Saturday is Korean Derby Eve in Seoul and there are 15 races (sadly behind closed doors) running from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
The two-year-old gallopers will kick proceedings off as they line up over the short course. With ten debutants lining up it is always hard to know what they are hiding up their sleeve. Whilst saying that, we are happy to elect (6) BLACK CHARM as the on top selection, who is one of two gallopers who has had a start. The Testa Matta colt flew from the tail on debut when near last on the home turn, to finish third behind Fort Seuone. The danger lies with how far back he gets but if he is in touch, he should go past these. (10) CHIEF INDY will be watched with interest as he lines up for his first start. The colt was not overly asked for in his trial and will have the services of Moon Se-young. (8) LUCKY CLUB finished midfield behind a very handy type in Heungbaragi last time out where they clocked a good time. He looks an each-way chance in the event. (7) ADAMS APPLE looks next best of the debutants coming into the race. The Hansen filly clocked a reasonable time on a dry track, with some improvement out of the trial she can run into the money.
|Selections||(6) Black Charm (10) Chief Indy (8) Lucky Club (7) Adams Apple|
|Next Best||11, 3|
|Fast Start||3, 9, 10|
Race 2: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
A big prize on offer for imported juveniles (and Happy Birthday to the two southern hemisphere runners who turn three today but remain eligible). (6) AUCKLAND SOCKS went up against another promising newcomer, Legend Day, on debut on July 19th. He came off second best over 1200M but should have come on for the experience and looks nicely in here. In the same race, (2) GEOMISON ran 7th in the same race which was somewhat disappointing after he debuted well behind Mighty New, who has since won again, in June. He should be on speed early though and dropping back to 1000M may help. There are some promising first-timers. Moon Se Young rode Auckland Socks two weeks ago but this time gets on (5) SIRIUS A for top trainer Park Dae-heung. The Malibu Moon colt trialed up solidly, if unspectacularly three weeks ago. Most impressive in trials though was (7) BALVENIE, who after qualifying in April went through another in June. The Will Take Charge colt won both and looked especially well in the second of those.
|Selections||(6) Auckland Socks (7) Balvenie (5) Sirius A (2) Geomison|
|Fast Start||2, 4|
Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
The third on the card is a speedy affair where the Korean-bred maidens will up over the six furlongs. Expect (2) SHADOW QUEEN to fire out of the gates hard and take up the running. She looked the winner at the furlong pole last time out before being reeled in by Shiny Fire. She should be better for the run and punters know they will get a good sight with her racing pattern. (6) THUNDER K also felt the pinch late last start but clocked a reasonable time considering the race he is lining up in. He is another one that will end up in the leading division early on. (11) ULTRA ANNIE showed enough last preparation to suggest she will be one of the improvers in the event. The filly will be suited by the drop back to the 1200m after having enough in the latter stages of the 1400m event she lined up in last start. (3) BIANCA showed improvement last time out and looks a place chance at best.
|Selections||(2) Shadow Queen (6) Thunder K (11) Ultra Annie (3) Bianca|
|Next Best||9, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 6, 11|
Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
(10) TONGIL JILJU showed significant improvement when running 2nd over this distance on July 12th at what for him was start number six. In doing so, he recorded the fastest time that any of these have set over 1200M and it’s not impossible he could come from off the pace to win today. (11) CUPID BISANG has been more consistent across her five outings so far. Her best came on debut at 1000M and the test for her will be if she can get to the lead – where she really needs to be – without using too much energy; a tough ask from the outside gate. Nevertheless, she shouldn’t be far away. (6) CHEON CHONG ran 4th behind Tongil Jilju three weeks ago and like that one, could finally be figuring things out. (9) ROAD ROSE has at least troubled the scorers on one occasion and looks nicely in here. (8) ANYANG HORANGI has good speed from the gate – at least compared with the rest of this lot – and should get to the lead/ The question is how long she can hold onto it.
|Selections||(10) Tongil Jilju (11) Cupid Bisang (6) Cheon Chong (8) Anyang Horangi|
|Next Best||9, 2|
|Fast Start||8, 9, 11|
Race 5: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The three-year-old colts and fillies will line up in the fifth where there looks a handful of chances engaged. (4) DOKDO SARANG goes on top after finishing second on debut behind Raon Fashion. The Colors Flying filly let down with a nice turn of speed and whilst the time for the 1200m was not all that fast, it should be good enough to figure once again here. (11) A. P. PATEK is another that resumed in good style to finish second behind J.S. Power. The colt is likely to slot over after the start and stalk the leaders, before being asked for by Kim Yong-geun at the top of the straight. (6) HAECHAN has led and capitulated at both of his runs to date. He didn’t go down by a big margin last time out, at his second run back he should show improvement. (8) CHOTOMA debuts after some very handy trials. If he breaks cleanly it will be interesting to see what he can do. Keep him safe on an each-way basis.
