Busan

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

After last weekend’s sub-zero and then some unpleasantness, the temperature has warmed up significantly in Korea where once more, all three tracks will run Friday cards at the same time. There is no local attendance or betting. East Jet and Alan Munro renew their successful partnership in Seoul’s feature but once again we will focus on Busan (10 races from 10:35 to 15:15) which is available on international simulcast in the usual places.

East Jet goes at Seoul but we’ll focus on Busan (Pic: KRA)

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

A maiden to kick things off with eight of the twelve racing for the very first time. Of the ones with experience, (5) FIRST EDITION is set to be favourite. Having impressed in his trial, he was well fancied first-up on November 20th but having led for much of the way, ultimately finished a rather well-beaten 2nd. Nevertheless, he’ll be favourite again today and should get things right this time. None of the others with experience caught the eye so we’ll turn to the first-timers. (7) FIRST CHOICE first trialed up all the way back in May of 2019 and after a string of setbacks finally makes it to the track. She registered the quickest trial time and goes straight into contention. (6) WONDERFUL JAZZ didn’t offer too many clues in his heat but did nothing wrong and given the stable, he will be backed first-up. (2) S.L. KING and (9) GEUMBIT SKY similarly looked well in their respective heats.

Selections(5) First Edition (7) First Choice (9) Geumbit Sky (6) Wonderful Jazz
Next Best2, 12
Fast Start5, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(2) JEONGMUN POWER led from gate to wire on debut to record a very smart looking win over this distance. He gets another crack at class 6 here and has every chance of repeating from a good draw. It looks to be between Jeongmun Power and another previous winner, (11) MACH TITAN. He made his breakthrough at start number two and it was a similar all the way performance in a decent time in October. That encouraged connections to take a chance in Busan’s top juvenile race at the end of November and while he couldn’t get close to Heat Yegam or Winner’s Man, he did finish 4th in a reasonable time and back in shallower waters today is a real threat. (10) MONEY BAG improved on his second start in November and the booking of Seo Seung-un catches the eye. (12) TOP ADELE did nothing on debut last July but looked better when trialing up on Chirstmas Eve and gets a fresh start here.

Selections(2) Jeongmun Power (11) Mach Titan (10) Money Bag (12) Top Adele
Next Best3, 8
Fast Start2, 10

Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies (and one mare) only for this maiden. (7) LOOKING CAT improved on what was her second career start on December 6th. She ran on well for 5th and may appreciate the chance to get a bit of extra distance today. (10) LADY LOVE has been a touch one-paced across her two starts so far but she did improve in the latest of them and shapes to be a factor here. Also improving second up was (2) BAEDARI ICON, who came from off the pace to run a few down for 3rd place over 1200M and is another who may find the extra furlong suits. (1) NEW GLORY DAY led on her debut a month ago before weakening to 5th and may be fitter for that run today. (3) KKOTMURI is another who hasn’t shown much in the way of speed but also hasn’t done too much wrong in two starts so far and can improve here. There is just one debut-maker and in such company (6) FLAT BABE merits consideration after an adequate enough trial.

Selections(7) Looking Cat (10) Lady Love (2) Baedari Icon (1) New Glory Day
Next Best6, 9
Fast Start1

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

Uncharted territory here with all twelve tackling a mile for the first time. (2) ACE DAY is a half-brother to Today, a winner of eleven races in Korea who has also placed in visits to Singapore and Dubai. For his part, Ace Day was an all the way winner on debut over 1200M before making a very slow start on his return to action at the end of November, giving himself far too much to do and ultimately finishing 2nd. The step up in trip should be fine and he can win here. (7) TRIUMPH KING ran a solid 2md on debut on December 12th. He ran on well and should also be able to cope well with the mile. Those two look the clear standouts with everything else needing to show improvement. (1) ROCK HARD DANCER hinted at some ability when running on well behind Ace Day last start while (6) DAEHO PYEONGJEONG showed a bit of promise in his first two starts before losing his way a little. The change in distance may be good for him too.

Selections(2) Ace Day (7) Triumph King (1) Rock Hard Dancer (6) Daeho Pyeongjeong
Next Best5, 11
Fast Start2, 7

Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 32 Million

Fillies and mares only here. (5) GREY ANGEL has won both her two starts so far, running on well both times to score by handsome margins at this distance. Today she has to step up in class for the first time but the task should be well within her ability and she has solid claims again. (9) MAJOR PUNCH beat four of these on her way to a solid 2nd place at class and distance on November 27th. That came following a poor performance two starts back but she is a class and distance winner and can be in the hunt again today. (7) GEUMA BONNY was a good winner on debut back in August and while she could only manage 4th on her November return, this looks a bit easier and she has claims. It’s a similar story with (8) NAMDO QUEEN who ran on well for 4th on her second start having won on debut. (4) BODE BLADE and (12) ACHIM BIT are others in at least the placing hunt.

(more…)

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

The 2021 racing season gets underway in much reduced form on Friday with cards planned at all three racecourses. It is possible the weather may intervene in the Seoul meeting with Friday’s morning temperatures set to dip as low as -16C. We’ll focus on the Busan meeting anyway which has 10 races from 10:35 to 15:15. There is no local admission or betting but the races will be on international simulcast. Here are the previews:

The snow has been cleared off the track at Seoul but it remains bitterly cold

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

Twelve three-year-olds here all of them going round for the very first time. So it’s to the trial videos we head to try and make head or tail of it. (10) APRIL QUEEN beat three of her rivals here when trialing on December 12th. She led early in the heat that day before ending up in 3rd place. The draw isn’t ideal here but she looks to have solid claims. (5) BAEDARI CHOEGANG and (1) FANTASTIC LEADER came home 4th and 5th respectively in the same heat, both running through the line well and should be able to make an impact first up here too. The fastest time any of these recorded in trials was by (4) SECRET MAGIC. She went around tidily enough and while she didn’t really quicken, she stuck to her task well and looked to have plenty of running in her. Among the others, (2) BLACK ROMANCE also looked well enough in his heat beating a couple of the others who go here while (7) JILPUNG KOREA did nothing wrong either.

Selections(10) April Queen (4) Secret Magic (5) Baedari Choegang (2) Black Romance
Next Best1, 7
Fast Start3, 7, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies (and one mare) only here. (4) MARK ACE is already a winner but gets another crack at what is ostensibly a maiden race because it fell during the reduced stakes racing period. She returned in November to run 3rd, admittedly well back behind a good winner but showed enough again to suggest that in this company she is going to be very dangerous. He will sit on or close to the early speed. (12) PEACE BAEK has the fastest time of these at this distance albeit recorded in very different conditions last August. She maintained her form well on two outings in October and November and despite the gate, looks a big danger here. (3) COLOR WIND and (5) SEUNGNI QUEEN both come in following 3rd place finishes in their respective latest starts and should be in the hunt for places as well. (7) QUEEN VRONSKY was a touch disappointing over 1400M last start but should be better dropped back in trip here.

