Author: gyongmaman

Raon The Fighter Favoured To Return To Winning Ways in Owners’ Cup

The Busan Owners’ Cup (1600M KOR-G3) is only a decade old, but the list of past winners reads like a who’s who of Korean racing with Dangdae Bulpae, Triple Nine, Power Blade and Blue Chipper all on the honours board. This Sunday at Busan a strong set of twelve gallopers compete in the 2022 edition of the race and while the defending champion Meni Hero returns, all eyes will be on Raon The Fighter as he bids to end his losing streak at two.

Raon The Fighter breezed to victory in all of his first ten starts, de-throning Eoma Eoma atop the sprinting ranks with a crushing six-length win in the SROA Chairman’s Trophy (1200M KOR-G3) last November and showing he could stay by winning at distances up to 1800M.

The bandwagon ground to a halt on Raon The Fighter’s first trip to the south-coast in the Busan Ilbo Cup (1200M KOR-G3) in April when he stumbled at the start before being ridden hard to get on terms with the leaders, to no avail as Eoma Eoma ran out a three-length winner. On his return to Seoul to defend his SROA title in May, he was bumped at the start and then engaged in a speed duel with Hit Yegam, Black Musk picking him off on the line.

Raon The Fighter gets a good draw this time and with Moon Se-young being brought in to ride for the first time, he can be backed to get it right this time.

The probable second-favourite is Success Macho. A winner of nine of his eleven starts, Success Macho was 3rd in the Mayor’s Cup (1800M KOR-G2) in May and looks to be set for bigger things. Black Musk, King Of The Match and Simjangui Godong round out the other likely market leaders.

The Busan Mayor’s Cup is the last race on a seven-race Sunday card at Busan. Here’s a rundown of the entire field:

1. SUCCESS MACHO – A winner of nine from eleven with both defeats coming in Group company including his last start 3rd in the Mayor’s Cup when from gate eleven he was on pace and wide. Much better draw today and a big chance.

2. RAON THE FIGHTER – Won his first ten but comes in off two luckless seconds in the Busan Ilbo and Seoul Owners’ Cups at 1200M, stumbling at the start in the first and then being run down late by Black Musk in the latter. He has won up to 1800M, lands a nice gate here and with Moon Se-young aboard for the first time, he is the one to beat.

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 23)

Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with 10 races from 14:50 to 21:00. Here are the previews:

Seoul runs on the afternoon and evening schedule this Saturday

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

Juvenile maiden fillies in the opener and seven of the eight race for the first time. (7) HANGANG MUSIC did enough in her trial to warrant favourite status. She led from gate to wire, crossing the line on top in a time faster than any of the others in the race achieved and if she brings that form to the races, she can win. (4) MAGIC CONCERT comes out of the same trial on May 13th when she sat handy and ran 4th. She had to contend with a wide gate that day and can get an easier run here. Experience often counts in these races and (2) ULTRA SOCKS is the only one who has it. She ran fairly on debut, finishing 6th of nine but should have benefitted for it and with natural improvement can get closer. (3) JAEWOO SIDAE and (1) APGUJEONG CHITA other first-timers who could make an impression.

Selections(7) Hangang Music (4) Magic Concert (2) Ultra Socks (3) Jaewoo Sidae
Next Best1, 6
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 7

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

More juvenile maiden fillies and once again seven of the eight are first-time starters. (5) BAEKDU MEOTJAENGI finished ahead of a couple of today’s rivals when running 3rd in a fair time in a July 1st trial. She led for much of the heat and if she can get the lead again here, she may prove hard to pass. The experienced one is (6) ARGO GONGJU. She finished last on debut but didn’t disgrace herself and with some natural improvement from that run can start to figure things out here. (8) MOON DUST trialed competently enough, sitting handy and running on. A similar run here will put her in contention. (2) SUPREME STAR and (1) GHOST WOLF are others who did enough in trials to suggest taking note of first-up here.

Selections(5) Baekdu Meotjaengi (6) Argo Gongju (8) Moon Dust (2) Supreme Star
Next Best1, 4
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 8

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

Anything could win this very ordinary maiden. (10) P N S SING has hinted at figuring things out in her recent outings. She has run a decent time at this distance and ran on well for 5thover 1300M last time out. She has as much chance as any. (2) WHIZ UP improved to 4th at start number two back in April when handy all the way. He returns off a sixteen-week layoff but could well be favourite in this company. From a good gate he should be on the pace and he has good claims. (1) DONGBANG SAGI has a 4th place at this distance and ran well for 5th in a better race than this last time. From the inside gate she can settle behind the leaders and run on. (7) INDIE POP and (11) EURO TEUKGEUP are others who could be in the mix.

