Busan

Breeders’ Cup Sunday: Seoul & Busan Race-By-Race Preview (December 1)

The year’s top juveniles are set to face each other in the Breeders’ Cup (KOR G2) at Busan on Sunday afternoon. Seoul’s champion Roller Blade takes on Busan’s Save The World along with twelve others over 1400M, with the winner to be crowned the nation’s Champion two-year-old of 2019. There are 6 races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10 while at Seoul there are 11 from 10:45 to 18:00.

Roller Blade

Roller Blade is in Busan for the Breeders’ Cup (Pic: KRA)

Here is the horse by horse guide to the Breeders’ Cup with Seoul’s race by race and selections for the remainder of the Busan card below:

  1. ROLLER BLADE – A winner of four from five so far including both of Seoul’s first two juvenile series legs, making all both times. He’s drawn well on the inside again and while he, like all the others here, is in unchartered territory at seven furlongs, he’ll surely stay on without issue. A big chance.
  2. K N ROAD – Just the one win from five but he ran 3rd in both Munhwa and Nonghyup Trophies, getting much closer in the latter. He seems to be improving and he is one who is set to benefit for the increase in distance today. A top jockey travels with him and he can go close.
  3. MARK ONE – No concerns about staying the distance with this one. If anything, it could be too short as he broke his maiden over a mile last month. He led all the way and has a big race jockey on board. Outsider but not without a chance of some money.
  4. MAN OF THE FIELD – He ran 3rd behind Save The World in the Breeders’ Cup Trial last month but was some way in arrears so has plenty to make up. He runs on well though so should appreciate the step up in trip and can run into some money again.
  5. YEONGCHEON JILJU – Half-brother to 2015 Korean Derby winner Yeongcheon Ace as well as a couple of other talented runners. His two wins have come at 1400M and he’ll handle the distance well. Deeper waters today and others are faster but he can come from off the pace and finish well.
  6. DETERMINATION – Looks a potential star in the making. After running 3rd on debut, he’s since won three in facile fashion including up at 1700M. Currently rated ten points below Roller Blade and Save The World, if those two end up going too fast, he’ll have plenty left late on to make his move.
  7. MENI HERO – Gets to take his chance after a spectacular success over 1300M at the end of October. It was only at class 5 but he absolutely blitzed them to register his maiden win. Obviously this is much harder but he’s drawn well to get on speed again and could cause problems.
  8. AFLEET YOUNG – Comes in off two nice wins over a mile, the most recent at class 5, coming from just behind the speed on both occasions. He’s shown a decent turn of foot as well but back at 1400M, others are favoured.
  9. TOP DAY – The only horse in the race from top trainer Kim Young-kwan. After winning his first two races very tidily, he’s struggled in three attempts since. Two of those were behind Save The World and he only managed 7th in the Breeders’ Cup trial. He will attract some support due to the stable and his dam is a Korean Derby winner but this looks a stretch. We’ll likely see him in contention in the Spring Classics.
  10. CHOIN GANGJA – Ran on very nicely from well back to end up 4th in the Nonghyup Trophy last month, He’s consistently posted competitive times and looks to be a progressive type who will only get better as the distances get longer. He has a real placing chance here.
  11. SAVE THE WORLD – The only one to come in with an unbeaten record having won his four races by a combined margin of twenty-one lengths. His latest was a comfortable score in the Breeders’ Cup Trial on October 27th beating Doctor Carson – who went on to win last week’s Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Cup – very easily. He has home advantage and he will be a deserved favourite.
  12. DONGTEUJA DAY – Beaten by Save The World on debut before winning his next two to earn a crack at the Breeders’ Cup Trial. Didn’t show up that day, weakening into last place. Gets another chance here but will be an outsider

Here are the Seoul Previews:

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

A big day of racing kicks off with the two-year-olds lining up over the 1300m. (5) NEW MOON WARRIOR looks the one to beat coming off an impressive debut. The Peace Rules gelding bounced out of the gates well in his first run but couldn’t rein in the leader Power Tower. They ran a fast time and the step up to the 1300m should suit. (8) DAESUNG QUEEN is having her third career start. She has placed at both outings to date including a well beaten third last time out. This is her second run over the 1300m and she will take improvement out of her last run. (6) BAEKDUSAN CHEONJI will need to improve to be a winning chance but is in the mix to fill a place. Connections of the Hansen colt will be looking for improvement of his last run when finishing midfield over the 1300m. (11) BEST TAP ran home fairly last time out when finishing fifth behind Dynamic Punch. At his first start he finished third over the five furlongs. At both starts to date he hasn’t clocked fast times but he is one that can fill a place.