Selections(4) Mark Ace (12) Peace Baek (7) Queen Vronsky (3) Color Wind
Next Best5, 6
Fast Start4, 8, 9, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

A pretty ordinary maiden here. (2) ENDLESS RUNNING has only raced the once and did quite well, leading for much of the way around before ultimately coming home 4th over 1300M. From gate 2, he’ll be on pace again and can go all the way. (12) CHEONMA HASEO has been knocking on the door for a while with three 4th place finishes including his latest which was at today’s distance in November. The widest gate shouldn’t be an issue and he should be up there. (11) YEONGGWANGUI TEUKGEUP’s name is too long to fit fully into the English race card. He did though beat a couple of these on his latest outing and has previously registered a semi-competitive time at this distance so should be in the hunt today. (8) RAPTOR MAN has the fastest time of these at this distance and is also the only one to have a runner-up finish to his name and he shapes to be competitive here. The wildcard is (7) CHEONMA BRAVO who last time out looked like he needed a bit further and can improve under Ioannis Poullis today.

Selections(2) Endless Running (12) Cheonma Haseo (8) Raptor Man (7) Cheonma Bravo
Next Best11, 6
Fast Start2, 6, 8

Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 32 Million

After finishing 4th on debut, (1) ONNURI JILJU made all to score second-up over this distance on November 11th. He won by a full sixteen-lengths in a fast time and while he is up in class here, he has to be favoured to prevail once more. (5) ALPHA AGAIN actually beat Onnuri Jilju on what was the latter’s debut as they came home 3rd and 4th in October. Alpha Again then dropped back to 1000M to blitz the field for his maiden win. Up in class, he’s never been worse than 4th and will challenge Onnuri Jilju for the early lead. If he gets in front it may get interesting. (10) HAPPY WIND is also up in class following a maiden win at this distance. In her case it came at start number seven but it had been coming after a couple of near-misses. She probably has a bit too much to find on the other two fancies but should have the beating of most of the rest. (4) EAGLE STAR is already a class and distance winner. He was only ordinary when stepped up to 1400M last start but should be better today and carries next to no weight at all. (6) NORTHERN DREAM and (11) QUEEN OF ADELE are among others with placing claims in what is a tasty looking race.

Selections(1) Onnuri Jilju (5) Alpha Again (10) Happy Wind (4) Eagle Star
Next Best6, 11
Fast Start1, 5, 12

Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 42 Million

Intriguing little race this with a couple of promising first-timers mixing it with some established winners. One of only three Korean bred runners in the race, (9) QUEEN OF THE WORLD is a winner of three from eight so far. She found herself unsuited and overmatched in the Korean Oaks over 1800M last August but in her only run since, she dropped back to this distance to record an all the way win in November in a good time for the level. Based on that performance, she is the one they need to beat with a good apprentice taking some weight off. (8) SONIC KING IJI is also a class and distance winner having scored last November before running 2nd three weeks ago. You Hyun-myung returns to the mount today and he has every chance. Of the others with experience, (2) CHEONNYEONUI QUEEN, with only one start so far, looks to have potential to improve but there are a couple of live looking debut-makers. (6) MY BABY GIRL won her trial in good fashion a month ago. The Python filly ran through the line strong and this should suit first up. (12) SNYDER has been through three trials dating back to last July. The Paddy O’Prado colt led for much of his latest heat in December recording a fast time in 2nd place and with the services of Franco Da Silva can overcome the wide draw to go close.

(more…)

Busan Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 19)

Racing is for reduced prize money and behind closed doors this weekend. Busan’s Saturday card is, however, available on international simulcast with 12 races from 10:10 to 15:45 local Korea time. Here are the previews:

Behind closed doors again

Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Juvenile maidens to kick things off. (1) WILD BLUE has a 4th and a 2nd from two starts so far both at this distance and in the process recorded the fastest time of any of them. He has been one-paced on both occasions but is nicely drawn on the inside to get forward and should go close. So too should (14) HAEUNDAE BADA. She ran a good 2nd on debut over 1000M and the step up in trip can suit. The draw is far from ideal though. The one to beat may well be (9) SPEED MATCH. He was sent off favourite (when there was an actual betting pool) on debut on November 20th having won a trial. He finished in 5th place but should have come on for that run and the trainer/jockey combination will tempt plenty. (12) SIMON TOP GUN improved on her second outing last month and can continue her progress today while (7) GALAXY ROAD is one of a few in the hunt for some minor money.

Selections(9) Speed Match (1) Wild Blue (14) Haeundae Bada (12) Simon Top Gun
Next Best7, 5
Fast Start1, 5, 9, 14

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

More maidens. (10) HILL MORE has run well for 2nd and 4th in two starts so far, he’s just been a little bit late arriving on the scene both times. Ioannis Poullis may elect to ride him a bit close today and he has strong claims. (7) TTEUGEOUN MANNAM was certainly ridden much closer to the pace on her second outing and was rewarded with 2nd place. She’s drawn reasonably well again and is a danger. Expect progress from (2) JEJUOLLE GIL. She was great in her trial but underwhelming on debut and the addition of You Hyun-myung aboard catches the eye. (4) STAR EYE was never a factor last time out but has already recorded a couple of decent placings and with a better start should play a part. (1) MISS ROCKET too seems to be figuring things out and has placing claims.

Selections(10) Hill More (7) Tteugoeun Mannam (2) Jejuolle Gil (4) Star Eye
Next Best1, 8
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 7

Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Another maiden but it’s a good one. (2) RAON THE STAR has run 2nd in both her outings so far, posting respectable times as well. In normal times she would be up to class 5 by now but gets another crack at the lowest level and she should make the most of it. (3) DOCTOR FAITH trialed up behind Raon The Star but debuted with a creditable 3rd on November 13th at this trip and can match or better that today from a slightly better draw. Both (5) MYEONGSEONG MAGIC and (6) KKOTMURI ran 4th on their respective debuts and have scope to improve here. (9) DOMINATION went back to trial after a lackluster debut in August. He won that heat with a fine front-running performance and is another one in at least the placing frame. The wildcard is (4) ADELE SUCCESS. She did nothing on debut in July but the full-sister to Success Story looked more promising when trialing two weeks ago and should get on a bit better with today’s slightly extended trip.

Selections(2) Raon The Star (3) Doctor Faith (6) Kkotmuri (4) Adele Success
Next Best9, 5, 11
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 13

Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(4) WONDER RUNNER has a 3rd and a 2nd from two starts so far and has led in both of them. She’s drawn well to get on speed from the gate and could well make it third time lucky today. Also looking to get to the front early will be (12) GREAT DANCE. He drops back in trip following a good 2nd place over 1400M on November 20th, beating a couple of these in the process. The draw isn’t great here but with a good start he should be going close. (7) CHOEGANG LIGER ran 4th behind Great Dance in that 1400M race last month. He has never finished any better than 3rd but is another who may appreciate the drop back in trip today. Another also-ran in that race was (11) YEONGGWANGUIRUNNER, who came home 5th. At the start of November, he came from off the pace to run a strong 2nd at this distance and should be in contention again today.