Selections(10) P N S Sing (2) Whiz Up (1) Dongbang Sagi (7) Indie Pop
Next Best11, 6
Fast Start2, 8, 10, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Maiden fillies. (8) LAROMANEE looks the one to beat based on her last start runner-up finish at this distance on June 19th when she sat handy throughout. Her time that day was significantly faster than any of the others here have registered and she should have too much today. (6) MAGIC MOCCASIN has four top-four finishes from five starts to date. She has the best start among these and from a fair draw should get to the lead and be in this a long way. (5) LOST WAR is yet to win in sixteen outings but has plenty of money finishes and enters in consistent form. She can sit handy to the lead and run on for a place. (1) DONGSEO YEOGEOL led for much of the way at 1300M last time out before ultimately finishing 3rd. She can go close again. (9) PAX NURI has potential for improvement.

Selections(8) Laromanee (6) Magic Moccasin (5) Lost War (1) Dongseo Yeogeol
Next Best9, 2
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 8
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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 22)

It’s Owners’ Cup weekend in Busan and Moon Se-young is among the Seoul jockeys in town for Sunday’s big race in which he will be partnering Raon The Fighter. He’s riding on the Friday card which has 7 races from 15:35 to 21:00. Here are the previews:

It’s Friday. It’s Busan

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

(4) SPECIAL WIND stepped up to this distance at start number five on June 26th and overcame a wide draw to get to the lead, ultimately finishing a close 2nd. He comes into a much better gate today, can get an easier run early, and looks the one to beat. (6) GUREUMSOK SANCHAEK returned from six months out to run a solid 4th of nine at 1200M on June 10th. He ran through the line pleasingly enough, should strip fitter for the run and the additional distance can suit. (2) YONGCHEON comes in off his best performance to date when 4th behind Special Wind on June 26th. He draws well again and can go close. (1) ORANGE STAR and (10) DOCTOR KHALIFA are among other placing hopes.

Selections(4) Special Wind (6) Gureumsok Sanchaek (2) Yongcheon (1) Orange Star
Next Best10, 7
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(1) STAR MATTA looks to have potential. He’s been well-backed in all three starts so far and while he hasn’t quite met expectations yet, he hasn’t run badly and comes in off a useful enough 5th of ten over 1400M on July 1st. You Hyun-myung climbs aboard and while that means he doesn’t get the benefit of an apprentice claim this time, he draws well and has a chance. (6) VIEW AMAZING is the only one in the field to have placed already, something he did two starts back when 2nd over 1400M. He too steps up to a mile for the first time and it may well suit. He probably starts favourite. (3) EURO STAR too may appreciate the additional trip. She has hinted at ability in recent appearances. (2) DANGDAE BLUE and (5) MEOTJIN HARU other potentials for the minors.

Selections(1) Star Matta (6) View Amazing (3) Euro Star (2) Dangdae Blue
Next Best5, 4
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 6

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

(4) SSAEKSSAEGI returned from five months out to run a good 3rd over this distance on June 19th when handy throughout. He should have benefited from that run, can sit on pace again and can win. The probable pace-setter is (5) FUNNY LIFE. She has finished in the top-four in all but one of her five starts so far at distances up to 1300M and she should be in this a long way. (6) SUPER CRACK has the fastest time among these for the distance. He can settle back and run on here and should be a danger at the business end of the race. (2) ZET CASH comes back in trip after recent efforts over 1400M that include a runner-up finish two starts back. He draws nicely and looks a place chance. (9) WONDERFUL SMARTY another in the minor money hunt.

Selections(4) Ssaekssaegi (5) Funny Life (6) Super Crack (2) Zet Cash
Next Best9, 3
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 6
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Calm Strong Claims KNN Cup as Raon First Well Beaten

23/1 chance Calm Strong led from gate-to-wire and held off the closing pack to win the KNN Cup (1600M KOR-G3), the third leg of the 2022 Queens’ Tour at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon, with hot favourite Raon First well back down the field.

Calm Strong (right) hold off Wish Me to win the KNN Cup (Pic: KRA)

Making just her tenth career start, Calm Strong bounded out of gate eight and into the lead while Raon First, dwelt slightly and was slowly away, having to settle in an unfamiliar rear position.

While Raon First did improve to 2nd place by the top of the straight, it quickly became clear that it wasn’t going to be her day, her customary acceleration was missing and she dropped back through the field, ultimately finishing 8th.

With You Hyun-myung aboard, Calm Strong was able to hold off the determined late challenges of Wish Me and Yeonggwangui Time, taking the line a neck to the good. Filly Triple Crown winner Golden Power was 4th.

