Author: gyongmaman

President’s Cup Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (November 13)

Sunday is President’s Cup Day. Click here for a full runner-by-runner preview of the most valuable race of the season that is restricted to Korean-bred runners. The big race is race 8 of an 11-race program at Seoul which runs from 10:45 to 18:00. There are also 6 races at Busan from 12:15 to 16:45 with King Of The Match in the feature. Here are the previews:

Winner’s Man will be seeking to add the President’s Cup to his Korea Cup success (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maiden fillies in the opener with six of the twelve racing for the first time. And among those debut-makers is the eagerly awaited (10) RAON EMPIRE. She’s half-sister to Raon The Fighter, currently the highest rated horse in Korea and she looked very well in two trials, crossing the line 1st in one and an unhurried 3rd in a fast time in the second when overcoming gate twelve. She will be a very short-priced favourite. (5) NAOL HAEGBOK did nothing on debut in June but was looked a better prospect when trialing up again behind Raon Empire in October. She should go better this time around. (1) YOUNGYOUNG SOCKS put in the best debut of those that have run before, showing on pace before finishing in the middle of the pack. She should have come on for that run and can improve here. (12) RED TAEPUNG should also improve from her debut while (4) WALGADAK looks the second best of the first timers.

Selections(10) Raon Empire (5) Naol Haengbok (1) Youngyoung Socks (12) Red Taepung
Next Best4, 3
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 10

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

(5) SUPREME STAR looks the one to beat here. Her best result to date came on debut but she has run well in two starts since including her latest when stepping up to this trip and posting a time as fast as any of the others here have managed when 5th. She sat handy that day which she will probably do again, and this time she can stick to her task. (2) DANAEUN ROSE has a 3rd and a 2nd from her first three outings. Her only poor result so far came when drawn very wide and being unable to find a position. That shouldn’t happen here as she can get an easy run to the front and can be in this a long way. (11) WORLD PLAY has run on pleasingly enough across three starts so far and is showing signs of improvement. He should be aiming to better the 5th place scored last time out at 1000M and can be running on late here. (3) VESPER and (7) NEVER NEVER STOP other potential improvers.

Selections(5) Supreme Star (2) Danaeun Rose (11) World Play (3) Vesper
Next Best7, 8
Fast Start2, 5, 8, 10

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

(6) BLACK CHOCOLATE ran out an emphatic winner on debut over this distance on October 16th, settling midfield before cruising away in the home straight. He comes up in class today, but the manner of that win suggests there is more to come, and he is strongly favoured to maintain his 100% record here. (1) JEONGMUN PAPAGO got promoted to this level with back-to-back runner-up finishes at this distance before running 4th of twelve in a fair time on his first try at this class on October 9th. He can build on that here. (2) CONCORD QUEEN already has a 2nd place finish to her name at class and distance and from another good draw today can be on pace and in this a long way. (9) CHANCELLOR weakened late on at his latest start and may be better for being slightly back in trip today. (4) B. J. STORM another in the placing frame.

Selections(6) Black Chocolate (1) Jeongmun Papago (2) Concord Queen (9) Chancellor
Next Best4, 8
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 8

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens in the opener on the south coast. (4) GOODY ran in improved 3rd at start number two over this distance on October 2nd having gone right back from a wide gate and then run on well. He draws inside for the first time here and if he can a little but more prominent, he could win here. (5) FINAL SEVEN enters with a similar record having also improved to 3rd on his second outing on October 9th. He too sat back and ran on and can continue his development here. (8) HAEUNDAE STAR also showed progress when racing for the second time He comes up in trip for the first time here and under a very light weight can be running on well. (3) FLYING TOUCH by contrast ran poorly at her second career start but based on her debut can be given another chance here. There are three debut-makers and among them, (1) MULTI HIT looks to have the best chance of an immediate impact.

Selections(4) Goody (5) Final Seven (8) Haeundae Star (3) Flying Touch
Next Best1, 6
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 6

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

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President’s Cup 2022 – Full Preview

Ten weeks on from his memorable Korea Cup victory, Winner’s Man returns to action and to Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon, where he will be hot favourite to win the President’s Cup (2000M KOR-G1).

Simjangui Godong won the President’s Cup in 2021 but faces a tough ask when defending it at Seoul this Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Winner’s Man ran down Japnese visitor Sekifu and Korea’s top-rated horse Raon The Fighter in the Korea Cup (1800M IG3) in September and he returns to the 2000M distance at which he won May’s YTN Cup for the President’s Cup, the most valuable race of the year restricted to Korean-bred horses.

After horses from Busan dominated the race for a decade – with Triple Nine alone winning four consecutive President’s Cups between 2015 and 2018 – the streak was broken in 2021 when Simjangui Godong finally got the home team back on the board.

While Winner’s Man will almost certainly start at odds-on, a fair set of challengers have assembled, headed by last year’s winner Simjangui Godong. The three-year-old crop is best represented by Captain Yankee, a winner of two legs of this year’s Triple Crown, while the older but in-form Heunghaeng Jilju can also provide a stern examination.

The President’s Cup is race 8 of an 11-race program at Seoul on Sunday with a local post time of 16:20. Here is a full run down of the field:

1. LOOKING GOOD – Ran 3rd to Determination in the Listed Sports Chosun and then 5th behind Winner’s Man in the G3 YTN Cup, both over 2000M. His latest two outings at class 2 level haven’t caught the eye and at level weights, this looks a hard ask.

