Month: August 2020

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 15)

There are 15 races at Seoul on Saturday from 10:45 to 18:00. Unfortunately the meeting must be held behind closed doors. One thing to note is it has been raining hard in Seoul all night and there is no let up forecast all day:

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

A valuable juvenile maiden kicks off the card with five of the eleven runners having raced before. Of those, (8) GREEN POKJU was the best, finishing 2nd of 12 at this distance on a good track in a creditable if unspectacular time. He jumped awkwardly that day, meaning he had to come from off the pace and if he gets a better start, has every chance of going close. (6) GREEN JJANG and (9) CHEONMA TODAY also put in decent efforts on their respective debuts and can be considered for improvement, but there are several first-time starters who have claims. (1) GRAY CAT was the best in trials, making all to win his heat in a good time on a wet track. Having drawn the inside again, he can get to the front from the start and looks very much in the hunt. Similarly, both (4) MYEONGJIN CANDY and (5) LUCKY JAESAN made all to win their respective heats and shouldn’t eb too far away.

Selections(1) Gray Cat (8) Green Pokju (5) Lucky Jaesan (4) Myeongjin Candy
Next Best6, 9
Fast Start1, 4, 5, 11

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

The two and three-year-old gallopers line up in the second where there looks to be a host of potential pacemakers. One of those pacemakers is (10) WINNER QUARDRILLE who lines up for her second career start. She debuted late June where running a fair time for the six furlongs, finishing fifth behind Whiz Moment. With some natural improvement at her second start she can go close. Moon Se-young sticks with her which is a good sign. (3) NONGBON RAK is third-up after a good performance to finish second behind Never Walk Alone last start. If she gets away cleanly she can sit on speed and have every chance of winning come the top of the straight. (9) ONLY WINNER trialed up nicely when not fully exerted underneath Kim Jeong-jun. The filly coasted through the line and looked to have plenty more to give. (6) RAON SPECIAL looks next best after clocking a good time when fourth behind Good Vow last time out. She is one of the likely closers with a chance engaged in the race.

Selections(10) Winner Quardrille (3) Nongbon Rak (9) Only Winner (6) Raon Special
Next Best1, 11
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 10

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Two and three-year-old maidens line up here. (4) GANA PARK has raced twice do far, finishing 3rd and 2nd, the latter at this distance. For the first time she’s drawn a good gate and with Moon Se Young taking over in the saddle, she looks hard to beat here. (11) LUCKY SEOKPO returns to action for the first time since the shutdown. He has a 2nd place finish to his name at this distance on debut in January and looked when posting a fast time on a dry track in a June trial. (3) PRIME SUMMIT has registered decent times in both her starts at 1000M so far and steps up in trip for the first time here. It may suit and she may well aim to lead under Lee Hyeok. (1) OKCHUMA and (9) GEUMA COLOSSAL are among others who have hinted at ability and may improve today.

Selections(4) Gana Park (11) Lucky Seokpo (3) Prime Summit (1) Okchuma
Next Best9, 7
Fast Start3, 4

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

The Korean-bred fillies go around in the fourth where we blackbooked one last time out. (2) LOVE WITH ME was the horse we suggested following, after a gutsy performance over 1300m last time out when second behind Cheonji Yeogeol. She was headed in the run home before fighting back, it was a fast finishing type that nabbed her in the end. With gate two she can kick up and a similar effort will see her go close. (1) BLACK SILVER is drawn well also and likewise has early speed. The Tout filly will be stretched beyond 1000m for the first time. She went down three lengths behind Good Vow last time out when unable to reel the leader in. (4) POWER MUSIC improved second-up last start to finish third behind Old Blade. The Winchester filly is capable of camping behind the speed and showing a turn of foot late. (6) SYDNEY MONEY is second up after finishing fifth behind Top Seed last time out. The filly is capable of placing over these sprint distances as seen in previous preparations.

Selections(2) Love With Me (1) Black Silver (4) Power Music (6) Sydney Money
Next Best7, 8
Fast Start1, 2

Race 5: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(5) TERRA SPEED comes in off a solid first-up 4th place over 1300M a month ago. He drops back to this trip for the first time and from a good draw should be prominent early and has as much chance as any of winning this. Joining him on speed early should be (3) WINDY RUSH. She led on debut at this distance on July 12th only to weaken a little late on. She should have come on for that experience and can play a role here. (1) HURRICANE SOCKS and (9) GABO SARANGHAE both showed development in their respective latest starts, both coming home in 4th place. The former steps up to this trip for the first time and it may well suit. (11) BOBBY BLADE has been a touch one-paced in her three starts so far but hasn’t been too far away in her latest couple and can challenge for the minors here.

Selections(5) Terra Speed (3) Windy Rush (1) Hurricane Socks (9) Gabo Saranghae
Next Best11, 6
Fast Start3, 5, 6

Race 6: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Eleven maidens line up in the sixth event where there is no standout. In a race that lacks in-form gallopers, (6) SPECIAL STORY is the on top selection after finishing third when resuming. The Afleet Again filly appears to have appreciated the enforced break, showing us that she can run through the line strong over the six furlongs last time out. (3) SEOUL CROWN looks an each way chance based on the strength of his most recent run. The One Cool Cat colt failed to run on last start when settling for fifth. With a run under his belt he can finish closer today. (7) GO AHEAD will be stretched out to the six furlongs at her second start. She clocked a reasonable time on debut when running through the line one-paced. She is likely to be given time to find her feet by Kim Ok-sung before asking her to improve from the 600m pole. (1) STAR RUSH looks next best after finishing fourth when resuming in only a moderate time.

