Busan

Sports Chosun Cup Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 24)

It’s one of the oldest races on the Korean Racing calendar and while it’s not one of the biggest or most prestigious, there’s plenty of interest in the 26th running of the Sports Chosun Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. There are 11 Sunday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12.40 to 17:05.

Geombit Gangja

Geombit Gangja won the Sports Chosun Cup last year – he’ll be hard pushed to successfully defend it though (Pic: KRA)

Restricted to horses with a rating of 80 or less, the 2000M test was last year won by Geombit Gangja and the now five-year-old gelding returns for another crack having only run once in the meantime. He’s joined by last year’s Oaks winner Jejui Haneul, the improving Nasca Prince – a winner of five from eight and likely favourite – and five others making up a field of eight where all have at least some claim and all have some kind of vulnerability. That may leave the reliable pair of Golden Gate and Spero being well backed. Here are the Seoul previews, with Busan Selections below;

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

After winning a trial, (5) SAGWARANG was sent off as favourite on debut at this distance on May 27th. She could only manage 3rd place but showed enough to suggest she can be winning sooner rather than later. She should have come on for that run and can get away to a better start today and if she does that, can win. The big danger is (3) STAR LIST, who already has a 2nd place to her name at this distance. She was a bit one-paced over 1200M last time out but drops back in trip today and has the services of Moon Se Young for the first time. (2) WANY K and (9) MIRACLE GOLD both put in encouraging debuts last month and can build on them here while (6) STAR SOCKS was just beaten a neck on her latest appearance, beating a couple of these in the process. She’s had ten weeks off since then and can go well today.

Selections (5) Sagwarang (3) Star List (2) Wany K (6) Star Socks
Next Best 9, 1
Fast Start 5, 6

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

After positive showings in his first two efforts, including only being beaten a neck at this distance at the end of April, (4) HANIL DALBIT was sent off as favourite on his latest start on May 27th. He never really got going that day, ending up in sixth place, but his prior performances mean he is worth another chance here. The trainer/jockey partnership has been on good-form recently and they can get another win here. (7) MYEONGJIN MAN was 4th behind Hanil Dalbit last time and the Drosselmeyer gelding could get a little closer today. (9) STRONG RUNNER has shown improvement across four starts to date and if he continues on that trajectory, should be looking for at least a place. (3) DONGHAE SILVER has shown glimpses of ability and will likely try to get on the early speed with Hanil Dalbit. (11) SOKBO WANGWI had shown absolutely nothing in four starts prior to a surprise 2nd last time out and will need to be treated with care here.

Selections (4) Hanil Dalbit (7) Myeongjin Man (9) Strong Runner (3) Donghae Silver
Next Best 11, 10
Fast Start 3, 4, 10, 11

Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(6) MENI BLADE got her maiden win with a six-length score at this distance on April 28th. She was sent up to 1700M for her first try at this level at the end of last month and while she began as odds-on favourite, she didn’t look comfortable from start to finish and ended up well down the field. Dropped back in trip today, she should be a vastly different prospect. This is a competitive race though. (2) HAENGBOK STAR may still be a maiden but is up in class today having been close at hand in each of his four outings so far. He was beaten five-lengths by Meni Blade back in March but seems to have come on a bit since and can be a factor. (9) HANIL MAGIC and (10) DAECHEON ACE are both a little more experienced and have placing finishes to their names at this class which they can repeat. (3) NEUNGRYEOK SIDAE and (4) PRINCE OF SUN (half-brother to American star Mind Your Biscuits) are others to take into account. (11) VICAR SCOOP the wildcard.

