Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 14)

This Sunday sees the Busan Mayor’s Cup, the final leg of the Stayers’ Series where Cheongdam Dokki will once again seek to see off the likes of Tiz Plan and Shamrocker to take a clean sweep off all three legs having already won the Herald Business and YTN Cups. Before that though there is a big 15-race card at Busan on Friday running from 11:30 to 18:00. With Coivd-19 confirmed cases having risen to between 40-50 per day this week, there is still no sign as to if and when racegoers will be allowed to return to the tracks. Here are the previews:


Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Two-year-old gallopers kick of proceedings on Friday with six of the eleven engaged previously raced. (3) GALLANT WARRIOR is the on top selection in a race with many chances. The Old Fashioned colt has performed well at his two starts to date, coming off a last start fourth behind a handy type named Doctor Fashion. (7) CLEAN HIT trialed up nicely in his heat, when only having to be asked for in the last half furlong. He clocked a good time considering there was minimal urging from Lyu Gwang-hee. Busan’s leading rider You Hyun-myung will ride the colt on debut. (4) LUCAS SUN lines up for his second start after finishing midfield on debut behind World Cheonsa. The Purge colt was beaten a big margin, but his time was good and the winner looks an above average type. (5) THE FIRST FACTOR is another that finished behind a special one last start, named Winner’s Man. The filly settled better than midfield before running through the line one-paced. If she can find some improvement on top of her last effort, she can run into the money.

Selections (3) Gallant Warrior (7) Clean Hit (4) Lucas Sun (5) The First Factor
Next Best 12, 2
Fast Start 6, 10, 12


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

The second is an all-aged maiden for the Korean-bred gallopers where a field of ten will start over six furlongs. With very little speed engaged in the event it looks a good opportunity for (4) RAPTOR MAN to break through under new apprentice Mo Junho. The Rock Hard Ten gelding brought up his first placing last time out, when second behind Pai Blade. He looks one that appreciated the enforced break, he should be able to jump and run from gate four and prove hard to beat. (5) POWERFUL LEGEND looks capable of running into the money after finishing third last time out over this distance. The three-year-old gives the indication he is backmarker so don’t expect him to be settling in the first couple. (6) RAPIDO QUEEN will debut in the race. The Sadamu Patek filly clocked a fair time in her trial, many of these have shown limited ability suggesting she can figure at her first start. (10) HUIMANG SOYEO looks next best as she lines up for her first-up run. She trialed up well and has previously placed in similar company.

Selections (4) Raptor Man (5) Powerful Legend (6) Rapido Queen (10) Huimang Soyeo
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 4, 9


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

Another all-aged maiden for the Korean-bred gallopers here with a field of eleven engaged. In a race lacking depth, (9) DOCTOR KHAN goes on top after finishing third last start over this distance behind Nice One. The Menifee gelding was beaten ten lengths on that occasion but this is a much easier assignment. There should be some natural improvement with this start being his third career run. (6) SPRING FIRE is another that was beaten by a big margin when placing in an age-restricted race last time out. The Lion Santa filly finished third but clocked a time that will see her competitive against a field of this caliber. (2) MYEONGGA DAERO looks capable of running into a place with a good draw. The four-year-old has had eighteen starts, yielding just one place. He comes off a last start fourth when clocking a fair time behind Kkumeul Neomeo. (4) KING BROTHER has finished midfield at his three starts to date. He resumes in this event coming off a fair trial.

Selections (9) Doctor Khan (6) Spring Fire (2) Myeongga Daero (4) King Brother
Next Best 10, 3
Fast Start 6, 11


Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

The two and three-year-old gallopers line up in the fourth over 1300m, all looking for their first win. In a very even contest, (10) TWO TWO CELEB looks capable of being in the finish. The Cowboy Cal filly will carry just the 51.5kg coming off a midfield performance behind World Cheonsa. This race looks an easier assignment, where she will get the services of You Hyun-myung. (4) ECHO GOOD was slightly disappointing last time out when well thought of in a similar event. The Tiz Wonderful filly could only manage fifth, when one-paced in the run to the line never looking a winning chance. (5) ROYALIST lines up for his third start, coming off a fifth last time out over this distance. The Chapel Royal three-year-old was beaten a big margin but this looks an easier assignment. He did place behind Smart Value on debut. Flashy chestnut (9) TAPIT WONDERFUL looks an each-way play based on his two starts to date. The three-year-old placed on debut and then was beaten seven lengths when finishing fourth behind Top Of The Girl.

Selections (10) Two Two Celeb (4) Echo Good (5) Royalist (9) Tapit Wonderful
Next Best 11, 7
Fast Start 1, 5


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

The fifth will see the Korean-bred fillies line up over 1300m. (8) DASEUNG E produced a good performance last time out when finishing second behind Wind Park in similar company. The filly sat on speed and went down less than a length, over the same distance as this event. If she can hand in a similar effort, she should go close with minimal early speed engaged in the event. (7) QUEEN VRONSKY has notched two placings from as many starts including a last start second behind Top Lucky. The filly has the ability to close over a sprint distance, the additional half furlong should be in her favour. (3) SATURDAY QUEEN went down a head last time out when second behind Blue Ember. The Any Given Saturday four-year-old maps to sit just behind the speed and be given every chance as heads turn for home. (5) CAPSTONE comes out of the same races where she finished fourth. She was somewhat one-paced through the line but is capable of figuring.

Selections (8) Daseung E (7) Queen Vronsky (3) Saturday Queen (5) Capstone
Next Best 10, 1
Fast Start 8, 10


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

The next best thing from a dead certainty will line up in the sixth where a compact field of eight will go over the 1400m. (3) PORRIMA lines up in a race which she should win by panels. The Old Fashioned filly is the only runner to bring any reasonable form into the race. She comes off a last start third behind Adele Classic where she was comprehensively beaten. This race looks much easier, expect her to work to the front and not be headed. (2) TRUE WARRIOR is fourth up and should be rock hard fit. He (more…)

Korean Oaks Sunday – Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (August 9)

On Sunday it’s the fillies’ turn to have their Three-Year-Old Classic as the 2020 Korean Oaks takes place at Busan. A field of fifteen will line up in the Group 2 feature which is the last race on Busan’s 5-race Sunday card. At Seoul there are 12 races from 10:25 to 18:00. See below for the race-by-race preview along with horse by horse for the Oaks:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Plenty of interest lies in the first event with eleven two-year-old gallopers, nine of them unraced taking to the track. (4) GRAY CAT trialed up very nicely early July underneath Song Jae-chul. The Cowboy Cal colt won his trial by six lengths when clocking a solid time for the 1000m. (2) LUCKY JAESAN was another one who trialed up well. The Hansen filly clocked 62.1 seconds for her heat when winning by six lengths as well. She showed early speed in her trial so expect much the same from a good gate. (11) GREEN POKJU is one of two runners that has had a run coming into the race. The Old Fashioned filly hit the line superbly to finish second behind Cobra Ball. She is likely to settle rearwards once again with the outside draw. (6) YEONGUNG DAEMA also lined up in a two-year-old event on debut when fourth behind Samantha Cheetah. She is capable of filling a place.

Selections (4) Gray Cat (2) Lucky Jaesan (11) Green Pokju (6) Yeongung Daema
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 1, 2, 4, 9


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

A maiden open to both two and three-year-olds here. (6) MUSSANG HWANGHU came from well back to run an improved 3rd over 1200M on what was her second career start on July 18th. The slight step up in trip today can be to her benefit and she has a good chance of making the breakthrough. (7) MAKALU POWER has steadily improved over three outings to date, culminating in a runner-up finish at 1200M last start. His times have not been fast but he won’t need to improve much to be challenging here and has every chance of getting on the early speed. (11) STAR RUSH comes into contention following an improved 4th at 1200M a month ago and is another who may appreciate the small increase in distance. (1) ONE JI has been dreadful in three outings so far but looked much better when trialing two weeks ago in a fast time. Nevertheless, we’ll need to see him actually racing before we can be confident about him. The solitary debut-maker is (2) JANGSAN ENGINE and the Ecton Park filly, who has been trialing for more than a year, looked competent in her latest heat in July.

