Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (February 5)

There is Sunday racing at both Seoul (11 races from 10:40 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 11:05 to 15:40). Here are the previews:

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies in the opener. (8) META BLADE will be the favourite. Having run 2nd on debut over 1000M, she followed up with 4th and 3rd in two starts over today’s trip, last time out coming from midfield to finish off well. She can settle back again here and should be too strong. (4) JAEWOO SIDAE comes in off a promising 3rd place at this distance on January 8th. She’s not shown a whole lot in terms of speed but draws nicely here and an apprentice keeps her weight light. (10) YUKWAEHAN SARANG is done no favours by the draw but ran 4th, just half a length behind Meta Blade in November over 1200M. She followed up with a 5th on Christmas Eve and while she may need a touch of luck at the start, she has claims. (6) ÉCLAIR STAR and (7) CANDY GLOW among plenty of others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(8) Meta Blade (4) Jaewoo Sidae (10) Yukwaehan Sarang (6) Éclair Star
Next Best7, 5
Fast Start2, 4, 7, 10

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens with five of the ten racing for the very first time. (5) GOOD MAGIC will be favourite, based upon her runner-up finish on debut over this distance on January 8th when she sat just behind the early speed and while well beaten by a good winner, she stopped the clock in a decent time and with some natural improvement, should prove too good. The main dangers lurk in the first-time starters. (6) SINHAE MANGCHI went through three trials, winning the most recent of them in January when on pace throughout. If he brings that form to the races, he will go very close. (7) RAON STRONG looked well when 2nd in a trail late last November. He too can put in a bold showing first-up. Also looking good in trials was (10) BEOMHAN GOLD, who won a heat on January 7th when handy and running on. The draw isn’t ideal but with a touch of luck, he can be in this too. Returning to those with experience, (2) GLOBAL SARANG is perhaps the one with most potential to improve.

Selections(5) Good Magic (6) Sinhae Mangchi (7) Raon Strong (10) Beomhan Gold
Next Best2, 3
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 8

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens with three of the ten racing for the first time. The only one who has shown anything resembling form is (6) JUMONG CHEONHA and he accordingly will be the odds-on favourite He was 4th on debut and then 2nd at start number two, both over 1000M. He hasn’t appeared for fourteen weeks, and he does come up in trip but if he runs at anything like his previous level, he won’t be beaten here. (1) RAON HOLIDAY has finished no better than 7th across four starts so far. He has run some fair times though from a good draw, won’t need to improve much to place here. Of the first-time starters, (5) THEME TANSAENG trialled up the best crossing the line 4th of seven back in November. That form in this race will see him close. (2) SSEULMO and (8) ARGO SMILE others who could potentially improve.

Selections(6) Jumong Cheonha (1) Raon Holiday (5) Theme Tansaeng (2) Sseulmo
Next Best8, 4
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 8

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies and it’s a competitive race. (8) GOHEUNG CLASSS has raced three times, notching a 2nd place over 1000M before finishing 3rd on her first try over 1200M on January 6th, beating a couple of today’s rivals in the process. She can lead or settle back and run on and the additional half furlong may well be to her benefit. (1) DUBAI PYEONGJEONG has made steady progress across her latest three appearances, culminating in a 2nd place over this distance on January 8th when overcoming the widest gate. Her style has been to settle back and run on, but she gets a great draw this time and can be a big danger. (10) FLYING DIA has run fairly for two 4th place finishes from her two prior appearances and should be aiming to match or better that here. (6) FLYING TOUCH and (9) MOVIE MORE among others with potential to improve.

Selections(8) Goheung Class (1) Dubai Pyeongjeong (10) Flying Dia (6) Flying Touch
Next Best9, 2
Fast Start3, 8, 9, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(6) SUPREME STAR will be expected to break through here. She hasn’t finished outside of the top-five across six prior outings and comes in off a smart 3rd place over this distance on January 7th when settling midfield and finishing well. She has run consistent times on her best form as shown so far, she can win. The main danger is (4) UNICORN KINGDOM His best finish so far is a 2nd place over 1000M two starts back but ran fairly on his first try at this distance on December 17th. He draws nicely here and should get an easy run to the speed and be in this a long way. The form falls off a bit after those two but (7) FOUR ACE enters off back-to-back 4th places, both at this distance and beating a couple of these in the latest of them. She should be aiming to match or better in this company. (2) ARGO MUJEOK has a 3rd place to his name two starts back and draws well here. (3) ARCH RIVER another with potential to improve.

Selections(6) Supreme Star (4) Unicorn Kingdom (7) Four Ace (2) Argo Mujeok
Next Best3, 9
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 9

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(4) DOCTOR TIFFANY was an all the way winner over 1200M on January 6th, winning by plenty. She comes up in class and boldly up in trip, but she comes down in the weights, draws very nicely, and she could win again. It won’t be easy though. (8) BARAMBARAM’s only disappointment to date came in the Breeders’ Cup champion juvenile race in December when slowly away and failing to get a foothold. He has two positive runs over 1400M though and the step up in trip may suit (10) GREEN PAPAGO is a model of consistency who is rarely far away and has beaten a few of these across her latest few outings. She should beat plenty again, (6) CHEONMA HASEO beat Barambaram when the pair ran 2nd and 4th respectively over 140M on January 13th. He doesn’t exactly win out of turn, but he knows who to pick up a minor cheque and has done so at class and distance on more than one occasion. (3) ROCK AND ROLL is up in class and in trip following a maiden win at start two over 1300M on January 6th. He comes down in the weights and draws well.

