Author: gyongmaman

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
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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

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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. 

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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

Winner Star Lands Djordje Perovic Second Derby Win

Winner Star closed late to overhaul Seungbusa and win the 25th running of the Korean Derby (1800M KOR-G1) at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon, and in doing so, gave jockey Djordje Perovic his second win in the biggest of the three-year-old Classics.

Winner Star wins the Derby (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Just as in the KRA Cup Mile, Complete Value was sent off as favourite, ahead of the first jewel’s winner Captain Yankee. As expected, Seungbusa set the pace, and the Sports Seoul Trophy winner was in it for a long way as Complete Value stalked handy and looking as though he was ready to make a move.

It never happened. In the home straight, Seungbusa pressed on, and while Complete Value’s challenge waned, Winner Star ran on down the outside of the field, striking the front in the final furlong, and went on to win by two-lengths.

Captain Yankee’s late charge saw him come home in 3rd while Tiz Barows was an excellent 4th. Another Triple Crown series newcomer Wow Wow was 5th ahead of Complete Value in 6th.

Winner Star sees off Seungbusa (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Winner Star was the only horse in the starting gate to have already won over the distance and after the race, winning jockey Djordje Perovic stressed the importance of that to in-house broadcaster, KRBC.

“His (Winner Star’s) previous experience at nine-furlongs was the key. The Derby was the target and so we prepared really well. We focused on the tactics for the race and where we needed to be in the final stage. It worked out perfectly.”

On a day where there were more racegoers in Seoul Racecourse than at any other time since before the pandemic, Perovic had a message for his fans: “I am so grateful for the support from racing fans here and I am very happy I can repay them by winning this race.”

Perovic went on to acknowledge the bumper Sunday crowd, who had taken advantage of the traditional free entry on Derby Day with the total attendance as big as for a Korea Cup. Perovic previously won the Derby on Save The World in 2020 at a pandemic-enforced deserted Seoul Racecourse. “I actually don’t think I have ever raced in front of so many people as were here today. It was brilliant.”

For Perovic himself, it was yet another milestone. The Serbian jockey nicknamed the “Balkan Wolf” last month overtook Ikuyasu Kurakane to become the most successful foreign jockey in terms of winners in Korean racing history. Winner Star was his 350th race win in the country. He now joins Park Tae-jong, Moon Se-young and Kim Yong-geun as the only riders to have won the Korean Derby more than once.

(Pic: KRA)

As Perovic noted in his interview, Winner Star was the (joint) most experienced runner in the race and the only one to have previously won at the distance, having already raced against older horses on plenty of occasions. That’s why the Derby was only his third win on his eleventh career start. Winner Star is by Concord Point and is out of Jangguneui Huye, who did her racing in Korea and is herself by Korean bred stallion Gaeseon Janggun (by Duality). He was bred by his owner Kang Hoon-pyo and is trained by Baik Kwang-yeol, who previously won the Derby in 2015 with Yeongcheon Ace.

Winner Star’s damsire, Gaeseon Janggun, won the Minister’s Cup in 2008. Winner Star will get a chance to emulate that as the final leg of the Triple Crown is the 2022 Minister’s Cup (2000M KOR-G2) at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday June 12th.

Derby Day Seoul & Busan: Race-by-Race Preview (May 15)

it’s 2022 Korean Derby Day. Click here for a full preview of the big race which is race 8 on an 11-race program at Seoul which runs from 10:45 to 18:00. There is also a 6-race card at Busan from 12:00 to 16:45. As is customary on Derby weekend, general admission to the racecourses and to OCBs across the country, is free of charge. Here are the previews:

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

(9) TOUCH NINE is the one to beat here. The Fed Biz colt is yet to finish in the top two, but he has four finished between 3rd and 5th including back-to-back 4th places from his latest two, both of them at this distance. He has post fair times and has proven able to run on pace or to close. From the widest gate he will probably look to drop in and use his late speed to be too good. (2) TIZ FIGHTING was 5th behind Touch Nine at was both their latest starts on April 9th. He draws well again and can be competitive. So can (5) BIG ENERGY. Yet to win in twelve, he does have six top-four finishes to his name and was 3rd at his latest outing three weeks ago when going right back and running on. He can run into some money again. (3) KKANGDORI has shown signs recently of figuring things out with a 2nd and a 3rd among her latest four appearances. And under another light weight can run well here too. (6) CHADOL RUN another minor money contender.

