Month: September 2016

International Meeting Day 1: Lee Shin Young Trains STC and HKJC Trophy winners

Saturday saw day 1 of the Korea Cup meeting and there were several Trophy Exchange races throughout the day:

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Raon Amos won the Singapore Turf Club Trophy (Pic: Ross Holburt for KRA)

Trainer Lee Shin Young sent out the winners of both the Singapore Turf Club Trophy and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy. Raon Amos took the STC while Gray Socks was the winner of a messy event for 2-year-olds in the HKJC.

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Gray Socks and Moon Se Young return to scale having won the inaugural HKJC Trophy (Pic: Ross Holburt for KRA)

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HKJC Trophy ceremony (Pic: Ross Holburt for KRA)

Moon Se Young also won a race in a mini-jockey challenge that was held involving some of the  jockeys who will ride in Sunday’s Korea Cup & Sprint. Abderahim Faddoul, representing France was the best visitors although he has to wear the British silk after the French one went missing:

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Abderahim Faddoul received his trophy from Yangtae Park (Pic: Ross Holburt for KRA)

Earlier the Macau Jockey Club Trophy had been won by Ham Wan Sik on Dixie Ploit while later on, the Horse Racing Ireland Trophy ended with an easy win for Kim Hye Sun on Cheonji Storm:

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A slightly awkward looking HRI Trophy presentation party (Pic: Ross Holburt for KRA)

On Sunday it’s the main events, the Keeneland Korea Cup & Korea Sprint.

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

International weekend gets underway at Seoul Racecourse on Saturday and while the Cup and Sprint are tomorrow, there’s still plenty going on. There are four exchange “Trophy races” with the Macau Jockey Club, Singapore Turf Club, Hong Kong Jockey Club and Horse Racing Ireland as well as the official launch of the new 127 metre-long screen. In total there are 13 races from 14:00 to 21:00. English racecards here, brief notes on races 1-10 below:

Race 1: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 60 Million / 14:00 

Nine of the twelve debut here and trial “winner” (7) RAON QUANTUM is set to be the one to beat. He finished strongly in his trial, beating a couple who also debut here and should go well under the champion jockey. Among other debut makers, (6) MY VISION and (10) USEUNGUI CHUEOK caught the eye in trials, however the main danger is likely to be one of those with experience. (3) YEOKDAE CHOESANG was 3rd on debut at the end of July and can have come on for that.

Selections (7) Raon Quantum (3) Yeokdae Choesang (6) My Vision (10) Useungui Chueok
Next Best 1, 8, 11, 4
Outsiders 2, 5, 9, 12
Fast Starters 6, 8, 9

Race 2: Class 6 / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 14:45 

Big field and despite a trainer/jockey combination that isn’t in form (3) RECONQUISTA has to be slight favourite here. He beat three of these when running 2nd a month ago at this distance and can go one better today. (11) CALL ME JK comes in following a career best 2nd the same day and can come close once more as can (14) GANGJASEUNG, who improved under an apprentice jockey last time out and has the same rider returning today. Brian Dean’s (2) CALEDONIA can also improve on his debut run behind Reconquista while (1) WON AGAIN – yet to win – is the other one to consider.

Selections (3) Reconquista (2) Caledonia (11) Call Me JK (14) Gangjaseung
Next Best 1, 8, 5, 10
Outsiders 4, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13
Fast Starters 5

Race 3: Class 6 / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 15:30 

Another full field and this race is part of a brief challenge for some of the jockeys in town for Sunday’s international races. The Koreans have got the best of the draw with (6) DARK AMBER likely to be disputing favourite status with (10) MONDAY MONEY. Both look ready to win. (9) MENI VET has come close on each of her last four outings and should do so again while among the foreign riders, Abderahim Faddoul has perhaps the best draw with (7) YESANGBAEK SEUNG. Also in with a shout is (5) IBAEGJEOM.

