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:
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 Best||13, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 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 Best||5, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 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 Best||11, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 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 Best||3, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 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 Best||14, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 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 Best||4, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 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 Best||6, 14|
|Fast Start||8, 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.
|Selections||(4) Yeongwon Power (8) Major Force (2) Lucky Break (5) Gold Magic|
|Next Best||10, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 9|
Seoul Race 6: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
(9) BYEOLNARA SINSA was a good last start winner over 1200M having settled in midfield and run on late. His other win came at this distance and he looks the one to beat here. (13) GLOBAL SOCKS comes into this race off a win over 1700M. That was back in January though so he’s had time to freshen up before this drop back in trip. He has won at the distance on two of his three attempts at it and has to be one of the main chances today. Another main chance is (14) BLUE MACARON, a winner of three from eleven including an all the way score at class and distance last December. Such a wide draw isn’t necessarily ideal but she has a good start on her and should be able to find a suitable position. (11) JEJUI HUEKSON is a model of consistency as a place-getter. She’s up in class here but significantly down in weight and while a win might be asking too much, she won’t be far away. (1) MUNHAK BOSS’s latest two were not as bad as they may look on paper and he is another capable of a fast time at this distance.
|Selections||(9) Byeolnara Sinsa (13) Global Socks (14) Blue Macaron (11) Jejui Heukseon|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||4, 8, 9, 14|
Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
With a win and two runner-up finishes from three starts so far, (11) TRIUMPH KING is set to be a hot favourite here. From a similarly wide draw he got close to the front early last time out at class and distance on April 4th and came home 2nd, well beaten by the good Galaxy Road, but ahead of four of his rivals here. He should have too much for them all this time. (5) SISEON GANGTAL came home 3rd in that race. He usually goes back and runs on but was ridden a little further forward that day. An apprentice keeps the weight nice and low and he can be a threat here. (7) BEAUTIFUL GALLOP was 4th and while that was an uptick on her recent form, she could build on that momentum here. Among those who didn’t go in that race, (2) SUNLIGHT BOY won at this distance at class 6 level in March before running 5th at this class three weeks ago. Drawn nicely and under a very light weight, he could go close. (13) STRONG MIND is another in the hunt.
|Selections||(11) Triumph King (5) Siseon Gangtal (2) Sunlight Boy (13) Strong Mind|
|Next Best||7, 12|
|Fast Start||2, 11, 12, 14|
Seoul Race 7: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
Fillies and mares only here. (1) SHOWMAKER comes in off a class 6 win over this distance on March 28th where she led every step of the way in a fast time, albeit on a wet assisted track. That followed a 3rd place on debut which is what sees her up in class here and she looks more than equipped to be in the finish once again. We can disregard the latest start of (4) EODIGANA when she was slow away and then last in the run when resuming off a four-month absence. She has a good win at this distance to her name and should be fitter this time around. (11) FOREVER ONE had solid form at class 6 picking up a win over 1400M. She ran 3rd on her first try at this class on March 28th overcoming a difficult start to run on well and beat a few of today’s rivals. (5) BLESSING ROAD is much more experienced than the others and her 2nd at her last start brings her back into the calculations following some ordinary performances prior. (6) BIG PLAN looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(1) Showmaker (4) Eodigana (11) Forever One (5) Blessing Road|
|Next Best||6, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 9, 10|
Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
Under normal circumstances, (8) WINNER’S MAN would be preparing for the Korean Derby later this month. Not this year though and instead he finds himself here. He’ll be favourite although he wasn’t hugely convincing when scoring at class and distance on April 3rd, leading all the way but only narrowly seeing off a ten-start maiden who almost got him on the line (and has since raced again finish 3rd at the same class and distance). It was though a fast time and while on paper this looks a more difficult race, at his best, he should win. (1) POWER WONDERFUL was 3rd in that race and comes in better at the weights compared to Winner’s Man and with a better draw. Like Winner’s Man he wants to get to the front and if he can deny that to the favourite, things may get interesting. (4) TRUE VALOR and (5) MAN OF THE FIELD are both reliable types. Both get significant weight from the favourite and both should be aiming for the places. (2) YEONGGWANGUI FIGHT is a bit unpredicatable but if you catch him on a good day then he is always a chance. He ran a solid class and distance 2nd last start and comes in here fresh.
