Day: September 3, 2016

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (September 4)

Plenty going on at both Seoul and Busan on Sunday. In the capital there are 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00 while down on the South coast there are 6 from 13:00 to 17:00. English race-cards are here. Notes on most races below:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 60 Million / 10:50 (KST)

Half the field make their debuts but it’s to one with experience we turn. (7) REBECCA was 3rd on debut and should have too much here. She’ll be strong favourite. (8) NHA TRANG has raced twice and was an improved 3rd on August 13th and looks to be the main danger while (2) BLUE LADY can also improve on debut when she was 6th in the same race as Rebecca. Among the debut-makers, (5) KING MESSENGER looked the best in trials.

Selections (7) Rebecca (8) Nha Trang (5) King Messenger (2) Blue Lady
Next Best 1, 3, 4, 6
Fast Starters 2, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 11:15 (KST)

Not a strong lot here but we’ll go for (8) CHEONHA JAEPAE, the only one who comes in following a respectable result in his last start to make the breakthrough here. He was 3rd at class and distance last time and should have too much here. (1) NEULPUREUN JUMBO has a 2nd place to his name, achieved at this distance in June and looks clear 2nd best. Less said about the rest the better with (4) GEUMSU, (5) BYEOLJUNGUIBYEOL and (9) WHITE TIME perhaps with the most chance of improvement.

Selections (8) Cheonha Jaepae (1) Neulpureun Jumbo (4) Geumsu (9) White Time
Next Best 5, 7
Outsiders 2, 3, 6
Fast Starters 4, 8

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 11:40 (KST)

(2) EONJE EODISEONA was a solid 2nd on her first try at this class on August 14th. He was prominent throughout and although well beaten by a good winner, can push on today. He’ll be on the early speed and should win this all-filly affair. (5) BEST QUEEN has come back into form of late with a 2nd and a 3rd from her last two. A strong finisher, she should be competitive again. (3) MONSTER QUEEN is up in class following her maiden win and has little to fear here while (6) SHINE QUEEN and (8) MARI look best of the rest.

Selections (2) Eonje Eodiseona (5) Best Queen (3) Monster Queen (8) Mari
Next Best 6, 7, 1, 4
Fast Starters 1, 2, 8

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 12:20 (KST)

(4) SUN EAST was a shock 85/1 winner on a sloppy track at this class over 1400M in July and still an outsider, followed it up with a creditable 4th at this distance last month. He needs more respect today and could very well return to the winner’s circle. Newly licensed at Seoul, Italian jockey Marcello Belli debuts at Seoul this weekend and he has a chance here on (10) GEUMBIT ULLIM. Yet to win in ten outings, the colt has had several near misses recently and Belli could be the difference today. Likely early pace will come from (3) SPECIAL SHINE, who returns following almost five months out and looked in decent shape in a trial last week while (1) SUPER MOON and (8) NEW DOLPUNG look best of the rest.

Selections (10) Geumbit Ullim (4) Sun East (3) Special Shine (8) New Dolpung
Next Best 1, 9
Outsiders 2, 5, 6, 7
Fast Starters 3

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 13:25 (KST)

Competitive sprint this and we’ll look to three ones up in class to battle it out here. Gate 10 isn’t ideal but if he can get away well, (10) GANGHO CHEONNYEON can edge out (1) LA FENICE and (2) ARGO FLYING. The latter has only raced twice since coming last in the KRA Cup Mile (the opening leg of the Triple Crown) in April but was a good winner last time. Djordje Perovic is back in town having spent the last few months fulfilling licensing requirements overseas and will be eager to start riding winners again and (9) CIGAR ACE won’t be favourite but can be competitive. (4) PERFECT CLONE is another to consider, at least for the places.

Selections (10) Gangho Cheonnyeon (2) Argo Flying (1) La Fenice (9) Cigar Ace
Next Best 4, 5, 11
Outsiders 3, 6, 7, 8
Fast Starters 1, 2, 9, 11

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 14:10 (KST)

(5) EOJJUGARI, winner of back to back races at domestic class 5 in May and June looks craftily entered here among relatively soft imported opposition and has every chance of returning to winning ways. The other Korean-bred runner in the race (8) SPECIAL ROAD HILL looks to have been entered for similar reasons and will also be expected to show improvement form her last start and is likely to be the main danger. Among the six imports few stand out so we’ll give trial winner (4) BANYA DONGHAENG a chance on his racecourse debut with (3) DALLYEORA BEONGAE the other to consider.

Selections (5) Eojjugari (8) Special Road Hill (4) Banya Donghaeng (3) Dallyeora Beongae
Next Best 7, 1
Outsiders 2, 6
Fast Starters 5, 7

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 14:55 (KST)

Big field but big favourite too. (4) CITY STAR has two wins and two 2nd place finishes from four outings to date and should be superior here. He will likely lead all the way. (9) SIDAEUIYEOWANG was 4th to City Star’s 2nd over 1400M at this class on July 23rd and could be the one to get closest to him once more although (11) MAJUNGMUL, 4th on her first try at this level following back to back wins, can also be considered. Plenty more vying for places with (1) PRETTY BOY, (3) KKUMUI CLUB and (8) CHEONJI TAP chief among them.