Selections (6) Dark Amber (10) Monday Money (9) Menu Vet (7) Yesangbaek Seung
Next Best 5, 4, 14, 8, 3, 13
Outsiders 1, 2, 11, 12
Fast Starters 7, 9, 10, 12

Race 4: Class 4 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 16:15 

The first of the trophy races so a big prize on offer here. (4) GWANGYANG DOLPUNG Is favourite to land it having been a close 2nd his first try at class and distance last month. He’ll settle handy and could have too much late on. (7) SUBAEKHYANG and (2) DIXIE PLOIT come in having run 2nd and 3rd respectively at this distance on August 20th and will be competitive again while (5) RAON NARA and (8) DEVIL MAN are both up in class and nicely in here.

Selections (4) GWangyang Dolpung (2) Dixie Ploit (7) Subaekhyang (5) Raon Nara
Next Best  
Outsiders  
Fast Starters  

Race 5: Class Open – The Singapore Turf Club Trophy / 1400M / KRW 150 Million / 16:45

Some of the visiting jockeys return here for this filly-only trophy race although again it’s a local who has the best of the draw with Kim Yong Geun pulling out (9) RAON AMOS. The filly has won her last four with varying degrees of ease and while she faces a stiffer test here, she should be on speed early and can win again. (7) BLAZING STAR gives Tadgh O’Shea an opportunity to show what he can do; the 3-year-old won three in a row between April and June and should also be on speed here. (4) OUR CAT, (5) REWARD HIGH and (8) JEWELRY PARK look best of the rest in a nicely competitive race.

Selections (9) Raon Amos (7) Blazing Star (8) Jewelry Park (5) Reward High
Next Best 4, 2
Outsiders 1, 3, 6
Fast Starters 4, 7, 9

Race 6: Class Open Allowance / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 200 Million / 17:15 

The inaugural Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy is for 2-year-olds who passed through local sales and there’s a huge prize on offer. (10) ROCKET QUEEN didn’t impress on debut last month but went back to trail just last week and absolutely flew through and Brian Dean’s filly comes into contention as a result. (3) CLEAN UP SKY and (9) LEAD MONEY were perhaps the most impressive on their debuts with (2) PHILLANIKE and (8) NEW WHY FI also showing potential for improvement.

Selections (10) Rocket Queen (3) Clean Up Sky (9) Lead Money (2) Phillanike
Next Best 8, 11, 1, 5, 12
Outsiders 4, 6, 7
Fast Starters 3, 5, 9, 10

Race 7: Class Open / 2000M / Weight for Age / KRW 150 Million / 17:55 

(5) SUN STRONG and (1) GASOKBULPAE ran 1st and 2nd over this distance in the Sports Chosun Cup in June. While Sun Strong struggled on reappreance at class 1 in July and Gasokbulpae han’t raced since, both look strong here. Gasokbulpae will try to lead from gate to wire. (2) CHEONJI STORM was a good 2nd in the Ilgan Sports Cup at the end of July and should be competitive on his first try at this distance while (3) ROYAL VICTORY and (7) HOWIMUSA look best of the rest.

Selections (1) Gasokbulpae (5) Sun Strong (2) Cheonji Storm (7) Howimusa
Next Best 6, 3, 4
Fast Starters 1

Race 8: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 18:35 

Back to the big fields. (10) WANJEON MULGYEOL provided trainer Kim Dong Chul with his first ever winner last month and it is possible he could provide him with his 2nd here. It won’t be easy though. (13) HAPPIEST was beaten by Wanjeon Mulgyeol last time but should get closer today while (2) CUPID PARK and (4) GEUMBIT SONATA can both improve on slightly disappointing outings last time while (12) CHOWON BOLT can build on a 3rd and a 2nd in his last two starts. (6) GWACHEON WONDER is up in class following a 2nd place over this distance and while he is yet to win in ten attempts, he looks nicely in here.

