Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (September 12)

Sunday’s meetings are at Seoul (10 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 12:05 to 17:00). Seoul will take place behind closed doors although Busan Racecourse will be open for pre-booked seats up to 20% of indoor capacity. Tickets must be bought in advance through the My Card app. Here are the previews:

At least they’re racing

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

Juvenile maidens to kick us off and it features one of the banker favourites of the day. Seven of the eleven race for the very first time but (1) YUKWAEHAN SEONTAEK has appeared twice already, running 3rd and 2nd, both at this distance, both in good times and both behind promising horses. Drawing well here, it really should be 3rd time lucky. (6) POWER BOX is set to be second-favourite. After a front-running, if slightly slow, trial, he ran a solid 4th on debut at this distance on August 7th in a decent time. Expect improvement here. Among the debut-makers (4) TOUGH GUY trialed up well, leading for much of the way around from gate ten before ending in 3rd in a good time. He draws better first-up and should be a danger. So too (9) DAEBAK STAR, who went through two trials, winning the second of them in a good time. (7) SILVER STAR another in the hunt.

Selections(1) Yukwaehan Seontaek (6) Power Box (4) Tough Guy (9) Daebak Star
Next Best7, 3
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 9

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million

Three-year-olds only here. The logical pick is (9) SISEON JUMA, who ran 5th on debut before improving to 2nd on her second start on August 15th, beating three of these on her way to recording the fastest time of any of this field at today’s distance. She was on pace that day so the draw is not ideal but with some natural improvement, she can win. The big danger is (4) JEONGMUN JIJON. He took a couple of goes to figure things out but has impressed in his latest couple, especially last time when 3rd over this distance when coming from off the pace. He draws well and is sure to be in the finish. Solitary first-time starter (11) B J FLASH did nothing wrong in his trial and this is quite a soft race to debut in. He led his trial so the draw may not be ideal but don’t rule him out. (6) GEOSEON DOLPUNG has led most of his races to date and while he has been passed in all of them, has registered a couple of decent times and should be in the hunt today. (10) JISANGUN another in the placing frame.

Selections(9) Siseon Juma (4) Jeongmun Jijon (11) B J Flash (6) Geosen Dolpung
Next Best10, 7
Fast Start4, 6, 9, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(4) JEONGSEONG DAERO has finished no worse than 4th in three starts so far and seems to be working towards a win. She came from off the pace at her latest start to finish 2nd in what was admittedly a slow time, but she looks to have scope for improvement and has solid claims here. (5) BOOSTER ROCKET ran a decent time when stepped up to this distance for the first time at start number three on August 21st. She settled handy that day but from a good draw should be on the speed this time around and surely goes close. (1) LUXURY KING enters in his best form so far with back-to-back 3rd place finishes from his latest two. The latter was at this distance in a fair time, and he can sit handy from the inside gate and run on. In what is a relatively weak race, (11) SONGAM PLAYER can return to some kind of form. His recent results aren’t indicative of his ability, and he can run into a place. (3) CHANGI CHARM another with claims.

Selections(4) Jeongseong Daero (5) Booster Rocket (1) Luxury King (11) Songam Player
Next Best3, 10
Fast Start5, 6, 7, 9

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

Juvenile maidens kick things off here with only two of the twelve having raced before. That leads us to the trial videos and (1) CLIFTON KING missed the jump in his trial but worked forward quietly and ran on strong to cross the line 2nd without being hurried along. If he brings that form to the races, then he should win and given the stable, he is bound to be hot favourite. (2) SHY DRAGON won her heat in a decent time on a wet track. She was slowest away and was well back before running on strong. Just like Clifton King, no whip was required, and she looks to have potential. (11) YEONGCHEON SOLEMIO was 3rd in the same trial as Shy Dragon. He was up with the pace throughout and while he draws wide, has every chance of going well first up. Of the pair with experience, (4) HANEUL GANGJA ran well enough in 6th place on debut to suggest that there is improvement to come while returning to the first timers, Seo Seung-un and Bart Rice team up with (3) GREEN SPEED who looked competent enough in the trial and has a nice draw.

