Month: January 2020

Fifth Korea Cup & Korea Sprint Set For Sunday September 13 in Seoul

The 2020 Korea Cup and Korea Sprint will be run at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday September 13. This year’s editions will be the fifth running of the races, both of which boast a purse of 1 Billion Korean Won.

Moonhak Chief

Moonhak Chief won the fourth running of the Korea Cup (Pic: KRA)

In the previous four runnings, the interntational invitational Korea Cup and Korea Sprint have featured horses trained in the USA, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE, France, Great Britain and Ireland. The 2019 Cup was won by Korean Horse of the Year Moonhak Chief while the Sprint went to Blue Chipper, who went on to finish 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita.

On the domestic front, the Triple Crown kicks off on April 5th with the KRA Cup Mile at Busan. The Korean Derby is at Seoul on May 10th with the Korean Oaks run one week later at Busan on May 17th. The final jewel in the Crown is the Minister’s Cup at Seoul on June 14th while the fillies who have gone the Triple Tiara route have the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup, also in tha capital, on June 21st.

After the Oaks, Busan’s next most valuable race, the Mayor’s Cup, won in 2019 by Dolkong, is in its usual position on the last Sunday in June.

Big autumn features the KRA Cup Classic and President’s Cup are both in their traditional spots in early October and November respectively, while the season finale Grand Prix Stakes will have its thirty-ninth running take place on Sunday December 13. All three are at Seoul.

Two new Listed races are on the calender at Busan, both named after horses who were stars of the early years of Busan Racecourse. The Luna Stakes will be run over a mile on April 26th while on September 27th, the Areumdaun Jilju Stakes will take place at 1200M. They will be the first races in Korea to be named in honour of past racehorses.

The first Listed race of the season is the Segye Ilbo Cup at Seoul this coming Sunday January 19. The first Group race is the SROA Chairman’s Cup (KOR G3) on March 15.

The full 2020 calender will be posted on the official KRA website soon. In the meantime, racegoers should be aware that there is no racing at any of the tracks in Korea on the weekend of January 24/25/26 due to the Lunar New Year holiday.

 

Today & Baengmunbaekdap To Race Each Other At Dubai World Cup Carnival Meeting Thursday

Today and Baengmunbaekdap will both make their Dubai World Cup Carnival debuts on Thursday. The Kim Young-kwan trained pair line up against one another in Race 5 on the Meydan card, a Dirt Handicap over 1600M.

today

Today (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

With the Dubai handicapper having assessed both at a mark of 98, Today and Baengmunbaekdap look nicely in, getting 3kg from top weighted Thegreatcollection. Second highest rated in the race is Ambassadorial, who ran 3rd in last September’s Korea Cup in Seoul before ending an also-ran in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita in November.

Godolphin are well represented as usual and their relatively unexposed four-year-old Dubai Icon, a winner of three straight races in the UK last year, can be a danger while Doug Watson’s Midnight Sands has won three in a row at Meydan.

Even in Korea, few could confidently say which of the pair is the better. They last met in the Listed Kookje Shinmun Cup over 1400M at Busan in November when Baengmunbaekdap – a 20/1 chance – ran out the three-length winner ahead of the odds-on favourite Today.

That was Baengmunbaekdap’s most recent start. He ran (a very distant) 2nd to Blue Chipper in the Owners’ Cup at a mile in July but struggled on all three of his trips to Seoul in 2019, albeit at longer distances, including 7th behind Ambassadorial in the Korea Cup. Today rounded out his season by finishing 4th in the Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul in December.

Today began his career as very much a sprinter, winning ten of his first twelve starts and running 3rd in the KRA Trophy at Kranji in Singapore in 2018. Since then he has been up and down the distances with his most recent win being at 2000M last January. He then didn’t race again until September and the Korea Sprint.

Baengmunbaekdap

Baengmunbaekdap (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Both Baengmunbaekdap and Today are very solid horses and while neither are superstars, they perhaps won’t need to be in order to at least be competitive here. If either one runs to their best, a place finish is a realistic target. Pat Cosgrave, who won on Main Stay for Korea at the Carnival in 2017, as well as partnering both Triple Nine and Power Blade to good finishes, will ride Baengmunbaekdap, while Dane O’Neill will be aboard Today.

