Winner’s Man & Eoma Eoma Sunday Busan & Seoul: Race-By-Race Preview (February 26)

Korea Cup and Sprint champions Winner’s Man and Eoma Eoma both make the 2023 debuts on Sunday. The Cup winner and Horse of the Year Winner’s Man goes in the class 1 race 6 at Busan while Eoma Eoma makes his seasonal debut in the class 1 race 11 at Seoul. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:40 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 11:05 to 15:40. Here are the previews:

Eoma Eoma will race for the first time in 2023 although Moon Se-young doesn’t get the call-up (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Special Weight A / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens open the Sunday proceedings. (4) NINE EAGLE is probably going to be one of the shortest priced favourites of the day, having run 2nd on debut over the distance o January 8th, leading for most of the way. He should have come on for that run, he should be on pace again, and this time can go all the way. Nothing else in the race has finished any better than 6th. (7) COLITAS finished in exactly that position on debut in that same January 8th race behind Nine Eagle. He was slowly away that day and went around at the back before running on and should be better for the experience. (2) LUCKY BOUNCE has raced twice, both times well backed after a trial win. Moon Se-young gets back aboard and punters are likely to remain faithful for at lease a place. (8) CHONGAL COLONEL and (10) CLUB D others who could potentially improve.

Selections(4) Nine Eagle (7) Colitas (2) Lucky Bounce (8) Chongal Colonel
Next Best10, 5
Fast Start4, 9, 10, 11

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Special Weight A / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens with four of the twelve racing for the first time. (5) ARBELOUR is the pick, having improved at start number two on February 5th. Racing on pace and running 2nd over this distance. Without an apprentice claim, he comes up a full 4kg in the weights but from a good draw he can get an easy lead and can prove too good. The main danger is (12) RAON STRONG. He debuted in that February 5th race and ran a creditable 4th behind Arbelour, having settled in the middle of the pack. The wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and he should have derived benefit from that run. As for the debut-makers, (9) TAEWANG SINGI was on pace in his trial and crossed the line in 3rd place in a good time. (8) QUEEN OF JOY similar looked promising in her heat and is capable of a bold showing first up. Returning to the experience ones, (7) GREY CHAMP improved at start number two and can continue to make progress here.

Selections(5) Arbelour (12) Raon Strong (9) Taewang Singi (8) Queen Of Joy
Next Best7, 11
Fast Start3, 5, 9, 12

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Special Weight A / KRW 40 Million

Maiden three-year-old fillies and it’s hard to go too far past (3) SARYEONI TYCHE. She’s run 3rd and 4th in tow starts so far, sitting handy over 1000M and then settling back at 1200M. She draws nicely, the additional half furlong should suit, and she probably won’t need to improve very much to win. (8) GANGCHEOL YEOGEOL has shown good consistency in her latest three appearances with a 4th place over this trip the most recent. She can settle in midfield here and has a strong finish on her. (9) HERO QUEEN was a touch disappointing at her latest start on January 28th when failing to run on. She had finished off very nicely in her preceding two outings though and in this company is worth another chance today. (7) BEAUTIFUL MELODY and (1) SMARTY GLORY others who may improve.

Selections(3) Saryeoni Tyche (8) Gangcheol Yeogeol (9) Hero Queen (7) Beautiful Melody
Next Best1, 6
Fast Start3, 6, 9, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million

Competitive maiden with a few looking ready to win. (4) PEGACORN is one of them as he comes in after a career to date best of 2nd place over 1400M on January 27th when settling handy, dropping back and then running on, only going down by a head. The further step up in trip can suit and he has a good chance. (9) K GOLD BAR is another of those in the “ready to win” category. He enters off a solid 4th place over 1300M at the end of January he too may like the chance of a longer distance today. (5) HAMAN BAEKISAN is one of only three of the twelve to have prior experience of racing over a mile. He settled right back out of the widest gate on February 3rd before running on strongly for 3rd. The same apprentice enables him to carry the same light weight here and he can be running into some money again. (11) WONDERFUL CHANCE has five-lengths to make up on Pegacorn and also carries more weight than he did on January 27th but, along with (8) ADELE HORANGI, warrants consideration as a place chance.