Selections (6) Mussang Hwanghu (7) Makalu Power (2) Jangsan Engine (11) Star Rush
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 1, 7


Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Fair to say not the most inspiring field lines up in the third event on the card. (6) POWER MUSIC is the on top selection after finishing third last time out over the 1400m. The Winchester filly will go over the same distance where she is drawn to settle just off the speed and reel of a good sectional with minimal weight on her back. (10) SHINY QUEEN is still lightly raced enough that connections will be hoping she can show something. She improved last time out and is another that can run into the minor money. (7) IRYEO HAYEO looks capable of running a place in a much weaker assignment today. It is hard to include her with one place from twenty-five starts but this is such a weak race. (3) HOSUA is third up after finishing fourth last time out. He hit the line fairly and is another capable of running into the money.

Selections (6) Power Music (10) Shiny Queen (7) Iryeo Hayeo (3) Hosua
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 6


Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Fillies only here for this handicap. (8) SAMANTHA CHEETAH was a revelation on debut, making all to win as easily as she pleased over five-furlongs. She steps up in both class and distance here but the manner of victory means she can go on top again. This is a strong race for the level though. (5) GOOD VOW also steps up in class following a maiden win in which she posted a time even faster than Samantha Cheetah’s and she too should be more then competitive at this level and will also challenge for the lead early. (7) BAEDARI CANDY too was a debut winner with a front-running performance and while she perhaps has a little bit more to find, looks right in the hunt as well. As for those with experience at this level already, (2) TANK SOCKS and (9) OUR SIMON are both proven money winners and should go close. There could be quite a cavalry charge to get the lead.

Selections (8) Samantha Cheetah (5) Good Vow (2) Tank Socks (9) Our Simon
Next Best 7, 10, 1
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11


Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Twelve imports face the starter in the fifth where they will go over the 1400m. (11) HAENGBOK WANGJA has been knocking on the door for quite some time and comes into the race with two runner-up performances since the break. Moon Se-young will take over from the injured Yoo Seung-wan. The Moon will have to overcome the outside gate but the horse has been hitting the line strong, suggesting he can let the Daredevil colt have time to find his feet. (2) GRAYDOL looks one that is capable of running into the money. The gelding has been hitting the line strong and gets a much better draw today. Whilst finishing in the money once from six starts, his times suggest he can figure in a weaker event. (6) VICTORY GO GO is second up and should strip fitter for the run. She was only fair first up when finishing fourth behind Level Tap, when one-paced through the line. (7) GOOD SENSE looks next best after placing in a Class 5 event, which is never ideal after commencing your career in Class 4 grade.

Selections (11) Haengbok Wangja (2) Graydol (6) Victory Go Go (7) Good Sense
Next Best 1, 3
Fast Start 1, 6, 7


Busan Race 1: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

A testing little race for the imported maidens. (5) GOOD FOR YOU was a nice 3rd on debut behind Geuma Mystic, who has gone on to win again and previously finished ahead of Derby winner Save The World in a trial. She ran 8th on her re-appearance at 1300M on July 10th but that was a much stiffer race than this and she was competitive. She can win. (10) HWANHUIUI BANSEOK was a useful 3rd on debut over this distance on July 19th. He was a front-runner that day so the draw is not kind here, but he can overcome that and compete again. (2) POKPUNG EONDEOK and (9) TRAFFIC MARINE underwhelmed in their respective appearances before the shutdown but both looked good in trials and can improve here. There are also four debut-makers and among them both (4) SONIC KING IJI and (6) JESSIEUI KKUM were both trial winners who can go well first up.

Selections (5) Good For You (4) Sonic King Iji (10) Hwanhuiui Banseok (6) Jessieui Kkum
Next Best 9, 2
Fast Start 4, 5, 10


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

Very competitive affair with plenty of these on the up. (4) JANGSAN BADA wasn’t detained by the lower levels for very long and steps up in class here having won two of three and finishing runner-up in the other. His latest win came in a fast time over this distance and while he carries plenty of weight again, he looks nicely in to just sit on the shoulder of the lead and finish strongly. (3) JEONGMUN BOLT was an all the way winner (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 31)

It’s finally Korean Derby weekend. The big race is at Seoul on Sunday but before that there is a 15-race card at Busan on Friday running from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Deep Mind 2019 Korean Oaks

Last year’s Korean Oaks winner Deep Mind goes around at Busan on Friday (Pic: KRA)

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

(3) TWO TWO WILD THING and (6) DREAM STEALTH ran home 4th and 5th, a considerable margin behind excellent winner Winner’s Man on debut on July 7th. Two Wild Thing stumbled on leaving the gate while Dream Stealth raced wide and green throughout so both had their excuses and both should have come on for that run. On the same day two weeks ago, (8) DAEHO PYEONGJEONG also debuted with a creditable 3rd place at this distance. Jo In-kwen climbs aboard this time which can be to his benefit and he looks nicely in here. There are three first-time starters and among them, (5) BANJIUI GIJEOK looks the most promising first-up. She is a half-sister to a number of winners and the jockey/trainer combination is worth taking note of. She led early in her trial before dropping back and then running through the line well (with Dream Stealth behind her) and a she should go close.

Selections (5) Banjiui Gijeok (3) Two Two Wild Thing (8) Daeho Pyeongjeong (6) Dream Stealth
Next Best 7, 2
Fast Start 2, 3, 5


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

Three-year-old Korean-bred gallopers line up in the second event where there is a lack of early speed. (1) BEODEUL BARAM looks to get every chance from the inside gate. The Min Jang-gi trained filly finished third on debut when powering to the line going down less than a length behind Morning Thunder. (3) SUN ALPHA comes off a handy performance last time out when finishing third behind Wind Park. The Thunder Moccasin colt will line up over the same journey and with some improvement looks one of the main chances. (11) ALPHA HEART showed improvement at her second start. The filly is one that has shown a lack of speed out of the gates suggesting Jo In-kwen will need to stay in touch with the leading division to be a winning chance. (10) CRONUS looks next best after finishing behind the place getters last time out over the six furlongs. Kim Young-kwan and Seo Seung-un combine, which is a partnership that can never be ignored.

Selections (1) Beodeul Baram (3) Sun Alpha (11) Alpha Heart (10) Cronus
Next Best 9, 6
Fast Start 2


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

Lots of lines have to be drawn through latest performances here if we are to be able to pick anything to win this. (1) GABO TODAY will tempt plenty given the stable and the jockey who gets on him today. The manner of his capitulation last start when looking well placed was concerning but he should have come on for it and in this company is worth another chance. (2) AMAZING GIRL resumes for the first time since February. She had run in a couple of 4th place finishes at 1000M and steps up beyond the minimum trip for the first time having hinted at some promise in a trial earlier this month. (7) NICE ONE and (9) CHOEGANG CUPID are others who have shown something in recent trials that they are yet to show on the racetrack and who have the potential to improve today. (4) HIT JACKPOT may have an extremely unimpressive resume at first glance, but he has actually run the fastest time of any of these at this distance and the addition of You Hyun-myung in the saddle should be a plus.

