Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (December 11)

It might be international day in Hong Kong but there’s plenty going on in Korea too. Some of the nations’s best sprinters are in action at Busan while at Seoul, there are several big handicaps throughout the afternoon.


Macheon Bolt, seen here at the Korea Sprint, goes at Busan on Sunday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

English race cards are here. Notes on all overseas simulcast races are below (all of Seoul and races 2-6 at Busan):

Rating: Top five official rated
Fast Starters: Expected to lead the race early
Start-200M: Fastest average time for the first 200M (up to 6 most recent races)
200M-Finish: Fastest average time for the final 200M (up to 6 most recent races)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 60 Million / 10:40

There are nine debut-makers among the field but we’ll go with one of the three with prior-racing experience to score here. That one is (6) WELLBEING JOY, 5th on debut in October behind a couple of decent ones and is difficult to oppose here. Among the debut-makers none looked quick in trials although (2) GLOBAL DREAM won his and so therefore makes it into second pick. (1) BOMBI’S KING, (5) JAKE and (12) NEON GAMDONGIYA looks next best of the first-timers while (11) TOKTOK YEOJANGGUN, also 5th on debut but considerably slower than Wellbeing Joy, can improve.

Selections: (6) Wellbeing Joy (2) Global Dream (1) Bombi’s King (11) Toktok Yeojanggun
Next Best: 12, 5, 3
Rating: –
Fast Starters: 2, 3, 5, 7
Start-200M: 3, 6, 11
200M-Finish: 6, 11, 3

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 / 1000M / Allowance / KRW 40 Million / 11:05

With a 2nd and a 3rd from among three starts so far, (6) LIVE POWER looks set to be strong favourite to get it right at the fourth time of asking. He’s shown decent speed and good potential and should have too much for these. He beat (2) EORIN WANGJA last time out, the latter disappointing after back to back 3rd places but he gets another chance here and can go close. (9) BEST CAMP put in a positive performance on debut last month and can build on the 5th he achieved. (3) LOVELY DAY and (7) SAEROUN SEGYE look to have the most scope for improvement among the rest.

Selections: (6) Live Power (2) Eorin Wangja (9) Best Camp (3) Lovely Day
Next Best: 7, 1
Rating: –
Fast Starters: 2, 7, 9
Start-200M: 9, 2, 7, 6, 3
200M-Finish: 1, 3, 6, 7, 9

Click “more” for the rest…

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 / 1300M / Allowance / KRW 20 Million / 11:30

Two stand-out here. Both (4) EL PATRON and (6) ALPHAKAN come in following 3rd place finishes last up. El Patron’s was at this distance and was a tight finish but Alphakan’s was in slightly stiffer company so we’ll go for him to strike here. (5) FULL GAIN was 2nd in a decidedly average contest at the distance last month but should be competitive while (9) YEONGUNG GEONMA comes in following a couple of promising performances at the distance and could well have a win in him sooner or later.

Selections: (6) Alphakan (4) El Patron (5) Full Gain (9) Yeongung Geonma
Next Best: 10, 1
Rating: –
Fast Starters: 4, 8
Start-200M: 4, 8, 9, 5, 6
200M-Finish: 6, 3, 5, 4, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 11:55

The outside gate shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance for (10) YEOL QUEEN. She’s up in class after a smart win over the distance a month ago and has every chance of following up here. Also up in class is (3) RAON KINGDOM, a winner by a length of a weak class 6 race last month but who showed enough she can compete at a higher level. From gate 3, she should take the early lead here. (5) KING PLUCKY was 2nd at class and distance last start and can repeat although his racing manners are not always ideal while (7) GOODMORNING FUSION and (9) VICAR SOCKS also look likely to be competitive.

