Champion mare Silver Wolf will get her 2020 campaign underway at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. The eight-year-old Australian-bred will face ten rivals as she seeks to win the Listed Donga Ilbo Cup for a third time. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. Here are the previews with Busan selections at the bottom:
Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
We start the day with twelve three-year-old maidens and several look in with a shout. (4) TIZ BLACK is the pick, having run a solid 2nd on debut on January 12th over 1000M just beaten a couple of lengths by a good winner. He came from just behind the pace and the additional distance should suit here. It should also suit (8) LONG GUY. He missed the kick by a full three-lengths on his own debut a month ago over 1300M but rallied nicely to run 3rd. He should have come on for that run and with a better start today will be right in the mix. (2) HYPER CAR has raced twice and improved in the latest of those finishing 3rd at 1300M last month. (10) GANGHAN YEOJEONGSA was a much-improved 2nd on what was her fourth start on January 17th and is stretched out to further than the minimum for the first time today with solid claims to go close. She was ridden on pace for the first time that day and after that success surely will be again along with (5) BAEKSAN THUNDER, who did weaken over 1300M last start but can be given another chance today.
Selections (4) Tiz Black (8) Long Guy (2) Hyper Car (10) Ganghan Yeojeonsa
Next Best 5, 3
Fast Start 5, 10
Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
There is no standout in the second on the card but what makes the race even trickier is the lack of speed engaged. Form analysts should watch the trial replay of (7) PARAN WANGJA who won his heat with ease. The Divine Park colt sat on speed before extending under his own steam with Kim Dong-soo letting the horse do it all himself. Rider Kim will partner him for his first start, and he looks capable of sitting on speed and proving hard to run down. (11) CUPID BISANG clocked a quick time for this grade last start when hitting the line strong. The Thunder Moccasin filly was unlucky at the start when copping a squeeze shortly after they jumped and being shuffled out to the tail of the field. The filly recovered for a good 4th and if she has some luck in this race can be considered a winning chance. (2) SEOUL CROWN ran through the line strong last start. He should get every opportunity from barrier two. (1) CHEONGDAM CURLING comes out of the same race as Seoul Crown and hit the line with gusto. Look for improvement at his second start.
Selections (7) Paran Wangja (11) Cupid Bisang (2) Seoul Crown (1) Cheongdam Curling
Next Best 8, 9
Fast Start 7
Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
An emphatic maiden winner over the distance last November, (2) CHOEGANGMA beat a couple of these on her way to 3rd place on her first try at this class on January 12th. She’s shown plenty of speed as well as the potential for more and she should be winning this comfortably. (3) MY MEMBER made all for an easy three-length win in a maiden at the start of last month. She’s up in class here but if anything is to challenge the favourite, it is likely to be here. She has good gate speed and should be getting to the front from the start. (7) NUNBIT EUNYAK steps up in class too following a maiden win of his own and while he perhaps has a bit more to find, he should be competitive at this level. Definitely competitive at this level is (12) MONEY CHAMP having run out a good winner at class and distance on January 11th. The track was wet so the time can perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt but he ran almost as fast the time before so he must be taken seriously. (8) GONGJU SARANG, 5th behind Choegangma last start. Is another in the placing hunt.
Selections (2) Choegangma (3) My Member (12) Money Champ (7) Nunbit Eunyak
Next Best 8, 9
Fast Start 1, 2, 3
Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
There is a handful of chances in the fourth where a field of twelve go over the 1300M. The win of (6) CLEAN UP HAPPY on debut was good when the Paynter three-year-old won in the last stride. He dug in deep to get there in the nick of time, given he steps up to the 1300M, it looks as if Lim Gi-won can let the galloper relax and rely on his turn of foot late. (10) SONGAM CANDY handled the step up in class last time out well when 2nd behind Complete Kingdom. He has had just the three starts for the one win and two seconds. He is likely to settle further back in this even with a wide draw. (3) JEJUI YOJEONG has raced well at his past couple of starts. He hit the line strong last time out when clocking the fastest sectional in the race. (12) DURI was a winner in this grade last time out but it did take thirteen starts to produce the maiden win. She goes up 3kg and has to overcome a wide gate but in an open race she can figure.
