Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 1)

Racing makes its way into August and with Seoul off this weekend there is a bumper 15-race card at Busan from 11:00 to 18:00. with some really good races along the way. Here are the previews:

King Of Glory – seen in better days all round – goes in Busan’s Sunday feature

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

Juveniles here racing for boosted prize-money and it’s wide open. (10) MAN OF THE YEAR was arguably the best in trials when sitting just off the pace and running on for 2nd in a fast time on a dry track. The wide draw may not be ideal but if Perovic can get a decent position, the Federalist colt may have too much. Both trainer Bart Rice and jockey Franco Da Silva had good Julys and they kick off August with a serious contender in the shape of (1) FLASHY CHARM. He led in his trial and finished off pleasingly enough for 5th in a decent time with some experienced horses among those ahead of him. He draws well here and has every chance. (4) WONDERFUL RAISE also trialed up alongside experienced ones and didn’t look out of place. Expect improvement from the trial and given the stable, he will have plenty of backing. There is only one runner with previous racecourse experience. (8) DONGBU STAR didn’t exactly set the world alight when 8th of 11 over 1300M a month ago but previously trialed well at today’s distance and can improve. (9) HANEUL GANGJA another to look out for.

Selections(10) Man Of The Year (1) Flashy Charm (4) Wonderful Raise (8) Dongbu Star
Next Best9, 7
Fast Start1, 4, 5, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million

(2) DONGTEUJA BOY was a beaten favourite on debut at today’s distance on July 11th, but ran pleasingly enough for 3rd having briefly struck the front at the top of the stretch. He should have come on for that run and You Hyun-myung climbing aboard certainly won’t damage his chances. He is therefore favoured to overturn the form on (5) DOCTOR TEXAS, who ran 2nd in that same race. That continued an upward trajectory for Doctor Texas, who has shown improvement at each start, and who looks like the main danger here. Both should be competing for the early lead. It’s a fresh start today for (4) GLORY KING, who made one solitary start back in January without troubling the scorers. He looked a completely different prospect when bolting up in a trial in late June, leading from gate to wire. He will be expected to improve significantly on that January effort today. (9) SORI OREUM and (10) TRIPLE JILJU are others in at least the placing frame while (7) WIND HIGH looks the most promising at this stage of the three first-time starters.

Selections(2) Dongteuja Boy (5) Doctor Texas (4) Glory King (9) Sori Oreum
Next Best10, 7
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 11

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

(8) DANCING DRAGON has mixed her form across her four starts so far but she has now run a couple of good times for this distance and today gets the assistance of Perovic in the saddle. She can sit behind the early speed here and could well prove too strong late on. The main danger and probable betting favourite is (4) UNJU EUTTEUM. He ran a very promising 3rd debut over 1200M on June 26th, when he was on pace throughout. He should have benefited from that experience and will surely be in the finish again today. (11) BAEK PUNG left himself far too much to do at his latest start on June 26th, crossing to the rail early but racing ungenerously and looking as though he resented the kickback. Once he found clear ground in the straight, he worked home well enough and while the draw is even worse today, if Seo Seung-un can keep him out of trouble, he has placing claims here. (2) QUEEN OF HEARTS has run well in her latest two starts for 5th and 3rd at 1200M and 1400M respectively and she can go well from a nice barrier here. (12) RAPIDO QUEEN is another who has been up and down but has recorded a fast time at this distance and may sneak some minor money.

Selections(8) Dancing Dragon (4) Unju Eutteum (11) Baek Pung (2) Queen Of Hearts
Next Best12, 10
Fast Start4, 7, 8, 11

Busan Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(7) GALLANT WARRIOR is the pick here, coming in off a last start runner-up finish when he settled back before improving to midfield and then running on strong to record what is the fastest time of any of these who have attempted the distance. He has a good start on him too so from a central gate, You Hyun-myung should have plenty of options and the pair can go one better today. (2) ECHO LADY also comes in off a last start runner-up finish. In her case it was just her second appearance and it marked a big improvement. From the same gate as she draws today, she was quickly on the speed, only relinquishing it a furlong out and then battled on well. She has every chance here. (11) MAJOR FORCE has been consistent across his eight starts so far, finishing in 4th place on no fewer than three occasions. His times have been consistent at both today’s distance and at a mile and looks a decent shout for a place here. (9) CAL MARK has also shown consistency in terms of times and comes in off a career best 2nd on July 9th over 1300M. He tackles the 1400M for the first time and given the way he has been working home in his races, it may suit. (6) TAMNA HWANGHU is the only previous winner in the race, at this distance three starts back, and that alone must bring her into the calculations.

Selections(7) Gallant Warrior (2) Echo Lady (11) Major Force (9) Cal Mark
Next Best6, 12
Fast Start2, 7, 9, 10

Busan Race 5: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(9) RAON THE CAPTAIN broke through at start number three on June 26th, overcoming an even wider draw than today to get close to the pace and then then prove too strong, beating a couple of these in the process as he recorded what was an easy win on the line. That was over a mile so he is back in trip today but he gets in at the same weight and may take some beating. (12) YEONGGWANGUI SPEED has the fastest time among these at this distance. His best finish so far has come when he has gone right back and run on so the gate may not be such an issue for him. He has finished in the top four on five of his seven starts and should be in the frame here. (5) LUCAS SUN came home in 3rd place behind Raon The Captain in that June 26th race. That was his third 3rd place finish from eight starts so far and while he has seven-lengths to find on Raon The Captain, he should be beating plenty of these. (1) TRIPLE STORM and (4) SIMON TOP GUN are others with placing claims.

Selections(9) Raon The Captain (12) Yeonggwangui Speed (5) Lucas Sun (1) Triple Storm
Next Best4, 6
Fast Start4, 6, 7, 10

Busan Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

Fillies and mares only here and (1) B J MISS is up in class on her solid last start win over 1200M in a good time when she led from gate to wire to score by four-lengths. The filly who ran 2nd to her that day (Choegang Ilse) came out last week and won herself. She draws the inside here and should measure up in this class. (2) SECOND WIND was a good winner over 1400M at class 6 level two starts back before last time on July 2nd taking a bump at the start before pulling hard and expending a lot of energy before working home well for 5th. A couple of today’s rivals finished ahead of her but with a clean getaway she can overturn that form today. (10) HAPPY YOJEONG was one of those who finished ahead of Second Wind on July 2nd. She settled midfield and then ran out well and the wide draw should fit her pattern of racing. (12) MASTER QUEEN also comes out of that July 2nd race when she was 3rd. She has now placed in all three starts at this class since getting her maiden win in April. She has led in all of those meaning the wide draw may not be helpful but she can’t be overlooked. (9) GREAT GO is another who comes out of that July 2nd race and another in the hunt.

Selections(1) B J Miss (2) Second Wind (10) Happy Yojeong (12) Master Queen
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 12
(more…)

Busan Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 31)

Seoul is taking its annual summer weekend off so Busan ploughs a lone furrow. There are 5 races on Saturday from 14:20 to 18:00 (there is also pony racing at Jeju which is simulcast into Busan if you were wondering what the point is of such a short card) while on Sunday there is a bumper 15-race program from 11:00 to 18:00. Here are Saturday’s previews:

This is a very old picture of Busan Racecourse

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

Maidens kick us off and (1) HAVE A GOOD TIME enters with the fastest time at this distance and has shown good consistency in his latest outings. He generally sits handy and the inside gate should allow him to pick his spot and he can break through here. (10) PURE KING raced twice last year registering a 4th at 1000M and a 3rd at today’s trip. He has not been seen since but he trialed up very pleasingly at the start of July, putting in a fast time and has every chance of going well first-up here. He doesn’t need to lead so the draw should not be too much of a hindrance. Speaking of the draw, (5) AREUMDAUN GAMDONG took full advantage of finally getting a good one when a much improved 3rd at this distance last time out. The barrier is kind once again and a repeat of that performance should put him in the finish. (7) CROWN KING STAR has shown improvement over three appearances to date, and led for much of the way around before ending up 3rd over 1300M on July 4th. The slight drop back in trip may suit and he has solid claims. Expect him to be competing for the early lead with (8) SONHADOR, who races for only the second time but who has shown good speed and should strip fitter for his debut run just two weeks ago.

Selections(1) Have A Good Time (10) Pure King (5) Areumdaun Gamdong (7) Crown King Star
Next Best8, 6
Fast Start1, 3, 7, 8

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Disregard the latest effort from (1) CHEONGMA HWANGHU on July 9th when from a wide gate, he took a bump at the start and was subsequently out of position and wide all the way around. He should have a much easier run of it from the inside today and if we go on his previous work at this distance with a 3rd and a 4th in fast times then we can expect him to lead here and potentially go all the way. (4) SAEMANGEUMUIVISION was one of those to benefit from Cheongma Hwanghu’s luckless run earlier this month as she finished ahead of him that day. In that race she settled handy and ended up a good 4th but she has come from off the pace to go close as well and she can be a danger here. (12) WONDERFUL LADY worked home well for 3rd at her last start, continuing the upturn in form she has shown over her latest outings. From the widest gate she can run her own race here and reel plenty in late on. (10) CATCH THE SUN has finished in 5th place on both previous outings. He did his best work late on in both so superficially at least, the extra half-furlong today may work in his favour. (3) DREAM DANCER will need her latest two outings forgiven but she draws much better today and should improve.

