The big names are out on Sunday with Clean Up Joy and Triple Nine headlining feature handicaps at Seoul and Busan respectively. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 while at Busan there are 6 from 12:40 to 17:05. Here are the Seoul previews with Busan selections below:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maidens to kick things off. (9) J.S. STORM was favourite for his latest start on February 10th but ended up in 4th place. However, he’s never finished worse than 5th in his five starts to date and has a good chance of getting it right today. He should be on the early speed. (2) STAR SOCKS has shown promise in her two efforts so far, registering a 3rd and a 4th, both at this distance and she should be in the frame again. (3) ARGO GALLOPER improved into 3rd on what was his fifth outing on February 3rd and looks as though he is finally figuring things out. (8) CHEONGANG SEONG debuted all the way back in July of last year running a very encouraging 3rd. Injuries affected him afterwards though and he’s not been seen since. He returned to training at the beginning of this year and trialled up well back at the end of January and could be interesting first-up today. (1) TAMNA YEOSIN, stepped back to the minimum today, looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(9) J.S. Storm (8) Cheongang Seong (2) Star Socks (3) Argo Galloper|
|Next Best||1, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 8, 9, 10|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Another set of three-year-olds. (10) JANGSAN WILD was favourite on debut on February 3rd following a couple of very promising trial showings. He ran well although never looked like catching the winner and of he has come on a bit for that run, he should be hard to beat today. (2) HALLA DAERO and (9) QUEEN FORCE ONE also put in creditable, if slightly less impressive debuts, both running 5th of 12 in their respective races and both have something to build on here. (4) SAE DIXIE and (6) SPECIAL WINNER are the only two in the race to have raced more than once. Both have a good result in their form too – a 2nd for Sae Dixie last October and 3rd for Special Winner in January – and both should be in the hunt to match that here. There are two debut-makers but neither (5) EUNICE nor (8) WHO ARE YOU caught the eye in trials.
|Selections||(10) Jangsan Wild (9) Queen Force One (2) Halla Daero (4) Sae Dixie|
|Next Best||11, 6|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 7, 11|
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Maiden fillies only here and it’s not strong but it is competitive. (2) DANCING BLADE took a long time to get going on debut on February 3rd but once she did, she began to pass a few and given the extra furlong and a half today, that may be enough to have her as top pick here. (3) HUIMANG STAR and (6) GEUMBIT HWANHYANG have both hinted at some ability across their races so far, both having a 4th place at this distance as their best. Neither are quick starters and in their respective latest outings, they both left themselves too much to do but should be looking to go much better here. (1) CHAMP STORM also has a 4th to his name at the distance while (4) ORANGE SOCKS steps back up to this trip and may improve today. The wildcard is (5) BOEUNUI KKUM, another who has started slowly in races so far but today, for the first time, gets the chance to run at further than the minimum distance.
|Selections||(2) Dancing Blade (3) Huimang Star (5) Boeunni Kkum (6) Geumbit Hwanhyang|
|Next Best||1, 9|
|Fast Start||4, 8, 9|
Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(3) JI SEONI was a bit of a disappointment when favourite at class and distance last time, getting herself into a good position in the straight but not kicking on and ending up in 4th. She’s had a couple of months off since then and has every chance of putting things right today. She should lead from the gate. (11) JAELONGI remains a maiden but has three 2nd places and two 3rds to his name now with two of those 2nd places being at this class and distance including last time and he looks the most likely candidate to beat the favourite. (1) SHANGHAI PANGPANG remains a maiden after twenty-six starts but drops back in trip from 1700M and this is the kind of race in which she can challenge for the places while (9) PERFECT LOVER has similarly been around the block a few times and while it’s been a long time since he finished better than 5th, he could get a bit closer today. (7) I B S MAN looks to be getting to grips with this class and steps up to this distance for the first time.
|Selections||(3) Ji Seoni (11) Jaelongi (7) I B S Man (9) Perfect Lover|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 11|
Race 5: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
A good winner at 1300M in December, (10) LEONNING STROM was 3rd behind (12) BOLD SHINING on reappearance in January. He returns after two months off today dropped back to the minimum distance at which he was 2nd on debut and with strong claims to return to the winner’s circle. Bold Shining can be a threat too although he has raced once that day without distinction and perhaps has more to find. (9) LUCKY ROOKIE has a win and 2nd from two efforts to date, both at this distance and looks to be the main danger although the front-running performances to date of (8) SUN BOLT put him in the frame too. Besides Bold Shining, (1) JEONGSANG MUJEOK is another who can get close. She is without a win in three attempts to date but has performed well in all three and led for much of her last start until succumbing for 2nd in the closing stages.
|Selections||(10) Leonning Strom (9) Lucky Rookie (8) Sun Bolt (1) Jeongsang Mujeok|
|Next Best||4, 12|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 8|
Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Aussie trainer Simon Foster saddled his first Korean winner last Sunday with a longshot, but he’ll have a far more fancied one here. Aussie import (4) LOVELY HELMET is a first-timer starter but put in an eye-catching trial two weeks ago. If she brings that kind of form to the track in the afternoon, she has every chance of making a winning debut. The other twelve half all raced at least once before and among them, (6) JANGSAN BEARS, 4th in all three of his starts so far, looks the most appealing in terms of making a breakthrough. The competition doesn’t look as stiff today as it was in any of those and he’ll be a danger, likely from the front. More experienced is (10) DALLYEORA LEO and her recent form reads well, again in marginally tougher company than today and she can get close too. (7) BADA CHIEF raced three times last Summer before enduring a lengthy layoff. He returned to action with an encouraging 4th of 10 at 1000M five weeks ago and can build on that here. (2) ONE GATE ran on nicely on debut at the end of January over 1000M and may appreciate a bit more distance today.
