Cheongdam Dokki makes his seasonal re-appearance at Seoul on Sunday and the now seven-year-old will have a weighty task to overcome in the Class 1 feature if he is to make a winning start to the season. There are 15-races at Seoul on from 10:45 to 18:00. The meeting is behind closed doors although betting locations in Busan, Jeju, Gwangju, Daegu, Daejeon, Changwon and Cheonan will be open for betting. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
A filly maiden to begin with and of the twelve, seven have raced before. They have all been extremely slow, so we’re going to pass on all of them and focus on the debut-makers and if (4) NAMSAN CHOCOLATE brings his trial form into the race itself, he should be winning fairly easily. She finished 3rd in a creditable time and the Tony Castenheira filly can lead all the way from a good draw here. (10) SMART DAEBO was 4th in the same trial not too far behind and that automatically makes her the second pick on debut as well. (2) FIRENZE CASTLE and (8) LOVE ARCH both posted decent enough times when finishing in midfield in their respective heats, while (1) SWEET KAKAO was a little slower but came out of a trial where there wasn’t much pace and she looks to have a good chance of aiming for some money on debut too.
|Selections||(4) Namsan Chocolate (10) Smart Daebo (1) Sweet Kakao (2) Firenze Castle|
|Next Best||8, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 11|
Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(9) THE KING BLADE has never been outside the top three in three starts so far and got his maiden win on December 20th at this distance. His winning time was more than a second faster anything else in the field has achieved and he really should be backing up with another win today and complete what should be an early double for trainer Tony Castenheira. (6) GEOSEN DOLPUNG looks next best. He ran a useful enough 4th of fourteen on debut a month ago having previously won a trial. While those two jump off the page of the form guide, not much else does. (7) GRAND FLY ran on to record a creditable enough time on what was his second start on December 19th and that may be enough to put him in contention here. (14) RAON THE CHOEGANG was last in that race but previously showed a bit of speed over 1000M and can be included in the numbers here. In such a weak race, it’s worth looking at the first-timers, and of the pair, (4) MAGIC MANJEOM looks the more likely to make an impact first-up.
|Selections||(9) The King Blade (6) Geosen Dolpung (4) Magic Manjeom (7) Grand Fly|
|Next Best||14, 13|
|Fast Start||6, 8, 9, 14|
Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Good little race this and having come close to leading all the way his second start on December 6th, (3) DAEHAN JILJU returns to action here extremely well drawn to get to the lead again this time to hold on. He’ll be joined on pace by (1) ELITE POWER, who has the fastest time of any of these at the distance. She has tended to weaken late on but looks a potential place line today. (4) GEUMA FLAWLESS is another who looks to be approaching a win. He ran a solid 2nd place over this distance last start and while a touch consistent should be right in this. The main danger, however, could be (9) GRAND CASTLE. The only one of the fourteen to have visited the winner’s circle already, he stuck on debut last October and followed up with a 3rd and a 2nd. His times have been consistent, and he is another who should be competing for the early lead. (10) CHEROKEE MARINE and (14) NONSTOP CAT are others who are in at least the placing frame.
|Selections||(3) Daehan Jilju (9) Grand Castle (10) Cherokee Marine (4) Geuma Flawless|
|Next Best||14, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 5, 9|
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Another class 6 with one previous winner in it. That’s (9) SEO E BEONJJEOK and he achieved it last time out at start number three, running on strong from midfield for a tight score at 1200M. The additional half furlong today shouldn’t matter, and he can win again. We’re going to look elsewhere though and in particular to (1) SPOT FLATTER. He was well beaten into 2nd by a good winner last time out but ran on well and with Alan Munro remaining aboard, looks to have solid claims to make the breakthrough this time. (2) TEUKGEUP YEOWANG was 3rd in that same race just before Christmas and can get close again here. The only one of the fourteen to have tackled this distance before is (13) BRAVO MAY. He did it in a reasonable time too and then ran 3rd back at 1200M last start. The draw shouldn’t matter, and he has placing chances. In a race in which overseas jockeys should do well, (4) MAGICUI HAMSEONG, to be partnered by David Breux, looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(1) Spot Flatter (9) Seo E Beonjjeok (13) Bravo May (4) Magicui Hamseong|
|Next Best||2, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 9, 10|
Race 5: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Fillies (and one mare) only here and it looks wide open. We have one previous winner in the shape of (10) GRACE QUEEN, who bested three of these on her way to victory over 1200M on December 20th. Can she do it again? She’ll certainly have her supporters and while she hasn’t tried this distance before, she does have a 3rd place at 1300M. Nevertheless, the runner-up that day (4) ABOUT SOMETHING, has to be strongly considered. She is yet to score in seven but has run very well at this distance and today could well be her day, coming from off the pace. With an extra furlong, she may well have got there last time. (3) SEMYEONG NARAE come sin of a decent 2nd place over 1200M last start. She’s been relatively one-paced so far but sticks to her task well and she may appreciate the additional trip. Similarly, (5) SPEED FLYING doesn’t exactly fly home but does persevere and is consistently close. (9) TELOS has recorded the fastest time of any of these who have tried the distance before and along with (6) REMEMBER WHEN, has place chances here.
