Month: May 2021

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 30)

It’s the turn of Morfhis to give away 8kg and try to win a handicap on Sunday. One of the stars of last summer lines up over 1400M in the concluding class 1 feature at Seoul. There are 10 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:05 to 17:00. Here are the previews:

Morfhis won the SBS Sports Sprint last summer

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

A very competitive opener but we’ll side with (2) STAR RUSH to finally make the breakthrough at what will be his eleventh attempt. True, he has so far finished no better than 3rd but he comes in off solid recent performances from wide draws where he is run on well. He is not exactly possessed of early speed so the inside gate today may allow him to settle closer to the leaders. (3) GREAT HANSEN is the only runner here to have a win to her name. That came last start where she showed a big improvement, leading all the way. It was a much more mature performance compared to her previous ones where she had been hard to control. Expect her to lead most of the way and force the rest to try and come past. (8) RULES CLASS is starting to show some consistency and has run times that put him into the picture here. Last start he was 3rd from a wide draw and can match or better that today. (7) MAD BLADE and (12) LEGEND BOURSE others in the hunt.

Selections(2) Star Rush (3) Great Hansen (8) Rules Class (7) Mad Blade
Next Best12, 11
Fast Start3, 6, 9, 12

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(7) STELLA ROAD came home 3rd on her only start so far. It was at this distance on April 25th and she settled just behind the leaders before working home well. She should have come on for the experience and we’ll be expecting a bold showing today. (12) SECRET BOSS was a much-improved 2nd last start showing that he is figuring things out. It took him a while to find daylight that day but once he did, he finished off nicely enough and while he may need a little luck from the wide barrier, the 2kg drop with the apprentice on board brings him right into this. (6) WONDERFUL MAMBO led into the closing stages last start before being headed and finishing 4th or the second time in a row. She’ll head to the lead again and can be involved at the business end. (10) HURRICANE SOCKS and (13) THUNDER HORSE are others with hopes of the money.

Selections(7) Stella Road (12) Secret Boss (6) Wonderful Mambo (13) Thunder Horse
Next Best10, 3
Fast Start5, 6, 7, 10

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(10) GOLD K is set to be one of the shorter priced favourites of the day. His last start was a good effort when he settled behind the leaders before finding a gap as the field straightened and running on well for a close 4th. He drops back slightly in trip today and is the one to beat. He sticks out a mile off because the rest have very patchy form. (12) ADVANCE managed a 3rd place two starts back and that in itself will bring her into the calculations. (1) GEOSEN DOLPUNG is drawn nicely to lead and may well find that not many come past at the business end of the race. (3) LUXURY KING doesn’t have much to recommend about him on the face of it but his last start found him well back and wide on a wet track before running home well and with a better barrier today, he could improve at good odds. (5) GRAND MASTER another to keep an eye on.

Selections(10) Gold K (12) Advance (3) Luxury King (1) Geosen Dolpung
Next Best5, 4
Fast Start1, 9, 12, 13

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies kick us off at Busan and it’s the solitary first-time starter that catches our eye. The Isidore Farm bred (11) MISS INDIE is a half-sister to Mr. Afleet, a winner of seven from twelve so far. She certainly looked the part in her trial, winning the heat in a decent time and it would be no surprise were she to score first up. There are two previous winners to contend with. (2) APRIL QUEEN and (4) DONGBANUI SIJAK. Both scored on debut and while neither have managed to follow up since, both can be dangerous here from good barriers. (5) SAEMULGYEOLUI PADO ran on well for 4th last start, a big improvement from her debut and is another in the placing frame while (8) QUEEN HARLEY has hinted at ability and gets a top jockey aboard today. 

Selections(11) Miss Indie (2) April Queen (4) Dongbanui Sijak (8) Queen Harley
Next Best5, 13
Fast Start2, 4, 7, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies only in this maiden and it could be a tale of two Choegangs. (11) CHOEGANG BLACK has been competitive in both starts so far. She has slightly fly-jumped the start both times putting her at a slight disadvantage but if she can fix that she has a real chance as she has worked home strongly both times. (10) CHOEGANG QUEEN put in a solid performance for 2nd place on debut over 1200M racing handily throughout. The step up in trip should be fine and she looks the main danger. (9) SARANG DAMOA is worth consideration on recent efforts. She’s run on well in both of her latest two appearances and if she can find a handy position can be a threat. (5) CONDOR YEOWANG had to contend with a wide gate on her return from eight months out but still ran well enough for a creditable midfield finish. She should be fitter for that and can improve here. (2) HWANGGEUM DALBIT the best of the rest.

Selections(11) Choegang Black (10) Choegang Queen (9) Sarang Damoa (5) Condor Yeowang
Next Best2, 3
Fast Start2, 3, 10, 11

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Very tricky one. (1) YEONSEUNG MISO has the fastest time of any of these at this distance which she managed last start when recording a career best 3rd. It comes with a warning that it was on a very wet track and really came out of nowhere but for the first time that day she was ridden close to the front early and she has a great barrier to do that again. (6) RUN FIGHTER was 3rd on debut over 1200M on April 25th and the way he improved late on that day may make him the betting favourite here. The distance should suit, and he can go close. (8) TRIPLE STORM tends to get a long way back in his races, but he does run on and should pass plenty late on. He looks a solid place line along with (9) POKPUNG JILJU who weakened a little late on over a mile last time out. (3) GOLD FOUNTAIN improved at start number two last time out and the stable he’s from means he is sure to have plenty of backers.

Selections(1) Yeonseung Miso (6) Run Fighter (8) Triple Storm (3) Gold Fountain
Next Best9, 10
Fast Start3, 4, 9, 12

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million

A good race with plenty of potential winners. (4) ROYAL ROAD will probably be favourite He was an excellent class and distance winner last start coming from off the pace. He can lead all the way too and while he is up in weight today which may slow him a little, he has every chance of scoring. (5) DONGJIN CHOEGANG has won both his starts so far which puts him up in class. Class 6 winners don’t always measure up in their very first try at class 5 but he is down in weight and has a nice barrier, so he has every chance of being successful. We’ll take a chance with (12) COLJOY too. He put in a fine effort at his first start at this class when away a little slowly and then settling well back before flying home late for 4th. He is a winner at this distance and a repeat of those efforts plus a touch of luck gives him a potential winning chance here. (6) MAGIC RECORD has a win and a 2nd, both at 1200M in good times on wet tracks. Up in class today she can be competitive. (3) A.P. PATEK mist also be kept safe as he is a consistent type capable of running on.

Selections(4) Royal Road (12) Coljoy (5) Dongjin Choegang (3) A. P. Patek
Next Best6, 13
Fast Start1, 6, 12, 13

Seoul & Busan Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 29)

Punters will be returning in limited numbers to Busan Racecourse this weekend with the city having lowered its social distancing guidelines. The track will be permitted to accommodate 1,017 racegoers indoors with a further 402 outdoor seats available (weather permitting). The two Busan off-track-betting centres at Dong-gu and Yeonje have been approved for 383 and 480 punters respectively. While the Greater Seoul area locations remain closed, this means that across Korea, with Daegu, Changwon, Cheonan and Gwangju also open, 5,204 punters wil be able to have a legal bet on the horses. All seats must be purchased in advance through the My Card app. There are 8 races at Seoul (11:00 to18:00) and 6 at Busan (11:30 to 16:50) on Saturday. Here are the previews:

Some punters can return to Busan Racecourse this weekend

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Maiden fillies get us underway. After seemingly drifting aimlessly, (1) WOL YEONG I looks to be figuring things out with a 3rd and a 2nd in her latest two. She runs best on the early speed and today’s draw should help in this respect. She ran a good time at her latest start and a similar run will put her right in the finish here. (6) MODERN BEST ran 5th behind Wol Yeong I least start but had previously beaten her when 2nd at this distance in march. She likes to settle handy and run on and so long as she makes sure she doesn’t leave herself too much to do, can go close. (2) HAPPY DAY raced twice last summer registering a 3rd place on debut. She’s not been seen since August but looked very well when 2nd in a trial in a fast time two weeks ago. If she brings that form to the races, she has a winning chance. (4) SEMYEONG NARAE and (8) SHINE MUSIC have the fastest two times at this distance in the field and both have placing experience.