As for Blue Chipper, a stablemate of both Today and Baengmunbaekdap, it is hoped that he will return to full work next week following a bout of travel sickness. If things go to plan, The Godolphin Mile is his target, while the Korea Sprint winner also holds an entry for The Riyadh Dirt Sprint, a 1200M race on the undercard of the Saudi Cup.

The race is Race 5, Mina, on Thursday evening’s Carnival card at Meydan with a post time of 20:50 Dubai time (1:50am Friday morning in Korea). See www.emiratesracing.com for more information.

 

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 12)

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:

Start

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. (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 11)

Saturday sees a bumper 13-race card at Seoul runing from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

(단신2) 출발 참관 프로그램 (2)

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A maiden to kick things off with only two of the twelve having raced more than once. Both will be contenders here as both showed improvement on their respective second appearances. (5) CLAY WINNER ran 2nd on his second appearance at the end of November, well beaten by a very good winner but nonetheless showing he has plenty of ability himself. The Hansen colt is not a natural front-runner but can find a handy position here and finish sternly. (1) RAON BLOOD was a touch more impressive when 3rd on her second start just before Christmas. She will be expected to lead here and is the slight pick to hold on all the way. (4) SONGAM TIZ did absolutely nothing on debut back last September. He was put away after that and looked a completely different horse when returning to win a trial just last week. He made all and assuming he didn’t leave his race back in that trial, he’s well drawn to be on speed here and he can have serious claims. (9) MISS ELITE and (12) GWANGYA SIDAE are others who should be going close.

Selections: (1) Raon Blood (4) Songam Tiz (5) Clay Winner (12) Gwangya Sidae

Next Best: 9, 11

Fast Start: 1, 4, 11

 

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million 

A field of twelve maiden fillies will line up over the short course in the second. (8) HANSEN CHOICE lines up for her third career start coming off some promising performances. At her first start she lined up in a strong two-year-old event, when settling in the leading division and finishing second. She was slightly disappointing at her second start when finishing fourth, she lost considerable ground when taking the turn for home before running on strong once again. (6) CUPID BISANG is considered a winning chance. The Thunder Moccasin filly finished second to K Top King on debut in a two-year-old event, who has since gone on and saluted again. (2) SHINE FIGHTER lines up for her third start coming off some solid performances. The Rock Hard Ten filly has sat on speed in her runs to date and is drawn well to do so once again. (4) BIG RIVER didn’t appear ready for the 1300m at her second start but handed in a good performance on debut when third over the 1000m.

Selections (8) Hansen Choice (6) Cupid Bisang (2) Shine Fighter (4) Big River

Next Best 12, 3

Fast Start 2, 8

 

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

A weak maiden gives a chance to a number who otherwise wouldn’t look likely to get a win. (9) GOLD FIELD is one of those. She’s been hovering on the verge of a place in recent starts, all of which have been in stronger company than this. She is a front-runner and taking the initiative here may be enough to see her home on top today. (8) FLYING THOR and (10) DONGJJOK GLORY will be two others who challenge for the early lead. Both have hinted at ability across their four starts apiece and both have top jockeys engaged today. (12) THE BEAST has a great name and began his career promisingly enough with back to back 4th place finishes. His latest two at this distance haven’t been great but again, they have been in better races than this and he should improve. (2) A.P. PATEK went back to trial after his last start five weeks ago. He looked much better in his heat and is another who can show more today.

Selections: (9) Gold Field (2) A.P. Patek (12) The Beast (10) Dongjjok Glory

Next Best: 8, 7

Fast Start: 8, 9, 10, 11

 

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

There appears a lack of speed in the fourth event on the card where a field of twelve will line up over the 1300m. (6) SAENAE CHOICE comes out of a set weights two-year-old event where she ran second to Big Plan. Whilst she found one better on the day, she stretched out nicely holding off the remainder of the field. This looks a winnable assignment, with limited speed drawn on the inside off her this will allow Antonio Da Silva to roll forward on the Simon Pure filly. (3) BIANCA has finished in the money at her past few starts and is capable of a forward showing in this event. The Hansen filly is likely to sit just off the speed with a better draw. She was forced to spend too much petrol early on last start. (12) GOSOK PEDAL can improve on his most recent effort. The colt worked forward last start before being run down in the straight. Kim Yong-Geun jumps aboard for the first time, expect a positive ride from an awkward draw. (1) COMPLETE MOTION looks best of the rest and may add some value to your exotics.

