It’s the final race day of September what with the Chuseok holiday upcoming and racing taking one of its two weekends a year off next week. Decent cards at both Seoul (10 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:05 to 17:00) to go out with. The Seoul meeting is behind closed doors and all capital area betting facilities remain closed but Busan is open as are OTBs in Changwon, Daegu, Gwangju and Cheonan for punters who pre-book through the MyCard app. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million
Juvenile maidens start things off this Sunday with seven of the twelve making their racecourse debut here. There is some useful experience around though as (6) BYEOLBIT MARU has raced twice already and shown ability. She was 4th on debut over 1200M before dropping back to today’s trip and running 3rd on August 15th when she settled back in the field and ran on. She’ll be favourite here and is the one to beat. (2) DREAM SPEED hinted at ability when 5th on debut in a fair time over this distance. That was a reasonably strong looking maiden and she should improve here. Among the first-timers, (4) ALL FOR YOUR DREAM looks the best. He was away relatively slowly in his trial but once he set to work, he finished off well crossing the line in the same time as the heat winner. (5) LUCKY INDY beat a couple of these on her way to 4th in her trial. It wasn’t run at an especially fast pace, but she looked competent enough to suggest she has a chance of going well first-up. Returning to the experienced runners, (10) GEOLJAK DREAM only managed 9th on debut but it was a fair time and a pretty hot race so expect better today.
|Selections||(6) Byeolbit Maru (2) Dream Speed (4) All For Your Dream (5) Lucky Indy|
|Next Best||10, 7|
|Fast Start||5, 6, 7, 10|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million
(11) LAPIEO BAN is set to be warm favourite here. She ran 4th on debut over this distance before stepping up to 1300M and finishing a good 2nd. She has come from off the pace both times and while she draws wide, she should have too much for these. (10) FLYING KARA has finished 3rd in both her starts so far. She was very slowly away at her latest outing before running on well and went back to trial afterwards. She was similarly slow to begin in the trial, but she does have a nice turn of foot and so long as she doesn’t get too far back, she can go close here. (9) PRINCESS DAY beat a couple of these on her way to 3rd place over this distance on August 22nd, and while she is yet to run a time, can be considered for improvement again here. (1) SWEET CAMP didn’t do too much wrong when finishing in midfield on debut last month. She draws much better this time around and can improve. There are four debut-makers here and (7) PURGE DAY looks the most likely to make an impression first-up, having run 3rd in his trial in a decent time and drawing well.
|Selections||(11) Lapieo Ban (10) Flying Kara (9) Princess Day (1) Sweet Camp|
|Next Best||7, 3|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 9, 11|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million
(9) SOBERANIA picks herself here following a 4th and a 2nd from two starts so far including her latest at this distance on July 3rd when she led for much of the way only to be passed in the closing stages by a good winner. She has had eleven weeks off since then but will be expected to be on pace again and this time to go all the way. (2) JAY EAGLE ran well for 2nd place over 1300M on August 8th, her best finish in seven starts so far. Two starts back she ran a decent time when 4th at this distance and can be considered here. (11) DESK TAP has been putting in some consistent performances with five top five finishes from six races to date although the maiden win has remained elusive. His times have been fair, and he prefers to sit handy so while the draw is not ideal, it isn’t insurmountable. (7) FINAL ACE and (5) PERFECT LIGHT were beaten by Desk Tap on August 8th, but both have hinted at ability and can be in the minor money mix today.
|Selections||(9) Soberania (2) Jay Eagle (11) Desk Tap (7) Final Ace|
|Next Best||5, 4|
|Fast Start||4, 8, 9, 11|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million
(6) PURE KING returned from nine months out to run a good 2nd first-up on July 31st at this distance when he settled midfield and ran on. Seven weeks on, he should have come on for that run and shapes as the one to beat here. (3) BEST HAMSEONG is one of three first-time starters in the race and the Peace Rules filly looked very competent leading all the way in her trial, responding very well to one reminder in the home straight. She can be competitive first-up. So too can (10) MILLION BANK who won her trial, leading for most of the way around on a wet but drying track and similarly responded well when asked for some exertion. (9) SONHADOR ran 4th behind Pure King on July 31st, building on what had been a promising debut earlier in the same month. She came from off the pace that day and is likely to do similar here with the trainer/jockey combination ensuring she receives plenty of support. (8) DROMOS won a trial in July before running 3rd on debut on August 20th when she led until the home straight. It was an encouraging performance, and she should be in the hunt here too.
