2019 Keeneland Korea Cup & Sprint Day: Race-By-Race Preview (September 8)

Seoul Racecourse got off quite lightly from Typhoon Lingling which swept up the coast of Korea on Saturday. No races on the 13-race card were affected and everything is now set for the running of the 2019 Keeneland Korea Cup and Korea Sprint on Sunday. There are 10 races at Seoul on Sunday from 10:45 to 18:00 while there are also 6 at Busan from 12:35 to 17:30. Here is the race-by-race preview, including the Cup and Sprint:

cup

Seoul Race 1: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A really competitive handicap to open with. (12) BAEKSANG ran well for 4th last start over 1300M, leading for much of the way before weakening late on. He drops back to the minimum distance today and while he needs to overcome the widest gate, he has a chance. (5) FEDERAL CAT beat Baeksang when the pair came home 3rd and 4th over 1300M in July before Baeksang returned the favour a month later. Federal cat can come from just behind the early pace and finish strongly here. (8) HIGH BEAT and (3) DRAGON BOAT finished 4th and 6th when racing each other at this distance a month ago and both should be in the frame today. (9) CAMP BADA looks best of the rest.

Selections (5) Federal Cat (12) Baeksang (3) Dragon Boat (8) High Beat
Next Best 6, 9
Fast Start 3, 9, 11, 12

Seoul Race 2:  Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Juvenile maidens here with six of the twelve having raced before. The pick is (8) LION YEOJE, who ran a good 3rd on debut on August 18th having previously looked good in a trial. He’ll settle steadily and run on here. (11) WILD KINGDOM also managed 3rd on debut at the end of July and while it was at 1300M and he was a long way back, he can be a factor today. (2) DANGCHAN BARAM did nothing wrong when running 6th in a decent time on her first try and she can build on it here. Among the first timers, (4) RAON TAP MAN and (5) ROCK LINE looked best in trials.

Selections (8) Lion Yeoje (2) Dangchan Baram (11) Wild Kingdom (4) Raon Tap Man
Next Best 5, 3
Fast Start 2, 4, 6, 11, 12

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

(8) ROYAL SMARTY has registered back to back 3rd place finishes since being promoted to this class following a maiden score in June. Both those have been over 1700M, so he drops back in trip but looks right in the mix here. (7) LOVE RACE has run well in two starts back after a four-month layoff and should be close by while (11) PRIME QUEEN was below par last start at 1000M but can be given another chance today. (1) HUIMANG STAR and (5) DAECHEON HERO are others in at least the placing frame.

 

Selections (8) Royal Smarty (7) Love Race (11) Prime Queen (1) Huimang Star
Next Best 5, 4
Fast Start 5, 6, 7, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(12) GOLD LEVEL beat three of these on her way to 3rd place over 1300M three weeks ago. She steps up to racing around two turns for the first time today and it could well suit. (3) CHEONI AEGA too goes up in trip after a couple of promising displays at shorter. She’s run on well each time and the additional distance can be in her favour. (7) WIND SKY was one of those behind Gold Level last start and similarly may find the extra furlongs to his benefit. Among those who have raced at this distance already, (4) PUER SPES has a 3rd and a 4th at it and should be looking to match those today. (1) IRON HEART looks best of the rest.

Selections (12) Gold Level (3) Cheonji Aega (4) Puer Spes (7) Wind Sky
Next Best 1, 10
Fast Start 7, 8, 10, 11

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

It’s been a while since (5) LIVINGSTONE’s solitary win but he’s had a string of near misses and comes in following a runner-up finish behind the promising Dokdo Ya at this distance on August 11th. He likes to lead, and this time may not be caught late on. (1) DAECHEON ACE ran 3rd behind Livingstone last start and while he has nine-lengths to make up on that performance, he is one of the main dangers here. A more credible threat though is (10) VICTORY KING, beaten by Livingstone two starts back but a very good class and distance 2nd on his latest outing. (6) MENI SMART and (9) RAON DOLPUNG are others in at least the placing frame.

Selections (5) Livingstone (10) Victory King (6) Meni Smart (1) Daecheon Ace
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 2, 3, 5,6

Busan Race 2: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million 

Very competitive race. (9) EURO SHINHWA Is the very slight pick having beaten a couple of these on his was to a fast win over the distance at domestic class 4 at the beginning of August. He doesn’t need to lead from the start so the wide draw is not a concern and he can finish strongly. (7) YEONGGWANGUICHEON beat Euro Shinhwa when winning over this distance at class 5 in June and while he has been a touch below expectations in two starts since, can be a threat today. (8) YEONGSEONG STAR is another who has beaten Euro Shinhwa recently and should be better back at the minimum trip today. (3) HALLA HWANGHU and (5) RISING BOY are others to take into account.

