Racing got underway at Busan on Friday and the behind-closed-doors action moves to Seoul on Saturday with a 15-race card from 10:45 to 18:00. The ponies on Jeju will also resume. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A field of twelve three-year-olds all having their first start will kick off proceedings as we return to Seoul for the first time in over four months. (5) GRACE QUEEN clocked a reasonable trial mid last month when running second. The filly coasted through the line nicely and wasn’t fully extended suggesting if she can find a few more lengths she will take some running down. The trial of (7) TEUNTEUNA was better than it looked to the naked eye. The Rock Hard Ten colt was beaten by a big margin but did clock a competitive time for this grade. Expect further improvement on the trial. (8) CAREER HIGH is worth considering in your selections. The Any Given Saturday filly ran midfield in her heat but ran through the line fairly, she will get the services of leading rider Moon Se-young. (1) GEORGE QUEEN won her trial but they dawdled early in the heat. The filly also hung out badly down the straight. She should be better for the run both physically and mentally.
|Selections||(5) Grace Queen (7) Teunteuna (8) Career High (1) George Queen|
|Next Best||2, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 5|
Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maidens here with five of the twelve making their belated racecourse debuts. We’re going to go with one of those first-timers, (6) WINNER QUARDRILLE. The Gold Allure filly initially won a trial in January and then went through another in April where she gave champion Silver Wolf a good workout, running home 2nd in a useful time and if she brings that form to the races today, she can win. Also showing ability in trials was Luigi Riccardi’s (7) CHOEGO CAMP, a front-running winner of her heat in March and with every chance of going well first-up under Johan Victoire. As for those with experience, (2) FIGHTING NOW is a bit of an enigma. He ran well for 2nd on debut last October which led to him being sent off at odds-on for his reappearance in November. He got a bad trip and ended up in 7th which we will forgive, but he didn’t exactly impress in a March trial either so while he evidently has some talent, caution is required. (11) BURNING POINT and (12) SONGAM PLAYER both have 3rd places to their names and both performed a little better in their respective recent trials, although both have drawn closer to the car park than the rails.
|Selections||(6) Winner Quardrille (12) Songam Player (7) Choego Camp (2) Fighting Now|
|Next Best||11, 8|
|Fast Start||3, 7, 8|
Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Twelve Korean-bred gallopers line up in the third event all looking for their first win. (10) THUNDER K looks one of the main chances. The chestnut finished fourth on debut in December last year in a handy two-year-old event. The colt trialled in April clocking a good time on a dry track suggesting he is ready to fire first up. (8) BANGJU showed some improvement at his second start in January. The Into Mischief gelding hit the line fairly to finish third behind Songam Tiz. Whilst not the strongest form line this race is of similar strength. (11) GANA PARK debuts after a solid trial effort to finish second. She was beaten five lengths in the trial but clocked 62.8 on a dry track which will see her competitive in this event. (3) BALBATU lines up for his third career start. The Hansen colt placed at his most recent run before the racing hiatus over 1000m. The chestnut passed a few in the straight hitting the line well suggesting he will appreciate the 1200m for the first time.
|Selections||(10) Thunder K (8) Bangju (11) Gana Park (3) Balbatu|
|Next Best||12, 6|
|Fast Start||10, 11, 12|
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old fillies only for this maiden. (6) GLORY FIGHTER was sent off the odds-on favourite for what was her second start in January. She took a bump at the start and then hung inwards late on ultimately finishing in 3rd place. She didn’t impress when trialing in April but didn’t do too much wrong either and can be given another chance today. A more impressive recent trailer was (10) BLUE K. She’s shown plenty of speed as well, especially when running 3rd on what was her most recent racecourse appearance last October. The engagement of Kim Yong Geun is a plus and she’ll surely be a big factor. (12) OLD BLADE is one of very few horses at Seoul not to have trialed during the shutdown. She put in two solid if unspectacular performances around the turn of the year registering a 4th and a 3rd and can aim to match or better that here. (5) CHEONGDAM YEOGEOL also did nothing wrong on her debut last December and can push on today.