2. HEUNGHAENG JILJU – Potentially testing material for Winner’s Man. A winner of ten from twenty-four he is still on the up and is a four-time class 1 winner at this distance.  He can race forward or settle midfield and while a previous attempt in elite company was unsuccessful, on times for this distance, he is right in this.

3. SIMJANGUI GODONG – The defending champion, having come from midfield to win this race a year ago. He has won twice at class 1 level since, both at this distance but his latest four outings have been in Group class. He was an also-ran in the Korea Cup, but prior to that registered two runner-up finishes (one of them a dead-heat) behind Winner’s Man in The Busan Mayor’s Cup and 1800M, and then Raon The Fighter in the Busan Owners’ Cup. Don’t rule out another big run.

4. JANGSAN LASER – Skipped class 2 entirely and won on his first start at class 1 over 1200M in August before finishing 2nd in a valuable trophy race on international weekend. Well beaten behind Heunghaeng Jilju on his latest outing on October 2nd. Likes to be on pace but this looks challenging.

5. CHIEF INDY – One of few horses to have finished ahead of Winner’s Man, which he did when 2nd in the final leg of last year’s Triple Crown. He gets his chance here having won a trophy race on international weekend over 1800M, but he did struggle on his only try at regular class 1. Moon Se-young, who usually rides both, opts for Simjangui Godong but while Chief Indy may not be a winning chance, he can be competitive. He can settle in midfield and run on.

6. RAON FIRST – The only mare in the field, she is more known as a sprinter having run 3rd in the Korea Sprint over 1200M on international day. She has won at Listed level over 1800M in restricted fill & mare company, but this is her first try at 2000M. She likes to run on pace and while the distance is a question, she can be in this a long way.

7. CAPTAIN YANKEE – Lightly raced three-year-old who won two legs of the Triple Crown this year, the Cup Mile and Minister’s Cup, while finishing 3rd in the Derby. The Minister’s Cup win was over this distance and was emphatic as he settled back in the field and ran on very strongly. Has only raced once since and was 4th at class 2 level in Busan at the end of August, but the distance will suit here, and he will be running on. 

8. BAEKSAEK GWANGCHAE – Runner up to Jangsan Bada in the Listed Ilgan Sports at 1800M in July and has subsequently finished 2nd twice more at class 2 level to see his rating tick over in class 1 territory. Tough ask here at level weights.

9. CHOEGANG GAME – Returned from five months off to score very well over 1800M on October 15th when on-pace throughout but that was at class 3 level. A winner of five from eleven but this is a big step up.

10. WINNER’S MAN – Proved himself to be the best stayer in the country with his win in the Korea Cup over 1800M in September when he settled midfield and wide before improving in the back straight and then running down Sekifu and Raon The Fighter to win. That was his sixth consecutive victory with the last four having been Listed, G3, G2 and Korean Group 1. He should be too good again.

11. JANGSAN BADA – Gets his chance here having won his latest two, a listed race in July at 1800M and then a trophy race on international weekend at 1700M. He won both well and in good times, but this will be his first run against a better caliber of opposition and his first at 2000M. He likes to race forward and minor money would be an excellent result.

12. BLUE POWER – A winner at this distance at class 2 level at Busan in June, he ran fairly for 5th behind Barbarian at class 1 level two weeks ago, again over 2000M. He can race on pace or settle back but at level weights this looks difficult.

13. LUCKY WORLD – Yet to race beyond 1800M or at anything stuffer than class 3 level. He has run consistent times in his latest three around two turns, but he has the lowest rating in the field by a big margin and with no weight advantage it is hard to see him making an impression.

14. FOREVER DREAM – Three-year-old who, as a gelding, wasn’t eligible for the Triple Crown series. Gets his chance after a good score over a mile at class 2 level in October leading gate to wire. His wins have come from the front, so the draw isn’t kind here.

Selections: (10) Winner’s Man (3) Simjangui Godong (2) Heunghaeng Jilju  (7) Captain Yankee

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 12)

Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with 10 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens in the opener with four of the nine racing for the first time. There’s going to be a hot favourite in the shape of (5) JANGBI MUJIGAE. The Hansen filly is making her third start here having run 5th and 3rd in her previous two, both in quick times. She has been settling midfield and running on but in this company may well be on the pace and she won’t need to improve much, if at all, to win this. (9) MIR POINT has been 7th in both his outings to date but posted a quicker time in the latter, running through the line well. With some more natural improvement, he can be in this. The newcomers don’t exactly quicken the pulse although (7) SIDAEUI MYEONGJAK ran well enough in his heat to suggest a bold showing first-up is possible. It’s hard to make a case for any of the other newbies based on their trials so (6) ANYANG POKKYEOKGI and (2) BEAT RACER are favoured to improve.

Selections(5) Jangbi Mujigae (9) Mir Point (7) Sidaeui Myeongjak (6) Anyang Pokkyeokgi
Next Best2, 4
Fast Start5, 7, 8, 9

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens with four of the ten racing for the very first time. As in the previous race, we side with experience and (1) E-DANAEUN is set to be a warm favourite having run 5th of twelve on debut back on September 17th having drawn wide and then run on well. He doesn’t have the benefit of an apprentice claim today but that’s balanced somewhat by a much better draw and with some natural improvement, he looks the one to beat. Also drawing better at start number two is (4) SMARTY GLORY. She had to deal with gate twelve on debut on September 24th but ran on well to finish 5th in a fair time and with a couple of today’s rivals behind her. Look for improvement. (6) AMAN BAROWS was a well-beaten 6th on debut but the time was good, and he too can build on it here. As for the first timers, (3) SHARP SUNSHINE and (5) SAVANA CHARLIE looked the best in trials.

