Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 25)

Big Sunday of racing coming up in Korea. No Stakes races but full fields and plenty of punting interest. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. English racecards are here. Notes on races for overseas simulcast are below:

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

1. OUR CAT – 4th behind Yeol Queen at the distance in April and followed up with a 5th last time. Matching those would be par today.
2. SEONGEUN MARU – Started his career really well but went off the rails at the end of last year. Latest two have been more encouraging.
3. JEONGAN KINGDOM – Disappointed when favourite in May but bounced back with 3rd over 1000M three weeks ago. Trialled up nicely last week and in the hunt here.
4. YEOL QUEEN – Two very solid efforts so far at this level and one of the main contenders here.
5. SOKDO SHINHWA – Comes in after two good showings at 1000M. Should be near the early pace and can place.
6. CHEONJI SEONGGONG – Managed back to back 3rd places at this class in February and March but has been beaten by a couple of these recently.
7. SUPER CAPTAIN – Up in class having won at 1300M a month ago. Inconsistent but must be respected. Likely to lead.
8. NEON GAMDONGIYA – Up in class following his second win on his fifth start in May. Has won at this distance before and can’t be ruled out.
9. GANGDAEGANG – Three 5th places and a 7th account for his four outings at this class so far. 5th would be par here.
10. SPEED CORE – Recent form has been cold.
11. NEW HIGH TIME – Took six goes to get her maiden victory but has won her last two, both at 1000M. That’s put her up two classes but she still looks the one to beat here.

Verdict: It’s been rapid progress in her last two starts for (11) NEW HIGH TIME but there’s little for her to fear here and she can keep her good run going. Main dangers are (4) YEOL QUEEN, who has proven competitive at this level, as well as the up in class and still unexposed pair of (7) SUPER CAPTAIN and (8) NEON GAMDONGIYA in what looks a nicely competitive race.

Selections (11) New High Time (7) Super Captain (4) Yeol Queen (8) Neon Gamdongiya
Next Best 3, 2
Fast Start 3, 7

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. WINNER’S BOY – First start for one day shy of a full year. Trailed up well but we’ll just watch today.
2. FINE POWER – Never worse than 3rd in five tires so far. 2nd at class and distance last start, he’s favourite here.
3. HIGH SPEC – 5th of 11 behind Meister Go and Hwanhan Sesang last time so a bit to find here. Could match that 5th.
4. MEISTER GO – 2nd ahead of Hwanhan Sesang and High Spec on latest outing and solid claims to match that today. Still looking for first win.
5. WIDAEHANGWANGGYONG – Good 4th of 11 at odds of 100/1 last time three weeks ago. Will be shorter than that today and can match the finish.
6. HWANHAN SESANG – 3rd behind Meister Go last start and can look for the places once more.
7. MAJOR SUN – Seems to have just lost his way a little in his latest two. Well back behind Fine Power last time.
8. WONDERFUL CAPTAIN – Recent form doesn’t inspire and up against it here.
9. SHARP KING – Up in class and distance having scored his maiden win at the sixth time of asking over 1300M on June 2nd. Has a bit to find but should be competitive.
10. ACE JILJU – Arrested a dreadful run of form with a class and distance 2nd in May. Reverted to type on latest start well back behind Meister Go.
11. WANGGI – Looked to be getting closer to his maiden win with back to back 2nd places in April and May. Disappointed last start but could feature here.

Verdict: (2) FINE POWER came close at class and distance last time a month ago and should really be going one better today. He’ll be on the early speed and could well lead from gate to wire. (4) MEISTER GO and (6) HWANHAN SESANG ran 2nd and 3rd over 1300M three weeks ago and look to have the most chance of stopping the favourite although the up in class and distance (9) SHARP KING may also have a say in proceedings.

