It’s International Exchange race this weekend but naturally this year, it’s in name only. Nevertheless, there are some extremely interesting match-ups on the cards at both Seoul and Busan. In the capital, Mark Story puts his unbeaten record on the line in the Tokyo City Keiba Trophe, while top filly Dia Road heads the lineup in the Turkey Jockey Club Trophy. Down at Busan, in addition to the Exchange races, there is also the new “Luna Stakes”, which is the primary Korean Oaks trial. There are 13 races at Seoul from 10:25 to 18:00 and 5 at Busan from 12:20 to 15:55. Both meetings are behind closed doors:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The fillies kick off the thirteen-event race card where there looks a standout engaged in the event. (11) GOOD VOW handed in a good performance on debut when finishing second behind George Queen. The Private Vow filly has gate speed which will help her overcome the outside draw, with the other runners engaged failing to show early dash at their previous outings. If she can get on speed early she will take some running down. (2) BLACK SILVER looks next best coming off some reasonable performances over the 1000m before the hiatus. The Tout filly trialed poorly but we will include her based on her efforts prior to the break. (5) RAON SPECIAL has had just the one start when finishing tenth. Whilst well beaten at her first start she clocked a reasonable time that should see her be competitive in this event, which is considered weaker. (1) BIANCA is the only other likely runner to sit on speed, but she appeared underdone last time out when failing to run the 1300m out. She will appreciate the drop back to the 1000m and should be fitter for the run.
|Selections||(11) Good Vow (2) Black Silver (5) Raon Special (1) Bianca|
|Next Best||6, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 11|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
Eight previously unraced two-year-olds go around here. Based on trials, there is just the one standout in the shape of (5) GEUMBIT YEOJEONSA. The Peace Rules filly put in a front-running performance in her heat ultimately ending up in 2nd place in a creditable time on a dry track. If she hits the front here – and she’s well drawn to do so – she can lead all the way. There are a couple of well-bred ones in. (6) ALL HEART is half-sister to Heuk Jeonsa, a winner of seven of twelve starts so far. It did take Heuk Jeonsa a couple of races to figure things out though and based on All Heart’s trial, it might be the same for her. (4) SAENAE HWANGJE is out of a dam who won plenty in Korea and is half to Simon Queen who also knows where the finish line is. He trialed a little more promisingly. (8) JAY HAWK’s dam too was a good performer in Korea. He went through two trials, the latter of which saw him improve significantly and he can be a danger although it’s likely he will need further than this. (2) YEONGUNG DAEMA and (3) SUPER CHAMPION others who can go well first-up.
|Selections||(5) Geumbit Yeojeonsa (4) Saenae Hwangje (8) Jay Hawk (3) Super Champion|
|Next Best||2, 6, 1|
|Fast Start||5, 7|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Nine Korean-bred gallopers will face the starter in the third where it is hard to make a case for the majority of the field. (9) GOLD FIELD comes off a last start placing behind Daehyong Hojae over the 1400m which reads well for this assignment. The four-year-old has had the fourteen starts yielding two minor placings, which is a hardly convincing statistic, but based on her previous run she can work forward and should hold off most of the field. (8) WINDY RUSH debuts after some fair trials. She showed some speed in her trials so expect her to work forward. She is capable of placing on debut. (5) YAHO M J CAT is second up after a midfield performance behind Top Seed last time out. She started to throw in the short strides halfway up the straight. She should be better for the run and dropping back a furlong should be an advantage. (3) CHEON CHONG lines up after a midfield performance when resuming. He is yet to place from six starts but in such a weak assignment can run into the money.
|Selections||(9) Gold Field (8) Windy Rush (5) Yaho M J Cat (3) Cheon Chong|
|Next Best||2, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 9|
Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(1) TERRA SPEED went into the shutdown having run 2nd on a wet track in a similar race over this distance. He trialed up three weeks ago, finishing 3rd in his heat in a solid time and looks poised to make his breakthrough here. (4) MONEY LINE ran 3rd in that same trial. He hadn’t shown an awful lot in six starts prior to the break but it may have ended up doing him so good and he has a fresh start here. (2) DALRINEUN BITKKAL has a 2nd and a 3rd among his seven outings so far. He returned to action with a 5th place over 1400M on June 21st and should be improving on that today. Under Kim Yong-geun, he can settle just behind the lead and run on strongly. (6) BIG FACE didn’t show much speed in two outings before the shutdown, but he didn’t really need to do too much to finish 2nd in the latter of them. His trial was no better than average, but he should be competitive in this company.
