Busan

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

There is Sunday racing at both Seoul (11 races from 10:40 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 11:05 to 15:40). Here are the previews:

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies in the opener. (8) META BLADE will be the favourite. Having run 2nd on debut over 1000M, she followed up with 4th and 3rd in two starts over today’s trip, last time out coming from midfield to finish off well. She can settle back again here and should be too strong. (4) JAEWOO SIDAE comes in off a promising 3rd place at this distance on January 8th. She’s not shown a whole lot in terms of speed but draws nicely here and an apprentice keeps her weight light. (10) YUKWAEHAN SARANG is done no favours by the draw but ran 4th, just half a length behind Meta Blade in November over 1200M. She followed up with a 5th on Christmas Eve and while she may need a touch of luck at the start, she has claims. (6) ÉCLAIR STAR and (7) CANDY GLOW among plenty of others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(8) Meta Blade (4) Jaewoo Sidae (10) Yukwaehan Sarang (6) Éclair Star
Next Best7, 5
Fast Start2, 4, 7, 10

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

Three-year-old maidens with five of the ten racing for the very first time. (5) GOOD MAGIC will be favourite, based upon her runner-up finish on debut over this distance on January 8th when she sat just behind the early speed and while well beaten by a good winner, she stopped the clock in a decent time and with some natural improvement, should prove too good. The main dangers lurk in the first-time starters. (6) SINHAE MANGCHI went through three trials, winning the most recent of them in January when on pace throughout. If he brings that form to the races, he will go very close. (7) RAON STRONG looked well when 2nd in a trail late last November. He too can put in a bold showing first-up. Also looking good in trials was (10) BEOMHAN GOLD, who won a heat on January 7th when handy and running on. The draw isn’t ideal but with a touch of luck, he can be in this too. Returning to those with experience, (2) GLOBAL SARANG is perhaps the one with most potential to improve.

Selections(5) Good Magic (6) Sinhae Mangchi (7) Raon Strong (10) Beomhan Gold
Next Best2, 3
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 8

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

Three-year-old maidens with three of the ten racing for the first time. The only one who has shown anything resembling form is (6) JUMONG CHEONHA and he accordingly will be the odds-on favourite He was 4th on debut and then 2nd at start number two, both over 1000M. He hasn’t appeared for fourteen weeks, and he does come up in trip but if he runs at anything like his previous level, he won’t be beaten here. (1) RAON HOLIDAY has finished no better than 7th across four starts so far. He has run some fair times though from a good draw, won’t need to improve much to place here. Of the first-time starters, (5) THEME TANSAENG trialled up the best crossing the line 4th of seven back in November. That form in this race will see him close. (2) SSEULMO and (8) ARGO SMILE others who could potentially improve.

Selections(6) Jumong Cheonha (1) Raon Holiday (5) Theme Tansaeng (2) Sseulmo
Next Best8, 4
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 8

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies and it’s a competitive race. (8) GOHEUNG CLASSS has raced three times, notching a 2nd place over 1000M before finishing 3rd on her first try over 1200M on January 6th, beating a couple of today’s rivals in the process. She can lead or settle back and run on and the additional half furlong may well be to her benefit. (1) DUBAI PYEONGJEONG has made steady progress across her latest three appearances, culminating in a 2nd place over this distance on January 8th when overcoming the widest gate. Her style has been to settle back and run on, but she gets a great draw this time and can be a big danger. (10) FLYING DIA has run fairly for two 4th place finishes from her two prior appearances and should be aiming to match or better that here. (6) FLYING TOUCH and (9) MOVIE MORE among others with potential to improve.

Selections(8) Goheung Class (1) Dubai Pyeongjeong (10) Flying Dia (6) Flying Touch
Next Best9, 2
Fast Start3, 8, 9, 11

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

(6) SUPREME STAR will be expected to break through here. She hasn’t finished outside of the top-five across six prior outings and comes in off a smart 3rd place over this distance on January 7th when settling midfield and finishing well. She has run consistent times on her best form as shown so far, she can win. The main danger is (4) UNICORN KINGDOM His best finish so far is a 2nd place over 1000M two starts back but ran fairly on his first try at this distance on December 17th. He draws nicely here and should get an easy run to the speed and be in this a long way. The form falls off a bit after those two but (7) FOUR ACE enters off back-to-back 4th places, both at this distance and beating a couple of these in the latest of them. She should be aiming to match or better in this company. (2) ARGO MUJEOK has a 3rd place to his name two starts back and draws well here. (3) ARCH RIVER another with potential to improve.

Selections(6) Supreme Star (4) Unicorn Kingdom (7) Four Ace (2) Argo Mujeok
Next Best3, 9
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 9

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

(4) DOCTOR TIFFANY was an all the way winner over 1200M on January 6th, winning by plenty. She comes up in class and boldly up in trip, but she comes down in the weights, draws very nicely, and she could win again. It won’t be easy though. (8) BARAMBARAM’s only disappointment to date came in the Breeders’ Cup champion juvenile race in December when slowly away and failing to get a foothold. He has two positive runs over 1400M though and the step up in trip may suit (10) GREEN PAPAGO is a model of consistency who is rarely far away and has beaten a few of these across her latest few outings. She should beat plenty again, (6) CHEONMA HASEO beat Barambaram when the pair ran 2nd and 4th respectively over 140M on January 13th. He doesn’t exactly win out of turn, but he knows who to pick up a minor cheque and has done so at class and distance on more than one occasion. (3) ROCK AND ROLL is up in class and in trip following a maiden win at start two over 1300M on January 6th. He comes down in the weights and draws well.

Selections(4) Doctor Tiffany (8) Barambaram (10) Green Papago (6) Cheonma Haseo
Next Best3, 11
Fast Start2, 4, 8, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It’s hard to go too far past (8) WONDERFUL TIZZY here. He ran a good 2nd – albeit well beaten by a very good winner – over 1200M two start s back, before finishing an adequate 5th of ten in a slow race over 1300M on January 8th. Without the benefit of an apprentice claim today, he comes up 3kg in the weights but that’s balanced by Antonio climbing aboard, and in this company, he should be able to get a prominent position early and potentially lead all the way. (6) GOLD KAISER is yet to finish in the top two but has finished between 3rd and 5th on five occasions from her ten starts and that’s enough to put her in the frame here. Similarly (5) BEST PLAN has two 3rd places to her name, most recently three starts back in a good time over 1300M. Like every other runner, she comes up to the 1400M for the first time and she can be close. (10) MONEY STONE and (1) JANGHEUNG CLASS, the latter who perhaps could be most suited to the step up in trip, are others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(8) Wonderful Tizzy (6) Gold Kaiser (5) Best Plan (10) Money Stone
Next Best1, 3
Fast Start3, 8, 9, 11

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(1) WIND WINNER comes in having missed the top-four on only one of nine occasions so far. His latest saw him run 3rd over this class and distance when emerging from the widest gate on January 8th then racing midfield and running on. He carries the same weight today and from a much better draw, can win. Disputing favourite status will be (11) STAR MATTA. He too has been super-consistent and enters off a class and distance win on January 13th when prominent throughout and beating three of today’s rivals. The engagement of an apprentice jockey means he carries less weight this time and while the draw is a touch wider than ideal, he has every chance. (2) B.J. CHIEF was 6th behind Star Matta in that January 13th race having worked hard to get to the lead from the widest gate. The draw is much kinder today and the same apprentice keeps his carried weight light. (4) YONGCHEON comes up in class and in distance after a good win over a mile – beating B. J. Chief – in early December. He can measure up in this company. (10) SINJIN GANGHO another in the minor money frame.

