The Busan Ilbo Sprint is the highlight of a big day’s racing in Korea this Sunday. See here for a full horse by horse preview of the race. The Busan Ilbo is race 5 on a 6-race card at Busan from 12:00 to 16:45, while at Seoul there are 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. All racecourses and betting locations are open to spectators and attendance can either be booked using the MyCard app, while non-reserved seating is available on the gate. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old filly maidens in the opener and it is very competitive with several holding genuine winning chances. Based on her lively debut, we’re putting (8) GREEN DRAGON on top. She sat handy and ran on well for 2nd in a fair time at this distance and while she was well beaten by a good winner, should have come on for the experience and a similar run will mean she isn’t far away. (7) GORGEOUS SERVE improved at start number two on March 13th when beating a couple of today’s rivals on her way to 4th place at this distance. She has drawn wide in both her starts so far and has gone back but gets a better gate today and should be close. (5) HERA BLADE has raced four times with the latest her best on April 9th, when 3rd at this distance having been on pace throughout. She backs up at the earliest opportunity here and is expected to be on the speed again and in this a long way. (2) MUSTANG CHARM and (6) WIDAEHAN HANMA others who appear on the right trajectory.
|Selections||(8) Green Dragon (7) Gorgeous Serve (5) Hera Blade (2) Mustang Charm|
|Next Best||6, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 6, 8|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Another tricky maiden. (11) SINJURYU comes in off a smart 2nd place behind King Crush at this distance on March 20th. The time was fast, although it was assisted by the wet track, but it wasn’t the first time he has shown ability and despite the wide draw, there isn’t much early speed here and he can go one better. (10) GUK HYANG returned from over six months out in January and has run an encouraging 5th and 3rd, both times over today’s trip and both times settling midfield and pushing on late. She could be peaking third-up here and has claims. (12) SKY FUTURE is a wildcard. He raced three times up to March last year, registering a 2nd and two 3rd placed finishes. He didn’t offer many clues in a trial just last week and will obviously need this but if he has retained his ability, then he can go well first-up. (2) NEW SMART comes into the calculations following a good 3rd place in an all-filly race over this distance on April 10th. She draws a better gate today, should be on pace, and is a chance. (6) CHEONDUNG OREUM another with minor money hopes.
|Selections||(11) Sinjuryu (10) Guk Hyang (12) Sky Future (2) New Smart|
|Next Best||6, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5, 11|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Without an abundance of confidence here, we’ll side with the probable favourite (3) CHEONGSAN YEONGUNG. He enters here following a 5th and a 4th in his latest two starts, both at 1700M and last time overcoming the widest gate and beating a couple of today’s rivals. The step back in trip can suit and he can sit off the pace and run on. (7) TOUGH YEOJE showed signs that she is figuring things out when running an improved 2nd at start number three over 1200M on March 26th when she came from well back and worked home strongly. She was beaten a long way by a good winner but with more improvement plus an extra half furlong to play with, she can be close today. (12) QUEEN OF RACING may need a touch of luck early from the widest gate, but her recent form reads adequately enough to suggest she can play a role here. (5) BIG ENERGY and (6) SMART BLUE are others in at least the placing frame.
|Selections||(3) Cheongsan Yeongung (7) Tough Yeoje (12) Queen Of Racing (5) Big Energy|
|Next Best||6, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 9, 11, 12|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
(4) YEONGGWANGUI POWER races for the first time since February 2021. He had looked ready to win before his injury and he went through a trial last October in fine style but didn’t make it back to race at that time. He completed another trial two weeks ago in a fast time. It’s not impossible he can defy the sixty-three-week layoff and win first-up here. If that puts you off, then (5) CROWD ONE is the probable favourite. Her best finish was 2nd place three starts back but she has since run twice fairly at this distance. The Moon-factor aboard will ensure she gets plenty of backing, she should be on pace from the start, and she can go all the way. (9) WIND CROSS has been consistent over his four appearances so far. He has the fastest time among those who have tackled the distance before and should be in the finish again here. (1) FANTASTIC MAGIC and (3) VICTORY NINE among others in the placing frame.
