Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 16)

There are a couple of new foreign trainers in town and one of them, Luigo Riccardi, saddles his first runner at Seoul on Saturday afternoon. There are 11 Saturday races in the Korean capital from 10:45 to 18:00.

The 49-year-old Italian trainer Riccardi sends out Choego Money in race 10 and the gelding looks to have an excellent chance under Djordje Perovic. Here are the previews:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(8) PRIMO already has a 2nd place to her name and comes in off the back of a reasonable enough 5th place in what looks to have been a tougher contest than this last time and she has as good a chance as any here, likely from the front. (1) NONGBON DAERO has improved across three starts so far and has cope for more today while (6) IRYEO HAYEO, beaten by Primo on debut doesn’t look completely devoid of talent either. There are three debut-makers, two of whom will be backed. Moon Se Young riding means inevitable support for (2) SPEED HWANGNYONG but (9) NEUL SACHAN looks more convincing having comfortably won a trial last month.

Selections (8) Primo (9) Neul Sachan (1) Nongbon Daero (6) Iryeo Hayeo
Next Best 2, 11
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Small field of maiden juveniles here but most have already shown a bit of potential. (3) EAST KINGDOM and (6) THE FINAL both came home in 3rd place on their respective debuts. Neither was well-backed but both showed enough to suggest they can push on here. It’s also fair to say that neither were particular quick so we’re going with (2) FLYING HERA, 5th on debut at this distance on November 4th to score here. She showed a strong finish that day and can come from just behind the early leaders. (7) SOU WARRIOR and (8) CHAPEL ACE not to be discounted either.

Selections (2) Flying Hera (6) The Final (3) East Kingdom (7) Sou Warrior
Next Best 8
Fast Start 7, 8

Race 3: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Fillies only here and (9) EAST GULCH will be a strong favourite. She’s been 2nd in both her outings to date, beating three of these last time and really should be leading this one gate to wire. (3) CHEON YANG is a capable type who could give the favourite some problems although as a closer, the distance may not be the best. (1) BEST YEJI steps back in trip and can go better today while (10) PERFECT BIC C landed back to back wins over the distance in September and October. She was well back behind East Gulch, (7) KAIZEN FORCE and (8) MONE FLYING but could challenge today.

Selections (9) East Gulch (3) Cheon Yang (10) Perfect Bic C (8) Mone Flying
Next Best 1, 7
Fast Start 1, 9, 10

Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Plenty in here whose recent form reads well so it could go one of a number of ways. Likely favourite is (4) CHEONGUN ILHO, who went down to a longshot when favourite at class and distance a month ago but has shown enough to be given another chance today. She looks to be the only one of the top line of favourites to be on the early speed so closing from behind is likely to be (1) ECTON SINHWA, a winner at the distance in September and a solid trial performer last month. (2) BAEKDU MIR remains a maiden but was 2nd to Cheongun Ilho in October and repeated that finish behind (6) DONGSEO GADEUK last month. They’re both up in class today and should be in the frame. (5) CHO ORONG MA also finished behind Cheongun Ilho last start but should have the beating of plenty of these while she in turn defeated (12) SIMON MISSILE on the latter’s most recent outing in October. The latter is another who can’t be ruled out.

Selections (4) Cheongun Ilho (12) Simon Missile (1) Ecton Sinhwa (2) Baekdu Mir
Next Best 6, 5, 11, 10
Fast Start 4, 7, 9, 10

Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(4) GEUMAK YEOJE races for the first time since July of 2016. She looked set for a comeback when she won a trial all the way back in January but that never materialised, and she wasn’t seen again until October. She then came through a fast trial, showing signs of the ability that saw her un out the easy winner of her first two races. She could pick up where she left off and maintain her 100% record here. Last time (1) BOMBI’S KING raced at this distance, he recorded his solitary win to date and could repeat; he’ll be on pace early as will (5) HAEKHANGGONGMOHAM, who was closer last start than his 6th place finish suggests. (3) HENNESSY DANCER and (9) PARTY POWER are others in the hunt.

Selections (4) Geumak Yeoje (1) Bombi’s King (5) Haekhanggongmoham (9) Party Power
Next Best 3, 11
Fast Start 1, 4, 5, 12

Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(4) VICKY LIE, (12) HAPPIEST and (6) SHUMA came home 2nd, 3rd and 4th when they and a couple of others who also go here, raced each other at class and distance on November 18th. Shuma was the most favoured of the three that day but left himself with a bit too much to do. He’s likely to be ridden forward this time and has ever chance of overturning the form. Those other two will be expected to get close as well but among those who didn’t go in that race, (9) ROYAL MATTHIAS looks strongest. He was well back behind (2) LAST JACKPOT and (11) BIG SKY back in October but scored a creditable 3rd on his return on November 11th and can at least match that here.