Selections (5) New Moon Warrior (8) Daeseung Queen (6) Baekdusan Cheonji (11) Best Tap

Next Best 2, 1

Fast Start 5, 8

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

Another batch of two-year-olds will line up in the second but this time over the five furlongs. It is hard to go past the performance of (10) EAST ONE when looking at the times they posted last start. The son of One Cool Cat finished fourth behind Gyoryongdeuksu when running 62.2 for the 1000m. None of his counterparts in this assignment have posted a time close to his and based on that he looks the one to beat. He looks best suited to be ridden positively out of the gates and be on speed. (8) WANGINHAENGCHA handed in a nice trial performance when not over-exerted. Lee Dong-Ha has been riding well of late and he will have a good chance to finish in the money in this race. (3) SPEED BIRD is another that trialed fairly when qualifying. His dam was a handy Canadian-bred mare who won over $500k US in the states. Watch with interest as he takes to the track for the first time.

Selections (10) East One (8) Wanginhaengcha (3) Speed Bird (4) My Member

Next Best 6, 9

Fast Start 8, 10

Race 3: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

One of the best bets on the card will line up in the third over the 1200m. (8) MARK STORY made a lasting impression when blowing his rivals away on debut. The import ran a fair trial when not overly asked for but followed that up with an impressive debut win clocking 59.5 for the 1000m on a dry-rated track. We suggest his counterparts look at his head behind the gates because if all goes to plan, they’ll only see his backside in the run. (7) LORD BAN ran a fair race when debuting over the 1300m. He sat on speed and

(more…)

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

+++PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL RACES SCHEDULED FOR BUSAN RACECOURSE ON FRIDAY NOVEMBER 29, 2019 HAVE BEEN CANCELLED++++

RH7_1815

Da Silva also gets a ride in the weekend’s big race, the Breeders’ Cup for Juveniles on Sunday afternoon. That race will see Seoul’s top two-year-old Roller Blade, facing off with his Busan counterpart Save The World for the first time. We’ll have plenty more on that race as the weekend progresses but in the meantime, here’s Royce with Friday’s previews:

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

A field of twelve maiden two-year olds will line up over the 1300m in the first at Busan. (7) OASIS GIRL looks ready to breakthrough after a solid performance last time out when finishing second over the 1000m. The Thomas Gillespie trained filly parked just behind the speed before running through the line strong. She was beaten less than a length and steps up to the 1300m for the first time at her fourth career start. (10) HAPPY YOJEONG ran on impressively on debut over the short course. The grey filly is being stretched out to the 1300m at her second start which should not be a problem based on her first run where she sat off speed and ran on strong. (6) MASTER BELLA was encouraging on debut when overcoming a wide draw to settle just off the leading division. The Colors Flying filly finished off well finishing third behind Unbongsan and Oasis Girl. (11) BLUE POWER has placed over the 1300m previously. Whilst it was in weaker company the Blue Pin colt should be kept safe in your selections.

Selections (7) Oasis Girl (10) Happy Yojeong (6) Master Bella (11) Blue Power

Next Best 1, 2

Fast Start 5, 7

 

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

The second on the card has another field of maiden where there is a severe lack of depth engaged. (3) FIRST STAR appears to bring the strongest form lines into the race. The Simon Pure filly has had three starts for two top four finishes including a reasonable fourth placed performance last time out when she passed a few in the straight. She has drawn favourably and should be in a position to strike when they swing for home. (12) TWO TWO DAY has placed at his past two starts. The Any Given Saturday colt has bounced out of the gates well at his past couple of starts. He should have the speed to overcome the outside draw and settle in a forward position. (11) MR. VALOR is debuting after a soft trial. His dam produced Smart Valor, Couragio and True Valor who have all won multiple races for Isidore Farm. He wasn’t fully asked for in his trial and can figure first-up. (6) SPEED KINGDOM was far from disgraced last time out when finishing sixth over the 1300m. This assignment looks easier, keep the Clear Attempt colt safe in your wider selections.

Selections (3) First Star (12) Two Two Day (11) Mr. Valor (6) Speed Kingdom

Next Best 4, 2

Fast Start 6, 11, 12

 

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

The third on the card will see twelve maidens trying to break maiden status over the short course. (5) GOLDEN RAIN looks mighty hard to beat in this based on him much-improved last start effort. The Tiz Wonderful chestnut ran 1:02.9 last time out on a dry track for the five furlongs, with that time looking superior to his counterparts engaged. Choi Si-Dae retains the ride with the three-year-old carrying the same weight as last start. (7) NORTHERN DREAM is having her third career start. The lightly weighted filly finished fourth last time out when settling in the first half of the field.  Expect further improvement and a positive ride from Jeong Dong-Cheol. (9) FAMILY DANCER finished midfield last time out over the same distance. In a race that lacks depth she can collect some prizemoney. (2) CHEONJI DOKJU was somewhat one-paced last time out when running finishing fifth behind Big Picture. She is second-up and looks a place chance on her effort first-up.

