Busan

Seoul & Busan Sunday – Breeders’ Cup Day: Race-By-Race Preview (December 2)

Korea’s champion juvenile will be crowned on Sunday as the Juvenile Series comes reaches its conclusion in the Breeders’ Cup (KOR G2) which this year, for the first time, is being run at Busan. 13 line up including the winners of both Seoul and Busan’s primary races, Dae Wan Ma and King Socks. There is a 6 race-card at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10 and an 11-race card at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00.

Dae Wan Ma Dokki Blade Gwacheon Mayor's Cup - KRA

Dae Wan Ma (1) and Do Kki Blade are at Busan to take on King Socks in the Breeders’ Cup (Pic: KRA)

  1. YEONGGWANGUI FIGHT – Never got going in the Gimhae Mayor’s. Two good wins prior to that. Not a fast starter and additional trip today may suit.
  2. TOP OF WORLD – 4th in Gimhae Mayor’s having led and tired off a stiff early pace. Three for three prior including at 1300M. Likely to lead and has a chance.
  3. WONDERFUL EVIL – Well beaten by Do Kki Blade in August but has won his latest two. Will need more here. Settles midfield.
  4. DAE WAN MA – Beat Do Kki Blade by a neck in the Gwacheon Mayor’s. Only defeat so far a DQ. Will be on pace and is one of the favourites.
  5. MIGHTY POWER – Beaten nine-lengths by King Socks on debut but has since won two of three including at a mile. Distance no issue and could be a wildcard.
  6. KING SOCKS – Dominant eight-length winner on the Gimhae Mayor’s having sat behind the fast early pace. Only defeat was on debut. Favourite here and can win.
  7. RULES ICHEON – Takes his chance having got his maiden win on his third start a month ago. Stablemate of Dae Wan Ma. Big outsider.
  8. DAEJI CHAMP – Eye-catching scores at 1300M and 1200M in his latest two, making all both times. This is much tougher.
  9. PRECEDE –Stablemate of King Socks with just two starts. Won on debut over 1000M then was beaten a head at 1300M at the end of October. Never rule out the trainer.
  10. GWONTOJUNGLAE – One win from three over 1000M. 4th place at 1300M last time makes him hard to recommend.
  11. DO KKI BLADE – Just beaten a neck by Dae Wan Ma in the Gwacheon Mayor’s. Looks to be getting better and distance should suit under likely patient ride.
  12. YEONGGWANGUI SECRET – 2nd to King Socks in the Gimhae Mayor’s, albeit beaten eight-lengths, was his first defeat. Placing chance.
  13. MYEONGPUM CHUKJE – Won his first two before running 3rd to Dae Wan Ma and Dokki Blade in Gwacheon Mayor’s. More to find.

Verdict: The winner’s of the two second legs at Seoul and Busan, (4) DAE WAN MA and (6) KING SOCKS will be favourites to battle it out here with King Socks on his home track slightly favoured. (2) TOP OF WORLD and (11) DOKKI BLADE may both appreciate the extra distance today and can be competitive while (7) RULES ICHEON and (9) PRECEDE may be the surprise packages.

Selections: (6) King Socks (4) Dae Wan Ma (2) Top Of World (11) Dokki Blade

Busan Selections

Race 1: 2, 3, 1, 9
Race 2: 8, 12, 9, 7
Race 3: 5, 8, 3, 4
Race 4: 1, 2, 7, 8
Race 6: 3, 2, 7, 8

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

Juvenile maidens to begin with and six of the eight have prior experience. (6) WIND RIVER was by some margin the best on debut, running a good 3rd over this distance on November 10th. It was a decent time and a similar performance should see her home on top today. One of the others have really impressed although (9) FULL MOON OCEAN did nothing wrong for his 6th and can improve today. Similarly (3) RAON KEVIN can be given another chance having finished 7th of 12 on his own racecourse bow. That leaves the two debut-makers as contenders. (5) MISS SUNSHINE looks the best of them, running well in a trial just last week. (2) DAEJI YEOGEOL also looked competent enough in her heat and can go well first-up.

Selections (6) Wind River (5) Miss Sunshine (9) Full Moon Ocean (3) Raon Kevin
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 3, 4, 8, 9

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

More juveniles seeking their first win with seven of them having raced once before. The one of those with the best finishing position on debut was (10) CHEONNYEON VIKING, who ran 2nd in a filly-only maiden at this distance all the way back in August. She should be in the mix again, but it wasn’t a fast race that day and she will need to improve. (9) SLING STONE ran faster in 5th on his debut last month and the recency of that perhaps makes him a better bet while (3) VICTORY KING beat a couple of the others who go here on his debut four weeks ago and should beat plenty of them again. However, for our pick we are turning to a newcomer. (8) RAON STORM looked like he meant business when running strongly in a trial at the end of October and if he brings that form to the races, he should win. Another first-time starter (4) YEOKDAE CHOEGO will also be well-backed first-up having won a trial. Watch the market with both for additional clues.