Selections(1) Wind Winner (11) Star Matta (2) B.J. Chief (4) Yongcheon
Next Best10, 12
Fast Start1, 6, 7, 12

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

(6) BEST SUN was a winner on debut over 1000M last October and comes in off a front-running 3rd place over this class and distance on January 7th. He will surely be on pace here and has every chance of going all the way. The primary danger is (3) SECRET PLAY. He got his win over 1200M two starts back when settling right back and running on before trying the same and ultimately finishing 4th on his first try at this class on January 8th. He draws well and the slight step up in trip should suit. (8) SMART POWER is another consistent type who may not win out of turn but is rarely far away. She comes back in trip after back-to-back 4th place finishes at 1700M and 1400M but has run quick times at 1200M too and is firmly in the money frame again. (11) CRAZY LOVE and (1) DAECHEON BEAUTY – the latter out of sorts last time out – are others who can enter the calculations.

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

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with a 9-race card from 11:00 to 18:00. Seo Seung-un, who rode a remarkable 14 winners in January, is suspended while You Hyun-myung had surgery following a fall last week and will be out for some months. Here are the previews:

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

Three-year-old maidens in the opener and there will be a hot favourite. (7) DAHAMKKEDALLIJA has raced twice so far, finishing 3rd on both occasions most recently over this trip in a good time on January 13th when handy and running on. He will be up to class 5 with any top-three finish and can be expected to win here. (1) POWER PLANE was a much improved 4th at start number two over 1200M on January 8th settling back and running on. The additional half-furlong should suit and he gets a much better draw today. (2) SUPER KANEL also showed marked improvement on his latest appearance four weeks ago, running on for 2nd over this trip. With an apprentice engaged today he comes down significantly in the weights and should be going close again. (8) NAKDONG JEONSAN and (9) STORMY DAY others with the potential to improve.

Selections(7) Dahamkkedallija (1) Power Plane (2) Super Kanel (8) Nakdong Jeonsa
Next Best9, 4
Fast Start2, 8, 10, 11

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

More three-year-old maidens and another hot favourite. This time it is (9) MY MANTRA. After running 5th of twelve over 1000M on debut in November, Peter Wolsley’s filly was an on pace runner-up when stepped up to this trip on December 18th. Despite being drawn a touch wide, she can be on pace again and should be too good for this lot. (8) DOCTOR CUCKOO comes in having run a very solid time over this distance on his latest start on January 15th. His 4th place that day, coming from off the pace, was his best so far and he can continue to make progress here. (7) HONOR LORD raced twice over 1000M late last summer. He comes in here having looked very well across two trials and will be backed first-up. There are two first time starters and both (4) GREEN LEGEND and (2) YONGSAN KEUNBYEUL did enough in their trials to suggest they can measure up in this somewhat limited company. Both should be on pace from good draws.

Selections(9) My Mantra (8) Doctor Cuckoo (7) Honor Lord (4) Green Legend
Next Best2, 1
Fast Start2, 4, 8, 9

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

Standard maiden here. (7) SOUTHERN JOY has been relatively consistent across her five outings to date and her runner-up finish on her latest start on January 6th when she overcame the widest draw to settle midfield and run on for 2nd place is enough for her to get the nod here. (2) FAST FURY could only manage 6th when well supported in the same race, but she previously ran the quickest time of all of these at the distance when runner-up back in October. She should be on the speed again here and can be in this a long way. (11) THEIA ran fairly for 5th on debut over 1300M on January 13th. She should have come on for that experience and with some natural improvement may offer some value at an each-way price. (6) GOLDEN RACER and (8) ALPHA BRAVO are others who have demonstrated ability and can be in the money frame here.

Selections(7) Southern Joy (2) Fast Fury (11) Theia (6) Golden Racer
Next Best8, 12
Fast Start2, 7, 8, 9

Busan Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It could be thirteenth time lucky for (3) YEOSU TORNADO here. He’s been knocking at the door in his latest few and most recently got his first runner-up finish when overcoming a wide draw to sit handy to the speed and then run on over this distance on January 13th. He draws much better today and a similar run can see him home on top. The main danger looks to be (7) ARTHUR KING IJI. He was 3rd in that January 13th race on what for him too was his first try at a mile having raced prominently throughout. He has three-lengths to find on Yeosu Tornado but perhaps has more scope for further improvement than the favourite. (12) HAMAN BAEIKISAN was 5th in that race having settled back and running on when it was too late. He was runner-up at this distance two starts back and with the same apprentice keeping the weight down, he can run into some money again. (1) ECTON POWER and (6) SPECIAL FACT among others in the placing frame.

Selections(3) Yeosu Tornado (7) Arthur King Iji (12) Haman Baekisan (1) Ecton Power
Next Best6, 8
Fast Start2, 4, 7, 9

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

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Segye Ilbo Trophy Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (January 29)

The Stakes race program for 2023 finally gets underway at Seoul on Sunday when Raon First and Raon The Spurt head the field for the Listed Segye Ilbo Trophy over 1200M. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:40 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 11:05 to 16:05. Here are the previews:

Raon First faces danger from her own stablemate in the Segye Ilbo Trophy (Pic: KRA)

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

Three-year-old maidens in the opener with all at least one start behind them and (10) TOUCH CHARM will be the warm favourite. She ran 3rd on debut over 1000M on November 26th before improving to 2nd on her next start on December 18th when stepped up to 1200M in filly only company. She comes up in trip again, and slightly in weight, but she should have too much. (8) NEULGAEUL is the only one in the field to have prior experience of this distance having finished a close 3rd on December 17th. That experience should stand him in good stead for this and he can be the main danger. (2) KARIZMA ran fairly enough for a midfield finish on debut over 1000M a month ago. He should have derived benefit from that and can improve today. (6) BEST CLONE returns after almost five months out and looked well in a trial earlier this month and along with (9) INDIANUI BYEOL, who began his career with a 2nd and a 3rd, can be considered for a place.

Selections(10) Touch Charm (8) Neulgaeul (2) Karizma (6) Best Clone
Next Best9, 11
Fast Start1, 3, 9, 10

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

(10) HWANGOO MONEY has come from well off the pace to run 3rd in both starts to date, both over 1200M and both from gate eleven. The wide draw certainly won’t be an issue and the additional half furlong should give him plenty of time to get the job done this time. (4) FAST GUN was anything but fast out of the gates on debut over 1000M on December 16th, but he finished off swiftly enough, passing plenty to finish 3rd. He should have come on for the run and he is another for who the extra distance can suit. (2) BRAVE CAPTAIN was much closer to the pace on her debut, scampering across from gate nine and ultimately running 4th over 1000M. With some natural improvement and from a better draw, she can match or better that today. (7) K GOLD BAR and others (9) SKY PUNCH are others who are in the placing hunt.