Selections (5) Golden Rain (7) Northern Dream (9) Family Dancer (2) Cheonji Dokju

Next Best 3, 12

Fast Start 3, 5, 7

 

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

There looks to be an abundance of speed engaged in the fourth on the card. (8) SEOBU GENTLEMAN has finished in the top five on five occasions from nine starts suggesting a maiden victory cannot be far away. The Hansen colt ran a fair time for this grade last time out and his early speed should see him get every chance. (6) WORLD SLAM is another that has been trying to breakthrough for quite some time. He led before they balanced up for the run home last time out and eventually let a few pass him. He will be competitive in a field that has limited strength. (11) PARTY LION will jump from the outside at her seventh career start. You Hyun-Myung will jump aboard the three-year-old for the first time. She ran a respectable time last start and is a top three chance. (7) TOHAM STRONG managed to place last time out in a weak field and can pick up some minor money once again.

Selections (8) Seobu Gentleman (6) World Slam (11) Party Lion (7) Toham Strong

Next Best 5, 3

Fast Start 1, 3, 6, 11

 

Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

The term “throw a dart” has never been more appropriate when analysing the field for the fifth on the card. With little confidence (5) FLYING KINGS is the on top selection. The Colors Flying colt missed the start hopelessly last time out and with a clean break in this he has to be considered one of the main chances. He ran a good time for this class two starts ago and should sit in a good position from barrier five. (4) MAX POWER should be kept safe given it appears to be one of the easier assignments she has lined up in. There’s very little speed engaged so she can sit in the first two if Jung Do-Yun chooses to do so. (11) BORNE MATTA is first up since May. The three-year-old ran an average trial time going into this preparation but has had three top five placings from five career starts. (3) BAEDARI CAPER has the ability to collect some minor prize money in a race lacking strength. (more…)

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 24)

On Saturday at Seoul, Raon First ran out the impressive winner of the Listed Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup. On Sunday it’s the turn of Busan’s juveniles to run for big money as the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Cup takes centre stage. There are 6 races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05 while at Seoul there are 11 from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the Previews:

20191123_164356.jpg

Raon First was the dominant winner of the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup at Seoul on Saturday. Who will win Busan’s equivalent on Sunday?

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

Juvenile maidens in the opener and having only been beaten a nose on debut in a fast time at this distance, (8) J.S CAPTAIN is the warm pick to prevail here. He almost made all that day and ended up nine-lengths clear of the 3rd place-getter. With a decent start here, he should win. (3) BIG RIVER also led for much of her debut on October 19th, ultimately going down to 3rd in the final furlong. She’ll join the favourite on pace and should go close again. (1) TERRA SPEED and (6) FUTURE FIRE are the only two in the field to have raced twice already. Both improved at the second time of asking and can show more development today. (11) BOHEMIAN MUSIC looks best of the rest at this stage.

Selections (8) J. S. Captain (3) Big River (6) Future Fire (1) Terra Speed
Next Best 11, 7
Fast Start 1, 3, 8, 12

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

Regular maiden here but a couple of promising ones are engaged. (7) HALLA BLOSSOM has shown steady improvement across three outings so far, culminating in a 2nd place over 1000M on October 19th. He tackles 1300M for the first time here and it may well suit. Crucially, he looks to be the only one to be consistently good at getting on pace so he may find an easy lead and maintain it all the way. (1) JEONGSEONG HOLIDAY stepped up to this trip last start and ran a good 3rd. He hasn’t shown much in the way of speed so far but can continue his development today while (10) DAEGUN OK similarly seems to be figuring things out and comes in off a 3rd and a 2nd both at this trip. (4) YAHO M J CAT and (9) JACKS KHAN are others in at least the placing hunt.

Selections (7) Halla Blossom (1) Jeongseong Holiday (10) Daegun Ok (4) Yaho M J Cat
Next Best 9, 3
Fast Start 7

Seoul Race 3: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(6) BRAVE QUEEN ran 2nd on debut in September before registering her maiden win at the second time of asking, getting the best of a tight three-way finish, on October 6th. She led every step of the way that day and will endeavour to do the same here with solid claims of a repeat. (4) MUNHAK KING was 3rd behind Brave Queen on debut and followed up with another 3rd place finish on his re-appearance. He’ll be a danger but may have to settle for another placing as the other “Munhak”, (3) MUNHAK REWARD, also has ability. She steps back in trip following a useful 2nd place over 1300M four weeks ago and looks nicely in here. (2) EOMAMUSI and (9) SHARK JJANG are others to consider.

