So cherry blossom season has been and gone and Seoul Racecourse returns to the man business of racing! Saturday sees 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. English racecards can be found here. Notes on races to be simulcast overseas can be found after this rather fetching picture:
Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
1. SEONGBULOREUM – Holds a class and distance win but just dropped off of late. 9th behind Aema Bisang latest start.
2. TODAY WINNER – Class and distance winner in February. Sent up to 1300M for his reappearance but it didn’t work. Much better chance today.
3. V KHAN – Started very greenly but has figured out what to do in his latest two. Looks not far from a maiden win. It could come here.
4. AEMA BISANG – Bets in three tries at this level is 5th. Did finish ahead of Seongbuloreum last time. Needs to improve here.
5. DALLYEORA LEO – Shown little so far. Latest was an ill-advised speculative try at 1700M.
6. DONGBANGUI GIJEOK – Aussie trainer Brian Dean brought this one back from the Inglis Sales for A$60,000. Wasn’t spectacular in trials but don’t rule out.
7. SOKDO SHINHWA – Class 5 winner over 1200M in February but found things tough on first attempt at this level a month ago. Could improve.
8. BEST BANK – Two starts into a return from over six months off. Those two have been mixed. Weakened over 1300M latest so may benefit from the step back in trip.
9. TRICKER – Shown progressively less in three outings so far. Steps back in trip today.
10. IMPACT QUEEN – Showed improvement in two starts so far. Not impossible.
11. SEONGEUN BRACHAH – Only beat one home over this distance last time. Little to recommend today.
12. SUN POWER – Purchased for NZ$20,000 as a yearling, he debuts today. Nothing special in trials but this is a nice race to begin in.
Verdict: (2) TODAY WINNER beat (3) V KHAN as the pair came home winner and runner-up over this distance in February. The former stepped up to 1300M last time and struggled but should be much better today and this race should be between the pair of them. (7) SOKDO SHINHWA, also disappointing last time, may have something to say about that while (1) SEONGBULOREUM and Brian Dean’s debut-maker (6) DONGBANGUI GIJEOK also look interesting.
Selections (3) V Khan (2) Today Winner (7) Sokdo Shinhwa (6) Dongbangui Gijeok
Next Best 1, 5
Fast Start 3, 4, 5
Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
1. GOLD FASHION – Registered back to back wins last summer but has gone cold of late.
2. NEULPUREUN KOKO – Found things tough in five outings at this level.
3. BEYOND LIMIT – Usually beats a few but not looking any closer to another win.
4. PRIME GOLD – A class and distance winner last summer but was 9th of 12 on only start so far in 2017.
5. BOM DONG I – First start since October. Certainly showed talent in the past but a watching brief first-up may be best.
6. FORESTRY – Stepped up to 1700M last start and actually did ok, finishing 6th of 12. Can at least match that here.
7. CHARISMA QUEEN – Much improved 4th of 12 last start and will be much shorter odds this time.
8. RISING FUTURE – Class and distance winner last time out on March 19th. Big chance of a repeat today.
9. MY VISION – Struggled in two outings at this level so far – well back behind Rising Future latest – but the presence of the champion jockey may entice some.
10. SILVERGRAY CAT – 7th behind Rising Future last start but ahead of a couple of others who go here. Can beat a few again.
11. DAEGI SOKDO – Beaten by Beyond Limit last start and lots to find today.
Verdict: A class and distance winner last start, beating three of these along the way, (8) RISING FUTURE is once more the one to beat here. He’ll sit handy early and can finish strongly. Despite his last two results, (4) PRIME GOLD is competitive at this level and can challenge here as can (9) MY VISION, who was well back behind Rising Future last time. (3) BEYOND LIMIT and (7) CHARISMA QUEEN best of the rest.
Selections (8) Rising Future (9) My Vision (4) Prime Gold (3) Beyond Limit
Next Best 7, 6
Fast Start 2, 4, 9, 10
Race 7: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
1. HAPPIEST – Has really found things tough since getting his maiden win last September. Has had a couple of months off so a fresh start today.
2. KYMA – All nine of his last starts have been at 1700M, picking up two wins along the way. Interesting to see him finally dropped back here.
