All fingers and toes are crossed that Sunday sees the final behind closed doors meetings before the track and other locations in Seoul can re-open next weekend. There are 10 races in Seoul (10:45 to 18:00) and 6 in Busan (12:05 to 17:00). Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Maidens get us underway. (1) A ONE QUEEN has put in good efforts at her last two starts when on pace. At her latest she stumbled a little at the start before getting close to the lead and running on well. She drops back slightly in trip today and with a better draw looks right in this so we will take a chance on her to beat the likely favourite. That is (11) COMPLETE VALUE, who makes it to the races having won consecutive trials in May. Both times she has been steadily away before cruising away late and 1200M seems ideal first-up. (2) WONDERFUL K placed at this distance at his first start and has performed fairly in three efforts since. He was handy then passed in the run last start and the drop back in trip may suit. It may pay to disregard the latest effort of (7) FINAL ACE when she led but raced ungenerously. Two starts back she ran much better, leading to the 50M and then finishing 2nd and a repeat isn’t impossible. (8) GRAND MASTER is another in the placing frame at least.
|Selections||(1) A One Queen (11) Complete Value (2) Wonderful K (7) Final Ace|
|Next Best||8, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 6, 7|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(14) GWANGYANG EUTTEUM won a trial in April and was then a good 2nd on his racecourse debut on May 23rd at 1000M and while not assisted by the draw here, he is likely to start a justified favourite. On debut he ran handy before getting caught wide but ran on very strong and won’t need to improve too much. (10) HURRICANE SOCKS has run 3rd at both his latest two starts beating a couple of these in the process. Last time he was caught a bit wide but continued to show improvement and he can maintain his momentum here. (7) STELLA ROAD ran 4th last start behind Hurricane Socks. She was well back turning for home but made up a lot of ground in the straight. That followed a good 3rd on debut and she’s worth thought here with Kim Yong-geun remaining aboard. (6) BLACK INDY and (8) HESSIAN are others with at least placing claims.
|Selections||(14) Gwangyang Eutteum (10) Hurricane Socks (7) Stella Road (6) Black Indy|
|Next Best||8, 13|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 10, 14|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(3) AFLEET MARINE has been close at recent starts and perhaps deserves a change of luck. She has a significantly better barrier today compared to last time when she was awkwardly away from gate twelve but proceeded to put in a huge run nonetheless getting to the lead in the straight and only being passed by a couple in the shadow of the post. She has a big chance today. She’ll need to beat the favourite who is likely to be (9) CHOEGANG JANGSAN. No worse than 4th in three outings so far, at his latest start he put in a big run over this distance and just missed out on 2nd. He can come from handy or further back and a win would appear to be in his near future. (5) SINDAERO has raced competitively recently. He raced midfield last time before running on well and a repeat should put him close at the finish. (10) CONDOR YEOWANG ran in a similar fashion at his latest start for 4th and an apprentice taking an additional 2kg off his back brings him into the calculations. (6) WONDERFUL ORANGE another with placing claims.
|Selections||(3) Afleet Marine (9) Choegang Jangsan (5) Sindaero (10) Condor Yeowang|
|Next Best||6, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 10, 11|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
After back to back runner-up finishes, (4) ACE GUY looks ready to win at what will be start number five. He has been finishing off his races tremendously well and the additional half furlong could well be what he has been waiting for. (2) TRIPLE STORM has been knocking on the door in his latest couple. He tends to get very far back in his races before running on and while he may once more find one or two too quick, he should be coming strongly at the business end. Like Ace Guy, (3) K K WON benefits from a 3kg apprentice allowance. He drops back in trip having led in the straight over a mile last time only to be passed late on by a good winner and he surely goes close again. (9) GALLANT WARRIOR and (12) BLUE OAK among others in the placing frame at least.