|Selections||(4) Dokdo Sarang (11) A. P. Patek (6) Haechan (8) Chotoma|
|Next Best||2, 9|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 9|
Race 6: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Just the fillies going here. (9) HAPPY MONTH has gone close on a number of occasions without having made the breakthrough. He ran a decent 4th at the distance last time and Moon Se Young keeps the faith today. He’ll come from off the pace and can win. (5) WONDER PLACE beat a couple of these on her way to 2nd place in a similar all-filly affair on July 5th. She looked significantly better for the extended break and has a solid foundation to build on here. (4) HARUON ran 3rd in that race to continue her steady but sure progress. She’s drawn well to get forward early today. (7) HANIL MOA comes in off a solid 2nd place over 1200M and can come into the reckoning while (6) WONDERFUL ORANGE may appreciate the drop back in trip having done most of her recent work over 1700M. The wildcard is (2) SPEED DANCER. She was so slow over 1400M a month ago that she got ordered back to trial but absolutely blitzed her heat two weeks ago, leading all the way in the kind of time that would win most five-furlong races at this class.
|Selections||(9) Happy Month (5) Wonder Place (6) Wonderful Orange (2) Speed Dancer|
|Next Best||4, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 4, 6|
Race 7: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Not the most exciting race you will see coming out of Korea today with plenty of these gallopers taking their time to break maiden status. We never thought we’d see the day that Moon Se-young would take his colours off and put the owner’s silks of (5) BAEKDU GEOPO on, but that day has arrived. The Thunder Moccasin gelding is still looking for his maiden win at start sixteen but he gets a winnable assignment here. He hit the line well when resuming and if The Moon can keep him in touch with the leading division, he looks a big chance of breaking through. (6) SUN WINNER looks next best in the event coming of a fifth last time out. He has four fifth-placed performances from eleven starts, hardly an amazing record but such is the depth of this race. (3) GOLD BRIDGE placed last time out over the two turns and will drop back to the 1300m here today. The time for the 1700m was slow and he is yet to show any form over 1300m. (10) BLUE CHARM clocked a slow time over the 1400m last time out on a fast track. In saying that he has placed twice from four starts and should be considered.
|Selections||(5) Baekdu Geopo (6) Sun Winner (3) Gold Bridge (10) Blue Charm|
|Next Best||7, 9|
Race 8: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(3) SHINY FIRE steps up in class having won very nicely at the fourth time of asking over 1000M earlier this month. She steps up in trip for the first time as well but is nicely drawn to get to the early speed and could well win again. She’s one of four in the race who tackle class 5 for the first time. Among the others is (5) BIG FACE who, while yet to win, has finished a good runner-up twice and should be competitive at this level. He too will be aiming for the lead early on. After winning on debut, (9) BIG PLAN struggled on his first crack at class 5 but was a very good trial winner two weeks ago in a fast time and can be given another chance today. Similarly, (8) GIVEN RUNNER and (10) DONGJJOK GLORY are both better than their respective latest outings – which came in the same race – suggest.
|Selections||(3) Shiny Fire (5) Big Face (8) Given Runner (9) Big Plan|
|Next Best||10, 7, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5, 8, 9|
Race 9: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
One of our specials on the card comes up in the ninth where there only looks to be two likely pacemakers. (11) CARVING CROSS was good when resuming last start to finish third behind Waeng Taeng I. The speedy type clocked an impressive time for the 1400m and with five weeks between runs he should be ready to bounce out of the gates and lead them, before proving too strong in the run home. (10) DREAM MONEY has won just the one race from eighteen starts but is capable of finishing in the placings. The time clocked last time out for this distance was reasonable and the One Cool Cat gelding may get a trail across from Carving Cross. (1) WILD KINGDOM was a last start winner breaking maiden status at start four. The three-year-old will carry the same weight as per last start and is capable of sitting on speed once again and showing some cheek. (4) BODY STAR had to overcome a wide draw first up in an assignment tougher than this event. With a better drawn and an easier field he can figure in the minor money.
|Selections||(11) Carving Cross (10) Dream Money (1) Wild Kingdom (4) Body Star|
|Next Best||7, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 11|
Race 10: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(7) HAEDEULMOE ran a good 4th behind Looking Good over 1400M on June 21st. He’s win at this class already and the four-year-old has a good chance of scoring again in what is admittedly a tricky affair. It’s taken (6) MONEY SIJANG just three starts to reach this level. She was a front-running winner over 1200M in an all-filly race at 1200M and while she is up in class and distance today, she carries a nice light weight and should be in the hunt. So too should (10) VICTORY KING. He has the fastest time of any of these over the 1300M and comes in off a nice 3rd place last start at 1400M. Look for him coming home fast and late. (9) GYORYONGDEUKSU enters the frame too following a good 4th place last start at this distance three weeks ago. The lengthy layoff may have benefitted (2) SAGWARANG more than most. He seemed to have lost his way since getting promoted to this level but looked well when winning a trial during the shutdown and is the wildcard here.
