Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 11)

Saturday sees a bumper 13-race card at Seoul runing from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

(단신2) 출발 참관 프로그램 (2)

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A maiden to kick things off with only two of the twelve having raced more than once. Both will be contenders here as both showed improvement on their respective second appearances. (5) CLAY WINNER ran 2nd on his second appearance at the end of November, well beaten by a very good winner but nonetheless showing he has plenty of ability himself. The Hansen colt is not a natural front-runner but can find a handy position here and finish sternly. (1) RAON BLOOD was a touch more impressive when 3rd on her second start just before Christmas. She will be expected to lead here and is the slight pick to hold on all the way. (4) SONGAM TIZ did absolutely nothing on debut back last September. He was put away after that and looked a completely different horse when returning to win a trial just last week. He made all and assuming he didn’t leave his race back in that trial, he’s well drawn to be on speed here and he can have serious claims. (9) MISS ELITE and (12) GWANGYA SIDAE are others who should be going close.

Selections: (1) Raon Blood (4) Songam Tiz (5) Clay Winner (12) Gwangya Sidae

Next Best: 9, 11

Fast Start: 1, 4, 11

 

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million 

A field of twelve maiden fillies will line up over the short course in the second. (8) HANSEN CHOICE lines up for her third career start coming off some promising performances. At her first start she lined up in a strong two-year-old event, when settling in the leading division and finishing second. She was slightly disappointing at her second start when finishing fourth, she lost considerable ground when taking the turn for home before running on strong once again. (6) CUPID BISANG is considered a winning chance. The Thunder Moccasin filly finished second to K Top King on debut in a two-year-old event, who has since gone on and saluted again. (2) SHINE FIGHTER lines up for her third start coming off some solid performances. The Rock Hard Ten filly has sat on speed in her runs to date and is drawn well to do so once again. (4) BIG RIVER didn’t appear ready for the 1300m at her second start but handed in a good performance on debut when third over the 1000m.

Selections (8) Hansen Choice (6) Cupid Bisang (2) Shine Fighter (4) Big River

Next Best 12, 3

Fast Start 2, 8

 

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

A weak maiden gives a chance to a number who otherwise wouldn’t look likely to get a win. (9) GOLD FIELD is one of those. She’s been hovering on the verge of a place in recent starts, all of which have been in stronger company than this. She is a front-runner and taking the initiative here may be enough to see her home on top today. (8) FLYING THOR and (10) DONGJJOK GLORY will be two others who challenge for the early lead. Both have hinted at ability across their four starts apiece and both have top jockeys engaged today. (12) THE BEAST has a great name and began his career promisingly enough with back to back 4th place finishes. His latest two at this distance haven’t been great but again, they have been in better races than this and he should improve. (2) A.P. PATEK went back to trial after his last start five weeks ago. He looked much better in his heat and is another who can show more today.

Selections: (9) Gold Field (2) A.P. Patek (12) The Beast (10) Dongjjok Glory

Next Best: 8, 7

Fast Start: 8, 9, 10, 11

 

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

There appears a lack of speed in the fourth event on the card where a field of twelve will line up over the 1300m. (6) SAENAE CHOICE comes out of a set weights two-year-old event where she ran second to Big Plan. Whilst she found one better on the day, she stretched out nicely holding off the remainder of the field. This looks a winnable assignment, with limited speed drawn on the inside off her this will allow Antonio Da Silva to roll forward on the Simon Pure filly. (3) BIANCA has finished in the money at her past few starts and is capable of a forward showing in this event. The Hansen filly is likely to sit just off the speed with a better draw. She was forced to spend too much petrol early on last start. (12) GOSOK PEDAL can improve on his most recent effort. The colt worked forward last start before being run down in the straight. Kim Yong-Geun jumps aboard for the first time, expect a positive ride from an awkward draw. (1) COMPLETE MOTION looks best of the rest and may add some value to your exotics.