Selections (9) Euro Shinhwa (8) Yeongseong Star (7) Yeonggwanguicheon (3) Halla Hwanghu
Next Best 5, 6
Fast Start 3, 4, 7, 8

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Another wildly competitive affair. (7) JEONGSANG STAR has won her latest two, the latter a dead-heat, to be rapidly promoted to this level. She’ll be competitive here, but this is significantly tougher, and others are favoured. (4) GEOM HYANG also found herself up at this class after back to back wins and ran a good 5th on her first crack at it on August 11th with the margins narrow. She can go very close today. So can (5) I.B.S.QUEEN. She has plenty of experience at this level and comes in following a solid 3rd place over 1000M three weeks ago. She’ll be on pace here. (9) SEMYEONG GISANG was a four-length winner over 1300M at this class on July 7th and while he carries significantly more weight today, he warrants respect. (2) GULCHARMNAMUSUP looks best of the rest.

Selections (5) I.B.S.Queen (4) Geom Hyang (7) Jeongsang Star (9) Semyeong Gisang
Next Best 2, 10
Fast Start 5, 9, 10, 11

Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) POWER AMAZING beat a couple of these on his way to 3rd place over 1800M on August 16th.  He’s back to a mile today, a distance he has won at before, he should be on speed from the inside gate, and he can win. (8) BOBAE DREAM ran 4th, just a length and a half behind Power Amazing in that race. She too goes well at a mile and is firmly in the hunt here. (9) SINBIHAN YEOIN tackles the distance for the first time following a good win over 1300M three weeks ago. (6) YEONGGWANGUI FIGHT was 3rd in that race and both look competitive in this company.

Selections (1) Power Amazing (8) Bobae Dream (9) Sinbihan Yeoin  (6) Yeonggwangui Fight
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 1, 3, 4

Seoul Race 7: Class Open (1200M) Weight for Age – The Korea Sprint / KRW 1 Billion

A full field of sixteen will line up in what is expected to be a very wet Seoul track to tackle the 1200M of the Sprint. Hong Kong’s SUPER JOCKEY won the inaugural race in 2016 while the Japanese pair of GRACEFUL LEAP and MOANIN took the honours in 2017 and 2018 respectively. There are no Japanese runners this time around and while Hong Kong does return, this looks the best chance yet for the locals to notch a win.

Six internationals are out to stop them. (5) HOLY LEGAL is the first overseas filly or mare to participate in the race. She’s spent most of her career racing in South America but has more than held her own since relocating to the USA. She has a blistering turn of foot and her experience on track surfaces similar to Seoul’s may help her here.

(3) FAST PASS has shipped in looking very well and is a prolific winner. Like Holy Legal, he can come from off the pace, he’s drawn well, and they will certainly be going quick up (more…)

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 7)

It’s the Eve of the 2019 Keeneland Korea Cup & Korea Sprint and ten overseas-trained horses are at Seoul for Sunday’s big races. Saturday’s warm-up program sees 13 races scheduled from 10:45 to 18:00 including valuable trophy exchange races. There is of course the specter of Typhoon Lingling that is set to skirt the South Korean coastline not far from Seoul during the afternoon. In hope, rather than expectation, here are the previews:

Monsoon

Scenes like this on Saturday would be considered a lucky outcome…

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(12) BLADE STORM ran five times around the turn of the year registering a couple of 3rd place finishes in the process. He’s not been seen since March but trialled well in August and looks set to go well first up here. (9) JANGSU NABOM was an improved runner-up on what was just his second career start in July and can continue to make progress here while (11) CHOEGANG CAMP also showed some improvement when retuning five months after his debut in August. (5) J.S. POWER should be on pace early and can hold on for some money while (7) HAE SAEM CHAN looks best of the rest.

Selections (12) Blade Storm (9) Jangsu Nabom (11) Choegang Camp (5) J.S. Power
Next Best 7, 6
Fast Start 4, 5, 9

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

Juvenile maidens with just three of the twelve having raced before. One of those three, (2) WINNER BLUE, did rather well on debut running a good 3rd over this distance on August 10th. He’ll be expected to be on speed here and can win. The dangers are the first-timers, principally (7) GEOSEON JILJU. He was just beaten a head in a good trial a month ago with a couple of these well back down the track behind him. Top jockey on ang big chance. (6) DANAEUN SUCCESS also went well his trial, as did (11) COMPLETE CAPTAIN and (12) BAEKDUSAN CHEONJI. As ever, watch the market.

