Racing Previews

Seoul & Busan Sunday – Breeders’ Cup Day: Race-By-Race Preview (December 2)

Korea’s champion juvenile will be crowned on Sunday as the Juvenile Series comes reaches its conclusion in the Breeders’ Cup (KOR G2) which this year, for the first time, is being run at Busan. 13 line up including the winners of both Seoul and Busan’s primary races, Dae Wan Ma and King Socks. There is a 6 race-card at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10 and an 11-race card at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00.

Dae Wan Ma Dokki Blade Gwacheon Mayor's Cup - KRA

Dae Wan Ma (1) and Do Kki Blade are at Busan to take on King Socks in the Breeders’ Cup (Pic: KRA)

  1. YEONGGWANGUI FIGHT – Never got going in the Gimhae Mayor’s. Two good wins prior to that. Not a fast starter and additional trip today may suit.
  2. TOP OF WORLD – 4th in Gimhae Mayor’s having led and tired off a stiff early pace. Three for three prior including at 1300M. Likely to lead and has a chance.
  3. WONDERFUL EVIL – Well beaten by Do Kki Blade in August but has won his latest two. Will need more here. Settles midfield.
  4. DAE WAN MA – Beat Do Kki Blade by a neck in the Gwacheon Mayor’s. Only defeat so far a DQ. Will be on pace and is one of the favourites.
  5. MIGHTY POWER – Beaten nine-lengths by King Socks on debut but has since won two of three including at a mile. Distance no issue and could be a wildcard.
  6. KING SOCKS – Dominant eight-length winner on the Gimhae Mayor’s having sat behind the fast early pace. Only defeat was on debut. Favourite here and can win.
  7. RULES ICHEON – Takes his chance having got his maiden win on his third start a month ago. Stablemate of Dae Wan Ma. Big outsider.
  8. DAEJI CHAMP – Eye-catching scores at 1300M and 1200M in his latest two, making all both times. This is much tougher.
  9. PRECEDE –Stablemate of King Socks with just two starts. Won on debut over 1000M then was beaten a head at 1300M at the end of October. Never rule out the trainer.
  10. GWONTOJUNGLAE – One win from three over 1000M. 4th place at 1300M last time makes him hard to recommend.
  11. DO KKI BLADE – Just beaten a neck by Dae Wan Ma in the Gwacheon Mayor’s. Looks to be getting better and distance should suit under likely patient ride.
  12. YEONGGWANGUI SECRET – 2nd to King Socks in the Gimhae Mayor’s, albeit beaten eight-lengths, was his first defeat. Placing chance.
  13. MYEONGPUM CHUKJE – Won his first two before running 3rd to Dae Wan Ma and Dokki Blade in Gwacheon Mayor’s. More to find.

Verdict: The winner’s of the two second legs at Seoul and Busan, (4) DAE WAN MA and (6) KING SOCKS will be favourites to battle it out here with King Socks on his home track slightly favoured. (2) TOP OF WORLD and (11) DOKKI BLADE may both appreciate the extra distance today and can be competitive while (7) RULES ICHEON and (9) PRECEDE may be the surprise packages.

Selections: (6) King Socks (4) Dae Wan Ma (2) Top Of World (11) Dokki Blade

Busan Selections

Race 1: 2, 3, 1, 9
Race 2: 8, 12, 9, 7
Race 3: 5, 8, 3, 4
Race 4: 1, 2, 7, 8
Race 6: 3, 2, 7, 8

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

Juvenile maidens to begin with and six of the eight have prior experience. (6) WIND RIVER was by some margin the best on debut, running a good 3rd over this distance on November 10th. It was a decent time and a similar performance should see her home on top today. One of the others have really impressed although (9) FULL MOON OCEAN did nothing wrong for his 6th and can improve today. Similarly (3) RAON KEVIN can be given another chance having finished 7th of 12 on his own racecourse bow. That leaves the two debut-makers as contenders. (5) MISS SUNSHINE looks the best of them, running well in a trial just last week. (2) DAEJI YEOGEOL also looked competent enough in her heat and can go well first-up.

Selections (6) Wind River (5) Miss Sunshine (9) Full Moon Ocean (3) Raon Kevin
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 3, 4, 8, 9

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

More juveniles seeking their first win with seven of them having raced once before. The one of those with the best finishing position on debut was (10) CHEONNYEON VIKING, who ran 2nd in a filly-only maiden at this distance all the way back in August. She should be in the mix again, but it wasn’t a fast race that day and she will need to improve. (9) SLING STONE ran faster in 5th on his debut last month and the recency of that perhaps makes him a better bet while (3) VICTORY KING beat a couple of the others who go here on his debut four weeks ago and should beat plenty of them again. However, for our pick we are turning to a newcomer. (8) RAON STORM looked like he meant business when running strongly in a trial at the end of October and if he brings that form to the races, he should win. Another first-time starter (4) YEOKDAE CHOEGO will also be well-backed first-up having won a trial. Watch the market with both for additional clues.

