There was a brief glimmer of light at the beginning of the week when the government gave to go ahead to the professional baseball and football leagues to begin admitting spectators to stadiums from as early as this Friday. The hope was that this could be quickly extended to the racecourses where strict bio-security and distancing measures are ready to be enforced. That hope was quickly extinguished with the rise of new “cluster infections” in the middle of the week with baseball and football having immediately had their approval put on hold.
Accordingly, this weekend’s racing will once more be run without spectators and without betting, the latter of which is unsustainable for very much longer. The races, while unavailable to loyal Korean punters, are, however, available to overseas bettors through the usual simulcast partners. There are 15 races at Busan on Friday from 11:30 to 18:00.
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
A small field of eight first-time starters get Friday’s card underway, tackling the minimum distance of five furlongs. The fastest in trials was (8) KKOTGWA BARAM, who despite weakening late on, still managed to hold her own in a heat that included Baengmunbaekdap. The widest gate may not be ideal, but she most likely doesn’t need to lead, and she has fair claims here. (2) YEONGGWANGUICHUKJE also looked competent when trialing at the end of May, running on strong late to post a respectable time and to warrant consideration first-up. (5) MY STAR trailed up along with some decent horses and didn’t look out of place when recording a by no means poor time while (6) GALLANT WARRIOR and (7) DOCTOR TAKE also hinted at some promise and can give a good account of themselves.
|Selections||(8) Kkotgwa Baram (2) Yeonggwanguichukje (6) Gallant Warrior (5) My Star|
|Next Best||7, 1|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The three-year-old maidens go over the short course in the second event on the card. (9) FANTASTIC BOY lines up for his debut performance coming off an eye-catching trial. The Old Fashioned colt was piloted by Lee Sung-jae when working through the line strong. He was given minimal urging by rider Lee and looked to have plenty left in the tank. (11) HALA NURI looks the main danger, trialing well in May. The filly was allowed to free roll by Cho Si-dae who rides her in the event. She did have one start back in January where she finished midfield. (7) SMART BIJIN improved at her second trial and looks a place chance. She is by Daishoten winner Smart Falcon and it may take a couple of runs to see what she really has to offer. (6) MUJEOK YONGBYEONG has had a couple of starts back at the turn of the new year. He improved at his second start to settle behind the leaders and finish off fairly.
|Selections||(9) Fantastic Boy (11) Hala Nuri (7) Smart Bujin (6) Mujeok Yongbyeong|
|Fast Start||6, 9, 11|
Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maidens line up here with seven of the twelve racing for the very first time. Of the five who have prior racing experience, (9) STING is the only one to have troubled the judges, running 2nd on what was his third career start in February on a muddy track over 1000M. He ran on pleasingly enough and the additional trip today has the potential to suit. Jockey Park Jae-I became a father for the first time on Wednesday and he has a fine chance on debut-maker (10) GEUMGANG JEONGGI. A solid performer across three trials, the first all the way back in January and the most recent just a couple of weeks ago, he looks very much ready to run. The jockey is likely to send him to the front from the gate and he could be the one they need to beat. (4) CHOEGANG HUNTER and (6) QUEEN FLYING both offered next to nothing in two and one prior starts respectively. However, in May trials, both looked to have befitted from the time off and should be much better prospects this time around. Among the other debutants, (11) MR. FUSION looks the pick.
|Selections||(10) Geumgang Jeonggi (9) Sting (4) Choegang Hunter (6) Queen Flying|
|Next Best||11, 7, 1|
|Fast Start||10, 11|
Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The fillies line up over the six furlongs in the fourth where there appears to be only a handful of chances. (9) FASHION KEY looks a speedy type who can perform well fresh. She has lined up in stronger events than this and accounted for herself well. The trial was good, and she will have one of Busan’s best in Seo Seung-un on her back. (10) NORTHERN DREAM trialed up well back in April. She did place two starts back over the five furlongs and then backed it up with a fair performance in February before the hiatus. The concern is where she ends up from barrier ten. (3) BARAMEUI WOOLLIM lines up for her first start as a four-year-old. She won a trial back in February when qualifying in good time then finished midfield in a trial against the older horses. (4) HONOR QUEEN will have her second start after finishing midfield on debut over the 1000m. She never looked a winning chance but held her own, with some improvement she can run into the minor money.
|Selections||(9) Fashion Key (10) Northern Dream (3) Barameui Woollim (4) Honor Queen|
|Next Best||2, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 9|
Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Maidens again here but plenty of form to go around. (1) PINEUI KKUM has finished no worse than 6th in six appearances so far with a best of 2nd. That came at 1000M, but he has finished 3rd at this distance as well. He has disappointed as favourite on a number of occasions, but he looked well in a May trial and this really should be his day. (8) ALPHA STAR ran 2nd on June 19th, well beaten by the very promising debut-maker My Queen. He should have come on for that run and gets a quick turnaround here. He’ll be on pace early and can go close. Looking to overcome being drawn in the car park to get to the front early will be (12) MILLION MAKER. He led for much of the way over 1200M on his second career start back in February only to get overhauled late on. He too looked well in a trial just last Saturday and presuming he didn’t leave his race in that heat, he has a big chance here. (10) ACE JACKPOT hasn’t shown much in the way of speed but has hit the board a couple of times at this level and has placing claims.
|Selections||(1) Pineui Kkum (8) Alpha Star (12) Million Maker (10) Ace Jackpot|
|Next Best||4, 6|
|Fast Start||8, 12|
Race 6: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
A compact field of maiden gallopers line up in the sixth where there is a lack of early speed. (2) CHEONNYEONUI GIL lines up for her sixth start after an average trial in May. The Tiz Wonderful filly has finished in the top five on four of her five starts including a last start third behind Gold Candy. She was beaten a big margin that day but Gold Candy does look to have ability winning at her next start by ten lengths in a stronger grade. (3) TIZ LINE appreciated the step up to the mile for the first time last start, finishing second behind Borne Matta. He trialed in April and only beat a couple home, with a slow time. We will include him on the strength of his last run. (7) BAEDARI CAPER is a twenty-nine start maiden but is capable of running into the minor money. He is drawn to sit midfield and have every chance of collecting a cheque. (6) TOP OF THE GIRL has mixed her form since starting her career in August last year but based on her trial in May where she clocked a good time, she is worth including.
|Selections||(2) Cheonnyeonui Gil (3) Tiz Line (7) Baedari Caper (6) Top Of The Girl|
|Next Best||9, 10|
Race 7: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(6) MASTER KING was a good winner over 1300M all the way back in November last year. Although he didn’t get a chance to make his class 5 debut before racing was halted in February, he certainly looked the part when leading for most of a trial at the start of June. Look for him to get on pace early and potentially lead all the way today. (9) MAN OF THE WORLD’s final run before the shutdown saw him come home 4th when sent off as favourite over 1000M on February 14th. He is yet to win but has a 2nd place to his name at 1300M and was similarly fast in a trial two weeks ago. He will be challenging for the early lead and has every chance of making the breakthrough here. Another maiden is (10) BANJIUI MAGIC. He returned to action two weeks ago running a solid class and distance 4th and should have come on for that run. Another (more…)