Selections (2) Fine Power (4) Meister Go (6) Hwanhan Sesang (9) Sharp King
Next Best 5, 11, 7
Fast Start 2, 3


Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
1. JIGONG BULPAE – A winner last time and up in class here. Never worse than 4th in six prior outings and he could win this too.
2. SINGGEUREOUN GEOM – Fell short when odds-on favourite last start but is up in class nevertheless. Not too much to fear here so should be firmly in the frame.
3. STRONG FIELD – Has defied long odds to hit the minor money in each of his last three. Won’t be fancied again but could come close once more.
4. MUCH MONEY – Returns to action for the first time since last October. Was going well before the layoff and trialled well. Wont be favoured but not impossible.
5. DAEHAENG DAEBAK – Getting the hang of this level with a 4th last time at 1200M. Has already won twice at this distance and can go well again.
6. DEOKSUNG ILHO – Comes in off back to back 4ths both at class and distance and another money finish is possible.
7. OFFIDAY – Had an abortive comeback in April but was very fast in a trial last week. Should be a frontrunner and anything could happen.
8. GWASOK DOLPUNG – 8th of 11 on return from seven months out in May. Steps back in trip and could improve but won’t be among the favourites.
9. MIRACLE TO YOU – A 2nd and two 3rds from his last three all at this distance. Should be near the early pace and no reason why he can’t place again.
10. MONGGEULMONGGEUL – Comes in off two 3rd place finishes, defying 80/1 odds last time. A bit to find is she is to match it here though.
11. JINGYEOGUI CHEONMA – Up in class following three 2nd place finishes at class 5. May well find one or two too quick again but should be competitive.

Verdict: Nice contest this with plenty entering in decent form. Several are up in class and we’ll go with (1) JIGONG BULPAE to back up her solid class 5 victory over this distance last month with another here. Neither (2) SINGGEUREOUN GEOM nor (11) JINGYEOGUI CHEONMA registered a win at class 5 but both come up here having come close and really should be again while among those with experience of the level, (5) DAEHAENG DAEBAK and (9) MIRACLE TO YOU look most convincing.

Selections (1) Jigong Bulpae (11) Jingyeogui Cheonma (2) Singgeureoun Geom (5) Daehaeng Daebak
Next Best 9, 8, 7
Fast Start 5, 7, 11

Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million
1. TAMNA JEONGBEOL – First start since last October. Average in a trail earlier this month and an outsider here.
2. BONUS II – Has been threatening to make the breakthrough with creditable showing on all four starts. Steps back to the distance he has his best result so far at and could win.
3. TOKYO BLUE – Has been favourite for all three starts so far but has come up short each time. If he can get on the early speed here, this could be his day.
4. KING OF KOREA – Favourite on debut at the end of May but had to settle for 2nd place. Likely favourite again and a big chance.
5. ITSAGAINT WARRIOR – Has been getting further away in recent starts and this looks a bit competitive.
6. ORANGE MARINE – Debut maker. Only cost US$9,000 last autumn but won his trial and can be considered first-up.
7. ILLYU SINHWA – Best from eight starts so far is a couple of 4th place finishes. 4th would be a high aim today.
8. GOLD GUST – Offered little in five previous with a best of 6th.
9. MIRACLE YEONGUNG – 5th place last start at 1000M was first time in a minor money finish and that would be the aim again today.
10. TTEOGEOUN HAMSEONG – Never finished better than 4th but could match the 5th he managed behind King Of Korea last start.

Verdict: Plenty with potential here and while (4) KING OF KOREA could oblige when sent off at odds-on on debut a month ago, we’ll give him another chance to get it right today. (2) BONUS II and (3) TOKYO BLUE have also disappointed backers so far but both are probably worthy of at least one more go and do look to have wins in their futures. The other one who intrigues is the solitary debut-maker. (6) ORANGE MARINE was a cut-price buy last autumn and the way he won a trial earlier this month suggests he could…and it’s a big “could” turn out to have been a bargain.