Calm Strong is a three-year-old USA-bred filly by Bayern and out of the Broken Vow mare Diva’ Seastar. Imported as a yearling, she is owned by Lee Hae-lan and trained by Kang Hyoung-gon. Sunday’s victory was just her third but takes her career earnings to KRW 329 Million (US$250,000).

As for Raon First, jockey Choi Bum-hyun reported that having loaded first, his mare had to wait a long time in the gate and then didn’t get away well. He said that having got up to join the leaders, she didn’t maintain her momentum in the way that he expected. An initial veterinary examination found no obvious issues.

The Queens’ Tour goes on hiatus again now until the end of autumn when the fourth and final leg will be the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup (2000M KOR-G3) once more at Busan on Sunday November 27.

Next weekend Busan takes centre-stage again with the Owners’ Cup (1600M KOR-G2). It’s a race that has in the past been won by the likes of Dangdae Bulpae, Triple Nine, Power Blade and Blue Chipper. Raon First’s stablemate, Raon The Fighter, is expected to run.

KNN Cup Sunday Busan & Seoul: Race-By-Race Preview (July 17)

Korea’s top mare meets the winner of the Filly Triple Crown as Raon First and Golden Power clash for the first time in the KNN Cup (1600M KOR-G3) at Busan on Sunday afternoon. It’s the final race on a 7-race card at Busan which runs from 11:35 to 17:05. At Seoul there are 10 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Raon First won the Ttukseom Cup and is hot favourite for the KNN Cup (Pic: KRA)

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

Juvenile maidens in the opener with seven of the eight making their racecourse debuts. It’s the sole one with experience though who will be the hot favourite. That’s (8) NAOL SNIPER who, following an encouraging trial, was sent off as favourite on debut over this distance on June 18th. Though on pace he had to settle for 4th, but it was a good time, and he won’t need to improve much on that to win this. (4) P N S LOOK was the fastest among the newcomers in trials. She ran a close 2nd in the heat, running on pace throughout and if she brings that form to the races, she can go well first-up. (2) DRAGON STAR beat a couple of today’s rivals on his way to winning a June 24th trial. He draws nicely here and can beat them again. (3) HAENGBOKAN MUNMAK also win a trial, overcoming a wide gate to do so and along with (7) HIGH GRAND is another to consider.

Selections(8) Naol Sniper (4) P N S Look (2) Dragon Star (3) Haengbokan Munmak
Next Best7, 1
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 8

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

(2) GRAY THOR should have too much here. After two fair showings in his first two races, he was a significantly improved runner-u p at the third time of asking over this distance on June 18th when he led almost the entire way around. He carries the same weight; he draws well, and he can go all the way this time. (3) YAMUJIN WANGCHO also comes in following a 2nd place finish at his latest start on June 26th over 1300M. He too was on pace throughout the race and today he draws much better. He can go close again. (5) QUEEN OF RACING is yet to finish in the top-two but nevertheless has six top-five finishes. With an apprentice engaged, she comes down 3kg in the weights today and should be in the finish. (6) GEONGONILCHEOK and (8) CHEONMA CHAT others in the placing hunt.

Selections(2) Gray Thor (3) Yamujin Wangcho (5) Queen Of Racing (6) Geongonilcheok
Next Best8, 4
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 7

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

Juvenile maidens get things underway on the south coast and six of the seven are racing for the first time. As so often in these kinds of races, we are going to value the experience here of (5) FANTASTIC KINGDOM. Having won a May trial, he ran a good 3rd on debut on June 24th in a good time over this distance, settling in midfield and running on well. He should have come on for that run and can win here. (4) JEOLGEOUNYEOJEONG is the clear pick of the first-time starters. She ran on very well from a handy position to comfortably win her trial in the kind of time that would win plenty of races at this class and distance. If she brings that form to the races, she has every chance.  (7) HWANGU FIGHTER ran 2nd in his trial on a wet track while (2) TAP DREAM and (3) ADELE HORANGI, the latter a trial winner, are other first-timers who could make an impression.

Selections(5) Fantastic Kingdom (4) Jeolgeounyeojeong (7) Hwangu Fighter (2) Tap Dream
Next Best3, 6
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 5

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

(7) DAPHNE should be winning this. On her return from five months out in May she parted company with her jockey but came back two weeks later on June 11th to run a solid 4th in a good time over this distance. That time was faster than anything else in this race has achieved and with Moon Se-young climbing aboard as well as the limited opposition, it would appear today is the day. (8) SWEET KAKAO needs a line drawn through her latest effort on May 29th but her form leading up to that was adequate enough to suggest she can go well here. She is up in the weights without the benefit of an apprentice claim but should be ridden forward here. (1) CUPID KOREA led over 1300M on his first start in seven months on June 11th. He ultimately weakened but should have benefited for the run and can get closer today. (5) DIVINE FUTURES and (3) GENTLE RULES other placing contenders.