Selections(4) Doctor Tiffany (8) Barambaram (10) Green Papago (6) Cheonma Haseo
Next Best3, 11
Fast Start2, 4, 8, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It’s hard to go too far past (8) WONDERFUL TIZZY here. He ran a good 2nd – albeit well beaten by a very good winner – over 1200M two start s back, before finishing an adequate 5th of ten in a slow race over 1300M on January 8th. Without the benefit of an apprentice claim today, he comes up 3kg in the weights but that’s balanced by Antonio climbing aboard, and in this company, he should be able to get a prominent position early and potentially lead all the way. (6) GOLD KAISER is yet to finish in the top two but has finished between 3rd and 5th on five occasions from her ten starts and that’s enough to put her in the frame here. Similarly (5) BEST PLAN has two 3rd places to her name, most recently three starts back in a good time over 1300M. Like every other runner, she comes up to the 1400M for the first time and she can be close. (10) MONEY STONE and (1) JANGHEUNG CLASS, the latter who perhaps could be most suited to the step up in trip, are others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(8) Wonderful Tizzy (6) Gold Kaiser (5) Best Plan (10) Money Stone
Next Best1, 3
Fast Start3, 8, 9, 11

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

(1) WIND WINNER comes in having missed the top-four on only one of nine occasions so far. His latest saw him run 3rd over this class and distance when emerging from the widest gate on January 8th then racing midfield and running on. He carries the same weight today and from a much better draw, can win. Disputing favourite status will be (11) STAR MATTA. He too has been super-consistent and enters off a class and distance win on January 13th when prominent throughout and beating three of today’s rivals. The engagement of an apprentice jockey means he carries less weight this time and while the draw is a touch wider than ideal, he has every chance. (2) B.J. CHIEF was 6th behind Star Matta in that January 13th race having worked hard to get to the lead from the widest gate. The draw is much kinder today and the same apprentice keeps his carried weight light. (4) YONGCHEON comes up in class and in distance after a good win over a mile – beating B. J. Chief – in early December. He can measure up in this company. (10) SINJIN GANGHO another in the minor money frame.

Selections(1) Wind Winner (11) Star Matta (2) B.J. Chief (4) Yongcheon
Next Best10, 12
Fast Start1, 6, 7, 12

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

(6) BEST SUN was a winner on debut over 1000M last October and comes in off a front-running 3rd place over this class and distance on January 7th. He will surely be on pace here and has every chance of going all the way. The primary danger is (3) SECRET PLAY. He got his win over 1200M two starts back when settling right back and running on before trying the same and ultimately finishing 4th on his first try at this class on January 8th. He draws well and the slight step up in trip should suit. (8) SMART POWER is another consistent type who may not win out of turn but is rarely far away. She comes back in trip after back-to-back 4th place finishes at 1700M and 1400M but has run quick times at 1200M too and is firmly in the money frame again. (11) CRAZY LOVE and (1) DAECHEON BEAUTY – the latter out of sorts last time out – are others who can enter the calculations.

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (February 4)

Saturday’s racing is at Seoul where there are 12 races from 10:40 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens in the opener with five of the eleven racing for the first time. The favourite is the only one who has raced twice already. (3) RICH GATE was 5th on debut over 1000M in October before improving to 2nd when stepped up to 1200M at start number two on December 11th. From a good draw he can be on pace here and it should third time lucky. The most convincing dangers also have prior experience. (11) S.I. COCO overcame the same widest draw as today to go down a narrow 2nd on debut over 1000M on Christmas Day. It was a slowly run race, but he was doing his best work late and the step up in trip can suit. (8) SMARTY FIGHTER went through a plethora of trials before running 5th on debut at this distance, also on Christmas Day, and should benefit from the experience. Of the debut-makers (2) HEUIMANGUI CHANGA and (10) CHEONJI SKY look the most likely to make an immediate impact.

Selections(3) Rich Gate (11) S.I. Coco (8) Smarty Fighter (2) Heuimangui Changa
Next Best10, 5
Fast Start2, 3, 8, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies here with three of the eleven racing for the first time. (4) ANYANG POKKYEOKGI is set to be hot favourite, based on her latest two which both ended in 3rd place, most recently over this distance on Christmas Day when overcoming the widest gate to lead. From a much better draw, she should get a more comfortable run today and may take some beating. Clear second favourite is (5) LADY TAEPUNG. She sat handy on debut over this distance on January 7th, finishing 3rd in a slowly run race and with some natural improvement, she can get closer today. (9) FALL IN LOVE looks the pick of the first timers. She went through two trials, improving significantly in the 2nd when 3rd across the line in a fair time having sat midfield and run on. The distance should suit first up, and a bold showing is possible. (2) MUNHAK CENTRAL and (11) BARAMUI HYANGGI others in the frame.

Selections(4) Anyang Pokkyeokgi (5) Lady Taepung (9) Fall In Love (2) Munhak Central
Next Best11, 1
Fast Start1, 5, 8, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens. (8) SAENAE KHAN comes in with a 2nd and two 4th places from three outings to date, most recently as beaten favourite over this distance on January 7th. He led that day on what was his first stretch out at further than 1000M and he can go all the way this time. That will mean overturning the form on (10) BULUI NALGAE, who has really mixed his performances across four starts so far, two good and two poor. He was 3rd in the January 7th race having sat right back and then made ground late on passing tired horses. He shapes as the danger here along with (5) GEOSEN CHAMP who like Saenae Khan, has run 4th in both his latest two. He posted a good time over 1200M two starts back and can settle back and run on here. The form drops off a bit after those three but (1) LEGEND K and (9) BLACK GUN have hinted at ability and can be place chances.

Selections(8) Saenae Khan (10) Bului Nalgae (5) Geosen Champ (1) Legend K
Next Best9, 3
Fast Start2, 3, 8, 10

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A regular but very tricky maiden. There’s no clear favourite so we’ll take a chance on (2) TES MARY who has raced just twice, improving to 2nd on January 8th over 1200M when drawn wide and settling right back and running on. She draws much better here and should be running on strong again. (8) TWO ACE is yet to score in sixteen but has been ultra-consistent of late with a 2nd and two 4th place finished from his latest three. An apprentice keeps the weight light here and today could be his day. (11) JEONGWOO FOREVER is, like Tes Mary, another who can still have improvement in him. He has raced just three times and has finished no worse than 5th. He has finished off his races well and the step up in trip can be to his benefit. (1) BARAMSAL and the returning (3) ARCH SIN, who was on pace when requalifying in a trial a month ago, are among others who can place.

Selections(2) Tes Mary (8) Two Ace (11) Jeongwoo Forever (1) Baramsal
Next Best3, 12
Fast Start3, 5, 10, 11

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) SUPER FINISH has finished no worse than 5th in four starts so far but remains a maiden. He is up in class here having got his second runner-up finish over this distance on Christmas Eve. He comes down slightly in the weights, draws very nicely and in a race that isn’t much stronger than he would have faced at class 6, he is the one to beat. It’s a very similar story with (6) GEUMSEONG SIDAE. He’s never finished any worse than 4th and comes up in class following back-to-back runner-up finishes, both times when on pace and most recently over this distance on January 8th. He comes down 2kg in the weights and has solid claims here. (9) HIT POWER was a winner on debut over 1000M being finishing down the field in the Listed Munhwa Ilbo Trophy. Though he could only mange 8th on his most recent outing at this distance on Christmas Eve, the time was good, and he beat a couple of today’s rivals. He should be much closer in this company. (4) COWBOY TANGO and (2) BIG SMART, the latter needing to be forgiven his latest effort, the logical other money chances.