Selections (1) Gabo Today (4) Hit Jackpot (2) Amazing Girl (7) Nice One
Next Best 9, 5, 6
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 9


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


The Korean-bred maidens go over the 1300m in the fourth event, where plenty of these gallopers have been given numerous chances to break through previously. (11) ADELE CLASSIC looks hardest to beat coming off two good performances since resuming late June. The colt clocked a quick time for this class last start, expect him to work forward early under Jo In-kwen. (1) PORRIMA looks the main danger after trying to lead throughout last time out before finishing third behind B.K John. She has shown speed at her first two starts so with the inside draw she is likely to be the one to catch halfway up the straight. (2) DARUI BADA looks a place chance in a field lacking depth outside of the aforementioned runners. She hit the line well last time out, if she can settle closer she can run into the money. (3) HUIMANG SOYEO looks next best in a race that doesn’t inspire.

Selections (11) Adele Classic (1) Porrima (2) Darui Bada (3) Huimang Soyeo
Next Best 5, 9
Fast Start 1, 3, 11


Race 5: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies here. Four of these faced each other over this distance on July 17th and it was (5) SECOND WIND who came out the best of them with a front-running 2nd place finish behind Great Good. That was a strong performance and suggests she has a maiden win in her sooner rather than later – it could well be here. (11) ACHIM BIT came home 3rd in that race having led for much of the way. She will have to (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 24)

So spectators won’t be allowed into the racecourses this week after all. A limited number of race fans were set to be admitted from Friday, however, officials have now ordered the KRA to put that on hold indefinitely. That means racing continues – for now – behind closed doors and with no local betting. The feature race this weekend is the SBS Sports Sprint at Seoul on Sunday, but the action gets underway with a 15-race card at Busan on Friday. Here are the previews:


Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Quite a tasty little juvenile maiden to kick things off. (1) DOCTOR FASHION gets the nod, having run 2nd on debut behind Heat Yegam on June 26th. Though no match for the winner, he ran on strong in a very creditable time and won’t need to have improved too much to win here. (6) HUIMANGUI SORY ran on strong for 3rd in that same race. He has four-lengths to make up on Doctor Fashion but the addition of Djordje Perovic will do his chances no harm at all. (4) YEONGGWANGUICHUKJE did nothing wrong on debut either. His was a slower time but it was on a slower track and he has the potential to build on the 3rd place he registered. There are also a couple of very interesting first-time starters. All three half-siblings of (2) GOOD SOCKS who have made the track have been winners and the Concord Point filly almost certainly will be too. She trialed well, taking it easy early and then responding when asked.

Selections (1) Doctor Fashion (2) Good Socks (6) Huimangui Sory (4) Yeonggwanguichukje
Next Best 8, 7, 5
Fast Start 1


Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

The two-year-old colts and fillies will face the starter in the second over the short course. (8) YEONGSEONGTEUKGEUP debuts in this event and comes off an impressive trial. The Old Fashioned colt has a nice action covering the ground in good fashion. He responded nicely to the asking of Jung Do-yun in the trial when clocking a good time. (3) MY STAR debuted three weeks back when finishing second behind Kkotgwa Gureum. The filly goes over the 1000m once again and is drawn to get an ideal run. (6) SORI TAEPUNG handed in a solid performance on debut when midfield behind Heat Yegam. Expect the Hansen colt to improve at his second start. (7) MIX BLADE lines up for his debut performance and looks capable of running into the money. The colt clocked a reasonable time for his trial on a dry track.

Selections (8) Yeongseongteukgeup (3) My Star (6) Sori Taepung (7) Mix Blade
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 8, 6


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

Maidens once more but this time it’s for the three-year-olds. (6) DALLAE raced three times prior to the shutdown, never finishing worse than 4th and recording a couple of useful times over 1000M along the way. For her return, she tackles 1200M for the first time having trialed up promisingly earlier this month. Seo Seung-un knows the filly well and will likely aim to take her to the front as soon as possible. (11) DYNAMIC RUSH looks to be one of those for whom the long break did some good. The Colors Flying colt returned to action on July 3rd recording his best finish to date when 3rd over this distance. He ran on well and can build on that today. There are four first-timer starters and a couple of them look promising. (9) NUN KKOT YEWANG finished 5th in both of her pre-shutdown appearances, one of them behind Dallae, and can improve in this company. (5) SAEACHUMUI HAETSAL was a front-running trial winner all the way back in March. She’s not been seen since but if she can bring anything resembling that performance to the track, she will go well here. (12) INVISIBLE MAN brings Djordje Perovic together with Bart Rice and a colt who has been solid if unspectacular in trials but who, in a weak race, can make an impression first up.

Selections (6) Dallae (11) Dynamic Rush (5) Saeachimui Haetsal (12) Invisible Man
Next Best 9, 1
Fast Start 5, 6, 9


Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

An even assembly of three-year-old runners line up in the fourth event over 1400m. (2) ECHO GOOD lines up for her third start after significant improvement at her most recent start. The filly finished second when hitting the line strong over the 1200m. The extra furlong should assist her chances. (7) SKY WIN comes out of the same race where the colt finished on the heels of the placegetters. He lacks early speed but is capable of reeling off a fast sectional. With a well time run he should be considered an each way chance. (10) TOP OF THE GIRL drops back from the mile after finishing fourth behind Geuma Kairos last time out. She sat on speed last start before struggling to complete the mile strongly. There is not a lot of speed engaged so she can work forward once again is rider Seo Seung-un wishes to do so. (4) TAPIT WONDERFUL ran on strong last time out to finish second behind Raon Sky Man. The margin was four lengths and the time slow for a firm track, suggesting improvement will be needed to be a winning chance.

Selections (2) Echo Good (7) Sky Win (10) Top Of The Girl (4) Tapit Wonderful
Next Best 1, 5
Fast Start 5, 10


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

(1) SUSO TANK has run 4th and 5th in two outings so far at 1200M and 1400M respectively, finishing strongly on both occasions. She has looked to be wanting further and she gets a chance to prove it here. She’s from the track’s top stable and is sure to be well-backed. Similarly, (3) ACE JACKPOT ran on strong for 4th place from well back over 1300M three weeks ago. She steps up to the mile for the first time and it may well suit. (4) CHEONNYEONUIGUREUM has raced at this distance before including a good 4th place finish on June 26th. She runs best on pace and is well drawn to get forward early under Franco Da Silva and looks to have an excellent chance here. (11) PILSEUNG IJI is another one who steps up in trip, in his case following back to back 3rd place finishes over 1400M, the latest of them just two weeks ago. Seo Seung-un remains aboard and she should go close. (7) BAEDARI CAPER has the fastest time of any of these that have raced at the distance before and can aim for some minor money.

Selections (4) Cheonnyeonuigureum (1) Suso Tank (3) Ace Jackpot (11) Pilseung Iji
Next Best 7, 9, 6
Fast Start 4, 12


Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

There are plenty of chances engaged in the sixth where a field of eleven will go over the six furlongs. (5) GOOD THUNDER brings some good form into the race after finishing third behind Perfect Jewang when resuming. The Thunder Moccasin colt has drawn better in this event suggesting he can settle closer before he produces a very nice turn of foot as shown last start.  The consistent (6) DOCTOR GREY has finished second at three of his five starts and finished in the top five at the other appearances. The colt resumed in good style when finishing second behind Banjiui Magic beaten three lengths. He can find a position in the leading quartet before (more…)

YTN Cup Day Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (July 19)

It’s Dokki Day in Seoul! Cheongdam Dokki roared back into form winning the Herald Business Cup a month ago. On Sunday afternoon he faces familiar rivals in the G3 YTN Cup. The YTN is the feature on a 14-race Sunday program which runs from 10:25 to 18:00, There is also a 5-race card at Busan. Here are the previews:

Dokki YTN.jpg

Cheingdam Dokki beat Tiz Plan, Shamrocker (hidden) and Rock Hard Seven in the Herald Business. All four return in the YTN (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Twelve juvenile maidens go around in the opener with all but one racing for the very first time. This is one of those occasions, however, when we need to side with experience because (10) OXFORD KING put in an extremely encouraging debut on June 21st, finishing in 2nd place at this distance. The Summer Front colt previously posted trial times that were quicker than any of the first-timers here have managed and despite the wide draw, he should win. As for those first-timers, (3) BRIGHT VICTOR won her trial leading all the way and can be expected to push for the early lead here from a favourable draw. (1) K N TEUKGEUP looked comfortable in his heat when recording a useful time and the trainer/jockey combination will ensure he has plenty of support first up. (9) THE KING BLADE and (11) ROYAL YEONGGWANG are others to keep an eye on.