|Selections||(4) About Something (10) Grace Queen (3) Semyeong Narae (9) Telos|
|Next Best||5, 6, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 10|
Race 6: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(5) PARK WIN made his breakthrough at start number four last time out and it had been coming after steady progression across his first few tries. He came from off the pace, ran through the line well and if anything the additional trip today should suit. However, he does carry a full 5kg extra and that could open the door for, among others, that day’s runner-up (4) TRUE. One of only three of these who has raced at the distance before, Johan Victoire stays aboard and the pair look to have solid claims. Also winning last start was (6) BIROE KING. The gelding has never been worse than 5th in five starts so far and should go close again. (14) SAMJEONG TAPAS was a winner two starts back before running 3rd on reappearance in December, both times at 1200M. Apprentice Moon Sung-hyeok will want to be close to the pace so he will have to overcome the outside gate but if he manages it, he can have winning chances again. (9) LADY LUCKY and (11) FEDERAL EYE are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(4) True (14) Samjeong Tapas (5) Park Win (6) Biroe King|
|Next Best||9, 11|
|Fast Start||6, 7, 9, 11, 14|
Race 7: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 32 Million
Bit of a lottery this one with nothing entering in convincing form. (1) BEST GUNDAN looks the possible favourite, breaking from the inside gate and with Lim Gi-won taking over in the saddle. He came from well back last time and could be ready for the step up in trip. We’re going to side with (11) POTENTIAL ENERGY though. She was a good winner over 1300M two starts back and while she had a poor day at the office on her return to action in December she went back to trial a couple of weeks ago and looked in fine order. (13) STREET GANGJA was a winner on debut over a year ago now. He has only managed to race twice since then but looks capable and Munro on board is a plus. (5) WILD KINGDOM has recorded the fastest time among those who have tackled the distance before and must be considered while (6) THE BEAST showed signs of a return to form on his latest outing and can build on it here.
|Selections||(11) Potential Energy (1) Best Gundan (5) Wild Kingdom (13) Street Gangja|
|Next Best||6, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 5, 13|
Race 8: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 32 Million
(1) CHEONGDAM WICKED is set to be a warm favourite here. She scored a rare sub-one-minute for the five furlongs when getting her maiden win at start three in November and while she could only manage 6th on her first try at this class at the end of that month, it was still a faster time for the 1200M than anything else here has managed. (8) OXFORD KING is another in the sub-one-minute club and did actually finish ahead of Cheongdam Wicked in a valuable juvenile race last August in which they both ran badly. He obviously has talent and speed and looks the main danger here. (12) GREAT KHAN beat two of these on his way to 2nd place at class and distance in December and should be a factor again. (2) Since winning on debut, (2) DOUBLE BLACK has seemed to leave his best form in trials. He looked very good in another one a month ago and should be on pace from gate 2. (5) CUPID BISANG, beaten by Great Khan last time out, is another with minor money hopes.
|Selections||(1) Cheongdam Wicked (8) Oxford King (12) Great Khan (5) Cupid Bisang|
|Next Best||2, 13|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 10, 14|
Race 9: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
Fillies and mares only here. The three likely favourites all raced each other on December 12th at class and distance when they were beaten by the excellent Carving Cross. (2) UDAERYUNG go the closest to him, finishing in 2nd place but not very far in front of (10) SENTOSA and (11) MONEY SIJANG, who came home on 3rd and 4th place respectively. All three carry the same weights today and it’s very tempting to put them in the same order once more. If you fancy something else, however, (14) MASEONG TUHON finally returns to shallower waters following three tilts at Stakes races including the Luna Stakes and the Oaks. She managed 5th place in the Oaks and going further back in her form, she’s capable of running some fast times at sprint distances too. This could be her day.
|Selections||(14) Maseong Tuhon (2) Udaeryung (10) Sentosa (11) Money Sijang|
|Next Best||7, 12|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 11, 13|
Race 10: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 50 Million
(10) MENI HERO didn’t go especially well in the first two legs of the Triple Crown last year, which was a disappointment to some as he is by Korea’s best sire and out of one of Korea’s best ever race-mares who held the Derby distance track record for many years. Since dropping back to sprints though he has been excellent, winning back to back races at this class and distance in November and December. Both times he won comfortably and both times he beat a lot of his rivals here and he can make it three in a row. (7) DADDY GLORY ran 2nd to Meni Hero last time and is set to be one of the main dangers again while (1) LUCKY BONGSEONG and (3) NIMUI HYANGGI are among others beaten by Meni Hero, who could get closer this time. Among those who didn’t run against Meni Hero last time, (13) K TOP KING is the pick. He too is from a standout race-mare (Fly Top Queen) and has produced some solid results at this distance.
