Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 5)

There are Sunday cards at both Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:40 to 17:05). Here are the previews, with Seoul first followed by Busan:

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It was a sunny but cold 2020 Opening Day at Seoul on Saturday

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens here with no fewer than seven of the twelve going around for the very first time. Of those with experience, the clear standout is (7) GLORY FIGHTER. The Temple City filly came from off the pace to finish off well on debut over this distance on December 7th. She’ll want further eventually but for the time being, she looks nicely in here and is the one to beat. As for the others who have raced, none particularly caught the eye although (8) WONDERFUL MAGIC found himself on pace early before weakening and may have come on for that run while (2) GREAT WAY never really got going but previously performed adequately in a trial and is another who can improve. As for the first-timers, (5) HEUNG CAPTAIN is the obvious one. He was just beaten a head in a trial last November in a fast time and if he brings that form to the races, has every chance of making a winning start. (6) DREAM PO RE went through a couple of trials and he too posted a competitive looking time two weeks ago.

Selections: (7) Glory Fighter (5) Heung Captain (6) Dream Po Re (8) Wonderful Magic

Next Best: 2, 4

Fast Start: 5, 8, 10, 11

 

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Twelve maidens will line up in the second on the card where the main chances appear to have been dealt wide draws. (12) GOOD WONDER makes her fourth career start and has seemed to improve with each run. The Hawk Wing filly was game last start when getting tired late after leading for the majority of the race. She did exert a lot of energy early in the run, she looks one that will appreciate to set a modest pace or take a sit. (11) SAEROUN BOBAE comes off a second last time out behind Samseong Viva. This looks a weaker assignment and she has each-way claims. She won’t be able to match the early speed so expect her to sit midfield. (1) ONE AND ONLY has posted good times over the five furlongs as she steps up to the 1300M for the first time. The filly has been able to settle just off the speed in her two runs to date and Kim Dong-soo can elect to sit closer if he wishes from the inside draw. (7) HANIL MOA is capable of running into the money after finishing in the top five at her past three starts. She is somewhat one-paced and will need to be in touch with the leading division at the top of the straight.

Selections: (12) Good Wonder (11) Saeroun Bobae (7) Hanil Moa (1) One And Only

Next Best: 9, 6

Fast Start: 3, 12

 

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A pretty ordinary looking maiden featuring a few who do seem likely to make their breakthroughs at some stage. Most likely today is (2) FUTURE FIRE. He’s raced just three times so far, recording a 3rd and a 4th in his most recent two, the latter of which was at this distance. He isn’t the quickest of starters, but he is capable of running on well and he should come out on top today. (11) BOMNALUI GIEOK has shown steady progress over five outings and while his 3rd place at this distance last time out was in an even weaker race than this, he has good scope for more here. If he can overcome the wide draw to get on pace, he will be a factor. (6) NONGBUI SUCHEAHWA was sent off favourite for her latest back in November, She was ultimately a little one-paced and came home in 3rd but she should at least be matching that here. (3) CHEONJI KKOT BARAM and (10) LEGEND WIN, both of whom come in off career-best finishes, are others who warrant consideration.

Selections: (2) Future Fire (11) Bomnalui Gieok (6) Nongbui Sucheahwa (3) Cheonji Kkot Baram

Next Best: 10, 5

Fast Start: 3, 7, 10, 11

 

Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

There is an abundance of speed engaged in the fourth, suggesting they will run the first half of the race in a good time as they sort themselves out. (12) SPEED BIRD was good on debut when winning over the five furlongs. The Kim Hag-soo trained galloper jumped quickly and led all the way clocking a good time for Class 6. Punters can expect another forward ride from Lee Hyeon-jong who partners the colt once again. (6) LUCKY BEOPJEON has been a model of consistency since beginning his racing career in June last year. Although he hasn’t notched his first win yet, he has finished in the top three on four occasions from five starts. He ran third behind Stretto last time out over this distance which reads well for this assignment. (11) SAMSEONG VIVA won over the 1300M last time out in class 6 company. Alan Munro will ride the three-year-old who appreciated sitting on speed last time out. (2) ROYAL GHOST is another looking for her first win. She has seven top four finishes from eight starts and has collected a cheque at her past two starts. From barrier two, she is a big chance to finish in the money once again.