Selections(4) Wonder Runner (12) Great Dance (11) Yeonggwanguirunner (7) Choegang Liger
Next Best3, 10
Fast Start4, 7, 8, 9, 12

Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(13) NAMDO QUEEN was a good winner on debut on November 20th, scoring comfortably over 1000M. There was full prize money on offer that day so she is up in class here and also in distance but the way she ran through the line suggests plenty in reserve and she can win again. (8) YEONGGWANGUI START’s solitary victory came at this distance and he enters here off a last start runner-up finish having led for most of the way around. If he can get to the front again then he has very solid claims. (5) GRAND YEOWANG has seemingly lost her way a little in her latest two appearances but is capable of better and has the fastest time of any of them at the distance. (7) WISE GIRL and (6) WONDERFUL KING are both up in class having run 1st and 2nd over this distance on November 15th and both should be completive at this level

Selections(13) Namdo Queen (8) Yeonggwangui Start (5) Grand Yeowang (7) Wise Girl
Next Best10, 6, 11
Fast Start3, 6, 8, 13

Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 28 Million

Not the strongest of class 4 races and with that in mind it might be worth having a look at the first-time starters. Of those, Midshipman filly (10) WORLD SOCKS looks the pick. She ran a comfortable and unhurried trial just a couple of weeks ago and against this limited opposition has good claims. (4) HWARANGUICHMPION had an unsuccessful spin over 1800M last month. He had run well at that particular trip in the past but today does look am more suitable assignment and he should go close. (7) AMAZING WINNER has the fastest time of any of these at the distance and while recent form has been nothing special, can go well in this company. (14) QUEEN ARDOR produced a much improved showing to beat a couple of these on her way to 4th place last start and could match that here.

Selections(10) World Socks (4) Hwaranguichampion (7) Amazing Winner (14) Queen Ardor
Next Best2, 12, 8
Fast Start5, 6, 10

Race 7: Class 3 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 32 Million

(10) BARBARIAN is a winner of three from six so far and while he is yet to race at such a short distance he is more than capable of running on the speed and can score first up today. Last time Barbarian ran was back in August and he finished 2nd to (9) YEONGGWANGUI SIDAE over over a mile. The latter horse has been a bit ordinary in two starts since but does have ability and while Barbarian can overturn the August form, Yeonggwangui Sidae shouldn’t be far away. (13) BANJIUI JEONSEOL has never finished worse than 3rd in eight attempts and while the draw isn’t ideal, he can maintain that record today. (7) BABEL HIT beat three of these on his way to a good 2nd place behind Curlin Time over 1400M on November 20th. He should be a danger again although (6) SYDNEY MANGCHI, who ran 4th that day, should be on pace from the start and has a good chance of overtuning the form. Sydney Mangchi’s stablemate (4) GOOD FOR YOU is another in the hunt.

(more…)

Busan Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 12)

The last three wagering places that were accepting customers for betting have had to close so with no wagering available in Korea and low Stakes prize-money, we are back to all three tracks running in Korea simultaneously behind-closed-doors just one day a week. That day this week is Saturday and the 12-race Busan card is available for overseas simulcasting so that’s the one we will focus on for our previews, however, there is one sensational race in prospect at Seoul so we’ll add a preview for that at the bottom too:

The racecourses will be deserted and running simultaneously on Saturday only

Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

A juvenile maiden to kick things off at Busan with five of the fourteen racing for the first time. (5) HAPPY WOMAN started slowly but ran on for 4th on debut over 1000M on November 20th., registering a fast final furlong. She should have come on for that run and with an extra furlong to play with here, should have every chance. (2) B.J. KING debuted over this trip at the end of October running a somewhat one-paced 6th. Improvement seems on the cards here and he can go close. (10) BAEDARI ICON beat a couple of these on his way to 6th place on debut last month. He benefits again from a very light weight and also can appreciate the additional distance. Among the first-timers, the jockey/trainer combination for (9) GOSUUI POWER will tempt plenty. The colt offered few clues when 2nd in a November trial but looked competent enough. His dam won nine of fifteen races here. (1) WONDERFUL BOBCAT too acquitted himself well in his heat.

Selections(5) Happy Woman (2) B. J. King (9) Gosuui Power (10) Baedari Icon
Next Best1, 3, 6
Fast Start4, 6. 9, 14

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

More maidens and again there are five debut-makers. (13) RANK THE POWER breezed through a trial in mid-November (having missed the qualification time in October) in the kind of time that would see him win plenty of actual five furlong races. The wide draw may not be ideal but if he brings that form here, then he should win. (12) WORLD CHANGE and (14) YEONSEUNG BRAVO are two other first-timers who also suffer from somewhat dodgy draws but performed adequately in trials and can go well first up. As for the ones with prior racing experience, (10) YEONGGWANGUI SPEED has a 3rd and a 4th place finish among three outings so far. He hasn’t been exactly fast but won’t need to be in order to challenge for a place again. It’s a similar story with (5) TEAM SKY who today benefits from a good apprentice jockey taking some weight off. The fastest time of any of these at the distance so far was recorded by (6) GOLD LUCK when 5th on debut and he too can aim for the places here.

Selections(13) Rank The Power (10) Yeonggwangui Speed (5) Team Sky (12) World Change
Next Best14, 6
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 8, 13

Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

It may be class 6 but there are two previous winners among the field in the shape of (3) FIRST WIND and (12) GOLD MAGIC and it would be no big surprise were either of them to strike again. That said, there are a few who are yet to score who should be firmly in the frame. They include (2) NEW LUX, who has been getting steadily closer over four outing so far. That culminated in a useful 2nd last start behind Good Socks and the filly has every chance of going one better today. (9) OMEGA GIRL beat a couple of these on her way to a career best 3rd place at this distance on November 8th and has every chance of building on that here while (10) JANGSAN PRIDE too improved significantly at his latest outing, running 2nd over 1300M.

Selections(2) New Lux (3) First Wind (12) Gold Magic (9) Omega Girl
Next Best10, 1
Fast Start3, 7, 14

Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(4) CATCH THE VICTORY comes in having run 3rd and 2nd in his two starts so far. He was well beaten by a good winner last start but in coming 2nd recorded the fastest time of any of these at the distance and he is the slight pick to go one better here. (7) KING BID steps back up in trip today after a good 3rd over 1000M in November. Seo Seung-un takes over in the saddle and he is sure to have plenty of backers. (9) LUCKY MAGIC looks to finally be figuring things out having run a career best 3rd last time out. Her times haven’t been exactly quick but they she won’t need to be too fast to be in the mix today. There are two first-time starters and (2) SKY MORE looks a prospect. By Hansen and out of a Korean Oaks and SBS Cup winning mare, she ran 4th in her trial in a useful enough time and should go well first-up.

Selections(4) Catch The Victory (7) King Bid (2) Sky More (9) Lucky Magic
Next Best1, 6, 12
Fast Start1, 2, 7

Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A good little race this with plenty in the hunt. (6) TAKE INDY KING was an emphatic winner on debut on November 6th, running on strongly to score by four-lengths. Her is up in both class and in distance today but neither should be an issue and he can win again. So too can (9) TOP OF KOREA. He too is up in class following a win in late August. It came at this distance and if he can get on or close to the speed, he has a good chance of following up. (5) MR. FUSION has the best time of any of these at the distance and from a good draw is likely to be on speed from the start. He too races for the first time since August when he was beaten by (11) POWER GATE. Power Gate has raced twice since then and hasn’t been too far away. A host of others have placing chances with the wildcard being (1) QUEEN UP, who began her career in an ultra-consistent manner but hasn’t raced since January. She trialed up seemingly within herself a couple of weeks ago and could be a factor.

