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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 29)

It’s the final weekend of racing before the “Chuseok” holiday one-week break and that means it’s big fields all round! Twelve runners in every race at Busan on Friday. 10 races from 11:30 to 18:00:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 55 Million

We get underway with twelve first-timers here. (8) BLUE FLAG is a “full” sister to Gyeongbudaero, one of the best Korea-bred horses in recent years. Her other three-half-siblings have all been winners as well and she could well kick-off her career with victory today having trialed up well. Main danger looks set to be (4) CHEONYEONUITAEYANG who went through a second trial earlier this month and looked to have come on considerably since originally qualifying in August. Others to catch the eye prior to debut are (12) MAJOR ALPHA and (7) APPLE GOLD, both of whom put in decent times in their heats.

Selections (8) Blue Flag (4) Cheonyeonuitaeyang (12) Major Alpha (7) Apple Gold
Next Best 2, 10, 11
Fast Start 4, 7, 8, 12

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Tricky maiden this but a few of them have started to show some signs of improvement. (9) BLESS YOU comes in following three solid performances in slightly tougher company than this and the step up in distance for the first time could be exactly what she needs to make the breakthrough. (4) GHOST WARRIOR has already shown ability at this distance with a 2nd and a 3rd place. He’s not a quick starter but should get up to come close again. (12) DAEHO MYEONGGA was a much improved 2nd on his own first try at the distance last start while (6) SEDA and (10) QUEEN STEALTH are among others who could find some more today.

Selections (9) Bless You (4) Ghost Warrior (12) Daeho Myeongga (10) Queen Stealth
Next Best 6, 11
Fast Start 2, 9, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 55 Million

Only one of these has raced before and he did ok. (7) THUNDER STRUCK was 3rd of 12 on September 1st having previously impressed in trials and that’s enough for him to be favoured to get the job done here. Pick of the first-timers is (1) SUMMIT TODAY. She won her trial by nine lengths despite a steady start and 1200M looks the ideal debut distance for her. Distant 2nd in that heat was (5) WHINNY WING and he too could go ok first up although (12) DORAON SAEGANGJA, who beat a couple of these when winning a trial at the start of the month, is likely to be a little more favoured. Also winning a trial was Thomas Gillespie’s (8) HANEOL GONGJU and she is another to keep an eye on.

Selections (7) Thunder Struck (1) Summit Today (8) Haneol Gongju (12) Doraon Saegangja
Next Best 5, 11
Fast Start 3, 7, 12

Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(7) ADELE HERO returned from almost six months off at the start of September to put in his best performance to date, running 3rd on what was his first try at a mile. He’s the slight pick to go two better this time. (6) CAPTAIN GUY is the least experienced in the race with just the one outing behind him. He was slowly away but flew home over 1000M on September 1st to finish 4th, albeit some way behind the first three. He gets to stretch out in distance today and may get much closer. (8) GOOD PARK hasn’t been too far away and is another who may benefit from the step up in trip while the same applies to (10) MANSUN. One who does have experience at this distance is (11) ROYAL TRIPLE and she too may be considered here.

Selections (7) Adele Hero (6) Captain Guy (8) Good Park (11) Royal Triple
Next Best 10, 12
Fast Start 1, 6, 8

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

She has been a touch inconsistent over her seven outings so far but (3) PERFECT DIVA comes in having landed her second runner-up finish on September 1st and looks set to finally get her maiden win here. She won’t lead from the gate but so long as she is handy early, she can win. (6) GABO QUEENS has lost her way slightly in two outings since she beat three of these on her way to her maiden victory in May but she can return to some (more…)

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 26)

The final day of evening racing for 2017 is about to get underway at Seoul Racecourse. There are 12 Saturday races from 14:00 to 21:00. Here are the (brief) simulcast race notes:

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

Twelve first-timers going here and a few of them stood out in trials and work. (8) FIRE WIND was the most impressive, winning her trial in a fast time and she’s the likely favourite. Both trainer and jockey are in form and can get underway with a win here. (9) DAE BYEONHWA is the mount of champion jockey Moon Se Young and was actually quicker in trials than Fire Wind and is sure to be backed while others who caught the eye are (3) RAON ALICE and (2) SIMPLE RULES.

