It’s Grand Prix Eve! We’ll have a full preview of Sunday’s big race up later but in the meantime there is a big Saturday card at Seoul to get through with 13 races from 10:45 to 18:00.
Here are the previews – Alan Munro could well be the jockey to follow today with plenty of live chances:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The opener is a juvenile maiden with a full field of twelve, all but two of whom have raced before. The pick is (6) GEOMPO, who races for the fourth time having gotten progressively closer across his preceding three. He was sent off as odds-on favourite last start only to go down by a length to good winner Wish Me, but is well worth another chance today, Lee Hyeon-jong will send him to the front and he can lead all the way. Top Busan jockey Seo Seung-un is in town to ride in Sunday’s Grand Prix Stakes and he picks up a nice ride in the shape of (12) MONEY CHAMP. He’s recorded solid times in his three outings to date and should be aiming to at least match the runner-up finish he scored a month ago, (2) CHEONGSAN GASE has hinted at ability and may improve but it’s the two first-timers who look next best. Both (5) DREAM GIRLS and (10) GLORY FIGHTER looked competent in trials and both should go well first-up.
|Selections||(6) Geompo (12) Money Champ (5) Dream Girls (10) Glory Fighter|
|Next Best||2, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 6, 12|
Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(9) CHOEGANG TEUKGEUP performed creditably for 2nd place on debut over 1000M on November 2nd, finishing three-lengths behind Lucky Myeongho, who last week went on to finish runner-up at a higher level. He steps up slightly in trip today and he could well be the one to beat. (4) A TO Z and (2) JEONJEONGSAGUEM came home 3rd and 4th respectively when they raced each other at this distance on what was both of their debuts on November 10th. There was just a neck between them that day and both should be in the hunt to match or better those finishes today. (6) HEUNGHAENG JILJU displayed poor manners on his first try at this distance last start but still managed to finish 4th and he can go better here. (10) RUFFIAN PARK overcame a poor start last time to run 3rd over this trip and is another in the frame.
|Selections||(9) Choegang Teukgeup (10) Ruffian Park (6) Heunghaeng Jilju (2) Jeonjeongsaguem|
|Next Best||4, 12|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 6, 9|
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Alan Munro is aboard another leading chance here with (10) SAMSEONG VIVA set to be favourite. He ran a solid 2nd on his third career start – and first over this distance – on November 2nd, running on well but unable to get to a good winner. He’s drawn wide but should be able to overcome that to get on pace and can win. (12) CHOEGANG MAGIC had a poor day at the office last start but is better than that having previously managed a 2nd and a 3rd place and looks well worth another shot here to return to the money. (1) HAWKUI YEONGGWANG missed the kick by a length last time but recovered to run 3rd, one place ahead of (4) SAEROUN BOBAE in 4th. Both will be aiming to match those finishes today. (3) A. P. PATEK raced greenly for 4th on debut four weeks ago and with better manners can improve further here.
|Selections||(10) Samseong Viva (3) A. P. Patek (12) Choegang Magic (1) Hawkui Yeonggwang|
|Next Best||4, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 7, 10|
Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Juvenile maidens with only two of the twelve having lined up in the gate before. Neither (7) DIA KEY nor (11) GOSOK JUHAENG impressed at all on their respective debuts although Dia Key didn’t do much wrong and has scope for improvement. That means we’ll turn to the first-timers to find our picks. (12) ICE PUNCH is a half-brother to a number of decent ones, most notably Mirae Yeongung, a winner of 11 from 39 across his career. Ice Punch looked good when 2nd in a trial at the end of October and despite the wide draw, looks a real chance here. Filly (10) CHEONGDAM YEOGEOL also ran well for 2nd in her trial just a couple of weeks ago and should be the principal danger. (4) POTENTIAL ENERGY and (8) RAON HIGH are others who caught the eye in the mornings and can transfer their talents to the races.