Selections (2) Winner Blue (7) Geoseon Jilju (6) Danaeun Success (11) Complete Captain
Next Best 12, 4
Fast Start 2, 7

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) OUR SIMON raced a couple of times without distinction last December and this March before finally returning to trial in August. She looked much better on her return, trialling well and will be expected to run well first-up today. (7) ARASHI and (8) GEUM NORAE were both significantly improved runners-up in their respective latest outings and both can go close here. The former ran on well after a poor start last start while Geum Norae’s improvement was attributed by his stable to his manners improving. (9) RAPIDO BOLT did nothing too wrong when 4th on debut in July and can build on it here while (10) CHEONNYEONUI GODO looks best of the rest.

Selections (2) Our Simon (8) Geum Norae (7) Arashi (9) Rapido Bolt
Next Best 10, 12
Fast Start 2, 8

Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(8) BISAYEON is up in class having been an eye-catching eight-length winner, making all over 1200M at the end of June. He’s had a couple of months off since and drops back in distance here but is firmly in the hunt. (1) UTGE HAEJULGE didn’t have the best of trips when running 5th last start, his first at this class, and he can be given another chance today. (11) GEUM ROYAL comes in after a useful runner-up finish at class and distance and won’t need much improvement to be in the mix here. (12) AN MOK HANG was a solid maiden winner a month ago and while up in class today, is another who should be competitive.

Selections (8) Bisayeon (1) Utge Haejulge (11) Geum Royal (12) An Mok Hang
Next Best 5, 10
Fast Start 1, 2, 5

Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Eight previously unraced imported juveniles go around here. Favourite will be (3) BRAVE QUEEN, a Khozan filly who won her trial by a full ten-lengths a month ago. She’ll be expected to be on pace from the start and lead all the way. (5) CHARLIE STYLE also won his trial, albeit in slightly less emphatic fashion, beating a couple of these in the process and he looks to be the main danger. (6) SUN FO RE was 2nd on that trial, four-lengths back but looked competent enough. (4) MUNHAK KING and (7) GLOBAL ACE others who caught the eye in trials.

Selections (3) Brave Queen (5) Charlie Style (4) Munhak King (7) Global Ace
Next Best 6, 1
Fast Start 3

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

(2) CHOIN GANGJA will be hot favourite for this. After winning on debut, he was beaten into 2nd when favourite for his first try at this class at the end of July. While he probably wouldn’t have beaten the winner anyway, he made a bad start but ran on well and today should make no mistake. (1) TAEPUNG EYES has proven consistent at this level and should be aiming for a place while (4) MISSILE CANDY was just beaten a neck at class and distance last start and should be close again. (9) COILRO was never involved after getting crowded at the start on his latest appearance but should improve here. (11) P.K. (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 6)

The Korea Cup & Sprint are the main events this weekend but the weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with a big 12-race card from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Busan World Sun

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

(2) AMORIS ran an improved 2nd at this distance last start, running on well and beaten three-lengths by a good winner. He’ll be one of a number on pace here and looks the most likely winner. (10) HANSEN MULGYEOL ran encouragingly for 6th on debut three weeks ago and looks to have potential for improvement here while (6) SHINING EYE also did nothing too wrong on her first outing in July and can also make progress today. (9) BEAUTIFUL KOREA and (12) DALGI are others in the frame.

Selections (2) Amoris (10) Hansen Mulgyeol (9) Beautiful Korea (12) Dalgi
Next Best 6, 7
Fast Start 2, 5, 9, 10, 12

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(4) WORLD SLAM ran a good 3rd last start, coming from off the pace to record a career-best finish. He’ll go back again today and could be the one to beat. He may though leave himself too much to do, in which case (2) MYEONGGA DAERO can be the one to take advantage. He’s never finished any better than 4th but has been knocking on the door of the places for some time and could breakthrough here. He’ll be on pace with (11) BORYEONG HWANHO, another who comes in off the back of a useful 4th on a wet track just two weeks ago. (7) CHARGE POWER and (8) PERFECT BULPAE are others who can aim for the places.

