Sunday sees a behind closed-doors meeting at Seoul with 15 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Racecourses and OTB’s in the south of the country will be open to spectators with advance reservations (made through the MyCard app) at 20% of the indoor seated capacity. The open locations are Jeju Racecourse and Busan Racecourse as well as the off-track betting centres in Busan (both of them), Changwon, Daegu, Daejeon, Gwangju and Cheonan. All betting locations in the Greater Seoul area. including Seoul Racecourse remain closed to customers. Here are the Seoul previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Twelve previously unraced three-year-olds make their racecourse debuts here so it’s to the trial videos that we head. And we quickly find that (2) MORNING HILL is going to be a strong favourite. He went through two heats and while poor in the first of those, won his second on February 4th in a fast time with three of his rivals here down the track behind him. He’s well drawn and should win. (12) NORWAY THIRD came 2nd in the same heat, also in a good time. She’s a half-sister to Golden Winner, who has won five of twelve starts to date. (9) VICTORY SAM also looked very handy in her trial and is set to go well first up while (6) LONDON POWER’s time may have been slower but she won her heat well on a track surface that was considerably drier – and therefore slower – than some of the others here. (10) TIFFANY BLUE is out of Fly Top Queen, the most expensive horse imported to Korea for racing and whose other foal has won four from ten. She will have backers.
|Selections||(2) Morning Hill (12) Norway Third (10) Tiffany Blue (9) Victory Sam|
|Next Best||6, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 9, 12|
Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Fillies only here and the two prior winners in the field look set to battle it out for top spot. (1) DAUL QUEEN has raced twice, winning well on debut before running 3rd on reappearance in December. Both were at this distance and both in more than competitive times for this level and she has every chance of winning again. The main danger is (2) IRON MUSKET. She’s one for one having scored a comfortable win on debut on January 8th, with a front-running performance over 1000M. This is tougher but she has every chance. (6) CUPID WONDER hinted at ability when stepped up to this distance last start and while she will need to improve if she is to challenge the favourites, should be aiming for a place. So too (11) ROSEDAY MARINE and (13) GO GO STAR.
|Selections||(1) Daul Queen (2) Iron Musket (11) Roseday Marine (13) Go Go Star|
|Next Best||6, 12|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 13, 14|
Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Three-year-old maidens here. Both (7) RUNNING KING and (14) TOUGH MAN have raced twice and both have finished in 2nd place twice. Tough Man has recorded the superior times at both 1000M and 1200M but Running King has drawn considerably the better of the pair today. He is a front-runner, and it is possible that could be key. (13) ILGYEOK PILSAL led for much of the way on debut over 1000M on January 8th, ultimately ending up 2nd behind a good winner. He beat a couple of today’s rivals and can build on that today. (5) RAON CHAMPSELY was 5th behind Running King last start and can improve today while (1) NEW HOPE ran better than his 7th on debut suggests and could also get in the placing mix.
|Selections||(7) Running King (14) Tough Man (13) Ilgyeok Pilsal (1) New Hope|
|Next Best||5, 6|
|Fast Start||6, 7, 12, 14|
Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Fillies only here and it’s a competitive one. (9) JOYFUL K will almost certainly be favourite. She’s not finished worse than 3rd in four starts so far and registered a good win over 1200M two starts back. She steps up slightly in trip for the first time and has very solid claims. (2) ADAMS APPLE remains a maiden but has come close twice. A front-runner she is nicely drawn to get on pace and looks primed to go close today. Challenging for the early speed too will be (5) K N YEOSIN, a last start winner at class and distance. The apprentice who won on her keeps the weight nice and low and she has the fastest time of all those who have raced at the distance before. (11) EUNHYE PADO and (13) YULONG STAR, the latter a winner over 1200M last start, are others firmly in the frame.
|Selections||(9) Joyful K (2) Adams Apple (5) K N Yeosin (13) Yulong Star|
|Next Best||11, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 8, 9|
Race 5: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(7) MORNING NEWS hasn’t exactly pulled up trees across her three starts so far but then again few of these have. What she has done is shown a little consistency and sticks to her task well. Johan Victoire takes the mount today and having run on well last time, expect her to be a little bit more forward a bit earlier today. (5) CHEON GONG ran poorly over 1200M on his latest outing but looks to be more suited by a bit of distance. He’ll ne close to the pace and should run on. (1) ROAD PINK is the only one of these to have recorded a good time at this distance and for that reason alone she has to enter the equation. That came in a good 4th last time out, her best to date and it could be that she’s finally figuring out what she’s meant to do. (8) CURRERECUS and (14) WONDERFUL JOY are others in the placing frame.