|Selections||(4) Ace Guy (2) Triple Storm (3) K K Won (9) Gallant Warrior|
|Next Best||12, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 6, 9|
Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(10) BODYGUARD is a winner at this distance at his last start in a good time when he settled midfield and finished off nicely. Although he has drawn wider this time, it may actually suit his running style and he will be the one to beat here. (9) STAR RUSH has to be considered on sheer consistency having run 3rd at each of his last three starts. Last time out he settled in the back of the field and ran on strongly with a repeat of those efforts likely to put him firmly in the finish today. (11) JILPUNG BAEKGWANG comes into consideration after her much improved run last start when 3rd over 1400M. She settled much handier than usual that day and if she can do the same over 1300M this time, she can get close. (1) EUNHYE GADUEK should provide each-way value as while his paper form isn’t great, he has made improvement at each run and stumbled at the start before being bumped last time. He should get an easier passage from the inside gate and may be worth a shy at the stumps. (5) CUPID KOREA another with strong placing claims.
|Selections||(10) Bodyguard (9) Star Rush (11) Jilpung Baekgwang (1) Eunhye Gaduek|
|Next Best||5, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 10, 12|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Two horses who seem to be figuring things out after both making seven starts should head the market here and there seems little to choose between them. We’ll marginally side with (3) DOCTOR TAKE, who has beaten a few of these over his latest two starts, both of them at a mile. In both of those, he has settled in midfield and has run on well for 4th and 3rd. In a race without a huge amount of speed, he may take this on early and it can be third time lucky at the distance today. The big rival is (4) LUCAS SUN who was a touch one-paced on his first try at a mile last time but nevertheless registered a decent time. His style is usually to go back and finish strongly and he is a real chance. (1) SEONGSAN HERO ran 5th behind Doctor Take last start on May 23rd. He was ridden closer earlier than he had been in previous outings and the inside gate could help him today. (7) ACE FOUR TEN and (9) BOUNTY HUNTER among others with claims.
|Selections||(3) Doctor Take (4) Lucas Sun (1) Seongsan Hero (7) Ace Four Ten|
|Next Best||9, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 5: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Fillies (and one mare) only here. (4) STEAL THE FASHION is set to be hot favourite here. She ran 2nd in her last start over the 1300M after working hard early to lead and then battling on well. She should strip fitter for that run and looks hard to beat, probably leading gate to wire. (11) SAMSANG was a long shot winner on her latest start when on pace and wide all the way and too strong in the straight. That was a big uptick in form and she is out to 1400M today but should be firmly in the mix. (13) NONGBON BADA comes into contention based on her last start 2nd at this distance when she worked forward to be on the pace and then battled on gamely. That was her first try at 1400M and it seemed to suit. (10) POLKA may be worth some thought at odds. Although yet to finish in the first two, she’s consistently close and led to the 300M last time out. Her previous race pattern had been to race handy we may see her revert to that. (12) GLOBAL CHEONSA the best of the rest.
|Selections||(4) Steal The Fashion (11) Samsang (13) Nongbon Bada (10) Polka|
|Next Best||12, 2|
|Fast Start||4, 9, 10, 13|
Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
(7) GOLD LUCK looks the one to beat here. His win came two starts back at 1200M when as usual he was handy before running on. He then ran 3rd on his first try at this class on June 5th in a race in which the top three led the whole way around with him ultimately going down by just a length. He stretches out to 1400M for the first time today and there is no reason why it can’t suit. (10) DIVINE QUEEN was a last start class and distance winner when she made all on what was her first try at this level. That was her maiden win at start number thirteen but it was in a fast time on a dry track and while she doesn’t draw as well today, she remains nicely down in the weights with an apprentice up and she can go close again so long she gets a good start. (3) MARK ACE has plenty of experience at this level. She led until the closing stages over a mile last start before ultimately finishing in 3rd and the drop in trip may help here. (12) ALPHA STAR returned from four months off to run a solid 4th at this distance on May 29th having led for much of the race. He can match or better that second-up here. (11) HWANGGEUM BEOLMA comes in after a 5th place at class and distance on a sloppy track possibly hinting at an uptick in form and is an each-way chance here.