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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (February 3)

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with a 9-race card from 11:00 to 18:00. Seo Seung-un, who rode a remarkable 14 winners in January, is suspended while You Hyun-myung had surgery following a fall last week and will be out for some months. Here are the previews:

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

Three-year-old maidens in the opener and there will be a hot favourite. (7) DAHAMKKEDALLIJA has raced twice so far, finishing 3rd on both occasions most recently over this trip in a good time on January 13th when handy and running on. He will be up to class 5 with any top-three finish and can be expected to win here. (1) POWER PLANE was a much improved 4th at start number two over 1200M on January 8th settling back and running on. The additional half-furlong should suit and he gets a much better draw today. (2) SUPER KANEL also showed marked improvement on his latest appearance four weeks ago, running on for 2nd over this trip. With an apprentice engaged today he comes down significantly in the weights and should be going close again. (8) NAKDONG JEONSAN and (9) STORMY DAY others with the potential to improve.

Selections(7) Dahamkkedallija (1) Power Plane (2) Super Kanel (8) Nakdong Jeonsa
Next Best9, 4
Fast Start2, 8, 10, 11

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

More three-year-old maidens and another hot favourite. This time it is (9) MY MANTRA. After running 5th of twelve over 1000M on debut in November, Peter Wolsley’s filly was an on pace runner-up when stepped up to this trip on December 18th. Despite being drawn a touch wide, she can be on pace again and should be too good for this lot. (8) DOCTOR CUCKOO comes in having run a very solid time over this distance on his latest start on January 15th. His 4th place that day, coming from off the pace, was his best so far and he can continue to make progress here. (7) HONOR LORD raced twice over 1000M late last summer. He comes in here having looked very well across two trials and will be backed first-up. There are two first time starters and both (4) GREEN LEGEND and (2) YONGSAN KEUNBYEUL did enough in their trials to suggest they can measure up in this somewhat limited company. Both should be on pace from good draws.

Selections(9) My Mantra (8) Doctor Cuckoo (7) Honor Lord (4) Green Legend
Next Best2, 1
Fast Start2, 4, 8, 9

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Standard maiden here. (7) SOUTHERN JOY has been relatively consistent across her five outings to date and her runner-up finish on her latest start on January 6th when she overcame the widest draw to settle midfield and run on for 2nd place is enough for her to get the nod here. (2) FAST FURY could only manage 6th when well supported in the same race, but she previously ran the quickest time of all of these at the distance when runner-up back in October. She should be on the speed again here and can be in this a long way. (11) THEIA ran fairly for 5th on debut over 1300M on January 13th. She should have come on for that experience and with some natural improvement may offer some value at an each-way price. (6) GOLDEN RACER and (8) ALPHA BRAVO are others who have demonstrated ability and can be in the money frame here.

Selections(7) Southern Joy (2) Fast Fury (11) Theia (6) Golden Racer
Next Best8, 12
Fast Start2, 7, 8, 9

Busan Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It could be thirteenth time lucky for (3) YEOSU TORNADO here. He’s been knocking at the door in his latest few and most recently got his first runner-up finish when overcoming a wide draw to sit handy to the speed and then run on over this distance on January 13th. He draws much better today and a similar run can see him home on top. The main danger looks to be (7) ARTHUR KING IJI. He was 3rd in that January 13th race on what for him too was his first try at a mile having raced prominently throughout. He has three-lengths to find on Yeosu Tornado but perhaps has more scope for further improvement than the favourite. (12) HAMAN BAEIKISAN was 5th in that race having settled back and running on when it was too late. He was runner-up at this distance two starts back and with the same apprentice keeping the weight down, he can run into some money again. (1) ECTON POWER and (6) SPECIAL FACT among others in the placing frame.

Selections(3) Yeosu Tornado (7) Arthur King Iji (12) Haman Baekisan (1) Ecton Power
Next Best6, 8
Fast Start2, 4, 7, 9

Busan Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

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Wow Wow Stuns Raon Pair in Segye Ilbo

Wow Wow came from off the pace to score a 46/1 upset in the Segye Ilbo Trophy at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon, leaving the green colours of the hotly fancied “Raon” pair, Raon First and Raon The Spurt, back down the track behind him.

Wow Wow came from off the pace to win the Listed Segye Ilbo Trophy under Song Jae-chul (Pic: KRA)

After a year where owner Son Chun-soo’s Raon stable had dominated, his progressive four-year-old filly Raon The Spurt, was sent off as favourite for the Segye Ilbo (1200M KOR-Listed), the first Stakes race on the 2023 calendar, with stablemate and President’s Cup winner Raon First second in the market, ahead of Jeju Governor’s Trophy winning mare Wish Me.

While Raon First was slow out of the gate, Raon The Spurt cruised into the lead alongside fellow Group winner East Jet. But on a rare day at Seoul where the track was not kind to front-runners – nine of the eleven winners on the card emerged from the rear – the leaders were in trouble entering the straight and by the furlong pole, both had wilted.

Raon First launched a home straight challenge through traffic but the longshot pair of Wow Wow and Jangsan Laser were quicker, flashing down the outside with Wow Wow, who had settled right back in the pack in the early exchanges, coming home a length-and-a-quarter to the good. Raon First was 3rd.

With the race being restricted to Korean-bred runners, the Nasca organization’s Korea Sprint winning star Eoma Eoma was ineligible but they also own Wow Wow, a four-year-old colt by Cowboy Cal and out of the Forest Camp mare Jjak Kkung, who did her racing in Korea, winning six of twenty-six starts.

Wow Wow was on last year’s Classic trail and overcame gate fifteen to run 5th in the Korean Derby before an indifferent run in the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup. Before Sunday, the highest level he had won at was class 4. He is trained by Song Moon-gil and was ridden by Song Jae-chul, who was winning just his third Stakes race after successes in the YTN Cup (then not a group race) in 2015 on Areumdaun Donghaeng and then guiding Saenae Town to victory in the Listed NACF Chairman’s Trophy last November.

There are no Listed or Graded races in Korea in February, with the next big events on the calendar the three-year-old Classic trials at Seoul and Busan on March 19.  

