Sunday’s racing comes from both Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:40 to 17:05). Here are previews for Seoul with selections for Busan underneath:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A field of twelve three-year-olds line up in the second over the short course. Nine of them are on debut whilst three have had a race start. (3) GREAT KHAN is one of those who have previously raced when finishing second on debut behind Heunghaeng Jilju. On that occasion he lined up against some smart two-year-olds over the 1300m when he sat on speed before being run down. He drops back to the 1000m in this assignment and looks one that can lead throughout. (6) RAON HIGH is another that has previously raced. The Musket Man filly finished third on debut over the 1000m. She overcame a wide draw and ran through the line well to finish third. She was beaten over four lengths but with natural improvement she should be considered an each-way chance at her second start. (5) YONGMARU GU trialed fairly and a forward showing on debut would not surprise. The Federalist colt ran 62.9 seconds in his 1000m trial which is comparatively good looking at his competition. (4) NOKRICHONG comes out of the same race as Raon High where she finished seventh. She can improve and collect some minor money.
Selections (3) Great Khan (6) Raon High (5) Yongmaru Gu (4) Nokrichong
Next Best 10, 11
Fast Start 3, 6
Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
One of the banker favourites of the day goes around here in the shape of (3) UARYUNG. The Testa Matta filly ran a close 2nd on debut at this distance on December 14th in what was a stronger maiden than this. There’s no point in her hanging around here so Song Jae-chul will most likely take her straight to the lead and she will take some beating. (11) NAUI JEONSEOL also showed promise on debut a month ago. That was over 1000M, but he ran on well through the line to finish 3rd and the step up in trip can help him match or build on that today. (2) BEST TAP has hinted at ability across three outings to date and while he was a well-beaten 4th last start, he demonstrated that he can run a time at this distance. (6) ROYAL BLADE improved last time out and steps up to 1300M for the first time having already shown some promise over the 1200M. He can run into some minor money as can (8) J.S. POWER. His 4th last time was in an arguably even weaker affair than today’s, but he seems to be on the right trajectory.
Selections (3) Uaryung (11) Naui Jeonseol (2) Best Tap (6) Royal Blade
Next Best 8, 9
Fast Start 3, 5, 8
Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Several of the runners have claims in the third where a field of twelve Korean-breds line up over the 1300m. (3) AN MOK HANG looks to be one of the main chances that has drawn well for her assignment. The Exploit filly does her best racing when sitting in the leading division, which she did last start when jumping fast from a central drawn and going on to win in this class. She goes up 3.5kg on her last start but one thing’s for sure, if she jumps well, she will look a winning chance at the top of the straight. (11) YEONGGWANGUI BEAT has placed at his two starts this preparation. He lacks early speed but is capable of running home strong. He has drawn awkward once again suggesting punters will be relying on his turn of foot to run in to the money. (12) INDIAN BOSS has the early speed to overcome a wide draw. He has finished third at his past three starts and a win in this type of company would not surprise. (8) FEDERAL KING looks next best and will appreciate stepping back up to the 1300m after a disappointing performance last start when dropped back to the five furlongs.
Selections (3) An Mok Hang (11) Yeonggwangui Beat (12) Indian Boss (8) Federal King
Next Best 6, 1
Fast Start 3, 12
Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
No fewer than four of these are up in class having registered their maiden wins in their respective latest starts. Two of them, (5) LADY KELLY and (6) BIG PLAN did it on debut. Big Plan was the more eye-catching, making all to win by five-lengths, but Lady Kelly was faster and ground out victory in her race by half a length. Both should be more than competitive at this level and both will be on the early speed, with Lady Kelly more favoured at this point. (4) OUR SIMON and (9) CHOEGANGMA are the other two promoted following maiden wins. Choegangma led from gate to wire for an easy score while it was a similar story for Our Simon. It’s hard to choose between the two of them but neither will have such an easy time getting to the front today so the advantage is probably still with Lady Kelly. As for those with prior experience at this level, (3) CHODONG ROSE ran a very good 2nd last start in October and resumes fresh after twelve weeks off while (8) SINBU comes in a class and distance winner for a bang in form stable. Sinbu is another who won’t be able to dictate pace here like he did last time but still warrants respect.