Selections (6) Brave Queen (3) Munhak Reward (4) Munhak King (2) Eomamusi
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 2, 4, 5, 6

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

Wide open race. No previous winners among them but three do come in off last start runner-up finishes and it is those three who looks set to be contesting top honours. (5) D K PURMIR is perhaps the slight pick. He was 2nd on debut over 1000M in August before having two months off and then stepping up to this trip on October 26th and running another close 2nd in a fast time having led nearly the whole way around. Nicely drawn to lead again, today can be his day. (4) CHARLIE STYLE showed significant improvement on his second outing last month in what was a good race for the level. He steps up in trip for the first time and can be dangerous. As can (11) MEOTJIN WANGJA. He’s appeared just the once and was beaten less than a length over 1000M, running through the line well. (8) MABOSS and (12) MOONHAK QUEEN, the latter debuting following a solid trial performance, are others to keep handy.

Selections (5) D K Purmir (4) Charlie Style (11) Meotjin Wangja (12) Moonhak Queen
Next Best 8, 1
Fast Start 1, 4, 5

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

Not the stiffest of maidens here and, stepping up to two-turns for the first time, (7) SOUTHERN MAN looks the one to beat. He’s been knocking at the door over shorter trips for some time and while he is a natural front-runner, he could well simply outstay this lot to get his maiden win. (10) MANE HANA has experience of this distance already and comes in off a useful 3rd in marginally better company than this over 1300M last start. (5) GOLDEN SPARK tried this distance for the first time four weeks ago and ran a creditable 4th, beating tow of these in the process, and can build on that today. (1) HONAM DAERO and (8) KKOKKOMA LADY are others in the hunt.

Selections (7) Southern Man (10) Mane Hana (5) Golden Spark (1) Honam Daero
Next Best 8, 6
Fast Start 5, 7, 9

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

The second on the card is over the mile where several of the main players are to be tested over the distance for the first time. (5) YEONGGWANGUI PARTY comes out of the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup where beaten a distant eighth. Whilst not up to the top level two-year-olds the Office colt looks hard to beat in Class 5 company. Lee Hyo-Sik is likely to let him free-wheel to be near the speed. He ran through the line strong over 1300m two starts back in similar grade and should run the mile out strong. (3) TOP FIRE has been sent out at a short price for all four of his career starts. He broke his maiden last start when stepping up to the mile for the first time. You Hyun-Myung sat the chestnut on speed last time out in a change of tactics, expect to see a similar ride engaged. (1) (more…)

Jeju Governor’s Cup Sunday – Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (November 10)

It’s Jeju Govenor’s Cup day at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday and a full field of sixteen fillies and mares will line up for one of the final Korea Group races of the year over 1400M. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10.

Lead Money 2018 Jeju Governor's KRA

Lead Money held off Sinui Myeogryeong in a battle of the greys in last year’s Jeju Governor’s Cup. She returns to defend her title on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Last year’s Jeju winner Lead Money returns to defend her title as one of the few established class 1 contenders in the race and will accordingly be among the favourites. However, she will face stiff competition from the lightly raced Dia Road as well as other more established runners such as Hello Venus and Doctor Thunder. See below for race-by-race for Seoul with Busan Selections at the bottom:

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

Juvenile maidens to kick things off with five of the ten having raced before. Of those five, (4) GEOMPO has looked the most promising with a 4th and a 3rd from two starts so far, the latter at this distance. He’s drawn well to lead and can win. None of the others have impressed to any extent so it’s to the first-timers we need to look for the other chances. Possible favourite is (8) WISH ME. She ran out a very good trial winner last month, running on very well and should go well first up. (9) JEONJEONGSAGUEM also won her trial while (1) A TO Z and (3) CHAMILHO hinted at ability too.

Selections (4) Geompo (8) Wish Me (9) Jeonjeongsaguem (1) A To Z
Next Best 3, 6
Fast Start 4, 6, 9

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

Very weak maiden. (4) BOMNALUI GIEOK hasn’t shown much in the way of speed – he’s not alone in that regard in this race – but he seems a reasonable type who has run on well in better company than this and if he can put himself in a handy position may be able to pass the rest in the closing stages here. (1) J M FIGHTER looked promising on debut and while he has had a couple of setbacks, looks like he has some ability. (3) J. S. POWER too has run reasonably well in better company and can go close. The only one of the field to have a runner-up finish to their name so far is (5) BEST GOLD. That came at this distance and she comes in following a 4th place last start. That’s enough to put her in the frame today.

