Saturday Seoul: Race-By-Race Preview (December 24)

It’s Christmas Eve! So what better to do than get out on the punt? Plenty of opportunities to do so today as well with a bumper 15-race card at Seoul Racecourse.

Big card, big fields and Slovakian jockey Jan Havlik makes his Korea debut with five rides. English race cards are here. Notes on overseas simulcast races 5-15 are below:

Race 5: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:25 

Just the one win in eleven to date but a solid 3rd place at class and distance in a decent contest a month ago makes (2) CLEAN UP WHISTLE favourite to take this. The draw should allow her to get on the early speed and make all. (4) SHINE QUEEN and (5) NHA TRANG have both shown ability and this level and can compete while (3) GOLDIE EARTH and (11) BLACK POINT are both up in class following maiden victories last time out with the latter looking more equipped here.

Selections: (2) Clean Up Whistle (4) Shine Queen (5) Nha Trang (11) Black Point
Next Best: 3, 9
Rating: 4=5=11, 2=3
Fast Starters: 2, 3, 10
Start-200M: 2, 10, 1, 4, 11
200M-Finish: 4, 11, 9, 5, 6

Race 6: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 14:10 

After two consecutive 2nd place finishes, just beaten a nose last time out, (7) GEUMTAEPUNG can go one better today. He’s only won one of nineteen so far but can sit handy early, finish well and looks the one to beat. (3) GEUMGOKSEONG did actually beat him over 1200M in September and has been solid into starts since as well so must be considered while (6) NEW WHY FI and (8) J BAEK both enter following victories, the latter at this class and distance. (1) LIM FARM was an unexpected 2nd last start, just beaten a neck and will be better supported today.

Selections: (7) Geumtaepung (6) New Why Fi (3) Geumgokseong (8) J Baek
Next Best: 1, 5
Rating: 2, 8, 3, 6, 7
Fast Starters: 2, 3, 5
Start-200M: 5, 2, 3, 6, 7
200M-Finish: 3, 11, 8, 6, 7

Race 7: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 14:35 

Very open race here with any number of potential winners. (8) ELECTRIC CHROME last won in January but has shown signs of coming back into form with a good 3rd place last month. He’s top rated here and has as good a chance as any. (2) HAENGUN MONEY disappointed slightly when 5th at class and distance last month but should be on speed early and gets another chance. (4) K KING is up in class following his maiden win last month and tries further than the minimum distance for the first time. (6) KKACHILHAN GONGJU is also up in class following her own maiden win and may be considered while (7) TOHO KING looks best of the rest.

Selections: (8) Electric Chrome (2) Haengun Money (6) Kkachilhan Gongju (4) K King
Next Best: 7, 5
Rating: 8, 2, 6, 4=5
Fast Starters: 2, 4, 6
Start-200M: 2, 6, 4, 5, 10
200M-Finish: 7, 1, 8, 3, 4

Race 8: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 15:00 

Another competitive race but we’ll go for one of the 2-year-olds, (3) GRAY SOCKS to return to the winner’s circle. She was 3rd in a similar race (albeit it one restricted to fillies) last month and should get on speed early here. (4) THUNDER LIGHT is yet to win but has shown promise in three outings to date and has beaten a number of these so must be considered while (1) CHOEGO MONEY comes in after an unexpected win over 1200M at the end of November and will be more respected today. (9) CHEONGDAM DAERO and (10) WHIZ SPEED are others capable in this company.

Selections: (3) Gray Socks (4) Thunder Light (1) Choego Money (10) Whiz Speed
Next Best: 9, 7
Rating: 10, 4, 1=11, 5
Fast Starters: 1, 3, 10
Start-200M: 7, 3, 10, 5, 1
200M-Finish: 4, 9, 3, 6, 7

Race 9: Class 4 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 15:25 

(7) TWO KAY beat (10) JOARA by no fewer than seven lengths as the pair raced 1st and 2nd over class and distance at the end of last month and the winner has to be favoured once more here. He made all that day and should do so again. He’ll be strong favourite with (2) OPEN BANK, 2nd in a similar race the same day, looking next best. (3) ARGO FLYING made all for an unexpected win at 1300M last time and must be respected while (8) PRIME GOLD and (12) KKUM KAERA, the latter returning for the first time since July, are others to look at.

Selections: (7) Two Kay (3) Argo Flying (2) Open Bank (12) Kkum Kaera
Next Best: 8, 1
Rating: 7, 2=10, 8, 3
Fast Starters: 1, 2, 7, 12
Start-200M: 2, 12, 7, 3, 8
200M-Finish: 12, 9, 4, 3, 5

Race 10: Class 4 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 15:50

Two standouts here. (4) RED WOOD is up in class following a facile five-length win over this distance last month and looks to have good potential. Already experienced at this level is (2) GEOMRYEONG, who comes in after back to back 2nd place finishes and could very well go one better. Those two should account for the quinella although (9) WORLD MARK and (12) GOLD FASHION are capable of finding the money in this company and Slovakian jockey Jan Havlik has a live chance of finding the places on (1) Beyond Limit.

