We’re just a week away from the 2018 Korean Derby but there’s a big day of racing at both Seoul and Busan to get through first. Sunday sees 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 while there are 6 races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. Here are the Seoul previews, Busan selections are below:
Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(2) CUPID STORM stepped up to 1700M last start and ran a decent 3rd but he also has a 2nd place to his name at this distance. He only needs to place once more to be bumped up in class and he should exit class 6 with a win here. If he somehow manages to come up short, then (5) CHILJONG CHILGEUM and (6) GOODCHOICE look best equipped to take advantage with both having shown some glimpses of ability. (1) SPEED HWANGNYONG has offered few clues from two starts so far both at 1000M and steps up in trip for the first time with a chance of improving.
|Selections||(2) Cupid Storm (6) Goodchoice (5) Chiljong Chilgeum (1) Speed Hwangnyong|
|Fast Start||2, 5|
Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(8) HYEONGMA PUBU came up short when favourite in a weak race at 1000M three weeks ago. She ran on well though after a poor start and the additional trip today may be in her favour. (1) FINE HEART certainly appreciated it on her first try at 1300M on April 8th, improving into 3rd. He’ll be on pace early and should be involved in the finish. (6) SPECIAL GOLD was 5th at the distance in a similar all-filly contest a month ago. She’d previously shown some ability with 3rd place over 1000M in March and can go well here. (2) ORANGE SOCKS and (3) ALEANDROS are others in the frame.
|Selections||(8) Hyeongma Pubu (1) Fine Heart (6) Special Gold (2) Orange Socks|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 8|
Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(1) FINAL STORM ran well on debut a month ago finishing 4th at this distance. Today’s is perhaps a marginally stronger race, but he should have come on for the experience and can win today. (8) GWACHEON HERO was just a neck back in 5th that day on what for him was his fourth outing and he can be a threat again. Main dangers, however, look to be (6) LIVINGSTONE, a solid 4th over 1200M in a better race than this on April 1st and (2) IRYEO HAYEO, who has been inconsistent across six engagements to date, but has shown ability and drops back in trip today. Also back in trip to the distance where she achieved her best finish to date is (3) MACHO HIME.
|Selections||(1) Final Storm (6) Livingstone (2) Iryeo Hayeo (3) Macho Hime|
|Fast Start||6, 7|
Race 4: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(4) PRINCE MEMORY has raced three times and finished in 2nd place three times. He’s been favourite on two of those occasions and after six weeks off, the Sepoy gelding should finally get it right today, likely leading all the way. Should he find a way to get beaten once more, (7) JEONGSANG CHAMP may be the one to take advantage. He’s been getting closer in his latest two and was 2nd in a fast race at this distance on April 8th. (9) MANHATTAN MUSIC and (5) GEUMA ANNUITY were behind him that day and both those two have claims to go better here. Geuma Annuity was very fast in a barrier trial prior to that start and could well come good with a string of runs behind him. There are two debut-makers and Orb gelding (2) SCATTER MAIN is one who can be backed first-up after impressing in trials.
|Selections||(4) Prince Memory (7) Jeongsang Champ (5) Geuma Annuity (2) Scatter Main|
|Next Best||9, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 7, 11|
Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(4) JI SEONI has been a beaten favourite in each of her latest two starts but we’re sticking with the filly here to get it right. She steps back slightly in trip here and with a good start, can get on speed and lead all the way. (3) HAETSAL WANGJA was also a touch disappointing in his latest outing but went very well the time before, both at 1300M and he should be a factor. (8) VICAR SCOOP is up in class following a 3rd place and a win from her first two races. She’s up in distance too but should have little to fear and is likely to challenge Ji Seoni for the early lead. (2) YAHO GIANT and (11) SOKDO SHINHWA are others to take into account.
|Selections||(4) Ji Seoni (8) Vicar Scoop (3) Hatesal Wangja (2) Yaho Giant|
|Next Best||11, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 8|
Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(2) SMARTY BLUE ran on very nicely for a two-length win on debut on March 25th and is up both in class and slightly in distance for his re-appearance. Neither should be of concern and he can set up camp behind the early lead once more and be too strong in the closing stages. This is a pretty strong race for the level though. (3) BURUI SOKDO was a good 2nd on her first try at class 5 and returns from an eight-week absence. She’s not been worse than 2nd in three starts so far and can maintain that record today. (5) SEUNGJAUI MISO is more experienced and comes in having been narrowly beaten in an all-filly race at class and distance a month ago and she will be dangerous again. Others in the frame include (6) SEUNGRI NARAE and (11) BEST BULLET, the latter up in class following a very handy three-length win at this distance on April 7th.