Selections (8) Raon Storm (9) Sling Stone (10) Cheonnyeon Viking (4) Yeokdae Choego
Next Best 3, 11
Fast Start 8, 9, 10, 12

Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies only here and having beaten a couple of these on her way to 2nd place at class and distance on November 4th, (8) RAON SERENA is favoured to prevail here. She’s yet to win in four outings but has never been worse than 3rd and she can come out on top today, most likely leading all the way. (3) EOMJI YEOWANG and (2) DANGDAE SONYEO chased Raon Serena home that day in 4th and 5th and they may well be the ones who pose the greatest threat here although they do have almost three lengths to make up.  (1) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON remains a maiden but is capable if finding the places in this kind of race while the same is true of (7) NAMJJOK NARA, another maiden but up in class today after a useful 3rd last time out.

Selections (8) Raon Serena (2) Dangdae Sonyeo (1) Kkeuleojuneun Son (3) Eomji Yeowang
Next Best 7, 9
Fast Start 2, 8, 9

Race 4: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) MIREU STORM has won two of her three starts so far and is up in class today looking for a hat-trick. Both her wins have come at this distance and both by leading from gate to wire and she is well-drawn for a good start and a repeat. This is a stiff test though and the primary danger – and possible favourite – is (6) CHAPEL ACE. He’s a class and distance winner and while he hasn’t been exceptional in recent outings, he comes in off a good 4th last time and looks set to got well here. (1) RAON ZEUS drops back significantly in trip following a couple of chastening experiences at 1700M and should be much better today. (5) SERA KHAN won at this distance at class 5 in September and while he only managed 6th on his first try at this level in October, he can improve today. (12) BOMBI’S KING ran a good, if slightly unexpected, 2nd last time out (the jockey got fined for returning half a kilo heavier than he weighed out) and could aim for a place again.

Selections (3) Mireu Storm (6) Chapel Ace (1) Raon Zeus (5) Sera Khan
Next Best 12, 11
Fast Start 1, 3, 7, 9

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

(9) YEOGEOL VISION came up in class following a 2nd place and a win from her first two starts before running 3rd on her first try at this level on November 4th. She’s up in trip today but she’s run on well each time and it may suit her very well. (8) LUCKY BONGHWA remains a maiden after eight attempts but since returning from five months out has registered a 4th and a 3rd in two outings and may be considered to go even better here. (1) DAE BYEONHWA’s recent form reads well and he should have placing claims. (5) CAMP TOUCH and (6) HANEULEUL DALRIDA, the latter up in class after a solid maiden win over this distance a month ago, are others in the hunt.

Selections (9) Yeogeol Vision (8) Lucky Bonghwa (6) Haneuleul Dalrida (1) Dae Byeonhwa
Next Best 5, 4
Fast Start 3, 6

Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(12) DARK PLAYER has run twice so far recording a 3rd and a 2nd. He’s run well on both occasions and with a bit more progress today, he can find his way to the winner’s circle. He’ll have to overcome the widest draw, but he looks capable. (9) PRIMO has been very solid of late, going down by a nose in July, a neck in August and a half-length in (more…)

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 1st)

December gets underway with a familiar face back in the weighing room at Seoul. Multiple Championship winner Moon Se Young returns to action with seven rides across the 13-race Saturday card (10:45 to 18:00):

de4_3987

The Moon is back (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Multiple-time Champion jockey Moon Se Young is back from a long injury spell and he could get back among the winners right away as he partners (10) REAL GANGJA, 3rd in each of his latest two. He briefly struck the front last time out before being headed late-on and he could well make the breakthrough today in similar strength company. (7) PARRHESIA steps up in trip following 2nd place over 1000M last time and can go close again while both (4) ROAD MAN and (5) PINEAPPLE MARK have sown some potential and both come in following 4th place finishes in their respective latest outings. (1) DONG JAK could be the wildcard. He’s not offered much across four starts but tries a new distance and could improve.

Selections (10) Real Gangja (7) Parrhesia (5) Pineapple Mark (4) Road Man
Next Best 1, 9
Fast Start 1, 2, 7, 11

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

Eleven maiden fillies going here and (1) QUEEN OF CAMP ran very nicely for 2nd place last time at this distance, just being beaten half a length. Given today’s draw, she’ll most likely look to lead and win. (11) WONDERFUL HEELS ran 4th in that same race, which was on October 27th, continuing her own promising start and she can match or better that today. Stiff competition can be expected too from (3) SSOARAUTS and (4) WHITE FLOWER, bot of whom have proven themselves competitive and should be in at least the placing hunt. Among the rest, (7) GEOTAP has a 3rd place to her name and while it was in weaker company than this, a repeat is not impossible.

Selections (1) Queen Of Camp (4) White Flower (3) Ssoarauts (11) Wonderful Heels
Next Best 7, 6
Fast Start 1, 6

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(9) BI PYEONG was scratched at the gate on a scheduled start in September when found to be lame and was accordingly stood-down for two months. He’d gone well in two starts before that with a 2nd and 3rd to his name and now back fit again, he may e the one to beat here. (7) COILRO ran competently enough for 3rd on debut over 1000M a month ago and could appreciate the extra trip today while (3) DALGWA GUREUM returned from five months off to run a useful 5th at this distance two weeks ago and can build on it. (1) WONDERFUL RUBY ran very greenly on her debut and with better manners should go better. There are two debut-makers and (6) JEMA TEUKGEUP, a handy trial winner in October, looks set to run well first-up.

