Saturday’s action is at Seoul where there are 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. French jockey Ryan Curatolo makes his Korean debut with three rides. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Fillies and mares only here. (1) MENI GRAND is up in class following a five-length win over this distance on April 14th. That was her third career start and the victory had been coming. She led from gate to wire that day and is expected to do the same here. (4) FLOWER ROAD is up in class too after a similarly dominant maiden score last month and while she perhaps has a little more to find, should be nice and competitive at this level. (6) WONDERFUL RUBY beat a couple of these on her way to 5th place at class and distance on April 7th and should get closer today. (8) HAMYANG SANSAM and (9) CHEONROK are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(1) Meni Grand (4) Flower Road (6) Wonderful Ruby (9) Cheonrok|
|Next Best||8, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 8, 9|
Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Small field and a likely strong favourite in the shape of (6) PRIMA NIKE. She’s been knocking on the door since debut with a 3rd and no fewer than four 4th place finishes. Up against softer company today, she should get it right. Accordingly, she’ll be hot favourite. (1) HWARYONG looks clear next best. He ran 4th on debut in February, hanging wide all the way round and while he’s not raced since, he went well in a trial at the end of April and if he brings that form – and improved manners – to the track, he can go close. It’s slim pickings beyond those two with (2) DAEDAE SONSON and (8) GYEONGGUKJIMA perhaps having most potential to improve.
|Selections||(6) Prima Nike (1) Hwaryong (2) Daedae Sonson (8) Gyeonggukjima|
|Next Best||5, 7|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 8|
Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A maiden for three-year-olds only and it’s not very strong. (6) ANYANG JAGUAR, with an improved 4th place last time in better company than this is the slight pick. He can settle just off the early lead and finish strongly. (12) HEY DREAMER last raced in September last year when he was 2nd in a similar race to this. He trialled competently two weeks ago, and the jockey booking is notable. (4) GREEN CINDY hasn’t done too much wrong in two starts so far and can also be considered for improvement. In such a weak race it’s worth looking at the first-timers. There are three of them and (8) KING SON, who trialled nicely on a wet track at the end of April looks to have the best chance first-up.
|Selections||(6) Anyang Jaguar (12) Hey Dreamer (8) King Son (4) Green Cindy|
|Next Best||9, 7|
|Fast Start||4, 8, 12|
Race 4: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
(4) HOPE KINGDOM has a 2nd place to his name and comes in off the back of a good 3rd place at 1300M on April 20th. He’s one of five here who tackle two-turns for the first time, and it may well suit. (3) TAP MUSIC was 4th in that race last month on what was just his second career start and he too steps up in trip with solid hopes here. (1) KING OF EAGLE is the other one in the field who has a runner-up finish in his account already. He enters following a solid 4th place at 1300M last month and should be competitive again. Of those with experience at the distance, (7) CHOEGANG PARTY looks the best. He ran a close 3rd on his first try at it on April 26th, coming from well off the pace to finish well and should go close again.
|Selections||(4) Hope Kingdom (7) Choegang Party (1) King Of Eagle (3) Tap Music|
|Next Best||6, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 4|
Race 5: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(8) RAON MIRACLE beat a couple of these on her way to 2nd place at class and distance on April 14th. She remains a maiden after twenty attempts but has been getting closer and the assistance of Alan Munro today could be what she needs to get over the line in front. (11) RAISE ME UP and (6) BLACK GINGA came home 4th and 5th respectively in that same race and while they do have a couple of lengths to make up on Raon Miracle, they can be competitive here. However, the main threat looks likely to be (3) BLACK WINGWING. She comes in following back to back 3rd place finishes, both at 1000M and steps up significantly in trip today. She’s likely to be on pace from the start and if she stays the distance, she can win.
