Racing Previews

Seoul Saturday: Antonio da Silva Debuts – Race-By-Race Preview (May 27)

There’s a new foreign jockey in town and he’ll be in action on Saturday at Seoul where there are 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. English race cards here.

RH5_5124

Antonio Da Silva on a previous visit to Seoul

29-year-old Antonio Davielson Correira da Silva is from Brazil. He rode in his home country for 11 years, mainly in Sao Paulo and notched up over 700 winners including several Brazilian Group races.

He moved to Singapore in the summer of 2015 and enjoyed a successful stint at Kranji, even coming to Korea last year to partner Super Winner in the Korea Sprint.

Da Silva, who will be called “Antonio Davielson” in the Korean race cards, has a busy opening weekend in Seoul with six rides booked on Saturday and three on Sunday.

Notes on races to be simulcast overseas belows:

Race 5: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million 

1. LITTLE ANGELS – Yet to win in 22 but was 3rd at odds of 140/1 last start. More respect today but still an outsider.

2. LEAD UP – An all the way winner at the distance in April and then 3rd on first try at this class three weeks ago. With a quick start, she has a good chance here.

3. SUAN STAR – Last in slow effort on only start of 2017 so far at the end of April. Not devoid of talent but hard to back here.

4. SHINE QUEEN – Has been getting progressively further away in six outings at this class but may appreciate the drop back to the minimum distance today.

5. GANGCHONUI ACHIM – Hasn’t won in 5 attempts but has been close. 2nd on both tries at this distance. (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 26)

10 races at Busan on Friday from 11:30 to 18:00. English race cards are here. Notes on simulcast races are below:

9b (1)

Marios Mina was among the winners last Friday – can he repeat this week? (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million 

1. CHOEGANG FORCE ONE – Got his maiden win by 8-lengths on April 28th, making all on what was his second start. Up in class here but every chance again.

2. SEOGANGDAERO – 4th and a 3rd in two efforts so far at this class and should be close today.

3. BAROGA – Not too far away in five tries at this class. Steps back in trip following 6th place over a mile three weeks ago.

4. OPEN THE SKY – Highly thought of last year, he’s been gelded and returned from six months off to win by 10-lengths two weeks ago. Up in class and looks the one to beat.

5. MANGANG – Has found the money at class and distance but was a slightly disappointing 8th of 11 last start. (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 19)

The weekend’s action in Korea gets underway with a 10-race card on Friday with the first at 11:30 and the last at 18:00. English race cards can be found here. Notes on races to be simulcast overseas are below:

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRA 22 Million 

1. VICAR OF THE SUN – Improved 4th on his 2nd start on April 14th and will be better backed today.

2. RISING DERBY – Improved start on his 2nd start on April 21st. Ran on well and steps up to the distance for the first time.

3. GEUJIKOJI – 6th behind Sinbihan Jilju last up. Finished off well but has a bit to find.

4. YES QUEEN – Plenty of experience but little suggest a first win is on the cards.

5. ASTRA – Best of 4th so far. 6th of 11 last time and could improve today. (more…)

Seoul Derby Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 14)

Sunday is Korean Derby Day 2017! (preview here). There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. There is also a 6-race card at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10. English racecards can be found here. Notes on Seoul races below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

1. SUN SMART – Improved 3rd last time and big chance to go better here.

2. ILDEUNG YEOGEOL – Never better than 5th in seven outings. Looks fifth choice today too.

3. MINDEULRE CHUKJE – Slight improvement in three goes to date. Needs more here.

4. CHODONG RACE – 5th on debut a month and can have come on for it. (more…)

Korean Derby 2017 – Preview

A confident Darryl Holland couldn’t have been more emphatic: “I wouldn’t swap my mount” the jockey declared as he prepared to partner Indian King in Sunday’s Korean Derby (KOR G1) at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon. The KRA Cup Mile winner heads into the race looking to add the 2nd leg of the 2017 Korean Triple Crown to the first jewel he won at Busan a month ago.

Indian King

Indian King and Darryll Holland winning the KRA Cup Mile (Pic: KRA)

Meeting the media, Holland bristled at any suggestion that the 75/1 Indian King’s Cup Mile victory was down to chance. “I don’t think there was any fluke about the win because he did it the hard way”, he said of Indian King taking up the running a long way out and staying on to win by half a length from the fast closing Royal Ruby. Nor will the distance or the outside gate be an issue: “We’ve got one furlong more to go and I don’t think that will present a problem…I don’t think the gate is a big problem. I’ve rode in enough big races all around the world to overcome it.”