Selections (6) Saenae Choice (3) Bianca (12) Gosok Pedal (1) Complete Motion

Next Best 2, 11

Fast Start 3, 6, 12

 

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

Wide open handicap here and while (9) MONEY CHAMP remains a maiden, he’s been promoted to this class on the back of consecutive runner-up finishes behind good horses. The times he has run in those defeats are likely to be more than competitive at this level and he could well be the one to beat. (1) WONDERFUL HENNESSY comes in fresh here for her first start since September. She’s proven herself a threat at this level with two 3rd place finishes and from the inside gate is likely to be on pace from the start with solid claims to go all the way. (4) WIN BLADE was 5th last start in a better race than this and should go close again while (5) GIVEN RUNNER too has been competing in stiffer company of late and is capable of running the kind of time necessary to win here. (11) CHEONEUN JJANG rounds out the most credible contenders. She led last time over 1300M, weakening late on, and may appreciate the drop back in trip today.

Selections: (9) Money Champ (1) Wonderful Hennessy (4) Win Blade (11) Cheoneun Jjang

Next Best: 5, 2

Fast Start: 1, 3, 4, 11

 

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

There appears plenty of early speed engaged in the sixth on the card. (8) GEUMSUNI STAR has been ultra-consistent of late filling a top four position at his past four starts. He drops back to the 1300m for the first time in August. His record over the 1300m has been good in the past. Lee Hyeon-Jong is promising rider who is likely to urge his mount forward in the early stages. (6) TIZ ROSE is one of those early speedsters who looks to map on speed. She has ran promising races at her past two starts finishing third on both occasions behind some progressive types. With the departure of Masa Tanaka Park Byeong-Yun picks up the ride. (2) CHEONHA YEOJE finished second behind East Jet two starts back and can bounce back after a disappointing performance last start. (1) GLORY VERN showed improvement last time out when finishing second in a time considered good for this grade. Johan Victoire is likely to kick up and use gate one to his advantage. (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 10)

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with 11 races from 11:30 TO 18:00. Here are the previews:

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Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Twelve maiden fillies will line up in the first on Busan’s eleven race card. (12) YEONGGWANGUI KISS resumes after seven months away from racing. The lightly raced four-year-old has had just four starts yielding three top five finished including a last start second behind Kahekili. She has been in work since September so she will be fit, You Hyun-Myung trialed her in November and sticks with her for her first-up run which looks a good sign. (4) AMAZING GIRL comes off a last start fourth at her second career start. The Simon Pure filly settled well back before showing a solid turn of foot. Ideally she may be able to sit closer in the run with a good draw. (2) SPICE CANDY was good on debut when third behind Adele Spike. The form lines read well with Adele Spike since winning again in stronger company. (5) HAPPY SECRET ran through the line well last time on debut. She looks one to follow as she is stretched out to a longer journey, but she is still capable of finishing in the money.

Selections (12) Yeonggwangui Kiss (4) Amazing Girl (2) Spice Candy (5) Happy Secret

Next Best 10, 7

Fast Start 2, 12

 

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A second bunch of maiden fillies go around here, three of the twelve racing for the very first time. (5) THUNDER GO may only have finished 7th of 12 on debut a month ago but the time she recorded and the caliber of opposition that she faced was superior to anything here. Accordingly, she probably won’t need to improve very much off that run to come home on top today. Kim Cheol-ho can put her on speed from the start and she’s the one to beat. The second fastest time in the race belongs to (8) TOP LUCKY, a filly who has shown promise across two starts to date as well as winning a trial. She may want a bit further in terms of distance but should have enough about her to run into some money here. The only one of the field to have a top three finish to her name is (9) DALLAE. She achieved that when 3rd on debut on December 6th. The time wasn’t fast but she did nothing wrong and Seo Seung-un on board today can only be to her benefit. (1) KEUN LUV and (4) SHANGHAI MINT are others with the potential to improve.

Selections: (5) Thunder Go (9) Dallae (8) Top Lucky (4) Shanghai Mint

Next Best: 1, 12

Fast Start: 2, 5, 9

 

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

 The third has a field of inexperienced three-year-olds to line up over the short course. The trial of (8) WONDER BLADE is worth watching as he lines up for his first career start. The Menifee colt ran a good time for his trial on that particular day and there looked to be more in the tank. He finished second behind Doraonpyeongson in the trial, when running through the line in good fashion. (11) YEONGGWANGUI EAGLE debuted last start when finishing third behind First Moccasin in a handy two-year-old event. You Hyun-Myung takes over the riding responsibilities but will have to overcome the outside draw. The now three-year-old is a winning chance and is likely to take improvement out of his debut. (4) DOCTOR GREY posted a good time last start when finishing fifth behind K.B. Boss. The Old Fashioned colt need to improve to be a winning chance but is definitely one to consider in your wider selections. (5) ACE JACKPOT is the most experienced runner in the race with five runs under her belt. She placed last start behind Wild Geranium when getting ran down in the home straight. She has drawn well to sit on speed once again.