|Selections||(4) Yeonggwangui Power (5) Crowd One (9) Wind Cross (1) Fantastic Magic|
|Next Best||3, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 4, 5|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(11) RAON THE TEUKGEUP’s solitary win came over 1200M at class 6 level last November and after two indifferent runs to start his class 5 campaign, showed he was back to form with a 3rd place, again at 1200M on March 12th when he went right back and powered home. The wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and the extra half-furlong can suit, giving him solid claims to go close here. (9) CHAMPION GAMUN is a winner at this distance at class 6 level. His two efforts at this class have also been at the 1300M and he has run well. A front-runner, he should be on pace from the start, and it would be no surprise were he to go all the way. (1) HAPPY MIX had a hard time on her first try at this class following a maiden win over 1200M in February. She drew wide that day and it was a very wet track, so she has excuses and from a much better draw and probably in different conditions, she can be given another chance. (5) JEONGSANG FIGHTING and (7) SAINT LUCCA others who can enter the calculations.
|Selections||(11) Raon The Teukgeup (9) Champion Gamun (1) Happy Mix (5) Jeongsang Fighting|
|Next Best||7, 12|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 7, 9|
Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Fillies and mares only here. (5) STELL LUNA had a poor day at the officer when favourite for a similar race at class and distance on March 11th when she raced relatively prominently early but was flat in the home straight, ultimately finishing 7th of twelve and beaten by two of today’s rivals. That was her second disappointing run in a row but previously she had shown plenty of ability with some fast times, especially when winning at this distance and she is worth a third chance here. (8) BORAMI gained her sole victory at 1000M but didn’t run badly when overcoming gate fourteen to run 5th on her first try at this class over 1200M on February 18th. She has had a couple of months off since then and with an apprentice making for a very light weight, she can be competitive here. (6) SUNSET MELODY comes back in trip following a good 3rd at 1400M on March 25th when she was a little more forward a bit earlier than in other recent starts. She can be in the finish again. (9) SLIM QUEEN comes back in trip and into the calculations while (10) SANGIM YEOWANG is another to consider.
|Selections||(5) Stell Luna (8) Borami (6) Sunset Melody (9) Slim Queen|
|Next Best||10, 3|
|Fast Start||5, 8, 10, 11|
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(7) MONEY GARAK has beaten a few of these across his three outings at this class since his maiden win at this distance on Christmas Day. At his latest start, he was a close 3rd at class and distance on March 27th, having come from off the pace. He will settle midfield again and can prove too strong. (10) MIGHTY GOOD didn’t do a whole lot on his first two outings but pulled off a good win at start number three over 1200M on March 27th at class 6 level when he flew home from almost last to first in the home straight. He is up in class here but down in the weights and the additional furlong should suit. (8) HANGANG CHAMP ran 5th behind Money Garak in the March 27th race. He is yet to win in six attempts but has three runner-up finishes, including one at this class over 1300M and he can be competitive here. (12) NAMSAN YEOLMAE and the returning (1) CHODONG ROCKET among others with placing claims.
|Selections||(7) Money Garak (10) Mighty Good (8) Hangang Champ (12) Namsan Yeolmae|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 8, 11|
Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Fillies and mares only here. (4) HAVANA JANE comes in here in the best form of her career. She got her maiden win at start seventeen at 1200M before coming up in class and running a good 2nd place at the same distance on March 18th. She has a good start on her and from a good gate, can sit on pace or handy and could win again. Park Jae-I, who rides Havana Jane, rode (9) HAMAN YEOHANGSAN to her maiden victory on March 25th, when she sat handy early before taking things up turning for home and running on well at this distance. She comes up in class today but should measure up and is expected to be on pace again. (10) USEUNG GANGJA has been knocking on the door in her recent efforts. She runs on well so the wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and she can run into some money again. (1) BEST WIND and (8) RUN AND GUN the other logical place contenders.
|Selections||(4) Havana Jane (9) Haman Yeohangsan (10) Useung Gangja (1) Best Wind|
|Next Best||8, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 6, 9|
Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(3) AROMA was sent off as favourite at class and distance on March 27th and while he led for much of the way around, he weakened late on and ended up in 9th place and was beaten by a couple of today’s rivals, albeit in a race where the margins were not huge. He had been going well up to then and comes down 3kg in the weights with an apprentice engaged and looks to have every chance going a whole lot better this time. (11) SHADOW QUEEN was one of those who finished ahead of Aroma in that race, running on for 6th. She actually has a 3rd place at class 4 level to her name and while there is a swing in the weights in Aroma’s favourites, she can go well here. (10) PERFECT POWER comes in off a solid 3rd place at class and distance on March 19th. He has the fastest time of any of these at the distance and must be considered. (9) HWANGGEUM CHEONJI returns to action six months after getting her maiden win on her second outing at 1000M. She looked well when putting in a good trial last weekend and can be considered first-up. (8) GREENBACK another in the placing frame.