|Selections||(12) Ice Punch (10) Cheongdam Yeogeol (8) Raon High (7) Dia Key|
|Next Best||4, 2|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 7, 8|
Race 5: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
One should really exercise caution when recommending a twenty-eight race maiden but if (5) CITY CHAMP runs like he did when a close at hand 5th over class and distance on November 17th, then he really should be winning this. It was a competitive time for this level – helped by a wet track – and continued his run of good form. If today isn’t his day, it may well never be. (2) DAE YONGWANG is up in class having scored his maiden win last start. He now has a win and a 2nd place in two attempts at this distance and can maintain his good run of form today, although he will probably need to improve on the times he’s registered if he is to win. (4) WONDERFUL DANCER also comes up in class following a maiden win last start over 1300M. A previous try around two-turns didn’t go especially well but he looks ready for another crack at it today. Also up in trip is (1) ECHO FIRST ON. He’s an import who found himself demoted from class 4 but looks to have ended up in a nice spot here with his latest effort encouraging. (7) PRINCE OF SUN best of the rest.
|Selections||(5) City Champ (2) Dae Yongwang (1) Echo First On (4) Wonderful Dancer|
|Next Best||7, 11|
|Fast Start||4, 7|
Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(4) GO UP made all on debut over this distance on November 9th to record a stylish looking win. Accordingly, she’s up in class as she makes her return today but she looks to have plenty of potential and won’t need to improve by very much in order to win this. This is a decent looking race though. (8) EAGLE EYE ran out a nine-length winner at this distance last month and also steps up in class. She’ll have to go some to repeat that but nevertheless will be competitive at this level. (10) WINNER BLUE left himself too much to do when 3rd last start. Expect him to be ridden on pace today and he can be a danger. (3) CHO ORONG MA and (6) MASYA both enter with recent form reading well and both look good to challenge for at least the places.
|Selections||(4) Go Up (8) Eagle Eye (10) Winner Blue (3) Cho Orong Ma|
|Next Best||6, 7, 12|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 10, 12|
Race 7: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Very competitive race with plenty having solid claims. (2) MENI STAND blew the start and blew his chances when racing at class and distance on November 2rd. She had been going well prior to that and provided she gets out of the gate on good order today, should get much closer. (10) JANGSU NABOM is up in class following an all the way score over this distance at the start of November. This is significantly stiffer but if he gets in front again, he may well go close. (1) CHEONGSU BIG EAR and (4) SEUNGNI JEONSEOL had less than a length separating them when they came home 3rd and 4th in what was arguably a stronger race than this on October 20th. Both have serious chances here. Among the rest, (6) BLUE DAEJAYEON remains a maiden but has shown he is capable of running a time and could end up in the mix today.
|Selections||(2) Meni Stand (1) Cheongsu Big Ear (10) Jangsu Nabom (4) Seungni Jeonseol|
|Next Best||6, 5|
|Fast Start||6, 10, 11, 12|
Race 8: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Having run 3rd on debut in September, (2) GLOBAL PARTY returned and put in a rare sub one-minute time over the 1000M to win by three-lengths on November 3rd. He gets another crack at this class and while he does carry more weight and tackles an additional furlong and a half, he looks a worthy favourite. (10) GEUMJAYU looked all at sea in her first two efforts but has started to figure things out in her second two, running 3rd and 2nd, last time beating a couple of her rivals here. She led until close to the finish last time and should be on speed again. Another one in the leading division early will be (3) MOONHAK MISCHIEF. She did nothing wrong when 3rd on debut in a decent race over 1000M and can build on it today. (7) GOLDEN SERVICE and (12) EUNEO CHUKJE are others in at least the placing frame.
|Selections||(2) Global Party (10) Geumjayu (3) Moonhak Mischief (7) Golden Service|
|Next Best||12, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 7, 10|
Race 9: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(3) DYNAMIC PUNCH has moved rapidly up the classes with back to back wins and the manner of his latest one, where he crushed a useful looking class 5 field by a full six-lengths suggests there is plenty more to come. From an ideal draw, he’ll aim to lead all the way again and is likely to be hot favourite to complete his hat-trick. (1) STRIDE UP’s recent form has been good and he beat three of these on his way to his second consecutive 3rd place finish last time out. He’ll sit behind the early speed and finish strongly. (7) MAMMA ROMA pulled hard first-up three weeks and then failed to see out the 1700M. She should be better for that run and can improve today. (9) CHAMP K was 5th behind Stride Up last start and can get closer while (11) RAON PATRICK is better than her latest couple of efforts suggest and she too can challenge for some minor money.