Selections (10) Oxford King (1) K N Teukgeup (3) Bright Victor (9) The King Blade
Next Best 11, 8
Fast Start 2, 3, 7, 10


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

The Korean-bred three-year-old gallopers line up in the second event. (5) ROCK BEAT looks hard to beat after finishing second on debut last start behind Wonderful Storm, when clocking a quick time. The filly sat on speed last start, barrier five will allow rider Ha Jung-hun to let his mount roll forward and ask her for an effort at the top of the straight. (8) AFLEET MARINE finished just behind Rock Beat last start finishing third in the same event. The filly settled further back however before making up ground in the second half of the race. (4) SPRING COME resumes after finishing second back in February before the hiatus. The chestnut trialed up in fair style, with a good draw he should get an economic run and is capable of filling a place. (6) LEGEND WIN drops back to the five furlongs after finishing third behind Yaho Golden Cat last start. He tried to lead throughout last start, we imagine the tactics here will be to work forward early and try and hold off the late runs of his opposition.

Selections (5) Rock Beat (8) Afleet Marine (4) Spring Come (6) Legend Win
Next Best 7, 3
Fast Start 5, 6


Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Competitive maiden for three-year-olds here. (3) GRACE QUEEN ran a good 3rd on debut on June 20th at this distance and although well back behind a good winner, showed progress from her trials and she looks like she’ll be in the winner’s circle before too long. She’ll be aiming to get on pace from the start and she can win. (1) K.N. POWER ran 5th in the same race and also has scope for improvement. Across her trials and debut she’s looked like she may want further but will be competitive again in this company. (4) BEST FAMILY was slightly slower in her debut on June 21st but rallied well for 4th and can build on that today. Draw a line through the performance of (9) EAST ONE three weeks ago as he stumbled at the start and never really recovered. He has found the minor placings a couple of times already though and should go close here. (11) MAY BLUE looks to be figuring things out and ran a strong 3rd at this distance two weeks ago. The draw does her no favours but if she overcome that to get a forward position, she has more than a chance. (2) POTENTIAL ENERGY caught the eye when winning a June trial and looks set to improve.

Selections (3) Grace Queen (1) K. N. Power (11) May Blue (9) East One
Next Best 2, 4, 12
Fast Start 3, 4, 11


Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million 

Another bunch of three-year-old gallopers line up in the fourth, this time going over the 1400m. (3) OLD BLADE looks the one to beat after showing a good turn of foot last time out to finish second behind Blue K. She should appreciate the services of Moon Se-young combined with the minor step up to the 1400m. (12) THE DREAM looks next best after sitting on speed when resuming and finishing second to Top Seed. The chestnut will have to overcome the outside gate early to be given a winning chance. (2) POWER MUSIC hit the line well last start when fifth in the event that Old Blade lined up in. If the filly can settle closer she can run into the money. (6) THUNDER WIND looks next best after finishing second behind Meotjin Seungbu. The time was not overly quick but he appears and each way commodity in the race.

Selections (3) Old Blade (12) The Dream (2) Power Music (6) Thunder Wind
Next Best 5, 8
Fast Start 4, 12


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

(4) BALBATU steps up in class having secured his maiden win at the third time of asking over 1200M on June 20th. He actually started poorly that day, spotting his rivals a few lengths with a lazy start but went on to run them down pleasingly and that suggests the increase in trip won’t trouble him unduly today. (7) SPEED HEUKRYONG drops back in trip having run 2nd to Milky Sherry over 1700M on June 20th. He put in a strong front-running performance in that race and can be expected to be on speed again with solid claims to be involved at the business end of the race. (5) LUXURY CAPTAIN has a track record of being a bit of a pain to deal with as he proved two weeks ago when starting badly and then racing ungenerously throughout. He does have a bit of talent about him though and with improved manners can be a danger. (1) GOD OF SOCKS resumes for the first time since the restart and is another with ability in this company. (8) BARAMUI MISO and (9) FLYING JOY others in the placing frame. There is very little early speed engaged here so the latter of that pair may find it easy to get to the front.

Selections (4) Balbatu (7) Speed Heukryong (1) God Of Socks (8) Baramui Miso
Next Best 5, 9
Fast Start 1, 9


Busan Race 2: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

The three-year-old imports line up in the second event as they all look for their maiden victory. (2) ARA ROSE resumed in good style last time out when clocking a quick time to finish second behind Geuma Mystic. She positioned behind the speed last time out before hitting the line strong, a similar performance from a handy draw should see her go close. (4) WORLD TOP resumes after a good trial in April. At his last start he finished third behind Babel Hit over the 1200m, back in February. He sat closer to the speed at his second start which he should be able to do so once again with a good draw. (7) HWANHUIUI BANSEOK lines up for his first race start after a couple of trials. They clocked a fair time in his most recent trial suggesting he can run into the money. (1) ROYAL PENNANT comes out of the same race as Ara Rose where the chestnut finished fifth, yielding some ground in the straight. If he can show some improvement, he can collect a cheque.

Selections (2) Ara Rose (4) World Top (7) Hwahuiui Banseok (1) Royal Pennant
Next Best 8, 5
Fast Start 1, 4


Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

The fillies and mares will line up against each other in the sixth where there is plenty of speed engaged. (5) JEONGSEONG STAR resumes after an encouraging first preparation. The filly placed on numerous occasions before being promoted to this grade, where she broke maiden status last start over the 1200m. She trialed up in fast time in April and looks ready to put her best foot forward fresh. (11) GOOD WONDER looks one that will (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 17)

The “Balkan Wolf” has returned to Korea. Djordje Perovic, begins his second stint riding in Korea at Busan on Friday where the former Seoul Champion Jockey has four rides on the 15-race card which runs from 11:30 to 18:00. The meeting will be held behind closed doors.


Perovic is back – this time at Busan

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Juvenile maidens kick the weekend’s action off with four of the twelve having raced once before. The race sees a return to Korea for jockey Djordje Perovic who had a successful few years in Seoul and it’s not impossible he could start with a winner. (5) BAEK SEOL QUEEN is one of those with previous experience having run 4th on debut at this distance on July 3rd. She was well back behind the winner but should have come on for that and can improve. Putting in a similar debut a couple of weeks earlier was (2) YEONGWON POWER, who came from off the pace to also run 4th at the same distance. There are loads of chances among the newcomers, many of whom trialed up very similarly. (12) WINNER’S MAN is the first foal from a dam who won six times in Korea and was nicely bred herself. He trialed well albeit on a sloppy track and looks nicely in first-up. (9) BAEK PUNG and (7) TWO TWO WILD THING both showed a bit of speed while (10) B. K. LOOKS also showed some promise.

Selections (5) Baek Seol Queen (12) Winner’s Man (7) Two Two Wild Thing (2) Yeongwon Power
Next Best 9, 6, 10
Fast Start 3, 9, 10


Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

More juvenile maidens with again four of them having raced once each before and the remaining eight making their debuts. (8) TOP MATE put in a good shift on debut on June 19th, running on for 2nd behind good winner Happy Witch. It was a decent performance in a useful time, and he looks the one to beat here. Experience should also be beneficial for (4) WORLD CHEONSA, who ran 3rd in that very same race. She showed at the front early and is likely to do the same again from a nice draw. Seo Seung-un climbs aboard in what is another plus. The first-timers didn’t exactly pull up trees in their respective trials but there were positive signs from the likes of (3) LUCAS SUN and (9) CENTUM THOR.