Selections(7) Daphne (8) Sweet Kakao (1) Cupid Korea (5) Divine Futures
Next Best3, 2
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 8

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

Another race with a hot favourite here. (8) CAPTAIN GOLD won a May trial in fine fashion leading him to be sent off as market-leader on debut on June 3rd. He ran well and on pace but ultimately had to settle for 2nd place over this distance. He should have come on for that run and it would be a surprise were he to be beaten again. (6) ALPHA V is the logical second pick. She returned from five months out to run a good 3rd over 1200M on May 22nd when settling midfield and running on well. She’ll do the same here and will challenge at the business end of the race. (9) GEUMA UNO raced once without distinction last December but looked well when winning a June trial, leading all the way. The trainer/jockey combination will ensure he has backers. There are four first-time starters and the wonderfully named (4) I LOVE HANSEN looked well in trials and along with (2) MIGHTY STORM – who does have experience – looks a potential place chance.

Selections(8) Captain Gold (6) Alpha V (9) Geuma Uno (4) I Love Hansen
Next Best2, 11
Fast Start5, 8, 9, 10

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

Tricky maiden this. Her last start run over 1200M was slow, but she did manage to finish 2nd and that’s enough to take a chance on (2) THAT’S MY GIRL. She comes back up to a trip at which she has a run a time as quick as any here (albeit not that quick and on a wet track) and from a good draw, she can win. (9) NEW SMART has a time equal to that achieved by That’s My Girl for the distance. She too comes back up in trip after a decent showing around 1200M last time out, in her case on when 3rd on June 19th. She draws wide but should have enough speed to get a good position and she has every chance. (5) P N S THE KING showed un uptick in form when 2nd over 1300M on July 2nd. Prior to that he had a tendency to get a bit too far back in his races so that was encouraging and Song Jae-chul getting the ride will his chances no harm. (7) BITNANEUN JILJU and (8) STAR PRINCESS among others to consider.

Selections(2) That’s My Girl (9) New Smart (5) P N S The King (7) Bitnaneun Jilju
Next Best8, 6
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 9

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

Several chances here. (5) HWARANG SKY is one of three up in class following a maiden win at their respective latest starts. In her case, it came over this distance on June 19th when she beat Unju Star, who went on to record a win of his own on Friday. It was a fair time, and he can measure up in this company. (4) ANY LINE made all for his maiden win at start number fifteen on June 17th, overcoming gate ten in the process. He has run well at this distance and 1400M in the past and from a good draw can get on the speed and be in this a long way. (3) HOLLYWOOD PARTY similarly led from gate-to-wire to score on June 12th, also at 1200M. She has made good progress over her three outings to date and looks nicely in here. As for those with prior experience at class 5, (1) DOCTOR PRO came from well off the pace to run 3rd at class and distance on June 26th. He draws much better today and should be in this. (2) D’LOVELY QUEEN could compete for the minors.

Selections(5) Hwarang Sky (4) Any Line (3) Hollywood Party (1) Doctor Pro
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 7

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

(9) FURIOSA ran out a comfortable winner on debut over 1000M on June 18th having previously won a trial in a similar manner. She comes up in class and in trip here, but the manner of that victory suggests more to come, and she can win again. The main danger looks set to be (11) LAST PUNCH. She has plenty of experience at this level with two placings including her last start 3rd over 1300M. She went back that day and ran on, and similar tactics might be expected here form the wide gate. (6) MYEONGJIN CANDY is up in class after an all the way win over 1200M on June 19th. The same apprentice jockey keeps her weight nice and low, and she can be a danger here again. Disregard the last start from (4) DAEMUL as it was in the Korean Derby. He returns to shallower waters today and can be competitive. (5) CLOUTER among numerous others with genuine placing hopes.

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 16)

The afternoon and evening racing season continues at Seoul on Saturday with 10 races from 14:50 to 21:00. Here are the previews:

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

Juvenile maidens kick things off with six of the eight racing for the very first time. There are a couple of promising newcomers but experience can often count in these races we’ll side with (1) LUCKY POWER, who ran a decent enough 3rd on debut at this distance on June 18th when handy throughout. He should have benefitted for that, draws nicely on the inside, and can win here. (8) WONPYEONG TOWN ran fairly for 5th on his own debut in a fast race on the same day. He too should have come on for the run and with some natural improvement get closer today. The stand out first-timer is (5) RAON GIANT. The Musket Man filly made all to win her trial and if she brings that form to the races, she can win. (6) ULTRA GALAXY and (4) LONDON BISANG others who look promising first-up.