Selections(6) Special Story (3) Seoul Crown (7) Go Ahead (1) Star Rush
Next Best2, 5
Fast Start3, 6

Race 7: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Really competitive filly and mare race for the level. (11) BAEKSAN THUNDER may still be a maiden but she beat three of these on her way to a close runner-up finish over 1300M on July 19th. The draw is not ideal but she should be able to sit outside the early speed and finish strong to go close again. (4) DREAM GIRLS was a good maiden winner on what was her fourth outing on July 5th. The win had been coming and she did it well from the front over this distance. She is up in class today but nicely drawn to lead again and two in a row is a distinct possibility although she must avoid shifting outwards in the closing stages like she did last time. Also up in class after a maiden win is (8) RAPIDO ARES. In her case it came at just the second time of asking as was a similarly front-running performance at this trip. There is no reason why she can’t be competitive at this level. (9) CHEONEUN JJANG was 4th behind Baeksan Thunder last start and can aim to match that here.

Selections(4) Dream Girls (11) Baeksan Thunder (8) Rapido Ares (9) Cheoneun Jjang
Next Best3, 1, 7
Fast Start1, 4, 7, 8

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

A field of eleven line up in the eighth event where the majority of them are well tried. (9) WONDERFUL STORM is a less experienced type who lines up for his third career start. He won on debut when we he resumed late June and then last start finished midfield when being tried over the 1300m. He is capable of improving once again, his time last start was good enough to consider him a winning chance in this event. (10) SUPER LUCKY BOY was a surprise winner last start when leading all the way for Lee Hyeok. He was disappointing on debut but rebounded in great fashion. There is a query with the 1300m but we expect him to get better as he goes deeper into his racing career. (6) DAEGUN OK broke through for her first win last start at attempt fourteen. She has consistently finished in the first five and can do so once again here. (7) PRIMA NIKE looks best of the rest after showing some improvement last start.

Selections(9) Wonderful Storm (10) Super Lucky Boy (6) Daegun Ok (7) Prima Nike
Next Best2, 3
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 9, 10

Race 9: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Imported maidens here with only three of them having troubled the placings board so far. The standout of those looks to be (5) FULL BOOSTER, who comes in having run 3rd at the distance on July 18th. That was his first up run and while he was previously good on debut before going astray a little in two further starts prior to the shutdown, this time he can maintain his momentum. (2) SUN BOOM hasn’t shown much in the way of speed but it’s been enough to see him to a 3rd and a 4th place finish in two starts back and he too can maintain that positive run of form today. (3) JANGSAN MONSTER ran well on debut all the way back in December last year before running poorly second-up in January. He’s not raced since but performed promisingly in a trial only last week and should be in the hunt in this company. There are three first-time starters and of them (4) CHEON GUN was marginally better in trials.

Selections(5) Full Booster (2) Sun Boom (3) Jangsan Monster (4) Cheon Gun
Next Best8
Fast Start2, 4, 5

Race 10: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

The lightly raced imports and one Korean-bred runner take to the track in the tenth. (1) MUNHAK ENCORE is the on top selection after improving at his second start. The We Miss Artie colt finished fourth behind Looking First where the margin was just over three lengths. Moon Se-young will jump aboard and be aided by a good gate. (3) DAEGUNUI GEOM has placed on four occasions from eight starts and is still looking for that elusive win. The Majestic Warrior colt looks well placed in this event, if he can overcome the 57.5kg on his back he is a big chance. (7) SONGAM TIZ is the one Korean-bred galloper engaged and has started his career with a bang. The Tiz Wonderful colt has won two of his three starts including a win when resuming last time out over the 1200m. This will be his toughest test to date but he looks well placed in the event. (6) CHANGSEONG SUHO is next best after finishing midfield behind Legend Day last time out, which is one of the stronger Class Four races we’ve seen in recent times.

Selections(1) Munhak Encore (3) Daegunui Geom (7) Songam Tiz (6) Changseong Suho
Next Best11, 8
Fast Start3, 7, 11

Race 11: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) JILJUUI KKUM strolled through the minor classes prior to the shutdown and returned to run a strong 2nd to the talented Looking Good on what was his first crack at class 4 on June 21st over 1400M. A half-sister to sprint star Doraonpogyeongseon, the drop back in trip should hardly be a problem and she looks bound for the higher levels. Under a nice light weight again today, she should win. (10) FIRENZE HILL was a front-running 2nd at class and distance on July 11th. He doesn’t win out of turn but that was a nice uptick in form and suggests the hiatus may have done him some good. It’s also possible the enforced break has benefitted (9) STRONG VULTURE. He seemingly completely lost his way prior to this shutdown but does have plenty of ability and trialed well a couple of months back. He’s the wildcard here. (7) JEONGMUN SUMMIT has the fastest time of any of these at this distance and looks nicely in to find a place again.