Selections(4) Pegacorn (9) K Gold Bar (5) Haman Baekisan (11) Wonderful Chance
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start3, 4, 9, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1700M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million

Another maiden and a couple of prolific non-winners have solid claims to finally get on the board here. (3) EUREKA stepped up to 1700M on January 28th and beat several of these on his way to a career-best 2nd place racing handy throughout, although well beaten by a good winner. He carries the same weight, draws a similarly favourable gate, and can go one better. (7) HOUYHNHNM was 3rd in that race at what was start number seventeen. He is in the best form of his career having run 2nd at the start prior, also at this distance. He settles back and runs on and he has as good a chance as any here. (8) CAMINO comes up in trip having led and ultimately finishing 3rd on his second start on Christmas Day. He comes up in the weights without an apprentice claim today but should be competitive in this company. (10) FIRST CHOUX and (1) SSANG OK RU among others in the minor money hunt.

Selections(3) Eureka (7) Houyhnhnm, (8) Camino (10) First Choux
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start1, 4, 8, 10

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

Fillies and mares only and (5) THUNDER FURY looks to be the one to beat here. She’s only finished outside the top-four on one occasion and enters off a close runner-up finish in a very similar race over class and distance on January 27th when settling midfield and running on well. She draws nicely here to stalk the early leaders and can prove too strong. (1) GRAPHENE RAP WORLD had a poor day at the office in the same race when showing prominently early before weakening. Her form before that was good and she may have come on for what was her first try at tis distance and from the inside gate she can lead again and stay in it longer. (7) DOCTOR TIFFANY was a good winner over 1000M on debut in January before being stepped up to a mile for her first try at this class on February 5th. She showed at the front but ultimately finished 6th and may find today’s assignment more suitable. (6) WORLD CLASS CAT and (3) DOCTOR KONGSUNI other place chances.

Selections(5) Thunder Fury (1) Graphene Rap World (7) Doctor Tiffany (6) World Class Cat
Next Best3, 9
Fast Start1, 7, 10, 11

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

A competitive race. (4) JILJU DAESE ran 2nd on debut before getting her maiden win at start number two over this distance at the end of last October. She hasn’t raced since but looked well enough when not asked to do too much in a trial last week. She is up in class from since we last saw her but has every chance of making a big impact first up here. (7) LONDON SKY come sin off a 2nd and a 4th place both at this class and both at 1200M. He likes to settle back and run on and with Lim Gi-won climbing aboard today, he will have plenty of backers. (1) ROCK IMPACT comes up in class after a good win over this distance on January 28th when coming from off the pace. He comes down 2kg in the weights, draws well, and can measure up in this company. (6) HUIMANG CHAMP and up in class (12) SAINT LUCCA among others to keep safe.

Selections(4) Jilju Daese (7) London Sky (1) Rock Impact (6) Huimang Champ
Next Best12, 10
Fast Start4, 6, 9, 10

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

After a string of near-misses, (1) BLUE ICON got her maiden win at the sixth time of asking over 1300M on January 27th when on pace throughout. She comes up in class here but this isn’t the most taxing of class 4 races, she comes down in the weights, draws well and can win again. (3) I LOVE HANSEN mixes his form but was an all the way winner over 1400M on December 4th at class 5 level before weakening on his first try at this class, again over class 4 behind a couple of these on January 27th. He is worth another chance here at a probable each-way price. (10) ILBEONJI comes in off a 4th place from a wide over 1200M at this class on January 27th when running 4th. She comes down significantly in the weights with an apprentice aboard and third-up this preparation, she can be peaking fitness wise. (11) YOUNG BOSS and (6) SEOBU TEUKGEUP among others with solid placing chances

Selections(1) Blue Icon (3) I Love Hansen (10) Ilbeonji (11) Young Boss
Next Best6, 2
Fast Start1, 3, 7, 12

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

He needs a line drawn through his latest effort on January 15th, but (2) LUCKY POWER is probably worth another chance in this company. He ran creditably in a Listed race for juveniles last October and has placed at this class over 1300M. He draws a much better gate today than he did last time out which should allow him to get a more forward position earlier and he looks the one to beat. (7) UCHEONGRYUNG got his maiden win two starts back over 1200M before running a solid 4th at this class and distance on January 28th when as is his style, he settled back and ran on. He has really been figuring things out in recent starts and should go close again today. (12) GORGEOUS SERVE is a class and distance winner and while her latest two have been disappointing, she warrants respect. (1) GOMANARU races for the first time since December and an indifferent spin around a mile. He is yet to win but has run times that should be competitive at this level, and he comes down in weight and draws well. Up in class (9) MISS WIN STAR can aim for minor money. 