Selections (9) Bi Pyeong (7) Coilro (6) Jema Teukgeup (3) Dalgwa Gureum
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 3, 4, 9

Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 69 Million

Juvenile maidens with just two of the eight having raced before. And both performed well with (8) BANJIUI HAMSEONG and (2) HAMYANG SANSAM running 2nd and 4th in the same race at this distance on November 4th. There was just a length and a half between them and they’ll be expected to battle it out here. Among the first-timer starters, (7) VIVA KING and (3) DONGSEO JEPAE trialled up together with just a neck separating them in a decent time. (4) CHEONROK was slightly slower than that pair but did actually win her heat and can also go well first-up.

Selections (2) Hamyang Sansam (8) Banjiui Hamseong (7) Viva King (4) Cheonrok
Next Best 3
Fast Start 4, 7

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

(8) POP STREET comes in having run 2nd when favourite at class and distance on November 10th. He led until the closing stages and finished well clear of three of today’s rivals and he is the one to beat here. (7) FINAL STORM has been a little inconsistent since reaching this level but ran a close 4th last time three weeks ago and is well drawn to get to the front early today. (1) DURGA remains a maiden after twenty attempts but equalled her best finish of 2nd on her latest start a month ago and can target a repeat. (2) DAECHEON HERO and (10) GIVEN WEEKEND are others in the placing frame.

Selections (8) Pop Street (7) Final Storm (1) Durga (10) Given Weekend
Next Best 2, 4
Fast Start 2, 5, 7, 8

Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(7) GAON FORCE is up in class following two strong 2nd place finishes including last time out at this distance and a repeat of that performance would be enough to see him win this. He’ll be a strong favourite. (8) TOHAMSAN POWER was similarly promoted to this class while still a maiden but he managed to make his breakthrough on November 4th at this level, scoring by three-lengths over 1000M. He’ll be on pace again and can make the favourite work hard to get past him. (2) LAST JACKPOT overcame some early bumping to (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 30)

This coming Sunday Busan will, for the first time, host Korea’s top juvenile race, the Breeders’ Cup.  Before that, however, there’s a 10-race card on Friday running from 11:30 to 18:00. Trainer Peter Wolsley, who is just three winners short of reaching the 500 landmark, has a couple of decent chances to get closer:

Ace Korea Wolsley KRA

Ace Korea brought up Korean winner number 497 for Peter Wolsley two weeks ago and the Australian trainer can close in on 500 this weekend (Pic: KRA)

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens to start with and seven of the twelve have raced before. The only one of those to have appeared twice prior to today is (7) DAMYANG CHOEGANG and his improved 3rd place on his second appearance on November 2nd is enough to make him the top pick here. (2) BARAMEUI KKUM finished three-lengths back that day in 4th on what was her debut and she looks like being the main danger here, possibly getting closer this time. Both will be aiming to get to the front as soon as possible. (4) DONGBANG WARRIOR was a touch disappointing on debut having been well-backed after winning a trial. He can be given another chance here. (5) ECTON STEALTH and (11) AMAZING WINNER are others with scope to improve on their respective debut efforts. Among the first-time starters, (6) DEEP MIND looks best at this stage.

Selections (7) Damyang Choegang (2) Barameui Kkum (4) Dongbang Warrior (5) Ecton Stealth
Next Best 11, 6
Fast Start 7, 2

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens with eight of the twelve having racing experience and they do look a bit stronger than those we saw in race 1. The clear top pick is (10) TOHAM ACE, who followed up a 4th place on debut in September to then run 2nd, beating a couple of these, on his was to 2nd over this distance on November 2nd. He should have too much here. (6) DOCTOR TIZ was a good 2nd on debut and while he found the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup a bit too stiff at the end of last month, he’ll be expected to go much better in more amenable company today. (8) GEUMGANG CHILBO beat the two top picks for race 1 on what was his second start four weeks ago and has to be given a chance here. (1) TITLE CODE and (4) RAON ARES are others who can step up from promising debuts.

Selections (10) Toham Ace (8) Geumgang Chilbo (6) Doctor Tiz (4) Raon Ares
Next Best 1, 3, 2
Fast Start 2, 4, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(10) HAPPY DRAGON ran a much-improved 2nd on what was his second career appearance at the start of this month with two of his rivals here back down the track behind him and a similar run today will put him right in the mix. (5) SERENDIPITER was one of those beaten that day but he came back out two weeks ago and ran a good 4th, just missing out on the places by a head, and can get closer today. (7) MARU JJANG has been knocking at the door for a while now and steps back in trip following a good 3rd over a mile last time out with claims to go close here. (9) MY TIME ran a career-best 2nd at this distance three weeks ago and his time may not be too far off. (2) GOLDEN SHARP, with a pair of 5th place finishes from two tries so far, looks best of the rest.