Selections (8) Wonder Blade (11) Yeonggwangui Eagle (4) Doctor Grey (5) Ace Jackpot

Next Best 9, 2

Fast Start 5, 11

 

Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens and we’re set to have a red-hot favourite here in the shape of (1) MASTER BELLA. She’s finished in 3rd place in both her starts so far beating a couple of these along the way and registering good times in the process. She won’t necessarily lead from the start here but can set up camp just behind the early speed and should be too strong in the later stages of the race. (10) QUEEN GRACE also beat a couple of these on debut – the same pair in fact that Master Bella took down – back in November when finishing a good 2nd. She’s not raced since but the Bart Rice trainee looks nicely in for a good return today. The two horses who both the two favourites have beaten are (3) NORTHERN DREAM and (6) JINJU SARANG. Expect both to be close once more and competing for the places. (8) KING BROTHER debuted over 1300M two weeks ago and while he took an age to get going, he showed a bit of speed late on and this looks the kind of race he can improve in.

Selections: (1) Master Bella (10) Queen Grace (3) Northern Dream (6) Jinju Sarang

Next Best: 8, 7

Fast Start: 3, 9, 10

 

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

 Another field of three-year-old colts and fillies line up in the fifth. (11) GREAT GO looks one that can go close after a good performance on debut. The Chapel Royal filly finished fourth in a much stronger race taken out by Golden Winner who has gone on and won since. She lacked early speed in her first start but reeled off one of the faster sectionals in the race. Park Jae-I is likely to let her find her own feet once again with a wide draw. (3) MAN OF THE WORLD lines up for his fourth start coming off a last start second behind K.B. Boss. The colt has drawn ideally to sit on speed once again and take some running down. (5) VERRA DAY has been sent out fancied at his past two starts and hasn’t managed to place. The chestnut will be able to sit just off the speed in this event and run through the line strong. (7) GOOD THUNDER has been unwanted in the market at his two career starts to date. He needs to improve to be considered a winning chance but can collect a cheque.

Selections (11) Great Go (3) Man Of The World (5) Verra Day (7) Good Thunder

Next Best 6, 10

Fast Start 3, 5

 

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

(1) AMORIS keeps managing to dodge the winner’s circle but enters off a very consistent run having finished 2nd or 3rd in each of her last five attempts. She’s beaten a few of these along the way as well and from the inside gate will be well positioned to run on strongly. She surely gets another top three finish but should she fall short once more, it (more…)

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 5)

There are Sunday cards at both Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:40 to 17:05). Here are the previews, with Seoul first followed by Busan:

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It was a sunny but cold 2020 Opening Day at Seoul on Saturday

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens here with no fewer than seven of the twelve going around for the very first time. Of those with experience, the clear standout is (7) GLORY FIGHTER. The Temple City filly came from off the pace to finish off well on debut over this distance on December 7th. She’ll want further eventually but for the time being, she looks nicely in here and is the one to beat. As for the others who have raced, none particularly caught the eye although (8) WONDERFUL MAGIC found himself on pace early before weakening and may have come on for that run while (2) GREAT WAY never really got going but previously performed adequately in a trial and is another who can improve. As for the first-timers, (5) HEUNG CAPTAIN is the obvious one. He was just beaten a head in a trial last November in a fast time and if he brings that form to the races, has every chance of making a winning start. (6) DREAM PO RE went through a couple of trials and he too posted a competitive looking time two weeks ago.