Selections(2) Lucky Power (7) Ucheongryung (12) Gorgeous Serve (1) Gomanaru
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 10

Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(9) RUNNING POWER is rapidly up in class following a runner-up finish on debut and then back-to-back wins at 1000M and 1200M, when on pace in all three and most recently making all. He comes up in trip but is down in the weights, should be on pace, and can make it three in a row here. The main danger is (4) BURUICHUKJE. She is yet to finish any worse than 3rd from four starts, which is where she finished on her latest appearance on January 27th when after breaking right at the rear of the field, she ran on strongly. She too tackles the distance for the first time but her win came at 1300M and she will surely go close again here. (2) KENDRICK is better than his latest two efforts suggest. He draws well, is nicely weighted, and can return to form here. (6) ARCTURUS and (11) JATNAMUGIL the other logical place chances.

Selections(9) Running Power (4) Buruichukje (2) Kendrick (6) Arcturus
Next Best11, 1
Fast Start6, 7, 9, 11

Seoul Race 6: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(6) SKY MANGCHI is the one to beat here. He returned from five months out to run a close 4th in a fast race over this distance on January 14th despite being lowly away and sitting at the back for most of the race. He should strip fitter for that run and from a good draw can be on or close to the pace this time and return to winning ways. (5) ROYAL ELVIS is two starts into a comeback following seven months out. He hasn’t quickened in his latest two but in this company looks worth another chance. (2) PANORAMA KHAN won back-to-back races over this distance at class 4 level last April and May to get promoted to this class. He hasn’t raced since but performed solidly in a trial at the end of January, and while he will need this, he draws well and carries a light weight and could make an immediate impact. (3) SIMON QUEEN and (7) J. S. GUNJU others with at least minor money hopes.

Selections(6) Sky Mangchi (5) Royal Elvis (2) Panorama Khan (3) Simon Queen
Next Best7, 1
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 8

Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1800M) Special Weight A / KRW 110 Million

(11) WINNER’S MAN won the Korea Cup and the Grand Prix Stakes and enters his five-year-old season as the highest rated horse in the country.  He carries 60kg here and he draws quite wide but he has proven that he can win from anywhere. He will take some beating. (4) TUHONUI BANSEOK was rapidly closing on Winner’s Man and Raon The Fighter at the end of the 2300M Grand Prix which led him to be sent off as favourite when many of these met back at Busan over 2200M on January 29th. It didn’t quite happen for him that day as he finished 3rd but he looks to be a talent with more to come and he can be a factor here. Of those who went in that January 29th race, (2) FLAT BABE came out the best in 2nd a finish she also achieved in the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup at 2000M last November. She has a great finish on her and under a light weight can be finishing strongly. She gets 8kg from Winner’s Man. (7) CRAZY CONTI and (9) ALIVE CAPTAIN other placing contenders.

Selections(11) Winner’s Man (4) Tuhonui Banseok (2) Flat Babe (7) Crazy Conti
Next Best9, 12
Fast Start6, 10, 11, 12

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1800M) Special Weight B / KRW 60 Million

Small but competitive field here. (6) NAMSAN HORANGI came from off the pace to win at class and distance on January 29th having settled back from a wide draw. It was a slow race but he has run faster and while he carries his fair share of weight here, a repeat is not impossible. (2) LUCKY SUN may start as the favourite. He finished in midfield in the Breeders’ Cup champion juvenile race over 1400M in December before returning to Seoul to run 2nd over that same trip on January 14th when settling midfield and running on. He comes up 3kg in the weights and stretches out to two turns for the first time but looks to have plenty of scope for further development. (7) HANGANG DOLPUNG took a while to get on the board but has won two of his last three including last start at this class over a mile. He too comes up to two turns for the first time and it may suit. (5) CUPID WARRIOR, rapidly up in class and significantly up in trip is the wild card, while (4) SWEET JUICE BAR is another to keep safe.

