After a week off for the Lunar New Year holiday, racing returns to Korea this weekend. Things get underway on Friday at Busan with a 10-race card from 11:00 to 18:00. It’s quite a star studded line-up for a Friday as Speed Young, who won the Breeders’ Cup Champion Juvenile race in December, goes in race 9 while filly Triple Crown winner Golden Power seeks to return to form in a very challenging race 10. Here are the previews:
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maiden fillies get things underway with five of the twelve racing for the first time. We’ll side with experience though and (11) AMAZING MOVE who, after a positive trial, ran a solid enough 5th on debut on December 18th, settling back and running on. That suggests the wide draw shouldn’t be too problematic here and having derived benefit from that run, she can win here. (6) ACE HORANGI was well backed on debut in the same December 18th after a quick trial and while she could only manage 7th, she can improve here. (3) GIJEOGUI GEUMBIT is another who ran 5th on debut at this distance on Christmas Day, overcoming a wide draw. The time was significantly slower than Amazing Move’s and Ace Horangi’s but she too can make progress today. As for the first timers, (2) MAGIC SWEETIE and (5) UNJU AKANSHA look the most likely to make an immediate impact.
|Selections||(11) Amazing Move (6) Ace Horangi (3) Gijeogui Geumbit (2) Magic Sweetie|
|Next Best||5, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5, 9|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maidens. (12) GEUMA DEFT beat three of these on debut on December 16th over 1000M when crossing the line 1st and stopping the clock in a fast time only to be demoted by the stewards for interference. He has the challenge of the widest gate here, but the manner of that run suggests that with a touch of luck at the start and a touch more discipline at the finish, he can finish ahead of those same rivals today. (2) DUBAI WONJEONGDAE ran 4th in that race. He was a full ten-lengths behind Geuma Deft but the step up in trip can suit and he can get closer today. There are three first time starters and among them (6) HAVE A GOOD YEAR was the best in trials. He went through two heats, significantly improving in the second of them when leading for much of the way around. He can be on pace here and put in a bold showing. (5) ROAD TO GLORY and (9) RUN TO KING other placing hopes.
|Selections||(12) Geuma Deft (2) Dubai Wonjeongdae (6) Have A Good Year (5) Road To Glory|
|Next Best||9, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 6, 12|
Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) KRW 25 Million
A regular maiden here and it seems wide open. Four of them raced each other over 1300M on December 23rd and that looks to be a good reference. (11) PURPLE LINE debuted in that race, settling towards the rear of midfield and running on for 3rd. He should have come on for that experience, the extra distance can suit, and he has as good a chance as any here. It will require him to make up almost two lengths on (6) COOL RUNNING. He led that December 23rd race until the closing stages, ultimately coming home in 2nd place. He has shown improvement across his three starts so far, he can be on pace again, and he shouldn’t be ruled out. Also making progress over three previous appearances has been (12) VEREUDA. She finished off well for 4th in that December 23rd race from a similarly wide draw to today, and she can continue to improve here. Of those who didn’t go in the December 23rd race, (7) DOCTOR SHARK and (2) PEGACORN look the best.
|Selections||(11) Purple Line (6) Cool Running (12) Vereuda (7) Doctor Shark|
|Next Best||2, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 6, 10|
Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Fillies (and two mares) only and it’s a good race for the level. (3) SPECIAL ROAD justified favourite status to make all at start number two on December 18th over 1200M, winning comfortable. She comes up in class and distance here but draws very nicely and has every chance of scoring again. So too (4) GRAPHENE RAP WORLD. Having won over five furlongs in a super quick time back in November, she than ran a solid 3ns on her first try at this class over 1200M on December 16th. She does come up in the weights here but draws well and the additional half furlong can suit. (2) BLUE ICON is yet to win but enters off three consecutive runner-up finishes, most recently at class and distance on December 23rd when on pace throughout. She draws very nicely here and it’s not impossible she could go one better at last. (5) THUNDER FURY has placed at this class and along with up in class (7) DALEHOLRINGWANGDAE is another in the hunt.
|Selections||(3) Special Road (4) Graphene Rap World (2) Blue Icon (5) Thunder Fury|
|Next Best||7, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 4, 6|
Busan Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(3) ROAD TO QUEEN got her maiden win at start number two on December 9th when settling midfield and running on well over 1000M. The step up in trip can suit, she continues under a light weight and from a good draw she can win again. (2) RUNNING POWER ran 2nd on debut and then got his maiden win on December 16th when again crossing the line 2nd but being awarded the race after the “winner” impeded him. He overcame gate twelve that day to get to a handy position and from a much better draw he is another who can deny the class raise and go close. (5) NICHOLAS G. is yet to win but comes up in class with two runner-up finishes and a 3rd in three starts. He has run a solid time at this distance and a repeat performance should see him firmly in the mix. (9) WORLD CLASS CAT and (1) MOTHER MOUNTAIN mong others who can enter the calculations.