|Selections||(10) Blue K (6) Glory Fighter (5) Cheongdam Yeogeol (12) Old Blade|
|Next Best||7, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 10|
Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
An even group of maiden Korean-bred gallopers will face the starter in the fifth. The race record of (11) CLEAN HEART does not read all that well to date but his trial suggests there may be improvement to come. The Artie Schiller colt clocked 62 seconds flat on a dry track and crossed the line with some handy types. The three-year-old was pushed out but ran it out strong and with fresh legs looks to be some value over the 1300m first up. (5) SANARAE is the most experience galloper in the race with eight starts under her belt. She has just the one minor placing from the eight starts but it did come over this distance towards the end of last year. She trialled in reasonable fashion in May where she finished third but appeared green when running up the straight. She gets one of her easiest assignments to date. Korean punters have sent (6) HANSEN CHOICE to the gates numerous times at a short quote and done their money every time. With no betting in Korea this weekend it would salt in the wound if the chestnut was to get up. She showed little in her trial but has previously showed ability over the short course and hence she is being included on a place line. (12) TYCHE FIRE looks the interesting galloper engaged from an improvement point of view. The Indie Band colt finished well back on debut in February but his trial in May was solid considering he was off the track throughout and still clocked 62.3 seconds on a dry track. The draw will do him no favours but he could be one that improves. This is a hard race and the likes of (3) THE BEAST, (7) GOLDEN SWITCH and (9) BIANCA could fill a place without surprising.
|Selections||(11) Clean Heart (5) Sanarae (6) Hansen Choice (12) Tyche Fire|
|Next Best||3, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 6, 8|
Race 6: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Just the one first-timer starter amongst this field of maidens but he looks useful. (8) E STRIKE ran on well across two trials and 1400M should suit first up. Jockey booking a plus and he has claims to start his career in the best possible way. (11) TOP SEED has a 2nd place to his name at this distance already and he has looked well in two very solid trial performances during the hiatus. He’ll go back at the start so the wide draw is no issue and he’ll run through the line strongly. Also with experience of the distance and also untroubled by the wide draw is (12) THE DREAM. He finished 4th to Top Seed’s 3rd when they raced each other at this distance on early February and he can get close once again today. It looks an open race beyond those with perhaps (1) YAHO M J CAT and (2) HAPPY MONTH being best of the rest although there is a lack of speed engaged so if something like (4) SIN ROK, who has at least shown some ability from the gate, could get an easy lead, then he may go close.
|Selections||(11) Top Seed (8) E Strike (12) The Dream (2) Happy Month|
|Next Best||1, 3, 4|
|Fast Start||4, 11|
Race 7: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Some progressive types line up in the seventh on the card where there is a host of winning chances. (3) ICE PUNCH was flying before the Covid hiatus scoring a dominant six length victory over the 1200m, which they line up over once again in this event. The dapple grey then did everything right in a barrier trial in April when overcoming a wide gate working to the front and winning under his own steam. The colt looks ready to fire first up and gets the services of Seoul’s leading rider in Moon Se-young. (2) GREAT KHAN is another who broke maiden status just before the racing hiatus. The Menifee colt clocked a good time when winning by a clear margin over the five furlongs. The query seems to be the dry ground as both starts to date have been on saturated ground. (1) DREAM PO RE begun his racing career in good style in January when breaking maiden status at his first race start and backing it up with a good placing in this grade. The Shackleford colt will have the benefit of the inside gate in a race with stacks of early speed. (9) MIRACLE HOPE is a more experienced galloper who is not without an each-way chance. The Peace Rules colt has saluted in this grade before and since then his performances with extra weigh have been respectable.
|Selections||(3) Ice Punch (2) Great Khan (1) Dream Po Re (9) Miracle Hope|
|Next Best||8, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 11, 12|
Race 8: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
A very competitive race with practically the entire field having put in a good performance in their final outings prior to the shutdowns. Four of them are up in class, including (1) LONG GUY and (2) GOOD WONDER, both last start winners and who trialed up together a month ago. Good Wonder was marginally more impressive that day but it could well be reversed here and Moon Se Young being aboard Long Guy will tempt plenty. (10) BODY STAR was sent off as odds-on favourite for his first crack at this class in February, running out 2nd on a muddy track. Today he returns to the distance he registered his maiden win at and he looks to have solid claims again. (6) CLEAN UP HAPPY ran a good 3rd on his first try at this level having won on his debut. He’ll be one of several on pace early and should stay on to be involved at the business end of the race. (3) MONEY SILK and (7) DAESEUNG QUEEN have also proven themselves competitive at this level while (5) GIVEN RUNNER was an eye-catcher in a trial at the end of May. Nothing here would be a surprise.