Selections(1) Wol Yeong I (2) Happy Day (8) Shine Music (4) Semyeong Narae
Next Best6, 7
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 9

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(8) B J MISS showed at the front for most of her debut on April 25th, ultimately finishing 2nd. While that day’s good looking winner only managed 4th on his return, B J Miss should have come on for that run and coming out of the same gate, can get the lead again. She looks hard to beat. (6) LE CONCORD ran 5th in his only start to date last October when he was slowly away but ran on strong. He trialed nicely earlier this month and in this company looks set to go well first up. (5) MY DESTINY has hinted at ability across two starts so far and with a good start should be in the frame while (11) WORLD REMEMBER has plenty of experience and looks a place line in this company. The biggest danger though is likely to be on the of the four first-time starters. (9) GOOD TANK is the first foal to make it to the track out of Clean Up Speed, who won four of her eleven starts. She made all when winning a trial in a good time at the end of April and looks very nicely in here. 

Selections(8) B J Miss (9) Good Tank (6) Le Concord (5) My Destiny
Next Best11, 14
Fast Start4, 6, 8, 13

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Nice maiden this with plenty coming in looking like they have a win in them. Favourite and top pick is (6) BLUE HAMMER. He came from well back to run 3rd in debut at 1200M before then putting in a more forward showing for 2nd at the same trip on April 25th. The slight step up in distance today can help and he looks to have further development in him. (3) STEAL THE FASHION was 2nd on debut in January before running a decent time over 1400M on a wet track at 1400M. She got too far back last time out over 1200M but the gate and the distance today should suit and she can go close. (4) SAENAE WIN had an uptick in form at his latest outing, running on from well off the pace to grab 2nd at this distance. If Choi Bum-hyun can settle her in a spot that gives her a chance, she will be in the finish. (5) GEOSEN JILPUNG is a model of inconsistency, who was 5th behind Blue Hammer last time out but does have a 2nd place in her form and she can place here. (8) DAEWANGU another in the hunt.

Selections(6) Blue Hammer (3) Steal The Fashion (4) Saenae Win (5) Geosen Jilpung
Next Best8, 10
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 8

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(9) TOP ADELE overcame the widest draw to get to the lead and beat four of these on his way to a maiden win over this distance on April 25th. He comes very slightly down in the weights and also draws a little better so it is hard to recommend going against the form here. If we do want to take him on then (6) SEUNGNI GLORY is the prime candidate. He was a much-improved 3rd over 1400M on his second start on April 3rd. He got well back that and ran on strong and it could be the additional furlong today works in his favour. (3) DALRYEORA VOLPONI ran 2nd to Top Adele last time. He is another who is usually well back in his races but looks to be figuring out how to run on in the latter stages and he’s a place line again. (8) LUCAS SUN and (10) HONEY STAR are others in the hunt.

Selections(9) Top Adele (6) Seungni Glory (3) Dalryeora Volponi (10) Honey Star
Next Best8, 11
Fast Start3, 6, 8, 10

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(10) RED PINE has been ultra-consistent across her six starts to date, finishing between 2nd and 6th in all of them. On her only previous try at this distance she recorded the fastest time that any of these have managed and a win doesn’t look far away. Her running style suggests the draw won’t be a problem and today can be her day. (5) BEST STORM came from well off the pace to run a strong 3rd last time out. He has mixed his form a little but looks the main danger here. (3) CHEONJON and (8) JEONGMUN PRINCE came home 2nd and 3rd respectively when they raced one another at class and distance on April 24th with the former racing in midfield and the latter well back before both finishing off well. Both have placing claims again today. (11) BLACK INDY disappointed when well backed in that same race. He is worth another chance today at place odds.

Selections(10) Red Pine (5) Best Storm (11) Black Indy (3) Cheonjon
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 10

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million

Two fillies come in here seeking a hat-trick of victories and accordingly, they will be at the top of the market. (9) HAENAM HAMMER has overcome wide draws in her latest two to score impressively at 1200M and 1400M, coming from a handy position the first time and then making all the second. She is up in class here but slightly down in weight and she looks the one to beat. (7) MIDNIGHT QUEEN’s victories have both come at this class and both of them were over today’s distance. She’s nicely drawn to get on pace again and with an apprentice taking 3kg off her back, she looks a real chance too. Plenty of decent others. (1) ALPHA STAR lost his way a bit around the turn of the year but returns for the first time since January having looked very well in a trial last week and he goes straight into the frame. (5) SKY WIN and (6) SUNLIGHT BOY are others in the hunt.


Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 23)

Korea Cup winner Moonhak Chief will try to avoid the fate that has befallen Blue Chipper, Cheongdam Dokki and Tiz Plan over the past few weeks and win Seoul’s Sunday feature despite giving away significant weight to all of his rivals. There are behind closed doors meetings at both Seoul (10 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:05 to 17:00). Here are the previews:

Moonhak Chief and Moon Se Young will need to overcome both the weight and the draw on Sunday

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(8) BURUI GASOK has put in two very good runs to date, has shown he can handle different track conditions and has the benefit of an apprentice claim. Last start he worked to lead from a wide draw only getting caught late on and he could be the one to beat here. Likely favourite will be one of the first-time starters. (10) GWANGYANG EUTTEUM looked good when winning a trial in a nice time, on pace all the way from the same barrier he draws today. He could easily be in the finish here. So too could (3) YEONGWANUI HAENGJIN. He looks a chance based on his last start 2nd when he was bumped early before settling handy and running on. (1) SMILE LADY is another first-timer who showed plenty of speed in her trial and draws nicely first up while (11) GREEN FEELSTAR hasn’t been very quick but hasn’t done much wrong in two midfield finishes to date.

Selections(8) Burui Gasok (10) Gwangyang Eutteum (3) Yeongwanui Haengjin (1) Smile Lady
Next Best11, 5
Fast Start4, 5, 8, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(6) ACE PRINCE has been consistent across his five starts to date. He ran well for 3rd over 1400M last time, leading in the straight and only collared close to the line and the drop back to 1200M to suit. We’ll go with him to defeat likely favourite (12) DONGHAENG. The filly showed good ability in her first start on April 25th when she was very keen early before making up a lot of ground late on. The extra furlong should be ideal and while she may need a bit of luck from the wide draw, she’ll be right in the finish. (13) CUPID KOREA has been placed in his latest two outings, both at 1400M. he has pace and even though back to 1200M a repeat of those runs puts him in the picture. (3) SONGAM CAT was a crazy priced winner two starts back at this distance in a good time. She couldn’t follow up but her latest run was better than the 9th place suggests after being slowly away and she warrants consideration. (10) MISS YANGHO the best of the rest.

