It’s a sunny – albeit very dusty – morning in Seoul. 11 races in the Korean capital today from 10:45 to 18:00. English race cards are here. Notes on races to be simulcast overseas are below:
Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
1. YEONGDONG DAERO – Offered few clues when last of 11 on debut a month ago.
2. UNAK HABIO – Up in class following a win and a 2nd place over this distance. Will need more here but not impossible.
3. STORM NAVY SEAL – A A$70K purchase from Inglis Yearlings last year, he debuts here. Average in trials.
4. RAON CONDOR – Yet to follow-up her winning debut, she is though up in class today having never been worse than 4th in six class 5 attempts. Can go close again.
5. DAEHAN CHEONHA – Best in three starts so far is a 5th. Matching that would be a good performance.
6. AGNIS – Only beaten one in two outings so far. An outsider.
7. DAE JYUSIN – Not too far away in all six tries so far albeit never closer than 3rd. In the placing frame at least today with a top jockey on today.
8. HALO BIRD – Back to back victories at the end of last year got her promoted to this level. Decent 5th of 12 last time up out. Resumes for the first time since February.
9. SPEED JIJON – Last on both outings so far.
10. CHEON GWON – Managed a 2nd place in weak 1200M race in March. Only beat a couple last time but could improve here.
11. SMART JOE – One of only two beaten by Cheon Gwon latest start. Should go better here but minor money is a sensible goal.
12. CARDINAL BLACK – Few clues so far except for a 6th place, less than two lengths behind Daejyusin in January. Wildcard.
Verdict: (2) UNAK HABIO comes in with the most convincing form and at this distance and given a good start, he looks like the one to beat today. (7) DAE JYUSIN has been close in recent starts and should go well again as should (4) RAON CONDOR, who can maintain her record of never being worse than 4th, despite being up in class today. A two-time winner at this distance already, (8) HALO BIRD looks best of the rest.
Selections (2) Unak Habio (7) Dae Jyusin (4) Raon Condor (8) Halo Bird
Next Best 11, 10
Fast Start 2, 4, 8
Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. SHANGHAI PANGPANG – Improved 5th latest start a month ago. Still more to find here.
2. THINK OF ME – 4th on first try at this distance last start and in the frame today.
3. MORNING BEBE – Can be respected after surprised win in February but hasn’t done much in two starts since.
4. MORNING MAMBO – Underwhelming in recent efforts.
5. LEAD QUEEN – One win and never worse than 3rd in four outings so far. 3rd last time out at this class and should have too much for these.
6. SERAMOND –Well backed on first outing of the year last month after a quick trial but could only manage 9th. Can improve on that but not among the favourites.
7. LITTLE LIGHT – 4th of 11 at class and distance in February but beaten very few in two outings since.
8. HAWK DAY – Sole win was at this distance in February. Couple of decent goes around 1000M since then and it’s not impossible today.
9. SAEROUNSIN – Steps back in trip following some difficult races around 1700M. May benefit from that but still an outsider.
10. GOLD SHEENA – Up in class having secured her maiden win on April 1st over 1300M. Nothing to fear here except the favourite. Can go close.
11. CLEANUP SEED – Well back in recent starts.
Verdict: (5) LEAD QUEEN was a six-length winner at this distance in February and was 3rd on her first try at this class a month later. She comes in following seven weeks off and looks very much the one to beat. The up-in-class (10) GOLD SHEENA looks to have scope for more development following her victory last start and is second choice with (2) THINK OF ME and (8) HAWK DAY others of interest.
Selections (5) Lead Queen (10) Gold Sheena (2) Think Of Me (8) Hawk Day
Next Best 3, 7, 6
Fast Start 3, 4, 5, 6
Race 7: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. HAEGARAM – Yet to win in 18 but has been getting progressively closer in recent starts. 3rd last time, she may not get a better chance than today.
2. HANIL ENSEMBLE – Gone absolutely cold in recent starts.
3. YES YOU CAN – Yes he could. Hasn’t exactly impressed in two tries at this level since his maiden win in January but can be given another chance.
