The National Assembly’s Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee this week passed an amendment to the Bicycle Racing Act to permit the online sale of betting tickets for cycle racing (Keirin), potentially saving that industry from Covid-shutdown induced oblivion. The equivalent Agriculture committee, under whose jurisdiction racing falls, is yet to pass a similar bill for horse racing, for whom the existential threat looms larger than ever. There is behind closed doors horse racing on Saturday at Seoul (8 races from 11:00 to 18:00 and Busan (6 races from 11:30 to 16:50). Betting outlets at Jeju, Gwangju, Daegu, Changwon and Cheonan will be open at 10% indoor capacity. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Fillies kick us off. (7) MAGIC RECORD was a winner on debut over this distance on March 28th when she overcame a wide draw to take up a handy position before running on strong in a good time on an admittedly wet and fast track. She draws better today and with any kind of improvement at all, she’ll be hard to beat. (5) CHEONMA TODAY won back to back races at class and distance in November and December. She has raced twice since then at 1300M and 1400M, both times being prominent early before running out of steam late on. She should be happier back down in trip today and is the main danger. (1) SHINE MUSIC returned from eight months out to run a decent 3rd in fast race over 1300M at the end of March and can build on that today. (8) GLOBAL CHEONSA has mixed her form a little but has hinted at ability too. There is one debut maker and (4) AQUA PUNCH led her trial before running 3rd in a good time and can go well first-up.
|Selections||(7) Magic Record (5) Cheonma Today (4) Aqua Punch (1) Shine Music|
|Next Best||8, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 7, 11|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Maidens here. (4) COOL GUY has finished 2nd in both of his starts so far at 1000M and at 1200M and both times behind promising looking winners. His time for this distance was considerably faster than anything else in this field has managed to date and from gate 4 he is likely to be on or close to the pace from the start. He will be hot favourite and should win against a weak set of opposition. (2) FANTASTIC LEADER was sent back to trials after an inauspicious debut in January but returned in better order with a 3rd place at this distance in March. It wasn’t a fast time but if he can continue to improve, he should figure here. Similarly bad on debut was (6) CARIBBEAN DAY. He too got sent back to trial and he looked well in it posting a good time. Expect better today. (5) SORI TAEPUNG and (13) DRAGON ROYAL are others with scope to improve and compete for some minor money, Sori Taepung absolutely blitzing a trial earlier this month.
|Selections||(4) Cool Guy (2) Fantastic Leader (6) Caribbean Day (5) Sori Taepung|
|Next Best||13, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5, 6|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(1) OLD SPECIAL has beaten a few of these across his latest two starts, both times running on strong from wide draws for 2nd and 4rg at 1200M and 1300M. He gets the inside gate today which should make life a bit easier and he is favoured to make the breakthrough. (5) BEST CHEONSANG ran 3rd to Old Special’s 2nd when they raced one another at this distance back in February. Best Cheonsang had led for much of that race and she was similarly prominent before running 4th on her latest appearance in March. She too draws well to lead she can be a danger. (2) GIMCHEON YEONGUNG did nothing too wrong when 3rd on debut in March having come through a heap of trials. He too is likely to aim to get on the early speed. (9) SONGAM CAT won at ridiculous odds last time out having previously shown no clue that she was actually a racehorse. As the only previous winner in this field, some grudging respect must therefore be accorded but this race does look better and lighting perhaps won’t strike again. There is one debut maker and she looks to have promise. (3) SMART HIGH comfortably won a trial at the beginning of this month and the Smarty Jones filly goes straight into contention.
|Selections||(1) Old Special (5) Best Cheonsang (3) Smart High (2) GImcheon Yeongung|
|Next Best||7, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 5|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Tricky one. (10) FIGHT DREAM came from well back to run a fast 2nd over 1300M on April 4th, a big improvement from his debut at 1200M. The additional half furlong today may well suit and he is sure to be one of the leading contenders. (1) GANGJAUICHEONGCHUN has also come from well off the pace in both of his outings to date. They both came at this distance and he improved from 5th on debut to 3rd last time when he beat a couple of the others who go here. He will surely be involved again but has to be careful to not leave himself too much to do. Getting 5kg from both those is (5) UNJU SESANG. She races for just the second time and hasn’t been seen since her debut back in January when she was a strong 2nd over 1200M. Today’s distance could well suit and she looks very nicely in with plenty of potential to improve. (2) BAEDARI ICON and (4) ADELE SMART, the latter the only previous winner in the field, are others with claims.