Selections(10) Hwangoo Money (4) Fast Gun (2) Brave Captain (7) K Gold Bar
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 7

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

Three-year-old maidens with all but one racing for the very first time. That experienced one didn’t do anything on debut to warrant recommendation so it’s to the trial videos we turn and the one who caught the eye the most was (5) TAMRA CHOEGANGJA. He sat handy in his heat before finishing well to cross the line in front, stopping the clock in a fair time. If he brings that form to the races, he won’t need to improve much to win this. (3) FANCY PLAY recorded the second fastest time in trials when leading in a heat in early December, ultimately finishing 2nd. He draws well to be on pace here and should be in it a long way. (12) CHECK POINT went through the same trial as Tamra Choegangja and while he does have five-lengths to make up, he ran on well and neither the wide draw nor the trip should be a hindrance first-up. Speaking of the trip, that sole one with experience, (7) THIS WEEKEND was slowly away and with a better start and in the absence of too many standout first-timers, can improve. (9) COMPLETE LEADER another debut-maker to keep an eye on.

Selections(5) Tamra Choegangja (3) Fancy Play (12) Check Point (7) This Weekend
Next Best9, 1
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 8

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

(6) HANEUL JEWANG enters off an improved 2nd place at this distance on December 16th when settling handy and finishing well to record a time faster than any of the others here have managed for the distance. He should be on or close to the speed again and in this company, will be warm favourite to go one better. The main danger is (8) META QUEEN. She was 5th behind Haneul Jewang in that December race but at the start before registered a runner-up finish of her own when on pace over 1000M. This is just her fourth career start and there could be some more improvement. (9) WONDERFUL CHACHA ran an improved 4th on his latest outing over 1300M on December 2nd. An apprentice keeps the weight light and he be in the mix here too. (10) SKY SHOT and (4) UNJU MACH among other minor money contenders.

Selections(6) Haneul Jewang (8) Meta Queen (9) Wonderful Chacha (10) Sky Shot
Next Best10, 4
Fast Start6, 8, 10, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

More three-year-old maidens with all but one of the twelve having raced at least once before. The debut-maker is notable though as he is set to be favourite. (3) JANGSAN SPO blitzed a trial in November, stopping the clock in a fast time some fourteen lengths clear of the next across the line. That showing, coupled with the modest opposition he faces here, makes him a heavy favourite, despite the big gap between trial and race. Only two of the experienced ones have positive form. (5) BEAT RUNNER is the clear second pick with a 6th and a 4th in two starts at 1000M and 1200M, the latter at this distance and both in fair times. A similar showing will see him place again. Draw a line through (4) MENI POCKET’s second appearance and instead go on her debut last summer and she is clear third choice although the length of time between starts isn’t reassuring. (8) CLAIR QUEEN and (11) GREEN SPECTER potential improvers.

Selections(3) Jangsan Spo (5) Beat Runner (4) Meni Pocket (8) Clair Queen
Next Best11, 12
Fast Start2, 3, 7, 11

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Tricky race. We’ll take a chance on (9) WITH SUN, who was a strong winner on debut over 1200M in November when coming from off the pace before running 4th in a slow race over this distance on his first try at this level. The wide draw shouldn’t be an issue and today there should be a bit more early speed to chase down. The probable favourite is (2) BACKTOTHELEGEND. He overcame the widest gate to get on pace over 1200M on Christmas Day and ultimately went on to win well. He is up in class and in distance here but draws much better and has solid claims. (3) BYEOLGYOUI KKUM was an all the way winner at start number two over 1200M on Christmas Day. He too comes up in class and distance but draws well to get on the speed again and should be in this a long way. (11) ALL OR NOTHING ran out an eye-catching winner on debut in December. It was at 1000M, but he can measure up here. (1) FASHION FORCE ONE another in the frame.

Selections(9) With Sun (2) Backtothelegend (3) Beolgyoui Kkum (11) All Or Nothing
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 11

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

Fillies (and two mares) here. There is very little to choose between the top two, both up in class following maiden wins. The coin toss comes down on the side of (3) WONDERFUL SLEW, who came from off the pace on debut over 1200M on December 18th to just get up to for the win. She comes up in trip here, but it can suit, and she can win. That’s true too for (5) JEOMSUNI GO. She was slowly away on debut over 1000M before rattling home late for a desperately near miss. She then took a very tight victory second-up at 1200M on Christmas Eve. She too comes up in class and distance and there is very little between them. If you fancy them both to get beat, then (11) GREENBACK maybe the place to turn. She has plenty of experience of this level and enters in consistent form. The draw isn’t ideal but with a touch of luck at the start, she can run on. (7) TOUR QUEEN and (6) DUSON CLASSIC, who was slowly away last time but should be on pace here, are others to consider.

Selections(3) Wonderful Slew (5) Jeomsuni Go (11) Greenback (7) Tour Queen
Next Best6, 1
Fast Start1, 6, 11, 12

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(10) EUNSEONG WINNER ran out a strong winner at class and distance on December 23rd, settling just behind the early speed before taking things up at the top of the stretch and winning well. A word of caution in that she was found to have bled for the first time but she came through the mandatory trial earlier this month without issue. (8) ARCTURUS was 4th in that same race having led for much of the way in what was his first try at two turns. He has won well at a mile and can be a danger today. (6) HORAENGI is yet to win in fifteen attempts but has no fewer than twelve top five finishes including on her last start on Christmas Day when she came from well off the pace to run a close 2nd over a mile. She comes up in class here but is nicely weighted and has placed more than once at this distance already. (2) I WILL BE FREE and the rapidly up in class having won his latest two (1) MACH WONDER, are among plenty of others to consider.

Selections(10) Eunseong Winner (8) Arcturus (6) Horaengi (2) I Will Be Free
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start1, 8, 10, 12

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

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

After a week off for the Lunar New Year holiday, racing returns to Korea this weekend. Things get underway on Friday at Busan with a 10-race card from 11:00 to 18:00. It’s quite a star studded line-up for a Friday as Speed Young, who won the Breeders’ Cup Champion Juvenile race in December, goes in race 9 while filly Triple Crown winner Golden Power seeks to return to form in a very challenging race 10. Here are the previews:

Speed Young makes his three-year-old debut at Busan on Friday (Pic: KRA)

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies get things underway with five of the twelve racing for the first time. We’ll side with experience though and (11) AMAZING MOVE who, after a positive trial, ran a solid enough 5th on debut on December 18th, settling back and running on. That suggests the wide draw shouldn’t be too problematic here and having derived benefit from that run, she can win here. (6) ACE HORANGI was well backed on debut in the same December 18th after a quick trial and while she could only manage 7th, she can improve here. (3) GIJEOGUI GEUMBIT is another who ran 5th on debut at this distance on Christmas Day, overcoming a wide draw. The time was significantly slower than Amazing Move’s and Ace Horangi’s but she too can make progress today. As for the first timers, (2) MAGIC SWEETIE and (5) UNJU AKANSHA look the most likely to make an immediate impact.

