Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (April 9)

The blossoms are finally out! More importantly there are big cards of racing at both Seoul and Busan. In the capital there are 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00 while down south, it’s 6 from 12:40 to 17:05.


Cherry Blossom festival got underway at Seoul Racecourse on Saturday night (Pic: Let’s Run Park Seoul Instagram)

English race cards are here, notes on all overseas simulcast races are below:

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million 

1. SOKBO GANGJA – First start of 2017. Ended last year indifferently but did win a trial in February.

2. SMART JOE – 5ht behind Jangbi Haengun and Choego Money last start and capable of similar today.

3. EOUL DEOUL – Not beaten many in two starts so far.

4. SUPER LIGHTNING – Well back behind Jangbi Haengun last start and plenty to find today.

5. GEUM BONGHWANG – Up in class having won at this distance a month ago and firmly in the frame again.

6. CROWN ME BOSS – Has beaten a couple of these in her latest two but has been well beaten herself.

7. SOCCER HERO – Few positives to take from recent form.

8. CHEON GWON – 2nd behind a decent winner at class and distance a month ago and can go close again.

9. SEOUL TANK – Well beaten in recent outings.

10. JANGBI HAENGUN – Class and distance winner on March 4th, beating Choego Money. Chance of following up today.

11. SKY VELVET – 3rd and a 2nd in his latest two and could go even better here.

12. CHOEGO MONEY – 2nd to Jangbi Haengun last time and a winner at this class over 1200M. Could reverse the form today.

Verdict: (11) SKY VELVET has looked an improver in his three starts so far and is the pick to make the breakthrough here. Despite the wide draw, he should be on the early speed and can go all the way. Two others drawn wide, (10) JANGBI HAENGUN and (12) CHOEGO MONEY were 1st and 2nd at class and distance on March 4th and will be competitive again while (5) GEUM BONGHWANG is up in class following a win at domestic class 5 and has every chance of being dangerous here.

Selections (11) Sky Velvet (5) Geum Bonghwang (10) Jangbi Haengun (12) Choego Money
Next Best 8, 2
Fast Start 2, 11, 12

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

1. SAMDA GONGJU – Midfield finishes have been the norm for the past few months and looks mist likely outcome here.

2. VICAR FAMILY – Struggled on first go at this class a month ago. Top jockey on but won’t be easy again.

3. DREAM JILJU – He’s been 5th in both tries at this class so far. Can get closer today.

4. GASOK CHAMPION – A dominant winner on debut on March 10th over 1000M. Up in class and distance but every chance of repeating.

5. KING SIMON – Got promoted following a pair of 2nd places at class 6 but only beat one home on first try at this level last time. Look for improvement.

6. NAMBANG JEONSEOL – Surprise 3rd place behind Choegang Jeollyeok means he should be taken a little more seriously today.

7. GAMSEONG POKBAL – Laid outwards last time to such an extent she was sent back to trial. Outsider here.

8. HWANHAN SESANG – 7th of 12 on first start of the year last month. Can build on that today.

9. BEONGGEULBEONGGEUL – Overmatched at a mile last time but hasn’t really pushed on after a promising start.

10. CHOEGANG JEOLLYEOK – 2nd at class and distance last time and looks the one to beat today.

11. YEONGGWANGUICOUNTRY – Disappointing 5th when well backed at a mile last month but stepping back in trip today, he should be a threat.

Verdict: (4) GASOK CHAMPION won on debut by five-lengths and despite being up in class and in distance, she’s the favourite to maintain her 100% record here. (10) CHOEGANG JEOLLYEOK beat (6) NAMBANG JEONSEOL as the pair of them ran 2nd and 3rd over class and distance three weeks ago and they can be dangerous here as can (3) DREAM JILJU and (11) YEONGGWANGUICOUNTRY.

Selections (4) Gasok Champion (10) Choegang Jeollyeok (3) Dream Jilju (6) Nambang Jeonseol
Next Best 11, 5
Fast Start 2, 4

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

1. SUN FLASH – Has finally figured things out with two wins from her last three. She’s up in class here but is in the hunt once more.

2. OUR CAT – Seems to have found his level but was an improved 5th last start and can look to match or better that from the front today.

3. GEUMA ZEUS – 5th first up last start. Needed that run and looks set to go better here. Strong chance.

4. SOBAKANINSAENG – Just the one win from 31 outings but usually comes close. Steps back from two tries at 1700M to a more favourable distance today.