Selections (8) Raon Storm (9) Sling Stone (10) Cheonnyeon Viking (4) Yeokdae Choego
Next Best 3, 11
Fast Start 8, 9, 10, 12

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

Fillies only here and having beaten a couple of these on her way to 2nd place at class and distance on November 4th, (8) RAON SERENA is favoured to prevail here. She’s yet to win in four outings but has never been worse than 3rd and she can come out on top today, most likely leading all the way. (3) EOMJI YEOWANG and (2) DANGDAE SONYEO chased Raon Serena home that day in 4th and 5th and they may well be the ones who pose the greatest threat here although they do have almost three lengths to make up.  (1) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON remains a maiden but is capable if finding the places in this kind of race while the same is true of (7) NAMJJOK NARA, another maiden but up in class today after a useful 3rd last time out.

Selections (8) Raon Serena (2) Dangdae Sonyeo (1) Kkeuleojuneun Son (3) Eomji Yeowang
Next Best 7, 9
Fast Start 2, 8, 9

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

(3) MIREU STORM has won two of her three starts so far and is up in class today looking for a hat-trick. Both her wins have come at this distance and both by leading from gate to wire and she is well-drawn for a good start and a repeat. This is a stiff test though and the primary danger – and possible favourite – is (6) CHAPEL ACE. He’s a class and distance winner and while he hasn’t been exceptional in recent outings, he comes in off a good 4th last time and looks set to got well here. (1) RAON ZEUS drops back significantly in trip following a couple of chastening experiences at 1700M and should be much better today. (5) SERA KHAN won at this distance at class 5 in September and while he only managed 6th on his first try at this level in October, he can improve today. (12) BOMBI’S KING ran a good, if slightly unexpected, 2nd last time out (the jockey got fined for returning half a kilo heavier than he weighed out) and could aim for a place again.

Selections (3) Mireu Storm (6) Chapel Ace (1) Raon Zeus (5) Sera Khan
Next Best 12, 11
Fast Start 1, 3, 7, 9

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

(9) YEOGEOL VISION came up in class following a 2nd place and a win from her first two starts before running 3rd on her first try at this level on November 4th. She’s up in trip today but she’s run on well each time and it may suit her very well. (8) LUCKY BONGHWA remains a maiden after eight attempts but since returning from five months out has registered a 4th and a 3rd in two outings and may be considered to go even better here. (1) DAE BYEONHWA’s recent form reads well and he should have placing claims. (5) CAMP TOUCH and (6) HANEULEUL DALRIDA, the latter up in class after a solid maiden win over this distance a month ago, are others in the hunt.

Selections (9) Yeogeol Vision (8) Lucky Bonghwa (6) Haneuleul Dalrida (1) Dae Byeonhwa
Next Best 5, 4
Fast Start 3, 6

Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(12) DARK PLAYER has run twice so far recording a 3rd and a 2nd. He’s run well on both occasions and with a bit more progress today, he can find his way to the winner’s circle. He’ll have to overcome the widest draw, but he looks capable. (9) PRIMO has been very solid of late, going down by a nose in July, a neck in August and a half-length in (more…)

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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 30)

This coming Sunday Busan will, for the first time, host Korea’s top juvenile race, the Breeders’ Cup.  Before that, however, there’s a 10-race card on Friday running from 11:30 to 18:00. Trainer Peter Wolsley, who is just three winners short of reaching the 500 landmark, has a couple of decent chances to get closer:

Ace Korea Wolsley KRA

Ace Korea brought up Korean winner number 497 for Peter Wolsley two weeks ago and the Australian trainer can close in on 500 this weekend (Pic: KRA)

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

Juvenile maidens to start with and seven of the twelve have raced before. The only one of those to have appeared twice prior to today is (7) DAMYANG CHOEGANG and his improved 3rd place on his second appearance on November 2nd is enough to make him the top pick here. (2) BARAMEUI KKUM finished three-lengths back that day in 4th on what was her debut and she looks like being the main danger here, possibly getting closer this time. Both will be aiming to get to the front as soon as possible. (4) DONGBANG WARRIOR was a touch disappointing on debut having been well-backed after winning a trial. He can be given another chance here. (5) ECTON STEALTH and (11) AMAZING WINNER are others with scope to improve on their respective debut efforts. Among the first-time starters, (6) DEEP MIND looks best at this stage.

Selections (7) Damyang Choegang (2) Barameui Kkum (4) Dongbang Warrior (5) Ecton Stealth
Next Best 11, 6
Fast Start 7, 2

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens with eight of the twelve having racing experience and they do look a bit stronger than those we saw in race 1. The clear top pick is (10) TOHAM ACE, who followed up a 4th place on debut in September to then run 2nd, beating a couple of these, on his was to 2nd over this distance on November 2nd. He should have too much here. (6) DOCTOR TIZ was a good 2nd on debut and while he found the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup a bit too stiff at the end of last month, he’ll be expected to go much better in more amenable company today. (8) GEUMGANG CHILBO beat the two top picks for race 1 on what was his second start four weeks ago and has to be given a chance here. (1) TITLE CODE and (4) RAON ARES are others who can step up from promising debuts.