Selections(6) Ace Prince (12) Donghaeng (13) Cupid Korea (3) Songam Cat
Next Best10, 5
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 13

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(1) P.K. ROAD is perhaps deserving of a change in luck having been in the money at least at all of her starts. Last time she settled behind the runaway leader, ultimately bringing the field across only to be passed herself late on. She’s also run well at this distance and could make the breakthrough today. Also working his way towards a win is (3) NONSTOP GISANG. He was ridden hard from gate nine last time before settling in midfield and running on strong and a repeat of that performance from a better barrier makes him a top chance. (4) ALJJA also looks to be on an upward trajectory and can continue his progress here while (12) IMUGI has also been improving across his three outings and the slight step up in trip today may suit. (11) BLACK KING drops back in trip after a useful spin around 1700M and is another in the placing frame.

Selections(1) P.K. Road (3) Nonstop Gisang (4) Aljja (12) Imugi
Next Best11, 7
Fast Start4, 8, 12, 14

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Maidens here. (5) ECHO RUSH has the fastest time of any of these and has been consistent across his five starts so far with two runner-up finishes to his name. An apprentice jockey helps take some weight off here and while he isn’t necessarily a front-runner, he is well drawn and can win. (10) MENI GLORY began his career with back-to-back runner-up finishes at 1000M and 1400M before putting in a lackluster effort over 1300M last time when he began poorly. Perovic remains aboard though and if he gets away well and gets on pace then he has every chance. (14) PARTY INDY is the other leading hope. She has shown some decent speed and while the draw is not ideal, she shouldn’t be too far away at the business end. It’s slim pickings beyond those with (3) TRIPLE JILJU and (7) CROWN KING STAR perhaps most likely to go close.

Selections(5) Echo Rush (10) Meni Glory (14) Party Indy (3) Triple Jilju
Next Best7, 6
Fast Start3, 6, 7, 14

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies only here. (3) DELPHINI has been improving with every run and the way in which she resolutely runs on, especially after a poor start last time out, suggests the step up in trip is what she has been waiting for. She has finally drawn a good barrier as well and today could be her day. The only question is whether she can catch the favourite (8) QUEENS TOUR. She’s shown consistency over her own three appearances and was a fair 3rd over this trip last start when she settled midfield and ran on well. (7) NOKRICHONG is the only previous winner in the field having scored over 1200M in a fair time two starts back. She was then behind Delphini last start and will need to lift from that but there is ability there. (9) NONGBON BADA could sneak a place. She was well back but ran on well over 1000M last time and going back up in trip should help.

Selections(3) Delphini (8) Queens Tour (7) Nokrichong (9) Nongbon Bada
Next Best5, 10
Fast Start1, 4, 7, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies (and one mare) only here. The only previous winner is (10) WHITE GALLOPER, who scored over this distance on April 24th with a few of these down the track behind her. She came from well back that day, as has been her style so far, and the same apprentice jockey keeps her weight down. A repeat isn’t impossible. The primary danger is (13) SECOND WIND. She came from a similarly wide just two weeks ago to run a strong 3rd. It was a decent time and we’re going to narrowly favour her to come out on top here. (4) SWEET BAND and (2) STEADY WINNER came home 3rd and 4th respectively behind White Galloper in that April race and both are capable of placing here. Similarly, (14) DREAM DANCER beat a few of these last start when registering her third 3rd place finish from six starts to date and if she can overcome the widest gate, then she too can find some money.

Selections(13) Second Wind (10) White Galloper (2) Steady Winner (4) Sweet Band
Next Best14, 7
Fast Start2, 5, 13, 14

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million


Seoul & Busan Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview / Park Tae Jong Sidelined For Summer (May 22)

Korea’s all time leading jockey Park Tae-jong is set to miss the summer racing season as a result of injuries sustained in a heavy fall at Seoul Racecourse last Sunday. This Saturday sees racing at Seoul (8 races from 11:00 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 11:30 to 16:50).

Park landed heavily when dislodged from Lead Money on a wet track in the early stages of Seoul’s 1200M feature last Sunday. While the veteran rider, one of the toughest there is, initially only complained of pain in his wrist, later scans showed a broken ankle and ruptured knee ligaments. The first horse across the line in that race, East Jet, was disqualified and jockey Alan Munro suspended for 6 meetings.

Park Tae Jong will be sidelined for 3 to 4 months

Here are the Saturday previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(6) K N TEUKGEUP returned from five months out to run a significantly improved 3rd over 1200M on April 18th. He drops back in trip today but is a natural front-runner and from a good draw, looks to be the one to be beat. He will be vying for favourite status with (5) DASI DUSON. She was 4th behind K N Teukgeup last month in what for her too was her first start since last November. She’s also a front runner and the drop back in trip may be similarly beneficial. Those two look head and shoulders above the rest with (2) ARCH YEOGEOL and (7) CHEONDUNGSEJA among the others with experience who can be competitive in this company, having as they do, the two fastest times at this distance. There are also three first-time starters with (8) MODERN TIMES looking best placed to make an immediate impact following two promising trials.

Selections(6) K N Teukgeup (5) Dasi Duson (8) Modern Times (2) Arch Yeogeol
Next Best7, 12
Fast Start5, 6, 7, 9

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(3) KING ALLIE was a smart winner on debut, practically making all to win by as many lengths as he pleased in a fast time over 1000M. He’s up in distance today but looks nicely in to make it two from two. The main dangers are likely to come from the first-timer starters. (7) MUSIC BOX looks the best of them. The Indie Band filly won her trial in good fashion in a competitive time and will be expected to go close first-up here. (5) CATCH THE SKY was similarly impressive when winning the latest of two trials. He made all in that heat and is well drawn to get off to a good start again. Among the others who have experience, (8) STARLIGHT ran well for 4th at this trip on debut before not getting very involved at 1200M on his reappearance. He can be given another chance today as can (1) SPRING FIRE, who has been inconsistent but has hinted at ability.

Selections(3) King Allie (7) Music Box (5) Catch The Sky (8) Starlight
Next Best1, 10
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies (and one mare) only here. (10) GOLDEN CHANCE comes in off back to back 2nd place finishes having led in both until the closing stages. She draws wider today so may have to use up a bit of energy to her to the front but there is little to fear in this field and she really should go one better today. (6) SEMYEONG HAETSAL is the only previous winner in the field so does warrant some respect, particularly as she drops back to the distance at which she scored that victory. (3) GREEN JJANG has been knocking at the door for some time and ran a decent enough 4th behind Golden Chance last start. There is little to suggest she can overturn that form but she should beat plenty. (1) WONDERFUL GEUMSUNG and (11) DOUBLE TAKE are others with the potential to improve.

Selections(10) Golden Chance (6) Semyeong Haetsal (3) Green Jjang (1) Wonderful Geumsung
Next Best11, 7
Fast Start3, 8, 10, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(7) ANNIKA GIRL ran a solid 4th on debut over 1000M on April 24th. She started slowly but once she got into her stride ran on pleasingly and should have come on for the experience. The step up in trip may well be to her benefit and she can expect to start as favourite. (10) ANY LINE steps back in trip following a couple of spins around a mile including a useful 3rd place last time out, his best finish in six attempts to date. He can settle off the pace here and run on into some money. (11) MYEONGGA DAERO and (3) DARUI BADA have both run acceptable times at this distance and in this company both should be competitive while (8) DANCING DRAGON offered some improvement at start number two and can build on that here.