|Selections||(10) Meni Hero (13) K Top King (7) Daddy Glory (3) Nimui Hyanggi|
|Next Best||1, 14|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 9, 10, 11, 13|
Race 11: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 42 Million
(14) JANGSAN CLEAR was a really good winner on debut at class and distance beating several of these in the process. The only negative against him today is the wide draw but under Ueda Masahshi, he can overcome that and he’s favoured to win again. (2) EAST BAN was 3rd behind Jangsan Clear last start, continuing a run of near-misses for this nine-start maiden. In addition to that 3rd he has no fewer than four runner-up finishes on his record and while Alan Munro has been brought in to try and get him over the line on top, he may have to settle for 2nd again. (4) AUCKLAND SOCKS has shown promise across three starts so far, each time running into one or two useful looking types. That may be the case again today. (8) GLOBAL SINHWA showed plenty of promise when 3rd on debut and can build on that here while (10) D K BYULCCI is another who should be in the hunt for at least the minor money.
|Selections||(14) Jangsan Clear (2) East Ban (4) Auckland Socks (8) Global Sinhwa|
|Next Best||10, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 8, 14|
Race 12: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
Another good race and on the strength of his latest couple of runs, it’s hard not to put (8) JEONGMUN BOLT on top. A strong 3rd behind Wish Me was followed by a 2nd to Whiz Moment, both at class and distance and both in fast times. He came from off the pace both times but last time that he won, he led early and with a slightly more favourable draw today than in those latest two reverses, expect Lee Hyeok to look to have him in a more forward positon. (4) SPEED HEUKRYONG too enters in fine form. He’s won two of his last four and comes in having beaten four of these on his way to 2nd place at class and distance on December 19th. He’ll be on pace early and is a big danger. (7) YEOLRIN MUN was 3rd in that race and is set to be a threat once more (2) CHOIN GANGJA is capable of getting closer than the 6th he managed that day. (5) MONEY CHAMP looks best of a very competitive rest in what is a strong race.
|Selections||(8) Jeongmun Bolt (4) Speed Heukryong (7) Yeolrin Mun (2) Choin Gangja|
|Next Best||5, 9, 12|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 7, 11|
Race 13: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Fascinating one here. (13) GALLOP CURLIN, beat both (8) WANG BEOTKKOT and (1) LORD BAN as they filled out the trifecta on December 19th at class and distance on December 19th – with plenty of the others who go here behind them. Gallop Curlin was midfield that day and then ran on strong to narrowly win. Wang Beotkkot was 2nd putting in a huge run to come from the back after a slow start. But with today’s race under handicap conditions, he is giving away more weight and is going to need to run huge here from a more forward position to overturn the form. He has plenty of quality though so it is possible. Lord Ban was 3rd but is the logical favourite. He was on pace last time and is down 2.5kg in weight as well as having the inside barrier under Alan Munro. It’s a fascinating conundrum but we’ll side with Gallop Curlin to pull things out again. If you fancy none of those three, then (4) FLYING FORD was further back in the December 19th race but is more than capable of winning at this level while (5) THUNDER MARK also has plenty of ability and could be an interesting outsider.
|Selections||(13) Gallop Curlin (1) Lord Ban (8) Wang Beotkkot (4) Flying Ford|
|Next Best||5, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 10, 11|
Race 14: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 42 Million
(1) JANGSAN MISSILE is the standout here. He was very slow out last time and got well back before running wide in the straight but still winning very well over 1400M. The additional distance should suit and he surely wins. (5) GOOD SENSE ran 3rd to Jangsan Missile in that 1400M race. He is a fourteen-race maiden and is likely to be a fifteen race maiden after this but he can get close. (9) GOLDEN SERVICE is also yet to win, in his case in eight starts, but has good consistency and has beaten a fair few of these at shorter. It’s his first time around two-turns and he should be at least placing again. (2) GLOBAL LUCKY and (10) ALL THAT KOREA, the latter a last start winner in November over 1400M, are among others who can be aiming for places.
|Selections||(1) Jangsan Missile (5) Good Sense (9) Golden Service (2) Global Lucky|
|Next Best||10, 4|
|Fast Start||4, 10|
Race 15: Class 1 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 70 Million
(14) CHEONGDAM DOKKI makes his seven-year-old debut and he is of course favoured to win – strongly – but there are some reasons to be cautious. He won his last start on November 8th but he had to ridden hard to get to the lead from a much better draw than he has today. It was at set weights and much lesser horses than him weren’t far away at the finish. Today is under handicap conditions and accordingly he is giving a minimum of 8kg to the rest of the field. He still won that day though and overall it was a stronger set of opposition than this. (4) ROAD WINNER was 6th in the same race and carries 5kg less but he has more than ten lengths to make up. He probably won’t. (7) WINNER GOLD beat a fair few of these when scoring last start in December, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if (3) SUPER SOCKS overturned that form and went closer today. (2) DOKDO JIGI and (6) CHEONGSU YEOGEOL are others in the hunt but really, reunited with jockey Park Tae-jong, this should be the Dokki show.
|Selections||(14) Cheongdam Dokki (3) Super Socks (4) Road Winner (2) Dokdo Jigi|
|Next Best||7, 6, 12|
|Fast Start||2, 11, 14|