This weekend sees the first leg of the 2023 Triple Crown with the KRA Cup Mile at Busan on Sunday. The south coast is where the action kicks off with 8 races on Friday from 12:00 to 18:00. Here are the previews:
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Special Weight A / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maidens in the opener. (6) ZETTA DREAM looks the one to beat following a runner-up finish on debut over 1200M on a wet track on March 24th when briefly leading in the straight. He stopped the clock in a good time, he should have come on for the run and from a central draw can be aiming to lead from gate to wire. The main danger is (11) THE PURE MAN. After a good trial he ran a close 2nd on debut over 1200M on March 31st, overcoming a slow start and then running on. That run suggests the wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and he should go close. (4) HERE THE QUEEN has mixed her form across three starts so far but she has a runner-up finish in a quick time to her name over this distance and comes in having overcome gate eleven to run 3rd over 1400M on March 24th. Any top-three finish will see her at class 5 level next time and a win isn’t impossible. (2) DYNAMIC WINNER and (8) QUEEN OF JOY other possible placers.
|Selections||(6) Zetta Dream (11) The Pure Man (4) Here The Queen (2) Dynamic Winner|
|Next Best||8, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 6, 8|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million
(6) SEUNGNIUIYEONGUNG will be one of the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend. After winning a trial, he’s run 3rd in both starts so far at 1200M and 1300M and in decent times. He settled back and midfield and can do similar here and should be hard to hold out in the closing stages. The clear second favourite will be (1) UNJU OREUM. She has a 2nd to her name at 1200M and come sin off back-to-back 4th places in decent times at 1200M and 1300M. She draws much better than she has done in any of her four appearances so far so may well be ridden more forward. (7) SHINE MONSTER went right back before running on for a valiant 4th at this distance on March 31st. That was a big uptick in form but puts her in the minor money frame here. So too (2) SEONGSIL CHEONHA, who ran 2nd two starts back at 1200M and from a good draw, can be on pace and in this a long way. (8) NINE FORCE ONE another with hopes of the minors.
|Selections||(6) Seungniuiyeongung (1) Unju Oreum (7) Shine Monster (2) Seongsil Cheonha|
|Next Best||8, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 8|
Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million
Tricky one. We’ll go with the filly (5) SKY SEUNG, who has only raced once and that was all the way back last July when 4th at this distance. She looked well in a trial two weeks ago and once again can put in a bold showing first-up. (7) DOCTOR CUCKOO has three 4th place finishes from his latest four appearances including last time out over this distance when on pace. He has the fastest time among these for this trip and shapes as the main danger. (9) MOVIE MORE ran a much-improved 2nd last time out when on the speed in an all-filly affair over this distance on April 7th. That was just her fourth start, it was a good time, and she may well have more improvement. (3) ECTON POWER and (4) GOLDEN CAMP probably don’t have much improvement in them but in this company are capable of money finishes.
|Selections||(5) Sky Seung (7) Doctor Cuckoo (9) Movie More (3) Ecton Power|
|Next Best||4, 6|
|Fast Start||7, 8, 9, 10|
Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
This is a good race for the level with plenty entering with recent form reading well. (2) GOLD ROSE just about gets the nod following a 3rd and a 2nd from her latest two, both at this class and over 1300M and most recently this distance on March 31st. She has been on pace in both of those and is well drawn to lead again. She may prove hard to pass. (3) CUTE GUY weakened late on when tried over 1400M on his latest on March 26th. He is third-up today having returned in February from eight months out, and this lightly raced five-year-old could be peaking fitness-wise. (6) B.K. GALLOP got his maiden win over this distance two starts back before running 4th on her first try at this class on April 16th having raced on pace. She remains under a light weight, draws slightly better, and she can be dangerous. The up in class pair of (1) QUEENS LANDING and, to a lesser extent, (11) AQUA MAGIC, are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(2) Gold Rose (3) Cute Guy (6) B.K. Gallop (1) Queens Landing|
|Next Best||11, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5, 6|
Busan Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(7) FANTASTIC CHAMP comes up in class having run 2nd on debut all the way back last May and then finally returning to action ten months later on March 26th and winning over 1200M with a front-running effort. H comes sown in the weights, draws the same gate and neither the class rise nor the slight rise in trip should trouble him. He can win again. Also up in class is (12) SINHAE MANGCHI. He was 3rd in his first two starts before getting his maiden win over this distance on April 2nd when leading all the way. The draw here will mean that he should be available at an each-way price, and he could surprise. (1) DIA BOSS ran 2nd on his first start at this class over 1400M on April 2nd when beating three of these and having led for much of the way. He’ll be on pace again and the slight drop back in trip should suit. (11) SPECIAL WIND and (6) MENI GLORY others to consider.