Selections(7) Annika Girl (10) Any Line (11) Myeongga Daero (3) Darui Bada
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start4, 6, 8, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Maidens here but three come in following last start runner-up finishes and a couple of them look ready to go one better here. Top choice and expected favourite is (7) ILHYANG DALMA. She almost led gate to wire last start on April 18th ultimately having to settle for 2nd place. She draws slightly better this time and has a real chance. So too does (12) AFLEET MARINE. She showed a big uptick in form last time when 2nd over 1300M and can run on strong again here. (2) CHAMPION GAMUN led into the straight when tried at 1400M at the end of March before weakening. He’s back in trip here and should be a better prospect and will almost certainly be challenging Ilhyang Dalma for the early lead. (8) KOREA GIJEOK and (13) BIBONG MARU are among others in the placing hunt.

Selections(7) Ilhyang Dalma (12) Afleet Marine (2) Champion Gamun (13) Bibong Maru
Next Best8, 14
Fast Start2, 5, 7, 14

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million

Small field here. (3) RAON THE POWER won his first two before coming up short in two efforts at this class, racing wide both times. He draws better today with a good chance of making it to the front early and he looks one of the banker favourites of the day to return to the winner’s circle. (1) MAN OF THE WORLD remains a maiden after fourteen starts but come in having shown good recent form. He led for much of the way around before running 3rd over this distance three weeks ago and while he will probably have to settle for a place again, he should be beating most of these. (2) FIRST MOCCASIN races for the first time in more than a year but looked sharp in a trial two weeks and can go well first-up. (4) THUNDER VEGAS and (8) B.K. POWER are others who can challenge for the minors.

Selections(3) Raon The Power (1) Man Of The World (2) First Moccasin (4) Thunder Vegas
Next Best8
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 8

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million


Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (May 16)

Sunday sees 10 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:05 to 17:00. Top sprinter East Jet headlines Seoul’s concluding feature race. The meetings will be run behind closed doors but the betting locations in Jeju, Daegu, Gwangju, Changwon and Cheonan will be open to pre-booked punters. Here are the previews:

The screen doesn’t even get turned on these days…

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Maidens to kick things off. (12) TAP QUALITY has been consistent and this class and perhaps deserves a slight change of luck. He comes into this race off the back of a good 3rd over 1300M where he was wide early and worked hard to be on the pace. The draw is a little irritating again but he should have too much for this set of rivals. (1) ADVANCE made a bit of a breakthrough last start with a significantly improved 2nd place over 1000M. A repeat of that run where she led early before sitting off the pace and battling on well will put her in the mix here. (11) VICEROY ran an improved race last start. This field is no stronger and it would be no surprise were he to place. (10) BANGTAN YEOGEOL can have her last start disregarded on a wet track and also having received a few bumps early on. She knows how to make up ground late on. Solitary debut-maker (7) K N PARK trialed adequately and gets a nice soft introduction to racing here with chances of making some minor money.

Selections(12) Tap Quality (1) Advance (11) Viceroy (10) Bangtan Yeogeol
Next Best7, 8
Fast Start1, 6, 11, 12

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(10) DREAM PELLA is the only one whose form includes a win, and a repeat must be considered here. He ran okay last start when settled in a handy position and has recorded some good times along the way. He’ll be aiming to lead early again and is the one to beat. (4) THE FIGHTING can perhaps have a line drawn through his latest when he was wide all the way. Instead, we’ll go on the useful 4th at this distance. He gets a better draw today and can be competitive. So too can (8) WONDERFUL MAMBO. She has to be considered on the strength of her 4th last start when on pace and ran on well. The apprentice claims surely brings her firmly into this. There are two debut makers and of them (12) LUCKY THUNDER looks best place for an immediate impact. Having been all over the place when originally trialing in mid-April, he had another go at the end of the month and was much more assured finishing 2nd in his heat in a fast time. If he brings that form to the races, he can go close. (6) NAUI SINHWA the best of the rest.

Selections(10) Dream Pella (4) The Fighting (8) Wonderful Mambo (12) Lucky Thunder
Next Best6, 5
Fast Start1, 8, 10, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(9) SINUI ADEUL was a last start winner at class and distance in a time considerably quicker than any of the others here have managed at the distance, albeit on a wet track. He can settle close to the pace again and is likely to be too strong for this field. (4) K BLADE is an improving filly having finished in the money at her latest two starts. She put in a good showing from a wide draw last time out and the better barrier today surely helps her chances. (8) MASEONG CHEONHA took a bump early last time but ran on well enough for a midfield finish. He had previously run well on debut for 3rd and can enter today’s calculations. (12) ILGYEOK PILSAL similarly saw his best result so far come on debut and while he hasn’t managed to yet match or better that 2nd place, he has hinted at ability and looks a potential place line here.

Selections(9) Sinui Adeul (4) K Blade (8) Maseong Cheonha (12) Ilgyeok Pilsal
Next Best1, 6
Fast Start1, 3, 8, 9

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies only here. (7) NAMED showed plenty of potential in two outings last summer running 5th and 2nd both at 1000M. She hasn’t raced since August, but the Bart Rice trainee looked very well when completing a trial in April and couldn’t really hope for a more amenable race to return in and will probably be a hot favourite. That’s because nothing else has much in the way of convincing form. (1) FIRST CHOICE hasn’t run badly in three starts to date and should be improving here while similarly (6) GEUMA STARLET has run on well enough in both her two outings and can be aiming for more today. (12) CHOEGANG ILSE has a 4th place to her name and while she has been caught back a few times, has shown the ability to run on strong. (9) MYEONGSEONG MAGIC also ran 4th on debut and while her two efforts since have been underwhelming, the opposition is significantly softer today.

Selections(7) Named (6) Geuma Starlet (1) First Choice (9) Myeongseong Magic
Next Best12, 3
Fast Start5, 7, 9, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies only. (4) GOLDEN BADGE gets the chance to overturn some form here as she was 4th time out on April 11th with two of her rivals today ahead of her. Today should be her day though. Her form is solid and the slight drop to 1300M can benefit. She was wide all the way last time and a much better draw today should help. (10) CHEONGDAM TANK ran 2nd in that race and then followed up with a 4th place at today’s distance just two weeks ago. “Full” sister to the 2018 Korean Derby winner Ecton Blade, she surely has a win in her at some point. (13) JILPUNG BAEKGWANG was 3rd in the April 11th race which was her best start to date, and she looks to have placing claims again. Among those who didn’t run in that race, (9) ELITE POWER comes up in trip after a strong 2nd over 1200M a month ago and should be in the frame while (8) AMAZING QUEEN may benefit from the slight drop back in trip.

Selections(4) Golden Badge (10) Cheongdam Tank (9) Elite Power (13) Jilpung Baekgwang
Next Best8, 11
Fast Start8, 9, 11, 14

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(12) SUCCESS MACHO ran out an easy winner on debut over 1200M on April 10th running on pace in the early stages before pulling clear in the home straight. He is up slightly in trip and draws a bit wider, but neither should be an issue and he looks hard to beat here. (5) ACE GUY and (2) DOCTOR FAITH came home 2nd and 3rd respectively when they race each other at class and distance on April 18th. Ace Guy has steadily improved across three starts while Doctor Faith has been consistent across four and the pair look the most likely to cause an upset should the favourite not run well. (9) CHEONGHO LEADER ran a solid 5th on debut over 1200M beating a couple of these in the process and can build on that here. (1) A ONE PLUS has been knocking on the door of the places in all but one of her outings so far and is another place line here.


