Month: May 2022

Winner’s Man Beats Haengbok Wangja To Claim YTN Cup

Winner’s Man’s stock continues to soar as last year’s Korean Derby winner defeated last year’s Grand Prix Stakes winner, Haengbok Wangja, in a home-straight joust in the YTN Cup (2000M KOR-G3) at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

Seo Seung-un salutes the crowd aboard Winner’s Man (Pic: KRA)

The YTN Cup was the second leg of the 2022 “Stayer Series” but while Winner’s Man ran out the easy winner of the first race, the Herald Business Trophy (2000M KOR-L) earlier this month, he was still only sent off as second favourite for Sunday’s race. That was because Haengbok Wangja, emphatic winner of the season-ending Grand Prix Stakes on Boxing Day, joined proceedings and was locked in as the odds-on favourite.

Drawn the widest in the field of eleven, Winner’s Man was ridden hard from the gate by jockey Seo Seung-un to get up on the pace but had to yield the lead Touch Star Man, a winner of two legs of the Triple Crown in 2020, on his inside as the field headed into the first corner. Touch Star Man’s stablemate King Of The Match joined them on pace while Haengbok Wangja was settled into 4th.

Touch Star Man was the first to give way turning for home and King Of The Match’s challenge promptly folded too, leaving Winner’s Man and Haengbok Wangja to battle it out over the final two furlongs. Always on top, Winner’s Man never let his rival get to within less than a length of him and ultimately crossed the line going away. The pair were a full seven-lengths clear of Geuma Mystic in 3rd while the nine-year-old Shamrocker ran an excellent 4th.

Winner’s Man is by Musket Man and is out of Winner’s Marine (by Volponi), who was a six-time winner in Korea. He was winning for the eleventh time in sixteen starts and for the second time at Group level, following his triumph in the delayed Korean Derby last November.

(Pic: KRA)

Just as it was a second Group win for the horse, so too it was for trainer Choi Ki-hong, for whom Winner’s Man is turning out to by far the best horse in an eighteen-year career. Jockey Seo Seung-un, was partnering his ninth Group race winner.

The win means that Winner’s Man now has an unassailable lead in the Stayer Series with one race still to come, the Busan Mayor’s Cup (KOR G2), the most valuable leg of the series in terms of prizemoney, which will be run over the slightly shorter distance of 1800M at Busan on June 26th.

YTN Cup Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (May 29)

The second leg of the Stayer Series, the YTN Cup (2000M KOR-G3) highlights the 11-race Sunday card at Seoul which runs from 10:45 to 18:00 while at Busan there is a class 1 sprint headlining the 6-race program from 12:00 to 16:45. Click here for a runner-by-runner guide to the YTN Cup. Here is the race-by-race:

Moonhak Chief won the YTN Cup during his breakout 2019 season (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens open the program with four of the twelve racing for the very first time. (7) DAPHNE has hinted at some ability when 3rd over 1000M at start number three last December. She hasn’t raced since but looked well when 2nd in a trial on May 6th and from a likely on pace position, she has as good a chance as any here. (3) OKCHEON CHOEGANG has finished in 4th place in both outings so far, both of them over this distance and most recently when beating a couple of today’s rivals on April 30th. He’ll be challenging Daphne for the early lead and has every chance of going all the way. (6) CHOEGO BLACK was 5th behind Okcheon Choegang on what was his debut on April 30th. He should have come on for that run and can get closer today. Of the first-time starters, (4) EURO TEUKGEUP improved in his second trial and from a great draw can go well first up. (9) KINGS EYE another in the frame after an adequate debut.

Selections(7) Daphne (3) Okcheon Choegang (6) Choego Black (4) Euro Teukgeup
Next Best9, 2
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Filly maidens only here. (5) TIFFANY BLUE looks to be the one to beat following an on-pace narrow runner-up finish over 1300Mon April 10th. She has run well at this distance too and with an apprentice jockey taking 3kg off her back, she looks extremely well in here. (6) SWEET KAKAO similarly gets the benefit of an apprentice claim, in her case a full 4kg. That brings her down from her back-to-back 4th places in her latest two where she has settled behind the early speed and run on. There isn’t much early speed here so she should be on the pace and can go all the way. (10) NAMSAN KKOT was 5th behind Sweet Kakao on her latest appearance on May 1st having run 4th the time before that and should be in at least the placing frame here. (2) HAMPYEONG FIGHTER and (11) NAEGILUI BYEOL are others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(5) Tiffany Blue (6) Sweet Kakao (10) Namsan Kkot (2) Hampyeong Fighter
Next Best11, 4
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 6

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It has been a full forty-nine weeks since we last saw (7) VICTORY SAM in a race. He did quite well that day to, running 2nd over 1000M on her third career outing. She has had setbacks since but seemed very much over them with a bold showing in a trial on April 22nd when she led from gate to wire. She couldn’t really pick a nicer race to return in and despite her absence, she will be a strong favourite here. (4) SHINE MUSIC is yet finish in the top-two places in fifteen starts but she has shown some consistency in her latest few outings and comes in off a useful enough 5th at her latest start on May 8th. She can settle behind the early leaders here and run into some money. (3) FAMILY CAPTAIN has a 2nd place to his name at this distance three starts back and after two indifferent spins when carrying 56kg, gets a 4kg allowance with an apprentice climbing aboard. That should bring him into the placing frame here. (12) GLOBAL CASTLE and (2) BEST BIG BANG are others in the hunt.

Selections(7) Victory Sam (4) Shine Music (3) Family Captain (12) Global Castle
Next Best2, 5
Fast Start3, 5, 7, 11

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old filly maidens in the South Coast opener. (1) QUEEN ALLIE gets the nod following an encouraging debut over 1200M on May 6th when she settled back before running on well for 2nd place. She should have come on for that run, she has a great draw, and the additional half furlong should pose no problems. (8) HANEUL JILJU has improved across her three starts to date, culminating in 3rd place last time out when leading until the closing stages. She will be on pace again and should be in this a long way. (5) ALL CROWN already has positive experience at this distance, running a good 2nd at it on her latest appearance on March 20th. She settled back and ran on and similar can be expected here. (9) STAR CATCH ad (2) CROWD ONE are others with at least placing claims.

Selections(1) Queen Allie (8) Haneul Jilju (5) All Crown (9) Star Catch
Next Best2, 6
Fast Start2, 6, 8, 10

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies only here and while plenty enter in good form, (7) RAON THE WEEKEND is the one to beat. Her solitary win to date came at this distance in a good time at class 6 level three starts back and since then she has run well in two attempts at this level. First, she overcame gate thirteen to get to the speed but ultimately end up 6th over 1200M and then most recently, on April 9th, went right back after a slow start but finished off well for 4th. With a better start today, she will prove hard to go past. (4) INVICTUS is the logical second pick. Her win over 1200M at class 6 at the beginning of April had been coming and she showed she can measure up at this level when 4th over 1400M on May 1st. She can sit on the speed or settle back and run on and should be a factor here. (2) GREEN JJANG took a couple of tries to get to grips with this level but has been coming back into form in her latest two, especially her last start 2nd at 1200M. From a good draw, she can be on the speed here and go close. (11) CUPID JUMBO and the up in class (6) V QUEEN among others in the hunt.