Selections (10) Toham Ace (8) Geumgang Chilbo (6) Doctor Tiz (4) Raon Ares
Next Best 1, 3, 2
Fast Start 2, 4, 11

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

(10) HAPPY DRAGON ran a much-improved 2nd on what was his second career appearance at the start of this month with two of his rivals here back down the track behind him and a similar run today will put him right in the mix. (5) SERENDIPITER was one of those beaten that day but he came back out two weeks ago and ran a good 4th, just missing out on the places by a head, and can get closer today. (7) MARU JJANG has been knocking at the door for a while now and steps back in trip following a good 3rd over a mile last time out with claims to go close here. (9) MY TIME ran a career-best 2nd at this distance three weeks ago and his time may not be too far off. (2) GOLDEN SHARP, with a pair of 5th place finishes from two tries so far, looks best of the rest.

Selections (10) Happy Dragon (7) Maru Jjang (2) Golden Sharp (9) My Time
Next Best 5, 4, 11
Fast Start 2, 4

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

(2) JEONSAUI JILJU has a best of 3rd place from three starts so far and has finished ahead of a few of these along the way, His 7th last time was in tougher company than this and with a top jockey aboard here, he can make the breakthrough. (3) MAGIC FLYING has shown some ability across his three outings, all of them at this distance and can be competitive here while (12) SUNDAY GLORY steps up in trip for the first time and it may well suit. (9) EDGE OF WINNER has already raced at this distance and while he has been a little one-paced to date, should have enough to challenge for at least a place. (6) BEAUTIFUL KOREA hinted at ability last time and can progress today too.

Selections (2) Jeonsaui Jilju (9) Edge Of Winner (3) Magic Flying (12) Sunday Glory
Next Best 6, 1
Fast Start 2, 5

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

It’s been almost a year since (2) NINA got her maiden win but since returning from a six-month absence in September she’s run well for 3rd and 2nd from two starts and should take some beating in this race which is restricted to fillies and mares. (3) I’M YOUR LEMON is up in class following a battling maiden win on what was just her second outing. That was a decent race for the level though and she’ll surely be a danger here. (9) QUICK MOVE won on debut in July and races for the first time since running 5th on her first attempt at this level a month later. She’ll be on pace early and can go close. (11) (more…)

Seoul & Busan Sunday: NACF Chairman’s Trophy / Gyeong DoMin Ilbo – Race-By-Race Preview (November 25)

It may not be until next week then the top hopes for the 2019 Triple Crown trail come together to decide the title of Champion Korean Juvenile in the Breeders’ Cup at Seoul but this Sunday in the capital will also give a glimpse of some potential future stars as the top imported juveniles compete for the NACF Chairman’s Trophy over 1200M. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05:

Spring Back KRA

Spring Back is one of the leading contenders for the NACF (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Last year the race was won by PK. Party, who has gone on to win seven of eleven starts to date but also featured this year’s KRA Cup Classic 3rd place-getter Moonhak Chief as well as two of the stars of the Queens’ Tour, Ttukseom Cup winner Cheongsu Yeogeol and Sky Bay, victorious in the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup.

So, who are the top contenders this time around? Spring Back looked sensational in his first two starts this summer, recording one of the fastest times of the year when winning on his second start over 1400M. He didn’t impress when 2nd on his reappearance in October though and that may open the door for others.

Since running 3rd to Spring Back on debut in July, Thank You Charlie has won three in a row, culminating in a facile six-length score at the big-race distance last month. He’s one of two Adios Charlie colts in the race – the other being Havana Charlie – and both will have plenty of backers. Kitten’s Joy colt Munhak Joy has won three out of five so far and looks a solid prospect while Wang Beotkkot was a solid winner at the distance earlier this month and looks dangerous too.

Both Medici Glory and Ultra Punch tackle six-furlongs for the first time and are others who could play a big part in the race.

At Busan, the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo highlights. It too has illustrious alumni with I’m Your Father taking victory in 2016 before going on to win the Busan Mayor’s Cup the following summer. Last year Ace Korea, who won last weekend’s Kookje News Sprint and looks to be Dubai World Cup Carnival-bound, ran 4th. Ace Korea’s trainer Peter Wolsley saddles one of the main hopes, Pro Consul while another foreign trainer Thomas Gillespie comes in with the hitherto unbeaten Mujeok Yeongung.