Selections(1) Jiljuui Kkum (10) Firenze Hill (7) Jeongmun Summit (9) Strong Vulture
Next Best2, 6
Fast Start1

Race 12: Class 4 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

The Class Four gallopers line up in the twelfth over 1400m where we think there is one of the better bets on the card. (7) SARYEONI WINNER is yet to break maiden status but has been good in her four career starts to date. The filly was placed in a trophy race upon resuming and performed fairly when finishing midfield behind Geosen Jilju. Back into restricted grade she should be able to notch her first win. As always when Moon Se-young is legged aboard, it’s a good sign. (2) AMIGO RARO resumed in good style to finish second behind Yori Jori early July. The Summer Front colt will step up to the 1400m at his second start back where he has previously placed. He looks one of the likely pacemakers engaged. (4) GOLD BLUE MAGIC is another potential pacemaker after sitting handy to the speed last start when finishing fourth behind Echo Bill. She will drop back to the 1400m for the first time this preparation. (9) WIND SKY looks next best coming off a last start third behind Complete Kingdom over 1700m. He is another that will drop back in distance.

Selections(7) Saryeoni Winner (2) Amigo Raro (4) Gold Blue Magic (9) Wind Sky
Next Best3, 1
Fast Start2, 4

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

(1) JEONGMUN SAI beat a couple of these when coming from well off the pace to win at this class over 1800M on June 28th. It was one of the slowest times you’ll see for a race at that distance but he won handsomely enough and while he is conceding significant weight to the rest of the field, another win isn’t impossible. (9) FIORE ran out a somewhat unexpected class and distance winner in early July and then returned later in the month to miss the start but still run on for 3rd over 1400M. She remains nicely weighted and her good form can continue. The big danger though could be (6) NANGMAN STAR. He’s only won once from thirty-seven starts but ran very nice race for 3rd at class and distance on July 12th in a useful time. Moon Se Young takes over aboard today and he looks very nicely in here. (7) GEUMA SUPREME and (11) DUMANGANG are others capable of going close.

Selections(6) Nangman Star (1) Jeongmun Sai (9) Fiore (7) Geuma Supreme
Next Best11, 3
Fast Start2, 4

Race 14: Class 2 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

We are quite keen on our selection in the fourteenth where only a small field will face the starts. (8) RED BLADE looks mighty hard to beat in the event after finishing fourth behind Flying Ford last time out over 1400m. Moon Se-young will jump aboard the Menifee gelding for the first time and is likely to push him along early from the wide gate. He has shown some good performan ces over the middle distances previously including a Class Three win over 1600m last preparation. (3) GOLD HAMMER looks next best but will face stiffer competition as he lines up in Class Two company for the first time. The entire comes off a third behind Mighty Go over 1200m last time out. He has been tried over the two turns on multiple occasions and performed well. (1) DORAON NALRI is another that will line up in this class for the first time. He placed second when resuming mid-July and will be stretched out to the two turns second-up. (6) SEOUL TANK looks capable of running into some minor money. The Giant Oak gelding will be one of the backmarkers but is capable of reeling off a strong sectional.

Selections(8) Red Blade (3) Gold Hammer (1) Doraon Nalri (6) Seoul Tank
Next Best7, 2
Fast Start1, 7 ,8

Race 15: Class 3 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

(2) EAST KINGDOM was a super winner at this class over 1200M on July 12th, coming from off the pace and running on strong. His manners weren’t great that day and it was an uptick in form. Additionally, he will need to carry an extra 4kg today, but he remains a winning chance. (1) JANGSAN FLY ran a good 2nd also at 1200M on July 18th. He is by no means a prolific winner, but he carries less weight today and has strong claims. (7) BEST LUCKY drops back in trip after an all the way win over 1700M a month ago and is another one who comes in nicely in the weights. (3) DAE BYEONHWA is a regular place-getter at this level and indeed has clocked the fastest time of any of these at this distance. He was 4th behind East Kingdom on his latest start and can match that today. (4) ACE SOLONGO, 4th to Eoma Eoma last start, and (8) GEUMA ACME are others in the hunt.

Selections(1) Jangsan Fly (2) East Kingdom (7) Best Lucky (4) Ace Solongo
Next Best8, 3
Fast Start7

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 14)

This Sunday sees the Busan Mayor’s Cup, the final leg of the Stayers’ Series where Cheongdam Dokki will once again seek to see off the likes of Tiz Plan and Shamrocker to take a clean sweep off all three legs having already won the Herald Business and YTN Cups. Before that though there is a big 15-race card at Busan on Friday running from 11:30 to 18:00. With Coivd-19 confirmed cases having risen to between 40-50 per day this week, there is still no sign as to if and when racegoers will be allowed to return to the tracks. Here are the previews:


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

Two-year-old gallopers kick of proceedings on Friday with six of the eleven engaged previously raced. (3) GALLANT WARRIOR is the on top selection in a race with many chances. The Old Fashioned colt has performed well at his two starts to date, coming off a last start fourth behind a handy type named Doctor Fashion. (7) CLEAN HIT trialed up nicely in his heat, when only having to be asked for in the last half furlong. He clocked a good time considering there was minimal urging from Lyu Gwang-hee. Busan’s leading rider You Hyun-myung will ride the colt on debut. (4) LUCAS SUN lines up for his second start after finishing midfield on debut behind World Cheonsa. The Purge colt was beaten a big margin, but his time was good and the winner looks an above average type. (5) THE FIRST FACTOR is another that finished behind a special one last start, named Winner’s Man. The filly settled better than midfield before running through the line one-paced. If she can find some improvement on top of her last effort, she can run into the money.