|Selections||(1) Terra Speed (2) Dalrineun Bitkkal (6) Big Face (4) Money Line|
|Next Best||3, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 7|
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
A field of twelve will face the starter in the fifth where there looks to be an abundance of speed. (3) JANGSAN BADA has begun his career in good style winning on debut back in February before backing it up with a second behind Wang Taeng I three weeks back. He has drawn perfectly to get a trail into the race and let down with a nice turn of foot. (5) BLUE K comes off a Class 6 win when leading throughout last start. Expect Kim Yong-geun to work forward once again from a good draw and try to lead throughout. (2) MAPAEBONG looks next best after finishing second last time out in similar grade. The Ecton Park entire sprouted wings late to rocket home over the same distance. (6) TOP SEED is a last start winner when leading throughout. The time was reasonable for this grade, with an economic run he can run into the money.
|Selections||(3) Jangsan Bada (5) Blue K (2) Mapaebong (6) Top Seed|
|Next Best||9, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 6, 10|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The maiden gallopers line up in the second event where a case can be made for many. Going with the lightly raced (2) SUSO TANK to improve at her second start. She was good on debut when hitting the line strongly after running on from a long way back. She should be at an each way price in this event. The extra furlong should only help her chances. (6) JEONSEOLUI FIGHT is the likely favourite in the event. The Colors Flying three-year-old went down narrowly behind Magic Horse last time out after weaving a passage home last start up the Busan straight. (5) YEONGGWANGUIRUNNER lines up for start four after finishing fifth behind the handy My Queen. The colt has been settling well back before reeling off strong sectionals. (3) BARAMUI YEOSIN has had the eight starts and finished in the top three just the once. The filly finished close up however last start behind Magic Horse and looks a place chance in a race with plenty of chances. She is the likely pacemaker with no early speed engaged.
|Selections||(2) Suso Tank (6) Jeonseolui Fight (5) Yeonggwangui Runner (3) Baramui Yeosin|
|Next Best||7, 2|
Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Loads of experience to go around here with the eight having no fewer than 177 starts between them. We’re going to side with (7) HANSEN BAROWS who, while he has only won twice in twenty-eight attempts, entered the shutdown off the back of some good performances including a 3rd behind Choegang Team at 1200M and then 4th behind Simon Queen at this distance. He likes to come from off the pace and looked well when trialing in May. There’s not a lot of early speed in this race but (1) LOVE RACE and (6) SMARTY ADELE can probably be relied upon to set it. The former ran 3rd over a mile in January while the latter drops back slightly in trip following a 4th at 1800M and both looked well in trials. (5) TAURUS is a class and distance winner and warrants consideration while (8) SPEED HWANGNYONG is better than the 9th he ran upon resuming three weeks ago and should be fitter for that run.
|Selections||(7) Hansen Barows (1) Love Race (6) Smarty Adele (8) Speed Hwangnyong|
|Next Best||5, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 6|
Busan Race 3: Class Open (1400M) CHIA Trophy – Allowance / KRW 150 Million
A cracking little race for the imported three-year-old fillies. Kim Young-kwan trained horses came home 1st and 2nd when they raced each other at class 3 level on June 21st with (1) SOCKS GO beating (3) NICE CHANCE by a nose on the line. We’re favouring the latter to overturn that result today though what with a much better draw meaning he should be able to get on pace a little easier and make it harder for Socks Go to run him down late on. Nice Chance looks a progressive type who in his short career has already posted some nice times and he looks a good prospect. The Kim pair may not have things all their own way though. (7) DAEMANGUI GIL is another on-pacer, who made all to beat the promising Barbarian three weeks ago in a fast time at this distance and should go very close again. (8) ADELE SPIKE was bang-average on her resumption, also three weeks ago, but was going well prior to the shutdown and we’ll give her another chance here.
|Selections||(3) Nice Chance (1) Socks Go (7) Daemangui Gil (8) Adele Spike|
|Fast Start||3, 7|
Seoul Race 7: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
A compact bunch of gallopers will line up over 1300m in the seventh. The lightly raced (2) JEONGMUN BOLT looks ready to fire after an impressive trial last month. He finished second behind Songam Candy at his most recent start over this distance which reads considering the depth of this field. (8) MONEY SILK hit the line very strong last start which was three weeks ago. He should improve from the run, if he can stay in touch in the early stages, he can potentially run over the top of them late. (6) ANYANG JAGUAR must be considered after a last start win in this grade. She still carries a manageable 54kg, up 2.5kg on her win back in February. She trialed fairly in May getting ready for this preparation. (4) DAEHAENGIDA looks next best placing twice from the five starts. He gets in with a light weight in this event and is capable of finishing in the top four.