Selections (4) King Of Korea (3) Tokyo Blue (2) Bonus II (6) Orange Marine
Next Best 10, 9
Fast Start 2, 4

Seoul Race 7: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
1. JEOLDAEJILJU – Managed 5th of 12 a couple of starts back but otherwise recent form hasn’t impressed.
2. RAON AMOS – Has badly lost his way since looking a potential star at one point.
3. YOU ARE STAR – Class and distance winner last time, making all. Stiffer test today but should be competitive again.
4. SMOKEY VALE – 8th of 12 on first try at this level following maiden win in April. Won a very fast trial at the beginning of this month and makes for an interesting outsider.
5. SKY JEWANG – Well back behind Another Smart One and Thunder Light last start so plenty of form to overturn today.
6. THUNDER LIGHT – Solid 2nd of 12 behind Another Smart One on first start of this year on May 14th. Strong claims to overturn the form here.
7. YONGCHONG – Much improved 3rd last time out showed he’s getting to grips with this level and can look to find the money again today.
8. GANGHO SIDAE – Usually beats a few but finds a few more too quick and the same is likely today.
9. VIVA TRINITY – 6th last time was his best performance so far at this level but he’ll be hard pushed to improve on it here.
10. KENTUCKY YEONIN – 2nd at class and distance ahead of a couple of these on May 28th. Firmly in the hunt again.
11. ANOTHER SMART ONE – Good winner over 1300M, making all on May 14th and beating Thunder Light. Carries more weight today but can repeat.

Verdict: (11) ANOTHER SMART ONE beat (6) THUNDER LIGHT as the pair came home 1st and 2nd over 1300M on May 14th. Plenty will expect Thunder Light, who was returning from five months off that day, to overturn the form here but don’t rule out another strong showing from Another Smart One. (10) KENTUCKY YEONIN also comes in off the back of a solid 2nd place a month ago and is to be considered while (3) YOU ARE STAR and (7) YONGCHONG look best of the rest.

Selections (11) Another Smart One (6) Thunder Light (10) Kentucky Yeonin (7) Yongchong
Next Best 3, 2
Fast Start 2, 3, 10, 11

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million
1. YEONGGWANGUI FORE – Enters in consistent form having been 3rd on both tries at this class so far. Beaten by Keunjayu last time and can at least place again.
2. WINNING NUMBER – An unexpected winner at this class over 1300M on June 4th, he carries more weight today but should still be in the hunt.
3. CHODONG SKY – Up in class having won 2 of 4 starts so far. Looks to have good potential and while both wins were at 1000M, looks ready to go well here. Could be favourite.
4. KEUNJAYU – 2nd ahead of Yeonggwangui Fore on latest outing. Never finished any worse than 5th and can go close once more here.
5. SUPERNOVA IJI – Hasn’t found this level easy with a best of 4th from seven attempts. 4th would be a good target once more.
6. VICAR HOPE – Stuggled in two outings so far at this class and has a bit to find here.
7. NIGHT FURY – Won two of her first three to be promoted to this level but has had a hard time in two efforts since. Early days so improvement can’t be ruled out.
8. GOLD FLYING – Winner of a good race at class and distance in April, she disappointed on reappearance at the end of that month. Eight weeks off since and worth another chance.
9. HWANHUIUI BYEOL – 4th behind Keunjayu and Yeonggwangui Fore on May 28th, he is competitive at this level. Interesting outsider.
10. GOLD SKY – Recent form has gone cold. Lots of improvement needed.
11. IMPASSIONED MARINE – First start of 2017 having last raced on New Year’s Eve. Trialled up ok but won’t be hugely fancied here.

Verdict: (4) KEUNJAYU beat (1) YEONGGWANGUI FORE by a full seven lengths as the pair raced 2nd and 3rd at class and distance on May 28th. Both should be competitive again with Keunjayu favoured to prevail. However, they both have to beat the up and comer (3) CHODONG SKY. He is up in class today and while both of his wins have been at 1000M, the manner of which he ran on to score by seven lengths last time suggest he has every chance here. Among the others. (2) WINNING NUMBER and (8) GOLD FLYING look most likely.