Selections: (10) Yeol Queen (3) Raon Kingdom (9) Vicar Socks (7) Goodmorning Fusion
Next Best: 5, 8
Rating: 5, 3=10, 7, 9
Fast Starters: 3, 8, 9
Start-200M: 3, 8, 10, 9, 5
200M-Finish: 10, 6, 7, 4, 2

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:15

Competitive race but (6) HAE DAP is the pick. He was slightly disappointing when 5th on his first try at this level a month ago but gets another chance today. He can lead all the way. Brian Dean’s (7) TEUKBYEOL STAR is up in class following back to back 2nd places and while she will need to find something here, may be considered but the main dangers may be the very experienced (9) SOBAKANINSAENG, capable of beating plenty at this level and (11) VICKY LIE, a much improved 3rd at class and distance last start and a strong finisher. (5) CHEONNYEONHORYEONG put in a horrible run last start but is better than that and looks best of the rest.

Selections: (6) Hae Dap (7) Teukbyeol Star (11) Vicky Lie (9) Sobakaninsaeng
Next Best: 5, 3
Rating: 5, 8, 2, 9, 6
Fast Starters: 3, 6, 7
Start-200M: 3, 7, 8, 4, 2
200M-Finish: 6, 1, 11, 9, 2

Busan Race 2: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:40

(1) CHOEGANG OFFICER beat two of these when racing 2nd at class and distance on November 13th and is the slight pick to go one better today. He briefly led that race and the draw is right for him to sit handy and finish strongly. Of the pair beaten that day, (5) INDIAN CHIEF was less than a length back in 4th and can compete here. (8) MORNING PARK also comes in following a 2nd place at this class and should be able to lead. (3) ADELEUI JINJU is up in class following back to back 2nd places on her first two starts and, having been beaten by decent ones each time, should be competitive at this level. Peter Wolsley’s (7) BANJIUI YEOJEONSA returns for the first time since winning in July and, having looked sharp in a November trial, may be considered first up today.

Selections: (1) Choegang Officer (8) Morning Park (3) Adeleui Jinju (7) Banjiui Yeonjeonsa
Next Best: 5, 12
Rating: 1=8=12, 5, 7
Fast Starters: 3, 7, 8
Start-200M: 3, 8, 6, 1, 7
200M-Finish: 3, 8, 10, 7, 9

Seoul Race 6: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 14:05

Small field here and all roads point to (1) YONGDUSAN, just beaten a head last start at class and distance, to defy top weight to score here. He beat (3) HAPJAKPUM when winning in October and that latter Colonel John gelding, who went on to be 3rd over 1200M last month, looks set to be the main danger today. The others are going to need to improve to challenge with (4) BONNET BLUE and (2) SEMYEONG YEOSIN perhaps best placed to do so.

Selections: (1) Yongdusan (3) Hapjakpum (4) Bonnet Blue (2) Semyeong Yeosin
Next Best: 6, 5, 7
Rating: 1, 5, 3, 4, 2
Fast Starters: 1, 5
Start-200M: 5, 3, 1, 2, 6
200M-Finish: 4, 6, 2, 1, 3

Busan Race 3: Class 4 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 55 Million / 14:30

Another small field and (1) TODAY will be strongly favoured to maintain his 100% record. He’s up in class for the second race running but looks to have plenty of scope for development and can lead gate to wire on his first try at 1400M. The only real danger looks to be his own stablemate, (5) BRACHAH, who steps back in distance following two good efforts at a mile which yielded a win and a 2nd place. Best of the rest is Thomas Gillespie’s (4) GOLD SUN, who resumes two months after just being beaten out in a narrow finish over 1200M and tackles the distance for the first time. He’s likely to be ridden patiently and finish strongly. Up in class (8) MISS BLUE has plenty to find but will challenge for the lead early.