Selections (8) Top Mate (4) World Cheonsa (9) Centum Thor (3) Lucas Sun
Next Best 10, 6
Fast Start 3, 4, 10, 11


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

Ten three-year-old maidens go here, seven of them fillies. It’s a colt who may be the pick though with (2) GABO TODAY resuming for the first time since December. He ran well in that race before the layoff, his second career start, ending up 3rd of 12 over 1000M running on strong. He went through a trial just last Saturday, posting a fast time and he has every chance of a first-up win today. (10) QUEEN VRONSKY showed promise when 3rd on debut at this distance on June 10th, coming from off the pace and running on well. The wide draw shouldn’t be an issue and she’s a chance here. (6) TOP LUCKY weakened late on over 1300M three weeks ago having led for much of the way and may appreciate the slight drop back in trip today. She’s well drawn to get to the front once more. (1) WONDERFUL SMARTY showed little in four starts before the shutdown but has trialed up well since and can improve today. Similarly, (7) GEUMA GOOD POINT has raced just the once and can aim for a fresh start here having shown some promise in trials.

Selections (2) Gabo Today (10) Queen Vronsky (6) Top Lucky (7) Geuma Good Point
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 5, 6,


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

After winning a trial, (3) GREAT GOOD ran 2nd on debut behind a horse who ran in a ridiculously fast time for the 1000M, Smart Value. Great Good herself ran well too and she won’t have to improve much on that, if at all, to win here. The extra furlong should only be in her favour. (11) SEUNGNI QUEEN is the only other one in the race who has troubled the scorers so far. That was a 2nd place on what was her latest start in February and while she didn’t catch the eye when trialing in June, she may have enough about her to challenge for a place again. (6) ACHIM BIT debuted reasonably well in 6th place behind Great Good three weeks ago and can be in the frame here. Likewise, (10) SECOND WIND didn’t do too much wrong on her debut either and has a platform to build on today. (9) CRONUS too is sure to have his backers to improve given the trainer/jockey combination.

Selections (3) Great Good (10) Second Wind (11) Seungni Queen (6) Achim Bit
Next Best 9
Fast Start 6, 10


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

More three-year-old maidens, none of whom have shown very much in their respective outings to date. (5) DAESEUNG E ran creditably enough for 4th place on debut at this distance on June 26th. The time wasn’t fast but it’s a solid foundation to build on and in this limited company, she can get closer. (3) OMEGA GIRL was similarly slow when 4th at 1200M four weeks ago having briefly touched 2nd place in the home straight. That experience should be beneficial and there can be improvement. (9) SUN ALPHA never got going on debut and finished well back behind a very good winner. He had previously shown a decent turn of foot in trials so we’ll draw a line through that debut and give him another chance today. Similarly, (7) WIND PARK weakened on debut behind Daeseung E but had previously won a trial and shouldn’t be written off just yet. In a race with very little in the way of early speed, she may well get to the front.

Selections (5) Daeseung E (9) Sun Alpha (7) Wind Park (3) Omega Girl
Next Best 8, 4
Fast Start 7


Race 6: Class 6 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 25 Million

The speed map in the sixth looks very limited with the majority of the field flat-footed out of the gates. (4) JANGSAN PRIDE goes on top based on a good trial during the hiatus. He has had the two starts with eighth his best performance to date. The two races he lined up in were 2yo races where there were some handy types. This is a weak race and if he is going to show us something, it will be in this event. (2) CAPSTONE is another yet to show much with the filly’s best (more…)

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

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with a 15-race behind closed doors fixture from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Only three of the nine in the opener have raced before and conveniently for us, all three went in the same race over this distance on June 19th. The best of the three was (3) TOP MATE, who came from just behind the pace to run on strongly for 2nd. It was a solid run and he can go one better today. (9) WORLD CHEONSA was prominent all throughout that race, briefly striking the front in the home straight before ultimately coming home in 3rd place. The filly has drawn wide again but has claims to at least match her performance from last time. (5) K K WON came home in 5th place in that race and he too can improve. There are, however, a couple of useful looking first-timers. (4) WINNER’S MAN recorded the fastest trial time although that was aided by a wet track. (2) DAEHO PYEONGJEONG and (6) B.K. LOOKS, the latter partnered by Jo In-kwen, who rode Top Mate on debut, are others who should go well first-up.

Selections (3) Top Mate (9 World Cheonsa (6) B.K. Looks (2) Daeho Pyeongjeong
Next Best 5, 4
Fast Start 2, 6, 9


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

The three-year-old runners line up in the second all looking for their maiden victory. (9) TOP QUEEN looks a big chance as she lines up for her second career start. The Cowboy Cal filly finished second on debut behind Thunder Vegas in November last year. She trialed in a fair time back in May, with some mild improvement on the trial she looks the one to beat. (11) MAEUM DAERO has had a run since the racing hiatus where she finished fourth behind Smart Value. She was beaten a big margin but clocked a time that should see her competitive in this event. (10) GLOBAL SEUNGNI has had the one career start where he was tested over the 1200m on debut. The Testa Matta gelding was beaten eleven lengths by a handy one in Goblin on that day, this is a much easier assignment so don’t let the margin bother you. (2) GRAND YEOWANG performed well in a trial leading into this preparation. She looks the best chance of the well drawn gallopers.

Selections (9) Top Queen (11) Maeum Daero (10) Global Seunghi (2) Grand Yeowang
Next Best 1, 12
Fast Start 9, 10, 11


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

Three-year-old maidens go around here with all but one of the full field of twelve having raced at least once before. Four of these raced each other over 1000M on June 19th in the very first race back after the shutdown. (2) GOLD MAGIC finished the best of them, running on well for 3rd, a long way behind a decent looking winner but not far off the runner-up. The way he ran that day suggests the additional furlong can be to his benefit and he looks a serious chance here. (10) SWEET BAND and (11) ALPHA HEART came home in 4th and 5th respectively in that race, with the former especially hitting the line well and both should be involved at the business end of the race today. (1) MORNING THUNDER improved across three starts before the break culminating in a 2nd place finish. He looked well when winning a June trial and comes straight into contention. (5) BAEDARI SUNSHINE was less impressive in his trial but also has a 2nd place to his name and is likely to be on speed early here. The Wildcard is (8) YEONGGWANGUI START, who hasn’t raced since September of last year, but he did show promise and was a trial winner in the Spring. He’s another who should sit on the pace early. (6) A. ONCE weakened over 1400M two weeks ago but is better than that and today should be more suitable.

Selections (2) Gold Magic (1) Morning Thunder (10) Sweet Band (8) Yeonggwangui Start
Next Best 6, 5, 12
Fast Start 3, 5, 6, 8


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

Another batch of maiden gallopers face the starter in the fourth where the main chances come from the early speed. (9) ECHO GOOD is the on top selection after finishing fourth to My Queen on debut. The winner on the day in My Queen romped in winning by five lengths. While she looks a very handy galloper, Echo Good looks one that can improve and be a main player in this event. (3) HUIMANG SOYEO handed in a much-improved effort last time out when third behind King’s Landing. Whilst it was back in January, a similar performance can see her figure once again. (10) MILE QUEEN has managed to finish fourth twice from her five career starts. At her last start she finished fourth behind Haeundae Thunder where she was beaten seven lengths. With some improvement she is another capable of finishing in the placings as this is a much weaker event. (6) ARA MYUNGMA has finished in the minor placings on two occasions from ten starts. She trialed up in good time but looks a place chance at best.

