The first Sunday of 2018 sees a big day of racing on the peninsula with both Seoul and Busan running cards. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 while at Busan there are 6 from 12:40to 17:05. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(6) MORAN DONGBEAK has shown enough cross five prior outings to just about justify favouritism here. He ran on well for a good 2nd place, his best finish so far, over the distance on November 11th and returns here after eight weeks off with a good chance of getting his maiden win. (7) ILGAKSU and (11) JOEUN NADEURI also come in having shown improvement in their latest outings and look to have a bit more in them while (8) SAE DIXIE couldn’t follow up on a decent 2nd place she secured in October when she reappeared a month later but gets another chance today. There are two debut-makers, both from the same stable but the one we are focused on is (3) TRIPLE HAPPY, who won a trial nicely enough and could go well first up – as ever with the debut-makers, keep an eye on the market.
|Selections||(6) Moran Dongbeak (7) Ilgaksi (3) Triple Happy (11) Joeun Nadeuri|
|Next Best||8, 12|
|Fast Start||4, 7, 8|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-olds only and (10) KING POSE was a well-beaten 3rd last start but ran pleasingly enough then and in two prior outings, to suggest he has a win in him and it could arrive today. He’ll settle behind an early pace that’s likely to be set by (3) HANIL GANGJA and (12) J.S. STORM. The latter was leading close to home last time but had to settle for 2nd while Hanil Gangja has finished 4th in both outings to date and can improve today. (6) THUNDER GREAT also showed promise when running 2nd in an admittedly slow contest at this distance at the start of December. His time that day was exactly the same as that of (7) SUN BOLT in his qualifying trial and this debut-making gelding is another to consider.
|Selections||(10) King Pose (12) J.S. Storm (3) Hanil Gangja (6) Thunder Great|
|Next Best||7, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 7, 8, 12|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(4) CREMOA POWER showed improvement last time out to run 3rd over 1000M. The Hansen gelding has just been a little slow away each time so far and if he can get himself into a more favourable position earlier on today, he can win this modest contest. (1) CHONGAL GACHI and (3) MUJEOKUI SUNGAN have both shown glimpses of ability and both should record best finishes to date here. (2) DAE CAIN continues to frustrate. He put in a very promising performance on his second start back in August that got him a run in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup. He didn’t go well in that but was well-backed on his return to a regular – and weak – class 6 race last month but was barely involved. We’re not going to pick him today – so he’ll probably win.
|Selections||(4) Cremoa Power (1) Chongal Gachi (3) Mujeokui Sungan (2) Dae Cain|
|Next Best||7, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 7, 8|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(11) HYEONMU was 3rd in a similar class and distance contest at the end of November following on from a decent 2nd the month before. He can overcome a wide draw to get on pace early and can win here. (7) SPECIAL LIGHT and (2) RAON ROCKY came home 2nd and 3rd when they raced each other over 1200M on December 3rd and they should be involved again. (4) HANEULUI STAR started poorly last time and never really got involved but is better than that and can improve today from a more favourable draw. (9) GONSEOL remains a maiden after thirty-one attempts but recent form is good and he can finish in the money.
|Selections||(11) Hyeonmu (7) Special Light (4) Haneului Star (9) Gonseol|
|Next Best||2, 6, 10|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 11, 12|
Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Competitive race this. (2) MY VISION and (9) CALLIOPE are both up in class following good victories last time out. The former made all over this distance while the latter’s was at 1000M but both look to have enough about them to be competitive at this level. The one they need to deal with is (1) CHARMING GOOD. His latest two, both at this class have been encouraging, especially his 3rd place last time out beating a couple of the others who go here. He’ll join My Vision on the early speed. (11) EONJE EODISEONA and (12) GEUMSOWHA are others who could improve on their latest efforts.
|Selections||(2) My Vision (1) Charming Good (9) Calliope (11) Eonje Eodiseona|
|Next Best||12, 5, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 5|
Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(8) ÉCLAIR BEAUTY finally got things together when stepped up to this distance on December 9th and ran on for a nice looking maiden victory on what was her sixth career start. The Rock Hard Ten filly steps up in class today but really has to be given another chance at this distance and she’s the top pick. (12) WANGDAEJANG and (1) BOSEOG SANGJA came home 1st and 2nd at class and distance on December 2nd and both warrant respect here although (6) SKY CITY, the mount of David Breux, also looks to have scope for improvement having been 5th at the distance on het first try at this class last time. (10) SHAR NAO’s recent efforts also give hope.