Selections: (12) Speed Bird (6) Lucky Beopjeon (11) Samseong Viva (2) Royal Ghost

Next Best: 4, 5

Fast Start: 1, 5, 6, 9, 12

 

Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Plenty of in-form types clash in this nice-looking handicap. (8) DIA KEY steps up in class and distance following a good maiden win over 1000M on December 7th. He did previously weaken on debut at 1300M a month earlier but ran through the line well when winning and looks ready for the extended trip. (1) LUCKY MYEONGHO also comes up to the 1200M having a win and a runner-up finish, the latter at this class, over 1000M. Both he and Dia Key will be on pace from the start and the winner could come down to the one who sees out the trip better. (2) CHEONJI POKPUNG shouldn’t have too many problems with the distance having already won at further. He comes in off back to back 4th places and can improve on those today. (3) CAMP TOUCH and (7) DAEMA JIPUNG are others in the hunt.

Selections: (8) Dia Key (1) Lucky Myeongho (2) Cheonji Pokpung (3) Camp Touch

Next Best: 7, 12

Fast Start: 1, 8, 11

 

Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A field of twelve fillies and mares will face the starter in the sixth where they will go over the six furlongs. (7) JEOLYE was admirable last start when breaking maiden status. From barrier seven, the Secret Circle filly was never closer than four wide from the rail. She lost considerable ground on the turn before hitting overdrive and going on for a good win. She is penalized 3kg, but she showed last time out that she’s tough. (10) CLEANUP SHINE lines up for her second start after a respectable debut. The Awesome Of Course filly comes out of the Jeolye race where she finished third, beaten just over a length. With a bigger advantage in the weight scale, she can threaten. (4) NALARA HILL is one of the Korean-bred gallopers engaged who has won a couple in the easier grades. She has shown at her last two starts she can be competitive in this grade. She finished fourth last start behind Platinum Euro when one-paced through the line. (1) MOONHAK MISCHIEF finished third behind Mark Story on debut and then was somewhat disappointing at her second start when finishing midfield. She’s drawn well and can bounce back in this event.

Selections: (7) Jeolye (10) Cleanup Shine (4) Nalara Hill (1) Moonhak Mischief

Next Best: 6, 12

Fast Start: 1, 2, 4, 10

 

Race 7: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) JEONGMUN SUMMIT registered two good wins at 1200M and 1000M and was sent off favourite at 1300M on November 24th. From a wide draw and after a bump at the start, he was unable to get to the front and then over raced around the turn before weakening. He’s had eight weeks off since then and the combination of being dropped back to 1000M as well as having drawn the inside gate, should mean we see a much better side of him today. He can lead all the way and win. (12) WHITE COMET ran 2nd to Jeongmun Summit two starts back before recording a resounding win of his own next time out. He steps up in class here and while he has form to overturn on the favourite, he should go close. (5) I AM STAR enters with recent form reading very consistently. He’s not the quickest out of the traps but runs on well and even at this distance is capable of making good ground in the later stages. (4) SAGWARANG and the up in class (8) KING OF SUNDAY look to be the best of a nice and competitive rest.

Selections: (1) Jeongmun Summit (12) White Comet (5) I Am Star (8) King Of Sunday

Next Best: 4, 6

Fast Start: 1, 4, 8, 12

 

Race 8: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

The colts, geldings and entires go over the 1700M in the eighth on the card. (9) HWANGGEUM LUCKY looks a big chance after a much-improved effort when being stretched out to the 1300M last time. He ran on strong to finish second behind Determination who subsequently ran third in the Breeders’ Cup. The colt is a natural backmarker who hits the line with gusto. Expect Alan Munro to let him find his feet on his own terms before being asked from the three-furlong pole. (10) THE GUMPU continues to draw poorly. The Strong Mandate colt was one-paced last time out when finishing fifth behind Rule Breaker. Two starts back he managed to finish second behind Hush Daebo, albeit the winning margin was substantial. US import (8) MIGHTY WING is yet to break maiden status but has collected some good stakes for his connections. The Congrats colt comes off a second behind Achieve last time out which reads well for this race. Kim Dong-soo will jump aboard with his regular rider Tanaka Masakazu departing Korea at the end of 2019. (6) JANGSAN START will step up in distance considerably after finishing third over the six furlongs last start. He hit the line strong coming from well back suggesting the 1700M will be suitable.

Selections: (9) Hwanggeum Lucky (10) The Gumpu (8) Mighty Wing (6) Jangsan Start

Next Best: 7, 5

Fast Start: 8

 

Race 9: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(2) MENI HERO ran out an eight-length winner over 1300M in October which led him to get his chance in the Breeders’ Cup championship juvenile race in early December. He found himself overmatched that day but here is in much more amenable company, even though he does try the 1700M for the first time. His dam held the track record here at 1800M for several years though so that shouldn’t really be much of an issue and he can return to winning ways today. (4) RAON KHAN is the main danger and he has plenty of experience around two turns, registering a win at this distance last summer. He comes in off a 2nd and a 3rd from his latest two and should go very close once more. (9) ROYAL SMARTY is another who has shown good ability at this distance and enters off an impressive 2nd in arguably a tougher race than this on December 8th. (1) STORMY and (5) COLORS KING, the latter up in class after an eye-catching seven-length romp over this trip last month, are others to take into account.