Selections(7) Raon The Weekend (4) Invictus (2) Green Jjang (11) Cupid Jumbo
Next Best6, 5
Fast Start2, 3, 7, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(7) GEUMA INFINITE ran a solid 3rd place on debut over 1300M on May 8th when settling midfield and finishing off well. The additional half-furlong should suit and with some natural improvement from that run, he should be winning this. He will be a hot favourite in a field where the form of the rest is less than convincing. (2) BOUNTY HUNTER doesn’t look in any danger of winning a race, but he has picked up minor money on five of eleven occasions so far. An apprentice brings him down 3kg in the weights here and from a good draw, he can be aiming for a career best finish. (10) MILK DAY too has been loitering around the minors, most recently beating a couple of these on his way to 4th place over 1300M on May 13th. The wide gate shouldn’t matter, and he looks a solid placing chance. (5) THE PRINCESS and (8) YEONGGWANGUI RIDER others who can find some minor money although the latter does tend to save his best for barrier trials.

Selections(7) Geuma Infinite (2) Bounty Hunter (10) Milk Day (5) The Princess
Next Best8, 4
Fast Start4, 6, 8, 10

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

After seven top-five finishes, it’s about time (7) REMARKABLE finally came home in top. He enters after back-to-back 3rd places at class and distance, both in good times and once more carries a light weight. He draws fairly, and today can be his day. (6) NONSTOP CAT enters off two consecutive runner-up finishes at class and distance, both times having been drawn wide. From a better gate today, he can pose a threat again.  (1) K N SKETCH is up in class following a maiden win over 1300M on May 1st when he sat behind the leader before taking things up just before the furlong pole and never looking back. He draws well for Antonio to sit handy here and he should measure up at this level. (12) COMPLETE WEAPON was a winner at start number two at 1200M on April 2nd. It wasn’t a fast time, but he looks to have potential the wide draw isn’t too much of a concern. (5) CONCORDE SPURT among others with placing chances.

Selections(7) Remarkable (6) Nonstop Cat (1) K N Sketch (12) Complete Weapon
Next Best5, 3
Fast Start6, 7, 8, 9
(more…)

YTN Cup 2022: Runner-By-Runner Preview

Winner’s Man was a dominant winner of the first leg of the Stayer Series earlier this month, but last year’s Korean Derby faces perhaps his sternest test yet as he must contend with Grand Prix Stakes winner Haengbok Wangja in the second race of the series, the YTN Cup (2000M KOR-G3) at Seoul Raecourse on Sunday.

Winner’s Man in the Herald Business Winner’s Circle (Pic: KRA)

The YTN Cup was one of the races that didn’t make it into the abbreviated Stakes program that was crammed into the final three months of 2021. There is one former winner going around though, as Moonhak Chief, who bagged the 2019 edition along with the Korea Cup and Grand Prix Stakes on his way to Horse of the Year honours, returns, amplifying the test for Winner’s Man.

Haengbok Wangja will be favourite. The five-year-old ran out a three-length winner of the season-ending Grand Prix Stakes (2300M KOR-G1) on Boxing Day. In his only race so far this year, he ran a close 2nd to President’s Cup winner Simjangui Godong at the end of March and having sat out the first leg of the Stayer Series, the Herald Business Trophy, he can be ready to peak here.

Moonhak Chief has mixed his form since that stellar 2019 campaign but remains very good on his day while trainer Kim Young-kwan brings two contenders up from his Busan base. Touch Star Man won two legs of the Triple Crown in 2020 and ran a strong 2nd in the Grand Prix Stakes last December. Meanwhile the relatively unexposed King Of The Match has won five of eight starts, never finishing outside the top three, and he takes his chance against the elite for the first time.

As for Winner’s Man, he won the Herald Business by a full four-lengths. Another step up today in the YTN isn’t impossible and would almost certainly go down as his most impressive achievement to date. Here is a full look at all the runners in the YTN Cup which is race 8 on an 11-race program at Seoul on Sunday:

1. TOUCH STAR MAN (KOR) [Testa Matta – Useung Touch (Menifee) 5-H

Owner: Uh Mun-sik Trainer: Kim Young-kwan Jockey: Lim Sung-sil

(Runs/1st/2nd/3rd) 20/5/5/2 – (Career Earnings) KRW 1,031,380,000

The winner of two legs of the 2020 Triple Crown, he hasn’t actually crossed the line 1st in eleven starts since the latter of those, the Minister’s Cup, over this distance twenty-one months ago. However, he ran a big 2nd here in the Grand Prix Stakes (2300M KOR-G1) here last December and meets that day’s winner Haengbok Wangja 4kg to the better here. Beaten by Winner’s Man in both of his latest two but draws well today and could well put in a big run. Worth an each-way chance.

Recent Race Video: December 26th (2021), Grand Prix Stakes (2300M KOR-G1) 2nd: https://youtu.be/wCbShtp2pdg

2. HAENGBOK WANGJA (USA) [Daredevil – First Installment (Broken Vow)] 5-H

O: Lee Bang-hoon T: Park Youn-gu J: Kim Yong-geun

17/8/4/1 – KRW 735,510,000

A winner of eight of his last ten starts, he was runner-up in the KRA Cup Classic at this distance last November before winning the Grand Prix Stakes here in December. His only run since saw him run 2nd to Simjangui Godong at this distance on March 27th when hand and wide and going close under the same weight as today. Tactically versatile, he can be on pace or settle back and run on but given the favourable draw, is likely to go forward and he will be a big player here.

March 27th, Class 1 (2000M) 2nd: https://youtu.be/sh2es_Jl4rQ

3. GEUMA MYSTIC (USA) [New Year’s Day – Stormy Allure (Stormy Atlantic)] 5-H

O: Kuem A Industry Co Ltd T: Lee Sang-young J: Kim Cheol-ho

15/6/3/3 – KRW 251,510,000

A winner of six up to class 2 level and 1800M. He ran 2nd on his only previous try at this distance, which was at class 2 behind Power Wonderful. Well fancied for his first crack at class 1 on April 8th but finished down the pack and is one of the outsiders here.

March 6th, Class 2 (2000M)) 2nd: https://youtu.be/iYp0aPtlYxE

4. MOONHAK CHIEF (USA) [Pioneerof The Nile – Tallulah Lula (Old Trieste)] 7-H

O: Kwon Kyung-ja T: Jung Ho-ik J: Johan Victoire

30/14/5/3 – KRW 2,252,900,000

The winner of this race in 2019, the year he went on to score in both the Korea Cup and Grand Prix Stakes. He has mixed his form of late, last winning four starts back at 1800M. A good 2nd to Simjangui Godong at 2000M in February is sandwiched by two disappointing showings in the Grand Prix Stakes and then last time out in the Herald Business when he settled midfield but failed to quicken and only beat two home. Grand galloper who can still mix it with the best on his day, you just need to catch him right. A chance.

February 27th, Class 1 (2000M) 2nd: https://youtu.be/rjh7Vja5pGE

5. KING OF THE MATCH (USA) [Cairo Prince – Fought The Fight (War Front)] 4-C

O: D R M City T: Kim Young-kwan J: Choi Si-dae

8/5/2/1 – KRW 213,850,000

An up-and-comer who enters off super wins at 1800M at class 2 level and then an on-pace score over a mile on his first try at class 1 on April 15th, narrowly beating Barbarian over a mile, both in fast times. This is his first time among the elite, his first time at Seoul and his first time at 2000M, but he gets weight from the leading lights and a top jockey comes up to ride him. He’ll be on or close to the pace and a bold showing is expected. Stablemate of Touch Star Man.

