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

* Update: After a prohibited substance was detected in feed, horses who may have been exposed to it have been scratched from their races as a precaution – currently four trainers affected.

Another big weekend of racing in Korea is in store with the current hottest name on the peninsula, Cheongdam Dokki, headlining the Herald Business Cup at Seoul on Sunday. Things get underway at Busan on Friday with 10 races from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


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

Not a huge amount of form to go on here so we’ll side with (1) DREAM CAT. She debuted all the way back in November last year but wasn’t seen again until looking good in a trial on the last day of March. That performance is enough to put her on top here. She led for much of that trial and will look to lead here along with (2) HEUGSEOL GONGJU, who missed the kick last time but does have a 3rd and 4th to her name and can do better here. Thomas Gillespie’s (5) ROYAL BLUE is another likely to look to lead. While he hung-in early on his debut in February, it was a much better performance than 7th place suggests, and improvement will be expected. (7) SMART DANCER registered a couple of 3rd places from four outings last year. She trialled up creditably behind Dream Cat and can go well first up. There are four debut-makers and among them, (10) DARK TEMPLAR looks the pick.

Selections (1) Dream Cat (7) Smart Dancer (5) Royal Blue (10) Dark Templar
Next Best 2, 12, 3
Fast Start 1, 3, 5

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(5) WINNING AGAIN has weakened twice over 1300M but sandwiched between those two, was a strong performance at this distance on March 2nd when she finished a solid 2nd. Back in trip today, she can get to the lead from a favourable draw and can win. Similarly, (6) GRACIELA has twice run well at this distance and steps back after a tough time over 1300M last start. (10) NEW QUEEN proved a bit of a pain for her jockey last time but still ran a much-improved 3rd. Franco Da Silva takes the ride today and if she can run a bit straighter, she’ll be in the frame. (8) BEOLMA CHEONHA ran 5th behind Winning Again in that March 2nd race and could get closer. (1) KING’S POWER returns for the first time since last October and trialled up reassuringly.

Selections (5) Winning Again (10) New Queen (6) Graciela (8) Beolma Cheonha
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 5, 6, 8, 11

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

(11) SINGAEBYEOK just missed out by a nose when favourite at 1000M on February 2nd. That was his second start having been 3rd on debut at the same distance in January. He comes in here after eleven weeks off up in trip, and likely to take some beating. (1) WONDERFUL MEMORY could only manage 3rd when favourite of seven over this distance on March 16th, hanging outwards around the turn and into the straight. The jockey that day attributed that to the colt being sensitive in the mouth – a not uncommon issue here. She had run 2nd the time before though so does have talent and looks the most credible threat. (12) GAMDONGUI SUNGAN was just a head back in 4th in that race behind Wonderful Memory five weeks ago and can be involved here. (2) STORM GOLD also ran 4th at the distance last start and can at least match it here. (3) GOLDUI INYEON, making just her second start, looks best of the rest.

Selections (11) Singaebyeok (1) Wonderful Memory (2) Storm Gold (3) Goldui Inyeon
Next Best 12, 8
Fast Start 4, 10

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

(9) GOLDEN WAVES has been getting progressively closer across six starts so far and looks to still have scope for improvement He’s not a fast starter but runs on well and if he gets dropped into a position with a chance here, he can win. Last time on March 23rd, Golden Waves finished in 3rd place, ahead of (12) CHEOLBI in 5th and (11) GRAY STORM in 7th. This two have also both raced six times and showed some promise with Cheolbi perhaps the biggest threat to Golden Waves here. He was a touch unlucky in running last time and can get closer today. (2) HANEOLUI BIT was an improved 3rd on his first try at (more…)


Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (April 15)

Sunday sees an 11-race card at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and a 6-race card at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05:



Antonio Da Silva (centre) was among the winners on a good day at Seoul for foreign jockeys on Saturday. Can he get more on Sunday? (Pic: Ross Holburt)

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

Three debut-makers among the ten who go here and one of them stands-out. That’s (2) NAE GIRUI BIT, a Raconteur gelding, who went through a couple of trials in March, making all in the latest of them. That was impressive enough to suggest that if he runs anything like it in this modest contest, he could win. Fellow first-timer (6) RISING SOCKS trialled well too and should be in the hunt although the biggest danger is likely to be (3) TIAGO TOUCH. While indifferent on debut over 1200M in December, he returned at the end of February to run a much improved 2nd at this trip and must be taken seriously here. He’s certainly the best of those with prior race experience although (1) SEUNGNI LIKE and (8) DAEJI GONGJU may improve.