Selections(9) Touch Nine (2) Tiz Fighting (5) Big Energy (3) Kkangdori
Next Best6, 8
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 6

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

(2) TOP CLASS will be hot favourite here. He raced twice quite ordinarily last summer and then didn’t reappear until this spring when following a positive March trial, he returned to action on April 17th, running a very good 2nd at this distance when overcoming gate eleven to lead for most of the race. He should have come on for that run, he draws a much better gate, and he is very much the one to beat. (6) M J TIME was significantly improved at start number four when leading almost the entire wat around at this distance on April 23rd, only to get passed late on by a good winner. He will be on or close to the pace again and can maintain that momentum here. (9) WONDERFUL MUSIC didn’t do too much wrong on debut at this distance on April 16th, running around in midfield and improving to 4th. That followed a good trial and he she can put in another bold showing today. There are two first-time starters and both (4) GANA FASHION and (8) WHITE CAT trialed up pleadingly, with the former quicker and more preferred first-up.

Selections(2) Top Class (6) M J Time (9) Wonderful Music (4) Gana Fashion
Next Best8, 3
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Since getting her maiden win last September, (2) SOBERANIA has been sent off as favourite all three times she has appeared in the gates. At the first of those, she ran a slightly disappointing 2nd. At the second she deposited her jockey on to the sand coming out of the barrier and proceeded without him. Most recently, she led but just got pipped into 2nd place at class and distance on April 10th. From a good draw, she goes on top again and surely it will be fourth time lucky. Should something go wrong again – and let’s face it, it might – (6) CUPID VOW could take advantage. He ran 4th behind Soberania on April 10th, running on, and he can be considered to go closer today. So too (8) K N OLD QUEEN. She was disappointing in that same race which was her first at class 5 following a maiden win over this distance in January. She is worth another chance here. (5) DIECO and (12) RAON THE WILD others in the frame.

Selections(2) Soberania (6) Cupid Vow (8) K N Old Queen (5) Dieco
Next Best12, 11
Fast Start2, 6, 8, 11

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

Small field in the opener on the south-coast but three of the seven look ready to win. We’ll take a chance on (4) ADELE ALLIE’S who has steadily improved across three starts so far, culminating in a 3rd place at this distance on April 10th when settling midfield and running on. In this field, she should be on pace and has every chance of winning. So too does (6) LINE BREAKER. He comes back in trip following some good performances at 1400M including last time when he was an on-pace 3rd. He is yet to finish any worse than 5th in five starts and will probably be the favourite here. (5) SPECIAL FACT came from off the pace to run a good 3rd in a slowly run race at this distance on April 15th. (1) STAR CATCH and (3) FANTASTIC YEOGEOL could potentially sneak some minor money.  

Selections(4) Adele Allie’s (6) Line Breaker (5) Special Fact (1) Star Catch
Next Best3, 7
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 6

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

Fillies and mares only here. (9) BOOSTER ROCKET warrants favourite status on the back of her runner-up finish in a similar class and distance event on April 23rd, when she came from off the pace to work home well. She has eight top-five finishes from ten attempts and will be finishing off strongly again. (8) ADAMS APPLE might be worth a speculative additional chance here at probable good odds. She had shown plenty of ability in four starts prior to a lengthy layoff and hinted at it still being there when trialing. She has been ordinary in two starts back but following another six weeks out, she may be fitter this time. (2) BIG BIT is one who returned to form after some lacklustre performances. She comes in following a good 2nd place at this class over 1200M on April 17th and from a good gate and under a light weight, should be in the mix here. (3) SONGAM BEST comes up in class following a good win over 1200M when handy throughout and she can measure up in this company. (1) NANA LAND also comes up in class following back-to-back runner-up finishes and she too can compete.

