Punters will return in Korea on Friday in a limited way. With the exception of Seoul and Gyeonggi Province and Jeju Island, the rest of the country was returned to a “level 3” Covid alert which means that the racecourses and betting locations in those areas can open at 20% capacity. Of course, the majority of the population – and the vast majority of betting outlets – are in Seoul and Gyeonggi so it is not much, but it is a start with a total of 4,538 seats available for punters spread around the Busan Racecourse, the two Busan OCB’s and the OCB’s in Changwon, Gwangju, Daegu and Cheonan. Reservations must be made in advance through the My Card app, with no walk-up admission. Busan gets the weekend’s action underway with 7 races from 12:35 to 18:00. Here are the previews:
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million
It will surely be third-time lucky for (1) DONGTEUJA BOY. He has finished 3rd in both his starts to date, both times behind promising horses and at his latest in a time two-and-a-half seconds faster than any of the others who go here have achieved for this distance. He draws nicely on the inside to sit on pace or handy and he should be too good. (2) MENI GLORY raced three times in the first half of this year, coming home 2nd on the first two of them. He races here for the first time since April, but looked well when leading and ultimately 2nd in a barrier trial just last week. So long as he didn’t leave his race in the trial, he has little to fear here bar the favourite. (4) DOCTOR PENTAGON didn’t do too much wrong when 5th on debut over 1000M on August 14th. He should have come on for that run and can go closer here. (6) HAEUNDAE BLUE has hinted at progress across three starts to date and from a good central draw can be in the mix here. (5) USEUNG HUNTER ran 4th on debut over 1000M back in February. He hasn’t raced since but ran well in an August trial and comes in with the benefit if an apprentice claim.
|Selections||(1) Dongteuja Boy (2) Meni Glory (4) Doctor Pentagon (6) Haeundae Blue|
|Next Best||5, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 7, 9|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million
Tricky race here. Likely favourite is (11) TWO TWO LIME, who has a 2nd and a 3rd in two attempts at this distance so far. She draws wide but overcame gate nine when runner-up two starts back, and carries a nice light weight. She has claims. So too (3) RUN AND GUN. Not the fastest of starters, she has a tendency to get a bit far back in her races but runs on well and has the fastest time for the distance of any of these. The only concern about (8) DAMYANG JEWANG is that he comes back in after almost six months out. He has a runner-up finish to his name at this distance and at a mile and while he didn’t offer too many clues when trialing up on a wet track in August, if he can pick up from where he left off, he has a winning chance. (4) ANNIKA GIRL has mixed her form but at her best can place in this company. (1) GALLOP BOY was a much-improved 2nd at this distance three weeks ago and from the inside gate can maintain that momentum here.
|Selections||(11) Two Two Lime (3) Run And Gun (8) Damyang Jewang (4) Annika Girl|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||8, 10, 11, 12|
Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Weak maiden here. Four of them raced one another in a very similar class and distance race on August 13th. (9) TRIPLE STORM only managed to finish 7th in that race but it was his first time at the distance and he had previously run consistent times when not too far away over 1400M. He tends to get a bit far back in his races so may need a bit of luck but he could overturn the form. (8) SINBIHAN GANGJA came out the best of them that day, coming from off the pace to work home strongly for 2nd place. That was his best finish to date and came following a significant improved two starts back having previously shown little. He is the logical favourite here. (3) NAMDO ILDEUNG hinted that she might be figuring things out a little quicker than Sinbihan Gangja. She ran 5th in that August 13th race having shown on pace early. She draws well again and should have learned from that experience last time. Among those who didn’t run in the August 13th race, (6) SEONGSAN BULKKOT comes in off a front-running 2nd over 1400M last month and can be competitive here while (1) HONEY STAR steps up to a mile for the first time and it may suit.
