It’s Grand Prix weekend at last with the big season-ending race taking place at Seoul on Sunday. Before that though Busan kicks things off on Friday with a 7-race Christmas Eve card from 12:40 to 18:00. All betting locations remain open although the off-track centres are restricted to 80% capacity. Attendance at all racecourses and off-track locations must be pre-booked through the MyCard app. Here are the previews:
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Juvenile maidens with eleven of the twelve racing for the first time. We therefore head to the trial videos and find that (1) SANGSEUNG BOY led all the way in his heat to cross the line in front by a wide margin n a decent time. He draws beautifully on the inside and if h gets off to a good start again, he will take some beating. The one horse with prior race experience is (12) EUNSEONG WINNER. She ran well on debut, overcoming gate ten to sit just off the pace and then ran on well enough for 3rd place. She should have come on for the experience and while the gate may not help again, she should go close. Back to the first timers and (7) BINGO MAN won his heat leading all the way, crossing the line thirteen lengths in front of anything else. The time was pedestrian but there looks to be potential. (9) MAIN BRIDGE and (10) PHANTOM ACE are others who performed well in their trials and should be close first-up.
|Selections||(1) Sangseung Boy (12) Eunseong Winner (7) Bingo Man (9) Main Bridge|
|Next Best||10, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 7, 10, 12|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Maiden fillies and plenty of potential winners. We’ll take a chance with (4) CHEONGMA POWER, who has mixed her form but is better than her latest effort suggests when slowly away and never a factor. She does have two placings at this distance to her name in fair times and from a good draw and a better getaway, has as much chance as any. (13) FUNNY LIFE gets a bad draw, but she is yet to finish worse than 4th in three starts and seems to be working towards a win. She comes in having run 2nd over 1000M at her latest start when on pace throughout. She comes up in trip for the first time but has every chance. (10) RAON THE FLASH led on her first try at this distance at start number three, weakening in the closing stages to run 6th. The experience should benefit, and she can go closer this time. There are a couple of debut-makers. (1) ALPHA V was on pace in her trial a couple of weeks ago and from the inside gate can make an impact here. (5) DROMOS among a number of others with at least placing claims.
|Selections||(4) Cheongma Power (13) Funny Life (10) Raon The Flash (1) Alpha V|
|Next Best||5, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 9, 13|
Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Decent race for the level but we’re likely to have a standout favourite. (10) GEUMA STARLET returned from six months out to run a strong 2nd over 1200M on December 5th, coming from well off the pace. He should strip fitter for that run and the additional distance can suit. He looks hard to beat. (8) BLUE CAPTAIN showed improvement at his latest start to run 3rd over 1200M. He can get on pace here and so long as he sees out the trip can be competitive. (7) DOCTOR CANDY does have experience at this distance, having run 2nd at it, her best performance to date, in an admittedly slow race on December 3rd. She sat just off the pace that day and battled on and from a slightly better draw should be in the finish again. (4) NEW CROWN ran 4th in that 1200M race behind Geuma Starlet at his latest outing when he too came from a long way back. He has run fairly at this distance before and along with (13) RUN AND GUN is another with claims on a money finish.
|Selections||(10) Geuma Starlet (8) Blue Captain (7) Doctor Candy (4) New Crown|
|Next Best||13, 6|
|Fast Start||5, 8, 9, 10|
Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
There is a race of reference here at class and distance on November 26th. (2) FANTASTIC LEADER could only manage 6th that day, beaten by a couple of todays rivals, but the margins were tight. Two starts back he ran a very strong 2nd, again at this distance, and while he is yet to win, today could be his day. (5) INDIAN PARTY started slowly in that race but rallied well to come home in 4th place. That continued a consistent run of form for him and from a much better gate today, he too can have winning claims. (11) K CHUKJE came home the best of those who ran in that November race, finishing in 3rd place at lengthy odds. He’ll warrant more respect here although the other two draw better this time. If you don’t like the form from that race, then (6) LIGHT STORY can be the one to go for. She was very impressive when winning on debut and while she faltered on her next appearance at this distance, she ran better third-up over 1200M on November 28th. She will be on or close to the pace here and can be in the finish. (12) JEONSEOLUI PUNCH another in the frame.
|Selections||(2) Fantastic Leader (5) Indian Party (11) K Chukje (6) Light Story|
|Next Best||12, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 6, 8, 12|
Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(6) DOCTOR CAESAR won his first two races in good order before running 3rd in the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup, a race which he led for much of the way around. He followed it up with a runner-up finish at this class and distance on November 26th. He draws well here to get to the lead again and he should have too much. (2) BUSANHANG GALMAEGI has won three from five in total including his latest at the end of October wen he led all the way over this distance. He is up in class here but comes down slightly in the weights and draws well. He surely measures up in this company. It’s a similar story with (1) GLORY KING who was also an all the way winner over 1200M at class 5 level on his latest outing. He too comes up in class and marginally down in the weights and he will be making it a testing time at the front in the early stages here. (4) JESSIEUI KKUM raced just the once all the way back in the summer of 2020. He looked well when trialing earlier this month and could make a bid for the places at each-way odds. (8) WINNER’S TIME another in the hunt.
|Selections||(6) Doctor Caesar (2) Busanhang Galmaegi (1) Glory King (4) Jessieui Kkum|
|Next Best||8, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 12, 14|
Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Tricky race with three standouts. (1) ECOPIA is probably the justifiable favourite having won two of her last three with the defeat being in the Luna Stakes at a mile when drawn very wide. She’ll get an easier time of it here from the inside and she looks the one to beat. (5) SEUNGNI TOUT was a winner at this class over 1800M on December 10th. He has run fast times over a mile too and rarely runs a bad race with twelve top-five finishes from fourteen starts to date. He is up in the weights as a result of that win but should be in the finish. It took (9) DOCTOR FAITH ten attempts to get his maiden score, but he enters looking for a hat-trick of wins. His latest was at class and distance on November 28th when he sat handy from the same gate he draws today. He too is up in weight but is firmly in the frame. (7) CHEONGDAM FIRE and (10) PURE KING have placing chances.
|Selections||(1) Ecopia (5) Seungni Tout (9) Doctor Faith (7) Cheongdam Fire|
|Next Best||10, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 8, 9|
Busan Race 7: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(7) MAN OF TOP has been a model of consistency but has only recently started to win. He beat several of these on his way to victory at class and distance on November 26th when despite drawing wide, he was able to find a position and then ran on to win well. He comes in the weights but gets a better gate and will be favourite to win again. (6) CHANGE BACK won at this distance at class 4 level and has two runner-up finished from three attempts at this class. He usually settles midfield or further back and runs on and he should be coming on strong at the end again today. (9) YEONGGWANGUI FIGHT ran 2nd to Man Of Top in that November 26th race. He gets a bog weight advantage again today and can go close. (8) SEONGSAN POWER and (2) QUATTRO MAX are others who can enter the calculations.
|Selections||(7) Man Of Top (6) Change Back (9) Yeonggwangui Fight (8) Seongsan Power|
|Next Best||2, 4|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 7, 8|