Selections (6) Shuma (4) Vicky Lie (12) Happiest (9) Royal Matthias
Next Best 2, 1
Fast Start 3, 6, 10

Race 7: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(5) REAL GULCH has proved to have a real knack of avoiding the winner’s circle, having been no worse than 4th this year, with five runner-up finishes along the way, but remaining a maiden. Her 4th last time was at class and distance and it is tempting to put her on top here. Her main rivals too are skilled at dodging victories. (3) HAWAII BOSS has taken to this distance well and has beaten several of these already and should be noted while (8) TRUE TIMBER, who does at least have an entry in the win column, steps up in class today but shouldn’t find anything especially intimidating. (12) SIMBA THE NEXT disappointed as favourite last start but gets another chance while in a race where there’s not much early speed apparent, (2) BEONGAE LION could get a soft lead and may benefit.

Selections (5) Real Gulch (3) Hawaii Boss (12) Simba The Next (8) True Timber
Next Best 2, 1, 7
Fast Start 2

Race 8: Class Open (1200M) Allowance / KRW 200 Million

Valuable juvenile race and (1) GAON CHAMP has looked freakishly good in winning both starts so far at 1000M and 1200M respectively and he could very well blow these away. It’s a strong field though. (6) HOENG UN GOL was almost as impressive when romping away to a seven-length win over 1300M a month ago and he’ll join the favourite on speed early. (2) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON looks to require a bit more distance to help her finally make it to the winner’s circle but nevertheless, should be in the money frame here. (4) GLOBAL BANK and (5) FIRE WIND others in the hunt in a good-looking contest.

Selections (1) Gaon Champ (6) Hoeng Un Gol (2) Kkeuleojuneun Son (4) Global Bank
Next Best 5, 7
Fast Start 1, 6, 7

Race 9: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) SAEBYEOGUI was a four-length winner over class and distance on October 22nd, beating a couple of these in the process and while he makes his first start for eight weeks here and carries an additional 3.5kg, he still looks to have solid claims. The most credible danger is (3) YEONGGWANGUI SIGAN, who comes in having been 4th in stiff company over 1300M three weeks ago and can get closer here although (2) COLORS TROUBLE did manage a 2nd place also at 1300M and has claims of his own. (10) GEUMGOKSEONG was 2nd to Saebyeogui in that October race and while he has raced once since without distinction, can go close again. The wildcard is (12) ARGO AWESOME. He returns from six months off here but trialled up nicely and has every chance of gong well for a stable that’s in good form at the moment.

Selections (1) Saebyeogui (3) Yeonggwangui Sigan (12) Argo Awesome (2) Colors Trouble
Next Best 10, 4
Fast Start 1, 3, 4, 6, 7

Race 10: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

Italian trainer Luigi Riccardi sends out his first ever Korean runner and it could well be a winner. (10) CHOEGO MONEY looks nicely in here and comes in off a 4th place in a slightly stronger race than this over this distance in October. Djordje Perovic takes the mount and there looks to be plenty to like. (1) JEOLMYOHANSEONTAEK has been getting closer in recent efforts, culminating in 2nd place in a fast 1200M race three weeks ago and he will be a threat under Moon Se Young. (5) TOUR ROSE’s latest two have been in a big Stakes race and at an unsuitable distance, neither of which apply today and she can be better. (8) YEONGNONG was only narrowly beaten by Choego Money last time and can finish strongly while (11) SPIRIT OF HANSEN is inconsistent but his latest run offers hope.

Selections (10) Choego Money (1) Jeolmyohanseontaek (5) Tour Rose (11) Spirit Of Hansen
Next Best 8, 12, 9
Fast Start 5, 6, 11

Race 11: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(5) JEONGSANG BULPAE is looking for his first win but he’s shown promise across three starts so far and despite being up in class today, has nothing to fear here and could well make the breakthrough. (2) BROADWAY SIN is also still hunting for a maiden victory but if he gets a good start could go all the way here.  While (12) BARAM SOGEURO is two starts into a comeback following five months out and was a much improved 2nd last time in a very similar race to this. He could go close. (1) OFFIDAY has struggled in two starts at this level but jockey booking is worthy of mention while (3) FACT HEAVENS has similarly found this class tough but is another who can get on speed early.

Selections (5) Jeongsang Bulpae (12) Baram Sogeuro (2) Broadway Sin (1) Offiday
Next Best 3, 8
Fast Start 1, 2, 3, 8
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