Selections(1) E-Danaeun (4) Smarty Glory (6) Aman Barows (3) Sharp Sunshine
Next Best5, 7
Fast Start3, 6, 7, 9

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

(2) MENI ACE ran twice at the start of the year, registering a 2nd place over this distance, before then being off for eight months. She returned on October 9th, again at this trip, when she settled back from the widest gate, before running on for a solid 5th place. She should strip fitter for that run, she comes into a better gate, and she will be favourite to score. That will mean overturning the form on (5) SERYUNG, who was 4th in that October 9th race, a length and a half ahead of Meni Ace. He comes up 2kg without the benefit of an apprentice claim, but he should be competitive again. (11) MAGIC JUDE appears to be figuring out what to do three starts into a return after eight months off. The draw is not in her favour but with a touch of luck at the start, she can be considered. (7) GANGCHEOL BUDAE and (1) WHITE WITCH others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(2) Meni Ace (5) Seryung (11) Magic Jude (7) Gangcheol Budae
Next Best1, 6
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 11

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

(11) CUPID WARRIOR made all to win on debut over 1000M on October 2nd in a fast time. He comes up in class and in distance and while the draw does him no favours at all, the manner of that win suggests that with some natural improvement, he can maintain his 100% record here. (2) JAKDUKONG has been super consistent across her latest five outings, finishing either 3rd or 4th. That puts her up in class here but the counter to that is she is down in weight and draws very nicely. She can measure up here. (9) MEOTJIN GIROK returned to action following six months out on October 16th and ran a good 5th over this distance. He should strip fitter here and can get closer. (3) GOLD POWER, who can have a line drawn through his latest, and (5) DOLBAE among others int the minor money frame.

Selections(11) Cupid Warrior (2) Jakdukong (9) Meotjin Girok (3) Gold Power
Next Best5, 7
Fast Start3, 5, 8, 11
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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 11)

It’s President’s Cup weekend. The big race is in Seoul on Sunday but racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with a 9-race card from 12:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Maiden juvenile fillies in the opener, with seven of the twelve racing for the first time. There is some useful experience here though and (10) GRAPHENE RAP WORLD gets the nod. After a good trial, she was an on-pace runner0up in debut on October 7th, stopping the clock in a good time. She should have come on for that run and despite the wide draw, can go one better today. (4) HUIMANGUI ACHIM was a long shot on her debut on October 21st but she defied that to run a good 3rd, settling midfield and running on. She too should have some natural improvement and can be a danger here. Of the first time starters, (5) HANSOLBRAIN led for much of her trial, ultimately crossing the line 2nd in a good time. If she brings that form to the races, a bold showing is likely. (12) BORA CHAMP and (6) MY MANTRA others who hinted at ability in their respective heats.

Selections(10) Graphene Rap World (4) Huimangui Achim (5) Hansolbrain (12) Bora Champ
Next Best6, 1
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 10

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

(1) VICTOR BASIUM has been a model of consistency with five starts so far all yielding finishes between 3rd and 5th. At his latest outing two weeks ago, he wasn’t able to get to his preferred leading position but from the inside gate here, he should get a softer run and looks the one to beat. He has been a beaten favourite twice already though so if you expect that trend to continue then (6) STORM AGAIN could be the one. She was 5th to Victor Basium’s 3rd when they raced each other in September but improved to register a 3rd place of her own on her latest run on October 14th. She can settle handy here and has a good finish. (3) SIMON TOP GUN finished midfield when having to contend with a wide draw on her most recent start. She previously racked up back-to-back 3rd place finishes in July and August and from a better gate is worth another chance here. (9) TAKE ADELE and (10) ECTON POWER others in the minor money frame.

Selections(1) Victor Basium (6) Storm Again (3) Simon Top Gun (9) Take Adele
Next Best10, 8
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 8

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Tricky maiden here. (3) TITAN K has a 2nd and a 3rd among her latest three starts including last time out when she settled midfield and ran on. She draws nicely here, carries a very light weight, and has as good a chance as any. (5) YEOSU TORNADO returned to action on October 21st having been on the sidelines since last November and ran a very encouraging 4th at this distance racing handy throughout. He should strip fitter for that effort and can go closer today. (9) I’M KING IJI hasn’t been too far away in three starts to date. And has finished off his races well. He comes up slightly in trip today and it may be to his benefit. (4) ETERNAL ACE similarly has been knocking on the door of the places and should be in the hunt here. (7) NALA another who can build on a last star 2nd.

Selections(3) Titan K (5) Yeosu Tornado (9) I’m King Iji (4) Eternal Ace
Next Best7, 10
Fast Start1, 2, 7, 9

Busan Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

The only filly in the race, (5) KKOTMURI could be the one to beat here. She returned from five months out on October 7th and ran a much-improved 3rd over this distance. She can sit behind the speed here and with some natural improvement from that run, she could prove too strong. (3) FUSAICHI returned from a similar layoff in the same race, running 6th having started slowly from a wide gate. He too should strip fitter here and progress can be expected. (7) FLEX SHINHWA and (1) LET’S GO came home 3rd and 4th respectively when they raced each other over 1300M on October 16th. For Flex Shinhwa it was an improvement on recent efforts while for Let’s Go it was his debut run. Both can go close here. (8) ADELE ALLIE’s another who can aim for the minor money.

