Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (January 20)

Sunday sees a big day of racing at both Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:40 to 17:05). Today, who ran so well for 3rd in the Grand Prix Stakes in December, headlines Busan’s feature, while Spring Back and Panorama Show are both in action at Seoul.


Today, seen here at the Korea Sprint – he’s since transformed into a stayer (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Today was thought of as a sprinter until that Grand Prix Stakes when over 2300M, he still looked like winning with just a furlong to go. He ultimately finished 3rd but it seems as though his immediate future lies at racing around two-turns. He headlines Busan’s Sunday Class 1 feature over 2000M but he is going to have to defy an impost of 60kg if he is to see off a very good looking field, that also includes Grand Prix 5th place-getter Great King (who Today is giving 4kg to) and Today’s own stablemate Baengmunbaekdap (who gets 8kg).

At Seoul, Spring Back gets the chance to rekindle his early precocious form in race 10 while Panorama Show looks to make it six wins from nine starts in the class 1 finale. Here are the Seoul notes while Busan selections are below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens to kick things off with and nine of the twelve have prior racing experience. Among them, (1) SANGGAM CHEONGJA ran 4th on debut in a decent time a month ago and from gate 1 can get away well with chances of going all the way. (3) BORN ANGEL and (12) CHAMP K have both raced three times and both have shown steady improvement to the point that a win would come as no great surprise, with Born Angel perhaps the more likely here. (8) SPEED BELLE did nothing wrong on debut either and can go close. For the pick though, we turn to a first-time starter. (2) CHOIN BOLT was all set to be well-backed on a scheduled debut last November but was found to be lame. He’s fit now and won a trial for the second time at the start of this month. Moon Se Young is aboard and there’s plenty to like.

Selections (2) Choin Bolt (1) Sanggam Cheongja (3) Born Angel (8) Speed Belle
Next Best 12, 9
Fast Start 1, 8, 12

Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A maiden winner at this distance in November, (6) SATO ROYAL came out on the wrong end of a three-way photo-finish for 2nd place on her first try at this level on December 22nd. She’s well drawn to get on pace early today and if she runs to her best, the only photograph that will be required is the win picture. (12) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON stubbornly remains a maiden after fourteen attempts but is by no means a bad horse. She ran well for 3rd place over 1000M in early December looks ready to come back up to this trip today. (3) MAMKKEOT DALYEO was a winner over 1700M in November before running poorly at the same distance a month later. He’s inconsistent but capable. (4) AQUA STROM is up in class having come from behind to win over this distance on December 16th. He’s two starts into a comeback following five months out and looks to have more progress in him (2) BLESSING ROAD is getting to grips with this level and is another who can challenge for the places.

Selections (6) Sato Royal (12) Kkeuleojuneun Son (4) Aqua Strom (2) Blessing Road
Next Best 3, 10
Fast Start 2, 6, 11

Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(1) JILPUNGGACHI was an eye-catching five-length winner over this distance on just his second start a month ago. He is up in class here and will need to improve in what is testing company here, but he can step up and can win, almost certainly trying to make all. (2) TRI THUNDER was a winner on debut in September and has followed up with a 5th and a 3rd in two subsequent outings at this level. A strong finisher, he has claims here. As does (5) BACK TO BACK who is down in trop today having beaten four of these over 1300M last month. He was 2nd the last time he ran at this distance and can aim to at least match that today. (7) WINT SEVEN was one of those behind Back To Back last time and he should be better back down in trip here. (11) FINAL STORM perhaps best of the rest.

Selections (1) Jilpunggachi (7) Wint Seven (2) Tri Thunder (5) Back To Back
Next Best 11, 9
Fast Start 1, 3, 7, 10

Race 4: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) PRO HAMSEONG was the winner of a fast race at class and distance on what was just his second outing on December 16th. He made all and while he carries more weight today, should be repeating. Carrying the same amount of weight today and entering with almost identical form from two starts is (3) UNCLE OH. He was slightly less impressive when scoring his maiden win last time but did the job well enough an is the primary danger. (4) TOP BRAIN struggled on his first start after being gelded in early December, weakening badly late on to the extent he was sent back to trial He looked very good in that trial and can go much better today. (2) CUPID GUY and (8) MAGIC ROAD are others in the placing hunt.

Selections (1) Pro Hamseong (3) Uncle Oh (4) Top Brain (8) Magic Road
Next Best 2
Fast Start 1, 4

Race 5: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens here with eight of the twelve having raced before. Of those, (3) SOMETHING NOBODYNO ran well for 2nd place on debut on December 15th and with a similar performance today, will be the one to beat. (9) DAECHEON VOW also came home as runner-up on her first start a day later and while she perhaps has more to find, can be a danger. (2) STORM FORCE has raced twice, registering 4th and 3rd place finishes, both at this distance and she can continue her solid start here. (12) BLADE STORM has also proved competent over two starts so far and is another who can place. Of the debut-makers, (10) GEUMA SUPREME “won” the slowest trial imaginable in December and could spring a surprise.

