The 2020 racing season gets underway ay Busan on Friday with 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Not the strongest of maidens to kick off 2020 with and accordingly it could well be (8) CHOEGANG CLEAR, who managed to drift winless through his juvenile and three-year-old campaigns, who gets off to the best possible start for his four-year-old term. He comes in having recorded his best finish to date when 2nd to Sanbang Any Day last start and while he is one-paced, that may well be enough here. (11) ECHO MOON and (3) YESSA QUEEN came home 4th and 5th respectively on what was for both their debut on December 6th. Echo Moon was superior by four-lengths that day and is the preferred of the pair, but both can show improvement. (10) DAEGYO has hinted at ability across her eight starts so far and dead-heated for 3rd last time out. She’s now shown much in the way of speed but may not need to in order to run into some money here. (4) FOREVER RUNNER perhaps the best of a limited rest.
Selections: (8) Choegang Clear (11) Echo Moon (3) Yessa Queen (10) Daegyo
Next Best: 4, 9
Fast Start: 1, 2, 3, 4
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
A field of twelve maidens will line up over the five furlongs in the second on the card. In a field that appears to lack depth, (10) LINCHPIN looks the one to beat. The Colors Flying Colt has had just one start to date when sixth behind Save The World back in July. He was then sent for a spell and resumes in this event after winning a trial in fair time. He jumped fairly in the trial and recovered quickly to lead and win. He’s a big imposing individual and although his trial was far from amazing, this looks an easy kill. (4) SEUNGRIUI BULGIL has been running in stronger maiden events of late and looks another of the main chances. Whilst never finishing closer than fifth in five career starts the filly has ran much better time on dry tracks and for that reason she appears an each-way hope. (2) NANSAN MUJEOK is a potential improver running in to some minor prize money last time out. The Gyeongbudaero colt has drawn better for his assignment and can settle closer to the speed. (8) WONDERFUL SMARTY wasn’t ready for the 1300m last start and is a potential place chance with the drop back to the 1000m
Selections (10) Linchpin (4) Seungriui Bulgil (2) Nansan Mujeok (8) Wonderful Smarty
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 8, 11
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maidens go around here and (1) MINYEOBONG was nice and encouraging on debut, beating three of these on her way to 2nd place on December 6. She led throughout the early stages of that race and while she ended up a full five-lengths behind a useful looking winner, she showed enough to suggest that she has wins in her. She’ll lead again here and is favoured to go all the way. (3) FLYING KINGS is the most experienced runner in the race with four starts under his belt already. The best of those was his latest when he was 2nd at this distance in a very similar strength race to this. He’s been slow off the mark in each of his latest two but if he can get away a bit better today, he can go very close. (12) FANTASTIC WINNER has acquitted himself well in two outings to date, narrowly beaten into 2nd on debut over 1000M in October before following up with 4th in a good race at this distance on November. He’ll want to be close to the pace, so the draw hasn’t done him many favours here, but he is good enough to overcome it and get close. (2) JEMA TUJI and (11) JEONSEOLUI BOSS didn’t do much on debut but both can make progress here.
Selections: (1) Minyeobong (3) Flying Kings (12) Fantastic Winner (2) Jema Tuji
Next Best: 11, 5
Fast Start: 1, 3, 12
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
A field of twelve maiden gallopers will line up in the fourth over the 1300m. (6) INDIAN CHUJANG looks ready to break through after placing at his past two starts. The lightly raced five-year-old come out of a stronger Class 6 event when finishing third to Thunder King. He sat on speed last start and with limited speed engaged expect the Hawk Wing gelding to sit in the top three in running and be given every chance by Jung Do-Yun who has been in great form of late. (9) RAINBOW PARK will be stretched out the 1300m for the first time after ten career starts. The Ecton Park colt has been running some nice races finishing in the top four at his past three starts. It appears there is only two or three in this race that can set the pace, as a result Kim Dong-Young is likely to settle forward as his mount has shown early speed in recent runs. (2) TRIPLE TIARA handed in a better performance last time out when going over the 1300m for the first time. The Hansen fill finished fifth in the event, the same race where the top elect Indian Chujang finished third. (7) MYEONGGA DAERO looks one that collect some minor money after finishing in the top five at his past two starts. He was one paced through the line last start, but we know he can run out a reasonable 1300m.
Selections (6) Indian Chujang (9) Rainbow Park (2) Triple Tiara (7) Myeongga Daero
Next Best 3, 4
Fast Start 1, 6, 12
Race 5: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Eleven maidens tackle the mile and it’s (9) BORNE MATTA who is the one they’ll need to beat. The Testa Matta gelding returned from almost seven months out to finish 2nd at 1300M on December 13th, well behind a good winner, but very promising first-up, nonetheless. He’s previously gone well at this distance and the booking of Seo Seung-un suggests he is ready to score today. (5) CHEONNYEONUIHEUIMA has been knocking at the door for some time. She overcame a poor start to run on very strongly over 1300M three weeks ago and step back up to a mile – combined with hopefully a better break from the gate – can see her go close once more. (7) MULTI POWER is another who ran on strongly last time and the opportunity to run over a bit of distance could be to his benefit today. (1) TIZ LINE and (3) SUPER GALAXY are among others with the potential to improve.
Selections: (9) Borne Matta (5) Cheonnyeonuiheuima (7) Multi Power (3) Super Galaxy
Next Best: 1, 10
Fast Start: 1, 4, 5
Race 6: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
The sixth on the card will be watched with interest as we have two very nice progressive horses engaged. It was a flip of the coin between Golden Winner and Blue Power who both come off sensational victories last time out. (9) GOLDEN WINNER ended up the top… Read more of this post
Menifee, who passed away last June, has regained the title of Leading Sire in Korea for 2019, ending the year 840 Million Korean Won clear of nearest rival Hansen. Ecton Park, who won the title in 2018, was 3rd.
Menifee and Hansen had exactly the same number of runners, 135, across the year with Menifee’s making more starts but Hansen’s winning more races. Crucially, Menifee got more big race winners, principally New Legend in the President’s Cup, while Hansen’s top earner was the two-year-old Doctor Carson.
Leading General Sires 2019
Ecton Park (Isidore Farm) retains his status as the Leading Privately Standing Sire in Korea (Menifee and Hansen both being KRA sires) and there are other welcome entries in the top ten for the privately standing Testa Matta (Nokwon Farm) and Thunder Moccasin (Pegasus Farm), the latter especially having been a revelation over the past year.
The highest placed stallion on the list who is based outside of Korea was Pioneerof The Nile in 18th place. 1.5 Billion of the 1.7 Billion he accrued was earned by his Korea Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner Moohak Chief.
While Hansen’s progeny are yet to break through at the Group 1 level in Korea, their sheer consistency at winning at lower levels means that it seems only a matter of when and not if he takes over at the top. Hansen comfortably ran out the Leading Sire of 2-year-olds with Menifee back in 4th place. Officer, whose Roller Blade won all three legs of the Juvenile Series was in 2nd place with newcomer Old Fashioned in 3rd.
Leading Sires of 2-Year-Olds 2019
Accordingly, Old Fashioned led the list of First Crop (in Korea) Sires ahead of Musket Man. A word too for Gyeongbudaero, the President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner in 2015, who has produced five winners from thirteen individual runners.
Leading First Crop Sires 2019
Full tables as well as information on every stallion, broodmare and racehorse currently in Korea, can be found at the Korean Studbook site: http://studbook.kra.co.kr/neweng/main.jsp