Selections (6) Meni Blade (10) Daecheon Ace (9) Hanil Magic (2) Haengbok Star
Next Best 3, 4, 11
Fast Start 1, 6, 8, 11

Race 4: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Very tricky contest this. We’ll side marginally with (1) KING POSE, who ran well enough on his first try at 1700M a month ago to suggest he has some aptitude for it. Prominent throughout, he only managed to finish 5th but can get back to the front today and this time go all the way. (3) MAMKKEOT DALYEO was only 7th in the same race but he has already shown ability at the trip and he too can be given another chance here. (4) GANGSEO EUTTEUM is up in class having won at this distance on May 26th. He looks to have more improvement in him and should be competitive. (5) MONEY ZIF tries two turns for the first time having run on well for 2nd over 1300M last month. (6) CLEAN UP DREAM and (10) DUMANGANG are among several others who can go close.

Selections (1) King Pose (4) Gangseo Eutteum (3) Mamkkeot Dalyeo (5) Money Zif
Next Best 6, 10, 8
Fast Start 1, 3

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

(8) RAON ACE beat (2) GOLD FASHION as the pair finished 1st and 3rd at class and distance on May 27th. For Gold Fashion that was a big uptick in form but Raon Ace, while a little inconsistent, has shown plenty of ability and has every chance here. A big danger is (1) M.J. ROAD. She comes in off the back of consecutive 3rd place finishes at class and distance, both times behind good horses. She can take up a position just behind the early leaders and can finish strongly. (5) COMPLETE SWEEP won two of three outings around the turn of the year, his only defeat being 3rd place behind Sinui Myeongryeong and (more…)

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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 22)

The weekend’s racing kicks off at Busan on Friday with a 9-race card from 11:30 to 18:00 and last year’s KRA Cup Mile winner Indian King finally returns to action for the first time since running 2nd in the final leg of last year’s Triple Crown, all the way back last July.

Indian King

Indian King suffered a suspensory ligament injury but is finally back to take his place in what is the Friday feature, a competitive class 2 handicap over 1400M. Earlier in the card, Yeonggwanguicheon, half-brother to last week’s Minister’s Cup winner World Sun makes his racecourse debut in race 2 while Great Rock will be expected to get back to winning ways in race 7. Here are the previews:

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

A maiden for three-year-olds only kicks things off and (8) MISS PERFECT, 4th on debut over 1300M last month having led until close to home, drops back in trip today and is strongly favoured to score. (4) MUCHO was an improved 3rd last start three weeks ago and looks to be the main danger although (5) TAMNA MENTOR and (7) YEONGGWANGUI STAR look to have the potential to improve. There are three first-time starters here and among them, (3) OFFICE TAP was the only one who showed enough in trials to suggest he may warrant some support first-up.

Selections (8) Miss Perfect (4) Mucho (5) Tamna Mentor (7) Yeonggwangui Star
Next Best 3, 1
Fast Start 5, 8

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

Eleven unraced two-year-olds make their debuts here chasing a valuable prize of almost $40,000 for the winner. Last Sunday, jockey Choi Si Dae partnered World Sun to win the Minister’s Cup, the final race in the Korea Triple Crown series. Back to Busan today, he rides World Sun’s half-brother (6) YEONGGWANGUICHEON. He’s not without a chance either having been one of the more impressive ones in trials and is likely to be on pace from the start. A couple of others are slightly more favoured though. (8) SUNDAY GLORY won his trial beating a couple of these in the process while (7) GIMABUDAEJANG also looked good across a pair of heats in April and May and will be backed to go well first up. Others who look to already have a bit of promise include (2) POWER WINDY and (9) BIG GAMBLER, who trialled up together looking competent enough two weeks ago.

Selections (8) Sunday Glory (7) Gimabudaejang (6) Yeonggwanguicheon (2) Power Windy
Next Best 9, 11, 4
Fast Start 2, 6

Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Three of these stand out. (11) EAST WIND improved to 3rd over 1300M on what was her second start a month ago. She hasn’t shown all that in the way of speed so far, but this isn’t a strong race and a little bit more improvement today could see her home in front. (6) NOPIGOM DODASHA ran three times last year before being absent for eleven months. She returned to racing with a solid 3rd place over 1000M on May 25th and can have come on for that run. She looks set to lead here and could win. (7) CHEONHAUI KKUM has a best of 3rd over ten starts so far but has been showing some encouraging signs in his latest two and can get close. (2) P.K. NINE was well supported last time but didn’t get the greatest of trips on his way to a disappointing 8th place. He can improve today while (3) BAEKDU QUEEN is another who can potentially be involved.