5. NONEUN ACE – 6th, one place behind Geuma Zeus last start. Likely to be on pace early here and should be in the frame.

6. HWANHUIUISUNGAN – Struggled in latest two and a likely outsider here.

7. TOUR MIDAS – 8th of 11 on return from lengthy spell last start. Has tended to favour further.

8. SONGAM STAR – First start since last August. Didn’t overly impress in trials so a watching brief is appropriate today.

9. MR. FORTUNE – Class and distance winner in February he led for much of the way over 1700M last start before fading. Dropped back in trip, he will be well backed today.

10. GARAM SANSEONG – Cold of late and an outsider here.

Verdict: Tricky little race this. (9) MR. FORTUNE will probably be favourite by virtue of his class and distance win in February and the way he held his own until the closing stages when carrying this weight over 1700M last time. (3) GEUMA ZEUS is a talent who tuned up nicely last time on return from five months out and will be in the frame as will the up in class (1) SUN FLASH, who took sixteen goes to get her maiden win but now has two from three. (4) SOBAKANINSAENG and (5) NONEUN ACE look best of the rest.

Selections (9) Mr. Fortune (3) Geuma Zeus (1) Sun Flash (5) Noneun Ace
Next Best 4, 2
Fast Start 2, 5, 9

Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million 

1. MISS BLUE – Has met or outperformed market expectations in recent starts. Not without a chance here.

2. SSI F STAR – It’s been a long time since his last win but he comes in following a pair of solid 3rd place finishes – beaten a neck by KRA Cup Mile winner Indian King last time.

3. CAPITAL GANGJA – Not beaten many in two starts so far this year and an outsider today.

4. ONLY BLUE – Three consecutive 3rd place finishes at class 5 have her up in class today. She can be competitive again but this won’t be easy.

5. SHARP WIN – Has really struggled in five outings at this level since a win last autumn.

6. POWERFUL FORCE –Shown a couple of glimpses of improvement in his latest two but still has a lot to find.

7. B.K. SAY – Back to back 2nd place finishes, he tries this distance for the first time. Big chance.

8. WONIL ACE – Solid 2nd at class and distance just two weeks ago and firmly in the frame here.

9. EUTTEUM CLASSIC – Enters in no form whatsoever. Top jockey booking but would be a big shock.

10. TAEYANGUI SINHWA – 4th behind Ssi F Star latest start. Not been worse than 4th since debut and solid chances today.

11. MINNEUNDAERO – Never finished any better than 7th and looks unlikely to improve on that here.

Verdict: (2) SSI F STAR has outperformed expectations in each of his last three to run close. Expectations today are going to be much higher given that he was only beaten a neck by the horse who won the first leg of the Triple Crown last week and he looks the one to beat. (7) B.K. SAY and (10) TAEYANGUI SINHWA have solid claims too while (4) ONLY BLUE and (8) WONIL ACE look best of the rest.

Selections (2) Ssi F Star (7) B.K. Say (10) Taeyangui Sinhwa (4) Only Blue
Next Best 8, 1
Fast Start 4, 7, 8, 10

Seoul Race 7: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

1. FIX TIME – Came close without winning in all eleven starts prior to a lengthy break. Returns for the first time since last September and will need this.

2. SKY JEWANG – Beat a couple of these on his way to 4th over 1400M last month. Sent off at 100/1 that day but will surely be much shorter here.

3. USEUNG GONGGAM – Up in class following a 3rd place over 1700M on March 11th. Solitary win to date came at this distance but he probably needs to find a bit more here.

4. KILUI YEOWANG – Five-length winner on debut over this distance on March 5th. It wasn’t a strong race but he won it well enough for that not to matter. Up in class but a big chance.

5. KENTUCKY YEONIN – First start since October. Trialled up well, top jockey booking and plenty to like.

6. CHEONGSANGUI BYEOL – Well back behind Beongae Fighter last start and an outsider today.

7. GALACAT – Never too far away, finished ahead of Beongae Fighter two starts back, and while a win may be asking too much, a place is certainly possible. Strong finisher.

8. APPALACHIA BOM – Well beaten by Beongae Fighter last time but has a 4th place at class and distance and improvement is possible.

9. BEONGAE FIGHTER – Class and distance winner three weeks ago ahead of two of these. Still nicely in and the one to beat.

10. ROYAL FAVOR – First start since October. Trialled well but watching brief today.

11. WHITE ONE – Well back behind three of these on last start nine weeks ago.

12. GOLD HORAH – Beaten by Sky Jewang and Galacat last start and has a bit to find today.

Verdict: (9) BEONGAE FIGHTER was 10th in the betting when he got up to win by a neck at class and distance on March 19th. He’ll be much more fancied today has every chance of winning again. There are plenty of other contenders though. (4) KILUI YEOWANG looked very competent on debut a month ago and while she didn’t beat much, the manner of victory suggest there is plenty more to come. (2) SKY JEWANG and (7) GALACAT both look capable in this company while (5) KENTUCKY YEONIN is another with solid potential.

