The recent uptick in Covid-19 cases in Korea has ended any prospect of punters returning to racecourses for the forseeable future and if the situation doesn’t stabilise soon, is likely to see racing forced back on an extended break. For now though things continue behind closed doors and with no legal betting in Korea. It’s a big weekend of action with the SROA Trophy and Ttukseom Cup at Seoul on Sunday but before that things get underway with a 15-race Friday card at Busan from 11.30 to 18.00. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
Juvenile maidens kick off the card with six of the eleven racing for the very first time. We’ll go with experience though and (2) GOOD SOCKS showed potential when 3rd on debut on July 24th. The filly is well drawn to get to the front here and the additional furlong shouldn’t be an issue. (1) YEONGGWANGUICHUKJE ran 5th in that race. He is the only entrant to have raced twice prior to today and having run on well both times at 1000M, looks like he could benefit from the increased trip today. (4) ALPHA AGAIN led on debut and while he weakened late on, he should have come on for the run and can improve on the 4th place he secured. Among the first-timers, (10) PYEONGHWA SIDAE looked well when 3rd in a trial last month and can go well first up here with a top jockey on board.
|Selections||(2) Good Socks (1) Yeonggwanguichukje (4) Alpha Again (10) Pyeonghwa Sidae|
|Next Best||3, 8, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 4|
Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The Korean-bred maiden gallopers line up in the second where there is limited early speed engaged. (6) WISE GIRL looks a promising type after finishing second on debut. The filly rattled off a solid sectional after settling well back in the run. If Jo In-kwen can settle her closer from barrier six she looks a good chance of breaking through. (5) SUN ALPHA looks an each-way chance from a good draw. The Thunder Moccasin colt should be able to settle closer in the run. Two starts ago the three-year-old finished third behind Wind Park which reads well for this assignment. (3) CHEONMA HASEO is another that looks capable of figuring. The chestnut has had the three starts with a career best fourth to date, which came at his most recent start. (7) GABO TODAY looks next best but times he has clocked to date have been slow.
|Selections||(6) Wise Girl (5) Sun Alpha (3) Cheonma Haseo (7) Gabo Today|
|Next Best||8, 1|
|Fast Start||7, 8|
Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(1) HAPPY SONG looked ready to win with a solid 3rd place on the weekend of the shutdown in February over this distance. Aside from an April trial which offered few clues, she’s not been seen since but if she can pick up today from where she left off, she has to be considered a real chance here. (6) HAMAN HAPGANGJEONG has shown improvement over three starts so far, culminating in a 4th place last time out at this distance. She tends to take an age to get going but in this company she won’t need to improve very much to go close. Both (2) BAEDARI SUNSHINE and
(4) INDY QUEEN have runner-up finishes to their names and while both struggled in their respective latest outings, they can be considered here. There is a solitary debut-make and it marks the first career race ride for apprentice jockey Kim Tae-hyun. (8) WINNING DANCER trialed up well last month, running 2nd in an adequate time and in such a soft race, has to be considered a chance first-up.
|Selections||(1) Happy Song (6) Haman Hapgangjeong (8) Winning Dancer (2) Baedari Sunshine|
Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
The all-aged maidens line up in the fourth over 1200m. (5) SEONGSIL SONYEO is the on-top selection coming off some fair performances over the six furlongs. The filly finished off well last time out when finishing fifth behind Achim Bit. Prior to her last run she finished fourth behind B.K John. (7) CHEONNYEONUI GIL was well thought of at her first start back but was pulled up out of the race. A vet’s examination revealed that she bled in the run. She has since trialed and lines up with six weeks between runs. (2) SIMON LADY has shown enough previously to suggest she can collect a minor cheque in this event. With barrier two she can park a bit closer in the run and finish in the money. (8) GOLDEN MANE PARIS looks next best in a race that does not inspire.
|Selections||(5) Seongsil Sonyeo (7) Cheonnyeonui Gil (2) Simon Lady (8) Golden Mane Paris|
|Next Best||9, 1|
Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
After two attempts at a mile, (2) SUSO TANK drops back in trip today and looks nicely in to take this weak maiden. He’s run best when taken to the front early and from a good draw, Jeong Dong-cheol should be able to put him on speed from the start. (5) TOHAM STRONG has recorded the best time of any of these at this distance and while that is somewhat faint praise, should have enough about him to be competitive here. He came from well off the pace to run 6th over 1400M last start and really should be aiming for a career-best finish today. (6) ROYAL CASTLE came home 4th of 11 over this distance last start and is another who should be on the early speed here. (3) KING OF JOY has done little in two starts back since the break but can improve today.