|Selections||(3) Dynamic Punch (1) Stride Up (7) Mamma Roma (9) Champ K|
|Next Best||11, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 10, 11|
Race 10: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Having finished as an also-ran in the Korean Derby and Minister’s Cup, (11) DO KKI BLADE was given four months off and seemed to benefit for it when running out a seven-length winner on his return to action on October. He comes in fresh again here following nine more weeks off and while up in class, looks very much the one to beat again. He’s drawn wide but will attempt to get across and make all. (7) HYEONMU was the longest shot on the board when pulling off a shock win at class and distance on November 2nd. Lightning probably won’t strike twice although that day’s runner-up (2) GUREUM SONJITHAE can aim for a place again. A bigger danger is likely to be (6) MIREU STORM. He’s run 2nd in three of his latest four outings, all of them at class and distance and 2nd will be a minimum aim again. (5) VALLEY QUEEN is up in class after showing lots of speed over 1000M. This is her first try at further than the minimum distance and if she gets the trip, she’ll go close. (3) WONDERFUL TRUTH found herself overmatched in the Jeju Governor’s Cup last month but should be better in shallower waters today.
|Selections||(11) Do Kki Blade (6) Mireu Storm (5) Valley Queen (3) Wonderful Truth|
|Next Best||2, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5, 11|
Race 11: Class 3 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Two starts into a comeback, (6) GOLD HAMMER came from just off the pace to secure his maiden win at class and distance on November 3rd. He carries an additional 3kg today, but looks to have plenty of potential for further progress and he is the one to beat. (3) SABA KINGDOM is up in class having won his latest two, both at this distance, in fine order. He’ll be up with the pace from the start and the favourite will have to try and come past him. (9) ALIBABA MARINE’s woeful performance last start can be explained by the fact he was found to be lame afterwards. He’s had two months off since and back fully fit, should be a very different proposition today. (4) CHANGE MAKER too has excuses for his poor run last time, having missed the jump, and should be better here. (7) UP LIGHT looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(6) Gold Hammer (3) Saba Kingdom (4) Change Maker (9) Alibaba Marine|
|Next Best||7, 5|
|Fast Start||3, 8, 11|
Race 12: Class 2 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million
(2) MYEONGPUM CHUKJE finished 5th, 4th and 2nd in the three legs of the Triple Crown this year and comes in having been an also-ran in last month’s President’s Cup. He was 4th on his first try at this class back in September and has the ability to win this. There is a big danger though in the shape of (9) COLORFUL JOY. A winner of four from seven in total, he steps up in class having scored over 1700M with a front-running performance back in October. He tackles the additional half furlong for the first time but that shouldn’t be a problem and he has every chance of winning again. (5) RAPIDOCUS returned to form with a strong 2nd place last time and while he hasn’t yet lived up to his early promise as the competition has become stiffer, he still has plenty of time. He’ll be ridden patiently here and can finish strongly. (12) SUPER FLUID was 3rd behind Rapidocus last start and can aim for another placing finish here. (4) MEGALIOS is a class and distance winner and warrants respect.
|Selections||(9) Colorful Joy (2) Myeongpum Chukje (5) Rapidocus (12) Super Fluid|
|Next Best||4, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 6, 7, 11|
Race 13: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
(11) SKY BAY spent the summer and autumn chasing home Silver Wolf in all three legs of the Queens’ Tour, finishing 4th, 2nd and 4th. She returns to handicaps here very nicely weighted and if she’s at the top of her game, she’ll take some beating. (2) ANOTHER SMART ONE is two starts into a comeback following six months out. He’s posted fast times when running 5th ion both those races which were arguably better than today’s. A similar run should see him much closer. (9) GANGTOMA went a bit cold over the summer but comes in after three months off and should be better for the layoff. (7) WINNER RED’s recent runs have been in Stakes and Listed company and he is another who should appreciate the more limited opposition today. (10) DYNAMIC JULJU is best of the rest.
|Selections||(11) Sky Bay (2) Another Smart One (9) Gangtoma (7) Winner Red|
|Next Best||10, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 2|