4. DREAM KING – Took 28 outings to get promoted to class 5. Three subsequent efforts have demonstrated why.
5. BORN WINNER – Stepped up to 1700M last time and it didn’t go well. Should be better today.
6. SYNDROME – Yet to win in 11 efforts. Best at this class is a 5th so plenty to find today.
7. YOUNG STORM – Has come good of late, getting his maiden win in weak March contest over 1000M. Solid 4th last time can be matched today.
8. PEACEFUL LIFE – Looks promising having got his maiden win on just his second start a month ago. Up in class here but could go well.
9. KKUMKKUNEUN DAERO – Has struggled at this class since maiden win last summer.
10. JUGEUKSEONG – Last two efforts haven’t impressed but could sneak into some minor money in this company.
Verdict: It’s not a strong race and that means that (1) HAEGARAM may never get a better opportunity to find herself in the winner’s circle. She’s been getting closer and today could be the day. The danger is (8) PEACEFUL LIFE. He won in underwhelming company last time and we are yet to really see what he can do. He should get to the lead early today and if he does, he can win again. (7) YOUNG STORM was a decent 4th on his first try at this level last start but other than that we are looking for horses to arrest their recent form and among them (3) YES YOU CAN looks most likely.
Selections (1) Haegaram (8) Peaceful Life (7) Young Storm (3) Yes You Can
Next Best 5, 10
Fast Start 2, 3, 8
Race 8: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
1. BORN WARRIOR – Shown little in six efforts so far.
2. YONGMABULPAE – Won first-up off a ten-month layoff in February. Stepped up in class in March and was a creditable 5th. He can match or better that today. Up in distance.
3. GAEULUI JEONSEOL – Class and distance winner on April 8th, beating three of these. Carries an extra 4.5kg today but is still a strong contender. Should lead.
4. JAYUROI – Beaten few in six outings.
5. JWACHEONGNYONG – 3rd behind Gaeului Jeonseol and Double J on April 8th. Can go close again.
6. CHEON YANG – Up in class and distance following maiden win over 1300M on April 8th. It had been coming too. Looks nicely in and can be competitive.
7. YEONGUNG BULPAE – Yet to win or even come 2nd and may not manage either of those today. He is, however, capable of finding the minor money in this company.
8. PEARL SHINE – Well back behind three of these in the class and distance race on April 8th.
9. DOUBLE J – 2nd to Gaeului Jeonseol on April 8th, beaten just under two lengths. He carries more weight today but is still in the frame.
10. CHEONJAEILU – Races for the first time since January. He won a barrier trial last week which may give him one or two speculative backers here.
Verdict: (3) GAEULUI JEONSEOL led home (9) DOUBLE J and (5) JWACHEONGNYONG as the pair filled out the 1, 2, 3 at class and distance on April 8th and given the company today, there’s no reason why they can’t repeat it. The one that may throw a spanner in the works though is (6) CHEON YANG. This up and coming filly landed her maiden win on April 8th at 1300M. She’s up in distance as well as class but she’s nicely weighted, should be on speed early and we’ll give her a chance.
Selections (6) Cheon Yang (3) Gaeului Jeonseol (5) Jwacheongnyong (9) Double J
Next Best 2, 7, 10
Fast Start 3, 6
Race 9: Class 3 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
1. SUPER JJANG – Nothing in recent form gives cause for optimism here.
2. SAND WHIZZ – Well back behind Babylon Wangja last time and an outsider today.
3. LOST IN DRAMA – Yet to win in nine tries, he has finished 2nd on four occasions including last time when he beat O.K. Yeondap. Good chance of breaking through here.
4. O.K. YEONDAB – 4th behind Lost In Drama latest. That was her best since his maiden win and she’s in the hunt here.
5. FORMER MISSION – Beaten by Babylon Wangja last time, he has gone well at the distance before though and improvement is possible.
6. BABYLON WANGJA – Two starts into a comeback and he has done well with a 2nd place over 1800M last time, beating two of these. A chance.
7. HWANGGEUM GASOK – Yet to win in 37 and it would be a big surprise if that changed here.
Verdict: (3) LOST IN DRAMA is yet to get his maiden win but that could well come here. He got the better of (4) O.K. YEONDAB as the pair ran 2nd and 4th over 1400M last month and stepping up to two turns for the first time may be what he needs to make the breakthrough. Should “second-it is” strike again, O.K. Yeondab looks best placed to take advantage but don’t rule our (5) FORMER MISSION or (6) BABYLON WANGJA.
