This weekend sees the first leg of the 2022 Korean Triple Crown with the running on the KRA Cup Mile at Busan on Sunday. We’ll have plenty more on the big race over the next couple of days but in the meantime, the weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with an 8-race card from 12:00 to 18:00. Here are the previews:
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maiden fillies open proceedings. (3) GOLD SWEET improved at start number two running 2nd at this distance on March 11th when handy throughout. There looks to be more to come and with some further improvement, she can win this. The favourite will probably be (2) SEOBU TEUKGEUP. She was a good 4th on debut at this distance on March 18th in a fast, although wet track assisted, time. From a great draw expect here to be on pace or handy and she will be in this a long way. There are three first time starters and among them, (9) RED QUEEN looked well when 2nd in a trial in a fast time. It was in the slop so not too much should read into it, but if she can bring that form to the races, she won’t be far away. (5) FANTASTIC YEOGEOL and (8) WONDERFUL CUTIE are others to consider.
|Selections||(3) Gold Sweet (2) Seobu Teukgeup (9) Red Queen (5) Fantastic Yeogeol|
|Next Best||8, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 4, 5|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
More three-year-old maidens. It’s hard to look too far past (1) WONDERFUL FILE. She has shown improvement across her four starts so far, culminating in a 3rd place at her latest at this distance on March 25th when coming from off the pace. From the inside gate, Choi Si-dae can pick his spot and he should be too good. Nothing else here has a top-three finish to their names yet. That’s going to change for a couple and (6) STAR CATCH looks a contender. She improved at start number two when 6th at this distance in a fair time on a sloppy track. She does come up in the weights with no apprentice allowance here but looks to have the potential to get better. (5) MAGIC WHISPER raced once last summer without distinction and was then put away until this year. He won a January trial before running fairly for a midfield finish first-up on February 18th and should come on for that here. (4) WIN STING and (3) SPECIAL FACT other potential improvers.
|Selections||(1) Wonderful File (6) Star Catch (5) Magic Whisper (4) Win Sting|
|Next Best||3, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5, 6|
Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A few of these looked like they are finally figuring things out at their respective latest starts, but it is hard to have very strong opinions on any. (9) GLOBAL CHOEGO is probably the favourite. He has steadily improved across his eight starts to date, culminating in a runner-up finish in a fair time at 1200M on March 27th. Kim Hye-sun climbs aboard, and he won’t need to get much better to win this. (4) BLUE CAPTAIN has mixed his form across seven outings so far. He draws well today, should be on pace and can go close. (7) WONDERFUL BOBCAT comes in off a 3rd place at his latest start when he was returning from almost a year out. He should have come on for that run and can be a danger here. (5) WONDERFUL REALTY and (10) QUEEN’S DAERO are others to consider.
|Selections||(9) Global Choego (4) Blue Captain (7) Wonderful Bobcat (5) Wonderful Realty|
|Next Best||10, 8|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 8, 10|
Busan Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
He might not have finished in the top two in any of sixteen starts so far, but (8) MAJOR FORCE is favoured to get off the mark here. His recent form reads well, and he comes in having run a good 3rd at this distance in a good time on March 25th and a similar run here can see him home on top. (3) JIN MARK is another who has been knocking at the door for some time without having made the breakthrough. He too has been consistent in recent starts, has recorded good times at this distance, and can go close again here. It’s similar with (9) STATICE, who at least does have a 2nd place finish to her name. She comes back up in trip but can settle midfield or further back and then run on strong to find some money here. (4) VIEW AMAZING and (5) HAEUNDAE BLUE others not without chances in this limited company.
|Selections||(8) Major Force (3) Jin Mark (9) Statice (4) View Amazing|
|Next Best||5, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 7, 9|
Busan Race 5: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
A competitive race but (10) GOOD STAR looks ready to win again. His sole victory was all the way back on debut, but he has recently put in some solid efforts at this class over 1400M and the mile. He tends to go back in his races and then run on so the wide draw isn’t a concern, and he can win this. (5) GRAND CHUKJE comes up in class after too many near-misses. He has a lot of experience at this distance and will be sure to be running on late. The jockey booking catches the eye, and he is not to be discounted. (7) STORM BROWN is another non-winner, but he is established at this level with a 2nd place at this distance two starts back. He can sit handy early here and be in this a long way. (11) YEONSEUNG BRAVO and (4) SUSO POWER are others in at least the placing frame.
|Selections||(10) Good Star (5) Grand Chukje (7) Storm Brown (11) Yeonseung Bravo|
|Next Best||4, 3|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 7, 12|
Busan Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(8) DONGBU WORLD comes up in class following a 4th and then back-to-back 2nd places in three starts at class 6 level. The class rise is balanced by a weight drop and he has every chance of measuring up in this kind of company. (12) A ONE PLUS is a prolific runner-up, having finished in that position on no fewer then five occasions. He was a touch disappointing when beaten by a couple of these at his latest start three weeks ago, but he has fair claims to get back in the money. (1) YOUNG BOSS is up in class following his maiden win at start number six on March 18th when he sat handy early before taking command on a sloppy surface over 1300M. Nicely drawn on this inside, he should be in this again. (11) ADELE CHUKBAE and (6) SEOBU QUEEN are among others to take into account.
|Selections||(8) Dongbu World (12) A One Plus (1) Young Boss (11) Adele Chukbae|
|Next Best||6, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5, 11|
Busan Race 7: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
A winner of three of his last five, (2) SPEED MATCH has been sent off as an odds-on favourite in all of his last four starts and may well be again here. He races for the first time since January, when he was 3rd over 1400M on what was his first try at this class and he drops back to this trip for the first time in a year, so there are a couple of question marks, but he should be too good. (4) WORLD SOCKS is up in class following a pair of runner-up finishes at class 6 level, both times from on the pace. He draws well to get forward here and can be competitive in this company. (9) NEU DAT enters off a good class and distance 2nd on MARCH 6th when he led almost the entire way around. The draw isn’t great here but in this small field shouldn’t matter too much and he can go close again. (8) MUJEOK BULPAE and (1) JANGSAN BOBBY others in the frame.
|Selections||(2) Speed Match (4) World Socks (9) Neu Dat (8) Mujeok Bulpae|
|Next Best||1, 5|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 5, 9|
Busan Race 8: Class 1 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
(5) BARBARIAN will be hot favourite to return to the winner’s circle here. He won back-to-back races at class 1 level, including at this distance, before running 2nd to the excellent Yeongung Louis over 1400M at his latest start on March 27th. He does come up in the weights, but he should have too much ability for this field. (3) GOOD CASTING carries even more but he is ultra-consistent and from a nice gate can find a good position to launch his challenge. He finished runner-up to Barbarian at 1400M two starts back and can challenge him again. (4) HUNCH races for the first time this year, having rounded out his four-year-old campaign with two tricky races in the KRA Cup Classic and Grand Prix. He comes back in trip here and while this may be a pipe-opener, don’t rule him out. (9) KING OF THE MATCH jumps two classes to take his chance here. That gives him a featherweight to carry and serious claims. (2) MACH TITAN among others with placing hopes.
|Selections||(5) Barbarian (3) Good Casting (4) Hunch (9) King Of The Match|
|Next Best||2, 1|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 8, 9|