Korea Preview, December 29

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KOREA: Busan Racecourse – Sunday December 29, 2019

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

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There’s an abundance of speed engaged in the fifth on the card where a field of twelve will line up over the five furlongs. (8) NANSAN YEOJE won in good style last time out when settling just off the speed. The chestnut goes up 2.5kg on her last win but she still looks a good chance based on her last start performance. The face that she has won in this grade goes a long way in this race as there is a lack of depth. (4) TOP ACE has placed on two occasions in similar company since breaking maiden status mid-year. The juvenile has speed to burn early in his races, with barrier four JeongDong-Cheol will have every chance to sit on speed and hold on for some cash. (3) PULL OFF went off the boil for quite some time after his maiden win. His last two starts have been better and she has clocked some reasonable times. (2) BYEOLBIT OREUM is lightly raced with just the five starts under her belt. She has managed to win once and finish in the top five on two other occasions from five career starts. She is unlikely to match the early dash of her counterparts here, but she should park behind them and run on late.

Selections (8) Nansan Yeoje (4) Top Ace (3) Pull Off (2)Byeolbit Oreum

Next Best 5, 11

Fast Start 3, 4, 7, 12

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

With three runner-up finishes and a 3rd from four starts so far, it’s time that (3) BANJIUI JEONSEOL registered a win. In that time, he’s found himself up in class and has finished behind good horses, most recent Daemangui Gil just two weeks ago. There are some decent opponents here too but from gate 3, Seo Seung-un should make the front early and lead all the way. (1) WONDERFUL PEACE weakened badly late on when tried around a mile a month ago. She is a winner at this distance though and should prove a much different prospect today. (14) JEONSEOLUI BULKKOThas drawn wide but if he can overcome that to get a decent position, then he should go well – he led until the closing stages, ultimately having to settle for a close 3rd at class and distance four weeks ago. (4) FIRST STAR and (5) MASTER KING both step in class following their respective maiden wins at this distance and both have the tools to be competitive at this level.

Selections: (3) Banjiui Jeonseol (1) Wonderful Peace (14) Jeonseolui Bulkkot (4) First Star

Next Best: 5, 2

Fast Start: 3, 12, 13, 14

Race 7: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40Million

The main chances in the seventh appear to be back markers suggesting tactics early in the race will likely decide the race’s outcome. (13) TWO TWO FAIRY won in good style last time out with a perfect rails-hugging ride by Jung Do-Yun. The Hansen filly looked dour running through the line which is a good indication as she steps up to the mile for the first time in her short career. (1) ECHO WHITE backed up her Class 6 victory with a second last time out when behind King Dombo over 1600m. She’s drawn the inside and sits on speed in her races, several of the other galloper’s connections will be hoping she goes helter-skelter early on setting up a genuine speed in the race. (10) NAGWON DAERO comes out of the same race as Echo White where he finished fourth. The son of Menifee broke through over this distance two starts back and followed it up with a fair performance. (14) QUEEN UP has improved at her past couple of starts with a placing and a win in Class 6 company. She seems to have clicked when it comes to racing, displaying a good turn of foot at her past couple of starts. Given she settles back, barrier fourteen should not be too much of a problem.

Selections (13) Two Two Fairy (1) Echo White (10) NagwonDaero (14) Queen Up

Next Best 5, 9

Fast Start 1, 2, 4

Race 8: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(14) RAON TOWN got his maiden win in May since when he has specialized in near-misses, including three consecutive runner-up finishes leading into today, all of them at this distance. He’s had some narrow reverses along the way and has posted some fast times. The widest gate may not be ideal, but he doesn’t need to lead so if Choi Si-dae can find him a nice spot then he has every chance. It’s another good race though and both (4) TOP FIRE and (7) MAJOR GUY find themselves rapidly up in class having both won their respective latest two outings. Top Fire’s have been especially impressive and under a nice light weight, Thomas Gillespie’s juvenile looks dangerous again here. Another contender is (6) HAPPY DRAGON. A class and distance winner two startsback before running 2nd to the handy Socks Go last time out. He has to carry 57kg today but has a chance. So too does (12) BLACK SHIELD. She ran out a six-length winner over 1200M at this class a month ago and while it is slightly surprising to see her tackle a mile for the first time here, she can go close. Breeders’ Cup also-ran (9) MARK ONE is another in at least the placing hunt.