|Selections||(9) Triple Storm (8) Sinbihan Gangja (3) Namdo Ildeung (6) Seongsan Bulkkot|
|Next Best||1, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 4, 6|
Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million
Good race this with plenty of plausible winners. (4) WONDERFUL JAZZ has finished no worse than 5th in six starts so far and comes in having come from off the pace to run 5th at 1400M. He steps up to a mile for the first time and there is every chance that it can suit. (11) DOCTOR TAKE was a good winner over 1400M at class 6 level two starts back before running on well for 4th over this distance on his first try at class 5 on August 13th. He draws the dame wide gate today, which shouldn’t be a problem, and he has strong claims. (9) LUCAS SUN beat Doctor Take when the pair finished 3rd and 4th when racing each other over this distance at class 6 level. Lucas Sun comes up in class today having finished a good 2nd over 1400M on August 1st and comes down in the weights which brings him into the frame here. (12) K K WON is better than the 8th he finished behind Doctor Take at his latest start suggests. He has run fast times at this distance and while still a maiden, can be in the placing frame today. Last start winner at this distance and up in class today, (7) ACE FOUR TEN is another in the hunt.
|Selections||(4) Wonderful Jazz (11) Doctor Take (9) Lucas Sun (12) K K Won|
|Next Best||7, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5, 8|
Busan Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million
(9) HALLA NURI measures up on just about every indicator here and comes in off a really good 2nd place at class and distance on August 13th when 2nd all the way around. She doesn’t draw well today but has run well from wide gates in the past and apprentice jockey booked means she carries a very light weight. She can win. (2) D’LOVELY QUEEN is a winner already at this distance and ran 3rd on her first try at this class on August 22nd. She draws really nicely to be on the early speed here and may not prove easy to catch. Draw a line through the latest performance of (3) MASTER QUEEN when she used up plenty of effort early to get into position from a wide gate. A natural front-runner, she draws much better this time and will be competing with D’Lovely Queen for the lead early and can be in the finish too. (4) CHOEGANG ILSE comes up in class having got her maiden win at start number seven with an all the way score over this distance on July 25th. She led in that race and from a good draw, similar tactics will probably be employed here. The wildcard is (7) WILD BLUE, who hasn’t been seen since winning at 1300M at class 6 level in April. He didn’t give us much to go on with a somewhat anonymous trial in mid-August but he clearly has ability.
|Selections||(9) Halla Nuri (2) D’Lovely Queen (3) Master Queen (4) Choegang Ilse|
|Next Best||7, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 9, 11|
Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million
(6) TUHONUI BANSEOK was a superb winner at this class at start number four on August 22nd, cruising away from the field in the final furlong for an easy score at a mile. He steps up in trip today but that should suit and while the 58kg will act as a steadier, he is the one to beat again. (12) HILL MORE is up in class and looks an interesting entry here. He got his maiden win last start at a mile and his running style suggests the additional furlong won’t be a problem. He is nicely weighted and while being drawn in the widest gate is always a nuisance over 1800M at Busan, he looks a good each-way prospect. (10) BURNING PARTY is similar to Hill More in being up in both class and distance here. She is more of a front-runner but she has a light weight and at least a placing chance. (3) QUEEN UP has a lot of experience at this level and rarely runs a bad race. If you value consistency, then she’s the one, although she is another who is tackling two-turns for the first time. (1) TWO TWO LEADS on the other hand is wildly inconsistent but has run a couple of fast times at the distance and is the wildcard.
|Selections||(6) Tuhonui Banseok (12) Hill More (10) Burning Party (3) Queen Up|
|Next Best||1, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 9, 10|
Busan Race 7: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
A really competitive race to finish with. (2) B.K JOHN is the probably favourite and justifiably so. He comes on off three consecutive runner- up finishes, two of them at a mile with the other at this distance. Tactically versatile, he draws well today and he has a good finish on him meaning there is plenty to like. (9) KING SOCKS returned from eighteen months off in July and had a hard time of it working hard to get on pace before weakening over 1200M. On the face of it, today’s is just as tough an assignment but he should be much better for that run and now, a further nine weeks down the line, could be ready to make a proper impact. (6) ROYAL TICKET beat four of these on his way to a class and distance win on August 14th when he sat handy and ran on. He comes up considerable in the weights as a result but don’t rule out a repeat. (1) RAON YEOGEOL ran 3rd in that race having led for much of it. She meets Royal Ticket on much better terms weight-wise and can get closer. (8) ECHO SUN, up in class after a smart win over this distance at class 4 level a month ago, is another in at least the placing frame.
|Selections||(2) B.K John (9) King Socks (6) Royal Ticket (1) Raon Yeogeol|
|Next Best||8, 4|
|Fast Start||5, 9, 11, 12|