Selections (4) World Slam (2) Myeongga Daero (11) Boryeong Hwanho (8) Perfect Bulpae
Next Best 7, 3
Fast Start 2, 3, 11, 12

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

Juvenile maidens with four of the nine having raced before. Among those, (5) CAPTAIN STEALTH is the only one to have raced twice and he’s shown some ability running 4th and 3rd, both at this distance. He can go one better today. (6) YEONGGWANGUI START finished 4th on debut, one place behind Captain Stealth on August 3rd and he could be the main danger here. (2) HANBIT TAEYANG was 5th in the same race and he too can improve. (7) CENTUM BEONGAE weakened on his first start three weeks ago but the came off the back of a good trial and he can be given another chance here. Among the first-timers, (8) ECHO WHITE looks the pick.

Selections (5) Captain Stealth (8) Echo White (6) Yeonggwangui Start (7) Centum Beongae
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 2, 5, 6, 7

Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens. (8) FIRST STAR ran a good 2nd on debut on August 3rd. In the process, he beat three of those we saw in race 3 so that race could serve as a good indication of his prospects here. (5) DAEJI JARANG was an improved 2nd on what was his second start on August 16th, running on well and he’s likely to be the main danger. Among the debut-makers, (2) BANJIUI MAGIC was the fastest in trials, while both (3) RAON YEOGEOL and (4) FUTURE KING also put in useful performances. As ever, watch the market for clues with the newcomers.

Selections (8) First Star (5) Daeji Jarang (2) Banjiui Magic (3) Raon Yeogeol
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 3, 5, 7, 8

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

(2) NEW QUEEN may be a maiden, but she has finished no worse than 4th in any of her latest eight outings. She should maintain that record today and she may even start as favourite but of course, it is possible that she will probably find one or two too quick. (6) HAPPY AGAIN is up in class having registered her maiden win at the fourth attempt with a three-lengths score over this distance on August 18th. She’ll join New Queen on pace early and could win again. (5) SERENDIPITER is a thirty-two-race maiden but has proven capable of finding the money against this kind of company. (3) JIGURYEOK PALPAL and (9) TITLE CODE are others who can go close.

Selections (2) New Queen (6) Happy Again (5) Serendipiter (9) Title Code
Next Best 3, 11
Fast Start 2, 6, 8, 10

Race 6: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) ROYAL TICKET beat four of these on his way to 2nd place at class and distance on August 4th. He led pretty much the whole way around but got caught late on and had to settle for his third runner-up finish in eight starts. He may not lead early today but looks the pick here. (6) ONNURI GANGJA was sent off favourite that day, which is some going for what was a fifty-five-race maiden. He’s still a maiden having finished 4th on that race and then 3rd when re-appearing two weeks ago. He’s a consistent money winner and should at least place again here. (4) TWO TWO CAPTAIN struggled a little on his first try at this class three weeks ago but has won at this distance before and can be considered. (3) URANUS J and the up in class (10) MARK ONE are others who look capable.

Selections (5) Royal Ticket (6) Onnuri Gangja (3) Uranus J (10) Mark One
Next Best 4, 2
Fast Start 7, 10, 11

Race 7: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(11) TOHAM STAR has run 2nd in both his starts at this class following a maiden win on a wet track back in June. Both times he’s run to form, being beaten by good winners and today should be his day. (4) MABEOP CHEOREOM ran a really good class and distance 2nd last start on August 18th. That was her third runner-up finish and she looks to be the biggest danger here. (1) LOVE LETTER had a poor day at the office last time but was going well prior to that and can be given another chance here. (2) VIP KING and (8) THUNDER STRUCK are others who were a bit below par on their respective latest appearances but who can be better today.

Selections (11) Toham Star (4) Mabeop Cheoreom (1) Love Letter (8) Thunder Struck
Next Best 2, 6
Fast Start 7, 10, 11

Race 8: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) WONDERFUL LION ran a good 3rd behind the excellent Mr. Afleet at class and distance on August 3rd. She’s two starts into a comeback following seven months out and was 2nd on her return. She’s led both times, can do the same today and this time can win. (9) SEONGSAN POWER comes in following a good 2nd at class and distance three weeks ago and can be a danger here while (5) WONDERFUL TALE is up in class following an all the way win over this distance in a fast time a month ago and has every chance of following up. (7) WONDERFUL STORY returns from a six-month layoff and looked sharp when winning a trial two weeks ago. (8) TIME SPEC another who can go well on his day and who should be in at least the placing hunt. It should be a wonderful race.