Selections(5) Kkotmuri (3) Fusaichi (7) Flex Shinhwa (1) Let’s Go
Next Best8, 4
Fast Start4, 7, 8, 9

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

(5) SAVAHA led from gate to wire to win on debut over 1000M on October 14th. He comes up in class and in distance here, but the manner of that victory means he will be hot favourite to score again. (1) NICE DAY was a winner over this distance at class 6 level two starts back before beating a couple of today’s rivals when leading but ultimately finishing 5th on his first try at this class on October 14th. An apprentice takes his weight right down here and he draws well to be on pace again. (4) RUBY STORM won on debut and while he then found t hard second-up in the Areumdaun Jilju Stakes, this is a more moderate assignment, and he can be given another chance. (11) K.AI and (6) MY SONG among others in the frame.

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Juvenile Series: Fantastic Kingdom Wins Again, Hangang Ace Unseats Park Tae Jong as Saenae Town Scores

Fantastic Kingdom maintained his dominance of the juvenile ranks at Busan by winning the Gimhae Mayor’s Trophy, but at Seoul Hangang Ace spilled his jockey at the start ensuring that a new name would claim the NACF Chairman’s Trophy. That name would prove to be Saenae Town who came through late to score in a topsy-turvy finish.

At Seoul, Munhwa Ilbo Trophy winner Hangang Ace was sent off as warm favourite for the NACF Chairman’s Trophy (1200M Korean Listed). His challenge would end barely three strides out of the gate though as he stumbled, causing jockey Park Tae-jong to tumble forward and onto the sand.

That left Sun Dragon, the second favourite who had skipped both the Rookie Stakes and the Munhwa Ilbo, to set the pace. This he did with gusto, and he seemed set for a gate to wire victory until the very final strides when Saenae Town, 4th in the Munhwa Ilbo a month ago, swept by under Song Jae-chul in the shadow of the post.

Sun Dragon was 2nd a head in arrears while a stewards’ inquiry determined that a length behind them, Kwaehyang, who crossed the line in 3rd place, had interfered with Nanometa in 4th and their placings were reversed.

Saenae Town is by Purge and is out of Oh My Creek (by Creek Cat), who raced in Korea. He was bred by Nokwon Farm and is owned by Moon Geum-cheol and trained at Seoul by Seo Hong-soo. The victory kicked off a remarkable end of Sunday’s card for trainer Seo, who proceeded to send out the winner of the remaining three races as well.

At Busan, it wasn’t easy for Fantastic Kingdom, but he managed to hold off a determined challenge from Jeulgeounyeojeong to add the Gimhae Mayor’s Trophy (1200M Korean Listed) to his previous successes in the Busan Rookie Stakes and Areumdaun Jilju Stakes.

Fantastic Kingdom was beaten on debut but has since won four in a row to top the juvenile rankings. He is by Concord Point and out of Union Belle (by Dixie Union). He was bred by Jung Hwan of Taesan Farm, is owned by Moojigae Rentcar and is trained at Busan by Lim Keum-man. Seo Seung-un piloted.

Jeulgeounyeojeong was just half a length back in 2nd place and intriguingly has already won over 1400M which is the distance of the Breeders’ Cup (KOR-G2), the race which will decide the ultimate destination of the title of Champion Juvenile on Sunday December 4th. With Saenae Town also threatening to get stronger as the distances get longer as well as a host of other juveniles who were steered away from this weekend’s features, and Fantastic Kingdom may not have things all his own way next month.

Next weekend, the top locally bred horses in the country will gather at Seoul for the President’s Cup (2000M KOR-G1) on Sunday afternoon. Korea Cup hero Winner’s Man currently tops the expected field.

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 6)

Juveniles top the bill at both Seoul and Busan on Sunday as the Juvenile Series continues with the runnings of the Listed NACF Chairman’s Trophy in the capital and the Gimhae Mayor’s Trophy on the south coast. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:15 to 16:40. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens to open the program with six of the twelve racing for the first time. The experience is good though and we’ll side with (1) TOUR QUEEN, who after a solid trial ran a decent 6th of twelve on debut on October 2nd, settling midfield and finishing off well. The time was fair, she comes into a good gate today, and she has a chance. (10) GEUMSEONG SIDAE has the fastest time of those who have raced before, posted when 4th on debut on September 17th. He was on pace that day and while the draw is less favourable this time, he should be a big factor again. (9) MIGHTY SSEN was slowly away on debut on October 8th but finished off very pleasingly indeed and with a better start can get closer than the 6th he managed that day. The jockey booking will lead many to suspect that (5) RAON CITY GIRL can improve on her underwhelming debut, while among the first-time starters, (7) KKUMUI SUNGAN, looks the best.

Selections(1) Tour Queen (10) Geumseong Sidae (9) Mighty Ssen (5) Raon City Girl
Next Best7, 2
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens this time with five of the twelve making their racecourse debuts. The only one to have raced twice will be the hot favourite and that’s (6) GIPPEUM HWANHO. Having run 5th on debut, he improved to 2nd at start number two on October 2nd when close to the pace throughout and stopping the clock in a good time. He draws fairly enough here and won’t need to improve too much to win. (4) EUNPA CHAMPION won a trial making all a month ago. The time wasn’t that quick, but he did what he needed to do in fine enough fashion and from a god gate can get on pace and put in a bold showing first-up. (1) AREUMDAUN SAI beat two of these on her way to 6th place on debut on October 1st. She should have derived benefit from that run and can improve on that today. (8) ARGO KKUSHONG only beat a couple home on debut, but the time was good, and the margins weren’t big. (3) SHARK PLAY is the best of the rest of the first-time starters.