|Selections||(7) Gold Luck (10) Divine Queen (3) Mark Ace (12) Alpha Star|
|Next Best||11, 5|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 7, 10|
Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
Interesting race here. (1) DONGJIN CHOEGANG was a two-time winner at class 6 over 1200M and put in a nice effort last start when he led at his first try over 1400M when up in class and battled on well. He has a nice draw again on the inside here from where he should be able to compete for the lead and this time can finish the race off. The favourite is likely to be (7) SPOT FLATTER and for good reason. He has placed on every start at this class and last time out was a narrow 2nd over 1400M after settling midfield and running on. He’ll be sure to make his presence felt in the closing stages. (2) CHEONGDAM WICKED posted a super time over 1000M as a juvenile which led her to take her chance in Seoul’s top juvenile race where she acquitted herself well in 6th. Her close 2nd place last start on her first try at 1400M suggests she has claims here too and she should pose a stern test for Dongjin Choegang as they compete for the early lead. (5) BALBATU has placed up to 1700M at this class and returns here for the first time since March. He can race handy or settle and run on and looks a solid each-way chance. (13) CHEONGSAN GASE is better than his latest two results suggest and although he draws wide again, an apprentice brings him down significantly in the weights.
|Selections||(1) Dongjin Choegang (7) Spot Flatter (2) Cheongdam Wicked (5) Balbatu|
|Next Best||13, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 6|
Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million
(6) MACH TITAN is a winner at this class over a mile and while he was a slightly disappointing 5th at his latest start on May 29th when he worked across from a wide draw to sit behind the leader, he has a better gate today and comes down in weight with an apprentice aboard. Expect him to lead and this time he can go all the way. (8) ECHO SUN beat Mach Titan when 2nd last start and he can be a danger again but a stiffer test may come from (2) WINNING DANCER. He has won three from seven so far and was a last start winner over 1200M when he sat handy before running on to win in a good time. He has placed over 1400M at this level too and should be a big danger. (11) ONNURI JILJU came home in 2nd place to Winning Dancer in that race. Since a 4th place on debut, he has never finished worse than 2nd and has registered some super times. He does his best work when leading so the draw is not necessarily in his favour here, but don’t rule out a good win. (3) B.K. LOOKS is a solid competitor and a placing chance here again.
|Selections||(6) Mach Titan (11) Onnuri Jilju (2) Winning Dancer (3) B.K. Looks|
|Next Best||8, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 6, 11|
Seoul Race 7: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million
Intriguing race. (7) BURUI YEOWANG was a winner on debut over this distance before dropping back to 1000M and running 3rd behind Jungchubusa, who has gone on to win again. She comes up in class but has every chance. (4) HWANGGEUM POWER is usually back in the field and then runs on, however, at her last start after being hampered slightly at the start, she settled closer in midfield and then ran on strongly over this trip. She has a nice barrier here and a repeat of that run would put her right in the mix. (8) WONDERFUL LIGHT has placed at class and distance and showed a return to form with a last start 3rd over 1400M when she settled back in the field and ran on. Expect her to do similar here and she is a place chance. (9) DREAM GIRLS has run consistent times at the distance. Her best results are when she is handy or on pace and she should be in the finish again. (6) BLACK ROOKIE is up in class here after a narrow win last time out and she should be competitive at this level.
|Selections||(7) Burui Yeowang (4) Hwanggeum Power (8) Wonderful Light (9) Dream Girls|
|Next Best||6, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 7, 11, 9|
Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 35 Million
(11) TRIUMPH KING is a Korean bred who has won his way up to this class with two wins and two runner-up finishes in four starts so far. It is an uncommonly rapid rise these days but he certainly looks the part. He has won at this distance already and while this is a sterner test, there is no reason why he can’t prove equal to it. He won from this wide gate last time and he can win again. Can (9) MAN OF TOP finally break through. He is yet to win in fourteen attempts but announced himself as a serious horse when pushing three-year-old prospect Winner’s Man all the way over 1800M in April. Since then he has a 3rd place and two further runner-up finishes. Ioannis Poullis takes the mount today and it could well be his time. (8) TOP MATE Is another perennial runner-up with six from nine but no wins. He steps back from 1800M and can go close again. (5) QUEEN UP beat three of these on her way to a good 3rd place at class and distance on May 23rd and along with (3) NEWS MAKER, is another with at least placing chances.