|Selections||(8) Winner’s Man (1) Power Wonderful (4) True Valor (5) Man Of The Field|
|Next Best||2, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 4, 8|
Seoul Race 8: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
(12) EAST IMPACT is unbeaten in two starts, both of them at 1200M. Last time he was a touch awkwardly away but was quickly in the lead and won easily. Today he may need a touch of luck early on from the wide gate but he is the one to beat. (8) SANTTEUTHANSEUCHIM ran 2nd last start in an all-filly race at class and distance coming from well back and running on strong. She has mixed her form across nine outings but should be in the mix in this company. After a blistering debut (9) SAMANTHA CHEETAH lost her way a little bit but seems to be back in form with consecutive 3rd place finishes at 1300M and 1400M and she can continue her progression here. (1) NONSTOP CAT was a class 6 winner at 1200M and put in a fair effort behind Samantha Cheetah on her first try at this class when settling back in the run. The inside gate should help today.
|Selections||(12) East Impact (8) Santteuthanseuchim (9) Samantha Cheetah (1) Nonstop Cat|
|Next Best||5, 3|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 7, 12|
Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(1) BLUE CHIPPER won the Korea Sprint at this distance in 2019 before running 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita. He then didn’t run again until February this year when he was 5th at a mile before returning to the winner’s circle, beating plenty of these, over 1400M on April 4th. From the inside gate he should be able to take command of this race early and even though he is giving away significant weight to every other runner, he should be winning. (11) SSONSAL got closest to Blue Chipper last time. Heh has plenty of talent and consistently runs very fast times – if there was a Korea Sprint this year, he would have every right to be labelled a contender. He once again has to contend with a less then favourable draw compared to the favourite but if he gets just a bit of luck, he can push him. (7) DOCTOR CARSON was super winner at class 2 over this distance coming close to the track record on March 13th. He draws the same gate as he did that day and one or two will fancy him to cause an upset. As for the rest, while it is a novelty seeing (8) BAEGMUNBAEKDAP only having to carry 53kg, he perhaps doesn’t still have the explosive speed that will be necessary here. (10) WONDERFUL LION and (12) ACE KOREA are maybe more credible threats.
|Selections||(1) Blue Chipper (11) Ssonsal (7) Doctor Carson (12) Ace Korea|
|Next Best||10, 14|
|Fast Start||1, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13|
Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 35 Million
After running 4th on debut, (3) SPOTLIGHT has gone on to win three in a row which brings him up in class today. He is up in distance having previously gone no further than 1400M, which he won at, but with the drop in weight and the excellent draw, he is very much the one to beat. (5) MANSEOK JIGI was a big winner last start at this class over the 1800M beating plenty of today’s rivals in the process, leading from gate to wire. He is up considerably in the weights today but the Paynter entire loves a bit of distance and can’t be ruled out. (12) JEONGMUN SUMMIT comes into the calculations on a 2nd place to Manseok Jigi last start and a 6kg turnaround in the weights once the apprentice claim is taken into account. He ran on well that day and could go close again. (2) JILJUUI KKUM has place at 1400M at this class. She ran on really well from wide last time and can be considered a place line here. (1) SARAMIRANEUNBYEOL is perhaps better than her latest two and is an interesting outsider.
|Selections||(3) Spotlight (5) Manseok Jigi (12) Jeongmun Summit (2) Jiljuui Kkum|
|Next Best||1, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 11|
Seoul Race 10: Class 1 (2000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(7) TIZ PLAN is one of Korea’s top staying horses and is hard to go past here even though with the 60kg on his back, it won’t be an easy assignment. Johan Victoire will probably put him in a handy position until straightening then unleash a powerful run that the others will struggle to match. (1) BRIGADIER GENERAL ran 3rd behind Tiz Plan and Moonhak Chief last start, his first at class 1. He couldn’t muster early speed which led to him being out the back and then wide before making a hug run late on. If he can find a better early position today, a shock isn’t impossible. (11) ULTRA ROCKET is a consistent stayer and is always a threat. Last start he was well back and then flew home behind Tiz Plan and Birgadier General and he is a place line again here. Disregard the performance of (12) THE GUMPU in the same race. He was on the pace all the way around and then faded in the straight which was out of character. Instead go on his good 3rd at this distance in January, again behind Moonhak Chief and Tiz Plan, and give him another chance. (13) JJANG JONG has proven himself a solid class 1 campaigner, who always runs his own race, and can snatch some minor money.
|Selections||(7) Tiz Plan (1) Brigadier General (11) Ultra Rocket (12) The Gumpu|
|Next Best||13, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 7, 13|