Selections(1) Lucky Power (8) Wonpyeong Town (5) Raon Giant (6) Ultra Galaxy
Next Best4, 3
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 5

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

Competitive maiden. (2) MUSTANG CHARM has shown good consistency across her six starts including a good runner-up finish over this distance two starts back. She draws a nice gate here and could get an easy run to the lead. Today can be her day. (4) AL SIMON has hinted at figuring things out across her latest couple and ran a good time when 4th at this distance on June 4th. She can settle behind the early leaders here and she has the fastest final furlong average time of any of these. Apprentice jockey Lee Sang-gyu takes his first race ride here and it is a promising one. (1) TIZ FIGHTING comes in having run a much-improved 2nd over 1300M on June 11th. He comes into a good gate here and Lee takes a full 4kg off his back. (8) TOP POSITION and (9) HANGANG DOLPUNG others in the frame.

Selections(2) Mustang Charm (4) Al Simon (1) Tiz Fighting (8) Top Position
Next Best9, 7
Fast Start2, 6, 7, 8

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(3) MARUMA comes in off back-to-back 3rd place finishes, both at this distance and both in good times. He was on the pace in those races and from a good draw, he should be able to get to the lead and this time can win. (4) DONGBANGUI HON has been knocking on the door in his latest few outings with a pair of 3rds and a pair of 4ths. At his last start he beat a couple of these on his way to 3rd place over this distance and he should be in the mix again. (2) CLAIR POWER got a long way back in his first two races, before running on well late. On his third appearance on July 3rd, he settled closer, albeit in a smaller field, and he ran an improved 2nd. He’ll be a danger here. (1) HANEUL A has steadily improved over her four starts and along with (8) GLOBAL PRIME, is another to enter the calculations.

Selections(3) Maruma (4) Dongbangui Hon (2) Clair Power (1) Haneul A
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start1, 3, 7, 8

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

Wide open race with plenty having credible winning claims. We’ll give the nod to (7) WONDERFUL SAM based on her last start 2nd at class and distance on May 22nd when she settled midfield and then ran on strongly. That was in restricted filly company but a similar run will put her firmly in the mix here. (4) SAINT LUCCA got his win at this distance when ridden on pace. He has mixed his form in three outings since but ran a good 3rd, again over this trip, on June 12th and if he can be ridden forward from a good gate today, he can go close. (2) SILVER STAR has outperformed her odds in her latest two running 4th and 3rd, both at this distance. She was beaten by Wonderful Sam last time out but can be competitive here. (11) NUBIGO and (8) THE FIGHTING among others to consider in a race of many chances.

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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 15)

The summer racing season continues on this weekend and the action gets underway at Busan on Friday with 7 races from 15:35 to 21:00. Here are the previews:

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A maiden to kick things off and it’s wide open. (3) UNJU STAR has as good a chance as any following a decent 2nd place at this distance on June 19th when close to the pace throughout. That’s not the first time he has hinted at having some ability and he also has the fastest time among these at the distance. (2) PURE MAGIC has a 5th and a 2nd from two starts so far. He draws nicely and will be expected to lead here and be in the mix a long way. (10) TRIPLE THUNDER has mixed his form a little across five starts so far and we’ll draw a line through his latest and instead go on his good 2nd at this distance in May. He has a strong finish so the wide draw may not be too inconvenient. (11) LET IT GO and (9) POLE TO WIN are among others who can be competitive.

Selections(3) Unju Star (2) Pure Magic (10) Triple Thunder (11) Let It Go
Next Best9, 1
Fast Start1, 2, 9, 11

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Another competitive maiden. (4) MILK DAY has put in some consistent performances recently and looks to be working up towards a win. He likes to sit back in his races and then run on and he shapes as the one to beat here. (11) BOUNTY HUNTER came very close to getting his maiden win on his latest start on July 1st when leading for a long time only to get overhauled on the line. That gives him another crack at this level and under a relatively light weight again, he looks a place chance. (7) S. L. KING has actually won a race but because it was back when racing was being run for vastly reduced prize money, he is still at class 6. That win was over a mile all the way back in April of 2021 and he hasn’t raced since. He looked very well in a trial in June and in this company can go well first-up. (8) SORI TAEPUNG and (3) AGAIN HELEN others in the frame.

