It’s one of those rare Saturdays where both Seoul and Busan hold cards. Both meetings are behind closed doors with no legal betting available to punters in Korea. Blue Chipper and Doctor Carson face off in the feature at Busan. There are 9 races in Seoul from 11:00 to 18:00 and 6 in Busan from 11:30 to 16:30. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million
Juvenile maidens kick us off with five of the ten making their racecourse debuts. We’re going to put a couple of ones with experience on top though. (5) BENCAL PRINCESS was a trial winner in June and then Debuted on July 3rd when the Cowboy Cal filly settled midfield before running on strong for a good 2nd place finish in a fast time behind a good winner who ran 3rd at class 5 level last weekend. Three of today’s rivals were behind her. With natural improvement out of that race, she can win today. (9) YUKWAEHAN SEONTAEK ran 3rd on own debut at this distance back on June 20th. He settled close to the pace that day and ran on and can go close again with Antonio Da Silva climbing aboard. (1) ROAD ACE was 5th behind BENCAL PRINCESS running on pleasingly enough from a midfield position. He can improve today. There were a few promising trial performances from the newcomers with (6) SPEED GALLOP and (8) GEOLJAK DREAM the main eye-catchers.
|Selections||(5) Bencal Princess (9) Yukwaehan Seontaek (1) Road Ace (6) Speed Gallop|
|Next Best||8, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 8, 9|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million
Juvenile maidens go around here with six of the eleven making their racecourse debuts. One of the first-timers is set to be the favourite in the shape of (8) AGAIN TOUCH. A half-sister to last year’s KRA Cup Mile and Minister’s Cup winner Touch Star Man through their dam, Korean Oaks winner Useung Touch. She trialed very nicely in a fast time on a good rated track on July 17th finishing a very close 2nd to a horse that went on to win first-up a couple of weeks ago. If she brings that form to the races, she will win. Among those with experience, (2) GREAT BLUE is the pick. He didn’t catch the eye in his trial but came from well back to run 6th on debut at this distance in a decent time and with a couple of today’s rivals behind him. With a bit of natural improvement, he can get closer today. (11) MONGTTANG, a stablemate of Again Touch, was 7th on debut in that race and will also be expected to improve second-up. Returning to the first-timers, both (6) B.K. MARSHALL and (7) UNJU BULPAE registered decent times and competent performances and are worth keeping an eye on.
|Selections||(8) Again Touch (2) Great Blue (11) Mongttang (6) B.K. Marshall|
|Next Best||7, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 6, 8|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(3) SOEWAKKOT was a winner at start number two over 1000M on June 12th when he made all in a fast time on a wet track. He then lost his way from the widest gate on his reappearance over 1200M on July 11th but still rallied well enough to finish in 4th place. He draws much better today and looks very much the one to beat. Korea’s all-time leading jockey in terms of winners Park Tae-jong returns from injury and on his first ride back has a decent prospect in the shape of (6) GEUMGUKHWA. She’s posted the fastest time among these at the distance and should be looking for a career best finish here. She will challenge Soewakkot for the early lead as will (5) K N TEUKGEUP, who has a 3rd place to her name at this distance. Her last start was underwhelming but she comes down in the weights with an apprentice aboard and into the frame. (7) SINUI HANSU and (1) OKDONG GONGJU are others with placing hopes.
|Selections||(3) Soewakkot (6) Geumgukhwa (5) K N Teukgeup (7) Sinui Hansu|
|Next Best||1, 10|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 6, 11|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million
More juvenile maidens here this time with five of the ten racing for the first time. There are a couple of standouts and to choose between them we will side with experience and (7) YEONGGWANGUILEGEND. He won a May trial before placing 2nd in a fast time on debut on July 16th at this distance when he sat handy and then ran on. He draws the same gate today and should have come on for that debut run. The primary danger is a first-timer. (4) GOLDENTHUNDERBOLT was a front-running 2nd in his trial on July 24th coming home in a good time. From a nice draw he can be on pace again and will be running on strong at the business end of the race. The rest will have to be taken on trust somewhat. (8) SEOGWI POINT was on pace early but weakened for 6th over 1200M on debut on July 9th. She drops back in trip today and may improve for that run. (6) BARBELL STORM went through a couple of trials improving in the second of them and he may go ok here. It was hard to judge (3) ADELE BOSS on his trial as it was very slowly run but the trainer/jockey combination will tempt some.
