Eoma Eoma

Raon The Fighter Cruises To Busan Ilbo Glory

Raon The Fighter made a high-class field, including the reigning Korea Sprint champion Eoma Eoma, look very ordinary as he ran out a dominant winner of the first Group race of the season, the Busan Ilbo Sprint (1200M KOR-G3) at Busan on Sunday afternoon.

Raon The Fighter and Lim Gi-won go clear in the Busan Ilbo Sprint: (Pic: KRA)

Widely acknowledged as Korea’s best middle-distance runner, Raon The Fighter had been runner-up to Winner’s Man in both the Korea Cup over 1800M and Grand Prix Stakes at 2300M in 2022.

With a Group 1 win the target for him in 2023, instead of facing Winner’s Man over that horse’s preferred 2000M in the Herald Business Trophy at Seoul later this month, Raon The Fighter was dropped back to the sprinting ranks for the first time since finishing runner-up in the first two legs of last year’s Sprint series.

The move paid off in spectacular fashion. Despite being drawn in the widest gate, Raon The Fighter was sent off as the slight betting favourite – but at odds against – ahead of Eoma Eoma. In the event, it was a race that Eoma Eoma, the defending champion, never got to grips with this time around.

Coming out of gate seven, Eoma Eoma was unable to match the opening speed of Beolmaui Star who under Jung Do-yun, raced into an early lead leaving the Moon Se-young ridden second favourite to dispute 2nd and 3rd up the short back straight with Daehan Jilju, who has so nearly beaten him in last autumn’s Kookje Shinmun. Aboard Raon The Fighter meanwhile, Lim Gi-won had the luxury of sitting wide just off the speed, allowing the rest to get on with it, clearly in the knowledge he had an awful lot of horse underneath him.

Just how much horse Lim had at his disposal became clear once into the home straight. First Raon The Fighter blew past Eoma Eoma as if he wasn’t there and then set off in pursuit of Beolmaui Star, who was still out in front to the tune of two and a half lengths with two furlongs remaining. By the three-hundred-metre mark, the lead was gone and by the furlong pole, the race was over.

As they crossed the finish line, Raon The Fighter was five lengths in front and pulling away. Beolmaui Star held on comfortably for 2nd in what was a breakout performance, while Ssonsal emerged up the rail under Franco Da Silva to snatch 3rd. Eoma Eoma finished back in 6th, eight-lengths behind the winner.

The build-up to the race had been overshadowed by the untimely death of Dolkong, after a trackwork accident on Thursday.  While Raon The Fighter’s performance did little to mitigate the sadness of that event, the manner of his victory was reminiscent of some of Dolkong’s best.

Raon The Fighter is by Bayern and out of Clarinda (by Empire Maker). He is trained at Seoul by Park Jong-kon and is owned by Son Chun-soo. He moves onto fourteen wins from eighteen starts. It was his fourth Group victory and while a Group 1 remains elusive – especially with such limited opportunities to secure one – he is now the early favourite for this September’s international Korea Sprint. Last year he held entries for both the Cup and Sprint before ultimately being sent to the Cup.

The Sprint Series will continue at Seoul on May 14th with the SBS Sports Sprint (1200M KOR-G3).

Next weekend, Son Chun-soo’s Raon machine grinds on. Raon First and her younger sister Raon Pink are both among the entries in the Donga Ilbo Trophy (1800M Listed), the first Queens’ Tour series race of the year for fillies and mares. Raon First will be the hot favourite.

Son Chun-soo then has Raon The Spurt scheduled to take on Winner’s Man in the Herald Business (2000M KOR-G3) at Seoul on April 16th, followed by Raon Giant taking her chance in the Luna Stakes (1600M Listed) at Busan on April 23rd, the first leg of the Triple Tiara for three-year-old fillies.


Busan hosts the first real heavyweight clash of 2023 on Sunday, and it really doesn’t get much bigger as Korea Cup and Grand Prix Stakes runner-up Raon The Fighter drops back in trip to renew hostilities with Korea Sprint winner Eoma Eoma in the Busan Ilbo Sprint (Sunday April 2: Race 6 G3-1200M).

Eoma Eoma (Pic: KRA)

Raon The Fighter was mightily impressive in smoking a Class 1 field over 1800M in early March and seemed set for a rematch with Winner’s Man, who downed him in the closing stages of both the Korea Cup and Grand Prix Stakes last season, in the Herald Business at Seoul later this month. Instead, he returns to the sprinting ranks and a rematch with the horse he made his name by beating, Eoma Eoma.

That was all the way back in late 2021 during that year’s late season crowded Stakes schedule when RAON THE FIGHTER downed the odds-on Eoma Eoma by a remarkable six-lengths to maintain what was then an unbeaten record in style. Eoma Eoma returned the favour in this race last April, but the pair have not met since.

EOMA EOMA himself has come a long way since then, winning the Korea Sprint on international day last September, famously downing Japan-trained Raptus to win the Korea Sprint (G1-1200M) at Seoul last September before rounding out his season at Busan with a narrow win over Dauhan Jilju in the Kookje Shinmun (Listed-1400M). His only start of 2023 so far, saw him comfortably see off a class 1 field under handicap conditions at Seoul in February.

Raon The Fighter (Pic: KRA)

The draw favours Eoma Eoma. He has gate seven while Raon The Fighter has to contend with the widest gate (fifteen, although in reality fourteen following the scratching of Dolkong) but such is the brilliance of Raon The Fighter that at his best, he may well have the beating of Eoma Eoma again. At this stage it is hard to say who punters will even make favourite, let alone who will actually win.

The others are not necessarily just racing for 3rd place although the betting market will certainly reflect that. YES PERFECT hauls himself into the reckoning after a super win at the distance in March and of the favourites do over-race, he will be coming back to them late on. SSONSAL, DAMANGUI GIL and DAEHAN JILJU look the best of the rest.

Not among the starters is Dolkong with the nine-year-old having suffered a recurrence of his sesamoid injury during trackwork on Thursday. All hopes are now that he can be saved and finally retired.

1. DAEMANGUI GIL – 3rd in last October’s Kookje Shinmun (Listed-1400M) he has since scored three consecutive runner-up finishes at Class 1 level at distances between 1200M and a mile, being beaten by Ssonsal and Yes Perfect. Likes to settle back and run on, he will be finishing strongly and is a place chance.

2. BEOLMAUI STAR – Ended his three-year-old campaign in fine style with back-to-back class 1 scores over 1200M and 1400M before being slowly away then ridden up hard and wide before weakening over a mile on his only start this term in January. He hasn’t raced since then but looked very quick when winning a trial in early March. Can be on or close to the pace from a nice draw and in this a long way.

3. DAEHAN JILJU – An excellent 4th in the Korea Sprint (G1-1200M) was followed up with 2nd to Eoma Eoma here in the Kookje Shinmun (Listed-1400M) with the latter needing every yard to catch and pass him. Failed to fire from the widest gate in the Segye Ilbo (Listed-1200M) in January but draws better today and with a better start can get closer. 