3. HOBA LEE – Only raced twice so far, beating a combined total of one horse.
4. EAGLE SOCKS – Back to back 4th place finishes and is in the frame here.
5. WIDAEHAN JEONSA – Best finish of 6th came back on debut mast July. Hard to recommend today.
6. DANGDAE GEOLJAK – Up in class following a win over 1700M a month ago. Could go close.
7. CHAMPION KING – Up in class having made the breakthrough at the fifth time of asking last month. Looks to be getting better and should have a big say here.
8. ACE ZAPPER – Best to date was 3rd place over 1200M in December. Gone a little cold since.
9. WORLD MARK – Class and distance winner last October and while recent form doesn’t inspire, he can’t be completely ruled out.
10. WINE MAKER – Yet to strike after 20 starts although he has a couple of 3rd place finishes to his name. Unlikely to breakthrough here.
11. NASCA PRINCE – Up in class having won his last two at 1300M and 1700M respectively. Looks the one to beat.
Verdict: (11) NASCA PRINCE isn’t wasting any time going through the classes. He’s won two from three so far and is up in class today looking for his third straight victory. He has every chance of getting it. Main danger is (7) CHAMPION KING, an utterly facile winner on March 19th and also up in class. It looks to be between those two although if anything is to get in their way, (2) KYMA, (4) EAGLE SOCKS and (6) DANGDAE GEOLJAK look best placed.
Selections (11) Nasca Prince (7) Champion King (2) Kyma (4) Eagle Socks
Next Best 6, 10
Fast Start 4, 6, 7
Race 8: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. VALLEY STORM – Only beat one home on first outing of this year.
2. JOGYESAN – Disappinted when well backed just two weeks ago. Persistently coming close prior to that so worth another chance here.
3. EVER A ONE – Comes into contention following a 3rd place over 1300M last month. Previous try at this distance wasn’t great but gets another chance.
4. VICKY LIE – 5th behind Cheongwang Byeol and Jogyesan on March 12th. Capable at this level but does have some form to overturn.
5. YONGDUSAN – The worst of those who went in the March 12th race at this distance, finishing 6th so plenty to find here.
6. CLEAN UP DREAM – Two latest outings at class and distance don’t inspire much confidence.
7. YAHO MIRACLE – Down in class having never really been competitive at class 4.
8. COLD STAR – Yet to score in 21. Usually beats a few but needs to improve to compete here.
9. GANGCHEOL SIDAE – Solid 2nd at class and distance in February led him to be sent off favourite last start. Only managed 5th but should be in the frame again.
10. CHEONWANG BYEOL – Yet to win in 16 but has been 2nd in four of his last five starts. Beat three of these last time and has to be given another chance.
11. RAON ROCKY – Has come close in each of his six outings so far and was 3rd on his first try at this distance last time. Big chance.
Verdict: (11) RAON ROCKY remains a maiden but that could change here. He’s not got the ideal draw for one who likes to be on the speed but he can overcome that and finally convert all those near misses to a win. Other high draws also look good. (10) CHEONWANG BYEOL has turned into a 2nd place specialist and is in the frame here as is (9) GANGCHEOL SIDAE. (4) VICKY LIE and (5) YONGDUSAN also in the frame.
Selections (11) Raon Rocky (10) Cheonwang Byeol (9) Gangcheol Sidae (4) Vicky Lie
Next Best 5, 2
Fast Start 3, 7, 11
Race 9: Class 3 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
1. DOLKONG – 4th of 12 at class and distance on only outing of 2017 so far and firmly in the frame today.
2. BANYA DONGHAENG – Up in class after success over 1300M on March 19th. 6th of 12 on previous try at this distance. Not favourite but in the hunt.
3. CHEONHAENG – 3rd when a long shot at class and distance in February but didn’t go well at 1300M last time. Kim Yong Geun returns to the mount today and it’s not impossible.
4. JEONGSANG CHEONMA – Best recent result was 4th at this distance on Christmas Eve. That would be at the upper end of expectations today.
5. EUNBIT HWANHUI – First time around two turns today, he’s not found this level easy but still has scope for development.
6. CYCLING HIT – Down from class 2 after some chastening outings of late. Today will be more comfortable but weight doesn’t favour.
7. NIGHTOUTONTHETOWN – Decent 3rd and 4th in his latest two. Not impossible.
8. WANGUI DAERO – Drew a blank for 15 races but comes in after back to back wins including latest at class and distance. Comes from well off the pace, he’s the one to beat.
9. KOREA JEONGSANG – Not devoid of talent but was well back behind Nightoutonthetown last start.
10. HANBIT NARA – Scored a 2nd place at class and distance all the way back last June but recent form doesn’t inspire.
11. HWANGGEUM GASOK – 6th of 12 last start at class and distance. Not likely to win here but can compete for the minor money.