Selections (4) Kilui Yeowang (9) Beongae Fighter (7) Galacat (5) Kentucky Yeonin
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 1, 2, 4, 6

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million 

1. SUPERSTAR JOHN – Two starts into a comeback after almost a year out and he’s done ok with a 6th and a 5th. Further improvement possible.

2. DONGBANG BULPAE – Just the one win in 13 but generally comes close. Comes in off back to back 3rd places and is in the hunt again.

3. HAENGUN MANNAM – Down in class today after getting lost a bit in recent class 3 starts. Still plenty to find today.

4. USEUNG CHOEGO – Getting closer at this level. 3rd at class and distance last start having closed strongly, he can go close once more.

5. JUNGANG SINHWA – A strong finisher, he was a much improved 4th last time out. Stablemate of Great King, he’s not one of the favourites but not impossible.

6. GLOBAL CHAMPION – Possibly the most inappropriately named horse at Busan. Unless it’s tongue in cheek.

7. GREAT KING – Two 2nd places and three 4th places from five outings to date. A chance of making the breakthrough here

8. GENERAL – Up in class following a win at this distance on March 5th. He remains nicely weighted and he’ll be one of the favourites.

9. GIFTED SUN – Always goes close, 4th on only previous try at the distance and that will be a minimum aim today.

10. BAEDARI SAMCHONGSA – Got his best result to date when tried at this distance for the first time on March 12th. Won’t be 75/1 today.

11. GYERIMUI JILJU – Yet to score in 22 but has come close on a number of occasions. Plenty to find but minor money is possible.

12. WONDER PUNCH – Last of 11 at class and distance three weeks ago and surely too much to find here.

Verdict: Thomas Gillespie’s (7) GREAT KING looks on the way up and it is about time he got his maiden win. He was beaten by (10) BAEDARI SAMCHEONGSA last time and that one will be a danger again, but he can get the job done today. (8) GENERAL has already been to the winner’s circle twice and he is up in class today with claims as well while (9) GIFTED SUN is a danger in this company too.

Selections (7) Great King (8) General (9) Gifted Sun (10) Baedari Samcheongsa
Next Best 2, 1
Fast Start 1, 7, 8, 9

Seoul Race 8: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

1. DREAM KING – Struggled in two starts so far at this class. Jockey booking encouraging but even Perovic looks up against it here.

2. DREAM CITY – 3rd behind Navtive Tom in February he was then 5th in a really tight finish over 1700M a month ago. A chance.

3. NAVTIVE TOM – Forgive the typo because this is a promising horse. Good win over 1300M in February followed up by 3rd at the same distance at this class last time. First go at 1700M.

4. BAEKDU GWANGJANG – Three consecutive 5th place finishes in three starts at this class. Should at least match today.

5. CHUL AE – Comes in off back to back 4th place finishes at class and distance, beating a couple of these in the process. Big chance today.

6. BLACK POINT – 3rd ahead of three of these, including Chul Ae, in February but didn’t go well on reappearance at same distance last start. Don’t rule out but weights don’t favour.

7. SUN VICTOR – Generally beats a few and is nicely weighted but won’t be among the favourites.

8. FOUR J – Well beaten by plenty of these in two starts so far at this class.

9. WINNER BLACK – Beaten by Four J at class 6 in January, she herself comes up to this level after a 2nd place over 1300M last month. This won’t be easy.

10. SUN STORM – First start of the year. Didn’t finish 2016 in form.

Verdict: Another competitive race with (5) CHUL AE perhaps the slight pick following two very solid performances at class and distance. He’s better weighted than (3) NAVTIVE TOM, who is the only one to try this distance for the first time, and who should be a danger. (2) DREAM CITY and (4) BAEKDU GWANGJANG also look to be in the hunt.

Selections (5) Chul Ae (3) Navtive Tom (2) Dream City (4) Baekdu Gwangjang
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 3, 4

Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million 

1. CHOA – 3rd behind Short Stop when six of these faced each other on March 12th. One of the favourites again.

2. TRIPLE PARTY – 2nd of 12 on his first try at this level on March 19th. Steps back in trip today and is a big danger.

3. SHORT STOP – 2nd, beating five of these at class and distance on March 12th. Strong finisher and a big chance today.

4. JILJU HWASIN – 5th behind Short Stop on March 12th. Consistently makes the minor money and could do again.

5. KWAEHAN JILJU – 7th behind Short Stop last month and form to overturn here.

6. POKPUNG SINHWA – Surprise 3rd last start was a glimpse of the form that has taken her to the winner’s circle five times. Could go well again.