Mixed Fortunes for Korea Cup and Sprint Winners on 2023 Debuts

The winners of last year’s international Korea Sprint and Korea Cup both made their 2023 debuts on Sunday but while Eoma Eoma ran out a comfortable winner at Seoul, Winner’s Man could manage no better than 4th in the feature event of the afternoon at Busan.

Winner’s Man, who also won the season-ending Grand Prix Stakes to take his Group 1 tally to three, was sent off as the odds-on favourite for the class 1 1800M south coast feature. Always prominent, the five-year-old briefly struck the front under Seo Seung-un in the home straight but unlike in his big race wins, he failed to kick on and with half a furlong to go it was clear it wasn’t going to be his day.

Victory ultimately went to the Franco Da Silva ridden Flat Babe, runner-up in last November’s Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup, with veteran King Of Glory rolling back the years with a fast finishing 2nd and Tuhonui Banseok, 3rd in the Grand Prix edging out Winner’s Man in a photo for 4th.

A five-year-old mare by Flat Out, Flat Babe has been something of a revelation in the last few months, rapidly moving from a solid but unspectacular class 3 campaigner to class 1 winner in the space of four races since being upped to racing around two turns. She looks set to be a serious contender in this year’s Queens’ Tour for fillies and mares.

As for Winner’s Man, connections pointed afterwards to it being the first time he had carried 60kg in a race – he was giving 8kg to the winner – in addition to him racing at his heaviest ever bodyweight of 550kg – up 18kg since the Grand Prix. Winner’s Man’s anticipated next run will be in the Herald Business Trophy (2000M KOR-G3) at Seoul on April 16th. There he will renew his rivalry with Raon The Fighter, so impressive last week in his own seasonal opener.

Perhaps it was because of Winner’s Man’s performance earlier in the afternoon, as well as the disconcerting sight of regular jockey Moon Se-young’s name next to another horse, that led to Eoma Eoma being sent off at better than even money for his first outing as a six-year-old at class 1 over 1200M at Seoul.

With the race under handicap conditions, Eoma Eoma would, like Winner’s Man, have been assigned 60kg but trainer Song Moon-gil opted to use apprentice O Su-cheol and take advantage of his 2kg claim. Moon Se-young accordingly climbed aboard Jangsan Laser who was strongly backed into a close second-favourite.

Those who kept faith with Eoma Eoma were rewarded as Algorithms entire was quick out of the gate to be on the early speed with East Jet, racing very keenly and pulling hard. Apprentice O Su-cheol kept his cool though and once he let Eoma Eoma stride out in the home straight, the US-bred sped away for a three-length win with his rivals always at arm’s length.

The next five home were separated by just a length with Moon and Jangsan Laser in 2nd while the venerable Morfhis ran 3rd with a typical Morfhis late run. The victory, Eoma Eoma’s fourteenth in total, completed a treble on the day for apprentice O Su-cheol, who may not get the call once the star horse returns to Group racing, but enjoyed surely the best day of his career so far.

That next run for Eoma Eoma is likely to be the Busan Ilbo Sprint (1200M KOR-G3) on the south coast on April 2nd.  

Winner’s Man & Eoma Eoma Sunday Busan & Seoul: Race-By-Race Preview (February 26)

Korea Cup and Sprint champions Winner’s Man and Eoma Eoma both make the 2023 debuts on Sunday. The Cup winner and Horse of the Year Winner’s Man goes in the class 1 race 6 at Busan while Eoma Eoma makes his seasonal debut in the class 1 race 11 at Seoul. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:40 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 11:05 to 15:40. Here are the previews:

Eoma Eoma will race for the first time in 2023 although Moon Se-young doesn’t get the call-up (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Special Weight A / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens open the Sunday proceedings. (4) NINE EAGLE is probably going to be one of the shortest priced favourites of the day, having run 2nd on debut over the distance o January 8th, leading for most of the way. He should have come on for that run, he should be on pace again, and this time can go all the way. Nothing else in the race has finished any better than 6th. (7) COLITAS finished in exactly that position on debut in that same January 8th race behind Nine Eagle. He was slowly away that day and went around at the back before running on and should be better for the experience. (2) LUCKY BOUNCE has raced twice, both times well backed after a trial win. Moon Se-young gets back aboard and punters are likely to remain faithful for at lease a place. (8) CHONGAL COLONEL and (10) CLUB D others who could potentially improve.

Selections(4) Nine Eagle (7) Colitas (2) Lucky Bounce (8) Chongal Colonel
Next Best10, 5
Fast Start4, 9, 10, 11

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Special Weight A / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens with four of the twelve racing for the first time. (5) ARBELOUR is the pick, having improved at start number two on February 5th. Racing on pace and running 2nd over this distance. Without an apprentice claim, he comes up a full 4kg in the weights but from a good draw he can get an easy lead and can prove too good. The main danger is (12) RAON STRONG. He debuted in that February 5th race and ran a creditable 4th behind Arbelour, having settled in the middle of the pack. The wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and he should have derived benefit from that run. As for the debut-makers, (9) TAEWANG SINGI was on pace in his trial and crossed the line in 3rd place in a good time. (8) QUEEN OF JOY similar looked promising in her heat and is capable of a bold showing first up. Returning to the experience ones, (7) GREY CHAMP improved at start number two and can continue to make progress here.

Selections(5) Arbelour (12) Raon Strong (9) Taewang Singi (8) Queen Of Joy
Next Best7, 11
Fast Start3, 5, 9, 12

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Special Weight A / KRW 40 Million

Maiden three-year-old fillies and it’s hard to go too far past (3) SARYEONI TYCHE. She’s run 3rd and 4th in tow starts so far, sitting handy over 1000M and then settling back at 1200M. She draws nicely, the additional half furlong should suit, and she probably won’t need to improve very much to win. (8) GANGCHEOL YEOGEOL has shown good consistency in her latest three appearances with a 4th place over this trip the most recent. She can settle in midfield here and has a strong finish on her. (9) HERO QUEEN was a touch disappointing at her latest start on January 28th when failing to run on. She had finished off very nicely in her preceding two outings though and in this company is worth another chance today. (7) BEAUTIFUL MELODY and (1) SMARTY GLORY others who may improve.

Selections(3) Saryeoni Tyche (8) Gangcheol Yeogeol (9) Hero Queen (7) Beautiful Melody
Next Best1, 6
Fast Start3, 6, 9, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million

Competitive maiden with a few looking ready to win. (4) PEGACORN is one of them as he comes in after a career to date best of 2nd place over 1400M on January 27th when settling handy, dropping back and then running on, only going down by a head. The further step up in trip can suit and he has a good chance. (9) K GOLD BAR is another of those in the “ready to win” category. He enters off a solid 4th place over 1300M at the end of January he too may like the chance of a longer distance today. (5) HAMAN BAEKISAN is one of only three of the twelve to have prior experience of racing over a mile. He settled right back out of the widest gate on February 3rd before running on strongly for 3rd. The same apprentice enables him to carry the same light weight here and he can be running into some money again. (11) WONDERFUL CHANCE has five-lengths to make up on Pegacorn and also carries more weight than he did on January 27th but, along with (8) ADELE HORANGI, warrants consideration as a place chance.

