It’s Christmas Eve and it’s Seoul’s final day of racing of 2017 (Busan has cards on December 30th and 31st). 12 races in the capital from 10:45 to 18:00 plus 5 down at Busan from 12:40 to 16:15. Here are the previews but first take a moment to watch French jockey David Breux ride his first Korean winner – it came in race 9 on Saturday on 20/1 chance Daejangbak:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Djordje Perovic will be crowned champion jockey today and he can get the last racing day of 2017 at Seoul off to a great start with victory on (12) STIRLING in this juvenile filly race. She was a much-improved 3rd last time at this distance and can go two better today. She’s going to be looking to go around the field to get on the early pace and she’s not alone as both (10) ORANGE SOCKS and (11) AREUMDAUN CHEONSA are likely to have similar plans. Both showed promise last time and can continue to progress here. (8) CLAY WIND and (9) MERRY WHITE will have backers to improve as well while among the three debut-makers, (4) TONGHAP SIDAE perhaps has the best chance of troubling the placings on debut.
|Selections||(12) Stirling (11) Areumdaun Cheonsa (10) Orange Socks (9) Merry White|
|Next Best||8, 4|
|Fast Start||4, 10, 11, 12|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
2nd on debut on November 26th, (3) GALAXY POWER is going to be a warm favourite to win this. He led only to be beaten by one who looks to have a lot potential and should be on the early pace here and go all the way. He’s one of only four of the twelve who have raced before and none of the other three showed an awful lot on their debuts with (7) RAON JEWANG perhaps the only other one who showed promise. That leaves us with the first-timers and (5) BURUI SOKDO and (6) JEWANGUI BYEOL both performed well in trials and have top jockeys on. The latter is favoured. Also showing ability in her trial was (10) BIG THUNDER and she too could go well first-up.
|Selections||(3) Galaxy Power (6) Jewangui Byeol (7) Raon Jewang (5) Burui Sokdo|
|Next Best||10, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5, 6|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(10) JUNGDONG JIJON has been getting closer and closer and following a 3rd and a 2nd in his latest two, will surely get it right today. He’ll be a hot favourite. (7) MAJJABEUN SON was a much improved 3rd last start and can maintain that momentum today while (1) KAY ONE and (12) MACH SEUNGNI also look to be getting better and can be involved. Other than that we’re looking for something to demonstrate something that they haven’t previously and (3) RAON DOLPUNG, who has finished off both previous races over 1000M well may benefit from the extra distance here.
|Selections||(10) Jungdong Jijon (7) Majjabeun Son (12) Mach Sungni (1) Kay One|
|Next Best||3, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 8, 11|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Wide open here but the Perovic-factor may see (12) SEUNGRI SIDAE home. He just missed out on 2nd place over class and distance on November 19th and looks nicely entered here. (10) SPEED CHEONGNYONG weakened late having led over 1700M last time and should be more comfortable back at 1300M today while (3) GEUMSUN YOU is up in class following a maiden win at the distance a month ago and should be competitive. (1) CHAMBIT and (7) HWANAE JANGSEONG are both proven money winner at this level and can be taken into consideration.
|Selections||(12) Seungri Sidae (10) Speed Cheongnyong (3) Geumsun You (1) Chambit|
|Next Best||7, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 7, 10|
Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(4) MEGALIOS beat three of these on his way to 3rd place over 1200M on November 26th and looks nicely in here to get his maiden win. He’s finished off nicely in each of three starts so far and the extra half-furlong today can help him get home on top this time. (8) TOSCONOVA CAT was just a Neck behind Megalios that day, continuing a positive beginning to his career that has also seen a 2nd place at this distance. Like Megalios, he’s shown some speed and looks to have wins in him. Those two should dispute the exacta but (1) WHIZ REINA has also shown ability. She was 3rd behind (3) RAON PORTEOUS on what was both of their debuts in October and both should be in the placing hunt here.
|Selections||(4) Megalios (8) Tosconova Cat (1) Whiz Reina (3) Raon Porteous|
|Next Best||6, 7|
|Fast Start||3, 11, 12|
Busan Race 2: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million
Ghostzapper gelding (12) KING OF GLORY put in a solid debut back in September running 3rd over 1200M. He reappears for the first time today and if he can overcome the wide gate to get close to the early speed, looks to be the one to beat here. (6) CAPTAIN FORCE won a good race to break his maiden at the end of November, having previously run 3rd in the GC Trophy – a big juvenile race. Up in class but perhaps shrewdly entered against these imports, he can get close. He’ll likely join King Of Glory on the early speed while coming from further back could be (9) CHIEF ACE. Thomas Gillespie’s Bodemeister colt has a 3rd and a 2nd from two starts to date and can keep his 100% placing record going here. (8) I’M YOUR MOTHER and (10) GOOD ONE MAN are others to consider.
