It’s Classic trial Sunday at both Seoul & Busan with the Sports Seoul Trophy in the capital (where there are 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and the Gyeongam Shinmun Cup down South (6 races from 12:40 to 17:05). Here are the previews (Busan selections below):
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(8) GAL IP has finished no worse than 4th in four starts so far and dropping back down to 1000M today, she really should make her breakthrough. She’ll be on pace early and can lead all the way. (3) I’M HAPPY and (4) FULL MOON OCEAN raced each other last time out and both have offered some hints of ability. They can challenge for places here. (5) SANGGAM CHEONGJA went well on debut at this distance and can do better than he did over 1300M last start. (10) CHEONHA YEOJE improved to 3rd place at 1300M three weeks ago and could potentially repeat here.
|Selections||(8) Gal Ip (4) Full Moon Ocean (3) I’m Happy (5) Sanggam Cheongja|
|Next Best||10, 7|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 8|
Race 2: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(7) LITTLE BOY FLASH comes in off the back of consecutive runner-up finishes at 1300M. The most recent of those was a dead-heat when running on well on a wet track a month ago. He’s the only one of these who tries the distance for the first time, but it may well suit and he can win. It certainly suited (9) EVER THE CHAMP, who stepped up to this trip six weeks ago to record his best finish so far, beating a couple of these on his way to 4th. He should have come on for that and can beat plenty again. (4) TOGETHER HUG and (5) EAGLES GRIFTER have also shown some aptitude around two turns and may be considered for the places while the same is true of (8) MR. TURNER, who disappointed last time but was gong well prior to that and gets another chance here.
|Selections||(7) Little Boy Flash (9) Ever The Champ (8) Mr. Turner (4) Together Hug|
|Next Best||5, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 5|
Race 3: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(6) DOUBLE GOLD was a somewhat surprising winner (as in 47/1 surprising, surprising) at class and distance on February 2nd. That was a big uptick in form and while he certainly warrants more respect today, we’ll go for that day’s runner-up (5) BLACK GINGA to overturn the form. She didn’t have the best of luck that day but still ran well, her recent form has been consistent, and she can finally make her breakthrough here. (9) SANGBIGUN has beaten Black Ginga as recently as January and the experienced six-year-old should be a threat here too. (3) BARAM KING and (7) FEATHER LIGHT, the latter up in both class and distance today, are others to consider.
|Selections||(5) Black Ginga (9) Sangbigun (6) Double Gold (7) Feather Light|
|Next Best||3, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 7|
Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(5) SLING STONE is up in class following a four-length win over this distance on February 2nd. That was his maiden win on his fourth start, and it had been coming. He made all that day and is favoured to do similar here. (3) GEUP HAENG MA and (6) RAON DOLPUNG are both still maidens but both are competent at the distance and can go close here. (2) DOUBLE A ran a much-improved 3rd when dropped back to this trip a month ago and can build on that today. (7) GOLD SEUTAK got a bad start last time and could improve today.
|Selections||(5) Sling Stone (3) Geup Haeng Ma (6) Raon Dolpung (2) Double A|
|Next Best||7, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 5|
Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(8) RAYMOND still hasn’t crossed the line first in eight starts, his solitary win coming when he was promoted to 1st after the “winner” was disqualified in a big juvenile race last September. He drops back in trip today following a decent 4th over 1700M and this time can come home on top. (1) GEUMA ZENITH too drops back in trip. He was a winner last time he tried this distance in December and should go close again. (2) FULL MOON SKY had a hard time on his first try at this trip three weeks ago but hopefully learned a bit from it a can go better here. (5) HAEDEULMOE and (9) TAEPUNG EYES are others in the placing hunt.
|Selections||(8) Raymond (1) Geuma Zenith (2) Full Moon Sky (5) Haedeulmoe|
|Next Best||9, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 6|
Race 6: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(12) GAENARI SONG is two for two and is up in class and in distance today. This is a significantly sterner test than he’s faced before but he looks to have plenty abut him. He’ll want to get forward early and if he can find a decent position from the worst draw, then he has every chance of maintaining his 100% record. (10) BI PYEONG is the big danger. While he’s only won one of five so far – and is up in class too – he come in after back to back 2nd place finishes, both at this distance and beaten by useful types in the shape of Gaon Force and Dong Jak. He has a big chance here. Another up in class is (7) HAENGBOK STAR, in his case following victory at this distance, albeit over a weak field. (4) BEST VICTORY and (9) CLEAN FLOWER are experienced at this level and can play a part.