Selections(4) Milk Day (11) Bounty Hunter (7) S. L. King (8) Sori Taepung
Next Best3, 10
Fast Start1, 8, 9, 10

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Having secured his maiden win over 1000M last October, (3) JEONGMUN DRAGON was out of action until June 17th. He returned very handily though, with a front-running 2nd over this distance. He comes up in the weights today but should have come on for that run and from a good draw can be on pace and is very much the one to beat. (5) GLOBAL CHOEGO comes back in trip following recent good work at further. He got his maiden win three starts back over 1300M before finishing 4th and 3rd in two goes at 1400M. He has a runner-up finish to his name at this distance too and he looks to be the main danger. (1) JUMAL BOBAE has only missed the top three on one of six starts so far. That was his latest at 1300M but he comes in here after three months out and from a good draw can go close. (6) UNJU OCEAN and (8) BABEL PHOENIX are other placing chances.

Selections(3) Jeongmun Dragon (5) Global Choego (1) Jumal Bobae (6) Unju Ocean
Next Best8, 2
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 7

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

(3) EUNSEONG YEONGUNG comes in having won his latest two in good fashion, the most recent at this class and distance on June 17th. He comes up significantly in the weights here although that is balanced a little by a good draw and he has every chance of making it three in a row. Also looking for three in a row is (10) HAENGBOKAN HAMAN. She is up rapidly in class after consecutive victories over 1300M. She carries a light weight and can measure up at this level. (6) BEASTLY is two starts into a comeback following almost a year on the sidelines. Those two outings have yielded a 4th and a 3rd, the latter at this distance and he could well be peaking today. (5) NAMED is up in class after a good win over 1300M on June 12th. He carries a light weight and draws well and should be competitive. (2) SEOGWI POINT among others to consider.

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Ilgan Sports Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (July 10)

The Listed Ilgan Sports Trophy is the feature race on a day where there are 10 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 7 at Busan from 11:35 to 17:05. Here are the previews:

Last year’s Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup winner Eodigana is among those in the Ilgan Sports Trophy (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Tricky maiden to open with. Without too much confidence, we’ll side with (5) LONDON MYEONGGA. He has hinted at figuring out what to do in his latest two, running 5th both times over 1300M and 1200M. Moon Se-young getting booked today may suggest this is his time. (1) PERFECT TIME was a significantly improved 2nd when stepped up to this trip on June 5th. She settled back and ran on well in a fair time that time and won’t need to improve much to go very close here. (7) GLOBAL STORM ran a solid 3rd at this distance on June 11th and from a similar gate and against similar calibre opposition can be competitive again. (6) RESERVED JOHN and (3) LAST CALL others to consider.

Selections(5) London Myeongga (1) Perfect Time (7) Global Storm (6) Reserved John
Next Best3, 2
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 8

Seoul Race 2: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Competitive race featuring six fillies and one gelding. (2) BAEKDU MIIN ran out a very pleasing gate to wire winner over this distance on debut on May 28th, overcoming a wide draw to lead. She comes up in class here but is down in weights and comes into a better gate with solid claims of maintaining her 100% record. The primary danger is (4) OLD START who comes back in trip having led for much of the way around 1400M at his latest outing on May 14th. He has run good times at this distance and will be expected to be on the lead again here. (3) NANA LAND too is another who has put in some decent times at the distance and while she can get a bit far back in her races, should be competitive here. (5) GO GO STAR beat Nana Land when they faced one another on June 11th. That was an uptick on recent form, but she shouldn’t be ruled out. (7) HAPPY NEWMA comes up in class off a slightly unexpected all the way win over this distance back in April and may measure up.

Selections(2) Baekdu Miin (4) Old Start (3) Nana Land (5) Go Go Star
Next Best7, 6
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 7

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

Seven juveniles make their racecourse debuts here so it’s to the trial videos that we head. We find that (6) GOLD ROSE was the most convincing in her heat, making all to cross the line well ahead of the rest in a fair time over the 1000M. If she brings that form to the races, she will be hard to beat. (5) BUILD UP ran 2nd in his trial but it was in a time almost as fast as that of Gold Rose. He settled back and ran on and is set for a bold showing first-up. (7) I’M KING IJI made all to win his heat. The time was touch slower than some of today’s rivals but nevertheless, he di what he needed to do and should have come on for the experience. (3) PISTOL STAR posted the quickest time of any of them in trials. It was a fast heat on a wet track but should stand him in good stead here. (1) THUNDER CROWN didn’t disgrace himself either and draws nicely on debut.

Selections(6) Gold Rose (5) Build Up (7) I’m King Iji (3) Pistol Star
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 7

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

Three main ones in the frame here but his last start 2nd at class and distance is enough to tip the balance toward (3) NAMSAN CHOCOLATE. She does come up in the weights by 2kg from that day when she settled behind the lead and ran on behind a good winner, but that’s balanced a little by a better gate and today can be here day. (7) TIZ SUCCESS comes up in class following a 2nd place on debut followed by a win, both at today’s distance. She has raced handy to the lead both times and while this is harder, she is lightly weighted and can measure up in this company. (8) BLUE CHARM is yet to win in fifteen starts but has been consistently close. He comes back in trip and should be a danger here running on. (1) M J TIME and (5) GOLDEN SCOOP, who has won a trial since her latest outing, are others to consider.