|Selections||(2) Jeongmun Bolt (8) Money Silk (6) Anyang Jaguar (4) Daehaengida|
|Next Best||7, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 7|
Busan Race 4: Class Open (1800M) Selangor Turf Club Trophy – Allowance / KRW 150 Million
The fourth event is the Selangor Turf Club Trophy for the 4yo and upward fillies and mares over the 1800. (4) DEEP MIND looks hard to beat after resuming over this distance and winning in good style. Last year’s Oaks winner is well placed at set weights lining up against her own sex. (5) TOP OF WORLD looks an each-way chance with a good drawn. The Federalist filly comes off a second behind the very talented Speed Fury. She has won five of her eleven starts and should get every chance in this event. There is a slight query with the 1800m. (2) ICE MARINE has shown some reasonable efforts over the two turns previously. She resumes after a good trial and has class on her side. (7) TOUGH GREEN hasn’t scaled the heights of her opposition yet but looks one that can run into a place based on a last start win over this distance. She is a speedy type who is likely to work forward early. (1) DOCTOR THUNDER and (10) YEONGHUI SIDAE are proven Class One gallopers but seem better suited to a sprint journey.
|Selections||(4) Deep Mind (5) Top Of World (2) Ice Marine (7) Tough Green|
|Next Best||1, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 5, 7|
Seoul Race 8: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
It’s hard to look too far past (2) GEUMBIT JANGIN here. The four-year-old is a winner of four of his six starts so far including his latest, which was an all-the-way score over this distance in early February. He looked the part in a fast May trial, and he should be leading from gate to wire again today. (5) WONDERFUL TRUTH is another front-runner, who was slowly away when only managing 6th behind East Jet three weeks ago. With a better start he can be closer today. (4) MONEY CAMP has actually recorded a faster time over 1200M than Geumbit Jangin, but he lost his way completely in 2019. He’s now with Tony Castenheira and the break may well have done him good as he looked a little like his old self in a trial two weeks ago. (1) YAHO THUNDER CAT and (9) MALAKAS are among others with the potential to have improved for the break.
|Selections||(2) Geumbit Jangin (5) Wonderful Truth (4) Money Camp (1) Yaho Thunder Cat|
|Next Best||9, 3|
|Fast Start||2, 5|
Busan Race 5: Class Open (1600M) The Luna Stakes (Listed) Allowance / KRW 300 Million
“The Luna” functions as this year’s principle Korean Oaks trial with the fillies’ Classic due to be held at Busan a month from now and it’s attracted an impressive line-up with eight of the sixteen having travelled down from Seoul. Among them is the only unbeaten filly in the field in the shape of (5) LADY KELLY, who has won all three of her races in fine style up to class 4 and 1300M. She looked well in a trial and Song Jae-chul, who has been going very well since the resumption, has likely given up plenty of rides in the capital to ride her. She’s accompanied of the trip down South by the excellent (3) RAON FIRST. Her only defeat came on debut and she subsequently rattled off four consecutive victories, including the valuable Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup, leading every step of the way in all of them. The distance shouldn’t be a problem and she is the on-top pick. Among other Seoul raiders, in the absence of strong 1600M form, we’re looking for fillies who have run well at 1400M at a level of at least class 3 and (11) WHITE QUEEN fits the bill in this regard. As for the home team, (6) TWO TWO GREAT is a winner of five from six so far, setting some fast times along the way, albeit up to distances of 1300M and surely warrants consideration. (13) WONDERFUL PEACE and (14) CHOEGANG TOUCH are others in the frame.
|Selections||(3) Raon First (6) Two Two Great (11) White Queen (5) Lady Kelly|
|Next Best||13, 14|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 13|
Seoul Race 9: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
There’s plenty of interest in the ninth on the card albeit being a compact field. (9) JEONGJOUI KKUM is the on top selection after trialing well in April. The Thunder Moccasin gelding has won three from ten with four minor placings as well. The four-year-old finished second last start in February behind the very impressive East Jet. (6) ULTRA CHAMPION looks one of the main dangers. The chestnut has notched four wins from thirteen starts. Last start the four-year-old finished third behind Raon Storm when getting further back than anticipated. There is a slight query with his trial in May but his record is good and we will include him based on his record to date. (7) MIREU STORM has been consistent since arriving in this grade. Lee Hyeok will ride the Sharp Humor chestnut for the first time. The gelding trialed well in April and should strip well first up. (3) GEUMSEONGHWANGJE looks next best coming off only a fair trial. The Strike Again colt did find his first couple of attempts in this grade difficult, but he can run into the minor money from a good draw.