Selections(1) Clifton King (2) Shy Dragon (11) Yeongcheon Solemio (4) Haneul Gangja
Next Best3, 10
Fast Start3, 9, 10, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

A few standouts here. (7) POLKA remains a maiden after twelve attempts but comes in with consistent form – she has finished in the top-five on seven occasions. At her latest start on August 14th, she beat a couple of these on her way to 4th place and has as good a chance as any of gaining what has so far been an elusive first victory. Big danger and probable betting favourite is (4) HIT ACE, based on her latest effort when 2nd in a fast time at this distance and only narrowly beaten. She was close to the speed that day and from a good draw has every chance of being so again today. She may be the one to beat. (2) TEUKGEUP YEOWANG is another who enters with her form heading in the proper trajectory and she can aim to at least match the 3rd place finish she secured on her latest appearance on August 8th when she settled in midfield and ran on. (8) SANGSEUNG HAENGJIN led in her latest appearance at this distance on August 15th and while she eventually weakened, the time was fair and could mark an overdue uptick in form. Disregard the latest effort from (6) LUCKY SEOKPO. It was his first start in four months, and he should be fitter today.

Selections(7) Polka (4) Hit Ace (2) Teukgeup Yeowang (8) Sangseung Haengjin
Next Best6, 11
Fast Start4, 6, 9, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies (and one mare) only here and it’s about time (1) CHEONGMA HWANGHU broke through. She has, by some margin, the fastest time among these at the distance to her name and six top-five finishes from eight starts to date. Her 4th place last start was a touch disappointing, but she comes in here at the same weight and with the inside gate and every chance of leading all the way. (2) QUEEN HARLEY drops back in trip following good 2nd place over 1400M on August 13th when she sat handy and ran on. She too draws nicely and is set to be in the finish again. (5) BARAM GONGJU somewhat unexpectedly beat Cheongma Hwangu when the pair ran 3rd and 4th at the distance on August 22nd. She comes up 3kg in the weights as a result but warrants some respect here. (10) WONDERFUL LADY is no superstar but actually has the best “in the money” rate of any of these. She ran solid 2nd over 1300M on August 13th and can give an honest account of herself once more. (8) SMARTY DOLPUNG is among other placing hopes.

Selections(1) Cheongma Hwanghu (2) Queen Harley (5) Baram Gongju (10) Wonderful Lady
Next Best8, 3
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 11

Seoul Race 5: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

There’s not a lot of great form on show coming into this. That leaves (12) OKCHUMA, despite never having finished better than 4th, as the pick. That 4th did come at his latest start though, on August 15th at 1300M when he ran on from the middle of the pack. He also has a 5th place in a decent time at today’s distance. His racing pattern suggests that the wide draw won’t be a factor and Munro in the saddle can only help. (7) HELLO GEUMSEONG made up ground late on last start to run 6th at this distance in a semi-acceptable time. She won’t need to improve much to go closer here. (4) SAENAE CHOICE hasn’t caught the eye in recent runs but has registered a couple of competitive times at this distance and should measure up in this company. She should be on the early speed. (9) PEPE RUN and (3) GUREUMTAGO are among others who could place on a good day.

Selections(12) Okchuma (7) Hello Geumseong (4) Saenae Choice (9) Pepe Run
Next Best3, 2
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 6

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

A really good race here. (2) YEONGDO GALMAEGI drops back in trip after two solid efforts over a mile which saw him leading or on pace before finished in 4th and 3rd. His solitary win to date came at this distance at class 6 level in a fast time and from a good draw he should be on pace again and has fair claims to win.  First among many dangers is (7) ACE GUY. He too got his victory over this distance at class 6 level when leading all the way two starts back before being slowly away on his first try at this class on August 1st and only making it up to 5th. He is better than that run suggests and while he comes up 3kg in the weights, he is firmly in this. (6) BEAUTY HILL comes up in class today following a gate to wire win over this distance on August 14th. She will need to improve in this company, but she has only raced three times so there can be some natural progression and she should measure up from a nice draw. (3) APRIL QUEEN stretches out to this distance for the first time after a good 2nd place over 1300M a month ago. She draws nicely here and should see out the trip. (12) HAPPY WOMAN is another up in class after a good win over 1300M and the jockey and trainer combination will have plenty taking note.