Selections(6) Take Indy King (9) Top Of Korea (5) Mr. Fusion (11) Power Gate
Next Best1, 2, 14
Fast Start5, 9, 11

Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 28 Million

A somewhat motley mixture of imports and locals ranging from juveniles to seven-year-olds line up here. The first California Chrome to race in Korea makes his debut. (5) BLUE CHAMP trialed nicely and in such a race has to go into contention. So too does another first-timer, (1) CLEAR. He ran 3rd in his trial in a decent enough time on a dry track and the Wolsley/Perovic combination will tempt plenty. As for the rest, (10) ECHO SUN looks the most convincing Although his best recent work has been over 1400M, he enters in good form and while the 57kg won’t help him, he looks to have solid claims. (13) DALGI was a very good winner over 1300M in August and while her performance over this distance at the end of October was slightly concerning, she is worth another chance in this company today. (8) HAPPY GATE has lost his way a touch in his latest two starts but may benefit from the drop back in trip and should be on pace from the start.

Selections(10) Echo Sun (1) Clear (13) Dalgi (5) Blue Champ
Next Best8, 9, 12
Fast Start8, 13

Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 28 Million

A very competitive race. (14) YEONGGWANGUI TIME was a class and distance winner on October 31st with a front-running performance and came home in a time faster than any of the others have achieved at the distance. He gets no penalty for that win and has every chance of repeating. What he does get though is a bad draw and it won’t be easy for him to get the run of the race this time. (11) TITLE CODE and (10) NICE ONE came home 2nd and 3rd when they raced each other at class and distance on November 6th. Both look in the hunt here and with a weight advantage this time, Nice One could well overturn that form. (7) LUCKY NUMBER ONE is a front-runner who drops back into trip and should be in the frame from a central draw. (2) HAPPY WITCH finds herself up in class after a win and two runner-up finishes in three outings to date. She is nicely drawn to get on the early speed and can be competitive. 

(more…)

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 6)

The locally-bred fillies and mares get their chance to shine at Seoul on Sunday when Oaks winner Uaryung headlines a super-competitive field in the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup. There is a 9-race behind-closed-doors card at Seoul from 14:00 to 18:00 which is preceded by a 6-race behind-closed-doors card at Busan from 10:45 to 13:30. Here are the previews:

Oaks winner Uaryung headlines Sunday’s Gyeonggi Governor’s at Seoul (Pic: KRA)

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Great little maiden to start with and six of the full field of fourteen come in having placed on their respective latest starts. We going to tentatively go with (1) BEASTLY, who ran 2nd, well-beaten by a good winner but showing plenty of ability himself, over this this distance on October 31st. Ioannis Poullis can take advantage of the inside draw to put him on the speed and he can lead all the way. (8) BANJIUI GIJEOK comes in off two very encouraging showings as well. She’s a half-sister to some talented, if occasionally fragile, runners and surely has wins in her. (2) STAR EYE hasn’t shown much in the way of speed but nevertheless has a 3rd and 2nd to show for two outings and will be dangerous while (13) THE FIRST FACTOR has demonstrated solid progression across three starts and can continue that today. There are three debut-makers and among them, (6) ALIVE STAR looks the best, having trialed up well three weeks ago.

Selections(1) Beastly (8) Banjiui Gijeok (2) Star Eye (13) The First Factor
Next Best6, 5, 3
Fast Start1, 3, 5

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(13) SAGARMATHA was an eye-catching winner on debut over this distance on October 31st leading almost the whole way around for an easy score. There is no penalty for it so she gets another crack at class 6 and as we have noted over the past few weeks, the form from those races has tended to hold up well so we will put her on top here, despite the wide draw. Having won a trial in the summer (9) GODDESS MOON looked the part on debut in October, running a useful 2nd at this distance and she should go close again today. (6) YEONGGWANGUI POWER also put in a solid showing first-up over 1000M and the addition of Djordje Perovic can only be a benefit this time. (1) SEOBU QUEEN and (3) SUNLIGHT BOY are others who have hinted at ability and could come into the equation.

Selections(13) Sagarmatha (6) Yeonggwangui Power (9) Goddess Moon (1) Seobu Queen
Next Best3, 4, 2
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 9, 13

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(8) TOP LUCKY was narrowly beaten into 3rd place last start at this distance in a fast time on a dry track. He has beaten a couple of his rivals here recently and with Franco Da Silva in the saddle today, can make a return to the winner’s circle. (3) ULTRA PHOENIX was a last start winner at class and distance and as she suffers no penalty for it, has to warrant respect in similar company today. She’s well drawn to be prominent from the start. (4) PINEUI KKUM won at this class over 1200M at the end of October. He also has a 2nd place to his name at this distance and is firmly in the hunt for at least a place. (12) STRONG MIND is better than his last start 7th suggests and has outside placing chances while (14) DARK TEMPLAR is inconsistent but has found the money in similar company in the past.

Selections(8) Top Lucky (4) Pineui Kkum (3) Ultra Pheonix (14) Dark Templar
Next Best12, 1
Fast Start3, 4, 8, 12

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 28 Million

Competitive looking race but the Bart Rice/Djordje Perovic combination is too tempting to ignore. (5) YEOKJEON MYEONGSU ran 2nd on debut over 1200M in October having previously won a trial and while he is up in distance today, the Super Saver gelding looks to have excellent claims. He’s not alone. The experienced (1) SEONGSAN POWER doesn’t exactly win out of turn but rarely fails to pick up a cheque and should be close again today. (7) POKPUNG EONDEOK remains a maiden after six attempts but has the fastest time at the distance courtesy of a very good runner-up finish last start three weeks ago. (11) ROCKY SKY and (3) HANBIT YEONGGWANG came home 2nd and 6th respectively when they raced each other over 1200M a month ago and both should be in the minor money frame today.

Selections(5) Yeokjeon Myeongsu (1) Seongsan Power (7) Pokpung Eondeok (11) Rocky Sky
Next Best3, 8
Fast Start1, 5, 6

Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 32 Million

We’re going with Perovic again. (2) GOLDEN WINNER has prevailed on four of nine occasions with plenty of these back down the track behind him. He won at class and distance two starts back with dropped back from a mile is the one to beat. The super-experienced (10) GANGHAN JILJU took thirty-four starts to make his breakthrough but immediately followed it up with another win and then two 3rd place finishes at this class. A very good apprentice keeps the weight light here and he looks set to be involved in yet another finish. (1) MAN OF THE MATCH and (3) YEONGGWANGUI FIGHT came home 5th and 6th when they raced each other at 1800M last month. They have both been beaten by Golden Winner recently but look to have placing chances here. So too (4) TANGENT.

Selections(2) Golden Winner (10) Ganghan Jilju (1) Man Of The Match (3) Yeonggwangui Fight
Next Best4, 12, 11
Fast Start1, 2, 9, 12

Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(1) SSONSAL is turning into a top-class sprinter and having dispatched a number of the better ones who go here over 1400M on October 16th and getting no penalty for it, there is little to suggest he can’t do the same again over 1200M today. (11) DORAONPOGYEONGSEON got the closest to Ssonsal that day in 2nd. He’s a multiple Group winner at this distance and while he had an apprentice taking weight off that day, he is no stranger to going close under big imposts and he can play a role late on here. (4) RAPIDO MAN won back to back races at class 3 in the summer to get promoted to this level. He looked well when winning a trial two weeks ago from an excellent draw can prove he belongs at this level. (8) A PURE GOOD MAN and (9) MORNING DAERO are others who could place.

