Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 18)

Group racing returns to Seoul on Sunday when Cheongdam Dokki heads the field in the G3 YTN Cup. Before that, there is a massive 15-race card in the capital on Saturday running from 10:45 to 18:00. Unfortunately, it will be held behind closed doors. Here are the previews:


Seoul Racecourse will be empty again this weekend

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

The two-year-old gallopers kick things off on another massive fifteen race card, which is becoming the new normal whilst we make up for being on break for four months. (8) JEDI looks as if she can get us off to a good start after a nice trial performance mid-June. The Cowboy Cal filly will have the services of Moon Se-young, who nursed her in a soft trial working to the line well when finishing second. (6) GREEN POKJU is another that trialed well and should be considered a winning chance. The Old Fashioned filly clocked a good time when working to the line under her own steam, it wasn’t until the last half-furlong that Kim Jeon-jun pushed her along. (11) COBRA BALL looks next best after trialing fairly clocking 63.5 seconds for the 1000m. The Forest Camp colt has an awkward draw for Park Tae-jong to overcome. (3) HEUNG DREAM lines up for his second start after being well beaten on debut. If there is some improvement on top of the debut he can run into the money.

Selections (8) Jedi (6) Green Pokju (11) Cobra Ball (3) Heung Dream
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 4, 6, 8


Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(2) MAX DAERO improved across three starts prior to the shutdown culminating in a 3rd place at this distance in February when he led for much of the way. While a June trial was no better than average, he can get to the front again here and can win. (7) WONDERFUL MAGIC didn’t do too much wrong in two efforts over 1000M around the turn of the year, the best of them finishing in 4th. He trialed up with some very good horses during the hiatus and is likely to challenge Max Daero for the early lead here. (12) RIDE MAN debuted at this distance three weeks ago finishing 4th in a slowly run race on a wet track. He should have come on for that run and looks set to go closer today. (9) BARBELL looked pretty ordinary when 7th over 1300M on June 27th but went back to trial last week and put in the kind of time that should bring him into contention here. (5) CHALLENGE SOCKS can have a line drawn through his debut on June 20th as he was forced very wide around the turn by another runner taking him out of contention. (8) HELLO GEUMSEONG has run consistent times in a series of trials and is another one who could find some minor money.

Selections (2) Max Daero (7) Wonderful Magic (12) Ride Man (5) Challenge Socks
Next Best 8, 9
Fast Start 2, 7, 8


Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million 

The Korean-bred three-year-old gallopers line up in the third where the looks a special engaged. (8) NEVER WALK ALONE comes off a last start second behind Yaho Golden Cat when resuming for this preparation. Moon Se-young gets the plum ride on the Warrior’s Reward colt who has placed twice from four starts. The galloper is not the fastest away, suggesting rider Moon will position off speed and allow him to improve from the top of the Seoul straight. (10) NONGBON RAK is also second up after finishing fifth last start behind J.S. Power. The filly tried to lead throughout but started to shorten stride halfway up the straight. She should be fitter for the run. (5) GOLDEN BADGE lines up for her second start after passing a few in the straight on debut to finish midfield. Kim Yong-geun will be legged aboard on Sunday, with some improvement she is capable of running into the money. (3) MENI SPURT is another having her second start, with some improvement she is a top four chance.

Selections (8) Never Walk Alone (10) Nongbon Rak (5) Golden Badge (3) Meni Spurt
Next Best 7, 6
Fast Start 7, 10


Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

While he didn’t show much prior to the long break, (9) CLEAN HEART appeared to return much improved on June 20th when he ran on strong for 2nd in a competitive time at this distance and that run should stand him in good stead here. Stepping up to the trip for the first time is (12) BANGJU. He went into the break with a 3rd place over 1000M before putting in a front-running 2nd at 1200M on resumption last month. The wide draw does him no favours but he looks a progressive type who has a win in him sooner rather than later and it could be here. (10) GANA PARK ran 3rd behind Bangju in that 1200M affair last month. That was her debut and it warrants plenty of optimism. She came from off the pace and the additional furlong today can benefit her. Another tackling the distance for the first time is (2) WANGINHAENGCHA. He registered a 3rd and a 2nd at 1000M and 1200M early this year and resumes today having looked sharp in a late June trial. He can use the inside draw to steal a march on the other fancies.

