It’s Korean Derby Eve! And also the eve of the 37th Asian Racing Conference which kicks off with the Derby on Sunday afternoon. Before that, however, there is a full Saturday card at Seoul with 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old fillies only to kick things off and it is ultra-competitive with at least seven of the eleven having claims to win. (2) YONGUI JUDO is perhaps favourite, coming in off a 2nd place at the distance a month ago, having led for much of the race and is well drawn to lead again. (8) RISING SOCKS ran 2nd on debut on April 15th despite hanging in badly throughout the race. She went back to trial last week, and she has to have claims here. (6) CHAPEL QUEEN was an improved 3rd last time and can look to match or better while (4) LEADER’S CAMP and (5) KAILLUM YEOJE have also shown glimpses of ability. Simon Foster’s (10) SURFING POINT has also been showing signs of figuring things out, if not much in terms of speed.
|Selections||(8) Rising Socks (6) Chapel Queen (2) Yongui Judo (10) Surfing Point|
|Next Best||4, 5, 3|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 11|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maidens here. (1) GANGHO GAECHEOK was an improved 2nd on what was just his second career start on April 14th. It wasn’t a strong race, even for the level, but neither is this and he can win today. (11) AQUA STROM beat (5) ACE CANT as the pair ran 3rd and 6th over 1200M on April 14th. Ace Cant had previously run 3rd in tougher competition in February and both can be involved here. (2) HALLA DAERO was a disappointing also-ran behind Gangho Gaecheok last start but had hinted at some ability in two prior starts so can be given another chance. (3) ADELE JEONGSANG looks the best of the rest.
|Selections||(1) Gangho Gaecheok (11) Aqua Strom (5) Ace Cant (2) Halla Daero|
|Next Best||3, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 10|
Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
After finishing 2nd at odds in excess of 100/1 on debut in early March, (1) JUNGLE BEAT could only manage 3rd when odds-on favourite on his return later that month. A finish in the top three today will see him up in class and it really should be a case of getting out of the inside gate and into the early lead from where he shouldn’t be beaten. (3) ULTRA MISSILE was an improved 3rd in a weak contest a month ago and is a potential danger while (5) GLOBAL KINGDOM raced a couple of times last autumn without distinction but trialled nicely at the end of April and could go close first-up. (10) SONGAM GONGJU was poor last time but did show some ability on debut so can be given another chance while among the three first-time starters, (9) DAMON ANGEL, looks most promising.
|Selections||(1) Jungle Beat (3) Ultra Missile (5) Global Kingdom (9) Damon Angel|
|Next Best||10, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 9, 10|
Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(3) GEUMA THUNDER was disappointing when well backed over 1200M last month but has come close on several occasions now and dropped back to the minimum today, gets another chance to get her maiden win. (12) ARGO ROCKET was a comfortable winner at the distance on debut five weeks ago and while up in class here, should be a threat. (4) CHEONJI BOBAE ended a string of four consecutive 2nd place finishes with a lacklustre effort at this distance at the beginning of April. She got a bad start that day and with a better one this time should be closer. (10) DALDARI and (11) YEONGWONHAN SUNGAN are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(3) Geuma Thunder (12) Argo Rocket (4) Cheonji Bobae (10) Daldari|
|Next Best||11, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 7, 11|
Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Wide open race with any number in the hunt. (6) SEOURI BYEOL ran in the Sports Seoul Cup Classic trial in March and while he was over-matched – though he did beat (1) ÉCLAIR BEAUTY – he returned to run 4th in a quick race over 1300M on April 14th and has as much chance as any here. (2) ROYAL BOKSUNI was 3rd three weeks ago at the distance, leading until the closing stages and should be on pace again with every chance of staying on. (7) WILD DRAGON was a winner at the distance at class 6 on February and while he had a hard time on his first try at this class, this is an easier race and he can get closer here. (3) BAEKSAN YEOWANG and (10) MONDAY MONEY come in with recent form reading well and can be considered.