Selections: (7) Glory Fighter (5) Heung Captain (6) Dream Po Re (8) Wonderful Magic

Next Best: 2, 4

Fast Start: 5, 8, 10, 11

 

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

Twelve maidens will line up in the second on the card where the main chances appear to have been dealt wide draws. (12) GOOD WONDER makes her fourth career start and has seemed to improve with each run. The Hawk Wing filly was game last start when getting tired late after leading for the majority of the race. She did exert a lot of energy early in the run, she looks one that will appreciate to set a modest pace or take a sit. (11) SAEROUN BOBAE comes off a second last time out behind Samseong Viva. This looks a weaker assignment and she has each-way claims. She won’t be able to match the early speed so expect her to sit midfield. (1) ONE AND ONLY has posted good times over the five furlongs as she steps up to the 1300M for the first time. The filly has been able to settle just off the speed in her two runs to date and Kim Dong-soo can elect to sit closer if he wishes from the inside draw. (7) HANIL MOA is capable of running into the money after finishing in the top five at her past three starts. She is somewhat one-paced and will need to be in touch with the leading division at the top of the straight.

Selections: (12) Good Wonder (11) Saeroun Bobae (7) Hanil Moa (1) One And Only

Next Best: 9, 6

Fast Start: 3, 12

 

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

A pretty ordinary looking maiden featuring a few who do seem likely to make their breakthroughs at some stage. Most likely today is (2) FUTURE FIRE. He’s raced just three times so far, recording a 3rd and a 4th in his most recent two, the latter of which was at this distance. He isn’t the quickest of starters, but he is capable of running on well and he should come out on top today. (11) BOMNALUI GIEOK has shown steady progress over five outings and while his 3rd place at this distance last time out was in an even weaker race than this, he has good scope for more here. If he can overcome the wide draw to get on pace, he will be a factor. (6) NONGBUI SUCHEAHWA was sent off favourite for her latest back in November, She was ultimately a little one-paced and came home in 3rd but she should at least be matching that here. (3) CHEONJI KKOT BARAM and (10) LEGEND WIN, both of whom come in off career-best finishes, are others who warrant consideration.

Selections: (2) Future Fire (11) Bomnalui Gieok (6) Nongbui Sucheahwa (3) Cheonji Kkot Baram

Next Best: 10, 5

Fast Start: 3, 7, 10, 11

 

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

There is an abundance of speed engaged in the fourth, suggesting they will run the first half of the race in a good time as they sort themselves out. (12) SPEED BIRD was good on debut when winning over the five furlongs. The Kim Hag-soo trained galloper jumped quickly and led all the way clocking a good time for Class 6. Punters can expect another forward ride from Lee Hyeon-jong who partners the colt once again. (6) LUCKY BEOPJEON has been a model of consistency since beginning his racing career in June last year. Although he hasn’t notched his first win yet, he has finished in the top three on four occasions from five starts. He ran third behind Stretto last time out over this distance which reads well for this assignment. (11) SAMSEONG VIVA won over the 1300M last time out in class 6 company. Alan Munro will ride the three-year-old who appreciated sitting on speed last time out. (2) ROYAL GHOST is another looking for her first win. She has seven top four finishes from eight starts and has collected a cheque at her past two starts. From barrier two, she is a big chance to finish in the money once again.

Selections: (12) Speed Bird (6) Lucky Beopjeon (11) Samseong Viva (2) Royal Ghost

Next Best: 4, 5

Fast Start: 1, 5, 6, 9, 12

 

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

Plenty of in-form types clash in this nice-looking handicap. (8) DIA KEY steps up in class and distance following a good maiden win over 1000M on December 7th. He did previously weaken on debut at 1300M a month earlier but ran through the line well when winning and looks ready for the extended trip. (1) LUCKY MYEONGHO also comes up to the 1200M having a win and a runner-up finish, the latter at this class, over 1000M. Both he and Dia Key will be on pace from the start and the winner could come down to the one who sees out the trip better. (2) CHEONJI POKPUNG shouldn’t have too many problems with the distance having already won at further. He comes in off back to back 4th places and can improve on those today. (3) CAMP TOUCH and (7) DAEMA JIPUNG are others in the hunt.