|Selections||(9) Jeongjoui Kkum (6) Ultra Champion (7) Mireu Storm (3) Geumseonghwangje|
|Next Best||4, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 9|
Seoul Race 10: Class Open (1400M) TCK Trophy – Allowance / KRW 150 Million
Nine three-year-old American bred colts and geldings compete for a big prize in this Trophy race. And it should see the first real test of (5) MARK STORY. He flew through his opening three races with a combined winning margin of in excess of twenty-lengths looking every inch a star in the making. He began the shutdown beating Roller Blade in a trial but didn’t really do much in two subsequent heats in April and June and today he stretches out to 1400M for the first time. Nevertheless, he should be equal to the challenge and he’s favoured to maintain his 100% record. The horse to get the closest to Mark Story in a race so far is (1) LORD BAN. He was just two lengths in arrears when the pair met over 1200M in December, having led for much of the way before Mark Story, who was giving him significant weight, proved too strong. He went on to record two victories of his own, including at today’s distance of 1400M, before falling short over 1800M on resumption three weeks ago. Winning that particular race was (8) BLUE CHITON, who extended his win streak to three. Those wins all came at a mile of further but he needs to be taken seriously today too. Then there is (3) CLEAN UP BELLA. The Oxbow colt comes in having led all the way to win at class 4 over this distance three weeks ago in a competitive time and he too can aim for a place today.
|Selections||(5) Mark Story (1) Lord Ban (3) Clean Up Bella (8) Blue Chiton|
|Next Best||2, 7|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 7|
Seoul Race 11: Class Open (1400M) Gold Circle Trophy – Allowance / KRW 150 Million
The twelfth running of the Gold Circle Trophy is the eleventh race on the card where both imported and Korean-bred fillies line up over 1400m. At set weights, (1) GEOSEN JILJU looks hard to beat coming off a solid performance in Class 3 company. The Take Charge Indy filly is just one of two fillies engaged that has lined up in Class 3 company, cruising through the easier grades. From barrier one it looks as if she will take up the running and prove hard to beat. (9) MOONHAK MISCHIEF is an imported filly who has won two of her four starts. The Into Mischief filly proved herself beyond 1000m last time out when clocking a respectable time over the six furlongs. She is another quick beginner who will have to overcome the outside gate. (5) BIG TO THE BIG comes off a nice performance when second behind (6) CLEANUP SHINE, who also lines up in the race. At level weights she can show som e cheek working forward, she will prove hard to pass in the straight. Cleanup Shine cannot be ignored either, but this will be the heaviest weight she has carried to date.
|Selections||(1) Geosen Jilju (9) Moonhak Mischief (5) Big To The Big (6) Cleanup Shine|
|Next Best||2, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 6, 9|
Seoul Race 12: Class Open (1800M) TJK Trophy – Allowance / KRW 150 Million
Seven mares and one filly go around here and (6) DIA ROAD is simply a cut above the rest of them. Her win over Silver Wolf, the best race-mare in Korea in recent years – over this distance in February’s Donga Ilbo Cup makes her a prohibitive favourite. She has beaten most of this field handily before, has lost just one of her seven races to date, and it would be a major surprise were she not to win this easily. (7) LEAD MONEY ran 2nd to Dia Road in the Jeju Governor’s Cup over 1400M last November and has as good a chance as any of coming 2nd again here. She was well back in the Donga Ilbo though, as was (8) SEOURI BYEOL, whose late run could get her no closer than 5th. (4) TOUR ROSE is another capable type who could run into some money but like the others, isn’t in the same league as Dia Road.
|Selections||(6) Dia Road (7) Lead Money (8) Seouri Byeol (4) Tour Rose|
|Next Best||3, 5|
|Fast Start||6, 7|
Seoul Race 13: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
The last on the card will see the Class 1 gallopers line up over the short course. Whilst it is not the strongest Class 1 event we have seen, interest lies with the tactics engaged by the riders here. (7) CHEUNGDAM GENIE is a galloper known for his better performances over the shorter distances. He resumed three weeks back and didn’t show his normal dash out of the gates. He looked as if he needed the run, his sprinting credentials cannot be ignored and for that reason he is the on top selection. (4) YEONGNONG resumes and can show some cheek with fresh legs. He trialed in good time in April suggesting he is in good stead heading into the race. It has been a long time between drinks but he has the ability. (8) PENETRO was disappointing when resuming. The chestnut sat on speed before capitulating with every runner passing him in the straight. This is a much easier and he has proved himself over the sprint journey prior. (3) SINUI MYEONGRYEONG mixes her form somewhat but is capable of running into the placings in an assignment lacking depth.
|Selections||(7) Cheungdam Genie (4) Yeongnong (8) Penetro (3) Sinui Myeongryeong|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 8|