Selections (12) Bangju (2) Wanginhaengcha (10) Gana Park (9) Clean Heart
Next Best 4
Fast Start 2, 8, 12


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

The fillies go over the 1300m in the fifth where there appears to be a host of chances. (4) DANGDAE ROYAL returned in good style last start when finishing second behind Magic Plan. The lightly raced four-year-old clocked a reasonable time for this grade, putting her in good stead for a good performance over 1300m. She has drawn ideally to sit in the first three and finish off strong as per last start. (8) HAPPY MONTH looks an each way chance after finishing third behind Top Seed last time out. Her time was not the quickest but with some improvement she can be there at the business end. The last run of (10) CHEONJI YEOGEOL was back in February where she finished fourth behind Luisa. She trialed up in good fashion in May and a forward performance would not surprise. (6) YULONG STAR looks next best after finishing fifth behind Speed Go back in January. She enters unchartered territory being engaged over the 1300m for the first time, but she trialed up fairly so include her in your wider selections.

Selections (4) Dangdae Royal (8) Happy Month (10) Cheonji Yeogeol (6) Yulong Star
Next Best 3, 9
Fast Start 3, 4, 10


Race 6: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

n four starts so far, (6) ILBO DEUNGCHEON has finished no worse than 5th with his best being a runner-up finish over 1200M in a good time in February. He ran 4th on his first try at this distance on June 21st and with Moon Se Young climbing aboard today there is plenty to like about the spot he finds himself in here. He can settle just behind the early speed and has solid claims. (7) TRUE warrants firm consideration having returned from the break to put in a career-best effort of 4th. It came at this distance and he had three others who go here well back behind him. He came from off the pace that day and the addition of Lee Hyeon-jong in the saddle is certainly no negative either. Among those who have raced at this distance in the past, (1) HONEY BUTTER BOBBY has the fastest time to her name. She did that in February when 3rd on a wet track and races today for the first time since then. She looked well in a fast trial last week and is in the frame here. (3) HORSE CAPTAIN has scope for improvement as he returns to action for the first time in fifteen months while (12) SHINE MUSIC is another who could aim for minor money.

Selections (6) Ilbo Deungcheon (7) True (1) Honey Butter Bobby (3) Horse Captain
Next Best 12, 4
Fast Start 1, 9


Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A field of twelve line up in the seventh where only three of the runners engaged have saluted previously. (4) ECHO VICTOR is the on top selection as the three-year-old lines up for his second start. The Gemologist gelding finished third on debut behind Mighty New. It was a respectable performance considering he overcame barrier nine to sit on speed, finishing off in a commendable fashion. (5) MOONHAK SKY resumes after a solid trial. The Sky Mesa colt placed last start back in February when finishing second behind Panorama View over 1200m. He is yet to show any gate speed so expect Johan Victoire to let him find his feet naturally early on. (10) HIGH BEAT is a one of only two Korean-bred gallopers engaged in the event. The lightly raced five-year-old finished third when resuming last start over the 1300m. He has only notched the one win from twelve starts but is more than capable of filling a place with the light weight on his back. (6) KAILLUM JEWANG performed fairly when resuming last start, finishing fifth behind Yori Jori. With a central draw expect Park Hyun-woo to position behind the leading division and present him at the top of the straight.

Selections (4) Echo Victor (5) Moonhak Sky (10) High Beat (6) Kaillum Jewang
Next Best 2, 12
Fast Start 2, 4


Race 8: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(10) WONDERFUL STORM ran out a six-length winner on debut over 1000M on June 21st. He settled in mid-position before cruising by his rivals and running on strongly and while he is up in both class and distance today, neither should be an issue and he should be maintaining his 100% record. (11) GOOD SENSE ran a strong class and distance 2nd on his last outing prior to the shutdown in January. He looked the part when winning a trial two weeks ago and shapes to be among the leading dangers today. Although he prefers to work forward early, he should be able to overcome the wide gate and get close to the speed. The super-experienced (2) GWANGYA BULGIDUNG has only ever won once but he produced a strong run to finish 2nd at class and distance two weeks ago and in this company is capable of running into money again. (3) DURI and (6) DAEGUN OK others in the placing frame.

