Although “level 2” restrictions have been tightened to prevent on-course or OCB attendance in Busan as well as the Greater Seoul area, racing presses on. Both thoroughbred tracks will race behind closed doors on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s racing sees 8 races at Seoul from 11:00 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 11:30 to 16:50. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Fillies (and one mare) to begin with and there are two last start winners among them. (9) PRINCESS SOCKS ran 4th on debut before breaking through at start number two, making all over thus distance in a fair time. It took (5) LEROY BLANC four starts to break through, something she finally achieved in January, similarly leading all the way over 1400M. She looks nicely in again. The one they both need to beat is debut-maker (6) BURUI YEOWANG is a half-sister to talented pair Raymond and Choegang Team and blitzed a trial at the beginning of March. She’s beautifully drawn to be on speed and has every chance first-up. (3) VICTORY SAM was a solid 4th on debut over 1000M at the end of February and should have come on for the run. (2) GLORY KHAN is another in the hunt and should make ground late on, especially if the favourites, who are all likely to be on-pace, over-race.
|Selections||(6) Burui Yeowang (9) Princess Socks (5) Leroy Blanc (3) Victory Sam|
|Next Best||2, 12|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 6, 9, 12|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(2) AMAZING FOOT is the first foal out of Sun Lordly, a very solid racehorse in Korea who won three of her first five races. This Hansen colt ran 3rd on debut over 1000M in February and should appreciate the extra furlong today. He has strong claims. (3) GOSUUI POWER improved at start two at the end of Janaury, running on well for 3rd behind Raon The Power. He too looks ready to try this distance again and can go close. (9) SEOBU QUEEN, half-sister and stablemate to the excellent Seobu Cat has two 3rd places among three outings to date. Her previous try at this distance didn’t go well but she should be better this time around. (1) WONDER BLADE’s solitary start was fifteen months ago. He’s been through a number of trials since, most recently a fast one two weeks ago and comes straight into contention today. There is one debut-maker. (14) POKPUNG JILJU looked sharp in two trials and while the draw is unfortunate, he should be competitive here.
|Selections||(2) Amazing Foot (9) Seobu Queen (3) Gosuui Power (14) Pokpung Jilju|
|Next Best||1, 12|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 6, 12|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
A couple of standouts here. (2) RAON CHAMPSELY comes in off a good 2nd place when she ran on strong over 1200M. She gets an extra half-furlong to play with today and it may well suit the Musket Man filly. She’s likely to be vying for favourite status along with (7) GRAY CAT. After a bad start he was scarcely involved over 1400M last start but back in trip today and with a better start, he can be a big danger. (1) BIROE KING has the fastest time among those who have previously tackled today’s distance/ He comes in having beaten a couple of these last time out and should be in the mix again today. (6) MORNING FLASH will come from off the pace and should appreciate the slight step up in trip today while (12) SAMJEONG TAPAS is inconsistent but not without a placing chance in this company.
|Selections||(2) Raon Champsely (7) Gray Cat (1) Biroe King (6) Morning Flash|
|Next Best||12, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 7, 9, 12|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(1) THE FIRST FACTOR has been knocking on the door across three starts so far and most recently came home 3rd behind Baby Line and Ace Day in what was the fastest race ever recorded over this distance at class 6 at Busan. Of course, that was helped by the track condition but The First Factor’s time was nearly three seconds faster than anything else here has achieved at this distance and she could well come out on top today. (13) ADELE SMART has already come out on top, winning on debut on February 27th. That was over 1000M but he got stronger as the race went on and has every chance of following up here. (8) OLD CHEONHA came home 4th in the same race, also on debut and is another who should appreciate the additional trip. (5) TRIPLE STORM was a significantly improved 2nd last start and can maintain that momentum today while (7) BURNING PARTY is another in the hunt.
|Selections||(1) The First Factor (13) Adele Smart (8) Old Cheonha (5) Triple Storm|
|Next Best||7, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 7, 13|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
A rare small field with just the nine three-year-old maidens going to post here. (9) BLACK ROOKIE is the pick and is likely to be a warm favourite. She has the fastest time at the distance which she recorded on a relatively slow track when 2nd two starts back. She was satisfactory, if one-paced, when 5th at 1400M last start and the drop back should suit. She has a strong finish and the wide draw shouldn’t be an issue. (7) GO GO STAR has finished between 3rd and 5th in all of her five starts to date. She was a good 3rd at this distance last start and that should be a minimum requirement today. (6) GUK HYANG ran an improved 2nd at 1000M on her third outing back in February and can build on that today. (3) MASEONG CHEONHA and (8) LUCKY WORLD will need lines drawn through their respective latest offerings but are other sin the placing frame.