|Selections||(8) Raon Miracle (3) Black Wingwing (6) Black Ginga (11) Raise Me Up|
|Next Best||5, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 9|
Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(10) JANGSAN JEGUK was a somewhat surprising winner at class and distance on April 14th. The manner of that win must be respected and while he’s not favoured to repeat, he can go close. Favourite that day was (6) GEUMA ZENITH. It was the latter’s first try at this level and having not got the start he needed, he only managed to finish 4th. He can improve today. Also set to improve here is (2) BEST LINE. He tackled 1700M on his first try at this class on April 13th and while he had previously won at that distance, struggled to see it out against better horses. Back down in trip today, he should be much better. (3) LUCAS and (11) GLOBAL CHEONHA others firmly in the hunt.
|Selections||(2) Best Line (6) Geuma Zenith (11) Global Cheonha (10) Jangsan Jeguk|
|Next Best||3, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 8, 11|
Race 7: Class 4 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(6) DAEBAK HAENGJIN has been showing signs of figuring things out and comes in after back to back runner-up finishes, both times beaten by good horses. Today should be her day. She’ll come from just behind an early pace that will most likely be set by (4) TOP BRAIN and (7) LIL’PATRON, both of whom have proven competent at this level and if they can get forward this time, can give the favourite a run for her money. (3) GOLDEN STEP is inconsistent but on her day can go well in this company while (9) HALO BIRD similarly is a proven money winner at this level and can’t be discounted.
|Selections||(6) Daebak Haengjin (4) Top Brain (7) Lil’Patron (9) Halo Bird|
|Next Best||3, 8|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 7, 9|
Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(4) BEST STAR has a 100% record having won his first three outings by a combined twelve lengths. The most recent of those was at this class over 1300M on March 30th and there is little to suggest that that he won’t maintain his record here. He’ll likely lead all the way. Best Start will be hot favourite with (5) WINNING BLADE probably best placed to challenge. He was just beaten a length last time out on April 14th over 1000M and enters here in good shape for an in-form stable. (1) SMARTY ADELE had a hard time in a tough Trophy race last start but should be better today while (8) GREEN DARC and (10) NIMUI HYANGGI, the latter on a winning streak of his own, are others who can go close.
|Selections||(4) Best Start (5) Winning Blade (10) Nimui Hyanggi (1) Smarty Adele|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 5, 10|
Race 9: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(9) GLOBAL QUEEN made all to score at class and distance on March 23rd. She carries an additional 3kg today but the lightly-raced five-year-old looks to have potential for plenty more improvement and is the one to beat again here. (11) MACHA BUCHA was a somewhat surprising 3rd at class and distance a month ago and can challenge for the places again although (3) GRAY SOCKS, who was well back in the same race, should really be looking to overturn that form. (4) HEUNG BARAM didn’t suit at 1400M last start and should be much better today while (1) MUSA is another who looks nicely in here.
|Selections||(9) Global Queen (4) Heung Baram (1) Musa (3) Gray Socks|
|Next Best||11, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 7, 9|
Race 10: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(3) SAMSAM VICTORY and (9) THE KING came home 1st and 2nd with just a neck separating them when they raced each other at class and distance on April 7th. The King was favourite that day and he could well overturn the form here although both have serious claims. (8) DONGBANGUI GIEOK remans a maiden after ten attempts. He comes in following a good 4th place in a strong class and distance race and shouldn’t be far away here. (1) GEUMA KINGDOM and (2) STAR POWER are others with at least placing claims.
|Selections||(9) The King (8) Dongbangui Gieok (3) Samsam Victory (2) Star Power|
|Next Best||1, 7|
|Fast Start||3, 12|
Race 11: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(2) HAVANA CHARLIE beat (1) SPRING BACK as the pair came home 2nd and 4th in the valuable TJK Trophy at this distance a month ago. Both were a long way behind an unexpectedly good winner and the pair renew hostilities here. It could go either way, but Spring Back is marginally favoured to overturn that form. Both will have to deal with the up and coming (8) RAPIDOCUS. He’s won five of six starts so far to come rapidly up in class. This is significantly tougher than anything he has faced so far but he should still be competitive. (7) BUNGMA DREAM and (9) COMPLETE SWEEP are others who can be dangerous.
|Selections||(1) Spring Back (2) Havana Charlie (8) Rapidocus (7) Bungma Dream|
|Fast Start||1, 2|