Selections (6) Nopigom Dodasha (11) East Wind (7) Cheonhaui Kkum (2) P.K. Nine
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 6, 7, 9, 11

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

Both (4) PERFECT ACE and (5) BLACK ARROW came home in 4th place on their respective debuts on May 25th. The latter’s was at 1200M compared with 1000M for the former but both finished off well and both look set to be competitive here. (9) ROYAL TREE was sent off an odds-on favourite at this distance last month but just got pipped to the line having briefly led close to home and the Thomas Gillespie trainee looks well worth another chance here. (2) INTERCEPTOR returned from five months off to run 5th of 11 at 1200M to weeks ago. He has acquitted himself reasonably well at this distance in the past and should be in the placing frame at least here. Peter Wolsley’s (7) GAMDONGUI SUNGAN comes in off back to back 4th place finishes, both at this distance and could improve today.

Selections (9) Royal Tree (5) Black Arrow (4) Perfect Ace (7) Gamdongui Sungan
Next Best 2, 1, 8
Fast Start 4, 5, 8

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

(3) DRAGON NINE was an eye-catching seven-length winner over this distance on a muddy track on May 18th. He’s up in class today and the conditions are likely to be quite different but it’s hard not to put him on top and he should win again. (7) NICE HUMOR is also up in class and while his victory was slightly less emphatic, there’s no reason why he won’t be able to compete at this level. Already proven at this level is (2) SWEET MEMORY, who has finished 3rd, 4th and 2nd in three class 5 efforts since getting her (more…)

Minister’s Cup Sunday: 2018 Korean Triple Crown Final Leg – Race-By-Race Preview (June 17)

Sunday sees the final leg of the 2018 Korean Triple Crown and while there is no clean-sweep on the line in the Minister’s Cup at Seoul Racecourse, there is still plenty of anticipation for what should be a very good race. Derby winner Ecton Blade heads the field for what is the feature on an 11 race card at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. At Busan, there are 6 races from 12:40 to 17:10.

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Ecton Blade & Franco Da Silva won the Derby and go again in the Minister’s Cup (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Derby 2nd and 3rd place-getters Mask and Choinma return for another crack with the extra distance possibly to Mask’s advantage. World Sun, who got shut out in the home straight in the Derby will also take his chance again. Cup Mile winner Divide Wind suffered a setback after his 4th place in the Derby and stays at home so another stablemate of Ecton Blade’s, Captain Force, gets an opportunity. If he were to win, it would mean trainer Kim Young Kwan had won all three legs of the Triple Crown with three different horses.

Franco Da Silva keeps the ride on Ecton Blade and there is further foreign interest with Australian trainer Peter Wolsley saddling Cheonnyeonui Gang while Irish jockey Fergus Sweeney gets his first taste of racing at Seoul aboard Hiddden Champ.

Previews of all Seoul races are below (with horse by horse for the Minister’s Cup). Selections for Busan at the bottom:

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies to begin with and while it’s a small field, plenty have hopes. (3) STRONG LIGHT was 4th at the distance in a marginally stiffer contest than this a month ago and should get on pace early. Another good starter is (4) HUIMANG STAR, who drops back in trip after recent good efforts at 1300M and should be competitive. (5) BODEURAM has a 2nd place to her name at this distance and returns following ten weeks off. She trialled nicely enough a couple of weeks ago and should be in the hunt. (2) STEEL RUN and (6) ALEXANDROS not without hope either.