Selections(9) Booster Rocket (8) Adams Apple (2) Big Bit (3) Songam Best
Next Best1, 11
Fast Start3, 6, 7, 8

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

He’s been out for almost a year but (6) POKPUNG JILJU still shapes as the one to beat here. He registered two smart 3rd places over 1400M before his layoff and looked very well when trialing up at the end of April. This is a small field with little to fear, and he couldn’t have asked for a better race to return in. (3) PURPLE MANGO has also had an interrupted career so far. She made one appearance in August of last year and then didn’t race again until April 22nd when she was handy for much of the 1200M before ultimately ending in 7th. She should have benefited from that run and can go closer today. (2) YEONGCHEON POWER has shown signs of figuring things out in her latest two and can go close today. (7) WONDERFUL REALTY and (8) FANTASTIC MAGIC are others in the hunt.

Selections(6) Pokpung Jilju (3) Purple Mango (2) Yeongcheon Power (7) Wonderful Realty
Next Best8, 4
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 8
(more…)

KOREAN DERBY 2022 – DETAILED PREVIEW

The 25th Korean Derby will be run over nine-furlongs at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon, with Captain Yankee, who won the KRA Cup Mile in Busan a month ago, bidding to add the second jewel on his quest to sweep the Triple Crown.

Captain Yankee won the KRA Cup Mile (Pic: KRA)

In total, eight of the twelve who contested the Cup Mile return for the Derby. They include last year’s Champion Juvenile Complete Value, who was sent off as favourite in the Mile and looked set to win, only to be run down by Captain Yankee’s late burst. He is set to be favourite once more.

Captain Yankee, a 40/1 winner of the Cup Mile, heads up the challenge from Busan. Since 2008, horse trained at the south-coast track have won ten of the fourteen runnings of the Derby.

Wow Wow and Tiz Barows are the most intriguing newcomers on the Triple Crown trail. Both swerved the Cup Mile and enter in form good enough to enable them to take their chance.

Four overseas jockeys have rides in the race with Johan Victoire aboard Tiz Barows, Antonio Da Silva on Daemul and David Breux and Djordje Perovic partnering Fast Track and Winner Star respectively.

The Derby is race eight on an eleven-race card at Seoul on Sunday with a local post time of 16:20.

Here is the runner-by-runner guide:

KOREAN DERBY (KOR G1) 1800M Allowance / KRW 800 Million

1. DAEMUL [Menifee – Eyes Aglow (Broad Brush)]

(Runs/1st/2nd/3rd): 3/1/1/0 – (Career Earnings) KRW 30,800,000

Owner: Cho Myeong-sik Trainer: An Byung-ki Jockey: Antonio Da Silva

The lowest rated horse in the gate, Daemul has only raced three times, winning at class 6 over 1300M. Only start since was at 1700M at class 5 level on March 20th, when he led early and was still in contention entering the closing stages only to get passed and ultimately finished 7th. There was merit in that run and improvement is possible, but this is a very tough ask.  

Recent Race Video: February 19th, Class 6 (1300M) 1st: https://youtu.be/DhUsUk10JKI

2. BYEOLUI SUNGAN [Menifee – Free Release (Dixie Union)]

8/2/1/2 – KRW 99,700,000

O: Jung Hyung-chul T: Song Moon-gil J: Kim Yong-geun

Only the winner, Captain Yankee, ran the final furlong of the Cup Mile faster, Byeolui Sungan sat back and ground out the finish but had way too much to do. Previously finished 4th in the Sports Seoul Classic trial and has won up to 1400M at class 5. The distance may well suit and he has a great draw. Jockey won the Triple Crown on Power Blade in 2016 adding to his 2014 Derby on Queen’s Blade.

January 22nd, Class 5 (1400M) 1st: https://youtu.be/KI5Y5QyKUwk

3. TIZ BAROWS [Tizway – Kaylan’s Rose (Jambalaya Jazz)]

4/2/2/0 – KRW 66,000,000

O: Inokumu Hirotsugu T: Seo In-seok J: Johan Victoire

Yet to finish worse than 2nd and comes in off a good win over 1700M at class 5 level on April 2nd when he tracked the leader throughout before going clear in the home straight and winning by five-lengths in a fair time. The distance should suit, and he draws well to pick a position again, probably handy or midfield. He can be in this a long way and could be a value pick.