|Selections||(5) Unju Sesang (10) Fight Dream (1) Gangjauicheongchun (4) Adele Smart|
|Next Best||2, 9|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 9, 11|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(13) FEDERAL EYE has been knocking on the door in his latest few starts and drops back in trip slightly after a strong 3rd when favourite on April 3rd. The wide draw shouldn’t be an issue and Moon Se Young remains aboard the filly who is set to be a warm favourite to break thourhg at start number six here. The leading challengers also have wide gates. (12) K BLADE was a much improved 4th at this distance last start and can maintain that momentum today while (11) TAKE HEART has shown steady progression across three starts so far, culminating in a good 2rd place at 1400M last time out. In a race with not much early speed, Kim Yong Geun may be tempted to take her to the front early, despite the gate. The rest looks a bit ordinary with (3) BUL HWASAN and (7) SOUJU, the latter 5th behind Take Heart last time, perhaps the most likely to make an impact.
|Selections||(13) Federal Eye (12) K Blade (11) Take Heart (7) Souju|
|Next Best||3, 1|
|Fast Start||4, 7, 11, 14|
Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
(4) COLOR WIND made all to break through at start number six on March 27th with an emphatic score at this distance. It was certainly visually impressive and the time in the conditions was creditable too. She’s drawn nicely again and could well back up. She is up in class though and this is a stiffer test though. (5) ACHIM BIT comes in off a good class and distance 2nd three weeks ago. She likes to sit just off the speed and has a strong finish on her and she will be a danger in the closing stages. Draw a line through (2) MAN OF THE WORLD’s most recent performance on March 27th as it was first up after four months off. The Hansen gelding may be yet to win in thirteen attempts but he has eight top five finishes and should be better today. Like Color Wins, (8) DONGNAM BULPAE comes in a last start winner. He too made all and while his times haven’t been consistently quick as some of the others and he is up in class, he comes down in the weights and can be competitive. (9) FINAL PARTY mixes his form but goes well on his day and looks a potential place line.
|Selections||(4) Color Wind (5) Achim Bit (2) Man Of The World (8) Dongnam Bulpae|
|Next Best||9, 12|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5, 8|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
(4) POWER DOLPUNG is up in class having broken his maiden at start number four on March 21st at this distance. He is a front-running type who overcame gate 13 to score that day and with a much better draw and even slightly less weight, he could be the one to beat again today. (8) DALRINEUN BITKKAL and (6) FIGHTING NOW came home 3rd and 4th when they raced each other on over 1200M on March 28th. Both have shown good consistency and the additional furlong today may suit Fighting Now, who remains a maiden after eight attempts but generally runs on strong and can appreciate the distance. (2) OLD BLADE has already won at the distance, making all for his maiden win last July. He races here for the first time since November and while he may need this run, can’t be ruled out of going close. Disregard the latest start of (12) CHODONG ROCKET as he has previously shown he is more than capable at class and distance and has placing hopes here.
|Selections||(4) Power Dolpung (2) Old Blade (6) Fighting Now (8) Dalrineun Bitkkal|
|Next Best||12, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 12, 14|
Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million
Fillies and mares only here and it’s about time (10) HANBIT YEONGGWANG made her breakthrough. The Orb filly has finished runner-up on no fewer than five occasions now but has beaten a few of these along the way and has run superior times at this distance. It really should be her day this time. If she does once more find one too quick, and frankly, it’s possible then it might be (1) SKITTER. She races for the first time since getting her maiden win last November when she made all in a similar race to this but looked well when 2nd in a fast trial earlier this month. (6) GOLD CANDY also enters as a last start winner, having overcome a slow start to make up excellent ground at class and distance on March 27th. That was quite a big uptick in form for her to build on today. (5) QUEEN MARVEL IJI and (9) MY BABY GIRL are others with scope for improvement.
|Selections||(10) Hanbit Yeonggwang (1) Skitter (6) Gold Candy (5) Queen Marvel Iji|
|Next Best||9, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 8, 11|
Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million
(8) OXFORD KING was a super winner at class and distance on March 28th, making all to score in a fast time. He carries even less weight today and has a similar draw and while the caliber of opposition is better this time, he can win again. (3) LUISA is super consistent having never finished any worse than 4th in nine outings to date. Her recent work has been at 1400M but she has a 100% winning record at today’s trip and she has every chance of maintaining it. She can sit handy behind the speed and at the very least she places again. The widest gate shouldn’t trouble (14) GLOBAL GOLD who came from the back of midfield to win at class and distance on March 21st. That win had been coming and he can keep his good form going here. (2) RAON JAMES drops significantly back in trip and can enter the calculations under a nice light weight. (10) SUPER LUCKY BOY another in at least the placing frame.
