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 Best||8, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 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 Best||9, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 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 Best||2, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 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 Best||4, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 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 Best||1, 12|
|Fast Start||7, 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 Best||12, 2|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 7, 12|
Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million
(7) FIRE HEART is unbeaten in three races so far. Resuming last time, he worked to lead from barrier 10 before being headed in straight but showing heart to fight back. He knows where the finish is with the only question being the unchartered territory for him of an additional furlong. (5) BIG FACE has to be considered on his last run when he was handy and wide the whole way around, making up good ground late. That was at this distance on a wet track, and he beat a few of the others who go here. A repeat will put him right in the finish. (1) MONEY CHAMP is consistent at this class and never too far away. He likes to lead, and the inside gate should be to his advantage. (9) RAON LIGHT MAN was a last start winner at 1200M on a very wet track. He too tries the 1400M for the first time and may need a touch of luck, but he should be able to it handy and run on. (13) DONGJJOK GLORY looks beast of the rest.
|Selections||(7) Fire Heart (5) Big Face (1) Money Champ (9) Raon Light Man|
|Next Best||13, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 8, 9, 12|
Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Tricky maiden here with the favoured pair emerging from opposite ends of the gate. We’re going to give (14) CHEONGDAM DRIVE the chance to overcome the draw. He has raced twice at this distance already, so the experience is on his side although his times have hardly been quick. He comes in off a good 2nd place when after a slow start he was quickly on pace. He doesn’t need to lead so if Franco Da Silva can find a handy spot, he can win. (1) GOSUUI POWER has just raced the three times and never further than 1200M. He has a 3rd and 4th from his latest two and has stuck to his task well each time suggesting that he can grind out this trip as well. The draw is good and Perovic is aboard. (10) KING BROTHER finished down the track behind Cheongdam Drive at the beginning of April but returned to run a good 2nd at 1400M just two weeks later. He can maintain that form here and go close. (3) ZERAGE and (5) GLOBAL SEUNGNI are others with placing claims.
|Selections||(14) Cheongdam Drive (1) Gosuui Power (10) King Brother (5) Global Seungni|
|Next Best||3, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 8, 11, 14|
Seoul Race 6: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
(5) PREEMAX could be the one to beat here. His last run was better than the 6th place finish suggests after being involved in a bumping duel at the start which may have taken its toll before he still ran on pleasingly. He has won at class and distance and is capable of fast times. (8) MIGHTY NEW is extremely consistent at this class and is sure to be in the finish again. Last start he ran a really good 3rd, finishing ahead of Preemax. He draws a little bit wider today but it’s not of concern and he has strong claims. (9) CUPID MISSION is another who is competitive at class and distance. He comes in off a 3rd place finish when he was handy all the way around and while he doesn’t win out of turn, looks a good p lace line today. (12) EAST BAN is up in trip today but gives every indication that it can suit and he and (3) PRO HAMSEONG are among others with placing chances.
|Selections||(5) Preemax (8) Mighty New (9) Cupid Mission (12) East Ban|
|Next Best||3, 11|
|Fast Start||5, 7, 8, 9|
Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
A small field but a very competitive one. We’re going to go with the last start winner (5) MIDNIGHT QUEEN. She had mixed her form but broke through at start number six with a front-running performance. She has consistently run good times and while she is up in class here, she comes down marginally in the weights and will be in the finish again. (3) INDIAN PARTY has somehow conspired to remain a maiden after eleven attempts. His latest near miss came at class and distance on April 11th when got well back before running on strong although still finished some way behind a good winner. Expect him to be a little handier today with less traffic to deal with and he will go close. (1) BEAUTIFUL KING won at start three over 1200M in December before returning in March to almost make all at this distance, going down in the final furlong. From the inside gate he will be on pace again and is a danger. (6) FLYING KINGS and (8) GOLDEN KAISER are others worthy of consideration.
|Selections||(5) Midnight Queen (3) Indian Party (1) Beautiful King (8) Golden Kaiser|
|Next Best||6, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 4, 8|
Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million
(4) GLOBAL SHINHWA has been a model of consistency across his three starts to date and just needs the rub of the green to see him home on top. Last start he was handy and wide before running on strong and beating a few of these when coming out of gate 12. He may get an easier run this time and looks the one to beat. (5) CHOEGO RACE ran 5th behind Global Sinhwa on his racecourse debut on April 3rd. He was a bit slowly away but really got going late on. He should have learned from the experience and we can expect improvement today. (3) GREEN JILJU came home 4th in the same race having led until mid-stretch. That was her best performance so far and the wide draw may enable her to get on pace again, (8) BYEOLNARA JILJU is another who has raced just the once and just like Choego Race, he finished in 5th place. He was a little bit green but still performed well and had previously shown speed in winning two trials. The trainer/jockey combination will be a plus for many. (7) UNICORN BRAVO is another in the placing frame.