Selections (10) Happy Dragon (7) Maru Jjang (2) Golden Sharp (9) My Time
Next Best 5, 4, 11
Fast Start 2, 4

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) JEONSAUI JILJU has a best of 3rd place from three starts so far and has finished ahead of a few of these along the way, His 7th last time was in tougher company than this and with a top jockey aboard here, he can make the breakthrough. (3) MAGIC FLYING has shown some ability across his three outings, all of them at this distance and can be competitive here while (12) SUNDAY GLORY steps up in trip for the first time and it may well suit. (9) EDGE OF WINNER has already raced at this distance and while he has been a little one-paced to date, should have enough to challenge for at least a place. (6) BEAUTIFUL KOREA hinted at ability last time and can progress today too.

Selections (2) Jeonsaui Jilju (9) Edge Of Winner (3) Magic Flying (12) Sunday Glory
Next Best 6, 1
Fast Start 2, 5

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

It’s been almost a year since (2) NINA got her maiden win but since returning from a six-month absence in September she’s run well for 3rd and 2nd from two starts and should take some beating in this race which is restricted to fillies and mares. (3) I’M YOUR LEMON is up in class following a battling maiden win on what was just her second outing. That was a decent race for the level though and she’ll surely be a danger here. (9) QUICK MOVE won on debut in July and races for the first time since running 5th on her first attempt at this level a month later. She’ll be on pace early and can go close. (11) (more…)

Seoul & Busan Sunday: NACF Chairman’s Trophy / Gyeong DoMin Ilbo – Race-By-Race Preview (November 25)

It may not be until next week then the top hopes for the 2019 Triple Crown trail come together to decide the title of Champion Korean Juvenile in the Breeders’ Cup at Seoul but this Sunday in the capital will also give a glimpse of some potential future stars as the top imported juveniles compete for the NACF Chairman’s Trophy over 1200M. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05:

Spring Back KRA

Spring Back is one of the leading contenders for the NACF (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Last year the race was won by PK. Party, who has gone on to win seven of eleven starts to date but also featured this year’s KRA Cup Classic 3rd place-getter Moonhak Chief as well as two of the stars of the Queens’ Tour, Ttukseom Cup winner Cheongsu Yeogeol and Sky Bay, victorious in the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup.

So, who are the top contenders this time around? Spring Back looked sensational in his first two starts this summer, recording one of the fastest times of the year when winning on his second start over 1400M. He didn’t impress when 2nd on his reappearance in October though and that may open the door for others.

Since running 3rd to Spring Back on debut in July, Thank You Charlie has won three in a row, culminating in a facile six-length score at the big-race distance last month. He’s one of two Adios Charlie colts in the race – the other being Havana Charlie – and both will have plenty of backers. Kitten’s Joy colt Munhak Joy has won three out of five so far and looks a solid prospect while Wang Beotkkot was a solid winner at the distance earlier this month and looks dangerous too.

Both Medici Glory and Ultra Punch tackle six-furlongs for the first time and are others who could play a big part in the race.

At Busan, the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo highlights. It too has illustrious alumni with I’m Your Father taking victory in 2016 before going on to win the Busan Mayor’s Cup the following summer. Last year Ace Korea, who won last weekend’s Kookje News Sprint and looks to be Dubai World Cup Carnival-bound, ran 4th. Ace Korea’s trainer Peter Wolsley saddles one of the main hopes, Pro Consul while another foreign trainer Thomas Gillespie comes in with the hitherto unbeaten Mujeok Yeongung.

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(7) SATO ROYAL improved to 3rd place on what was her first try at this distance on October 27th and her third career start in total. It’s true she’s not shown much in the way of speed, but she has shown progress and with a bit more today, she can win. (8) RAON STELLA is similar in that she’s shown potential if not much swiftness across four starts to date. She’s also gone well at this trip and beat a couple of these over 1000M last time out. (6) GEUP HAENG MA steps up in trip for the first time after a decent showing in 3rd at 1000M last time and should be challenging for the early lead here. (3) GWANGPOK JUHAENG and (11) CHEONGDAM QUEENS are others who may go close.

Selections: (7) Sato Royal (6) Geup Haeng Ma (8) Raon Stella (11) Cheongdam Queens
Next Best: 3, 1
Fast Start: 6, 7, 10, 11

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens here with just three of them making their debuts. They’ll be up against it as plenty of those who have raced have demonstrated some ability. (9) SIMPLIFY ran 3rd on debut on October 27th, beaten less than a length at this distance. He ran on strongly and should have come on for it. (5) WONDERFUL BRUSH was 5th when debuting in that very same race. He was very keen at the halfway point and ran out of room slightly and he can improve today. (8) RED BLADE debuted in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup at the end of September and while that was too much too soon, he ran well for 3rd on his re-appearance last month and is likely to be well-backed here. (12) WONDERFUL MARIA also did nothing wrong when 5th on debut at this distance and is another who can get close. Of those three first-timers, (7) GEUMSUNI STAR trialled nicely and looks the most forward at this stage.

Selections: (9) Simplify (8) Red Blade (5) Wonderful Brush (12) Wonderful Maria
Next Best: 7, 11
Fast Start: 5, 6, 8, 10

Seoul Race 3: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(4) SPEED WINNER ran a good 2nd on debut over 1000M a month ago, beaten only by a very nice-looking winner, Havana Charlie, who goes in the big race later this afternoon. He ran through the line strongly and can be confident stepped up to 1300M today. He’ll be on pace from the start, as will (8) DAEGUNUI GEOM, 3rd over 1200M on his first start seven weeks ago and who looks to be the main threat. (3) GEUMSEOK DOLPA was a little slow to begin on debut on October 6th but ran on well over 1000M to finish 6th. More trip may suit here. (6) MALIBU GINGER has plenty of experience compared to the rest and while he will need to improve if he is to compete for top honours, he’s capable of beating plenty of these. There are two debut-makers and (5) INCHEON CHIEF looks a potential prospect. The Pioneerof The Nile colt has looked more than competent in two trials and could go well first-up.