Selections (4) Huimang Star (3) Strong Light (5) Bodeuram (6) Alexandros
Next Best 2
Fast Start 2, 3, 4

Race 2: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(8) GLOBAL KINGDOM returned from six months out on May 12th looking much better than the horse who ran twice without distinction last autumn. He won his comeback by three lengths and steps up in both class and distance today. Neither should be a problem for him. (3) CAMP TOUCH was an improved 5th last time and can compete here while the slight drop back in trip may benefit (1) DURGA. The recent form of (4) SKY MARINE and (5) CONKER may not exactly impress but they find themselves in slightly weaker company today and both could improve.

Selections (8) Global Kingdom (3) Camp Touch (5) Conker (1) Durga
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 3, 5, 8

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

(4) JANGSAN JEGUK may have finished a cool seventeen lengths behind winner Simcheong Sadal when 2nd to the surprisingly convincing winner at class and distance four weeks ago but that performance, in what was his first race since Christmas Eve, was a good one and he can go one better today. (2) SKY DOLPUNG enters off back to back 3rd place finishes in two races since being promoted to this class and a repeat should be a minimum target here. (8) CHEONHA HYEONGGUK comes in having been beaten half a length into 2nd on May 19th. He should be on pace early along with (10) SPEED YEONGUNG and both have a chance of staying on. (3) CHEONWANG BYEOL looks best of the rest.

Selections (4) Jangsan Jeguk (2) Sky Dolpung (8) Cheonha Hyeongguk (10) Speed Yeongung
Next Best 3, 1
Fast Start 8, 10

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

There was a full seven months between (3) PALDO DAEJANG’s 3rd place on debut last October and her maiden win three weeks ago. She made all to score by four-lengths over 1000M and while she’s up in class and distance today, she may well get an uncontested lead here and can win again. Best chance of stopping her lies with (6) HANYANG GONGJU, who didn’t run well when favourite on her first try at this level at the end of April but has shown ability and can be given another chance today. (2) NILUI BADA and (4) RAON MIRACLE came home 3rd and 6th at class and distance on May 20th. The latter (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 16)

We’re just a day away from the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the 2018 Korean Triple Crown, but before that there is Saturday racing in Seoul which sees 10 races from 10:45 to 18:00:

 

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It’s Saturday! It’s Seoul!

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

(6) DAECHEON HERO comes in off 2nd and 3rd place finishes from his latest two and only needs to finish in the top three here to get bumped up in class. He’s led in both those only to be caught late on and he can bow out of the bottom level of racing an all the way winner here. (1) MISS MOUNTAIN debuted with a 2nd place all the way back in March of 2017 but didn’t race again for slightly more than a year. On her return she led before weakening and has had a further thirteen weeks off since. Top jockey on and likely to get on pace again, she’s a chance. (2) JILPUNG GANGJA also returns thirteen weeks on from his last start. That was a disaster and he was forced to requalify after it. He’s looked good in two subsequent trials and we may see better from him today. (7) WAIT AND SEE has been a slightly one-paced 4th in both attempts so far but can at least match it today. (8) GRAND DOLPUNG has hinted at some ability and could challenge for the places.

Selections (6) Daecheon Hero (1) Miss Mountain (7) Wait And See (2) Jilpung Gangja
Next Best 8, 9
Fast Start 1, 2, 6, 7

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

The first juvenile race of the season is upon us and we’ve got nine babies to get stuck into here with lots of them having impressed in trials and hence getting such an early start. Three of them won their trials and we’ll start with those. (7) HANEULEUL DALRIDA was the most eye-catching, making all in his heat and he’ll be expected to go to the lead under Johan Victoire. As will (3) SHANGHAI JORDAN, who had to work harder when coming out on top in his trial two weeks ago but may well have benefitted from it. Both are from strong stables, as is (6) BI PYEONG, who was also a good “winner” of a trial on June 1st. None of the three recorded the fastest time in qualifying though. That distinction belongs to (4) GYEONGGUKJIMA, albeit on a very wet track, and she should be challenging for the early lead too. Those four will be the favourites but (8) HEUNG OREUM, (9) PARRHESIA and, to a slightly lesser extent (5) CHANGPA also looked competent enough leaving only two to be considered true longshots.