Selections(1) Cheongma Hwanghu (4) Saemangeumuivision (12) Wonderful Lady (10) Catch The Sun
Next Best3, 9
Fast Start1, 3, 6, 9

Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

Fascinating clash here between two up and comers who will probably start as nearly co-favourites. We’ll tentatively side with (3) GEUMA STORMING, who debuted with a fast 2nd at this distance on a wet track in June having led almost the entire way around. He then stepped up to 1800M on July 4th and say just behind the leader before proving too strong in the closing stages. He does come up in weights but he draws nicely and can win again. So too can (7) JERA, who has four wins from five starts so far. A year Geuma Storming’s junior but more experienced, the Musket Man colt races for the first time since winning at class and distance on May 1st. He is versatile in that he can either lead all the way or settle back and run on and he has every chance. (4) ITSMYLUCKYBOY ran 2nd to Jera on that May race before stepping up to 1800M on June 6th and leading from gate to wire for his maiden win. He comes up slightly in the weights today but is likely to be on pace and can go close. So too can (12) DUNCAN. He was 4th behind Geuma Storming in June but has won at class and distance. He too comes up in the weights. (11) QUEEN UP perhaps the best of a competitive rest, carrying a light weight.

Selections(3) Geuma Storming (7) Jera (4) Itsmyluckyboy (12) Duncan
Next Best11, 6
Fast Start3, 4, 10, 12

Busan Race 4: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A very competitive handicap but (4) ONNURI JILJU coming down a full 6.5kg in the weights from his 2nd place over 1400M on June 27th is too tempting to ignore despite him being up in class today. He has finished in the top two on six of seven starts so far, winning well at today’s distance, and looks good to be in the finish again. He gets significant weight from (10) CHOEGANG SSONSAL, who comes in off a good 2nd place over 1400M at his latest start on June 12th. He comes back to a trip over which he has run one of the fastest times this year and warrants respect today. (7) MY QUEEN also comes back in trip, in her case after a win over 1400M in April. She is resuming after three months out but has never finished any worse than 3rd in eight outings to date and has every chance of going well first up today. (12) QUEEN OF THE WORLD beat Choegang Ssonsal, as well as a number of others who go here, at this class over 1400M on June 12th. She made all that day but will possibly have a harder time from the widest gate today. (11) MACH TITAN joins Onnuru Jilju up in class having won that June 27th race. Despite there being a big swing in both the weights and in the draw advantage, as well as the shorter distance, he can be competitive again.

Selections(4) Onnuri Jilju (10) Choegang Ssonsal (7) My Queen (12) Queen Of The World
Next Best11, 9
Fast Start5, 8, 9, 12

Busan Race 5: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Nice race to finish off with and (3) DOCTOR FAPPIANO can continue her superb run of form, despite jumping up two classes from her latest start. She won that well leading for much of the way before being briefly headed in the home straight and then running on strongly. The time would have been competitive at this level and she carries next to nothing on her back. Coming up just the one class is (7) WINNER’S MAN who, back in early spring when we naively believed racing would be able to return to some sort of normality, was set to be one of the leading contenders for the Triple Crown series. He was a fast winner at this distance two stats back and while he struggled a little under 57kg at his latest start, today’s weight assignment puts him right back in contention. If you value experience at this level, then (5) CURLIN TIME is the one to go for. He runs super consistent times at this distance and will be running on strong late on. (6) YEONGGWANGUI PARTY returned from ten months out to run a creditable 3rd at this distance on June 26th leading for most of the race before running out of steam late on. He is another up in class but he should be fitter for that run and the weight again is ideal. (11) DEEP MIND won the Oaks two years ago and hinted at a return to form with a 3rd place on what was her first start in nine months at the end of May.

Selections(3) Doctor Fappiano (7) Winner’s Man (5) Curlin Time (6) Yeonggwangui Party
Next Best11, 10
Fast Start6, 7, 11, 12

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (July 25)

Seoul will take its summer weekend off next week followed by Busan the week after so this is the last time for three weeks that both tracks will be running on a Sunday. There are 9 races at Seoul from 11:00 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 11:30 to 16:50. Here are the previews:

East Jet goes on Sunday

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

Twelve previously unraced juveniles go around here so it’s to the trial videos that we must head. It’s pretty clear who the favourite is going to be. (3) COMPLETE TIME was an eye-catching winner of her trial, making all in a fast time on a good track. If she shows any natural improvement from that, she will be hard to beat. (10) CHEOLLICHONG placed 3rd in a trial when on pace and ridden to the line in a fair time. She’s by Hansen, whose progeny have shown speed as juveniles on the track here. (1) WONPYEONG GASOK was 4th in a trial when he settled last on jumping before making a solid run from the 600M and ran home better than anything else in his heat. He is a half-brother to Jungchubusa, who won her first two races at Seoul. (6) RAON THE SPURT is “full’ sister to Raon Tough Man, who ran 2nd in the Korean Derby last year. She trialed adequately when awkwardly away and settled handy to the leaders before running home well for 4th. She has every chance of going well first-up.

Selections(3) Complete Time (10) Cheollichong (1) Wonpyeong Gasok (6) Raon The Spurt
Next Best2, 5
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 10

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

Fillies only and the one to beat is (1) CHOEGANG ILSE. She comes in off a career best 2nd over this trip on June 26th when she sat in midfield before running on strong and well beaten by a good winner. She can sit handy today from the inside gate and has the strongest finish in the race by some margin. The solitary first-time starter in the field caught the eye in her trial. (12) HAMAN BANGEOSAN sat handy and ran on strong for 2nd place in a decent time and while the widest gate may not be ideal, she looks well placed here on debut and can be considered. (3) HIT JACKPOT has been on an upward trajectory in terms of times and of finishes in recent starts, culminating in 2nd place last start at this distance having gone right back at the start and should be running on strong again. (2) STEADY WINNER couldn’t do herself justice from a wide draw over 1300M last start, but she comes back in trip and into a decent gate here and duly enters the calculations.

Selections(1) Choegang Ilse (12) Haman Bangeosan (3) Hit Jackpot (2) Steady Winner
Next Best6, 5
Fast Start1, 3, 7, 10

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

We are going to take on the favourite here with (2) CRAZY TANK simply based on how he went in a trial last week. He’s only raced the three times before, most recently getting bumped early and then racing very wide before a decent enough finish for 4th. However, in his trial last week he made all to cross the line a full 23 (twenty-three) lengths ahead of anything else in what was, unsurprisingly, the fastest time of the morning. He has a great draw and while there is always the risk that he left his race in that trial, he looks worth taking a chance on. The favourite will be (5) DAESAN TEUKGEUP and deservedly so based on his last start five-length win over 1000M when wide but too strong in the straight. The extra distance won’t be a problem and he will be in the finish. (12) SMART POWER can’t be left out of the calculations as he is a winner at this distance when handy in the run which was followed up with a 4th place from way off the pace. He resumes for the first time since January but looked well in a recent trial and has placing claims. So too does (3) JISANGUN. He’s a colt who has shown improvement at every start and wasn’t far away when 5th over 1000M at his latest outing. Further natural improvement form that will bring him into the frame here.

Selections(2) Crazy Tank (5) Daesan Teukgeup (12) Smart Power (3) Jisangun
Next Best9, 10
Fast Start2, 4, 9, 11

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

Not the most inspiring of maidens this but a couple of them look as though they have a win in them. (6) FIGHT DREAM is one of two here who have a runner-up finish to their name. His came in April over 1300M and he has since run creditably at today’s distance too with back-to-back 4th place finishes both times when leading. It might take a bit of time here as others are faster starters, but he can work his way to the front here and could score. (4) DOCTOR TAKE drops back in trip following a 3rd and a 4th over 1600M. He has been a bit one-paced in his races but can find a good position from a nice draw and go close. (9) SEONGSAN HERO beat Doctor Take last start when 2nd over a mile. He led that day until the middle of the home straight and will be expected to be on pace here with claims to go all the way. (8) SMARTY DOLPUNG has shown steady improvement across three starts to date with 4th place last time her best. She won’t need to improve much to match or better that here.