|Selections||(8) Oxford King (3) Luisa (10) Super Lucky Boy (14) Global Gold|
|Next Best||2, 12|
|Fast Start||3, 8, 10, 12|
Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 35 Million
(1) JERA slumped to his first defeat on March 13th having comfortably won his first three engagements. There was hardly any disgrace in it though has having started poorly, he was only beaten by the very good Choegang Ssonsal over 1400M in a very fast time. He steps up to a mile for the first time and even a bad start shouldn’t derail him today. (10) JEONSEOLUI BULKKOT and (2) FUNKY came home 2nd and 3rd when they raced one another at class and distance on March 27th and they are among the leading contenders to take advantage should the favourite manage to come up short. (12) BUGYEONG CHEONSA stepped up to this trip last start and while she only managed to finish 6th, she recorded the fastest time amongst this who have tackled this trip before and certainly should be competitive. (5) B.K. LOOKS steps up in trip but rarely runs a bad race and is another with placing claims.
|Selections||(1) Jera (10) Jeonseolui Bulkkot (12) Bugyeong Cheonsa (5) B.K. Looks|
|Next Best||2, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 8, 14|
Seoul Race 6: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
(6) LUCKY BEOPJEON come sin looking for a hat-trick of victories here having scored in his latest two, both at this class and distance with several of today’s rivals behind him He does carry a bit more weight this time but that’s countered by him having a more favourable draw to get to the speed and he looks the one to beat again. (13) GO UP ran 2nd to Lucky Beopjeon last time out on March 21st having led for much of the way around. She is very consistent having never finished any worse than 5th and while she again has a wide draw to contend with, should be a danger. Also consistent is (9) DREAM PO RE, who has been in the top three in all his seven starts so far. He’s not the explosive type but is honest and runs on and should be in the mix. Disregard the latest start of (3) LUCKY BEONGSEONG and instead go on his previous fast times at the distance. With Munro aboard he goes close. (11) YEONHUI ILCHUL another in the minor money frame.
|Selections||(6) Lucky Beopjeon (9) Dream Po Re (13) Go Up (3) Lucky Bongseong|
|Next Best||11, 14|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 13, 14|
Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million
(7) YEONGGWANGUICHUKJE is set to be favourite here having beaten four of these on his way to 2nd place behind Mr. Valor at class and distance on a muddy track on April 4th. He ran on pace that day following a come from behind win at the same distance on March 6th. He clearly likes this distance and the weight shouldn’t be too much of a problem. (6) STAR EYE looks an intriguing prospect though. The Violence colt has won his latest two, most recently at a mile and while he is rapidly up in class, he gets plenty of weight and Perovic remains aboard. (4) SEONGSAN POWER has been beaten by Yeonggwanguichukje in two of her last three starts but has plenty of ability at this distance and can go close again. (1) FINE TRUMPET and (3) NEWS MAKER are others who will be expected to be competitive.
|Selections||(6) Star Eye (7) Yeonggwanguichukje (4) Seongsan Power (3) News Maker|
|Next Best||1, 13|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 8, 9|
Seoul Race 7: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 50 Million
(2) DIXIE AGAIN has made all to win both his latest two, the most recent at class and distance when he had no fewer than five of today’s opponents behind him. That took his record to six wins from nine starts and with a (good) apprentice on board today, he only goes up 1kg in the weights from that last victory. He is going to be very hard to beat. The most credible opponents do also come out of that race. (1) KINGS STEP ran 2nd and (8) DAEGUN CHEONHA 3rd and those two should go close again. Prior to last month Daegun Cheonha had twice had the beating of Kings Step and is likely to start as second favourite in the betting. (11) WINNER BROWN and (10) EONEU MEOTJIN NAL are among others who can contest the placings.
|Selections||(2) Dixie Again (8) Daegun Cheonha (1) Kings Step (11) Winner Brown|
|Next Best||10, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 8, 13|
Seoul Race 8: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
(2) JANGSAN FOREVER made all to win over class and distance on February 28th, landing his third win in five career starts. Luigi Riccardi’s gelding carries an additional 3kg today but is well drawn to lead again and once more looks the one to beat in what shapes as a weaker race. (5) ROCKUI JEWANG comes up in trip having posted some very solid times at shorter distances. His solitary win came from the front but he has shown himself able to make ground late on as well and the two turns may well suit. All the rest of them will have to step up from their recent form in order to compete. Among them (7) HWANGGEUM LUCKY has the fastest time of all of these at this distance and can return to some form while (4) EMORY SOCKS and (6) K.N ACE are others who could go close.
|Selections||(2) Jangsan Forever (5) Rockui Jewang (7) Hwanggeum Lucky (6) K.N Ace|
|Next Best||4, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 6, 9|