 

Selections (8) Fire Wind (9) Dae Byeonhwa (3) Raon Alice (2) Simple Rules
Next Best 1, 12
Fast Start 2, 3, 8, 11

 

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(more…)

Busan Mayor’s Cup 2017: Triple Nine & Clean Up Joy (And More!) – Full Preview (July 9)

Last December Clean Up Joy bested Triple Nine to win Korea’s most prestigious race, the Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul. Since then Clean Up Joy has harvested listed races against inferior opposition in the Capital while Triple Nine was taken to the Dubai World Cup where despite the Godolphin Mile being a race too far, he managed to acquit himself admirably. There are 6 races at Busan from 13:25 to 17:40 and 11 at Seoul from 11:45 to 19:00

Clean Up Joy YTN Shamrocker

Clean Up Joys wins this year have been dismissively easy. It’s going to be much harder on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Their paths now collide in what is often called the “Summer Grand Prix” over 1800M at Busan. All eyes will be on the start. A notoriously troubled starter, at Seoul Clean Up Joy (Purge) has special dispensation to begin in the widest gate and not having a horse on his outside has settled him down enormously in his most recent appearances. At Busan he is afforded no such special treatment and indeed in last year’s race, he blundered coming out of gate 5 and could only rally late for an eventual 4th. This time he is in gate 2 but most seem to think that under Djordje Perovic, Clean Up Joy can overcome.

As for Triple Nine (Ecton Park), the two time President’s Cup winner has had a rest since arriving back in Korea in April and cantered through a trial last week looking in shape and ready to go. It’s not necessarily a two horse race though. The Thomas Gillespie trained Champ Line (Curlin) enters on a five-race winning streak and only looks to be getting better. He has a great draw and could well be a factor.

Then there are the up and comers. Kiwi trainer David Miller saddles the highly thought-of I’m Your Father (Tiznow) in his first Group race and the colt is not without a chance. Not is Triple Nine’s stablemate Mupae (Paddy O’Prado), who has won five of six starts to date.

It’s set to be the hottest race of the year so far and should offer plenty of clues ahead of the 1 Billion Won international Korea Cup, which will be run over the same distance in Seoul in September. Race cards are here and form comments for the whole card at Busan are below:

Selections: Race 1: 8 2 4 3 Race 2: 11 7 6 1 Race 3: 1 6 4 5 Race 4: 5 2 6 7 Race 5: 2 10 7 1 Race 6: 9 11 2 7
Race 1: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. NORTHERN VICAR – Maiden win at the 7th time of asking in April but only beat one home on first try at this class three weeks ago.
2. SWAG – Landed maiden win on Good Friday and was 2nd last start over 1000M. Hasn’t gone well at further than the minimum in the past but in the frame here.
3. MUNHWA DAERO – Up in class following maiden win over 1300M last time. That win had been coming and there’s not too much to fear here. Repeat not impossible.
4. WIDAEHANGWANGGYONG – Yet to win but has come close on several occasion including latest two. Steps back in trip from a mile today and should come close again.
5. CHEONJIGAEBYEOK – Struggled in three efforts since maiden win saw him promoted to this level.
6. RED SIREN – 4th at class and distance last start and should be looking to at least match that today.
7. SEONGGONG PLAN – Not beaten many in four attempts at this level.
8. YEOKJEONUI GIHOE – A winner on his second start on June 9th, beating two who have since gone on to perform well. Up in class and distance today but a real chance.

(more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 8)

The day before The Busan Mayor’s Cup sees a full Saturday card at Seoul Racecourse. There are 11 races from 14:00 until 21:00. English racecards are here, notes on simulcast races below:

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

1. BICHEON OGONG – Only beat one home in a slow effort on debut and no reason to recommend just three weeks on.

2. SUPER FIELD – Debut-maker today. 5th in his trial in a slow time and a watching brief is to be taken first-up.

3. BAENONGI – Slow in all three outings so far and no grounds for support today.

4. BAIKAL JEONSA – Apprentice Kim Deok Hyun rode his first winner on just his second race ride last week and could get his second here. 2nd last time and this is his to lose.

5. DUSON EYE – 5th on debut but had a hard time when up to 1300M on reappearance. Back at 1000M and with a better draw today, he can be better.

6. CHOWON GANGJA – Lucky not to have to requalify after a slow last of 11 on debut at the end of May. The only way is up.

7. HONEY BAROWS – Disappointed when odds-on favourite over 1300M a month ago. Has weakened in all four races so far so no surprise she’s finally tried at the minimum. Big chance.

