It’s finally Korean Derby weekend. The big race is at Seoul on Sunday but before that there is a 15-race card at Busan on Friday running from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
(3) TWO TWO WILD THING and (6) DREAM STEALTH ran home 4th and 5th, a considerable margin behind excellent winner Winner’s Man on debut on July 7th. Two Wild Thing stumbled on leaving the gate while Dream Stealth raced wide and green throughout so both had their excuses and both should have come on for that run. On the same day two weeks ago, (8) DAEHO PYEONGJEONG also debuted with a creditable 3rd place at this distance. Jo In-kwen climbs aboard this time which can be to his benefit and he looks nicely in here. There are three first-time starters and among them, (5) BANJIUI GIJEOK looks the most promising first-up. She is a half-sister to a number of winners and the jockey/trainer combination is worth taking note of. She led early in her trial before dropping back and then running through the line well (with Dream Stealth behind her) and a she should go close.
|Selections||(5) Banjiui Gijeok (3) Two Two Wild Thing (8) Daeho Pyeongjeong (6) Dream Stealth|
|Next Best||7, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5|
Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old Korean-bred gallopers line up in the second event where there is a lack of early speed. (1) BEODEUL BARAM looks to get every chance from the inside gate. The Min Jang-gi trained filly finished third on debut when powering to the line going down less than a length behind Morning Thunder. (3) SUN ALPHA comes off a handy performance last time out when finishing third behind Wind Park. The Thunder Moccasin colt will line up over the same journey and with some improvement looks one of the main chances. (11) ALPHA HEART showed improvement at her second start. The filly is one that has shown a lack of speed out of the gates suggesting Jo In-kwen will need to stay in touch with the leading division to be a winning chance. (10) CRONUS looks next best after finishing behind the place getters last time out over the six furlongs. Kim Young-kwan and Seo Seung-un combine, which is a partnership that can never be ignored.
|Selections||(1) Beodeul Baram (3) Sun Alpha (11) Alpha Heart (10) Cronus|
|Next Best||9, 6|
Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Lots of lines have to be drawn through latest performances here if we are to be able to pick anything to win this. (1) GABO TODAY will tempt plenty given the stable and the jockey who gets on him today. The manner of his capitulation last start when looking well placed was concerning but he should have come on for it and in this company is worth another chance. (2) AMAZING GIRL resumes for the first time since February. She had run in a couple of 4th place finishes at 1000M and steps up beyond the minimum trip for the first time having hinted at some promise in a trial earlier this month. (7) NICE ONE and (9) CHOEGANG CUPID are others who have shown something in recent trials that they are yet to show on the racetrack and who have the potential to improve today. (4) HIT JACKPOT may have an extremely unimpressive resume at first glance, but he has actually run the fastest time of any of these at this distance and the addition of You Hyun-myung in the saddle should be a plus.
|Selections||(1) Gabo Today (4) Hit Jackpot (2) Amazing Girl (7) Nice One|
|Next Best||9, 5, 6|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 7, 9|
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
The Korean-bred maidens go over the 1300m in the fourth event, where plenty of these gallopers have been given numerous chances to break through previously. (11) ADELE CLASSIC looks hardest to beat coming off two good performances since resuming late June. The colt clocked a quick time for this class last start, expect him to work forward early under Jo In-kwen. (1) PORRIMA looks the main danger after trying to lead throughout last time out before finishing third behind B.K John. She has shown speed at her first two starts so with the inside draw she is likely to be the one to catch halfway up the straight. (2) DARUI BADA looks a place chance in a field lacking depth outside of the aforementioned runners. She hit the line well last time out, if she can settle closer she can run into the money. (3) HUIMANG SOYEO looks next best in a race that doesn’t inspire.
|Selections||(11) Adele Classic (1) Porrima (2) Darui Bada (3) Huimang Soyeo|
|Next Best||5, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 11|
Race 5: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maiden fillies here. Four of these faced each other over this distance on July 17th and it was (5) SECOND WIND who came out the best of them with a front-running 2nd place finish behind Great Good. That was a strong performance and suggests she has a maiden win in her sooner rather than later – it could well be here. (11) ACHIM BIT came home 3rd in that race having led for much of the way. She will have to overcome the car park draw but if Jo In-kwen can get her forward early, then she has every chance. (10) QUEEN AFLEET didn’t do too much wrong when 4th on what was her second start on July 3rd. The step up in trip can suit and she can go better today. (2) SEONGSIL SONYEO ran an improved 4th on her first start back following the shutdown and can be considered for further improvement today.
