We are getting closer and closer to the government’s announcement of revised distancing guidelines to take effect from July and whether that means Seoul Racecourse and capital area OTBs will be allowed to admit customers again. That announcement is expected on Sunday. For now though, the same restrictions are in place which mean that this weekend the only betting locations open are in Busan (Racecourse and two OTBs), Changwon, Gwangju and Cheonan. There are Saturday 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 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Last year (7) JILJU DAERO was thought of highly enough to be allowed to take his chance in a couple of bug juvenile races in which he acquitted himself fairly. He has also run some fast times in amongst good quality opposition – better than what most of these have faced. At his last start he led over 1400M before weakening in the closing stages. He has since won a trial in good order and dropping back to the minimum trip today, everything would seem to be set up for him ideally here. He’ll be a big favourite. (2) CHEONGSANGSEONG ran well on debut at this trip in February before struggling a little when stepped up to 1300M last time. Today should suit more. Similarly, (8) VICTORY SAM struggled when asked to go further second-up having previously shown ability over today’s distance. (3) TEUKGEUP YEOWANG and (12) DESK TAP are others who have placing chances.
|Selections||(7) Jilju Daero (2) Cheongsangseong (8) Victory Sam (12) Desk Tap|
|Next Best||3, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 8, 11, 12|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(7) ENDLESS RUNNING finished 4th on debut over 1300M last November having shown on pace early before returning in January with a fair if unspectacular effort in a slow race at 1400M. He hasn’t raced since but he looked very well when winning a trial in a fast time on a dry track at the end of May and this distance first-up could very well suit him today. The main danger and possible betting favourite is (4) SORI OREUM. After settling handy he ran on strong for 2nd in a good time over this distance on debut on May 8th. He should have benefited for that experience and can go close again today. Of the others with prior racing experience, (8) TRIPLE JILJU can improve dropped back to this trip for the first time and with an apprentice jockey taking 4kg off his back. There are though a couple of debut-makers to look out for. (1) TES BROTHER led every step of the way to win an admittedly lightly-populated trial just last week. It was a decent enough time and so long as he hasn’t left his race there, should go well. (9) TWO TWO LIME looked all at sea when trialing for the first time in February but was much more accomplished on late May and is another to consider.
|Selections||(7) Endless Running (4) Sori Oreum (8) Triple Jilju (1) Tes Brother|
|Next Best||9, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 5, 6|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Fillies only here. Having won an April trial, (7) JUNGCHUBUSA brought that form to the races on debut on May 8th over 1000M, sitting behind the leader before pulling away in the final furlong to win by as many as she pleased. She won’t need to improve much off that performance in order to win again here. There are two other previous winners in the field. (12) GANGSEO PRINCESS made all to win over this distance on debut in January but came unstuck on her return in March when she had to work hard to overcome a wide draw and then ran out of petrol in the closing stages over this distance. The Gemologist filly has had almost three months off since and while the barrier isn’t ideal again, she is worth another chance. (4) SONGAM CAT also has a tick in the win column although that has been her only showing of note so far. She tends to get a long way back in her races so may need a bit of luck. (1) FANCY PANTS and (6) CUPID WONDER are perhaps preferred to compete for the places.
|Selections||(7) Jungchubusa (12) Gangseo Princess (6) Cupid Wonder (1) Fancy Pants|
|Next Best||4, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 7, 12|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
It took (7) GOLD FOUNTAIN a couple of goes to figure things out but once stepped up to 1400M on May 30th he bolted up, coming from off midfield to strike the front in the straight and run on to win very easily. The additional furlong today should suit and he carries the same weight as last time. He looks hard to oppose here. Among those who have raced at a mile before, (1) CRYSTAL THINKING has the fastest time, recorded when running 2nd, beating a couple of these, on May 23rd. She draws the same barrier today and she can be a danger. So too can (2) B J’S TERMS. All four of his outings so far have come at this distance and in his latest two he has gone well, coming from well back in the field to finish off strong. Seo Seung-un remains aboard and a late challenge can be expected. (5) TEN TEN QUEEN has been getting too far back in her races but draws a decent gate today and along with (3) ANY LINE, looks best of the rest.
|Selections||(7) Gold Fountain (1) Crystal Thinking (2) B J’s Terms (5) Ten Ten Queen|
|Next Best||3, 10|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 7, 10|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
There was plenty of merit to (10) BYEOLBIT BOSEOK’s runner-up finish last time over 1300M when he took a bump coming out of the gate before leading until the last half-furlong when he was passed by a good winner for a comfortable 2nd. He draws a bit further out but comes back in trip and has solid claims. Merit aplenty too with how (1) ICE STAR won at class and distance at odds on May 8th, stalking the leaders before coming through late on the inside. His times haven’t been fast but the same apprentice who won on him remains aboard, keeping the weight down and he draws the inside gate. (2) USEUNG HWANHUI came home 4th in that same race continuing a run of solid if unspectacular form. She draws much better today and should be a danger while (6) ETERNAL MEMORY was 3rd behind Byeolbit Boseok last time out. He never looked like getting to him that day but looks set to be ridden on pace here and overturning the form is not impossible. (14) TEUKGWON is a last start winner who scored over class and distance on May 9th. He is going to use up plenty of energy getting to a handy position from the widest barrier but a good apprentice taking 2kg off may help.
|Selections||(10) Byeolbit Boseok (1) Ice Star (2) Useung Hwanhui (6) Eternal Memory|
|Next Best||14, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 6, 14|