Selections (3) Chodong Sky (4) Keunjayu (2) Winning Number (1) Yeonggwangui Fore
Next Best 8, 9
Fast Start 3, 4, 8

Seoul Race 8: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. INDY CAT – 7th of 11 on first try at this class in April. Yet to score in seven outings, minor money would be a sensible target today.
2. LION WINNER – Yet to finish any higher than 6th at this class and looks up against it here too.
3. JEONGSANG MANSE – 3rd and 2nd in two efforts so far at this class, just beaten a length last time out. Steps up to two turns for the first time and looks the one to beat.
4. GWACHEON WONDER – Enters after three consecutive 2nd place finishes, all of them at class and distance. May have to settle for 2nd again but should be close.
5. PRIVATE PARK – Already a class and distance winner, he comes in having been 4th in each of his last two. 4th a minimum aim today.
6. STRONG SHINE – Beaten by three of these when 5th at class and distance on May 28th so he has form to overturn. 3rd last time out two weeks ago.
7. CHANGSEONG JINJU – Class and distance winner last time out on May 20th. That was mildly surprising and she’ll need to find more today but must be respected.
8. HWANHUIUISUNGAN – Steps back in class having been well off the pace in recent outings.
9. CALL ME JK – Well back behind four of these on May 28th and plenty to find here.
10. BLACK POINT – 3rd behind Gwacheon Wonder and ahead of three others on May 28th and should be in the placing frame again.
11. DELAGO KING – Returned from over a year off to run 9th of 10 on June 10th. Can improve today but can’t be recommended.

Verdict: Five of these raced against each other at class and distance on May 28th with (4) GWACHEON WONDER finishing the best in 2nd. That was his third consecutive runner-up finish and he should be looking for 2nd as a minimum target today. (10) BLACK POINT and (5) PRIVATE PARK came home in 3rd and 4th that day and should be dangerous again but the one they’ll all need to beat is (3) JEONGSANG MANSE. He steps up to two-turns for the first time but should be on the early speed and has every chance of going all the way.

Selections (3) Jeongsang Manse (4) Gwacheon Wonder (10) Black Point (5) Private Park
Next Best 1, 7
Fast Start 3, 5

Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
1. B.K. PHIL – Offered little in recent outings.
2. WIN GO MAN – Struggled recently and is up against it again here.
3. OCEAN LINE – It’s been a while since the most recent of his wins but he’s usually not too far away. 2nd at class and distance on May 12th and could go well today.
4. WORLD QUEEN – Latest outings don’t inspire confidence.
5. BOHEMIAN – Solid 2nd of 11 at class and distance on May 26th and among the favourites today. Likely front-runner.
6. DERBY ACE – A bit average in three starts so far at this level but he won his only previous try at this distance and can’t be ruled out here.
7. SINCHEON YEOMANG – Only beat a couple home on first outing of 2017 in May and while he can improve today, he won’t be among the favourites.
8. SONATA ZONE – Six tries at this class have seen a best finish of 5th. That would be a sensible aim again today.
9. PURE DEIMOS – Hasn’t managed to push on since maiden in January. First try at a mile today and it could well suit. Interesting outsider.
10. MUHAN YEOLJEONG – His last two outings have been in the first two legs of the Triple Crown. He wasn’t quite up to it but returns to far more amenable company today.
11. SPECIAL LINE – Returned from a year off to only beat a couple home over 1400M in May. Should improve a little but still not recommended.
12. DANGCHAN JILJU – Returned from five months off to run 2nd over 1400M three weeks ago. Never too far away, he is up in class but can find the money again today.

Verdict: (10) MUHAN YEOLJEONG was one of the more fancied ones heading into the Triple Crown series. He was found wanting with 7th place in the KRA Cup Mile and then 8th in the Korean Derby. He returns to much more suitable company today and he really should be winning this. The rest are not too exciting but (3) OCEAN LINE and (5) BOHEMIAN both go well on their day and can threaten while (6) DERBY ACE and (12) DANGCHAN JILJU are others to watch out for. (9) PURE DEIMOS could be the wildcard.