April 15th, Class 1 (1600M) 1st: https://youtu.be/mv799FlK8WY

6. CONSTI SOLO (USA) [Constitution – Solo Survivor (Pleasant Tap)] 5-G

O: Park Cheol-geun T: Jeon Seung-gyu J: Jang Chu-youl

6/3/3/0 – KRW 116,550,000

A first start since last August when he ran 2nd to the then hype horse Carving Cross. A winner of three from six, his running style suggests the distance won’t be an issue for him but while he won a trial in fine style two weeks ago, this is a very stern test first-up.

August 28th 2021, Class 2 (1800M) 2nd: https://youtu.be/WiMCkuOx350

7. SHAMROCKER (USA) [Dublin – Portera (Lemon Drop Kid)] 9-H

O: Cho Mong-ju T: Song Moon-gil J: Song Jae-chul

53/6/12/10 – KRW 1,306,450,000

The old warhorse. It’s been thirty-three runs since he has saluted back in 2017, however, he has been regularly picking up a check right up until very recently, and only ever racing among the elite. At his last start he ran 7th in the Herald Business Cup and given recent form, a midfield finish will be expected but with the potential to sneak a 4th or 5th place money finish,

May 1st, Herald Business Trophy (2000M KOR-L) 7th: https://youtu.be/rxWhLswIRTI

8. MUNHAK TIGER (USA) [To Honor And Serve – A Precious Memory (Honor Grades)] 6-H

O: Hwang Bong-ki T: Park Jae-woo J: Lim Gi-won

27/5/4/2 – KRW 369,550,000

Only beat three home in the Herald Business when he had the challenge of the outside gate. That wasn’t out of keeping with recent form though and it has been eight starts since he managed to finish in the placings. He will drop back and look to pass a few in the home straight, aiming for minor money.

May 1st, Herald Business Trophy (2000M KOR-L) 10th: https://youtu.be/rxWhLswIRTI

9. LOOKING GOOD (KOR) [Federalist – Quail Run (Wagon limit)] 6-H

O: Shin Woo-chul T: Jeon Seung-gyu J: Lee Hyeok

16/4/0/6 – KRW 175,170,000

A big 3rd place in the Sports Chosun Trophy (2000M KOR-L) on March 20th at odds of 75/1 enables him to take his chance there, although with that race having been restricted to Seoul-based Korean-bred horses, this is much tougher. Nevertheless, he went right to the back that day, making up excellent ground in the home straight and similar tactics may see him pick a few off again.

March 20th, Sports Chosun Trophy (2000M KOR-L) 3rd: https://youtu.be/SQ9GDIHIgKc

10. SENSE JAENGI (USA) [Munnings – Balansense (Street Sense)] 6-G

O: Kim Jong-chul T: An Byung-ki J: Cho Han-byeol

28/1/2/0 – KRW 186,690,000

Sense Jaengi running in Graded Stakes company is probably not something many had on their 2022 bingo card. Unable to get into a full class 3 race back on January 8th, the then twenty-five-race maiden was thrown in at class 2 to get a run and duly won at odds of 130/1. In both outings since, he has run 2nd, both at 1800M. He loves to – or at least has recently discovered he loves to – go right back and run on but surely this is too hard.

March 26th, Class 2 (1800M) 2nd: https://youtu.be/fB7kIYuz2DM

11. WINNER’S MAN (KOR) [Musket Man – Winner’s Marine (Volponi)] 4-C

O: Lee Gyeong-hui T: Choi Ki-hong J: Seo Seung-un

15/10/2/1 – KRW 861,730,000

Last year’s Korean Derby winner and very hard to find fault with here. He is in terrific form, winning three of his last four starts including the Herald Business by a full four-lengths at this course and distance on May 1st. He likes to race forward, and while he draws wider and is up in weight on the Herald Business Cup win, he cannot be left out.

May 1st, Herald Business Trophy (2000M KOR-L) 1st: https://youtu.be/rxWhLswIRTI

Data Summary

RatingWin %Quinella %2000M Win %2000M Time
41371166.7%6100.0%1166.7%42:05.5
2125562.5%587.5%438.5%11 2:06.3
7118650.0%1180.0%120.0%72:06.4
11115247.1%2 70.6%77.7%12:07.2
11044 46.7%463.3%22:07.2
1st Furlong Avg.*Final Furlong Avg.*
513.7213.0
1113.7513.0
113.76   13.0
513.91013.1
314.0313.4

*In seconds, calculated by an average of the most recent 6 starts regardless of distance

Selections: (2) Haengbok Wangja (11) Winner’s Man (4) Moonhak Chief (1) Touch Star Man

Next Best: 5, 6

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 28)

Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with 9 races from 10:45 to 18:00. All betting locations are open with reserved seats available for reservation through the MyCard app or general admission on the gate. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

The two-year-old races are finally upon us and that means for the first time in a few months, we are back to having five-furlong juvenile races for big money. It’s to the trial videos we head and after watching them, it is hard to put anything other than (8) LION HEAD on top. The only filly in the race, she won her heat very pleasingly, registering a good time on a slightly wet track. If she brings that form to the races, the wide gate will be irrelevant, and she should win. (2) NUT PLAY came through the same heat, crossing the line a full second and a half slower than Lion Head but having to work around from the outside gate and making up ground late. He draws well here and can be considered. (5) WONPYEONG KILLAR came through a very slow trial but did cross the line in 2nd place. Expect him to be up with the early lead here and run on. (7) WONDERFUL CARO was also on pace in his heat and for a top stable a bold showing will be expected first-up. (4) WHITE NUMBER ONE another who posted a fair time when qualifying.

Selections(8) Lion Head (2) Nut Play (5) Wonpyeong Killar (7) Wonderful Caro
Next Best4, 1
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 8

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Back to the three-year-old maidens here although five of the twelve are racing for the very first time. It’s very competitive but we’ll tentatively side with experience and opt for (5) GAGIMAN GODANG. He didn’t do much on debut but improved enough at start number two on April 24th when sitting handy and running through the line for 3rd over this distance. If he continues to improve, he can win here. (2) WORLD CHARM looks the pick of the first-timers. He was on pace in his trial, ultimately crossing the line in 2nd in a fair time (the heat was won by juvenile Lion Head, who is entered in race 1, so by the time this race goes to post, we may have a clearer picture of how impressive or otherwise it was). He draws well to lead and should go well. (7) DEVIL K won his heat and while the time wasn’t hugely quick, that’s enough to give him a chance first-up in this company. (3) FLY JENNY went through two trials, improving significantly in the second of them. Her dam was a very good racehorse and has produced one decent one so far, K Top King. (8) GEUMSEONG CROWN isn’t a first-timer but hasn’t raced since last November. He has a 3rd place to his name and won a trial just last week so should be kept safe.