|Selections||(3) Aroma (11) Shadow Queen (10) Perfect Power (9) Hwanggeum Cheonji|
|Next Best||8, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 8, 9|
Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(7) JJANG I was a winner on debut over 1300M on April 1st when he showed abundant speed to sit on the place, ultimately winning in what resembled a glorified track gallop. He is up in class today and slightly in distance too and while this is harder, he will be favourite and can maintain his 100% record. (2) MENIFEE SONG was a very close 2nd at his latest start, which was at class and distance on a very wet track on March 18th. He raced handy and ran on the straight and is favoured this time by a nice draw which can enhance his chances. (1) CHEONGMA YEONGUNG has recent form which is sound enough for a race like this. He has had wide draws in both his two attempts at this class and has overcome them to register 2nd and 4th place finishes, both at today’s distance. He draws much better here and can go close. (11) INDY CHOICE is another up in class but lightly raced and was an easy winner over 1300M at his latest start. Keep him safe. (12) WILD BLUE another who could place.
|Selections||(7) Jjang I (2) Menifee Song (1) Cheongma Yeongung (11) Indy Choice|
|Next Best||12, 3|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 7, 11|
Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Fillies and mares only here. (9) PURPLE K comes up in class but will be strongly fancied to repeat the win she registered over this distance on M arch 13th when she made all in a very fast time on an admittedly very wet track. She has beaten a few of these already when they met at lower levels and while she draws a little wide, will be expected to get to the lead and go all the way again. (3) LEAD VOCAL was a class and distance winner at her latest start on March 20th, when she settled back and ran on strong. That was a return to form, and she was the longest but one shot on the board today but from a good draw and with only an additional kilo to carry, she may go close again – that took her to four wins from fourteen starts so there is ability there and it may not have been a flash in the pan. (2) POWER TOWER overcame gate ten to lead over 1400M on Mach 27th, ultimately finishing in 3rd. Back in trip and with a much better gate, she should be in the hunt again. (10) FASHIONED PASSION is up in class but down in weight after a first-up win last time out. She loves to run on, so the wide draw is no issue. (6) DOUBLE BLACK another place hope.
|Selections||(9) Purple K (3) Lead Vocal (2) Power Tower (10) Fashioned Passion|
|Next Best||6, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 6, 9|
Busan Race 5: Class Open (1200M) Busan Ilbo Sprint (KOR-G2) Weight for Age / KRW 450 Million
The opening leg of the Korean Sprint Series which will have as its climax the international Korea Sprint in September. (4) RAON THE FIGHTER has own all ten of his race starts so far and has run super times at all distances he has been tested at, while barely breaking out of a canter. This is his first trip to Busan but from a great draw, it is hard to see him coming away with anything other than win number eleven. (2) EOMA EOMA is an outstanding racehorse, who can have his last start disregarded when, on a very wet track over 1400M, he uncharacteristically settled midfield and while he started to make up ground in the straight, did hang in a little. The start before that he was 4th to Raon The Fighter. Both times he was giving away significant weight but today, at level weights and from a good draw, he can get much closer. (1) EAST JET is better suited today at the 1200M than he was at 1400M last time in the same race as Eoma Eoma. He is a winner of nine, including the SROA Chairmans Trophy and from the inside gate, he will be close to the pace and will be in this a long way. (3) YEONGUNG LOUIS is the pick of the Busan contenders. He has won his last two outings, the latest at class 1 level and while his most notable scores so far have been at 1400M, he has won at this distance at the lower levels and if there is too much pace up front, he may be the closer. (10) BLUE CHIPPER warrants a mention too. He returned to winning ways at his last start in January and looked mightily sharp when bolting up in a trial in late March. He is a Korea Sprint winner and it’s not impossible.
|Selections||(4) Raon The Fighter (2) Eoma Eoma (1) East Jet (3) Yeongung Louis|
|Next Best||10, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 4, 10|
Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(4) MOONHAK EMPIRE looks the one to beat here. He comes back slightly in trip after two good efforts at 1800M which saw him finish 3rd and 4th and beat a couple of today’s rivals in the process. He tends to settle back, he has a fast finish on him, and he has every chance of winning today. (9) ELITE LINE ran 5th to Moonhak Empire’s 4th when they raced one another over 1800M at this class on March 27th. He is the highest rated in the race and despite drawing the widest gate, he should be going close here. (6) OKRYONG has the fastest time among any of these at the distance although that was recorded on his most recent outing which was on a very wet track. He is yet to win in seventeen but has plenty of near-misses and has placing chances here. Under a light weight, (3) LAST BOSS can go well. He draws much better than he did when registering back-to-back 4th places at this class around two turns in February and March. (1) MOONHAK PHAROAH another placing chance.