Selections (9) Echo Good (3) Huimang Soyeo (10) Mile Queen (6) Echo Good
Next Best 5, 4
Fast Start 5, 9, 10


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

Tricky race as nothing enters with much in the way of convincing form. The best might be (7) B.K JOHN. He’s certainly the only one who has a runner-up finish to his name, and it was recorded on his most recent outing. However, that was all the way back in April of 2019. He did though look good in a trial in April of this year and can be considered. If you prefer your form a touch more recent than (4) PORRIMA is the one to go for. He’s from the track’s top stable and he surely builds on the 4th place he achieved on debut at 1400M just two weeks ago. (5) DALGI didn’t catch the eye in a recent trial but knows how to come from off the pace with a late run and can hit the board while it’s a similar story with (11) GRAND CAPTAIN, who doesn’t have much in the way of speed about him but can plod into the money in this company. (3) SEONGSIL SONYEO did nothing in two starts before the shutdown but did well in a May trial and gets a fresh start today.

Selections (4) Porrima (7) B.K. John (5) Dalgi (11) Grand Captain
Next Best 3
Fast Start 6, 7


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

The three-year-old maidens go over the 1300m where the field is inexperienced. (3) ROYALIST looks the one to beat coming off a last start third behind Smart Value when lining up for his first start two weeks back. The three-year-old was beaten a significant nine lengths on debut but clocked a quick time, with the winner of that particular race looking a handy type. With a severe (more…)

KRA Cup Mile Sunday: Busan & Seoul Race-By-Race Preview (July 5)

It’s been a rocky road to the first three-year-old Classic of the season but against the backdrop of an existential threat to Korean racing with seemingly little prospect of either online or offline betting arriving any time soon, the KRA Cup Classic will finally be run at Busan this afternoon. There is a 5 race card at Busan with the big race at 3.30pm while at Seoul there are 14 races from 10.25 to 18.00.


Save The World enters the KRA Cup Mile as a leading contender

Fourteen horses will enter the gate but champion juvenile and one time Triple Crown favourite Roller Blade won’t be among them, after a 10,000/1 type administrative oversight meant he hadn’t fulfilled the qualification criteria.

It hasn’t been the smoothest of build-ups for another leading candidate Save The World either, with his trainer having sadly passed away in March.

Save The World does run and is set to be among the favourites as is Choegang Team who has only been beaten by Roller Blade in his five starts to date and looks to be the pick of the raiders from Seoul along with so far unbeaten Roan Tough Man. Gyeongnam Do Min Cup winner Doctor Carson is another in a race made all the more fascinating for the lengthy absence of racing at a time when the three-year-olds would have been coming into their own. Here are all the previews – scroll down for the KRA Cup Mile (Busan race 5):

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

A tough race to kick proceedings off on Sunday with a lack of exposed form for punters to assess. (8) SHINY FIRE is the top elect based on a reasonable trial performance in April combined with what she showed at her first couple of starts. The Midshipman filly has shown early speed in her racing and should work forward early on. Expect it to be a slog up the home straight but we think she will be one of them left in the finish. (2) KKAEUCHIM can run into the money based on some reasonable performances before the hiatus. The four-year-old is yet to place from nine starts but this race has a severe lack of form. (1) SHADOW QUEEN has been included on the basis of a nice trial in recent times. She has had the one start where she showed very little but the trial was good and if she collects a cheque it would not surprise. (3) WOL YEONG I is another that trialed well but needs to bring it to race day.

Selections (8) Shiny Fire (2) Kkaeuchim (1) Shadow Queen (3) Wol Yeong I
Next Best 4, 5
Fast Start 2, 8

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

Not the strongest of maidens here. (1) HAMYANG SANGRIM sports two 3rd place finishes among seven starts so far and is at least capable of consistently running a competitive time. She didn’t catch the eye in an April trial but if Ha Jung-hun can work her to the front from the inside gate then she has a good chance of scoring here. (4) GEUMA MAJESTY is the only one of the field who has recorded a runner-up finish, something she achieved at this distance. She returned in February after nine months out to run a decent 4th, again over this distance and can go well first up once more. Neither (3) GAJA PLAN nor (9) OKAY JJANG offered much in their limited experience so far but both showed a bit more promise, the former especially, in recent trials and can improve today. That’s true too for (10) MAY BLUE, who does at least have a 4th place to her name and will be expected to work forward to the front from the outside gate.

Selections (3) Gaja Plan (1) Hamyang Sanrim (10) May Blue (4) Geuma Majesty
Next Best 9
Fast Start 1, 10


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

The Korean-bred three-year-old fillies line up in the third over 1200m. (3) RAPIDO ARES looks the one to beat based on a very solid debut performance. The Lion Metal filly finished third behind Lucky Myeongho on that occasion when hitting the line strongly. The step out to the 1200m looks ideal for her and she comes off a reasonable trial. (2) SAENAE CHOICE must be considered as a winning chance. She is a speedy type who has stuck on in her races honestly to date and with fresh legs she is one to keep safe in your selections. (5) HANIL MOA has been settling further back at her past couple of starts. She will be hitting the line strong late and looks a place chance at best. (7) GLOBAL SUN is on the two week back up after feeling the pinch late in her recent run. She should strip fitter for the run and looks capable of collecting a cheque.

Selections (3) Rapido Ares (2) Saenae Choice (5) Hanil Moa (7) Global Sun
Next Best 4, 1
Fast Start 2


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

Maiden fillies only tackling the 1200M. (1) DREAM GIRLS showed progress over three starts prior to the shutdown culminating in a 2nd place on February 22nd. All of them were at 1000M and all were in decent times. She confirmed her ability when trialing well behind Blessing Road in May and stepping up to 1200M for the first time, she can win and in a race with no early speed, can probably lead gate to wire. The form for the rest is patchy, to put it mildly. (7) ANYANG HORANGI has never finished any better than 4th but has posted some good times, albeit in rain-assisted tracks. She trialed up well – also in the wet – three weeks ago and can be competitive here. (6) WONDER PLACE too has been consistent if unspectacular and she too performed competently in her trial. (9) HARUON got sent out only slightly better than even-money when she raced at this distance in February. Punters must have seen something in her prior run when she clocked a useful time over the 1000M. She ended up finishing 5th but that form is enough to bring her firmly into placing contention today.

Selections (1) Dream Girls (9) Haruon (7) Anyang Horangi (6) Wonder Place
Next Best 4
Fast Start 1


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

A compact field of eight will go over the 1400m in the fifth event. (4) YEOLRIN MUN was a good last start winner over the 1200m back in February. The Any Given Saturday colt has had just the five runs for the win and two minors. The trial in April was average but he lined up against some handy types. (2) STREET GANGJA was a last start winner on debut. The Hongji gelding won by a clear margin but clocked a very slow time for the 1200m. The recent trial was good and with some improvement has to be considered a winning chance. (6) MISSILE CANDY is consistently around the mark and finds an assignment where the entire can collect some prizemoney. He comes off a last start fifth behind Gold Blue Magic when shortening stride in the final stages over 1400m. The drop back to the six furlongs suits and his trial was good. (1) RESKA looks next best after lining up in a tougher assignment last start when finishing fifth. Expect the Big Brown filly to sit behind the speed and motor late.

Selections (4) Yeolrin Mun (2) Street Gangja (6) Missile Candy (1) Reska
Next Best 5, 3
Fast Start 3, 4 ,6


Busan Race 2: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(2) CHROME MAGIC had started to lose his way somewhat in his last three outings prior to the shutdown so it may be that the enforced time off has done him some good. It certainly looked that way when he trialed up at the beginning of June, running 2nd in a fast heat to the class 1 Baengmunbaekdap. Moon Se-young is an intriguing booking aboard and he can win. (1) WONDERFUL COUNTRY and (8) DAEHO JILJU both returned to action two weeks ago, both (more…)

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

There was a brief glimmer of light at the beginning of the week when the government gave to go ahead to the professional baseball and football leagues to begin admitting spectators to stadiums from as early as this Friday. The hope was that this could be quickly extended to the racecourses where strict bio-security and distancing measures are ready to be enforced. That hope was quickly extinguished with the rise of new “cluster infections” in the middle of the week with baseball and football having immediately had their approval put on hold.