Selections: (8) Dia Key (1) Lucky Myeongho (2) Cheonji Pokpung (3) Camp Touch

Next Best: 7, 12

Fast Start: 1, 8, 11

 

Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A field of twelve fillies and mares will face the starter in the sixth where they will go over the six furlongs. (7) JEOLYE was admirable last start when breaking maiden status. From barrier seven, the Secret Circle filly was never closer than four wide from the rail. She lost considerable ground on the turn before hitting overdrive and going on for a good win. She is penalized 3kg, but she showed last time out that she’s tough. (10) CLEANUP SHINE lines up for her second start after a respectable debut. The Awesome Of Course filly comes out of the Jeolye race where she finished third, beaten just over a length. With a bigger advantage in the weight scale, she can threaten. (4) NALARA HILL is one of the Korean-bred gallopers engaged who has won a couple in the easier grades. She has shown at her last two starts she can be competitive in this grade. She finished fourth last start behind Platinum Euro when one-paced through the line. (1) MOONHAK MISCHIEF finished third behind Mark Story on debut and then was somewhat disappointing at her second start when finishing midfield. She’s drawn well and can bounce back in this event.

Selections: (7) Jeolye (10) Cleanup Shine (4) Nalara Hill (1) Moonhak Mischief

Next Best: 6, 12

Fast Start: 1, 2, 4, 10

 

Race 7: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) JEONGMUN SUMMIT registered two good wins at 1200M and 1000M and was sent off favourite at 1300M on November 24th. From a wide draw and after a bump at the start, he was unable to get to the front and then over raced around the turn before weakening. (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 4)

2020 at Seoul Racecourse gets underway on Saturday with 13 races from 10.45 to 18.00. Here are the previews:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

The first to kick off Saturday’s proceedings has a field of twelve maidens to face the starter. In a race that appears to have limited chances, (4) DAHAENGIDA gets a good opportunity to break through at his fourth career start. The three-year-old improved last time out when second behind Best Gundan in one of our stronger 2yo events. Johan Victoire was aboard last time out and retains the mount. (3) BARBELL is one that can improve on his debut effort when midfield over the five furlongs. The Old Fashioned gelding dropped the bit in the middle stages of the run but managed to hit the line fairly and pass a few in the run home. (7) WANGINHAENGCHA comes out of a relatively strong 2yo event where the chestnut finished seventh. Whilst beaten a considerable distance this looks a much easier assignment. (12) My Member managed to run into some minor money last time out and can do so again if Park Tae-Jong can negate the wide draw.

Selections: (4) Daehaengida (3) Barbell (7) Wanginhaengcha (12) My Member

Next Best: 8, 2

Fast Start: 6, 7

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Quite a useful maiden here but we’re likely to have a strong favourite in the shape of (10) LUXURY CAPTAIN. After an ordinary debut, he ran a solid 2nd on his reappearance in late November at this distance and won’t need to improve by very much in order to win here. (5) ANYANG JAGUAR is much more experienced but also seems to be heading on the right trajectory. All nine of her starts so far have been over the 1000M but she’s run on strongly for good finishes in her latest two and stepping her up in trip today seems the prudent course of action. (7) RUFFIAN PARK has hinted at ability across three outings so far and looks to have more improvement in him. (6) TERRA SPEED and (11) ROYAL CHUKBOK are others in at least the placing hunt.

Selections: (10) Luxury Captain (5) Anyang Jaguar (7) Ruffian Park (11) Royal Chukbok

Next Best: 6, 3

Fast Start: 3, 4, 6, 8

 

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

The three-year-olds line up in the third with all of them looking for their first win. (2) BAEKSAN THUNDER finished second last time out over the five furlongs and looks one that will appreciate the step up to the 1300m. She settled in the leading division last start before running through the line well going down less than a length to Lady Kelly. The form line she brings to the race looks superior to her opponents. Johan Victoire looks a strong chance to take up the lead and not be caught in a race that lacks early speed. (11) WILD WOODS has finished close up at his first two career starts. He managed to display a nice turn of foot over the short course and is another that will appreciate the longer distance. In contrast, (5) TOP SEED was debuted over the 1300m where he finished fourth behind Wang Taeng I. He looks one of the backmarkers in this event but can rocket home late to collect a cheque. (6) BRAVO GWACHEON is another that has finished close up at his two starts to date, but his times have been slower than the selections ahead of him. Kim Yong-Geun rides the Peace Rules colt for the first time.