Selections: (4) Speed Winner (8) Daegunui Geom (5) Incheon Chief (3) Geumseok Dolpa
Next Best: 6, 12
Fast Start: 4, 6, 8

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

(3) FIGHTING HERO got the best of a tight finish to win by a nose on debut at this distance four weeks ago. He’s up in class here but looks the one to beat. He’ll settle just behind the early leaders and look to be too strong late on. (2) MISS PYEONGCHON may have only won one of her seventeen outings to date, but she enters with strong recent form and was last seen running 3rd at class and distance with three of her rivals here behind her. She’ll be on the early speed and could win. One of those behind her that day was (7) HANIL MAGIC and he too can get a little closer this time. (5) GEUMA KINGDOM remains a maiden after three attempts but is up in class today following two runner-up finishes and a 3rd place. She’ll be competitive at this level. (11) ARABIA GONGJU looks best of the rest.

Selections: (3) Fighting Hero (2) Miss Pyeongcheon (5) Geuma Kingdom (7) Hanil Magic
Next Best: 11, 4
Fast Start: 2, 4, 10

Busan Race 1 Selections: 10 (This is New Legend, a Korean bred who ran seven times in the USA, including winning at Arlington Park in July of this year. This is his Korean debut) 6, 11, 7

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

Wildly competitive contest here. Five of these raced each other at class and distance on October 27th and it was two rank outsiders that day (3) SHADOW MONEY and (2) YEONGWONHAN SUNGAN who finished the best in 2nd and 3rd respectively. They will require more respect today although the margins weren’t huge and it’s more than possible that the best backed of them there, (11) HEUNG KKAEBI, who finished 6th, can overturn the form today. That was his first try at this distance and only his second start overall following a maiden win on debut, and he can have come on for that run. (12) SABA KINGDOM is another who can be given another chance following his latest effort. That was in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup, so this is far more amenable company and he can get close. (7) GOODCHOICE ran 3rd on his first try at this class three weeks ago and should be very much in the placing frame again.

Selections: (11) Heung Kkaebi (3) Shadow Money (7) Goodchoice (12) Saba Kingdom
Next Best: 2, 8
Fast Start: 4, 8, 10, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) SANGSEUNG DAEHAN remains a maiden after six starts but enters off the back of three consecutive 2nd place finishes, two of them at tis distance and the latest at this class. An apprentice jockey takes significant weight off his back today and he could well make the breakthrough. (10) ECTON SPEED is up in class following her maiden win which came via a six-length score over 1300M on October 26th. She made all that day, running on well and should be able to handle to rise in both class and distance. (7) (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 24)

Winter is here! It’s turned quite chilly across the Korean peninsula this week but it should still be pleasant enough in the daytime sunshine to enjoy some racing. The main action of the weekend is on Sunday when both Seoul and Busan will host big juvenile races but before that, there is a bumper 13-race card at Seoul on Saturday from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

20160228_153611.jpg

Well ok. It’s not quite this bad yet.

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(5) GREEN Y struggled when stepped up to 1300M at the end of last month but prior to that recorded her best finish so far when 2nd at this trip in September. That wasn’t a strong race, but neither is this and she’s shown more in the way of speed than most here so if she gets off to a good start, she can win. (9) DAEJI GONGJU ran an improved (although admittedly distant) 2nd last time out and can look to build on it today. She’s not the quickest of starters but can run on well. (6) DOUBLE RAINBOW has two 4th places to her name and should be beating plenty again. There are two debut-makers and of them (12) LOOKING GOOD looked competent enough in trials and can go well first-up.

Selections (5) Green Y (12) Looking Good (9) Daeji Gongju (6) Double Rainbow
Next Best 4, 11
Fast Start 5, 8, 10, 11

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

Juvenile maidens here and six of the twelve have raced before. Of those with prior experience, (5) YAHO THUNDER CAT ran 3rd behind a couple of useful looking ones (the 2nd place-getter has since gone on to win too) on October 20th. He was prominent throughout that day, is well drawn to lead, and could win this. (6) BUCKETFUL GOLD ran very greenly on his own debut back in September to the extent that Stewards placed a warning on him. Nevertheless, he still managed to finish 4th and comes back in after a couple of months off with scope to improve. The main dangers though are likely to be from the first-timers. (3) CHOIN BOLT and (7) OKAY TAP came home 1st and 2nd in an October trail with just half a length between them. They both looked competent and should go well first-up here. As ever, the market may offer some clues.