Selections(1) Ssonsal (11) Doraonpogyeongseon (4) Rapido Man (8) A Pure Good Man
Next Best9, 12
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 9, 12

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(10) ACHIM GISANG made all to win on debut on October 23rd over this distance having previously looked impressive in a trial. Due to getting no penalty that day, she gets another crack at class 6 today and it is very hard to imagine anything beating her. If she does manage to go wrong somewhere, then (6) TOUGH MAN is the logical contender to take advantage. He ran a useful enough 2nd on debut over 1000M a month ago and looks to have some potential of his own. It’s slim pickings amongst the others though. (1) ALPHA DOK has a couple of creditable runs to his name and while he hasn’t raced since July, looked well in a trial just last week. (14) ROYAL YEONGGWANG was 5th behind Achim Gisang last start and that too is enough to put him in with a shout of minor money today.

(more…)

Seoul & Busan Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 5)

The virus situation continues to worsen in Korea with country experiencing community transmission almost nationwide for the first time since the pandemic began. Although the numbers remain very small by global standards, regular readers will be aware that racing has been shut down for much less already this year and could well be again. It looks set to continue to cling on by a thread for at least this weekend, however, as Jeju Island, Daegu and Daejeon remain under “level 1.5” instead of “level 2” distancing measures. That means wagering facilities in those places can open at 20% capacity so at least some punters can play. Reservations must be made on the MyCard app the day before race day.

There have been some changes. If – and it is a big if the current schedule holds, on Jeju will race on Fridays while Seoul and Busan race on Saturdays and Sundays, one after the other. Races are contested behind closed doors and for reduced Stake money and horses are not penalised in the handicap for victories. On Saturday, Seoul will go first with 9 races from 10:45 to 15:00 followed by Busan with 6 races from 15:50 to 18:00. The races will be on overseas simulcast. Here are the previews:

Touch Star Man, KRA Cup Mile and Minister’s Cup winner, will be in action at Busan on Saturday (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

A maiden to begin with and all but one of the fourteen are juveniles with five racing for the very first time. We will side with experience though and (2) ALL HEART is the pick. He debuted promisingly enough in July before following up with a runner-up finish the next month. He is up to 1200M for the first time and from a good draw can lead early and should have too much. None of the other tried ones make for much appeal so we’ll turn to the first-timers to round out our tickets. (10) ZELOS was the fastest of those in trials and looks set to be second-favourite while (3) JAY EAGLE and (8) VIVA LADY also looked well in their heats and can go well first up. One that was less impressive in her trial but may be better suited by today’s 1200M is (14) NONSTOP CAT. The wide draw shouldn’t be a problem.

Selections(2) All Heart (14) Nonstop Cat (10) Zelos (8) Viva Lady
Next Best3, 7
Fast Start2, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Having won a trial, (11) DONG E BEONJJEOK ran a solid 2nd on debut over this distance on October 23rd. He was on the early speed in both of those appearances so while he will need to overcome a wide draw, he looks nicely in to win here. (6) GOLD SPIKE ran 2nd to Dong E Beonjjeok in the trial before finishing 4th on debut and she looks set to build on that here. (2) FASHIONED PASSION came from off the pace to run a strong 4th on her first start in October and she also looks to have the scope for further improvement today. The most experienced horses in the race are (4) GREEN POKJU and (13) THUNDER HORSE who have made three starts apiece. Both have places already and can contest the minor money again today.

Selections(11) Dong E Beonjjeok (6) Gold Spike (2) Fashioned Passion (13) Thunder Horse
Next Best4, 3
Fast Start3, 4, 10, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(3) GEUMA FLAWLESS has mixed his form across five starts so far but put in a promising run for 5th on his latest outing on October 23rd. From a good draw, Antonio Da Silva can sit behind the early pace and finish strongly. (7) JILPUNG BAEKGWANG has been a touch one-paced in both starts so far. She finally gets a draw that isn’t in the car park today tough so should be handier early and can improve. (9) RAON SPECIAL has the fastest time of any of these at the distance so far and looks likely to play a significant role. She is another who will be looking to finish off strongly. (1) COMLETE SHINE and (11) GOLDEN BADGE are others who should be in the hunt in this modest affair.

Selections(3) Geuma Flawless (9) Raon Special (7) Jilpung Baekgwang (11) Golden Badge
Next Best1, 12
Fast Start2, 6, 8, 13

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Pretty useful class 6 race with three winners getting another crack in the level due to the current Covid-relief rules around racing. We’ll come to those in a moment though because we are putting a maiden on top in the shape of (14) K N MAGIC. The Kantharos filly was a good 2nd on debut beaten only by a good winner and while she has drawn the car park here, she has an extra furlong to play with and that could be key. (1) MOST SPEED was an all the way winner at this distance on October 16th and from the inside gate will be well placed to go forward and get close again. (4) ALCHAN NURI similarly significantly improved to win at this trip in October and can go well once more. (9) SPOTLIGHT was a somewhat anonymous 4th on debut after a dreadful start and can improve today. (7) MACH JIJON, a likely pacesetter, and (8) SOARA BABA, another last start winner, are others in the hunt.

Selections(14) K N Magic (1) Most Speed (9) Spotlight (4) Alchan Nuri
Next Best8, 7
Fast Start1, 7, 11

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A competitive race but the consistent (7) UNOECHANGCHEON may have enough about her to win. She has finished no worse than 4th across four starts so far and her win at 1200M was emphatic. She has already posted two competitive times at this distance and could have too much today. (11) WINNER TEMPLAR has also been consistent even though she remains winless. She has acquitted herself well over this trip and can go close. (1) TOP SEED has already won over 1400M. He’s been a little slow to jump in his latest couple but has run on well and can be involved again. (3) POTENTIAL ENERGY is up in class following a good win over 1300M back in August and should be on pace from the start today.

Selections(7) Uneochangcheon (11) Winner Templar (1) Top Seed (3) Potential Energy
Next Best9, 2
Fast Start2, 3, 11

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 28 Million

(12) THE DREAM comes in here looking to complete a hat-trick of wins and it would be a surprise if he didn’t get it. He gets no penalty for his very good victory at class and distance on October 23rd when he had four of these back down the track behind him and he can repeat today. (9) NUNBUSIN HANSEN and (8) SUPER ECTON came home 3rd and 5th in that race respectively and both can aim to match or improve that today but a stiffer challenge may come from (11) MANSEOK JIGI. The Paynter colt recorded the fastest time of any of these for the distance when winning on November 1st and if he can get to the early pace, can go close once more.

(more…)

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 29)

The Juveniles get their chance to shine on Sunday with the Jeju Governor’s Cup split into two divisions at Seoul & Busan. With 150 Million Won up for grabs in each heat, the races – which act as the two second-legs of the Juveniles Series – are not as valuable as in normal years, but still give the youngsters a chance at a big prize. Both Busan (4 races from 13:00 to 14:20) & Seoul (8 races from 14:50 to 18:00) will race behind closed doors on Sunday although simulcast betting on the races will be available at the Jeju Racecourse plus at four provincial OTBs which are not subject to level 2 social distancing restrictions. Here are the previews:

Who will succeed Roller Blade as Champion Juvenile? The second legs of the 2020 Juvenile Series are on Sunday

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

There look to be two standouts in Busan’s opener. (2) DONGBANUI SIJAK gets another crack at class 6 having prevailed on debut on October 23rd over this distance. From gate 2, Jo In-kwon can settle him close to the early speed and he can run on strongly. (10) MILLION MAKER is still yet to break through but after an inauspicious debut, he has put in two strong showings and has the fastest time of any of these at the distance. He’s not raced since July but trialed nicely earlier this month and should go well under Djordje Perovic. Bart Rice and You Hyun-myung teamed up to win with a debut-maker on Friday and they have another one here in the shape of (6) ACE SOLOMON. He looked well when winning an October trial and looks nicely in here first-up. (3) SPRING FIRE and (5) KWAEHAN HWANGGEUM look best of the rest.