Selections (3) Lost In Drama (4) O.K. Yeondab (6) Babylon Wangja (5) Former Mission
Next Best 7
Fast Start 3
Race 10: Class 1 (1900M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
1. CITY STAR – Six wins from ten so far and 3rd, behind Magic Tap, on first try at this class and at two turns last start. Solid claims here under a light weight.
2. HWANGGEUM TAP – 2nd, beating Clean Up Cheonha on his only start of the year so far in March. Likely front-runner here and could well be successful.
3. BIG MOUNTAIN – Up in class following victory over 1800M a month ago. Light weight to carry but it’s a big step up.
4. CLEAN UP CHEONHA – Generally races in top class company and was 5th in the Grand Prix Stakes last year. 4th in latest two, weight is an issue but he can win this.
5. MAGIC TAP – Narrowly beat City Star when running 2nd last time. Repeat is not impossible.
6. STRONG ROAD – Last start was in very tough company. Usually doesn’t miss by much and can be competitive here.
7. BICHUI WANGJA – First start since January when beaten by Strong Road and Clean Up Cheonha. A bit to find today.
8. CHEONJEOK –A winner over 1800M in March, he only beat one home at 2000M three weeks ago.
9. CHEONMANG – Nothing in recent form to suggest this will suit.
10. HAY QUEEN – Decent filly who’s nicely weighted but she was well back behind Hwanggeum Tap and Clean Up Cheonha last start.
11. WONDER BOLT – Highest rated in the race, it’s over a year since his last win but don’t rule him out. Strong finisher
12. MUHUDAEJE – Ran on really well over 1400M in February but hasn’t pushed on in two starts since. Nevertheless, decent 5th last start and it’s not impossible today.
Verdict: A Championship Series event and a competitive one too. (11) WONDER BOLT and (4) CLEAN UP CHEONHA are the highest rated in the race and accordingly are giving plenty of weight away. Both are fast finishers and it could well be that one of them makes their long-awaited return to the winner’s circle today. Clean Up Cheonha is slightly favoured with Djordje Perovic on board for the first time. (2) HWANGGEUM TAP beat Clean UP Cheonha last time and must be respected but it is the very nicely weighted (1) CITY STAR, who may pose the biggest threat. (6) STRONG ROAD and (12) MUHUDAJE among others who shouldn’t be ruled out.
Selections (4) Clean Up Cheonha (1) City Star (11) Wonder Bolt (12) Muhudaeje
Next Best 2, 5, 6
Fast Start 2, 3, 9
Race 11: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
1. CHEONGCHUN YEOLCHA – Steps back in trip today and could be an interesting outsider.
2. NEONEUN ACE – 2nd at this class over 1300M on April 9th and one of the favourites here. Likely pacesetter.
3. FINE TODAY – Come close in each of last three and should do so again.
4. RULES – Class and distance winner last start and strong claims again.
5. MIRAEBEONJJEOK – Decent 4th in a tight race a month ago, Placing chances again.
6. CLEAN UP SKY – Class 5 winner at this distance in March, she was 5th behind Fine Today on her first try at this level last month.
7. CUPID FLOWER – Class and distance winner in February and 4th of 12 last time when stepped up to 1700M. In the hunt.
8. BOM DONG I – Only beat one home of first outing of this year last month and does have a bit to find today.
9. GARAM SANSEONG – Well back behind Noneun Ace last start.
Verdict: Nice little competitive race to end with and we’ll go with (2) NEONEUN ACE to go one better today following his 2nd place at class and distance last month. He could well lead all the way. (4) RULES came from just behind the early speed to secure a tidy class and distance win last month and a repeat is certainly possible while (7) CUPID FLOWER is also a class and distance winner with claims here. (3) FINE TODAY and (6) CLEAN UP SKY came home 4th and 5th over 1200M last month and can also look for the placings here.
Selections (2) Neoneun Ace (4) Rules (7) Cupid Flower (6) Clean Up Sky
Next Best 3, 1
Fast Start 2, 6, 7