Selections (2) Nae Girui Bit (3) Tiago Touch (6) Rising Socks (1) Seungni Like
Next Best 8, 9
Fast Start 2, 3, 4, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(6) NAEGA KKEUTPANWANG has been close in each of his latest four with two 3rds and two 4ths, all of them at this distance. He’s drawn well to get on speed early here and can win. Luigi Riccardi’s (9) DUAL CHOEGANG enters in promising form too. He beat a couple of these on his way to a useful 4th last time out and can get closer here. One of those two in that race three weeks ago was (1) CHOWON YEOJEONSA back in 5th. Just like Dual Choegang, she remains a maiden after thirteen attempts but has enough about her to beat plenty here. She’s not a fast starter but can pick off horses late on. (2) RAON PRO SENSE and (7) WHITE PUNCH are others to take into account.

Selections (6) Naega Kkeutpanwang (9) Dual Choegang (1) Chowon Yeojeonsa (7) White Punch
Next Best 3, 10
Fast Start 2, 6, 10, 122

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

(1) BEST CHAPEL secured her maiden win at the third time of asking with a front-running performance at this distance on March 3rd. She’s up in class today but has little to fear and can make it two in a row in this all filly/mare contest. (6) SEOUL STORY and (9) NEUNGRYEOK SIDAE join her up in class following maiden wins of their own and while the pair of them perhaps have a little more to find, both can be competitive. Of those with prior experience at this level, (4) KWAEHAN YEBONGSAN is the biggest danger. She was a decent 5th last time at this distance and is likely to join Best Chapel in competing for the early lead. She has every chance. (10) LEAD UP also comes in with encouraging recent form and is another one with good gate speed.

Selections (1) Best Chapel (4) Kwaehan Yebongsan (6) Seoul Story (9) Neungryeok Sidae
Next Best 10, 5
Fast Start 1, 4, 6, 10

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

(10) SUPER FLY returned from a nine-month layoff to run a good 3rd over class and distance on March 10th, beating a couple of these in the process. He should have come on for that run and if he has, he’s take some beating. (9) THE FINAL finds herself up in class after beginning her career with three consecutive 3rd place finishes. While the level may be different, the strength of the opposition is nothing to fear and she can be competitive. (5) SPECIAL LIGHT ran 5th behind Super Fly last time and while he has plenty to make up on the favourite, he should be beating plenty of the others. (11) HAETSAL WANGJA and (12) JAJINMORI both enter off encouraging latest runs and can come into consideration.

Selections (10) Super Fly (5) Special Light (9) The Final (11) Haetsal Wangja
Next Best 12, 1
Fast Start 8, 10, 12

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

Jimmy Creed colt (4) SPEED JOY was a very encouraging 2nd on debut at 1000M back in January running on nicely. He’s had plenty of time off since and should appreciate the additional distance that he has to play with here. (9) GEUMA FALCON gave out similarly positive signs on his first start last month and looks to have an excellent chance of (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (April 13)

It’s Friday! It’s Busan! There are 10 races on the South Coast this Friday with the first at 11:30 and the last at 18:00.