Selections(6) Fight Dream (4) Doctor Take (9) Seongsan Hero (8) Smarty Dolpung
Next Best3, 2
Fast Start3, 8, 9, 12

Seoul Race 3:  Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million

Tricky race but we’ll go with (4) CHOIN SPARK who may be the improver here having placed 2nd at his last start over 1000M when handy and wide all the way before balancing up nicely in the straight then working home well. Another crack at 1200M may suit and he could be the one to beat. (8) BURUI GASOK has run well at this class and was fair at his latest effort when on the pace and wide all the way. He has the fastest start amongst these and should be able to overcome gate eight to get on pace again. The solitary debut-maker is (10) NEW STAR YEONGCHEON, who was a trial winner at the start of this month. She led and then kicked clear near the finish and crossed the line with plenty in hand. She should strip fitter for that and enters the calculations first-up. (7) ONCHEONHA ran 3rd last start over this distance, showing speed to be on the pace and while he was well in arrears of the winner, he battled on well and was just pipped for 2nd. Solid placing chance here.

Selections(4) Choin Spark (8) Burui Gasok (10) New Star Yeongcheon (7) Oncheonha
Next Best5, 6
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 8

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

Fillies and mares only here. (3) GOOD TANK enters with a 100% record to maintain having won her first two starts in fine order, leading gate to wire in both. She comes up in class and in trip here but draws a great barrier to get to the lead again and has every chance of making it three in a row.  (6) FASHION BLADE is a winner of two from four so far and including her latest on June 20th, when she settled handy from a wide draw before dropping back and then running on smartly to score in a fast time at this class and distance beating a couple of today’s rivals in the process. She comes up in the weights as a result but draws better and is a danger. (11) BURNING PARTY ran 2nd to Fashion Blade in that June 20th race having been on pace and leading for much of the race. She has won at this distance and has posted consistently fast times so should be a threat again. (5) FIRST STAR was 4th in the same race and while she may perhaps have less scope for improvement than some of her rivals, she is rarely far away and should be in the mix again.

Selections(3) Good Tank (6) Fashion Blade (11) Burning Party (5) First Star
Next Best8, 2
Fast Start3, 7, 8, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(3) LAGERTHA was a solid winner at this class and distance on her latest start on June 20th. That day she settled midfield before running on strong late on to beat a couple of today’s rivals in the process. She comes in at the same weights and a repeat of that effort would make her hard to beat. (7) HERO SPEED ran 2nd to Lagertha in the June 20th race. After settling on the pace and wide she finished off well and actually led in the final furlong. She may not turn the tables here but should be a strong place chance again. (6) GABO SARANGHAE was 4th in that same race continuing an upward trajectory of performances. She broke the best that day and was on pace until the end and she will be competing for the early lead again today. (11) AFLEET MARINE shouldn’t be too concerned about the wide draw. She can settle just off the pace and has consistently run competitive times at this distance. She disappointed as favourite last start when 6th but can be given another chance here.

Selections(3) Lagertha (7) Hero Speed (6) Gabo Saranghae (11) Afleet Marine
Next Best4, 9
Fast Start1, 6, 7, 11

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

(4) ACE SOLOMON was a winner of two from four at class 6 level, including at this distance, before running 2nd on his first try at this class on June 26th when he settled midfield and finished off well, albeit well beaten by a good winner. He finished ahead of two of today’s rivals and he has solid claims to return to the winner’s circle here.  (2) INFINITY POWER was a winner at this distance at class 6 level and ran a good 2nd at her latest start on June 20th, sitting off the pace and then running on strong. Jo In-kwon climbing aboard today is in her favour. (1) WONDERFUL KING drops back in trip following two very encouraging spins around 1400M. He is yet to win from eleven attempts but has six top-three finishes and while he is giving away weight, he draws well and should be in the finish again. (3) PARTY INDY steps up in class here following a good win at the distance in May. She made all that day and while this is a stiffer test, she should be on speed again and can measure up against most of these.

Selections(4) Ace Solomon (2) Infinity Power (1) Wonderful King (3) Party Indy
Next Best11, 8
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 11

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

(12) GWANGYANG EUTTEUM ran 2nd on debut before stumbling a bit at the start on his reappearance on June 27th before proceeding to absolutely bolt in by eight-lengths over this distance. He is up in class here and draws the car park, but neither should be of concern, and he has every chance again. (1) HI HI is ultra-consistent having never been worse than 3rd in five starts so far and is versatile too having won from behind and also – by a full ten-lengths – when having led from the start. Last time over 1300M he settled midfield and ran on well for 3rd and he may prove hard to beat from the perfect draw. There appears to be plenty of speed in this race and if there is too much of it, (7) ENERGIZER could prove to be the beneficiary. He came from well back for a good 3rd place last time over 1300M beating a few of these in the process and he will be given a patient ride again here. (6) NORWAY THIRD is up in class on her last start win over 1000M when she led all the way. This is tougher but she may offer some each-way value.

Selections(12) Gwangyang Eutteum (1) Hi Hi (7) Energizer (6) Norway Third
Next Best2, 4
Fast Start2, 6, 8, 12
(more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 24)

There are nine races (11:00 to 18:00) on the behind closed doors Saturday card at Seoul including some very good looking ones – race 6 in particular is a standout – here are the previews:

Absolutely baking hot in Korea at the moment.

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

Maiden fillies here and (6) A ONE QUEEN looks ready to win. She’s raced four times so far, never finishing any worse than 4th and comes in off a good runner-up finish at this distance last start when. For good measure, she recorded the fastest time for this distance of those who have attempted it. She looks hard to beat. (2) FANCY PANTS has been consistent across her six outings to date and has gradually been recording faster times. She draws nicely here to be on the pace or handy and looks the most serious danger to the favourite. (12) TIFFANY BLUE came from off the pace to run a much improved 4th over 1000M at her latest start. The manner of that improvement suggests she is ready to tackle this trip again and the wide draw isn’t a concern. (3) SILVER HAMPTON similarly improved over 1000M at her latest start and is another in the placing frame.

Selections(6) A One Queen (2) Fancy Pants (12) Tiffany Blue (3) Silver Hampton
Next Best7, 4
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 6

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million

(9) COMPLETE VALUE picks himself here having won well on debut when he set midfield and then handy before running on to win comfortably over 1200M, beating A One Queen, who was due to run in race 1 today. The step up in trip shouldn’t be an issue and there looks to be plenty to come from the Girolamo juvenile. (8) CHOEGANG JANGSAN has been consistent with two 4ths and two 3rds from his four outings to date. The two 3rd places were both at this distance in competitive times and he can sit just behind the pace and run on strong here. (2) BEOWULF has mixed his form but ran well from a wide draw at his latest start and may appreciate the slight rise in trip today. (10) BYEOLBIT BOSEOK has led both his latest two outings, ultimately finishing in 2nd place on both occasions. He overcame a wide draw to get on pace last time and can do similar today.

Selections(9) Complete Value (8) Choegang Jangsan (2) Beowulf (10) Byeolbit Boseok
Next Best4, 5
Fast Start2, 4, 7, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Maidens here with (10) ISTHMUS the one to beat based on his latest two outings. Two starts back he ran a very close 2nd over 1300M before stepping up to today’s trip and finishing in 4th place, well beaten by a good winner but running on pleasingly in a good time. His style is to sit midfield and finish strongly so the draw shouldn’t be a problem and he can win here. (11) WONDERFUL NIKIYA on the other hand draws poorly as she comes in after a career best finish of 2nd which came at this distance on June 26th when she beat a couple of today’s rivals. She led that day and while that is going to be a bit more challenging today, she has claims to go close again. (3) SPEAR GUN steps back up in trip following a much improved 2nd place over 1300M in a race where he finally drew a decent gate. He does that again here and looks ready to come back up to 1400M. (2) NUBIGO too comes back up in trip after a good 2nd place last time, in his case at today’s distance. He has run a couple of good times now and should be in the finish.

Selections(10) Isthmus (11) Wonderful Nikiya (3) Spear Gun (2) Nubigo
Next Best7, 12
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

A good race for the level with (8) SKY MANGCHI set to be favourite. He has a win and two runner-up finishes from his three starts to date, leading in the most recent two of them, and today steps up to 1400M for the first time. He does come up slightly in the weights but he can win here. (3) ACE PRINCE only managed 8th behind Sky Mangchi last time but suffered a slightly slow start and never really got going. He draws better today and has previously run a fast time at this distance so looks worth another chance here. (7) YUJEONG CHAMP comes up in class after a good win at this distance on June 20th when he was handy all the way before proving too strong in the hone straight, winning as easily as he pleased. He looks nicely in here and has solid claims again. (11) DAECHEON EOLJJANG won at this class two starts back over 1300M. His reappearance in June saw him only 7th at this distance but an apprentice brings him down in the weights today and he should be involved.