Selections (3) Gallant Warrior (7) Clean Hit (4) Lucas Sun (5) The First Factor
Next Best 12, 2
Fast Start 6, 10, 12


Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

The second is an all-aged maiden for the Korean-bred gallopers where a field of ten will start over six furlongs. With very little speed engaged in the event it looks a good opportunity for (4) RAPTOR MAN to break through under new apprentice Mo Junho. The Rock Hard Ten gelding brought up his first placing last time out, when second behind Pai Blade. He looks one that appreciated the enforced break, he should be able to jump and run from gate four and prove hard to beat. (5) POWERFUL LEGEND looks capable of running into the money after finishing third last time out over this distance. The three-year-old gives the indication he is backmarker so don’t expect him to be settling in the first couple. (6) RAPIDO QUEEN will debut in the race. The Sadamu Patek filly clocked a fair time in her trial, many of these have shown limited ability suggesting she can figure at her first start. (10) HUIMANG SOYEO looks next best as she lines up for her first-up run. She trialed up well and has previously placed in similar company.

Selections (4) Raptor Man (5) Powerful Legend (6) Rapido Queen (10) Huimang Soyeo
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 4, 9


Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Another all-aged maiden for the Korean-bred gallopers here with a field of eleven engaged. In a race lacking depth, (9) DOCTOR KHAN goes on top after finishing third last start over this distance behind Nice One. The Menifee gelding was beaten ten lengths on that occasion but this is a much easier assignment. There should be some natural improvement with this start being his third career run. (6) SPRING FIRE is another that was beaten by a big margin when placing in an age-restricted race last time out. The Lion Santa filly finished third but clocked a time that will see her competitive against a field of this caliber. (2) MYEONGGA DAERO looks capable of running into a place with a good draw. The four-year-old has had eighteen starts, yielding just one place. He comes off a last start fourth when clocking a fair time behind Kkumeul Neomeo. (4) KING BROTHER has finished midfield at his three starts to date. He resumes in this event coming off a fair trial.

Selections (9) Doctor Khan (6) Spring Fire (2) Myeongga Daero (4) King Brother
Next Best 10, 3
Fast Start 6, 11


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

The two and three-year-old gallopers line up in the fourth over 1300m, all looking for their first win. In a very even contest, (10) TWO TWO CELEB looks capable of being in the finish. The Cowboy Cal filly will carry just the 51.5kg coming off a midfield performance behind World Cheonsa. This race looks an easier assignment, where she will get the services of You Hyun-myung. (4) ECHO GOOD was slightly disappointing last time out when well thought of in a similar event. The Tiz Wonderful filly could only manage fifth, when one-paced in the run to the line never looking a winning chance. (5) ROYALIST lines up for his third start, coming off a fifth last time out over this distance. The Chapel Royal three-year-old was beaten a big margin but this looks an easier assignment. He did place behind Smart Value on debut. Flashy chestnut (9) TAPIT WONDERFUL looks an each-way play based on his two starts to date. The three-year-old placed on debut and then was beaten seven lengths when finishing fourth behind Top Of The Girl.

Selections (10) Two Two Celeb (4) Echo Good (5) Royalist (9) Tapit Wonderful
Next Best 11, 7
Fast Start 1, 5


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

The fifth will see the Korean-bred fillies line up over 1300m. (8) DASEUNG E produced a good performance last time out when finishing second behind Wind Park in similar company. The filly sat on speed and went down less than a length, over the same distance as this event. If she can hand in a similar effort, she should go close with minimal early speed engaged in the event. (7) QUEEN VRONSKY has notched two placings from as many starts including a last start second behind Top Lucky. The filly has the ability to close over a sprint distance, the additional half furlong should be in her favour. (3) SATURDAY QUEEN went down a head last time out when second behind Blue Ember. The Any Given Saturday four-year-old maps to sit just behind the speed and be given every chance as heads turn for home. (5) CAPSTONE comes out of the same races where she finished fourth. She was somewhat one-paced through the line but is capable of figuring.

Selections (8) Daseung E (7) Queen Vronsky (3) Saturday Queen (5) Capstone
Next Best 10, 1
Fast Start 8, 10


Race 6: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

The next best thing from a dead certainty will line up in the sixth where a compact field of eight will go over the 1400m. (3) PORRIMA lines up in a race which she should win by panels. The Old Fashioned filly is the only runner to bring any reasonable form into the race. She comes off a last start third behind Adele Classic where she was comprehensively beaten. This race looks much easier, expect her to work to the front and not be headed. (2) TRUE WARRIOR is fourth up and should be rock hard fit. He (more…)

Korean Oaks Sunday – Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (August 9)

On Sunday it’s the fillies’ turn to have their Three-Year-Old Classic as the 2020 Korean Oaks takes place at Busan. A field of fifteen will line up in the Group 2 feature which is the last race on Busan’s 5-race Sunday card. At Seoul there are 12 races from 10:25 to 18:00. See below for the race-by-race preview along with horse by horse for the Oaks:

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

Plenty of interest lies in the first event with eleven two-year-old gallopers, nine of them unraced taking to the track. (4) GRAY CAT trialed up very nicely early July underneath Song Jae-chul. The Cowboy Cal colt won his trial by six lengths when clocking a solid time for the 1000m. (2) LUCKY JAESAN was another one who trialed up well. The Hansen filly clocked 62.1 seconds for her heat when winning by six lengths as well. She showed early speed in her trial so expect much the same from a good gate. (11) GREEN POKJU is one of two runners that has had a run coming into the race. The Old Fashioned filly hit the line superbly to finish second behind Cobra Ball. She is likely to settle rearwards once again with the outside draw. (6) YEONGUNG DAEMA also lined up in a two-year-old event on debut when fourth behind Samantha Cheetah. She is capable of filling a place.

