Eleven Saturday races at Seoul with the first at 10:45 and the last at 18:00. Top jockey Moon Se Young is suspended this weekend so plenty of chances for the rest. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
It has to be (2) BEST CHAPEL here. Her 2nd and 3rd across her two starts to date were not especially quick but were in excess of anything achieved by most of the others here and he should win this time. (3) BLESSING ROAD is the only one who has put in a similar performance with her much-improved 3rd place last time and she’s the clear next best. Beyond those we’re scratching around a little bit. (1) MIDAS CHIEF ran twice unimpressively last summer before being put away for nine months. He trialled up nicely enough alongside some experienced horses at the end of January and should be better this time around. (4) MERLIN debuted all the way back last July in reasonably creditable fashion but hasn’t been seen since. He trialled well enough too. (9) INDIAN ECO and (7) OPI RIVER perhaps the other two with the best chance of improving.
|Selections||(2) Best Chapel (3) Blessing Road (1) Midas Chief (4) Merlin|
|Next Best||9, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 12|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Just three-year-olds here and ten of the twelve are racing for the very first time. Of the two who have raced before, (1) GANGHWA CHONGGAK did ok, finishing 4th of 8 at this distance at the end of January. It’s to the debut-makers we turn to find our picks though. (4) HAMBAK MISO won his trial in good fashion and will probably be favourite given that he was the only one of these to finish on top in a heat but there are a few others who showed promise too. (12) CHOIN DAEBO trialled all the way back in November. He’s half-brother to a Korean Oaks winner as well (the 50/1 chance Euro Fighter back in 2010) and should go well first-up. (7) ROMAN BLADE is another well-bred one sporting the “Blade” name and colours of Kim Hyeong Ran and will be sure to be backed – she showed promise in a couple of trials at the end of last year but has taken a while to be ready to race. (11) HADALRAE is another who went well in the mornings.
|Selections||(4) Hambak Miso (12) Choin Daebo (7) Roman Blade (11) Hadalrae|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 6, 12|
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maidens again although this time there are only two first-time starters. One of those, (3) GONG SAN will be well supported having shown some ability in a trail just last week, finishing 2nd in a competitive time. We’ll certainly have her among the contenders here although not necessarily on top as one or two have hinted at talent in actual races too. (11) HANYANG GONGJU wasn’t fancied at all on debut at the end of January but ran very nicely, coming home in 3rd place at 1000M. She ran through the line well and the additional trip today may benefit. It certainly benefitted (1) CUPID STORM when he stepped up to 1300M last start and registered a much-improved 2nd. He can build on that today. (2) SPECIAL DREAM was sent up to 1700M early in his career but also looked far more comfortable back at this trip last time. (4) MONEY ZIF’s latest two haven’t been special but she has previously shown she knows what to do.
|Selections||(11) Hanyang Gongju (1) Cupid Storm (3) Gong San (4) Money Zif|
|Next Best||2, 5|
|Fast Start||4, 9, 10|
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Fillies only here. (12) DAECHEONUI SARANG was a narrowly beaten 3rd in a similar race at the distance on February 3rd beating four of these in the process. She doesn’t have the ideal draw today as she’ll want to be close to the early speed, but she can overcome it and pick up her maiden win. Among those who were behind her that day, (4) ARGO UNIQUE and (8) CHAMP STORM perhaps have the best chance of overturning that form – in fact, Daecheonui Sarang caused Champ Storm to have to be checked five furlongs out but she still recovered to finish well. (5) FOREVER WINNER steps up to run further than the minimum for the first time and it may suit while (9) MIR PARK wasn’t too far away in 4th place at the distance last start and can at least match here.
|Selections||(12) Daecheonui Sarang (5) Forever Winner (9) Mir Park (4) Argo Unique|
|Next Best||8, 6|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 10, 12|
Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Five last-start winners are among the twelve who go here and four of them are up in class for the first-time today. We’ll begin with the one who won at this level though and that’s (1) YAHO GIANT. He was a 40/1 chance when Johan Victoire guided him to a front-running victory at class and distance on February 4th and he needs much more respect today. The four up in class will be dangerous though and three were eye-catching winners last time. (2) JEWANGUI BYEOL pulled away in the final furlong to score by six-lengths at 1000M while (6) BRILLIANT and (8) DOUBLE GOLD both won at this distance by nine and seven lengths respectively. All three will have their backers and any of them could win. The remaining promoted one is (10) THUNDER MARINE and while his win was a little more workmanlike, he can be competitive too on what is his first run at further than the minimum distance. Among the rest, (11) LUCKY BONGHWA remains a maiden but has come close on several occasions and his stable is in great form at the moment.