Selections(5) Gagiman Godang (2) World Charm (7) Devil K (3) Fly Jenny
Next Best8, 10
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(7) CHEONGSAN YEONGUNG has five top-five finishes from eight starts so far and steps up slightly in trip following a good 2nd place over 1300M on April 24th when handy throughout. While this is his first try at seven-furlongs, he has already raced around two-turns, running 4th over 1700M two starts back from a wide draw so this can suit, and he can win. Logical second pick is (8) TTEOOREUDA. She’s steadily improved across her four outings to date and ran on well for 2nd place over 1300M on April 30th. She is another for whom the slightly extended trip can suit and with a strong finish on her, she can settle midfield and run on here. (12) ECHO ZONE draws the car park, but he came from off the pace last time out to run 3rd at 1200M, so it may not matter too much. He has improved his finishing position in all his four appearances and further improvement shouldn’t be ruled out here. (2) SAEROUN BITKKAL and (9) EUNHYE RECORD others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(7) Cheongsan Yeongung (8) Tteooreuda (12) Echo Zone (2) Saeroun Bitkkal
Next Best9, 3
Fast Start7, 8, 9, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

This is a very competitive race. We’ll go with (11) ICE STAR, a winner of two from thirteen so far ad who enters in reasonable form, coming back in trip following a 2nd place at 1400M in March and a 4th over 1700M in April. He draws wide but he has the best finish of all of these on him and has run well at this distance in the past. (9) ENERGIZER has mixed his form but returned to action following a seven-month layoff with a string runner-up finish at class and distance on April 30th when he led for almost the entire way around. He hasn’t always been on pace in his races, but his solitary win came that way and he should be aiming to get forward again here. (6) B.J. STORM comes up in class having won on debut on April 23rd over 1200M when tracking the leader throughout and running on well for a narrow victory. This is harder but he draws well again, comes down slightly in the weights, and with some natural improvement, can be in this. (1) SONGAM RACER and (2) QUEEN LION are among others in the hunt.

Selections(11) Ice Star (9) Energizer (6) B.J. Storm (1) Songam Racer
Next Best2, 5
Fast Start3, 6, 7, 9

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(2) K N UNDERKING has finished no worse than 6th in six starts with his solitary win coming at this distance last October. He enters in good form and in this company and with this draw should be looking to be close to the pace and he can prove too strong late on. (5) MIGHTY GOOD looks the logical main danger. He came from well off the pace to get his maiden win over 1200M two starts back before running 4th on his first try at this level, over 1400M on April 24th, again coming from a long way back. If anything, he can get a bit too far back in his races but if he can be within touching distance at the top of the straight, he has a big chance here. (1) LUXURY KING has the fastest time of any of these at the distance and he hasn’t been too far away in recent outings. He draws very nicely on the inside to take a sit behind the highly speed and should be working home well. (10) BICHUI DAERYUK and (9) YONGAM BOSS among others who can enter the calculations in another competitive race.

(more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 27)

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with 8 races from 12:00 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens open proceedings. (4) TWO TWO COIN is the one to beat and will be a warm favourite. She’s shown improvement across five starts so far and enters off a strong 3rd place over this distance on May 13th when prominent throughout. She likes to be on pace, so draws well here and she won’t need to improve much, if at all, on that last run to win here. (11) SHAKA races once last September, putting in a fair run in a fast race over 1000M. He’s not been seen since but he remains in Kim Young-kwan’s stable and he looked very well when leading for much of a trial on May 14th, ultimately crossing the line 3rd in a good time. The draw is not ideal but a bold first-up showing is possible. (10) SUPER CRACK improved significantly at start number four over this distance on April 29th when settling midfield and running on and is another who can be dangerous. (7) PRETTY CHARM and (1) SPECIAL WIND among others with placing chances.

Selections(4) Two Two Coin (11) Shaka (10) Super Crack (7) Pretty Charm
Next Best1, 12
Fast Start1, 4, 8, 11

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It’s hard to look too far past (4) CUTE GUY here. Having trialed up well, he was sent off as favourite on debut over 1200M on March 4th and while he led for much of the way around, he ultimately ran a close 2nd to Green Cheetah. He’s had almost three months off since and while he carries more weight and comes up in trip, he will be the one they need to beat. (5) CHOEGANG MUJIGAE’s best finish to date came at this distance three starts back when on pace and finishing 2nd. The time was the fastest that any of these have posted at this distance and he can go close again here. (2) BAEDARI GANGHO can have a line drawn through his latest outing on May 13th when he was drawn wide and got a long way back. From a much more favourable gate today, he should be a different prospect. (6) NAREUCAT and (9) VIEW AMAZING others who can aim for the minor money.

Selections(4) Cute Guy (5) Choegang Mujigae (2) Baedari Gangho (6) Nareucat
Next Best9, 1
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 5

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Small but competitive field here. (9) MAN OF THE STAR may still be a maiden and may be up in class here but there is no reason why he can’t measure up. He has posted competitive times across his four starts to date, and at his latest on February 27th, he worked hard to get to the lead from a similarly wide gate, ultimately finishing 2nd. He comes in fresh here, is sown in the weights and today could be his day. He will vie for favourite status with (5) EUNSEONG YEONGUNG. He was slowly away at his latest start but gets a much better gate today and can be a different prospect, having already registered some good times at this distance. Expect him to be on pace this time. (2) KING BID finished ahead of Eunseong Yeongung last time out and has the best time of any of these at the distance. He likes to settle back and run on and so long as he doesn’t leave himself too much to do, he can be a danger late on here. (8) STATICE and (4) BABEL PHOENIX among others with chances.

Selections(9) Man Of The Star (5) Eunseong Yeongung (2) King Bid (8) Statice
Next Best4, 6
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 9

Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A small field of fillies and mares here but a competitive one nonetheless. (4) TTEUGEOUN MANNAM looks set to go well. Her solitary victory was all the way back in December 2020, before she missed the majority of her three-year-old campaign, returning to action in October following eight months out. Since then she has been working her way back into form and was a good 3rd at class and distance last time out on April 10th. In this company she could well be on the early speed and she can win here. (6) HAMAN BONGHWASAN has only raced four times, winning at start number two over 1300M. She comes in having run 3rd over 1400M on her latest start at the beginning of April and drops back to this distance for the very first time. She can settle handy here and run on. (3) HAVANA JANE took seventeen goes to get her maiden win and come up in class but she has seemed comfortable enough in three subsequent outings at this level and should be there or thereabouts again, (5) JEONGDEUN-RO and (8) BAEK GU others to enter the calculations.

Selections(4) Tteugeoun Mannam (6) Haman Bonghwasan (3) Havana Jane (5) Jeongdeun-ro
Next Best8, 2
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 8

Busan Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

The second division of the filly/mare handicap and it’s as equally open as the first. We’ll tentatively side with (6) ARTIE’S GAL to finally make the breakthrough at start number ten. She comes in off a front-running 2nd place at 1300M on April 29th and while she is ostensibly up in class here, this isn’t an intimidating set of opponents. She comes down in the weights, draws well, and she has as good a chance as any here. (4) RUN AND GUN is yet to finish in the top two but has no fewer than nine top-five finishes in fourteen attempts. She comes in off back-to-back 4th place finishes and can settle back and run on to go close again here. (5) MYEONGSEONG MAGIC had gone a little cold prior to spending almost six months on the sidelines from last November. She returns to action here having won a trial at the end of April and could be heading back into form. (8) GUARDIAN ANGEL and (3) COLORFUL WIND others in the placing frame.