Selections (4) Gray Cat (2) Lucky Jaesan (11) Green Pokju (6) Yeongung Daema
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 1, 2, 4, 9


Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A maiden open to both two and three-year-olds here. (6) MUSSANG HWANGHU came from well back to run an improved 3rd over 1200M on what was her second career start on July 18th. The slight step up in trip today can be to her benefit and she has a good chance of making the breakthrough. (7) MAKALU POWER has steadily improved over three outings to date, culminating in a runner-up finish at 1200M last start. His times have not been fast but he won’t need to improve much to be challenging here and has every chance of getting on the early speed. (11) STAR RUSH comes into contention following an improved 4th at 1200M a month ago and is another who may appreciate the small increase in distance. (1) ONE JI has been dreadful in three outings so far but looked much better when trialing two weeks ago in a fast time. Nevertheless, we’ll need to see him actually racing before we can be confident about him. The solitary debut-maker is (2) JANGSAN ENGINE and the Ecton Park filly, who has been trialing for more than a year, looked competent in her latest heat in July.

Selections (6) Mussang Hwanghu (7) Makalu Power (2) Jangsan Engine (11) Star Rush
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 1, 7


Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Fair to say not the most inspiring field lines up in the third event on the card. (6) POWER MUSIC is the on top selection after finishing third last time out over the 1400m. The Winchester filly will go over the same distance where she is drawn to settle just off the speed and reel of a good sectional with minimal weight on her back. (10) SHINY QUEEN is still lightly raced enough that connections will be hoping she can show something. She improved last time out and is another that can run into the minor money. (7) IRYEO HAYEO looks capable of running a place in a much weaker assignment today. It is hard to include her with one place from twenty-five starts but this is such a weak race. (3) HOSUA is third up after finishing fourth last time out. He hit the line fairly and is another capable of running into the money.

Selections (6) Power Music (10) Shiny Queen (7) Iryeo Hayeo (3) Hosua
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 6


Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Fillies only here for this handicap. (8) SAMANTHA CHEETAH was a revelation on debut, making all to win as easily as she pleased over five-furlongs. She steps up in both class and distance here but the manner of victory means she can go on top again. This is a strong race for the level though. (5) GOOD VOW also steps up in class following a maiden win in which she posted a time even faster than Samantha Cheetah’s and she too should be more then competitive at this level and will also challenge for the lead early. (7) BAEDARI CANDY too was a debut winner with a front-running performance and while she perhaps has a little bit more to find, looks right in the hunt as well. As for those with experience at this level already, (2) TANK SOCKS and (9) OUR SIMON are both proven money winners and should go close. There could be quite a cavalry charge to get the lead.

Selections (8) Samantha Cheetah (5) Good Vow (2) Tank Socks (9) Our Simon
Next Best 7, 10, 1
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11


Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Twelve imports face the starter in the fifth where they will go over the 1400m. (11) HAENGBOK WANGJA has been knocking on the door for quite some time and comes into the race with two runner-up performances since the break. Moon Se-young will take over from the injured Yoo Seung-wan. The Moon will have to overcome the outside gate but the horse has been hitting the line strong, suggesting he can let the Daredevil colt have time to find his feet. (2) GRAYDOL looks one that is capable of running into the money. The gelding has been hitting the line strong and gets a much better draw today. Whilst finishing in the money once from six starts, his times suggest he can figure in a weaker event. (6) VICTORY GO GO is second up and should strip fitter for the run. She was only fair first up when finishing fourth behind Level Tap, when one-paced through the line. (7) GOOD SENSE looks next best after placing in a Class 5 event, which is never ideal after commencing your career in Class 4 grade.

Selections (11) Haengbok Wangja (2) Graydol (6) Victory Go Go (7) Good Sense
Next Best 1, 3
Fast Start 1, 6, 7


Busan Race 1: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

A testing little race for the imported maidens. (5) GOOD FOR YOU was a nice 3rd on debut behind Geuma Mystic, who has gone on to win again and previously finished ahead of Derby winner Save The World in a trial. She ran 8th on her re-appearance at 1300M on July 10th but that was a much stiffer race than this and she was competitive. She can win. (10) HWANHUIUI BANSEOK was a useful 3rd on debut over this distance on July 19th. He was a front-runner that day so the draw is not kind here, but he can overcome that and compete again. (2) POKPUNG EONDEOK and (9) TRAFFIC MARINE underwhelmed in their respective appearances before the shutdown but both looked good in trials and can improve here. There are also four debut-makers and among them both (4) SONIC KING IJI and (6) JESSIEUI KKUM were both trial winners who can go well first up.