Selections: (2) Baeksan Thunder (11) Wild Woods (5) Top Seed (6) Bravo Gwacheon

Next Best: 1, 3

Fast Start: 1

 

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

Fillies and mares only here and plenty of them enter with encouraging recent form. The best-looking form though belongs to (8) VIRTUS. She made all when registering her maiden win at this distance in October before running a close 2nd in a tougher race than this on her first try at this class six weeks ago. She should be on pace from the start here and she may well take some beating. (1) SINGGEUREOUN TIME was 6th behind Virtus last time out but such were the tight margins in that race, it meant she was only just over a length in arrears and can be one of the principal dangers today. (9) POWER TOWER steps up in trip for the first time following three very creditable runs over 1000M including her maiden win by a neck in October. She ran on strongly enough last start and the additional furlong and a half should pose few problems. (5) MASYA remains a maiden following nineteen attempts but is more than capable of finding the money in this company. (10) BARAMUI MISO looks best of the rest.

Selections: (8) Virtus (9) Power Tower (1) Singgeureoun Time (5) Masya

Next Best: 10, 6

Fast Start: 4, 8, 9, 12

 

Race 5: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It’s fair to say no champions will emerge from the fifth event with plenty of these well tried. (11) DAEGIRI is the on top selection with very little confidence. The lightly raced five-year-old managed to finish midfield last time out over the same journey when disappointing. The start prior he finished second and showed he can run out the 1700m in reasonable fashion. Lee Gang-Seo jumps back into the saddle which is a plus as he has been aboard for the galloper’s better performances. (6) FIRST THUNDER is an eighteen-start maiden but managed to show a good turn of foot last time out. The Thunder Moccasin entire is likely to settle midfield in the race and will be pasing a few in the run home. (8) GREEN PARK is another that has had plenty of start yielding little success. The mare ran home well in a similar race last time out to finish third behind Penumbra. (1) CHAMP QUEEN can improve at her second start back from a lengthy spell. She ran into some minor money last time out when fifth behind Sanae Spurt.

Selections: (11) Daegiri (6) First Thunder (8) Green Park (1) Champ Queen

Next Best: 5, 2

Fast Start: 11

 

Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(6) GEUMA SUPREME’s solitary victory to date came at this distance way back in April last year and she returned to the 1700M, as well as to form, when running 2nd on November 24th. That was a very similar strength race to this one and while is the slight top weight, there’s a reason for that and he can come from just off the pace to win here. The main danger is (4) TAP MUSIC. He too is a winner at the distance and is also coming back into form with a 2nd place last time out. He’ll come from a little further back but should run on well and has a winning chance. (1) SINGSING JANGSU is a touch inconsistent but while a previous crack at this distance didn’t go especially well, he has (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 3)

The 2020 racing season gets underway ay Busan on Friday with 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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Apparently we used mice instead of hroses because it’s the year of the rat?

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Not the strongest of maidens to kick off 2020 with and accordingly it could well be (8) CHOEGANG CLEAR, who managed to drift winless through his juvenile and three-year-old campaigns, who gets off to the best possible start for his four-year-old term. He comes in having recorded his best finish to date when 2nd to Sanbang Any Day last start and while he is one-paced, that may well be enough here. (11) ECHO MOON and (3) YESSA QUEEN came home 4th and 5th respectively on what was for both their debut on December 6th. Echo Moon was superior by four-lengths that day and is the preferred of the pair, but both can show improvement. (10) DAEGYO has hinted at ability across her eight starts so far and dead-heated for 3rd last time out. She’s now shown much in the way of speed but may not need to in order to run into some money here. (4) FOREVER RUNNER perhaps the best of a limited rest.