|Selections||(11) Triumph King (9) Man Of Top (8) Top Mate (5) Queen Up|
|Next Best||3, 6|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 5, 9|
Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million
A bit of a raffle here. (1) DUSON JANGGUN was a big winner at class and distance on May 23rd when on pace, romping home in a good time. He is significantly up in weight but draws well and we’ll make him the one to beat. (6) ECHO VICTOR is a winner of three from seven so far including one at this distance in a good time. He has led both his most recent starts and his weight drops with the apprentice claim which could put him in the reckoning. (7) ROYAL ELVIS is a 1400M winner and warrants consideration following a narrow defeat at class and distance in his latest start when he led. This was a return to form after a couple of outs and we’ll see if he can maintain it today. (3) NAMSANUI BYEOL is still a maiden but has performed admirably nonetheless. Last start he settled midfield and then ran on for a close 3rd at this distance and has drawn nicely today making him worth some though. (4) MAGIC PAYNTER is also a maiden but has been knocking at the door and is an each-way chance here.
|Selections||(1) Duson Janggun (6) Echo Victor (7) Royal Elvis (3) Namsanui Byeol|
|Next Best||4, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 6, 7|
Busan Race 6: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 50 Million
With eight wins from sixteen in total and three from his latest four, (9) GOLDEN WINNER is a big talent. He dropped back to this distance last time on May 29th for the first time and fairly bolted up leading from gate to wire leaving several of today’s rivals back down the track. Even in these current times, such an effort does not escape the handicapper’s attention and he finds himself with an additional 4.5kg on his back today but regardless of both that and the wider draw, he should be too good. Among those who return for another crack, (7) BANJIUI YOJEONG got the closest to Golden Winner that day in 3rd place and he has placing claims again as does (2) YEONGGWANGUISECRET, who finished in 4th. (12) HIDDEN STAR was 6th and will also be fancied to improve on that if not necessarily to overturn any of the form. Among those who didn’t’ go in that race, (6) HAPPY FEVER, who is a winner at this class, looks the best.
|Selections||(9) Golden Winner (6) Happy Fever (2) Yeonggwanguisecret (7) Banjiui Yojeong|
|Next Best||12, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 9: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 42 Million
(11) CONSTI SOLO debuted all the way back in 2019 with a victory and then didn’t race again until January of this year when he was 2nd over 1700M. He stepped up to 1800M on March 7th and came from off the pace to scored extremely handsomely over 1800M under 58kg. He returns here up in class but nicely weighted and if anything near his best, should be too good. (5) GOLDEN SERVICE is up in class too but gives every indication that he can go on. He is a winner of his last two starts in class 4, both around two turns and in good times. He is down in weight, nicely drawn and will be either on pace or handy in the run. (10) MUNHAK KING was a good class and distance winner on a very wet track last start. He led that day from a much better barrier so may need some early luck here but he has claims. (9) HWANGGEUM LUCKY showed a return to form last time when 2nd at class and distance and he may provide a good place chance at odds today. (12) GLOBAL SOCKS among others in the hunt.
|Selections||(11) Consti Solo (5) Golden Service (10) Munhak King (9) Hwanggeum Lucky|
|Next Best||12, 1|
|Fast Start||5, 7, 8, 10|
Seoul Race 10: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(10) EAST JET was disqualified from what would have been his ninth career win on May 16th but he should be putting that right today. He has drawn similarly wide and that was his undoing last time when his move across the field caused a chain reaction behind, but don’t expect Munro to make the same mistake again. The only horse who has beaten East Jet recently on the track is Eoma Eoma and that list of one is unlikely to gain any additions here. (3) M J POWER was 3rd across the line in that May race ultimately being promoted to 2nd. He is very competitive at the level and today gets a much better barrier which should help. (12) DO KKI BLADE was the winner of a Group race over 1200M at Busan last year and recently has been running well over 1400M. He can settle back or run handy so the wide draw is not too much of a problem so he is in the mix. (2) CUPID GUY has been ultra-consistent in his times at this distance and while it may not quite be elite, that kind of consistency puts him ahead of most. He was 5th behind Eoma Eoma and East Jet last start and is in the placing hunt here. (9) HAVANA CHARLIE the best of the rest.
|Selections||(10) East Jet (3) M J Power (12) Do Kki Blade (2) Cupid Guy|
|Next Best||9, 5|
|Fast Start||3, 10, 11, 12|