Selections(6) Artie’s Gal (4) Run And Gun (5) Myeongseong Magic (8) Guardian Angel
Next Best3, 1
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 6

Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(4) HAMYANGEUN SANSAM won his first two in fine style at 1300M before being tried arounf 1800M on May 6th, his first try at this class. That proved to be too much too soon and having led early, he knocked up very quickly in the home straight. This is a much more suitable assignment with a much better draw and so long as that chastening experience three weeks ago didn’t take too much out of him, he can return to winning ways today. (6) MIRACLE SON returned from eight months out to run a strong 2nd place over class and distance on a muddy track on April 29th. He had put together an impressive set of results before the layoff and should be better for April’s run. He can sit handy here and be strong late on. (3) SANGSEUNG BOY has raced just four times with two wins and two 3rd place finishes to his name. The latter 3rd was his first try at this class and from a good draw, he can be expected to be on pace from the start and to be in this a long way. (5) CHOEGANG CUPID comes up in class but down in weight after a good win at this distance and can measure up at this level. The wildcard is (2) BEASTLY. Who returns to action for the first time since June last year. He looked well when winning a trial earlier this month.

Selections(4) Hamyangeun Sansam (6) Miracle Son (3) Sangseung Boy (5) Choegang Cupid
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 5

Busan Race 7: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Good race this. We’ll stick with (2) BUSANHANG GALMAEGI, who scored on his first try at this class on May 13th, tracking the leader and then running on for a narrow victory. He comes up 4kg in the weights, but that is balanced a little by a better draw and another win isn’t impossible. The big danger is (1) WINNNG DANCER. A class and distance winner in a fast time three starts back in January, he has since run 3rd and 4th, beating plenty of today’s rivals and will probably start as the favourite here. (4) ACE DAY is also a recent class and distance winner, having made all in February to win in a fast time. His only subsequent run was three weeks ago when he worked hard to get to a forward position from an unhelpful draw, only to weaken in the closing stages over 1400M. Today’s assignment looks a better one for him and he should go close. (5) BURNING FLY and (6) REVERSE SWEEP are both experienced at this class and capable of finding the money.

Selections(2) Busanhang Galmaegi (1) Winning Dancer (4) Ace Day (5) Burning Fly
Next Best6, 7
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 5

Busan Race 8: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

It took (2) CALM STRONG several attempts to figure things out but she seems to have got there, winning her latest two in fine style and fast times over the 1400M. She comes up in class and also up in distance to two turns for the first time here, but in this company she looks to have solid claims to win again. (6) YEOKJEON MYEONGSU came back into form with a strong class and distance 2nd at his latest start behind his very good looking stablemate Tuhonui Banseok on April 29th. He has run some good times at the distance and if Calm Strong gets found out, he could well be the one to take advantage. (9) SUNLIGHT BOY managed a good class and distance 2nd two starts back, beating several of today’s rivals and can go close. (7) QUATTRO MAX and (5) MALIBU BYEOL are others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(2) Calm Strong (6) Yeokjeon Myeongsu (9) Sunlight Boy (7) Quattro Max
Next Best5, 4
Fast Start4, 7, 9, 10

Black Musk Beats Raon The Fighter In Sprint Series 2nd Leg

The unthinkable has happened again. The once unstoppable Raon The Fighter went down to his second consecutive defeat as Black Musk swooped in the final stride to claim victory in the SROA (Seoul Racehorse Owners’ Association) Trophy (1200M KOR-G3), the second leg of the Sprint Series at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

At the very end, Black Musk got up (Pic: KRA)

Raon The Fighter had excuses for his reverse at the hands of Eoma Eoma in the first leg of the Series, the Busan Ilbo Sprint, last month. With that day’s winner currently on the sidelines, Raon The Fighter, who had previously racked up ten consecutive victories, was once more sent of as a hot-favourite among the eleven-strong field.

Just as he did in Busan, the favourite would take a bump coming out of the gate as Raon The Fighter and Black Musk came together, while Hit Yegam, the double-Classic winner from last year, bounded away and into an early lead. As he was in the Busan Ilbo, after that early setback, Raon The Fighter was ridden up hard to join the leader and the two of them hared off around the turn running wide and opening up a four-length lead on the field.

Despite those early exertions, it seemed as though this time Raon The Fighter would not be denied as Hit Yegam gave way approaching the furlong pole, but it quickly became apparent that he needed the line. Morfhis seemed to be the immediate danger, the 2020 SBS Sports Sprint winner barreling down the inside under Johan Victoire. The initially unseen and real danger though was Black Musk.

Leading just one as they entered the home straight, Black Musk went wide and moved through the gears under jockey Yoo Seung-wan. He and Morfhis, on opposite sides of the track, launched their challenge and with Raon The Fighter on the ropes, it was just a matter of whether they would run out of track. Morfhis did run out of track, passing Raon The Fighter a stride after the line. Black Musk though, got there right when it mattered, and came home the 28/1 winner.

Black Musk is a four-year-old American-bred colt by Flat Out and out of Upjumpedthedevil (by Tizdejavu). He was a $10,000 purchase by Rice Horse Stables at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Yearlings sale before being sold to Korean interests for $35,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales delayed Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in June 2020.

Owned by Kim Han-su and trained by Kim Dong-gyu, Black Musk is now a winner of eight of thirteen starts. For his trainer, it was a second win in this race after Cheonji Storm took the honours in 2018, when the race was restricted to Korean-bred runners only. It was Kim Dong-kyun’s third group success in total with the other one coming with Meni Hero in last November’s Owners’ Cup at Busan – a race over a mile in which Black Musk led, but ultimately finished last. For jockey Yoo Seung-wan, it was a ninth Group race win. Six of those previous ones were on the great mare Silver Wolf.

Morfhis rolled back the years in 3rd while again, Raon The Fighter didn’t really lose much in defeat. At the Busan Ilbo last month, he stumbled coming out of the gate and then ran hard and wide and this time, after a bump, he was ridden very hard to compete with Hit Yegam. Hindsight is a luxury, but both Lee Hyeok on Raon The Fighter and You Hyun-myung on Hit Yegam may feel that the early and prolonged speed duel was mutually destructive.

It could easily have been twelve out of twelve for Raon The Fighter, but with two runner-up finishes, he could still end up winning the series if he can go one better in the final race.

The third and final leg of the Sprint Series is the SBS Sports Sprint (1200M KOR-G3) at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday June 12th. The leading finishers in the series will be expected to take their chance in the International Korea Sprint (1200M-G3) on September 4th. Don’t rule out Raon The Fighter, but don’t rule out Black Musk either.

SROA Chairman’s Sprint Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 22)

Sunday sees the 2nd leg of the 2022 Korea Sprint Series with the SROA Chairman’s Sprint at Seoul. Click here for the full runner-by-runner preview of the big G3 race. There are 11 races at Seoul as well as 6 at Busan. Here are the previews:

Can Hit Yegam upset Raon The Fighter in the SROA Chairman’s Trophy? (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Big field of three-year-old maidens in the opener. The one to beat is (4) BLUE INDY. Having trialed up well, he ran 3rd on debut over this distance on April 23rd, when settling midfield and finishing off well. With some natural improvement here, he may be hard to beat. (10) BURUI JILJU showed significant improvement at start number three on March 27th when settling right back and running on strongly for 3rd in a fair time on a wet track. The manner of that run suggests the wide draw won’t be a problem and he should be running on strong again. (2) EUNHYE GUY was ordered back to trial after his debut last place on March 19th. He looked a completely different prospect when passing that trial on April 29th and from a much better draw, compared to the widest on debut, he may go much better. (9) PERMISSION TO WIN and (1) NB JEONSA are others to consider.

