A big day’s racing on Sunday at both Seoul and Busan. Seoul has 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00 while at Busan there are 6 contests from 12:40 to 17:05. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(8) HAPPY MAUNTAIN ran 2nd on debut four weeks ago and while he was beaten a long way by a very handy winner, he showed enough to suggest he knows what he’s doing and he’s the pick to see off this field which is comprised six debut-makers and six who have just run once each. (9) HANSEN VOLT and (10) DONGBANG JIJU both also hinted at some kind of ability on their respective debuts and while neither were fast, they can improve here. Among the first-time starters, (12) FRENCH STAR looked the most convincing in trials. As ever with the debut-makers, watch the market.
|Selections||(8) Happy Mauntain (9) Hansen Volt (12) French Star (10) Dongbang Jiju|
|Next Best||3, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 10, 12|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Fillies only here and (8) MORAN DONGBEAK finished well to pick off three of her rivals here when running 4th over 1000M on January 27th. She gets an overdue bump up in trip here for the first time and it could well pay dividends. (2) CHOM NIA has raced at this distance before and while it didn’t go especially well, a decent 2nd back at 1000M last month when she ran on well through the line suggests she may go better this time. (10) BANGGEUT BANGGEUT too ran on nicely on debut at the minimum distance before running out of track and could also appreciate the extended trip today. (12) IRYEO HAYEO has run over 1300M before and did well at it. She came 3rd on January 21st in a very similar contest to this and should be looking to at least repeat. (7) MAGGIEUI CHUEOG is another to consider.
|Selections||(8) Moran Dongbeak (2) Chom Nia (12) Iryeo Hayeo (10) Banggeut Banggeut|
|Next Best||7, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 6|
Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Tricky contest this. (4) JEJUI BARAM was an all-the-way winner in an all-filly race on debut at the distance on January 6th. She is up in class here but the competition is not especially intimidating and she could well win again. (10) THE QUEEN GRACE was such an eye-catching winner on her own debut last September that she was entered in a big juvenile race the following month. It didn’t go well as while she was prominent early, she faded to beat only one home in the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup. She returned though to run 2nd on her season debut a month ago, back at 1000M and she should be a threat. Half a length behind The Queen Grace last time was (11) ROYAL ACE and he can aim to match that here while (1) GALAXY POWER and the up in class (12) GEOSEON MAPUNG both have potential at this distance.
|Selections||(4) Jejui Baram (10) The Queen Grace (1) Galaxy Power (11) Royal Ace|
|Next Best||12, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 5, 10|
Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(1) GEUMBIRANG was a much-improved 2nd on what was his third outing on January 14th. He’s a slow starter but a strong finisher and while it is perhaps surprising he’s dropped back slightly in trip today, he can still win. (3) RAON SIRIUS hasn’t been too far away in each of his three outings to date and can go close here. He’s well drawn to get on the early lead and could go all the way. (5) FLYING JOY didn’t go well on debut over 1300M but was much improved when dropped back to the minimum on reappearance last month. Moon Se Young being on board for the first time will enhance his appeal among punters. (10) BARAM KING likewise showed signs of improvement in his second start last month and may also enter consideration. (2) SONGAM JEUNE is one of two debut-makers and while his trial wasn’t exactly fast, this is a nice race to start off in.
|Selections||(1) Geumbirang (3) Raon Sirius (5) Flying Joy (2) Songam Jeune|
|Next Best||10, 7|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 9|
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / 40 Million
(6) LUCKY CHUNYANG is up in class following a good win over this distance on January 6th. He made all that day and has every chance of doing so again. He’ll be favourite but he should face a strong challenge from (1) WOOSEORA ICHEON. A solid 4th on his first try at this level back in January, he was well backed for a planned start earlier this month but unseated his rider coming out of the gates and is worth another chance today. (12) SIMCHEONG SADAL comes in having been a good 2nd at class and distance a month ago and should be competitive while (3) STRONG MAN and (7) BROWN BOMBER have also both shown ability at this class and can be close again.
|Selections||(6) Lucky Chunyang (12) Simcheong Sadal (1) Wooseora Icheon (7) Brown Bomber|
|Next Best||3, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 6, 9|
Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Fillies only here (and one mare) and (3) CHEONNYEONDONGANDO could be the one to score having finished a very good 2nd in a decent class and distance contest last month. She will be away quickly and can challenge (2) QUEEN THE QUEEN, also 2nd last time in slightly less impressive but still creditable fashion, for the early lead. Both should be involved at the end. (12) DAMYANG GONGJU went ok in finishing 5th over 1300M on her first try at this level on January 28th but should be much better today dropping back to the minimum distance at which she scored her maiden win in December. (1) MISS TANK and (9) KOREAN ANGEL also both come in having sown plenty of ability prior to date and have claims in what is a very competitive looking race.