|Selections||(3) Road To Queen (2) Running Power (5) Nicholas G. (9) World Class Cat|
|Next Best||1, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 5, 8|
Busan Race 6: Class 5 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The distance here is unknown territory for all but four of these but there are a few candidates to step up. (9) HAPPY JAZZ got her solitary win to date over 1200M. but she handled herself well over a mile last time out, showing on pace and running 4th at this class. The draw isn’t the best, but the tempo of two-turn racing may suit, and she can go close here. (10) DOCTOR PERO also did well when stepped up to a mile last time out on December 9th, settling midfield and running on to win well. He comes up in class today but can be competitive again at the extended trip. (3) FUSAICHI has got a bit far back in both his two attempts over a mile, both at this class but has finished off well and is another who may find two turns to his liking. (1) ADELE STELLA and (4) DIA FORCE, the latter with experience of this distance, among others in at least the placing frame.
|Selections||(9) Happy Jazz (10) Doctor Pero (3) Fusaichi (1) Adele Stella|
|Next Best||4, 2|
|Fast Start||5, 7, 9, 10|
Busan Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Fillies only here. (11) GANGSEO GIANT was an also-ran in the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Trophy before beating a substantial number of today’s rivals at this over 1000M in a very similar race on Christmas Day. She does come up in the weights and the draw is not the best as she looks a front-running type, but she is the one to beat again. (9) CARPE BABEL debuted in that DoMin Ilbo Trophy before running 2nd to Gangseo Giant on Christmas Day having led for much of the way around. She meets that day’s winner better at the weights and can be considered. (6) ALPHA SONGDANG comes in having won at class and distance just two weeks ago when leading for much of the way. She comes up in the weights significantly but can be competitive again. (8) ALPHA THOR and (10) ILBEONJI, the latter second up after returning from a lengthy spell, are among others in the hunt.
|Selections||(11) Gangseo Giant (9) Carpe Babel (6) Alpha Songdang (8) Alpha Thor|
|Next Best||10, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 6, 9|
Busan Race 8: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(2) SEUNGNIMAGIC KING is a perfect two for two so far having won narrowly on debut over 1000M at class 6 level before a dominant score over 1200M at class 5 level on December 16th. He come sup in trip too but it shouldn’t be an issue and he has every chance of continuing on his merry way here. (1) CHEONGHO BOSS beat three of these on his way to victory at class and distance on December 2nd racing on pace throughout. He comes up slightly in the weights but draws nicely again and should be in the mix once more. (3) I LOVE HANSEN made all to win over this distance at class 5 level on December 4th. He is nicely in weight wise and is drawn well to be competitive. (8) TWO OF US comes in having won her latest two, most recently a filly only affair at this class and distance on December 23rd. The engagement of an apprentice sees her under a light weight and in the mix here. (10) ATLAS was 3rd in both the Areumdaun Jilju Stakes and the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Trophy for juveniles before running 3rd behind Two Of Us last time out. She too has claims and will be backed by plenty.
|Selections||(2) Seungnimagic King (1) Cheongho Boss (3) I Love Hansen (8) Two Of Us|
|Next Best||10, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 6, 10|
Busan Race 9: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(9) SPEED YOUNG is a winner of two from three so far including the G2 Breeders’ Cup champion juvenile race on December 4th over 1400M when he settled back from a very wide draw before running on very strongly to win comfortably. He should only get better over the extended trip and can win again. (12) FANTASTIC KINGDOM suffered his second defeat in the Breeders’ Cup race when he was handy and struck the front at one stage in the home straight. He is the only horse to have beaten Speed Young so far, on the latter’s debut in October over 1200M. He is done no favours by the draw here as he has been on pace in all his starts so far, but a return to winning ways isn’t impossible. (7) MONGTTANG was a really good winner of a valuable race over this distance on December 18th. He comes down a full 5kg in the weights and can be competitive again. (10) MAHAMERU was 2nd in that December 18th race and should be in the mix while (11) SPICE ECTON is another to keep safe.
|Selections||(9) Speed Young (12) Fantastic Kingdom (7) Mongttang (10) Mahameru|
|Next Best||11, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 5, 12|
Busan Race 10: Class 2 (2000M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million
Tricky puzzle to conclude the day. (3) ALIVE CAPTAIN was slow away and got a bit far back when well backed on his first try at this distance on December 16th. At the start prior he ran 2nd at this class over 1800M and from another nice draw, he is worth another chance today. (1) UNJU HERO finished midfield over 1800M in a valuable race on December 18th. His form going into that at class 3 level was good and he comes down significantly in weight here. It’s his first try over 2000M and it may well suit. (11) POKPUNG EONDEOK was another who was slightly disappointing in that class and distance race on December 16th. He has a strong finish on him and while he doesn’t have an apprentice claim aboard today, Park Jae-I takes the reins and that may be to his benefit. (12) GALAXY ROAD is rarely far away and was 4th in that December 16th race. He comes up in the weights but looks a solid money chance again. (7) MAN OF THE WORLD was the longest but one shot on the board when running out of class on December 16th but almost managed to lead all the way around ultimately finishing 2nd. He will warrant more respect here.
|Selections||(3) Alive Captain (1) Unju Hero (11) Pokpung Eondeok (12) Galaxy Road|
|Next Best||7, 4|
|Fast Start||6, 7, 9, 12|