Selections(4) Blue Indy (10) Burui Jilju (2) Eunhye Guy (9) Permission To Win
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 12

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

The first division of a split maiden. (9) TROT QUEEN has steadily improved across six starts to date with her best two finishes coming in her latest two with a 3rd place at 1300M and then 2nd at 1200M, the latter having led almost the entire way around on April 17th. She was favourite that and will probably be so again and this time she can go one better. (4) EAST MAGIC comes in following his joint-best finish so far when 4th at this distance on April 2nd. From a good draw he can join Trot Queen on the early speed and should be in this a long way. (6) SINJURYU has gone well in his latest two and the engagement of an apprentice today brings his carried weight right down. He can settle handy or midfield and has the fastest final furlong average time in the field so should be running on strong. (8) GEOLJAK MAN and (5) POSA POSA are others in the hunt.

Selections(9) Trot Queen (4) East Magic (6) Sinjuryu (8) Geoljak Man
Next Best5, 7
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

The second division of the split maiden. It’s not a strong race so we’re prepared to take a chance on one of the two first-time starters, (2) RED WARRIOR. He was on pace throughout his heat, eventually crossing the line in 2nd place and while it wasn’t a fast time, he is not exactly facing a lot of speedy types here. He gets a great draw, and the stable is in form. (1) DOWN THE ZONE took a few goes to figure things out but her latest two have been fine efforts, finishing in 3rd place on both occasions, both at this distance and both stalking the leader. She draws well again, carries the same weight, and could well start as the betting favourite. (4) OKDONG GONGJU has the fastest time among those who have tackled the distance before. She comes in with her recent form reading consistently and looks set to be in the finish here. (3) QUEEN OF RACING and (6) GLOBAL STORM others who can compete for the minor money.

Selections(2) Red Warrior (1) Down The Zone (4) Okdong Gongju (3) Queen Of Racing
Next Best6, 10
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 9

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies in the South Coast opener and it’s a small but tricky field. (4) HAENGBOKAN HAMAN ran 4th on debut over 1200M on April 29th having been handy to the speed throughout. She should have come on for that run, she draws nicely again and is a leading contender here. (3) GOLD SWEET has a 2nd and a 4th to her name from three appearances so far with the 2nd, both of those coming at 1200M. She ran on pace in both of those and is nicely drawn to compete for the early lead again and to be in this a long way. (5) TWO TWO BRAIN and (2) GAMDONG ENERGY came home 2nd and 3rd respectively when they raced each other at 1200M on April 22nd. Two Two Brain came from off the pace while Gamdong Energy was up with the leaders throughout although the former ultimately came off best by three-lengths. Both can be in the hunt here. Among the rest, (6) EURO STAR perhaps has the potential for improvement.   

Selections(4) Haengbokan Haman (3) Gold Sweet (5) Two Two Brain (2) Gamdong Energy
Next Best6, 1
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 6

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies and mares only here and (9) CHEONMA BISANG is set to be hot favourite. Her solitary win came two starts back at this class in a similar all-filly affair at this class and distance before running 4th, again at class and distance, beating a couple of today’s rivals in the process. She is yet to finish outside the top five and her style means the relatively wide draw shouldn’t be a problem. She can settle back and be too strong in the run here. (2) SILVER STAR hinted at a return to form at her latest start in a similar race to this on April 2nd when settling midfield and running on for 4th. She draws well here and should be available at an each-way prince. (11) HAPPY MIX finished well back behind Cheonma Bisang two starts back but that has been her only poor showing to date. She led in her latest at class and distance on April 24th, ultimately finishing 3rd, and while drawn wide and up slightly in weights, can be in the mix today. (8) ONE MORE RUSH and (4) WONDERFUL SAM are others to consider.

Selections(9) Cheonma Bisang (2) Silver Star (11) Happy Mix (8) One More Rush
Next Best4, 7
Fast Start1, 7, 8, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

This is a weak maiden. (9) SINUI JEONSA raced twice without distinction around the turn of 2020 and 2021 and then did not reappear until this spring. When he did, he looked a much better prospect, showing well in a trial before running 3rd on his racecourse return over this distance on April 24th, sitting on pace throughout. With the same apprentice keeping his weight light, he is the one to beat today. (2) WORLD FOUR A will get plenty of backers. Not only is he from the Kim Young-kwan stable, but he is also a half-brother to World Day (nine wins from nineteen) and he ran a fast time in what was admittedly a fast run trial. He draws well and couldn’t ask for a better race to debut in. (8) BLUE CAPTAIN comes in having run 3rd at this class over 1300M on April 15th having led early. He has the fastest time among these for the distance and can aim for at least the places again here. (4) VICTORY NINE and (3) DOCTOR PENTAGON are others in the minor money frame.

Selections(9) Sinui Jeonsa (2) World Four A (8) Blue Captain (4) Victory Nine
Next Best3, 6
Fast Start4, 7, 9, 10
(more…)

SROA Chairman’s Sprint: Sprint Series 2nd Leg – Runner-by-Runner Preview

The cream of Korea’s speedsters will meet the starter in the second leg of the 2022 Korea Sprint Series in the SROA (Seoul Racecourse Owners’ Association) Chairman’s Sprint (1200M KOR-G3) at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

Raon The Fighter will bid to get back to winning ways on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Raon The Fighter will be looking to return to winning ways after suffering his first career defeat in the first leg of the series, the Busan Ilbo Sprint on April 24th. He will be hot favourite to do so with his conqueror that day, Eoma Eoma, ruled out through a sprained fetlock.

Bursting onto the elite scene with victory over Eoma Eoma in this race last year (when it was held in November due to the pandemic-affected season), Raon The Fighter was sent off a prohibitive favourite in the Busan Ilbo, only to stumble coming out of the gate and then take a heavy bump. Eoma Eoma was able to gain his revenge with Raon The Fighter a gallant 2nd in the circumstances, however, a third match-up will have to wait with Eoma Eoma not having been in work since.

That still leaves a formidable set of rivals. Morfhis won this race two years ago while East Jet is also a Group winner at the 1200M distance. Simjangui Godong won last year’s President’s Cup (2000M KOR-G1) and comes back to the sprinting ranks after two class 1 wins at 2000M this year. Then there is Hit Yegam, a winner of two legs of last year’s Triple Crown, yet also a formidable sprinter in the past.

Other up and comers include Yeongung Louis, Jangsan Clear and Black Musk and despite Eoma Eoma’s absence, Raon The Fighter is going to need to be on his game to return to the top.

The SROA Chairman’s Sprint is race 8 on an 11-race card at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. Here is a full run-down of every horse:

SROA Chairman’s Sprint (1200M KOR-G3)

1. SINGSING MARY (USA) [With Distinction – Amylimehouse (Limehouse)] 6-M

Owner: Jeon Seok-ho Trainer: Bae Hou-jun Jockey: Park Eul-woon

(Runs/1st/2nd/3rd): 19/2/1/3 – (Career Earnings) KRW 127,140,000

The only filly or mare in the race, she was the longest shot on the board in the Busan Ilbo Cup and probably will be again here. Good draw but she probably doesn’t have the early speed to get on the pace nor the late speed to mount a strong challenge at the business end of the race. Lowest rated by some nineteen points.