|Selections||(2) Suso Tank (5) Toham Strong (3) King Of Joy (6) Royal Castle|
|Fast Start||2, 6|
Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
A compact field of seven will face the starter in the sixth event where there looks a standout. (4) CRONUS looks one of the best bets on the card. The three-year-old finished off well last start and this is a very weak assignment. He is drawn ideal to allow Seo Seung-un to allow him to find his feet naturally early-on and run over them in the final stages. (2) CHEONNYEONUIGUREUM looks next best as she lines up for her third-up appearance. The Hansen filly finished midfield over 1600m last start behind Blue Signal. Both runs have been over the mile since resuming, she has handed in some solid performances over the short course previously. (3) I AM CHAMPION has finished midfield at all three starts this time in. He is yet to place from seventeen starts but such is the weakness of this race, we can make a case to throw him into the numbers. (7) YEONGGWANGUIRUNNER is another looking for his first placing at start seven. He will settle rearwards and should pass a few in the run home.
|Selections||(4) Cronus (2) Cheonnyeonuigureum (3) I Am Champion (7) Yeonggwanguirunner|
|Next Best||6, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 4|
Race 7: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(8) TOP OF THE GIRL made all to register her maiden win at the sixth time of asking over 1400M on July 24th. She’s up in both class and distance today but does have experience over a mile. Seo Seung-un remains aboard and is likely to send her to the front early and she has claims to win again. (4) ROCKHARD FORCE beat a couple of these on his way to a good 2nd at class and distance two weeks ago when he led for much of the way. The same apprentice who rode him that day returns and he can benefit from the 4kg allowance once more. (6) TRIUMPH CAT and (3) HUNTER PARK came home 4th and 5th in that race and both should be looking to get closer today. The latter also gets the benefit of an allowance today and should be on speed from the gate. Although still a maiden after twenty attempts, (9) DAMYANG CHOEGANG is consistent and comes in off a solid 3rd place over 1300M two weeks ago and can aim for similar here.
|Selections||(8) Top Of The Girl (4) Rockhard Force (6) Triumph Cat (3) Hunter Park|
|Next Best||9, 7|
|Fast Start||3, 8|
Race 8: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
There appears to be limited winning chances in the eighth event on the card. (7) B.K JOHN looks a big chance based on the strength of his maiden win when resuming last start. The Colonel John gelding reeled off a strong sectional to win at start three. The extra furlong should only help his chances. (4) UNBONGSAN looks one of the likely pacemakers in the event after attempting to lead at all three starts this preparation. The filly will be a winning chance if she is not taken on in the early stages of the race. (8) PINEUI KKUM is capable of challenging for the lead as he has shown early speed in previous races. She was very disappointing last time out when considered a big chance, only to fade in the straight beating two home. She finished second the start prior, she also drops back to 1400m from the mile which appears to be a key factor. (2) HIDDEN BOY rarely figures but did improve last start to finish fourth. He may add some value to the exotic dividends.
|Selections||(7) B.K John (4) Unbongsan (8) Pineui Kkem (2) Hidden Boy|
|Next Best||6, 5|
|Fast Start||4, 8|
Race 9: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Fillies (and the one mare) only here and while it’s a small field, it’s a competitive one. (4) ALPHA HEART made all to secure her maiden win at the third time of asking on July 31st at this distance. She’s up in class here but the manner of that win suggests there could be more to come and a repeat is a real possibility. (8) WIND PARK got her maiden win in July too and comes in having run 4th to the very good Winner’s Man two weeks ago. She’s drawn wide but should get forward early and can go close. (1) DALGI and (3) JEMA TUJI both come in off last start runner-up finishes and have ecery chance of repeating while (2) ULTRA PHOENIX is significantly better than her struggles at 1400M two weeks ago suggest and drawing a line through that run is advisable. The first-up (7) FIRST STAR has the fastest time of any of these at the distance and while she’ll no doubt need this, she went well in a trial earlier this month and can be considered.
|Selections||(4) Alpha Heart (8) Wind Park (2) Ultra Phoenix (7) First Star|
|Next Best||1, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 8|
Race 10: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
A compact field of eight gallopers will line up over six furlongs in the tenth. (7) NORTHERN DREAM looks ready to breakthrough for her first win. The One Cool Cat filly lined up in three-year-old company at her past two starts since resuming and placed on both occasions. She drops to 51.5kg for this assignment where there is no real standout in the field. (8) HANSEN MULGYEOL handed in a better performance last time out when fourth behind Good Thunder. Consistency hasn’t been a strong point for the filly but she has clocked some times that will see her be competitive in this if she brings her A-game. (2) DOCTOR GREY comes out of the same race as Hansen Mulgyeol where he finished fifth. The Old Fashioned colt has placed three times from six starts, a win doesn’t look too far away. (4) PARADISE KING looks next best notching five places from eleven starts.