Selections (5) Lady Kelly (4) Our Simon (3) Chodong Rose (8) Sinbu
Next Best 6, 9
Fast Start 3, 4, 5, 6
Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Winning chances look limited in the fifth with the main players drawn wide. US import (10) BEST GUNHAM looks well suited albeit failing to win a race from his nine starts to date. The chestnut maps well in the event with limited speed engaged. He has posted fast times in his past couple of starts and a similar performance will see him go close in this. Prior to last start (1) JEONGJOUI KKUM had been racing well. The four-year-old has won two of his past six starts and finished runner-up on three occasions. His connections elected to stretch him out the 1300m last start and he did not run it out strongly when shortening stride in the straight. His short course form cannot be ignored, and he is favoured by and inside draw and the services of Antonio Da Silva. (12) HWARYONG is a last start winner and did beat the on top selection on that occasion. That was the five-year-old’s first start back since September last year and was penalized 2.5kg for the win. The weight scale is much more even now with the main chances and this will prove tougher for Hwaryoung. (6) WAWA YEOJANGBU hasn’t been too far away at her past couple and whilst she doesn’t win out of turn, can figure in the minors.
Selection (10) Best Gunham (1) Jeongjoui Kkum (12) Hwaryong (6) Wawa Yeojangbu
Next Best 2, 11
Fast Start 4, 8, 10
Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Twelve imported maidens go around the 1300M here and a couple come in looking ready to win. After an indifferent debut, (2) HIDDEN SOCKS was just denied by a nose when favourite on his second try on December 14th. It was at this distance and he didn’t do a huge amount wrong from a wide draw. He’s drawn better today to get to the early speed, and he can go one better. The other standout is (1) SHU LEUB. She’s finished 3rd in both her latest two appearances and steps up to 1300M for the first time today with a career-best finish surely the target. From the inside gate, she too should be aiming to lead from the start. (5) SARYEONI WINNER showed promise when running 4th on debut last month in what was a decent affair over 1000M. She can build on that here. Neither (7) DOLGYEOK APEURO nor (9) J.S. GUNJU especially enjoyed tilts at 1700M and both should be better dropped back in trip today. J.S. Gunju especially looks to have a decent burst of speed about him and could be interesting here.
Selections (2) Hidden Socks (1) Shu Leub (9) J.S. Gunju (7) Dolgyeok Apeuro
Next Best 5, 4
Fast Start 1, 2, 6, 9
Race 7: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
The seventh on the card looks an interesting affair where a case can be made for many of them. (6) CHOIN GANGJA comes out of the Breeder’s Cup when running an admirable fifth behind Roller Blade. The Menifee colt was dominant in both of his wins in restricted class company to date and will appreciate the drop in class in this event. He was ran off his feet early in the feature two-year-old events but should be able to sit closer to the speed. (5) GEUMA ACME ran into trouble last start when missing the kick badly. His form prior was excellent notching three wins in a row including one in this class. (9) MENI SMART has shown ability over a middle distance. The chestnut worked overtime early last start and could only manage sixth in this class. She is only one of two likely pacemakers engaged suggesting she should get an easier run today. (4) SPEED HWANGNYONG sprouted wings late last start to finish second behind Saba kingdom. He traditionally takes some time to find his feet and is likely to be finishing strong once again.
Selections (6) Choin Gangja (5) Geuma Acme (9) Meni Smart (4) Speed Hwangnyong
Next Best 1, 3
Fast Start 9, 10
Race 8: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(5) JEONGSANG BAEKHO has impressed across three starts over shorter distances so far. He’s perhaps a touch fortunate to get another crack at class 4 after a good win over 1300M last start and while that means he’s at the top of the handicap here, the 1700M should suit and he can win again. (3) CHEONNYEONUI BI was a fast winner at this distance last summer. She’s only raced twice since and was a close 5th on the latest of those in November. She’s a slow starter but runs on well. (8) CUTIE BARBIE comes in with form reading that she has won her latest two and that’s technically true but it discounts the fact that she dislodged her jockey at the start of a planned run around this distance on December 14th and continued riderless the whole way around. She is a chance here but will need to improve on her times at lower levels. (7) SUN START and (10) BULGULUI RUNNER came home 2nd and 4th respectively when they raced each other over class and distance on December 15th and both should be in the hunt for places today.