Selections (10) Muhan Yeoljeong (5) Bohemian (12) Dangchan Jilju (9) Pure Deimos
Next Best 3, 6
Fast Start 4, 5, 6, 10

Seoul Race 9: Class 3 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
1. JANGSAN POWER – Led early in the Korean Derby last month but ended up overmatched. Should go much better today.
2. CHEONUI GANGJA – Found things tough in two starts at this class since winning over 1700M in February. Outsider today.
3. HAPPY SENSATION – 2nd on first try at this level on May 20th. Big chance again today.
4. MIRAE JUYEOK – Up in class and distance today. Generally comes close and although he won’t be among the favourites, he can find the money.
5. GEUMA BALIOS – Usually not too far away but first try at the distance and top weight means it won’t be easy.
6. CHEONHABI – Beaten by a couple of these in his latest two and a bit to find today.
7. JEONGSANGOREUM –Comes in following a 2nd and a 3rd from his last two and should be at least in the placing frame once more.
8. ULTRA ROCKET – Comes in having won his last two, both at this distance. Up in class but under a light weight and he has to be favourite.
9. TOKTOK YEOJANGGUN – 5th behind Happy Sensation and Jeonsangoreum on latest outing and a bit to find today. Could match that 5th though.

Verdict: (8) ULTRA ROCKET has won his last two, both at this distance and despite being up in class has every chance of making it a hat-trick of wins here. He’ll set up camp just behind any early speed and can finish strongly. (1) JANGSAN POWER found himself overmatched in last month’s Derby but should be much more comfortable today – he’ll lead early – while (3) HAPPY SENSATION and (7) JEONGSANGOREUM, 2nd and 3rd when they raced each other at class and distance on May 20th, are also to be considered.

Selections (8) Ultra Rocket (1) Jangsan Power (3) Happy Sensation (7) Jeongsangoreum
Next Best 9, 4
Fast Start 1, 7

Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million / 16:05 (SIN)
1. JIBONG SARANG – First start since last August. Trialled up in average fashion and hard to recommend first-up.
2. BOLD KINGS – 2015 Grand Prix winner is two starts into a comeback. Can improve today.
3. DONGBANG DAERO – Drops back in trip for the first time in a long time. Big chance here.
4. CHEONJI PARK – Returned from five months off to run 3rd of 8 over 1200M three weeks ago. Tougher ask today but could find the minor money.
5. SUPER CHEOLIN – 3rd of 12 at class and distance last time. That was a good race too and he must be respected.
6. BATHSHEBA PARK – Still capable of a good run on his day, he looks up against it here.
7. STEALTH – Steps back to this distance for the first time since winning at it at class 3 last September. Not impossible.
8. TOHAMSAN – Has to be the favourite having won at class and distance on May 21st. Made all that day and can do so again.
9. TURNPIKE – Two outings this year were disappointing but trialled up reasonably well earlier this month. Still an outsider.
10. VIVA ACE – Still going strong at 9-years-old, he could snatch some minor money but probably doesn’t have the speed to do more. 5th behind Tohamsan last time.
11. FOREST BOLD – Struggled in two outings so far this year.
12. BANJIUI JEWANG – Back in form having won his last two. That means he’s up in class today and it’s a big ask.

Verdict: Having won at class and distance last month, (8) TOHAMSAN is favourite to strike once more. He should be on speed early and if he can get to the front, will be difficult to go past. (2) BOLD KINGS and (3) DONGBANG DAERO both step back to this trip for the first time in a long time which may mitigate the high weight they’ll be carrying while (7) STEALTH and (5) SUPER CHEOLIN, the latter of who was 3rd behind Tohamsan last time, are also in the frame.

