There are 11 Sunday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. The day’s feature is at Busan in the shape of a “Road To G1” event over 1400M which features the likes of Haeya, Perdido Pomeroy, Drop The Beat, Diferent Dimension and the returning Macheon Bolt. Only Seoul is on overseas simulcast so here are the capital’s previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(4) NEUL SACHAN is a rare runner by one of the most popular Korean racehorses of the early 2000s, Baekgwang and she looks a decent prospect too. 3rd on debut over 1000M a month ago running on nicely, she can benefit from the additional trip today and can win. Main danger is (3) RAON MIRACLE, who already has a 4th and consecutive 3rd place finishes at this distance. She’s not been quick but looks like she has a win in her at some point. (9) CHEON BYEOL and (11) FLYING HERA came home 6th and 6th respectively when they raced each other over the distance on December 16th. For both it was their second career start and for both it showed improvement and they can go close today. (8) SINUITAB is more experienced and while limited, she could match the 4th she managed behind Neul Sachan last time.
|Selections||(4) Neul Sachan (3) Raon Miracle (9) Cheon Byeol (11) Flying Hera|
|Next Best||8, 7|
|Fast Start||8, 11|
Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Small field here but it’s nicely competitive. (8) EAST KINGDOM led for much of the way over this distance on what was his second career start on December 16th only to ultimately have to settle for 2nd place and he has every chance of going one better today. (3) DUSON WANGJA has been getting closer across three starts so far, culminating in 3rd at 1200M last time and should take to the additional half furlong well. Both outings so far for (4) RAON SIRIUS have been at this distance and his 3rd place last time was promising while (2) DREAM INDY steps up in trip following 3rd on debut over 1000M and maybe has a little more to find. (6) CHEON MONG, also up in trip after coming 2nd over 1000M when favourite last month, is another in the frame.
|Selections||(8) East Kingdom (3) Duson Wangja (4) Raon Sirius (6) Cheon Mong|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 6|
Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
A class 6 winner at the distance on November and then a close 2nd on his first try at this class on Christmas Eve, (9) GEUMSUN YOU is the one to beat here. He was favourite last time but it was sloppy conditions and this time he should make no mistake. (11) SHARP KAYLAN has performed creditably in two goes at this level so far and steps back up the distance at which he registered his solitary victory to date and can push the favourite. (1) SISPUMA WINNER and (4) BROWN BOMBER enter having run 3rd and 4th over class and distance on December 17th and should be in the placing frame again with (6) MALAKAS, up in trip following an decent 2nd place over 1000M last month also in with a shot.
|Selections||(9) Geumsun You (1) Sispuma Winner (11) Sharp Kaylan (4) Brown Bomber|
|Next Best||6, 8|
|Fast Start||8, 9, 11, 12|
Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(6) THE QUEEN GRACE was an easy winner on debut back in September but her only start since then was in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup at the end of October. She didn’t go well, fading without trace in the closing stages, but returns here following twelve weeks off and provided she gets a good start – and she’s ideally drawn to do so – she can return to winning ways here. Not an easy race though and (4) GOLD LEG could thwart her. She almost led the whole way around in a similar contest over 1300M on Christmas Eve and dropping back to the minimum today, should be a threat. (1) MENI PARK showed some early talent but had a troubled 2017. She trialled up very nicely in December though and jockey booking catches the eye. (7) ROYAL ACE struggled last time but is worth another go in this company today while it’s a similar story for (8) NAMWON QUEEN.
|Selections||(6) The Queen Grace (4) Gold Leg (1) Meni Park (7) Royal Ace|
|Next Best||8, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 6, 8|
Race 5: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Not exactly one to get the pulses racing this but at the same time, tricky enough to make it interesting betting-wise. None of these are very good but three of them did come home 2nd, 3rd and 4th over the distance on December 23rd. (5) NANGMAN STAR was the best of them that day, ahead of (3) WIDAEHAN BALJAGUK and (4) BAEKDU POWER but there was only a length separating them and all three should have a good chance of going close here. (2) SAMDA BULKKOT also comes in having been 3rd at the distance last start. He is a slow starter but has shown he’s capable of staying on and passing plenty late on and he could figure in the closing stages. However, the early pace should be set by (7) ONNURI ALBA. He was slowly away but ultimately ended up leading on his first try over this distance on December 9th. He finished 4th but showed the distance suits and given a more forward ride today, he could just be the one to win.
|Selections||(7) Onnuri Alba (2) Samda Bulkkot (3) Widaehan Baljaguk (5) Nangman Star|
|Fast Start||6, 7|
Race 6: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(10) GEUMA FORTE was a bit lacklustre last time but he’s a two-time winner at this distance, if not at this class and he does look the best in here. He’s run once a month since debut so may be in need of a spell, but he’s hardly alone in that and has every chance of winning this. Moon Se Young will give him a patient ride and look to swoop late. Trainer An Byung Ki had a great 2017 and while his 2018 has begun in ordinary fashion, his (6) ARGO AWESOME looks in the frame here. He returned from almost six months off to run 3rd over 1200M a month ago and looks ready to take on two turns for the first time, most likely leading from the gate. (4) SHUMA and (7) HAPPIEST are both up in class having run 1st and 3rd at the distance on December 16th. Shuma looks to have potential for more. Also up in class is (8) MAMBO KHAN. In his case he’s up in distance too but he’s won two from four so far and can be considered. On the other hand, (9) NALSSAEN GANGHO has only won one of his twenty-three previous starts but he looks to be coming into some form with 2nd place in a very similar class and distance race last time.