Selections (5) Yaho Thunder Cat (3) Choin Bolt (7) Okay Tap (6) Bucketful Gold
Next Best 2, 1
Fast Start 1, 5, 6

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

More juvenile maidens here with just four of the twelve having previous racing experience. Only one of those four has experience to boast about and that’s the likely favourite (9) CHEONNYEONUI BARAM. He’s raced twice and improved to 4th on the most recent of those five weeks ago, coming from well off the pace having shifted inwards and bumped another horse at the start. He ran into trouble in the home straight too so with a clean trip today, he has every chance of winning. There are two standouts among the debut-makers. (1) SUN SPIKE was the fastest in trials putting in two very solid efforts, the most recent of which was just two weeks ago. Expect him to begin well and to be a danger. (3) DORORA won a trial in good fashion at the beginning of this month and can be a threat too. (2) TANTAN WINNER and (8) MY HAWK are other first-timers who can go well.

Selections (9) Cheonnyeonui Baram (1) Sun Spike (3) Dorora (2) Tantan Winner
Next Best 8, 7
Fast Start 1, 3, 4

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Maiden fillies only here.  Four of them raced each other at this distance on October 28th and that day (8) BLACK GINGA finished the best of them coming home in 2nd place. She came from off the pace to record her best finish to date and has to be given a chance here. So too though does that day’s 3rd place-getter, (4) BANGTANMA, who was just a neck behind. She previously ran 5th in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup and should be looking to lead all the way here. (3) SUNSHIN MARINE had a poor day at the office on her latest start, beginning slowly and never being involved. She had shown ability prior to that though and can go close here. (7) DAESEONG HANEUL and (10) NEW PARADIGM have both run just the once and both showed some promise that they can build on today.

Selections (4) Bangtanma (8) Black Ginga (7) Daeseong Haneul (10) New Paradigm
Next Best 3, 1
Fast Start 4, 9

Race 5: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(5) CHANGSEONG ILHO ran solid 2nd place over 1300M two weeks ago, his best finish in twelve outings to date. He’s raced at this distance in the past and looks ready for another crack at it in what is a really weak looking contest. (7) SAMAE STAR too has run at this distance before and enters in decent form with a 4th and a 3rd from her latest two at 1200M and 1300M and she looks to be the main danger. (4) SINBIRYONG’s recent work has all been at 1000M and ran well enough for 4th last start. (1) LUCKY FACTORY and (3) MAIN EVENT are others who could potentially improve.

Selections (5) Changseong Ilho (7) Samae Star (4) Sinbiryong (3) Main Event
Next Best 1
Fast Start 3, 7

Race 6: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Class 5 fillies here. (6) GREEN DARC registered a win and a 2nd place from her first two starts before taking her chance in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup – Seoul’s top juvenile race – at the end of last month. She was found out a little there but didn’t run badly and dropping back to the minimum trip, she will be expected to return to winning ways today. (5) DAMON ANGEL won a weak filly-only race back in July before being a bit (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 23)

The final three days of racing in November in Korea gets underway at Busan on Friday with 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00:

Supernova Iji

It’s Friday! It’s Busan!

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(9) SILLAUI MISO ran a good 3rd on debut on October 5th in a fast time over 1000M. She finished only a length and a half behind the winner and stepping up to 1300M today, Thomas Gillespie’s filly can come home on top. (7) MABEOP CHEOREOM also went well on debut just two weeks ago, coming home 2nd, also at 1000M and should have come on for it. More experienced is (8) MUJEOK BEAT, who may never have finished any better than 3rd but comes in off the back of two useful efforts at this distance and may get close again. Of the two first-time starters here, (5) SPEED FURY won a trial at the end of October and is likely to be backed to go well first-up.

Selections (9) Sillaui Miso (7) Mabeop Cheoreom (5) Speed Fury (8) Mujeok Beat
Next Best 1, 11, 4
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 9

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

Twelve previous unraced juveniles – eight of them fillies – make their racecourse debuts here. The market will be the best guide and the likely favourite is (3) SPICE ROCK. She’s a half-sister to champion Triple Nine and posted the fastest time of any of these on trials and could provide jockey Francois Herholdt with his first Korean winner. She was actually the quickest by some margin but others who caught the eye in trials include (1) ONE CHANCE, who finished ahead of a couple of others who go here, and (7) DARUI BADA, who did similar. The former is likely to be on pace early along with (12) BAEJJANG, another who ran 2nd in his heat and could go well first-up here.

Selections (3) Spice Rock (1) One Chance (7) Darui Bada (12) Baejjang
Next Best 5, 4
Fast Start 1, 4, 6, 12

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) HANEOLUI BIT ran well for 3rd on his return from over six months off three weeks ago. He was prominent throughout, ultimately going down by just over two-lengths and should be on pace again with every chance of going all the way this time. (8) SISEON GANGTAL didn’t do a whole lot on debut back in August but has run well twice since then, including 3rd in a valuable race for breeze-up sale grads at the end of September. He’ll also likely be on the early speed and can go close. (3) CHOEGANG STEALTH and (1) EL DRAGON came home 4th and 5th respectively when they raced each other over 1300M on November 4th and both should be in the frame for at least some minor money today. (12) ACE CRUSH is a stablemate of Haneolui Bit and while she was beaten by Siseon Gangtal in that valuable September race, she ran well for 4th place last time out at 1000M, beating a couple of the others who go here and can be considered for further improvement today.