Selections(11) Amazing Move (6) Ace Horangi (3) Gijeogui Geumbit (2) Magic Sweetie
Next Best5, 8
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 9

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

Three-year-old maidens. (12) GEUMA DEFT beat three of these on debut on December 16th over 1000M when crossing the line 1st and stopping the clock in a fast time only to be demoted by the stewards for interference. He has the challenge of the widest gate here, but the manner of that run suggests that with a touch of luck at the start and a touch more discipline at the finish, he can finish ahead of those same rivals today. (2) DUBAI WONJEONGDAE ran 4th in that race. He was a full ten-lengths behind Geuma Deft but the step up in trip can suit and he can get closer today. There are three first time starters and among them (6) HAVE A GOOD YEAR was the best in trials. He went through two heats, significantly improving in the second of them when leading for much of the way around. He can be on pace here and put in a bold showing. (5) ROAD TO GLORY and (9) RUN TO KING other placing hopes.

Selections(12) Geuma Deft (2) Dubai Wonjeongdae (6) Have A Good Year (5) Road To Glory
Next Best9, 7
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 12

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) KRW 25 Million

A regular maiden here and it seems wide open.  Four of them raced each other over 1300M on December 23rd and that looks to be a good reference. (11) PURPLE LINE debuted in that race, settling towards the rear of midfield and running on for 3rd. He should have come on for that experience, the extra distance can suit, and he has as good a chance as any here. It will require him to make up almost two lengths on (6) COOL RUNNING. He led that December 23rd race until the closing stages, ultimately coming home in 2nd place. He has shown improvement across his three starts so far, he can be on pace again, and he shouldn’t be ruled out. Also making progress over three previous appearances has been (12) VEREUDA. She finished off well for 4th in that December 23rd race from a similarly wide draw to today, and she can continue to improve here. Of those who didn’t go in the December 23rd race, (7) DOCTOR SHARK and (2) PEGACORN look the best.

Selections(11) Purple Line (6) Cool Running (12) Vereuda (7) Doctor Shark
Next Best2, 9
Fast Start2, 4, 6, 10

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

Fillies (and two mares) only and it’s a good race for the level. (3) SPECIAL ROAD justified favourite status to make all at start number two on December 18th over 1200M, winning comfortable. She comes up in class and distance here but draws very nicely and has every chance of scoring again. So too (4) GRAPHENE RAP WORLD. Having won over five furlongs in a super quick time back in November, she than ran a solid 3ns on her first try at this class over 1200M on December 16th. She does come up in the weights here but draws well and the additional half furlong can suit. (2) BLUE ICON is yet to win but enters off three consecutive runner-up finishes, most recently at class and distance on December 23rd when on pace throughout. She draws very nicely here and it’s not impossible she could go one better at last. (5) THUNDER FURY has placed at this class and along with up in class (7) DALEHOLRINGWANGDAE is another in the hunt.

Selections(3) Special Road (4) Graphene Rap World (2) Blue Icon (5) Thunder Fury
Next Best7, 6
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 6

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

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

Sunday racing is at Seoul (11 races from 10:40 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 11:05 to 15:40). A reminder there is no racing next weekend due to the Lunar New Year holiday so it is big fields all around. Here are the previews:

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies in the opener. (1) TIZ INDY has run twice for 2nd and 4th over 1000M both in good times. She comes up in trip for the first time but draws very nicely and she has every chance. (5) SAENAE VIVA debuted without distinction in August but looked a much better proposition when returning on December 3rd and running 3rd when handy throughout. She can get closer today and that can mean overturning the form on (11) JEONGSANG LUCKY. The latter overcame the same wide draw to run 2nd in that December 3rd race and while she may need a touch of luck again, she shouldn’t be ruled out. Also done no favours by the draw is (12) DASI TAEEONADO. She has a 2nd place to her name over 1000M and ran on pleasingly enough for 5th last time out at 1200M. (2) SEMYEONG LADY is among others with the potential to improve.

Selections(1) Tiz Indy (5) Saenae Viva (11) Jeongsang Lucky (12) Dasi Taeeonado
Next Best2, 5
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 6

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

Three-year-old filly maidens. The most experienced in the race is (10) DOCTOR SHARK and she’s the one that gets the pick. She secured back-to-back 3rd place finishes over 1000M and 1200M in October and November before running 5th over 1400M when drawn in the widest gate last time out on December 16th. The draw isn’t kind here either, but she may have too much. (12) WONDERFUL PHONE came from off the pace to run 2nd behind a good winner on debut on December 23rd. The way she finished off that day suggests the additional trip can suit and she will probably start as favourite. (7) SKY MOUNTAIN was an on-pace 4th on debut on December 9th over 1000M. She should have derived benefit from that experience and can be there or thereabouts today. (6) STREET ROCK didn’t do much on debut but comes in here under a very light weight and can improve. It’s a similar story with (1) TOO CUTE GIRL, who draws much better than on debut.

Selections(10) Doctor Shark (12) Wonderful Phone (7) Sky Mountain (6) Street Rock
Next Best1, 11
Fast Start7, 8, 10, 11

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

Three-year-old maidens with six of the twelve racing for the very first time. We’ll side with experience and (2) GEOMIBULU. After winning a November trial, she was installed as favourite for her debut appearance over 1000M on December 11th when she sat midfield in a small field and ran on for 2nd place. She was well beaten by a good winner, but the run was encouraging enough for her to warrant another chance on top here.  Among the first timers (11) SAEBYEOK ANGAE could be the best. She improved significantly in her second trial, running on well and can be set for a bold showing first up. (7) DONGHAENG FIRST debuted promisingly enough on December 17th running 4th over 1000M. She should have derived benefit from that and build on it here. Both (3) NAVY CHROME and (6) THUNDER BLUE return to action for the first time since July. Both trialled well and can be considered first-up.

Selections(2) Geomibulu (11) Saebyeok Angae (7) Donghaeng First (3) Navy Chrome
Next Best6, 9
Fast Start2, 3, 7, 9

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

(7) PHANTOM ACE is yet to win in eleven attempts but has been getting closer in recent outings with a 2nd and a 3rd in his latest two, both at this distance. With an apprentice claiming 4kg he is very nicely weighted here, and it could be his day. (2) MULTI HIT comes in off a 4th place at start number two at this distance on December 11th when handy throughout. He draws well again and can be dangerous here. (1) YEONGGWANGUITUHON has run fairly in all three appearances to date including a spin around in the Listed Gimhae Mayor’s Trophy. From a great draw, he should be right in this. (5) CHEERFUL LIFE can build on his debut5th place over 1000M when breaking fairly before going right back and running on. He draws better today and should be better for the run. (8) GLOBAL SKY among others with the potential to improve.