Selections (10) Wonderful Storm (11) Good Sense (6) Daegun Ok (2) Gwangya Bulgidung
Next Best 3, 5, 8
Fast Start 2, 3


Race 9: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Ten Korean-bred gallopers will face the starter in the ninth where there is a lack of early speed engaged. (7) ALL BAEK looks the one to beat, she is the likely leader and should work forward for Song Jae-chul who can control the tempo of the race. She is a last start winner over this distance, and whilst it was in weaker company, she clocked a good time and is capable of going back to back. (4) MONEY POCKET looks next best as she lines up for her ninth start chasing her third win. The Hansen filly trialed up in good fashion just a fortnight back. She is not known for her early speed so expect her to be given time to settle before hitting the line strong late. (10) YEOGEOL VISION has mixed her form since arriving in Class 4 company. She is another that lacks early speed and is likely to settle in the last couple before reeling off a good sectional. She has the in-form Lee Hyeok on her back. (6) GULCHARMNAMUSUP looks next best after trialing fairly coming into this preparation. She lost her way before the hiatus but has some ability, collecting three wins from thirteen starts to date.

Selections (7) All Baek (4) Money Pocket (10) Yeogeol Vision (6) Gulcharmnamusup
Next Best 9, 8
Fast Start 7


Race 10: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A weak affair for this level with only one of the twelve ever having seen the inside of a winner’s circle. That’s (9) MUNHAKUI JEONSA and it was all the way back in August of last year. He’s not the fastest Uncle Mo colt you’ll ever see but he trialed up well in May and he should be coming close here. We’re going to go with one of the maidens though. (6) EAST BAN has a best of 2nd over 1000M and does have a burst of speed, something he showed when winning a May trial. He needs to get on pace from the start though, something he has drawn adequately enough to do here and if he can get to the front, he may not be passed. (3) LOOKING FIRST should also be on pace from the start and comes in following a career-best 2nd at class and distance on June 21st and can be a real threat. (2) FULL BOOSTER is another who has shown speed and resumes for the first time after the break having looked well in a trial.

Selections (6) East Ban (3) Looking First (2) Full Booster (9) Munhakui Jeonsa
Next Best 9
Fast Start 2, 6


Race 11: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

A field of twelve will go over the 1400m in the eleventh where there are some handy types engaged, however a lack of speed should make for a tactically interesting race. (2) CHOIN BOLT is the on top selection after finishing fifth behind the handy East Jet first up. Moon Se-young will ride the four-year-old once again, who will have a good draw to allow the horse to keep in touch and reel off a good last three furlongs. The four-year-old looks for his fourth win at start nine. (4) BEST LINE is another that has built a good record, notching three wins from ten starts along with a handful of minor placings. As he starts a new preparation, his trial was somewhat questionable, but we need to include him on what he has shown to date. (11) DETERMINATION had a blip in his preparation in Busan when he was meant to line up in the KRA Cup Mile, but was scratched on his way to the gates. To be fair the 1600m appears a more suitable distance for the three-year-old, this appears to be the back-up plan. He is a swooper but with a lack of speed he may have too much to do at the top of the straight. (10) GEUMA KINGDOM finished second behind Legend Storm in this grade when resuming. The placing came over the 1700m where he has done some of his best work, this may be a bit short for the chestnut.

Selections (2) Choin Bolt (4) Best Line (11) Determination (10) Geuma Kingdom
Next Best 9, 5
Fast Start 7


Race 12: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(5) CHOEGANG PARTY comes in having run 3rd at class and distance on June 20th beating a couple of these in the process. He’s not got an electric burst of speed but just like his dam, who was a very good racehorse here, he is a solid grinding type who should have wins at this level and of Lee Dong-ha can keep him handy, he could come out on top here. (7) WONDERFUL PLEASURE ran 4th in that same race. She’s yet to win but consistently picks up minor cheques and can continue that today and in a race with little early speed, may get a free ride up front. Similarly, (3) STRONG QUEEN has never been worse than 5th in five starts so far including three runner-up finishes. She ran 3rd at this distance before the shutdown and trialed well enough in June. She likes to come from off the pace and Song Jae-chul has been timing them well in recent weeks The step up in trip should suit (4) CHEONGDAM CURLING. Although he got his win at 1200M, he came from off the pace and was travelled well late for 6th last time over 1400M. He’ll go well back here and with more distance to play with today, could be very interesting. (2) GOK MA DAN and (11) GANGHOJEIL are others in the hunt.