Selections (6) Saenae Choice (3) Bianca (12) Gosok Pedal (1) Complete Motion

Next Best 2, 11

Fast Start 3, 6, 12

 

Race 5: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Wide open handicap here and while (9) MONEY CHAMP remains a maiden, he’s been promoted to this class on the back of consecutive runner-up finishes behind good horses. The times he has run in those defeats are likely to be more than competitive at this level and he could well be the one to beat. (1) WONDERFUL HENNESSY comes in fresh here for her first start since September. She’s proven herself a threat at this level with two 3rd place finishes and from the inside gate is likely to be on pace from the start with solid claims to go all the way. (4) WIN BLADE was 5th last start in a better race than this and should go close again while (5) GIVEN RUNNER too has been competing in stiffer company of late and is capable of running the kind of time necessary to win here. (11) CHEONEUN JJANG rounds out the most credible contenders. She led last time over 1300M, weakening late on, and may appreciate the drop back in trip today.

Selections: (9) Money Champ (1) Wonderful Hennessy (4) Win Blade (11) Cheoneun Jjang

Next Best: 5, 2

Fast Start: 1, 3, 4, 11

 

Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

There appears plenty of early speed engaged in the sixth on the card. (8) GEUMSUNI STAR has been ultra-consistent of late filling a top four position at his past four starts. He drops back to the 1300m for the first time in August. His record over the 1300m has been good in the past. Lee Hyeon-Jong is promising rider who is likely to urge his mount forward in the early stages. (6) TIZ ROSE is one of those early speedsters who looks to map on speed. She has ran promising races at her past two starts finishing third on both occasions behind some progressive types. With the departure of Masa Tanaka Park Byeong-Yun picks up the ride. (2) CHEONHA YEOJE finished second behind East Jet two starts back and can bounce back after a disappointing performance last start. (1) GLORY VERN showed improvement last time out when finishing second in a time considered good for this grade. Johan Victoire is likely to kick up and use gate one to his advantage. (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 10)

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with 11 races from 11:30 TO 18:00. Here are the previews:

RH7_4326

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

Twelve maiden fillies will line up in the first on Busan’s eleven race card. (12) YEONGGWANGUI KISS resumes after seven months away from racing. The lightly raced four-year-old has had just four starts yielding three top five finished including a last start second behind Kahekili. She has been in work since September so she will be fit, You Hyun-Myung trialed her in November and sticks with her for her first-up run which looks a good sign. (4) AMAZING GIRL comes off a last start fourth at her second career start. The Simon Pure filly settled well back before showing a solid turn of foot. Ideally she may be able to sit closer in the run with a good draw. (2) SPICE CANDY was good on debut when third behind Adele Spike. The form lines read well with Adele Spike since winning again in stronger company. (5) HAPPY SECRET ran through the line well last time on debut. She looks one to follow as she is stretched out to a longer journey, but she is still capable of finishing in the money.

Selections (12) Yeonggwangui Kiss (4) Amazing Girl (2) Spice Candy (5) Happy Secret

Next Best 10, 7

Fast Start 2, 12

 

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A second bunch of maiden fillies go around here, three of the twelve racing for the very first time. (5) THUNDER GO may only have finished 7th of 12 on debut a month ago but the time she recorded and the caliber of opposition that she faced was superior to anything here. Accordingly, she probably won’t need to improve very much off that run to come home on top today. Kim Cheol-ho can put her on speed from the start and she’s the one to beat. The second fastest time in the race belongs to (8) TOP LUCKY, a filly who has shown promise across two starts to date as well as winning a trial. She may want a bit further in terms of distance but should have enough about her to run into some money here. The only one of the field to have a top three finish to her name is (9) DALLAE. She achieved that when 3rd on debut on December 6th. The time wasn’t fast but she did nothing wrong and Seo Seung-un on board today can only be to her benefit. (1) KEUN LUV and (4) SHANGHAI MINT are others with the potential to improve.