Selections (1) Wonderful Lion (8) Time Spec (5) Wonderful Tale (7) Wonderful Story.
Next Best 9, 4
Fast Start 1, 4, 5

Race 9: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

There is one first-time starter among the eight who go here, and he could well be the winner. (6) KING OF BOSS is a four-year-old, who first started to trial eighteen months ago. He finally makes it to the track having successfully come through a good trial three weeks ago and he could well be worth the weight. He faces plenty of experience, including (1) SMILE FACTOR, a winner over 1200M last time out and a likely pace-setter here. (4) RETURN OF SUBSIDY returns for the first time since March and looked competent enough in a recent trial while (7) FINE TRUMPET is much better than his latest start – in much tougher company than this – suggests. (2) YEONGUNG ILGI is another who can go well.

Selections (6) King Of Boss (4) Return Of Subsidy (1) Smile Factor (7) Fine Trumpet
Next Best 2, 3
Fast Start 1, 8

Race 10: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) SANGSEUNG POWER is up in class following a good win over 1300M on August 18th. That win had been coming and he seems on an upward trajectory that could see him to another victory here. (5) KING LION beat a couple of these on his way to 3rd place over 1000M a month ago. That was first-up following seven months out and he can continue to make progress today. (6) QUICK MOVE and (7) BUGYEONG STORY are both slightly better than recent form would suggest sand they can begin to turn things around here. (10) DAEHO JILJU similarly hasn’t found it easy in two starts at this level so far but can get better today.

Selections (3) Sangseung Power (5) King Lion (10) Daeho Jilju (6) Quick Move
Next Best 7, 9
Fast Start 1, 2, 11

Race 11: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(10) SEOBU CAT has finished no worse than 2nd in seven starts so far, with three of them ending in the winner’s circle. He was runner-up on his latest outing when odds-on favourite on his first try at both class and distance, leading until late on. This time he should be in front again and should stay there. (1) CAPTAIN GUY looks to be the principle threat dropping back in trip after a slid 3rd over 1800M last time and very capable at this level. (4) CHEONNYEONUI GANG was an improved 4th last start and can continue to improve here while (2) U S MAN and (6) QUEEN OF CAPTAIN, the latter up in class, are others who can figure.

Selections (10) Seobu Cat (1) Captain Guy (6) Queen Of Captain (4) Cheonnyeonui Gang
Next Best 2, 12
Fast Start 2, 4, 8, 10

Race 12: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

(10) RED CLOUD beat Seobu Cat, who we saw in race 11, at this distance last month to get promoted to this class. He comes in here under a nice light weight as the form horse and he could win again. It won’t be easy though. (2) A PURE GOOD MAN is a class and distance winner and while he has slightly underperformed when carrying significant weight in his latest two, he still has plenty of quality. (3) ROCK HARD SEVEN too has been a little indifferent of late but has plenty of scope to return to form. (1) DARMA ran a good 4th last time out and can aim for a repeat while (4) YEONGCHEON DERBY looks best of the rest.

Selections (10) Red Cloud (2) A Pure Good Man (3) Rock Hard Seven (1) Darma
Next Best 4, 8
Fast Start 2, 4, 6

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 1)

There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. Here are the previews:

Rock Choice Ministers Cup

Minister’s Cup winner Rock Choice will be in action at Busan on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(1) SEUNGNI JEONSEOL was all over the place in her first few starts but has got things together well recently and comes in having finished 2nd in her latest start on August 11th, running on well. She’s the form horse and should be registering her maiden win here. (10) GYEONGGUKJIMA has had an interrupted career but goes well on her day. She’s not got much in the way of speed but may not need to in order to go close here. She got a good 2nd two starts back and can repeat that today. As for the rest, we’re looking for something to step up. (8) MASEONG JILJU has been through three trials since he last raced and could be one. (4) HIT THE PACE, returning from six months out, could be another.

Selections (1) Seungni Jeonseol (10) Gyeonggukjima (8) Maseong Jilju (4) Hit The Pace
Next Best 2, 3
Fast Start 1, 7, 8

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

Juvenile filly maidens here with just three of the twelve having raced before. Of those three, only (11) JEONGSEONG STAR has demonstrated much in the way of ability, running 3rd – albeit ten lengths behind the winner – over 1200M on her second start at the end of July. She can aim to match that here. O the debut makers, (4) DOKBO CHEONHA is half-sister to Captain Blade, who was a precocious youngster before injury ended his career after six wins from ten starts. She won her latest trial in a fast time and is set to be favourite. (2) CHEONDUNG YEOUL is the third foal out of Korean Listed winner Cheoneun and she was similarly impressive when winning a trial, albeit on a wet-assisted track. (5) LUCKY SMILE and (7) SHINY FIRE are others who can debut well.