Selections (5) Good For You (4) Sonic King Iji (10) Hwanhuiui Banseok (6) Jessieui Kkum
Next Best 9, 2
Fast Start 4, 5, 10


Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Very competitive affair with plenty of these on the up. (4) JANGSAN BADA wasn’t detained by the lower levels for very long and steps up in class here having won two of three and finishing runner-up in the other. His latest win came in a fast time over this distance and while he carries plenty of weight again, he looks nicely in to just sit on the shoulder of the lead and finish strongly. (3) JEONGMUN BOLT was an all the way winner (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 8)

There is a 15-race behind-closed-doors card at Seoul on Saturday from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


Racing is now just about the only thing in Korea – if not the only – to not be allowed customers

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

The two-year-old runners will line up over the short course in the first on the card. Only two of the eleven engaged have had a start, they are the on-top selections. (2) ADELE MUSTANG debuted in good style when clocking a good time on a dry track early last month. The Menifee colt settled behind the leader before failing to reel in the pacemaker going down two lengths behind Ultra Sidae. A similar performance should so the Song Moon-gil trained galloper go close. (6) TK BOY finished second on debut when running on well from a midfield position to finish second behind the impressive looking Heungbaragi. The margin was big but the winner looks something special. (11) HAPPY SOCKS looks best of the debutants coming off a solid trial performance. The filly will have to overcome the outside draw but with some early speed, should be able to cross in a race with not a lot of speed. (3) RAON THE SOX looks next best but will need to take improvement off her trial to be a winning chance.

Selections (2) Adele Mustang (6) TK Boy (11) Happy Socks (3) Raon The Sox
Next Best 5, 9
Fast Start 2, 5, 9, 11


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

Maidens here with all but one of them having raced at least once before. Best so far has been (8) MARU CASTLE, who ran a strong 2nd to Wonderful Light in a fast time on a good track on July 11th. She steps up in trip here but should be able to cope with that and can win. (9) PARAN WANGJA is one of only two in the race to have previously appeared twice. He ran well with a 3rd and a 5th either side of the shutdown and can improve today with Moon Se Young aboard for the first time. We’re scratching around with the rest though. (5) MISO GADEUK and (6) AROMA finished 5th and 6th respectively on debut over 1000M on June 21st. They didn’t go very quick but they won’t need to get much better to go close here. A word too for apprentice jockey Lim Da-bin, who takes his first race ride on (10) TEUNTEUNA. The 4kg allowance may help the colt get a bit closer than he did on debut.

Selections (8) Maru Castle (9) Paran Wangja (5) Miso Gadeuk (6) Aroma
Next Best 11, 4
Fast Start 8, 9


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

The fillies face the starter in the third where they will go over the six furlongs. (10) BAEKDUWA HALLA resumed in good style first up over the 1300m late June. The chestnut reeled off a good final sectional to finish second behind Hwa Ssi Byeok in a similar type race. (2) QUEEN LION is also second up after finishing fifth behind K.N. Power over 1000m mid-July. The filly was somewhat one-paced in the event but the time was fair, suggesting with some improvement she can figure. (7) LADY LUCKY lines up for her fourth career start after running through the line in good style last time out. The chestnut will be stretched beyond the 1000m for the first time. (6) HANSEN PRIMA looks next best coming off some fair trial performances. She will line up for her debut run from a central draw.

Selections (10) Baekduwa Halla (2) Queen Lion (7) Lady Lucky (6) Hansen Prima
Next Best 1, 11
Fast Start 2, 3


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

This is not a strong maiden, to put it mildly. (4) GEUMA ROBUST showed some improvement on what was her second career start on June 20th, running on reasonably well for 4th over 1200M. The additional half-furlong may suit and she has as much chance as any of making the breakthrough here. (5) HOEBOK has finished in 4th on three of his four starts to date. He’s shown little in the way of speed but won’t need to do too much more in order to go close today. (7) AFLEET MARINE debuted promisingly in 3rd place behind Wonderful Storm in June but then struggled on her return three weeks ago. The step up in trip can suit and she’s worth another chance today. (9) JOEUN GWANGYE and (11) WORLD TEUKGEUP are others who can improve.

Selections (7) Afleet Marine (4) Geuma Robust (5) Hoebok (9) Joeun Gwangye
Next Best 11, 6
Fast Start 1, 11


Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million 

The Korean-bred maidens line up in the fifth over the 1300m. (3) CLEAN HEART has been knocking on the door at his past couple of starts and gets an ideal assignment here. He has rattled off some good sectionals this time in and is capable of finishing over the top of them here. (8) SPRING COME is second-up after a midfield performance when first up mid-July. The chestnut’s run back in February showed that he has an engine when finishing second behind Siberia over the short course. (2) ETERNAL MEMORY placed over the 1300m first up when clocking a fair time on a firm track last start. Lee Hyeong-jong will be legged aboard the three-year-old for the first time. (4) HWARYEO is best of the rest with the remainder of the field having limited depth.

Selections (3) Clean Heart (8) Spring Come (2) Eternal Memory (4) Hwaryeo
Next Best 7, 5
Fast Start 1,7, 8, 9


Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(4) FIRE HEART was an eye-catching winner on debut, making all for a five-length score over 1000M on a wet track on July 4th. He is up in class and distance today but he looks to have plenty more in him and can win again. It won’t be easy though as this is a useful (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 7)

It’s Korean Oaks weekend with the big race being held at Busan on Sunday. Before that there is a bumper 15-race Friday program at Busan from 11.30 to 18.00. Once more, despite other sports -and in fact everything else in Korea – now being open, permission has still not been given for racegoers to attend.

