Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 22)

French jockey Johan Victoire will make his Korean debut in the saddle at Seoul on Saturday and it’s a good weekend for him to do so. A number of jockeys are absent from Seoul in order to ride in the KNN Cup at Busan on Sunday and Victoire is among those who could take advantage in the 11 race Saturday card which runs from 14:00 to 21:00. English cards are here. Notes on races for overseas simulcast are below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million 
1. WONDERFUL LUCKY – 4th in trial behind Jungdong Jijon
2. MENI TURBO – 2nd on debut on June 24th and strong favourite here.
3. BABY STAR – 5th in trial behind Special Light. Wasn’t quick.
4. CUPID STORM – Well back behind Jungdong Jijon and Wonderful Lucky in trial.
5. MASK – 2nd in trials and looks set to go well.
6. CAPTAIN POWER – Trialled a couple of times and worked ok but probably best to watch first up.
7. FIORE – Looks competent enough and can go well.
8. HESEDEU – 3rd on debut at the end of May but considerably slower than Meni Turbo. Should lead here.
9. OPI WINTER – Trialled up behind Icheon Seal – looks to have plenty to make up on that one.
10. ICHEON SSAL – Most impressive of the debut-makers in trials if we’re going by times though that was helped by the Derby winner being in the same heat
11. JUNGDONG JIJON – Took three goes to qualify but was handy enough about it. Top jockey booking.
12. SPECIAL LIGHT – Average trialling and others favoured.

Verdict: (2) MENI TURBO was beaten seven-lengths by a good winner on debut a month ago but was still a strong second and has to be clear favourite to score here. Only one other, (8) HESEDEU has run before and he too should be looking for the places but there are some interesting ones among the debut-makers. Best in trials were (10) ICHEON SSAL (although helped by being up against the Korean Derby winner who made it a fast heat) and (5) MASK.

Selections (2) Meni Turbo (5) Mask (10) Icheon Ssal (8) Hesedeu
Next Best 11, 7
Fast Start 2, 5, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

1. SPECIAL QUEEN – Close in recent starts and in the frame here.
2. YEONGLAK TAEWANG – Comes in off back to back 4ths and while this looks slightly tougher, could match those today with a good start.
3. DORAON PACHYAI – Has struggled at anything further than the minimum distance so far.
4. NILUI BADA – Good 2nd place under this apprentice last up and no reason why he can’t repeat.
5. C.K. QUEEN – Latest effort saw her last of nine at this distance. Jockey change but still hard to recommend.
6. SUPER SAVE – Offered little in four efforts so far.
7. SEUTILLEO – Improved 3rd of 7 last start ahead of C.K Queen and could continue progress here.
8. ONNURI ALBA – Few clues in two outings to date. Promising apprentice claiming 4kg today is one angle.
9. SHARK PARTY – Made a promising debut last autumn but was then off for eight months. Ran solidly enough
on return to suggest he should be favourite here.
10. TOUGH TROPHY – Beaten by three of these across two starts so far but looks to have improvement in him.
11. LUCKY BLUE – Beaten by Nilui Bada in both his latest two. Bit of form to overturn.
12. IMPEURAM KING – Promising 4th on debut at the end of May. Comes in off eight week break and can look to place here.

Verdict: (9) SHARK PARTY was 2nd on his solitary start as a 3-year-old last year and was accordingly the odds-on favourite on his return last month. He only managed to finish 5th but ran well enough to suggest there is more to come and he should make the breakthrough here. (1) SPECIAL QUEEN and (4) NILUI BADA enter in decent shape and can challenge the favourite while (7) SEUTILLEO and (12) IMPEURAM KING look to have pacing chances too.