Selections(10) Million Maker (2) Dongbanui Sijak (6) Ace Solomon (5) Kwaehan Hwanggeum
Next Best3, 13
Fast Start1, 3, 7

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It’s hard to look too far past (1) SPEED KINGDOM here. He had little trouble carting around 57kg when leading gate to wire over class and distance on October 31st. Having drawn the inside again today, Ioannis Poullis will aim to do similar and there’s no reason why he can’t go all the way once more. (10) YEONGGWANGUI EAGLE came home in 3rd place in that race and should be a contender again although a couple of others may offer stiffer challenges. (4) ROCK PEGASUS is up in class after a very solid win at this distance earlier this month. He can set up camp behind the early speed and run on strong late. (2) GABO TODAY was a touch disappointing when relatively well fancied over 1300M two weeks ago. Kim Young-kwan and Djordje Perovic persevere with him and he’s worth another chance here.

Selections(1) Speed Kingdom (4) Rock Pegasus (2) Gabo Today (10) Yeonggwangui Eagle
Next Best8, 7
Fast Start1, 2,

Busan Race 3: Class 3 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 32 Million

It took (3) POWER TRAIN a couple of goes to figure things out but he’s now won all four of his starts in 2020, zipping through the lower grades as a result. Can he make it five in a row? He can but there a couple of caveats. All his victories so far have come at a mile or further and this is his first try at class 3 level. Nevertheless, his class can see him through. If he does come up short, then (1) STAR OREUM is the most likely to take advantage. An excellent class and distance winner on October 31st, beating a couple of these in the process, apprentice Mo-Jun-ho today takes a full 4kg off his back and he has solid claims. So too does (2) POWER WONDERFUL, who drops back in trip having won at this class over a mile earlier this month as well as the ever consistent (7) SPICE CANDY, who in contrast, steps up to seven-furlongs for the first time and can’t be ruled out.

Selections(3) Power Train (1) Star Oreum (7) Spice Candy (2) Power Wonderful
Next Best12, 13
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 7, 11, 12

Busan Race 4: Class Open (1200M) Allowance “Jeju Governor’s Cup” – Busan / KRW 150 Million

Busan’s second leg of the juvenile series. (2) WINNER’S MAN picks himself really, having been hugely impressive in winning all three of his outings to date without breaking sweat. He’s not yet actually run at this distance but having won at both 1000M and 1300M there is little to suggest it will be a problem for him. (8) HEAT YEGAM is the most credible danger. He too is unbeaten and led all the way for an easy win over this distance in 1.13.3 on October 23rd, a time that was faster than both the class 3 and class 4 events over the same distance that day and looks to have the potential for more. The logical trifecta is filled out by (3) MACH TITAN, who led gate to wire for an impressive looking win over the distance at the end of last month, albeit at class 6 level. (4) GOOD SOCKS and (1) TOP MATE to dispute the minor money.

Selections(2) Winner’s Man (8) Heat Yegam (3) Mach Titan (4) Good Socks
Next Best1, 7
Fast Start2, 8

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

The capital’s Sunday program begins with a competitive maiden with five of the fourteen racing for the first time. Of the ones with prior experience, there are a couple of standouts. (4) DAECHEON EOLJJANG came from well back to run 2nd on debut on October 16th. He had a wide draw that day but punters will need to weigh up whether having the benefit of Kim Yong-geun’s experience in the saddle will counter the 4kg extra he needs to carry. (9) JOYFUL K has run twice already with a 2nd and a 3rd place to her name, both at this distance. She has the quickest time of any of these who have tried 1200M – not a great achievement – and should be very competitive here. (8) BIG FORCE ONE improved to 5th on her second outing beating a couple of these in the process. She should be on pace from the stat and can go close. Of the first-timers, the stand out is (3) COMPLETE STAR. She ran 3rd in a very fast trial in October and has every chance of going well on debut here.

Selections(9) Joyful K (4) Daecheon Eoljjang (3) Complete Star (8) Big Force One
Next Best13, 7
Fast Start8, 12

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Another maiden although this time it is very much the first-time starters who will be favoured. (7) CATCH CHARM looks the best of them having made all to win an October trial. It was the kind of time that would win plenty of class 6 races over the distance and if he brings that form to the races, he’ll win today. (9) SPEAR GUN also caught the eye in trials. The Tourist colt wasn’t quite as quick as Catch Charm but won’t need to have come very much in order to go close on debut today. Among those with experience already, (4) STEADY CHAMPION recorded the fastest time of these on debut at the distance and accordingly has placing claims. (8) EOSEOWA and (12) FANTASY QUEEN are others who can improve.

Selections(7) Catch Charm (9) Spear Gun (4) Steady Champion (12) Fantasy Queen
Next Best8, 14
Fast Start5, 7, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 28 Million

A field of thirteen inexperienced imports take on one local here. The local is a good one, albeit one we haven’t seen for a very long time. (2) MYEONGWANG won two of three starts in 2019 and while he hasn’t raced for a full fifteen months, he looked well in a trial last week and should be right in the mix first-up today. We’re not going to put him on top though. Instead we are going to buy into the minor hype surrounding (5) WILDLY ROMANTIC. The Bayern colt blitzed a trial in October and his debut has been eagerly awaited. He will be expected to win this assignment. (7) ROYAL TAERI also looked good in his latest trial. The Bodemeister colt ran well alongside several established racehorses and should go well first-up today. (1) DOKKAEBE and (12) DANGCHAN SERYEOK are others whose debuts will be watched carefully.

(more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 27)

After three weeks of something approaching normality, COVID-19 has once more cast its malign shadow over racing. With the Greater Seoul area having been placed under “tier 2” restrictions, punters will once more be unable to attend the races or off-track betting centres. And with no online betting in Korea it means that we are back to running for reduced stakes and with an amended schedule.

As of Friday, it was still hoped that a limited number of punters would be permitted to attend the Busan and Jeju Racecourses as well as the nine OTBs located outside the Greater Seoul area. It appears likely, however, that Busan will join Seoul in tier 2 imminently. As it stands racing will go ahead as follows:

Friday: Jeju (5 races from 13:00 to 15:00) & Busan (6 races from 15:30 to 18:00)

Saturday: Jeju (5 races from 13:00 to 14:50) & Seoul (7 races from 15:15 to 18:00)

Sunday: Busan (4 races from 13:00 to 14:40) & Seoul (8 races from 14:50 to 18:00).

