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The Korea Premier Series kicks off at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon with the Busan Owners’ Cup (1600M KOR-G3).

It's an enthralling race, owing much to the fact that it is the only Graded race run at a mile in Korea that is open to older males and that there are no Graded or Listed races at all in July. Accordingly, it has attracted a full field and some unlikely match ups. 

Unlikely to the extent that few would have thought that two of the best sprinters of the past few years, Eoma Eoma and Morfhis, would find themselves in a starting gate alongside Tuhonui Banseok, one of the best stayers.

It is a race though that in recent years has been won by a who's who of top runners at both one and two-turns. They include Triple Nine, Power Blade, Blue Chipper and Raon The Fighter. 

TUHONUI BANSEOK, a front-runner, is the probable favourite despite having not raced at as short a distance for three years, while EOMA EOMA, who has never gone more than 1400M, will also be around the top of the market. SPEED YOUNG and SOMETHING LOST are more obvious middle-distance horses and will be well supported too.

The most intriguing entry is the highly thought of three-year-old SKY WIND. The American-bred Khozan colt is three-for-three having won twice at 1200M and once at 1800M, looking very accomplished. The mile should be ideal and with the trainer and jockey combination of Kim Young-kwan and Seo Seung-un, he is sure to have plenty of backers.

Here is a full run-down of the field for the race, which is race 8 on the card at Busan on Sunday with a local post time of 16:30:

1. SOMETHING LOST – Comes in after a 2nd and two 4th places in the Sprint Series over 1200M following a dominant win at 1400M at class 2 level in February. Only previous try at 1600M was 2nd place in the 1st leg of the Triple Crown last year. Lightly raced with big potential and a great draw, he can be on or close to the speed and is a chance.

2. MORFHIS – The now nine-year-old showed he still has it with a super 3rd in the SROA Chairman's Sprint over 1200M on May 19th, coming from right off the pace. His only try at a mile was a 4th place back in January 2020. He did previously win at 1800M, even longer ago. Gets a better draw than usual and will be finishing strongly.

3. SKY WIND – The great unknown. He is three for three with wins at 1200M and 1800M although only up to class 3 level. His wins have come in contrasting styles and in good times. The mile will pose no problems although the race tempo will be something he hasn't experienced before. Worth taking a chance on. Trainer Kim Young-kwan has won the race a record five times.

4. POWER GUNJU – Up and comer with four wins from seven including his only try at a mile at class 3 level. Most recent win was at 1800M at class 2 when coming from off the pace. Lowest rated though gets a weight allowance. Outsider here. Stablemate of Eoma Eoma.

5. HAPPY FEVER – 12th in this race last year. Patchy form this year, running well back in two legs of the Sprint Series. First start since April although he looked well in a trial last Saturday. Others favoured. 

6. TUHONUI BANSEOK – a 1st, 2nd and a 3rd in the three legs of the Stayer Series, he hasn't raced at shorter than 1800M since August 2021 when tackling a mile for the only time before today. He won. At class 4 level. He likes to race on pace, so has drawn well and his quality should see him up there.

7. SPEED YOUNG – Keeps threatening a big win and is rarely far away with a 5th and two 3rd places in the Stayer Series behind stablemate Global Hit. Tactically versatile, he has won at this distance and the mile could be what he needs to get his first Group win since he was a juvenile. Big chance and may start as favourite.

8. JEONGMUN COBIT – Second lowest rated in the field and stablemate of Tuhonui Banseok. Well beaten by many of these at 2000M in the YTN Cup but is one for one at a mile in a time only Daemangui Gil here has bettered. Big surprise were he to win, or even place, but don't rule out a good run

9. ALIVE STAR – Three wins at this distance up to class 1 level but well beaten by many of these in the Busan Mayor's Cup at 1800M. Best on pace or handy and a minor money hope.

10. EOMA EOMA – First time ever racing at further than 1400M for the 2022 Korea Sprint winner. He has been coming from off the pace lately, so at this stage of his career it is possible the mile may suit, and he can't be ruled out. Will be in the top three or four in the betting.

11. BOLT MAN – Class 1 winner over the slightly different mile configuration at Seoul in March, coming from off the pace, he was well beaten by plenty of these at 2000M in the YTN Cup in April. Distance ideal but the company might be a bit too hot.

12. VICS GO – A winner at both 2000M and 1200M, the latter at Listed level, within the past six months, he has plenty of versatility and holds a win over a mile too. He does mix his form though and his latest two – one in the Stayer Series and one in the Sprint sees him with form to overturn on plenty of these and as such is hard to recommend.

13. GALAXY ROAD – 6th in this race last year, he has three wins at a mile, as many as any here. Comes in having run a fair 6th in Busan Mayor's Cup over 1800M though he was 3rd to Alive Star when the pair met at this distance in March. Franco stays on, which is a plus.

14. SIMJANGUI GODONG – Ran somewhat disappointingly twice over 2000M in Dubai when a mile would probably have been better for him over the Meydan dirt. Back in form with 4th place in the Busan Mayor's Cup at 1800M last month, he can run into minor money again but any more would be a surprise. 

15. DAEMANGUI GIL – Has the fastest time of any of these for the distance, although he hasn't actually won over it. Last won over 1400M at class 1 in December and this year has a 4th, a 5th, and a 7th in the three legs of the Sprint Series. Will be running on strong late but this is a hard ask.

16. DAEHAN JILJU – 7th in this race last year, he has only raced twice in 2024, running 2nd to Vics Go in the Listed Segye Ilbo and G3 SBS, both at 1200M. Won a Listed race at 1400M here back in 2022 but others favoured this time.

Selections   (3) Sky Wind (6) Tuhonui Banseok (10) Eoma Eoma (7) Speed Young
Next Best   1, 2
Fast Start   1, 6, 10, 12, 16


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