Segye Ilbo Trophy Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (January 29)

The Stakes race program for 2023 finally gets underway at Seoul on Sunday when Raon First and Raon The Spurt head the field for the Listed Segye Ilbo Trophy over 1200M. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:40 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 11:05 to 16:05. Here are the previews:

Raon First faces danger from her own stablemate in the Segye Ilbo Trophy (Pic: KRA)

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

Three-year-old maidens in the opener with all at least one start behind them and (10) TOUCH CHARM will be the warm favourite. She ran 3rd on debut over 1000M on November 26th before improving to 2nd on her next start on December 18th when stepped up to 1200M in filly only company. She comes up in trip again, and slightly in weight, but she should have too much. (8) NEULGAEUL is the only one in the field to have prior experience of this distance having finished a close 3rd on December 17th. That experience should stand him in good stead for this and he can be the main danger. (2) KARIZMA ran fairly enough for a midfield finish on debut over 1000M a month ago. He should have derived benefit from that and can improve today. (6) BEST CLONE returns after almost five months out and looked well in a trial earlier this month and along with (9) INDIANUI BYEOL, who began his career with a 2nd and a 3rd, can be considered for a place.

Selections(10) Touch Charm (8) Neulgaeul (2) Karizma (6) Best Clone
Next Best9, 11
Fast Start1, 3, 9, 10

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

(10) HWANGOO MONEY has come from well off the pace to run 3rd in both starts to date, both over 1200M and both from gate eleven. The wide draw certainly won’t be an issue and the additional half furlong should give him plenty of time to get the job done this time. (4) FAST GUN was anything but fast out of the gates on debut over 1000M on December 16th, but he finished off swiftly enough, passing plenty to finish 3rd. He should have come on for the run and he is another for who the extra distance can suit. (2) BRAVE CAPTAIN was much closer to the pace on her debut, scampering across from gate nine and ultimately running 4th over 1000M. With some natural improvement and from a better draw, she can match or better that today. (7) K GOLD BAR and others (9) SKY PUNCH are others who are in the placing hunt.

Selections(10) Hwangoo Money (4) Fast Gun (2) Brave Captain (7) K Gold Bar
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens with all but one racing for the very first time. That experienced one didn’t do anything on debut to warrant recommendation so it’s to the trial videos we turn and the one who caught the eye the most was (5) TAMRA CHOEGANGJA. He sat handy in his heat before finishing well to cross the line in front, stopping the clock in a fair time. If he brings that form to the races, he won’t need to improve much to win this. (3) FANCY PLAY recorded the second fastest time in trials when leading in a heat in early December, ultimately finishing 2nd. He draws well to be on pace here and should be in it a long way. (12) CHECK POINT went through the same trial as Tamra Choegangja and while he does have five-lengths to make up, he ran on well and neither the wide draw nor the trip should be a hindrance first-up. Speaking of the trip, that sole one with experience, (7) THIS WEEKEND was slowly away and with a better start and in the absence of too many standout first-timers, can improve. (9) COMPLETE LEADER another debut-maker to keep an eye on.

Selections(5) Tamra Choegangja (3) Fancy Play (12) Check Point (7) This Weekend
Next Best9, 1
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 8

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(6) HANEUL JEWANG enters off an improved 2nd place at this distance on December 16th when settling handy and finishing well to record a time faster than any of the others here have managed for the distance. He should be on or close to the speed again and in this company, will be warm favourite to go one better. The main danger is (8) META QUEEN. She was 5th behind Haneul Jewang in that December race but at the start before registered a runner-up finish of her own when on pace over 1000M. This is just her fourth career start and there could be some more improvement. (9) WONDERFUL CHACHA ran an improved 4th on his latest outing over 1300M on December 2nd. An apprentice keeps the weight light and he be in the mix here too. (10) SKY SHOT and (4) UNJU MACH among other minor money contenders.

Selections(6) Haneul Jewang (8) Meta Queen (9) Wonderful Chacha (10) Sky Shot
Next Best10, 4
Fast Start6, 8, 10, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

More three-year-old maidens with all but one of the twelve having raced at least once before. The debut-maker is notable though as he is set to be favourite. (3) JANGSAN SPO blitzed a trial in November, stopping the clock in a fast time some fourteen lengths clear of the next across the line. That showing, coupled with the modest opposition he faces here, makes him a heavy favourite, despite the big gap between trial and race. Only two of the experienced ones have positive form. (5) BEAT RUNNER is the clear second pick with a 6th and a 4th in two starts at 1000M and 1200M, the latter at this distance and both in fair times. A similar showing will see him place again. Draw a line through (4) MENI POCKET’s second appearance and instead go on her debut last summer and she is clear third choice although the length of time between starts isn’t reassuring. (8) CLAIR QUEEN and (11) GREEN SPECTER potential improvers.

Selections(3) Jangsan Spo (5) Beat Runner (4) Meni Pocket (8) Clair Queen
Next Best11, 12
Fast Start2, 3, 7, 11

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Tricky race. We’ll take a chance on (9) WITH SUN, who was a strong winner on debut over 1200M in November when coming from off the pace before running 4th in a slow race over this distance on his first try at this level. The wide draw shouldn’t be an issue and today there should be a bit more early speed to chase down. The probable favourite is (2) BACKTOTHELEGEND. He overcame the widest gate to get on pace over 1200M on Christmas Day and ultimately went on to win well. He is up in class and in distance here but draws much better and has solid claims. (3) BYEOLGYOUI KKUM was an all the way winner at start number two over 1200M on Christmas Day. He too comes up in class and distance but draws well to get on the speed again and should be in this a long way. (11) ALL OR NOTHING ran out an eye-catching winner on debut in December. It was at 1000M, but he can measure up here. (1) FASHION FORCE ONE another in the frame.

Selections(9) With Sun (2) Backtothelegend (3) Beolgyoui Kkum (11) All Or Nothing
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 11

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

Fillies (and two mares) here. There is very little to choose between the top two, both up in class following maiden wins. The coin toss comes down on the side of (3) WONDERFUL SLEW, who came from off the pace on debut over 1200M on December 18th to just get up to for the win. She comes up in trip here, but it can suit, and she can win. That’s true too for (5) JEOMSUNI GO. She was slowly away on debut over 1000M before rattling home late for a desperately near miss. She then took a very tight victory second-up at 1200M on Christmas Eve. She too comes up in class and distance and there is very little between them. If you fancy them both to get beat, then (11) GREENBACK maybe the place to turn. She has plenty of experience of this level and enters in consistent form. The draw isn’t ideal but with a touch of luck at the start, she can run on. (7) TOUR QUEEN and (6) DUSON CLASSIC, who was slowly away last time but should be on pace here, are others to consider.