Seoul & Busan Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 15)

Closed doors once again this weekend with the only betting locations open those in Jeju, Daegu, Changwon, Gwangju and Cheonan. Saturday see cards at Seoul (8 races from 11:00 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 11:30 to 16:50). Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies kick things off. There is one previous winner in the field with (1) LOVE ARCH having scored on debut at this distance in February. She then followed up by running 4th when put up to today’s trip on April 10th beating a couple of these in the process, coming from well back in the field on both occasions. That’s enough to put her in the mix here but the favourite and top pick is (6) BLACK ROOKIE. She’s raced four times for two runner-up finishes, the latest of which was in a fast time at this distance on April 3rd. Expect her to be kept close to the pace throughout and she should have a bit too much for the rest in the closing stages. (9) NEW HOPE hasn’t shown much in the way of speed but comes in off the back of consecutive 3rd places and should be able to go close again. (11) SMART DAEBO and (12) CUPID WONDER are others who have hinted at ability and can aim for places.

Selections(6) Black Rookie (1) Love Arch (11) Smart Daebo (9) New Hope
Next Best12, 3
Fast Start4, 7, 10, 11

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Competitive looking affair with plenty coming in with decent form. There is just one previous winner in the race and we’ll go with him to repeat. (6) CATCH THE VICTORY led all the way when winning by as many as he pleased at this distance in December. For his return he led again before weakening over 1400M and has since had four months off. He returned to win a trial in fine order last week and from a good gate has strong claims here. Plenty of others look to have wins in them though. (7) BUSAN ACE and (2) DOCTOR GIANTS came home 2nd and 3rd when they raced one another at this distance on April 17th. Busan Ace led while Doctor Giants came from behind and both should be in the mix again. Disregard the latest start of (8) WONDERFUL FAGER. He went back to trial after it and drops back in trip to the distance at which he ran a good 3rd on debut. (11) JANGSAN MANGCHI has ran a decent 4th on his return from ten months out in April and can build on it today.

Selections(6) Catch The Victory (7) Busan Ace (2) Doctor Giants (8) Wondeful Fager
Next Best11, 3
Fast Start6, 7, 9, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(2) SKY MANGCHI ran a strong 2nd on debut over 1200M on April 11th, running on strongly. The additional half furlong should only be to his benefit and he looks set to be one of the hottest favourites of the day and will probably lead all the way. (7) SINDAERO looks like he is starting to figure things out and comes in off three consistent including a last start 3rd place when he ran on well after a slow start from a wide gate. (11) BIROE KING is the only runner to have already won a race. He was successful over 1200M three starts back and ran well enough for 4th at this trip last start. His running style suggests that the wide draw shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience and he has a chance here. (4) FLYING INDY and (5) CHOIN SPARK are others to consider for the places.

Selections(2) Sky Mangchi (7) Sindaero (11) Biroe King (5) Choin Spark
Next Best4, 3
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 11

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(3) FASHION BLADE broke through at start number two over 1400M on April 10th, coming from well off the pace to win well. There is every indication that a mile should suit just fine and she is likely to be favourite to win again. It is possible to take her on though. (8) WILD INDIE came from well back to run on strongly for 2nd place over 1300M on debut on April 11th. He should have learned from that experience and is likely to be the main danger here. (10) AFLEET TAPIT ran 5th behind Wild Indie at his latest start and is another who may take to the step up in trip today. (1) JANGSAN PRIDE has mixed his form across his nine outings to date with his best result a 2nd place over 1300M. Perovic remains aboard though and he will have backers. Among those who have tackled a mile before, (12) YEONGGWANGUIRUNNER has set the fastest time and could also be a place line today.

Selections(8) Wild Indie (3) Fashion Blade (10) Afleet Tapit (12) Yeonggwanguirunner
Next Best1, 11
Fast Start2, 4, 6, 7

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Having won a trial in April, (1) CHOEGANG JANGSAN finished off pleasingly enough after a slightly slow start for 4th place on debut just two weeks ago. He is up in trip here and with just a little improvement off that run should be right in the mix. The likely favourite is (5) EOSEOWA. Over his five previous starts he has never finished any worse than 5th and comes in off a career-best 2nd over 1300M a month ago. From a good draw, expect him to be handy and to run on strong. (2) GO WELL has indeed gone quite well without being spectacular so far. He drops back in trip from 1700M and likes to come from behind with the only question being whether he will leave himself just a little too much to do again. (3) HEUKRYONG GAMU was a much improved 2nd over this trip last start and can be considered for a place again while (11) JILJU DAERO is another in the hunt.

Selections(1) Choegang Jangsan (5) Eoseowa (2) Go Well (11) Jilju Daero
Next Best3, 6
Fast Start1, 5, 8, 11

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million

(7) MUJEOK BULPAE is up in class and distance having registered his maiden win at start number two on April 17th. That was at 1200M and he ran on strong from a handy position having been drawn wide. He gets a better barrier today and while this is stiffer, he has strong claims again. (14) MILLION MAKER and (5) ADELE PUPIL came home 2nd and 3rd when they raced each other over 1200M three weeks ago. Both have a win in their records and while the draw hasn’t been kind to Million Maker, both should be in the placing frame again today. (3) RAON THE STAR has had eight-weeks off since running 4th to Adele Pupil’s 3rd at this distance. She’s yet to win in five attempts but is rarely far away and under a light weight can come into the calculations. There are plenty of other place chances throughout the field with (10) NAMYANG SEUNGNI, who beat three of these on his way to 3rd place at class and distance last start, chief among them.

Selections(7) Mujeok Bulpae (14) Million Maker (5) Adele Pupil (3) Raon The Star
Next Best10, 11
Fast Start3, 7, 13, 14

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million

Small but competitive field here. (8) STEADY CHAMPION made all to win at start number three on his first try at this distance on January 29th. He’s not raced since but comes back looking nicely in here with a repeat victory a possibility. Plenty will take him on though with a filly. (10) BEST TIME registered her solitary victory over 1000M last summer but comes in here after back to back runner-up finishes over this distance. Her running style suggests the wide draw won’t be an issue for her and she could go one better today. We’ll disregard the latest starts of both (7) LAO JIN and (6) NONSTOP WINNING who put in out of character performances. Both should be competitive in this company and are worthy of another chance here. (1) THE BEAST rarely puts in a bad race and while once more others are likely to be quicker, he could sneak into some minor money.


Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 9)

Sunday sees behind closed doors action at Seoul (10 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 12:10 to 17:00). The only betting outlets open in Korea are at Jeju, Daegu, Gwangju, Changwon and Cheonan (advance reservation through the MyCard app required). Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(1) GO GO STAR picks himself here with back-to-back 3rd place finishes over this distance. She led all the way to the 100M last time out and from the inside gate we can expect a bold showing again. (2) WARRIOR THUNDER is worth some thought based on his last start where he showed improvement over 1300M. He was bumped early then worked forward to get to the inside and the lead from a wide draw. The effort – and a few rivals – caught up with him close to the line but back to 1200M and with a better gate today and he is right in this. (5) DESK TAP was a fair 4th on his first start before going wide in the wet on his second appearance at the end of March. He battled on well and could be a place line here. (6) SAENAE CHOICE and (8) RUN RUN RUN are others who can feature in the finish.

