Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with 13 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A field of twelve Korean-bred three-year-old maidens line up over the 1300m in the first on the card. (10) ALCHAN NURI looks the one to beat coming off a good debut performance. The Federalist gelding flew from the tail of the field to finish second behind High Wonderful. The time was good for this grade and Kim Dong-Soo retains the ride. (7) NAUI SINHWA comes out of a strong form line where he finished fifth behind Lady Kelly who has since gone on and saluted once again. He has drawn slightly better in this event which may result in Kim Jeong-Jun being able to position the three-year-old closer to the speed. (8) DREAM FASHION is another that comes out of a strong race. The Old Fashioned colt was one-paced in the final stages when ending up fifth behind Dia Key. This is easier and he will benefit from the debut run. (3) A TO Z trialed last Friday finishing second in good time. His last run was at the start of December when running fairly over the 1300m. His performances in his trials suggest he can run into the money.
Selections (10) Alchan Nuri (7) Naui Sinhwa (8) Dream Fashion (3) A To Z
Next Best 5, 2
Fast Start 3, 8
Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Competitive race. (11) MIRACLE ICHEON has finished 3rd in both starts so far, both of them over this distance and last time in arguably better company than this. He’s not a fast starter though which may be of some concern but he has run on well both times – just running out of track. If he’s close at the top of the stretch, he should win. If he does leave himself too much to do again, (4) MAD DIVA could be the one to take advantage. She was beaten less than a length on her latest outing over this distance just before Christmas and from gate 4 should be on speed from the start. (5) P.K. DOLPUNG ran well for 4th on his first try at this distance last start and can better from a more favourable draw today. (3) LAST MAGIC steps up to the distance for the first time after a useful 3rd over 1000M a month ago while the solitary debut-maker, (6) TIZ CITY, did nothing wrong in trials and can go well first-up.
Selections: (11) Miracle Icheon (4) Mad Diva (3) Last Magic (5) P.K. Dolpung
Next Best: 6, 9
Fast Start: 3, 4, 5, 8
Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Twelve Korean-bred maidens will go over the 1300m in the third event. (5) EAST CHAMP had his first go over 1300m last time out when finishing fourth behind Strong Red. The Ecton Park colt finished less than two lengths behind the winner last time out and this looks an easier assignment. (7) KOREA DAEJANGBU comes out of the same race where finishing fifth. The four-year-old is still looking for his first win after ten starts but he has run some reasonable races. (8) SPECIAL AGAIN maps to settle in the second half of the field and produce her turn of foot late. The filly will get the services of Alan Munro for the first time which is a positive. (6) SANARAE handed in her best career performance to date last time out when second behind Best Lucky. The Any Given Saturday filly ran only a fair time and will need to find a few lengths to be considered a winning chance.
Selections (5) East Champ (7) Korea Daejangbu (8) Special Again (6) Sanarae
Next Best 3, 4
Fast Start 6
Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(6) SAENAE SPURT recorded his maiden win at this distance in November and then ran a very good 2nd on his first try at this class on December 22nd. He comes from just off the pace with a good turn of foot and he could well be returning to the winner’s circle here. (11) GEOMPO’s maiden win last start had been coming and he made all to win very handily over 1000M. He’s up in class today but has already performed well at 1300M. He is a front-runner so the draw isn’t ideal but if he can get to the front then he has claims. (1) DASHING CANOE has proven competitive at this class. She goes well back at the start and her manners have been an issue but she could well run into some prize money late on. (8) MONEY SILK remains a maiden but is up in class following back to back runner up finishes and should be competitive from on the pace. (10) LUCKY MIDAS was 4th behind Saenae Spurt last time out and can aim to match that today.
Selections: (6) Saenae Spurt (11) Geompo (8) Money Silk (1) Dashing Canoe
Next Best: 10, 3
Fast Start: 8, 10, 11
Race 5: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
There is a severe lack of exposed form in the fifth where they will line up over the short course. (4) DANGCHAN BARAM appears to start favourite after finishing second behind Our Simon last time out. The filly crossed from barrier twelve to sit on speed and clock a good time for this grade. With the better draw today she should take up the running and prove hard to run down. (11) DREAM GIRLS will line up for her second start after a fair performance on debut. She ran through the line one-paced but she will benefit from the run and can figure in the money in this assignment. (5) SPEED GO qualified with a fair performance over the 1000m. She clocked 63.5 seconds for the 1000m but can improve on the trial when not over-exerted. (10) UNBREAKABLE looks next best after finishing seventh in the same race that Dangchan Baram comes out of as well. The Colors Flying filly looks to sit midfield in the event and appears one that can add some value to the novelties.