Selections (5) Jeongsang Baekho (3) Cheonneyonui Bi (8) Cutie Barbie (7) Sun Start
Next Best 10, 9
Fast Start 2, 5, 10
Race 9: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
The majority of chances engaged in the ninth appear to be types with a nice turn of foot. (5) DETERMINATION comes out of the Breeder’s Cup when finishing an eye-catching third in the two-year-old feature. He was mighty unlucky in the event when copping a check shortly after the start forcing the colt to settle further back than jockey Masa Tanaka anticipated. He looks a smart type and will appreciate the step up to the 1800m. (10) SMARTY BLUE resumed in great fashion last start when winning at big odds. The Rock Hard Ten gelding has now won four from eleven with three of them over the 1700m. He is a versatile type, he showed that last start when settling well back in contrast to his victories last preparation. (11) GANGSEO EUTTEUM steps up in class after winning a Class 4 last start back in September. The Hansen five-year-old is first up over the 1800m and it will be interesting to see where he settles. (2) CHEON GOE SEONG has saluted in his past three race starts and has been in brilliant form. Kim Yong-Geun has been aboard for all three wins and will pilot the four-year-old once again. He was a ten start maiden before winning his past three.
Selections (5) Determination (10) Smarty Blue (11) Gangseo Eutteum (2) Cheon Goe Seong
Next Best 3, 4
Fast Start 2, 3
Race 10: Class 1 (2000M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
A small field of eight contests the day’s most valuable race, a class 1 handicap over the ten furlongs. (2) SHAMROCKER really deserves to have more than six wins to his name. He usually only runs in Stakes races and has sent his career chasing first Clean Up Joy, then Cheongdam Dokki and Dolkong and latterly Moonhak Chief in the very biggest races, always being competitive. He’s the best horse in this race but he is giving at least 7.5kg to every other in the race and while he will at least place, he might not be able to win. Therefore, it is advantage (5) TIZ PLAN. Shamrocker finished ahead of him at level weights over this distance in the KRA Cup Classic but there was only just over a length between them and with 8kg in hand today, Tiz Plan can win. (1) JANGSAN COWBOY ran 2nd to Tiz Plan when they raced each other over 1800M at the start of December and he can go close again, albeit with four-lengths to make up. (4) ROAD WINNER and (7) ULTRA ROCKET are others with placing chances.
Selections (5) Tiz Plan (2) Shamrocker (1) Jangsan Cowboy (7) Ultra Rocket
Next Best 4, 3
Fast Start 4, 8
Race 11: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
The last on the card looks a wide-open race and it is difficult to suggest who will be sent out favourite. (2) GOLDEN GATE looks one that can take this out with a soft run from a good draw. At his past few starts he looked as if he would appreciate the extra furlong which he gets today. He has been consistent throughout his preparations and gets his chance, most likely at juicy odds. (8) JJANG KONG was sent out well thought of last start and duly saluted. Johan Victoire worked forward on him to sit on speed before he pulled away for a clear victory. The additional 3kg means he will carry 57.5kg making it a challenging task, with some of the main chances getting in significantly better at the weights. (7) SAMSAM VICTORY finished second behind Jjang Kong last start and will carry 4.5kg less than the top weight. The five-year-old looks better suited over a longer distance but still has claims in a competitive event. (4) DAEGUN CHEONHA has been sent out by punters at single figure odds at every career start, showing how consistent the four-year-old has been albeit winning just one of those starts. The four-year-old looks an each-way chance, he has drawn well and carries the featherweight of 51.5kg.
Selections (2) Golden Gate (8) Jjang Kong (7) Samsam Victory (4) Daegun Cheonha
Next best 5, 9
Fast Start 3, 7, 8, 12
Race 1: 1, 11, 9, 3
Race 2: 12, 6, 2, 8
Race 3: 2, 3, 8, 9
Race 4: 5, 6, 2, 1
Race 5: 8, 5, 6, 2
Race 6: 7, 2, 4, 8