Selections(1) Go Go Star (2) Warrior Thunder (5) Desk Tap (6) Saenae Choice
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(1) DAEJIUI YEOGEOL was 2nd at this class and distance back in February coming from well back and finishing strong. That came before a slightly disappointing reappearance at the end of March. We’ll give her a pass on that though as the track was wet and slippery and she was midfield before fading late. She is back in trip today and is capable of much better. The main danger and possible favourite is a debut-maker. (5) WONDERFUL TYCOON trialed very nicely in a heat where he was bumped early but ran home well for 3rd place in a fast time. If he brings that form to the races, then he will be a real factor. (7) POLKA has shown some ability and she will only need to repeat her last start performance to be in the finish when, after meeting trouble in the run, she ended up 4th. On the face of it, there’s not much to recommend about (3) GWACHEON SINSEGYE, but she did produce a good run three starts back. With likely a drier track as well as a good barrier, she can sneak some money.

Selections(1) Daejiui Yeogeol (5) Wonderful Tycoon (7) Polka (3) Gwacheon Sinsegye
Next Best9, 10
Fast Start1, 2, 7, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(1) ETERNAL MEMORY ran a terrific race last start albeit on a very wet track. He had the same gate as today and settled midfield before running wide on the corner and then ran on strongly going down by a nostril. A repeat of that run puts him in the finish again. (8) ONLY WINNER can have a line drawn through her last start when she was on a fast and furious pace and got buffeted about. The start before, she settled handy and ran on strong for 2nd at 1400M and with a similar run she can go close here. (10) CURRERECUS didn’t run badly last time when 6th over 1400M. That came on top of a good 2nd the start before at the same trip and he looks a place line today. (2) MASTER SUNSHINE has been unpredictable in three starts so far but comes in off a good trial and could be the wildcard. (5) HAWKUI YEONGGWANG has the fastest time of any over the distance and can aim to match the 3rd place he has recorded in each of his latest two.

Selections(1) Eternal Memory (8) Only Winner (5) Hawkui Yeonggwang (10) Currerecus
Next Best2, 11
Fast Start1, 8, 6, 3

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

More than a year after his debut, (8) WONDER BLADE returned to break through in emphatic fashion over this distance on April 3rd, taking command turning into the home straight and then running on way too strong for a field that was overall probably better than this. He will be a deserved hot favourite. Indeed, the horse that ran 2nd to him that day, (11) AMAZING FOOT, looks next best again. The Hansen colt contested the lead for the opening half of the race before Wonder Blade pulled away and at level weights again, a reversal seems unlikely. (7) ENOUGH has hinted at ability across three starts so far and can aim for a place here while (3) HONEY TIGER did absolutely in his two prior outings but came back to trial in April after four months off and looked much more assured. (4) HAVE A GOOD TIME perhaps the best of a limited looking rest.

Selections(8) Wonder Blade (11) Amazing Foot (3) Honey Tiger (7) Enough
Next Best4, 9
Fast Start3, 8, 11, 12

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(10) ROCK FIGHTER was a slightly surprising winner last start on a wet track but the manner of it certainly commands respect. He raced up on the pace that day and worked home strongly and has solid claims for a repeat today. (7) CINDERELLA just needs to get her magic slippers on, and she will be winning soon. She came close last start racing in a handy spot and working home well for 2nd and is set to be in the finish again. (9) SPEED FLYING was poorly away and then too keen last time around so we will disregard that and instead look to her previous couple of starts which were nice and encouraging. She runs on well and with better luck can go close. (6) WONDERFUL CAT is the value play here. In both his latest two, he has made good ground from wide draws and finished off well. He gets a closer barrier today and can sit just behind the leaders. (1) YES I CAN has just the one start to his name and after being slowly away he finished well for a promising 5th which he can build on here.

Selections(10) Rock Fighter (7) Cinderella (9) Speed Flying (6) Wonderful Cat
Next Best1, 12
Fast Start7, 9, 10, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Maiden fillies only here. (9) FLAT BABE has run 2nd on both starts to date, both times beaten by good winners. On debut she led over this distance before being overtaken a furlong from home whereas last time at 1200M, she came from off the pace. Expect You Hyun-myung to keep her handy here and she’s very much the one to beat. (3) BURNING PARTY has been making progress in her latest two and was a good 2nd last start over today’s distance having led for much of the race. She draws well today and should go close. (10) HORAENGI is figuring things out as well and while she was well beaten by a good winner last start, she recorded a fast time when 2nd at this distance. (12) SECOND WIND and (13) BLUE OAK have both mixed their form so far but both have hinted at ability and with top jockeys on, this could be the day for at least one of them to put in a big run.

Selections(9) Flat Babe (10) Horaengi (3) Burning Party (13) Blue Oak
Next Best12, 2
Fast Start3, 6, 7, 12

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million


Seoul & Busan Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 8)

There are behind closed doors meetings on Saturday at both Seoul (8 races from 11:00 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 11:30 to 16:50). The only betting locations open in Korea are those in Jeju, Daegu, Gwangju, Changwon and Cheonan where advance reservations through the MyCard app must be made.

It just never ends….

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Three-year-old fillies go around in the opener. (1) BURUI YEOWANG was a smart winner on debut, always prominent over 1200M in a fair time on a wet track. For her return she drops back in trip but has drawn nicely on the inside and has solid claims to get on top early and maintain her 100% record. She’ll be the hot favourite. Of the others who have raced before, (11) MAGIC TIDE looks the most promising having run a pleasing 3rd in a decent time at this distance on debut before being 6th when stepped up to 1200M on re-appearance. She can settle just off the pace and run on. The main dangers are the first-time starters though with more than one catching the eye in trials. (6) JUNGCHUBUSA went through a couple of heats and while she was pretty ordinary in the first of them, looked much more assured when crossing the line 1st in the most recent of those in April. (12) SOEWAKKOT posted a god time when trialing up in 2nd place with the first horse over the line in that heat having debuted creditably last week while (8) SOBERANIA is another who will be expected to go well first-up.

Selections(1) Burui Yeowang (6) Jungchubusa (11) Magic Tide (12) Soewakkot
Next Best8, 10
Fast Start1, 6, 8, 12

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

All but one of these races for the very first time. The one with experience, (7) MAGIC HILL, did ok on debut, leading for part of the race before weakening over 1200M. She’s down in trip, down in the weights and should have come on for the experience which puts her right in the mix here. As for the newcomers, nothing really pulled up trees in its trial. (11) BABEL LILAC recorded the fastest time which will be enough to see her fancied by plenty but it was a fast heat on a quick track. (2) LUCKY RUN was the one who probably emerged with most credit from her heat, battling on well for a competent 4th in a solid if unspectacular time. She draws well and looks a danger. (10) ECOPIA was on pace quickly in her trial and finished off well in the leading group. She draws wide but with a good start again, should be a factor. (3) RAY VICTOR perhaps best of the rest.

Selections(7) Magic Hill (2) Lucky Run (11) Babel Lilac (10) Ecopia
Next Best3, 4
Fast Start1, 4, 7, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Maidens go around here. (1) BEOWULF has made enough progress across two trials and then his 3rd place on debut to warrant favourite status. He sat midfield and then ran on well and with the inside gate today to his benefit, if he continues on the same trajectory he has followed so far, then he can win. (12) USEUNG HWANHUI seems to be figuring things out with two 3rd place finishes from her latest three starts. Both those came at 1400M so she is back in trip today but she does have the fastest time of any of these at today’s distance and while she has drawn inconveniently, she can go close. Also back in trip is (6) SEMYEONG CAPTAIN, who showed considerable improvement to place 2nd at this latest start. He has tended to get quite far back in his races but if Park Eul-woon can get him a bit closer a bit earlier, he has claims. (7) GUK HYANG and (11) RETURN BALLY BRAE are others with placing hopes.