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

(7) SATO ROYAL improved to 3rd place on what was her first try at this distance on October 27th and her third career start in total. It’s true she’s not shown much in the way of speed, but she has shown progress and with a bit more today, she can win. (8) RAON STELLA is similar in that she’s shown potential if not much swiftness across four starts to date. She’s also gone well at this trip and beat a couple of these over 1000M last time out. (6) GEUP HAENG MA steps up in trip for the first time after a decent showing in 3rd at 1000M last time and should be challenging for the early lead here. (3) GWANGPOK JUHAENG and (11) CHEONGDAM QUEENS are others who may go close.

Selections: (7) Sato Royal (6) Geup Haeng Ma (8) Raon Stella (11) Cheongdam Queens
Next Best: 3, 1
Fast Start: 6, 7, 10, 11

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens here with just three of them making their debuts. They’ll be up against it as plenty of those who have raced have demonstrated some ability. (9) SIMPLIFY ran 3rd on debut on October 27th, beaten less than a length at this distance. He ran on strongly and should have come on for it. (5) WONDERFUL BRUSH was 5th when debuting in that very same race. He was very keen at the halfway point and ran out of room slightly and he can improve today. (8) RED BLADE debuted in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup at the end of September and while that was too much too soon, he ran well for 3rd on his re-appearance last month and is likely to be well-backed here. (12) WONDERFUL MARIA also did nothing wrong when 5th on debut at this distance and is another who can get close. Of those three first-timers, (7) GEUMSUNI STAR trialled nicely and looks the most forward at this stage.

Selections: (9) Simplify (8) Red Blade (5) Wonderful Brush (12) Wonderful Maria
Next Best: 7, 11
Fast Start: 5, 6, 8, 10

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

(4) SPEED WINNER ran a good 2nd on debut over 1000M a month ago, beaten only by a very nice-looking winner, Havana Charlie, who goes in the big race later this afternoon. He ran through the line strongly and can be confident stepped up to 1300M today. He’ll be on pace from the start, as will (8) DAEGUNUI GEOM, 3rd over 1200M on his first start seven weeks ago and who looks to be the main threat. (3) GEUMSEOK DOLPA was a little slow to begin on debut on October 6th but ran on well over 1000M to finish 6th. More trip may suit here. (6) MALIBU GINGER has plenty of experience compared to the rest and while he will need to improve if he is to compete for top honours, he’s capable of beating plenty of these. There are two debut-makers and (5) INCHEON CHIEF looks a potential prospect. The Pioneerof The Nile colt has looked more than competent in two trials and could go well first-up.

Selections: (4) Speed Winner (8) Daegunui Geom (5) Incheon Chief (3) Geumseok Dolpa
Next Best: 6, 12
Fast Start: 4, 6, 8

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

(3) FIGHTING HERO got the best of a tight finish to win by a nose on debut at this distance four weeks ago. He’s up in class here but looks the one to beat. He’ll settle just behind the early leaders and look to be too strong late on. (2) MISS PYEONGCHON may have only won one of her seventeen outings to date, but she enters with strong recent form and was last seen running 3rd at class and distance with three of her rivals here behind her. She’ll be on the early speed and could win. One of those behind her that day was (7) HANIL MAGIC and he too can get a little closer this time. (5) GEUMA KINGDOM remains a maiden after three attempts but is up in class today following two runner-up finishes and a 3rd place. She’ll be competitive at this level. (11) ARABIA GONGJU looks best of the rest.

Selections: (3) Fighting Hero (2) Miss Pyeongcheon (5) Geuma Kingdom (7) Hanil Magic
Next Best: 11, 4
Fast Start: 2, 4, 10

Busan Race 1 Selections: 10 (This is New Legend, a Korean bred who ran seven times in the USA, including winning at Arlington Park in July of this year. This is his Korean debut) 6, 11, 7

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

Wildly competitive contest here. Five of these raced each other at class and distance on October 27th and it was two rank outsiders that day (3) SHADOW MONEY and (2) YEONGWONHAN SUNGAN who finished the best in 2nd and 3rd respectively. They will require more respect today although the margins weren’t huge and it’s more than possible that the best backed of them there, (11) HEUNG KKAEBI, who finished 6th, can overturn the form today. That was his first try at this distance and only his second start overall following a maiden win on debut, and he can have come on for that run. (12) SABA KINGDOM is another who can be given another chance following his latest effort. That was in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup, so this is far more amenable company and he can get close. (7) GOODCHOICE ran 3rd on his first try at this class three weeks ago and should be very much in the placing frame again.

Selections: (11) Heung Kkaebi (3) Shadow Money (7) Goodchoice (12) Saba Kingdom
Next Best: 2, 8
Fast Start: 4, 8, 10, 12

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

(3) SANGSEUNG DAEHAN remains a maiden after six starts but enters off the back of three consecutive 2nd place finishes, two of them at tis distance and the latest at this class. An apprentice jockey takes significant weight off his back today and he could well make the breakthrough. (10) ECTON SPEED is up in class following her maiden win which came via a six-length score over 1300M on October 26th. She made all that day, running on well and should be able to handle to rise in both class and distance. (7) (more…)

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

The final three days of racing in November in Korea gets underway at Busan on Friday with 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00:

Supernova Iji

It’s Friday! It’s Busan!