Selections: (8) Choegang Clear (11) Echo Moon (3) Yessa Queen (10) Daegyo

Next Best: 4, 9

Fast Start: 1, 2, 3, 4

 

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A field of twelve maidens will line up over the five furlongs in the second on the card. In a field that appears to lack depth, (10) LINCHPIN looks the one to beat. The Colors Flying Colt has had just one start to date when sixth behind Save The World back in July. He was then sent for a spell and resumes in this event after winning a trial in fair time. He jumped fairly in the trial and recovered quickly to lead and win. He’s a big imposing individual and although his trial was far from amazing, this looks an easy kill. (4) SEUNGRIUI BULGIL has been running in stronger maiden events of late and looks another of the main chances. Whilst never finishing closer than fifth in five career starts the filly has ran much better time on dry tracks and for that reason she appears an each-way hope. (2) NANSAN MUJEOK is a potential improver running in to some minor prize money last time out. The Gyeongbudaero colt has drawn better for his assignment and can settle closer to the speed. (8) WONDERFUL SMARTY wasn’t ready for the 1300m last start and is a potential place chance with the drop back to the 1000m

Selections (10) Linchpin (4) Seungriui Bulgil (2) Nansan Mujeok (8) Wonderful Smarty

Next Best 3, 7

Fast Start 8, 11

 

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

Three-year-old maidens go around here and (1) MINYEOBONG was nice and encouraging on debut, beating three of these on her way to 2nd place on December 6. She led throughout the early stages of that race and while she ended up a full five-lengths behind a useful looking winner, she showed enough to suggest that she has wins in her. She’ll lead again here and is favoured to go all the way. (3) FLYING KINGS is the most experienced runner in the race with four starts under his belt already. The best of those was his latest when he was 2nd at this distance in a very similar strength race to this. He’s been slow off the mark in each of his latest two but if he can get away a bit better today, he can go very close. (12) FANTASTIC WINNER has acquitted himself well in two outings to date, narrowly beaten into 2nd on debut over 1000M in October before following up with 4th in a good race at this distance on November. He’ll want to be close to the pace, so the draw hasn’t done him many favours here, but he is good enough to overcome it and get close. (2) JEMA TUJI and (11) JEONSEOLUI BOSS didn’t do much on debut but both can make progress here.

Selections: (1) Minyeobong (3) Flying Kings (12) Fantastic Winner (2) Jema Tuji

Next Best: 11, 5

Fast Start: 1, 3, 12

 

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

A field of twelve maiden gallopers will line up in the fourth over the 1300m. (6) INDIAN CHUJANG looks ready to break through after placing at his past two starts. The lightly raced five-year-old come out of a stronger Class 6 event when finishing third to Thunder King. He sat on speed last start and with limited speed engaged expect the Hawk Wing gelding to sit in the top three in running and be given every chance by Jung Do-Yun who has been in great form of late. (9) RAINBOW PARK will be stretched out the 1300m for the first time after ten career starts. The Ecton Park colt has been running some nice races finishing in the top four at his past three starts. It appears there is only two or three in this race that can set the pace, as a result Kim Dong-Young is likely to settle forward as his mount has shown early speed in recent runs. (2) TRIPLE TIARA handed in a better performance last time out when going over the 1300m for the first time. The Hansen fill finished fifth in the event, the same race where the top elect Indian Chujang finished third. (7) MYEONGGA DAERO looks one that collect some minor money after finishing in the top five at his past two starts. He was one paced through the line last start, but we know he can run out a reasonable 1300m.

Selections (6) Indian Chujang (9) Rainbow Park (2) Triple Tiara (7) Myeongga Daero

Next Best 3, 4

Fast Start 1, 6, 12

 

Race 5: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Eleven maidens tackle the mile and it’s (9) BORNE MATTA who is the one they’ll need to beat. The Testa Matta gelding returned from almost seven months out to finish 2nd at 1300M on December 13th, well behind a good winner, but very promising first-up, nonetheless. He’s previously gone well at this distance and the booking of Seo Seung-un suggests he is ready to score today. (5) CHEONNYEONUIHEUIMA has been knocking at the door for some time. She overcame a poor start to run on very strongly over 1300M three weeks ago and step back up to a mile – combined with hopefully a better break from the gate – can see her go close once more. (7) MULTI POWER is another who ran on strongly last time and the opportunity to run over a bit of distance could be to his benefit today. (1) TIZ LINE and (3) SUPER GALAXY are among others with the potential to improve.