7. SUNSHINE ALPHA – 2nd at class and distance on February 24th. Comes in reasonably fresh and can be considered.

8. EOREUM GONGJU – She’s won three of six and is up in class here. Yet to perform at further than the minimum although her only previous attempt was in a tough race.

9. DAEBOREUMDAL – Took her twenty tries to get her maiden win but has now won two of her last five. However, she was 6th behind Short Stop last start so has plenty to overturn.

10. GABO STAR – 4th behind Short Stop and Choa when well-backed on March 12th. Worthy of another chance here.

11. LOAD CELL – 5th behind Pokpung Sinhwa at class and distance on March 19th and can aim for similar here.

12. SEORABEOL GONGJU – Races for the first time since last May. Trialled up adequately in February but this is a big ask first up.

Verdict: Six of these raced each other at class and distance on March 12th filling placings 2nd-7th. (3) SHORT STOP got the best of them that day and is the pick to go one better and get the win here. (1) CHOA and (10) GABO STAR were 3rd and 4th in that race and will be dangers again while (2) TRIPLE PARTY and (7) SUNSHINE ALPHA also shape to be competitive here.

Selections (3) Short Stop (2) Triple Party (1) Choa (10) Gabo Star
Next Best 7, 8
Fast Start 1, 2, 6, 8

Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million 

1. ONLY GO – Up in class following back to back victories. Up in distance too. Not impossible but it’s a big step up today

2. AREUMDAUN SUNGAN – Well beaten by Wild Thunder in both her last two starts, she’ll be an outsider today.

3. JISANG BIHAENG – Yet to win in 19 outings but has come close often enough and enters following back to back 4th place finishes. Can match or better that today.

4. WILD THUNDER – Come sin following consecutive 3rd place finishes. Up to two-turns for the first time here but should be on pace early and can go well.

5. AMAZONAS – Has looked very promising with a win, a 4th and a 3rd in three outings to date. Up in distance but in the frame today.

6. NEW WHY FI – Up in class following a three-length win at this distance on January 22nd. Comes in following 11 weeks off and is top-weight but will have some backers.

7. DAEWANGSIN – 5th behind Seungnisarang last start at this distance, he has plenty of form to overturn today.

8. SEUNGNISARANG – She’s really shone since being sent up to this distance with two wins, two 2nd place finishes and a 4th in five tries. Strong 2nd last time and the one to beat here.

Verdict: It took (8) SEUNGNISARANG sixteen attempts to get her maiden victory but she promptly followed up with another. She’s a specialist now at this distance and will likely come from off the pace to mount another strong challenge here. (5) AMAZONAS looks a promising type and she, along with (4) WILD THUNDER, both tackle two-turns for the first time and can go well. (3) JISANG BIHAENG looks best of the rest.

Selections (8) Seungnisarang (5) Amazonas (4) Wild Thunder (3) Jisang Bihaeng
Next Best 6
Fast Start 1, 4, 5

Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million 

1. SILVER CLASSIC – Well back behind a number of these at class and distance on March 5th and an outsider today.

2. BUHWARUI BANSEOK – Has beaten plenty of these in recent starts and never worse than 3rd at class 1. Serious chance here.

3. STEALTH – He’s won his last two and now finds himself at class 1 for the first time. Looks to be more to come though and he carries a light weight. A chance.

4. GOJI JEONGBEOL – Decent 4th over 2000M in February but has been beaten by a few of these in his last two and has a bit to find.

5. DYNAMIC DASH – Top rated and therefore top weight. A little inconsistent, he can be close but it’s almost a year since his last win now.

6. BAEKDU – Two very encouraging performances since coming back from a lengthy absence. Beaten by Saengil Gippeum but ahead of plenty of others here last time.

7. CHOGWANG – 8th behind Buhwarui Banseok last start and probably too much to find here. Top jockey booking.

8. EMETH – Strong 2nd last start at 1400M and has already proven himself competitive at this distance too. Not impossible.

9. DORAON HYEONPYO – Only raced twice as a four-year-old but finally returned to action with a creditable 5th of 12 in February behind Buhwarui Banseok. Weights not in favour.

10. SAENGIL GIPPEUM – Has come close in tough company in each of his last three. Nicely weighted and in with a shout.

11. YUSEONG DREAM – Beaten by Emeth and Saengil Gippeum respectively in his last two starts, he can be close again but needs to find more to win.