|Selections||(12) Gaenari Song (10) Bi Pyeong (7) Haengbok Star (4) Best Victory|
|Next Best||9, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 9, 12|
Race 7: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(10) SKY CITY has won at this distance before and hasn’t been too far away in recent starts. Her 3rd place last time in a race that was tougher than this one makes her top choice here. She’ll settle at the back anyway so the draw shouldn’t be an issue. (8) KAILASH DANCER comes in following a career-best 2nd place over this distance at the end of January. It wasn’t a strong race, but it could be the kind of impetus he needs to kick on for a top stable that’s coming back into form. (1) SUPER TRICK is back up in distance today and should be on the early pace with prospects to stay on. (4) DEVIL MAN and (9) MIGHTY JOHN may sneak into some minor money.
|Selections||(10) Sky City (8) Kailash Dancer (1) Super Trick (4) Devil Man|
|Next Best||9, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 5|
Race 8: Class 3 (1900M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
(2) THE KING is favoured to return to winning ways. He put in his most disappointing performance to date when 8th of 12 in an admittedly feisty contest at 1700M last time but he’s had nine weeks off since then and the extra distance to play with should suit. He should get an easy lead. (3) LOVELY NUTE is the big danger. She overcame a bad start to run a good 2nd last time keeping her run of consistently good finishes going. She too may like the extra trip and she could win. (5) YESANGBAEK SEUNG Is the clear third best and only missed out by a nose when 2nd over 1800M a month ago. (6) SOBAKANINSAENG is best of the rest.
|Selections||(2) The King (3) Lovely Nute (5) Yesangbaek Seung (6) Sobakaninsaeng|
|Next Best||7, 1|
Race 9: Class Open “Sports Seoul Trophy” (Listed) 1400M – Allowance / KRW 250 Million
This is essentially a trial for the Triple Crown races. In terms of those Classics, (1) MYEONGPUM CHUKJE looks the most forward of these at the moment, having scored by a full five-lengths in a class 4 race over 1700M in January and he is probably the best of these. However, today they are racing at 1400M and that may shift the advantage back to (3) DAE WAN MA. The filly beat Myeongpum Chukje when the pair came home 2nd and 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup race at Busan over this distance in December and while she had a hard time at 1700M in January, she’ll likely enjoy this much more. (5) GAON FORCE didn’t appear to appreciate the wet track last time when 4th over 1700M and is another who should be better today. (7) UP LIGHT and (8) WONDERFUL TRUTH are others who will be expected to be close.
|Selections||(3) Dae Wan Ma (1) Myeongpum Chukje (5) Gaon Force (8) Wonderful Truth|
|Next Best||7, 10|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 6, 9|
Race 10: Class 1 (2000M) Handicap / KRW 150 Million
(4) MOONHAK CHIEF will most likely be the shortest-priced favourite of the day but it’s hard to oppose him after his three-length score at class and distance on January 26th. Prior to that he ran 3rd in the KRA Cup Classic and 6th in the Grand Prix and he could have a big year. (8) SHAMROCKER was 2nd in that January race and is the one capable of providing the biggest test. He is giving away lots of weight again though, so it won’t be easy for him. (2) CHEONMA and (9) CHEONGDAM DAERO came home 3rd and 5th when they raced each other over 1800M in January and could bud for places here too. (7) GEUMTUSA is up in class and very nicely in at the weights and could make for an interesting outsider.
|Selections||(4) Moonhak Chief (8) Shamrocker (7) Geumtusa (9) Cheongdam Daero|
|Next Best||2, 5|
|Fast Start||4, 7|
Race 11: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(6) COMPLETE SWEEP will probably be favourite here after running a close 3rd in a strong race over 1400M. He drops back in trip but can sit just off the lead and finish strongly. (12) ULTRA PUNCH got bumped a couple of times at the start and eventually weakened last time out at 1400M. The time before that at this distance he was a very good class 3 winner though and he has to be given another chance here. (4) YEOKJEONUI USEUNG is another who had excuses last time and in his case is dropped significantly back in trip today. He has a chance. (2) V KHAN and (7) SHARK RUN are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(12) Ultra Punch (6) Complete Sweep (4) Yeokjeonui Useung (7) Shark Run|
|Next Best||2, 10|
|Fast Start||3, 9, 10, 12|
Race 1: 2, 11, 1, 4
Race 2: 10, 8, 9, 4
Race 3: 6, 11, 7, 9
Race 4: 10, 9, 3, 4
Race 5: 3, 8, 1, 7
Race 6: 1, 4, 8, 5