|Selections||(7) Yeonggwanguilegend (4) Goldenthunderbolt (8) Seogwi Point (6) Barbell Storm|
|Next Best||3, 9|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 7, 8|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(3) IMUGI has been getting closer over the course of his five starts so far and comes in having run 3rd over 1400M when he led until the closing stages. He comes back in trip here and draws very nicely to lead again with solid claims to break through. (11) ROSEDAY MARINE has by some margin the quickest time of any of these at the distance, recorded when 2nd back in April. Since then she has three consecutive 5th places to her name, all at this distance and having led in two of them. While the gate may not be ideal if she can sit close to the pace, she will be in the finish. (6) DDATTEUTHANBIT and (10) YAS both showed signs of figuring things out in the respective latest outings. Ddatteuthanbit comes up in trip after running on well for 3rd over 1000M on June 12th while Yas comes down after running 4th at 1300M on July 10th. Both have placing claims here. Along with Roseday Marine, (7) MEOTJIN GUY is the only other onw in the field with a runner-up finish to his name, achieved three starts back at 1300M and while his times have not been spectacular, that in itself puts him in the frame.
|Selections||(3) Imugi (11) Roseday Marine (6) Ddatteuthanbit (10) Yas|
|Next Best||7, 12|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 10, 11|
Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Not a huge amount of convincing form to go on here. (2) BEAUTY HILL must be considered based on her last start resuming after more than a year. She was 3rd over 1200M having settled behind the leaders before increasing the pressure and running on solidly. She should have progressed from that run and comes up in trip with solid claims. (4) DAEHOMA has run 4th at both his latest two starts, both at this distance and both in creditable times. He tends to settle behind the leaders and then run home strong and he could well be ready to break his maiden here. (9) DAEHO PYEONGJEONG is yet to place at further than 1000M but may have enough about him to snap that record here. Last time out he ran 5th behind Daehoma from barrier twelve, getting up to threaten the leaders at the furlong pole before weakening slightly. A slightly easier assignment today brings him into it. (5) SMARTY DOLPUNG might be an each-way chance. She took a bump at the start last time but ran adequately for 7th of twelve. That was her first attempt at today’s distance and she may have come on for it. (3) URI JOEUNNAL perhaps best of a limited rest.
|Selections||(2) Beauty Hill (4) Daehoma (9) Daeho Pyeongjeong (5) Smarty Dolpung|
|Next Best||3, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 9, 10, 12|
Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Fillies only here. (10) POLKA is yet to finish any better than 3rd in eleven starts to date but enters in her best for so far and is perhaps ready to win. She had the same gate last time at this distance on July 18th when she sat midfield and then ran on for 3rd place behind a couple of useful ones and has every chance of coming out on top this time. (7) JEONGSEONG DAERO has a 3rd and a 4th from two starts so far at 1000M and 1200M respectively. She has come from off the pace both times and her running style suggests that the additional furlong here will do her no harm at all. (6) CHEONDUNG CAT races for just the second time having debuted at this trip on July 3rd. That day she took advantage of the inside gate to get the lead which she held until the home straight, ultimately finishing 4th. She should strip fitter for that run and will be the expected early leader here. (4) CHANGI CHARM enters off a solid 5th place at class and distance on July 17th when she settled a bit further forward than she had in previous starts. She can aim to do similar here from a nice draw. (12) USEUNG HWANHUI has a tendency to get too far back in her races but runs on well and can run into some money.
|Selections||(10) Polka (7) Jeongseong Daero (6) Cheondung Cat (4) Changi Charm|
|Next Best||12, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 6, 11|
Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million
(1) PINEUI KKUM drops back in trip after a last start 2nd over 1800M when from a wide barrier, he led before being passed by a good winner in the straight. Back at 1600M and with a great barrier to assist him, he also comes down in the weights with new apprentice Shin Yun-seob aboard. He could be hard to beat. (6) TRIUMPH KING blotted his copybook last start with an out of character performance at class and distance. He was away awkwardly and blundered soon after the start so we’ll disregard that and instead go on his previous class 5 runs, particularly when bolting in over 1400M in May. He is worth another chance. (4) GREAT DANCE is another danger. The Animal Kingdom gelding was consistently placed at class 5 prior to his 7th behind Pineui Kkum on his first try at this level over 1800M last month. He likes to be on pace or handy and could go close here. For one at odds, (5) SINBIHAN YEOIN may be the way to go. She has placed at this class and distance and draws well here. (11) TIZBE the best of the rest.