Selections (3) Shanghai Jordan (7) Haneuleul Dalrida (4) Gyeonggukjima (6) Bi Pyeong
Next Best 8, 9, 5
Fast Start 3, 4, 7

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

With a 3rd and a 2nd from two starts to date, (6) CHOIN DAEBO is favoured to get it right at the third attempt today with Moon Se Young aboard for the first time. He’s up slightly in trip and could well get an unchallenged lead. (4) CUPID GANGJA is just one placing away from being promoted out of this level and he hasn’t been far away in his latest three outings. He ran well at this trip last time and can do so again. (3) EVERYTHING WIN showed signs of figuring things out last start and surely benefits from Manoel Nunes riding today. (10) SPEED HWANGNYONG has shown some ability across his four outings to date and can improve here while (9) FIORE too is not without some hope of improvement.

Selections (6) Choin Daebo (4) Cupid Gangja (3) Everything Win (10) Speed Hwangnyong
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 6

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

(8) MONEY CAMP was beaten out of sight over 1300M in early March to the extent that she was banned for two months and sent back to trial. She waltzed through that trial in the kind of time that can win an actual race at this level and back at 1000M today should be a very different prospect. She’ll be joined on pace by (7) CHEONJI BOBAE, who remains winless after seven attempts but has four runner-up finishes and every chance (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 15)

This Sunday sees the final leg of the 2018 Korean Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup at Seoul. Seven horses from Busan, including Derby winner Ecton Blade are involved and that means seven jockeys have gone with them and therefore won’t be riding at Busan on Friday.  Nevertheless, there’s still plenty of action on the South Coast, with 10 Friday races from 11:30 to 18:00:

Jo Sung Gon Jo In Kwen

Jo-Time. Sung Gon and In Kwen could be among the winners on Friday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Those in the capital include You Hyun Myung, Franco Da Silva and Fergus Sweeney and their absence leaves Jo Sung Gon and Jo In Kwen, former and current champion jockeys at Busan, both on several live chances throughout the afternoon.

Foreign trainers could have a good day as well. Peter Wolsley will saddle Cheonnyeonui Gang in Sunday’s big race in the capital, but he sends out seven on Friday afternoon including Contador, who will be favourite to land his fifth win on his ninth start in race 9.  Bart Rice has four, all of whom have at least some claim while Thomas Gillespie’s Royal Blue is set to be favourite for race 4.

Here are the previews:

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

(4) FASHION WANG produced a much-improved performance to run 4th in a better race than this at the end of March. She’s been out for eleven weeks since then but should have too much for this limited set of opponents. (2) THUNDER SHOWER did nothing wrong on debut three weeks ago and can build on the 5th place she managed. (1) JISAN OREUM steps back in trip to the distance at which he produced by far his best performance to date back in January and looks next best. Aside from that we’ll be looking for big improvements and (3) MACH RANGER and (7) TAMNA HANEUL are perhaps most likely.

Selections (4) Fashion Wang (2) Thunder Shower (1) Jisan Oreum (3) Mach Ranger
Next Best 7, 5, 6
Fast Start 2, 7

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

(3) HUNTER PARK ran 4th over 1300M on what was his second career start on April 20th. The Macho Uno gelding has had eight weeks off since then and drops back in distance to the minimum for the first time with every chance of making the breakthrough. (8) CLOVER QUEEN came close to making all with an improved performance at this distance on May 25th. Ultimately, she went down by less than a length, but she’ll be expected to go to the front from the gate again and this time could get home in front. (4) SERENDIPITER has shown improvement in his latest two and can continue the momentum here while (5) MUJEOK BEAT and (7) TRIPLE GOLD look best of the rest.