8. BEST GEOPO – A full eleven months between first and second starts and he was much better on his return running 4th of 9 on June 11th. Can improve again. (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 7)

This Sunday sees one of the year’s highlights; The Busan Mayor’s Cup. In the past it’s brought us clashes between Tough Win and Dongbanui Gangja, Dangdae Bulpae and Smarty Moonhak. This year Clean Up Joy and Triple Nine are set to face each other alongside a host of big names in the “Summer Grand Prix”.

Tough Win Busan Met 2013

Tough Win was a two-time winner of the Busan Mayor’s Cup  (Pic: KRA)

Before that though we have a busy Friday of racing on the South coast as Busan hosts 10 Friday races from 14:30 to 21:00. Notes on simuclast races below:. 

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

1. GOP DDA – 5th in her trial, well behind the winner.
2. YEONGCHEON HERO – 3rd in trial behind Testa Magic. Trainer usually does well with 2-year-olds and he is sure to be backed.
3. TESTA MAGIC – Won her trial very comfortably. Big chance first-up.
4. ADAMARIS – Average time in trials but it was a slow heat anyway so few clues there.
5. EURO GONGJU – The only one of the seven who has raced before. Her 6th of 11 was in no way a disgrace and she may well have come on for it.
6. CHOEGANG SEONBONG – Just scraped through qualifying and will need a big improvement to compete first-up. (more…)

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 25)

Big Sunday of racing coming up in Korea. No Stakes races but full fields and plenty of punting interest. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. English racecards are here. Notes on races for overseas simulcast are below:

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

1. OUR CAT – 4th behind Yeol Queen at the distance in April and followed up with a 5th last time. Matching those would be par today.
2. SEONGEUN MARU – Started his career really well but went off the rails at the end of last year. Latest two have been more encouraging.
3. JEONGAN KINGDOM – Disappointed when favourite in May but bounced back with 3rd over 1000M three weeks ago. Trialled up nicely last week and in the hunt here.
4. YEOL QUEEN – Two very solid efforts so far at this level and one of the main contenders here.
5. SOKDO SHINHWA – Comes in after two good showings at 1000M. Should be near the early pace and can place. (more…)

International Sunday: Preview (June 4)

It’s a Group race double-header at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. Black-type is up for grabs in the Ttukseom Cup while one race later it is Korea vs Japan in the SBS Sports Sprint. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05.

Success Story Busan Ilbo 2017

Success Story winning May’s Busan Ilbo Cup (Pic: KRA)

Both races are part of a series. The Ttukseom Cup gets the “Queens Tour” for fillies and mares underway while the SBS Sports Sprint is the 2nd leg of the “Sprint Series” which will culminate in the international Korea Sprint in September.

The winner of the first leg of the Sprint Series returns here and could well be favourite. Success Story made his name with a pair of 3rd place finishes at the Dubai World Cup Carnival in 2016 and having returned to winning ways over 1800M in February, got the better of a strong field in the Busan Ilbo Cup on the south-coast last month. Only one other participant from that 1st leg tries his luck again; that’s Perdido Pomeroy, who won this race last year but has struggled for form since.

Japan sends two. Kimon Avalon, who finished 5th in the race last year, returns to the peninsula to try again but there will be more attention paid to 6-year-old mare Party Dress who operates at JRA level at home. It’s the Korea-based one that will be fancied though with 2015 Asia Challenge Cup winner Choegang Schiller, in-form Doraonpogyeongseon and Brian Dean’s Choegangja all set to be well-backed.

The Ttukseom Cup, named after the district of downtown Seoul that was home to the racecourse before it moved to its present site in the satellite city of Gwacheon, is one of six Korean races included in this year’s international “Blue Book” and there are ten fillies and mares vying for the Black Type it confers – not to mention a 228Million Won first prize.

US import Haeya went down to her first defeat in April but looks to be the one to beat in the 1400M test. Form comments below:

Race 8: Class Open (1400M) Ttukseom Cup (KOR G2) / KRW 400 Million

1. INDIAN STAR – Stakes winner at this track last October. Narrowly beaten last time out at this distance, she’s a fast starter and should be in the mix at the end.

2. MIGHTY GEM – Ended last year in great form but hasn’t looked right in three starts so far this term. Strong finisher but looks up against it here.

3. HAEYA – Suffered her first defeat in April, fading late on. That was her first start since January after lots of setbacks. If she’s right, she will be hard to beat.

4. GOLD BLUE –Won consecutive races in January and February but two subsequent class 1 starts have been at long distances. Very strong finisher, so long as she doesn’t leave too much to do, she could be in the hunt late on. (more…)