Selections (6) Gwacheon Wonder (10) Wanjeon Mulgyeol (12) Chowon Bolt (2) Cupid Park
Next Best 13, 4, 1, 8, 5
Outsiders 3, 7, 9, 11
Fast Starters  

Race 9: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 19:00 

(10) SILLA HWARANG is up in class following his maiden win on his second start and he is favoured to keep improving her. He should come from just behind an early pace that could be set by (11) PINK STAR, who has just the one win in 25 races but has been coming close recently. (2) DRAGON SPEED comes in following an improved 3rd in July and then ten weeks off and can go well while (3) HWANHUIUISUNGAN and (8) HWANSANGUI DOYAK look best of the rest.

Selections (10) Silla Hwarang (11) Pink Star (2) Dragon Speed (3) Hwanhuiuisungan
Next Best 8, 7, 1
Outsiders 4, 5, 6, 9
Fast Starters 5, 6, 11

Race 10: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 19:25 

Two standouts here with (3) VIVA TRINITY a class and distance winner on August 20th. He carries more weight today but can follow up. (6) SEONGBULOREUM’s recent form is better than 6th and 5th from her last two suggest – both were tight and with more luck she could have got closer coming from off the pace. (7) PRO MATEUS is inconsistent but can improve here while (2) SHINE CLOVER and (12) INDIE RUNNER are others to take into account.

Selections (3) Viva Trinity (6) Seongbuloreum (12) Indie Runner (7) Pro Mateus
Next Best 2, 10, 5, 8
Outsiders 1, 4, 9, 11, 13, 14
Fast Starters

Korea Cup & Sprint Countdown: Numbers Drawn

The barrier draws for Sunday’s Keeneland Korea Cup and Sprint took place at a downtown Seoul hotel this morning. Each race features seven overseas-trained horses up against nine Korean-trained. We’ll have a full final preview of both races up on Saturday. For now, here are the fields (all pictures by Ross Holburt for KRA):

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The Sprint will be simulcast live by the Hong Kong Jockey Club during Sunday afternoon’s Sha Tin meeting and Super Jockey, one of the favourites for the race, drew gate number 2.

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Owner Tony Lau draws Super Jockey’s number (Pic: Ross Holburt for KRA)

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Kim Yong Geun is less than amused at pulling gate 16 out for Power Blade in the Cup

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Sprint connections

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Cup connections

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Team GB! (& Australia)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 9)

The barrier draws for Sunday’s inaugural Keeneland Korea Cup & Sprint were held this morning in Seoul. Before we get to that though, we have plenty of regular action to take care of. The weekend’s racing starts in Busan on Friday where there are 11 races from 14:20 to 21:00. English racecards are here and notes on races 1-9 are below:

Race 1: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 55 Million / 14:20    

Italian jockey Francisco Da Silva makes his Korean debut here and it could be a winning one on (3) BAEKDUBONG. The colt was a solid 2ndon debut in July and can go one better here. Main danger is (7) DAREUMBAKJIL, also 2nd on debut last month behind a decent winner. Debut-makers (6) TRIPLE KING looks next best while (5) EORIN YEOWANG can improve from his debut last month.

Selections (7) Dareumbakjil (3) Baekdubong (6) Triple King (5) Eorin Yeowang
Next Best 1, 2, 4
Fast Starters 1, 6

Race 2: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 55 Million / 14:45 

Only three of the eight have raced before and of those, (7) CHOEGANG DRIVER was an improved 6th on her second start behind some promising ones and can progress again here. Da Silva gets another opportunity on (4) SUMMIT DAY, 2nd in a trial last month and who along with (2) GOLDEN BULLET, looks the most promising of the debut-makers. The two others with racing experience, (3) EGSEU BAND and (8) QUEEN’S BULLET are next best.