Selections (3) Something Nobodyno (9) Daecheon Vow (2) Storm Force (12) Blade Storm
Next Best 10, 5
Fast Start 3, 9, 12

Race 6: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(2) WONDERFUL DIXIE made all to score by four-lengths at this distance on his third career start on December 22nd. He’s up in class here but can get on top early and could well win again. (4) CHEONROK was the one who got closest to him that day and in recording his second runner-up finish, also finds himself up in class. There’s nothing to be too afraid of here and he should be competitive. (9) SA SA ran 4th on her first try at this level last month and can build on that today. (5) VICAR SCOOP returns from several months off and looked very sharp in winning a trial shortly before Christmas. (8) SKY STORM showed an uptick in form when running 2nd at class and distance on December 16th and must be taken seriously here.

Selections (2) Wonderful Dixie (9) Sa Sa (8) Sky Storm (4) Cheonrok
Next Best 5, 11
Fast Start 2, 4, 8, 9

Race 7: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Very competitive affair here but (2) STRONG RUNNER’s form at this distance reads remarkably consistently and having run 2nd last time out, can go one better today. (6) WONDRFUL LUCKY was 4th in that race and while he has almost four-lengths to make up here, he has won at the distance before and can be a threat today. (5) KYMA races for the first time since beating Strong Runner on his way to 2nd place at class and distance on December 1st. That was his second consecutive runner-up finish and he can maintain his run of consistent form here. (7) CAPTAIN POWER too has been consistently close in recent efforts. (4) SKY DOLPUNG’s previous try at this trip didn’t go too well but he may be ready for another go off the back of improving form at shorter. (3) CREMOA POWER was a shock winner last time out but while he warrants respect, the additional weight could be his undoing today.

Selections (2) Strong Runner (5) Kyma (6) Wonderful Lucky (7) Captain Power
Next Best 4, 10, 3
Fast Start 4, 10, 11

Race 8: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) HURACAN beat (5) RULE OF SUM when the pair finished 1st and 3rd at this distance back in November with just a length between them. They then faced each other again a month later when Rule Of Sum came out on top in 4th place with Huracan well back. Huracan needs to be on pace and that day got squeezed on the inside and started racing keenly. If he can get away well and settle this time, he can overturn the form and could well win. However, so can Rule Of Sum. (8) HAMBAK MISO overcame long odds to run a very solid 3rd place at class and distance last time and should be much shorter today. (7) GWANGMA HILL enters off back to back 3rd place finishes and should be close again. (9) RAON SIRIUS too enters with recent form reading very nicely and is another in at least the placing frame.

Selections (5) Rule Of Sum (3) Huracan (9) Raon Sirius (7) Gwangma Hill
Next Best 8, 1
Fast Start 1, 3, 4, 11

Race 9: Class 4 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(11) BAKCHAOREUM has begun her career exceptionally well with two 2nd place finishes followed up by two consecutive wins, the latest at this class and all of them from the front and in fast times. She’s up in trip for the first time which is perhaps the slight concern but can win again. Plenty of dangers though. The primary one is (3) BLACK ZAPPER. She is up in class but is a proven winner at this distance having scored at it twice already. She’s nicely drawn to get on the early pace and she could prevail. (4) CHEOGANG CAPTAIN and (1) MIGHTY M ran home 3rd and 4th when they faced each other at 1000M on December 16th. That was Mighty M’s debut and only Choegang Captain’s second appearance and both can progress today. (10) JOUNIGA has offered glimpses across three starts to date and is another in the frame.

Selections (11) Bakchaoreum (3) Black Zapper (4) Cheogang Captain (1) Mighty M
Next Best 10, 8
Fast Start 3, 11

Race 10: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(7) SPRING BACK has raced four times, winning his first two in very fast times and coming close in his next two – also showing a lot of speed. His latest run was a close 4th in the Nonghyup Trophy in November (top race for imported juveniles at Seoul) at this distance and he should have way too much today. (4) MUNHAK TSUNAMI was an also-ran in that Nonghyup Trophy but bounced back with a sharp 2nd place on December 22nd at this class and distance and is the next best although with plenty to make up. (12) RAON PORTEOUS returned from eight months off to run a good 2nd at class and distance on December 16th and can challenge for the places while (11) SAMRYUK EUTTEUM steps up in class after a win last time and should be similarly competitive. (2) USEUNG HOUSE looks best of the rest.

Selections (7) Spring Back (4) Munhak Tsunami (12) Raon Porteous (11) Samryuk Eutteum
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 1, 4, 7, 11

Race 11: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

A winner of five from eight so far, (6) PANORAMA SHOW was successful over this distance on his first try at class 1 at the beginning of December and returns here, under a light weight once more as very much the one to beat. He’s well drawn to get the early lead and while this is perhaps stiffer than last time, he can win again. (4) SINGYU GANGJA ran 2nd to Panorama Show in that race and can be a threat again but there are greater dangers. (9) JANGSAN POWER was a last start winner at this level at 1400M. That was his first top level win and while he drops back in trip, should be involved. (14) GANGTOMA ran 3rd in the same race and can challenge again. (1) HEUNGRYONG enters following three-consecutive 4th place finishes and could well match those today.

Selections (6) Panorama Show (9) Jangsan Power (14) Gangtoma (4) Singyu Gangja
Next Best 1, 10
Fast Start 6, 8, 10

Busan Selections

Race 1: 5, 11, 9, 6
Race 2: 3, 2, 8, 9
Race 3: 5, 4, 7, 8
Race 4: 6, 5, 7, 4
Race 5: 4, 3, 7, 14
Race 6: 11, 1, 6, 4

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