Selections (4) City Star (9) Sidaeuiyeowang (11) Majungmul (1) Pretty Boy
Next Best 7, 3, 5, 8, 12, 6, 2
Outsiders 10, 13, 14
Fast Starters 2, 4, 8

Seoul Race 8: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 15:45 (KST)

Another big field and another where many have claims. (8) KODIAK LOVE is slightly favoured following two 2nds and a 3rd at this level. He’ll look to come from just off the early pace. There will be plenty on speed early including (5) SHARK MANSE. The two-year-old was a 4-length winner on debut on August 13th and should be fine up in class and distance today. Also on speed will be (1) SMOKEN JOE, a solid 2nd on a wet track at the end of July and likely to benefit from gate 1 here. (3) GOOD TYPE will also be away quickly and go well while attempting to come from off the pace will be (13) HUGHES ROAD. He’s back after eight months out and looked fast and competitive in an August trial.

Selections (8) Kodiak Love (5) Shark Manse (1) Smoken Joe (13) Hughes Road
Next Best 3, 11, 10, 12, 14
Outsiders 2, 4, 6, 7, 9
Fast Starters 1,2, 3, 5, 7

Seoul Race 9: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 16:35 (KST)

Up in class after back to back wins and five for seven in total, (7) MIDAS ROAD tries further than the minimum distance for just the second time. There are few opportunities at his preferred distance at this class so it will be interesting to see if he can stay on today. He will sit handy. Main danger is (10) MENI MUSIC, who comes in following back to back 2n places at lass and distance and will be on the early speed. She’ll be tough to pass as will (3) SANGGAM MAMA and (5) KATIE STAR, both of whom have claims. (4) DARK LADY, 5th behind Meni Music and Katie Star last time looks best of the rest.

Selections (7) Midas Road (10) Meni Music (5) Katie Star (3) Sanggam Mama
Next Best 4, 8, 11, 1
Outsiders 2, 6, 9
Fast Starters 1, 3, 5, 10

Seoul Race 10: Class 1 / 2000M / Handicap / KRW 110 Million / 17:30 (KST)

(4) GWANGBOK CHILSIP looked good when making all for a 7-length win over 1900M at class 2 on July 31st. He is up in class here but carries little weight and can win. Also nicely in here is (8) PINOT NOIR. She’s won a Listed race and a Stakes race already this year and was 2nd coming back from four-month absence last time out. Top weight – and top-rated – is (3) BICHUI WANGJA. He won a similar race at class and distance in July carrying even more than he is today and must be respected. He will look to lead all the way so the early dynamic between him and Gwangbok Chilsip, coming out of neighbouring gates, will be interesting. Plenty of other decent ones here as well with (5) MAGIC TAP, up at class one for the first time, and (6) HWANGGEUM TAP, looking the most promising.

Selections (4) Gwangbok Chilsip (3) Bichui Wangja (8) Pinot Noir (5) Magic Tap
Next Best 6, 10, 2, 11
Outsiders 1, 7, 9
Fast Starters 3, 4

Seoul Race 11: Class 2 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 90 Million / 18:00 (KST)

Another competitive event to finish with. (3) SPECIAL HARBOR beat three of his rivals here on his way to victory at class and distance three weeks ago. The same apprentice jockey who rode him that day keeps his carried weight down once more and he looks the one to beat. (7) DONGCHON ARTIST returned from eight months out to win first-up on a wet track in July and will be well backed as well while (9) CLEAN UP STAR may have only won once in thirty outings but he got his sixth 2nd place finish last time out and can repeat today. (1) THUNDER STEP and (6) S ROSE, look best of the rest.

Selections (3) Special Harbor (7) Dongchon Artist (1) Thunder Step (9) Clean Up Star
Next Best 6, 4
Outsiders 2, 5, 8
Fast Starters 1, 4, 7

Marcello Belli To Debut At Seoul As Perovic Returns

A new foreign jockey debuts at Seoul this Saturday afternoon. 44-year-old Italian Marcello Belli, a one-time champion jockey in Italy will take his first Korean mount in race 9. Also on Saturday at Seoul, Djordje Perovic makes his long-awaited return.


Marcello Belli (Pic: supplied by jockey)

Marcello Belli debuted in 1988 and has ridden approximately 1650 winners in Italy including success in Italian Group and listed races. Over the past three years he has maintained a win rate of 9.3% and a place rate of 21.6%. He is riding at Seoul on an initial three-month license until the end of November.

Although Belli has just the three mounts across the weekend, he has at least one live chance in the shape of Geumbit Ullim in Sunday’s race 4.

Fellow Italian-licensed jockey, Serbia’s Djordje Perovic, has been absent the past couple of months having had to fulfill license requirements elsewhere. Hhowever, the “Balkan Wolf” remains in 3rd place in the Seoul Jockey Championship and will be looking to pick up from where he left off with 14 rides across the weekend.

Belli and Perovic join Imran Chisty as the foreign contingent at Seoul.

Belli’s countrymen Pasquale Borelli and Paolo Aragoni are riding at Busan. Borelli rode a winner on Friday as did the third overseas member of the Busan jockey colony, Japan’s Yonekura Saoshi. Satoshi partnered Ms. Margaux to victory in the class 1 feature race for trainer Thomas Gillespie. Bart Rice also trained a winner on the day. Another foreign jockey has also been licensed at Busan as from September.


Yonekura Satoshi and Thomas Gillespie’s Ms. Margaux win at Busan (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Saturday sees racing at Seoul and Jeju starting from 2pm and running until 9pm. Daytime cards at Seoul and Busan on Sunday.

Click here for English Racecards.