Selections (4) Dangchan Baram (11) Dream Girls (5) Speed Go (10) Unbreakable
Next Best 1, 7
Fast Start 4
Race 6: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Good race with all but three tackling the mile for the very first time. (5) BEST EVER was just beaten a nose at class and distance on December 15th having led for much of the way around. That came off the back of a very nice win over 1300M a month previously. He won’t necessarily lead here as there are a few with good early speed but he has a big chance. (1) DAE BYEONHWA ran 3rd in that race, four-lengths behind Best Ever. That continued a run of good form which has included a couple of near-misses in strong company. He’ll sit behind the lead and finish strongly. (6) WONDERUL TRUTH is one of those likely to be on the early pace. While she has been found wanting in Graded company, she can certainly mix it with this lot and should play a role in the finish. Those are the three with experience at the trip and they are favoured but among those taking on a mile for the first time, (8) DEOBUREO SOOP and (9) GEUMA KINGDOM look best equipped to challenge.
Selections: (5) Best Ever (6) Wonderful Truth (1) Dae Byeonhwa (9) Geuma Kingdom
Next Best: 8, 3
Fast Start: 3, 4, 6, 10
Race 7: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
A highly competitive Class 5 event awaits punters in the seventh. (9) ALL BAEK was an impressive winner on debut when justifying a $1.20 quote. The Hansen filly blew her competition away with the margin between her and the second horse a staggering eight lengths. She lines up over the same journey again, Ham Wan-Sik will be hoping for a clean break to allow him to work forward early. (11) JOEUN GAMUN looks to have another win in him in the near future. The Federalist gelding has been expensive for straight out punters at his past two starts being sent out in the red. He is another speedster so expect Alan Munro to work forward early but he may not be able to cross All Baek. (2) HIGH WONDERFUL opened her winning account at her second start over the 1000m. She managed to find the lead from gate nine and ran away for a good victory. This is tougher but her last performance was good. (3) MASEONG TUHON backed up her maiden win with a respectable third behind Complete Kingdom last time out. She is drawn ideally to park just behind the speed and hit the line strong.
Selections (9) All Baek (11) Joeun Gamun (2) High Wonderful (3) Maseong Tuhon
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11
Race 8: Class 4 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
The banker favourite of the day goes around here. (1) EOMA EOMA was sensational on debut on December 14th, making all to win by nine-lengths. He was only half a second outside the track record for the 1000M despite being eased in the last half furlong. He is up in trip today but the Algorithms colt is extremely well thought of and it would be a big surprise if he were to be beaten here. (7) CLEAN UP BELLA was the horse who got closest to Eoma Eoma in that debut last month. He’s run twice now, ending up as runner-up both times and he looks best placed to complete an unwanted hat-trick here. (2) SHARK JJANG was a good winner over this distance a month ago and can be in the placing hunt while (3) GOLDEN SERVICE and (5) GLOBAL LUCKY are others who can find the money. It’s hard to see any of them challenging the favourite though.
Selections: (1) Eoma Eoma (7) Clean Up Bella (2) Shark Jjang (3) Golden Service
Next Best: 5, 9
Fast Start:1, 5, 6, 7
Race 9: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
There is a host of chances in the ninth with plenty of in-form gallopers to go over the 1300m. (8) K N ROAD looks the one to beat after his consistent performances in the two-year-old features. The Old Fashioned colt is back in restricted company and if can produce a similar performance to his last start when second in the Breeder’s Cup he should win. We have seen disappointments come out of the Breeder’s Cup but punters should be able to rely on this promising type. (3) RAON TOUGH MAN is looking for three wins from as many starts. The Musket Man colt won by an impressive six lengths last start over this distance. This is his toughest test to date but he looks well weighted in the race. (6) MASEONG JILJU ran a good race last start when second behind Blade Storm lumping 57kg. The performance bumps him into Class 4 company but he looks a light weight chance with just 52kg on his back. (9) NUNBUSIN HANSEN has won two from three career starts and should not be discounted. Song Jae-Chul takes over from Kim Yong-Geun and is likely to sit on speed in a race that looks messy as there are so many engaged with early speed.