Selections(2) Yeongdo Galmaegi (7) Ace Guy (6) Beauty Hill (3) April Queen
Next Best12, 1
Fast Start1, 3, 6, 8

Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million

(7) CHEONBISEONG has run consistent times, both at this distance and on his most recent start at 1300M when weakened a touch late on for 7th in a race of narrow margins. He should be on pace here and has the potential to lead all the way. With at least equal claims is (1) VICTORICA. Her sole win to date came at this distance in April when she led gate to wire but her three starts since have been at 1300M with a 2nd and a 3rd among the results but when she hasn’t been able to get to the front. The inside gate today makes her intriguing – she has the fastest finish of all of these and if she is on the lead or even handy, she could be the one to beat. (8) GREEN POKJU is another who will be looking to get to the lead. She failed to do that from gate ten last start and accordingly finished down the field but with a better start she will surely go closer. Cheonbiseong has had the beating of her a couple of times already, but she can see off most of the others. (3) RUN TO GOAL, who can take advantage if the front-runners go too fast, and (9) SEUNGRI YEOJEONSA, up in class after an all the way win at this distance in July, are others to consider.

Selections(7) Cheonbiseong (1) Victorica (8) Green Pokju (3) Run To Goal
Next Best9, 6
Fast Start4, 7, 8, 9

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million

Bart Rice’s stable has been in excellent form recently and they could send out another winner here in the shape of (7) COOL GUY. The Rock Hard Ten colt has finished no worse than 3rd in six starts to date and drops back in trip following a 2nd and a 3rd place over 1400M, both in fast times. He will be on pace here and while others have recorded faster times at this distance, he has won at it before with plenty to spare and is the one to beat here. Thomas Gillespie is also sending out winners on a regular basis and he supplies the main danger in (2) MUSIC BOX. The Indie Band filly comes up in class after a good win over 1300M on August 13th when she ran on from midfield. That was just her fourth start, and she too has never been out of the money. She draws well, carries next to nothing on her back, and has a big chance. Draw a line through the latest effort of (3) HAPPY WITCH and instead go on her two previous outings at this class and distance, which resulted in runner-up finishes in fast times.  (10) BURNING FLY and last start winner but up in weights (5) MUJEOK CHARLIE are others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(7) Cool Guy (2) Music Box (3) Happy Witch (10) Burning Fly
Next Best5, 1
Fast Start3, 7, 10, 11

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

(12) ROYAL ROAD should start as favourite here after a demolition of a class 5 field over this distance on August 7th when he led all the way to win eased down by nine-lengths. He faces the outside barrier today but should be able to settle where comfortable and this is a test of whether he will be a contender in the upcoming three-year-old Group races. He should be equal to it. (3) THUNDER WIND can have a line drawn through his latest and instead we’ll go on his having been placed before that on six consecutive occasions, including two wins, one of them at today’s distance. He goes better when on or near the pace and the good draw today should facilitate that. (6) TOP SEED has been competitive since coming up in class including at his last start when 3rd at class and distance when handy in the run. That came off a three-month break so he may strip fitter today and be in the finish. (8) YUJEONG CHAMP can’t be left out having won his last two at 1400M. That means he is rapidly up to this class and even though this is at set-weights, he still comes down on what he carried last time out. He has won from the front and when coming from well back so he could be interesting here. (5) GRACE QUEEN, who tackles two-turns for the first time after a good 2nd over 1400m in a fast time, is another who can be competitive.

Selections(12) Royal Road (3) Thunder Wind (6) Top Seed (8) Yujeong Champ
Next Best5, 7
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 6

Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

He is up in distance and up in the weights but (12) SKY MORE seems to still have plenty of upside about him. He is out of a Korean Oaks winner who held her own over longer distances than this against colts so the mile shouldn’t really be an issue and he has won under this weight before, albeit at class 6 level. That was the only previous time Perovic has ridden him, and the Serbian jockey can maintain his 100% record on him today. (2) TOP BEST is inconsistent, but he has won at today’s distance already and from a nice draw can sit handy and run on here to be in the finish. (5) GREAT DANCE measures up more on the consistency side of things and has run good times at this distance. He should be on the pace from the start and will be in this a long way. (6) BUSAN MISO beat Great Dance when running 2nd to Pineui Kkum at class and distance on August 14th. He only comes up 1kg in the weights from that and warrants respect here. (1) CROWN FUNKY another in the hunt.