April 2nd, Class 5 (1700M) 1st: https://youtu.be/Dno3kgVnvuI

4. COMPLETE VALUE [Girolamo – Ft. Sduction (Ft. Stockton)]

7/5/2/0 – KRW 637,460,000

O: Jang Se-jun T: Park Jae-woo J: Lim Gi-won

A perfect five-from-five as a juvenile, he has finished runner-up in both outings this year, behind Seungbusa in the Sports Seoul Classic trial at 1400M and then to Captain Yankee in the Cup Mile. He had excuses in both. The Sports Seoul was a pipe-opener following three months without a race while he came down with a cold in the aftermath of the Cup Mile and may not have been at 100%. It still looked like he was going to win that race until Captain Yankee’s late burst and from a great draw, expect him to sit handy and then launch his challenge at the top of the straight. The one to beat and the probable favourite.

April 17th, KRA Cup Mile (1600M) 2nd: https://youtu.be/Tmtr-C_w6WQ

5. MONGTTANG [To Honor And Serve – Miss Stravinsky (Stravinsky)]

10/2/0/3 – KRW 64,150,000

O: Daeryung T: Kim Young-kwan J: Lim Sung-sil

Looked to have a lot of potential when winning back-to-back races in October last year but has come up short whenever he has been tested in good company. A fair 4th in the Gyeongnam Shinmun Classic trial over 1400M was followed up by only beating two in the Cup Mile when he sat midfield and didn’t quicken. The connections mean local punter will be wary – his trainer has won this race five times – but this is a hard ask.

February 11th, Class 4 (1600M) 3rd: https://youtu.be/pDBYqbv7o68

6. FAST TRACK [Take Charge Indy – X File (Exploit)]

8/2/0/0 – KRW 42,750,000

O: Yoon U-hwan T: Kang Hwan-min J: David Breux

(more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 14)

It’s Korean Derby Eve and Saturday’s racing is at Seoul where there are 9 races from 10:45 to 18:00. General admission to both the racecourses and off-track centers is free across this weekend to mark the occasion of the Derby. Here are Saturday’s previews:

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

Three-year-old maidens open proceedings. It’s hard to go far past (3) SUNGAN TOUCH. After a lackluster debut last Christmas Day, he ran a well beaten 2nd to Daemul, who runs in Sunday’s Korean Derby, before finishing 3rd on his latest outing on March 26th. Both were at 1300M and both times he led. He draws well here to lead again and should win. (10) NAMSAN MUJEOK hasn’t shown much in the way of speed but probably won’t need to find much more in order to get on the board here. He comes in off an improved 3rd place at start number four on April 10th when he sat midfield and ran on, and he should go close here. (1) DAECHEON BEAUTY wasn’t ready when debuting last October but looked much better when returning for another go on April 9th when 4th at this distance. He should have come on for the run and can continue to make progress today. (5) MIGHTY ANN and debut-maker (2) GEUMA POSH are others who could make an impact.

Selections(3) Sungan Touch (10) Namsan Mujeok (1) Daecheon Beauty (5) Mighty Ann
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 8

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

More three-year-old maidens and a few of them look ready to win. (2) LAROMANEE just about gets the nod having shown steady improvement across her five starts to date, culminating in a 3rd place finish in her latest start when she was prominent throughout in an all-filly race over 1200M on April 3rd. She steps up to this trip for the first time, draws well, gets Moon Se-young aboard, and has every chance. (1) GEONGONILCHEOK is the main danger. He too has shown progress over five outings and enters off back-to-back 3rd place finishes, the latter of which was at this distance on April 16th. He will be on pace here and won’t be far away. (6) GUKDAE CLASS debuted in that April 16th race and ran a decent 5th. With some natural improvement out of that, he can go close here. (5) FLASH THUNDER and (4) SINHAN TEUKSONG are others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(2) Laromanee (1) Geongonilcheok (6) Gukdae Class (5) Flash Thunder
Next Best4, 8
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 9

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

Small field of filly maidens and while it is not a strong field, it is competitive. (5) EOMCHEONGNAN GIRL will probably be the favourite. She is the only runner in the field to have a 2nd place to her name and enters off a fair 4th place at this distance on April 17th when she settled in midfield and ran on. Those two factors are enough to put her on top here. (4) BARAMSAL also comes in off a last start 4th, her best finish to date, over 1200M on April 10th. She steps up in trip here but has been finishing off her races pleasingly enough so it may suit. (1) LONDON POWER has two 3rd places in her record. She went back to trial after her latest start in early April and looked extremely well in it. She looks to be the natural leader here and should be in this a long way. (3) BLUE KAISER and (6) STAR PRINCESS others who may hit the minors.