Selections(8) Sky Mangchi (3) Ace Prince (7) Yujeong Champ (11) Daecheon Eoljjang
Next Best6, 10
Fast Start3, 5, 8, 10

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

Fillies only here. (7) JUNGCHUBUSA is two for two so far but dips her toe into deeper waters for the first time here after comfortable class 6 wins at 1000M and 1200M. She has sat handy in both starts so far and while this is more difficult she can do the same here and prove too strong at the business end of the race. (10) HAPPY SOCKS races for the first time since April when 3rd over 1200M. Her sole win came when leading all the way but in her latest tw0 before the layoff, she sat midfield before running into a place and she can find the money again here. (12) NONGBON BADA overcame an even wider draw than today to get her maiden win at start number five on June 27th over 1400M. She comes up in class here but should measure up to most and has placing chances. So too (3) STEAL THE FASHION who was remains a maiden but also comes up in class following three consecutive runner-up finishes, including last time out to Nongbon Bada and who can be competitive at this level as well.

Selections(7) Jungchubusa (10) Happy Socks (12) Nongbon Bada (3) Steal The Fashion
Next Best6, 11
Fast Start2, 7, 8, 9

Seoul Race 6: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A really good race but we’ll go for the upset. (8) SONGAM CANDY resumes here for the first time since January. He had finished in the top two in all his previous seven races and can really go on his day with some super times. He trialed up very pleasingly and id he can be settled midfield and save a bit of energy, he could pull off a first-up win. (5) ICE PUNCH has won this class and distance and Moon Se Young stays loyal. He is tactically versatile and consistently runs fast times. Given his draw, expect him to be on pace and he will probably start as favourite. Moon has ridden (3) DAEJIUI YEOIN in both her latest two wins although he is unlikely to have made the 51kg she is assigned here anyway. Kim Yong Geun is a more than adequate replacement as the filly seeks to maintain her 100% record. She comes up in class but she has consistently produced fast times at the distance and the draw and the weighty puts her right in the mix again. (11) HEUNGBARAGI was last year’s champion juvenile and he races for the frist time since March when he suffered his first defeat when 2nd over 1800M. Lee Joon Chel, who rode him in all his five races to date is now his trainer and while the draw is not ideal, for a horse who loves to lead, he has led and won from wider and can’t be discounted.

Selections(8) Songam Candy (5) Ice Punch (3) Daejiui Yeoin (11) Heungbaragi
Next Best4, 1
Fast Start3, 5, 9, 11

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million

Another good race. We’ll side with (12) BLACK MUSK to overcome the widest gate and return to winning ways. He won his first two in emphatic style and looked set to make it three in a row when leading before being turned over by Heungwa Gippeum in the closing stages. He gave the winner 4kg that day and while Black Musk carries even more today, he should get it right this time against what looks weaker opposition. (4) BYEOLNARA JILJU gets 5.5kg from Black Musk and looks one of the most credible dangers. He races for the first time since running on strong for 2nd place at start number two over 1200M back in May and looks well in here for a place. (3) CHOEGANG BLADE almost made all on debut over 1200M but was beaten narrowly by Munhak Moon. He hasn’t raced since but looks nicely in here and has claims to go close. (7) GREEN JILJU mixes is form but he does have the fastest time among any of these at the distance and that alone puts him in at least the placing frame.

Selections(12) Black Musk (4) Byeolnara Jilju (3) Choegang Blade (7) Green Jilju
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 12

Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

(11) COLJOY was an excellent all the way winner over 1700M on June 26th, winning by as many as he pleased. He comes up in class here and while the gate is not helpful, the additional half furlong may mitigate that as he will have more time to find a decent spot before the first turn. He looks to have more progress in him and he can win again. It will be hard to beat the favourite (7) NAUI JEONSEOL though. Already a class and distance winner, he comes back up in trip after a solid 2nd place when dropped back to 1200M last start. He is giving away weight this time gut will sit handy and may prove too strong late on. (12) TRIPLE KINGDOM was a good winner at this class on a wet track over 1700M on June 6th. He too comes up in weight but his style is to go right back and then run on late so while he may need a bit of luck, the additional half furlong should be in his favour. (9) QUIET ADELE enters off three top four finishes all at class and distance and should be in the placing frame again.

Selections(11) Coljoy (7) Naui Jeonseol (12) Triple Kingdom (9) Quiet Adele
Next Best5, 10
Fast Start3, 4, 7, 11

Seoul Race 9: Class 2 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

In both starts so far at Class 2, both at this distance, (3) IRON SOCKS has had to cross early from gate thirteen to get to his preferred leading position and while he could get away with doing that and still winning at class 3, up against the likes of Heunghaeng Jilju, that was always going to be a tough ask. For a change he draws beautifully today and with Heunghaeng Jilju safely up at class 1 level now, Iron Socks will be hot favourite to get to the front and lead all the way under a nice light weight. The clear second pick is (8) GEUMA ACME. He is up in class following back to back wins over this distance in May and June. He will sit handy behind Iron Socks but may have to settle for 2nd place here. (6) MYEONGJIN FLY hinted at a return to form with a solid 5th in a good class and distance race on May 29th and a similar run here would put him in the minor money frame. (10) BLUE CHITON was 4th in the same race and he too will be aiming to match or better that today.

Selections(3) Iron Socks (8) Geuma Acme (6) Myeongjin Fly (10) Blue Chiton
Next Best4, 2
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 9

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 23)

Corona cases continue to reach record highs in Korea on a daily basis, while vaccine stocks have run out and the reopening of Seoul Racecourse looks further away than ever. With tightening restrictions across the entire country, it seems inevitable that at some stage those few places where betting is allowed to remain open will close too. For now though, Busan Racecourse continues to admit a limited number of customers and it is on the south coast where the weekend’s action kicks off with 6 races from 13:25 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Dynamic Busan

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

This class 6 is restricted to three-year-olds and younger and the solitary previous winner is set to be strong favourite to repeat. (4) ENDLESS RUNNING showed promise in two starts over the turn of the year before having five months off. He won a trial in late May before making all to win on his racing return over 1000M on June 19th. He draws nicely to lead again and should have too much. (7) WORLD CHANGE hasn’t raced since a very encouraging debut last December when he ran 2nd to Raon The Power at today’s trip. He looked in very good order when winning a June trial in a fast time on a wet track. The jockey and trainer combination will attract plenty and he’s the clear second pick. (6) WORLD FASHIONED didn’t do much in starts last August and this February. He looked well in a front-running trial performance at the end of June and may be a different prospect today. (3) YEOSU TORNADO was a significant improver at his latest start on June 26th, settling back and then running on for 5th and he can build on that here.

Selections(4) Endless Running (7) World Change (6) World Fashioned (3) Yeosu Tornado
Next Best8, 5
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Tricky one here. We’ll take a chance on (11) KING GOLIATH, who overcame gate thirteen on debut over 1400M on June 27th to run a very creditable 4th in a good time. The draw has been scarcely any kinder this time around, but he can build on that performance and can get close here. The expected favourite is (5) MYEONGSEONG MAGIC. After an indifferent first couple of outings, she has run two very solid race at 1200M recording good times She gets a good draw today to be the likely leader and she has every chance of leading all the way. (2) DONGBANG CAPTAIN has mixed her form across six starts to date but comes in off a strong 3rd over 1200M on June 26th. True her ventures at further than six furlongs so far have been less than fruitful, but she is worth another chance here. (7) HAVANA JANE may be at last figuring things out if the evidence of her 4th place last start is anything to go by. It was a much more mature performance than she has previously shown, and she is a place chance here.

Selections(11) King Goliath (5) Myeongseong Magic (2) Dongbang Captain (7) Havana Jane
Next Best1, 8
Fast Start3, 5, 7, 12

Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million

(5) BABY LINE picks himself here as he goes looking for his fourth straight win. The Officer colt’s latest three scores have all been at this distance and in fast times and he even draws well this time. The same apprentice who has ridden him in those wins keeps the weight down again and he should be winning again. (10) RAON THE BOSS comes in off two consecutive wins in good times over 1300M and a mile. True he is rapidly up in class as a result, and this is considerably tougher, but he has overcome wide draws before and he could be a good each-way chance here. (6) VERRA DAY appeared to completely lose his way earlier this year but returned to some semblance of form with a strong 2nd place over class and distance on June 20th. He had been getting way too far back in his races, but last time sat midfield and ran on strongly and a repeat of that run puts him in the finish today. (9) CRONUS must also be in the calculations after a fine class and distance win on July 2nd. He comes up a full 4kg in weight for his troubles but has run consistent times and is a placing chance again.