Sunday will see juvenile series races being run at both Seoul and Busan. Both races keep their full Stakes prize-money. While it remains unclear if local punters will have any opportunity to bet on the races, overseas simulcast is scheduled at the usual destinations including, for the first time since August, in Europe. Here are the Friday previews for Busan:

Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

A big field of fourteen in the opener but it’s hard to look past (12) ACE DAY. He ran out an emphatic all the way winner on October 31st. That was the last weekend of Covid-relief racing so there was no penalty for the win and back in similar conditions today, he should win once more. He will need to overcome the wide draw but that shouldn’t be a problem. (4) HILL MORE is likely to be one of the main challengers, He ran a solid 2nd on debut a month ago and while it was a considerably slower time than that of Ace Day, it showed promise and he can build on it today. (14) KEY PLAYER is the most experienced runner in the race and while that’s not necessarily a good thing at this level, she has been getting closer across her six outings to date and can be considered a placing chance here. There are three debut-makers and among them, (6) ARTIE’S GAL looks most likely to make an immediate impact. She led from gate to wire in her trial and looks nicely in here.

Selections(12) Ace Day (6) Artie’s Gal (4) Hill More (14) Key Player
Next Best2, 13
Fast Start2, 6, 12

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

This looks a much trickier maiden to solve but while there is a bit of proven form, we’re going to side with a first-time starter. That’s (4) JEONGMUN POWER, who certainly caught the eye when making all for an easy trial win at the end of October. The Bart Rice/You Hyun Myung combination is a good one and he’s likely to attract plenty of attention in the market. (13) JEJUOLLE JIL was similarly good in her qualification heat and can go well first up too although she will have to negotiate a wide draw. As for those with experience, (9) DARI TTEU, (2) PARTY INDY and (7) HONEY STAR came home 4th, 5th and 6th respectively when they raced each other over this distance on October 23rd with all of them making their debuts. All three should be in the frame for improvement here with party Indy perhaps the most favoured to go close.

Selections(4) Jeongmun Power (2) Party Indy (9) Dari Tteu (13) Jejuolle Jil
Next Best7, 6
Fast Start2, 4, 10, 13

Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A gate to wire winner on debut in August, (12) CLEAN HIT returned to beat several of his rivals here on his way to a strong runner-up finish at class and distance on October 31st having once again led almost the entire way. The draw is not overly kind to him today, but he should be able to overcome that and looks to be very much the one to beat. (7) ACHIM BIT was 5th in that same race and has the potential to get closer here. Her one win came at this trip and while she isn’t especially fast, she generally runs on well and should beat plenty. The main danger though looks to be (1) KKUMEUL NEOMEO. She drops back in trip following two impressive showings at 1400M during the summer season and looks well in today to go close. From the inside gate, expect Seo Seung-un to have her on the early speed. (8) FIRST STAR mixes her form but shouldn’t be too far away in this company.

Selections(12) Clean Hit (1) Kkumeul Neomeo (8) First Star (7) Achim Bit
Next Best5, 14
Fast Start1, 5, 12
(more…)

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (November 22)

There are full cards at both Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:40 to 17:00) on Sunday. Both meetings are open to the public but advance reservations must be made using the “MyCard” app. Here are previews for both tracks:

Morfhis just got up in the SBS Sports Sprint in July and returns to action at Seoul on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

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

Two-year-olds to kick off proceedings with just two runners previously lining up in the race. (11) GUEOKMAAL looks to one to beat based on trial performances. The Officer filly clocked a very quick time in comparison to her opponents here. She showed plenty of speed in her trial, we think she will work forward at all costs and find the fence. (8) GEOSEN DOLPUNG is another that was impressive when winning his trial. The Take Charge Indy colt worked forward with Lee Hyeok asking him to keep his mind on the job at the furlong pole. (7) CHANGI CHARM looks capable of figuring on debut. The filly looks to be best drawn of the pacemakers, she should be able to work across from a central draw early and sit prominent in the run. (9) LAGERTHA looks next best in a race with plenty of unknown factors.

Selections(11) Gueokmaal (8) Geosen Dolpung (7) Changi Charm (9) Lagertha
Next Best3, 5
Fast Start7, 8, 11

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

It’s hard to see (1) DDAENGBEOL being beaten here. The Rock Hard Ten colt ran 3rd in what was an admittedly slowly run race on debut back in June but returned to win a trial in a fast time at the end of October. From the inside Antonio Da Silva is unlikely to waste too much time getting to the front and he should win. That’s primarily because the rest aren’t up to much. (8) SEONBONG GOLD ran a semi-creditable time on debut at the distance last month – faster than any of the others have managed – and that’s probably enough to make her second-favourite. (4) GANGHAN YEOJEONSA didn’t show much during the summer season but has at least got a runner-up finish to her name and has placing chances here. Of the two first-timer starters, (10) HAWK QUEEN has the best chance of making an impact first-up.

Selections(1) Ddaengbeol (8) Seonbong Gold (10) Hawk Queen (4) Ganghan Yeojeonsa
Next Best3
Fast Start1, 4

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

Korean-bred maiden galloper to line up over the 1300m in the third. There is no standout in the race but (10) MIR SKY looks to be one of the main chances on her performances back in July. The Federalist filly comes off successive placings when hitting the line strong on both occasions. She’s unlikely to show early speed but will be doing her best work late. (6) SAND POWER is never too far away and has each way claims in the event. The Rock Hard Ten colt’s most recent run was back in August when fourth behind Korean Pearl in a better field than this. (9) K N WONDERFUL reeled off a good final sectional last time out when finishing second behind Mussang Hwanghu. The gelding is likely to settle well back, Antonio Da Silva cannot let him get too far back otherwise minor money may be best case scenario. If (7) BRAVO MAY can improve on his debut performance, he looks another that is capable of collecting a cheque.

Selections(10) Mir Sky (6) Sand Power (9) K N Wonderful (7) Bravo May
Next Best3, 8
Fast Start5, 6

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

(11) WILD KINGDOM has shown plenty of speed across his six starts so far. True he has just the solitary win to his name, an all the way emphatic score over 1400M in June, nut there looks to be more to come. Draw a line through his latest 6th place in October. (9) RAPIDO ARES has also caught the eye over her three outings. Her win came at 1200M and she ran on well for 2nd on her first try at this class back in August. She is versatile having performed well when on pace and from when coming from further back and she should go close today. Both (6) CAPTAIN BRAVO and (7) GANA PARK struggled a little on their respective first tries at this class but both have the potential to improve and along with (3) GIVEN RUNNER look the most credible options for the minor money.

Selections(11) Wild Kingdom (9) Rapido Ares (6) Captain Bravo (7) Gana Park
Next Best3, 12
Fast Start3, 4, 11

Seoul Race 5: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Another maiden event for the Korean-breds where a compact field of ten line up over the seven furlongs. (4) WHITE WING is the on top selection as she lines up for her second career start. The Concord Point filly overcame a wide draw on debut before sitting midfield, running through the line strong to finish third. With a better draw today, Park Eul-woon can let her find her feet naturally before settling her just of speed. If she finishes off in similar fashion to last start she can take out the event. (3) SHINY QUEEN brings some good formlines into the race finishing third and fourth respectively to Goldilocks and Never Walk Alone. She seems to have improved with a few more starts under her belt, treat her as a winning chance. (6) MENI STORM looks a place chance if she can improve a couple of lengths. The filly ran through the line well last start when she was tried over this distance for the first time. (7) THUNDER WIND looks next best after finishing fourth behind Alchan Nuri last month.