|Selections||(4) Moonhak Empire (9) Elite Line (6) Okryong (3) Last Boss|
|Next Best||1, 5|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 6, 8|
Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(11) GOLDEN BYEORAK appears to be working up to another win. He has earned money in all six starts so far including last time out when 3rd over 1400M at this class. That was back in January, so he comes in fresh after thirteen weeks. He isn’t favoured by the draw but drops 1kg under the set weight conditions and he has a big chance. (9) HAPPY WOMAN is worth some thought based on her last start win at this class and distance when she raced handy and wide and then ran on to win well. She is up 3kg and draws a little wider but is in this with a big chance. (10) RUN FIGHTER is another last start class and distance winner. He won from gate eleven that day, racing up to a handy position and then running on, so the wide draw shouldn’t be an issue. He comes in at the same weight too and must enter the calculations. (7) OLD CHEONHA is a two-time winner at a mile and put in a nice effort when 4th at this distance last start following a twelve-week break. He is up 3.5kg on that but warrants respect. Returning for the first time in almost ten months, (1) WARRIOR CLASS is the wildcard. He looked well when winning a trial at the start of this month.
|Selections||(11) Golden Byeorak (9) Happy Woman (10) Run Fighter (7) Old Cheonha|
|Next Best||1, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 4, 11|
Seoul Race 9: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Having won in fine style at his latest start at class and distance on March 19th, (7) DUSON JANGGUN is set to be favourite to repeat. He does come up a full 3.5kg in the weights, but he draws better and has won under more before, albeit at a lower class and he can settle handy or in midfield and run on here. (2) ROYAL ROAD perhaps hasn’t quite yet lived up to his early potential but while he is up in class here following a 2nd and a 3rd place in his latest two outings, he is beautifully weighted and drawn here. Those two factors, along with his undoubted ability mean he has a big chance. (1) ACE HAMSEONG has plenty of experience at this level and looks to be working back towards another win. He has a 4th and a 3rd from his latest two, both at class and distance, and under a light weight and a nice gate, can go close. (4) UNOECHANGCHEON and (8) SKY DOLPUNG are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(7) Duson Janggun (2) Royal Road (1) Ace Hamseong (4) Unoechangcheon|
|Next Best||8, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 6, 8|
Seoul Race 10: Class 4 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(6) WOW WOW is yet to finish outside the top three in five starts so far and got rapidly promoted to this class following back-to-back wins in December and January. On his first try at this class over 1700M on March 20th, he sat handy and ran on and while he was beaten into 2nd by an outsider, it was a run with plenty of merit and with similar tactics expected today, he is the one to beat. (1) ILGYEOK PILSAL is the logical second choice. He was a class and distance winner on March 12th when he came from off the pace to run on strongly and while he comes up significantly in the weights here, he should be close again. Those two look head and shoulders above the rest but (2) TIZ BLACK has proven competitive at this class and was a runner up at this distance two starts back. From a good draw, he can be on pace here and in this a long way. (9) GYEONGBU DORYEONG and (5) BOMNALUI GIEOK are others in the placing frame.
|Selections||(6) Wow Wow (1) Ilgyeok Pilsal (2) Tiz Black (9) Gyeongbu Doryeong|
|Next Best||5, 10|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 4, 6|
Seoul Race 11: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
Competitive class 1 restricted to horses rated up to 105. (3) BLACK MUSK is favoured, having pulled off a smart class 2 win at this distance before running 2nd to Dixie Again on his first try at class 1 on March 20th when settling midfield and almost getting to the winner. He is still nicely in the weights and from a great draw, he will take some beating. (6) ROLLER BLADE was last seen running a very creditable 5th in the Segye Ilbo Trophy in January. He has won at this distance in fast times at lower levels and has also won first-up off a layoff. Coming in here fresh after three months he has a big chance of running a big race. (4) CUPID GUY is a class and distance winner and while some of today’s rivals have beaten him in both his latest two outings, he can overturn that form today. (8) M J POWER and (1) MYEONGPUM CHUKJE among others in the frame in a competitive finale.
|Selections||(3) Black Musk (6) Roller Blade (4) Cupid Guy (8) M J Power|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 7, 8|