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

(9) SILLAUI MISO ran a good 3rd on debut on October 5th in a fast time over 1000M. She finished only a length and a half behind the winner and stepping up to 1300M today, Thomas Gillespie’s filly can come home on top. (7) MABEOP CHEOREOM also went well on debut just two weeks ago, coming home 2nd, also at 1000M and should have come on for it. More experienced is (8) MUJEOK BEAT, who may never have finished any better than 3rd but comes in off the back of two useful efforts at this distance and may get close again. Of the two first-time starters here, (5) SPEED FURY won a trial at the end of October and is likely to be backed to go well first-up.

Selections (9) Sillaui Miso (7) Mabeop Cheoreom (5) Speed Fury (8) Mujeok Beat
Next Best 1, 11, 4
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 9

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

Twelve previous unraced juveniles – eight of them fillies – make their racecourse debuts here. The market will be the best guide and the likely favourite is (3) SPICE ROCK. She’s a half-sister to champion Triple Nine and posted the fastest time of any of these on trials and could provide jockey Francois Herholdt with his first Korean winner. She was actually the quickest by some margin but others who caught the eye in trials include (1) ONE CHANCE, who finished ahead of a couple of others who go here, and (7) DARUI BADA, who did similar. The former is likely to be on pace early along with (12) BAEJJANG, another who ran 2nd in his heat and could go well first-up here.

Selections (3) Spice Rock (1) One Chance (7) Darui Bada (12) Baejjang
Next Best 5, 4
Fast Start 1, 4, 6, 12

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

(2) HANEOLUI BIT ran well for 3rd on his return from over six months off three weeks ago. He was prominent throughout, ultimately going down by just over two-lengths and should be on pace again with every chance of going all the way this time. (8) SISEON GANGTAL didn’t do a whole lot on debut back in August but has run well twice since then, including 3rd in a valuable race for breeze-up sale grads at the end of September. He’ll also likely be on the early speed and can go close. (3) CHOEGANG STEALTH and (1) EL DRAGON came home 4th and 5th respectively when they raced each other over 1300M on November 4th and both should be in the frame for at least some minor money today. (12) ACE CRUSH is a stablemate of Haneolui Bit and while she was beaten by Siseon Gangtal in that valuable September race, she ran well for 4th place last time out at 1000M, beating a couple of the others who go here and can be considered for further improvement today.

Selections (2) Haneolui Bit (8) Siseon Gangtal (12) Ace Crush (1) El Dragon
Next Best 3, 9
Fast Start 2, 5, 7, 8

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

(2) TORNADO KING returned from eight months off to run 2nd over this distance on October 26th, beating three of his rivals here in the process. He can have come on for that run and looks the one they need to beat here. He’ll be on the early speed alongside (1) HOT GIRL, whose previous two efforts at this trip didn’t go particularly well but who may be ready for another try having run a solid 2nd over 1300M a month ago. (3) KWAEHAN SINGANGJA was 4th behind Tornado King in that October 26th race, his second start back following more than three months off and he may get closer today. (7) NOVELLA tackles the distance for the first time following a 5th and a 4th in two outings to date. She’s run on well both times and the extended trip looks set to suit. (9) BICHUI HAENGJIN too tries something a bit different today and is the wildcard pick to improve.

Selections (2) Tornado King (1) Hot Girl (7) Novella (3) Kwaehan Singangja
Next Best 9, 4
Fast Start 1, 2, 8

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

(3) TANGENT is up in class having secured his maiden win on his second career start on October 26th. He only got up by a nose but then he was only beaten half a length into 2nd place on debut. There looks to be more to come from him and he’s well drawn to lead from the start. Five of the others race each other over this class and distance on that very same day. (6) MAJOR THUNDER came out on top, registering victory by a length from (5) B.K. UNO. While Major Thunder carries an extra 3kg this time, he should be involved again and if he gets to the lead, may be difficult to reel-in. (1) SHARP KING races for the first time since late August when he was a solid 3rd (in a race an out of sorts Major (more…)

Busan Friday: Francois Herholdt Debuts & Race-By-Race Preview (November 16)

Francois Herholdt will take his first mounts in Korean racing on Friday’s card at Busan. The South African jockey begins an initial four-month license with three rides across the eleven-race meeting on the South Coast which runs from 11:30 to 18:00.

Silver Wolf Power Blade Busan Ilbo 2018

It’s Friday! It’s Busan!

The globe-trotting rider has ridden in several countries amassing over 1000 winners in a career which began as an apprentice in Durban in 1989 and has taken in spells in Singapore, Dubai, Mauritius, France and Saudi Arabia as well as his native South Africa. Herholdt has ridden six Group winners in South Africa as well as notching up several more in neighboring Zimbabwe and was Champion Jockey in Mauritius in 2004. Earlier this year, the 44-year-old travelled to Ng’ong Racecourse in Nairobi to win the Kenya Derby on Freewheeler. Herholdt is well prepared for the challenges of making it in a new country and is finding his feet having arrived in Busan earlier this month.