Selections: (5) Thunder Go (9) Dallae (8) Top Lucky (4) Shanghai Mint

Next Best: 1, 12

Fast Start: 2, 5, 9

 

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

 The third has a field of inexperienced three-year-olds to line up over the short course. The trial of (8) WONDER BLADE is worth watching as he lines up for his first career start. The Menifee colt ran a good time for his trial on that particular day and there looked to be more in the tank. He finished second behind Doraonpyeongson in the trial, when running through the line in good fashion. (11) YEONGGWANGUI EAGLE debuted last start when finishing third behind First Moccasin in a handy two-year-old event. You Hyun-Myung takes over the riding responsibilities but will have to overcome the outside draw. The now three-year-old is a winning chance and is likely to take improvement out of his debut. (4) DOCTOR GREY posted a good time last start when finishing fifth behind K.B. Boss. The Old Fashioned colt need to improve to be a winning chance but is definitely one to consider in your wider selections. (5) ACE JACKPOT is the most experienced runner in the race with five runs under her belt. She placed last start behind Wild Geranium when getting ran down in the home straight. She has drawn well to sit on speed once again.

Selections (8) Wonder Blade (11) Yeonggwangui Eagle (4) Doctor Grey (5) Ace Jackpot

Next Best 9, 2

Fast Start 5, 11

 

Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens and we’re set to have a red-hot favourite here in the shape of (1) MASTER BELLA. She’s finished in 3rd place in both her starts so far beating a couple of these along the way and registering good times in the process. She won’t necessarily lead from the start here but can set up camp just behind the early speed and should be too strong in the later stages of the race. (10) QUEEN GRACE also beat a couple of these on debut – the same pair in fact that Master Bella took down – back in November when finishing a good 2nd. She’s not raced since but the Bart Rice trainee looks nicely in for a good return today. The two horses who both the two favourites have beaten are (3) NORTHERN DREAM and (6) JINJU SARANG. Expect both to be close once more and competing for the places. (8) KING BROTHER debuted over 1300M two weeks ago and while he took an age to get going, he showed a bit of speed late on and this looks the kind of race he can improve in.

Selections: (1) Master Bella (10) Queen Grace (3) Northern Dream (6) Jinju Sarang

Next Best: 8, 7

Fast Start: 3, 9, 10

 

Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

 Another field of three-year-old colts and fillies line up in the fifth. (11) GREAT GO looks one that can go close after a good performance on debut. The Chapel Royal filly finished fourth in a much stronger race taken out by Golden Winner who has gone on and won since. She lacked early speed in her first start but reeled off one of the faster sectionals in the race. Park Jae-I is likely to let her find her own feet once again with a wide draw. (3) MAN OF THE WORLD lines up for his fourth start coming off a last start second behind K.B. Boss. The colt has drawn ideally to sit on speed once again and take some running down. (5) VERRA DAY has been sent out fancied at his past two starts and hasn’t managed to place. The chestnut will be able to sit just off the speed in this event and run through the line strong. (7) GOOD THUNDER has been unwanted in the market at his two career starts to date. He needs to improve to be considered a winning chance but can collect a cheque.

Selections (11) Great Go (3) Man Of The World (5) Verra Day (7) Good Thunder

Next Best 6, 10

Fast Start 3, 5

 

Race 6: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(1) AMORIS keeps managing to dodge the winner’s circle but enters off a very consistent run having finished 2nd or 3rd in each of her last five attempts. She’s beaten a few of these along the way as well and from the inside gate will be well positioned to run on strongly. She surely gets another top three finish but should she fall short once more, it (more…)

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:

20200104_175224.jpg

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. (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 4)

2020 at Seoul Racecourse gets underway on Saturday with 13 races from 10.45 to 18.00. Here are the previews:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

The first to kick off Saturday’s proceedings has a field of twelve maidens to face the starter. In a race that appears to have limited chances, (4) DAHAENGIDA gets a good opportunity to break through at his fourth career start. The three-year-old improved last time out when second behind Best Gundan in one of our stronger 2yo events. Johan Victoire was aboard last time out and retains the mount. (3) BARBELL is one that can improve on his debut effort when midfield over the five furlongs. The Old Fashioned gelding dropped the bit in the middle stages of the run but managed to hit the line fairly and pass a few in the run home. (7) WANGINHAENGCHA comes out of a relatively strong 2yo event where the chestnut finished seventh. Whilst beaten a considerable distance this looks a much easier assignment. (12) My Member managed to run into some minor money last time out and can do so again if Park Tae-Jong can negate the wide draw.