|Selections||(2) Smarty Blue (3) Burui Sokdo (5) Seungjaui Miso (11) Best Bullet|
|Next Best||6, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 6, 11|
Race 7: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Nice open race this but (1) SWEETLY HUMOR was a class and distance winner on April 8th, making all, and while he does carry an additional 4kg today, we’ll stick with him to win again. (5) MIGHTY MAMBO and (6) HANEULUI STAR enter with recent well if, in the latter’s case, a touch inconsistent and both should be in the hunt here with Haneului Star challenging Sweetly Humor for the early lead. (3) KING EXPLOIT is up in class having won at this distance on April 8th and he should be more than competitive at this level. (8) JIGONG BULPAE was a winner 1200M at this class a month ago and while this race is slightly stiffer, she must be taken seriously too.
|Selections||(1) Sweetly Humor (5) Mighty Mambo (3) King Exploit (6) Haneului Star|
|Next Best||8, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 6|
Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Four of the eleven runners are up in class here and it’s three of those who are going to fill out our top picks. A three-length winner last time to move to two wins from four, (8) BIG EAR is the one they need to beat. True, both his wins have been at the minimum distance with his defeats being at this distance and at 1300M, but he looks ready for another crack. The distance is no issue for (9) AMENDA, a five-length winner over 1300M last start and likely to finish strongly here. (10) CHAMBIT didn’t win at class 5 but was close on a number of occasions and should be close again. Of those with experience at this level, (2) KING MESSENGER, a solid 2nd at this distance last time, and (7) INCITATUS races for the first time this year and trialled up nicely in April.
|Selections||(8) Big Ear (9) Amenda (10) Chambit (2) King Messenger|
|Next Best||7, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 7, 8, 11|
Race 9: Class 3 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(1) GLOBAL BANK is one of those three-year-olds not quite good enough yet to be on the Classic trail but still with plenty of potential. He came up short when favourite over 1200M last month but steps up to two turns for the first time with every chance that it will suit. A similar case is (3) SHARP KAYLAN who was 4th in Seoul’s Classic trial but a long way behind the winner. He has already shown he has ability at distance, coming 3rd over 1800M and he has every chance here. It really should be between those two, both of whom are likely to be looking to lead early but a few of the older ones may have a say too. (4) HIBIKI and (11) KING PLUCKY are both proven at this distance and should get close while (2) SMART PARK too hasn’t been too far off in recent starts and can go well again.
|Selections||(3) Sharp Kaylan (1) Global Bank (4) Hibiki (11) King Plucky|
|Next Best||2, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 7|
Race 10: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
Six of these raced each other over 1900M on April 8th (race 9) and it was (4) LONG WAY who came out on top, winning the race by a convincing two and a half length margin. He carries an additional 3kg today but is favoured to prevail once more. Among those he beat that day, (9) SEONJE ILGYEOK in 2nd and (3) GIANT KILLER in 3rd have the most credible chances of overturning the form, however, the favourite will also face challenges from a couple who didn’t go in that race. (6) HWAGANG comes in following a solid 3rd in a stiff contest over 1700M on March 31st and must be taken seriously while (8) TAMNA KING is up in class after a strong of near misses and has every chance of placing again.
|Selections||(4) Long Way (6) Hwagang (8) Tamna King (9) Seonje Ilgyeok|
|Next Best||3, 12|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 5|
Race 11: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
After finishing 7th on debut last September, (10) WINNER GOLD has won five on the spin and there is no real reason to oppose him making it six here. He is up in class, but this race doesn’t look significantly stiffer than races he’s won before and after settling just behind the early lead, he should have too much late on. (2) POWER BISEUL wasn’t suited by 2000M last start but should be much more comfortable today while (6) JANGSANJEWANG was a solid class and distance 4th last time out and can improve here. (5) GOLD MUSIC and (9) CHEONJIGA are others with placing claims.
|Selections||(10) Winner Gold (6) Jangsanjewang (2) Power Biseul (5) Gold Music|
|Next Best||9, 8|
|Fast Start||5, 9, 11|
Race 1: 5, 8, 3, 2
Race 2: 1, 2, 4, 8
Race 3: 7, 2, 6, 3
Race 4: 5, 7, 2, 4
Race 5: 3, 6, 5, 10
Race 6: 10, 1, 3, 5