Trainer Kim Young Kwan (2nd from right – Pic: KRA) saddled Divide Wind to win the KRA Cup Mile last Sunday. It was the dominant trainer’s 38th Korean Group winner. Kim only sends out four runners at Busan on Friday but three of them will be expected to win: SPOT in race 1, SUN DAY in race 5 and HI SEXY in race 10. Here are the previews:

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(12) SPOT has run 3rd on both starts so far and surely makes the breakthrough today. This looks a softer maiden than his previous two and despite having the widest gate, Kim Young Kwan’s colt should be on speed early and have far too much. (8) EVELYN was 2nd on debut all the way back last November. She returns today having trialled up well enough two weeks ago and is surely the main danger although (9) MYEONG GONGJU was promising enough on debut at the end of February and could improve. (1) KWAEHAN SINGANGJA overcame a poor start to run 5th behind Spot last time and should be looking to better that today while of the three debut-makers, (11) SUPER GOLD looks the most likely to attract interest first-up.

Selections (12) Spot (8) Evelyn (1) Kwaehan Singangja (11) Super Gold
Next Best 9, 5
Fast Start 9, 12

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) USEUNG TEN hasn’t been too far away in any of his six races to date and while he has looked a little one-paced, could well have enough to prevail here. He most likely won’t lead early but can be handy and steadily improve. Hanse filly (8) BAEKDU QUEEN improved into 3rd place last start over 1200M and can continue her upward trajectory today. She’ll be expected to be on the early pace alongside (1) GEODAEHAN WONSEOK who recorded her best finish so far when 5th of 12 over this distance two weeks ago and can be in the hunt for even better today. Aside from those we’re really looking for ones who can show things they’ve not managed to do so far. Of them, Useung Ten’s stablemate (4) EONJENA SEUNGNI and (7) SECRET MEMORY, who races at further than the minimum distance for the first time, are perhaps the most likely.

Selections (2) Useung Ten (8) Baekdu Queen (1) Geodaehan Wonseok (7) Secret Memory
Next Best 4, 10
Fast Start 1, 5, 8

Race 3: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Small but competitive three-year-old maiden here. (1) TEXAS SIDAE was sent off as favourite for a similar contest on March 23rd but didn’t perform well, coming home in 3rd place, a head behind (5) EL DRAGON. He started poorly that day and never looked wholly fluent but is probably worth another chance here. El Dragon outperformed expectations that day but she can build on it here and can go close again. (2) DAEHO MYEONGGA went well in 4th on what was his first try at this distance a month ago and will be expected to be on the early pace here with chances of going all the way. (3) GAMDONGUI SUNGAN stumbled out of the barriers last time out but still finished only about half a length behind the second place-getter. He steps up to a mile for the first time. So too does (4) GANGHAN JILJU, who is a slow starter, but has run on well in both his latest two efforts at 1300M and could appreciate the additional trip today.

Selections (3) Gamdongui Sungan (1) Texas Sidae (2) Daeho Myeongga (5) El Dragon
Next Best 4, 7
Fast Start 2, 7

Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Just beaten a head when favourite over 1000M last time, (1) HOTHAE steps up in trip for the first time today and will be hot favourite to score. He came out of the widest gate that day but from the inside today, should get on to the lead early and it would be a big surprise were he not to win. (3) NOPIGOM NAREUSYA finished behind Hothae two starts ago when the pair raced 7th and 4th over 1000M but went really well over 1300M on his latest start four weeks ago, just going down by a neck in a tight three-way finish. He can (more…)

KRA Cup Mile 2018 – Full Preview

For race-by-race previews of the 11-race Sunday card at Seoul, click here

The 2018 Korean Triple Crown kicks off at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon with the KRA Cup Mile – “The Korean 2000 Guineas”. Nine runners set out hoping to emulate the feat of Power Blade two years ago, when he swept all three jewels to become the first winner of the Triple Crown in its current format. Now a five-year-old Power Blade remains in training and it’s his stablemate and namesake, Ecton Blade, who is set to begin as favourite.  