Accordingly, this weekend’s racing will once more be run without spectators and without betting, the latter of which is unsustainable for very much longer. The races, while unavailable to loyal Korean punters, are, however, available to overseas bettors through the usual simulcast partners. There are 15 races at Busan on Friday from 11:30 to 18:00.


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

A small field of eight first-time starters get Friday’s card underway, tackling the minimum distance of five furlongs. The fastest in trials was (8) KKOTGWA BARAM, who despite weakening late on, still managed to hold her own in a heat that included Baengmunbaekdap. The widest gate may not be ideal, but she most likely doesn’t need to lead, and she has fair claims here. (2) YEONGGWANGUICHUKJE also looked competent when trialing at the end of May, running on strong late to post a respectable time and to warrant consideration first-up. (5) MY STAR trailed up along with some decent horses and didn’t look out of place when recording a by no means poor time while (6) GALLANT WARRIOR and (7) DOCTOR TAKE also hinted at some promise and can give a good account of themselves.

Selections (8) Kkotgwa Baram (2) Yeonggwanguichukje (6) Gallant Warrior (5) My Star
Next Best 7, 1
Fast Start 8


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

The three-year-old maidens go over the short course in the second event on the card. (9) FANTASTIC BOY lines up for his debut performance coming off an eye-catching trial. The Old Fashioned colt was piloted by Lee Sung-jae when working through the line strong. He was given minimal urging by rider Lee and looked to have plenty left in the tank. (11) HALA NURI looks the main danger, trialing well in May. The filly was allowed to free roll by Cho Si-dae who rides her in the event. She did have one start back in January where she finished midfield. (7) SMART BIJIN improved at her second trial and looks a place chance. She is by Daishoten winner Smart Falcon and it may take a couple of runs to see what she really has to offer. (6) MUJEOK YONGBYEONG has had a couple of starts back at the turn of the new year. He improved at his second start to settle behind the leaders and finish off fairly.

Selections (9) Fantastic Boy (11) Hala Nuri (7) Smart Bujin (6) Mujeok Yongbyeong
Next Best 5,10
Fast Start 6, 9, 11


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

Three-year-old maidens line up here with seven of the twelve racing for the very first time. Of the five who have prior racing experience, (9) STING is the only one to have troubled the judges, running 2nd on what was his third career start in February on a muddy track over 1000M. He ran on pleasingly enough and the additional trip today has the potential to suit. Jockey Park Jae-I became a father for the first time on Wednesday and he has a fine chance on debut-maker (10) GEUMGANG JEONGGI. A solid performer across three trials, the first all the way back in January and the most recent just a couple of weeks ago, he looks very much ready to run. The jockey is likely to send him to the front from the gate and he could be the one they need to beat. (4) CHOEGANG HUNTER and (6) QUEEN FLYING both offered next to nothing in two and one prior starts respectively. However, in May trials, both looked to have befitted from the time off and should be much better prospects this time around. Among the other debutants, (11) MR. FUSION looks the pick.

Selections (10) Geumgang Jeonggi (9) Sting (4) Choegang Hunter (6) Queen Flying
Next Best 11, 7, 1
Fast Start 10, 11


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

The fillies line up over the six furlongs in the fourth where there appears to be only a handful of chances. (9) FASHION KEY looks a speedy type who can perform well fresh. She has lined up in stronger events than this and accounted for herself well. The trial was good, and she will have one of Busan’s best in Seo Seung-un on her back. (10) NORTHERN DREAM trialed up well back in April. She did place two starts back over the five furlongs and then backed it up with a fair performance in February before the hiatus. The concern is where she ends up from barrier ten. (3) BARAMEUI WOOLLIM lines up for her first start as a four-year-old. She won a trial back in February when qualifying in good time then finished midfield in a trial against the older horses. (4) HONOR QUEEN will have her second start after finishing midfield on debut over the 1000m. She never looked a winning chance but held her own, with some improvement she can run into the minor money.

Selections (9) Fashion Key (10) Northern Dream (3) Barameui Woollim (4) Honor Queen
Next Best 2, 1
Fast Start 1, 9


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

Maidens again here but plenty of form to go around. (1) PINEUI KKUM has finished no worse than 6th in six appearances so far with a best of 2nd. That came at 1000M, but he has finished 3rd at this distance as well. He has disappointed as favourite on a number of occasions, but he looked well in a May trial and this really should be his day. (8) ALPHA STAR ran 2nd on June 19th, well beaten by the very promising debut-maker My Queen. He should have come on for that run and gets a quick turnaround here. He’ll be on pace early and can go close. Looking to overcome being drawn in the car park to get to the front early will be (12) MILLION MAKER. He led for much of the way over 1200M on his second career start back in February only to get overhauled late on. He too looked well in a trial just last Saturday and presuming he didn’t leave his race in that heat, he has a big chance here. (10) ACE JACKPOT hasn’t shown much in the way of speed but has hit the board a couple of times at this level and has placing claims.

Selections (1) Pineui Kkum (8) Alpha Star (12) Million Maker (10) Ace Jackpot
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 8, 12


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

A compact field of maiden gallopers line up in the sixth where there is a lack of early speed. (2) CHEONNYEONUI GIL lines up for her sixth start after an average trial in May. The Tiz Wonderful filly has finished in the top five on four of her five starts including a last start third behind Gold Candy. She was beaten a big margin that day but Gold Candy does look to have ability winning at her next start by ten lengths in a stronger grade. (3) TIZ LINE appreciated the step up to the mile for the first time last start, finishing second behind Borne Matta. He trialed in April and only beat a couple home, with a slow time. We will include him on the strength of his last run. (7) BAEDARI CAPER is a twenty-nine start maiden but is capable of running into the minor money. He is drawn to sit midfield and have every chance of collecting a cheque. (6) TOP OF THE GIRL has mixed her form since starting her career in August last year but based on her trial in May where she clocked a good time, she is worth including.

Selections (2) Cheonnyeonui Gil (3) Tiz Line (7) Baedari Caper (6) Top Of The Girl
Next Best 9, 10
Fast Start 3


Race 7: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(6) MASTER KING was a good winner over 1300M all the way back in November last year. Although he didn’t get a chance to make his class 5 debut before racing was halted in February, he certainly looked the part when leading for most of a trial at the start of June. Look for him to get on pace early and potentially lead all the way today. (9) MAN OF THE WORLD’s final run before the shutdown saw him come home 4th when sent off as favourite over 1000M on February 14th. He is yet to win but has a 2nd place to his name at 1300M and was similarly fast in a trial two weeks ago. He will be challenging for the early lead and has every chance of making the breakthrough here. Another maiden is (10) BANJIUI MAGIC. He returned to action two weeks ago running a solid class and distance 4th and should have come on for that run. Another (more…)

Busan Ilbo Sunday: Seoul & Busan Race-By-Race Preview (June 28)

The fifteenth running of the Busan Ilbo Cup is the feature race for the weekend with a capacity field of sixteen to face the starter at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon. With the postponement of the Chairman’s Cup due to Covid-19, this will be the first leg of the 2020 Korean Sprint Series. There are 5 races at Busan from 12:15 to 15:30 while at Seoul there are 14 from 10:35 to 18:00. Both meetings are closed to spectators.