|Selections||(1) Pineui Kkum (6) Triumph King (4) Great Dance (5) Sinbihan Yeoin|
|Next Best||11, 7|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 8, 11|
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million
This is a really competitive race for the level with perhaps ten of the twelve having legitimate winning claims. We need to narrow it down (a bit at least) so we will, without confidence side with (8) DAEWANGU on the grounds that he has won his last two and won them well at 1300M and 1400M coming from off the pace both times. He does carry a bit more weight today but not too much and he can make it three in a row. (12) DIECO is a last start winner at this class over 1200M. He is an on-pacer so he is going to need a touch of luck from his gate but he has proven he can overcome wide draws in each of his latest two starts and he can go close. (10) RUBICON has a 3rd and a 2nd in two outings at this level and has also won at this distance. Draw is again a concern but if he can get a decent position early then he has solid placing claims. Those previous two may need some luck but (6) ROCK FIGHTER is an on-pacer who should be able to make his own luck from a central draw. Disregard his last start which was on a very wet track, both of his wins have come at this distance and he is capable of running good times. (2) CHEONBISEONG is another who the draw brings into the race. He likes to sit handy which should be quite easy from his gate and the fact he has placed at this class at both his latest starts is a plus.
|Selections||(8) Daewangu (12) Dieco (10) Rubicon (6) Rock Fighter|
|Next Best||2, 3|
|Fast Start||2, 6, 10, 12|
Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(9) GREAT BOSS has an impressive record of never finishing out of the top four with six wins to go with it including last start when he practically made all to comfortably win at this class over a mile. He comes back in trip here as well as up in the weights but he is the one to beat again. (10) MR. FUSION doesn’t know how to run a bad race and is one of the primary dangers today. His latest start saw him turn in a very good effort in a hot class and distance race when 3rd behind the very promising pair of Heat Yegam and Yeongung Louis. He is nicely weighted and the draw shouldn’t be an issue. (12) MIRACLE DREAMING is another who is consistent. His last start was a bit out of character on a wet track but he has had a couple of months off since and looked very well when winning a trial in late July. His racing style is to settle on pace so he may need some luck from a wide draw but don’t disregard. (2) RAON YEOGEOL is up in class here and resuming for the first time since last November. The last time we saw her in a race she won very pleasingly. (11) Ilnyeom Tongcheon has the fastest time of any of these at the distance and looks the best of a nicely competitive rest.
|Selections||(9) Great Boss (10) Mr. Fusion (12) Miracle Dreaming (2) Raon Yeogeol|
|Next Best||11, 3|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 11, 12|
Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million
(2) ROYAL ELVIS enters in good form and was a last start class and distance winner on July 18th when he made all. He does come up in the weights today to concede to every horse in the race, but he draws very nicely to give him the best opportunity to lead again and he could go all the way. (11) JOY BROTHER is up in class and doesn’t draw well for a horse that usually likes to be on pace. Nevertheless, he has posted good times at this distance in his latest two and comes down in the weights today. (12) WONDERFUL RUBY was a useful 4th last time. The draw shouldn’t be too much of a problem as he doesn’t need to lead and he looks a place chance again. (8) IL MARE comes in off an excellent 3rd place at class and distance on July 4th in a very fast time on what was admittedly a very wet track. He can mix his form and doesn’t win out of turn but is rarely far away and looks a place chance here. (7) DAEGUN PHOENIX one of several others with minor money hopes.