Selections(7) Phantom Ace (2) Multi Hit (1) Yeonggwanguituhon (5) Cheerful Life
Next Best8, 11
Fast Start5, 6, 8, 12

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

Three-year-old filly maidens. It’s fair to say that (12) CHEONJON CHAT has mixed her form across six starts so far but she gets the nod here based on her last start 2nd place over this distance on December 18th when she was on pace and finished in a time quicker than any of the others have managed for the distance. She draws wide but with a touch of luck at the start, she’ll be the one to beat. (6) RAON CITY GIRL comes up in trip for the first time. She too has mixed her form, but she did post a very quick time over 1000M when 3rd in November. She should be on pace here and the additional furlong can suit. (4) TANSAN comes in after a best finish to date of 3rd place in that December 18th race when settling slightly worse than midfield and finishing well. She has five-lengths to make up on Cheonjon Chat but can get closer with a much better draw. (2) BLUE ARCH and (5) SEOULEUL NALDA among others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(12) Cheonjon Chat (6) Raon City Girl (4) Tansan (2) Blue Arch
Next Best5, 8
Fast Start2, 6, 7, 12

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

(11) FINAL SEVEN overcame gate ten to get on pace and run 2md behind Young Boss on his first try at this class over 1400M on December 16th. He steps up to a mile for the first time today but looks a progressive type with just four starts behind him and an apprentice jockey aboard brings his weight right down. (8) CHANGCHANG DAERO also steps up to a mile for the first time. He has only raced four times but has a smart win over 1200M as well as a last start 3rd at this class over 1400M to his name. He looks to have scope for more. (9) GREEN PAPAGO has beaten a few of these in her latest appearances, all at a mile. The wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and she can be a big factor here. (3) QUEEN OF SPIRIT, who beat Changchang Daero at 1400M last time out, and (7) QUEEN STAR among plenty of others capable of placing.

Selections(11) Final Seven (8) Changchang Daero (9) Green Papago (3) Queen Of Spirit
Next Best7, 1
Fast Start2, 8, 10, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

There isn’t much positive form here. (4) SUBAL DORIANG come sin off a 2nd place over this distance on December 17th when handy throughout. It continued a pattern of him getting closer and is enough to put him on top here. (12) MY GONGJU was touch disappointing when stepped up to 1700M last time and well backed. Drawn wide he was unable to find a position on the short run to the first turn and scarcely figured. Go on his previous start at this trip though and he is firmly in this. (7) DESIRE TO WIN came home in 4th place behind Subal Doriang in that December 17th race. He has steadily improved across four starts so far and if he can maintain that momentum, can be in the mix here. (2) GHOST CHARM and (8) EFFEL TAP among others in the hunt. 

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

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with 10-races from 11:00 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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

Three-year-old maidens with six of the twelve racing for the very first time. After a promising trial, (7) STAR FURY debuted over this distance on December 11th and having settled midfield, worked home well for 2nd place. He was well beaten by a good winner but should have derived benefit from the experience and he looks the one to beat here. (5) MORNING FLOW made his first appearance over 1000M on December 9th and was on pace throughout ultimately coming home in 3rd. He should have come on for that and with some natural improvement can be in the mix here. Among the first timers, (10) ROCK POWER is the standout. He won a December trial in a good time when running on pace and he can put in a bold showing first up here. (4) U PING and (6) HAERANG JANGGUN among others in the frame.

Selections(7) Star Fury (5) Morning Flow (10) Rock Power (4) U Ping
Next Best6, 2
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 10

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

After an inauspicious debut in November, (4) BLACK VOLT returned on December 9th and put in a much better run for 2nd over 1000M when midfield and then handy. The additional trip shouldn’t be an issue and he can go one better today. (2) DAHAMKKEDALLIJA debuted in that December 9th race and after a shaky start veritably flew home for 3rd behind Black Volt. He should be better for that run, the extra 300M should suit and plenty will back him to overturn the form on Black Volt. (10) JEOLDAE BOSS has a 3rd and a 4th from his latest two, the latter in a good time over 1200M. He is done no favours by the draw but can be a danger here. (5) UNMATCHED has run 5th in both starts so far, settling back and running on and should be aiming to better that here. Solitary debut-maker (9) THEIA has been through several trials, posting fair times, and this isn’t intimidating company to debut in.

Selections(4) Black Volt (2) Dahamkkedallija (10) Jeoldae Boss (5) Unmatched
Next Best9, 1
Fast Start8, 10, 11, 12

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

Tricky race. (4) GOODY will probably be favourite based on the 3rd and 2nd place finishes he has secured at 1200M. Last time out he drew wide and didn’t feature until late on but he comes into a better gate today and there isn’t much in the way of early speed so he may get an easier run. He has as much chance as any. (3) PLAY THE INDY was a much-improved 2nd last time when second-up following eight months out. He should be on pace here and may be peaking fitness wise. (7) TOP FRIEND has shown steady progress across the outings so far. He has gone well back on each occasion before running on and the slight step up in trip may be in his favour. (5) JEONGMUN CHITA and (6) SPECIAL JOHN among others in at least the placing hunt.

Selections(4) Goody (3) Play The Indy (7) Top Friend (5) Jeongmun Chita
Next Best6, 2
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 4

Busan Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(2) ARTHUR KING IJI was a beaten favourite over 1400M on December 16th when on pace and leading for much of the way. He comes up further in trip today and from a good draw should be on pace or handy and he is very much worth another chance. (10) DALLILLAEYO has improved across three starts so far and has finished off his races very well. He looks like he needs a but of distance and the step up to the mile can suit. That could be the case too for (11) YEOSU TORNADO. He is yet to finish better than 4th in eleven appearances but he has shown signs recently of figuring things out and can be challenging  late here. (8) HAMAN BAEKISAN enters off a runner-up finish over this distance on December 9th and with the same apprentice jockey keeping the weight down, can go close again. (1) INDIE BULPAE is the wildcard, returning to action more than six months after his sole race start.

Selections(2) Arthur King Iji (10) Dallillaeyo (11) Yeosu Tornado (8) Haman Baekisan
Next Best1, 12
Fast Start2, 4, 10, 12

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

(8) YEONGGWANGUI ACE ran out a gate to wire winner over this distance at what for him was start number two on December 4th. He comes up in class today but the Hansen colt looks to have plenty of scope for more improvement and he will be the one to beat. (1) NICE DAY almost went all the way over 1300M at this class on December 11th, ultimately being passed in the closing stages for a narrow loss. He’s back in trip today to the distance at which he picked up his only win so far and from a good draw he should be on pace and can be in this a long way. (3) TAP STAR races for the first time since last July but he looked well when making all in a trial on Christmas Eve and if he can bring that form to the races, he can be competitive in this company. (7) HANGANG SAVER and the up in class (10) HANEUL SEUNGNI are among plenty of others who can enter the calculations.

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

After a week off, racing returns to the peninsula on Friday as the 2023 season gets underway at Busan. As there are just two weeks until another weekend off, there are lots of races and every one of them has a big field. Friday sees 10 races at Busan from 11:00 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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

The 2023 Korean racing season kicks off with a series of maidens with the opener for three-year-olds. Following a fast trial, (10) ROCK AND ROLL was sent off as favourite on debut over 1200M on November 20th. He was on pace throughout and while he could only manage 3rd, the time was good and with some natural improvement for the run, he could be hard to beat here. (5) POWER RIDE was slowly away on debut over 1200M on November 27th and loped along at the back resenting the kickback at one stage tailing the field by a full six-lengths. Once he found his rhythm, he did work home well though and with a better start and additional half furlong to play with, big improvement here is possible at a probable each-way price. (7) STORMY DAY ran a good 4th on debut and while he couldn’t follow-up on his second appearance, that alone is enough to put him in the place frame here. (6) CHOICE ROAD and (9) NINE FORCE ONE others to take into consideration.

