This year’s juvenile crop finally get the opportunity to race for big prizes as the “Rookie Stakes” takes place at both Seoul and Busan. There are 10 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:05 to 17:00. Both meetings will take place behind closed doors. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million
(12) FLYING KARA returns to action for the first time since January when he registered the second of his consecutive 3rd place finishes. Since then, nothing in this race has beaten his time at the distance and while he didn’t exactly set the world alight in an August trial the jockey booking will raise eyebrows and he can win this, regardless of the wide draw. (3) JISAN KKOT did nothing on debut in April and was then put away. She looked more accomplished when running 2nd in a trial on August 20th and from a good draw can be on pace here and competitive. (8) WONDERFUL GEUMSUNG has mixed her form to say the least but his 2nd place two starts back at this distance in a fair time is enough to make her a chance here. (4) BEST BIG BANG and (7) BITNANEUN JILJU are others who can improve.
|Selections||(12) Flying Kara (3) Jisan Kkot (8) Wonderful Geumsung (4) Best Big Bang|
|Next Best||7, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 6, 11|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(5) BORI BORI comes in off two strong showings at today’s distance in which she finished in 2nd and 3rd. She has the fastest time among these at the distance and is well drawn to sit handy and run on strong. She can win. (10) REAL PACK was a much-improved 2nd when tried at this trip in what was his first race this year on June 13th. From an even wider gate than today, he came from well off the pace to swoop home. Kim Yong-geun is booked today and he looks a real chance. So too (1) FEDERAL WIN, who was beaten by Real Pack in that June race but rallied on her return on July 18th when she overcame gate twelve to run a good 4th at this distance. An apprentice keeps the weight light, and she draws a much better gate today. (2) KOREA GIJEOK drops back in trip following a couple of spins around 1400M, one of which yielded a 4th place. He is unspectacular but is rarely too far away and looks a place chance here. (9) MAGIC MANJEOM, an improved 2nd at 1200M last time is another in the frame.
|Selections||(5) Bori Bori (10) Real Pack (1) Federal Win (2) Korea Gijeok|
|Next Best||9, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 7, 8, 9|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Plenty in the frame here but we’ll take a chance with (2) KING SIMBA. Slowly away in all three starts so far, he came from well back to run 3rd over 1300M on August 8th. The extra distance may well be what he needs. (7) WONDERFUL K also steps up in trip having been consistent in recent efforts at 1300M and 1200M. His running style is to settle handy or in midfield and then to run on and today may suit. (6) SOUJU can mix his form, but he has the fastest time among these for the distance by some margin. From a central draw expect him to be on pace and stay on to be in the finish. (9) COOL PRINCESS is yet to finish in the top two but has five top five finishes to her name. She comes in off a strong 4th over 1300M and with Moon Se Young climbing aboard, is sure to have plenty of backers. (8) JEONGMUN POKJU is the only runner in the race to have experienced victory and it was at this distance too which on its own, brings him into the calculations.
|Selections||(2) King Simba (7) Wonderful K (6) Souju (9) Cool Princess|
|Next Best||8, 1|
|Fast Start||6, 7, 8, 9|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Good race to kick us off on the south coast. (12) KING GOLIATH has drawn the car park, but he ran well at this distance from even wider when 4th on debut and followed up with a 3rd and a 2nd at shorter distances. He has beaten a few of these already and should be settling back and running on for his first win here. (10) CATCH THE SUN has improved across three starts so far, culminating in 4th place in a fast time over 1300M on July 31st. She came from well off the pace that day so the draw may not be an issue and she can go close. (3) YEONSEUNG BRAVO drops back in trip having led for part of the way around over a mile on August 13th, ultimately finishing in 3rd. The same apprentice who rode him that day keeps the weight down here and he warrants consideration. (2) DAEHOMA enters off three consecutive 4th place finishes, all of them at this distance. Perovic returns to the mount, and he can match or better those finishes today. (6) RHIANNON POINT beat Daehoma last time out when running a significantly improved 3rd and can’t be ruled out today.
|Selections||(12) King Goliath (10) Catch The Sun (3) Yeonseung Bravo (2) Daehoma|
|Next Best||6, 8|
|Fast Start||3, 8, 9, 11|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million
Class 5 racing can be quite tasty these days and this is no exception. (6) DAESAN TEUKGEUP is up in class following two wins, the latest of which saw him fairly bolt up by eleven-lengths over 1200M, settling on the pace and running on. The slight increase of distance is of little concern and could easily win again. (8) BURUI YEOWANG has two wins and has finished no worse than 4th in four starts. She didn’t have much luck at her latest when inconvenienced at the start and then caught wide but still ran on well for 4th over 1300M. No surprise if she goes better here. (1) GOLD K has placed 3rd in both starts at this class and distance and appears to be working up to another win at some stage. He likes to lead, and the inside gate should assist him with this. (3) ENERGIZER and (5) EAST JILJU are among others with strong placing chances.