Selections (6) Clean Up Happy (10) Songam Candy (3) Jejui Yojeong (12) Duri
Next Best 1, 7
Fast Start 4, 7, 8
Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(8) BODY STAR was on pace throughout when scoring a strong maiden win over 1300M on January 11th. He steps up in class here, but the company is in no way intimidating for the level and he has every chance of winning again. (1) DASHING CANOE and (2) WIND RIVER come in with form practically identical to one another – a 5th and two 4ths from their respective latest three. Both have proved capable of more than holding their own in this type of company and both look set to go close here. (9) GALAXY PEACE was caught wide most of the way around last start when finishing 5th behind Dashing Canoe. He’s previously gone well over 1700M, registering a 3rd place finish, and the 1400M may well suit him today. Another who has been at this level for quite some time, always hovering around the minor money without ever looking like breaking through, is (11) LUCKY MIDAS. This will be the furthest distance he has tackled, and it could be could for him.
Selections (8) Body Star (1) Dashing Canoe (9) Galaxy Peace (11) Lucky Midas
Next Best 2, 12
Fast Start 4, 6, 7
Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
The sixth on the card looks a competitive affair with a field of twelve imports lining up over the 1300M with some potentially promising types. (1) CHUNSAN was a brilliant winner at her second start when blowing her rivals away by four-lengths. With an inside draw she should be able to stalk the leaders and hit the line strong as per last start. (7) SARYEONI WINNER is not far away from her first career win after clocking a good time when 2nd last start. Song Jae-chul will ride at the lightweight of 52.5kg giving her every chance to show her turn of foot. (3) BIG TO THE BIG beat Saryeoni Healing last start and as a result goes up 3.5kg for this event. The Uncaptured filly looks the likely leader after sitting on the speed last start. (4) CLEANUP SHINE finished 2nd behind Moonhak Mischief when going down half a length. Alan Munro takes over riding duties on the filly which is a positive.
Selections (1) Chunsan (7) Saryeoni Winner (3) Big To The Big (4) Cleanup Shine
Next Best 4, 9
Fast Start 3, 4, 5
Race 7: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(3) BLUE CHITON stepped up to 1700M on his latest outing on January 19th and the Palace Malice colt took to the extended trip very nicely, winning by a cool three-lengths. He has already beaten a couple of these over 1300M and while he’s up in the weights today, the mile looks ideal and he can win again. (2) DORAON POPEYE has raced three times, finishing in 3rd place on all three occasions, most recently behind Blue Chiton back In December. He took a handy position and ran through the line well and looks in line for another place here. (6) HIDDEN SOCKS has raced just the three times and has acquitted himself pleasingly each time. His latest saw him run on well for 3rd behind Big To The Big in a competitive affair over 1300M. He’s an on-pace type and there’s no reason to suggest that the stretch out to a mile today will be anything other than a benefit. (1) OKRYONG’s latest two have been disappointing but the additional trip can sort him out today while (4) SISPUMA CAPTAIN is another with placing chances.
Selections (3) Blue Chiton (2) Doraon Popeye (6) Hidden Socks (1) Okryong
Next Best 4, 10
Fast Start 6
Race 8: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
The eighth on the card is a tricky race for form students to assess wit an even bunch of gallopers to go over the 1700M. (8) SIMON QUEEN has previously produced some good performances over 1700M including a last start 2nd behind Mudo. Veteran jockey Park Tae Jong knows the filly well; expect him to settle her midfield before asking her for effort at the top of the straight. (6) CHEONNYEONUI BI looks to appreciate this company as she lined up against some pretty smart gallopers last time out. The Ecton Park filly maps to sit midfield in the event and can be saved by Antonio Da Silva before unleashing her turn of foot. (9) BAEKSAEK GWANGCHAE was a class 5 winner over the 1700M three starts back with a good front running performance. If he can work forward in a race that lacks speed, he can hold on for some prize money. (12) GOLD LEVEL is a last start winner over the same distance and cannot be discounted. This is much tougher, but the filly looks a chance of running into the placings.