Selections: (2) Meni Hero (4) Raon Khan (9) Royal Smarty (5) Colors King

Next Best: 1, 10

Fast Start: 2, 10

 

Race 10: Class 3 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

There’s plenty of pace engaged in the tenth on the card where they go over the two turns. (1) MIGHTY SOO looks a progressive typ e going forward. The Super Saver colt won successive races in class 4 company before lining up in a two-year-old feature finishing an admirable fifth behind a nice horse in Raon First. Back to restricted company the chestnut should relish the 1700M where he is likely to settle back and do his best work in the home straight. (6) EVER THE CHAMP is a class and distance winner and can bounce back from a disappointing performance last start. The four-year-old carries a manageable 55kg today and Kim Yong-geun stays aboard which is a good sign. (5) LIVINGSTONE is one of the likely leaders and will be in this race for a long time. He has led at his past six starts and has finished in the top three on five of those occasions. He is an honest type and should be included in your novelty investments. (4) EAST KINGDOM has been consistent of late and comes off a last start fifth behind Hush Daebo. The entire has drawn well to suit his racing pattern and should be considered an each-way chance.

Selections: (1) Mighty Soo (6) Ever The Champ (5) Livingstone (4) East Kingdom

Next Best: 3. 7

Fast Start: 3, 5, 6, 9

 

Race 11: Class 1 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

We finally see a class 1 race at Seoul over the mile. Accordingly, only two of these have any experience of the distance. (7) DYNAMIC JILJU, now nine-years-old, began his career at Busan while (5) WINNER GOLD races for the first time since travelling to the South Coast last July when he finished 4th behind Blue Chipper in the Owners’ Cup. Winner Gold won a December trial and while he has to carry 59kg here, has plenty of ability and is a leading contender. The top pick carries almost as much weight. That’s (6) MORFHIS, who beat three of these on his way to a really good win over 1400M at the end of November. He’s won at this class over 1800M too and a mile should suit very nicely. (8) EAST PALOS was beaten by Morfhis in that November race but earlier in the autumn was responsible for two of the fastest times over 1400M of the year. He gets a bit of weight today and can be a real threat. (1) JANGSAN POWER is always dangerous in this kind of company and has placing chances while (2) NASCA PRINCE looks nicely in at the weights and could be the wildcard.

Selections: (6) Morfhis (8) East Palos (5) Winner Gold (1) Jangsan Power

Next Best: 2, 7

Fast Start: 2, 3, 4

 

BUSAN RACECOURSE

Race 1: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

The first of six races kicks off with a Class 5 event where the main chances appear to be drawn wide. (12) ADELE SPIKE comes out of a much tougher event over 1000m where she finished fifth. She was forced to sit three wide for the entire race after her early speed was matched from a couple of horses drawn on the inside of her. She was entitled to get tired in the run home after working overtime. There is limited early speed engaged in this race and she should work forward and prove hard to run down. (11) SHINING EYE backed up her maiden win with a admirable third last time out over the 1300m behind Two Two Fairy. You Hyun-Myung will be legged aboard the filly for the first time and is likely to let her find her feet early as she lacks early dash. (8) PARADIS KING improved last time out when running third over the 1300m. The Hansen four-year-old has never finished closer than third but can collect some minor money. (2) SUPER EAGLE is always doing his best work late and can add some spice to exotics.

Selections (12) Adele Spike (11) Shining Eye (8) Paradise King (2) Super Eagle

Next Best 10, 7

Fast Start 1, 122

 

Race 2: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A field of twelve will face the starter to go over the six furlongs. (4) B.K. VICTOR looks one of the main chances showing that he is capable in this class at his past two runs. The four-year-old clocked a good time behind a handy horse in Kahekili last start when finishing third. From barrier four he will sit in the first three in running. (8) CURLIN TIME hit the line in good fashion last start over the 1000m. The chestnut is a Curlin import from the United States who has placed on three occasions from six career starts. Kim Eu-Soo is likely to let him find his feet and ask for an effort as they straighten up for the run home. (9) SO MUCH GO is another US import looking for his first win. The Street Sense gelding has been thereabouts at all three career starts clocking reasonable times. He is lightly weighted and has Busan’s best hoop aboard in the form of You Hyun-Myung. (1) WINNING POST has been hovering around this class for quite some time and is capable of collecting some minor money.