|Selections||(7) Morning News (5) Cheon Gong (1) Road Pink (14) Wonderful Joy|
|Next Best||8, 3|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 11, 13|
Race 6: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
After doing nothing on debut, (10) REDBACK stepped up to this distance for his reappearance on January 18th and duly beat four of these on his way to a very good runner-up finish. The way he ran on suggests that there is more to come, and he is the likely favourite here. (1) BEST TAP and (4) MAX DAERO came home in 3rd and 4th place respectively in that race. Both are consistent and while they will need to improve, they can challenge with Max Daero our slight pick with Moon Se-young staying aboard. The only previous winner in the field is (3) NONSTOP WINNING. He scored over 1200M on his latest start in December. While this is his first try at today’s distance, he has run well over 1300M and should be there or thereabouts. (8) CHOWONUI GIJEOK the best of the rest.
|Selections||(4) Max Daero (10) Redback (1) Best Tap (3) Nonstop Winning|
|Next Best||8, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 4, 14|
Race 7: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 32 Million
A good race for the level and we expect to see three last start winners battling it out. (5) CUPID POINT is the favourite and she sets out here in search of a hat-trick of wins. They have come over 1200M and 1400M and have been from the front and in good times. She has the fastest start amongst these and should go all the way. (1) ROYAL ROAD ran 2nd to Cupid Point in November before registering a maiden win of his own last month. He too made all the running at this distance and comes in as a real chance here. The other last start winner is (2) MYEONGJIN DAY. He came from off the pace to score at start number two over 1200M in November and while up in trip today, should be involved at the business end. There is plenty of other talent in the race too and among them, (9) A.P. PATEK and (10) BLACK CHARM probably have the best chance of troubling the scorers.
|Selections||(5) Cupid Point (1) Royal Road (2) Myeongjin Day (9) A. P. Patek|
|Next Best||10, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5, 8, 11|
Race 8: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 32 Million
Fillies and mares only for this handicap. (9) BLACK SILVER has the fastest time among them at the distance, recorded with an all the way win at class 6 last November. For her first try at this level, she ran 3rd to (14) GLOBAL SUN but meets her again today with the weights having swung in her favour and with a significant draw advantage. She can win this time. For her part, Global Sun will again be one of the leading dangers after back-to-back wins, even if she is up against it from the widest gate. (4) SMART PINK is on the rise following a 2nd place and a win from her first two outings. She is nicely drawn to get on pace early and should enter the calculations. (1) HANIL MOA and (7) RAON BLOOD are others who should make the placing frame.
|Selections||(9) Black Silver (4) Smart Pink (14) Global Sun (1) Hanil Moa|
|Next Best||7, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 9|
Race 9: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
(11) CLEAN UP HAPPY was gifted a soft win last start in which he saw off four of today’s rivals to record his third success in six career starts. Gate 11 shouldn’t stop him from getting on the early pace and once she does, she should be hard to beat. Running 2nd in that race on January 8th was (5) WONDERFUL STORM, who finished off strong from midfield and while nowhere near the winner, was superior to the rest. There looks to be more to come from him and he looks set to be second favourite here. (14) UNPARALLELED was further back in 5th that day, suffering his first reverse after winning his opening two outings. The wide gate shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance and he has potential for improvement. (3) NAUI JEONSEOL was 4th in that race on what was his first crack at this class, and he can aim to match that again today while (13) BUCKETFUL GOLD looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(11) Clean Up Happy (14) Unparalleled (5) Wonderful Storm (3) Naui Jeonseol|
|Next Best||13, 10|
|Fast Start||7, 11, 13|
Race 10: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 42 Million
(3) HIDDEN DOLPUNG looks hard to beat here. He won on debut at class and distance in November before beating four of today’s rivals on his way to 2nd place behind Mighty Chip on his return on January 8th. He’ll race handy and will be difficult to get past. (11) MIGHTY POP ran 3rd in that race and should be a contender again. He may need a bit of luck but will be running on strong at the end. (13) MUNHAK MOON is resuming from a lengthy spell. The Gemologist colt hinted at a bit of talent prior to the layoff and certainly looked well when trialing earlier in February. The barrier doesn’t help him, but he should be well placed in the run and Munro on board can only be to his benefit. There are two first-time starters and of the pair, (2) BYEOLNARA JILJU looks sure to be well backed first-up. The Laoban colt initially won a trial last July but didn’t make it to the track before the second shutdown hit. He requalified again by winning a heat last month in a fast time and if he brings that form to the track, he surely goes close in this kind of company.