Selections(5) Baby Line (10) Raon The Boss (6) Verra Day (9) Cronus
Next Best11, 4
Fast Start5, 7, 10, 12

Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

After back-to-back runner-up finishes, (11) WILD INDIE got his maiden win at start number three over a mile on June 6th when he was steadily away before quickly taking command. He comes up in class today, but the wide draw shouldn’t be much of a concern, and the half-brother to Beolmaui Kkum is strongly favoured to win again. (7) JANGSAN PRIDE beat Wild Indie when recording what is to fate his sole victory over a mile two starts back. He ran 5th on his first try at this class a month ago on a wet track and with Perovic back aboard, he can aim to at least place here. Up in class is (1) YEONGDO GALMAEGI, who got his breakthrough win over 1400M last start. His racing pattern suggests that the step up in trip to a mile will suit and from the inside gate, he should go close. (3) GEUMA GOOD POINT is rarely far away with eight top four finishes from eleven outings so far. He’ll be there or thereabouts again.

Selections(11) Wild Indie (7) Jangsan Pride (1) Yeongdo Galmaegi (3) Geuma Good Point
Next Best4, 6
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 6

Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

A real clash of non-winners with the top three preferences having thirty-two starts between them for a grand total of zero wins. We’ll side – albeit without confidence – with (4) YEONGGWANGUI SAVE, whose 3rd place at class and distance on June 6th, coupled with Perovic remaining aboard, puts him in this. He tends to get right back in his races, but he ran on well last time and if he doesn’t give himself too much to do, then he can win. (7) TOP MATE has finished 2nd on no fewer of six from ten starts so far. True a previous effort at this distance didn’t go well but there were excuses on a sloppy track, and he has otherwise been ultra-consistent. He may well start the betting favourite today. (5) NEWS MAKER has a 4th place at class and distance to his name and is another with claims to break his maiden today. He will be expected to be on pace and it’s not impossible that he could lead all the way. If you prefer winning experience, then (8) DUMUSAN is probably the way to go, having registered back-to-back wins over a mile in March and April, albeit at local class 6 level. He comes up in class but should hold his own against most of these.

Selections(4) Yeonggwangui Save (7) Top Mate (5) News Maker (8) Dumusan
Next Best9, 10
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 9

Busan Race 6: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

After nine months on the sidelines, (4) SUCCESS PARTY returned to action with a fine, though quite distance, 2nd place behind the excellent Golden Winner on May 29th. From a nice draw, he will be on pace or handy and can prove too strong late on. The logical second choice is (2) DAEMANGUI GIL, even if it is a touch surprising to see him drop back in trip after recent good work around two turns. He was an all the way winner over 1800M last start, and his front-running style surely won’t do him any harm from a good draw here. (6) YES PERFECT races for the first time since February but looked very well when storming through a trial just last week. So long as he didn’t leave his race there, then he should be in the frame. (5) HAWK KING comes in off a creditable 4th place behind Golden Winner last start and that is something he can aim to match here.

Selections(4) Success Party (2) Daemangui Gil (6) Yes Perfect (5) Hawk King
Next Best3, 9
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 8

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (July 18)

Sunday racing is at Seoul (9 races from 11:00 to 18:00) and at Busan (11:30 to 16:30). Cheongdam Dokki faces a weighty assignment in the concluding race in the capital. Here are the previews:

It was super weather in the capital on Saturday

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

Eight previously unraced juveniles kick off the day’s proceedings. (5) PURPLE K will be the favourite and is the top pick. She won her trial comfortably and while she was a touch ungainly early, she settled down and ran well under hands and heels in a fast time. She’s very much the one to beat. (1) GREENBACK won her trial in fine style, cruising to the lead and then being ridden out all the way to the line. A similar performance puts him squarely in the finish here. (2) PINE FARM trialed on a very wet track and appeared to hang out a lot, putting her rider at a disadvantage. She still ran well though in a useful time and if she has learned from the experience then a place may not be beyond her on debut. (7) SEUNGBUSA perhaps looks an outside chance based on his trial placing but he veered sharply inward to the running rail on jumping, losing ground and settling a long last. With that in mind, his performance in the closing stages was commendable.

Selections(5) Purple K (1) Greenback (2) Pine Farm (7) Seungbusa
Next Best8
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 5

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

A maiden for three-year-olds and down and (2) PUREUN JANGMI should have the beating of these. She ran 3rd on debut and then 2nd on her re-appearance, both at this distance and both times having raced on pace. At her latest start she led until the closing stages and recorded a fast time. Both of those were in restricted fillies’ company but she draws well again to lead and she should make it third time lucky here. (11) GLORY SONG has done nothing too much wrong in two starts so far, including a good 2nd place on debut over the 1000M. The extended trip today may work in her favour today. (7) DRIVE TOWN debuted all the way back in January, settling handy and running on for 2nd over 1000M. He came back to trial in decent order in June and comes into placing contention here . (1) AREUMDAUN GAMDONG has improved across three starts so far. Last time out she crossed from gate ten to briefly lead before ultimately finishing 4th but today, for the first time, she draws well. This should give her an easier run and she can match or better that 4th.

Selections(2) Pureun Jangmi (11) Glory Song (7) Drive Town (1) Areumdaun Gamdong
Next Best8, 12
Fast Start2, 4, 7, 11

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies only here. (10) DREAM KNOCK is the favourite, coming back into action twelve weeks after the latest of three encouraging runs at this level which included a 2nd and a 3rd. She trialed up nicely at the end of May and her running style suggests she doesn’t need to lead so the draw is not too disadvantageous. She has every chance. (7) MISS CAMP is worth thought based on her last start 2nd when she led before being caught near the line. The apprentice claim keeps her down in the weights and in the picture. (1) WONDERFUL GEUMSUNG has shown improvement across her four prior starts culminating in 2nd place last time out at this distance when she was handy throughout and then ran on, registering a good time. She draws the same gate today and it won’t take much improvement for her to be in the finish. There are a couple of newcomers. (11) LAPIEO BAN is an unraced filly who did reasonably well across three trials. The jockey booking will attract plenty.

Selections(10) Dream Knock (7) Miss Camp (1) Wonderful Geumsung (11) Lapieo Ban
Next Best4, 2
Fast Start2, 4, 6, 7

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

The sole previous winner is (3) WHITE GALLOPER, who scored three starts back over this distance, She settled back and then ran on well as is her style, and while in two subsequent starts she has left herself a bit too much to do, coming home 5th and 4th, she should be in the frame today under a very light weight. (10) A ONE PLUS looks ready to win after back-to-back runner-up finishes over 1300M, both in good times. At her last start, from an even wider draw than today, she settled midfield and then ran on strong, getting close to a good winner and a similar run could see her home on top here with the slightly added trip a plus. (1) CHOEGANG BEONJJEOK was much improved last time when from the inside gate, he managed to lead before ultimately running 2nd in a decent time over 1200M. He comes up in trip today but gets the same advantageous draw and can build on that progress. (2) DAEHOMA too got his best result to date at his latest outing when 4th at this trip. He too can take advantage of a good draw to get close to the pace and is not without a chance. 

Selections(3) White Galloper (10) A One Plus (1) Choegang Beonjjeok (2) Daehoma
Next Best12, 11
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 12

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

(6) THUNDER CHAMP had good recent form prior to his latest start when he got caught in a duel for the lead early and appeared to suffer for it, ending up well back behind a couple of today’s rivals. Draw a line through that and go on hos previous start over 1300M when he had a soft, relaxed lead only to go down by the narrowest of margins. He has the best start of any of these and is right in this. (11) NAUI SINHWA comes into the calculations based on his last start 2nd when he was squeezed a little soon after the start and then settled back before running on strong. He has mixed his form but has five top five finishes from seven starts and can go close here. (10) POLKA has the fastest time of these at this distance and he has been consistent in his recent form without breaking through. He can lead or come from midfield and the draw shouldn’t trouble him too much. (4) CHEONJON can have is latest start disregarded when he dipped soon after the start before settling handy but ultimately fading. His 2nd at the start before was much more in character and he is worth another chance here. (7) STAR RUSH the best of the rest.

Selections(6) Thunder Champ (11) Naui Sinhwa (10) Polka (4) Cheonjon
Next Best7, 3
Fast Start6, 7, 10, 12

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

It’s about time (8) HORAENGI made her breakthrough. Form seven previous starts, she has missed the top five on only one occasion and has consistently recorded good times. She has raced on pace and also come from behind and has been beaten by better foes than she faces today. This time she should get it right. (4) QUEEN OF HEARTS has been getting quite far back in her races but finished off nicely for an improved 5th in an all-filly affair over 1200M on June 20th. The manner in which she finished off suggests that the additional trip today will be in her favour and she can continue to improve. (5) SORI OREUM ran 2nd on debut and then 5th when running on late on his reappearance a month ago. Both of those were over 1000M so he gets the chance to get stuck into a bit of distance today and it may well suit. (12) TAMNA HWANGHU is just one of two runners here who have previously won a race. It came at this distance two starts back and while the draw does her no favours here, she can go close.