Selections(3) Wonderful Slew (5) Jeomsuni Go (11) Greenback (7) Tour Queen
Next Best6, 1
Fast Start1, 6, 11, 12

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

(10) EUNSEONG WINNER ran out a strong winner at class and distance on December 23rd, settling just behind the early speed before taking things up at the top of the stretch and winning well. A word of caution in that she was found to have bled for the first time but she came through the mandatory trial earlier this month without issue. (8) ARCTURUS was 4th in that same race having led for much of the way in what was his first try at two turns. He has won well at a mile and can be a danger today. (6) HORAENGI is yet to win in fifteen attempts but has no fewer than twelve top five finishes including on her last start on Christmas Day when she came from well off the pace to run a close 2nd over a mile. She comes up in class here but is nicely weighted and has placed more than once at this distance already. (2) I WILL BE FREE and the rapidly up in class having won his latest two (1) MACH WONDER, are among plenty of others to consider.

Selections(10) Eunseong Winner (8) Arcturus (6) Horaengi (2) I Will Be Free
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start1, 8, 10, 12

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

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2023 Stakes Schedule Underway Sunday as Raons Clash in Segye Ilbo

Horses with the word “Raon” in their names took home eight Korean Listed or Graded races in 2022 and as the 2023 Stakes race season kicks off at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday with the Segye Ilbo Trophy (1200M KOR-Listed), two of those winners in the green silks of owner Son Chun-soo are set to be at the top of the market as the six-year-old mare and defending champion Raon First, clashes with up-and-coming stablemate and potential heir-apparent, four-year-old filly Raon The Spurt.

Choi Bum-hyun rode Raon First to President’s Cup glory but he gets on Raon The Spurt in Sunday’s Segye Ilbo Trophy (Pic: KRA)

Last year’s winner RAON FIRST is the top filly or mare in Korea, with twelve wins from twenty-two starts and a hugely versatile repertoire as shown by her 3rd place in the Korea Sprint (1200M – IG3) last August and then her sensational victory in the President’s Cup (2000M KOR-G1) in November. It was a first ever victory for a filly or a mare in the nation’s most valuable race for older in-country bred runner, with Korea Cup champion Winner’s Man back in 3rd. Raon First finished off what had been a remarkable campaign with an in no way disgraced 6th place in the Grand Prix Stakes (2300M KOR-G1) as Winner’s Man returned to the summit.

In the early half of her three-year-old campaign, RAON THE SPURT was forced to play second fiddle in the Triple Tiara (filly Triple Crown) races, running 3rd in the Luna Stakes and then 2nd to Tiara winner Golden Power in both the Korean Oaks and Gyeonggi Govenor’s Cup. She finished off the season strongly though, winning the Singapore Turf Club Trophy at 1200M, running 2nd to Wish Me in the Jeju Govenor’s Cup (1400M KOR-G3) and then winning the Gyeongnam DoMin Ilbo Cup (2000M KOR-G3) at Busan. Her star is very much in the ascendency.

Jockey Choi Bum-hyun has ridden both of the Park Jong-kon trained pair in recent starts. For their first head-to-head meeting, he rides Raon The Spurt.

It’s not necessarily a two-horse race though. WISH ME has done something she never usually does and drawn a good gate for a front-runner. She had to contend with gate eleven when 2nd to Raon The Spurt in the Singapore Turf Club Trophy over 1200M in September, before reversing the form with a stunning track-record breaking performance in the Jeju Governor’s Cup from gate twelve. She found 2000M was not her go last time out, but back in sprinting territory and from the plum barrier two, she can’t be ruled out.

While it’s the fillies and mares who are most favoured, the race is open to males as well and a strong set have shown up. DAEHAN JILJU was a break-out 4th in the Korea Sprint last September before running 2nd to that day’s winner Eoma Eoma in the Kookje Shinmun Trophy (1400M Listed) at Busan on October. He is capable of running fast times and the wide draw should prove no distraction. Group winner EAST JET as well as the in form JANGSAN LASER, 4th in the President’s Cup, are among others who can provide testing material.

Only one Busan-trained horse has made the trip to the capital. That’s HAPPY FEVER, a six-year-old who, while he doesn’t win out of turn, enters in consistent form and has posted fast times. At his best he can challenge for some minor money. Jockey Kim Hye-sun has come with him to ride at her former track and has picked up five additional rides across the weekend.

The Segye Ilbo Cup is race 8 on an 11-race program at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon with a local post time of 16:35.

Selections: (4) Raon The Spurt (1) Raon First (2) Wish Me (12) Daehan Jilju

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 28)

Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with a big 12-race meeting from 10:40 to 18:00. The feature race is the last with Simjangui Godong facing a stern challenge from Chief Indy, among others, at class 1 over 2000M. Here are the previews:

Former President’s Cup winner Simjangui Godong facess a tough ask at Seoul this Saturday (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies here with seven of the twelve racing for the first time. Three of those with prior experience debuted in the same race over 1000M on Christmas Day and it was (6) SARYEONI TYCHE who came out the best among them, racing just off the speed throughout and finishing in 3rd place. She has claims to come out on top here. Just a length behind there wasn’t much between (5) GREEN SHIELD and (10) TOP TIER, who came home 6th and 4th respectively. Top Tier had led until the furlong pole before being passed and while she draws wide today, should have enough early speed to get a good position. She doesn’t have the apprentice claim but Kim Yong-geun climbing aboard should balance that. The extended trip though may see Green Shield in overturning that form. She was doing her best work late in that race. Among the first timers, (3) WHITE DIA and trial winner (9) HAEJAE YEOGEOL perhaps best.