Selections (3) Hunter Park (8) Clover Queen (4) Serendipiter (5) Mujeok Beat
Next Best 7, 6
Fast Start 2, 8

Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Tricky contest with plenty in the frame. (3) EURO SHINHWA has started to show some ability in his latest two including a good 2nd last time out over this distance and may well have enough to come home on top here. (5) KKEUTPAN STORM was 2nd on debut, just beaten a nose, at this distance at the beginning of May and while she didn’t go quite so well on reappearance two weeks later, she’s worth another chance here. (9) PEACE RIDER was similarly a touch disappointing last start but has had some good results and should be close. (6) CHOEGANG STEALTH drops back in trip today following some useful finishes behind some reasonable horses and can be involved. There are two debut-makers and one of them, (7) HORTENSE, ran well in a trial last month and there’s no reason why she can’t put in a good showing here. She’s likely to be on the early speed.

Selections (3) Euro Shinhwa (9) Peace Rider (5) Kkeutpan Storm (7) Hortense
Next Best 6, 10
Fast Start 7, 10

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

(8) ROYAL BLUE has come up short when favourite on both his latest starts, missing out by a nose two weeks ago. He should get to the front early here and this time can go all the way. (3) SILENT PARK was an improved 3rd on what was his second start last month, running on pleasingly enough and he is a contender as is (4) SUNSHINE BOLT, who ran creditably on his return from almost a year out last month and should have come on for (more…)

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview

It’s a bit of a low-key Sunday of racing in Seoul with nothing higher than class 3 although there is still plenty of competitive action with 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Busan does have a class 1 feature with last year’s Grand Prix Stakes runner-up Dongbang Daero in action. On the south-coast there are 6 races from 12:40 to 17:05. Here is the race-by-race for Seoul with Busan selections below:

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Nongbon Daero will go in search of his sixth win at Seoul on Sunday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(9) AQUA STROM has been getting closer across his six starts to date, culminating in 2nd place at 1000M running on well on May 12th. He’s not a fast starter so he has a tendency to leave himself too much to do but if he gives himself a chance here, he should win. If you prefer one who will be on speed, then (6) TAMNA YEOSIN is the way to go. She improved to 2nd last time at this distance on a slow running track on May 5th and should be a contender here. Also showing good improvement last time was (11) MACH SEUNGNI while the unfortunately named (1) I AM WINNER has been consistently close in her latest three and can play a role here, likely challenging Tamna Yeosin for the early lead. (8) YONGUI JUDO is another who has a 2nd place in his record and can be considered.

Selections (9) Aqua Strom (6) Tamna Yeosin (1) I Am Winner (11) Mach Seungni
Next Best 8, 3
Fast Start 1, 6, 10

Race 2: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

It’s hard to look past (8) HANSEN GLORY here. He showed lots of promise in three starts at this distance as juvenile before suffering an injury after his last race in December. He was fast in a May trial and if he’s anything like he was last year, he’ll win. If he does come up short, then (5) JUNGLE BEAT and (6) FLYING JOY could be ones to take advantage. Jungle Beat is up in class despite not having won at class 6 but shouldn’t be intimidated by too much here while Flying Joy comes in following 5th place in a stiffer contest than this at the distance three weeks ago. Neither (1) EVER A ONE nor (9) LEAD UP went especially well behind (11) PARTY POWER last month but both could improve today.

Selections (8) Hansen Glory (5) Jungle Beat (6) Flying Joy (9) Lead Up
Next Best 1, 11
Fast Start 3, 5, 6, 9

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

Very competitive race with cases to be made for plenty. (3) NAEGA KKEUTPANWANG is a front-runner who has had to settle for 3rd place in each of her last three starts. She drops back half a furlong in trip today and it could be to her benefit. (2) SEUNGNI NARAE had to scratched from a scheduled start five weeks ago through injury but he entered that in good form and would have been well-backed having secured a 3rd and a 2nd in his two starts immediately beforehand. He’s back working well now and should be in the frame here. (6) BACK TO BACK has been a touch disappointing in his latest two but is back at the distance he won at today and should be a threat. (12) CHEON MONG and (8) BAEKSAN ISLAND came home 3rd and 4th when they raced each other at the distance on a wet track on May 13th and both can look to match that here. Most punters will have finally given up on (11) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON who seems to have lost her way.