|Selections||(5) Second Wind (11) Achim Bit (10) Queen Afleet (2) Seongsil Sonyeo|
|Next Best||3, 4|
|Fast Start||5, 11|
Race 6: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The fillies line up over the 1200m in the sixth where there is limited form to assess. (5) NORTHERN DREAM looks hardest to beat coming off a first-up second behind Honor Queen over this distance. She should enjoy a better run with a better draw. The time she clocked last start should see her more than competitive in this type of race. (3) HALLA NURI has had just the two starts, with a good performance last time out when third behind Golden. You Hyun-Myung will be legged aboard her for the first time which is a plus. (6) DALGI is another filly who performed well first up when finishing second behind B.K John. She has had the ten starts yielding just the two minor placings, but she is capable in a race lacking depth. (1) HAPPY WIND looks next best with the remainder of the field struggling of late. The Bob And John filly showed some ability last preparation. With some improvement she looks a place chance at best.
|Selections||(5) Northern Dream (3) Halla Nuri (6) Dalgi (1) Happy Wind|
|Next Best||4, 10|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 10|
Race 7: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
(8) PAI BLADE comes in having run 3rd in both his two starts to date before and after the shutdown. The latter of them was at this distance and while it was hardly a world-beating time, it still stacks up handily against this lot. Franco Da Silva can set up camp just off the pace and he has strong claims here. (2) MARK STAR was a touch slow out of the traps last start on June 26th. He rallied pleasingly enough for 5th place though over this distance and with a smoother start can get much closer today. (9) TRUE WARRIOR raced four wide with no cover two weeks ago but has run a place before and with a more mature effort, can get closer today. (5) KING OF JOY knows how to win some minor money and shouldn’t be too far away. The wildcard is (11) RAPTOR MAN. His race record is dreadful but he did bolt up in a trial only last Saturday. Granted it was a wet track and granted, he has run a quick time in a trial before only to then implode in an actual race.
|Selections||(8) Pai Blade (2) Mark Star (9) True Warrior (5) King Of Joy|
|Next Best||11, 7|
|Fast Start||8, 11|
Race 8: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Quite a few gallopers engaged in the fifth have shown plenty of ability in their short careers to date, with four last start winners engaged. (6) KKOTGWA GUREUM is the on top selection after one of the stronger first start performances we have seen in recent times. The Hansen filly sat three wide the entirety over 1000m in a two-year-old event. Once again there is an abundance of speed, suggesting it may be tough to find a position. You Hyun-myung stays aboard the classy type. (8) HAPPY WITCH is another last start winner of a two-year-old event. She is also likely to sit on speed and be in the finish. (5) GOLDEN won on debut last time out when holding on by just under a length in front of Aceui Gippeum. He is a chance of finding the fence first with him being one of the speedier types that has a reasonable draw. (7) HONOR QUEEN is next best coming off a victory at her second start. Her win came over the 1200m showing she can run the six furlongs out strongly.
|Selections||(6) Kkotgwa Gureum (8) Happy Witch (5) Golden (7) Honor Queen|
|Next Best||3, 1|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11|
Race 9: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(9) ALPHA KING was drifting aimlessly prior to the shutdown and enforced time off seemed to do him plenty of good as he beat three of these on his way to a class and distance 3rd place finish on July 3rd. His problem before had been that he wasn’t finishing off races but he certainly did that well and if Jo In-kwen can get him into a handy position then he can win. (5) NAMYANG SEUNGNI finished 5th in that race and despite remaining winless, shapes to be one of the dangers here, but there are plenty of other capable types too. (7) JITTERBUG races for the third time since resumption and has run solid 4th and 3rd places. She continues to carry a nice light weight and Seo Seung-un taking the mount should count in her favour. She tends to start steadily and look to close late on. In that race in which Jitterbug ran 3rd, (2) UNBONGSAN finished in 6th having led for much of the way around. She’s nicely drawn to get on pace again today and has solid claims. (4) GUKMIN STAR has the fastest time of any of these who have previously tackled the distance and is another firmly in the hunt in what is a competitive looking race.
|Selections||(7) Jitterbug (2) Unbongsan (9) Alpha King (4) Gukmin Star|
|Next Best||5, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 9|
Race 10: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A tough field to dissect in the tenth event where the Class 5 gallopers go over the mile. (1) PINEUI KKUM is the on top selection with no confidence at all. The three-year-old is yet to break maiden status but has been a model of consistency over his seven career starts to date. He will be put over the mile for the first time which looks suitable given the ground he made up late when first up. (3) TOP BEST is a winner over the mile previously. His riders normally take luck out of the equation by placing him on speed allowing him to roll forward early on. Expect Seo Seung-un to rate him perfectly out of barrier three. (6) MORNING TAEYANG is another that is looking to break maiden status. He got a long way back in the run last start showing no early speed, before hitting the line well to finish fourth. Busan’s leading rider You Hyun-Myung will be legged aboard this time around. (10) CENTER FORWARD finished runner-up behind Wonderful Ei last time out. He has been dealt a tough draw but is capable of running out a strong mile.