Selections(10) Rock And Roll (5) Power Ride (7) Stormy Day (6) Choice Road
Next Best9, 4
Fast Start1, 6, 9, 10  

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies here and (8) GOHEUNG CLASS will be a warm favourite, having improved significantly at start number two over 1000M on December 9th when she almost made all, ultimately running a close 2nd. The step up in trip shouldn’t be a problem and she is the one to beat. There are three first-time starters and two of them looks to have very solid claims first-up. (11) GOLDEN WAVE doesn’t draw the best showed decent speed in her trial and with a touch of luck at the start to find a handy position, can go close. (1) DOCTOR TIFFANY put in a similar run in her trial and with no concerns about the draw from the inside gate, she too can put in a bold showing on debut. (2) U PING rana creditable 2nd place over 1000M on debut on December 2nd, beating plenty of today’s rivals when overcoming a wide draw to get on pace. She gets much luckier with the barrier this time and should have come on for the run. (9) DAEHO NARA, 3rd in that December race, another in the frame.

Selections(8) Goheung Class (11) Golden Wave (1) Doctor Tiffany (2) U Ping
Next Best9, 6
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 10

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Two standouts here, one a first timer and one with two starts in the bank already. Without much conviction, we’ll side with experience in the shape of (1) ROAD TO DREAM. After running 2nd on debut, he ran a good 3rd second-up behind a winner who has gone on to win again at class 5 and a runner-up who has since got his own maiden victory. That form should stand up here, the additional furlong can suit, and he could win. The debut maker who shapes as the main danger and possible favourite is (6) WISE KING. He went through two trials running on pace in both and stopping the clock in a fast time in the second of them. He won’t need to improve much to go very close here. It’s hard to look past the pair of them for the quinella and indeed past (2) FAST FURY to complete the trio. He draws well to be on pace here and going on his 2nd two starts back in a fast time at this trip, he should have the beating of most here. (12) SOUTHERN JOY and the very experienced (not necessarily a good thing at this level) (4) WONDERFUL SMARTY are the other logical money hopes.

Selections(1) Road To Dream (6) Wise King (2) Fast Fury (12) Southern Joy
Next Best4, 9
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 0

Busan Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It’s about time that (11) HWANGU FIGHTER broke through. He has raced five times finishing between 2nd and 4th on each occasion. His latest was his best when on November 25th he ran out a very close 2nd over 1200M having settled to the front of midfield and then run on. Any kind of top three finish will see him in class 5 next time and the step up to 1400M may be just what he needs to do it with a win. The main danger is probably (2) B. K. HUNTER.  He enters off a solid 3rd place over 1300M in November when settling right at the back of the field and then running on well. The 1400M can suit and he should be close. (4) WISE BOY has mixed his form to date, but he comes into a good gate today, has Franco climbing aboard, and he is another who can appreciate the slight step it up to 1400M. (1) QUEEN ROMANCE and (10) ECTON POWER are among others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(11) Hwangu Fighter (2) B.K. Hunter (4) Wise Boy (1) Queen Romance
Next Best10, 3
Fast Start1, 4, 9, 11

Busan Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Having finished up his juvenile season with 3rd place in the Listed Gimhae Mayor’s Trophy before running a creditable 6th of fourteen in the G2 Breeders’ Cup, it will be hard to go past (6) WORLD LEGEND here. His maiden win over 1200M was a dominant one and he has already proven he can compete at today’s distance. He’ll be going higher than this level. (1) BRAVO HAMYANG is yet to win but has five top-four finishes from seven starts. He was drawn wide over a mile in his latest outing and didn’t feature but back in trip, down in weight and into a better gate, he can be competitive here. (7) BUDDY BUDDY ran 5th behind World Legend in the Gimhae Mayor’s Trophy. This is his first start since and just his fourth in total, and he can be in the mix today. (4) ADELE STELLA and the ultra-consistent but still yet to win (3) TITAN K are others to be considered.

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Christmas Day Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (December 25)

Every restaurant booked out in Seoul for Christmas? Plenty of space at the racecourse! Both thoroughbred tracks are in action as usual on Christmas Day with 11 races at Seoul and 6 in Busan. With racing taking a break next weekend, it’s the final meetings of 2022. Here are the previews:

Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy winner Raon Giant is in action in the concluding race of the year at Seoul (Pic: KRA)

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

Juvenile maidens with ten of them fillies and all twelve racing for the very first time. Based on trials (11) CHILSAN DAEGYO will be a warm favourite. She made all in her heat, stopping the clock in a fast time and while she draws a touch wider than ideal, any improvement on that, will make her hard to beat. Another trial winner is (7) MUNHAK CENTRAL and she will be second favourite. She too led from gate to wire and while her time wasn’t as fast as that of Chilsan Daegyo (in a different heat on the same day), if she brings that form to the races, she can go well first up. (10) BARAMUI HYANGGI registered a time in her trial that while not on the fast side, suggested some potential and she will probably be the next in the market. (4) CHOEGANG NICE and (3) GREEN SHIELD others who can stamp their authority on debut.

Selections(11) Chilsan Daegyo (7) Munhak Central (10) Baramui Hyanggi (4) Choegang Nice
Next Best3, 6
Fast Start4, 6, 7, 11

Seoul Race 2: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Juvenile fillies but a rare race at class 4 level which gives the imports (imported horses must begin at class 4) a rare chance to compete. Four of these raced one another in a very similar event on October 30th and the winner that day was the appropriately named (3) RACE WINNER, who settled handy early and proved too strong. The weight conditions are the same, the gate if anything is better, and she can win again. (4) MIGHTY Q was 2nd in that October 30th race sitting on the heels of Race Winner until the closing stages. She has four lengths to overturn on that day’s winner but can get closer here.  (7) MEDICI WOLF has beaten a few of these across two starts so far and can accordingly be backed to do similar. Most significantly her latest outing saw her run 3rd in the Listed Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy and a similar run will put her firmly in the mix. (2) BS POWER and (9) LOTUSMIREU others who can go close in a competitive race.

Selections(3) Race Winner (4) Mighty Q (7) Medici Wolf (2) BS Power
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 8

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens with two standouts. (4) BADEN BADEN was an on-pace 2nd on debut over 1000M on November 26th. She was well-beaten by the standout winner Phoenix Serve but it was an encouraging first outing nonetheless and from a good gate and under a light weight, she can be on pace here and has every chance. Her rival for favourite status is (9) BULGOM MADRE. After winning a trial in October, she debuted on December 12th and having sat in midfield in the early stages of the 1000M test, she ran on strong to just go down by a neck, traveling significantly quicker than the winner. The additional furlong should suit, and she has every chance.  There are four first time starters. Among them (7) NAOL JEONGSANG trialled pleasingly enough, running 2nd in a fair – if unspectacular – time. This is a nice race to debut in and he has a chance. Another debut-maker, (6) SMARTY FIGHTER, along with the second-up (2) LUCKY BOUNCE are others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(4) Baden Baden (9) Bulgom Madre (7) Naol Jeongsang (6) Smarty Fighter
Next Best2, 8
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 12

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens with only two of the twelve having previous racing experience. They are going to be the two leading contenders in the market though as they both raced well. (4) BLUE MORE will be hot favourite. He was an on-pace 2nd on debut over this distance on November 27th, well beaten by a good winner but well clear of the rest. He draws well and with some natural improvement may take some beating. (12) BACKTOTHELEGEND also debuted over this distance in a different race on November 27th. He settled midfield and ran on for 3rd in a good time and is set to be the main danger here. As for the first-timer starters, a few did enough in trials to suggest they can compete for places. (9) KING OF THE YEAR was on pace in his heat and stopped the clock in a good time while (3) EVERY KING IJI and (7) SMILE KING also did enough to suggest they should be kept safe.