Recent Race Video: April 24th, Busan Ilbo Sprint (1200M) 8th: https://youtu.be/PiZx3grB3JM

2. SIMJANGUI GODONG (KOR) [Jigeum I Sungan – Howareyou (Whywhywhy)] 6-H

O: Oh Jong-hwan T: Ji Yong-cheol J: Moon Se-young

25/10/2/3 – KRW 1,266,200,200

The 2021 President’s Cup (2000M KOR-G1) winner drops back to this distance for the first time since November 2020. It is a distance he has won at, claiming the Segye Ilbo Cup in January of 2020, just before racing closed down for the pandemic, but is nevertheless a surprising entrant. In his last two starts at 2000M, both of which have been class 1 wins, he has sat on the pace, and he is drawn very nicely to do similar here. Can go close and is a candidate for second-favourite status.

March 27th, Class 1 (2000M) 1st: https://youtu.be/sh2es_Jl4rQ

3: HIT YEGAM (KOR) [Take Charge Indy – Desert Heat (Mr. Prospector)] 4-C

O: Kim Joon-hyun T: Bang Dong-suk J: You Hyun-myung

13/9/3/0 – KRW 872,700,000

Wins in the KRA Cup Mile and Minister’s Cup along with a narrow 2nd place in the Derby made Hit Yegam (no longer “Heat”) last year’s Champion Three-year-old having been Champion Juvenile the year before, when he won the Breeders’ Cup at this distance. He suffered a surprise defeat to Daemangui Gil on his only start so far this season which was at this distance at class 1 level in Busan on February 27th, but it was probably only intended as a pipe-opener for a horse who has been very sensibly campaigned. He led that day, as he has done in all his starts so far. He has never finished worse than 2nd and while this is his toughest ask, he gets a very good draw to be on pace again and he should be in this a long way. 

February 27th, Class 1 (1200M) 2nd: https://youtu.be/diDpI5v6D9M

4: YEONGUNG LOUIS (USA) [Violence – Don’t Stop To Shop (Unbridled’s Song)] 4-C

O: Ko Hee-chong T: Kwon Sung-ju J: Franco Da Silva

12/6/3/1 – KRW 273,740,000

Burst onto the scene on his only previous visit to Seoul when 3rd behind Eoma Eoma and East Jet on the SBS Sports Sprint in October. It’s fair to say he has mixed his form since then with an excellent win over 1400M at class 1 level in Busan followed by a slightly disappointing 7th of ten in the Busan Ilbo when he bumped with Raon The Fighter at the start and wasn’t much of a factor. Being back at Seoul may galvanize him and the draw is kind. Place line.

March 27th, Class 1 (1400M) 1st: https://youtu.be/J0XdL1VuJtA

(more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 21)

Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with 9 races from 10:45 to 18:00. All betting locations are open with tickets available on the gate for general admission areas or on the app for reserved seating. Here are the previews:

The crowds were back in force last weekend (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies only kick things off. Four of the eleven race for the very first time and one of them is going to be the favourite and the pick. (8) DREAM K initially trialed up very well last August but didn’t make it to the races. She re-trailed in April, winning her heat in a fast time, having settled back in the early stages and then quickened pleasingly. The distance should suit, Moon Se-young is booked to ride and if she brings that trial form to the races, she should win. (5) MUSTANG CHARM has been consistent across four starts so far with three of them resulting in 5th place finishes, all at this distance and in fair times. With some natural improvement here, she looks a place hope. So too (7) TOP POSITION, who has improved across her three outings to date, most recently a 3rd place at 1300M on March 20th when settling midfield and running. If she continues her recent trajectory, she can be in the finish today. (2) P N S SING and (10) TWOTWO KITTEN are others in at least the minor money frame.

Selections(8) Dream K (5) Mustang Charm (7) Top Position (2) P N S Sing
Next Best10, 6
Fast Start2, 5, 7, 9

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A small field of maidens with (6) GORGEOUS SERVE the logical top pick. She has shown steady progress across her three outings to date, culminating in a good 2nd place at 1200M on April 24th when she settled handy, dropped back and then ran on. The slight step up in trip can suit and she won’t need to improve much to be winning this. Of those who have tackled the 1300M before, (7) MIR BEST has the fastest time among them, record when 4th at his latest appearance on April 16th. He also has a runner-up finish at this distance to his name and looks the most credible threat to the favourite here. (4) DIVINE FUTURES ran on pleasingly enough for 4th over this trip on his most recent outing on April 24th and a similar run can put him in the placing frame here. (1) NEVER NEVER STOP and (2) ROSE GOLD others who perhaps could improve.

Selections(6) Gorgeous Serve (7) Mir Best (4) Divine Futures (1) Never Never Stop
Next Best2, 8
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 8

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Competitive maiden. (9) ACE PLAN has been knocking on the door for a while now and comes in off a 4th place at this distance last time out. It wasn’t a fast time, but he has hinted at having a bit of speed at shorter and he could be ready to win here. (7) MYEONGJIN CANDY is yet to finish in the top-two but has the fastest time among these at the distance and ran on pleasingly for 3rd last time out at 1200M. An increasingly accomplished looking apprentice jockey brings her weight down a full 4kg from that run and that may be enough to see her home on top. (10) LOST WAR needs to go in the numbers based on his two latest showings, which ended in 2nd and 4th at this distance. He may need a touch of luck at the start from the widest gate but has a chance. (8) SMART BYEOL and (1) GEUMSEONG HWANHUI among others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(9) Ace Plan (7) Myeongjin Candy (10) Lost War (8) Smart Byeol
Next Best1, 2
Fast Start5, 7, 8, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A competitive race for the level. (1) BURUI KKOT may be one of only two in the field without a win to her name, but she has four top three finishes from six starts including a 3rd place at tis class. We’ll draw a line through her latest effort when she drew gate eleven and never really found a run and today, she draws a good gate for only the second time – on the other occasion she ran 2nd. She carries a light weight, and it is possible she could lead here. If she does, she can go all the way (8) GEOLJAK WOMAN was one of many who beat Burui Kkot last time out on April 3rd. She was 2nd that day (and is the only other one in the field not to have a win) and also looks ready to win. Both the draw and the weights slightly swing in Burui Kkot’s favour this time, but Geoljak Woman can sit handy and has a strong finish on her. (5) P N S AI comes up in class after a maiden win at this distance at start number three on March 12th. He can measure up in this company. (7) SAMJEONG TAPAS was a class and distance winner on April 24th in a fair time and while carrying an additional 3.5kg here, can be a danger again. (6) WILD SOCKS another in the frame. 