Selections(4) Pegacorn (9) K Gold Bar (5) Haman Baekisan (11) Wonderful Chance
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start3, 4, 9, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1700M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million

Another maiden and a couple of prolific non-winners have solid claims to finally get on the board here. (3) EUREKA stepped up to 1700M on January 28th and beat several of these on his way to a career-best 2nd place racing handy throughout, although well beaten by a good winner. He carries the same weight, draws a similarly favourable gate, and can go one better. (7) HOUYHNHNM was 3rd in that race at what was start number seventeen. He is in the best form of his career having run 2nd at the start prior, also at this distance. He settles back and runs on and he has as good a chance as any here. (8) CAMINO comes up in trip having led and ultimately finishing 3rd on his second start on Christmas Day. He comes up in the weights without an apprentice claim today but should be competitive in this company. (10) FIRST CHOUX and (1) SSANG OK RU among others in the minor money hunt.

Selections(3) Eureka (7) Houyhnhnm, (8) Camino (10) First Choux
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start1, 4, 8, 10

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

Fillies and mares only and (5) THUNDER FURY looks to be the one to beat here. She’s only finished outside the top-four on one occasion and enters off a close runner-up finish in a very similar race over class and distance on January 27th when settling midfield and running on well. She draws nicely here to stalk the early leaders and can prove too strong. (1) GRAPHENE RAP WORLD had a poor day at the office in the same race when showing prominently early before weakening. Her form before that was good and she may have come on for what was her first try at tis distance and from the inside gate she can lead again and stay in it longer. (7) DOCTOR TIFFANY was a good winner over 1000M on debut in January before being stepped up to a mile for her first try at this class on February 5th. She showed at the front but ultimately finished 6th and may find today’s assignment more suitable. (6) WORLD CLASS CAT and (3) DOCTOR KONGSUNI other place chances.

Selections(5) Thunder Fury (1) Graphene Rap World (7) Doctor Tiffany (6) World Class Cat
Next Best3, 9
Fast Start1, 7, 10, 11

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

A competitive race. (4) JILJU DAESE ran 2nd on debut before getting her maiden win at start number two over this distance at the end of last October. She hasn’t raced since but looked well enough when not asked to do too much in a trial last week. She is up in class from since we last saw her but has every chance of making a big impact first up here. (7) LONDON SKY come sin off a 2nd and a 4th place both at this class and both at 1200M. He likes to settle back and run on and with Lim Gi-won climbing aboard today, he will have plenty of backers. (1) ROCK IMPACT comes up in class after a good win over this distance on January 28th when coming from off the pace. He comes down 2kg in the weights, draws well, and can measure up in this company. (6) HUIMANG CHAMP and up in class (12) SAINT LUCCA among others to keep safe.


Eoma Eoma Sunday: Busan & Seoul Race-By-Race Preview (October 30)

Korea Sprint winner Eoma Eoma returns to action on Sunday having traveled down to Busan to tackle the Listed Kookje Shinmun Trophy over 1400M. That’s the final race on a 6-race card at Busan which runs from 12:15 to 16:40 while there are 11-races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Imported Juvenile fillies with just two of the eight having raced before and anything could win. We’ll side with experience though and (7) ACCOUNT, who has raced twice already. After an inauspicious debut over 1200M in August, she looked more assured when 5th of eight in a fair time in a similar race to this on October 2nd, settling back and running on. With some natural progression here, that experience should stand her in good stead. Pick of the first timers is (3) WINNER CALL. The most expensive of these at auction in the US (although hardly sale-topping at $50K), she was on pace in her trial and stopped the clock in a fair time. She draws nicely and looks set for a bold showing. (1) T.C. FAMILY is the other one who has raced before, and she ran 6th to Account’s 5th in that October 2nd race. She was on pace but weakened late on. She should have derived benefit from that and draws very well to lead again and be in things much longer. Returning to the debut-makers (2) LOTUSMIREU and (6) RACE WINNER look the next best.

Selections(7) Account (3) Winner Call (1) T.C. Family (2) Lotusmireu
Next Best6, 8
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 6

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

Juvenile maidens with seven of the eleven racing for the first time. Unusually we are going against the experience and siding with debut-maker (8) BEST SUN. That’s on the strength of a string of three trials since May this year where he has been showing more ability each time, culminating in crossing the line 2nd behind the experienced Beolmal Daejang in a good time in heat on October 7th.  If he brings that form to the races, he will win. (11) GWANGCHIGI led for much of his debut back in July, ultimately running 4th. He reappears here without having trialed, but that showing, and the apprentice claim today, is enough to keep him safe. (9) UNICORN KINGDOM has raced twice, posting a good time on his second start on September 3rd. He can continue to make progress here. (5) BLUE ARCH can improve on his debut performance when running 7th. Returning to the first timers, (2) GEUMBIT CHEONHA came through a very slow trial but did what he needed to do and could go well.

Selections(8) Best Sun (11) Gwangchigi (9) Unicorn Kingdom (5) Blue Arch
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start2, 3, 9, 11

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

Juvenile filly maidens with nine of the twelve racing for the first time. Some of the experience is good though and (9) GLORY K will be favourite. Having trialed well, she was 2nd on debut on October 1st, when handy throughout and running on well. That experience should stand her in good stead here and she is the one to beat. (8) WONDERFUL WEEK debuted in the same race. She sat midfield and then ran on 4th, not too far in arrears and she too should have benefited from the run. Pick of the newbies is (3) PHOENIX SERVE. She made all to win her trial in a good time on September 30th and is well drawn to get on pace and be in this along way. Another trial winner is (7) DORIPO. The time was a little slower than that of Phoenix Serve, but she looked competent enough, settling handy and running on. (6) HERO QUEEN another who hinted at ability in trials. As ever with these kinds of races, watch the market for any clues.

Selections(9) Glory K (8) Wonderful Week (3) Phoenix Serve (7) Doripo
Next Best6, 4
Fast Start3, 4, 8, 9

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(7) MIGHTY STORM will be hot favourite to prevail here. His best finish so far was 3rd two starts back over 1200M and comes in here having beaten a couple of today’s rivals on his way to 5th place in a fast race over 1300M on October 2nd. He tackles seven-furlongs for the first time, and it can suit. (8) SPECIAL FACT similarly beat some of these when 4th at this distance on September 30th. The time was fair, and she should be aiming to at least match her best finish of 3rd today. (4) MORNING MUSE was 5th in that race behind Special Fact. There was very little between them that day and that could prove to be the case again this time. (6) YEONSEUNG GO hasn’t shown much in two starts over 1000M but the increase in trip may be beneficial and the jockey booking suggests improvement is possible. (9) NAREUCAT, disappointing behind Special Fact and Morning Muse last time out, can be given another chance for the minor money here.

