Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (February 18)

Last year’s champion juvenile Final Boss is on show on a big day of racing Seoul on Saturday. There are 12 races from 10:40 to 18:00.


Choegang Schiller won the Asia Challenge Cup in 2015. He returns to action at Seoul on Saturday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

English race cards can be found here. Notes on races to be simulcast overseas are below:

Race 5: Class 5 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:40 

1. UBIQUITOUS – Laboured in two starts since returning from five months out. Drop back to 1000M may benefit.

2. PERFECT BIC C – Defied lengthy odds to land back-to-back place finishes at class and distance and needs to be respected here.

3. UNAK HABIO – Scoreless in ten but has been getting closer. Solid effort in 2nd last start.

4. RAON MAGIC – Made all to win comfortably on debut a month ago. Up in class but in the frame.

5. ROYAL JEONGSANG – Decent 4th in November but only beat one home on his return. Comes in fresh after two months off.

6. LA REINE – Won on debut over a year ago, 5th last start suggests she may be coming back into some form.

7. GEUPSIWOO – Well beaten by Perfect Bic C last time. 3rd on a wet track the time before. Competitive at this distance but others favoured.

8. LIM FARM – Solid run when 3rd of 12 at 1200M last month. Outsider but not impossible.

9. YEOKDAE CHOEGANG – Winner at third time of asking in November. Three months off and up in class don’t rule out.

10. MOON ISLE KING – Quick winner on a fast track on second start on Christmas Eve. Up in class.

11. SO ARA CHEONWANG – Yet to win in fifteen starts but regularly finds the minor money. That should be the target again.

12. GEUMSOWHA – Showed great promise in three starts, including a win, last year. Off almost ten months but trialled well.

Verdict: Plenty in with a chance here and while it may just be that (2) PERFECT BIC C is ready to make her second breakthrough, we’ll go with an up and comer. (4) RAON MAGIC was impressive making all on debut and if he can get to the lead again, can win here. (8) LIM FARM and (8) YEOKDAE CHOEGANG should both be in the frame while (6) LA REINE showed signs of returning to form last start and can also be considered.

Selections (4) Raon Magic (2) Perfect Bic C (6) La Reine (9) Yeokdae Choegang
Next Best 10, 8, 12
Fast Start 2, 4, 10, 12

Race 6: Class 4 / 1000M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 14:35

1. TODAY WINNER – Out of his depth against some decent ones last start. May improve here.

2. AGNIS – Debut-maker. A$60,000 purchase last year. Trialled ok but that was in December.

3. GEOM HAENG – Well backed on debut following a good trial but has shown little in two outings.

4. HOBA LEE – Only beat one home on debut, little reason to suspect there will be a vast improvement here.

5. IMPACT QUEEN – Debut-maker, trialled well albeit back in December and could be interesting first up.

6. V KHAN – Slow on both outings to date. Any improvement will be the goal today.

7. DAESEONG MALLI – A little indifferent lately but if she can break well he’s not without a chance.

8. ROYAL AMOS – Done nothing in three starts so far. Improvement still not ruled out though.

9. BORN WARRIOR – Slightly better last start but not enough to warrant investment.

10. DAE JYUSIN – Not too far away in all four prior runs. Best chance here.

11. NICE DREAMER – Much improved 3rdon Jan 7th suggests she’s figuring things out. A chance.

12. JAYUROI – Beaten very few in four outings.

Verdict: Not a strong race this. (10) DAEJYUSIN has shown enough to suggest he has a win in him sooner or later, having come close each time. He must find a second gear though and if he doesn’t (1) TODAY WINNER may well end up as today’s winner. (7) DAESEONG MALLI needs to get a good start but has a better draw than her last two so could improve. Beyond those we’re scratching around a little but (11) NICE DREAMER improved last start and can keep that going here.

Selections (1) Today Winner (10) Daejyusin (7) Daeseong Malli (11) Nice Dreamer
Next Best 3, 8
Fast Start 1, 6, 7

Race 7: Class 5 / 1200M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 15:30 

1. SERAPIS – Had a tough time at class 5 since maiden win last October.

2. GASOKDOLPUNG – Yet to score in nine. Has a 2nd at this distance at class 6 but well beaten last start.

3. YEONDARA – Well beaten by Haengun Money at the distance last start but champion jockey on board may tempt some.

4. NO MERCY – Lightly raced 4-year-old. Three 2nd places and a 3rd so far. Must be taken seriously.

5. RAON KINGDOM – Narrowly beaten on first try at this class in December, he did disappoint last start but gets another chance here. First try further than the minimum

6. SOKDO SINHWA – Coming back into form with 2nd and 4th from his last two similar contests. In the frame.

7. CLEAR FIRST – Won a soft class 6 event in November but has struggled in two sterner tests since.

8. HAENGUN MONEY – Been getting closer to his 2nd win/ Solid 2nd last start and big chance here.

9. WANGDAEJANG – 4th in a rather weak affair last time. Not without merit but needs to improve.

10. VET TIME – Hasn’t found this level easy.

Verdict: (8) HAENGUN MONEY was a solid 2nd in a decent contest at the distance on Jan 21st and is slightly favoured to go one better this time. (6) SOKDO SINHWA looks to be coming back into form and should go close while (4) NO MERCY can continue his string of placed finishes. Those three are the standouts but (3) YEONDARA and (5) RAON KINGDOM should also receive some support.