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

Juvenile maidens to kick off Friday’s card with seven of the eleven having raced once before. Four of them debuted in the same race over this distance on July 17th and it was (3) B.K. LOOKS who ran out the best of them, finishing in 2nd place. He had led early before being left behind by a very nice looking winner, Winner’s Man, and showed enough to suggest he has a win in him sooner rather than later. Of the others who went that day, (2) BAEK PUNG in 6th ran reasonably well and has the potential to improve here. (1) NAMED came from off the pace on her debut on June 26th to run on well for 5th place and can build on that today. Among the three first-time starters, (5) MACH TITAN looks the pick. The Hansen colt made all to comfortably win a trial under minimal urging three weeks ago. If he brings that form to the racetrack and then gets a lead again, he will be hard to beat. (6) STEADY WINNER is a half-sister to the very good Mask and warrants a close look on debut here.

Selections (5) Mach Titan (3) B.K. Looks (1) Named (2) Baek Pung
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 3, 5

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

It looks as if Djordje Perovic can have another good weekend after taking out the Korean Derby last week aboard Save The World in Seoul. The Serbian hoop will ride (9) HUIMANGUI SORY in the second where the horse comes off a good performance, when finishing second behind Doctor Fashion. The times he has clocked over the five furlongs have been brilliant, the extra furlong looks to suit him and at set weights the two-year-old looks one of the better bets on the card. (11) ACEUI GIPPEUM was good on debut when placing in a similar event. The Ecton Park filly produced one of the faster sectionals you will see for a debutant, suggesting she will appreciate the step-up to the 1200m. (1) TOP OF KOREA debuts after some handy trial performances. He needs to be respected as there looked to be more in the tank after producing some handy trials. (8) GEUMA BONNY is another on debut after running some handy trials. The Tiz Wonderful filly is likely to be outpaced early but keep her safe in your wider selections.

Selections (9) Huimangui Sory (11) Aceui Gippeum (1) Top Of Korea (8) Geuma Bonny
Next Best 4, 5
Fast Start 4

Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(1) ILNYEOM TONGCHEON debuted well at this trip in an all-filly affair on June 19th, running on for 2nd behind Final Party. She had previously made all in a trial and has every chance of going very close again today. (9) YEONGGWANGUI EAGLE returns to action here for the first time since the shutdown. He was a solid 2nd on his last start in February at this distance behind Goblin and while he only took part in one heat during the hiatus, it was a strong one and he can make an immediate impact first up today. (11) YEONGGWANGUI START looked to be on the verge of figuring things out before the shutdown. She was a touch disappointing when fading for 5th on his first try at this distance on July 10th but having not trialed since April, may have been wanting for fitness a little. She should be better today. The rest are going to need to improve but the Bart Rice-trained pair of (5) INVISIBLE MAN and (10) GENERAL ANN have both hinted at ability and can continue to develop here.

Selections (1) Ilnyeom Tongcheon (11) Yeonggwangui Start (9) Yeonggwangui Eagle (10) General Ann
Next Best 5, 6
Fast Start 1, 11

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

The Korean-bred maiden gallopers line up in the fourth where they will tackle the 1300m. (9) CHOEGANG HUNTER looks toughest to beat on paper coming off a first-up second placing behind Mr. Fusion. The extra half furlong should be advantageous for the colt after hitting the line in good style. Jo In-kwen stays aboard after having a good time of it last weekend. (2) MINYEO GEOMGAEK placed on resumption as well, with the filly being put over the 1400m first up. She sat on speed last time out, something we haven’t seen from her previously. If Choi Si-dae elects to work forward again he can do so from a good draw. (6) EAGLE STAR is another speedy type who finished second last start. The gelding performed better than most expected when returning to the track last start. Djordje Perovic will be legged aboard, who holds a very good strike rate since his return to Korea. (7) WONDERFUL SMARTY looks next best after finishing fourth behind Top Lucky last time out.

Selections (9) Choegang Hunter (2) Minyeo Geomgaek (6) Eagle Star (7) Wonderful Smarty
Next Best 1, 3
Fast Start 2, 6, 7, 11

Race 5: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(1) CHEONGDAM DRIVE has shown improvement across three starts to date, culminating in a 3rd place over 1300M last start a month ago. He steps up slightly in trip today and that, along with the presence of Djordje Perovic aboard, may be just what it takes for him to make the breakthrough. Of those who have tackled this distance before, (6) PILSEUNG IJI has recorded the fastest time. She goes around for the fourth time since resumption with two 3rd place finishes and a fourth from her three cracks so far and should be there or thereabouts again. (11) DOCTOR MAX was beaten by Pilseung Iji two starts back but comes in here having run 3rd at this distance on July 17th. She was given a forward ride that day and while today’s draw does her no favours, she should be in the hunt for at least another place. (2) GRAND CAPTIAN and (5) GOLD MAGIC are others with potential for improvement.

Selections (1) Cheongdam Drive (6) Pilseung Iji (11) Doctor Max (2) Grand Captain
Next Best 5, 3
Fast Start 6, 11

Race 6: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

The sixth is a tough event for punters to dissect with numerous winning chances. (4) SUSO TANK is the on top selection after finishing second over this distance last time out behind Blue Signal. The fact we know she can run a strong mile out is a plus, with plenty of these runners being tested over it for the first time today. The Tiz Wonderful filly has had three runs this time in suggesting she will be rock hard fit for her assignment. (7) JEONSEOULUI FIGHT is third-up and comes off multiple placings since resuming. The Colors Flying colt looks as if he will appreciate the mile this time around, as he has been given plenty of time to find


Korean Derby Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 2)

It’s finally here. The generation that risked being forgotten or worse, finally gets its Derby at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon. There are 12 races at Seoul from 10:35 to 18:00 while there is also a card at Busan. Racing remains behind closed doors.