|Selections||(10) Geuma Forte (9) Nalssaen Gangho (6) Argo Awesome (4) Shuma|
|Next Best||8, 11, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 8|
Race 7: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Dare we put (4) REAL GULCH on top? She’s raced eighteen times prior to today and remains a maiden yet has finished 2nd on no fewer than six occasions – all of them within her last eight outings. They include last time at class and distance on December 16th when she beat 3rd place (5) HANBIT NARA (another win-dodger) by two lengths. We’ve said this a couple of times before but really, she’ll not get a better chance of a win. (10) PHOENIX HEART is up in class following his maiden win on what was his first try at the distance on Christmas Eve. He had to battle for it and should be competitive here. (3) LONG WAY returned from a three-month spell to run 5th at the distance last time and can improve today. (6) CHICAGO ART struggled in stiffer company than this last time but scored a good 2nd at the distance the time before. (8) JANGBI CHEONBOK is up in class following the narrowest of victories at this distance and while he probably has a bit to find, there’s not too much to fear here.
|Selections||(4) Real Gulch (10) Phoenix Heart (3) Long Way (6) Chicago Art|
|Next Best||8, 5, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 9|
Race 8: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
With a 3rd and two 2nd places from his three outings so far and beaten by decent types on each occasion, it’s time for (5) RICHARDOFNEWSTEAD to make his own breakthrough today. He should be leading from gate to wire. It’s hard to imagine him being beaten but (6) JANGSAN BEARS put in a creditable showing in 4th on debut and could improve. (7) USEUNG TEUKKI too didn’t do anything wrong on his first start. (8) MORFHIS has been a touch disappointing in two efforts so far despite relatively high expectations. It’s early days though and he should be looking for a to-date best finish here. There are a couple of debut-makers with (3) CHOEGANG GOSU looking the better of them in trials.
|Selections||(5) Richardofnewstead (8) Mofphis (6) Jangsan Bears (7) Useung Teukki|
|Next Best||3, 1|
|Fast Start||5, 7|
Race 9: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
After a 4th place on debut in September, (7) ROAD WINNER has won two in a row by a combined nine-lengths. He’s up in class today and slightly in distance too but neither should be too much of an issue. He doesn’t lead early in his races, but he has a strong finish and he can complete a hat-trick of victories here. This is by no means a bad race though and it’s his stiffest test so far. (1) SAMJUNG TAPIT enters off back to back 3rd places at class and distance in similar strength contests and will surely play a role again. Likewise, (3) CHEONJAEILU’s recent form reads well. (4) MIGHTY SSING is up in class and distance and while he won’t be among the favourites, he should be on the early pace and could spring a surprise. Competing with him for the early lead is likely to be (10) YEOKJEONUI USEUNG, who is similarly up in class and distance following a smart victory over 1200M last month.
|Selections||(7) Road Winner (1) Samjung Tapit (3) Cheonjaeilu (10) Yeokjeonui Useung|
|Next Best||4, 11, 12|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 10, 11|
Race 10: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
(1) DONGCHONUI ACHIM has had a bit of a stop/start career but he is a solid sprinter and while the 2nd place he achieved over 1200M in December was in one of the weakest class 1 races in recent times at Seoul, this one isn’t especially stiff either and he could well go one better. (5) TAEYANGWANG came back into form on his latest at this distance last month, beating (8) GANGSEONG DAEGUK in the proves. Both should be in the frame. (6) JANGSAN COWBOY steps back in trip and may benefit. (7) JEONMUHUMU won his last start at this distance in October and if he can get on the early lead, should be a threat. (9) BRIGHT CAT is up in class following a four-length win at the distance seven weeks ago. He’s very nicely weighted and he shouldn’t be out of his depth.
|Selections||(1) Dongchonui Achim (8) Gangseong Daeguk (5) Taeyangwang (6) Jangsan Cowboy|
|Next Best||9, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 7, 11|
Race 11: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Competitive race to finish up with. (12) BEST TEN and (3) SCARLET WITCH came home 3rd and 4th when they raced each other at class and distance on November 18th. Neither have run since but both come in here looking to be leading contenders with Scarlet Witch marginally favoured to get on the early pace and go all the way. (1) SENTA POBA steps back in trip after enduring a chastening time at 1700M last month and should be much more comfortable today. (8) GWACHEONUI HAMSEON races for the first time since a strong 3rd in a better race than this n November and must be considered. The up in class (5) SIN DOLGYEOK is another in the frame.
|Selections||(3) Scarlet Witch (12) Best Ten (8) Gwancheonui Hamseon (1) Senta Poba|
|Next Best||5, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 7, 11|