Selections(6) Gippeum Hwanho (4) Eunpa Champion (1) Areumdaun Sai (8) Argo Kkushong
Next Best3, 12
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 8

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

(6) SPRING WATER put in a much-improved showing at start number three on October 8th, when leading throughout only to be denied in the closing stages and having to settle for 2nd. He carries the same weight today, draws well enough to get on the speed again, and could go one better. (11) SECRET KING also has a runner-up finish to his name over this distance and followed it up with a 4th place at this latest, again over this distance. He has settled close to the pace and midfield so far, so the wide draw shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience, and he can be given a chance here. (4) BEAT UP raced three times across the turn of the year, with the best being a 4th place over 1000M. He looked well when leading and then posting a fast time in an October trial and while this is his first start since February, he can go well. (10) CHOEGO POINT and (12) TOGETHER WAY among others who can place.

Selections(6) Spring Water (11) Secret King (4) Beat Up (10) Choego Point
Next Best12, 1
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 11

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens in the south coast opener with five of the ten racing for the first time. (1) JEONGMUN COBIT has raced twice already and while he has finished 6th on both occasions, he looks the one to beat here. After a solid showing on debut, he took his chance in the Areumdaun Jilju Stakes at this distance on October 2nd and while the competition there was a bit hot, he ran well enough and posted a good time. If he brings that form today, he will win. (9) GEUMA HUGE HIT went through a couple of trials, running on pleasingly enough in both and she can go well first-up in this company. So too (3) RAON THE HARLEY, who drew wide in his heat and settled back before running on. Returning to the experienced ones, (5) LIGHT SABER and (6) DOCTOR PANGPANG look the most likely to improve.

Selections(1) Jeongmun Cobit (9) Geuma Huge Hit (3) Raon The Harley (5) Light Saber
Next Best6, 2
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 8

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Tricky maiden here. Without much confidence we’ll go with the probable favourite, (11) DEVIL K. He has been consistent across five starts so far, with two 3rd places his best and while he gets no favours from the draw, he has a strong finish on him. If he can get a bit of luck at the start, he could win this. (2) WONDERFUL MUSIC comes in following a runner-up finish over his distance on October 8th. She got quite an easy run to the lead that day which might not happen again, although she draws very nicely and a repeat or better isn’t impossible. (7) NAMSAN MUJEOK returned form almost five months off to run a decent 3rd place over 1200M on October 8th. He should strip fitter for that effort and can be in this too. (5) BADAUI KKUM has been figuring things out of late and along with (10) LAST CALL is among others with placing hopes.

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 5)

Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with 10 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens. (11) RAON THE QUALITY has raced twice so far, doing nothing on debut but improving significantly at start number two on September 18th when 4th over 1000M, running on well. The step up in trip can suit and she can win here. (7) FARCIARZ ran well on debut over the minimum trip in early September before finding things tough in the Munhwa Ilbo Trophy against the track’s best juveniles and drawing the car park in gate fourteen. He comes back into much shallower waters here and has strong claims. (9) VISION STAR and (8) WINNER DRAGON both ran 4th on their respective debuts with both running on well over five furlongs. They too may appreciate the additional furlong today. (2) BULUI NALGAE, who overcame a wide gate last time to run a decent 4th, is another in the hunt.

Selections(11) Raon The Quality (7) Farciarz (9) Vision Star (8) Winner Dragon
Next Best2, 10
Fast Start3, 7, 10, 11

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

More juvenile maidens and (4) GEUMBITMA is the one to beat. After running 2nd on his second start over 1000M in August, he was given his chance in the Munhwa Ilbo Trophy against the track’s best juveniles and defied big odds to run a creditable 6th of fourteen over this distance. A repeat of that performance will make him hard to beat here. (3) DRAGON STAR comes up in trip for the first time after three solid efforts over 1000M. He has been running through the line well on each occasion and from a good gate, today may well suit. (8) RAON AMERICAN stepped up to this distance for his second outing on September 25th and having settled midfield ran on well for 2nd. Of those who have tackled the 1200M already, only Geumbitma in the Munhwa Ilbo has posted a faster time and he can be in contention here. (9) HUNTER BLADE and (2) HIGH GRAND among plenty of others with placing chances.

Selections(4) Geumbitma (3) Dragon Star (8) Raon American (9) Hunter Blade
Next Best2, 6
Fast Start4, 7, 8, 10

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW25 Million

Fillies (and one mare) here. (5) ANOTHER LEVEL debuted in March, posting two 3rd place finishes before not racing again until October 9th. She won a trial in the lead up to that event but having drawn wide and worked to a position behind the leaders, she weakened in the closing stages. She should have derived much benefit from that run and looks the one to beat here. The rest have patchy form. Under a light weight with an apprentice claiming 2kg, (10) GOLD KAISER might be worth a place chance. She has run fairly in two starts this preparation since returning from eight months off and could be peaking fitness wise here. (2) SHOOTING REVERSE has mixed her form across four appearances to date but does have a runner-up finish to her name at this distance and that’s enough to put her in the frame here. (6) DAESEUNG GAON and (3) RUFFIAN EAGLE are others who may enter the calculations.