|Selections||(10) Victory King (7) Haedeulmoe (6) Money Sijang (9) Gyoryongdeuksu|
|Next Best||2, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 6, 8|
Race 11: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
There is plenty of speed engaged from wide draws in the eleventh, suggesting if the other runners in the field don’t jump cleanly, they will get a long way back. (6) JEONGMUN SUMMIT should be able to position behind the speed and reel off a good last sectional. His first up run was good when finishing fourth behind Elite Lady clocking a reasonable time on a dry track. (1) SHARK JJANG looks one of the main chances engaged. The New Year’s Day colt finished third last time out in this company but continues to carry big weights, which is the query. (8) RAON LIGHT MAN resumed after trialing three weeks back. The Musket Man gelding showed plenty of ability early on and is yet to finish no worse than fifth from seven starts. (9) K TOP KING was an all the way winner last time out over this journey. The handicapper pinged him 3kg for the win which will make this tougher. He will work forward early but there is every chance Moon Se-young may want the lead as well, who will be aboard (11) NALARA HILL on the outside of him. Good race.
|Selections||(6) Jeongmun Summit (1) Shark Jjang (8) Raon Light Man (9) K Top King|
|Next Best||10, 11|
|Fast Start||9, 11|
Race 12: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Fillies – and one mare – only here. (11) JEOLYE comes in having run 4th in the GC Trophy earlier this month and ultimately looks set for a higher level than this. The wide draw shouldn’t be too much trouble and she can go close here. (6) GEUMJAYU ran 3rd behind Blue Macaron at 1200M on June 28th. She was beaten by Jeolye back in February but has every chance of overturning that form here. From gate six, she should be on or very close to the pace from the start. (7) GEUMSEONG YEOWANG was hardly spectacular but likewise didn’t do much wrong when 4th at class and distance on July 5th. This is arguably slightly weaker competition and she has every chance. (1) ECHO FIRST ON always seems to get a top jockey aboard but has struggled since returning to this level. (3) DOLGYEOK APEURO an in a fast time on a muddy track for 4th over this distance all the way back in January. She hasn’t raced since January but looked well when trialing in June.
|Selections||(6) Geumjayu (11) Jeolye (7) Geumseong Yeowang (3) Dolgyeok Apeuro|
|Next Best||1, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 6|
Race 13: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
This race just might be the best chance all seven of these gallopers get to win another race, with a lack of form the common theme amongst them. (1) DEOBUREO SOOP looks hardest to beat coming off a third last time out in this grade behind Gallop Curlin. He lacks early dash therefore gate one is not much of an advantage, however if he can show the turn of foot shown last start, he is capable of passing the other six in the race. (5) LITTLE BOY FLASH was a last start winner when stepping up to the 1700m second up. The grey has always been consistent over the two turns and whilst he steps up in class, this is a race where he can run into the money once again. (6) THE SPIKER is a ten-start maiden who trialed well a fortnight ago. He has seven top four finishes from twelve starts and his runs over the two turns have been fair. (3) PRO MATHEUS looks next best and with two runs under his belt, should be hitting peak fitness for this assignment.
|Selections||(1) Deobureo Soop (5) Little Boy Flash (6) The Spiker (3) Pro Matheus|
|Next Best||7, 4|
Race 14: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
(4) SIMON QUEEN and (5) LOOKING GOOD both take their chances at class 3 level for the first time and both look to have solid claims. Distance-wise, Simon Queen is proven around two-turns having made her latest three starts at 1700M, winning one and running 2nd in two. However, Looking Good finished off extremely well over 1400M two starts back having started poorly, suggesting that he may well thrive on a bit of distance too. Both still have more in them and either could win here. Old-stagers (2) KING MESSENGER and (7) SARYEONI HEALING both have lots of experience at this level and while neither win out of turn, both know what it takes to finish in the money and they could potentially push the up and comers. (10) WILD DRAGON is one who has previously performed at this level and may well have benefited from the lengthy hiatus. We don’t have much in the way of trials to go on though, so we’ll make him the wildcard.
|Selections||(5) Looking Good (4) Simon Queen (7) Saryeoni Healing (2) King Messenger|
|Next Best||10, 1|
Race 15: Class 1 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 100 Million
An outstanding sprint to finish up with which sees the return of the excellent pairing of (4) MASK and (11) MALIBU BULPAE, both of whom are top line competitors. They are handed a very stiff assignment first up though. (3) DIA SOCKS may specialize in finishing as runner-up but he has been runner-up to the likes of Global Captain, Morfhis and Blue Chipper so while, as good as this race is, it is arguably his weakest set of rivals for some time with most yet to win in class 1. True his run in the Busan Ilbo last month didn’t impress but he has to be given a top chance here. (7) COMPLETE SWEEP led all the way at class and distance on July 5th to defeat (1) HAVANA CHARLIE. He only goes up a couple of kilos in the weights for that win and has strong claims again. So too, for that matter, does Havana Charlie, a horse capable of running much faster than he did last time and who may well have come on for the run.
|Selections||(3) Dia Socks (1) Havana Charlie (4) Mask (7) Complete Sweep|
|Next Best||11, 2, 8, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 7, 8, 6|