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|
Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
(2) MR. INDIE won his first two starts ay 1000M and 1400M respectively in fine fashion. For his first crack at this class, he was stepped up to 1800M on April 24th and while he was sent off as favourite, he had to settle for 2nd, beaten half a length by Two Two Carlton. He has had a couple of months off and steps back to a mile today which can suit. He has a good draw and looks the one to beat. There are no fewer than five last start winners here but all of them have to step up in class. Of them (9) GLOBAL SEUNGNI and (14) YEONGWON POWER look best equipped to deal with the step up. A couple of others who go here have already proved they can be competitive at this level though. (4) GEUMA GOOD POINT was a solid winner at this distance at class 6 level and then ran a strong 2nd to Top Best when on pace last time out. He’ll be challenging for the early lead and is a chance. (6) GOLDEN KAISER has only raced once at this distance and while he only managed 6th, it was a good race and a fast time. He comes in after finishing off well at 1400M last start and should be in at least the placing hunt here.
|Selections||(2) Mr. Indie (4) Geuma Good Point (14) Yeongwon Power (6) Golden Kaiser|
|Next Best||9, 13|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 6, 12|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
(7) EODIGANA probably won’t be favourite here but looks to have solid claims on what will be her first try at 1400M. She’s finished off very well in each of her latest two and the additional trip may well be what she needs. She also gets plenty of weight from her two main rivals. (3) DAECHEON EOLJJANG broke through at start number five on May 16th, coming from well back in the field to win well over 1300M. That win had been coming and with a nice draw, the additional 2.5kg can be overcome with the slight step up in trip only benefitting. He has very solid claims. The remaining standout is (11) DAEHAN JILJU. He has never finished any worse than 3rd and just like Daecheon Eoljjang, registered his maiden win at start number five last time. That came at this distance and he emerged from a similarly wide gate that day too. He comes up 3kg in the weights but should be equal to it. (9) TANK SOCKS ran 4th behind Daecheon Eoljjang last start and along with (10) BRAVO MAY, has placing claims.
|Selections||(7) Eodigana (3) Daecheon Eoljjang (11) Daehan Jilju (9) Tank Socks|
|Next Best||10, 12|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 11, 12|
Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million
(3) YEONGUNG LOUIS looks a talent with two wins and a runner-up finish from just three starts so far. The wins both came at 1400M while the 2nd place was at a mile and he has recorded fast times on each occasion. His on pace running style suggests the drop back to a pure sprint won’t trouble him at all. There are a couple of caveats. This is his first start since March 20th and he carries a full 4.5kg than he has done before. He looks good enough to overcome both those things. If it transpires he isn’t good enough to overcome them then (5) GEUMA PSYCHIC is the obvious one to take advantage. The Shanghai Bobby gelding ran 6th on debut before breaking through second-up with a comprehensive score at class and distance on May 9th on a fast time on a dry track and looks to have some upside. Those two will likely be joined on the early pace by (8) ALPHA AGAIN who may appreciate the drop back in trip today. Coming from off the pace will be (6) HANBIT TAEYANG, who lost his way a little earlier in the year but looks to be finding form again with a good 4th last start and could provide some each-way value here. As for the rest, (2) WINNING POST is third-up after a long layoff and could improve.
|Selections||(3) Yeongung Louis (5) Geuma Psychic (6) Hanbit Taeyang (8) Alpha Again|
|Next Best||2, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 8, 9|
Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million
After an inauspicious debut back in December, (6) MUNHAK SUN was put away for a few months and when he returned looked much better, running a decent trial and then coming from off the pace to score a narrow win on his return to racing on May 22nd at this class and distance. He comes up a couple of kilos in the weights but not to a level of concern, and he looks the one to beat again. (9) FULL BOOSTER drops back in trip after a good 3rd place over 1700M on May 16th when he was close to the pace throughout. He is yet to win in ten attempts but has five top-five finishes and in this company should be aiming to place at least. (2) JANGSAN MONSTER draws better than he has in his latest couple of outings. The Paynter gelding has a decent finish on him so if he can find a handy position, he can go close. (1) MOONHAK GHOST and (8) SARYEONI WINNER others who could improve among an inauspicious rest.