|Selections||(6) Daesan Teukgeup (8) Burui Yeowang (1) Gold K (3) Energizer|
|Next Best||5, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 7, 8|
Busan Race 2: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million
(6) FASHION BLADE was a class and distance winner two starts back when she crossed from gate twelve to sit on the speed before pulling clear on in the final furlong to win in a fast time. She then ran 3rd in all-filly company on her reappearance on July 25th at the same distance under the same weight she carries today. She draws well, has a strong finish and has every chance. (7) DOCTOR TEXAS comes up in class having beaten Glory King last start who himself went on to win on Friday. He sat just behind the leader that day and ran on to win well and is firmly in the mix again here with the step up in trip likely no problem. (2) RUN FIGHTER also steps up in trip following victory over 1300M at class 6 level. That was just his third start and having shown progression in each of them, he can measure up today. (10) QUEEN OF HEARTS ran a solid 4th place over 1300M on her first try at this level three weeks ago. She can overcome the gate to challenge for a place here. First-up since April, (5) KKOTGWA GUREUM trialed up well and is the wildcard with a light weight and a great draw.
|Selections||(6) Fashion Blade (7) Doctor Texas (2) Run Fighter (10) Queen Of Hearts|
|Next Best||5, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 5: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Small field here and while (2) ROYAL ELVIS is up in class here, he comes down a whopping 7kg in the weights. He has placed in all four of his last starts, all at 1400M, winning one of them and with the draw ideal to get on pace and Kim Yong-geun climbing aboard, everything looks to be in his favour here. (1) MUNHAK MOON is the main danger. He won over this distance at class 4 level two starts back before running 4th on his first try at class 3 on August 7th when he raced handy throughout. Both were in good times. He too draws well and will be challenging from the start. (3) SHU LEUB drops back in trip from the staying ranks where she had been enjoying some success. While she runs on pace around two turns, she probably won’t be able to match the early speed of the afore-mentioned pair but has every chance of running into a place late on. (4) CHEMI BLUE remains a maiden but caught the eye last start when overcoming gate twelve to run a slashing 2nd and can be competitive again. (7) MEOTJIN WANGJA another with placing chances.
|Selections||(2) Royal Elvis (1) Munhak Moon (3) Shu Leub (4) Chemi Blue|
|Next Best||7, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 5, 6|
Busan Race 3: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(2) DOCTOR FAPPIANO is a top-drawer filly who tried her luck at class 2 last start and came close to pulling off a remarkable win, beaten only by Winner’s Man and Curlin Time. In a normal season, she would have been hot favourite for the Korean Oaks but instead she finds herself in here, beautifully weighted and drawn. She has won at this distance already and she should win again. She’s not the only talented three-year-old here though. (5) ONNURI JILJU has never finished outside the top four and comes in off a fast win at this class over 1200M at the end of July. He comes up a full 4.5kg in the weights as a result and there will be question marks over the distance, but he can’t be ruled out. There are no such distance questions for (7) SEONGSAN POWER. He has the fastest time of any of these over the 1800M which he recorded when winning three starts back at class 4 level. Draw a line through his latest effort at a mile and he is in the hunt. (10) DOCTOR SKY and (11) GIJEOKUI JEOKTOMA are others with placing chances.
|Selections||(2) Doctor Fappiano (5) Onnuri Jilju (7) Seongsan Power (10) Doctor Sky|
|Next Best||11, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5, 7|
Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million
After taking a couple of races to find her feet, (9) MIGHTY BOOM has been a model of consistency with a win and four placed finishes from her latest five. Her win came at 1400M, but she has the fastest time of any of these at this distance too and while she is up in weight she is back to restricted fillies and mares company and she can win. (6) NUNBUSIN HANSEN is a winner at this class and distance two starts back when making all and then last start ran 3rd with a decent effort from the outside gate in a small field of eight. Her consistency makes her a solid place chance here. (10) MJ POINT is a striking looking mare with four white feet, and she comes into calculations on her last start 4th when settled well back in the field and ran on resolutely. If there is speed on early, then she will be the one poised to take advantage. (3) BAEKSAN THUNDER is a mare who has shown ability and resumes here after sixteen weeks out following a terrific run over this distance on a wet track when she raced handy to the lead and ran on for a close 3rd. (11) MY MEMBER beat Nunbusin Hansen when 2nd two starts back and while she mixes here form and doesn’t draw well, with luck she can be in the money.