12. JIBONG SEUNGNI – Returned from six months out at the end of February but only managed to beat one. Lots to find.

Verdict: Championship Series points are up for grabs here and Bart Rice’s (2) BUHWARUI BANSEOK looks best placed to claim them, having beaten plenty if these in recent outings. Main danger is (3) STEALTH who has won his last two to take on Class 1 for the first time. (10) SAENGIL GIPPEUM has been getting ominously closer lately and must be considered while (6) BAEKDU and (8) EMETH are also competitive in this company.

Selections (2) Buhwarui Banseok (3) Stealth (10) Saengil Gippeum (8) Emeth
Next Best 6, 9
Fast Start 2, 7, 9, 10

Seoul Race 10: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

1. HAERANGANGJA – Getting progressively colder of late and a big outsider here.

2. HUGHES ROAD – Began the year with victory at this class over 1900M and followed it up with a 3rd. Beaten by Big Mountain last start but could feature here.

3. CHEONNYEON YUSAN – Dropped back to class 2 a couple of starts ago but still struggling to be competitive.

4. BIG MOUNTAIN – Much improved 2nd last start ahead of Hughes Road means he’s going to be well backed today. Big chance.

5. READY KHAN – 4th behind Huri Baram onlatest start and shouldn’t be too far away today.

6. MOLLYDOOKER – Only the slide and well beaten by three of these last time. Outsider.

7. HURI BARAM – Looks to be class 1 bound with a win and a 2nd in two starts at this level. Beat three of these last time at the distance and despite top weight, can win.

8. SIMBA – Shown improvement in two starts at this level, nicely weighted and great jockey booking.

9. BAEKSAN – 6th in both his last two and in the frame for some prize money again today.

Verdict: (7) HURI BARAM has won five from eleven so far and looks to still be on the up. He does carry top weight but can defy that and continue his run here. (4) BIG MOUNTAIN put in a very strong performances last time and can go well again while (2) HUGHES ROAD must be respected too. (8) SIMBA also looks to be getting the hang of this level and as every chance of picking up some prize money.

Selections (7) Huri Baram (4) Big Mountain (8) Simba (2) Hughes Road
Next Best 9, 5
Fast Start 2, 4, 7

Seoul Race 11: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million 

1. DOUBLE DRAGON – 4th behind Gaenari and Parang Juuibo last start was a big improvement. Can go well again.

2. TAEYANGWANG – Up in class after a win over 1200M a month ago. Very light weight and should be involved.

3. BEST GUY – Very strong performance coming home 3rd in last month’s Owners Association Trophy and has to have a big chance today.

4. GAENARI – Good filly who has just fallen short when favourite in her last two but did beat plenty of these last time. May not be favourite today but should be close again.

5. GEOMTAN – Last among the six of these who faced each other on March 4th and therefore has a lot to find.

6. SINGYU GANGJA – Three time class and distance winner, he was 4th among the six of these who went on March 4th but needs respecting.

7. THEME DEUNGGEUK – Decent type but he has struggled in three outings so far at the top level which is a concern here.

8. ZENTENARY – Hasn’t quite managed to follow up on a shock win last Christmas Eve. Decent outings last start but has form to make up on a lot of these after it.

9. GUMANSEOK – Never ever rule out completely as shown by his win in January. 6th behind Best Guy in the Owners’ Association Trophy last month.

10. PARANG JUUIBO – Class and distance winner in February and then 3rd behind Gaenari last start. Carries a lot of weight but if he can get the lead, he’ll be difficult to dislodge.

11. CHEONMANG – Class 1 winner at 1200M last November nut hasn’t shown a lot n three efforts since.

12. SUN BURSTER – 2nd to Cheonmang in November but similar to that one, he’s not shown much in three subsequent outings.

Verdict: This should be an entertaining race and it’s not going to be easy to pick the winner. Simply based on his performance in the Owners’ Association Trophy, (3) BEST GUY deserves to be the top choice but it’s not a pick made with confidence. (4) GAENARI surely has a class 1 win in her soon and if (10) PARANG JUUIBO can get a good start then he can go all the way, despite the 59kg. (1) DOUBLE DRAGON is very nicely weighted while (2) TAEYANGWANG belatedly joins the top tier of racing here and also looks well in. Additionally, it’s never wise to overlook (9) GUMANSEOK.

Selections (3) Best Guy (4) Gaenari (9) Gumanseok (10) Parang Juuibo
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 2, 3, 10, 11

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