|Selections||(10) Body Star (1) Long Guy (2) Good Wonder (6) Clean Up Happy|
|Next Best||5, 3, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5, 10|
Race 9 Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
There is an abundance of speed engaged in the ninth event. (2) WHITE COMET looks a progressive type who proved competitive in a similar race at his last start. The Tiz Wonderful colt trialed during the hiatus and was not over-exerted. He should park just behind the speed and have his chance to run over the top of them late in the race. We can’t imagine too much of a formation in this race as it will be like a charge of the light brigade early on. He should have no problems getting a split. (9) EAGLE EYE is another that has a couple of runs in this company and performed well. He had a soft trial during the break where they crawled and subsequently recorded a slow time. Munro knows the horse well, it’s doubtful he will match the speed of some of his counterparts here so may sit a little further back than usual. (6) ELITE LADY has stamped herself a nice galloper in her six runs to date. She won three races before being stretched out the 1700m where she flopped and didn’t get the trip. Back to a suitable distance with fresh legs she has to be considered an each-way chance. (5) JEONGMUN SUMMIT has won two from six and trialed nicely of late. The query with the three-year-old is the 1200m as he is best suited over the five furlongs.
|Selections||(2) White Comet (9) Eagle Eye (6) Elite Lady (5) Jeongmun Summit|
|Next Best||11, 10|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12|
Race 10: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(2) MOONHAK EMPIRE comes in having won at class and distance the day before the shutdown in February. He won well that day and while he does carry an additional 3kg on his back this time, he has claims again. It could be though, that it’s time for (7) CLEAN UP BELLA to strike. He has finished 2nd in all three starts so far, registering fast times in all of them – and only beaten in two of them by the outstanding prospect Eoma Eoma. He steps up to 1400M for the first time today with Moon Se Young taking over and he looks the one to beat. (10) GEUMA AGILE also stretches out in trip today. He was a fast winner at 1000M in January before running 2nd at 1200M a month later. (4) IRON SOCKS is yet to win in four starts but has a 2nd place at this distance and can aim to at least match today. The wildcard is (12) ROYAL ELVIS who looks like he needs a bit of distance – probably further than today – and can improve on his debut. He has quite the stride when he gets going.
|Selections||(7) Clean Up Bella (2) Moonhak Empire (10) Geuma Agile (4) Iron Socks|
|Next Best||12, 3, 11|
|Fast Start||6, 7, 10|
Race 11: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Another speedy affair greets punters in the eleventh. (5) EAST JET has proved himself to be a very useful galloper in his five starts to date, winning four of them. The three-year-old proved he could run out the 1200m strong last start when winning in similar grade. The query now is the 57kg impost he has to carry in this event. With gate five Munro should be able to give him a cosy run just off the speed before unleashing in the straight. (11) JEONGSANG STAR won in good style last start making it four wins for the filly from ten starts. She trailed well in the break and should account for herself well fresh over the 1200m. (3) MY HAWK normally has speed to burn early on in his races and it should be no different here. The four-year-old placed third behind Preemax last time out over the same distance when trying to lead throughout. (12) WONDERFUL TRUTH has previously placed in this grade behind some handy types including Do Kki Blade and Raymond. She normally sits on speed but with so many speedy types engaged she may find it hard to get close to the rail towards the front of the field.