|Selections||(6) Seouri Byeol (2) Royal Boksuni (10) Monday Money (7) Wild Dragon|
|Next Best||3, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 7|
Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(5) NIKE STREET showed plenty of promise as a juvenile last year before suffering some setbacks. She returns after six months off and utterly blitzed a trial in March. She should win this and win it well. (1) JAELONGI and (4) DONGSEO GADEUK are experienced at this class and should go close while (2) NAEGA KKEUTPANWANG is up in class having been too close too many times at class 6 and should be in the frame here too. (3) NEUL SACHAN looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(5) Nike Street (1) Jaelongi (4) Dongseo Gadeuk (2) Naega Kkeutpanwang|
|Fast Start||2, 5|
Race 7: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(3) SIMPLE LIFE has finished runner-up in each of his last two and was just beaten a neck on his most recent at class and distance on April 8th. He should be on speed early today and can go one better. (8) HAE HU soundly beat Simple Life back in January and ran reasonably well on his sole start since. He’s won three of six in total and looks the main threat here, likely challenging Simple Life for the lead from the start. (1) CHARMING GOOD was 4th behind Simple Life last time and can get close again while (4) HYEONMU is another who comes in following back to back 2nd places and can look for the money. (10) SARYEONI WIN looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(3) Simple Life (8) Hae Hu (4) Hyeonmu (1) Charming Good|
|Next Best||10, 6|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 8|
Race 8: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(7) GEOM NOA beat (1) ROAD KING as the pair of them ran 2nd and 3rd at class and distance on April 14th. That marked an uptick inform for Geum Noa while Road King had been consistently close prior to that and they can fight it out for top honours today with Road King marginally favoured to overturn the form this time. (3) JISANGMYEONGRYEONG has been 4th in both his latest two, both at the distance and should be close again while (4) MAKJIMA steps up to two turns for the first time after a couple of solid performances at 1200M. He remains a maiden, but the additional trip could suit. (10) ACE KING’s latest two haven’t been impressive but improvement can’t be ruled out.
|Selections||(1) Road King (7) Geom Noa (3) Jisangmyeongryeong (4) Makjima|
|Next Best||10, 5|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 8|
Race 9: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
(2) HAPPY SENSATION just got the worst of a tight three-way finish at class and distance on April 8th, when she came from off the pace and just missed out by less than half a length. She’ll use similar tactics today and can get it right this time. (8) JISANG BIHAENG and (3) YESANGBAEK SEUNG finished 2nd and 3rd, ahead of Happy Sensation at the distance back in January. Of the pair, Yesangbaek Seung has looked a touch sharper in two starts since but both should be in play today. Another danger is (9) CHUL AE. He beat Jisang Bihaeng on his way to 4th place at 1900M on March 17th and should be firmly in the hunt. (7) GREEN K was last on her first try at two turns on April 15th but she’s won three of six in total and we’ll not give up on her yet.
|Selections||(2) Happy Sensation (9) Chul Ae (3) Yesangbaek Seung (7) Green K|
|Next Best||8, 5|
|Fast Start||4, 7|
Race 10: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(9) GUTONGSA beat three of these on his was to 2nd place at class and distance behind the very good Singgeureoun Geom on March 31st. This is a similarly stern assignment, but he doesn’t carry too much more weight and he can come through it. However, the three he beat that day aren’t necessarily the dangers here. More credible is (6) TIZ RUN, 3rd in both tries at this class so far, from an in-form stable, nicely weighted and in with a big chance. (1) SARYEONI HEALING was a touch disappointing at 2000M last time but with a furlong less to worry about today can improve while (7) SPECIAL RUNNER was 3rd in a good class and distance race on April 15th and can go close. Among the three beaten by Gutongsa last time, (3) WIDAEHAN JEONSA perhaps has the best chance of improving.
|Selections||(9) Gutongsa (6) Tiz Run (7) Special Runner (1) Saryeoni Healing|
|Next Best||3, 2|
Race 11: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(4) BULMYEORUI JEWANG and (3) EAST GULCH came home 2nd and 3rd at class and distance in arguably a stronger race than this on April 14th. Just a nose separated them that day and they could well be battling it out for top honours this time We’ll go with East Gulch to prevail by a similarly narrow margin. (2) SERA KING was 6th but in no way disgraced in that April 14th race and he can come into play here too – he beat East Gulch when they met in March. (8) KODIAK LOVE was behind Sera King and East Gulch that day and returns here following nine weeks out with a chance to get closer. (9) SUPER SOCKS is up in class having won two of his first three starts. This is a tough ask but there’s no reason why he can’t be competitive.
|Selections||(3) East Gulch (4) Bulmyeorui Jewang (9) Super Socks (2) Sera King|
|Next Best||8, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 9, 10|