Selections(6) Namsan Horangi (2) Lucky Sun (7) Hangang Dolpung (5) Cupid Warrior
Next Best4, 8
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 7

Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

If Park Tae-jong hasn’t reached 2,200 winners by this time of the weekend, he should do it here. (1) HANGANG BOSS enters off back-to-back 4th place finishes over 1400M and 1800M, first coming from off the pace and then leading. They split the difference in terms of distance today and from the inside gate he can get the shortest run to the first corner and lead all the way. (9) THE REAPER beat Hangang Boss three starts back when they raced at 1400M. On his most recent appearance on February 4th, he was a good 2nd, again at 1400M having raced handy throughout and he can be a danger here. The wide draw should suit (10) YEONGUNG DAEMA who can take an early sit and finish strongly. He is up in class here along with (4) CUPID KOREA after the latter scored over 1400M on January 28th. The distance and big weight swing may suit Yeongung Daema more. (3) FLYING ATHENA another in the placing frame.

Selections(1) Hangang Boss (9) The Reaper (10) Yeongung Daema (4) Cupid Korea
Next Best3, 5
Fast Start1, 7, 8, 9

Seoul Race 9: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies (and one mare) only here and two standouts, both maidens. (2) DUSON CLASSIC comes in after her fourth 3rd place finish in seven starts, achieved at this class over 1300M on January 29th when settling handy and staying there. She comes back in trip, draws well, and has as good a chance as any. (3) GEUMA ALLURE led until part way down the straight over 1400M on February 4th, ultimately finishing 5th. She too has four 3rd place finishes, has run consistent times, and should appreciate the drop back in trip today. If you prefer those who have eon already then (4) SEONGSILGONGJUPINK may be the one. After an all the way win at start number two, she has been racing in toucher company than this and down slightly in the weights she can go closer today. She has the fastest time of any here for the distance. (6) K N OLD QUEEN and (8) ARCH MEMORY others in the placing frame.

Selections(2) Duson Classic (3) Geuma Allure (4) Seongsilgongjupink (6) K N Old Queen
Next Best8, 11
Fast Start5, 6, 7, 9

Seoul Race 10: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) GEOSEN DOLPUNG comes in off an on-pace 3rd in a fast time at class and distance on January 14th (granted, we have spent all weekend noting how fast the track was that day as many are resuming). A class and distance winner already, he carries his fair share of weight here but is the one to beat from a great draw. (12) MAGIC GRACE doesn’t get a great draw but she does get an apprentice claim and has been getting closer to another win in recent starts, culminating in a 2nd place at class and distance on January 7th. With a bit of luck at the start here, she can go close. (4) VYING BLADE didn’t play much of a role when resuming after five months off at the end of January . He had previously been competitive at class and distance and should strip fitter from a better gate. (10) CUPID JUMBO and (5) AMAZON KING among others with placing hopes.

Selections(1) Geosen Dolpung (12) Magic Grace (4) Vying Blade (10) Cupid Jumbo
Next Best5, 9
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 12

Seoul Race 11: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

Korea Sprint winner (9) EOMA EOMA makes his seasonal debut here. In his one start since winning that international race at the beginning of September he won the Listed Kookje Shinmun Trophy at Busan on October 30th but was made to work very hard to down Daehan Jilju. He trialled up at the beginning of this month and looked well but he is giving weight away under today’s handicap conditions and an apprentice is brought in to take a couple of kilograms off. His class should see him through, but he has been known to be beaten in these kinds of races before. (10) JANGSAN LASER is a new arrival on the sprinting scene. He ran 4th over 2000M on the G1 President’s Cup in November but then dropped back to 1400M and won, making all before running 2nd in the Listed Segye Ilbo Trophy over this distance in January. Eoma Eoma’s regular rider Moon Se-young climbs aboard and he gets 6kg from the favourite. (2) EAST JET comes in under a weight and from a gate that should make him competitive, while the venerable galloper (6) MORFHIS can never be ruled out of a good run. (3) CLEAN UP HAPPY another in at least the placing hunt.

Selections(9) Eoma Eoma (10) Jangsan Laser (2) East Jet (6) Morfhis
Next Best3, 12
Fast Start2, 3, 7, 9