Selections (4) Dokbo Cheonha (2) Cheondung Yeoul (11) Jeongseong Star (5) Lucky Smile
Next Best 7, 6
Fast Start 2, 3, 4, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

It’s time for (4) YULONG FLYING to make the breakthrough. He’s been knocking on the door for some time and comes in off a good 2nd on a muddy track at this distance at the end of July. He should be a cut above these. (2) ACE WIN has done nothing wrong in two starts so far and can continue to improve here while (11) WONDERFUL PANGPANG disappointed slightly last time out but looked well when winning a trial a couple of weeks ago. (1) PENUNMBRA and (8) WONDERFUL CAT, the latter starting for just the second time, are others who may challenge for the places.

Selections (4) Yulong Flying (2) Ace Win (11) Wonderful Pangpang (1) Penumbra
Next Best 8, 3
Fast Start 1, 3, 4, 11

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

Totally wide-open handicap here with lots coming in off good recent form and potentially ready to win. (9) BLACK PARTY has a 2nd and a 3rd in two starts at this level since getting her maiden win over this distance in March. She’ll look to get on pace here and can win again. (3) HANSEN BAROWS comes in having run a close 2nd over the distance on July 27th, running on well from a wide draw. Expect him to be up with the leaders earlier rom gate 3 and he has a real chance. (1) MYEONGMA JILJU was a touch disappointing when 6th on a very wet track last start but has unlucky not to win the time before at class and distance and should be close here. (2) LUCKY SOCHEON, (11) CHEON GOE SEONG and (4) LAO JIN, the latter specialising in finishing 3rd, are among several others in the hunt.

Selections (3) Hansen Barows (9) Black Party (1) Myeongma Jilju (11) Cheon Goe Seong
Next Best 2, 4, 7
Fast Start 1, 3, 5, 9

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) MENI GRAND has a 4th and a 2nd from two starts so far at this class following back to back wins in April and May which got her rapidly promoted. She’ll be close to the pace here and can go on to win. (9) LUMINESCE comes in with similar form having also been rapidly promoted and also runs at this class for the third time. He was 2nd on his latest outing, also at this distance. He’s very much a front-runner and could prove difficult to get past. (2) DELTA K has recent form reading very positively and can continue that good run here. (1) FOREVER WINNER, who already has a class and distance score to her name, and (6) BUCKETFUL GOLD, up in class after a pair of runner-up finishes, are others in at least the placing frame in what is a competitive race.

Selections (3) Meni Grand (9) Luminesce (6) Bucketful Gold (2) Delta K
Next Best 1, 10
Fast Start 3, 4, 6, 9

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

(4) DONE IT MY is a twenty-six-race maiden but beat a couple of these on his way to 4th place over 1300M on August 4th. He’s a slow starter but has a decent finish on him and will pass horses late on. Will he pass enough, though? If he doesn’t then (2) ULSAN JANGGUN may be one that he fails to reel in. He’s a solid campaigner at this level and should be on pace from the gate here with every chance of sticking on the whole way around. (6) MAJOR PUNCH is up in class having scored her maiden win by half a length at the end of July and looks to have scope for more progress. (3) TIZ JYFUL and (12) MAJOR POWER are others who can go close in a competitive race.

Selections (2) Ulsan Janggun (4) Done It My (6) Major Punch (3) Tiz Joyful
Next Best 12, 9
Fast Start 2, 5

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(9) CALL WIN has been knocking on the door in each of his latest three, beating several of these along the way. He’s taken to this distance very nicely and today ought to be the day he makes his breakthrough. (5) YOUNG STORM also has recent good form over this distance and while he only managed 5th of 8 over 1300M last start, he should be better (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 31)

The internationals have started to arrive for next week’s Korea Cup & Korea Sprint – check out the imposing Lone Sailor stepping out onto the Seoul sand for the first time on Friday afternoon below. He’ll be in his stable while Saturday racing goes on with 12 races from 14:00 to 21:00. It’s the final Saturday of afternoon and evening racing for this summer. Here are the previews:

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Lone Sailor arriving at Seoul on Friday afternoon

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

A filly-only maiden kicks things off. (2) WINNER TEMPLAR was a much-improved 2nd on her second start at this trip on July 27th, beating a couple of these in the process. She came from behind the pace with a strong finish and can do the same today. (9) HWANGGEUM STAR was 3rd that day and can be competitive once more although stronger challenges are expected from (6) VIRTUS, who returned from six months off with a solid 3rd place in June and comes in fresh again here. (1) CHEONEUN JJANG steps up in trip following back to back 3rd place finishes while (5) SUPER VICTOR steps back after a decent showing around 1700M last start and should be in the mix as well.