Selections (4) Bomnalui Gieok (5) Best Gold (1) J M Fighter (3) J.S. Power
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 2, 3, 8, 9

Race 3: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(2) DONGBANG JIJON comes in off a 3rd place in a similar race to this and having shown proficiency at the distance is the slight pick to finally break his maiden at the thirteenth time of asking. (6) DAECHEON ACE and (10) MAENGJU have both beaten Dongbang Jijon in the past and both come in off reasonably recent outings. (1) CORRE MI CABALLO debuted all the way back in September of 2018 and actually ran rather well. He’s not been seen since but returned to training this autumn and looked very well when 2nd in an October trial, which brings him straight into contention first-up. (4) MY SISTER NINA had a poor day at the office last start but is better than that and can be given another chance here.

Selections (2) Dongbang Jijon (1) Corre Mi Caballo (6) Daecheon Ace (4) My Sister Nina
Next Best 10, 8
Fast Start 4, 8, 10

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

(2) EAGLE EYE ran a solid 4th place over 1000M at the end of September and having previously run 2nd and 3rd at this distance, looks to be the favourite to take the honours here. The others are going to need to step up. (7) SAEROUN BOBAE had to be scratched on the way to the start last week after her jockey aggravated a back injury. The same jockey returns today and so long as they make it to the gate this time, she will have a chance. (3) MACH NEDAN and (4) BAEK HAK have hardly impressed so far but both are likely to be on the early speed and that could be enough to get them close at the end. (10) FAMILY HOPE the best of a limited rest.

Selections (2) Eagle Eye (7) Saeroun Bobae (10) Family Hope (3) Mach Nedan
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 2, 3, 4

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

(6) DYNAMIC PUNCH led all the way to record his maiden win by a length over this distance on October 12th. Although that wasn’t the strongest of races, he and the rest of the place-getters were a full ten lengths clear of the remainder of the field and he looks to have enough development in him to be favoured here. (3) SUNSHINE TEUKGEUP and (5) YEONGGWANGUI BEAT are similarly up in class following maiden victories on their respective last starts and both should be competitive at this level too. (9) GEUMBIT YEOLJEONG comes in off a string of near misses and should be close at hand again while (2) PRIME QUEEN too ran a really good 3rd place at class and distance last start and looks a danger.

Selections (6) Dynamic Punch (9) Geumbit Yeoljeong (2) Prime Queen (3) Sunshine Teukgeup
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 3, 6, 9, 12

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

(3) ELITE LADY got her maiden win at the third time of asking at the end of September, scoring by four lengths over 1000M, having previously run 4th in a valuable race in August. She is up in class and in distance here but should be able to overcome both of those things and can win again. (9) P.K. HILL is similarly up in class following a maiden win last time, also at 1000M and is set to be competitive too, likely joining Elite Lady on the early speed. (8) CHEONEUN JJANG was beaten a nose on her first try at this class in (more…)

President’s Cup 2019: Full Preview / Seoul & Busan Sunday Race-By-Race (November 3)

This decade there have only been four different President’s Cup winners. From 2010 to 2012, the great Dangdae Bulpae monopolised the race. Indie Band and Gyeongbudaero then each took a turn in the winner’s circle before Triple Nine won the first of what would be four straight successes in 2015.

There will be a new name on the trophy this year. Now aged seven, Triple Nine is back in training but he hasn’t made the starting gate and instead sixteen horses will vie to succeed him in winning the President’s Cup (KOR G1-2000M), the nation’s richest age-open race for Korean-bred horses at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10. Race-by-race notes for Seoul below followed by Busan selections.

Simjangui Godong KRA

Simjangui Godong (Pic: KRA)

It’s a deep field. The last two Korean Derby winners, Ecton Blade and Wonderful Fly, are present but both will be outsiders in a bunch headed by Simjangui Godong. The three-year-old ran 2nd in the Derby and 6th in the Minister’s Cup but has since embarked on a purple patch of three wins including the Ilgan Sports and HRI Trophies.

Jockey Moon Se Young had more than one option but ultimately plumped for Simjangui Godong. However, a heavy fall on Saturday that landed him in hospital, seems likely to rule him out of the mount and a chance of winning one of the few elite races still to elude him.

Speaking after Thursday’s barrier draw, Moon had been bullish about Simjangui Godong’s chances and excited to ride a horse on whose sire, Jigeum I Sungan, he finished 3rd in the race in 2013. “I rode his sire in this race. We didn’t win it, but he was a great horse and I would love to win on his son. He’s a good horse, so it’s down to me. He’s so good that we can overcome even one mistake – obviously if we make more, it will be difficult”.