Ecton Blade

Ecton Blade won the Breeders’ Cup in December and will be favourite for the Cup Mile (Pic: KRA)

Ecton Blade was a dominant winner of the Breeders’ Cup, Korea’s top juvenile race, last December, and was an impressive eight-length winner on his only start of 2018 so far. A two-time winner already at this distance, he is going to be tough to beat. Trainer Kim Young Kwan once more has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal. He’s won this race three times already and in addition to Ecton Blade, also sends out Divide Wind, comfortable winner of the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup, a trial for this race, a month ago. Punters will surely send them off as favourite and 2nd favourite.

Divide Wind

Divide Wind (Pic: KRA)

Seoul sends down three runners and two of them look to have credible chances. Mask and Gaon Champ came home 1st and 2nd in the capital track’s trial for this race and while it was Mask who prevailed that day, Gaon Champ, who was unbeaten going into that race, has a good chance of overturning that form today. World Sun and Yeongcheon Derby round out the ones who seem to have credible chances, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that in this race anything can happen – last year’s winner, Indian King, started at odds of 70/1.

Mask Gaon Champ

Mask defeated Gaon Champ in the Sports Seoul Cup (Pic: KRA)

Race 5: Class Open (1600M) – The KRA Cup Mile (KOR G2) / KRW 500 Million  

1. YEONGGWANGUIWINNER – Took five attempts to get his maiden win but has gone on to add two more including making all at this distance last time. 3rd behind Yeongcheon Derby at a mile in January. Likely to want to be on the early speed.
2. YEONGCHEON DERBY – The only unbeaten one in the field, the filly hasn’t raced since comfortably winning at this distance in January, beating Yeonggwanguiwinner in the process. A bit of a wildcard, she is a stablemate of World Sun. She has made all to win all three so far. She will try to get to the front from the gate.
3. MASK – Impressive winner at 1700M in January and then ran down and defeated Gaon Champ over 1400M in the Sports Seoul Cup a month ago. Has won from the front and from just off the pace. Likely to take a sit here, a place will be a minimum aim.
4. MONE FLYING – Started very promisingly but seemed to lose her way a little before coming back into form with a very good win over 1300M at Seoul in February. This seems a very tough ask though. Generally settles in the middle of the field.
5. GAON CHAMP – Looked a huge talent when romping home in his first three. Returned to action in the Sports Seoul Cup last month when he was run down by Mask in the closing stages. Up to a mile for the first time, he can overturn the form on Mask, but it would be a surprise – though not impossible – were he to beat the Busan favourites. Has led his races so far and will surely look to do so again.
6. WORLD SUN – The first of these to make a stake a claim as a juvenile winning the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup ahead of Ecton Blade last October. Ecton Blade returned the favour in the Breeders’ Cup and World Sun was a lacklustre 3rd to Divide Wind in the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup, his only start of 2018. Jockey Lim Sung Sil may well be happy to take a sit at the back of the field and if the others go too fast, there is a chance it could open up for him.
7. YEONGGWANGUI CHAMP – Three wins from six and 3rd on first try at this distance at class 4 last month. Yet to be tested in this kind of company though and likely has plenty to find. Expected to settle in the middle of the field.
8. ECTON BLADE – Runner-up to World Sun in the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup but a commanding winner of the Breeders’ Cup in Seoul to become Champion Juvenile. Recorded an effortless win on first try at this distance on solitary start of 2018 so far. Stablemate of Divide Wind and very much the favourite, he will look to be on speed from the start.
9. DIVIDE WIND – Well back in the Breeders’ Cup but has been gone on to record three straight victories, including at this distance in January, and was impressive when comfortably scoring in the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup over 1400M. Stablemate of Ecton Blade and likely to be the primary danger. Tactically versatile but probably content to let others to lead early here.

Verdict: It does look like Kim Young Kwan has done it again as he goes into the first leg of the Triple Crown boasting the favourite and second-favourite. Of his pair, (8) ECTON BLADE is the one to beat. The Champion juvenile has only raced once in 2018 so far, scoring in facile fashion over a mile in February but he arrives at the Cup Mile reportedly in even better shape and ready to win. Stablemate (9) DIVIDE WIND has really impressed in three starts since an underwhelming performance in the Breeders’ Cup and looks the main danger. (3) MASK and (5) GAON CHAMP came home 1st and 2nd in last month’s Sports Seoul Cup – although the order was somewhat of a surprise – and the two raiders from the capital are certainly capable of finding the places, even if they will have to raise their game to beat the favourites. (6) WORLD SUN looks best of the rest.