|Selections||(9) Mighty Boom (6) Nunbusin Hansen (10) MJ Point (3) Baeksan Thunder|
|Next Best||11, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 9, 11|
Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million
(7) AMAZING FOOT steps up rapidly in class following back to back wins at classes 6 and 5, both of them at this distance and both times having made all. The latter of those was a fast time and he comes down slightly in weight. The draw is fine, and he can measure up in this company. If the step up in grade is too much too soon then (2) DOCTOR FASHION is one of those capable of beating him. He matched Amazing Foot’s time for the distance when winning at this level in May and comes in off two 3rd places at 1400M and 1200M. A good apprentice aboard brings him down 4kg in the weights from last time and he draws very nicely to get on pace. He has a real chance. So too does (1) FUTURE KING, who also benefits from an apprentice claim. He differs from the other two in that he isn’t a front-runner but he came from off the pace to win well at class and distance two starts back and should be coming home strong again. (11) GEUMA PSYCHIC and (10) ACE KILLER among others in the placing frame.
|Selections||(7) Amazing Foot (2) Doctor Fashion (1) Future King (11) Geuma Psychic|
|Next Best||10, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 7, 12|
Seoul Race 7: Class Open (1200M) “Rookie Stakes @Seoul” Allowance / KRW 150 Million
Seoul’s juveniles get the chance to compete for a big prize. (3) COMPLETE VALUE is a winner of two from two so far, his latest being at 1300M in a very good time when he settled handy to the leaders and ran on to win by four-lengths. He draws nicely and looks hard to beat. (7) SEUNGBUSA won over 1000M at his only start to date in a super time. It was a no-nonsense and workmanlike win, sitting on pace and then pulling away. He has the same barrier today and will be in this for a long way. (5) PURPLE K ran 2nd to Seungbusa on her only start to date having previously won a trial in double quick time. On debut she led and while she couldn’t go with Seungbusa in the closing stages there was daylight to 3rd place. She has had seven weeks to progress from that run and the extra furlong makes it interesting. (1) BENCAL PRINCESS ran 2nd on debut before winning at her next start at 1000M by a full six-lengths. She was a little slow out that day and then worked up to be on pace before leaving the field behind. She was twitching her tail under the whip so it will be interesting to see how she fares when the pressure is greater, as it will be today, but she has a great draw and can’t be overlooked. (10) WONPYEONG GASOK has anything but a great draw, however, he won well at his only start so far over 1000M.
|Selections||(3) Complete Value (7) Seungbusa (5) Purple K (1) Bencal Princess|
|Next Best||9, 4|
|Fast Start||5, 7, 9, 10|
Busan Race 5: Class Open (1200M) “Rookie Stakes @Busan” Allowance / KRW 150 Million
Busan’s juveniles get the chance to compete for a top prize and a case can be made for most of the field. (11) FLASHY CHARM beat four of these on debut at 1000M on August 1st. He got the run of the race that day up the inside from gate one and while that won’t be so easy this time from a wide draw, the way he finished off suggested there is plenty more to come and he has as good a chance as any here. (6) MENI AGAIN ran on strong to win on debut over 1000M on July 16th when wide most of the way around. The extended trip should be of little consequence, and he has fair claims to score here. (9) AGAIN TOUCH raced somewhat greenly on debut over 1000M on August 14th but she led gate to wire and will be in the finish today. (1) WINNER STAR is the most experienced in the race with three starts under his belt, two of them at today’s distance. He is yet to win but ran a good 2nd at his latest appearance and may well be peaking here. He has a good draw and a big race jockey on. (4) WONDERFUL RAISE ran 2nd to Flashy Charm on debut running on strong and can be expected to improve here.