Selections (4) Summit Day (7) Choegang Driver (2) Golden Bullet (3) Egseu Band
Next Best 8, 1
Outsiders 5, 6
Fast Starters 3, 4, 7

Race 3: Class 6 / 1200M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 15:10 

With two 3rds from three outings to date, filly (1) AREUMDAUN OECHIM is strongly favoured to strike this time as the standout in a big but limited field. Bearing in mind the quality – or lack thereof – of the opposition, Peter Wolsley’s (6) COURAGIO, the only debut-maker, has to be well supported while (5) PYEONGDAEMYEONGMUN, with two 4ths from three starts, can also go well. Plenty of experience, if not necessarily talent, among the rest so (4) CHASEDAE and (10) AQUA QUEEN should be capable of competing for the money.

Selections (1) Areumdaun Oechim (6) Couragio (5) Pyeongdaemyeongmun (4) Chasedae
Next Best 10, 2, 9, 8, 12, 3
Outsiders 7, 11, 13, 14
Fast Starters 5, 13

Race 4: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 15:55 

Another Peter Wolsley debut-maker. (4) YUSEONG FIRST, looks the one to beat here in this all-filly affair. She looked promising in trials and can get off to a winning start in less than intimidating company. (6) LADY LUCK should be scoring the best result of her career to date, coming in following a 3rd and a 4th in her last two starts. (1) BEST ECTON and (7) SWEET WHY, both under apprentice jockeys can also improve on what they’ve done before.

Selections (4) Yuseong First (6) Lady Luck (1) Best Ecton (7) Sweet Why
Next Best 3, 8
Outsiders 2, 5
Fast Starters 2, 4, 7

Race 5: Class 4 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 16:40 

We’re finally done with the maidens and onto a competitive looking race. As we often do in these type of class 4 races, we’ll go for the experienced Korean breds over the imports. (1) YEONGTO DAEWANG is up in class   following her second win just two weeks ago. She looks a good sprinter and can make all here. Also a good looking sprinter is (9) V DIVA. She returned from four months off to triumph over this distance on August 7th and is too up in class here with solid claims. (8) HUIMANG QUEEN has finished no worse than 4th in eight runs to fate and should keep that record intact today. Among the imports, (5) BARAMUI HEUNJEOK can improve on the 6th he scored on debut while first-timer (11) PASSION D’OR looked promising in trials.

Selections (1) Yeongto Daewang (9) V Diva (8) Huimang Queen (11) Passion D’Or
Next Best 5, 4, 10, 3
Outsiders 2, 6, 7, 12
Fast Starters 1, 3, 4

Race 6: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 17:25 

Competitive race here and Bart Rice’s (7) FOCUS LINE just gets the verdict. Yet to win in four but looked ok first up at this level a month ago and can improve from just off the pace. (12) CHOEGANG ADVENTURE has a 2nd and a 3rd at this level and if he can get to the front from gate 12, could have strong claims while (2) JERAJIN, who didn’t find it easy in an all-filly race at this class three weeks ago can also improve today. (5) BAEDARI HAENGUN and (6) WONDERFULCHEONGHAE look best of the rest.

Selections (7) Focus Line (12) Choegang Adventure (2) Jerajin (5) Baedari Haengun
Next Best 6, 1, 14, 10, 8, 2
Outsiders 3, 4, 9, 11
Fast Starters 3, 10, 11, 12

Race 7: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 18:05

(14) BRACHAH beat four of these when finishing 3rd over class and distance just two weeks ago and despite drawing the outside gate here is favoured to beat them once more and this time come home in front. It won’t be easy though. (3) CHEONGCHUN CHAMP is up in class following a pair of 2nd places at class 6 and looks to have scope for development while (2) MAKGANG JILJU has come close in each of her last four and can do so again. (4) GAMSEONG POKBAL is up in class following her maiden win at this distance. She has plenty to find but can be competitive while (8) OH MY CAPTAIN and (11) FIRST SUN are others to consider.