|Selections||(4) Global Sinhwa (5) Choego Race (3) Green Jilju (8) Byeolnara Jilju|
|Next Best||7, 14|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 10, 14|
Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million
(11) ACE KILLER won back-to-back races in December and February before his hat-trick was spoiled when getting headed in the closing stages by Golden Candy on March 27th despite having hit the front in the straight. He is giving away weight here but expect Perovic to have him a little handier today and he looks hard to beat. (4) FUTURE KING was a really good winner at this distance on April 3rd and just like Ace Killer, he beat a few of these in the process. That ended a run of mediocre results in fine. He raced close to the pace that day and the same should be true today although he does have to contend with more weight. (2) GEUMA PSYCHIC didn’t do a whole lot wrong when 6th on debut behind Ace Killer at the end of March. The Shanghai Bobby gelding should have come on for that run and the jockey booking by that trainer catches the eye (although so does his last start jockey getting on an unraced one for the same trainer). (1) SINBINHAN YEOIN and (8) QUATTRO MAX are others in the placing hunt with the latter to have his latest effort, which was over an unsuitable mile, disregarded.
|Selections||(11) Ace Killer (2) Geuma Psychic (4) Future King (8) Quattro Max|
|Next Best||1, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 10, 11, 14|
Seoul Race 8: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
Fillies and mares only here. (1) QUEEN OF BEST is up in class here and while she did mix here early form, she ran a good time on a fast track to win well last start over this distance. The inside should be to her benefit and she can win again. (3) RAON CHAMPSELY is another filly up in class and while she is yet to win, she has been competitive and at her last start she led before being run down on the line. This is a better race, but she’ll be competitive. (9) GRACE QUEEN may start as favourite. She won back-to-back races at 1200M and 1400M at class 6 level and while she was a touch disappointing on her first try at this level, it was a very wet track and she had excuses. Her wins were on the dry so check the conditions. (2) CUPID BISANG is consistent at this class and with the good draw may sneak a place, something that (5) WONDER PLACE is also in line for – disregard her last start in the wet.
|Selections||(1) Queen Of Best (3) Raon Champsely (9) Grace Queen (2) Cupid Bisang|
|Next Best||5, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 6, 9|
Busan Race 6: Class 2 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 50 Million
(8) HIDDDEN CHAMP beat four of these on his way to a somewhat unexpected win over 1400M on April 11th. Most had believed his winning days were behind him, but he had shown signs of a return to form with a 5th place the start before. His style is to come from well off the pace so the mile shouldn’t be a problem and he carries less weight with an apprentice being booked. He warrants respect but we will go for the form to be overturned by (4) HAPPY FEVER. He has only missed the top three on three out of fourteen occasions and has the fastest time of any of these at the distance. He led the April race but can win from behind as well and today can be his day. (5) CRAZY CONTI hasn’t been able to re-capture his pre-layoff form just yet but should appreciate the drop back in trip today and improvement could be on the cards. (1) DOCTOR CHIC and (7) DEEP MIND are others in a similar position. The latter won the Oaks two years ago and races for the first time since last August having looked sharp winning a trial in March.
|Selections||(4) Happy Fever (8) Hiddden Champ (7) Deep Mind (5) Crazy Conti|
|Next Best||1, 6|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 7, 8|
Seoul Race 9: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
(12) THUNDER WIND has placed at every start at this class and even hit the board when tried at class 4 level two starts back. Lats time out he had a similarly wide draw but worked his way to the lead in the back straight and ultimately ran on resolutely for 3rd. Today can be his day. (1) RUFFIAN PARK is worth some thought and should be available at good odds. That’s based on his latest start when worked home strongly for 2nd to (3) TYCHE FIRE. He has a much better gate today as well as a bigger weight advantage and can reverse the form. Tyche Fire must still be respected. He likes to settle back in the field and then run on strong so expect him in the finish again. (11) STAR BLADE came 3rd behind Tyche Fire and Ruffian Park last time. It was a big run on his first try around two turns and he had to use up energy to get to the lead before running on well. The draw does him no favours again, but a repeat of that performance puts him in the mix. (6) GEUMSEONG ACE is among others with at least placing claims.
|Selections||(12) Thunder Wind (1) Ruffian Park (3) Tyche Fire (11) Star Blade|
|Next Best||6, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 9, 11|
Seoul Race 10: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 50 Million
(13) IRON SOCKS is up in class but find himself landing in a relatively soft race for the level. It’s therefore hard to go past him on his recent form, with him winning both his starts at this distance at class 3 level, leading all the way both times. Draw isn’t ideal but he carries a light weight and a top jockey, and he is the one to beat. (5) HEUNGHAENG JILJU is the danger, and he is a horse who can both sprint and stay. He came out the wrong side of a stretch duel with another really good-looking horse, Haengbok Wangja last time at this distance having led from the start and he’ll be a major factor again. (8) GOLD HAMMER comes in having beaten a few of these on his way to 3rd place over 1400M last start. He has won around two-turns in the past and looks a place line here along with the likes of (6) THUNDER MARK and (11) GALLOP CURLIN.
|Selections||(13) Iron Socks (5) Heunghaeng Jilju (8) Gold Hammer (11) Gallop Curlin|
|Next Best||6, 9|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 7, 13|