Selections: (4) Daehaengida (3) Barbell (7) Wanginhaengcha (12) My Member

Next Best: 8, 2

Fast Start: 6, 7

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Quite a useful maiden here but we’re likely to have a strong favourite in the shape of (10) LUXURY CAPTAIN. After an ordinary debut, he ran a solid 2nd on his reappearance in late November at this distance and won’t need to improve by very much in order to win here. (5) ANYANG JAGUAR is much more experienced but also seems to be heading on the right trajectory. All nine of her starts so far have been over the 1000M but she’s run on strongly for good finishes in her latest two and stepping her up in trip today seems the prudent course of action. (7) RUFFIAN PARK has hinted at ability across three outings so far and looks to have more improvement in him. (6) TERRA SPEED and (11) ROYAL CHUKBOK are others in at least the placing hunt.

Selections: (10) Luxury Captain (5) Anyang Jaguar (7) Ruffian Park (11) Royal Chukbok

Next Best: 6, 3

Fast Start: 3, 4, 6, 8

 

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

The three-year-olds line up in the third with all of them looking for their first win. (2) BAEKSAN THUNDER finished second last time out over the five furlongs and looks one that will appreciate the step up to the 1300m. She settled in the leading division last start before running through the line well going down less than a length to Lady Kelly. The form line she brings to the race looks superior to her opponents. Johan Victoire looks a strong chance to take up the lead and not be caught in a race that lacks early speed. (11) WILD WOODS has finished close up at his first two career starts. He managed to display a nice turn of foot over the short course and is another that will appreciate the longer distance. In contrast, (5) TOP SEED was debuted over the 1300m where he finished fourth behind Wang Taeng I. He looks one of the backmarkers in this event but can rocket home late to collect a cheque. (6) BRAVO GWACHEON is another that has finished close up at his two starts to date, but his times have been slower than the selections ahead of him. Kim Yong-Geun rides the Peace Rules colt for the first time.

Selections: (2) Baeksan Thunder (11) Wild Woods (5) Top Seed (6) Bravo Gwacheon

Next Best: 1, 3

Fast Start: 1

 

Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Fillies and mares only here and plenty of them enter with encouraging recent form. The best-looking form though belongs to (8) VIRTUS. She made all when registering her maiden win at this distance in October before running a close 2nd in a tougher race than this on her first try at this class six weeks ago. She should be on pace from the start here and she may well take some beating. (1) SINGGEUREOUN TIME was 6th behind Virtus last time out but such were the tight margins in that race, it meant she was only just over a length in arrears and can be one of the principal dangers today. (9) POWER TOWER steps up in trip for the first time following three very creditable runs over 1000M including her maiden win by a neck in October. She ran on strongly enough last start and the additional furlong and a half should pose few problems. (5) MASYA remains a maiden following nineteen attempts but is more than capable of finding the money in this company. (10) BARAMUI MISO looks best of the rest.

Selections: (8) Virtus (9) Power Tower (1) Singgeureoun Time (5) Masya

Next Best: 10, 6

Fast Start: 4, 8, 9, 12

 

Race 5: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It’s fair to say no champions will emerge from the fifth event with plenty of these well tried. (11) DAEGIRI is the on top selection with very little confidence. The lightly raced five-year-old managed to finish midfield last time out over the same journey when disappointing. The start prior he finished second and showed he can run out the 1700m in reasonable fashion. Lee Gang-Seo jumps back into the saddle which is a plus as he has been aboard for the galloper’s better performances. (6) FIRST THUNDER is an eighteen-start maiden but managed to show a good turn of foot last time out. The Thunder Moccasin entire is likely to settle midfield in the race and will be pasing a few in the run home. (8) GREEN PARK is another that has had plenty of start yielding little success. The mare ran home well in a similar race last time out to finish third behind Penumbra. (1) CHAMP QUEEN can improve at her second start back from a lengthy spell. She ran into some minor money last time out when fifth behind Sanae Spurt.

Selections: (11) Daegiri (6) First Thunder (8) Green Park (1) Champ Queen

Next Best: 5, 2

Fast Start: 11

 

Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(6) GEUMA SUPREME’s solitary victory to date came at this distance way back in April last year and she returned to the 1700M, as well as to form, when running 2nd on November 24th. That was a very similar strength race to this one and while is the slight top weight, there’s a reason for that and he can come from just off the pace to win here. The main danger is (4) TAP MUSIC. He too is a winner at the distance and is also coming back into form with a 2nd place last time out. He’ll come from a little further back but should run on well and has a winning chance. (1) SINGSING JANGSU is a touch inconsistent but while a previous crack at this distance didn’t go especially well, he has (more…)