Selections(7) Mighty Storm (8) Special Fact (4) Morning Muse (6) Yeonseung Go
Next Best9, 1
Fast Start2, 4, 6, 7

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

(7) JILJU DAESE will be a warm favourite here, having run a good 2nd on her debut at this distance on October 2nd when settling midfield and finishing well. In this company expect her to be on pace and she should be winning. (8) CHOEGANG MIRAE made his only start in April but finished last. He has since moved to Tony Castanheira and looked very well when winning a trial with an on-pace performance last week. So long as he didn’t leave his race in the heat, he should be a very different prospect to the last time we saw him. (2) BEST PLAN enters off her best result in eleven starts, when 3rd over this distance on October 1st. She has the best time among these for the distance – recorded that day – and from a good draw can be close again. (9) P N S HER and (12) GRACE LEE among others who can enter at least the placing calculations.

Selections(7) Jilju Daese (8) Choegang Mirae (2) Best Plan (9) P N S Her
Next Best12, 4
Fast Start3, 7, 9, 10

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

Wildly competitive handicap for fillies (and one mare) with plenty of winning chances. (9) HONOR CAL was an all the way winner at start number two over 1200M on September 25th to get his maiden win. He comes up in class and up slightly in trip here but while his draw is not ideal, he perhaps enough early speed to see himself to a good position and he can win again. So too can (12) HANSEN COD GIRL She is even less favoured by the draw but has shown good speed in her two outings to date; a 3rd place and win at class 6 level. She too is up in trip as well and while she may need a bit of luck at the start position-wise, she should be very competitive. (7) BLUE CARSON is yet to win in fifteen attempts but has five top-three finishes, including her latest when handy all the way and 3rd over 1200M. Expect her in the mix once more. (4) LOUD COLOR and (10) TWO OF US come in having run 3rd and 4th respectively when they faced each other in a similar race at this class over 1200M on September 25th. Both can be competitive again.

Selections(9) Honor Cal (12) Hansen Cod Girl (7) Blue Carson (4) Loud Color
Next Best10, 6
Fast Start1, 7, 9, 12

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

(3) GO GO STAR took nineteen goes to get her maiden win, which came at class and distance in July, but she has maintained her form since with a 4th and a 3rd in two subsequent outings, last time beating a couple of today’s rivals when coming from off the pace in a good time. She has the fastest time of any of these for the distance, an apprentice means she comes in carrying 2kg less than she did last start and she draws very well. There is plenty to like. If she may have peaked there are a couple of up and comers who may be preferred. (11) FLY STAR has five top-five finishes from seven starts and enters off a good class and distance 3rd last time out. She doesn’t need to lead and with a bit of luck at the start can find a good position and run on. So too (10) KINGS EYE, who comes up in class following his maiden win at start number five over 1300M on September 18th. He led for most of that race but has run well from behind too and has a fast final furlong average time. (6) NEW STAR YEONGCHEON mixes his form but goes well on his day and Munro aboard is a plus. (4) RAON THE WILD another in the frame.

Selections(3) Go Go Star (11) Fly Star (10) Kings Eye (6) New Star Yeongcheon
Next Best4, 8
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 9

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(4) WIND WINNER comes in off the back off three consecutive 3rd place finishes at this class, most recently at this distance on September 30th when settling just behind the leaders and running on well, beating three of today’s rivals in the process. He carries the same weight today, draws nicely, and has solid claims. (7) PISTOL STAR comes up in class and significantly in distance following back-to-back runner-up finishes at 1000M and 1200M. It’s a bold move but he ran on well after overcoming gate twelve on his latest effort on October 2nd, and it could pay off. (8) SMILEY LARRY is also yet to win but ran pleasingly enough on his first try at this class on September 23rd when 4th over a mile having raced handy. Expect similar tactics today and he can be in the finish. (9) SUNSHINE STAR and the up in class (2) STAR MATTA among others who may be considered for the places.



After a two-year enforced hiatus, the Korea International races are to return in September and the local contenders take their first step towards the first weekend in September as ten of the nation’s fastest gallopers line up for the Busan Ilbo Sprint (1200M – KORG3) on Sunday afternoon, the first leg of the three-race series that concludes with the International Korea Sprint.

The winner of the last Korea Sprint to be held in 2019, Blue Chipper, takes his place in the gate. But it is a sign of the strength of the race that the six-year-old, who went on to run 3rd in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita, won’t be in the top two of the betting, despite a bullet trial at the end of last month.

Instead, most eyes will be on Raon The Fighter, the brilliant Bayern four-year-old, who is yet to be tested in ten starts, all of which he has won effortlessly. He has usurped Eoma Eoma, who had the misfortune to emerge on the scene just as racing was closing down in early 2020 and he dominated when racing for the reduced prize money on offer in behind-closed-doors racing. He did though win last October’s SBS Sports Sprint and at five, still has plenty to offer.

East Jet is a Graded Stakes winner at sprint distances too and will be another at the head of the market, while along with Blue Chipper, the up-and-coming Yeongung Louis heads Busan’s challenge. Here is a run-down of the field.

1. EAST JET (KOR) [Strike Again – Lend (Coronado’s Quest)] – A Group winner, he began the year running 2nd to Raon First in the Segye Ilbo Cup, having led for much of the way around. He then stepped up to 1400M when he, alongside Eoma Eoma, had a testing day at the office.

The 1200M suits him better, he draws the inside gate and while a place chance might be realistic, he will be in this a long way.

2. EOMA EOMA (USA) [Algorithms – Lignite (Run Away And Hide) – A winner of ten including the SBS Sports Sprint. Disregard his last start on March 20th, when on a very wet track he uncharacteristically settled midfield and while he did make up ground in the straight, appeared to hang in a little and was well back behind the winner, Dixie Again. The time before, on January 9th, he ran 4th behind Raon The Fighter when giving away plenty of weight, and ahead of Dixie Again. He is nicely drawn today and at level weights, things might be closer

3. YEONGUNG LOUIS (USA) [Violence – Don’t Stop To Shop (Unbridled’s Song)] – an up and comer having won his last 2 starts, the last in Class 1. He is better known as a 1400m horse but has won over 1200m at lower levels At his last start on March 27th, which was at 1400M he was an excellent five-length winner over a field that contained, Doctor Carson and the former champion sprinter Doraonpogyeongseon, both of whom go again in the Busan Ilbo. If there is too much pace up front, Yeongung Louis may be the closer and while he is very much up in class, he could measure up.

4. RAON THE FIGHTER (KOR) [Bayern – Clarinda (Empire Maker)] – The current hottest property in Korean racing. He has been flawless in ten starts so far, winning them all and is now only seven short of equaling the all-time record for consecutive wins. He has run super times at this distance, eased down and at his latest start on February 20th, he overcame gate thirteen to ease to the front and win by eight lengths from one of today’s rivals, Dixie Again. The time before on January 9th, he comfortably beat a field containing Eoma Eoma and Dixie Again. He likes to race forward so and will be very hard to beat from a nice draw.

5. MIRACLE DREAMING (KOR) [Federalist – Miracle Worker (Menifee)] – Not a prolific winner but he has fifteen top-three finishes from twenty starts. Enters off a good 3rd place at this distance at class 1 level in February behind Daemangui Gil and Heat Yegam when on pace throughout. He has run solid times, but it is hard to see him being able to run the kind of time that would be needed to beat some of today’s rivals.