Selections (8) Haengun Money (4) No Mercy (6) Sokdo Sinhwa (3) Yeondara
Next Best 5
Fast Start 2, 5, 7

Race 8: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 16:00 

1. KKACHILHAN GONGJU – Suffered from a tactical mess of a ride last time and ultimately only beat one. Capable of much better.

2. SAEROUNSIN – Did show some form last start but will need more here.

3. GOODMORNING FUSION – A winner at this class but well beaten by Yeokdae Choesang and Geomnan two weeks ago.

4. MORNING MAMBO – Gone a little cold lately. Seems best at 1000M

5. DAEJANGGUN – Yet to score in 23 but isn’t without merit as an outsider for a place.

6. SPECIAL SHINE – Scoreless in twelve but drops back in distance after two good showing at 1700M. Could make the breakthrough here.

7. YEOKDAE CHOESANG – Decent 3rd ahead of two rivals here two weeks ago Chance of a first victory today.

8. COLD STAR – 2nd place at class and distance in November was her best ever. s looked like following up in two subsequent tries.

9. GOLD JANGGUN – Yet to win but has come close albeit in weak company. Needs to imprve but place chances at least here.

10. SYNDROME – Improved 5th on Christmas Day behind Cherry Picker but needs more.

11. CHERRY PICKER – Followed up 2nd on Christmas Day with another 2nd on Jan 21st both at class and distance. Should be a factor here.

12. GEOMNAN – Inconsistent and not helped by the draw.

Verdict: Another competitive race but (6) SPECIAL SHINE just about has the edge after three consecutive strong showings. (1) KKACHILHAN GONGJU can be forgiven his last race after the race tactics backfired. He should look to lead here and if he gets it, can go on. (7) YEOKDAE CHOESANG and (9) GOLD JANGGUN are both chasing their maiden victories and are not without merit while (11) CHERRY PICKER comes in following back to back 2nds and should be a factor.

Selections (6) Special Shine (1) Kkachilhan Gongju (7) Yeokdae Choesang (11) Cherry Picker
Next Best 9, 5
Fast Start 1, 6

Race 9: Class 4 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 16:30 

1. JWACHEONGNYEONG – Gone cold recently and not looking any closer to his maiden win.

2. BEONGAE LION – 2nd, beaten a neck by Honey Butter Nino when four of these raced each other at class and distance on Jan 15th. Should get close again.

3. TOTAL WALKER – 3rd in the Jan 15th race. Another place or better is possible.

4. GAMDONGUI CHAMPION – Shown little in recent starts. Chance of improvement but not among favourites.

5. HONEY BUTTER NINO – Made all and hung on to win that Jan 15th race. Won two from his last three and another is possible here.

6. SEONJE ILGYEOK – An improved 5th on Jan 21st at this distance. Should look to match.

7. CITIZEN M – Not in form and hasn’t impressed at the distance in the past.

8. WANGUI DAERO – 4th in the Jan 15th race, the second time in a row he’s lost to Honey Butter Nino. Can look for the money once more.

9. KOREAN PHAROAH – Returns from a spell. Trialled ok but a watching brief first up.

10. CUPID BOY – Yet to win or come 2nd in 21 starts. Last at the distance on Christmas Day. A lot to find.

11. SUPER LIGHTNING – Down in class two starts into a comeback. Little cause for optimism here.

12. WINE MAKER – Improved 3rd last time. That and jockey booking make for an interesting outsider.

Verdict: The top four place-getters of a race at this class and distance on January 15th return here and there’s no reason why the winner that day, (5) HONEY BUTTER NINO, can’t win again. (2) BEONGAE LION ran well above expectations in 2nd but will be respected more this time while (3) TOTAL WALKER and (8) WANGUI DAERO are also likely to be close. It’s therefore very much the race of reference and they’ll probably occupy the top four spots in the market.

Selections (5) Honey Butter Nino (3) Total Walker (8) Wangui Daero (2) Beongae Lion
Next Best 12, 4
Fast Start 2, 5, 11

Race 10: Class 4 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 17:00 

1. TAEYANG JEGUK – Up in class following a narrow defeat over the distance on Jan 14th. Not impossible.

2. WANJEON MUGYEOL – Favourite but only managed 5th behind Star Bonny Bee and Compass at the distance on Jan 8th. Can overturn that form today.

3. STAR BONNY BEE – Enters in good form with two 2nds from his last three including ahead of Compass and Wanjeon Mulgyeol on Jan 8th. A factor here.

4. NHA TRANG – A class 5 winner on Christmas Eve, he performed creditably on his first try at this class and distance on Jan 22nd but needs to find more here.