Selections (8) Tohamsan (3) Dongbang Daero (7) Stealth (2) Bold Kings
Next Best 5, 4
Fast Start 2, 8

Seoul Race 10: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million / 16:30 (SIN)
1. MIDAS ROAD – 5th behind Special Joy and Wow Cat last time but can get close.
2. RAON RUSA – 2nd, two lengths behind winner Ace Spinning on April 30th. First start since then, he’ll be in the frame today. Front-runner.
3. CHEONJIGA – Three wins from seven so far and 4th on first try at this level at 1400M. Generally a slow starter, if he doesn’t have too much to do late on, he has a chance.
4. WOW CAT – 3rd behind Special Joy last time having led early, he has four lengths to make up but could make a bid for the money.
5. CLEAN UP BINGO – First outing since running 4th behind Ace Spinning and Raon Rusa on April 30th. Can get close today.
6. THUNDER CAT – Much improved 3rd last time out at class and distance. Tough to match that today though.
7. CHEONYEONUIGIPPEUM – Struggled in recent outings despite an unexpected 4th place at this distance in April.
8. SNOW CHARISMA – 3rd last start over 1400M to add to a 2nd over 1200M in March. Repeat not impossible.
9. SPECIAL JOY – 2nd, just beaten a neck at class and distance on May 20th, beating Wow Cat and Midas Road. Came from well off the pace that day and must be respected.
10. ACE SPINNING – The one to beat. Class and distance winner on April 30th, comfortably beating a number who go here and no reason why he can’t repeat.
11. GREY KAISER – Gone cold in recent starts and has plenty to find here.
12. MENI MUSIC – Seems to have found her level. Usually well backed but will need to improve on recent outings to be competitive.

Verdict: (10) ACE SPINNING beat three of these when winning by two lengths at class and distance on April 30th and while he carries a little more weight today, still looks very much the one to beat. (2) RAON RUSA got closest to him that day and should be a danger once more while 4th placed (5) CLEAN UP BINGO should also be dangerous. Among those who didn’t go in that race, (1) MIDAS ROAD and (3) CHEONJIGA look best.

Selections (10) Ace Spinning (3) Cheonjiga (2) Raon Rusa (5) Clean Up Bingo
Next Best 1, 9
Fast Start 2, 4, 5, 12

eoul Race 11: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million / 17:00 (SIN)
1. BIG MOUNTAIN – Class 2 winner over 1800M in April but had a hard time on first try at this level in May.
2. JINMYEONG BULPAE – Last couple of outings haven’t been impressive but he trialled up very nicely last week. Still an outsider.
3. LION STAR – Up in class following three consecutive runner-up finishes at class 2. Big step up but he may surprise a few under a light weight.
4. SINGYU GANGJA – 3rd when not fancied at all over class and distance on May 7th. Needs a little more respect today.
5. WINNING ANDY – Drops back to this distance for the first time in a very long time. Can never be completely ruled out but will be an outsider.
6. HEUNGRYONG – Has won four of eight so far and was 2nd on first try at class 1 on May 27th. Still nicely weighted and a big chance today.
7. GOLD MOUNTAIN – Solid 4th of 11 over 1800M at odds in excess of 100/1 last start. Outsider again today.
8. SOTONG SIDAE – Drops back to one-turn for the first time in a very long time. 4th in very good race last month and in the frame here.
9. SINJO DAEHYEOP – 2nd to Korea’s best horse, Clean Up Joy, in April, he then won a tough race over 1800M in May. Big chance again today.
10. WINNER RED – Won four in a row over last summer and autumn but hasn’t managed to confirm his place among the top tier. 2nd last time he tried this distance though and a chance today.
11. STRONG ROAD – Solid campaigner who is a proven winner at class and distance. Won’t be favoured but it’s not impossible.
12. GASOKBULPAE – Solid 3rd on first outing of 2017 three weeks ago. Plenty of talent and could go close.

Verdict: Interesting contest here with a number dropping back in distance for the first time in a long time. However, we’ll go with (9) SINJO DAEHYEOP to repeat the victory he scored over 1800M a month ago. (6) HEUNGRYONG shows plenty of potential and is to be considered while (10) WINNER RED could get back on track back at 1400M. (8) SOTONG SIDAE and (12) GASOKBULPAE are other contenders in a strong final.

Selections (9) Sinjo Daehyeop (10) Winner Red (6) Heungryong (12) Gasokbulpae
Next Best 8, 11
Fast Start 1, 3, 10, 12

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