It never ends, does it? With Covid new case numbers in Korea reaching a record high on a daily basis (although still low by global standards), Seoul and the wider metropolitan region has moved into “Level 4” of the revised social distancing guidelines. This means that no customers will be permitted at Seoul Racecourse or in the capital area’s OCBs for the foreseeable future. While Busan remains open for the time being, it seems inevitable that there will be further changes to the racing schedule for July, the basis of which, with race numbers and even prize money returning to something approaching normal levels, was made with Seoul being able to admit at least 30% capacity from last weekend. This has now been completely blown up. For now though, racing continues according to plan and Saturday’s races are at Seoul with 10 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews for what is a challenging card:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million
Tricky little maiden for two and three-year-olds to start with in which plenty have potential winning claims. The narrow top pick is (3) ARAK TO WIN. True, her best performances so far have been at 1000M while she is yet to impress in two tries at today’s distance, but the manner of her 2nd place last start where after sitting in midfield she finished off very nicely. She was a long way behind the winner, a filly who has gone on to score again since, but Kim Yon-geun remains aboard and from a nice gate she could make the breakthrough here. (8) FLYING VICTOR showed good improvement when 2nd on what was his first start since last August. He too was well beaten by a good winner but should have come on fitness wise for that run and has every chance here. So too (1) GREAT THUNDER who has a 3rd and a 5th in two outings so far as well as the fastest time of any of these for the distance. From gate one, he will surely be on the lead and may be hard to get past. There are two debut-makers and both look to have promise. (7) BYEOLBIT MARU was the marginally more impressive in trials but (2) WONDERFUL SAM also looked competent and both can go well first up.
|Selections||(3) Arak To Win (8) Flying Victor (1) Great Thunder (7) Byeolbit Maru|
|Next Best||2, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 9, 11|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million
The second division of the maiden for two and three-year-olds. Again it’s competitive but (3) WONDERFUL TYCOON gets the nod. He ran 4th on debut in what was a slow race at this distance before finishing 3rd to Aqua Punch, who has gone on to win again, over 1300M on June 6th. Both times he has sat in mid-division before running on well and he can take top spot today. The main danger is (4) JEONGSEONG DAERO. On debut on June 12th she sat in the middle of the pack before running on strong for 3rd place over 1000M in a decent time. The additional furlong may well suit and she will be a threat. Also stepping up in trip after a promising debut over 1000M is (2) MAGIC JUNIOR. He settled handy and stuck to his task well and he will be expected to make the running today with solid claims to stay on for the finish. There are four first-time starters and among them (10) GEOSEN GISANG went through two trials showing on the pace in both and posting solid times. Munro is on board and she can go well first up.
|Selections||(3) Wonderful Tycoon (4) Jeongseong Daero (10) Geosen Gisang (2) Magic Junior|
|Next Best||1, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 4, 10|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
This maiden is open to older horses but it’s just as competitive as the previous ones. (5) TELOS mixes her form but we can give her a pass on her latest effort at 1200M when she drew the widest gate and used up a lot of energy getting to her favoured position before weakening. Instead we can go on her performance two starts back at this distance when she again drew wide but had an easier time of it getting to the front and led until the closing stages, ultimately finishing 3rd. She draws much better today which gives her a chance of getting a soft lead and she can go all the way. (2) CURRERECUS has been consistent across his eight starts to date. He has a strong finish on him compared with most of these and if Park Hyun-woo can have him in a good position turning for home then he will be in the finish. (1) GOLD SPIKE has a similar style of running. Although yet to record a top three finish he generally doesn’t miss by much and should be aiming for a best to date placing today. (8) VIKING HEART looks to be on the proper trajectory with an improved 4th last time out which he can build on today.
|Selections||(5) Telos (2) Currerecus (1) Gold Spike (8) Viking Heart|
|Next Best||12, 4|
|Fast Start||5, 7, 10, 12|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million
(1) ROCK FIGHTER won back to back races at class 6 level in March and May, both at this distance and in competitive times. For his first try at this level on June 12th. He dropped back to 1200M and ran well, settling in midfield and running on strong, briefly getting up to 2nd in the straight before finishing 3rd. From the inside gate expect to see him on speed here and if he is at his best, he should be too good. (6) MOST SPEED has run 2nd in both her attempts at this trip so far including at her latest start when she was on pace throughout. From a decent draw expect her to challenge for the early lead again and she should still be there at the business end of the race. Kim A-hyun’s 4kg claim brings (11) NINE EYE right into this. Yet to win in ten attempts, he has finished as runner-up on no fewer than ten occasions although at his latest start he had to settle for 3rd when stepped up to 1700M. He rarely runs a bad race and is tactically versatile and he should be on the board again here. (5) JOYFUL K struggled from a wide gate on his first try at this class over 1200M last start. The time before he was successful at this distance in a fast time at class 6 level and is worth another chance here.
|Selections||(1) Rock Fighter (6) Most Speed (11) Nine Eye (5) Joyful K|
|Next Best||2, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 6, 7|