|Selections||(11) Flashy Charm (6) Meni Again (9) Again Touch (1) Winner Star|
|Next Best||4, 5|
|Fast Start||6, 9, 10, 11|
Seoul Race 8: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million
The form here is patchy so lots of these will need to be taken on trust. We’ll go with the only three-year-old and only last start winner, (2) WONDERFUL TYCOON. He has only raced four times but has been solid and comes up in class following his maiden win over 1300M on August 8th. He is up in trip but marginally down in the weights and against limited opposition, has every chance. (9) SUN FIGHTING beat three of these on her way to 3rd place at class and distance on August 7th. She is a touch one-paced but keeps going and in this company should have enough about her to pass plenty late on. (3) LUCKY MIDAS was 8th in that same race but we will draw a line through it as he was caught very wide early. His previous start had much more merit to it when on a wet track he went back before running on strongly to finish in 5th place, just two-lengths from the winner. (5) ETERNAL MEMORY is still a maiden but has plenty of minor money finishes. Disregard his latest effort which was his first try at the distance – he has shown ability up to 1400M and Johan Victoire retuning is a plus. (1) MAPAEBONG the best of the rest.
|Selections||(2) Wonderful Tycoon (9) Sun Fighting (3) Lucky Midas (5) Eternal Memory|
|Next Best||1, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5 11|
Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
Great finale at Busan. (2) SSONSAL manages to hop off the Doctor Carson/Blue Chipper merry-go-round which has seen hm suffer reverses at this latest three starts and coming back to a distance at which he has run some outstanding times – he is the track record holder – and with no weight on his back plus an excellent draw, he is the one to beat. (9) THE SABER won on his first try at class 1 over 1800M at his latest start. He has won at this distance at class 2 level and while his time, fast as it was, wasn’t the kind of spectacular time needed to win in this company, he has only raced ten times and there seems to be plenty more improvement in the tank. This lot could drag something special out of him. (3) BAENGMUNBAEKDAP and his rating is why the rest get to carry such light weights. The same apprentice who guided him to victory at class and distance two starts back over Doctor Carson and Blue Chipper is aboard today and he can never be ruled out. He will be coming on strong late. (5) ACE KOREA showed a pleasing return to form with a 2nd place, beating Baengmunbaekdap over a mile last start on July 25th. Expect him to be on pace here and to stick on for the finish. (10) RAPIDO MAN won that day, and another good performance can’t be ruled out.
|Selections||(2) Ssonsal (9) The Saber (3) Baengmunbaekdap (5) Ace Korea|
|Next Best||10, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 6, 11|
Seoul Race 9: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Small field here. Disregard the latest start of (5) LOVELY K when she weakened over 1800M. Instead go on her previous start when she fairly bolted up over 1400M in a good time at class 4 level. She led on that occasion but can also perform when handy and can go close. (2) JANGSAN GOLD looks to have excellent claims too. She carries just the 51kg and has already registered a fast time at this distance. She ran 2nd over 1200M on her first try at class 3 when handy and wide early. She tends to sit midfield and run on and has every chance. (3) SURISURIMA is another who, like Lovely K, struggled when tried at 1800M at her latest start but who has excellent 1400M form including a win at this class. She tends to go back and run on, and the smaller field may help her avoid traffic when finding a run late on. (7) MUNHAK BOSS has won at this class and distance and at his last start showed a welcome return to form with a close at hand 3rd over 1200M in a great time. A repeat of that effort would put him in the finish here. (6) GLOBAL JOY another with placing chances.
|Selections||(5) Lovely K (2) Jangsan Gold (3) Surisurima (7) Munhak Boss|
|Next Best||6, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 6, 7|
Seoul Race 10: Class 1 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million
Another treat to finish with despite the small field. (5) HAENGBOK WANGJA dips his hoof into class 1 waters after six consecutive wins and comes down in weight. He has completed today’s distance in a faster time than any of his rivals, albeit on a wet track. The tempo and pressures of class 1 racing have found out many a pretender and he does run into genuine top-level horses here, but he can measure up. If he does, he’s a star in the making. (2) SUPER SOCKS but in a super effort last start when 2nd to The Gumpu when he sat on the pace and pulled hard before making ground on his rival at the finish to only go down narrowly. He was giving away 4.5kg to The Gumpu that day but just 1kg today and he can overturn the form. That brings us to (1) THE GUMPU, who is a stayer in top form having won his last two at 2000M and that win over Super Socks last time at 1800M. He likes to lead, which he should be able to do from the inside gate and while the set weight conditions may be a challenge, be sure to keep him safe. (4) HEUK JEONSA has a terrific record with two wins from his latest three at this class. His style is to be on pace and handy and he looks well suited with most of his rivals carrying a similar weight. He has a big chance. (6) TOP BRAIN rarely runs a bad race and will be sure to be running on late.
|Selections||(5) Haengbok Wangja (2) Super Socks (1) The Gumpu (4) Heuk Jeonsa|
|Next Best||6, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 6, 8|