Selections (5) Choegang Party (3) Strong Queen (7) Wonderful Pleasure (4) Cheongdam Curling
Next Best 11, 2
Fast Start 7, 9


Race 13: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million 

The Korean-bred gallopers line up over the two turns in the thirteenth. (9) JEONGSANG YEOSIN is a progressive type with a record of four wins from nine starts. She will have her first run since January and comes into the preparation off a good trial in April. Her record over the two turns is impeccable with three wins from three starts over the 1700m. Kim Yong-geun will be legged aboard her and has been aboard her for three of her wins. (6) HAMYANG SANSAM is somewhat of a non-winner but is consistently finishing in the top five. She is first up coming into this assignment but did have a trial where she didn’t show anything worth noting. (4) HAENGBOK STAR has been tried over the two turns for quite some time, popping up for a minor place now and then. She is capable of running into the money with a good draw. (10) DUMANGANG is second up after running on well last start to finish fourth last start behind Fiore. She lacks early speed but is capable of reeling off a strong sectional.

Selections (9) Jeongsang Yeosin (6) Hamyang Sansam (4) Haengbok Star (10) Dumangang
Next Best 5, 2
Fast Start 1, 5


Race 14: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

Tricky race. We’re going to go with (4) THUNDER BLADE on the grounds that the four-year-old looks to still be on the way up and while he is giving weight away, could find improvement. He’s beaten a few of these at a mile and while (5) HEUNGBOK DREAM has beaten him at this distance, Thunder Blade can overturn that form today. He can be ridden on pace or behind and can win this. (8) JOUNIGA ran a huge race to come from well back to finish 2nd over 1900M on June 21st and continues to benefit from a light weight today. (10) DARK PLAYER steps back up in trip after running 2nd at 1400M two weeks ago. He looked like he benefitted from the rest and can have come on fitness-wise for that run. (6) IGYEOJUMA was well back behind Jouniga last month but is better than and has a 2nd place at class and distance to his name as recently as February. (1) SEOUL TANK doesn’t win out of turn but is an extremely honest type that regularly runs into money and could grab a place here.

Selections (4) Thunder Blade (6) Igyeojuma (1) Seoul Tank (10) Dark Player
Next Best 5, 8, 2
Fast Start 5, 10


Race 15: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

Racegoers can get excited for the last on the card with some handy types to battle it out over the seven furlongs. Last start winner (1) SKY BAY and also (2) M J POWER who comes out of the Busan Ilbo look the main chances engaged, we wait in anticipation to see this duel. M J Power is the on top selection after a very admirable performance in the Korean Group Three feature last start. He settled midfield before hitting the line well to finish fourth behind the likes of Do Kki Blade and Gaon Champ. He is still lightly raced and he looks one that can take bigger scalps in the future. Sky Bay lines up for a fresh preparation after winning in this grade late last year. She is a very handy mare, it’s safe to say she would be considered in the mix to be one of Korea’s top five mares. (10) WONDERFUL JACKPOT resumes after nine months away from the track. It is assumed we would have seen him sooner but given the hiatus it has now been a considerable amount of time away from the track. He is a winner of six races from sixteen starts with five minor placings as well. This is his first attempt in this grade but carries just the 52kg. (8) LEONNING STROM resumed last start over the six furlong when hitting the line well to finishing sixth after settling last. The extra furlong should be ideal for the Hansen entire’s chances.

Selections (2) M J Power (1) Sky Bay (10) Wonderful Jackpot (8) Leonning Strom
Next Best 11, 4
Fast Start 1, 10


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