Selections(4) Blue More (12) Backtothelegend (9) King Of The Year (3) Every King Iji
Next Best 
Fast Start 

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Juvenile fillies and on the final day of a season which have seen the Raon Organisation dominate, the appropriately named (3) RAON EMPIRE will be hotly favoured to win. She was favourite on debut over 1000M on November 13th but while she overcame gate ten to get to an eventual handy position, she could only manage 3rd. She should have come on for that run and from a much better gate, will be hard to beat. Second favourite will be (9) HERO QUEEN She has gone right back on both starts so far but rallied very well at her latest to run 3rd over this distance eon November 26th. The wide draw won’t be a problem and she will be challenging late. (12) ANYANG POKKYEOKGI was an improved 3rd in a quick time at start number two over 1000M on November 12th and may appreciate the step up in trip here. (10) AMAN BAROWS and (11) TAURUS QUEEN join the ranks of those drawn wide to be in the hunt.

Selections(3) Raon Empire (9) Hero Queen (12) Anyang Pokkyeogi (10) Aman Barows
Next Best11, 7
Fast Start3, 5, 10, 11

Busan Race 2: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Juvenile fillies with five of the eleven racing for the first time. Both (1) GANGSEO GIANT and (2) ALPHA THOR come out of the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Trophy where Alpha Thor was the best of them in 5th to Gangseo Giant’s 8th. Coming back in trip, they look set to battle out the honours here with Gangseo Giant sightly favoured to overturn the form. (3) CARPE BABEL debuted in the Do Min Ilbo Trophy, which was always going to be a tough ask first-up and from a wide gate she wasn’t a factor. She had previously won a trial in good order and it’s fair to give her a fresh start today. Among the first-time starters, (7) JOY JUNMA and (10) MACH BULLET perhaps have the best chance of making an immediate impact.

Selections(1) Gangseo Giant (2) Alpha Thor (3) Carpe Babel (7) Joy Junma
Next Best10, 8
Fast Start2, 3, 9, 10

Seoul Race 5: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

More maidens and it’s hard to look past (10) POWERFUL HWASEONG. That’s based on two of his latest three outings when 3rd and 2nd over this distance in times that were both faster than anything else here has achieved. He has a decent finish on him and doesn’t need to lead so the wide draw is of little concern, and at start number five, he looks ready to win. The main danger is (6) DONGBANG SAGI. She enters off an improved 2nd place over 1300M on November 27th when on pace throughout and beaten only by a good favourite. She’ll be on the speed again here and can be in this a long way. (4) CAMINO has only raced once, finishing midfield over 1300M on November 20th. He should strip fitter for that experience and can go closer today. (12) ULTRA GALAXY and (2) WINNER DRAGON are among others in the frame.

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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 23)

It’s the final racing weekend of the year and the action gets underway at Busan on Friday where there are 9 race from 12:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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

Juvenile maidens with all the twelve runners making their racecourse debuts. Plenty showed promise in their trials. (8) OK DREAM is the marginal top pick. She showed on pace in her heat, crossing the line 3rd and stopping the clock in a good time. He won’t need to improve much on that to win here. (10) FANTASTIC DAY was similarly on the speed in his trial at the end of November before being passed by a couple of experienced horses late on. That showing provided cause for optimism and she will be vying for favourite status here. (1) DAY BY DAY is another who led her trial, ultimately only passed by a two-time winner. She draws very well here to get on pace again and should be in this a long way. (2) WONDERFUL PHONE improved significantly in the second of two trials and along with (12) JUST BE HAPPY is another in the hunt.

Selections(8) OK Dream (10) Fantastic Day (1) Day By Day (2) Wonderful Phone
Next Best12, 4
Fast Start1, 2, 8, 10

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

A maiden for juvenile maiden fillies with two of the twelve racing for the first time. There are two standouts and they are the only ones who have two starts behind them already. (9) WORLD CLASS CAT ran fairly on debut but then beat three of these on her way to 2nd place at start number two on November 25th when drawn widest and running on strongly. The gate therefore shouldn’t be an issue and she will be a danger here. The other contender is (1) WONDERFUL TOP. She too improved on her second appearance, finishing 3rd over this distance on November 25th when settling back and running on. She comes into a much better gate this time and has strong claims. The exposed form drops off after those two so it might be worth taking a chance on one of the first-timers. (5) MOVIE MORE trialed up competently enough and benefits here from a nice draw and an apprentice claim. (2) DALEHOLRINGWANGDAE and (12) TTANBONG QUEEN among others in the frame.

Selections(9) World Class Cat (1) Wonderful Top (5) Movie More (2) Daleholringwangdae
Next Best12, 4
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 8

Busan Race3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(9) MY LULLABY will be a warm favourite here. She was well back on debut but a much-improved 2nd over 1200M on December 9th. She makes a quick return here and while she’s drawn a touch wider than ideal, she looks to be the one to beat. (3) USEUNGMUPAE has also raced twice, improving second-up when 4th over 1200M in a fair time. He was working home well and can be dangerous here. (11) VEREUDA has also demonstrated some late speed in both her starts to date. The wide draw shouldn’t be much of an impediment and the slight step up in trip may be to her benefit. (1) COOL RUNNING and (7) SKY SHOT are others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(9) My Lullaby (3) Useungmupae (11) Vereuda (1) Cool Running
Next Best7, 4
Fast Start5, 7, 8, 9

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

(4) JEONGMUN COBIT made all to win at start number three over 1200M on November 6th before very nearly repeating the trick on his first try at this class and distance on November 25th, ultimately coming home 2nd. He only comes up 1.5kg in the weights, he draws very nicely, and he has every chance of going all the way here. This is a competitive field though. (12) K.AI led all the way to get his maiden win over 1200M at this class on November 11th. He overcame gate eleven that day so the wide draw isn’t an issue and an apprentice claim means he carries even less weight today. (3) BURUICHUKJE is still a maiden but comes up in class having run 2nd in both starts so far. She settled back and run on both times and she should be competitive in this company. (11) WORLD FLOWER and (7) TEUKGEUP CAMP are among plenty of others in the placing hunt.