Selections(3) Namsan Chocolate (7) Tiz Success (8) Blue Charm (1) M J Time
Next Best5, 4
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 7

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

After an indifferent debut, (6) HANEUL JILJU has, over three subsequent outings, looks very much as though she is working towards a maiden win with a 4th, 3rd and a 2nd. She has led in all those races, will surely do so again here, and this time she should come out on top. It took (1) PHANTOM QUEEN a little bit longer to show that she is figuring things out but her form in her latest two certainly reads well with a 4th and a 3rd. She doesn’t benefit from an apprentice claim today but that’s countered by having Seo Seung-un climb aboard and she should be running on late. (5) SIMON TOP GUN has mixed her form across her thirteen starts so far. She is yet to finish in the top-three but has plenty of minor money finishes and in this company can be looking for a best result to date. (2) DOCTOR PERSIA and (4) BOOMY STAR others who may be competitive.

Selections(6) Haneul Jilju (1) Phantom Queen (5) Simon Top Gun (2) Doctor Persia
Next Best4, 9
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 9
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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 9)

The summer racing season continues at Seoul on Saturday with a 10-race afternoon and evening card that runs from 14:50 to 21:00. Here are the previews:

The lights will be on at Seoul Raecourse again this Saturday evening

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

Juvenile maidens here with five of the seven racing for the first time and one of the two experienced ones is set to be hot favourite. That’s (2) WORLD KING MAN, who produced a strong 2nd on debut on June 18th over this distance when sitting behind the speed and running on in a good time. He was well beaten by a good winner but showed enough to suggest that he won’t need to improve very much to take some beating here. The other experienced one is (6) ARGO TAP, who ran out of steam in the closing stages having led for much of the way around on May 28th. He should have come on for that run and with a good apprentice jockey taking significant weight off, he can get closer. Pick of the first timers is (1) TOHO SKY. He significantly improved on his second trial, leading all the way around in a fair time. He draws nicely to get a good early position here and can be in this a long way. (4) GEUMBITMA and (7) RAON FOREST others to look out for first up.

Selections(2) World King Man (6) Argo Tap (1) Toho Sky (4) Geumbitma
Next Best7, 3
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 6

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

Three-year-old maidens. (6) CHAPEL PRINCESS is the one to beat. She has a 4th and a pair of 5th place finishes from three starts so far, all at this distance and in the process has registered a faster time than any of the others in the race. On her latest outing she led and beat a couple of today’s rivals and from a fair draw should be on pace again and go all the way. (9) TANSAN beat a couple of these when 4th on debut in April and then ran a creditable 5th on her reappearance on June 4th. She has gone well back both times before running on and that style suggests the draw isn’t an issue and she can be a danger in the closing stages. After that pair, the form drops off significantly. (1) VINCERO KING with the benefit of a claim and the inside gate looks the logical third-pick while it’s possible (5) HANGANG HERO and (2) BEST FALCON could improve.

Selections(6) Chapel Princess (9) Tansan (1) Vincero King (5) Hangang Hero
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start2, 4, 6, 7

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

Tricky maiden with many offering light claims but few convincing. (10) WONDERFUL MUSIC looks as good as any. She has a 4th and a 5th from two outings so far and while her times have been nothing special they can measure up here. Her running style suggests the draw isn’t a problem and with a bit of improvement she could win. (5) CHANCELLOR is the only one of these to have placed, something he achieved two starts back over this distance, and that should be enough to send him off as favourite here. From a good draw, he’ll be on pace. (9) THUNDER NURI has the best time among these at the distance, recorded on a sloppy track in March, and while her subsequent form hasn’t been convincing, she may be worth an each-way interest here. (3) GRACE LEE, who raced twice indifferently last year, could be a better prospect this time, having won a June trial, and (1) SUMMER ACE others in the frame.

Selections(10) Wonderful Music (5) Chancellor (9) Thunder Nuri (3) Grace Lee
Next Best1, 6
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 10

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Fillies only here and it’s hard to look far past (5) HIDDEN BLADE. Having trialed up well at the second attempt in April, she debuted on June 4th and ran a close 3rd in a good time at this distance having settled midfield and ran on. She should have come on for that experience and with some natural improvement today, she should win this. (6) LUCKY INDY didn’t get off to a good start on her latest appearance on April 17th when beaten by a couple of today’s rivals. The time before though she was an on pace 2nd and having returned from a couple of months off and with a better break, she can get close today. (3) ZELOS was a much-improved 2nd on June 12th at this distance. From a good draw, she can keep her momentum going today. (9) RALLY QUEEN and (4) GEOSEN GANGJA others who can place.