Selections: (14) Raon Town (4) Top Fire (6) Happy Dragon (7) Major Guy

Next Best: 12, 9, 13

Fast Start: 4, 9, 10, 12

Race 9: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60Million

A mixture of Korean-bred and imports will face the starter in the ninth over the short course. (7) FANTASTIC ROAD looks hard to beat on his two starts to date. The Elusive Quality colt won on debut when pouncing out of the gates in quick fashion, going on to win well. He then backed it up with a midfield performance in the Gyeongnam Domin Ilbo Cup behind Doctor Carson. He looks well placed in this field with 55.5kg and Choi Si-Dae sticks with him which is a ggoodsign. (1) ROCKY SKY comes out of the same race as Fantastic Road where he finished last in the principal juvenile race. On debut the Sky Mesa gelding got away quickly and took care of a reasonable Class 4 field. He has the inside barrier which suggests he will map on speed. (6) HEUIMANG YEOJEONSA was poleaxed out of the gates last start which resulted in her settling well back and having too much ground to make up. We suggest putting a line through her last run and her form prior to that reads well including three wins from four starts. (3) DIAMOND MARINE finished behind Fantastic Road last time out. Expect improvement at his second start after clocking a reasonable time on debut.

Selections (7) Fantastic Road (1) Rocky Sky (6) HeuimangYeojeonsa (3) Diamond Marine

Next Best 4, 12

Fast Start 3, 6, 7

Race 10: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Pegasus Stables bred and owned horses are having a wonderful end to 2019, powered by their stallion Thunder Moccasin. He looks to have gotten another decent one in the shape of (4) KAHEKILI, who produced a bullet all the way win on a dry track at class and distance on December 15th. If that didn’t take too much out of him then he can defy the additional 3kg here and win again. (2) CHOEGANG TOUCH is a winner of two from four so far and steps up in class here after a very nice score over this distance last time. She hasn’t posted the kind of times that Kahekili has but she’s fast and will be on pace early. So too should (7) DONGTEUJA DAY. She’s had a hard time in her latest two starts – the Breeders’ Cup Trial and then the Breeders’ Cup itself, but dropped back to the minimum trip today, she should be a different prospect. (6) EURO GONGJU and (9) TWO TWO TURBO are others to consider for the places.

Selections: (4) Kahekili (2) Choegang Touch (7) DongteujaDay (6) Euro Gongju

Next Best: 9, 12

Fast Start: 1, 2, 4, 7

Race 11: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

The eleventh on the card is a Class 4 event for the fillies and mares. We are seeing the development of a lovely filly in (10) RAON YEOGEOL. The two-year-old has had just the four starts which she breezed through the restricted Korean grades and followed it up with some handy performances in the juvenile series against the colts and imported types. Back in Class 4 company she looks ready to blitz this field and she appears one of the best on the card. (11) TWO TWOGREAT comes out of a Class 5 race where she won in good style posting a quick time. Jung Do-Yun stays aboard the Simon Pure filly who is shooting for her third win at just her fourth start. (9) AMAZING WINNER has been thereabouts in similar company. The three-year-old is not the quickest out of the gates but has displayed a nice turn of foot recently. The 56kg makes it tough for her but she can run into some money. (6) LOVE LETTER steps into Class 4 company for the first time. The Koo Young-Jun trained four-year-old has won just one race from nineteen starts but has placed at her past four starts posting some good times.

Selections (10) Raon Yeogeol (11) Two Two Great (9) Amazing Winner (6) Love Letter

Next Best 4, 12

Fast Start 3, 6, 7

Race 12: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(8) ROYAL SOLDIER is turning into a really nice gelding and enters here having won his latest four in fine style, leading all the way in the most recent three of them. He’s won under this weight before, albeit in more limited company, and he can make it five in a row today. (10) BANJIUI YOJEONG has a winning streak of her own to defend with three wins dating back to June. She’s won her last two by a combined fourteen lengths and while she carries 4.5kg extra today, she shall be a danger. (5) JAEDOYAKUI BANSEOKwas 2nd to Banjiui Yojeong last start and is capable of placingagain while (7) TANGENT may be up in class but has run the type of times to suggest that he has little to fear at this level and he too has strong placing claims. (12) RAPTOR CORE, who races for the first time since running 2nd Royal Soldier, beaten four-lengths, is another who can compete for minor money.