Selections (8) Ecton Blade (9) Divide Wind (5) Gaon Champ (3) Mask
Next Best 6, 2
Fast Start 1, 2, 5, 8

Race 4: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Trainer Kim Young Kwan and jockey Lee Hyo Sik will partner with the favourite in the KRA Cup Mile and they do so here too. (2) SIGANUI JIHYE ran 2nd when favourite at class and distance just two weeks ago. He led from the gate that day and held on until being passed in the closing stages. She should be on speed again today and this time should go all the way. (6) WIN GO MAN pulled off a surprised win over a mile three weeks ago beating (4) MUJEOK SINHWA and (3) USAIN NUT in the process. Win Go Man needs a little but more respect today but up at this distance, Usain Nut at least – and possibly Mujeok Sinhwa too – should really be overturning that form. (1) ITSAGAINT WARRIOR was a very useful 2nd on his first try at this distance in February and comes in fresh after eight weeks out. (8) BRAVO MARINE moves back up to this distance after some positive recent showings and could be in the placing frame.

Selections (2) Siganui Jihye (3) Usain Nut (1) Itsagaint Warrior (8) Bravo Marine
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 1, 2, 7

Race 6: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

Hard to look past the Kim Young Kwan and Lee Hyo Sik combination again. (7) FINEST WARRIOR has won three of five starts so far and the Majestic Warrior gelding finds himself up at class 1 for the first time. His wins have been impressive though and the manner especially of his latest two suggest he has little to fear here. He should be close to the pace early and can win. (1) GASOK ENGINE was 3rd behind Drop The Beat and Haeya in a well-run race at this distance last time. He’s beaten a number of these in recent starts and should push the favourite close here. (2) MUJEOK WONDERFUL was a close at hand 4th in that race and can go well again too. (8) STEALTH has been up and down in recent starts but was 2nd on his last try at this distance in January in a better race than this and can’t be ruled out. (9) BANJIUI JEWANG enters after back to back competitive 3rd place finishes and can aim to at least match those today.

Selections (7) Finest Warrior (1) Gasok Engine (8) Stealth  (2) Mujeok Wonderful
Next Best 9, 6
Fast Start 1, 7, 9, 10

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (April 6)

It’s the first weekend of the Triple Crown! Nine will line up in the KRA Cup Mile at Busan on Sunday but before that we have a 10-race Friday card from 11:30 to 18:00. Japanese jockey Yuri Takahashi, who rode at Seoul in 2015 and 2016, makes his Korean return.


It’s Friday! It’s Busan!

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

Three-year-olds only and just three of them have raced before. Of them, (4) MIRACLE ALICE ran well enough for 6th of 12 after a slow start on debut two weeks ago while (8) ROYAL CLUB achieved the same finish position on her first-time a month ago. Both should be in the frame for improvement today. It’s one of the debut-makers that will be favourite though (5) YES POWER looked sharp when winning a trial only last week and if he brings that form to the track could take some beating. (11) HWANSANG DOKJU too showed some speed when trialling up and trainer/jockey combination will make for plenty of backers. (2) NAEGA DAESE too looks to have some potential first-up.

Selections (5) Yes Power (4) Miracle Alice (11) Hwansang Dokju (8) Royal Club
Next Best 2, 3
Fast Start 5, 7, 10, 11

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

More maidens here although all of them have raced at least once. (4) S S YOUNG has been odds-on favourite for both her starts so far and has come up short both times, finishing 2nd and 3rd. She’ll be well-backed again, but this time may not be favourite and may once again have to settle for a place. That’s because (1) FELAROF looks the one to beat. An improved 2nd on what was his second start in February, he returns from six weeks off, should be on pace early and can go all the way. (3) B.K. UNO raced greenly on debut a month ago but still managed 4th and if she has learned a bit from that can improve today. (11) MAJOR THUNDER and (12) STAR WOMAN also look to be getting better and can compete here.