Selections(5) Hidden Blade (6) Lucky Indy (3) Zelos (9) Rally Queen
Next Best4, 2
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 6

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

(2) INVICTUS was a good winner over 1200M at class 6 level three starts back and has subsequently run competently enough for 4th and 5th in two tries at this level over 1400M and 1300M. She stays at the same weight, draws a nice gate, and has claims here. The main danger is (7) BYEORAK. His solitary win came at this distance in January and he comes in having run a class and distance 5th on his latest start on June 18th. Moon Se-young climbs aboard and he is sure to have backers today. (5) THE FAVORITE once again won’t have that status but while she is yet to win in seven attempts, she has five top-four finishes. She likes to be on pace so draws well and carries a light weight. (8) CHADOL RUN comes up in class having secured her maiden win over 1200M a month ago and along with (6) LONDON QUEEN can be considered for the minors.

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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 8)

The second weekend of the night racing season kicks off on Sunday with a 7-race program at Busan from 15:35 to 21:00. Here are the previews:

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

Maidens to open proceedings. (3) CHOEGANG FORCE was a touch disappointing last time out on June 3rd when he took a bump at the start and was always at a disadvantage from there on although the margin of defeat wasn’t huge on the line. Before that he had been consistent and while he has tended to get to far back in his races, he runs on well and today can be his day. (2) THE PRINCESS enters off three consecutive 4th place finishes. She doesn’t have an apprentice claim today but gets Franco Da Silva aboard and from a good draw, should be looking for her best finish to date. (7) DOCTOR PENTAGON has hinted at figuring things out with a last start 3rd over 1200M on June 17th. He steps up to this trip for the first time and it may well suit. (9) GLOBAL CATCHER and (5) GRAPHENE KING others in the hunt.

Selections(3) Choegang Force (2) The Princess (7) Doctor Pentagon (9) Global Catcher
Next Best5, 1
Fast Start5, 7, 8, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

The second division of the maiden in a competitive race with two standouts. We’ll side with (1) MY SONG, who comes in having run 2nd and 4th in her latest two, both at 1300M. Park Jae-i takes the ride today, she draws well and the additional half furlong can be to her benefit. The main danger is (7) ZET CASH. He has experience of this distance already including a runner-up finish at it on his latest appearance on May 20th. His times haven’t been fast but he likes to settle back and run on and he will surely be in the finish here. (8) NAREUCAT is another who goes back and runs on. She has a 3rd place to her name at this distance and that’s enough to bring her into the calculations. (3) GOLDEN POINT improved at start number three and can build on that here while (9) YEONSEUNG GLORY is another in the placing frame.

Selections(1) My Song (7) Zet Cash (8) Nareucat (3) Golden Point
Next Best9, 2
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 4

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

A small field tackles the two-turns. It’s hard to go too far past (3) HERO MAN. Two starts back on June 10th he ran 2nd at class and distance when handy throughout and then beat a couple of today’s rivals when 5th at a mile on June 24th. Though this will be his fifth start in eight weeks, an apprentice claim brings him down significantly in the weights today and he he’ll be the one they need to beat. (1) MY PAL got his maiden win two starts back on June 3rd over a mile and then ran 6th behind Hero Man on his first go at this class on June 24th. He tries this distance for the first time though his running style suggests it can suit and from a good draw and under a light weight, he can go close. (2) ANNIKA GIRL is yet to win in fourteen attempts but has eight top-five finishes. She too attempts two-turns for the first time and while she may find one or two too quick again, she can be competitive. (4) ADELE SMART and the veteran (5) FINAL FRONT are others to consider.

Selections(3) Hero Man (1) My Pal (2) Annika Girl (4) Adele Smart
Next Best5, 6
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 6

Busan Race 4: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

A winner of five from eleven in total, (7) GALAXY ROAD returned from almost six months out to run a solid 2nd at class and distance on June 5th, racing handy to the lead throughout. He should strip fitter for that run, he only comes up 1kg in the weights and he can win here. (2) GALLANT WARRIOR comes up in class following back-to-back wins over this distance at class 4 level, both from on pace. He comes sown significantly in the weights and can measure up in this company. Also up in class following two consecutive wins is (6) HAPPY WOMAN. Her wins came over a mile and while this is harder, she can be competitive under a light weight. Another up in class but down in weight is (3) ADELE CROWN, following three consecutive runner-up finishes, one over this distance. (5) ECOPIA another who can enter the calculations.

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