Selections (14) Brachah (3) Cheongchun Champ (2) Makgang Jilju (11) First Sun
Next Best 8, 4, 7, 6, 9
Outsiders 1, 5, 10, 12, 13
Fast Starters 8, 11, 14

Race 8: Class 5 / 1600M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 18:45 

Another really competitive race with (6) USEUNG CHOEGO marginally favoured to improve on 3rd place at class and distance on August 12th. Main danger is (9) GERMAN JEONCHA, 2nd on his first try at the distance three weeks ago and likely to set the pace here. He looks a potential talent at this and further distances. (7) THE STARS has only won once but is always dangerous; she beat (8) GO JJANG by a length last time out as the pair ran 3rd and 4th over a mile and both should be competitive again here. Up in class and distance, (2) HUIMANG PARADE may also be considered.

Selections (6) Useung Choego (9) German Jeoncha (2) Huimang Parade (7) The Stars
Next Best 8, 10, 3, 11
Outsiders 1, 4, 5
Fast Starters 9

Race 9: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 19:35 

Bart Rice’s (6) JANGGUNEUI HUYE comes in having won three from three since being a little overmatched in the Korean Oaks in June. She’s a talented sprinter and should have too much for this opposition. (8) V MAN, a Korean Derby also-ran, and (10) GIGA SPEED can go close but will have to find a little extra to compete with the favourite while (4) SINSEGYE SINHWA and (7) GANGJA DAERO also look in the running for the places.

Selections (6) Jangguneui Huye (8) V Man (10) Giga Speed (4) Sinsegye Sinhwa
Next Best 7, 11, 12, 3
Outsiders 1, 2, 5, 9
Fast Starters 5

All Systems Go For Korea Cup & Sprint

All fourteen overseas-trained horses who will participate in Sunday’s historic inaugural running of the Keeneland Korea Cup and Keeneland Korea Sprint have arrived at Seoul Racecourse.

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Hong Kong’s Super Jockey worked at Seoul Racecourse on Tuesday morning under assistant trainer Beverly Millard (Pic: Ross Holburt for KRA)

Following the withdrawals of Hong Kong pair Gun Pit and Rich Tapestry from the Cup and the Sprint respectively, there are a total of seven overseas-trained horses set to go in each race (Full list of entries here). The arrivals began last Friday with horses from Japan and Singapore and concluded on Sunday evening when France-trained Famous Mark was the last to take up residence in the newly expanded international stables at Seoul Racecourse.

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Chrysolite & jockey Joe Fujii (Pic: Ross Holburt for KRA)

The horses have been working since arrival; very early in the mornings because of quarantine regulations – although on Tuesday they received a bit of a lie-in due to Korean horses at the track not working (Tuesday is traditionally a day-off in Korean racing and old habits die-hard – even with those due to be racing in the big ones this weekend), so the visitors had the track and parade-ring, which the Japanese horses schooled in, to themselves.

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Both Cup and Sprint look fascinating affairs with the Sprint, despite its lower prize-money, seeming especially competitive. The “Supers”, Hong Kong’s Super Jockey and Singapore’s Super Winner, as well as the newly Irish-trained Wild Dude join UAE pair of Art Wave and Beachy Head and Japanese duo Million Volts and Grape Brandy will face the hugely promising Busan-trained Perdido Pomeroy. While proven quality is on the side of the visitors, the sand-track can be a great leveler as was shown when Choegang Schiller, who will also run, won last year’s Asia Challenge Cup. Due to Super Jockey’s presence, the Sprint will be simulcast live to the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

The Japanese raiders look like they mean business and the pair of Chrysolite and Kurino Star O seem especially formidable in the Cup where they will line-up with Famous Mark as well as Singapore’s Infantry and Order Of The Sun, UAE’s Need To Know and Great Britain’s Solar Deity in taking on Korean Triple Crown winner Power Blade.

The barrier draw which, with 16 runners set to run in each race, could be crucial, will take place on Thursday lunchtime.

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.

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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.

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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.