Selections (2) Winner Templar (6) Virtus (1) Cheoneun Jjang (5) Super Victor
Next Best 9, 3
Fast Start 1, 6, 12

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Weak maiden here. (2) BAEKSAEK GWANGCHAE only managed 5th when sent off at short odds over this distance on July 7th. He’s one of only two in the field to have a runner-up finish to his name though and is probably worth another chance here. The other one is (9) ALL MY QUEEN, who ran 2nd in what was, for a wet track a low time on July 14th. She’ll need to improve. That said, so will everything else. (8) BE ZENITH did nothing much wrong on debut at the end of June and the jockey booking will attract plenty. (3) BACK SPIN and (5) CITY SONGAM others with claims to improve.

Selections (2) Baeksaek Gwangchae (8) Be Zenith (5) City Songam (9) All My Queen
Next Best 3, 11
Fast Start 10, 11, 12

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

Juvenile maidens with just three of the twelve having raced before. None of them have performed with much distinction though so it’s the newcomers that we’ll focus on. (5) BLUE KING didn’t catch the eye in his first trial but was much quicker in a second in early July and if he brings that form to the races, has solid claims first up. (1) K TOP KING is out of a mare who, when she arrived in Korea, was the nation’s most expensive ever imported racehorse. She ran well too, and K Top King looked good when winning a July trial. (10) DAEHAENGIDA also won his heat and may be considered while (8) NOLBU CHEONHA also performed well in the morning trials and should be in the hunt.

Selections (1) K Top King (10) Daehaengida (5) Blue King (8) Nolbu Cheonha
Next Best 9, 2
Fast Start 1, 4, 5, 8, 10

Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens, this time with only two having run before. However, this time, one of those has actually shown ability. After winning a trial in June, (10) RAON BEST MAN ran a very solid 3rd on debut on July 7th and that should be enough to make him a warm favourite here, likely leading all the way. The main danger is (4) HWANGGEUM HAE, who won a trial in a fast time on a sloppy track at the end of last month and looks to have ability. Others who hinted at some talent in the mornings include (1) PUNCH POWER, who won his trial, while (3) GEOMPO and (8) ARARIYO also looked useful.

Selections (10) Raon Best Men (4) Hwanggeum Hae (1) Punch Power (8) Arariyo
Next Best 3, 9
Fast Start 1, 3, 10

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

(7) HWARYONG ran 3rd in a decent class and distance race on August 10th, running on well. That was his second try at this level and looked promising. He’ll probably start favourite here. That doesn’t mean he’ll win though. (1) P.K. GUNJU drops back in trip after a good 3rd over 1300M a month ago and should be dangerous from the inside gate while (6) ROAD WOMAN should also be much better for dropping back in distance today. Both (5) KING OF SUNDAY and (8) HOMECOMING return to action after lengthy spells on the sidelines. Both had previously displayed ability and both trialled up adequately enough leading up to this.

Selections (1) P.K. Gunju (7) Hwaryong (8) Homecoming (5) King Of Sunday
Next Best 6, 12
Fast Start 1, 8, 9

Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) REIGN was an also ran in the Korean Oaks before finishing 4th in the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup in June. She only managed 3rd when sent off the odds-on favourite on her return to shallower waters a month ago but really should be returning to the winner’s circle today. (12) WINNER MOUNTAIN is up in class having registered his maiden victory n his first try at this distance on July 28th. He made all that day and while this is stiffer, he should be very competitive. (4) CHANGSEONG GANGJA demonstrated a sharp uptick in form when beating Reign, among others, at class and distance last time. The form will probably be reversed today but he’ll start much shorter than the 80/1 he (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 30)

The final weekend of evening racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with 9 races from 14:30 to 21:00. Here are the previews:

Busan Illumina

Final night of the light show at Busan

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

Filly maidens to begin with. (3) MS. UP has looked good across three starts so far culminating in 2nd place last time at this distance. She’s well drawn to get on pace here and can make the breakthrough. (1) MISS ADELE will likely join her on the early speed and she steps up in trip for the first time following back to back 3rd place finishes from her first two outings and looks to be the main danger along with (2) ME NOVIA, who has improved over her five outings so far. (4) ACE JACKPOT and (5) BORYEONG JILJU, the latter much improved last time out, are others in the placing hunt.