Selections(5) Eomcheongnan Girl (4) Baramsal (1) London Power (3) Blue Kaiser
Next Best6, 2
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 7

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

We’ll take a chance on (8) P N S GAMBOL stepping up again. He did absolutely nothing for five starts but with a 3rd and a then a win from his latest two, he appears to have figured things out. His win came when making all over 1200M on April 30th and they turn around quickly here. He is up in class and in distance but should be on pace and can measure up. The favourite will be (9) BLUE HAMMER. He is yet to win in nine attempts but has four top-three finishes to his name, including at his latest start on April 17th at this distance when he settled midfield and ran on well. He has had a tendency to leave himself a little bit too much today but this looks like his best chance of picking up a win. (10) OLD START comes up in trip after a good 3rd place at this class over 1200M on April 10th. He finished off well that day and the additional trip may suit. (5) STAR RUSH and (6) SANGSEUNG HAENGJIN are others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(8) P N S Gambol (9) Blue Hammer (10) Old Start (5) Star Rush
Next Best6, 3
Fast Start6, 7, 8, 10
(more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 13)

Korean Derby weekend gets underway with action at Busan on Friday where there are 8 race from 12:00 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies in the opener and it’s hard to look past (4) PYEONGHWA CHUKJE. She ran 4th on debut before improving to a narrow 2nd on her reappearance on April 8th. She was on pace both times, leading until the closing stages and from a good gate should get a soft lead here and go all the way this time. (7) LET IT GO debuted in that April 8th race and from a wide gate got well back early and only managed to run on for 7th. She should have come on for that run and with a slightly draw today, can get closer. (6) GASOK DAY has been consistent across four outings to date with the best being a 2nd place at this distance in March. She will be expected to be on pace in this company and should go close. (8) TWO TWO COIN and (9) HUIMANG PUNCH are others who can improve, the latter having looked well in an April trial.

Selections(4) Pyeonghwa Chukje (7) Let It Go (6) Gasok Day (8) Two Two Coin
Next Best9, 2
Fast Start4, 6, 8, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(6) QUEEN’S DAERO just about gets the nod here based on her latest outing on April 15th when she ran an improved 2nd at this distance having managed to find a handy position from a wide draw and ran on well behind Global Choego and ahead of a couple of today’s rivals.  She gets a better gate today and won’t need to improve much on that run to win this. Having never previously finished in the top five, (9) URI JOEUNNAL ran on for a surprise 2nd place at 1200M on April 17th. She carries the same light weight again and in this limited company, can run into some money again. (10) NAREUCAT comes back in trip following a solid 3rd in a small field at 1400M on April 22nd. Her running style means the draw shouldn’t be a problem and she will be in the placing hunt here. (7) B.K. HANA and (11) BAEDARI GANGHO are among other placing contenders.

Selections(6) Queen’s Daero (9) Uri Joeunnal (10) Nareucat (7) B.K. Hana
Next Best11, 1
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 7

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Small but competitive field here. (8) B.J. CHIEF has mixed his form across five starts so far but has a 3rd place to his name at this distance in a fair time and comes in having overcome the widest draw to come from off the place and run 3rd over 1300M just two weeks ago. In this field, he can be on pace or handy and it could be his day. The main danger is (7) WONDERFUL BOBCAT. He is two starts into a comeback following almost a year on the sidelines and has put in two promising performances in 3rd and 5th, both at 1300M and both times running on. He could be peaking third-up here. (5) BOUNTY HUNTER comes back up in trip. He is on a run of consistent, if unspectacular performances and he can grind his way to a minor money finish again here. (9) AGAIN HELEN and (1) DOCTOR CANDY are others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(8) B.J. Chief (7) Wonderful Bobcat (5) Bounty Hunter (9) Again Helen
Next Best1, 4
Fast Start1, 6, 7, 8

Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(2) DONGBU WORLD is yet to win but is yet to finish any worse than 4th on four outings so far. His first three near-misses brought him up in class and he ran well for 3rd place on his first try at this level over 1200M on April 15th when he was on pace throughout, briefly leading in the home straight. Nicely drawn, he only comes up 1kg and he can win here. (1) KKUM NEOMEO was a 16/1 winner on debut over this distance on March 25th when he made all. He is up in class here but carries the same light weight as on debut and draws the same inside barrier. It wouldn’t be a surprise were he to win again. The rest of the field are fillies (and one mare). (6) GREEN CHEETAH has won at this distance and has since registered back-to-back 4th places at this class. She can be on pace here and be in this a long way. (7) BORAMI and (8) GLOBAL YEOSIN are others in the frame.