|Selections||(7) Fantastic Champ (12) Sinhae Mangchi (1) Dia Boss (11) Special Wind|
|Next Best||6, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 6, 9, 12|
Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Fillies only here and it’s a tricky one. We’ll give another chance to (2) HANEUL JILJU, who was a beaten favourite at 1400M on March 31st when she was leading until the closing stages. She comes back in trip today and while she carries her fair share of weight again, that’s balanced by an inside gate, and she has as good a chance as any. (12) UNJU MACH comes up rapidly in class having won her latest two, both over this distance in fair times. The draw isn’t in her favour, and this is a much tougher assignment, but she comes down in the weight and she shouldn’t be dismissed at what will probably be a generous price. (5) YASAENGHWA comes in off a quick 3rd at class and distance and on that form she’s a strong contender again here. Up in class last start winner (8) WONDERFUL ANDOVER along with (11) GOLDEN PLUS, who has been back to trial since her last start, are among plenty of others who can enter the calculations.
|Selections||(2) Haneul Jilju (12) Unju Mach (5) Yasaenghwa (8) Wonderful Andover|
|Next Best||11, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 7, 11|
Busan Race 7: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(12) HWANGU FIGHTER gets the on top nod here. He came up rapidly in class with back-to-back wins and confirmed he belongs at this level with a good 2nd on his first try at class and distance on March 17th when beating three of today’s rivals on his way to 2nd place. He comes up 3kg in the weights and has the challenge of the widest gate, but his running style means he can sit handy if necessary and he can win here. (5) GOOD MAGIC comes up in class following two wins and two runner-up finishes from his first four appearances. He was an on-pace winner over 1300M on March 31st and while up in class and distance, he can measure up. (3) FINAL SEVEN can mix his form but we will excuse him his latest effort in Busan’s Classic trial. He was runner-up to Hwangu Fighter at class 5 level two starts back and from a good draw and under a light weight, he can be competitive here. (7) GEUMA INFINITE and (4) GRAPHENE KING are others to keep safe.
|Selections||(12) Hwangu Fighter (5) Good Magic (3) Final Seven (7) Geuma Infinite|
|Next Best||4, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 5, 12|
Busan Race 8: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
Competitive finale. Moon Se-young climbs aboard Tom Gillespie’s (3) SKY MORE, one of five here who raced one another at class and distance on March 31st. Sky More was 3rd that day having raced handy throughout. He draws well again and can be given another chance. (5) MALIBU BYEOL won that race at odds of 16/1. As is his style he settled well back and ran on and with the same apprentice jockey keeping the weight light, a repeat isn’t impossible. (4) FLYING THE CHAMP comes up in class following a smart win over this distance in February. He has only finished outside the top-three on one occasion and down significantly in weight, he can measure up here. (12) DOCTOR FAITH and (9) BOLAVEN among others in at least the placing frame.
|Selections||(3) Sky More (5) Malibu Byeol (4) Flying The Champ (12) Doctor Faith|
|Next Best||9, 11|
|Fast Start||3, 9, 10, 12|