|Selections||(12) King Of Glory (9) Chief Ace (6) Captain Force (8) I’m Your Mother|
|Next Best||10, 11|
|Fast Start||6, 7, 11, 12|
Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(3) BULHUUI MYEONGGOG does have a habit of slightly letting punters down having performed below market expectations in each of his last three outings. Nevertheless, the distance suits, the weight is fine and the competition beatable. The draw is good too so we’re going to go for him to get close to the front from the start and go all the way. Should he contrive to get beaten once more, (11) EORIN WANGJA and (12) SOCCER GLORY, both class and distance winners could be the ones who take advantage – the former beat Bulhuui Myeonggog last time and while he carries an extra 3kg today and is drawn wide, could well do so again. (2) JANGSAN JEGUK is a bit of a wildcard, stepping up significantly in trip but can be given a chance while (6) ELECTRIC CHROME and the up in class (10) MEORURANG are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(3) Bulhuui Myeonggog (11) Eorin Wangja (2) Jangsan Jeguk (12) Soccer Glory|
|Next Best||10, 6, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 8|
Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 55 Million
(4) GAME CHANGER ran a decent 2nd on November 17th and under Busan’s new champion jockey Jo In Kwen, can go one better today, likely leading all the way. Not a bad race this though with (6) SUN LAZER entering looking for a hat-trick of wins. On November 24th, he beat (10) GREEN GREEN and (5) DORAON GUNHAM when scoring by four lengths with the trio running 1st, 2nd and 3rd at class and distance. He carries a bit more weight today and the latter pair have claims to get closer but Sun Lazer could well keep his streak going. (3) PERFECT DIVA is up in class following a slightly unexpected win over 1300M a month ago but should be competitive here.
|Selections||(4) Game Changer (6) Sun Lazer (10) Green Green (5) Doraon Gunham|
|Next Best||3, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 9|
Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(1) KING PLUCKY beat (2) HIBIKI as the pair ran 3rd and 4th over class and distance on November 12th. They’ll be at the top of the market here and we’ll go with Hibiki, with a more favourable draw than last time, to overturn that form. It’s a wide-open race though. (8) SUPER BROAD beat (7) TAMNA KING and (4) TEUKBYOL STAR when running 2nd at class and distance on November 25th and has to be respected. The latter pair too ran well that day and can get close here. Moon Se Young taking the mount on (11) IN BORN CHAMP also catches the eye.
|Selections||(2) Hibiki (1) King Plucky (8) Super Broad (7) Tamna King|
|Next Best||4, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 7, 11|
Busan Race 4: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(11) FOUR NINES roared back into form second-up off a long lay-off last month, recording a five-length victory at class and distance with three of these well back in the field. He carries an extra 3.5kg today but is still the one to beat. (5) BRIGHT STAR was 2nd in the Korean Oaks back in June. Since then she’s raced three times, all of them in Group company. She did well running a close 2nd in the Jeju Governor’s Cup at Seoul but found herself overmatched in the final legs of the Triple Crown and Queens’ Tour. Today though she finds herself very nicely in the weights and in more amenable company and she can get close. (7) ROYAL HEART has won four of his last five and is up in both class and distance here with every chance of being competitive. (1) HWARYEOHANHAMSEONG and (12) MUHAN YEOLJEONG are others for whom this should suit.
|Selections||(11) Four Nines (5) Bright Star (7) Royal Heart (12) Muhan Yeoljeong|
|Next Best||1, 3|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5, 8|
Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(1) MOON ISLE KING beat four of these when 2nd at 1200M on November 26th. He’s been consistent and should get on the early speed here and potentially lead all the way. (11) NAMCHONUI QUEEN suffered her first defeat that day but should have come on for it and having shown plenty of speed in her first two outings, can’t be written off yet. Joining those two on that early speed is expected to be (3) SMART DREAM who can be given another chance following a slightly underwhelming performance when well backed at the beginning of November. (2) GANGDAEGANG has finished 2nd or 4th in each of his latest five outings and should certainly be doing no worse today while the up in class (9) CHEONHA JEWANG looked really good when getting his maiden win last time and can play a role today.