|Selections||(8) Éclair Beauty (6) Sky City (1) Boseog Sangja (12) Wangdaejang|
|Next Best||10, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 8, 10|
Seoul Race 7: Class 3 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(12) CUPID FLOWER ran 2nd to resurgent Oaks winner Jejui Haneul over 1900M at the end of November, beating a couple of these in the process, and stepping back a furlong today looks very much the one to beat here, likely trying to lead from gate to wire. (4) ROCKET QUEEN was 5th that day and can get closer here. She’s likely to challenge Cupid Flower for the early lead. (3) SMART PARK and (5) NHA TRANG came home 2nd and 3rd over 1400M on December 9th and have strong placing claims again while (1) YEONGGWANGUIGEUNAL is a little inconsistent but is the highest rated of these and can be competitive.
|Selections||(12) Cupid Flower (3) Smart Park (5) Nha Trang (4) Rocket Queen|
|Next Best||1, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 12|
Seoul Race 8: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(12) GUTONGSA proved he’s not just a sprinter (he’s the track record holder at 1300M) by winning a decent race over 1700M on December 10th. He’s up in class here and up to 1800M for the first time but is nicely weighted and he could win. The main danger is (2) WILD THUNDER, who is similarly up in class following back to back wins at 1400M. He is proven at two-turns too having won at 1700M and run 6th in the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Triple Crown at further. Of those with experience at this class already, (11) NANCHOUI GOHYANG was a solid 3rd at 1800M last start while (3) CHOEGO MONEY and (9) JJARIT both step back up in trip and could challenge for the places.
|Selections||(12) Gutongsa (2) Wild Thunder (9) Jjarit (11) Nachoui Gohyang|
|Next Best||3, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 4, 10|
Seoul Race 9: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(7) WINNER GOLD should continue his impressive record here and get his third straight win. After an indifferent debut, he’s looked extremely competent in two easy wins at 1200M and 1400M respectively, the latest of which was at this class and he’s hard to oppose. (4) ARGO MELODY has shown some talent herself and is up in class following a brisk win at 1000M in early December. She’ll start fast and make the favourite come past her. (6) DAE JYUSIN ran on nicely last time and could go well again while (2) SUPER CHANCE and (10) KODIAK LOVE may improve on recent showings.
|Selections||(7) Winner Gold (4) Argo Melody (6) Dae Jyusin (2) Super Chance|
|Next Best||10, 12|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 7, 10, 11|
Seoul Race 10: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
Class 1 but only open to those with a rating up to 100 and that leaves (8) HEUNGRYONG as strong favourite. Last time he raced at this distance he came home 2nd in what was a fast race in the summer and has passed the time since placing in tough races around two turns. He’s not the fastest of starters but should be too strong in the closing stages. (7) ZENTENARY will be a fast starter and can improve on recent starts; he was beaten last time by (5) JANGSANJEWANG and that one too looks to be in the placing hunt here. (3) SUN ROK and (4) BRIG most likely among the others.
|Selections||(8) Heungryong (3) Sun Rok (5) Jangsanjewang (7) Zentenary|
|Next Best||4, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 7|
Seoul Race 11: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Wide open contest to finish with but we’ll go with (2) TIZ GLEE to get his maiden win at what will be the seventh time of asking. He’s been a bit inconsistent, but nothing really comes in here in better form and this could be his day. (8) MAKJIMA improved last time in what was a strong race over the minimum distance on December 17th and he looks firmly in the hunt. (5) SEUNGNI GIEOK actually beat Tiz Glee in a tremendous debut last August but has only run once, poorly, since then. He comes back in following ten weeks off and gets a fresh start here. (9) STORM NAVY SEAL and (10) KAILASH DANCER others with scope to improve.
|Selections||(2) Tiz Glee (8) Makjima (5) Seungni Gieok (9) Storm Navy Seal|
|Next Best||10, 1|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 7, 10|