Selections(6) Saryeoni Tyche (5) Green Shield (10) Top Tier (3) White Dia
Next Best9, 11
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens all of whom have raced before though none at this distance. (6) ILDONG BAKSU has finished 3rd in both her prior starts, most recently  over 120M on Christmas Eve when handy throughout and finishing a length behind the odds-on favourite winner Jeomsuni Go. She’ll be exiting class 6 with any top-three finish and it could be a win. After a lot of trials (11) SINUI HAMSEONG ran well on debut on December 10th finishing 2nd over this distance to hot favourite J Motion. He was found to have bled after that so was stood down for a month and sent back to trial but he came through that successfully earlier in January and can go well again. (9) MONEY JANGGUN overcame a similarly wide draw to today to run 3rd over 1200M on November 19th. He also has a runner-up finish at 1000M to his name and can be a danger here. (5) FINE DAY and (10) HERO QUEEN others in the hunt.

Selections(6) Ildong Baksu (11) Sinui Hamseong (9) Money Janggun (5) Fine Day
Next Best10, 8
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(5) ROCK IMPACT is the only one in the field who has raced at the distance before and it seemed to suit as he produced a much improved performance to run 2nd in a fair time on December 11th when settling just behind the speed and then running on. He won’t need to improve too much to go one better here. (7) MISS WIN STAR has steadily improved across his four outings to date, culminating in a runner-up finish over 1200M on December 17th when he led for a large part of the races. That was his first time on the speed and he may go forward again here. (11) GANGCHEOL YEOGEOL has been finishing off her races well, improving each time and she may benefit from the step up in trip. The wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and nor should it be for (10) ARCH MEMORY, another who has steadily improved and runs through the line well. The form drops off after that but in a race devoid of much early speed, (6) SINPUNG YEOGEOL may get an easier run to the front today and can be in this a long way at probable big odds. 

Selections(5) Rock Impact (7) Miss Win Star (11) Gangcheol Yeogeol (10) Arch Memory
Next Best6, 3
Fast Start2, 6, 7, 12

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(11) ULTRA GALAXY has improved across his five starts so far with his latest over 1200M on Christmas Day being his best. He is yet to go further than that so this is a big step up but his running style – and today’s company – suggests he can be more than equal to the challenge. (7) HOUYHNHNM looked every much the perennial non-winner but capable of regularly picking up minor money, right up until his last start on January 7th when he stepped up to two turns for the first time and ran 2nd. It wasn’t a fast time, but he beat three of today’s rivals and won’t need to improve much to go close again. (4) STAR PRINCESS ran 3rd in that race, equalling her best finish so far. She went right back and ran on and with Johan climbing on today, may be further forward. (1) EUREKA and (5) SEMYEONG CAPTAIN are others with at least placing chances.

Selections(11) Ultra Galaxy (7) Houyhnhnm (4) Star Princess (1) Eureka
Next Best5, 12
Fast Start5, 8, 11, 12

Seoul Race 5: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(5) HANGANGUI GISANG is a perfect four from four with his latest win coming on Christmas Eve when stepping up to class 3 for the first time, he made all to score by six-lengths over 1700M He comes up 3.5kg in the weights from that day but draws nicely enough at the unique mile start and he will be odds-on to strike again. (3) MIGHTY GOOD is on a win streak of his own, having taken his latest two both at class 4 and both over 1700M. He likes to come from off the pace so Antonio should be able to save some ground early while the others battle it out on the short run to the first corner. He is up in class but down significantly in weight and can measure up. Also down in weight is (1) DUSON MEONGGUN who benefits from an apprentice claim. He finished midfield behind Hangangui Gisang last time out but is a winner at this class over 1400M as well has holding a 3rd place at a mile. Don’t rule out a bold showing. (2) BYEOLUI SUNGAN is better than his latest two outings suggest and should be kept safe, while (9) YAHO GOLDEN CAT is another in the hunt.

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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 27)

After a week off for the Lunar New Year holiday, racing returns to Korea this weekend. Things get underway on Friday at Busan with a 10-race card from 11:00 to 18:00. It’s quite a star studded line-up for a Friday as Speed Young, who won the Breeders’ Cup Champion Juvenile race in December, goes in race 9 while filly Triple Crown winner Golden Power seeks to return to form in a very challenging race 10. Here are the previews:

Speed Young makes his three-year-old debut at Busan on Friday (Pic: KRA)

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies get things underway with five of the twelve racing for the first time. We’ll side with experience though and (11) AMAZING MOVE who, after a positive trial, ran a solid enough 5th on debut on December 18th, settling back and running on. That suggests the wide draw shouldn’t be too problematic here and having derived benefit from that run, she can win here. (6) ACE HORANGI was well backed on debut in the same December 18th after a quick trial and while she could only manage 7th, she can improve here. (3) GIJEOGUI GEUMBIT is another who ran 5th on debut at this distance on Christmas Day, overcoming a wide draw. The time was significantly slower than Amazing Move’s and Ace Horangi’s but she too can make progress today. As for the first timers, (2) MAGIC SWEETIE and (5) UNJU AKANSHA look the most likely to make an immediate impact.

Selections(11) Amazing Move (6) Ace Horangi (3) Gijeogui Geumbit (2) Magic Sweetie
Next Best5, 8
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens. (12) GEUMA DEFT beat three of these on debut on December 16th over 1000M when crossing the line 1st and stopping the clock in a fast time only to be demoted by the stewards for interference. He has the challenge of the widest gate here, but the manner of that run suggests that with a touch of luck at the start and a touch more discipline at the finish, he can finish ahead of those same rivals today. (2) DUBAI WONJEONGDAE ran 4th in that race. He was a full ten-lengths behind Geuma Deft but the step up in trip can suit and he can get closer today. There are three first time starters and among them (6) HAVE A GOOD YEAR was the best in trials. He went through two heats, significantly improving in the second of them when leading for much of the way around. He can be on pace here and put in a bold showing. (5) ROAD TO GLORY and (9) RUN TO KING other placing hopes.

Selections(12) Geuma Deft (2) Dubai Wonjeongdae (6) Have A Good Year (5) Road To Glory
Next Best9, 7
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 12

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) KRW 25 Million

A regular maiden here and it seems wide open.  Four of them raced each other over 1300M on December 23rd and that looks to be a good reference. (11) PURPLE LINE debuted in that race, settling towards the rear of midfield and running on for 3rd. He should have come on for that experience, the extra distance can suit, and he has as good a chance as any here. It will require him to make up almost two lengths on (6) COOL RUNNING. He led that December 23rd race until the closing stages, ultimately coming home in 2nd place. He has shown improvement across his three starts so far, he can be on pace again, and he shouldn’t be ruled out. Also making progress over three previous appearances has been (12) VEREUDA. She finished off well for 4th in that December 23rd race from a similarly wide draw to today, and she can continue to improve here. Of those who didn’t go in the December 23rd race, (7) DOCTOR SHARK and (2) PEGACORN look the best.