Nevertheless, as much as Holland praised his horse, many observers felt at the time that the decisive factor in the race was the jockey himself and Indian King isn’t expected to start as favourite for Sunday’s showpiece. Royal Ruby, runner-up in the mile, returns again and the Peter Wolsley trained colt is set to be a big danger again as is 3rd placed American Power whose jockey Francisco Da Silva senses an opportunity to turn things around: “There was only half a length between Indian King and my horse. Royal Ruby was there as well and I expect those three to fight again. 1800M is no problem”.

In the Cup Mile those three were five lengths clear of pre-race favourites Daeho Sidae and Final Boss. Cypriot jockey Marios Mina will get the leg up on Daeho Sidae for the first time and was in good spirits. “My horse is in great condition and training very well” said Mina, “the last race wasn’t the best of him”. It wasn’t the best of Final Boss either who didn’t enjoy travelling to Busan and arrived in the parade ring looking a shadow of the horse who had won his two tune-up races in explosive fashion but may be better back on home sand. Here’s that Cup Mile:

There are ten runners in total in the Derby:

1. Lion Rock – He was undefeated heading into the Cup Mile but stumbled coming out of the gate and was never involved. There is still a feeling that we may not see the best of him until later this year. He’s a full-brother to Triple Nine, who ran at the Dubai World Cup Carnival. If he gets away ok this time, he is expected to sit handy.

2. Daeho Sidae – Commanding wins over 1800M and a mile saw him sent off as slight favourite in the Cup Mile but he wasn’t able to reproduce the kick in the home straight that he has shown before and ended up 4th. Better is possible. Likely to settle in the rear of midfield.

3. Taeyangui Sinhwa – A stablemate of American Power, he didn’t run in the Cup Mile. A good winner over 1400M a month ago, this is his first try at further so there are some unknowns and he is the second string. Was beaten by Indian King in March. In his races so far, he has settled in midfield.

4. Adele Ace – A stablemate of Daeho SIdae he gets to take his chance having scored a seven-length win over a mile on April 7th. It was all the way down at class 5 though and it was his maiden triumph. Looks to have plenty to find. He has tended to settle handy or in midfield.

5. American Power – Just a head behind Royal Ruby in the Cup Mile on what was just his second start of the year having been surprisingly beaten in the first of them. He won all three as a juvenile. From Busan’s top stable, he will be very well supported and may start as favourite. Not usually the quickest of starters, it’s his first try at the distance but he should get back.

6. Final Boss – Last year’s champion juvenile didn’t look himself at Busan for the Cup Mile but despite that, he still finished off the race very well, quicker than all but Royal Ruby and American Power in the final furlong having travelled poorly for the first half of the race. He won at this distance with dismissive ease in February. It will be important to see him in the parade ring. Expected to be on the early pace today.

7. Muhan Yeoljeong – A touch unlucky in the Cup Mile, never really finding a run and ending up in 7th place, he had been very impressive in beating some useful horses over a mile in his preparation. 3rd behind Final Boss and Daeho Sidae in the Championship Juvenile race last December. Runs best when on or close to the early speed.

8. Jangsan Power – He didn’t go to the Cup Mile but won three consecutive races between January and March. 3rd on his first try at 1800M last time, running on well. Most likely be ridden in a forward position today.

9. Royal Ruby – There weren’t high hope of him as a 2-year-old but he won three races in a row to begin 2017 including twice at this distance beating some good horses along the way. Almost got up in the Cup Mile. Barrier is irrelevant as he’ll get back and Aussie trainer Peter Wolsley has a big chance of winning his first Derby. He will likely settle towards the rear of the field.

10. Indian King – The Cup Mile winner may not start as favourite but don’t rule him out. He ran on strongly at the end having led for a decent portion of the race. As before he’ll most likely settle in midfield and if the opportunity comes, there’s no reason why he can’t take it.

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 12)

It’s Derby weekend! The big race is at Seoul on Sunday afternoon and we’ll have plenty of build up over the next couple of days. Before that, however, there is the regular Friday card at Busan to negotiate and it features 10 races from 11:30 to 18:00. English race cards can be found here while notes on races to be simulcast overseas are below:

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

1. JIBONG YEONGUNG – Decent 4th over 1200M in March but well back behind Sharp Bell last start.

2. CHOEGANG BOLT – Last of nine on debut in February and sent back to trial. Nothing special in the trial but the yard is to be respected so improvement today is possible.

3. SHARP BELL – Much improved 4th latest over a muddy track on April 7th. Could look to match or better that here.

4. JUNE MORNING –2nd at 1200M a month ago on just her second start, running on nicely. Strong chance here.

5. MADOBIYEON – Offered little in six starts so far although his most recent, a 5th of 11 on first try at this distance, was his best to date.

6. CHEONGCHUN DAERO – 4th in a slow race in January but last of 11 on only subsequent outing three weeks ago. (more…)