Selections: (1) Today (5) Brachah (4) Gold Sun (8) Miss Blue
Next Best: 3, 6, 2, 7
Rating: 5, 1=2, 4, 7
Fast Starters: 1, 8
Start-200M: 1, 8, 4, 7, 5
200M-Finish: 1, 5, 4, 2, 8

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 14:55

Really competitive race and with back to back 2nd place finishes having returned from six months off, the time may be right for (10) CIN CIN JJAN to return to the winner’s circle. He will look to lead while (3) MONSTER QUEEN, 3rd last time out and another who steps up to race around two turns for the first time, will be ridden more patiently and can be a factor late on. (11) SPECIAL RUNNER is already a winner at the distance and beat (2) DAEWANGSIN by a nose as the pair ran 3rd and 4th in a very tight finish again at the distance at the start of last month. Both can go well here as can (1) STAR BONNY BEE who returned to form with a 2nd place just two weeks ago. (9) DIDORPHIN finally got his maiden win at the 13th time of asking last month, beating Yongdusan, who we saw in race 6 by a head, but has plenty to find here.

Selections: (10) Cin Cin Jjan (3) Monster Queen (11) Special Runner (2) Daewangsin
Next Best: 1, 9, 6
Rating: 2, 1, 11, 10, 3
Fast Starters: 1, 8, 10
Start-200M: 8, 10, 9, 1, 12
200M-Finish: 3, 9, 11, 6, 5

Busan Race 4: Class 3 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 72 Million / 15:20

The unbeaten (6) HAEYA will start as strong favourite here. He’s won his two races to date by a combined eight lengths and should be making it three out of three. (7) HWANGJEUI TANSAENG is up in class following a visually impressive six-length victory over this distance on November 4th and looks to be the main danger although (1) COWBOY CAPTAIN is a proven winner at this level and should take on Haeya early in the race. (2) GABO STAR and (10) BIO BLUE are best of the rest.

Selections: (6) Haeya (7) Hwangjeui Tansaeng (1) Cowboy Captain (2) Gabo Star
Next Best: 10, 5
Rating: 5, 6, 1, 7, 10
Fast Starters: 1, 2, 6
Start-200M: 6, 2, 10, 1, 7
200M-Finish: 6, 5, 10, 3, 7

Seoul Race 8: Class 4 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 15:45

(5) SMOKEY VALE beat a couple of these on his was to 2nd place over 1300M last month and is one of a number who try two-turns for the first time. He’s yet to win in four outings but the distance may well suit and he’s the slight pick. (2) KAWON is experienced at this distance – and further – and may well be dangerous closing late while (7) HONEY BUTTER NINO thrived on his first try at an extended distance last start, winning comfortably and is up in class here and in with a chance. (4) GAEULI JEONSEOL and (9) WANGUI DAERO are others capable of finding the money in this company.

Selections: (5) Smokey Vale (7) Honey Butter Nino (2) Kawon (4) Gaeuli Jeonseol
Next Best: 6, 9
Rating: 1, 5, 9, 8, 2
Fast Starters: 1, 5, 10
Start-200M: 10, 1, 5, 4, 3
200M-Finish: 6, 5, 2, 9, 7

Busan Race 5: Class 2 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 88 Million / 16:10

3rd in the Cup Mile and Korean Derby and 5th in the Minister’s Cup, (1) STEALTH is one of the top three-year-olds of the year and has the chance to prove it here. Hasn’t raced since the start of September but is the one to beat. The one Stealth needs to beat is (7) SOUL BLADE. A previous attempt at this distance didn’t go well but he defeated four of his rivals here when running 2nd over 1400M last month and looks ready for two-turns again. Also a contender is (10) SANGSEUNG JUNIOR. He was 2nd to Tohamsan at this class and distance just two weeks ago, defeating in the process no fewer than five of his rivals here and there’s no reason why he can’t repeat. (8) SEONGSAN PAECHONG and (9) JUNGANG DAEHAE, both beaten by Sangseung Junior that day, are other placing contenders.