Selections (1) Felarof (4) S S Young (3) B.K. Uno (12) Star Woman
Next Best 11, 2
Fast Start 1, 4, 8, 11

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

Tricky one this but (1) PARK MINISTER stepped up to this distance for the first time all the way back in February and ran a good 2nd, beating a couple of these in the process. She’s not raced since so comes in fresh, Jo In Kwen stays aboard and she has as much chance as any here. It took (7) HOPEFUL SIMON a long time to get to the track but the manner in which he debuted last month gives some reasons to be hopeful. The four-year-old ran on well for 2nd over 1200M and could go close here. (3) PEACE RIDER overcame a poor start to run 3rd last start and the extra half furlong ay benefit. (5) BREAKING NEWS and (11) PERFECT BOSS, the latter racing at further than the minimum distance for the first time, are others who may come into play.

Selections (1) Park Minister (7) Hopeful Simon (3) Peace Rider (11) Perfect Boss
Next Best 5, 8
Fast Start 5, 7

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

(1) SEOLGWANGHWA just went down by a nose in a much-improved performance over 1300M on March 9th. Like the majority of these, he is up to a mile for the first time today and it could be exactly what he needs to get his maiden win. (5) BELLAMY GONGJU has also been getting closer lately and while she was a distance 2nd to a good winner two (more…)

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (April 1)

Sunday sees 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. Here are the previews (Busan selections at bottom):


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

(3) RAON SIRIUS looked to be making all over 1200M on February 25th, only to be comfortably overhauled by a good favourite and ending up in 2nd. Johan Victoire rode the winner that day and this time he can guide Raon Sirius to the front once more and potentially all the way. (6) GONG SAN was a promising enough 6th of 11 over this distance on debut a month ago and can come on for that here. Antonio Da Silva had a good March and he can get April off to a positive start on (2) KHENDUM POWER, who drops back in trip following a couple of decent efforts around 1700M while (9) BIG AURORA, who tries this trip for the first time, and (12) MIDAS CHIEF, who is one start into a comeback following nine months out, are others to consider.

Selections (3) Raon Sirius (6) Gong San (2) Khendum Power (12) Midas Chief
Next Best 10, 9
Fast Start 3, 7, 7

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

After exceeding expectations with 3rd place on debut, (4) HANYANG GONGJU came up short when favourite on reappearance at 1300M on March 3rd. However, her 2nd place that day warrants another chance and she really should be getting it right this time. She’ll be strong favourite ahead of (5) O.K. DAY and (6) GARA GARA GA, both of whom have shown promise across two start each so far with the latter slightly favoured at this point. (3) LEADER’S CAMP didn’t disgrace herself when finishing 6th of 12 on debut at the end of February and may benefit from an additional furlong today while (11) GOLD STREET was an improved 4th when tried at further than the minimum for the first time on March 4th and can match or better that here.

Selections (4) Hanyang Gongju (3) Leader’s Camp (6) Gara Gara Ga (5) O.K. Day
Next Best 11, 7
Fast Start 3, 5, 7

Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(6) HAMBAK MISO was sent off as the odds-on favourite on debut on March 3rd and duly obliged, winning comfortably over 1000M. He is up in class and distance today and should be competitive. He won’t be favourite, however, because (5) DOKDO JIGI returns for the first time since Christmas Eve. Dokdo Jigi was a fast winner on debut over 1000M before running 2nd to the very good Gaon Champ on reappearance in November. He was 5th of 8 in a very strong juvenile race on Christmas Eve before being diagnosed with a fetlock joint disease. Back now, if he is anything like he was before, he should win. (3) ROYAL BOKSUNI enters having run 3rd and 4th in her latest two and can be close again. (4) MONEY ZIF is up in class following a good win over 1300M a month ago and should figure at some point while (9) STRONG MAN has also shown ability at this class and should get close.