Selections(1) Beowulf (12) Useung Hwanhui (6) Semyeong Captain (7) Guk Hyang
Next Best11, 4
Fast Start4, 9, 10, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 22 Million

Two last start winners go head to head here and both of them did absolutely nothing on their respective debuts before coming out to win second-up. (4) ALIVE STAR is slightly favoured. His debut was back in December and he subsequently went through two trials before coming back to score a really good win just twelve days ago on April 25th. He looked to be getting stronger as the race progressed and can strike again here while the iron is hot. (6) BUSANHANG GALMAEGI clung on for a gutsy all the way win over 1400M on March 6th. The Alternation colt had previously weakened on debut over this distance but has clearly come on plenty since then. He’ll probably lead again and Alive Star will be forced to try and come past him. (2) GWANGDAESEUNGCHEON showed signs of improvement when beating a couple of these on his way to 4th place a month ago and he can build on that here. (11) SEOBU QUEEN has been consistent across her four starts so far with three 3rd place finishes and she should be there of thereabouts again while (13) CHEONGMA HWANGHU has also hinted at ability.

Selections(4) Alive Star (6) Busanhang Galmaegi (11) Seobu Queen (13) Cheongma Hwanghu
Next Best2, 9
Fast Start4, 9, 10, 13

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 22 Million

(5) SILVER DRAGON returned from eight months out to run a good 2nd on March 28th at this distance coming from well back to flash home. Ueda Masashi keeps the ride and they can go one better today. The main danger and possible betting favourite is (7) ROSEDAY MARINE. She has been relatively consistent across her five outings so far culminating in 2nd place at this distance on April 4th. She’ll be ridden relatively close to the pace and will surely be in the mix at the finish. (3) RAON THE TIGER drops back in trip after a couple of spins around 1400M with mixed results. He’s drawn well to get on pace here and can stick around to contest at least the places. The only previous winner in the field is (6) LEROY BLANC, who scored over 1400M two starts back. He didn’t so much on reappearance but is worth consideration in what isn’t a strong race. (8) OFFICER COMMANDING another in the hunt.

Selections(5) Silver Dragon (7) Roseday Marine (6) Leroy Blanc (3) Raon The Tiger
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start3, 6, 7, 13

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million

Fillies and mares only here. (9) SAGARMATHA is a winner of two from four so far, finishing 3rd in the other two. She’s one of four up in class following last start wins but looks best equipped to deal with the step up. She is a front runner, who should be on pace from the start and can go all the way. (4) MASTER QUEEN ran 2nd to Sagarmatha in February before registering a maiden win of her own three weeks ago. She too is a natural leader and she has the better of the draw suggesting she may be able to cause the favourite some problems. (12) MORNING THUNDER hasn’t raced since winning at class 6 last July. Obviously she’ll need this run but she looked good when putting in a fast time in a trial two weeks ago and could surprise on debut. (5) DALLAE has the fastest time of any of these at the distance and is sure to be in the finish again while (7) GREAT GO remains a maiden but is rarely far away and can be considered fort a place once more.

Selections(9) Sagarmatha (4) Master Queen (5) Dallae (12) Morning Thunder
Next Best7, 3
Fast Start4, 5, 8, 9

Round-Up: Blue Chipper & Tiz Plan Beaten, Jangsu Sales Results, 2020 Losses, Jeju Selections for Friday May 7

Both Blue Chipper and Tiz Plan met their matches at Busan and Seoul last weekend. While both were beaten by good horses, it was more the weight advantage they were giving away that saw the two (literal) heavyweights trail home 2nd in their respective features on Sunday.

With minimal income entering into the industry for more than a year now, there are currently no Listed or Stakes races races for the top horses to compete in. That means they need to take part in handicaps where they will, naturally be giving a lot of weight away. Blue Chipper conceded 9kg to the up and coming Doctor Carson (Hansen), who continued to burnish his reputation as he defeated the champion by a length over 1200M

It was a similar story at Seoul for Tiz Plan. He too was game but was unable to match the finish of Brigadier General (Tapit), an Australian-bred five-year-old, who came past him in the closing stages to score by three-quarters of a length. Both Blue Chipper and Tiz Plan received 2nd place prize money of 15 Million Won ((US$13,317), a far cry from what they would have expected to have been competing for in normal times.

The grim state of affairs was apparent Jangsu Breeze-up sale last week, one of the main Juvenile sales to take place on the mainland, where business was sluggish. Just thirteen of the fifty-three lots offered reached the minimum reserve price of 10 Million Won. Overall it was a slight improvement on last year but well down on the same sale two years ago in terms of numbers sold and in average price, with purchasers uncertain if and when their horses will ever be able to run.

The Testa Matta colt (Pic from screengrab of the sale feed)

The sale-topper was a colt by Testa Matta and out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Coulis De Fraises., bred by Nokwon Farm and bought for 60 Million Won by owner Park Cheol-geun. He fetched almost double the next best, an Old Fashioned filly out of Revereduction (by Revere).

Meanwhile, local media has been reporting that financial figures for Korean “Public” (i.e. government run) companies for 2020 are out and they are, to put it mildly, not good. The Korea Racing Authority swung from a 144.9 Billion Won (US$128.8 Million) profit in 2019 to a 436.8 Billion Korean (US$338.3 Million) loss in 2020 caused by a total collapse in wagering revenue after February. The loss surpassed that even of the Incheon Airport Corporation whose own Covid crisis saw a loss of 423 Billion Won last year.

Racing has been kept going at reduced prize money levels by using “Emergency Reserve” funds, However, local media has reported that these will be finally exhausted in July. Barring something unexpected happening, there seems little prospect on restrictions on attendance at the racecourses and off track betting sites being lifted to an extent that would allow a break-even point to be reached any time soon so it appears the only hope of saving the industry in any recognizable form lies in the legalization of online sales of betting tickets.

Racing continues though so let’s turn attention to the weekend where we will have the same schedule as recent weeks. Jeju will run a pony race meeting on Friday while Seoul and Busan will run thoroughbred-meets on both Saturday and Sunday. The only betting outlets open will be those in Jeju, Daegu, Gwangju, Changwon and Cheonan (advance reservation by My Card app required). Here are some selections for Friday’s Jeju Pony meeting:

Race 1: 7, 6, 2, 8

Race 2: 3, 8, 1, 4

Race 3: 5, 3, 9, 10

Race 4: 9, 6, 2, 4

Race 5: 8, 4, 7, 6

Race 6: 7, 2, 3, 9

Race 7: 7, 1, 12, 8

Race 8: 2, 11, 4, 8

Race 9: 7, 3, 8, 5

Race 10: 12, 3, 9, 2

Race 11: 12, 2, 3, 5

Race 12: 7, 1, 10, 9

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Blue Chipper, Tiz Plan – Race-By-Race Preview (May 2)

Two of the biggest names in Korea racing will be in action on Sunday. Blue Chipper headlines Busan’s 6 race card (from 12:50 to 17:00) while Tiz Plan goes in the feature at Seoul (10 races from 10:45 to 18:00). Both meetings will be staged behind closed doors although betting outlets at Jeju, Daegu, Changwon, Cheonan and Gwangju are open to pre-booked punters. Here are the previews:

Blue Chipper, seen here in another era, goes on Sunday

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fourteen maidens go around here. (5) CHOEGANG JANGSAN is the first foal out of 2014 Korean Derby and Oaks winning filly Queen’s Blade. He wasn’t ready when he first trialed in January, after which he was gelded. He then put in a more assured and workmanlike performance when having another go in a good time two weeks ago. He should go well first-up in modest company. (2) MORNING FLASH was well back in the field last start before running on well late for 7th. He was wide the time before but ran on resolutely for a close 3rd. He draws well here and is worth some thought. (6) BANGTAN YEOGEOL has shown improvement across three starts so far, running on strong last time and looks a placing hope while (13) KOREA GIJEOK too has hinted at ability and while he may need some luck in running, shouldn’t be dismissed. (11) HOUYHNHM another in the placing frame.