“I was a bit lost the first two days but I’m a quick learner” said Herholdt “I’m really looking forward to riding on Friday”. He gets underway in race 1 where he partners the previously unraced two-year-old My Hero for trainer Cho Young Bae but it is another first-timer starter, Fusion Park in race 2 for fellow South African Bart Rice, that perhaps offers Herholdt his best chance of hitting the board on his first day.

Even if it takes a bit longer, he is prepared. “I’ve been watching a lot of the racing here and am very excited to start. My goals are to do well and I’m very confident that I will”. Herholdt will be joining Franco Da Silva as one of only two overseas jockeys currently full-time at Busan and who in his two years so far at the track has a Korean Derby victory among his almost 120 winners.

Da Silva may well be the man to follow on Friday too as he has ten rides across the day, including Jumbo Blade in the feature race 5. The Mineshaft colt steps up to class 2 for the first time having run out a four-length winner on his latest start to move to three wins from seven total outings and looks to have plenty more in the tank to enable him to win the 1800M handicap:

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

Maidens to begin with and five of the twelve are making their racecourse debuts. We’ll start with the experienced ones though and (5) GOLD TICKET improved to 2nd place on what was his third career start a month ago, beaten less than a length at this distance but a good winner. He’s well drawn here to lead and can go all the way. (11) YEONGSEONG STAR has raced twice so far, finishing in 3rd place on both occasions. She’s led until close to home both times and so long as she doesn’t have to use up too much effort getting to the front from gate 11, she can go close again. (4) SEUNGNI DAEJANG raced three times in the Spring recording two 3rd places of his own. He subsequently had some respiratory problems that resulted in surgery and he makes his return here having trialed adequately but unspectacularly at the end of last month. He could go well. Of the first-timers, both (2) SPARKLE and (8) HALLA HWANGHU caught the eye in trials and should go well first-up in what is quite limited company.

Selections (5) Gold Ticket (2) Sparkle (11) Yeongseong Star (8) Halla Hwanghu
Next Best 4, 7
Fast Start 2, 5, 8, 11

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

Juvenile maidens with just two of the twelve having raced before. This two debuted together on October 19th and while (11) I AM CHAMPION did nothing, beating just one home, (3) DOCTOR THUNDER ran rather well, coming back in 3rd place, running on nicely after a slow start. That may be enough to make her favourite here. Peter Wolsey and Jo Sung Gon combined for plenty of winners last week and they could get off to a god start this week too with (2) NAKITA. She’s the pick of the first-timers having looked competent trialing with experienced racehorses last Saturday. (5) YEONGSEONG HOPE and (8) MAN OF THE MATCH both won their trials, the latter in more impressive fashion, and both will also be well backed here. Bart Rice’s (10) FUSION PARK also looked like he knows what he’s doing and could go well first-up under South African jockey Francois Herholdt, who is making his Busan debut today.

Selections (2) Nakita (3) Doctor Thunder (8) Man Of The Match (10) Fusion Park
Next Best 5, 6
Fast Start 1, 2, 7, 8

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens and this time five of the twelve have raced before. And all five of them acquitted themselves very reasonably indeed. Bart Rice’s (4) GOOD DANCER ran a good 2nd on debut a month ago, showing prominently and briefly leading close to home before being headed. A week later it was a similar story for (6) GABO DAY, who led almost the whole way around on his first appearance before ultimately having to settle for 3rd. Both were promising and the additional trip should suit. Good Dancer is marginally favoured between them (8) REVERSE SWEEP debuted at this distance and while he was a well-beaten 2nd, he did nothing wrong and can build on it here. (9) SEONGSAN POWER too raced well for 3rd on his racecourse bow on October 12th, also at 1300M and should be in the frame again. The one they’ll all need to beat though is first-timer starter (7) TRUE VALOR. Half-brother to some very useful racehorses, he’s looked strong and fast in two trials so far and could well come out on top first-up.

Selections (4) Good Dancer (7) True Valor (6) Gabo Day (8) Reverse Sweep
Next Best 9, 12
Fast Start 4, 6, 7

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

(7) MAKGANG YEOGEOL was just beaten a nose on what was her fourth career start three weeks ago. She steps up in trip for the first time here, should be on pace early and could go one better today. (3) CHEONNYEONUIJILJU also has a 2nd place to his name and he too tries further than the minimum for the first time today. (5) GIPPEUM DAY has raced at this distance before and while it didn’t go well, it was a full ten months ago. She returned form a long lay-off with a decent 2nd place over 1000M in October, beating a couple of these along the way and should go close here. (1) BAENGNICHONG and (2) TIZ LINE, the latter making just his second start having debuted in a tough race in (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 9)

There is group race action at Busan this coming Sunday with the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup. the final leg of the Queen’s Tour, but before that things get underway with an 11-race card on Friday from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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It’s Friday. It’s Busan!