(more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 20)

The weekend’s action gets underway at Busan on Friday where there are 8 races from 12:00 to 18:00. All betting locations are open. Here are the previews:

Burning Party won the TCK Trophy last month and win again on Friday (Pic: KRA)

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens in the opener. It’s hard to look far past (4) SEOBU TEUKGEUP. She’s raced twice so far, finishing 4th and 3rd. both over this distance and registering times far superior than any of the other experienced ones in the race have come close to. She draws very nicely to be on or close to the pace and having won the Derby last Sunday, jockey Perovic should be returning to Busan with a win here. (7) POINT REIGN is the clear second-pick. It took him three trials to qualify but once he did, he ran well for 4th place at this distance on debut on April 10th. With some natural improvement for that run, he can give the favourite a race here. (10) MORNING MUSE has hinted at some ability over four starts so far, with fair times in his latest couple. (3) PURE MAGIC and (8) JANGSEONG DAERO are first-timers who in this company can be competitive first-up.

Selections(4) Seobu Teukgeup (7) Point Reign (10) Morning Muse (3) Pure Magic
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start2, 4, 7, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

More three-year-old maidens and another hot favourite. (6) MAN OF THE MAN trialed up promisingly a couple of times before running a strong 2nd on debut at this distance on April 17th when handy throughout and running on. He won’t need to improve much at all on that run to win here and can lead or sit handy again and prove far too strong. (1) UNJU STAR showed significant improvement at his latest outing when stepped up to 1300M on March 20th. He sat midfield and ran on well for 3rd that day and while he does come back in trip, he gets a good draw on the inside and can continue to make progress here. (10) WALTZ CHARM improved on her second start and while he does come up in the weights as a result of an apprentice not being engaged this time, he too seems be heading in the right direction. (5) LOUD COLOR looks the best of the two debut-makers at this stage, while (9) COME ON FIRST is another who can improve off a middling debut.

Selections(6) Man Of The Man (1) Unju Star (10) Waltz Charm (5) Loud Color
Next Best9, 8
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 9

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

We’ll take a chance on (7) NOBLE SPIRIT here. He returned from almost six months out to run a creditable 4th over 1200M on April 22nd when settling midfield and then running on well in a fair time. He should strip fitter for that run and the additional furlong may well suit. Despite the Perovic factor, he should be available at an each-way price. Probable favourite is (3) MAGIC WHISPER. He comes in having led almost the entire way around over 1300M on April 15th, only to be beaten late on by Wonderful File. From a good draw, he should lead again and will surely be in this a long way. (2) ZET CASH has already raced over this distance a couple of time, finishing 4th on both occasions, including at this latest outing on April 8th. He tends to go right back and then run on but may be ridden handier from a better draw today. He does come up 4kg in the weights due to not having an apprenticed booked, but he should be competitive. (10) SPEED SUNSHINE has been consistent and can aim for another money finish. (9) CHOEGANG DUDEURIM, a last start 2nd at big odds, another in the frame.

Selections(7) Noble Spirit (3) Magic Whisper (2) Zet Cash (10) Speed Sunshine
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start3, 7, 8, 10

Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) HIT THE ROAD has the joint-fastest time of any of these at the distance, and comes back in trip following a 6th place over a mile on April 29th. Two starts back he was 2nd at this distance when handy to the lead throughout. An apprentice jockey takes some weight off here and he looks very nicely in to add a second win at what will be his twenty-second start. (3) O.K. THUNDER was a good winner on debut at 1200M on Boxing Day. He didn’t reappear until April 17th when he stepped up to this class and ran 7th of twelve over 1300M. He should have benefited from that run and be much more competitive here. (4) KING PARTY was a good winner at this distance two starts back before running 5th on his first try at this class on April 29th. He draws well and can go close. (2) JIN MARK got her maiden win at start number fourteen over this distance at class 6 level on April 29th, when going right back and running on. She draws nicely, carries a light weight, and can measure up. (7) LIGHT STORY among others to consider.

Selections(5) Hit The Road (3) O.K. Thunder (4) King Party (2) Jin Mark
Next Best7, 1
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 8

Busan Race 5: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(2) TOP ADELE comes in having made all to win at class and distance back in February. That was a good fourteen weeks ago but coming in fresh shouldn’t be a problem and nor should the additional 3kg on his back. He draws very well again and can lead all the way again. The most credible danger to the favourite is (4) DAEHO NURI. His solitary win came at 1300M two starts back when he came from well off the pace and he ran similarly on his first go at this class on April 17th, again at the 1300M. The step up to the mile could well suit and he can go close here. (6) B J’S TERMS returned to action on April 29th following nine months out. He ran well, finishing in 3rd place on a sloppy track over 1400M. His reward is he has to come up in class but in this company he can measure up and while he may not be a wining chance, he can place again. (1) GREEN PAPAGO and (7) DIA FORCE are others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(2) Top Adele (4) Daeho Nuri (6) B J’s Terms (1) Green Papago
Next Best7, 3
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 6

Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) TRIUMPH CAT returned to action after almost six months out on April 10th and he ran well for 2nd at this class and distance, settling back and running on. He comes up slightly in the weights today but draws very well and looks to be the one to beat. (2) HANBIT YEONGGWANG is yet to win in nineteen attempts but ran well for 3rd on her latest start on April 17th when just off the pace throughout and running on well over 1400M. She steps up in trip today and from a good draw, it can suit. (8) RUN FIGHTER was a class and distance winner two starts back on March 4th when on pace throughout and winning emphatically. He could only manage 6th on his reappearance on April 24th but can be given another chance here despite the high weight. (6) K K WON came home in 3rd place in that April 24th race and along with (7) CHEONGMA HWANGHU is another to consider for the minors.

Selections(1) Triumph Cat (2) Hanbit Yeonggwang (8) Run Fighter (6) K K Won
Next Best7, 5
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 8

Busan Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Fillies and mares only here. (4) MY DESTINY will be a warm favourite to win. Her sole win came at this distance and she has eleven top-five finishes from thirteen starts. At her latest outing on April 29th, she beat three of these on her way to 2nd place over 1400M racing handy throughout. She comes up a couple of kilos in the weights, but that is balanced by a better draw and she may take some beating. (5) MORNING THUNDER comes up in class following a good win at this distance on April 15th, when she ran on strongly after a going back at the start. She comes down in the weights, draws nicely and should measure up at this level. (3) K.B. BOSS was a last start winner at this class and distance, settling midfield and then running on. She comes up 2.5kg but should still be competitive on that and can go close. (2) ACHIM BIT and (9) NAMDO QUEEN are others in the hunt.

Selections(4) My Destiny (5) Morning Thunder (3) K.B. Boss (2) Achim Bit
Next Best9, 8
Fast Start4, 6, 9, 10

Busan Race 8: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

(8) BURNING PARTY comes in having won the TCK Trophy at this distance on April 3rd when she tracked the leader throughout, hitting the front at the top of the straight and then running on comfortably. That was her second win at the distance and while a couple of these have beaten her before, she looks to be the one in-form. (2) ADELE PUPIL was 2nd in that race having been handy throughout. She meets Burning Party 2kg better here and from a great draw will be a danger. (4) GEUMA KAIROS returned to action on April 15th after more than a year out. He ran 5th of nine over 1200M and should be much the better for it. He won at this class and distance before the layoff and don’t rule out a big performance here. (5) HILL MORE, up significantly in weight after a last start class and distance score, and (9) ALIVE CAPTAIN, up rapidly in class following back-to-back wins, are others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(8) Burning Party (2) Adele Pupil (4) Geuma Kairos (5) Hill More
Next Best9, 7
Fast Start2, 4, 8, 10