Selections (2) Haneolui Bit (8) Siseon Gangtal (12) Ace Crush (1) El Dragon
Next Best 3, 9
Fast Start 2, 5, 7, 8

Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) TORNADO KING returned from eight months off to run 2nd over this distance on October 26th, beating three of his rivals here in the process. He can have come on for that run and looks the one they need to beat here. He’ll be on the early speed alongside (1) HOT GIRL, whose previous two efforts at this trip didn’t go particularly well but who may be ready for another try having run a solid 2nd over 1300M a month ago. (3) KWAEHAN SINGANGJA was 4th behind Tornado King in that October 26th race, his second start back following more than three months off and he may get closer today. (7) NOVELLA tackles the distance for the first time following a 5th and a 4th in two outings to date. She’s run on well both times and the extended trip looks set to suit. (9) BICHUI HAENGJIN too tries something a bit different today and is the wildcard pick to improve.

Selections (2) Tornado King (1) Hot Girl (7) Novella (3) Kwaehan Singangja
Next Best 9, 4
Fast Start 1, 2, 8

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

(3) TANGENT is up in class having secured his maiden win on his second career start on October 26th. He only got up by a nose but then he was only beaten half a length into 2nd place on debut. There looks to be more to come from him and he’s well drawn to lead from the start. Five of the others race each other over this class and distance on that very same day. (6) MAJOR THUNDER came out on top, registering victory by a length from (5) B.K. UNO. While Major Thunder carries an extra 3kg this time, he should be involved again and if he gets to the lead, may be difficult to reel-in. (1) SHARP KING races for the first time since late August when he was a solid 3rd (in a race an out of sorts Major (more…)

Sunday Busan & Seoul: Kookje News Cup Day Race-By-Race Preview (November 18)

Doraonpogyeongseon faces off against Silver Wolf in a potentially electric renewal of the Kookje News Cup at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon. The pair are joined by up and coming prospects Today, Ace Korea and King Of Ace in what could turn out to be one of the highlights of autumn. There are 6 Sunday races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05 while at Seoul there are 11 from 10:45 from 18:00. Here are the previews with (unusually) Busan first. Horse by horse for the big race as well as for Seoul races 9-11:

SIlverWolfKNN1

Can Silver Wolf rise back to the top of the Sprint division on Sunday? (Pic: KRA)

Busan Race 1 Selections: 1, 3, 5, 7
Busan Race 2 Selections: 5, 12, 1, 3

Race 3: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) PARK MINISTER only managed 6th of 8 last time at class and distance and was beaten by (8) WHITE POINT, among others. Nevertheless, it was his first try at this class and he didn’t run badly. He’s worth another go today. (4) YEONGGWANGUI SIDAE is up in class following two smart wins over 1300M. She’s up to a mile for the first time as well but she should be able to overcome both of those things and can be dangerous. (6) BUGYEONG BOLT moves up in class too, in his case following a very good 2nd over 1300M last month. It’s his first try at a mile as well but it could well suit. It’s been a long time since (7) DONGBANG BULPAE’s solitary win but he comes in following back to back 2nd places at this class over 1200M and 1400M and he has previously gone well at this distance. He won’t be far away.

Selections (1) Park Minister (4) Yeonggwangui Sidae (7) Dongbang Bulpae (6) Bugyeong Bolt
Next Best 8, 10
Fast Start 6, 7, 9

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

(6) A PURE GOOD MAN ran out a three-length winner at class and distance on October 7th. He carries an additional 4.5kg today, and he has been a touch inconsistent, but he should have enough to see off this field. (4) MR. KOREA returned from four months off to pull off a somewhat unexpected win at the distance a month ago. His reward is to move up in class but he’s very nicely weighted and may challenge for the places. The favourite may face stiffer competition from (1) MYEONGSIN POWER and (3) GAMUNUI YEONGGWANG. The former ran well for 5th in a tougher race than this last time while the latter is second up after five months off and should improve. (8) CHIEF TIME was 6th behind A Pure Good Man last month but has since run a solid 3rd at 1000M and may get closer today.

Selections (6) A Pure Good Man (1) Myeongsin Power (3) Mr. Korea (3) Gamunui Yeonggwang
Next Best 8, 11
Fast Start 6, 7, 11