Selections (4) B.K. Victor (8) Curlin Time (9) So Much Go (1) Winning Post

Next Best 10, 3

Fast Start 4, 9

 

Race 3: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

The third on the card is another event where several of the main chances are drawn wide. (11) TOP DAY returns to restricted class compnay after running out of his skin in the Breeders’ Cup against Korea’s best two-year-olds. The son of Hansen has indicated in his most recent runs he will appreciate the middle distances and he gets that in this assignment with it being the first time he has lined up over the mile. Busan’s leading rider You Hyun-Myung combines with Busan’s leading trainer Kim Young-Kwan making them a formidable force with this talented type. (12) DAEHEUNG SIDAE comes off a superb victory beating some handy types. The four-year-old is well performed over the mile but has to carry the top weight of 57kg. He broke 1:40.0 for the mile last start which will see him go along way in this event. (1) WONDERFUL STORY returned to form last time out at his third start back from a spell. At peak fitness the five-year-old has shown some good ability with nine top three finished from sixteen starts. (10) GANGHAN JILJU has been hitting the line strong recently. From barrier ten he will be forced to settle well back but he can reel off a strong sectional for some minor money.

Selections (11) Top Day (12) Daeheung Sidae (1) Wonderful Story (10) Ganghan Jilju

Next Best 4, 5

Fast Start 7, 12

 

Race 4: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

The fourth race is the highlight of the Busan card where we get to see Doctor Carson line up against Yeongseong Hope, both promising horses with the latter one year older. (1) DOCTOR CARSON looks mighty hard to beat after a good win in the Gyeongnam Domin Ilbo Cup for both the imported and Korean-bred juveniles. The now three-year-old looks the one top beat with just 54kg on his back and the inside draw. (4) YEONGSEONG HOPE has resumed this preparation in amazing order winning all three races since resuming in September. He posted a fast time for the 1300m last time out and with the featherweight of 51kg he looks a big threat. (3) WONDERFUL COUNTRY handled the step up to Class 3 company last time out well with a third behind Speed Fury. The Menifee gelding has an element of versatility about him and can settle forward or back. (6) WINDY PARK has placed at his past two starts in similar company. The six-year-old doesn’t win out of turn with just two wins from thirty-six starts but he is capable of collecting some stakes.

Selections (1) Doctor Carson (4) Yeongseong Hope (3) Wonderful Country (6) Windy Park

Next Best 7, 5

Fast Start 1, 4, 6, 7

 

Race 5: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Twelve runners will line up over 1400m in the fifth event. (4) GWANGHWAMUN SIDAE continued his good form of late with a win last start. His record now stands at five wins from eleven starts. We haven’t seen the Chapel Royal five-year-old since November, connection have elected to target a 1400m race with fressh legs. (6) WONDERFUL LION was out of her depth last time out when lining up in the Jeju Governor’s Cup finishing well back. The Peace Rules filly finished second two starts back behind Glitter. (5) MR KAISER is a previous Class 3 winner and has been thereabouts of late. The now eleven-year-old is always capable of collecting some minor money in the restricted grades. (7) JUSTINE MAGIC ran on well last time out to finish third. It has been quite some time between drinks but the five-year-old should be considered for the novelties.

Selections: (4) Gwanghwamun Sidae (6) Wonderful Lion (5) Mr Kaiser (7) Justine Magic

Next Best 10, 3

Fast Start 4, 6, 9

 

Race 6: Class 1 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

The last on the six-event program is at Class 1 level with quite a few of the gallopers out of form. (2) ROCK HARD SEVEN looks an each way chance based on recent form. He most recently finished second behind Muhan Yeoljoeng, after finishing fifth in the Kookje Shinmun Cup behind the Dubai-bound Baengmunbaekdup. His ideal distance appears to be the 1400m so he looks capable of breaking a long run of outs. (3) MUHAN YEOLJEONG dealt punters a knockout blow last start when winning at his first start back in over six months. The Officer entire carries the same weight as last time out and has drawn well to employ the same tactics that saw him win last time out. (6) PPUDEUT is another that doesn’t win out of turn but can figure. The Kim Bo-Kyung trained galloper has finished third at his passt two starts but has to carry 55kg in this assignment, up 2.5kg on his last start. (11) MAJOR ALPHA drops back significantly to the seven furlongs after racing well over longer journeys. The five-year-old finished fourth in the President’s Cup and backed that up with a fourth behind Master Win last time out.

Selections: (2) Rock Hard Seven (3) Muhan Yeoljeong (6) Ppudeut (11) Major Alpha

Next Best 8, 4

Fast Start 10, 12

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