Racing is continuing even though punters are now only allowed in at the Jeju Racecourse and a tiny handful of provincial OTBs with Busan having joined the Greater Seoul area in “level 2” distancing. There are 7 Saturday races at Seoul from 15:15 to 18:00. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
A full field of fourteen juvenile maidens kick things off. (8) STAR BLADE is the pick having followed up a 4th place on debut in the summer with a 2nd place over 1200M a month ago with a couple of his rivals here behind him. He’s come from off the pace both times, hitting the line well and of Antonio Da Silva can keep him handy, then he has strong claims to make the breakthrough today. (7) COLJOY was beaten by Star Blade on debut but showed improvement on his step up to 1200M. He was drawn wide last time but has a better gate today and should go close. (2) WONDERFUL MAMBO races for the first time in July when she was a solid 2nd at this distance. She looked well when trialing last week and has placing claims again. (4) BIG RED and (6) VYING BLADE are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(8) Star Blade (7) Coljoy (2) Wonderful Mambo (6) Vying Blade|
|Next Best||4, 10|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 12, 13|
Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
More juveniles here and we do have a couple of previous winners going around who because they got their maiden wins during the last rounds of Covid-relief racing, get another crack at class 6. The form from those races has held up well so we are going to put them on top again with (7) GRAND CASTLE favoured. A front-running winner on debut, he should be on pace again and can lead all the way. The other previous winner is (3) USORYUNG. She scored at the second time of asking in October and while she was a bit slower than Grand Castle, that experience should stand her in good stead here. (6) FEDERAL EYE has progressed across two starts so far and the engagement of Moon Se Young in the saddle today will make many take note. There are no fewer than six debit-makers and among them (5) WONDERFUL K looks the most likely to make an immediate impact.
|Selections||(7) Grand Castle (3) Usoryung (6) Federal Eye (5) Wonderful K|
|Next Best||8, 14|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 7|
Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
A tricky one. (4) ELITE POWER may only have finished in 6th of 14 on debut on October 16th but the rime she registered that day is by some margin the fastest any of these who have tackled the distance before have achieved. She won’t need to improve very much to win here. Neither will (7) JOEUN GWANGYE. He came from off the pace to run 2nd over 1300M in August and while he hasn’t raced since, he looked well when winning a trial just last week. So long as he didn’t leave his race there, he should be close by. (14) THE QUEEN JUSTICE ran on well for 3rd on debut over 1000M. Today’s distance should be fine although being drawn half way into Gangnam may be more of an issue. There are just three first-time starters and among them, (1) MODERN BEST looks the best.
|Selections||(4) Elite Power (7) Joeun Gwangye (14) The Queen Justice (1) Modern Best|
|Next Best||8, 2|
|Fast Start||4, 7, 14|
Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
A good race for the level with plenty coming in with chances. (12) GEORGE QUEEN is the pick though having won two of her four starts to date including an impressive class and distance score in October. She gets no penalty for that and the wide draw should be no issue given the way she came home flying last time. (7) PIEONADA and (3) SHADOW QUEEN both had slightly disappointing days at the office when they raced each other at class and distance on October 16th. Both are better than that though and improvement can be expected here. Alan Munro’s presence aboard Shadow Queen is of particular note. (8) OKAY TAP is yet to win in five attempts but has run 2nd three times. He hasn’t appeared in a race since June of 2019 but has trialed up occasionally throughout his absence, most recently in August when he looked well. If right, he goes close.
|Selections||(12) George Queen (3) Shadow Queen (7) Pieonada (8) Okay Tap|
|Next Best||13, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 14|
Race 5: Class 2 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 36 Million
(2) VICAR BRACING is certainly a name from the past. He won four straight races through the summer and autumn of 2019 but hasn’t been seen since due to a succession of injuries. He’s back fit now but last trialed in July and while his quality should be enough to see him close, he probably needs both a bit more distance and to get a run into his legs so while we will have him in the numbers, he’s not on top. (4) CUPID GUY is on top. While he does carry 4.5kg more than when he won at class and distance in August, he followed that up with a strong 3rd behind Raon Tap Man and Dae Wan Ma just three weeks ago. He has a nice burst of speed and can return to the winner’s circle today. (3) WINNER BROWN put together a similar winning streak to that of Vicar Bracing last year. He showed signs last month of coming back into form when 4th over class and distance and he could get it right today. (10) CLEAN UP BOARD has the fastest tie of any of these at the distance and can go well dropping back in trip after a few chastening experiences around two turns. (12) BLUE CHITON’s best work has been at further but he too has placing chances.
|Selections||(4) Cupid Guy (3) Winner Brown (12) Blue Chiton (2) Vicar Bracing|
|Next Best||10, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 3|
Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 28 Million
Plenty of very promising imports take their chances here. (3) ECHO VICTOR is likely a worthy favourite having beaten plenty of these on his way to winning his latest two outings, both of them over 1200M. The Gemologist gelding should have little trouble with the step up to 1400M today and has every chance of making it three in a row. (13) BALVENIE came home in 3rd place behind Echo Victor and ahead of plenty of these on October 16th. That followed an impressive win over the short course on debut back in August and he’ll go close once more. The distance certainly suits (9) ROYAL ELVIS. He has been pipped into 2nd place in both his latest two appearances but the elegant looking galloper surely has a win in him at some point and it could be today. (10) SAENAE IRENE is yet to win in five starts but has never finished any worse than 4th and can go close again today.
|Selections||(9) Royal Elvis (3) Echo Victor (13) Balvenie (10) Saenae Irene|
|Next Best||7, 12|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 6, 7, 9|
Race 7: Class 3 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 32 Million
Wildly competitive race to close with so if you’re still live in the pick 4, then the very best of luck. We’ll side with Luigi Riccardi and Johan Victoire who team up with (2) ECHO BILL. The Daredevil colt can mix his form but beat plenty of these on his way to 3rd place at class and distance in a fast time on October 23rd. He came from well back that day but expect Victorie to put him a little but closer this time and he can win. (9) DORAON POPEYE was 5th in that same race. He has beaten Echo Bill in the past and is a winner at this distance as well. He likes to come from well off the pace and will surely play a big part in the finish. A touch more disappointing in that race was (11) IRON SOCKS. He’s beaten a number of these in the past though and can’t be ruled out completely here. (5) MOONHAK EMPIRE and (8) SHARK JJANG are among a number of others who have claims on at least a place.
|Selections||(2) Echo Bill (11) Iron Socks (9) Doraon Popeye (8) Shark Jjang|
|Next Best||5, 1, 14|
|Fast Start||4, 10, 11|