|Selections||(3) Hidden Dolpung (13) Munhak Moon (2) Byeolnara Jilju (11) Mighty Pop|
|Next Best||14, 7|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 10, 13|
Race 11: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 32 Million
(8) PERFECT POWER was a good winner at class 6 two starts back over today’s distance before finishing a narrow 2nd on his first try at this level over 1200M on January 8th with three of his rivals here back down the track. He’s drawn wider today but is the one to beat. One of those back down the track that day was (7) HAPPY SOCKS, languishing in 9th. We’re going to draw a line through that though and instead look to her solid win in a good time the previous start and give her another chance today. We shall extend the same courtesy to (11) AMAZING WHIZ, who had a poor day at the office last start but is a winner already at this distance and registered a good placing at this level two starts ago. (2) AROMA is yet to score in four attempts but has been consistently close and is nicely drawn to get on pace here. (4) CAREER HIGH looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(8) Perfect Power (7) Happy Socks (11) Amazing Whiz (2) Aroma|
|Next Best||4, 10|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 9, 11|
Race 12: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
Fillies and mares only here. (10) GLOBAL JOY has won her latest two making all both times and is developing into a class act. The draw shouldn’t be an issue and she should lead all the way to win comfortably. (7) MIGHTY BOOM has had an extremely interrupted career but has run 2nd in her two latest starts. She races handily and is capable of good times and there is every indication that the step up to 1400M should suit. (6) PINOT SISTER’s last start over 1700M can be disregarded and we’ll instead go on a fair 2nd over this distance in November beating a couple of these. She’ll run on strong. (11) SERENDIPITIYA and (14) JEOLYE, the latter beaten by Pinot Sister last start, are others who should be in the hunt for the placings.
|Selections||(10) Global Joy (7) Mighty Boom (6) Pinot Sister (14) Jeolye|
|Next Best||14, 12|
|Fast Start||4, 7, 8, 10|
Race 13: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
(10) ROCK NEWS picks himself here backing up looking for three wins in a row. He is stepping up to two turns for the first time but there is little to suggest it won’t suit and he’ll be aided by a good apprentice taking 3kg off his back. He’ll be on pace and can lead all the way. (4) THUNDER WIND also steps up to this distance for the first time. He was a class 6 winner over 1400M in November before running 2nd to Rock News last start. He’s not a front-runner but expect him to be running on strong late on. (11) LOVE RACE comes back to her preferred distance today after three mixed performances over 1400M. She should be handy here and looks a place chance at odds. (3) JEJUI HEUKSEON mixes her form but has placing claims here after a good run last start while (6) LUXURY CAPTAIN has also been consistent across eight starts so far and shouldn’t be too far away.
|Selections||(10) Rock News (11) Love Race (4) Thunder Wind (6) Luxury Captain|
|Next Best||3, 9|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 10, 11|
Race 14: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 50 Million
(12) WHIZ MOMENT is four for four and looks an exciting galloper. She’s won all her races so far with dismissive ease but faces her sternest test yet as she dips her toe in class 3 waters for the first time as well as stepping up to two turns. Under a nice light weight, she should be equal to both challenges and is strongly favoured to make it five in a row here. She’ll be odds-on. Her two most credible challengers raced each other on their respective latest starts. That was over the distance on December 12th when (11) DORAON POPEYE defeated (4) MOONHAK EKATI as the pair finished 2nd and 3rd. There is little to choose between them here and both look good for a place. (7) JANGSAN FOREVER also has potential with two wins from his four starts so far. He steps up to two turns and should go well. (9) THE SPIKER, who has registered the fastest time among those who have experience at today’s trip, is best of the rest.
|Selections||(12) Whiz Moment (4) Moonhak Ekati (11) Doraon Popeye (7) Jangsan Forever|
|Next Best||9, 8|
|Fast Start||3, 7, 8, 12|
Race 15: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
The very consistent (1) TOP BRAIN looks ready to win again here/ He’s been knocking at the door recently in solid company and against today’s opposition and with Moon Se-young back aboard, he can come home on top. (14) ROAN FIRST is a classy filly. She’s got such a fast start on her that despite the draw, she will be expected to lead, and she will stick around for a long time. (5) SEOUL TANK and (7) HUSH DAEBO came home 3rd and 4th when racing each other over class and distance on December 12th. Both come in with good results in their recent form and both can be going close here. Disregard (11) VICAR BRACING’s latest start. As well as it being over 1200M and he never got going, it was his first run in over a year, He should improve today.
|Selections||(1) Top Brain (14) Raon First (7) Hush Daebo (5) Seoul Tank|
|Next Best||11, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 12, 14|