Selections(4) White Wing (3) Shiny Queen (6) Meni Storm (7) Thunder Wind
Next Best2, 9
Fast Start3

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

The Class Five gallopers line up in the fifth event over 1600m. (6) BORNE MATTA comes off a good performance last start when second behind Ultra Phoenix. The Testa Matta showed good early speed before finishing off well over 1400m. You Hyun-myung will partner the four-year-old and is likely to settle him in the forward half of the field. (7) B.K. EUAN is an eleven start maiden but has shown some promising performances. The three-year-old finished fourth three weeks ago behind Speed Kingdom when sitting in the leading division. He will get the claim of Mo Jun-ho once again and should take improvement from the last run. (8) MAGIC HORSE has been thereabouts at her past few starts including a last start fourth behind B.K John over 1400m. She has previously placed over the Busan mile and appears an each-way chance. (2) ACE JILJU lines up for his second-up effort after finishing midfield behind the promising Fantastic Man last time out. His strike rate is poor but if he were to collect a minor cheque it would not surprise.

Selections(6) Borne Matta (7) B.K. Euan (8) Magic Horse (2) Ace Jilju
Next Best11, 4
Fast Start3, 4, 7

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(5) ROCKUI JEWANG beat a couple of these on his way to 4th place at class and distance on October 16th. He came from off the pace to record what was his best finish to date and he looks nicely in here again to this time come out on top. (4) JEOLYE is a proven winner and has posted the fastest time of any of these over this distance. She has mixed her form and has been beaten by a couple of these in recent outings but has some quality about her and should be heavily involved. One of those to have finished ahead of Jeolye is (3) ECHO FIRST ON. She is yet to win in thirteen starts and is another who mixes her form, but she has tended to go well when drawn inside and can get forward early. (8) DOLGYEOK APEURO and (10) ROAD BLACK are others in at least the placing hunt.

Selections(5) Rockui Jewang (4) Jeolye (10) Road Black (3) Echo First On
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start3, 5

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(1) GEUMA NIPPY obliged at the second time of asking on October 23rd with a front-running win over class and distance. That was during the period of reduced prize money racing so he gets no penalty for it and there is no reason why he can’t repeat today. He’ll be close to the pace from the start and is likely to be the prohibitive favourite. (7) SMART MOD is a locally bred galloper who has won his way up to this level. His first crack at it back in June didn’t go especially well but the extended break may have done him some good. He certainly knows how to win at this distance. That layoff may also have worked out for (10) K.B. BOSS who was losing his way somewhat in the summer. He trialed up very nicely at the beginning of this month and can be given another chance today (although a word of warning – he trialed up well before his last preparation too. Aside from the favourite, it isn’t a daunting race so there could be an opportunity for the solitary debut-maker (5) MR. SSAK THREE to go well first up.

(more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 20)

For the time being racing can continue in Korea and can continue with racegoers in attendance. Over the past week the government has raised the social distancing requirements to “level 1.5”. At this level, fans can continue to attend sporting event but attendance is capped at 30%. However, the number of new virus cases per day has already reached the number at which “level 2” will be activated, so when the government makes its next announcement – possibly over this weekend – it seems likely that once more fans will be locked out.

This weekend should be completed without issue. Reservations must be made through the MyCard App. There is an 11-race card at Busan on Friday from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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

Maidens to start the day with and seven of the twelve are racing for the very first time. One of those, (2) FIRST EDITION is set to be hot favourite. He made all for an emphatic trial win back in the summer and while quite a bit of time has passed since then, he won’t need to do too much to win here. From gate 2 he should lead from the start and he probably won’t be caught. Fellow first-timer (5) NAMDO QUEEN also won her trial. It was considerably slower than that of First Edition but it does have the benefit of being recent, having come at the end of October. She carries a light weight and should go close. (12) YEOSU TORNADO looks like the best of the rest of the debut-makers at this stage while among those with experience, (6) BEAUTIFUL KING perhaps has most scope for immediate improvement.

Selections(2) First Edition (5) Namdo Queen (12) Yeosu Tornado (6) Beautiful King
Next Best1, 10
Fast Start2, 12

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

The maiden gallopers line up over the short course in the second. (9) THALE NOI lines up for start five after a lackluster performance mid-October. The filly looked as if she will benefit from the run, and the drop back to the 1000m looks to be in her favour as well. Djordje Perovic has been named on the galloper which is a plus as well. (2) B.K. POWER lined up for her debut last start when capitulating in the run home over 1200m. She trialed up in good style over 1000m in September, with the run under her belt and the drop back to 1000m, she may be well suited. (1) ANGEL WIND comes off a fifth last start when sitting on speed in the early stages. Mo Junho will take 4kg off her back, she looks an each-way chance. (5) ROYAL CHANT lines up for his debut after winning his qualifying trial. The Chapel Royal colt was not fully asked for in his trial when leading throughout, going on to win by two and a half lengths.

Selections(9) Thale Noi (2) B.K. Power (1) Angel Wind (5) Royal Chant
Next Best8, 6
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 9

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

First-time starters from Kim Young-kwan’s stable always attract plenty of attention and (7) SPEED MATCH is likely to be no exception. The Shackleford colt won an October trial in good fashion, a big improvement over an effort earlier in the month, and he if he continues to improve then he should be a big player here. He’s not necessarily the winner though. (2) HAPPY WIND beat three of these on her way to 2nd place at this distance on October 23rd. It’s true that she has been inconsistent across her six outings to date but that performance last time was encouraging and a similar run today will see her go very close. (4) RAON THE MILLION was 7th in that same race on what was his racing debut and he can build on that solid effort today. (10) ETERNAL HERO also enters following a pleasing enough debut in July when 4th over 1000M. He trialed up adequately in September and can play a role here.

Selections(2) Happy Wind (7) Speed Match (10) Eternal Hero (4) Raon The Million
Next Best1, 11
Fast Start7, 10

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

It’s fair to say the fourth on the card is a rather weak maiden event. (4) INDIAN PARTY goes on top on the basis of his successive placings at his last two starts. He’s a speedy type who should benefit dropping back to the 1200m after finishing third over the 1400 at his past two starts. Expect a positive ride from Djordje Perovic. (2) LUCKY MAGIC is yet to place from seven starts but did clock a relatively quick time last time out when finishing fourth behind Good Socks. From barrier two expect him to camp on the leaders’ coattails before being asked for at the top of the straight. (11) RAPIDO QUEEN lines up for her third starts after a disappointing effort last time out when last in a field of fourteen. She missed the kick before being urged along by Lee Hyo-sik and never looking comfortable in the run. Her debut in August was much more encouraging, when sitting in the first half of the field before plugging away to finish fourth. (7) HAVE A GOOD TIME rounds out the top four after finishing eighth on debut. This assignment looks easier but he would still have to improve significantly to be a winning chance.

Selections(4) Indian Party (2) Lucky Magic (11) Rapido Queen (7) Have A Good Time
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start4, 8

Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(6) HANEUL ULLIM gets another crack at class 6 despite having won at it back in October when the stakes money was reduced across the board. He came from well back that day, running on pleasingly and the additional half furlong today shouldn’t be a factor. He will be the strong favourite. Both (7) A ONE PLUS and (10) DONGNAM BULPAE come in off pleasing debuts in which they finished 4th and 5th respectively, both of them over this distance. Both should be in the hunt for at least a place finish today. (1) SEUNGNI TOUT has a runner-up finish to his name from back in June. He struggled when sent up to a mile the following month but is capable of getting closer today. He may well lead in a race with little early speed.

(more…)