Roller Blade

Roller Blade is back. But have the others left him behind? (Pic: KRA)

KRA Cup Mile winner Touch Star Man heads the field but it’s a race with at least nine live chances. Champion juvenile Roller Blade finally returns while the likes of Determination look to have been screaming out for this kind of distance.

Here are previews of all of Seoul’s Sunday races with horse-by-horse for the Korean Derby, which has a post time of 5pm in Seoul:

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

The Korean-bred two-year-old gallopers will kick the twelve-event card off at Seoul on Sunday. The trial of (6) WHITE CHARM last month was very good suggesting the Cowboy Cal colt can put his best foot forward on debut. With a central draw it is expected that Kim Dong-soo will work forward on the grey and find a position in the leading division. The time he clocked in the trial was good enough to ensure he is there come the business end of the race. (11) CHEONGDAM WICKED is another debutant that trialed well back in June. The Menifee filly is another likely to be fired up early and sit prominent in the run. (8) JILJU DAERO is one of a few runners engaged that has had a previous start. The colt finished fourth on debut behind the impressive Heungbaragi. (7) ELITE RULES looks a place chance at best after a trial that was fair.

Selections (6) White Charm (11) Cheongdam Wicked (8) Jilju Daero (7) Elite Rules
Next Best 9, 3
Fast Start 3, 6, 11


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

Three-year-old maidens here with all but one of them having raced at least once before. Only one of them has troubled the judges so far. That’s (8) YONGMARU GU, who ran an improved 2nd on his second outing on July 4th at this distance beaten by well thought-of Soseono Legend. In doing so, he recorded the best time of any of these who have attempted this distance and while that is an extremely modest achievement, it should be enough to put him firmly in the frame here. (6) EUNHYE PADO has shown herself capable of running a useful time as well and tries her luck in softer company today. She gets well back in her races but seems to have a good finish on her and should improve today. (11) PIEONADA got a dreadful trip but still managed to finish 5th on debut at this distance and can build on it today. As for the solitary debut-maker, (2) MYEONGMA TIME went through a couple of trials in good order, running through the line well in both of them and couldn’t really have picked a more accommodating race to debut in.

Selections (8) Yongmaru Gu (6) Eunhye Pada (2) Myeongma Time (11) Pieonada
Next Best 9, 10
Fast Start 5, 11


Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million 

The third on the card has a mixture of two and three-year-old gallopers to line up over the 1300m. (7) NINE EYE comes out of much stronger events where he clocked some good times over the short course. The Menifee colt has been hitting the line in good style which suggests the 1300m should suit. Moon Se-young will be legged aboard the two-year-old for the first time, which is always a good sign. (2) GOLDEN SWITCH is second up after a midfield performance behind Hansen Choice last start. The filly’s times have been fair and with some improvement second-up, she can run into the money. (1) GOVERNANCE looks next best and with a good draw is capable of sitting closer to the speed today. She passed a couple in the straight last time out over the six furlongs. (4) ACE HAMSEONG looks an each-way chance after finishing second last time out over the 1300m. His time was only fair but with some improvement he is a chance of figuring.

Selections (7) Nine Eye (2) Golden Switch (1) Governance (4) Ace Hamseong
Next Best 10, 8
Fast Start 8


Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(9) GAJA PLAN was an impressive all the way maiden winner over 1000M on July 5th on what was her third career start. She is up in both class and distance today but while the draw may not be as favourable for her getting an easy lead, she has claims again. (8) GOLD FIELD also got her maiden win at her latest start, albeit for her it was the fifteenth time of asking. So long at class 6 would suggest the transition to the higher grade isn’t going to be easy, however, the time she ran was faster than all but one of her rivals here have achieved at this distance and she must be given another chance. Another up in class is (1) GLORY FIGHTER. She remains a maiden but has finished 3rd on three occasions. Moon Se Young rode her on the most recent of those and sticks with her today. She should be competitive. As for those with experience of this level already, (2) YEOLRIN MUN ran out a solid 2nd over 1400M on July 5th. He has won at this distance already and is nicely drawn to get to the lead once more.

Selections (2) Yeolrin Mun (9) Gaja Plan (1) Glory Fighter (8) Gold Field
Next Best 7, 6
Fast Start 2, 5, 6, 9


Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Ten Korean-bred gallopers line up in the fifth where the majority of the runners appear to be out of form. (9) RIDE LUCKY is the one engagement that brings a last start win into the race, which he brought up at start two. He will carry the same weight with the claim of Moon Sung-hyeok being applied. He showed plenty of speed first up when clocking a good time for this grade. (1) NONGBUI SUCHEAHWA looks to map in the first four in running. Kim Yong-geun will be legged aboard for the first time, with the filly drawn the inside for her ninth assignment. She has placed on four occasions from eight starts and this looks weaker than previous assignments. (8) MENI STAND is second up after a reasonable performance when finishing fourth behind Songnam Tiz first up. The Menifee filly should improve off the run, 1200m is not an ideal distance with her best performances over 1000m. She will need to start running out a strong six furlongs (more…)