6. DORAONPOGYEONGSEON (USA) [Kantharos – Smartybegone (Smarty Jones)] – A two-time SBS Sports Sprint winner, the nine-year-old perhaps has his best days behind him but he is still able to run a good race, as evidenced by his 3rd place over 1400M at class 1 in January. He settles midfield or further back and runs home strong, but he will probably find himself with far too much to do against this kind of speed.

7. SINGSING MARY (USA) [With Distinction – Amylimehouse (Limehouse)] – The probable longest shot on the board and the only mare in the race. She is still at class 2 but there is space in the race, and she takes her chance here. It is a very slim chance. Does get a 2kg allowance on the rest of the field.

8. DIXIE AGAIN (KOR) [Ecton Park – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] – A winner of eight from sixteen, he took a while to get to grips with class 1 level but ran (a distance) 2nd to Raon The Fighter at this distance in February, before upsetting Eoma Eoma and East Jet on a wet track over 1400M on March 20th. He was getting plenty of weight in those races and today will ne harder. Half-brother to multiple Korean Graded winners Beolmaui Kkum and Kkakjaengi.

9. DOCTOR CARSON (KOR) [Hansen – Carson’s Cat (Mountain Cat)] – He came to prominence in a series of wins over Blue Chipper when well weighted in handicaps throughout last spring and summer during the reduced prize-money racing season but has just come up a little short in the biggest races at level. At his last start, he was 4th behind Yeongung Louis at 1700M. He has run fast times for the distance and can be competitive but minor money would be a good result.

10. BLUE CHIPPER (USA) [Tiznow – Dixie City (Dixie Union)] – The 2019 Korea Sprint winner and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile 3rd placegetter has had his setbacks over the past couple of years but showed he remains a force on his day with victory at 2000M at class 1 level in January. He hasn’t raced since but stormed home in a trial on a wet track on March 26th. The draw is unkind, but the quality is there and at level weights, don’t rule out a good run.

Selections: (4) Raon The Fighter (2) Eoma Eoma (1) East Jet (3) Yeongung Louis

The Busan Ilbo Sprint is race 5 on the six-race card at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon and has a post time of 15:55 local time.

Seoul & Busan Sunday – Sports Chosun Trophy: Race-by-Race Preview (March 20)

The Listed Sports Chosun Trophy at Seoul is the feature race of the day but there is plenty going on across the cards, including appearances by the likes of Eoma Eoma, Morfhis and East Jet in a big handicap. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 plus 6 at Busan from 12:00 to 16:40. All betting locations are open, however, attendance must be pre-booked through the MyCard app. Here are the previews:

Eoma Eoma runs in Seoul’s feature Sunday handicap

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies kick things off and we’ll be happy to side with the solitary first-time starter. That’s (7) DREAM ROSE who comes in having performed well in a trial two weeks ago when she led for much of the way around, ultimately crossing the line just half a length behind last year’s Oaks winner Choegang Black in a decent time. If se brings that kind of form to the races, she can produce a bold showing first-up here. (6) CONCORD QUEEN will dispute favourite status. After an indifferent debut, she has done well in her latest two, racing prominently throughout. She’ll be on the speed here and has every chance. So too (4) SONGAM BEST, who has run 3rd in both starts so far at 1000M and 1200M. She too is likely to be up on the early speed and can go close. (1 ) ARCH RIVER ran through the line well enough on debut and may appreciate the additional trip today. (8) TOP POSITION another one in the frame for improvement.

Selections(7) Dream Rose (6) Concord Queen (4) Songam Best (1) Arch River
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start4, 6, 7, 9

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

More maidens here, this time with three of the twelve racing for the first time. (3) CONCORDE SPURT is the one to beat having finished no worse than 4th in three starts so far including his latest when coming from midfield to run on well for 2nd place. He draws a better gate today and should have too much. (2) EUREKA has run well for 4th in both his latest two aces, the most recent of which was over today’s distance. He ran the same time for the 1200M as Concorde Spurt and looks one of the more credible dangers in this field. (8) PURPLE WORLD ran a good 2nd on debut over 1000M on January 29th. He should have come on for the experience and there is no reason the additional furlong can’t suit. Of the first timers, (9) CHAPEL PRINCESS looks the best placed to make an immediate impact having won a trial at the end of January. (1) RAON THE CHUKJE can potentially improve having received a good draw for the first time.

Selections(3) Concorde Spurt (2) Eureka (8) Purple World (9) Chapel Princess
Next Best1, 6
Fast Start2, 6, 8, 11

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

It’s hard to go past (2) KING CRUSH here. He has been consistent across his seven starts so far with his best being 3rd place two starts back over 1300M. He has run fair times and from a nice draw should be hard to beat. (4) DONGSEO YEOGEOL is the only runner in the race with a 2nd place to her name, which she achieved four starts ago in early December. She can be on pace here and should be in this a long way. (5) P N S HER has three 4th place finishes from six starts so far, including her latest two. She has also recorded the fastest time among these for the distance and should be aiming for a career-best finish in this company. (10) SINJURYU has a best finish of 3rd. He tends to settle back and tries to run on so the wide draw may not be a concern. (8) MYEONGJIN CANDY the only other one in the race to have hinted at much ability so far.

Selections(2) King Crush (4) Dongseo Yeogeol (5) P N S Her (10) Sinjuryu
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start2, 4, 6, 8

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

One of two first-time starters, (1) HAMYANGEUN SANSAM looks the one to beat here. He wasn’t ready when trialed for the first-time last September but looked a totally different prospect when on pace throughout and crossing the line first in another heat in February. Drawn nicely on the inside, he won’t need to improve much on that to win. (2) SEOGWI CHUKJE ran fairly for 5th at start number two on February 11th, going right back and then running on over 1200M. The slight step up in trip can be a bonus here. (7) SPECIAL WIND was 6th in that same race on what was his debut. He should have come for that and with natural improvement can be aiming for the places here. (4) ALL CROWN and (8) UNJU STAR look the best of a limited rest.

Selections(1) Hamyangeun Sansam (2) Seogwi Chukje (7) Special Wind (4) All Crown
Next Best8, 3
Fast Start1, 6, 7, 8

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies and mares only here. (4) MAGIC TIDE was a winner at this class over 1200M two starts back before finishing 4th on her latest outing, again at 1200M, on February 19th in what was arguably tougher company than this. She has run a fair time at this distance and while she comes up in the weights, she gets a better draw than last time and will be favourite to strike here. (7) COOL PRINCESS has also run a good time for the distance and comes in looking as though she is working towards another victory with a 4th and a 3rd from her latest two outings at 1200M and 1300M. She has settled back in midfield in those but may be ridden bit further forward today and can be a danger. (3) HAPPY SOCKS will need a line drawn through her latest when she struggled from a wide gate. Much better drawn and slightly down in weight she can be given another chance here. (10) CHEONEUNCHONG comes up in class having got her maiden win at start three on February 13th. She is up in trip too but in this company should measure up. Also up in class, (11) LAGERTHA is another to consider.