|Selections||(2) Royal Elvis (11) Joy Brother (12) Wonderful Ruby (8) Il Mare|
|Next Best||7, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 7, 11|
Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
Here we go again. A repeat of races at this distance on May 2nd and July 4th and at 1400M on June 6th. We are going to side though with the underdog, (3) BLUE CHIPPER. He was well beaten by his rival here but he put in a terrific run from a wide draw to run 2nd. There have been one or two manner issues in his recent starts but with a much better gate today, he can have an easier time of it and his may well finally shine through. That being said (6) DOCTOR CARSON deserves to start as favourite. Having beaten Blue Chipper three times in a row now. Last time he sat in behind the leaders and gained a run on the fence round the corner, going on to win without having to go around a single horse. With Blue Chipper on his inside and carrying 3kg less than he did the last time he had a minor draw advantage, the form may be overturned. Don’t doubt that Doctor Carson will be in the finish though and may very well oblige again. (7) SSONSAL is a hugely talented sprinter with a last start 3rd to Doctor Carson and Blue Chipper when on pace and wide and ran on. He draws better today and goes close. (4) SEOBU CAT put in a terrific run last start too, also 3rd behind Doctor Carson and Blue Chipper (two months after Ssonsal) and he can be competitive again. For one at odds (9) DAEMANGUI GIL is up in class following an emphatic win with 58kg on his back over this distance at class 2 level. Don’t rule out another big run.
|Selections||(3) Blue Chipper (6) Doctor Carson (7) Ssonsal (4) Seobu Cat|
|Next Best||9, 12|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 5, 9|
Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million
(9) SPOT FLATTER comes up in class following a strong win at this distance on June 27th when he sat midfield before finishing strongly to score by six-lengths. He has only finished outside the top three on one occasion from seven starts so far and looks to have more development in him. He comes down 3kg in the weights and can win again. (11) MONEY SILK comes in having run 2nd over a very fast time on a very wet track at class and distance on July 4th. He comes up a little in the weights today but the wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and he will be in the hunt. (8) UNOECHANGCHEON had a hard time when tried around 1700M for the first time on July 11th. That was her first try at this class as well and it proved a touch overwhelming. Back at one turn today she should be much happier and can improve as she has gone well at this trip in the past, albeit at lower levels. (2) SUPER ECTON has loads of class and distance experience as while he is another who doesn’t win out of turn, he can be competitive in this company. (5) FOREVER ONE another to keep in mind as she has won at this distance.
|Selections||(9) Spot Flatter (11) Money Silk (8) Unoechangcheon (2) Super Ecton|
|Next Best||5, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 9, 10|
Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million
(1) MAGIC PAYNTER ran a close at hand 4th over 1400M at her latest start on June 27th. That followed a 2nd and a 3rd, both in fast times at this distance. She can lead or settle back and run on and with the draw giving jockey Kim Yong-geun plenty of options, she looks the one to beat today. (8) THIS CHALLENGE is an up and comer with a 4th and a 2nd from two starts so far, both of them at this class and distance. He comes up a bit in the weights today but with some natural improvement should be in the finish. (10) SERENDIPITIYA is capable of running consistent times. She overcame gate thirteen last start to get on pace before ending up in 6th place over 1400M and while yet again she draws poorly, she has placing chances. The 1700M didn’t suit (5) ARFONS last time but he is the only previous winner in this field and should be more comfortable today. (3) THUNDER TIME finally hinted last start at getting things right and seems likely to be on the pace here.
|Selections||(1) Magic Paynter (8) This Challenge (10) Serendipitiya (5) Arfons|
|Next Best||3, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 8, 10|
Seoul Race 9: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(4) YEONHUI ILCHUL came from well off the pace to win at class and distance on May 1st before then running 3rd having led in a similar race in June. She comes in here after two months off with a nice draw, a nice weight, and solid prospects to return to the winner’s circle. (7) DADDY GLORY went down to (11) MIREU STORM by just a head as the latter won at class and distance on July 11th, with a couple more of today’s rivals back down the track behind them. While Daddy Glory carried slightly more weight that day, it’s the turn of Mireu Storm to have marginally more on his back this time around. Both should be going close here. (5) GLOBAL CHEONHA came back into form with a decent 2nd place over 1400M last time out. He draws nicely here and can maintain his momentum. (10) CLEAN UP HAPPY is another once dropping back slightly in trip after recent good work at 1400M. He may need some luck from a wide draw but looks a placing chance.
|Selections||(4) Yeonhui Ilchul (7) Daddy Glory (11) Mireu Storm (5) Global Cheonha|
|Next Best||10, 12|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 6, 10|