Selections: (1) Stealth (10) Sangseung Junior (7) Soul Blade (9) Jungang Daehae
Next Best: 8, 11
Rating: 9, 6, 10, 4=8
Fast Starters: 2, 8, 9, 10
Start-200M: 4, 2, 9, 10, 6
200M-Finish: 3, 8, 7, 5, 6

Seoul Race 9: Class 1 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 110 Million / 16:35

(3) SOTONG SIDAE met his match in last month’s President’s Cup but back in regular Seoul handicap company today has every chance of returning to winning ways. As usual, he’ll settle towards the rear and aim to finish strongly. (9) DYNAMIC JILJU too has only raced in tough company or at unsuitable distances in recent starts. He is the highest rated of these but an apprentice jockey takes some weight off and he must be considered. (10) SAMBONG beat (11) SHAMROCKER as the pair finished 1st and 2nd over 1900M in October. Both can go well here but the latter is favoured. Lightly-raced 4-year-old filly (2) BEAR QUEEN TROPHY steps up to two turns for the first time and makes for an interesting prospect while the ever reliable (5) WINNING ANDY can never be ruled out of the money in a race like this.

Selections: (3) Sotong Sidae (9) Dynamic Jilju (11) Shamrocker (2) Bear Queen Trophy
Next Best: 5, 10, 1, 8
Rating: 9, 12, 5, 3, 6
Fast Starters: 2, 4, 6, 8
Start-200M: 2, 8, 12, 6, 4
200M-Finish: 10, 11, 5, 1, 12

Busan Race 6: Class 1 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 105 Million / 17:00

Small field but it contains some of the best sprinters in Korea. (2) MACHEON BOLT was 2nd to Hong Kong’s Super Jockey in the Korea Sprint in September. An apprentice jockey is required to take off some of the weight he would otherwise carry and he has a solid chance here. He may not be favourite though. (6) SEOUL BULLET was 2nd to Triple Crown winner Power Blade over this distance before trotting up by five-lengths in a similar race last month. He is Dubai-bound and looks the one to beat. (4) MAIN STAY beat (5) PERDIDO POMEROY last start over 1200M. Perdido Pomeroy’s jockey got a lot of criticism for his ride that day and there is change today. Surprise KNN Cup winner (7) SUPREME MAGIC must also be respected.

Selections: (6) Seoul Bullet (2) Macheon Bolt (5) Perdido Pomeroy (4) Main Stay
Next Best: 7, 3
Rating: 2, 5, 6, 1, 4
Fast Starters: 2, 5
Start-200M: 5, 2, 4, 1, 6
200M-Finish: 2, 3, 4, 8, 7

Seoul Race 10: Class 3 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 17:30

Disappointingly small field here but it is competitive with three of them having solid claims. We’ll go with the likely favourite, (3) CHOEGANGJA, from Brian Dean’s stable, to take the honours. He won by a neck over class and distance last time and enters as the one in form. He is giving 4kg away to two rivals. (2) ACE RUNNER was a creditable 6th in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup last month and while he was beaten by (7) CHEONGSANGUI BYEOL in October, he can come on here. (4) GRACE CITY won in debut and then made just his second start in that Munhwa Ilbo Cup and he too can go well here. The only Korean-bred runner in the race, (6) DEUMJIKI, up in class following a four-length victory last start is the other one to take into account.

Selections: (3) Choegangja (2) Ace Runner (4) Grace City (6) Deumjiki
Next Best: 7
Rating: 3, 7, 1, 6, 4
Fast Starters: 3, 4, 7
Start-200M: 7, 3, 2, 4, 1
200M-Finish: 2, 6, 4, 7, 3

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

Nice big handicap to finish with and (6) DONGCHONUI ACHIM steps up in class but still looks the one to beat. He won a tough race at class 3 over this distance at the end of October, should be on speed early from a favourable draw and can win. (12) SUPER COMMANDO has back to back 3rd place finishes in two starts since graduating to this level and can at least match those today while (1) DAEGUNHWANG, three starts into a comeback after missing almost a year, looks ready to start rekindling his old form. He was an encouraging 5th last time over 1200M. (9) I AM FOR YOU and (11) S ROSE best of the remainders.

Selections: (6) Dongchonui Achim (12) Super Commando (1) Daegunhwang (11) S Rose
Next Best: 9, 7
Rating: 11, 1, 7, 12, 5
Fast Starters: 6, 7, 10
Start-200M: 10, 7, 8, 6, 5
200M-Finish: 3, 12, 6, 11, 8

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