|Selections||(5) East Jet (11) Jeongsang Star (3) My Hawk (12) Wonderful Truth|
|Next Best||4, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 12|
Race 12: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
A bit of an ordinary race this. (5) SZERENCSE is joint highest rated and is probably the best horse in the race, especially at the distance but on a day in which nothing has raced in four months, Szerencse hasn’t been seen for a year and he didn’t offer many clues when 7th of 11 in an April trial, other than that he was fit, so proceed with caution. (6) CHOEGANG PARTY similarly did nothing in a trial the same day but did run 2nd at the distance in February. Johan Victoire keeps faith and that suggests a good performance is in the offing here. (2) CHEONNYEONUI GODO and (3) DAL SUNI ran 1st and 2nd respectively at class and distance in January and the former will be among the favourites this time as well although he will need to carry an additional 3.5kg. (8) GAZUA too began the year brightly with a pair of 3rd place finishes at class and distance. He’s another who didn’t catch the eye in his trial but he did enough. (9) MILKY SHERRY is up in class having registered her maiden win at this distance in February. She will need to improve as her winning time that day shouldn’t really be winning at this class but unlike a few of the others she did show a turn of foot in her recent trial and can go well today.
|Selections||(2) Cheonnyeonui Godo (5) Szerencse (6) Choegang Party (8) Gazua|
|Next Best||9, 12|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 12|
Race 13: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
A field of twelve will go over the two turns in the thirteenth where the looks two main chances if they can produce their previous form. (1) NEW MOON WARRIOR has begun his career in good fashion winning two of this three starts. The three-year-old proved himself over the middle distance last time out winning by four lengths in weaker grade. Expect Park Tae-jong to take up the lead and control the pace of the race, before taking off on the home turn. (4) COMPLETE KINGDOM is a winner in this class and as a result will carry the top weight of 57kg. He is being stretched out to the 1700m for the first time which is a slight query. Moon Se-young will be legged aboard for the first time. (7) JEJUI HEUKSEON has been around for a while now but can bob up for a place every now and then. Her record over the middle distances is respectable but she rarely wins. (8) ACE CANT placed in similar company last start finishing second behind The Gumpu, who was in-form before the hiatus. The Astrology gelding does his best work in the leading division so expect David Breux to get the five-year-old on speed in the early stages.
|Selections||(1) New Moon Warrior (4) Complete Kingdom (7) Jejui Heukseon (8) Ace Cant|
|Next Best||3, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 8, 10, 12|
Race 14: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
Three of these enter in pursuit of their respective third-consecutive wins. Of those three, (6) THE GUMPU perhaps has the best chance of being successful. Last start he won at 1700M carrying a similarly tough impost to today and he should handle the small step up in trip comfortably. (4) BLUE CHITON too can cope with the additional distance and with the weight and should go close. (11) LORD BAN may well be the most talented of all three – he has beaten Blue Chiton – but he makes a big jump up in both weight and distance and will need to improve. He trialed up competently in April so it is not out of the question. Among the others, (10) FLASH JET came from well back to score over 1700M last start. He’s up in class today but can be competitive. (1) MOONHAK EKATI and (3) EMORY SOCKS are among others who should go close.
|Selections||(6) The Gumpu (11) Lord Ban (3) Emory Socks (4) Blue Chiton|
|Next Best||10, 1|
|Fast Start||5, 12|
Race 15: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
Absolutely super race to conclude the card with the whole field having claims. We can’t pick them all, however, so we’ll go with (1) MEDICI GLORY under the gloriously light weight of 51kg. His last race was more than a year ago when he won the TJK Trophy at this distance beating a strong field in a fast time. He looked to be fully recovered when comfortably sailing through an April trial and with everyone first-up today, he could be the one to beat. (4) SPRING BACK, who beat (12) MORFHIS as the pair raced 1st and 2nd over this distance just prior to the shutdown. Morfhis is a quality horse but with the weights being just as in favour of Spring Back as they were that day in February, it is hard to make a case for him overturning that form. (6) DOKDO JIGI finds himself nicely weighted as well. A versatile runner, he was 2nd in the President’s Cup at 2000M last autumn and while 1200M didn’t suit last start, he can be given another go at 1400M today. (2) LIL’ PATRON may want further but still has claims on a plalce as do (3) PENETRO and (5) GANGTOMA. The wildcard is (7) ACE SPINNING, who looked a great prospect before injury robbed him of two years. Trials weren’t especially promising so we’ll take a watching brief today. It is a really good race.
|Selections||(1) Medici Glory (4) Spring Back (6) Dokdo Jigi (3) Penetro|
|Next Best||5, 12, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 4, 7|