|Selections||(9) Black Rookie (6) Guk Hyang (7) Go Go Star (8) Lucky World|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 7, 8|
Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
(2) TAKE INDY KING drops back in trip after two goes around 1400M. He ran 2nd on his previous try at this distance having led for much of the way and draws nicely here. He has every chance. (10) CROWN FUNKY beat three of these on his way to a solid class and distance 2nd place on February 20th. She has mixed her form but looks nicely in here to go well again with the same apprentice jockey taking plenty of weight off again. The draw this time though favours (1) YEONGGWANGUI START. He ran 4th in that race and from the inside could well get on the pace today. If he does, then he has solid claims. (4) WONDERFUL KING comes in off a strong 3rd place last start beating a couple of these in the process and can be competitive again while (11) EAGLE STAR may have lost his way a little in his latest two but has plenty of ability and could come back into form here.
|Selections||(2) Take Indy King (1) Yeonggwangui Start (10) Crown Funky (4) Wonderful King|
|Next Best||11, 14|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 4, 10|
Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(7) FEDERAL EYE has made steady progress across four starts so far culminating in 2nd place last start at this distance with three of his rivals here back down the track behind him. His times haven’t been the quickest but he won’t need to improve much to win here. (8) BEST TAP is yet to finish in the top two but has three 3rd place finishes from seven outings to date. He is a touch one-paces but that should be enough to see him close here. (12) HONEY BUTTER BOBBY got her best finish to date last start when she was runner-up in an all-filly affair over this distance. This is stiffer but she has placing chances again. So too does (2) SPEED FLYING, 4th behind Honey Butter Bobby last time and another who perhaps doesn’t have the speed to be a winning chance but who should be knocking on the door. (9) RAON THE TIGER best of the rest.
|Selections||(7) Federal Eye (8) Best Tap (12) Honey Butter Bobby (2) Speed Flying|
|Next Best||9, 5|
|Fast Start||7, 9, 12, 13|
Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million
(6) FREEDOM KNIGHT drops back in trip after a good 2nd place over a mile in February. He’s been beaten by good horses across his three starts so far and comes back into shallower waters here with solid claims to break through at what will be start number four. (3) YEONGSEONGTEUKGEUP is a Korean bred who has won his way up to this level. He can go close again but this is an order of magnitude greater than what he has faced before. That’s true too for (14) SMART VALUE, who won his first three before coming into a similar race to this at the beginning of February. He ran well for 4th and should be in the mix again here. The draw does him no favours, but he has a very sharp finish on him. (4) NAEGA SAEGANGJA and debut-maker (7) DREAM JANGGUN are others who should give good accounts of themselves. The latter is a Flat Out colt who looked very good when easily winning a trial on February 28th.
|Selections||(6) Freedom Knight (3) Yeongseongteukgeup (14) Smart Value (7) Dream Janggun|
|Next Best||4, 1|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 10, 14|
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
Fillies and mares only here. After a 2nd and a 3rd from her latest two. (2) UNOECHANGCHEON looks ready to win again. She has posted consistently fast times across her six starts to date and with Moon Se Young aboard for the first time, she looks well in here to win. Tough race though. (10) GRACE QUEEN enters looking for a hat-trick of victories. She has won her latest two, the latter of which was over this distance, in good style. She’s going to need to lift again here but she’s never been worse than 4th in six starts and is firmly in the frame once more. (11) NONSTOP CAT ran 3rd on debut before winning at start number two, coming from well back to score over 1200M. The manner of that win suggests today’s extended trip should suit. (9) ABOUT SOMETHING remains winless but is super consistent and has been 2nd and 3rd behind Grace Queen in her latest two. Obviously that means she has form to overturn but she can place again. After an excellent debut (3) SAMANTHA CHEETAH lost her way a little but showed signs of retuning to form with a 3rd place last start.
