Day: March 4, 2016

Seoul Saturday: Race By Race Preview

Has Spring sprung? Last Sunday saw the final two races at Seoul called off due to snow and while at Busan on Friday, the most useful bit of gear would have been a canoe and paddle such was the rain, temperatures all of a sudden are in the high teens. The rain is set to hit Seoul in time for Saturday’s card but there will still be plenty going on.


Just two days previously, this was under half a foot of snow – could be underwater on Saturday

There are 11 races from 10:50am to 18:00. English racecards can be found here. See below for comments on overseas simulcast races 4-11:

Race 4: Class 5 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 12:00 (SIN)

All filly & mare affair first up and (9) KATIE STAR is strongly favoured to get her second win in three starts. A good winner at this distance on debut, she was 2nd over 1200M on her first try at this level at the end of January and will surely go one better this time. (2) NEW NANCHO has a 5th and a pair of 4ths in three tries at this level and will benefit from the in-form Djordje Perovic in the saddle. (7) SAMJEONG GUARDIAN disappointed on her first try at this class but gets another chance here. She finished behind (1) NAREUSYA QUEEN last start and that one, along with (4) SUNDAY DREAMER are the others to look out for.

Favourites: (9) Katie Star (2) New Nancho (7) Samjeong Guardian (1) Nareusya Queen

Race 5: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 12:50 (SIN)

(2) DONGCHONUI GUY comes in looking for a hat-trick of victories and he can do it but it won’t be easy. (1) DAECHEON FOCUS, a winner at this distance already, looks to be the main danger and these two up and comers will both look to get forward straight from the gate. (7) SWEEP ICHEON is yet to win in twelve outings but enters having come close recently while (4) OUR CAT generally runs at five furlongs and looks an interesting entry here. (8) PERFECT BIC C and (9) CLEANUP SEED are others to take into consideration.

Favourites: (2) Dongchonui Guy (1) Daecheon Focus (7) Sweep Icheon (9) Cleanup Seed

Race 6: Class 5 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:40 (SIN)

Another competitive affair with (7) GEUMA BALIOS under champion jockey Moon Se Young set to be slightly favoured following a good 2nd place last start. He tries this distance for the first time while (1) CURRICLE didn’t go well in one previous attempt but comes in after a strong 3rd over 1300M in January and can be competitive. (3) WHIZ RUN and (5) GWANGSOK can improve on recent starts while (10) RECKLESS, 4th behind Geuma Balios at odds in excess of 200/1 last time, will be much shorter today and could compete for a place.

Favourites: (7) Geuma Balios (1) Curricle (3) Whiz Run (10) Reckless

Race 7: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 14:30 (SIN)

Up in class after back to back wins but shrewdly entered against imported opposition, there is little reason to oppose (5) SUPER START. He’s the only one of these with winning experience; he has led gate to wire in both those recent victories and will look to do so again. If we are to oppose him then we need to find up and comers with potential to improve. (1) KAIZEN FORCE and (13) KODIAK LOVE come closest to fulfilling that requirement while (12) TOTAL WALKER and (14) SMART HULK may also receive some backing.

Favourites: (5) Super Start (13) Kodiak Love (1) Kaizen Force (14) Smart Hulk

Race 8: Class 4 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 15:30 (SIN)

(8) WINNERS GLORY is on the Classic trail having been 3rd in the Champion Juvenile race last November. He got his three-year-old season off to a solid start with a comfortable win over 1400M last month and races around two turns for the first time today. He is the favourite. (6) AYERS ROCK beat (5) KING CREEK CAT as they ran 2nd and 5th over this distance on February 13th and those two look to be the main dangers here, the latter having already won twice at this distance. (4) CLEAN UP KING was last on his first try at 1700M in January but can go better today while (7) STRONG FIELD , returning for the first time since November, is also to be considered.

Favourites: (8) Winners Glory (6) Ayers Rock (5) King Creek Cat (4) Clean Up King

Race 9: Class 3 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 16:00 (SIN)

This race also sees one of those on the Classic trail as the top pick. (3) CHEONJI STORM didn’t go well in the Juvenile Championship race despite being very well backed. He has a win and a 2nd in two starts since, both at 1400M and takes on two turns for the first time today. He is likely to go forward and should he stay on, he has an excellent chance. To beat him, the others will all need to find something above their recent form with (1) DAEGEONI and (5) SEONUP looking the most likely. (2) LUCKY HEART, another front-runner, and (6) ROYAL VICTORY are others with claims on a place.

Favourites: (3) Cheonji Storm (5) Seonup (1) Daegeoni (2) Lucky Heart

Race 10: Class 3 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 16:30 (SIN)

(6) MISO WANGJA has two wins and two 2nd places from four outings prior to today and while this is his first try at 1800M, he was quick when only beaten a neck over 1700M at the end of January and in this company is very difficult to oppose. He will be the strong favourite. It’s tough to make a case for the others but (7) THE SSEN CHAMP has won at the distance before and can be in the hunt while (4) HUGHES ROAD is inconsistent but should be placing here. (5) JINMYEONG GANGHO and (9) CONCORDE II are others who can be competitive.

Selections: (6) Miso Wangja (7) The Ssen Champ (4) Hughes Road (9) Concorde II

Race 11: Class 2 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 90 Million / 17:00 (SIN)

Open contest to finish with, we’ll go with (7) RAON RUSA after he beat three of these when getting his second consecutive 2nd place in January. It’s not with a huge amount of enthusiasm though as there are plenty of others capable. One of those he beat last time is (9) CHEONYEONUIGIPPEUM, who has won at the distance before and has a significant weight advantage. (3) GUMPO YEOJANGGUN also looks nicely in and can improve on recent starts while (1) HAERANGANGJA and (13) LUCKY LIGHT should appreciate the opportunity for a crack at this distance. Open race and there could be some value to find.

Favourites: (7) Raon Rusa (9) Cheonyeonuigippeum (13) Lucky Light (1) Haerangangja

Busan Friday Review

So how do you make a Seoul horse better? Well if his name is Tapipoint, you move him to Busan. 

The few Seoul horses who have been moved to Busan since switching between the tracks became permitted last year have tended to sink without trace – and in fairness, with a couple of notable exceptions, those who have moved in the opposite direction haven’t exactly been pulling up trees either. Tapipoint (Concorde Point) though has been, for want of a better phrase, on point. He ran 2nd in his first two starts on the south coast and today got it spot-on, winning the class 2 race 10 by three lengths under apprentice jockey Lee Yong Ho.

Favourite for that race had been Emeth. However, the Kim Young Kwan trainee sank without trace in the home straight beating just one home. It wasn’t all bad news for favourite backers though as, on a filthy afternoon, the two bankers obliged. Peter Wolsley’s Golden Kings (Ecton Park) – who is in fact a filly – claimed an easy maiden victory in race 4 under Pasquale Borelli while Dyna’s Dream (Meiner Select) was far too strong in securing his third straight win in race 8.

Bart Rice was also among the winners, saddling race 7 victor Giant Hold (Hold Me Back) but it was Ikuyasu Kurakane who was pick of the foreigners today. The Japanese rode three winners with the pick being the up in class Bohemian (Orientate), a strong winner of the 1800M race 9.

It poured with rain for most of the day and times were quick, with many races being run in near track-record times. Racing returns to Busan on Sunday while on Saturday attention turns to Seoul where there is an eleven-race card which gets under way at 10:50am.