 Busan Race 5: Kookje Shinmun Cup (Listed) 1400M Weight for Age / KRW 350 Million

  1. WINNER RED – Recent form doesn’t read well although he should go better than he did when here for the Mayor’s Cup in July. Only start since 7th of 12 in class 1 handicap at Seoul and 7th would be an excellent result here.
  2. DROP THE BEAT – A winner at this distance in March before injuries kept him out for six months. Returned with 7th of 9 behind Ace Korea, Morning Daero and Perdido Pomeroy at 1200M on October 21st. Needed that run and distance should suit more here but more to find.
  3. SPEED MARK – Returned from six months off to run a good if unexpected 3rd behind King of Ace at this distance on September 16th. Top jockey gets on but plenty more is going to be needed here.
  4. TODAY – Looked set to become Korea’s top sprinter before being beaten by Doraonpogyeongseon in the SBS Sports Sprint in Seoul in June. Ran well for 3rd at Kranji a month later before struggling in the Korea Sprint in September. Don’t rule out a return to form and looked very fast in a trial last week.
  5. RICH YEOJANGGUN – Won five of her first six starts but has stalled since reaching class 2. Last ran here in August when 10th of 16 in the KNN Cup over a mile and it would be a surprise if she finished much higher than that today.
  6. DORAONPOGYEONGSEON – The top sprinter in Korea. A two-time winner of the SBS Sports Srpint and twice placed in the Korea Sprint. 2000M was an ask too much on last month’s KRA Cup Classic at Seoul but back at one turn today, if he runs to his best, he may be too good.
  7. ACE KOREA – 5th place-getter in the Korea Sprint and with the potential to usurp Doraonpogyeongseon at the top of the sprinting ranks. Didn’t get off to the best of starts on return to Busan last month but still overcame it to run a fast time in victory at 1200M. That looks to be his best trip with his only prior try at 1400M ending in 2nd place at class 3. He’s come on since then and he’ll be on pace here, that final furlong is going to be testing though.
  8. CITY STAR – Began the year with back to back runner-up finishes in Listed and Graded company but didn’t race again until last month when he completely blew the start and finished last over 1200M. Evident talent but hard to back.
  9. SILVER WOLF – Swept all before her last year but it’s been harder this term. Ran 3rd here to Doraonpogyeongseon at a mile in the Owners’ Cup before running a good 4th behind Cheongdam Dokki and Triple Nine in the KRA Cup Classic last month over 2000M. First run at 1400M in over a year, she gets a couple of kilos from most, is reasonably well drawn and with luck in running she can win.
  10. SINGIPARANG – Still at class 2 and yet to win at that level. This will be very challenging for him.
  11. KING OF ACE – Won at class 1 over this distance in September and then repeated the feat when pushed up to 1800M three weeks ago. Both times he was getting weight from rivals and he hasn’t got the ideal draw here. This is a big test for him but he looks to be getting better and better. If he gets to the front early, he has a chance.
  12. CHEONJEOK – Always takes his chance in listed or graded races but does tend to find himself overmatched. That will be the case here too.
  13. MORNING DAERO – Ran 2nd to Ace Korea at 1200M on October 21st which was a big uptick in form for him. Plenty more to find here though and he won’t be among the fancies.
  14. PERDIDO POMEROY – At one time set to become the top sprinter around, he just seems to have lost a little bit of pace recently. Always races in tough company and comes in having been 3rd to Ace Korea last month.
  15. BAEDARI BOBAE – Comes in off the longest losing streak of any of these at nineteen starts since his last win and that looks sure to be extended. Was dropped out of class 1 and despite one or two creditable recent performances, shows few signs of returning.

Verdict: 3rd in the Korea Sprint at 1200M and winner of the Owners’ Cup at a mile earlier this year, (6) DORAONPOGYEONGSEON has marked himself at as the Gold-Standard for horses in Korea over one-turn. A line can be drawn through the KRA Cup Classic last month as it can be for (9) SILVER WOLF too, although she ran rather well for 4th. Up until then, Doraonpogyeongseon had her number this year but she remains a fine sprinter and can’t be ruled out. The presence of those two makes this race a big litmus test for the up and comers. Peter Wolsley’s pair of (7) ACE KOREA and (11) KING OF ACE especially. If the race was at 1200M, Ace Korea could well be favourite but the extra furlong will be the big test here. The distance will suit King Of Ace very well and he could well pull off a surprise. The other main contender is (4) TODAY. Earlier this year he looked set to wrest the sprinting crown away from Doraonpogyeongseon but the older horse has since bested him twice at 1200M. Don’t rule him out here though.

Selections (6) Doraonpogyeongseon (7) Ace Korea (11) King Of Ace (9) Silver Wolf
Next Best 4, 2
Fast Start 2, 4, 11, 14

Race 6: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

It didn’t happen for (1) SUN DAY when sent to Seoul for the Jeju Governor’s Cup last month where she suffered her second defeat in six starts. Her previous one came on her only foray up to a mile and it’s interesting to see her sent up to 1800M for her Busan return. She has plenty of talent though and shouldn’t be ignored. It may be safer though to side with a couple who have already demonstrated ability at this class over at least a mile. (4) WONDERFUL MEMORY fits the bill having run a very good 2nd in a tough race on October 19th, beating a couple of decent ones along the way. It will be interesting to see how his front-running style works for him at 1800M, but he looks to have potential for more. (3) MORNING KOREA beat a couple of these on his way to 4th place at class and distance on October 14th. He’s only won one of nineteen but is rarely far from the money. (2) I’M YOUR MOTHER and (10) DAEHO MYEONGGA are others who could come into play.

Selections (4) Wonderful Memory (1) Sun Day (3) Morning Korea (10) Daeho Myeongga
Next Best 2, 7
Fast Start 1, 4, 5

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) CHONGAL GACHI returned from eight months off to run 5th over this distance on October 21st, running after a slow start to finish ahead of three of his rivals here. His manners were poor that day but he should have come on for that run and could well prevail here. (9) RAON BULPAE finished 6th in that race, less than a length behind Chongal Gachi and can challenge again today. (7) AQUA STROM makes a comeback of his own today following five months out. He was going well before the layoff and trialled (more…)