|Selections||(3) Cheonnyeondongando (2) Queen The Queen (12) Damyang Gongju (1) Miss Tank|
|Next Best||9, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
With two 2nd place finishes alongside a 3rd, (10) PARK SOCKS is ready to win here. The gate is not ideal, but he can overcome it and get his maiden victory. (5) FLYING BOSS also comes in with two 2nd places among his four prior outings. He was beaten by Park Socks when giving a poor show in December but looked much better running 2nd over 1300M last time. He’ll be on the early speed as will, in all probability, (2) RAON PORTEOUS. He was a winner on debut last October and his last run when he was 5th in what was quite a tight finish hinted that there may be more to come. (6) EAGLES GRIFTER and (11) MONTEVIDEO are others who can get close.
|Selections||(10) Park Socks (5) Flying Boss (11) Montevideo (2) Raon Porteous|
|Next Best||6, 7, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 8, 10|
Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(12) BLUE FLAG is the “full” sister of 2014 President’s Cup and Grand Prix stakes winner Gyeongbudaero and she’s certainly living up to family reputation so far, coming in here three for three. She has ever chance of emerging with her 100% record intact with little to fear here and despite being drawn in the car-park, she can make all. Not many look to be on her level although (2) DYNAMIC ROOKIE was a good winner last time out and can compete. Other than that, the rest are going to have to show plenty of improvement. (1) JET DIA and (5) TUSCARORA BILL are perhaps the ones with the best prospects of doing so.
|Selections||(12) Blue Flag (2) Dynamic Rookie (5) Tuscarora Bill (1) Jet Dia|
|Next Best||10, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 12|
Seoul Race 7: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Hard to look past (2) HOENG UN GOL here. One of last year’s most promising juveniles, he was a very sharp winner on his first outing this year on January 20th. It seems they see him as a sprinter hence keeping him down at the minimum and he should have far too much for this field. Having said that, there is plenty of talent here. (3) GAMGYEOGUI SUNGA was an all-the-way winner over 1200M at this class last month to take his record to four wins from seven while (11) SIN DOLGYEOK beat three of these on his way to 2nd place at class and distance last start and should beat plenty again. (6) TWO KAY and (10) MUCH MONEY are others with placing hopes.
|Selections||(2) Hoeng Un Gol (3) Gamgyeogui Sungan (11) Sin Dolgyeok (10) Much Money|
|Next Best||6, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 9, 10|
Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(9) CHAMPAGNE PARTY won his first two and while he suffered his first defeat on his first try at this class on January 21st, he still ran creditably in 2nd, beating a couple of his rivals here along the way and he should be returning to winning ways today, likely leading all the way. (12) NIGHT FURY was 3rd that day but didn’t look like getting close to Champagne Party at any stage so we’ll look elsewhere for dangers. (3) MASTER WIN dead-heated for 3rd place last start in what was a good contest at 1300M and must be considered while (10) CONTADOR is up in class having won two from five and with potential for more. He should challenge Champagne Party for the early lead. (6) NEULPUREUN DRAGON, also up in class, and (7) DORAON GUNHAM are others in the hunt for at least places.
|Selections||(9) Champagne Party (10) Contador (3) Master Win (6) Neulpureun Dragon|
|Next Best||7, 12|
|Fast Start||9, 10|
Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(5) FIRE WIND was one of last season’s most promising juvenile fillies and she began her three-year-old season with 3rd place in a similar race to this on her first try around two turns on January 28th. She steps up to the Oaks distance of 1800M here and should be the one to beat. (7) PHOENIX HEART has also taken to two-turns very nicely with a maiden win at class 5 followed by 3rd place in a similar race to this on January 21st, both over 1700M. He beat three of his rivals here in that race and the extra half-furlong today could well work in his favour too. (6) JINGYOGUI YEONGUNG beat (1) SOBAKANINSAENG and (9) HAWAII BOSS as the trio filled out 2nd to 4th at class and distance at the end of last month and all three should be involved here – Moon Se Young’s presence on Hawaii Boss may lead to that one being the most supported among them. (8) NASCAUI TAEYANG remains a maiden but has looked like distance may be what he needs and he gets that today.