Selections(2) Dongbu World (1) Kkum Neomeo (6) Green Cheetah (7) Borami
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start1, 6, 7, 9

Busan Race 5: Class 5 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Since getting his maiden win over a mile in early March, (7) ORANGE GARAGE has raced twice at this class and distance and finished in 3rd place on both occasions, both times racing handy to the speed and in the process registering a time at the distance faster than any of the others in this field have managed. He does come up a little in the weights but in this small field will be handy again and may take some beating. (3) HOLLYWOOD QUEEN ran on very pleasingly for 4th over a mile last time out. She carries a feather weight here and should be available at an each-way price again. (2) CENTUM THOR is yet to win in fifteen starts but has been ultra-consistent with twelve to-five finishes. He has a 2nd place at this class and distance (beaten twelve-lengths by Lucas Sun) and will be there or thereabouts again. (5) ADELE BOSS and (8) WONDERFUL SECRET can also be considered.

Selections(7) Orange Garage (3) Hollywood Queen (2) Centum Thor (5) Adele Boss
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 7

Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Another Peter Wolsley-trainee goes on top here. (2) CLEAR was a winner on debut all the way back in December 2020 before missing the entire 2021 season and finally returning this January. He has improved in each of his three starts since including a 2nd place in a fast time (assisted by a muddy and fast track) at this distance on March 20th. He draws great, carries an amenable weight, and can win. (10) ALIVE STAR is the logical second pick. He was a class and distance winner on April 8th when he sat handy early before striking the front on the turn and running on for a very comfortable score. He comes up a full 6kg in the weights for that effort but has run well under today’s weight before and he can be dangerous again. (9) GOLDEN BYEORAK races for the first time since January when he was a good 3rd at class and distance. He has never finished worse than 4th and has run well first-up in the past. He can settle midfield and run on here. (12) BOLAVEN and (11) CHOEGANG LIGER also in the placing frame.

Selections(2) Clear (10) Alive Star (9) Golden Byeorak (12) Bolaven
Next Best11, 8
Fast Start2, 5, 10, 12

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

(5) BEOLMAUI STAR was an eye-catching winner on his first two stars in November and December but he has made a stuttering start to his three-year-old season finishing 3rd when an odds-on favourite in January over 1400M before having another three-months out and returning in the KRA Cup Mile on April 17th when he was on pace early but soon ran out of energy. This is a much more suitable assignment and he could return to winning ways. (8) USURP won back to back races in January and February to rapidly get promoted to this level. He comes in having run 2nd at class and distance on April 8th when on pace and will be close again today. (1) DONGTEUJA BOY is a winner at this distance and comes in off a decent 3rd place at this class on February 25th. He has had a couple of months off since then and coming in fresh and from a good gate, may suit. (6) JUST WIN and (2) GOLDEN also have place claims.

Selections(5) Beolmaui Star (8) Usurp (1) Dongteuja Boy (6) Just Win
Next Best2, 10
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 10

Busan Race 8: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

A very competitive finale in which plenty have winning claims. With a rating of 50, (8) BUSANHANG GALMAEGI is still eligible for class 4 but in taking a swing at this, comes down a full 7kg from his 4th place at this distance at class 4 level three weeks ago. He will need to improve here as he hasn’t yet posted the kind of times that some of today’s rivals have but he should have enough speed to get to the lead and he can measure up. (5) MUJEOK BULPAE and (7) NEU DAT race one another again. On April 15th Neu Dat finished 1st and Mujeok Bulpae 2nd at class and distance with Neu Dat pretty much making all. They both come up in the weights here but it’s to Mujeok Bulpae’s favour and he can overturn the form from that day. (2) FLAT BABE and (11) WORLD SOCKS among many others who can compete for at least the places.

Selections(8) Busanhang Galmaegi (5) Mujeok Bulpae (7) Neu Dat (2) Flat Babe
Next Best11, 4
Fast Start1, 7, 8, 11