In gate 5, Simjangui Godong also has the plum draw. “In the President’s Cup, it’s so hard to win if you’re not within the inside 10. Gate 5 is perfect”, said Moon. Should Moon not make the race, a replacement rider has yet to be confirmed.

New Legend hasn’t quite lived up to his early promise. A Korea bred, he spent the early part of his career in the United States, even winning at Arlington Park, and for his first few outings back home looked unstoppable. The he hit the elite level and things haven’t been so easy with his latest being a disappointing run in the Keeneland Korea Cup (KOR G1).

This time though, New Legend faces only domestically-bred rivals and Kim Uk, assistant trainer to Kim Young-kwan, believes better is to come. “There is a myth that Menifee’s progeny aren’t good around 2000M or further, but we know that’s not true after Gyeongbudaero and Power Blade (both Grand Prix Stakes winner at 2300M). But we heard it again after New Legend was beaten (in May’s YTN Cup). We think he’s ready. After the Korea Cup he had a bit of a rest then we brought him back and started training him early with this in mind. We put him through a trial, and he went really well, and we think he is a chance here.”

Another serious chance is New Legend’s stablemate Captain Force. The four-year-old, by Peace Rules, is a winner of nine from twenty so far, but last raced in June. That doesn’t concern jockey Lee Hyo-sik. “He has been out a while and we initially wanted him to run once before this race, but we trialled him and felt he wasn’t ready so went back to training. We trialled him again at the beginning of October and were really happy with him so decided to come straight here. He did his fast work on Thursday and he was excellent. He’s exactly where we want him to be.”

Busan’s strong challenge is fortified by Final Energy. The Testa Matta gelding ran 5th behind Blue Chipper in the Keeneland Korea Sprint (KOR G1) in September but showed his staying credentials when beating fellow contender here Toham Ace in a strong race over 1800M five weeks ago.

Jockey Lim Sung-sil won this race on Indie Band in 2013 and likes what he sees in Final Energy. “It’s his first time around 2000M so we’ve been working on his stamina. He’s got good gate speed so I wasn’t worried about the draw although getting gate 7 is great, we just have to make sure he sees out the whole race. If he does that then he’s right in there. He travelled well, has eaten well and he likes it at Seoul – the stable here is bigger!”

There are plenty of other contenders too. Among the three-year-olds, Minister’s Cup winner Rock Choice takes his chance while top filly Clear Geom will also be in the gate. Among older contenders, the prolific winner Dokdo Jigi, a winner of eight from eleven lifetime starts, returns to action for the first time in five months and while he was given an easy time in a barrier trial last week, has plenty of quality about him. As for foreign interest, Thomas Gillespie saddles Toham Ace while Richard Oliver rides Ecton Blade and Ioannis Poullis gets the big leg-up on New Legend.

Seoul Comments

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

(5) GEOSEN JILU comes in having run 2nd and 3rd in two starts so far, both at 1000M and both times running on well. She steps up in trip for the first time today and could well be the one to beat. (4) DAESEUNG QUEEN ran well for 2nd on debut on October 5th. She too steps up in trip for the first time and looks to be a danger. (7) ILBO DEUNGCHEON does have experience of this distance having run 4th in what was quite a strong race last start and must be considered for improvement. (2) CHOGANGGUK and (8) BAEKDUSAN CHEONJI look to be the best of the rest.

Selections (5) Geoseon Jilju (4) Daeseung Queen (7) Ilbo Deungcheon (8) Baekdusan Cheonji
Next Best 2, 6
Fast Start 5, 6, 7

Race 2: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Competitive – if not especially strong – maiden. (6) SHARK JJANG and (4) EAST BAN came home 5th and 6th respectively when they raced each other on September 28th. That was just East Ban’s second start and e should have improvement in him. He’s drawn better today to get to the lead and can win. (2) MUNHAKUI JEONSA already holds a win over 1200M and while he disappointed last start can be given another chance today back at the minimum. (9) POP STREET comes in off a very narrow defeat last time out over 1700M and is interesting dropped all the way back to 1000M today. (5) GOLDEN SERVICE (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 1)

It’s President’s Cup weekend up at Seoul but before that, November’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with an eleven-race card from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Busan World Sun

A number of Busan’s top jockeys are in Seoul so Choi Si Dae could have a good day at Busan (Pic: KRA)

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

Juvenile maiden with only four of the twelve having raced before. (3) JEONSEOLUI BULKKOT is set to be firm favourite having run 3rd and 2nd in his two starts to date. He’ll be leading early and it’s hard to see anything stopping him here. Of the others who have raced before, (2) SPRING WALTZ was perhaps the most promising but greater threats should come from the first-timers. (10) JANGMI GONGJU ran 3rd in a trial (eight-lengths behind Triple Nine) in early October while (5) DOCTOR GREY and (7) QUEEN GRACE also hinted at some competence. As every with the debut-makers, watch the market for additional clues.