Selections(5) Another Level (10) Gold Kaiser (2) Shooting Reverse (6) Daeseung Gaon
Next Best3, 9
Fast Start1, 3, 7, 10

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

Moon Se-young climbs aboard another favourite here in the shape of (1) STRONG CHARM. He got his maiden win in comfortable fashion on October 9th when settling midfield and running on over 1200M. That was his third start and he had shown improvement on each of them and while up in class and distance today, neither should be a problem. The main danger looks to be the similarly well-drawn (2) MAPARAM. She was sent off at big odds last time out on October 8th but led for much of the way around, ultimately finishing 2nd. That was the first time in a while that she had been ridden forward and the draw couple with the small field should enable her to do similar today. (7) HUIMANG OREUM comes up in class having got her maiden win at the fourth time of asking on October 8th. That was a big improvement but was it was over this distance in a fair time, and she can hold her own in this company. (8) HIDDEN BLADE and (5) GEUMSEONG SEGYE others with at least minor money chances.

Selections(1) Strong Charm (2) Maparam (7) Huimang Oreum (8) Hidden Blade
Next Best5, 3
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 8


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

(2) NAOL CHEONJI made all to win on debut over 1000M on October 1st. She is up in class and in distance here but neither should be a problem and with Moon Se-young climbing aboard, she is sure to be well backed. It could be the battle of the “Naols” and (4) NAOL SESANG is up in class following her own maiden win on October 1st. She had made three indifferent starts at the beginning of the year but returned following over six months off looking much more the part and her win came at this distance. She was on pace all the way around and will be aiming to do similar here. (9) SAENAE QUEEN was a winner on debut in August before running 2nd from a wide gate on her first try at this class and distance on September 24th. She gets no favours with the barrier again but looks a strong place chance, nevertheless. (1) ELITE RULES and (10) BURUI GASOK among others to consider for the minors.

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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 4)

The weekend’s racing gets underway on Friday at Busan with a 9-race card from 12:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens in the opener with six of the eight racing for the first time. We’ll side with experience and (7) HANEUL SEUNGNI, who led for much of his debut on September 30th, ultimately coming home in 3rd place in fast time. He should have derived benefit from that run and won’t need to improve much to win here. There are some promising first-timers. (5) YONGSANG UNGI won her trial, sitting handy and then running on in fair time. If she brings that form to the races, she can go close. (1) HAERANG YOUNGUNG showed prominently in his trial and from the inside gate, should be on pace here and in this a long way. (9) SUCCESS MOCCA improved in the second of two trials and if he has continued to make progress, can be competitive here. (2) EVER STAR didn’t do much on debut but draws nicely and can improve.

Selections(7) Haneul Seungni (5) Yongsang Ungi (1) Haerang Youngung (9) Success Mocca
Next Best2, 8
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 7

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

The second division of the juvenile maiden with six of the eight runners racing for the first time. This time the favourite will be a newcomer in the shape of (1) BREAD HIT. She made all in her trial, stopping the clock in a fair time and from a good draw and with an apprentice claiming 3kg, she may take some beating first-up. The main danger is one of the experienced ones. (3) BLUE ICON was a much-improved 3rd at start number two on October 7th when sitting behind the early leaders and running on well. She comes down significantly in the weights under an apprentice claim here and she can be competitive. Returning to the first timers, (7) SUCCESS TIME was the next best in trials and looks a money chance with (8) HAMPYEONG IS BACK and (4) RUN FIRST others to keep an eye on.

Selections(1) Bread Hit (3) Blue Icon (7) Success Time (8) Hampyeong Is Back
Next Best4, 5
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 8

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

It’s hard to look too far past (2) AREUMDAUN INYEON here. She has steadily improved across three starts to date, culminating in her latest on October 7th when she beat three of today’s rivals on her way to 2nd place over this distance. She was slowly away that day and settled right at the back but she has run on pace before and from a great draw, Chae Sang-hyun can pick his spot and she won’t need to improve much to win here. (6) HWANGU FIGHTER was 3rd in that October 7th race. He has a length and a half to make up over Areumdaun Inyeon here but he too has shown progress across his three starts and could continue to get better. (4) MYEONGSEONG CHARGE enters off a much-improved runner-up finish over 1300M on October 2nd. She raced on pace that day and is well drawn to get forward again and she can be in this a long way. (8) TAP DREAM and (5) PURE MAGIC among others on a place line.

Selections(2) Areumdaun Inyeon (6) Hwangu Fighter (4) Myeongsong Charge (8) Tap Dream
Next Best5, 12
Fast Start4, 5, 8, 12

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

Fillies and mares only here. (2) THUNDER CLOUD got her solitary win to date over this distance four starts back in a time faster than any of the others have achieved. Since then she has established herself as competitive at this level including a good 2nd in another fats time in September. She draws much better than she did when 5th on her latest outing on October 9th and an apprentice jockey takes the weight down. She has strong claims here. It’s been a long time since (5) SPICE INDIE won but her latest couple of outings read well with a 4th and a 5th, at a mile and at this distance. She tends to go right back but she has a strong finish on her and should be working home well. (1) GOLD ROSE was an excellent all the way winner on debut and while she has come up short in two outings since, she is perhaps worth another chance today from a very good gate. (7) GREAT GO and (4) JEONGDUN-RO are others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(2) Thunder Cloud (5) Spice Indie (1) Gold Rose (7) Great Go
Next Best4, 8
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 6

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

The second division of the class 5 handicap for fillies and mares. (6) WONDERFUL FILE returned from three months out to run a creditable 6th at this distance on October 23rd, breaking from a wide gate and settling back before finishing off well. She should have come on for that run, she draws better today, and she has as good a chance as any here. (9) GAMDONG ENERGY is yet to win in nine attempts but has some decent runs behind her. Two previous efforts at this trip didn’t go especially well but she looks ready for another crack here and an apprentice keeps her carried weight nice and light. (5) OMEGA GIRL mixes her form but she has the fastest time of any at the distance and can be a threat. (2) HONOR QUEEN has settled back in her latest two and run on well both times. In this company she can be competitive. (8) SUSO POWER another with minor money hopes.

