The final race day of the year at Seoul (Busan races next weekend) takes place on Sunday with a bumper 15-race card from 10:45 to 18:00. Features will be the Cargill Agri Purina Trophy (race 9) and the Trainers’ Cup (race 12):
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Twelve maiden juveniles go round here with three of them racing for the very first time. (9) HIGH WONDERFUL has the best finish to his name, having run 2nd to Global Thunder on debut A month ago. He’ll be on pace here and has winning claims. (1) NUMBER ONE TARGET actually ran a faster time when 5th on her own debut on November 16th. The Hansen filly beat High Wonderful in an October trial and has every chance of besting him again. (8) NEVER WALK ALONE was a close 6th behind Number One Target in that race last month and is another who can improve here. As for the first-timers., it’s taken (12) ALCHAN NURI four trials to make it to the races – he actually did on one occasion but threw his jockey off during the post parade and was a late scratching – but he certainly looked ready based on the latest of those, just last week, when he two of the others who go here. He can go well first-up.
Selections: (1) Number One Target (9) High Wonderful (12) Alchan Nuri (8) Never Walk Alone
Next Best: 11, 5
Fast Start: 10, 11
Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
More juvenile maidens going round here, once more with three of the twelve making their racecourse debuts. The only one who has raced twice so far is (4) MONEY SILK and he will be a leading fancy here. After finishing 4th on debut in October, he improved to 2nd on his reappearance, beating a number of his rivals here in the process. They were all debuting so have scope for improvement here too, but the extra distance should suit, and he can win. Both (7) ALPHA DOK and (10) JOY BROTHER posted faster times than Money Silk when running 5th and 4th on their respective debuts. They too should appreciate the extra 300M that they have to play with here and are likely to go close. (1) GREEN MOUNTAIN and (8) HWA SSI BYEOK are two others who showed promise first-up and can come into the reckoning here.
Selections: (4) Money Silk (10) Joy Brother (1) Green Mountain (8) Hwa Ssi Byeok
Next Best:7, 11
Fast Start: 1, 4, 8, 9
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million
Maidens once more although this time it isn’t restricted to the juveniles. (5) WONDER K is the pick having returned six months after his debut to run a solid 2nd at this distance on November 11th. He was a front-runner that day and will aim to do the same here and should have the beating of this limited set of opponents. There are one or two other promising ones though. (12) EAST ONE looks the clear second-best with a 4th and a 2nd in two tries, both over 1000M. He needs to overcome the wide draw here but should get close. (10) SIN ROK was a somewhat unexpected improver last time out, leading for much of the race on a muddy track over 1300M before eventually dropping to 3rd. He warrants being sent off considerably shorter than the 190/1 he was that day. (4) KING KANMOREU is another who looks to be going the right way development-wise and can build on the 5th he secured last start on his first try at this distance. (11) SUPER ECTON is perhaps best of the rest
Selections: (5) Wonder K (12) East One (4) King Kanmoreu (10) Sin Rok
Next Best: 11, 3
Fast Start: 2, 3, 6
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A filly only maiden here and of the twelve, the one who looks readiest to win is (3) WONDERFUL PLEASURE. She’s shown steady progress across four prior starts culminating in 2nd place last start behind Virtus. That was in late October so she’s had a bit of time off and from gate 3 can sit near the pace and launch a strong challenge late on. (6) MAD DIVA similarly starts for the fifth time today and has been showing decent consistency. She went well at this distance last time out and should be in the hunt for some money today. So should (5) GIANT GIRL, who tackles the distance for the first time following a solid 4th over 1000M a month ago when she ran through the line pleasingly enough. (1) HAWK ARIRANG is the most experienced in the race and while that’s not a good thing in a maiden affair, she showed a bog uptick in form when 2nd on November 23rd and can maintain her momentum here. (7) DIECO hasn’t done much wrong in her latest two and is another with potential to challenge for at least a place.