Selections (8) Simon Queen (6) Cheonnyeonui Bi (9) Baeksaek Gwangchae (12) Gold Level
Next Best 10, 11
Fast Start 11
Race 9: Class Open Donga Ilbo Cup – Listed (1800M) Allowance / KRW 250 Million
The great mare (4) SILVER WOLF returns to action to kick off her campaign as an eight-year-old. She has every chance of becoming Korea’s all-time leading money-earner and in filly and mare company only here, she will be hot favourite, having swept all three-legs of the Queens’ Tour last year. She did, however, finish the year by running last in the Grand Prix Stakes and while for the purposes of this race, that form is perhaps irrelevant, it did perhaps show that there is some vulnerability there and if a really good filly appears, she is not invincible. Could that filly be (7) DIA ROAD. Silver Wolf’s stablemate is four years her junior and has won five of her six starts so far, her only defeat coming at the hands of (2) CLEAR GEOM in the final leg of last year’s Triple Tiara when she just ran out of steam late on over 2000M. She’s won both her races since, including the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup and she gets 5kg from Silver Wolf here. She could be a very big talent but for now we will stick with the great one to beat her. Clear Geom herself comes in off a very good class 2 win over 1400M in December and is a placing chance. (3) LEAD MONEY and (10) SEOURI BYEOL, also place-getters in the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup, are others in the hunt for some prize money.
Selections (4) Silver Wolf (7) Dia Road (3) Lead Money (2) Clear Geom
Next Best 10, 5
Fast Start 7, 11
Race 10: Class 2 (2000M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million
The tenth is an intriguing race where there should be an honest pace set. (8) URI is one of those that should sit in the leading division for rider Kim Yong-geun. The four-year-old has done a superb job since starting his career in April last year. He comes off a 3rd place performance last start behind Hush Daebo, who has been firing. In that race Lil’ Patron finished 2nd he has since gone on and won which reads well for Uri’s chances. (2) SMARTY BLUE looks the likely threat coming off a narrow 2nd behind Up Light. The Rock Hard Ten gelding has been racing extremely well of late winning four of his past five starts. (7) PALPAL VICTORY is capable of figuring in the top four in this event. The Colors Flying gelding has been running on late when the races have been all but over. Song Jae-chul takes over riding duties which won’t do his chances any harm. (6) CLEAN UP SECRET has shown plenty in this grade previously and whilst disappointing last start can rebound and pick up some prize money.
Selections (8) Uri (2) Smarty Blue (7) Palpal Victory (6) Clean Up Secret
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 6, 8, 10
Race 11: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
The card concludes with a competitive class 3 handicap sprint over six-furlongs. The only one who comes in off a last start win is (5) DYNAMIC COMING and he is up in class following a nice score over 1300M on January 4th. He’s very nicely weighted and has drawn superbly to get on pace from the start so don’t rule out another success here. (3) FASHION PEOPLE comes in off back to back runner-up finishes, the latter of which was at class and distance. He too carries a light weight and should go close again. So too should (4) GLOBAL PARTY. The Competitive Edge colt returned to form with a 2nd place last start and while up in class today, looks very nicely in. (6) CUPID GUY was scarcely involved in a race that was dominated by the up and coming talent Mark Story last month and is worth another chance today to get closer. (8) PRO HAMSEONG rarely fails to pick up a cheque and is another with solid placing claims.
Selections (5) Dynamic Coming (4) Global Party (8) Pro Hamseong (3) Fashion People
Next Best 6, 12
Fast Start 4, 5, 11
Race 1: 2, 10, 7, 8
Race 2: 7, 10, 5, 3
Race 3: 10 (Linchpin, who is probably banker favourite of the day at either Seoul or Busan), 11, 4, 7
Race 4: 11, 6, 3, 10
Race 5: 6, 3, 12, 4
Race 6: 1, 2, 4, 12