|Selections||(2) Unoechangcheon (10) Grace Queen (11) Nonstop Cat (3) Samantah Cheetah|
|Next Best||9, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 10, 12|
Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 35 Million
(5) TOP MATE keeps on burning win bettors. He’s raced seven times and on no fewer than six occasions has finished as runner-up. Once more though the evidence points to him – he has the fastest time at the distance and the fastest average final furlong of any here. Surely that win is just around the corner. If he does fall short again then (2) POKPUNG EONDEOK is the logical one to take advantage. It took him eight goes to get his maiden but he went on to win again at this distance last start and while he carries a couple of extra kilos, looks right in it again. (8) HANEUL ULLIM was sensational over 1200M three weeks ago, winning by eight-lengths in a super time. Can he do it at a mile though? He struggled on a previous try at it but ignore him at your peril. (11) MONOPOLY is a winner at the distance. He is up in class today and will need to improve but is nicely weighted and looks competitive. The Lightly raced (9) NEWS MAKER is another in the placing hunt.
|Selections||(5) Top Mate (2) Pokpung Eondeok (8) Haneul Ullim (11) Monopoly|
|Next Best||9, 13|
|Fast Start||6, 7, 12, 13|
Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million
Jockey Lee Yong-ho started his career very brightly at Busan a few years ago before going away two years for his mandatory military service. Since returning (and also since losing his apprentice claim) things haven’t been great and after moving to Seoul at the beginning of 2020, he has ridden just one winner from 159 rides. He is on the favourite, (8) TIZ CITY. He rode the horse to 3rd place last start over 1400M and we’re going to have faith in him to get the job done here. (9) MONEY SIJANG beat three of these on her way to 2nd place in an all-filly affair at this distance last start. She’ll be on pace here and goes close. (11) RAON LIGHT MAN and (1) BUCKETFUL GOLD came home 3rd and 5th respectively when they raced one another at the distance on February 28th and both should have at least placing claims here while (3) MYEONGWANG can have a line drawn through his latest effort and can improve today.
|Selections||(8) Tiz City (1) Bucketful Gold (9) Money Sijang (3) Myeongwang|
|Next Best||11, 13|
|Fast Start||3, 9, 12, 13|
Busan Race 6: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
(7) WINNER’S MAN ran 2nd in Busan’s top juvenile race last December before kicking off his three-year-old campaign over a mile in January. He stepped up to this distance on February 27th only to run 2nd to Golden Winner from a wide draw. That narrow defeat was forgivable at the time and now looks even better after Golden Winner went on to score again very easily last week. Winner’s Man is the banker favourite of the day at Busan and it would be a big surprise were he to be beaten here. The one that could be capable of an upset is (4) POWER WONDERFUL. Winner’s Man has beaten him twice already at shorter distances but he was a really good winner himself at this class and distance just two weeks ago and warrants respect today. (2) DOCTOR SKY and (6) REVERSE SWEEP are likely to be contesting the minor money.
|Selections||(7) Winner’s Man (4) Power Wonderful (2) Doctor Sky (6) Reverse Sweep|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 7|
Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million
With a win and two runner-up finishes from three outings to date, (9) HIDDEN DOLPUNG has made an excellent start to his career. Moon Se Young has ridden him all three times and he remains aboard for what could be another victory today. There are a couple of others with potential too though. (13) PINE ROAD is a winner already with the Violence colt having scored second-up over this distance on February 5th from the same wide gate he has today. He carries more weight but can be dangerous. So can (12) GLOBAL SINHWA. After winning a trial, the Shackleford colt has run 3rd and 2nd in his opening two races and surely goes close again. (4) AUCKLAND SOCKS still looks as though he has a win in him at some stage and along with (8) DOKKAEBE looks to be a place line here.
|Selections||(9) Hidden Dolpung (12) Global Sinhwa (4) Auckland Socks (13) Pine Road|
|Next Best||8, 3|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 11, 12|
Seoul Race 8: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
(4) CARVING CROSS has been sensational in recent outings and while he is finally forced to make the step up to class 3 today, as well as tackling two-turns for the first time, it is hard to go against him, He should be on pace from the start and prove difficult to run down. Last year’s Oaks winner (1) UARYUNG steps back up to the Classic distance for the first time since that triumph last August. Nicely drawn on the inside, she will be a danger. So too will (11) GEUMA ACME. He beat four of these on his way to a good class and distance win on February 5th. Alan Munro remains aboard and a repeat shouldn’t be ruled out. There are plenty of others with at least placing chances, not least among them (3) JEONGMUN SAI and (14) NEW MOON WARRIOR.
|Selections||(4) Carving Cross (1) Uaryung (11) Geuma Acme (14) New Moon Warrior|
|Next Best||3, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 6, 14|