Day: July 16, 2020

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

The “Balkan Wolf” has returned to Korea. Djordje Perovic, begins his second stint riding in Korea at Busan on Friday where the former Seoul Champion Jockey has four rides on the 15-race card which runs from 11:30 to 18:00. The meeting will be held behind closed doors.


Perovic is back – this time at Busan

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Juvenile maidens kick the weekend’s action off with four of the twelve having raced once before. The race sees a return to Korea for jockey Djordje Perovic who had a successful few years in Seoul and it’s not impossible he could start with a winner. (5) BAEK SEOL QUEEN is one of those with previous experience having run 4th on debut at this distance on July 3rd. She was well back behind the winner but should have come on for that and can improve. Putting in a similar debut a couple of weeks earlier was (2) YEONGWON POWER, who came from off the pace to also run 4th at the same distance. There are loads of chances among the newcomers, many of whom trialed up very similarly. (12) WINNER’S MAN is the first foal from a dam who won six times in Korea and was nicely bred herself. He trialed well albeit on a sloppy track and looks nicely in first-up. (9) BAEK PUNG and (7) TWO TWO WILD THING both showed a bit of speed while (10) B. K. LOOKS also showed some promise.

Selections (5) Baek Seol Queen (12) Winner’s Man (7) Two Two Wild Thing (2) Yeongwon Power
Next Best 9, 6, 10
Fast Start 3, 9, 10


Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

More juvenile maidens with again four of them having raced once each before and the remaining eight making their debuts. (8) TOP MATE put in a good shift on debut on June 19th, running on for 2nd behind good winner Happy Witch. It was a decent performance in a useful time, and he looks the one to beat here. Experience should also be beneficial for (4) WORLD CHEONSA, who ran 3rd in that very same race. She showed at the front early and is likely to do the same again from a nice draw. Seo Seung-un climbs aboard in what is another plus. The first-timers didn’t exactly pull up trees in their respective trials but there were positive signs from the likes of (3) LUCAS SUN and (9) CENTUM THOR.

Selections (8) Top Mate (4) World Cheonsa (9) Centum Thor (3) Lucas Sun
Next Best 10, 6
Fast Start 3, 4, 10, 11


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

Ten three-year-old maidens go here, seven of them fillies. It’s a colt who may be the pick though with (2) GABO TODAY resuming for the first time since December. He ran well in that race before the layoff, his second career start, ending up 3rd of 12 over 1000M running on strong. He went through a trial just last Saturday, posting a fast time and he has every chance of a first-up win today. (10) QUEEN VRONSKY showed promise when 3rd on debut at this distance on June 10th, coming from off the pace and running on well. The wide draw shouldn’t be an issue and she’s a chance here. (6) TOP LUCKY weakened late on over 1300M three weeks ago having led for much of the way and may appreciate the slight drop back in trip today. She’s well drawn to get to the front once more. (1) WONDERFUL SMARTY showed little in four starts before the shutdown but has trialed up well since and can improve today. Similarly, (7) GEUMA GOOD POINT has raced just the once and can aim for a fresh start here having shown some promise in trials.

Selections (2) Gabo Today (10) Queen Vronsky (6) Top Lucky (7) Geuma Good Point
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 5, 6,


Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

After winning a trial, (3) GREAT GOOD ran 2nd on debut behind a horse who ran in a ridiculously fast time for the 1000M, Smart Value. Great Good herself ran well too and she won’t have to improve much on that, if at all, to win here. The extra furlong should only be in her favour. (11) SEUNGNI QUEEN is the only other one in the race who has troubled the scorers so far. That was a 2nd place on what was her latest start in February and while she didn’t catch the eye when trialing in June, she may have enough about her to challenge for a place again. (6) ACHIM BIT debuted reasonably well in 6th place behind Great Good three weeks ago and can be in the frame here. Likewise, (10) SECOND WIND didn’t do too much wrong on her debut either and has a platform to build on today. (9) CRONUS too is sure to have his backers to improve given the trainer/jockey combination.

Selections (3) Great Good (10) Second Wind (11) Seungni Queen (6) Achim Bit
Next Best 9
Fast Start 6, 10


Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

More three-year-old maidens, none of whom have shown very much in their respective outings to date. (5) DAESEUNG E ran creditably enough for 4th place on debut at this distance on June 26th. The time wasn’t fast but it’s a solid foundation to build on and in this limited company, she can get closer. (3) OMEGA GIRL was similarly slow when 4th at 1200M four weeks ago having briefly touched 2nd place in the home straight. That experience should be beneficial and there can be improvement. (9) SUN ALPHA never got going on debut and finished well back behind a very good winner. He had previously shown a decent turn of foot in trials so we’ll draw a line through that debut and give him another chance today. Similarly, (7) WIND PARK weakened on debut behind Daeseung E but had previously won a trial and shouldn’t be written off just yet. In a race with very little in the way of early speed, she may well get to the front.

Selections (5) Daeseung E (9) Sun Alpha (7) Wind Park (3) Omega Girl
Next Best 8, 4
Fast Start 7


Race 6: Class 6 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 25 Million

The speed map in the sixth looks very limited with the majority of the field flat-footed out of the gates. (4) JANGSAN PRIDE goes on top based on a good trial during the hiatus. He has had the two starts with eighth his best performance to date. The two races he lined up in were 2yo races where there were some handy types. This is a weak race and if he is going to show us something, it will be in this event. (2) CAPSTONE is another yet to show much with the filly’s best (more…)

Bart Rice Reaches 200 Not-Out At Busan

A field of ten will face the starter at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday in the YTN Cup but of them only two will have made the trip up from Busan. Both of the southern raiders for the Group 3 test, Buhwarui Banseok and Rock Hard Seven, are trained by Bart Rice, who earlier this month saddled his 200th Korean winner.

Bart Rice

Bart Rice arrived in Korea in late 2013 having trained in South Africa, and sent out his first runners in January of 2014, making an immediate impact as his first Busan starter, Gyeongnam Sinhwa, came home an 8/1 winner. He quickly built up an impressive strike rate, something he has managed to maintain over the subsequent years and brought up his 100th winner in May of 2017.

The latest milestone for Rice arrived on July 3rd when first-time starter Mr. Fusion took out race 3 at Busan under jockey Seo Seung-un wearing the colours of owners Isidore Farm, leading from the gate and winning by ten-lengths on what was his very first start. It was a win that surprised his trainer as much as anyone.

“He (Mr. Fusion) hopefully is above class 6 but to be honest I didn’t expect him to win” Rice told KRBC. “He’s inexperienced and I thought he would need the race, but he managed to get to the front and then didn’t have any kickback”.

As for the double-century, Rice was understated. “For me it’s been a long time to get the 200 winners. I would have liked it to be a little bit faster than that but we’re happy we’ve done it. We try to be as professional as we can in my stable and appreciate the owners’ support”.

Rice may be yet to saddle a Group winner in Korea but he has taken out a number of valuable races and has sent horses from his stable to run in both Singapore and Dubai. He currently lies in 4th place in the Busan Trainer’s Premiership in what has been an interrupted 2020 racing season.

With horses such as the pair who race in Seoul on Sunday as well as the progressive Ssonsal, who won his first class 1 race last weekend and holds an entry to the SBS Sports Sprint later this month among his forty-three strong string, Rice is putting together a formidable looking team.

“I don’t really have a plan” Rice said when asked of his future goals. “We just try to get as many wins as we can. When we get to three hundred we will celebrate but I don’t really have a plan” he continued before paying tribute to his staff in what has been a challenging year. “We didn’t race for a long time but my staff always seem to be happy and bubbly and they’ve done a good job.”