Selections (9) Shark Party (4) Nilui Bada (1) Special Queen (7) Seutilleo
Next Best 12, 8, 10
Fast Start 2, 4, 8, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
1. JEULGOEUN HAMSEONG – 2nd on return from six months off on July 1st. Should win this.
2. FIRST RUNNER – Best of 6th from four outings to date, Outsider again.
3. EPIPOLAR – Much improved 2nd on latest start, Should be on pace early and looks main danger to the favourite.
4. NAEGA JAL NAGA – Not shown much yet. Good jockey booking but that’s been the case for all his races so far.
5. RUN AWAY – Just not been quick enough in six tries so far. Could match best of 4th.
6. UJU BADA – Been getting further away across nine outings. Outsider.
7. GAJA GAJA – Last of 11 on latest and even against this lot can’t be backed. Pity because he is by a Korean Triple Crown winner.
8. CHEONHA JEWANG – Not too far away in five starts following a 9th on debut. Always one or two too quick and probably the same today. Likely 3rd.
9. VALLEY MOON – A 5th and a 4th in two tries at this distance so far and similar should be the aim here.

Verdict: (1) JEULGEOUN HAMSEONG returned from a lengthy spell to run a close 2nd at this distance on July 1st and a similar performance will surely see her home in front of a decidedly average set of runners. Clear 2nd choice is (3) EPIPOLAR, who improved last time, while (8) CHEONHA JEWANG and (9) VALLEY MOON can get close.

Selections (1) Jeulgeoun Hamseong (3) Epipolar (8) Cheonha Jewang (9) Valley Moon
Next Best 5
Fast Start 3, 5, 8

Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. CHAKHAN GEUMA – Gone very cold in latest two.
2. LITTLE LIGHT – Improved a little last time but still hard to back.
3. GEUPSIWOO – Drop back to minimum distance today may be in his favour.
4. SEVEN’S LUCKY – Improved 3rd last time and in the hunt for a place here.
5. BOLD NINER – Hasn’t found it easy in three starts at this level.
6. YEOKJEONUI SUNGAN – Winner on debut and then 3rd on first try at this class last month. Strong favourite.
7. SOKBO TAEJA – Found things hard in three goes at this class.
8. JOA MONEY – Struggled in three outings at this class.

Verdict: Having won a soft race on debut, (6) YEOKJEONUI SUNGAN just couldn’t quite get to the front on his first try at this level on June 11th. He shouldn’t have such problems today though and should win comfortably. Dangers are in the form of (4) SEVEN’S LUCKY and perhaps to lesser extent (3) GEUPSIWOO and (5) BOLD NINER.

Selections (6) Yeokjeonui Sungan (4) Seven’s Lucky (3) Geupsiwoo (5) Bold Niner
Next Best 8, 2
Fast Start 1, 4, 6, 8

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. SMARTY ZIF – Up in class following maiden win last time. Looks to be more to come from her and with a good start, can compete here.
2. GOLD SHEENA – 2nd at class and distance last start. She’s won at 1300M before and she has every chance of winning this. Should be on speed early.
3. SAMDO TONGIL – Only beat one home on first outing at this level in June. Was unfortunate to be promoted with a 3rd and a 2nd.
4. DONTEUL TTAE – Up in class after a 2nd and two 3rds at class 6. Beaten by ones who should hold their own in this class so can be competitive.
5. SKY BIG – Yet to score in 13 but looked ok on her way to 3rd last time out. Not impossible.
6. SSEN POWER – Maiden winner last time at odds of 55/1. Reward is to be put up in class. This won’t be easy.
7. SPASTAR – Ultra experienced, she can find the minor money on her day.
8. MISS PYEONGCHON – Only beat one home on first try at this level following maiden win in May. Outisder here.
9. ALPHAWA OMEGA –Defied odds in excess of 100/1 to run 3rd of 11 last time. More respect needed here.
10. ALL KILL – This delightfully named horse is yet to win in 24 outings and that is unlikely to change here.
11. DAEGUNHAM – Maiden win last time by an eye-catching five lengths. Came from well off the pace from a wide gate and could repeat here.