Selections(5) Choegang Jangsan (2) Morning Flash (6) Bantan Yeogeol (11) Houyhnhnm
Next Best13, 10
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 9

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies only here. (4) LEAD VOCAL was a winner at her last start in fine style when she led on a very wet track. She led by a large margin and while it was cut, she drops back in trip today which could suit even more and she is a real chance. (1) RUBICON has finally drawn a decent gate. She’s had to deal with wide draws in three of her starts so far and last time overcame gate 14 to work home strong for 2nd place. She has very solid claims of making her breakthrough today. (12) CHOEGANG BLACK ran a great race on a wet track on debut. She drew in the car park and slightly fly-jumped on exiting the barrier but still ran on for 2nd. The draw doesn’t help her much again but the experience might. (8) MISS ELITE is constant at this class and distance and while she doesn’t leap off the page as a winner she has enough form to suggest a place line. (5) CHEONGDAM TANK drops back in trip after a god 2nd over 1400M last start and should also be in the calculations.

Selections(4) Lead Vocal (1) Rubicon (12) Choegang Black (8) Miss Elite
Next Best5, 3
Fast Start1, 3, 10, 13

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million

Three standouts here. (1) WINNER IS WELL has own both starts so far and comes in having bolted up last start when handy early and then wide and fighting his jockey because he wanted to go faster. The lightly-raced five-year-old steps up to 1400M and can settle handy here with strong claims to make it three in a row. (5) K N MENIQUEEN got her maiden win two starts back and might have won last time as well had the barriers been reversed with the ultimate winner. She ran on well for 2nd and while up in class and trip today, has plenty going for her. So too does (6) BIG RIVER. She ran a nice 2nd last start when on pace at class and distance beaten only by the very promising Winner Templar. She will run on strong here. (10) MANSE is never far away at the finish and looks like he has another win in him at some stage. If he can settle a bit closer to the action today, he should be in the frame.

Selections(1) Winner Is Well (5) K N Meniqueen (6) Big River (10) Manse
Next Best11, 9
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 11

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies only to kick off the Busan card. There is going to be a strong favourite in (10) GOLD LUCK. She’s run on strong for 2nd in both her latest two starts, beaten by reasonable winners on both occasions and recording by some margin the best pair of times of any of these for the distance. She can settle handy again and should be winning. The rest of them all need to step up. (13) USEUNG GANGJA was 6th behind Gold Luck last start following on from a 5th on debut. She’s been improving at the line on both occasions and can be aiming to place here. (3) MACH ROAD hasn’t done too much wring in two outings to date and like Useung Gangja has been finishing off her races well. She draws well here and can be competitive. Draw a line through the latest effort of (9) WONDERFUL SMILE. She got sent back to trial after it and she looked decent enough when requalifying two weeks ago. There are two first-time starters and of the pair, (5) IRON GIRL looks best equipped first-up following a positive trial.

Selections(10) Gold Luck (13) Useung Gangja (5) Iron Girl (9) Wonderful Smile
Next Best3, 8
Fast Start2, 10, 13, 14

Seoul Race 4: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million

(5) LOVELY K shapes up as a real contender here following a good win on a very wet track on March 28th. She raced handily and ran on late indicating the extra furlong will be no trouble. (4) ANYANG OXEN has serious claims of his own. He loves the 1400M, getting his solitary win at it two starts back and then beating a couple of these at the end of March running a super time on an admittedly fast track. He has a better barrier today as he likes to be close to the pace and with any luck at all, he will be right in the finish. (1) EAGLE EAGLE is still a maiden but has shown good consistency in his recent appearances. He likes to lead and the inside draw should help him in that aspect and he must be considered for at least another place. (13) MOONHAK DREAM ran 4th behind Anyang Oxen on March 28th. He is another maiden but the Gemologist colt has also been a consistent placegetter at shorter distances and looks a fair shout for some money again. (14) JANGSAN TANK perhaps best of the rest.

Selections(5) Lovely K (4) Anyang Oxen (1) Eagle Eagle (13) Moonhak Dream
Next Best14, 11
Fast Start1, 4, 5, 13

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Competitive race. (2) NEW FIRE is probably a worthy favourite with a 4th and a 3rd from his first two efforts at 1000M and 1400M respectively. He beat three of today’s rivals last time coming from midfield to run 3rd to Mr. Indie and he can make his breakthrough today. (5) CHOEGANG LIGER remains a maiden after eleven attempts but is rarely far away and he has been very consistent of late. He was 4th behind New Fire last start from a wide draw and is tactically versatile so will probably sit handy here and run on. (4) FIRST CHANCE has shown promise in his first two outings, acquitting himself well in decent looking company and he can continue to make progress today, most likely from on the pace. (12) SHINING HILL and (13) SKY MORE are others who should come into the calculations.

Selections(2) New Fire (5) Choegang Liger (13) Sky More (12) Shining Hill
Next Best4, 6
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 13

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million

We can draw a line through the latest effort of (8) HEUNGROK DAEBU at what proved a too much too soon 1800M. Instead, we’ll focus on his class and distance victory two starts back in a good time. That win had been coming and he can return to successful ways today. (5) BULGULUI RUNNER also needs his last start disregarded. In his case he was badly hampered at the start so we will look to his prior win at this distance. Although he has run on strong in his latest two, he seems to get better results when in a handy position and he’s well drawn to do that today. This isn’t an especially strong race so (9) QUANTUM JUMP is another who can be forgiven his latest. He has since trialed up well and is worthy of another chance here. (4) DANGCHAN SERYEOK and (6) LIONETTE are others in the hunt.

Selections(8) Heungrok Daebu (5) Bulgului Runer (9) Quantum Jump (4) Dangchan Seryeok
Next Best6, 14
Fast Start8, 11, 12, 14

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(2) LUCKY BREAK was a last start winner at class and distance with a prominent run form a wide draw. While that win came from nowhere, she warrants respect here and nothing else in the field has matched the time at the distance that she recorded so a repeat isn’t impossible. We’ll take her on though with (4) YEONGWON POWER. He too had an uptick in form when stepped up to a mile last start when 2nd to Haenam Hammer, coming from well off the pace. Expect similar tactics today and he could be too strong late on. (8) MAJOR FORCE has run on well a couple of times, hinting that he might take to running at this distance well and should be aiming for a career best finish so far here. (5) GOLD MAGIC another in the placing frame in what can be described as a modest affair.