Selections(4) Jeongmun Cobit (12) K.Ai (3) Buruichukje (11) World Flower
Next Best7, 2
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 12

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

(2) ALEC KING IJI ran out a gate to wire winner on debut at the end of October over this distance. He comes up in class here but draws well to get to the lead again and has every chance of maintaining his 100% record. (6) WORLD FIVE similarly made all on her debut 1000M on November 25th. It was in all-filly company and she perhaps has a bit more to find compared with the favourite but she can measure up in this company. (12) RELEASE EDITION has mixed his form across six appearances to date but comes in off a good 3rd at class and distance on November 25th and can be dangerous here. (5) PATRIOT also has a class and distance 2nd to his name and while slightly disappointing last time out, can be given another chance here. (9) HANGANG SAVER, up in class following a good win on his second start, is another in the frame.

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Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (December 18)

Sunday’s racing is at Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 12:15 to 16:40). The program at both tracks includes a number of trophy races for big prize money as part of the Retired Racehorse Benefit day. These are essentially just normal races at between class 5 and class 3 level (as noted below in the comments). Here are the previews:

Race 5 at Busan marks Winner’s Man’s Korea Cup and Grand Prix victories (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile filly maidens in the opener and there are plenty of promising ones among them. Stepping up to 1200M for the first time, (9) MAESTRA gets the nod. She was 3rd in both her previous starts, both at 1300M, first by leading and then by settling back and running on. Moon Se-young continues aboard and today can be her day. (11) NAOL HAENGBOK ran 2nd in a fast time on a wet track over 1000M on debut on November 13th settling handy and running on. She draws a touch wide for comfort here, but the trip can suit, and she can challenge. (1) TOUCH CHARM is the big winner from the draw. She was a strong 3rd on debut over 1000M on November 26th and is another who can appreciate the additional furlong. Plenty of others in the hunt including (7) DASI TAEEONADO and the first-time starter and trial winner (4) WONDERFUL SLEW.

Selections(9) Maestra (11) Naol Haengbok (1) Touch Charm (7) Dasi Taeeonado
Next Best4, 2
Fast Start1, 5, 11, 9

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

(3) CHOEGANG MIRAE debuted without distinction back in April and then didn’t return until the end of October, only beating two home over 1300M. He had won a trial just the week before in a quick time demonstrating that he has some speed and was an improved 5th when tried at this distance on December 3rd. He draws much better here and third-up this could be his day. (4) TWO ACE has a runner-up finish to his name over this distance two starts back when coming from off the pace and followed up with a 4th at his most recent outing. An apprentice takes 3kg off his back and he should be going close. (8) MIRACLE K beat a couple of these on her way to 4th at this distance on November 20th having led for much of the way around and that’s enough to bring her into contention here. (12) DAESEUNG GAON and (9) GOLD KAISER among others in the minor money hunt.

Selections(3) Choegang Mirae (4) Two Ace (8) Miracle K (12) Daeseung Gaon
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start3, 5, 8, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

After three consecutive runner-up finishes, it’s about time (11) PURGE DAY won. He has finished 2nd from the front, as he did two starts back at class level, and he has finished 2nd settling back after a slow start and running on, as he did on his first try at this class on October 29th. That latter performance was fast and suggests the wide draw won’t be an issue as he steps up to this distance for the first time. (7) MENI ACE comes up in class and in distance following a maiden win over 1200M on November 12th when for the first time he was on or close to the pace throughout. He carries a light weight, can sit handy here and can run on to challenge again. (10) TOHO SKY comes in having finished a respectable midfield in Listed Nonghyup Chairman’s Cup for juveniles a month ago. He had previously run out a winner in a good time at 1200M and should go close in this company. (2) BICHUICA and (9) WONDERFUL INDY are among others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(11) Purge Day (7) Meni Ace (10) Toho Sky (2) Bichuica
Next Best9, 6
Fast Start3, 6, 10, 12

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maiden fillies open proceedings on the south coast with five of the twelve racing for the first time. (2) SPECIAL ROAD is the favourite, having run 2nd on debut on November 25th over 1000M, having previously run a similarly quick time in a trial. She draws well, carries a very light weight and the additional furlong can suit. The biggest threat looks to be one of the first-time starters. (1) ACE HORANGI won her trial in double quick time, leading all the way. She draws the same inside gate for her first race start and won’t need to improve much on the trial to go very close. (5) MY MANTRA ran on pleasingly enough for 5th place in a good time on debut at 1000M on November 11th and with some natural improvement can go closer today. Debut-makers (11) NEXT MARINE and (6) AMAZING MOVE are others capable of putting in bold showings first-up.

Selections(2) Special Road (1) Ace Horangi (5) My Mantra (11) Next Marine
Next Best6, 12
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class Open (1600M) Allowance / KRW 150 Million

(9) MACH STAR is favoured here. A maiden winner at start number two over 1200M at class 6 level on October 23rd, she than ran a good 2nd over that same distance on her first try at this level on November 19th. She has shown herself able to come from off the pace so the big step up in trip may be to her advantage and she is the one to beat. Plenty of others come in with recent form reading well. Chief among those is (8) LUCKY POWER, who was an also-ran in the Munhwa Ilbo Trophy in October but ran on well for 2nd over 1300M at this class on November 6th. He is another who can appreciate the additional trip and can be considered. (1) NUT PLAY started his career well but his latest two have seen him first get a long way back from a wide gate and then have a hard time in the Listed Nonghyup Chairman’s Trophy. From the inside draw and against more amenable company, he will have fewer excuses here. (4) HWARANG TODAY and (7) ROSE GOLD are among others to consider.

Selections(9) Mach Star (8) Lucky Power (1) Nut Play (4) Hwarang Today
Next Best7, 5
Fast Start2, 4, 8, 10

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

An extremely ordinary maiden which sees (8) SPECIAL JOHN, who has raced thirteen times and is yet to finish in the top-two, as the favourite. He has been getting better of late though, with two 3rd places and a 4th from his latest three and in the process set a time for this distance almost a full second faster than anything else here that has tackled the 1200M has managed. He won’t get a better chance than today to make the breakthrough. (2) MORNING MUSE comes back in trip and shapes as the logical danger having been on pace and then faded in her latest outings at further. She is up in the weights but that’s balanced by a good gate. The form, such that is, falls off after that with (7) WIDAEHAN SEONTAEK and (6) SPEED MAST the only others to have respectable showings among their most recent appearances which is enough to bring them into play here. (10) VELOCIRAPTOR did at least run on at start two over 1000M last time so may go better at this trip but is hardly convincing.

Selections(8) Special John (2) Morning Muse (7) Widaehan Seontaek (6) Speed Mast
Next Best10, 5
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 11

Seoul Race 5: Class Open (1700M) Allowance (Rating 1-35) / KRW 150 Million

Competitive race here. (12) WONDERFUL JOY overcame the widest gate to sit handy and then run on to win at class 5 level (which is essentially what this is), with three of today’s rivals behind him over this distance on November 12th. The set weight scale means he only comes up 1kg and that, combined with the widest gate again, might not be enough to prevent him winning again. (2) SPO BLADE is turning into a useful type. He got his maiden win at class 6 level two starts back over 1200M before running 2nd at 1300M on his first try at class 5 on November 19th. He has proven tactically versatile at the shorter distances and can go well on his debut over two turns. (5) FEDERAL KING and (7) K N TIZWON came home 2nd and 4th respectively behind Wonderful Joy in that November 12th race and both can be looking to go close again. (4) GAMGOK SUNSHINE another who can enter the calculations.

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