Selections: (3) Wonderful Pleasure (6) Mad Diva (5) Giant Girl (1) Hawk Arirang
Next Best: 7, 8
Fast Start: 3, 7, 8
Race 5: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
One of the firmest favourites on the card goes around in race 5. (2) JOEUN GAMUN got promoted to this level with an easy win two starts back at this distance before running 2nd on three weeks ago. He raced a little ungenerously that day but with slightly better manners here, he will surely take some beating and jockey Masa Tanaka can ride a final- day winner for his second stint in Korea. (6) MENI STAND had a bit of a shocker when sent out as favourite two weeks ago, scarcely being involved and finishing well back in the pack. He’s better than that though and can be given another chance to find the places here. (8) HALLA BLOSSOM remains a maiden but finds himself up in class following back to back runner-up finishes. She looks to have improvement in here and can be competitive at this level. (3) HIGH BEAT also enters of two 2nd place finishes in his latest two outings, in his case both at this class. He should be on the early pace and while he will need to improve if he is to challenge the favourite, can certainly aim for at least a place. A couple of others have minor money chances with (9) GREY KINGDOM perhaps the most credible.
Selections: (2) Joeun Gamun (6) Meni Stand (3) High Beat (8) Halla Blossom
Next Best: 9, 12
Fast Start: 2, 3, 6, 8
Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(6) HWANGGEUM HAE has a win and two runner-up finishes from three starts so far and having run 2nd to the useful looking Legend Storm in the latest of those, surely comes in as favourite for this. He can set up camp close to the pace and should be too strong in the closing stages. (1) PSYCHIC BOSS had a nightmare from start to finish when favourite at class and distance, jumping out awkwardly, failing to get his preferred forward position, and then weakening badly in the home straight. We’ll draw a line through that and from the inside gate, he has a better chance of getting to the front and if he can do that, he surely goes much better. (3) GAROSUGIL was a nice winner on debut at this distance three weeks ago and while this is a significantly stiffer assignment, he can improve himself and be in at least the placing frame here. (4) JEONGSEONG HOLIDAY is also up in class following a maiden score of his own and looks well equipped to be competitive at this level. (5) ROYAL BOKSUNI has plenty of experience at this level and is another in with a shot of the minors.
Selections: (6) Hwanggeum Hae (1) Psychic Boss (3) Garosugil (4) Jeongseong Holiday
Next Best: 5, 10
Fast Start: 1, 3, 4, 6
Race 7: Class 5 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three of these are up in class following last start maiden wins and of them (10) SAENAE SPURT looks well placed to repeat. His win had been coming and he arrived from off the pace to win comfortably over this distance. This is tougher but he can come through it. It looks a more difficult ask for the other two up in class, (1) JEJUI YOJEONG and (11) GOLD PARK, so we will look elsewhere for our principal dangers. (4) BARAMUI MISO and (5) LUCKY MIDAS are the prime candidates with both entering having run 4th in similar strength races to this in their respective last starts. Baramui Miso remains a maiden but is rarely far away and drops back in trip following a decent effort over 1700M three weeks ago. Lucky Midas is another consistent type who we can expect to see on the speed from the start. (9) TANK SOCKS is still lightly raced and after a somewhat surprising maiden win in September has held her own in two efforts at this level. She steps up in trip for the first time today and could make for an interesting outsider.
Selections: (10) Saenae Spurt (4) Baramui Miso (5) Lucky Midas (9) Tank Socks
Next Best: 1, 11
Fast Start: 5, 6, 8, 9
Race 8: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
The favourites have drawn wide here but they can overcome in what is a nice looking handicap over the minimum distance. (11) EAST JET won his first two starts in blistering fashion before tackling the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup over 1200M on November 23rd. He was sent off as second favourite but while he did show briefly at the right end of the race, he ultimately weakened for 6th. He drops back in trip today and looks hard to beat. (10) RAON TAP MAN has a win and two runner-up finishes from his three starts so far. (more…)