and (2) JUMBO BLADE ran out the winner beating Triple Nine, no less. The trouble is that Triple Nine’s presence in that race, meant Jumbo Blade could carry a feather-weight whereas today he was 59kg on his back. He could repeat but it will take some effort. Joining him in the 59kg club is (3) BUHWARUI BANSEOK. He too has beaten plenty of these and can never be discounted. Perhaps more likely is (7) CHIEF ACE. Beautifully in at 51kg, he has a very good record at this distance and has beaten a number of these before. Today can be his day. Old-stager (8) DONGBANG DAERO doesn’t win out of turn but is another who finds favour with the handicapper here and looks set to go close. (5) MABEOPUI JILJU looks a placing chance as well having looked in fine shape in trials while (4) MAJOR ALPHA is best of the rest.
|Selections||(7) Chief Ace (8) Dongbang Daero (3) Buhwarui Banseok (2) Jumbo Blade|
|Next Best||5, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 9, 10|