Selections (8) K N Road (3) Raon Tough Man (6) Maseong Jilju (9) Nunbusin Hansen
Next Best 11, 4
Fast Start 3, 6, 9
Race 10: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(1) CHOEGANG TEAM won his first two in fine style before finishing runner-up to Champion Juvenile Roller Blade in both the Munhwa Ilbo and Nonghyup Chairman’s Cups. A setback in his training meant that he missed the Breeders’ Cup race at Busan in early December but he returns here and with no Roller Blade to deny him, should get back to winning ways. He will be the prohibitive favourite and is very hard to oppose. Filly (2) DOKBO CHEONHA looks second best. She’s finished no worse than 3rd in four outings to date and shouldn’t have any problems with stepping up slightly in trip today. She’ll challenge Choegang Team for the early lead and can push him all the way around. (7) MENI CHAMP looks promising too and comes in off a solid 2nd over 1300M a month ago and is another who will look to get to the front early on. (6) HAEDEULMOE and (10) MONEY ZIF best of the rest.
Selections: (1) Choegang Team (2) Dokbo Cheonha (7) Meni Champ (10) Money Zif
Next Best: 6, 5
Fast Start: 1, 2, 3, 7
Race 11: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
On a program full of competitive racing, this appears the exception with only a few chances in the event. (9) GOK MA DAN was impressive last start when showing a good turn of foot over this distance. The penny appears to have dropped with four-year-old and his conviction shown in the last couple of furlongs last start was good enough to put him on top. (7) CHEONNYEONUI GODO is still chasing that elusive maiden win after eleven attempts. He finished second behind Gok Ma Dan last time out and rises in class as well. He will appreciate the drop in weight and can run into the money once again. (11) MANE HANA has performed better when settling off the speed of late. He showed the ability to reel off a good sectional over a middle distance last time out. (6) DAL SUNI has previously ran some fair races over this distance and is capable of collecting a minor cheque.
Selections (9) Gok Ma Dan (7) Cheonnyeonui Godo (11) Mane Hana (6) Dal Suni
Next Best 12, 10
Fast Start 7, 8
Race 12: Class 1 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
Very tricky class 1 puzzle to solve here. We’ll side with the up and comer though. (9) HEUK JEONSA has won six out of ten career starts and he four-year-old Flat Out colts takes his chance at the top level for the first time. Accordingly, he is very nicely weighted over a distance at which he has won twice already and he can make it three in a row here. At the other end of the weights is (3) SAMSEONG BULPAE. He’s highest rated in the race and was a class and distance winner in October before running 2nd on his final start last term. The weight is potentially an issue but he has enough class to overcome it. (2) SUN LIGHTING has returned to some semblance of form of late and was just a node behind Samseong Bulpae last start so has to come into the equation today. Also returning to form last time out was (10) GANGTOMA, who steps back up in trip after running 2nd to Sky Bay over 1400M in December and he has claims here. (8) ULTRA PUNCH the best of a competitive rest.
Selections: (9) Heuk Jeonsa (3) Samseong Bulpae (10) Gangtoma (2) Sun Lighting
Next Best: 8, 4
Fast Start: 2, 8, 9
Race 13: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
The toughest race awaits punters in the last event on the thirteen race card. We look like we are seeing the development of a nice horse in the form of (4) LEGEND STORM. The Officer colt has recorded three wins from four starts. At his most recent start he annihilated a Class 4 field when ridden hands and heels by Park Tae-Jong. The 1400m will be ideal and barrier four allows jockey Park to roll forward soon after they jump. The race appears to have plenty of early speed engage, if they go like scalded cats it will enhance the chance of (7) DORAON NALRI. The six-year-old entire has placed at his past three starts all over this distance. He is one of those back markers that needs a perfect timed run to win and that is why he has won just the once from twenty-four starts. (5) CHARLIE STYLE was impressive last start when saluting in good time in Class 4 company. The Adios Charlie colt can sit behind the speed and be produced at the top of the straight by Song Jae-Chul who was aboard last start. (12) LORD BAN is not without a winning chance in this event. He was a good winner last start and gets in well with just the 51kg. Cases can be made for (2) DAEGUN BULPAE, (8) CATS MIRACLE, (9) MEOTJIN WANGJA and (10) EONEU MEOTJIN NAL in a very competitive race but we can’t include them all!
Selections (4) Legend Storm (7) Doraon Nalri (5) Charlie Style (12) Lord Ban
Next Best 9, 10
Fast Start 2, 4, 5, 9, 12