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

A step up in trip could well be what (1) RACING GALLOPER needs and that’s what he gets after three decent but unspectacular spins at 1000M. He’s not shown much in the way of speed but has run on each time and can win here. (3) KEEP GOING already has a 2nd place to her name at this distance in what was perhaps slightly tougher company than this and she has very solid claims too. Those two are the standouts although (6) HUNTER PARK and (10) TONGIL HANGUK have shown some potential and could get close while (2) GIDAEHAE actually managed to finish ahead of Racing Galloper when they faced each other in August. That form was overturned when they next met but an improved showing can’t be ruled out.

Selections (1) Racing Galloper (3) Keep Going (2) Gidaehae (6) Hunter Park
Next Best 10, 7
Fast Start 1, 7, 10

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

(2) GEUMA GHOST was set to be favourite two weeks ago when she dumped her jockey on the ground on the way to the gate. That confidence among punters was caused by her 2nd place on debut in September and while she’s up in trip here, if she manages to make it to the start, she should be on pace early and can go close. The biggest danger is (4) GIRL CRUSH. She made an inauspicious debut in February and then didn’t return until August. She’s been very solid in three subsequent outings with two 3rds and a 5th and looks to have a win in her sooner or later. (1) EDGE OF WINNER made a comeback of her own two weeks ago and while she only managed an indifferent 7th of 12 over 1000M, she most likely needed the run and today’s trip should suit more. (10) GOLDUI INYEON resumes today off a spell and is another who has proven herself competitive at this distance.

Selections (4) Girl Crush (2) Geuma Ghost (1) Edge Of Winner (10) Goldui Inyeon
Next Best 9, 8
Fast Start 2, 3

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

A full field of juvenile maidens and seven of the twelve are making their racecourse debuts here. Among the ones who have raced before, (3) FOX COLORING is the only one to have raced twice, improving into 4th on the latest of those and she can be expected to run solidly today. (2) SAND TIGER ran a decent 5th on debut a month ago and will also be well backed here. Aside from that pair, it’s the first-timers who will be expected to go well. (6) MABEOP CHEOREOM won a trial in a fast time last month and if she brings that kind of form to the races, she’ll go very close. (11) SAMBA RHYTHM wasn’t too far away in the very same heat and she too can go well first up. (8) FUNKY and (9) B.K. SOUND also trialed up together, Funky emerging on top and both of those should be in the hunt for at least some minor money. As ever with this kind of race, keep an eye on the market for clues.

Selections (6) Mabeop Cheoreom (8) Funky (2) Sand Tiger (3) Fox Coloring
Next Best 11, 9
Fast Start 2, 7, 9

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

It should be hard to recommend a twenty-six race maiden to win any race but this race does look to be (7) DANCING BLAZE’s to lose. She comes in off the back of consecutive runner-up finishes, beating three of these along the way last time and this could well be her day. So it could too for (8) FELICE. He’s also a maiden, in his case after eleven attempts and while he was one of those beaten by Dancing Blaze a month ago he returned just two weeks ago and ran a good 4th at this distance. He tends to leave himself a bit much to do but he’s not without ability. (3) B.K. MARINE was a winner at this distance in August (beating Dancing Blaze) and should be on pace early. (4) LUCKY ADELE steps up in class after coming close on each of her first four outings and shouldn’t be out of his depth here. (9) REALLY ONE looks best of the rest.

Selections (7) Dancing Blaze (8) Felice (3) B.K. Marine (4) Lucky Adele
Next Best 9, 11
Fast Start 1, 3, 4, 10

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

(8) K PLUS WON is up in class following a 4th and a pair of 2nd place finishes from three starts so far. He looks nicely in here, should get on pace from the starts and can go all the way. (3) JAESAENGMYEONGNI ran a good 2nd over class and distance on October 19th, just missing out by a nose. He’ll be ridden patiently again and can be a danger late on. (5) ROYAL CLUB was a touch disappointing last start on October 12th at 1200M. He entered that race following two very close 2nd and 3rd place finishes in August and September and is well worth another chance here. (11) SWEEP MAN actually finished ahead of Royal Club in that October 12th race and can look to match the 4th he managed that day.