Selections (3) Ms. Up (2) Me Novia (1) Miss Adele (4) Ace Jackpot
Next Best 5, 11
Fast Start 1, 3

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

Twelve juvenile first-time starters here. (8) BANJIUI JEONSEOL was by some margin the quickest of them in trials and the Hansen colt is set to begin as a warm favourite here. If he brings that trial from to the track, he’ll be hard to beat. Another Hansen colt, the subtly named (10) MR. HANSEN also caught the eye in trials and should go well first up while other solid performers in the morning include (2) OASIS GIRL and (5) I’M YOUR FASHION, both of whom recorded competitive times, while yet another Hansen colt, (9) JEONSEOLUI BULKKOT also did nothing wrong in his heat. As ever with this kind of race, watch the market for more clues.

Selections (8) Banjiui Jeonseol (2) Oasis Girl (10) Mr. Hansen (5) I’m Your Fashion
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 1, 2, 8, 10

Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(6) PAGEUKCHEON steps up in class following a convincing maiden win over this distance on July 26th. He looks to be getting better and with more improvement still in the tank, he can immediately follow-up here. (7) NEOLBEUN GOEUL beat Pageukcheon when they raced each other in early June. He hasn’t found life easy in two starts so far at this class but should be happier today put back down to the minimum distance. (10) TIME TOGETHER beat three of these on his way to 3rd place at class and distance two weeks ago and should beat plenty again. (3) USEUNG JIKIMI is up in class following back to back runner-up finishes but should be competitive. (11) OCEAN GREY looks best of the rest.

Selections (6) Pageukcheon (7) Neolbeun Geoul (10) Time Together (3) Useung Jikimi
Next Best 11, 1
Fast Start 3, 6, 12

Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(5) HORTENSE stepped up to this distance for her third start earlier this month and she seemed to take to it well, beating four of these on her way to a 2nd place finish. She came from off the pace that day and can do the same here, going one better. Of the ones she beat that day, none really caught the eye although (10) ANGEL KING STAR will be expected to improve on what was only his third career start. More credible threats are (9) SUN MOUNTAIN, who tackles a mile for the first time after finding form over 1300M and (8) THUNDER BAY, who has been inconsistent across six efforts to date and also goes over 1600M for the first time. The more experienced (2) BICHUI HOWI is another who (more…)

Round-Up: Cup & Sprint International Runners / Juvenile Winners / Victoire Injury / Seoul Mile Races

It was an eventful weekend of racing in Korea both on and off the track. First up, the selected International Runners for September 8th’s Keeneland Korea Cup & Sprint were announced:

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The ongoing trade dispute between Korea and Japan which has escalated into a full-blown diplomatic crisis over the past few weeks meant that Japan-trained horses were unable to be invited. This is somewhat of a blow to the event as Japanese horses bring high ratings to a race (organizers had spent some months pursuing one Japanese sprinter in particular who would have brought plenty of star power with him) which would have expected to have been IG3 this year but will now most likely have to wait at least another year before achieving that status.

On the other hand it leaves both races wide open and the USA is bringing a strong challenge for both races with Lone Sailor among those entered in the Cup and the mare Holy Legal in the Sprint. Hong Kong also have a horse in each race in the shape of Glorious Artist and Ugly Warrior.

Accepted Korean entries will be announced later this week with Dolkong expected to be among them in the Cup. However, he is set to be without new regular jockey Johan Victoire. Victoire, who was also expected to partner French raider Bakoel Koffie in the Sprint, suffered a heavy fall in Sunday’s race 7 at Seoul.

Johan Victoire

Johan Victoire

Victoire was riding Dolkong’s stablemate Jjang Kong when favourite Cheungdam Genie crossed in front of him on the corner leaving Jjang Kong with nowhere to go and Victoire unseated. He was taken to hospital for observation with a suspected broken shoulder and will undergo further tests on Monday.

It’s a big blow for the 32-year-old who has ridden 112 winners in just over two years riding in Korea. He gained his first local Group win on Dolkong in the Busan Mayor’s Cup. Cheungdam Genie, who finished 2nd in the race was disqualified and jockey Lee Hyeon Jong banned for three meetings for careless riding.

That incident overshadowed what was the first of two races over the new Mile distance at Seoul on Sunday. That race was won by last year’s Korean Oaks winner Special Stone while the second of them, another class 2 handicap, went to the returning Thunder Blade.

Feature races of the day at both Seoul and Busan were valuable juvenile events over 1200M. At Busan, Save The World (Menifee-Royal Scene) ran out a six-length winner while up in Seoul, Choegang Team (Old Fashioned-Sellsey) was similarly impressive. Both are unbeaten after two starts apiece with their next big tests likely to come in October.