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Eoma Eoma Overcomes Stern Kookje Shinmun Test

Eoma Eoma was presented with a stern examination at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon as the Korea Sprint winner needed every yard to catch and finally overcome Daehan Jilju to win the Kookje Shinmun Trophy (1400M Listed).

Eoma Eoma denied Daehan Jilju in the Kookje Shinmun Trophy

With the distance at 1400M, Daehan Jilju was always set to be the testing material. The Korea Sprint 4th place getter ran on very well in that race and was expected to be more suited to an extended trip that he had already won over on five occasions. Not that Eoma Eoma entered with a bad record at the seven furlongs either, having until just three weeks ago held the track record at Seoul.

It was a two-horse race throughout with Daehan Jilju being ridden hard out of the gate and straight to the front past Eoma Eoma, whose jockey Moon Se-young opted not to try and engage in a speed duel and instead was content to take a sit.

Heading into the home straight the gap at one point was up to two-lengths before Moon asked Eoma Eoma for his full effort. The deficit reduced but still Daehan Jilju led. For a moment it looked like the underdog might hold on but, just as when he went by Raptus in the Korea Sprint last month, Eoma Eoma was relentless, finally passing Daehan Jilju in the shadow of the post to win by a Head.

Daehan Jilju burnished a reputation that has seen him win eight times from sixteen starts at distances up to 1800M. A rematch with Eoma Eoma will be keenly anticipated. Three-lengths behind the top two, Daemangui Gil just edged out Ssonsal to claim 3rd place.

The victory takes Eoma Eoma, a five-year-old American-bred entire by Algorithms, to thirteen wins from nineteen starts. He is owned by the Nasca group and is trained by Song Moon-gil at Seoul. The Kookje Shinmun was the final big race of the year for the sprinters so unless Eoma Eoma is entered in a regular class 1 race at Seoul, his season could be done.

There were no celebrations after the race with Korea having entered a seven-day period of national mourning for the victims of the Itaewon disaster. That period of mourning will conclude on Saturday November 5th.

Next Sunday, attention is scheduled to move to the Juvenile ranks with the NACF Chairman’s Trophy at Seoul and the Gimhae Mayor’s Trophy at Busan, the final lead up races before the best two-year-olds from both tracks meet in the Breeders’ Cup at Busan in December.

Eoma Eoma Sunday: Busan & Seoul Race-By-Race Preview (October 30)

Korea Sprint winner Eoma Eoma returns to action on Sunday having traveled down to Busan to tackle the Listed Kookje Shinmun Trophy over 1400M. That’s the final race on a 6-race card at Busan which runs from 12:15 to 16:40 while there are 11-races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Imported Juvenile fillies with just two of the eight having raced before and anything could win. We’ll side with experience though and (7) ACCOUNT, who has raced twice already. After an inauspicious debut over 1200M in August, she looked more assured when 5th of eight in a fair time in a similar race to this on October 2nd, settling back and running on. With some natural progression here, that experience should stand her in good stead. Pick of the first timers is (3) WINNER CALL. The most expensive of these at auction in the US (although hardly sale-topping at $50K), she was on pace in her trial and stopped the clock in a fair time. She draws nicely and looks set for a bold showing. (1) T.C. FAMILY is the other one who has raced before, and she ran 6th to Account’s 5th in that October 2nd race. She was on pace but weakened late on. She should have derived benefit from that and draws very well to lead again and be in things much longer. Returning to the debut-makers (2) LOTUSMIREU and (6) RACE WINNER look the next best.

Selections(7) Account (3) Winner Call (1) T.C. Family (2) Lotusmireu
Next Best6, 8
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 6

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens with seven of the eleven racing for the first time. Unusually we are going against the experience and siding with debut-maker (8) BEST SUN. That’s on the strength of a string of three trials since May this year where he has been showing more ability each time, culminating in crossing the line 2nd behind the experienced Beolmal Daejang in a good time in heat on October 7th.  If he brings that form to the races, he will win. (11) GWANGCHIGI led for much of his debut back in July, ultimately running 4th. He reappears here without having trialed, but that showing, and the apprentice claim today, is enough to keep him safe. (9) UNICORN KINGDOM has raced twice, posting a good time on his second start on September 3rd. He can continue to make progress here. (5) BLUE ARCH can improve on his debut performance when running 7th. Returning to the first timers, (2) GEUMBIT CHEONHA came through a very slow trial but did what he needed to do and could go well.