Selections(8) Horaengi (4) Queen Of Hearts (5) Sori Oreum (12) Tamna Hwanghu
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start3, 5, 9, 10

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(10) JEOLMEUN YEONGUNG ran on very pleasingly at start number two over 1200M on June 19th. He should strip fitter for that and his first run and with Munro aboard again and with an extra furlong to play with, he could breakthrough here. That means we are going to take on the favourite, which will be (7) SILVER DRAGON. He is always competitive and last start after being a little slow away, he finished off strongly for 4th. He has beaten plenty of these in recent outings, including Jeolmeun Yeongung and he has every chance of breaking through at what will be start number nine today. (6) LONDON HEAT is one of those who has finished behind Silver Dragon before, but she showed her ability at her latest start when 3rd over 1300M. She was handy in the run before finishing strongly and a repeat of that run should put her in the finish today. (5) PURGE QUEEN was poor when previously tried at this distance but looks ready for another crack after a fair 4th at 1200M when she stuck to her task well. Her times have been on the slow side, but she won’t need to improve too much to challenge for the places here.

Selections(10) Jeolmeun Yeongung (7) Silver Dragon (6) London Heat (5) Purge Queen
Next Best1, 8
Fast Start3, 6, 8, 10

Busan Race 4: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(4) MAN OF TOP finally made his winning breakthrough at start number fifteen on June 27th after a strong of near-misses. That came at a mile as he sat handy before Ioannis Poullis roused him home in the closing stages. He goes back up to 1800M today, a distance he has performed well at and while he is up in class, this isn’t the most intimidating class 4 field that you’ll find, and he comes down a full 5kg in the weights. He will be strong favourite and is hard to oppose. (6) RAPID GAME ran 3rd behind Man Of Top two starts back at this distance before finishing 4th at a mile on his latest start. He carries even less weight under in-form jockey Kim Hye-sun and can push the favourite hard. (7) SEONGSAN POWER was a winner at this distance at class 4 level two starts back before running a very good 2nd at this class and distance on May 30th, beating three of today’s rivals in the process. She likes to lead and will force the rest to come past her. Running in 3rd place that day was (3) GIJEOGUI JEOKTOMA and he is one of a number capable of challenging for places.

Selections(4) Man Of Top (6) Rapid Game (7) Seongsan Power (3) Gijeogui Jeoktoma
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 7

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million

(9) ACHIM GISANG picks herself here having won all three previous starts by big margins and in good times. The barrier is of no concern due to her prodigious early speed, and she will lead again regardless. She’ll be hot favourite. Mot winning streaks come to an end at some point and (6) BRAVO MAY is the one with the most chance of bringing Achim Gisang’s to an end today. His win came at class 6 three starts back and in two outings since, he has run 2nd both times settling midfield and running on. Given his draw, we can expect him to settle handy to the leader today and wait for an opening. (4) ALCHAN NURI showed improvement last start when 3rd at this distance sitting midfield and running on. A repeat of that effort can get him into the placings again. In a race with such a hot favourite, we might as well go for an each-way one at big odds too. (1) PERFECT POWER has had excuses for his two latest failures but has put in some decent performances as well. He is a 1300M winner and has a nice draw on the inside.

Selections(9) Achim Gisang (6) Bravo May (4) Alchan Nuri (1) Perfect Power
Next Best11, 3
Fast Start1, 4, 7, 9

Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

After winning well on debut, (10) GOLDEN BYEORAK was on pace but ended up 3rd on reappearance over 1400M on May 22nd.  He has had eight weeks off since and should be right for his step up to a mile today. The draw isn’t a concern, and he can return to winning ways here. Quite a few are capable of stopping him on their day though. (7) MONOPOLY has won at the distance and ran 2nd on his first try at this class last time out. He likes to settle midfield and should be coming on strong late here. (3) GALAXY ROAD has the fastest time of any of these at the distance. He is up in class and racing for the first time since a solid score at over 1400M in April and should be competitive here. Rarely uncompetitive is (8) B.K JOHN, who beat a couple of these on his way to 2nd place at 1400M on June 13th. His one previous start at this distance didn’t go well but he has impressed since and looks ready for another crack today.

Selections(10) Golden Byeorak (7) Monopoly (3) Galaxy Road (8) B.K. John
Next Best6, 2
Fast Start3, 6, 8, 10

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million

Many chances in this race but (4) HIDDEN DOLPUNG is the standout, favourite and pick. He won on debut and has since finished runner-up on three occasions. He settles handy to the leaders and runs on which suggests that the 1400M may suit him and he draws nicely for Moon Se Young to pick his spot. (3) ROYAL ELVIS comes in off 2nd and 3rd in his two latest starts and is the likely early leader here. The good draw will assist his chances. (5) GREEN DARC was a somewhat surprising winner at class and distance in a good time at her latest start. She was on pace early then handy and ran on for a good score. A repeat of that effort and a nice barrier bring her into contention again. (6) HEUNGROK DAEBU was 3rd last start over 1700M but is perhaps better suited to today’s trip. He likes to sit just behind the leaders, which is what he has done in both wins to date and he can go close today.

Selections(4) Hidden Dolpung (3) Royal Elvis (5) Green Darc (6) Heungrok Daebu
Next Best8, 2
Fast Start2, 3, 7, 10

Busan Race 6: Class 2 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(8) BARBARIAN has six wins and a further four runner-up finished from eleven career outings to date. He comes in off a last start class and distance victory on June 13th against what was an arguably tougher set of opponents than today. He does come up slightly in the weights but that shouldn’t be an issue and he should win again. (4) MAPLE CLASSIC comes back up in trip following a good 3rd over 1200M three weeks ago. He can sit handy and run on strong here. Coming back in trip is (3) WORLD TOP. He won at this distance in March in a very fast time before weakening in his first two goes at this class, both over 1800M. This should suit better. Also back in trip is (5) WORLD TODAY. He mixes his form but has a solid record at this distance and should be in at least the placing hunt.

Selections(8) Barbarian (4) Maple Classic (3) World Top (5) World Today
Next Best6, 1
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 5

Seoul Race 7: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(5) VICTOR MOON is a filly going places with two wins and a 2nd from three starts so far, all of them at today’s distance and all in good times. She is up in class but comes down in the weights and with a nice draw looks hard to beat. (10) LEVEL TAP is a 1200M specialist and was a big winner at class and distance last start when, as is his racing pattern, he led. Two starts back he posted a phenomenal time when 2nd to Legend Day. He has to contend with a weight increase, a wide draw and a tough opponent, but don’t rule out him overcoming all three. (1) SPRING KING has shown improvement at recent starts and is worth thought based on his latest outing when 3rd at this distance in a good time. He can maintain that momentum here. (3) BIG TO THE BIG has done her best work at a little bit further but accordingly, you can be sure she will be strong at the finish and can place.

Selections(5) Victor Moon (10) Level Tap (1) Spring King (3) Big To The Big
Next Best2, 6
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 10

Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

Small field but a tricky one. (7) DAEHAN JILJU has never been outside the top three in six outings to date. He comes in off back-to-back wins in good times over 1400M, with the latest especially impressive. He is up in both class and distance today but should be equal to both and can make it three in a row. Already with three in a row is (2) ACE HAMSEONG. He too steps up in class following his hat-trick with the latest two having been over 1700M. He comes in well at the weights, is versatile in his racing style and from a nice draw, can settle where he pleases. (4) FIRE ROAD has three wins from five starts including one around two turns. At his latest outing, his first at this class, he didn’t run badly, given his barrier and that he was forced wide throughout. He is worth another chance for a place here. (3) MANSE is worth consideration too. He is yet to try this distance, but his racing pattern suggests it may suit.

Selections(7) Daehan Jilju (2) Ace Hamseong (4) Fire Road (3) Manse
Next Best5
Fast Start3, 4, 7, 8

Seoul Race 9: Class 1 (2000M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

(6) CHEONGDAM DOKKI has been one of Korea’s best racehorses for several seasons and is still in form. Disregard his last start when back in distance to 1400M and up against some super one-turn horses, but instead on his two-turn form. He has won two out of his last three at 1800M, carrying 60kg in both. Doubt may have been sowed by that April defeat to the extent that he may not even start as favourite, but his class can see him through here. If he does get turned over then (1) LIL’ PATRON perhaps has the best chance. He was a last start 2nd at this distance in a good time and performs best when handily placed which should be assisted by the inside barrier. (4) HEUNGHAENG JILJU is an up and comer who has won his last two races over 1800M at class 2 level to come up to the elite level for the first time. The likes of Cheongdam Dokki is a different prospect but he comes down in weight and should measure up to the majority of this field. (7) WONDERFUL EVIL may sneak a place based on recent 1800M form including a huge class 2 win on a good time. He wasn’t disgraced first-up in class 1 either.

