Sunday sees International Exchange races at both Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:40 to 17:05) and this year, an intriguing program has been put together for three-year-old fillies and imported horses of the same age. Just over a month out from the Oaks, it’s a chance to see some of the leading fancies for the fillies’ Classic and in the other races, to see some of the hottest young imported talent racing against each other. Here are the previews with horse-by-horse comments for the Exchange races (Busan below):
Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A maiden for fillies only to kick things off and with a 5th and a 3rd from her two starts so far, (2) MENI GRAND is set to be hot favourite to make her breakthrough here. (8) SOLID was much-improved 2nd on her second career start over 1000M last month. She’s out of a Korean Group winner and while she is back up in trip can continue to make progress here. (5) JIOBANA similarly improved on her latest outing and tries this distance for the first time. She may benefit from Alan Munro in the saddle today. (3) COLORS DE LAGO and first-time starter (7) CHOEGANG GONGJU are others to take note of.
|Selections||(2) Meni Grand (8) Solid (5) Jiobana (7) Choegang Gongju|
|Next Best||3, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 8|
Race 2: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(3) RICH RULES was a winner on debut and then ran 3rd on her first try at this class on March 2nd. She’ll be on pace here and has every chance of coming out on top. The other standout is (4) GAL IP. She got her maiden win on her fifth start last time and while up in class today, there looks to be more to come from her. She’ll be challenging for the lead early too. (8) SEMYEONG GISANG was a good 2nd on his first try at this level last month and is another who can go close. (9) GEUP HAENG MA drops back in trip after winning at the level over 1300M on March 10th and must be taken seriously too.
|Selections||(3) Rich Rules (4) Gal Ip (8) Semyeong Gisang (9) Geup Haeng Ma|
|Next Best||6, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 8|
Race 3: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Could it be (4) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON’s time at last? She remains a maiden following sixteen attempts but is by no means a bad racehorse with four 2nds and four 3rds to her name. The latest 2nd was last time, in a decent race at this distance and it could finally be her day. Should she find one or two too quick again then (1) WILD FIGHT and (8) GO GO BI look leading contenders. Both have a best of 3rd place from three starts apiece and have improvement in them. (12) CHAPEL ACE has three wins to his name and showed signs of a return to form with a good 2nd last time. There is one debut-maker and (6) FLORIDA POWER gone well in two trials and arrives with decent claims to go well first-up.
|Selections||(4) Kkeuleojuneun Son (8) Go Go Bi (1) Wild Fight (12) Chapel Ace|
|Next Best||6, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 9|
Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(10) FULL MOON OCEAN has shown steady progress across four starts so far, all at this distance, culminating in 2nd place last time. He’s a front-runner so will need to overcome the wide-draw but he’s the one they need to beat here. (5) JANGSAN EX similarly improved on his second outing, running a good 4th and can maintain his momentum here while (6) O PI M J was disappointing when well-backed over 1300M last start and should be better eased back in trip today. (1) BAEKSANG had a hard time on debut in February but can be given another chance today, two months on and under a much lighter weight. There are two first-time starters and (11) CAPTAIN BEST caught the eye in trials and could go well first-up.
|Selections||(10) Full Moon Ocean (5) Jangsan Ex (6) O Pi M J (11) Captain Best|
|Next Best||1, 3|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 10|
Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Really competitive little race. (5) SOMETHING NOBODYNO has a win and two runner-up finishes from three starts so far. He ran 2nd behind a very good winner last start, and while he is up in distance for the first time today, he has every chance of returning to the winner’s circle. (10) VICAR BRACING could start as favourite though. He’s up in class following an eye-catching nine-length win over this distance on March 2nd and while he has drawn the widest gate, he can run on strongly and can win. (3) BARAMEUL GEURIDA is up in class too after a similarly easy on the eye seven-length score back in February. He made all that day and is nicely drawn to get the front. (2) HANIL MAGIC and (8) MONEY ZIF are others who can go close.
|Selections||(10) Vicar Bracing (5) Something Nobodyno (3) Barameul Geurida (8) Money Zif|
|Next Best||2, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5|
Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(9) WELLNESS K has had a stop/start career so far but now he’s finally getting a strong of runs together, he’s looked good, improving to a maiden win last time at this distance. He’s carrying more weight today but looks to have a fair shout of a repeat. Primary danger is (8) WINNING BLADE, who bounced back from a disappointing run in Seoul’s top juvenile race last October to win over this distance in November. He’s only raced once this term, finishing 5th at 1200M in January but coming back from a spell and back down at what seems his best distance, he can win. (7) BIG GARLAND remains a maiden but was 4th first-up after three months off last start and can go close again. (5) RICHARDOFNEWSTEAD and (10) SANTOS are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(9) Wellness K (8) Winning Blade (7) Big Garland (10) Santos|
|Next Best||5, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 7, 8|
Race 7: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(7) DELTA BROTHER got his maiden win over 1300M in February and then ran a strong 2nd on his first try at this class and distance a month ago, beating a few of these along the way. He’ll go to the front early and could well go all the way. (10) BARAM KING beat (3) DOUBLE GOLD and (1) BLACK GINGA on his way to victory at class and distance on March 10th. The draw has not been kind today, but he warrants respect based on that run and can go close again. Double Gold was 3rd in that race and can be competitive again while we will expect improvement from Black Ginga, who came home 4th as favourite – the second time in a row Double Gold has beaten him – and should be better today. (2) RAON MIRACLE is another for who recent form reads well and who should be in the mix at the business end.
|Selections||(7) Delta Brother (1) Black Ginga (2) Raon Miracle (10) Baram King|
|Next Best||3, 6|
|Fast Start||4, 7|
Race 8: Class Open (1400M) Allowance (3yo KOR bred Fillies) / KRW 150 Million – TOKYO CITY KEIBA TROPHY
- SMILE GIRL – 4th behind Daddy Glory in January before beating Mamma Roma on her way to a three-length win at 1300M in February. Stepped up to 1700M last time to run 2nd at class 4. Settles just behind early pace and top-four finish expected.
- BEST HILL – Won her first two over 1000M but has had a harder time at class 4 and at longer distances. Not a fast starter but can run on. Still scope for improvement but others favoured here.
- DADDY GLORY – Beat Smarty Adele and Smile Girl on way to victory over 1300M in January before finishing 3rd behind Match Queen on latest start. She hung out around the turn last time for which a warning was issued and if she fixes that, she has a big chance of overturning the form.
- MAMMA ROMA – Comes in off a run of three consecutive runner-up finishes but was well-beaten by Smile Girl in February. Another for whom the extra distance may be a plus, but improvement will be needed.
- GREEN DARC – Both wins came at 1000M last autumn, she was last seen running way down the track over 1700M in February. One of the outsiders today.
- MATCH QUEEN – She’s won three in a row and four from five in total. Her latest saw her make all over 1300M at class 4 to win by twelve-lengths and while she goes the extra half furlong for the first time, she’s got solid claims to lead all the way again.
- BAKCHAOREUM – Registered three wins in a row over the turn of the year at 1000M and 1300M. Blew the start after being fractious in the barriers last time which explains her poor result. She needs a quick start and if she gets it, she can go close.
- WONDERFUL TRUTH – Won her first two and while she has found it tougher since, she has been racing in good company. The only one of these to run in the Sports Seoul Classic Trial last month, she led that race early only to finish 6th. She will try to lead again, and experience of the distance may help her here.
- SMARTY ADELE – Beaten four-lengths by Daddy Glory in January, she bounced back to score by eight-lengths over 1300M at class 5 n March 3rd. More improvement needed here as it won’t be easy to lead but she could be an interesting outsider.