Selections(8) Best Sun (11) Gwangchigi (9) Unicorn Kingdom (5) Blue Arch
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start2, 3, 9, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile filly maidens with nine of the twelve racing for the first time. Some of the experience is good though and (9) GLORY K will be favourite. Having trialed well, she was 2nd on debut on October 1st, when handy throughout and running on well. That experience should stand her in good stead here and she is the one to beat. (8) WONDERFUL WEEK debuted in the same race. She sat midfield and then ran on 4th, not too far in arrears and she too should have benefited from the run. Pick of the newbies is (3) PHOENIX SERVE. She made all to win her trial in a good time on September 30th and is well drawn to get on pace and be in this along way. Another trial winner is (7) DORIPO. The time was a little slower than that of Phoenix Serve, but she looked competent enough, settling handy and running on. (6) HERO QUEEN another who hinted at ability in trials. As ever with these kinds of races, watch the market for any clues.

Selections(9) Glory K (8) Wonderful Week (3) Phoenix Serve (7) Doripo
Next Best6, 4
Fast Start3, 4, 8, 9

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(7) MIGHTY STORM will be hot favourite to prevail here. His best finish so far was 3rd two starts back over 1200M and comes in here having beaten a couple of today’s rivals on his way to 5th place in a fast race over 1300M on October 2nd. He tackles seven-furlongs for the first time, and it can suit. (8) SPECIAL FACT similarly beat some of these when 4th at this distance on September 30th. The time was fair, and she should be aiming to at least match her best finish of 3rd today. (4) MORNING MUSE was 5th in that race behind Special Fact. There was very little between them that day and that could prove to be the case again this time. (6) YEONSEUNG GO hasn’t shown much in two starts over 1000M but the increase in trip may be beneficial and the jockey booking suggests improvement is possible. (9) NAREUCAT, disappointing behind Special Fact and Morning Muse last time out, can be given another chance for the minor money here.

Selections(7) Mighty Storm (8) Special Fact (4) Morning Muse (6) Yeonseung Go
Next Best9, 1
Fast Start2, 4, 6, 7

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(7) JILJU DAESE will be a warm favourite here, having run a good 2nd on her debut at this distance on October 2nd when settling midfield and finishing well. In this company expect her to be on pace and she should be winning. (8) CHOEGANG MIRAE made his only start in April but finished last. He has since moved to Tony Castanheira and looked very well when winning a trial with an on-pace performance last week. So long as he didn’t leave his race in the heat, he should be a very different prospect to the last time we saw him. (2) BEST PLAN enters off her best result in eleven starts, when 3rd over this distance on October 1st. She has the best time among these for the distance – recorded that day – and from a good draw can be close again. (9) P N S HER and (12) GRACE LEE among others who can enter at least the placing calculations.

Selections(7) Jilju Daese (8) Choegang Mirae (2) Best Plan (9) P N S Her
Next Best12, 4
Fast Start3, 7, 9, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Wildly competitive handicap for fillies (and one mare) with plenty of winning chances. (9) HONOR CAL was an all the way winner at start number two over 1200M on September 25th to get his maiden win. He comes up in class and up slightly in trip here but while his draw is not ideal, he perhaps enough early speed to see himself to a good position and he can win again. So too can (12) HANSEN COD GIRL She is even less favoured by the draw but has shown good speed in her two outings to date; a 3rd place and win at class 6 level. She too is up in trip as well and while she may need a bit of luck at the start position-wise, she should be very competitive. (7) BLUE CARSON is yet to win in fifteen attempts but has five top-three finishes, including her latest when handy all the way and 3rd over 1200M. Expect her in the mix once more. (4) LOUD COLOR and (10) TWO OF US come in having run 3rd and 4th respectively when they faced each other in a similar race at this class over 1200M on September 25th. Both can be competitive again.

Selections(9) Honor Cal (12) Hansen Cod Girl (7) Blue Carson (4) Loud Color
Next Best10, 6
Fast Start1, 7, 9, 12

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

(3) GO GO STAR took nineteen goes to get her maiden win, which came at class and distance in July, but she has maintained her form since with a 4th and a 3rd in two subsequent outings, last time beating a couple of today’s rivals when coming from off the pace in a good time. She has the fastest time of any of these for the distance, an apprentice means she comes in carrying 2kg less than she did last start and she draws very well. There is plenty to like. If she may have peaked there are a couple of up and comers who may be preferred. (11) FLY STAR has five top-five finishes from seven starts and enters off a good class and distance 3rd last time out. She doesn’t need to lead and with a bit of luck at the start can find a good position and run on. So too (10) KINGS EYE, who comes up in class following his maiden win at start number five over 1300M on September 18th. He led for most of that race but has run well from behind too and has a fast final furlong average time. (6) NEW STAR YEONGCHEON mixes his form but goes well on his day and Munro aboard is a plus. (4) RAON THE WILD another in the frame.

Selections(3) Go Go Star (11) Fly Star (10) Kings Eye (6) New Star Yeongcheon
Next Best4, 8
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 9

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(4) WIND WINNER comes in off the back off three consecutive 3rd place finishes at this class, most recently at this distance on September 30th when settling just behind the leaders and running on well, beating three of today’s rivals in the process. He carries the same weight today, draws nicely, and has solid claims. (7) PISTOL STAR comes up in class and significantly in distance following back-to-back runner-up finishes at 1000M and 1200M. It’s a bold move but he ran on well after overcoming gate twelve on his latest effort on October 2nd, and it could pay off. (8) SMILEY LARRY is also yet to win but ran pleasingly enough on his first try at this class on September 23rd when 4th over a mile having raced handy. Expect similar tactics today and he can be in the finish. (9) SUNSHINE STAR and the up in class (2) STAR MATTA among others who may be considered for the places.

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