|Selections||(1) Moon Isle King (2) Gangdaegang (11) Namchonui Queen (3) Smart Dream|
|Next Best||9, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 11|
Busan Race 5: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
(5) GOOD CASTING returned from five months off to score a totally unexpected win over 1800M on November 17th with four of these well back down the track. That made it three wins in a row, stretching back to May and while the drop back in trip may help others, he’s not to be underestimated this time. One of those the trip may help is (4) MUPAE, who did well to run 2nd to Approach over 1800M in September but should find this more suitable. Likewise, stablemate (9) TODAY was a class 2 winner at the distance in July and reappears ten weeks after having a hard time in a stiff contest at 1200M. In that stiff race, (10) MORNING DAERO came home 2nd and followed it up with a 3rd place in an even tougher race on November 26th. Disappointing that day was (11) HAEYA but if the filly gets a good start, she could very easily go all the way. (1) THE GRAND, who won back to back races at this distance at class 2 in August and October is the other to look out for.
|Selections||(5) Good Casting (11) Haeya (4) Mupae (9) Today|
|Next Best||10, 1|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 6, 11|
Seoul Race 9: Class Open (1200M) Allowance / KRW 200 Million
Special race run to wish success to next year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. This isn’t quite the cream of the crop but still sees plenty of useful ones and all eight of them have some kind of claim. We’ll focus on the ones who’ve shown most so far and (1) SINUI MYEONRYEONG’s 2nd place in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup and 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup, beaten only by the two of the three best juveniles this year make him top pick here, probably leading all the way. (2) COMPLETE SWEEP is a newcomer on the scene but absolutely romped home on debut over 1300M on November 25th, winning by ten lengths. A day late, the similarly totally unexposed (3) MUSA was extremely quick over 1000M. Both could turn out to be very good. (6) DOKDO JIGI has only been beaten so far by Gaon Champ, who went three for three with a facile win in a big race last Sunday and can be considered as can (5) MASK, who was 3rd that day but is not without talent either.
|Selections||(1) Sinui Myeongryeong (6) Dokdo Jigi (2) Complete Sweep (3) Musa|
|Next Best||5, 8, 4, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 4, 7|
Seoul Race 10: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW
(8) PHOENIX SUN has won three of five in total including beating four of his rivals here when victorious over class and distance on November 19th. He looks a good talent and while it’s true he carries an additional 5kg today, he still has to go on top. (2) CHOWONUI CHANGA was the longest shot on the board that day but managed to come home in 2nd. The odds are against a repeat and (3) NEW PARTNER and (9) GAMGYEOGUI SUNGAN will be favoured to get closer. (1) BLACK POWER ran poorly in that race but can be given another chance while among the ones who didn’t take part that day, (4) MUCH MONEY, up in class following a smart win at 1300M a month ago, looks best.
|Selections||(8) Phoenix Sun (9) Gamgyeogui Sungan (3) New Partner (4) Much Money|
|Next Best||1, 2, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 8, 9|
Seoul Race 11: Class 1 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 150 Million
Extremely competitive final class 1 of the year at Seoul and while (12) UNBEATABLE is anything but his name, he could have enough here. He’s carrying a bit more weight today as he usually has an apprentice on but the services of Djordje Perovic should more than compensate for that. Beaten by only good ones recently, he can avenge the 3rd place he suffered behind (5) SHAMROCKER and (9) JANGSAN COWBOY in July. Shamrocker is the main danger and could well be favourite but (7) BANYA DONGHAENG and the mare (3) MIGHTY GEM can also offer stern tests.
|Selections||(12) Unbeatable (5) Shamrocker (3) Mighty Gem (7) Banya Donghaeng|
|Next Best||10, 9, 2|
|Fast Start||6, 11|
Seoul Race 12: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(3) GIO STAR raced for the first time since last Christmas Day on November 26th and he returned in fine style, landing a three-length win at class and distance. Up in carried weight today but there’s no reason why he can’t repeat. (1) SAMJUNG TAPIT, (11) BEONGAE FIGHTER and (10) OKAY GOOD were separated by less than half a length as the three of them came home 3rd, 4th and 5th in a very similar race to this on November 12th and the former pair especially should be threats here. (8) BULMYEORUI JEWANG had a chastening time of things in the Nonghyup Chairman’s Trophy last month but still has good potential and can go better today.
|Selections||(3) Gio Star (1) Samjung Tapit (8) Bulmyeorui Jewang (11) Beongae Fighter|
|Next Best||10, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 8, 10|