|Selections||(1) Pineui Kkum (3) Top Best (6) Morning Taeyang (10) Center Forward|
|Next Best||5, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 10|
Race 11: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Small but super looking field for this Class 4 test. (1) GEUMA KAIROS and (2) JEONSEOLUI BOSS enter with pretty much identical records having both won their two respective starts since the resumption and both step up in class today. Given that he has experience of this distance – and further, Geuma Kairos may be slightly faovured. He looked when making all to win over 1800M two weeks ago and that form may be hard to beat here. That said, Jeonseolui Boss shouldn’t have too many problems with the distance either. He was running away from them when winning over 1400M on July 10th. (4) FINAL FRONT was 2nd that day and is accordingly promoted to this level too. He perhaps has a bit to find. (5) TIZBE ran on for a gutsy 3rd over 1400M four weeks ago. Her two previous wins have come at this distance and this small field may suit.
|Selections||(1) Geuma Kairos (2) Jeonseolui Boss (5) Tizbe (4) Final Front|
|Fast Start||1, 2|
Race 12: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
An even bunch of gallopers have been assembled for the twelfth event on the card. (9) PERDIDO ROCKET has been mighty consistent without breaking maiden status yet. The Laurie’s Rocket gelding has placed on seven occasions from eleven career starts. He was good when resuming, lining up in the class for the first time and finishing second behind Beautiful Marine. The time was good and he finished off in good style with the margin two lengths. (2) ECHO SUN looks well placed in the event coming off a last start third over this journey. The Cowboy Cal gelding has notched two wins from ten starts with three minor placings as well. The draw is ideal for Jo In-kwen to camp behind the leading division and strike late. (4) FUTURE KING put the writing on the wall last start to be stretched out over a longer journey. The colt finished fourth behind Wonderful Peace over six furlongs when hitting the line strong. (10) CAPTAIN STEALTH looks capable of improving at his second start after finishing midfield first up. He goes around with the featherweight of 52kg and the services of Seo Seung-un. Tough race.
|Selections||(9) Perdido Rocket (2) Echo Sun (4) Future King (10) Captain Stealth|
|Next Best||8, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 7|
Race 13: Class 4 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(1) DIAMOND MARINE may not get a better chance than this. Still a maiden after six attempts but has finished in 3rd place on no fewer than four occasions. That includes his latest outing in the CHIA Trophy when he was comfortably defeated by Socks Go and Daemangui Gil but showed enough to suggest that elusive win may not be far away. He’s posted a faster time than any of the others at this distance and today can be his day. Two starts back, Diamond Marine ran 3rd behind (4) WONDERFUL PEACE over 1200M and she looks the main danger again here. The filly stepped up to a mile last start for the Luna Stakes, a trial for the Oaks, and it didn’t suit, which is why any plans to run in the fillies’ Classic next weekend have been abandoned and she goes here. She hasn’t won at further than 1300M but this distance should be within her and she can win. (2) MY TIZ GEM has shown some improvement across three outings to date and could continue here. (9) ROSA hinted at a return to form with a useful 4th place over 1300M three weeks ago and can build on that today.
|Selections||(1) Diamond Marine (4) Wonderful Peace (9) Rosa (2) My Tiz Gem|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 6|
Race 14: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
A mixture of imports and Korean-bred gallopers go over the six furlongs in the fourteenth event on the card. (3) SECRET LEGACY is the on top selection with no great deal of confidence. The Thunder Moccasin filly placed second-up last start behind Happy Yeogeol over this distance. The time she clocked was good for a dry track, she should get every chance from a soft draw. (7) NEOLBEUN GOEUL looks an each way player after finishing third when first-up. The Peace Rules gelding showed plenty of gate speed last start, something we haven’t seen from him in quite some time. He crossed from a similar gate last time out, expect Jo In-kwen to employ the same tactics. (5) WINNING POST hit the line with gusto last time out behind The Saber. His consistency is the question, he should be at odds and one to throw in the novelties. (2) BLACK EAGLE WING is still looking for that elusive maiden win at start nine. His consistency has been good finishing in the top four on six occasions from eight starts.
|Selections||(3) Secret Legacy (7) Neolbeun Goeul (5) Winning Post (2) Black Eagle Wing|
|Next Best||9, 11|
|Fast Start||3, 7|
Race 15: Class 2 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
Last year’s Oaks winner (3) DEEP MIND has returned to form in style following racing’s resumption last month. She was an excellent winner at this class on June 21st over 1800M before running 2nd to Ice Marine at the same distance in the SLTC Trophy three weeks ago. The carried weight is a slight concern here but dropping back to a mile today, she’s well drawn to get to the lead and can go all the way. (11) YES PERFECT was 4th to Deep Mind in June but recovered to run well for 2nd place at this distance on July 3rd, beating a couple of these in the process. The draw is not ideal but he can finish well and is a danger. The very experienced (9) AJU CHOEGANG ran a solid 2nd place over 1800M behind the up and coming Star Road a month ago and warrants placing consideration here. (4) TOUGH GREEN and (8) GIJEOGUI JEOKTOMA are among a number of others who also have the potential to hit the minors.
|Selections||(3) Deep Mind (11) Yes Perfect (9) Aju Choegang (8) Gijeogui Jeoktoma|
|Next Best||4, 2, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 9, 10|