|Selections||(7) Northern Dream (8) Hansen Mulgyeol (2) Doctor Grey (4) Paradise King|
|Next Best||6, 5|
|Fast Start||6, 7|
Race 11: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(1) BLACK EAGLE WING came from well off the pace to beat a couple of these on his way to 5th place at class and distance on July 31st. He is still a maiden after nine attempts but has finished in the top five on seven occasions. If You Hyun-myung can keep him a bit closer to the pace today, he could make the break through. (6) CHEAT KEY should have come on for his first-up 6th place over 1300M two weeks ago. He should be on pace early and the drop back in trip should suit. (2) GIANT’S BIZ races for the first time since last October. He has the fastest time of any of these at this distance and came through a trial in good order just last week. (9) YEONGUNG ILGI was 6th behind Black Eafle Wing three weeks ago. An apprentice jockey aboard means he carries significantly less weight today and he should come into the reckoning.
|Selections||(1) Black Eagle Wing (6) Cheat Key (2) Giant’s Biz (9) Yeongung Ilgi|
|Next Best||4, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 6, 7|
Race 12: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
The twelfth on the card has some progressive types engaged to line up over the two turns. The quinella in the event looks obvious with (3) GEUMA KAIROS and (6) JEONSEOLUI BOSS the main chances engaged. Geuma Kairos is the on top selection based on the allocated weights in the race. The Menifee colt has had the one start over this distance where he saluted in good style. He carries 1kg extra on last start in contrast to the progressive Jeonseolui Boss who has to lump the top weight of 57kg, an additional 3kg on his most previous effort. The Federalist gelding has won three from six but one feels will need to improve here to win with the weight. (4) FINAL FRONT is somewhat of a non-winner yielding one win from his thirty-start career to date. He gets an ideal draw to sit in the first couple and have every chance of finishing in the money once again. (7) HWARANGUICHAMPION performed better last time out when finishing third behind Geuma Mystic. The Menifee gelding reeled off a good sectional to run into the minor money.
|Selections||(3) Geuma Kairos (6) Jeonseolui Boss (4) Final Front (7) Hwaranguichampion|
|Next Best||1, 2|
Race 13: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(1) I’M YOUR FASHION returned to action and to form in fine style on July 17th, leading from gate to wire to score over this distance. He is accordingly up in class today but that shouldn’t be an issue and he has every chance of following up with another win. (7) SYDNEY MANGCHI has had plenty of setbacks in a career which has seen the four-year-old race just five times. He’s got plenty of talent though and he looked very well when winning a trial with ease a couple of weeks ago. He is giving weight away but if he is at anything like his best, he can win. (10) CHOEGANG TOUCH should be better for the drop back in trip today. She weakened for 4th having led three weeks ago at 1400M and if she can get forward early again, can go close. (5) SO MUCH GO and (6) RISING BOY are others in at least the placing hunt.
|Selections||(7) Sydney Mangchi (1) I’m Your Fashion (10) Choegang Touch (5) So Much Go|
|Next Best||6, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 7, 9, 10|
Race 14: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
It is hard to predict the likely pacemaker in the fourteenth where a field of ten will line up over 1400m at Class 2 level. (2) POWER TOUCH resumes in the event with Ioannis Polluis retaining the ride. The progressive Korean-bred galloper has won five of his fifteen starts and has notched six minor placings as well. The Test Matta four-year-old was given a soft trial and looks ready to fire with fresh legs. At his last start he finished third behind Seongsan Simon which reads well for this assignment. (4) AWESOME KING IJI will line up for his fourth run this preparation after finishing third last time out over six furlongs. Mo Junho will claim 4kg once again on the five-year-old, which seemed to be the difference at the galloper’s last outing. (5) ULTRA POWER is an each-way chance coming off a last start fourth in this grade. That was his first attempt in this grade, he carries the same lightweight of 52kg and is capable of running into the money again. (10) KINGSTON HARBOR is a class and distance winner previously. The four-year-old has drawn wide suggesting he may need to settle further back than ideal. If that is the case, it looks a tough ask to reel off a quick last sectional with 57.5kg on his back.
|Selections||(2) Power Touch (4) Awesome King Iji (5) Ultra Power (10) Kingston Harbor|
|Next Best||3, 9|
Race 15: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(3) RAPIDO MAN has been busy since the resumption in June, racing four times and winning two. He was excellent in victory last time at this distance and while he is accordingly up in class, he finds himself nicely weighted in with firm claims to win again. (7) HIDDEN STAR was a class and distance winner on July 17th. He carries an additional 3kg today but should be equal to it and can go close once more. (5) ADELE STAR was 4th in the same event coming from well back after a slow start. If he is a little bit closer to the action earlier this time, then he can match or improve on that finish today. The wildcard is (6) THUNDER FLY, who races for the first time since winning at this class over 1800M back in February. He offered few clues in a decent trial a month ago but while today may not be his ultimate target, he has plenty of ability and can go close.
|Selections||(3) Rapido Man (7) Hidden Star (5) Adele Star (6) Thunder Fly|
|Next Best||4, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 7|