Selections (3) Jeonseoului Bulkkot (5) Doctor Grey (7) Queen Grace (10) Jangmi Gongju
Next Best 2, 9
Fast Start 2, 3, 4, 8

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

More juvenile maidens here and ten of the eleven are fillies. Four of them have raced before. The slight pick is (4) OASIS GIRL. Having run 4th on debut, she was 6th on her reappearance at the end of September. She was less than a length behind 2nd and this looks to be a simpler task so she could well come out on top today. (3) WONDERFUL SMARTY did nothing wrong when 4th on debut at the beginning of October and can build on that here, but there are some promising first-time starters. (11) MASTER BELLA ran 2nd in a trial on October 5th in a fast time. She’s drawn wide but if she brings that form to the track, then she should go well first up. (9) KKUMEUL NEOMEO ran a fast time in what was a slightly unusual trial and looks to be in the hunt. (2) SIMON LADY was another mature looking trial performer.

Selections (4) Oasis Girl (11) Master Bella (2) Simon Lady (3) Wonderful Smarty
Next Best 9, 5
Fast Start 2, 8, 10, 11

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

(8) SMILE WINNER ran an improved 3rd on what was her fourth career start on September 20th. It was her first try at this distance and she can build on it today. The one she’ll need to beat is (5) ACE JACKPOT. She was considered good enough to be allowed to take her chance in the Gold Circle Trophy at the end of September and while she only managed 6th of 9, didn’t run badly. She can run well from the front today. (2) WILD GERANIUM drops back in trip following a couple of useful spins around a mile since returning from five months out in September. (1) CENTER FORWARD and (9) DAESAN GAPBU are others in the placing hunt.

Selections (8) Smile Winner (5) Ace Jackpot (2) Wild Geranium (1) Center Forward
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 4, 5

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

(2) WORLD TODAY ran 4th on debut over 1000M on October 8th. He started steadily and ran on well and stepping up to 1300M here should be in his favour. He’ll probably be ridden on pace this time and looks the one to beat. (3) WORLD SLAM and (4) RAON FLYING came home 3rd and 5th respectively when they raced each other over this distance on October 4th. Both should be competitive again here with World Slam again (more…)

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 27)

Seoul and Busan both host their respective 2nd legs of the 2019 Juvenile Series on Sunday with the best in both races qualifying for the final at Busan on the first Sunday in December. There is an 11 race card at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 while at Busan there are 6 races from 12:40 to 17:05. Here are the previews:

Roller Blade

Roller Blade won the 1st leg of the Juvenile Series at Seoul (Pic: KRA) 

 

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

Maiden juvenile fillies to kick things off and all twelve of them are racing for the very first time. (9) BOHEMIAN MUSIC is the only trial winner among them, taking her heat by leading all the way back in September in a decent time and she’ll be among the top line of favourites here. Fastest though in trials was (7) ROAD RAN. She too led all the way until the closing stages and under Moon Se Young could well start favourite. (3) SONGAM PLAYER took part in a slowly-run heat but ran on very competently and can go well first up here while (8) CHEONJI YEOGEOL also hinted at ability. (11) SOSEONO LEGEND is out of Soseono, a filly who ran well in Korea and has a top trainer/jockey combination aboard.

Selections (9) Bohemian Music (7) Road Ran (3) Songam Player (11) Soseono Legend
Next Best 8, 4
Fast Start 4, 7, 8, 9

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

Not the strongest of maidens here. There were six months between his first and second starts and (3) GOOD MOUNT returned to run 4th at this distance on September 28th. He’ll most likely be on the early pace here and won’t need much improvement to win. That’s true too of (8) JOLLY ROGER, an improved 4th on his third start last month. He led for much of that race and is in weaker company here. (7) PRETTY JOY races for the first time since February. And trialled up adequately enough to suggest she has a chance first-up here. (5) GWACHEON ACE and first-time starter (11) ULTRA ANNIE are others who should be in the hunt.

Selections (3) Good Mount (8) Jolly Roger (7) Pretty Joy (11) Ultra Annie
Next Best 5, 2
Fast Start 2, 3, 8

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

Competitive maiden. (7) CHOEGANG MAGIC gets the decision having run 2nd and 3rd in his latest two, at this distance and at 1700M. He’s likely to be among the early leaders here and could have too much. (9) ROYAL REMEMBER ran an improved 4th at this distance last month and should join Choegang Magic on the early speed and pose the biggest threat. (10) BEST LUCKY showed some progress on his latest outing and may appreciate the increase in trip today while (12) CHEONNYEONUI GODO has finished 4th in each of his last three starts and coule well finish 4th again today. (4) SOUTHERN MAN looks best of the rest.