Selections (5) Dokdo Jigi (6) Hambak Miso (9) Strong Man (3) Royal Boksuni
Next Best 4, 2, 1
Fast Start 3, 5

Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(2) THE QUEEN GRACE was a touch disappointing running 6th of 12 when second-favourite over the distance on February 25th. That wasn’t a bad race though and she already has a 2d place to her name at class and distance and can go one better here. Speaking of 2nd place finishes, that’s fast becoming (3) CHEONJI BOBAE’s specialty, (more…)

Good Friday Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (March 30)

There are 10 Friday races at Busan from 11:30 to 18:00. Here is the full horse-by-horse and race-by-race guide:

Power Blade Owners

Jockey Franco Da Silva could be among the winners at Busan on Friday (Pic: KRA)

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

1. GOLDUI INYEON – First-time starter. Trialed adequately and top jockey booking.
2. MUCHO – Won a trial at the end of December but offered little in two starts so far. Should be on pace early.
3. TANGO AND TANGO – Didn’t do much on debut but comes in off 2nd and 3rd in latest two and can match those today.
4. HARVEST GOLD – Last of 12 on debut three weeks ago. Not yet.
5. BUGYEONG STORY – Debut-maker. Trialed ok but won’t be favoured first-up.
6. HANGIL – Much improved 2nd on fourth start a month ago, just beaten half a length in all-filly contest and a leading contender here. Top Jockey.
7. BAENGNYEON DAERO – Solid 3rd on debut at this distance in January but struggled at 1300M last time. Should be better dropped back in trip today.
8. CHEONJI GOLD – Slow in both starts so far and hard to argue for here.
9. FASHION WANG – Showed a bit of improvement last time but still a way to go. Likely to be on early speed.
10. THE FACT – First-timer. Didn’t catch the eye when trialing.
11. ROYAL RIVER – Showed some glimpses of ability across six starts so far with a best of 2nd. Hasn’t raced since 5th behind Baengnyeon Daero in January. Don’t ignore.
12. HIGH VALLEY – Offered few clues on debut twelve weeks ago. Watching brief here.


Race 1 TANGO AND TANGO 20180309 R1 jumped awkwardly, shifted outwards and bumped

Verdict: Reasonably competitive maiden to open with. We’ll come down slightly on the side of (6) HANGIL, who showed significant improvement when 2nd last start and with a little more today can win. (3) TANGO AND TANGO overcame a poor start last time to run on well for 3rd and should be in the frame again while (7) BAENGNYEON DAERO showed some ability at this distance on debut and should be better today following a chastening experience in stiffer company over 1300M last month. (11) ROYAL RIVER returns for the first time in ten weeks having not been too far away in four of six starts and looks a contender too.

Selections (6) Hangil (7) Baengnyeon Daero (3) Tango And Tango (11) Royal River
Next Best 2, 1
Fast Start 2, 5, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

1. SAEROUN BOMUL – Two 3rd places, including last time when she led before weakening to 3rd. First try at further than the minimum.
2. SEUNGNI DAEJANG – Trained by South African Bart Rice, he had a 4th and 3rd in two starts so far. Up in trip for the first time and with strong claims.
3. SAKISAKI – Two 3rd places at 1000M and ran creditably in a good race at 1300M last start. In the frame.
4. TOP HERO – Last on debut in December in a slow time so sent back to trial. Looked much better when requalifying earlier this month but hard to recommend first up.
5. SIMON MAGIC – Decent 3rd of 7 at 1300M behind a couple of useful ones on debut on March 2nd. Not impossible here.
6. I’M YOUR STAR – Ran well on debut at this distance last October and he’s been closer than his results suggest in his three since. Back up to 1200M today, he has a chance.
7. AGUILENA – Stable-mate of Simon Magic. Debut-maker who trialed in acceptable fashion. Top jockey.
8. BAEKDU MYEONGWOL – A 5th and a pair of 4ths so far. Should get on the early speed here and can play a role in the finish. Stablemate of Top Hero.
9. FELICE – Stablemate of Seungni Daejang, he debuts here having looked useful in a trial two weeks ago. He led for much of it and will probably try to lead here too.
10. HUNTER PARK – A first-timer, it took him three trials to qualify and we’ll take a watching brief first-up.
11. WHIPLASH MARINE – Much improved on second start two weeks ago when 4th of 8 at this distance. 4th would be a realistic target again.