Selections(6) Cheongdam Dokki (1) Lil’ Patron (4) Heunghaeng Jilju (7) Wonderful Evil
Next Best11, 10
Fast Start4, 7, 6, 11

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 17)

The behind closed doors meeting at Seoul on Saturday is a reasonably decent card with 9 races from 11:00 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Been a stormy week

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

Wide open race to begin with but two last start winners have an excellent chance of repeating. We’ll side with likely favourite (9) ECTON JILJU, who made all for a sharp win over 1000M at start number three on June 6th. It’s true that he weakened in his first two outings, which were both over today’s distance, but he looks to have come on since then and with another good start, he can go all the way again. (11) JUMALUI SIJAK took five attempts to get her maiden win and it too came over 1000M. She has come from off the pace in her races so far so the wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and she get in at a nice weight here under a good apprentice. (3) ROSEDAY MARINE has a 2nd place to her name and from a good draw should be on pace once more with claims on a place. In a race with not much depth, the first-timers should be in with a shout too, in particular (5) LUCKY THUNDER who ran well for 2nd in a useful time in a trial in late April. It’s taken him a while to get to the races but a similar run to the trial should put him close.

Selections(9) Ecton Jilju (11) Jumalui Sijak (3) Roseday Marine (5) Lucky Thunder
Next Best1, 10
Fast Start3, 8, 9, 11

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies and mares only here and trying to catch one in form won’t be easy. (10) SPEED FLYING is at least consistent and while she is yet to win, she has finished in the top five on nine of thirteen occasions so far. She has registered good times at the distance, carries a light weight, and shouldn’t be troubled too much by the wide draw. We’ll take a chance on her. The probable favourite is (4) EUNHYE PADO, a status earned by a good 4th last start over 1400M when she sat handy from gate nine and then ran on fairly. In other recent starts she had been getting too far back, but she gets her best draw for a long time today and can make it count. (12) HAPPY MONTH has a strong finish on her and if she can keep out of trouble from the wide gate, she should be coming home strong with placing chances. (7) HIT ACE is another in the solid but unspectacular mold and that may be enough to see her challenging for some minor money here.

Selections(10) Speed Flying (4) Eunhye Pado (12) Happy Month (7) Hit Ace
Next Best6, 9
Fast Start3, 5, 7, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

Quite a strong race for the level. (6) LUMINOUS QUEEN is up in class after running 2nd on debut over 1000M before making all to strike easily over 1200M second-up on June 12th. She comes up slightly in trip here but is nicely drawn to be on pace again and she may take some beating. (3) ULTRA KING got his maiden win three starts back over 1400M. He’s been on pace in his subsequent two appearances at this level, both at that same distance and has weakened to 5th and 4th. He drops back slightly in trip today and with Munro aboard can challenge. So can (4) VYING BLADE. He was beaten by Ultra King last time but draws better today and should be going close. (10) GANGSEO PRINCESS has a great start on her but will need to overcome the wide draw to get to her favoured position. (1) FORT SEUONE another in the placing frame.

Selections(6) Luminous Queen (3) Ultra King (4) Vying Blade (10) Gangseo Princess
Next Best1, 8
Fast Start1, 6, 8, 10

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million

(4) FASHIONED PASSION put in a disappointing performance when well supported over 1400M on June 12th. Her jockey that day – whose services are not engaged this time – stated that he felt the distance did not agree with her and that she is better at shorter. Well, she goes back in trip today to a distance she won well at two starts back at this class when she settled back from a very wide draw and ran on strongly. She is favoured to return to the winner’s circle today. Instead, her last start jockey gets on (5) DONGJIN CHOEGANG and he is set to be the main danger. He won his opening two races, both at this distance, in fine but contrasting styles before struggling a little at this class over 1400M. He too, should appreciate the step back in trip. We will acknowledge but ignore the potential clue about which one Moon Se Young rides, while accepting it may come back to bite us as Dongjin Choegang does look to have more wins in him. (8) RAON THE TIGER is up in class after a front-running win over 1300M on June 13th. That win had been coming and we can expect him to be on pace or handy here and to be competitive in the finish. (1) ILGYEOK PILSAL comes up in class despite being winless so far but gets in under a nice weight and from the inside gate may sneak a place.

Selections(4) Fashioned Passion (5) Dongjin Choegang (8) Raon The Tiger (1) Ilgyeok Pilsal
Next Best9, 11
Fast Start6, 8, 9, 12

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million

(3) RAON PINK will be one of the biggest favourites of the day and she’s hard to oppose having won her latest two starts at 1300M and 1400M in good order, making all in one and sitting on the pace behind the leader in the other before proving too strong late on. The latest of those wins was at this class, the step back in trip is no issue, and she should be leading gate to wire again. (1) COBRA BALL returned from five months off to win easily with an all the way showing over this distance on June 12th. He is up in class but comes down in the weights and draws very nicely. He’ll be on pace too and looks the only credible threat. The rest are not convincing. (2) KING OF SUNDAY ran well for 4th place at class and distance at his last start a month ago, running on from midfield and a similar run should put him in placing contention today. (6) MONEY SIJANG is rarely too far away and is another who should be doing her best work late on.

(more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 16)

With restrictions being scaled up, racing has had to scale back and every card over the coming weekend has lost one race. That means there are now 6 races at Busan on Friday and Sunday and 9 races at Seoul on both Saturday and Saturday. The attendance cap at Busan, which was 50% of capacity last week, has been cut at the government’s order to 30%. This week has seen the shutdown of the professional baseball season due to Covid cases, primarily among the NC Dinos (it was going to take a hiatus for the Olympics anyway from next week), as well as an outbreak among Seongnam FC players in the K-League which, while the football league will continue, will see that team on the sidelines for at least three weeks. All sports in Korea continues to walk walk a tightrope. Anyway, Busan’s Friday card has 6 races from 13:25 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

This picture must be ten years old now.

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

Maiden juveniles go around here for a big prize and eleven of the twelve race for the very first time. The likely favourite is (6) YEONGGWANGUILEGEND. The Concord Point colt made all when winning his trial in a fast time at the end of May. It’s worth noting that while the going was “dry” that day, all three trials ended up being fast, but nevertheless, there were experienced horses behind him and if he brings that form to the races, he should have too much for this field. (9) MENI AGAIN finished just a neck back in 2nd in the same trial and accordingly warrants consideration. She was close to the pace in the heat and is set to be one of the primary dangers here. (2) MISS GO was a trial winner just two weeks ago when she settled on the pace and then ran on to finish on front of set of experienced runners. It’s a top trainer and jockey combination and she too will have plenty of backers first-up. The only entry with prior racing experience is (11) INDY CHOICE. She trialed up in May running 2nd to a filly who has gone on to win her first two races (Miss Indie). Indy Choice was 4th on her own debut briefly striking the front in the straight over 1000M. The experience should be beneficial here.

Selections(6) Yeonngwanguilegend (9) Meni Again (2) Miss Go (11) Indy Choice
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 11

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

Fillies only here. (8) MUSIC BOX looks ready to win. She ran 2nd on debut over 1000M when she settled back and ran on strong and was then 3rd on her re-appearance at 1300M on June 26th, this time racing close to the pace. She should have come on for those runs and today can be her day. (12) STARLIGHT races for the first time since beating Music Box when winning at start number three over 1000M on May 22nd. She led most of the way around that day but while the draw is not in her favour here and there is also the question mark over the additional furlong but she has every chance of going well. (7) D’LOVELY QUEEN also has a slight question over the distance but she has certainly shown a nice turn of foot in two races over 1000M. She was beaten by Starlight and Music Box on debut but showed improvement second-up when she was on pace throughout and eventually finished 2nd on June 19th. She’ll aim for the front again. (10) SONHADOR is the better looking of two first-time starters. She came from off the pace to win a trial in June in a decent time, beating Seobu Cat, who is a genuine class 1 sprinter (albeit it an admittedly dawdling Seobu Cat who might as well have been reading the newspaper or checking his phone for how much effort he put in, while Sonhador was asked for plenty). The distance today should suit and this looks a nice race to debut in.

Selections(8) Music Box (12) Starlight (7) D’Lovely Queen (10) Sonhador
Next Best5, 9
Fast Start5, 7, 8, 12

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

Two up in class looks set to duel for this one. (8) KING ALLIE registered a win and a 3rd in two class 6 appearances, both over 1000M and both when racing on pace. She goes here for the first time since May when she was beaten by Starlight and Music Box, who went in race 2, but she comes down slightly in the weights here and with Seo Seung-un climbing aboard looks to have every chance. (1) SKY MORE will have no issues about the distance, having taken a gutsy narrow victory last start over 1300M. He still looks a little green but is out of an Oaks winner and draws much better today which should give You Hyun-myung plenty of options. He is right in this. (6) MAN OF THE WORLD remains a maiden after fifteen attempts but he has had plenty of near-misses. He comes in fresh after eight weeks out and is well drawn to get on to the pace here. Another maiden is (4) DOCTOR FAITH. He comes up in class after a runner-up and three 3rd place finishes at class 6 level but he has been beaten by some promising horses and has run some competitive times. There is no reason why he can’t be challenging here.