Selections(4) Magic Tide (7) Cool Princess (3) Happy Socks (10) Cheoneunchong
Next Best11, 1
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 7

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

A very tricky race. (9) BLUE CARSON has been as consistent as any across her eight starts so far – i.e., she has mixed her form but has a 3rd and a 2nd to her name at this distance as well as fair times. The draw won’t matter so much, and she can make the breakthrough here. (4) WIND CROSS comes in following a good 3rd place over 1400M during which he led at times. He should be on pace again today and can be in this long way again. (11) INDIE MAGIC was a good 2nd on debut and while he had a hard time on his second appearance on February 25th, that was his first try at 1200M and he can have come on for that run and be in the mix here. (10) B.K. HANA and (2) ARTIE’S GAL are others who should be in at least the placing frame.

Selections(9) Blue Carson (4) Wind Cross (11) Indie Magic (10) B.K. Hana
Next Best2, 1
Fast Start2, 4, 7, 10

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

Good race. (6) TITAN SOCKS is the top pick and probable favourite. He is yet to finish outside the top-five in four starts which includes a win over 1200M at class 6 level back in January. At his latest start on February 26th, he stepped up to this class and distance and sat midfield before running on for 3rd. He carries the same weight today, draws better, and may take some beating. (3) DAEMUL comes up in class and distance having got his maiden win at start number two on February 19th when handy throughout and running on to win very well. He comes down a couple of kilos in weight and there is not reason why he can’t measure up in this company. (5) RUNNING NUMBER ONE was a winner at this distance at class 6 level two starts back and while he could only manage 6th on his first try at this class on February 19th, he can be given another chance today. It’s been a while since (4) AMAZING WHIZ was in the winner’s circle, but she is a model of consistency and this is the kind of race she knows how to find the minor money in. (10) BRAVO SOCKS and (1) THAT’S MY BOY, the latter along with Running Number One the only previous winner at this distance, are others to consider.

Selections(6) Titan Socks (3) Daemul (5) Running Number One (4) Amazing Whiz
Next Best10, 1
Fast Start2, 3, 7, 8

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Raon The Fighter v Eoma Eoma Race-By-Race Preview (January 9)

It hasn’t taken long for the new season to throw up a heavyweight clash as the unbeaten Raon The Fighter once more takes on Eoma Eoma, who he beat to win the Owners’ Association Trophy a month ago in the concluding class 1 feature at Seoul. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12: 12:00 to 16:40. All betting locations are open, however, attendance must be pre-booked on the MyCard app and proof of evidence of up to date vaccination against Covid-19 is required.

Raon The Fighter

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

Three-year-old maidens open proceedings and (10) WILD RUNNER is set to be favourite. She ran 2nd on debut behind a couple of decent ones in a fast time. The one concern is that it was back in October but regardless, any similar kind of performance should see her winning this. If she is a bit rusty, then another filly, (6) HIWPARAM, may be one to take advantage. She too ran a very solid 3rd on debut, in her case on November 20th when she was handy throughout, completing the course in a fair time on a slower running track than Wild Runner’s time. She draws well here and should go close. (4) GEOMOON came home 6th behind a few promising ones on debut and should have benefitted from the experience, while (9) ARCH CHARM similarly didn’t do too much wrong when 5th from a wide gate at her first attempt. Among the six first-timers, (1) CHANGER is perhaps the best at this stage.

Selections(10) Wild Runner (6) Hwiparam (4) Geomoon (9) Arch Charm
Next Best1, 12
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 10

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

A pair of socks should be battling this one out. We’ll side with (2) WILD SOCKS, who ran 2nd at start number two at 1000M having led for almost the entire way around. He comes up slightly in trip but draws beautifully again and could go all the way. (7) TITAN SOCKS has the same owner although a different trainer and has followed a similar trajectory so far, improving to 3rd at his second outing on December 4th. He came from off the pace though, working home well and it may be that the additional furlong is in his favour here. (12) ORGALIM comes into the calculations having beaten several of these on his way to 2nd place at this distance on December 4th in a fair time. He sat handy that day so may need a bit of luck from the wide gate (9) GEOLJAK MAN was 3rd in that race and along with (3) MUNHAK FOREST looks to have another placing chance here.

Selections(2) Wild Socks (7) Titan Socks (12) Orgalim (9) Geoljak Man
Next Best3, 10
Fast Start2, 3, 10, 12

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

It may be a bit risky to go all-in on anything drawn as wide as he has done but it’s not easy to see (14) TES GO DAEBO getting rolled here. He has raced just twice, registering a 4th and a 2nd, the latest at 1200M when handy and running on. The additional trip may help him find a decent position from the car park. (3) OKDONG GONGJU has five top-five finishes among ten outings so far and looks set to be one who could push the favourite here from a good draw. (10) SAENAE POWERFUL was a significantly improved 3rd at start number two on December 12th leading most of the way around and he too should be a contender here. The rest have been models of inconsistency but (7) TINA and (8) NAMSAN DREAM could potentially compete for places.

Selections(14) Tes Go Daebo (3) Okdong Gongju (10) Saenae Powerful (7) Tina
Next Best8, 4
Fast Start8, 10, 12, 14

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

Maidens, with four of the eleven racing for the first time. (9) B. K. HANA comes in with form reading the best following a 2nd and a 3rd from her latest two appearances. The 2nd was at today’s distance when she was handy throughout from a wide gate and with a time more than second faster than any of the others have managed, she is the one to beat. (7) JATNAMUGIL is the logical second pick. He was 6th to B. K. Hana two starts back but the improved to 3rd at his latest outing when stepped up to 1200. He’ll be on pace and in this a long way. (4) EUNSEONG YEONGUNG beat a couple of these when 5th on debut at the distance on November 26th. He draws much better today and should have come on. Among the first timers, (2) KENDRICK is stand out. The Take Charge Indy colt ran a strong trial in a fast time and from a great draw can go well. (1) EUTTEUMI perhaps has potential to improve.

Selections(9) B. K. Hana (7) Jatnamugil (4) Eunseong Yeongung (2) Kendrick
Next Best1, 8
Fast Start3, 7, 8, 9

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

After trialing up alongside some established horses, (12) NAMSAM KKOT ran a solid 3rd on debut over 1200M, settling in midfield and running on strongly. She draws wide but her running style that day suggests it shouldn’t be too much of a problem and she could be challenging for the win here. (10) RAON THE WEEKEND had an ordinary day at the office in probably better company than this at his latest start on December 11th when he wasn’t able to get on pace from a very wide draw. The draw is only a little better today, but he should have an easier time getting to the front and the additional half-furlong can help.  Continuing the theme of wide draws, (13) DONGSEO YEOGEOL was a significantly improved 2nd when going back and coming from off the pace over 1200M on December 5th. She had raced prominently in previous starts, to no avail, so expect similar tactics here. (4) REAL CONCORD is a fancy who does draw well and should be in the hunt along with (9) ONE MORE RUSH.