|Selections||(6) Munhak Sun (9) Full Booster (2) Jangsan Monster (1) Moonhak Ghost|
|Next Best||8, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 7, 8|
Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 35 Million
(5) STAR EYE and (4) DOCTOR FAPPIANO dueled all the way around over a mile on May 23rd. It was a super tussle that was nose to nose in the straight until Star Eye just got the better of it by a head on the line to record his fourth straight victory. Doctor Fappiano was getting 2.5kg that day. Both go up and the filly has a 4kg advantage this time. Star Eye has the greater experience including a very good win at this distance albeit carrying considerably less weight. Expect them to battle it out again and it could go either way but we’ll side with Star Eye’s experience getting the job done, possibly just as narrowly as last time. It’s hard to see anything but those two in the quinella, but both (1) ROCKHARD FORCE and (2) CHANGE BACK have gone well at this distance in the past and look best positioned to dispute best of the rest.
|Selections||(5) Star Eye (4) Doctor Fappiano (1) Rockhard Force (2) Change Back|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 5, 7|
Seoul Race 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 35 Million
(3) CHIEF INDY has won four from seven in total and all of his latest three in fine style including two around 1800M. The Take Charge Indy colt has won from a handy position and from coming from well back and while he carries 58kg for the first time today, he should be far too good for this field. Not that it’s a bad set of opponents that he faces. (4) THUNDER WIND carried 57kg to victory over 1700M on May 9th and while he is up in class today, he gets a bit of relief weight-wise and can sit midfield before finishing strongly. (8) ROCK NEWS beat Thunder Wind when the pair finished 1st and 2nd over 1400M at class 5 level back in January and has since gone on to establish himself as competitive at this class. He comes up in the weights from his last start 3rd when he had an apprentice aboard but looks good for a place here. (1) SINGGEUREOUN TIME and (7) JEONGMUN BOLT are others in the placing hunt.
|Selections||(3) Chief Indy (4) Thunder Wind (8) Rock News (1) Singgeureoun Time|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 7, 8|
Busan Race 6: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
Big field and utterly wide open race. Several of these raced each other at class and distance on May 16th and (7) SONIC KING IJI emerged from the pack with a strong late run to score relatively comfortably in the end. He drew wider that day and only carries an additional 1kg here and has claims to follow up with another win. Among those he beat that day and who return, we can perhaps expect bold showings from (5) ILNYEOM TONGCHEON and (9) AKER’S DREAM but there are bigger threats here. (2) GEUMA MYSTIC was a really good all the way winner when chanced over 1800M on May 8th. He has been beaten by both Aker’s Dream and Sonic King Iji this year but looks to have hit form and can be considered here. (13) FREEDOM KNIGHT broke through at start number five on May 22nd, coming from the middle of the pack to score well over today’s distance. He is up in class but comes down significantly in the weights and given his running style, the draw shouldn’t be an inconvenience.
|Selections||(7) Sonic King Iji (2) Geuma Mystic (9) Aker’s Dream (13) Freedom Knight|
|Next Best||5, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 9, 14|
Seoul Race 7: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
Last year’s long-shot Korean Oaks winner (5) UARYUNG looks really nicely in here. She returned to 1800M at her latest start in early April and ran a decent 4th beating a couple who go here, including the main danger, and at the weights she has a real chance. That main danger is (3) GEUMA ACME, although that poor day at the office was sandwiched between two excellent wins, both of them coming at today’s distance. He had his excuses as from a wide draw he ran straight into the back of another horse in the early stages and was never a factor afterwards. His latest win on May 8th was solid, and from a similar draw and a handy position and while he is up in the weights, he has a real chance of landing another. (8) SLING STONE was 2nd in that race on May 8th. Continuing a consistent run of form and he has placing claims again. They look to be the obvious top three with (4) SUN OF THUNDER perhaps most likely to improve among the rest.
|Selections||(5) Uaryung (3) Geuma Acme (8) Sling Stone (4) Sun Of Thunder|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 5, 6|
Seoul Race 8: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
(2) SPEED GO is set to be one of the hottest favourites of the day. He has won his latest two – and four from six in total – both of them in fast times, making all over 1400M. Although he comes up in weight he drops back in trip, to a distance at which he also has the fastest time among this field, and he should be way to good. Clear second pick is (3) GLOBAL JOY. A very consistent filly with eight top-three finishes from eleven starts, she is an on-pace type who draws very well here and while she might not have the same kind of kick at the finish as Speed Go, she should push the favourite all the way. (5) GLOBAL ACE and (7) FINAL STAR both hinted at returns to form with good 3rd place finishes on their respective latest outings, both at this trip. They should be competing for the minor money.
|Selections||(2) Speed Go (3) Global Joy (7) Final Star (5) Global Ace|
|Next Best||1, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 6|