12. TOKTOK YEOJANGGUN – Solid 4th at class and distance last start. Has had a couple of months off and can be considered.
Verdict: It took (8) WANGUI DAERO sixteen races to get off the mark but he’s gone and won two in a row now. He has every chance of making it three here. (1) DOLKONG was sent off favourite for what was his only outing of 2017 so far and first ever at this distance back in February. He finished 4th, beaten by (3) CHEONHAENG, but should reverse that form today and can come close. (2) BANYA DONGHAENG is up in class following a smart five-length win over 1300M last month and should be competitive while (7) NIGHTOUTONTHETOWN looks lively as well.
Selections (8) Wangui Daero (1) Dolkong (2) Banya Donghaeng (7) Nightoutonthetown
Next Best 12, 10
Fast Start 3, 4, 6
Race 10: Class 1 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
1. MISO WANGJA – 5th behind Jinmyeong Bulpae on last start all the way back in January. In the frame here.
2. GRADE CAPTAIN – Only beat one home on only start of 2017 so far. Not recommended.
3. JINMYEONG BULPAE – 4th ahead of Miso Wangja in January but found himself a little outclassed on re-appearance in March. Better hopes today.
4. BRIG – Ended last year in decent form but was 9th of 14 on seasonal debut three weeks ago. Can go better today.
5. IMPETUS – Well back last time, beaten by Jangsan Cowboy and Muhudaeje. Lots to find.
6. JANGSAN COWBOY – 5th of 14 on March 11th was his first start at class 1. Should have come on for it and is a contender here.
7. SAMBONG – Last in a Group 3 race at 1200M a month ago, he should be much happier today and can go close.
8. DANGSAN DAEHYEOP – 2nd over this distance in January he’s run ok but has found it tough in two difficult races since Could figure.
9. SPECIAL HARBOR – First class 1 attempt at two turns after struggling at sprint distances. An outsider but nicely weighted.
10. MUHUDAEJE – Not had the best of luck in recent starts, Worth another go here.
11. DAISYAN – 8th of 11 on first start of 2017 over 2300M last start. Can improve today.
12. SAMJEONG JEGUK – Returns for the first time since October. Looked sharp in a trial in February and this is a decent race to start back in.
Verdict: A class 2 winner over 1900M and a creditable 5th on his class 1 debut last month – a tougher race than this, (6) JANGSAN COWBOY looks ready to win here. (7) SAMBONG struggled in a Group race over a sprint distance last month but looks much more nicely in today while (3) JINMYEONG BULPAE, well back behind Jangsan Cowboy last time should also go much better. (10) MUHUDAEJE and (11) DAISYAN the others to look out for.
Selections (6) Jangsan Cowboy (3) Jinmyeong Bulplae (7) Sambong (10) Muhudaeje
Next Best 11, 1
Fast Start 1, 7
Race 11: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
1. DONGCHONUI GUY – Was absolutely flying last year before being ruled out for several months. 2nd on his return in January, he didn’t go well at 1700M latest but can win here.
2. DARK LADY – Yet to win at this level but very capable of finding the money. 2nd on most recent try at this distance.
3. DEOKSAMHO – 6th of 12 last start which has been far for her at this level. Needs to improve if she is to be competitive here.
4. ACE DOUBLE – 9th of 12 behind Northern Hojae and Ace Double latest start so form to overcome today.
5. CHOEGO BISEUL – Didn’t go well over 1700M last start but is competitive at this level and can improve today.
6. INTO THE WILD –Best results have come at shorter but this is only his second try at the distance. Not impossible.
7. NORTHERN HOJAE – 3rd of 12 at class and distance on March 18th, beating three of these. Strong contender today.
8. STEPHANO – Struggled in four outings since returning from a layoff. Step back in trip may be beneficial.
Verdict: Back to seven furlongs today, it’s time for (1) DONGCHONUI GUY to revive the form that saw him to four wins in five starts around the turn of 2015/2016. He’ll not get a better chance than this. He should win but if he is to be stopped, (5) CHOEGO BISEUL and (6) INTO THE WILD look the most likely contenders.
Selections (1) Dongchonui Guy (6) Into The Wild (5) Choego Biseul (3) Deoksamho
Next Best 7, 2
Fast Start 1, 6, 7