Selections: (9) Borne Matta (5) Cheonnyeonuiheuima (7) Multi Power (3) Super Galaxy

Next Best: 1, 10

Fast Start: 1, 4, 5

 

Race 6: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

The sixth on the card will be watched with interest as we have two very nice progressive horses engaged. It was a flip of the coin between Golden Winner and Blue Power who both come off sensational victories last time out. (9) GOLDEN WINNER ended up the top (more…)

Late Menifee Regains Leading Sire Crown

Menifee, who passed away last June, has regained the title of Leading Sire in Korea for 2019, ending the year 840 Million Korean Won clear of nearest rival Hansen. Ecton Park, who won the title in 2018, was 3rd.

Menifee

Menifee (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Menifee and Hansen had exactly the same number of runners, 135, across the year with Menifee’s making more starts but Hansen’s winning more races. Crucially, Menifee got more big race winners, principally New Legend in the President’s Cup, while Hansen’s top earner was the two-year-old Doctor Carson.

Leading General Sires 2019

Leading General Sire 2019

Ecton Park (Isidore Farm) retains his status as the Leading Privately Standing Sire in Korea (Menifee and Hansen both being KRA sires) and there are other welcome entries in the top ten for the privately standing Testa Matta (Nokwon Farm) and Thunder Moccasin (Pegasus Farm), the latter especially having been a revelation over the past year.

The highest placed stallion on the list who is based outside of Korea was Pioneerof The Nile in 18th place. 1.5 Billion of the 1.7 Billion he accrued was earned by his Korea Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner Moohak Chief.

While Hansen’s progeny are yet to break through at the Group 1 level in Korea, their sheer consistency at winning at lower levels means that it seems only a matter of when and not if he takes over at the top. Hansen comfortably ran out the Leading Sire of 2-year-olds with Menifee back in 4th place. Officer, whose Roller Blade won all three legs of the Juvenile Series was in 2nd place with newcomer Old Fashioned in 3rd.

Leading Sires of 2-Year-Olds 2019

Leading 2yo Sire 2019

Accordingly, Old Fashioned led the list of First Crop (in Korea) Sires ahead of Musket Man. A word too for Gyeongbudaero, the President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner in 2015, who has produced five winners from thirteen individual runners.

Leading First Crop Sires 2019

Leading 1st Crop Sires 2019

Full tables as well as information on every stallion, broodmare and racehorse currently in Korea, can be found at the Korean Studbook site: http://studbook.kra.co.kr/neweng/main.jsp

Korea’s 2020 Dubai World Cup Carnival Challenge Kicks Off Thursday At Meydan

For the fourth time in five years, Korea will be represented at the Dubai World Cup Carnival. Four horses have travelled to the UAE and Great King will be the first to run as he takes his chance at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday’s opening night.

Great King

Great King, seen here at the 2018 Grand Prix Stakes, will make his Dubai Carnival debut on Thursday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Blue Chipper heads the Korea-trained contingent, however, the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile 3rd place-getter did not travel so well and is currently behind in his preparation. That leaves Great King, Today and Baengmunbaekdap as likely January runners with Blue Chipper now targeted at a February start to his campaign.

Great King, trained by Thomas Gillespie, will line up on turf for the first time as he tackles the Dubai Racing Club Classic Sponsored by Emirates NBD Wholesale Banking Listed Handicap over 2410M. The race is the last on the card, going to post at 9.25pm local time (2.25am Korea time).

A winner of nine of thirty-four career starts, Great King is an American-bred entire by Majestic Warrior. The six-year-old was in good form in the autumn of 2019, winning consecutive class 1 handicaps over 2000M and 2200M at Busan in September and October. He then rounded out his season with a slightly disappointing 7th of 10 in the Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul in early December before heading straight into pre-export quarantine.

On paper, it looks a very stiff ask for Great King, who not only will be racing on turf for the first time but will also be stretching out to an unfamiliar distance with 2300M the maximum race length in Korea. Not only that but amongh his eleven rivals are several ominous lookng Godolphin contenders such as Lucius Tiberius, Mountain Hunter and Zaman while William Haggas’ Pablo Escobarr also looks a formidable foe.

Great King will though be carrying a lighter weight than he has for a full eighteen months and in Sam Hitchcott, has a jockey with a lot of experience over the Meydan track. Great King is an unpredictable horse at the best of times, capable of following a very strong run with a very flat one – and vice versa. Three years ago eyebrows were raised when Korea-trained Diferent Dimension was entered on the turf in a strong Carnival Handicap. He finished 3rd.