Selections(11) Purple Line (6) Cool Running (12) Vereuda (7) Doctor Shark
Next Best2, 9
Fast Start2, 4, 6, 10

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

Fillies (and two mares) only and it’s a good race for the level. (3) SPECIAL ROAD justified favourite status to make all at start number two on December 18th over 1200M, winning comfortable. She comes up in class and distance here but draws very nicely and has every chance of scoring again. So too (4) GRAPHENE RAP WORLD. Having won over five furlongs in a super quick time back in November, she than ran a solid 3ns on her first try at this class over 1200M on December 16th. She does come up in the weights here but draws well and the additional half furlong can suit. (2) BLUE ICON is yet to win but enters off three consecutive runner-up finishes, most recently at class and distance on December 23rd when on pace throughout. She draws very nicely here and it’s not impossible she could go one better at last. (5) THUNDER FURY has placed at this class and along with up in class (7) DALEHOLRINGWANGDAE is another in the hunt.

Selections(3) Special Road (4) Graphene Rap World (2) Blue Icon (5) Thunder Fury
Next Best7, 6
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 6

Busan Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

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Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 15)

Sunday racing is at Seoul (11 races from 10:40 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 11:05 to 15:40). A reminder there is no racing next weekend due to the Lunar New Year holiday so it is big fields all around. Here are the previews:

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies in the opener. (1) TIZ INDY has run twice for 2nd and 4th over 1000M both in good times. She comes up in trip for the first time but draws very nicely and she has every chance. (5) SAENAE VIVA debuted without distinction in August but looked a much better proposition when returning on December 3rd and running 3rd when handy throughout. She can get closer today and that can mean overturning the form on (11) JEONGSANG LUCKY. The latter overcame the same wide draw to run 2nd in that December 3rd race and while she may need a touch of luck again, she shouldn’t be ruled out. Also done no favours by the draw is (12) DASI TAEEONADO. She has a 2nd place to her name over 1000M and ran on pleasingly enough for 5th last time out at 1200M. (2) SEMYEONG LADY is among others with the potential to improve.

Selections(1) Tiz Indy (5) Saenae Viva (11) Jeongsang Lucky (12) Dasi Taeeonado
Next Best2, 5
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 6

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

Three-year-old filly maidens. The most experienced in the race is (10) DOCTOR SHARK and she’s the one that gets the pick. She secured back-to-back 3rd place finishes over 1000M and 1200M in October and November before running 5th over 1400M when drawn in the widest gate last time out on December 16th. The draw isn’t kind here either, but she may have too much. (12) WONDERFUL PHONE came from off the pace to run 2nd behind a good winner on debut on December 23rd. The way she finished off that day suggests the additional trip can suit and she will probably start as favourite. (7) SKY MOUNTAIN was an on-pace 4th on debut on December 9th over 1000M. She should have derived benefit from that experience and can be there or thereabouts today. (6) STREET ROCK didn’t do much on debut but comes in here under a very light weight and can improve. It’s a similar story with (1) TOO CUTE GIRL, who draws much better than on debut.

Selections(10) Doctor Shark (12) Wonderful Phone (7) Sky Mountain (6) Street Rock
Next Best1, 11
Fast Start7, 8, 10, 11

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens with six of the twelve racing for the very first time. We’ll side with experience and (2) GEOMIBULU. After winning a November trial, she was installed as favourite for her debut appearance over 1000M on December 11th when she sat midfield in a small field and ran on for 2nd place. She was well beaten by a good winner, but the run was encouraging enough for her to warrant another chance on top here.  Among the first timers (11) SAEBYEOK ANGAE could be the best. She improved significantly in her second trial, running on well and can be set for a bold showing first up. (7) DONGHAENG FIRST debuted promisingly enough on December 17th running 4th over 1000M. She should have derived benefit from that and build on it here. Both (3) NAVY CHROME and (6) THUNDER BLUE return to action for the first time since July. Both trialled well and can be considered first-up.

Selections(2) Geomibulu (11) Saebyeok Angae (7) Donghaeng First (3) Navy Chrome
Next Best6, 9
Fast Start2, 3, 7, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(7) PHANTOM ACE is yet to win in eleven attempts but has been getting closer in recent outings with a 2nd and a 3rd in his latest two, both at this distance. With an apprentice claiming 4kg he is very nicely weighted here, and it could be his day. (2) MULTI HIT comes in off a 4th place at start number two at this distance on December 11th when handy throughout. He draws well again and can be dangerous here. (1) YEONGGWANGUITUHON has run fairly in all three appearances to date including a spin around in the Listed Gimhae Mayor’s Trophy. From a great draw, he should be right in this. (5) CHEERFUL LIFE can build on his debut5th place over 1000M when breaking fairly before going right back and running on. He draws better today and should be better for the run. (8) GLOBAL SKY among others with the potential to improve.

Selections(7) Phantom Ace (2) Multi Hit (1) Yeonggwanguituhon (5) Cheerful Life
Next Best8, 11
Fast Start5, 6, 8, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Three-year-old filly maidens. It’s fair to say that (12) CHEONJON CHAT has mixed her form across six starts so far but she gets the nod here based on her last start 2nd place over this distance on December 18th when she was on pace and finished in a time quicker than any of the others have managed for the distance. She draws wide but with a touch of luck at the start, she’ll be the one to beat. (6) RAON CITY GIRL comes up in trip for the first time. She too has mixed her form, but she did post a very quick time over 1000M when 3rd in November. She should be on pace here and the additional furlong can suit. (4) TANSAN comes in after a best finish to date of 3rd place in that December 18th race when settling slightly worse than midfield and finishing well. She has five-lengths to make up on Cheonjon Chat but can get closer with a much better draw. (2) BLUE ARCH and (5) SEOULEUL NALDA among others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(12) Cheonjon Chat (6) Raon City Girl (4) Tansan (2) Blue Arch
Next Best5, 8
Fast Start2, 6, 7, 12

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(11) FINAL SEVEN overcame gate ten to get on pace and run 2md behind Young Boss on his first try at this class over 1400M on December 16th. He steps up to a mile for the first time today but looks a progressive type with just four starts behind him and an apprentice jockey aboard brings his weight right down. (8) CHANGCHANG DAERO also steps up to a mile for the first time. He has only raced four times but has a smart win over 1200M as well as a last start 3rd at this class over 1400M to his name. He looks to have scope for more. (9) GREEN PAPAGO has beaten a few of these in her latest appearances, all at a mile. The wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and she can be a big factor here. (3) QUEEN OF SPIRIT, who beat Changchang Daero at 1400M last time out, and (7) QUEEN STAR among plenty of others capable of placing.