Race 2 NIL      

Verdict: This maiden race is restricted to three-year-olds hence the enhanced prize money. Bart Rice’s (2) SEUNGNI DAEJANG has run on well in both his two outings so far and the extra furlong today could suit him and accordingly we’ll make him the slight pick. (5) SIMON MAGIC looked competent when 3rd on debut earlier this month and can build on that here while (6) I’M YOUR STAR’s performances have been better than the raw form suggests. He returns to this trip for the first time since a strong showing on debut and can go close here. (3) SAKISAKI and (8) BAEKDU MYEONGWOL are others who should come under consideration.

Selections (2) Seungni Daejang (5) Simon Magic (3) Sakisaki (6) I’m Your Star
Next Best 8, 9, 1
Fast Start 1, 8, 9, 11

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

1. GOLDEN AGE – Best of 2nd from fifteen outings to date. 3rd at 1000M in February but didn’t impress last start. Minor money hopes here.
2. GIPPEUM SARANG – Hasn’t been getting any closer in recent starts. First try at 1300M today.
3. VIP KING – Inconsistent but has shown ability. Top jockey gets on today and if he gets a first start – which he has drawn well to do – he has a chance.
4. HANEOLUI BIT – Not impressed in two efforts so far.
5. SERENDIPITER – Shown nothing at all from eight outings. Big outsider.
6. GANGHAN JILJU – Improved 3rd on first try at this trip last time. Likely 2nd-favourite here.
7. CHIEF LEADER – She’s been getting closer across three starts so far. The one who beat her last time went on to run a very good 2nd last week at a higher class and she should win.
8. SEORABEOL YEOJE – Best of 3rd from eleven starts came at this distance in January. Disappointed last time when favourite (see Stewards) but probably worth another chance.
9. GEODAEHAN WONSEOK – Bit of a wildcard. He’s not done much across an interrupted career to date but looked sharp in a trial two weeks ago. Watch the market.
10. GURI TOWER – Well back behind Chief Leader last time and came back lame. Lots to find.
11. YEONGGWANGUI CHIC – First start since last October. She’d run well prior to the layoff and trialed up well in a heat made much faster than normal by Triple Nine. In the placing hunt.
12. WIRE BAND – First start since last June. Trialed up alongside Yeonggwangui Chic but she can’t be backed first-up.


Race 3 GIPPEUM SARANG 20180309 R2 bumped near 350
HANEOLUI BIT 20180202 R3 buffeted between horse near 800
SERENDIPITER 20180309 R2 slow to begin and jumped awkwardly with its head up
CHIEF LEADER 20180302 R3 bumped at start – bumped 450
SEORABEOL YEOJE 20180223 R3 jumped awkwardly, shifted inwards and bumped the side of its barrier – When questioned about performance, rider said he was instructed to lead and had to work hard early in the race to obtain that position as a result when he applied pressure to the horse in the home straight, it failed to respond and proved disappointing
GURI TOWER 20180302 R3 hung outwards rounding the turn from the 900 metres WARNING – horse was sensitive in the mouth and when attempting to keep the horse straight, it got its head up on several occasions – post race vet lame left hind

Verdict: (7) CHIEF LEADER looks very much the one to beat here. She was 2nd behind Gemsuryeong, who went on to contend a photo-finish with Great Rock at class 5 last week. She’s shown progression across each of her three starts to date and it shouldn’t take much more to win this, probably leading all the way. (6) GANGHAN JILJU is also (more…)