Selections (8) K Plus Won (5) Royal Club (3) Jaesangmyeongni (11) Sweep Man
Next Best 7, 12
Fast Start 6, 8, 12

Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(5) SPOT survived an inquiry to keep a narrow victory over 1200M on October 26th. It was his second win in six starts in what has been a bit of an interrupted career to date. (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 2)

While Triple Nine’s bid for a fourth consecutive President’s Cup on Sunday is the undoubted headline of the week, there’s plenty to keep us ocupised while we wait. The weekend’s action gets underwat at Busan on Friday where there are 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00:

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You Hyun Myung already leads the Busan jockey standings and with a number of his rivals in Seoul for the President’s Cup, can make further gains on Friday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

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

(5) TROPHY COLLECTOR has run 3rd in his latest two outings, both at this distance and he looks set fair to get his maiden win here. He hasn’t been the fastest of starters so far but is well drawn here to get a good early position and should be too strong. (3) BUGYEONG DANDY was a much-improved 2nd – and only beaten a neck – at this distance three weeks ago and is the expected main danger while (4) BAENGNICHONG and (8) HWANGGEUMIBITMASAENG have both shown signs of figuring things out in their respective latest outings with the latter stepping up to this trip for the first time today. (1) HANEOLUI BIT is the wildcard. He races for the first time since April but looked very competent in a trial two weeks ago and could go well first-up.

Selections (5) Trophy Collector (3) Bugyeong Dandy (1) Haneolui Bit (4) Baengnichong
Next Best 8, 6
Fast Start 5, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Small field but it’s restricted to juvenile maidens so there’s a big prize on offer. Four of the eight are racing for the first time but it looks to be between two of the ones who have prior experience. (7) TOHAM ACE was a solid 4th on debut at 1000M on September 28th, finishing off very nicely in a manner which suggests the additional trip today can only be beneficial for him. He has solid claims here. (8) TRUE KING also ran 4th on debut and then followed up with a 3rd on his second start. Both those were at 1000M and he too looks the type who can appreciate further. It’s a toss-up between the two and which one to go for may come down to how they look pre-race but for now we’ll side with Toham Ace. The other two with experience haven’t offered much so for next bests we’ll go with debut-makers. (1) TITLE CODE looked good in a trial earlier this month while (4) DONGBANG WARRIOR actually finished ahead of Toham Ace when they qualified together at the beginning of September. As ever, watch the market for clues.

Selections (7) Toham Ace (8) True King (1) Title Code (4) Dongbang Warrior
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 1, 4, 7

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

The second heat of the juvenile maiden sees another set of four first-timers taking on four with experience. (5) RAON ARES ran 4th on debut in a decent time on October 5th. He was close to the pace throughout and today is nicely drawn to lead from the gate and all the way. Of the others with experience, only (4) B.K. VICTOR offered much on debut although (8) THUNDER RAIN looked much better when trialing up again earlier this month after finishing last on debut, so we’ll turn to the first-timers to find some competition. (2) FLYING DANCER has looked good across a number of trials, acquitting himself well in amongst experienced racehorses a couple of weeks ago in the same heat as Thunder Rain. It’s a top trainer and jockey combination and he can begin his career in a positive manner here.

Selections (5) Raon Ares (2) Flying Dancer (4) B.K. Victor (8) Thunder Rain
Next Best 6
Fast Start 2, 4, 5

Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Yet more juvenile maidens this time with just two making their racecourse debuts. However, it’s fair to say that none of the ones with experience have been especially impressive so (1) POWER TOUCH, from the track’s top stable and with a bang in-form jockey aboard, has to be taken very seriously indeed. True, he was no better than average in trials but his stable rarely leaves their best in the mornings and he’ll be well-backed here. There’s a fresh start for (8) GEUMGANG CHILBO. She was favourite on debut in August having won a trial but was slowly away and scarcely involved. She comes back over two months later and should be a different prospect here. (3) DOCTOR WEEK didn’t do too much wrong when 7th of 12 on his debut at the end of last month and the prognosis is for improvement today, while (7) DAMYANG CHOEGANG is another who could potentially go better than he did first-up.

Selections (1) Power Touch (8) Geumgang Chilbo (3) Doctor Week (7) Damyang Choegang
Next Best 2, 5
Fast Start 1, 7

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

(2) MORNING BRAVO debuted all the way back in October of 2017 in very indifferent fashion. He didn’t reappear until August of this way, by which time he had been gelded, and he has been much better, running up consecutive 2nd place finishes., both at this distance. That does mean that he is up in class for the first time here but he looks to have scope for more improvement in him and he could win today. (7) BUGYEONG STORY is also still a maiden having been promoted to this level with back to back runner-up finishes in August and September. She ran a solid 3rd on her first try at this level on October 7th and should be close again here. (3) MUCHO and (5) GOLDEN KNIGHT have both proven competitive at this class already and have claims on going close. (9) HOPEFUL SIMON, a stablemate of Golden Knight, is yet another who has been promoted while still a maiden but shouldn’t be out of his depth at this level.

Selections (2) Morning Bravo (7) Bugyeong Story (5) Golden Knight (3) Mucho
Next Best 9, 1
Fast Start 1, 2, 7

Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Maiden juvenile imports compete for a big prize here and four of them are racing for the first time. They’ll have a hard time beating (1) CURLIN TIME though. The colt was 2nd on his debut in a fast race at this distance and it would be a surprise if he didn’t have far too much here. He doesn’t look particularly vulnerable but he did of course get beaten as favourite on his debut and on the off-chance he does come up short again, first-timers, (more…)