Selections(12) Namsam Kkot (10) Raon The Weekend (13) Dongseo Yeogeol (4) Real Concord
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start4, 9, 10, 13

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

Fillies and mares only here. Based on her last start runner-up finish at this distance in a time quicker than anything else in this race has managed, (8) TAEPUNGI is the one to beat here. She sat midfield and ran on that day and under a light weight again, can go one better. (9) ALPHA V should have come on for her debut run when settling midfield before getting well back and then working home adequately. She had previously posted fast trial times so there is some ability there and a more mature performance can see her right in this. (2) HAMAN YEOHANGSAN returned from three months off to run a good 3rd over this distance on December 19th. She can strip fitter here and get close. (1) OMEGA GIRL and (6) WORLD FLOWER came home 2nd and 3rd respectively when they raced each other at 1400M on December 10th and both can have placing claims again.

Selections(8) Taepungi (9) Alpha V (2) Haman Yeohangsan (1) Omega Girl
Next Best6, 12
Fast Start2, 5, 8, 9


Eoma Eoma finally got the Graded race win his talent has always promised in the SBS Sports Sprint while Australian trainer Peter Wolsley saddled his fifth Korean Graded winner as Mr. Afleet took out the KRA Cup Classic on a big Sunday afternoon of action at Seoul Racecourse.

The SBS Sports Sprint (1200M-KOR G3) was one of the few Graded races that managed to get run in 2020 and on Sunday, Morfhis returned to defend his title while East Jet and Blue Chipper took their place in a star-studded lineup. Eoma Eoma was only 3rd in last year’s race but had progressed to such an extent in the meantime, including smashing the 1400M Seoul track record, that he was sent off as hot favourite, despite drawing the widest gate.

In the event, that draw meant that Eoma Eoma would be wide all the way around and would be tested every step of the way by East Jet as Alan Munro kept his Strike Again gelding, winner of last year’s SROA Trophy on the rail and in the lead throughout. Moon Se Young meanwhile on Eoma Eoma simply couldn’t find his way inside with not only East Jet but also Blue Chipper and Yeongung Louis keeping him outside.

Class told, as in the home straight and still wide, Eoma Eoma was relentless and despite a very game run by East Jet, Eoma Eoma eventually swept by just meters from the finishing line to win by half a length. It was a tenth career win on his twelfth start for the American bred four-year-old colt, who is by Algorithms and out of the Run Away And Hide mare Lignite.

East Jet was a strong 2nd while there was a potential breakout performance by lightly-raced three-year-old Yeongung Louis [Violence – Don’t Stop To Shop (Unbridled’s Song)] in 3rd. It proved a hard day at the office though for defending champion Morfhis, who ran 5th, and even harder for Blue Chipper, who faded to 9th. It’s a first Graded win for Eoma Eoma, but few would back it being the last.

An hour later, once more the widest gate prevailed as Mr. Afleet won the 36th running of the KRA Cup Classic (2000M-KOR G2).

The 2019 Korea Cup winner Moonhak Chief led from the gate, but Mr. Afleet [Afleet Alex – In Escrow (Vindication)] took command in the home straight and saw off the attentions of the up and comer Haengbok Wangja to claim victory by a nose in a photo-finish.

Moonhak Chief would fade to 7th while Cheongdam Dokki, seeking a third win in the race after victories in 2017 and 2018 briefly showed just behind the leaders but ultimately weakened to last (an initial post-race check showed no obvious issues). With Tiz Plan also misfiring, there was a sense of a possible changing of the guard although the six-year-old Jjang Kong running 3rd and the evergreen eight-year-old Shamrocker, a remarkable 4th quickly belied that idea.

Speaking after the race, winning jockey Seo Seung-un told in-house broadcaster KRBC that everything went to plan “The draw wasn’t good, but I was surprised how easy it was to get to the position that I wanted to be in. I followed Moonhak Chief across and from then on it was simple.” When quizzed on whether he thought he and Mr. Afleet would be back in the winner’s circle at Seoul in December’s Grand Prix Stakes, Seo had something else in mind. “Of course, the Grand Prix is the target but he is eligible for the (Busan) Owners’ Cup (1600M on November 21st) so they might go there, but I just hope for the Grand Prix” before adding: “it isn’t up to me, anyway.”

Seo Seung-un will be traveling back to Busan minus a substantial percentage of his winnings after stewards penalized him to the tune of $1,000 for unacceptable whip use in the home straight. Haengbok Wangja’s jockey Kim Yong-geun was also found guilty and punished for the same offence. In their ungainly windmilling, both were lucky they didn’t unbalance their mounts to the extent of taking them out of contention and both thoroughly deserve their (lenient) punishment.

It was another training triumph for Peter Wolsley, who back in 2007 became the first foreign trainer to be granted a license in Korea. It took him several years of sheer hard graft to establish himself, but in January last year Mr. Afleet chalked up Wolsley’s 500th Korean winner. On Sunday, the same horse gave him his fifth Korean Graded Stakes winner and his first since Bold Kings came to Seoul and won the Grand Prix Stakes in 2015. This coming Boxing Day, Mr. Afleet may just make the unassuming man from Bendigo a two-time Grand Prix winner.

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 11)

Sunday’s racing is at Seoul (10 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and at Busan (7 races from 11:10 to 16:40). Eoma Eoma faces Morfhis and Raon First in Seoul’s feature race. Here are the previews:

Morfhis got the better of Eoma Eoma in last year’s SBS Sports sprint but concedes a huge amount of weight on Sunday

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

We’re go-go on (3) BOGO TTO BOGO here following his last start win at this distance when he settled handily behind the leaders before running on strongly in the straight. He didn’t win by much, but he gets a slightly better draw today and has solid claims to follow up. Likely favourite is (11) JANGSAN GUARD. He is an improving type who ran a close 3rd to Bogo Tto Bogo last time when ridden to the lead early. He may need a bit of luck today from a wide draw but it’s clear he has potential. (12) SOEWAKKOT scored a soft win over 1000M last start. She led all the way and was too strong, registering a fast time. She steps out to 1200M here and doesn’t get much luck with the draw but with some luck can feature in the finish. (5) ICE STAR was a narrow winner at this distance two starts back. He only managed 6th when returning to action on June 19th but can aim for a place here. (4) JILJU BORN another in the placing hunt.

Selections(3) Bogo Tto Bogo (11) Jangsan Guard (12) Soewakkot (5) Ice Star
Next Best4, 6
Fast Start1, 4, 11, 12

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million

We’ll take a chance on a first-timer starter here. (6) DONGTEUJA BOY. His dam is a half-sister to Dongbanui Gangja, one of the great runners in Korea of the early 2000s and she herself was a precocious talent winning her first six races. Her first foal to make the track was similarly good early on. Dongteuja Boy ran 3rd in his trial in a fast time behind two experienced racehorses and he has every chance of scoring first up. If you prefer experience, then (2) DOCTOR TEXAS is the one for you. He was 5th on debut over this distance before running a solid 4th over 1300M second-up on June 12th when he was on pace throughout. Back in trip and with a good gate he should be on pace again and has every chance of going all the way. (11) K CHUJKE was a significantly improved 2nd at his third start on June 13th and can build on that here while (1) SPEED MAST and (8) B J SONG have potential for improvement.