Selections: (8) Royal Soldier (10) Banjiui Yojeong (7) Tangent (5) Jaedoyakui Banseok

Next Best: 12, 11

Fast Start: 8, 10, 11, 12

Race 13: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

A capacity field of fourteen will line up in the thirteenth with some progressive types engaged. (4) YEONGGWANGUI SECRET is a Korean-bred who has won five of his nine starts. He won in this grade last start over the same distance when running a solid time of 1:25.9 on a dry rated track. He has drawn ideally to position in the first half of the field which will be important with the top weight of 57kg on his back. (5) OCEAN PHOENIX is third up since a spell and showed significant improvement last time out. The Menifee filly finished second behind Royal Soldier when they ran a very fast time for the six furlongs. In previous preparations she has been best suited by these shorter sprint races and she looks ready to peak. (9) DIAMOND KING was a surprise winner last time out in this class. The return to form was good to see as the gelding showed plenty of promise when commencing his career in brilliant fashion. (10) CLINCHER is a promising two-year-old import who found the GyeongnamDomin Ilbo Cup a bit tough last start, prior to that though he saluted in Class 4 company in good style.

Selections (4) Yeonggwangui Secret (5) Ocean Phoenix (9)Diamond King (10) Clincher

Next Best 8, 13

Fast Start 8, 10

Race 14: Class 2 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million

(4) MR. AFLEET is an outstanding colt with five wins from seven starts to date. He races for the first time since dispatching no fewer than seven of his rivals here when winning at class and distance on October 27th. He trialed up earlier this month and looked in very good shape so while he has 57kg on his back, he’s very much the one to beat. (12) SMART PRINCE got to within a head of Mr. Afleet that day. He’s not exactly a prolific winner but is a very useful hose at this level and he will be a danger again. (3) WORLD POWER is an up and comer from Kim Young-kwan’s stable. He’s up in class following his third win in seven starts – a dead-heat in a fast time at this distance on December 1st. He has a fast finish and is in with a shout. (10) ALPHA RUNNER ran out a thirteen-length winner at this distance at class 3 level at the beginning of November and can’t be completely ruled out here. (2) DUBAI TEUKGEUP, another of those behind Mr. Afleet in October, best of the rest.

Selections: (4) Mr. Afleet (3) World Power (12) Smart Prince (10) Alpha Runner

Next Best: 2, 11, 13

Fast Start: 2, 4, 7, 12

Race 15: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

We save the best for last on the big Busan race card with fourteen to line up over six furlongs at Class 1 level. With the big spread in the weights it is an interesting affair however (12) ACE KOREA still looks the one to beat. He has returned to good form winning in Class 1 company two starts back and then backing it up with a third in the Kookje Shinmun behind Baengmunbaekdap. The 59kg is obviously the biggest hurdle but he is racing well and did defeat Mujeok Yeongung by three lengths in that Class 1 event two starts back. (8) MUJEOK YEONGUNG is the second elect finishing runner-up at his past two starts in similar grade. With the featherweight of 51kg he will give a good sight and will take some running down. (1) MORNING DAERO is a last start Class 1 winner and has been a brilliant horse for connections. He sat on speed last time out when winning, given the inside draw one would imagine Choi Si-Dae will elect to urge him out of the gates and avoid the kickback. (4) DOCTOR THUNDER has done good things in her twelvestart career to date. She did find the Jeju Governor’s Cup somewhat tough but prior to that she was racing well including a third in this grade behind Core Blade. She’s a natural frontrunner and will be in this for a long way up the straight. (10) KING OF GLORY and (5) HI SEXY are both winners in this grade of late and cannot be ignored.

Selections (12) Ace Korea (8) Mujeok Yeongung (1) Morning Daero (4) Doctor Thunder

Next Best 10, 5

Fast Start 1, 4, 8, 12, 14