5. MIRACLE TO YOU – Up in class and distance. Nicely weighted but a big ask.

6. YEONGSILGIAM – Slight improvement last start at 1400M but not among the picks here.

7. KING AHEAD – Beat a few last time but plenty to find.

8. DAEWANGSIN – Not without a clue but beaten by a lot of these in recent appearances.

9. WAIKIKI – One start into a comeback and that was three months ago so starting again here. Did have talent and could be the surprise here.

10. SEONGUN MARU – First try at the distance although the weight is a concern.

11. COMPASS – Just beaten a neck by Star Bonny Bee on Jan 8th and should be a significant challenger again here.

12. GEOMBIT GANGJA – A class 5 winner at this distance in December. Indifferent on first try at this level but improvement is possible.

Verdict: The race of reference here is the one at class and distance on January 8th. We’ll give (2) WANJEON MUGYEOL the chance to overturn the form on (3) STAR BONNY BEE and (11) COMPASS but both of them should be close once again. Among those who didn’t go that day, (4) NHA TRANG and (9) WAIKIKI look the picks.

Selections (2) Wanjeon Mugyeol (3) Star Bonny Bee (11) Compass (9) Waikiki
Next Best 4, 1
Fast Start 3, 5

Race 11: Class 3 / 1800M / Handicap / KRW 75 Million / 17:30 

1. MUSOE – On the slide recently and an outsider here.

2. BIMA – Improved 3rd at 1400M last time. First time at 1800M but has raced at 1700M before. Has a bit to find.

3. GRIFFIN – Fourth behind Final Boss and Geumsuni Eomji on January 15, well ahead of Cheonhabi. A contender again.

4. JOARA – Up in class following a win over 1200M on Jan 21st. First time around two turns but nicely weighted.

5. CHEONHABI – 5th behind Final Boss last time but a long way back. Can match that finish today but hard to improve.

6. KAWON – Class 4 winner at this distance on Jan 22nd flying home from well off the pace. Could be a factor.

7. GEUMSUNI EOMJI – Just under two lengths behind Final Boss on Jan 15th. In the frame for a place again.

8. VALLEY STAR – The consecutive 4ths heading into this race. Repeat would be a realistic aim here.

9. FINAL BOSS – 2016’s Champion Juvenile and winner at 1700M on Jan 15th. Needs to be winning this if he has designs on this year’s Classics.

Verdict: (9) FINAL BOSS was champion juvenile in 2016 and won his seasonal debut relatively comfortably on January 15th. It was his fifth straight win and while he carries more weight that he has done before, it would be very brave to oppose him here. (7) GEUMSUNI EOMJI and (3) GRIFFIN chased him home last time and can be in the frame but it may be the closer (6) KAWON who provides the stiffest challenge although by the time he gets into gear, Final Boss could well be out of sight.

Selections (9) Final Boss (6) Kawon (3) Griffin (7) Geumsuni Eomji
Next Best 5, 4
Fast Start 3, 9

Race 12: Class 1 / 1400M / Handicap / KRW 110 Million / 18:00 

1. GOLD MOUNTAIN – 2nd at class and distance in November but to lacklustre runs since are a concern.

2. MAGIC TAP – Going well last summer but just gone cold in his last two.

3. DONGCHON ARTIST – Well beaten on his first try at class 1 last time. Needs to find more to be competitive.

4. MUHUDAEJE – Brian Dean’s stable is in good form. This one was overmatched in December’s Grand Prix Stakes but could pull off a surprise here.

5. WORLD JJANG – 2nd at class and distance on December but this is tougher.

6. PARANG JUUIBO – Back to form with 3rd place at class and distance on Christmas Day. In the frame.

7. WANGSEONG – Consecutive 3rd places at 1200M, off since Christmas Eve and nicely weighted. Surprise is possible.

8. CHOEGANG SCHILLER – Races for the first time since September’s Korea Sprint. Won his trial easily enough but not easy first-up. Don’t rule out.

9. RUSH FORTH – Beat plenty of these at the distance in November but beaten by Parang Juuibo on Christmas Day. Another who could surprise.

10. GWANGBOK CHILSIP – Solid effort in 3rd in a similar race on Jan 15th. To be respected today.

11. WONDER BOLT – Behind Rush Forth in November. One time star who has just gone a little cold lately but still full of talent. A chance.

12. BICHUI JEONGSANG – Didn’t go well on her season debut on Jan 8th but she’s a Stakes winner at the distance and at her best will be tough to beat.

Verdict: Any of these could win as it’s a bunch of very solid campaigners but all enter with fragile recent form. (12) BICHUI JEONGSANG and (11) WONDER BOLT are the class acts though and given their racing styles, neither should be troubled by the wide draw. (9) RUSH FORTH and (10) GWANGBOK CHILSIP both look nicely in and should be factors while (8) CHOEGANG SCHILLER trialled up well and we now he can beat the best on his day.

Selections (12) Bichui Jeongsang (11) Wonder Bolt (10) Gwangbok Chilsip (9) Rush Forth
Next Best 8, 4, 6
Fast Start 3, 6, 8, 10

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