Verdict: This is a competitive contest in which there are three standouts. (2) GOLD SHEENA has proven competitive at this level with a strong 2nd place last time. She can be on the pace early and can go all the way. The other two are up in class. (11) DAEGUNHAM was a really good winner at this distance a month ago and there’s no reason why he can’t compete at a higher level while (4) DONGTEUL TTAE may be yet to win but has looked full of potential in his three outings so far and should go close here. Among the rest, (9) ALPHAWA OMEGA looks the best.

Selections (11) Daegunham (2) Gold Sheena (4) Dongteul Ttae (9) Alphawa Omega
Next Best 1, 5
Fast Start 1, 2, 8, 11

Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
1. NEW WORLD – Improved 3rd last time was a bit of a surprise. Would do well to match it here.
2. JEONGAN KINGDOM – Dead-heated for the win at this class over 1200M on June 25th. Survived an Inquiry too. In the frame again albeit under an extra couple of kilos.
3. SUN FLASH – Took 16 goes to win for the first time but she then won again quickly. Has gone ok in a couple of goes at this level but needs to find a bit more here.
4. BEST TEN – Has won two of her last three to get promoted to this level. Five length winner at this distance on latest start and must be taken seriously. On early speed.
5. GEUMGANG CHEONHA – Been back to trial after both latest two outings. Not much to recommend.
6. GWASOK DOLPUNG – Just two outings so far this year, both ending in 8th place. Behind Much Money last time. Could improve.
7. ELITE QUEEN – Generally beats a few but also finds a few too quick and that will probably be the case today.
8. MARI – Found things tough in three attempts at this level.
9. MAMBO CHEONHA – Had a hard time at this level. Comes in following four straight 6th place finishes and that would be par again.
10. WHIZ SPARK – Improved 4th last time suggest she’s getting the hang of this level. If she gets a good start, she can go well again.
11. MUCH MONEY – He’s the favourite although he does have a case of second-it is having been runner-up in each of his last three dating back to last autumn. One start this year and he should come on.

Verdict: (11) MUCH MONEY raced for the first time since last October on June 25th and picked right up where he left off with a 2nd place. Outside gate shouldn’t be a problem and he is the one to beat here. Should Much Money’s “second-it is” strike again, (2) JEONGAN KINGDOM and (4) BEST TEN look best placed to take advantage although (10) WHIZ SPARK impressed last time and can feature.

Selections (11) Much Money (2) Jeongan Kingdom (4) Best Ten (10) Whiz Spark
Next Best 6
Fast Start 1, 2, 4, 10

Race 7: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
1. BLACK POINT – Comes in off a 3rd and a 5th both at class and distance and should be in the placing frame here.
2. CUPID BOY – Yet to win in 27 and unlikely to change here. Occasionally sneaks some minor money.
3. CLEAN UP DREAM – Has struggled in four outings at this class.
4. INDY CAT – 6th of 11 on first try at the distance last start. Could improve today.
5. VICKY LIE – Gone a little cold of late.
6. JEONGSANG MANSE – 2nd on first try at this distance last start, beating three of these. Strong claims today. Likely to try to lead all the way.
7. CHEONGSANG MIREU – Class and distance winner in May but was worst of the four of these who raced each other on June 25th.
8. HIBIKI – Beaten by Jeongsang Manse over 1300M in June and then 2nd when odds-on favourite on first try at this distance last time. Worth another chance.

Verdict: (8) HIBIKI was a swift winner on debut in April but has disappointed favourite backers at odds-on in both subsequent starts. Nevertheless, he showed enough on his first try at this distance on June 18th to suggest another win isn’t too far away. Similarly (6) JEONGSANG MANSE, who beat three of these on his way to 2nd at class and distance on June 25th and will surely win at this level sooner or later. Those two look superior although (1) BLACK POINT and (4) INDY CAT can’t be completely ruled out.

Selections (8) Hibiki (6) Jeongsang Manse (1) Black Point (4) Indy Cat
Next Best 7, 2
Fast Start 1, 6, 8

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