Selections (3) Naega Kkeutpanwang (6) Back To Back (2) Seungni Narae (12) Cheon Mong
Next Best 8, 11, 7
Fast Start 3, 4, 11, 12

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

Small but competitive field. (5) JAELONGI is the pick, having run 2nd to Nike Street at class and distance on May 12th. He is still a maiden but now has four 2nd places to his name and can go one better today with Moon Se Young riding for the first time and likely attempting to make all. If he is to come up short once again then (6) DONGSEO GADEUK, who has finished behind him in both their last two races, is one contender to take top honours. However, more likely are (1) STAR PERFECT and (8) JEONGSANG DOLPUNG. Neither covered themselves in glory in their respective last starts but both are better (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 8)

Last weekend in Korea saw big Stakes race action and next weekend it is the final leg of the Triple Crown. This sandwich week is a little more low-key but there is still plenty to keep punters occupied. Racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with 10 races from 11:30 to 18:00.

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It’s Friday. It’s Busan

The strike by some stable staff that resulted in a number of trainers leading their own horses up the past two weeks is now over, although there is still a slight knock-on effect in terms of field size as not all horses have been able to work their intended schedules during the strike. Here are the previews:

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

(7) JITTERBUG dead-heated for 2nd on debut at this distance on May 11th and will take some beating here. He should be on speed from the gate and lead all the way. (2) SEONBAL CAT was a useful 4th last start and should be looking to better that today. (8) APRIL STAR beat both (5) GEODAEHAN WONSEOK and (4) TESTA MAGIC as the three of them came home 4th, 5th and 6th at the distance on May 4th and all three can play their part here. Of them, the most likely looks Geodaehan Wonseok, who has actually run once since then – a solid 3rd two weeks ago. Fergus Sweeney takes the ride today and he can get even closer.

Selections (7) Jitterbug (5) Geodahan Wonseok (2) Seonbal Cat (4) Testa Magic
Next Best 8, 9
Fast Start 4, 7, 9

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

A number of these improved on their latest starts but (2) COOL MINT is perhaps the most convincing. He only missed out by a nose at this distance on May 11th having led almost the entire way around. He’s the pick to go one better today. (4) HWANGJE BONSAEK and (5) MIRACLE ALICE similarly improved last time and both step up to 1300M for the first time. Both should be in the hunt with Hwangje Bonsaek the marginally more attractive here. (3) DARK TEMPLAR has shown ability too with a 5th and a 3rd from two outings so far and she’ll be expected to get close once more. (1) NEW JACK SWING and (8) NEW QUEEN are others who could be in contention in what is a nicely competitive race.

Selections (2) Cool Mint (4) Hwangje Bonsaek (5) Miracle Alice (3) Dark Templar
Next Best 1, 8, 5
Fast Start 4, 5, 9

Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) ROYAL CLUB has shown progress across three starts so far and while she was resoundingly beaten into 2nd by the useful Evelyn on May 11th, today could well be her day. She can sit behind an early pace likely set by (10) CHEONNYEONUI ACHIM who led on debut three weeks ago, ultimately finishing 3rd. It was a promising start and one she can build on here.  (3) EXPRESSIVE is one start into a comeback following six months off and can improve. (5) INTERCEPTOR and (11) MR. COLORS are others who have hinted at some ability and can be involved.

Selections (2) Royal Club (10) Cheonnyeonui Achim (3) Expressive (5) Interceptor
Next Best 11, 4
Fast Start 4, 6, 10

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

Small field but tricky one to solve. Back up to a mile today, (2) SEORABEOL YEOJE should improve on recent starts. She’s never finished better than 3rd but can get on pace early here and stick on, possibly even to win. (7) JAESAENGMYEONGNI has a 2nd place to his (more…)