Selections(12) Sky More (2) Top Best (5) Great Dance (6) Busan Miso
Next Best1, 11
Fast Start1, 5, 8, 12

Seoul Race 8: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Super race. (3) JANGSAN MISSILE picks himself having won all his latest four starts impressively and while he is significantly up in weight, he remains the one to beat from a nice draw. (2) HEUNGBARAGI was the winner of the Rookie Stakes and the Listed Governor’s Cup as a juvenile and was outstanding on his first start of the year over 1400M. He didn’t race between March and July and on his reappearance ran a good 2nd over 1400M and should be all the better for it. Since getting his trainer’s license Lee Joon-chel, who used to partner this horse, has proven he can get plenty out of his charges and Heungbaragi also finally draws a decent gate. (5) BOLT MAN battled on fairly over 1800M on his first race at class 3 level. The start before that he won well over 1700M and can be in placing contention here. (12) NAUI JEONSEOL is a winner of three of his latest four with those three coming over two turns and in good times. He is up in class here but down in the weights and the outside draw shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance. The wildcard is (4) DETERMINATION, who makes his first start since last November. He trialed well but this is a huge ask first-up.

Selections(3) Jangsan Missile (2) Heungbaragi (5) Bolt Man (12) Naui Jeonseol
Next Best4, 8
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 5

Busan Race 6: Class 2 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

It’s looking possible that we might actually get a three-year-old Group race before the end of the year and if we do, (3) WINNER’S MAN is sure to be in the mix for it. Several of these raced each other at class and distance on July 31st and it was Winner’s Man who came out on top, pretty much leading from gate to wire. The form of that race took a boost last week when 3rd placed Doctor Fappiano won easily. He does come up 4kg in the weights, but he should be able to overcome it. (12) JANGSAN DOKKI didn’t run in that race but has had the beating of plenty of these in his latest two, both at class and distance. He doesn’t need to lead so the outside gate shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance. (8) CURLIN TIME was only narrowly beaten by Winner’s Man in that July 31st race, finishing an excellent 2nd place. Although he too goes up slightly in weight, he meets Winner’s Man again giving away just 2kg instead of the 5kg he conceded last time and he has claims to be in the finish again. (6) TOP SKY and (1) GYEONGJUUI DUREBAK are others in the hunt.

Selections(3) Winner’s Man (12) Jangsan Dokki (8) Curlin Time (6) Top Sky
Next Best1, 9
Fast Start1, 3, 7, 11

Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

(10) NORTHERN TIME is a winner of his latest two race starts at this class and distance when on the pace or leading and beat a number of these on August 7th. This is tougher as he is up in the weights and has drawn wider, but his quality can see him through. (11) NAMSANUI BYEOL was 4th behind Northern Time last start but meets him at better weights today. He was a very good class and distance winner two starts back and the wide draw shouldn’t be too much of an issue. (12) MIGHTY GEE is an on-pace galloper with good credentials for this race coming off a win and then a good 2nd at this class and distance. He will need some luck in running, given the draw, but should be in the finish. (7) CHEON GUN was 5th behind Northern Time in the August 7th race but he began awkwardly resulting in being well back in the field and wide. His prior form was solid including a close 2nd to Namsanui Byeol two starts back. (3) SAENAE SUN comes in off two 3rd places, the latter of which was in the Northern Time race, and she can go well again.

Selections(10) Northern Time (11) Namsanui Byeol (12) Mighty Gee (7) Cheon Gun
Next Best3, 4
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 10

Seoul Race 10: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

(3) EOMA EOMA is one of Korea’s leading sprinters having won his last five races, all of them in class 1. He is significantly up in weight here but that’s offset by a nice draw as he likes to be on the pace or lead and he should proceed on his merry way at a distance over which he is the track record holder. (1) MIGHTY GO was five-lengths behind Eoma Eoma two starts ago after a three-month layoff and meets that horse 6kg better off with the benefit of another run in his legs. He can finish closer today although it will take some effort to beat him. (8) MYEONGPUM CHUKJE must be included following a return to form last start when 4th in a blanket finish that included Mighty Go over this distance on August 15th. He was slow away and settled midfield before coming home wide in the straight quicker than any. Place chance. (5) WANG BEOTKKOT was 5th to Eoma Eoma on July 11th when dawdling out of the barriers. He can’t afford to be slow away in this company but if he breaks well, he could sneak a place. (9) HEUNGBOK DREAM another in the frame.

Selections(3) Eoma Eoma (1) Mighty Go (8) Myeongpum Chukje (5) Wang Beotkkot
Next Best9, 7
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 6