Segye Ilbo Cup 2020 Finish Simjangui Godong Do kki Blade Gaon Chamo

Simjangui Godong denied Do Kki Blade and Gaon Champ in the Segye Ilbo in January. The trio meet again in Busan on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Eight of Seoul’s top sprinters will line up against eight of Busan’s best over the 1200m. The Group Three feature was taken out by Gaon Champ last year, who lines up in the event once again.

The winning trifecta of the Segye Ilbo Cup in January will reunite to face off once more. There was less than half a length covering the first three in the 1200m listed feature with Simjangui Godong (1st), Do Kki Blade (2nd) and Gaon Champ (3rd) completing the trifecta. Last year’s Champion Three-Year-Old Simjangui Godong showed a brilliant turn of foot over the sprint distance after dropping back from the 1800m the start prior. Do Kki Blade and Gaon Champ both settled on speed and were gallant up the Seoul straight.

Last start Class One winner Seobu Cat will face his toughest test to date, coming of four successive victories. The four-year-old comes off a dominant two length victory when carrying the featherweight of 51kg, defeating Doraonpogyeongson (2nd/58kg) and Ace Korea (4th/60kg).

Last year’s Korea Sprint runner-up Dia Socks will make the trip to Busan for the feature. The five-year-old comes off a last start fourth behind Global Captain, who is absent from the race. The five-year-old is never the fastest out of the gates, but he did fail to muster early on last start which cost him a closer finish after rattling home late. To make things more difficult, he has been dealt the outside gate but will have the services of Korea’s leading jockey in Moon Se-Young.

M J Power and Morning Daero both come off Class One victories. M J Power saluted over the 1200m in February with just 52kg on his back, he beat home Munhak Winner (3rd/52kg) who will line up in the event as well. Morning Daero comes off a 1400m victory carrying 56.5kg when defeating former KRA Cup Classic Winner Divide Wind (4th/52kg).

King Of Glory was beaten four lengths last start late December over 1200m in Class One grade carrying 56kg, with Hi Sexy finishing well back in the same race. Clean Up Board comes off a last start midfield performance behind Heuk Jeonsa whilst Seongpa and Seongsan Simon saluted in Class 1 events over 1200m and 1400m respectively.

In a wide open version of the Busan Ilbo Cup, Gaon Champ is the on top selection. The five-year-old entire has been so consistent throughout his career to date, winning nine of fourteen and placing on three other occasions. He is drawn to likely find the fence early on, and if not sit at worst one of the fence outside of Seongpa who is a speedy type. His trial in April was encouraging, Lim Gi-won looked statuesque aboard him as he worked home under his own steam to clock a good time. Epsom Derby-winning jockey Alan Munro is the beneficiary of an injured Lim Gi-won and will be legged aboard on Sunday.

Here are previews for all races:

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

The maidens kick off proceedings on Sunday’s 14 event card. (7) GLOBAL WANGJA looks the one to get punters off to a good start coming off a last start second behind Ganghojeil back in February. The lightly race four-year-old has speedy types drawn either side of him suggesting he should get a trail forward and be able to camp on the leaders’ coattails. (6) PARAN WANGJA is one of those speedy types who will work forward. The Divine Park chestnut was prominent in his debut when placing behind Cheongdam Curling. He completed the 1200m in a slow time on debut but with some improvement he looks an each-way prospect. (3) COIN BLADE hasn’t raced since April last year when finishing third on debut. He trialed in April and the performance couldn’t give us an indication of how he is going. Keep him safe as is if he is sound he could give this a shake. (4) HOEBOK looks next best finishing just behind the placings at his past couple of starts.

Selections (7) Global Wangja (6) Paran Wangja (3) Coin Blade (4) Hoebok
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 5, 6, 8


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

Maiden fillies go around here. (8) RAON BLOOD improved to 3rd place on what was her fourth outing in February. She’s not the quickest but she plugs away well and against this limited set of opposition, she has fair claims having almost made all in a trial earlier this month. (6) IMPERIAL SILK finished 4th behind Raon Blood last time out and looked similarly well when trialing with seemingly scope for more development. (12) HWA SSI BYEOK has finished no worse than 5th in three outings so far. She has been quite one-paced but just with Raon Blood, that may be enough to see her into some money here. Her recent trial was good enough. (5) WONDERFUL CAT has a runner-up finish at class and distance to her name and must be taken seriously while (9) BAEKDUWA HALLA did nothing wrong when 4th on debut in February, running on strongly over 1000M and looks in the hunt over the additional distance too.

Selections (8) Raon Blood (6) Imperial Silk (9) Baekduwa Halla (12) Hwa Ssi Byeok
Next Best 5, 2, 3
Fast Start 4, 6, 7, 8


Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

The maiden three-year-olds will go over the 1400m in the third with the most experienced gallopers having just the five starts against their name. (6) BLUE CHARM is considered an each-way chance based on his past couple of starts. He finished third behind Punch Power last time out when beaten less than a length. The Tiz Wonderful colt is a strong and leggy type who looks as if he will appreciate the 1400m first up. (9) WILD KINGDOM is a big chance after finishing third behind Dynamic Punch last time out. The Competitive Edge colt has placed twice from the three starts and is one of only a few who can show early speed. (2) ROCK NEWS has been hitting the line better at his past couple of starts. He won his trial in April and further improvement first up is possible. (1) YEONGJU STONE looks next best coming off a last start third when hitting the line strong in the final stages. The chestnut will be aided by an inside draw.

Selections (6) Blue Charm (9) Wild Kingdom (2) Rock News (1) Yeongju Stone
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 6, 9


Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Fillies only here. (6) SIBERIA made all when odds-on on debut in February for a strong win. She is up in class today and didn’t exactly pull up trees in her trial so while she can win again, there are some question marks. (1) CHOEGANGMA similarly steps up to this distance for the first time. She got her maiden win at 1000M last November and then raced twice at this class finishing 3rd and 2nd beating a few of these in the process. She likes to come from just off the pace and today could be his day again. (4) PRETTY JOY too tries the distance for the first time having run 2nd on her first try at this class in December. Her trial was not as strong as others, however. (10) RAIN K had a hard time on her first start at this level in February when she never got into gear and finished well back but looked much better in a recent trial. If she gets a good start, she can be a factor. The up in class (2) ALL BAEK is another to look out for.

Selections (6) Siberia (1) Choegangma (4) Pretty Joy (10) Rain K
Next Best 2, 3, 4, 11
Fast Start 2, 4, 6, 9, 10


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

There looks to be a lack of speed engaged in the fifth suggesting the winner will need to be in touch with the leaders at the top of the straight. From an outside draw (12) SAMSEONG VIVA looks one that can work forward and camp on the leaders’ backs. The Tiz Wonderful colt saluted over this distance three starts back, then finished midfield before running second last start behind Jeongsang Dolpung. (3) EAST CHAMP broke through for his first win last start over this distance. He trialed in April and performed only fair but we will include him based on his consistency shown in his four career starts to date. (1) TANK SOCKS has drawn ideally to sit closer to the speed. She comes off a last start fourth when somewhat one-paced to the line. She did win on debut at big odds, suggesting the forced freshen-up may work in her favour. (7) CHEONNYEONUI BARAM is considered an each-way chance based on his last start when third behind Dia Key. The four-year-old has had the sixteen start yielding just the one win and three minor placings, whilst the record is not overly impressive, this isn’t the strongest race.

Selections (12) Samseong Viva (3) East Champ (1) Tank Socks (7) Cheonnyeonui Baram
Next Best 11, 4
Fast Start 6, 11


Busan Race 2: Class 4 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

After getting his maiden win at odds in excess of 60/1 back in January, (3) MR. HANSEN promptly followed up with another victory, this time at 1400M in February. He steps up in class again but is beautifully drawn to be on pace from the start and has every chance of completing his hat-trick here. (11) BEYOND steps up in class and distance following a nice looking win over 1300M back in January. He usually comes from off the pace so if (more…)