Selections: (4) Red Wood (2) Geomryeong (9) World Mark (1) Beyond Limit
Next Best: 12, 3
Rating: 9, 4, 1, 2=12
Fast Starters: 5, 7, 8, 9
Start-200M: 2, 9, 7, 12, 5
200M-Finish: 12, 1, 5, 4, 10

Race 11: Class 3 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 16:15 

(4) CHOWON GANGTA has won four of his last five and beat three of his rivals here last start and while he carries significantly more weight today, he is surely the one they need to beat. (11) DIXIE PLOIT and (6) CHEONHABI were among those behind him that day and they can also be backed although those looking at the weights may be tempted by (1) GRAND BLEU and especially (12) MR. MOUNTAIN, the latter having a win to his name at this distance and getting another chance having disappointed as favourite last start.

Selections: (4) Chowon Gangta (12) Mr. Mountain (11) Dixie Ploit (6) Cheonhabi
Next Best: 1, 3
Rating: 4, 2, 6=9=11
Fast Starters: 3, 6
Start-200M: 3, 7, 1, 6, 10
200M-Finish: 11, 6, 2, 12, 4

Race 12: Class 3 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 16:40 

There’s likely to be another reasonably warm favourite here as (7) HURI BARAM tries the distance for the first time following a 2nd place on his first try at domestic class 3 last start and looks very nicely in here. The others all need to find something above their recent form. (3) HONGNAM BULPAE was creditable on his return from five months off last start and can improve here while the inconsistent (1) CHUKACHUKA may appreciate another crack at this distance. Up in class having finally secured his maiden win, (4) SINGIPARANG could place with (10) FORMER MISSION and (11) BROOKS also possibles.

Selections: (7) Huri Baram (3) Hongnam Bulpae (4) Singiparang (10) Former Mission
Next Best: 1, 11
Rating: 6=8, 2, 4=7
Fast Starters: 4, 7, 9
Start-200M: 7, 2, 4, 1, 10
200M-Finish: 5, 4, 11, 10, 3

Race 13: Class Open / 1200M / Allowance (2yo only) / KRW 150 Million / 17:05

Valuable race restricted to Korean bred 2-year-olds. (3) DELTA K is the only unbeaten one but is up in terms of both distance and company today so has a bit to find which may leave one of (4) MR. CHAMPION or (6) MR. FORTUNE as the favourite. Both look to have plenty of potential and both come in following smart wins in their respective last starts. (2) LEAD MONEY was extremely flat three weeks ago but gets another chance here while (10) OJEI MYEONGDAP can look to at least match the 2nd places he’s got in his last two starts.

Selections: (6) Mr. Fortune (4) Mr. Champion (3) Delta K (10) Ojei Myeongdap
Next Best: 9, 2
Rating: 5, 2=3=9, 1
Fast Starters: 4, 5, 6, 10
Start-200M: 5, 6, 4, 10, 2
200M-Finish: 7, 3, 6, 9, 1

Race 14: Class 2 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 90 Million / 17:30

Another competitive contest. Aussie-bred (4) GEUMA RAPID is favoured to continue his rapid progress up the ranks. He already has a win and a 2nd at this class and looks class 1 bound in short order. He should lead from gate to wire. (3) SHINING GUY was a good-looking winner over this distance at the beginning of November and is up in class here and can compete as can the also up in class, the much more experienced (10) YEONGGWANGUIGEUNAL. (8) TAEYANGWANG and (11) HOWIMUSA were among five of thee who raced each other over the same distance on November 27th and can go ok today.

Selections: (4) Geuma Rapid (3) Shining Guy (10) Yeonggwanguigeunal (8) Taeyangwang
Next Best: 11, 7
Rating: 4, 8, 3, 5=6
Fast Starters: 1, 4, 5, 9
Start-200M: 9, 4, 6, 10, 8
200M-Finish: 2, 3, 4, 10, 6

Race 15: Class 1 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 1200M / 18:00

(2) GOREOUS DREAM was odds-on favourite but tried to match (6) ALWAYS WINNER for early speed when five of these raced each other on November 26th. Always Winner stayed on for 2nd but Goreous Dream didn’t. Expect a more sensible ride today and Goreous Dream can return to the winner’s circle. Always Winner must of course be considered but (12) YAHO SKY CAT, 3rd that day, will be dangerous while (3) YEONDU and (8) SEONBONG, the latter of whom didn’t run in that race, are others who can be involved.

Selections: (2) Goreous Dream (12) Yaho Sky Cat (8) Seonbong (3) Yeondu
Next Best: 6, 9, 4
Rating: 8, 2, 7, 3=4
Fast Starters: 1, 2, 3, 6
Start-200M: 2, 6, 4, 3, 1
200M-Finish: 12, 7, 1, 2, 9

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