Selections (7) Choegang Magic (9) Royal Remember (10) Best Lucky (12) Cheonnyeonui Godo
Next Best 4, 8
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 9

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

Banker favourite of the day time. (2) KING OF RULES may still be a maiden, but he’s finished as runner-up in four of eight starts so far, beaten by useful ones each time. From gate 2, he should lead from the start and would be a big surprise where he to not finally make the breakthrough here. (5) LUCKY BEOPJEON is in a similar position having finished as runner-up behind TK Day and Stretto, both talented juveniles. He’s up in class here but does have a win in him sooner or later.  (10) BAEKSAEK GWANGCHAE ran 2nd on his first try at this level on September 29th and should be competitive here too. (1) KAHINAH and (11) SOLGAEBARAM look best of the rest.

Selections (2) King Of Rules (5) Lucky Beopjeon (10) Baeksaek Gwangchae (1) Kahinah
Next Best 11, 4
Fast Start 1, 2

Busan Race 1 Selections: 5, 1, 10, 11

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

(8) SPEEDOM was an emphatic five-length winner on debut over 1000M on September 21st. He’s up in distance today but looks to have plenty more in him and he can make it two from two today. (3) CHEMI BLUE remains a maiden after thirteen attempts but comes in having finished as runner-up in each of his latest three, just beaten a nose last time. He’ll be on pace from the start and today looks as good a chance as any he has had so far. (4) MUNHAK REWARD showed some progress on what was his second start a month ago, running 3rd and can build on that today. (5) EOMAMUSI was a good maiden winner last start and should be competitive. (9) SOULY MAJESTIC looked sharp when winning a trial last week and is the wildcard.

Selections (8) Speedom (3) Chemi Blue (4) Munhak Reward (5) Eomamusi
Next Best 9, 6
Fast Start 3, 5, 8, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Having debuted last November, it wasn’t until September 27th that (11) YEONGSEONG HOPE finally returned to the track. It was a winning return though, as he scored by three-lengths over 1000M. He’s up in class and distance today but should be equal to both and is favoured to win again. (4) AMOR FATI got his maiden win at the fourth time of asking a month ago. It was at this distance and he made all. He’ll try to get to the lead right away today and looks the main danger. (8) NAEGA SAEGANGJA enters with recent form reading well and should be challenging for a place, as should (3) DONE IT MY, who may be a twenty-nine-race maiden but is capable of finding the money in this type of company. (9) GIDAEHAE another in the hunt.

Selections (11) Yeongseong Hope (4) Amor Fati (3) Done It My (8) Naega Saegangja
Next Best 9, 6
Fast Start 4, 7, 8, 11

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

Tricky race but (4) HWANGGEUM DOYAJI looks the pick. She may only have been 5th last start but she was only half a length off 4th and ran on strongly. Today marks her firs try at 1700M and it may well suit. (3) CITY CHAMP is still a maiden after twenty-six starts but comes in having raced well lately with a 3rd and a 2nd from his most recent two, both at this distance. He should be placing again. (6) INDIAN BOSS and (1) CHEONJI MYEONGJANG came home 3rd and 4th respectively when they raced each other over 1300M on September 29th and both should be aiming for some money here. (11) CHOEGANG SINGI, up in class today, looks best of the rest.

Selections (4) Hwanggeum Doyaji (3) City Champ (11) Choegang Singi (6) Indian Boss
Next Best 1, 5
Fast Start 2, 5, 10

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

(6) WONDERFUL COUNTRY ran out a good class and distance winner just two weeks ago. As a result, he carries an additional 4.5kg today but if anything, the competition is not as strong as it was that day and another win is possible. (5) DAEHO JILJU enters in similarly good form with a win and runner=up finish from his latest two and should be a threat while (3) YEONGGWANGUI CHEER is better than his latest couple of outings suggest and back in trip today, can get closer. There are two wildcards. Both (1) SPEED FURY and (7) TANGENT are returning from lengthy spells on the sidelines and both looked well in trials.

Selections (6) Wonderful Country (5) Daeho Jilju (1) Speed Fury (7) Tangent
Next Best 3, 12
Fast Start 2, 3, 6, 11

Seoul Race 7: Class 3 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(3) VICAR BRACING enters having completed a hat-trick of victories in his last three starts, the most recent of which was at class and distance and four in a row is not (more…)