|Selections||(4) Lovely Helmet (6) Jangsan Bears (10) Dallyeora Leo (7) Bada Chief|
|Next Best||2, 8, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 9, 12|
Race 7: Class 3 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
A winner of four from five so far, including his latest two, (8) GEUMAK YEOJE steps up in class and in distance. He wasn’t especially well-fancied last start but did win over 1200M at class 5 last Summer (he was off for five months later in the year) and while this is his toughest test to date, he could well come through it. The main danger is (1) FACT HEAVENS and she will probably start as favourite. While she was beaten by both (4) GOLD HORAH and (6) CHEONGSANGUI BYEOL last October, she has bounced back very well, finishing 3rd in both her subsequent starts in tougher company than this. Given the draw and today’s small field, she can be expected to be on the early pace and can win. While Cheongsangui Byeol has gone cold since that October race, Gold Horah has pushed on nicely and should be in the frame while (2) SHARK RUN, who has had a bit of a stop-start career so far, also looks nicely in with scope for improvement.
|Selections||(1) Fact Heavens (8) Geumak Yeoje (4) Gold Horah (2) Shark Run|
|Next Best||5, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 8|
Race 8: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(11) GEOM HAENG stepped up to this trip after getting his maiden win at 1300M in January. He did well at it too, just missing out on 3rd by a neck in a similar strength race to this. He can have come on for the experience and could be the one to beat here. Aussie import (4) JINGYEOGUI TYRANNO has also taken very well to this distance, registering 2nd place in both attempts at it so far. The Uncle Mo Colt has led in both those until the closing stages and returning from a twelve-week layoff, could stay on all the way this time. (2) FANTASTIC COMBI stayed on well on his first try at the distance a month ago; he just left it far too late. Likely ridden further forward earlier today, he’ll get closer. (3) SEOUL TANK pulled off an all-the-way win at the distance in January. He couldn’t get to the front from a wide draw on his return last month but from gate 3, will be sure to try and pull off the same trick here. (5) JISANGMYEONGRYEONG, behind Seoul Tank the day he gave them all the slip, looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(11) Geom Haeng (4) Jingyeogui Tyranno (2) Fantastic Combi (3) Seoul Tank|
|Next Best||5, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 10|
Race 9: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Hard to look past (7) CLEAN UP TEUKGEUP here. A winner of two from five, he’s comfortably beaten three of these in his latest two races, both at this distance, and he should win easily today, most probably making all. (1) MONSTER QUEEN was 3rd behind Clean Up Teukgeup last time and has four lengths to make up today but looks to have a good chance of the places again while (6) ROCKET ROAD steps all the way up to this trip for the first time after a couple of good showings at 1000M in his latest two and could be interesting. (2) NEW WHY FI returns to action for the first time in over six months. He departed the scene a winner at the distance last August so has to be taken seriously and performed competently in his requalifying trial. (4) CHEONJI GONGSA, behind Clean Up Teukgeup and Monster Queen last time, could challenge for minor money.
|Selections||(7) Clean Up Teukgeup (1) Monster Queen (6) Rocket Road (2) New Why Fi|
|Next Best||4, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 7, 9|
Race 10: Class 1 (2000M) Handicap / KRW 150 Million
(7) CLEAN UP JOY should return to winning ways here. The 2016 Grand Prix winner hasn’t actually won a race since last May although he has, as ever, only been lightly campaigned since. On his one start of 2018 so far, he ran 2nd to Cheongdam Dokki at this distance after things were set up for him to mount a late challenge by stable-mate Shamrocker, but he shouldn’t need any assistance here. He puts all the others out of the handicap so he’s giving 8kgs to them all, but it shouldn’t matter. (6) HEUNGRYONG looks next best, having been consistently good at both sprint and distance races recently and he tries 2000M for the first time. (5) CHEONMA and (4) CHEONJEOK best of the rest although they really ought to be battling over 2nd place.
|Selections||(7) Clean Up Joy (6) Heungryong (5) Cheonma (4) Cheonjeok|
|Fast Start||1, 6|
Race 11: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(3) HWANGGEUM SORI beat four of these on his way to 2nd place at class and distance behind Winner Gold on February 10th. That was his second consecutive 2nd place having finished runner-up somewhat unexpectedly to (10) BLUSHING VOW in January. A fast finisher, Hwanggeum Sori can settle behind the early lead and could be too strong late on. (6) KOREA JEONGSANG was 3rd behind Hwanggeum Sori in that race a month ago and can get close today too. (11) JEONSEUNG DAESE steps back in trip following a really good 3rd place at 1800M last time suggesting he may be coming back into form while (12) PENACOVA similarly steps back to a sprint distance which he finished 3rd at last time he attempted it. (8) HOWIMUSA absolutely blitzed a trial two weeks ago, completing the five furlongs in an almost unheard of (and generally unnecessary) for the morning one-minute flat. This is his first race for exactly fifty-one weeks although he did trial sporadically in the latter half of last year. It should be an interesting first race back and we’ll make him the wildcard.
|Selections||(3) Hwanggeum Sori (6) Korea Jeongsang (8) Howimusa (11) Jeonseung Daese|
|Next Best||12, 7, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 9, 11|
Race 1: 7, 2, 3, 5
Race 2: 2, 1, 8, 4
Race 3: 9, 10, 5, 3
Race 4: 3, 4, 8, 9
Race 5: 11, 8, 2, 10
Race 6: 2, 1, 4, 9