Selections(6) Dongteuja Boy (2) Doctor Texas (11) K Chukje (1) Speed Mast
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start2, 4, 9, 12

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

There is just the one unraced entrant here and we’re going to take a chance on him. The only two-year-old in the race, (4) BULBANGUL is a Hansen colt who trialed up very nicely, working home well three-lengths behind international Listed winner Dolkong. He should have derived great benefit from that excursion and with Moon Se Young aboard, is worth serious consideration first-up. (3) GEOLJAK WOMAN has placed at 1200M and returned to form lats start when 2nd over 1000M in a good time She was hard ridden that day to be handy and then ran on well in the straight and did her best work near the finish. A repeat of that run puts her in the mix. (11) REMEMBER WHEN is sure to have backers based on her latest outing when 2nd over 1200M, taking an early bump and then making up ground in the straight. She’s never been worse than 6th in seven appearances and surely goes close again. (1) RUN TO GOAL is worth thought based on her last start 2nd over 1000M, which was a big improvement. She looks ready to step back up in trip and should be competitive.

Selections(4) Bulbangul (3) Geoljak Woman (11) Remember When (1) Run To Goal
Next Best5, 6
Fast Start1, 8, 11, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(12) MISS INDIE debuted over 1300M on May 30th, quickly working her way to the front from gate eleven and then running on for a comfortable win. Neither the step up in trip or the even wider draw should give her too many problems and the half-sister of Mr. Afleet, a winner of seven from twelve so far, should be maintaining her 100% record here. (3) B.K. KING STAR is likely to be the clear second favourite. He comes in off his maiden win at start five on June 5th when he settled handy before running on strong over this distance. He draws well and can give the favourite a scare. (4) HONEY STAR has hinted at some ability with his best so far being a smart 3rd at this distance back in May and he has placing claims here as does (5) TRIPLE JILJU, who improved last start when 4th in a decent time over 1000M. He tries this trip for the first time today. (2) BLUE OAK the best of the rest.

Selections(12) Miss Indie (3) B.K. King Star (4) Honey Star (5) Triple Jilju
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start5, 7, 9, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(4) THE FIGHTING has shown ability and last start it began to all come together with a 2nd at this trip in a good time. He worked hard to be on the pace all the way and battled on well. He draws closer today which should assist him. (11) BLUE HAMMER is potentially the betting favourite. Last start in the wet, he was handy before drifting back and working home adequately in the straight. Previously he raced handily on the rails and made-up good ground to be 2nd and could nail this race if he repeated that run although he may need some luck from the wide draw. (7) BEST FORCE has finished close at hand in recent starts in fair times. Last time out he was ridden hard to be midfield before running wide and running on. He can figure in the finish here. (5) DAESEUNG GAON improved to 3rd last time when settled well back in the field and working her way through the field late on. She along with (6) WONDERFUL ORANGE have placing claims.

Selections(4) The Fighting (11) Blue Hammer (7) Best Force (5) Daeseung Gaon
Next Best6, 10
Fast Start2, 6, 7, 11

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

(8) HAENAM HAMMER registered back-to-back wins over 1200M and a mile in March and April before running 2nd at this distance on her first crack at class 5 on May 29th, beaten by Sunlight Boy. She can be on pace or handy and looks to have the potential for further development. (7) HILL MORE comes in off consecutive runner-up finishes, the latter of which was at this class. He tends to go back and then run on strong and while he does carry an extra couple of kilos today, he should be in the finish today but may have to settle for yet another near miss. (5) FLAT BABE ran 3rd behind Hill More at class and distance on June 6th. Just like Hill More she is yet to win, but she is also yet to miss the top three in four starts. She gets a better draw today and can sit just behind the early speed. That speed may be set by (4) ECOPIA. Having run 3rd on debut, the Colonel John filly broke through at start number two over 1000M on June 12th. She comes up in both class and distance here, but from a good draw can get to the lead and cause problems. (12) SEOBU QUEEN among others with placing claims.

Selections(8) Haenam Hammer (7) Hill More (5) Flat Babe (4) Ecopia
Next Best12, 1
Fast Start4, 6, 8, 10

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

Fillies only here. Likely favourite is (5) YULONG STAR who put in a much-improved run last start at class and distance when she recovered from an awkward start to settle midfield and run on resolutely. She looks ready to win here. (9) SARYEONI QUEEN is up in class following a four-length score last time out on May 29th. She has been consistent and run good times and if she can get on the pace here, she has winning chances again. (2) WONDERFUL HEART is a winner at 1300M and hasn’t been too far away in recent efforts. She is an on-pace type of runner so the barrier brings here into play here. (8) CATCH CHARM has been the beaten favourite at both of her latest two starts. In the first of them she led then weakened in the straight while in the second she was midfield throughout without quickening. She’ll not be favourite today but there is talent there and she’s worth keeping safe in the wider numbers. (11) RUBICON another in the frame.

Selections(5) Yulong Star (9) Saryeoni Queen (2) Wonderful Heart (8) Catch Charm
Next Best11, 6
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 11

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

Plenty on the hunt here. We’ll go for (5) DUNCAN to prevail though. He holds the fastest time of any of these which he achieved when registering his maiden win back in January and has since acquitted himself competently enough in starts at 1800M and again at a mile. In this company he should be able to get close to the early pace and this can be his day. (7) POKPUNG EONDEOK beat Duncan last time out as the pair finished 3rd and 4th respectively at class and distance. He likes to go back in his races and then run on and while that does mean he sometimes needs some luck to avoid trouble in running, he can be a big danger here. The experienced (4) MAGIC FLYING looks like he is coming back into form. He ran a close 2nd to Man Of Top when sent off at decent odds just two weeks ago when he worked forward early from a wide draw and with Seo Seung-un taking the ride today, he has every chance. (3) TWO TWO LEADS and (10) SINBIHAN YEOIN are among others with placing hopes.

Selections(5) Duncan (7) Pokpung Eondeok (4) Magic Flying (3) Two Two Leads
Next Best10, 12
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 9

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

(1) ON POINT broke through for a class 5 win at his latest start over this distance on June 12th. He had the widest gate that day and settled in midfield before running on strong to beat a useful field that contained a couple of today’s rivals. He has shown himself capable of running on pace too, so the inside gate gives jockey Kim Dong-soo plenty of options. He’s the one to beat. (7) JOY BROTHER was 3rd to On Point in that June 29th race. He settled midfield and then ran on, meeting a bit of interference at the 500M. With a clear run today, he can get closer. (9) CHOEGANG BLACK comes up in class after a last start win over 1300M. Her time was competitive, and she appears to have scope for further development. Another last start class 6 winner and possible each-way option here is (10) RULES CLASS. He won by a good margin over 1200M when settling midfield and running on, indicating that he may fancy this distance. (8) FEDERAL EYE is another with solid claims to at least a place.

Selections(1) On Point (7) Joy Brother (9) Choegang Black (10) Rules Class
Next Best8, 2
Fast Start4, 5, 7, 9