Selections(8) King Allie (1) Sky More (6) Man Of The World (4) Doctor Faith
Next Best10, 12
Fast Start6, 8, 11, 12

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million

Tricky race this. (7) DOCTOR FASHION is the slight pick. He has never finished worse than 5th in seven outings to date and is a winner at this distance in a fast time at class 5 level. His latest two outings have been at 1200M with a win and then a slightly disappointing 5th when he led only to weaken late on. He looks nicely in here and can return to the winner’s circle most likely aiming to lead all the way. The danger is (5) QUATTRO MAX. The Oxbow colt was slightly slowly away last time out at class and distance on June 20th but quickly made his way to the front and didn’t look back, running on to win in a time faster than any of his rivals here have recorded at this distance. He does come up 3kg in the weights but draws well and has claims again. (12) GEUMA PSYCHIC beat Quattro Max two starts back when winning over 1200M before running a distant 2nd to the very good Yeongung Louis. He comes up in trip here and can be a factor despite the wide draw. (4) TUHONUI BANSEOK looks an improving type who came from well off the pace to flash home for a close 2nd place over 1200M last time out and looks ready to tackle this distance again.

Selections(7) Doctor Fashion (5) Quattro Max (12) Geuma Psychic (4) Tuhonui Banseok
Next Best9, 1
Fast Start7, 8, 9, 12

Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

After running 2nd on debut, (6) GODDESS MOON has won six in a row with various degrees of ease. She fairly bolted up when making all over a mile to score by a full eight-lengths at her latest start on June 6th and while up in class today, she comes down to carry a feather-weight of 51.5kg and she should be winning again. There is one danger though. (2) TOP FIRE is also up in class and carrying very little on his back. He has run consistently fast times at this distance and was very good winner last time out. There is perhaps more scope for improvement from Goddess Moon but Top Fire should give her a decent test and it isn’t beyond the bounds of possibility that he could win. (1) ILNYEOM TONGCHEON had a poor day at the office last time out but has consistently run good times. He steps up to a mile for the first time and has placing claims. Also with claims to hit the board is (10) ROYAL TICKET. He too comes up in trip today but was a strong 3rd over 1400M last start at this class.

Selections(6) Goddess Moon (2) Top Fire (1) Ilnyeom Tongcheon (10) Royal Ticket
Next Best11, 3
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 6

Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

(4) MR. INDIE is rapidly up in class having won twice at class 6 level and then been runner-up twice at class 5. He was a beaten odds-on favourite in both those latest two starts but he despite the rise in grade, he is well worth another go today. He has experience of this distance already, and acquitted himself well in a good time, and has proven himself able to run well from the front or from behind. He comes down in the weights and from a very good draw he should be hard to beat. (5) GREAT DANCE also comes up in class after a strong of consistent performances at class 5 level even though he managed to dodge the winner’s circle. He runs best when just behind the early speed and was 3rd to Mr. Indie’s 2nd at this distance two starts back. (10) PINEUI KKUM is a danger He tackles two turns for the first time but has won at this class over a mile. He too has proven able to both lead and run on so the wide draw may not be too detrimental to his chances although he does have to contend with 57kg. (7) JEONGSU SIDAE has a lot of experience at this class and while he doesn’t win out of turn, he recorded a fast time when 2nd at this distance to Doctor Fappiano at his latest start on June 19th and can go close here again.

Selections(4) Mr. Indie (5) Great Dance (10) Pineui Kkum (7) Jeongsu Sidae
Next Best1, 8
Fast Start4, 7, 8, 9

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
(more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 10)

It never ends, does it? With Covid new case numbers in Korea reaching a record high on a daily basis (although still low by global standards), Seoul and the wider metropolitan region has moved into “Level 4” of the revised social distancing guidelines. This means that no customers will be permitted at Seoul Racecourse or in the capital area’s OCBs for the foreseeable future. While Busan remains open for the time being, it seems inevitable that there will be further changes to the racing schedule for July, the basis of which, with race numbers and even prize money returning to something approaching normal levels, was made with Seoul being able to admit at least 30% capacity from last weekend. This has now been completely blown up. For now though, racing continues according to plan and Saturday’s races are at Seoul with 10 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews for what is a challenging card:

Seoul Racecourse had been prepared to accept up to 50% of capacity.

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

Tricky little maiden for two and three-year-olds to start with in which plenty have potential winning claims. The narrow top pick is (3) ARAK TO WIN. True, her best performances so far have been at 1000M while she is yet to impress in two tries at today’s distance, but the manner of her 2nd place last start where after sitting in midfield she finished off very nicely. She was a long way behind the winner, a filly who has gone on to score again since, but Kim Yon-geun remains aboard and from a nice gate she could make the breakthrough here. (8) FLYING VICTOR showed good improvement when 2nd on what was his first start since last August. He too was well beaten by a good winner but should have come on fitness wise for that run and has every chance here. So too (1) GREAT THUNDER who has a 3rd and a 5th in two outings so far as well as the fastest time of any of these for the distance. From gate one, he will surely be on the lead and may be hard to get past. There are two debut-makers and both look to have promise. (7) BYEOLBIT MARU was the marginally more impressive in trials but (2) WONDERFUL SAM also looked competent and both can go well first up.

Selections(3) Arak To Win (8) Flying Victor (1) Great Thunder (7) Byeolbit Maru
Next Best2, 11
Fast Start1, 5, 9, 11

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million

The second division of the maiden for two and three-year-olds. Again it’s competitive but (3) WONDERFUL TYCOON gets the nod. He ran 4th on debut in what was a slow race at this distance before finishing 3rd to Aqua Punch, who has gone on to win again, over 1300M on June 6th. Both times he has sat in mid-division before running on well and he can take top spot today. The main danger is (4) JEONGSEONG DAERO. On debut on June 12th she sat in the middle of the pack before running on strong for 3rd place over 1000M in a decent time. The additional furlong may well suit and she will be a threat. Also stepping up in trip after a promising debut over 1000M is (2) MAGIC JUNIOR. He settled handy and stuck to his task well and he will be expected to make the running today with solid claims to stay on for the finish. There are four first-time starters and among them (10) GEOSEN GISANG went through two trials showing on the pace in both and posting solid times. Munro is on board and she can go well first up.

Selections(3) Wonderful Tycoon (4) Jeongseong Daero (10) Geosen Gisang (2) Magic Junior
Next Best1, 9
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 10

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

This maiden is open to older horses but it’s just as competitive as the previous ones. (5) TELOS mixes her form but we can give her a pass on her latest effort at 1200M when she drew the widest gate and used up a lot of energy getting to her favoured position before weakening. Instead we can go on her performance two starts back at this distance when she again drew wide but had an easier time of it getting to the front and led until the closing stages, ultimately finishing 3rd. She draws much better today which gives her a chance of getting a soft lead and she can go all the way. (2) CURRERECUS has been consistent across his eight starts to date. He has a strong finish on him compared with most of these and if Park Hyun-woo can have him in a good position turning for home then he will be in the finish. (1) GOLD SPIKE has a similar style of running. Although yet to record a top three finish he generally doesn’t miss by much and should be aiming for a best to date placing today. (8) VIKING HEART looks to be on the proper trajectory with an improved 4th last time out which he can build on today.

Selections(5) Telos (2) Currerecus (1) Gold Spike (8) Viking Heart
Next Best12, 4
Fast Start5, 7, 10, 12

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

(1) ROCK FIGHTER won back to back races at class 6 level in March and May, both at this distance and in competitive times. For his first try at this level on June 12th. He dropped back to 1200M and ran well, settling in midfield and running on strong, briefly getting up to 2nd in the straight before finishing 3rd. From the inside gate expect to see him on speed here and if he is at his best, he should be too good. (6) MOST SPEED has run 2nd in both her attempts at this trip so far including at her latest start when she was on pace throughout. From a decent draw expect her to challenge for the early lead again and she should still be there at the business end of the race. Kim A-hyun’s 4kg claim brings (11) NINE EYE right into this. Yet to win in ten attempts, he has finished as runner-up on no fewer than ten occasions although at his latest start he had to settle for 3rd when stepped up to 1700M. He rarely runs a bad race and is tactically versatile and he should be on the board again here. (5) JOYFUL K struggled from a wide gate on his first try at this class over 1200M last start. The time before he was successful at this distance in a fast time at class 6 level and is worth another chance here.

Selections(1) Rock Fighter (6) Most Speed (11) Nine Eye (5) Joyful K
Next Best2, 8
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 7
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