|Selections||(2) Jewangui Byeol (1) Yaho Giant (6) Brilliant (8) Double Gold|
|Next Best||11, 10, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 6, 10|
Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(3) MORFHIS has been well backed in each of his three starts to date but has thus far managed a best of 3rd. We’re going to stick with him one more time though and he can get the job done here. (5) LEADING RACER beat Morfhis when the pair ran 4th and 5th back in November. Leading Racer has run twice since then registering a 3rd and a further 4th and should be in the hunt again although it must be noted that he is yet to win in twenty-one tries. Neither of those two are especially fast starters so we may see (6) YEONGGWANGUI SIGAN setting the pace early. He’ a Korean-bred who has won his way up to this level and he was a very good 3rd last time in a decent contest. (12) FLYING MUNNING returns for the first time since last August and goes straight into contention having put in a solid trial in January. (10) WHANGHORAN JILJU has proven inconsistent but also competitive in races such as this.
|Selections||(3) Morfhis (6) Yeonggwangui Sigan (5) Leading Racer (12) Flying Munning|
|Next Best||10, 9|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 9|
Race 7: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(11) MALIBU BULPAE and (6) HAEORABI were sent off as favourite and 2nd-favourite in the betting at class and distance on February 3rd but they had to settle for 2nd and 4th respectively as the race was won by 12/1 chance (3) STORM NAVY SEAL, who flashed home late to score by almost three-lengths. He’ll need condition to be right for closers once more if he is to repeat but he has every chance. Likewise, the other two could well overturn the form. (10) SUPER SOCKS was an unexpected winner on debut back in January. The Two Step Salsa gelding made all to win over 1000M and he should be on the early speed again with every chance of handling the increase in trip. (1) MAKJIMA, a decent 2nd in what was perhaps a slightly weaker race than this, last time out looks to be best of the rest.
|Selections||(11) Malibu Bulpae (3) Storm Navy Seal (10) Super Socks (6) Haeorabi|
|Next Best||1, 4, 12|
|Fast Start||6, 8, 10, 12|
Race 8: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(10) MUSA has had two wins and two flops from four starts to date. The latest of those “flops” though was in very good company on Christmas Eve and he returned to action with victory at 1200M at the end of January. He is up in class and distance today but looks a talent and if he runs to his best, he will win. Also looking a talent is (6) NAM SON. He two comes up in class having won his latest two. He already has experience of this distance, registering a 3rd place back in November and he’ll likely join Musa in looking to get on the early speed. (5) SWEETLY HUMOR and (12) BRANDON complete a quartet of promising types up in class here and while both of those had to settle for 2nd last time, both should be in at least the placing hunt today. Among those who have already raced at this class, (1) SIMON RICH, who weakened over 1700M last time, looks the pick.
|Selections||(10) Musa (6) Nam Son (5) Sweetly Humor (1) Simon Rich|
|Next Best||12, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 6, 10|
Race 9: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(5) YEOKDAE CHOESANG remains a maiden after fourteen attempts but has come desperately close on each of her last two starts, going down by a nose and a neck respectively, both of them at class and distance. She should get a soft lead here and this time surely gets it right. If she comes up short again then (4) CHO ORONG MA could take advantage. She steps up to two-turns for the first time following encouraging recent performances. (9) MEORURANG was 5th behind Yeokdae Choesang last time and has won at this distance in the past while (2) BOSEOG SANGJA can be forgiven his latest effort as he had been going well prior to it. (1) MR. KING and (11) WANGDAEJANG are wildcards who are not totally without a chance.
|Selections||(5) Yeokdae Choesang (4) Cho Orong Ma (9) Meorurang (2) Boseog Sangja|
|Next Best||11, 1|
Race 10: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(6) MAGIC TEN is turning into a properly good filly with four wins out of five so far. Her latest one was her most commanding to date and was on her first try around two turns at 1700M. She goes an extra half furlong today and is up in class, but she’s overcome all things asked of her so far and today should be no exception. (1) VALLEY STAR is inconsistent but can go well as can (2) YONGCHONG, who should improve on consecutive 5th place finishes. It isn’t a hugely strong race though so (10) CHOEGO BISEUL, who is one race into a comeback from a lengthy spell and running for the first time at two-turns could be an interesting proposition for a place while (8) SUPER CHANCE and (11) JANGSAN CHEONHA can do similar.
|Selections||(6) Magic Ten (1) Valley Star (2) Yongchong (10) Choego Biseul|
|Next Best||11, 8|
|Fast Start||6, 7, 8, 9|
Race 11: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(10) OP SEVEN was 2nd in the Nonghyup Chairman’s Trophy last November and has followed up with two solid performances since and should return to the winner’s circle today for the first time since winning her first two outings. True she was beaten by (7) NEON GAMDONGIYA last time but she can overturn that here. Neon Gamdongiya can go well again too but (1) KENTUCKY YEONIN, who was also beaten in that race, will be expected to improve as well. (2) TOUR ROSE enters off consecutive 3rd place finishes and will surely be in the hunt once more while (8) SCARLET WITCH, up in class after a very good four-length win over the distance last start, has claims too.
|Selections||(10) OP Seven (7) Neon Gamdongiya (1) Kentucky Yeonin (8) Scarlet Witch|
|Next Best||2, 6, 5|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 9, 11|