|Selections||(5) Fire Wind (7) Phoenix Heart (8) Nascaui Taeyang (9) Hawaii Boss|
|Next Best||6, 1|
|Fast Start||4, 8, 10, 11|
Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(4) LUCKY NOVA returned from a five-month absence to run 2nd over 1400M on January 26th and while the one who beat him by a Neck came last on reappearance on Friday, he should have come on for the run and can return to the winner’s circle on what will be his first outing over a mile. (11) MAPLE CLASSIC is already a winner at the distance and comes up in class having finished 3rd behind Triple Crown hopeful Divide Wind last month and he should be a danger, likely from the front. (8) DAEHO CHUKJE steps up in grade too after a somewhat unexpected, but nevertheless competent victory at this distance a month ago and can go well too. Five of these raced each other on January 21st. (5) BAROGA came out the best of them that day, finishing 2nd but he was just a nose ahead of (2) QUEEN’S QUEEN and she will be expected to overturn that form here. (1) GEURAE JOA also went badly in that race but likewise can improve today.
|Selections||(4) Lucky Nova (11) Maple Classic (2) Queen’s Queen (8) Daeho Chukje|
|Next Best||1, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 4, 11|
Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(8) TAMNA KING beat three of these on his way to his second consecutive runner-up finish at this level over 1700M last month, beating Fire Wind, who we saw in race 8. He ran on nicely in both races and steps up to 1800M for the first time looking set to benefit from the slight increase in trip. (1) SUN SMART races for the first time since winning at 1700M back in December and must be taken seriously as she goes looking for a hat-trick of victories. She’s the only one of the field who has raced at the distance before, albeit when only beating two home in last year’s Korean Oaks. (4) GEUMA FORTE looks to be getting to grips with this level following a 4th place a month ago over 1700M and can at least match here. (3) HANEULUI STAR is up in class after a good win over 1300M. His one previous try around two turns didn’t go well but he looks ready for another crack at it. (5) GANGCHEOL SIDAE is another who can challenge for at least a place in this company.
|Selections||(8) Tamna King (1) Sun Smart (4) Geuma Forte (3) Haneului Star|
|Next Best||5, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 6|
Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
(12) TODAY has won eight of ten outings so far including his latest two both at class 1. He faces possibly his sternest test here though. He’s back up to a mile and while he did win his only previous try at it, he carries significantly more weight today and while he is the best horse in this field, he could be vulnerable. (9) STEALTH and (1) PARTY AGAIN, who finished 2nd and 3rd behind Haeya in a really good race over 1400M a month ago could be two who could take advantage with the mile and the weight especially set to suit Party Again. (7) DAEHO SIDAE steps back in trip and into contention while (2) ADELEUI CHUKJE and (10) BANJIUI JEWANG can also make their way into the placing frame.
|Selections||(12) Today (1) Party Again (9) Stealth (7) Daeho Sidae|
|Next Best||2, 10, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 12|
Seoul Race 10: Class 1 (2300M) Handicap / KRW 150 Million
The first race of the year at the longest distance in Korean racing, the Grand Prix Stakes trip of 2300M. (6) SINJO DAEHYEOP attempts the distance for the first time and has the form on a number of these. He’s a solid type who will look to be prominent early and will stay on. One of those he has the form on is (8) UNBEATABLE. The very experienced eight-year-old rarely runs badly though and comes in following 3rd place behind Cheongdam Dokki over 2000M last month and can be a threat. 4th, just half a length behind Unbeatable that day was (9) SHAMROCKER. He was sent out to try to take on Cheongdam Dokki for speed early on in that race – something that was always doomed to failure although it did allow Shamrocker’s stablemate Clean Up Joy to pass all but the winner and finish 2nd. With no Cheongdam Dokki and no Clean Up Joy to worry about today, Shamrocker can run his own race and can improve. (1) WONDER BOLT was 6th that day and can improve while (3) WINNING ANDY returns for the first time since last November and finds himself beautifully weighted to compete for a money finish.
|Selections||(6) Sinjo Daehyeop (9) Shamrocker (8) Unbeatable (3) Winning Andy|
|Next Best||1, 4|
|Fast Start||6, 9|
Seoul Race 11: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(2) CHEONGSU YEOGEOL has only raced three times but she’s shown plenty of promise with a win on debut followed by two very creditable efforts. She races for the first time since running 2nd to Moonhak Chief just before Christmas and steps up to 1400M for the first time looking very much the one to beat. There is lots of potential in this field though with (1) HAENGBOGUL CHAJA up in class after a really good maiden win at 1300M last time and (8) MIGHTY SSING entering off a solid 3rd place at this distance in a similar strength race to this a month ago for a stable that was coming into form before the short break. (7) ALL THAT SPEED, who started his career very strongly before losing his way a little, also looks to be coming back into form with a good 2nd place last time which he can build on here while the much more experienced (4) RULES has been consistently close in recent outings and shouldn’t be too far away again.
|Selections||(2) Cheongsu Yeogeol (8) Mighty Ssing (1) Haengbogul Chaja (7) All That Speed|
|Next Best||4, 5, 12|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3|