Selections(11) Final Seven (8) Changchang Daero (9) Green Papago (3) Queen Of Spirit
Next Best7, 1
Fast Start2, 8, 10, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

There isn’t much positive form here. (4) SUBAL DORIANG come sin off a 2nd place over this distance on December 17th when handy throughout. It continued a pattern of him getting closer and is enough to put him on top here. (12) MY GONGJU was touch disappointing when stepped up to 1700M last time and well backed. Drawn wide he was unable to find a position on the short run to the first turn and scarcely figured. Go on his previous start at this trip though and he is firmly in this. (7) DESIRE TO WIN came home in 4th place behind Subal Doriang in that December 17th race. He has steadily improved across four starts so far and if he can maintain that momentum, can be in the mix here. (2) GHOST CHARM and (8) EFFEL TAP among others in the hunt. 

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 14)

There has been plenty of rain across the country over the past day or so and that’s set to continue into the weekend. On the plus side, the temperatures should be very mild compared to last week’s arctic blast. Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with 12 races from 10:40 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens in the opener with just three of them having raced before. (6) ORCHID VALLEY overcame gate ten and a slow start on debut over 1000M on December 17th to run 2nd in a good time. He should have come on for the run and the way he worked home suggests that the additional furlong will be to his benefit. (5) PEERLESS also came from off the pace on debut, running 3rd in an all-filly race over 1000M. She too should have derived benefit from that run and can go close here. Of the newcomers, (3) MIR QUALITY looks the pick. He made all in his trial and while the time was not quick, he was within himself, and a bold showing is possible first-up. (12) FLY DAY is done no favours by the draw but showed well in his heat and can be considered. (4) CUPID CHIC can build on her 7th place on debut in November.

Selections(6) Orchid Valley (5) Peerless (3) Mir Quality (12) Fly Day
Next Best4, 7
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 12

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

More three-year-old maidens although all of these have raced at least once before. (3) NAOL GONI will be favourite having run 4th on debut and then followed up with 2nd on his reappearance on December 17th when he led almost the entire way around. He draws well to be on pace again, the additional half furlong should pose no issues, and he should go one better here. (8) RAON THE CHARLIE has been showing steady progress across three starts so far, culminating in 3rd place at his latest on December 10th when settling right back and running on. That was his first try at 1200M and stretching out further today should help. (5) LEGAL HIGH used up plenty of energy getting to the front from a wide draw last time out and then weakened but should get an easier run here. (10) SEONGEUN CROWN and (12) SAVANA CHARLIE the other logical place chances.

Selections(3) Naol Goni (8) Raon The Charlie (5) Legal High (10) Seongeun Crown
Next Best12, 4
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(3) BAEDAERI WANGJA has been consistent across four starts so far and while his 2nd place on debut over 1000M may be his best finish, he has run on well in his latest two, finishing 4th both times over 1200M. There isn’t much early speed here so from a good draw he may well be closer to the pace than usual, and this could be his day. (1) BADAUI KKUM has been knocking on the door in his latest few appearances. He can settle handy here and should be running on into some money again. (5) POWERFUL SOCKS stepped up to this distance for the first time on December 12th and it seemingly suited as he was an on-pace 2nd on a fast time. He will surely be on the speed here and will be in this a long way. (9) BOSS BABY and (8) STAND BY ME are others in at least the placing hunt.

Selections(3) Baedari Wangja (1) Badaui Kkum (5) Powerful Socks (9) Boss Baby
Next Best8, 11
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 7

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

It’s hard to go far past (1) STRENGTH here. After a fast 4th on debut over 1000M, he came up to this trip for his second start on December 17th and ran a close 3rd, sitting handy throughout. He draws well to be on the pace, and it would be a surprise if he didn’t lead from gate to wire. The form of the rest is patchy, to say the least. (10) MIGHTY SSEN has hinted at ability in two efforts over 1000M. He has finished off both times well and may appreciate the step up in trip today. (3) SMARTY GLORY managed a 2nd place two starts back over 1000M, working home strongly. She never got going after a slow start on her first try at this distance on December 18th but is worth another chance here. (7) FIRST CHOUX returns to action following six months out and trialled fairly enough to suggest he can beat plenty of these. (2) RAON JUMP another with the potential to improve.

Selections(1) Strength (10) Mighty Ssen (3) Smarty Glory (7) First Choux
Next Best2, 12
Fast Start1, 5, 9, 12

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(10) BULGOM MADRE remains a maiden but comes up in class having finished as runner-up on both starts to date, only narrowly going down last time out over this distance. This isn’t the most intimidating class 5 field and while she draws wide, she doesn’t need to lead and has every chance of measuring up. (4) NAOL CHEONJI was a winner on debut and followed up with a 3rd place on her first try at this level in November. She couldn’t follow up at 1300M on December 10th but even so, she still finished ahead of a couples of today’s rivals and that’s enough to put her in contention here. (11) COMPLETE FORCE also beat a couple on his first try at the level. That came when on pace over 200M on November 20th and finishing 5th. The draw is not ideal as he seems to prefer to be on the seed but with a touch of luck at the start, he can be a danger. (12) GEOMEUN JILJU and (2) RIVER TAEYANG among others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(10) Bulgom Madre (4) Naol Cheonji (11) Complete Force (12) Geomeun Jilju
Next Best2, 3
Fast Start1, 4, 11, 12

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

Fillies (and two mares) only here. (4) EINSPANNER was a coast-to-coast winner on debut over 1000M on December 11th and while up in both class and distance today, both can be overcome and she can maintain her 100% record, probably from on pace again. This isn’t an easy race though. (3) BURUI KKOT is yet to win in nine starts but has eight top0five finishes including a last start 2nd at class and distance on December 17th. She comes up in the weights today but draws well and it’s not impossible that today could be her day. (8) HIDDEN BLADE enters off a desperately close 2nd place at class and distance on November 5th. She too comes up in the weights, but a similar run will put her firmly in the mix again. (12) CONCORD QUEEN and (5) HUIMANG GADEUK others in the frame.

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