|Selections||(6) Pure King (3) Best Hamseong (10) Million Bank (9) Sonhador|
|Next Best||8, 11|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 8, 10|
Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(9) SPEAR GUN is the one to beat here, dropping back to a distance at which he ran 2nd two starts back in fast time having sat handy before dropping back to midfield and then running on well. Since then, he has run a solid 3rd over 1400M and can be on pace here and win. (8) WONDERFUL ORANGE has the fastest time of any of these at this distance, recorded at her latest start when 4th on a very wet track on August 21st. She is yet to win in seventeen starts and will probably find one or two too quick again but shouldn’t be too far away. (6) ONCHEONHA seems to be working towards a win having significantly improved in his latest two outings with a 3rd and a 2nd both at 1200M. He briefly touched the front in the home straight last time out and while up in trip, should be in the finish here. (1) SMART JEONSA almost managed to make all over 1200M last time out but was passed by a very good winner in the final furlong. He can aim for a place again. (12) FLYING FULL MOON is another in the placing frame.
|Selections||(9) Spear Gun (8) Wonderful Orange (6) Oncheonha (1) Smart Jeonsa|
|Next Best||12, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 7, 9|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Competitive race here. (7) LANE KILLER has raced just the twice so far, registering a 3rd over 1300M and a 4th over today’s distance. While we will need to take him a little on trust here that there is some improvement in the tank, he gets a better draw today and has claims. Probable betting favourite is (1) ECHO LADY. She has the fastest time among these at this distance by a considerable margin, achieved three starts back when 2nd having led through the early stages. She drops back in trip from a last start 4th over a mile and is firmly in the hunt here. (6) HORAENGI was beaten by Echo Lady two starts back but has consistently run competitive times over this trip, generally settling back and finishing strongly. She has three 5th place finishes in a row coming into this and should be aiming for better this time around. (9) NORTHERN LIGHTS beat Lane Killer when 3rd last start and on that alone has to be considered while (2) SPEED MATCH is another with a chance of at least a place.
|Selections||(7) Lane Killer (1) Echo Lady (6) Horaengi (9) Northern Lights|
|Next Best||2, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 4, 8|
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million
It’s about time (10) FIGHTING NOW made his breakthrough and got his maiden win. He has finished 2nd on no fewer than five occasions with a further two 3rd place finishes. He steps back in trip following decent efforts at 1400M in his latest appearances and he can overcome the wide draw to sit midfield or better early and then run on. If Fighting Now does find one too quick again – and let’s face it, he might – then (1) FASHIONED PASSION is one of a number who could take advantage. She has mixed her form since a class and distance win back in April but draws very nicely on the inside here and an apprentice jockey takes 4kg off her back compared with her last start. She can go close. (11) TIZ BLACK has won two of his latest three, the most recent at class and distance on June 20th. He overcame gate twelve to get on pace today so the draw shouldn’t be too much of an issue and while he is up in the weights, he can be considered again. (5) FANCY PANTS, up in class, and (12) RUNNING KING are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(10) Fighting Now (1) Fashioned Passion (11) Tiz Black (5) Fancy Pants|
|Next Best||12, 9|
|Fast Start||7, 9, 11, 12|
Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million
(4) ECOPIA has a win and three 3rd place finishes from four starts to date and comes in off back-to-back 3rd places at this class and distance. From a nice draw she should be on the early speed here and has the potential to go all the way. (1) FIRST STAR was a class and distance winner two starts back before running 4th at her latest appearance on August 22nd. She draws well here, and an apprentice jockey keeps the weight nice and low. She is a big danger. (10) GALLANT WARRIOR is developing a bit of case of “second-it is” being yet to win in seven but having finished runner-up in his latest three, including his last start at class and distance He seems tactically versatile so the draw shouldn’t be an issue and he will be running on strong late here. (6) DOCTOR FAITH is another yet to win but who is ultra-consistent with six top three finishes from seven outings. He steps up to this trip for the first time and has claims. (12) HAMAN BANGEOSAN was a smart winner over 1300M at start number two on August 22nd. She comes up in class and distance here and is the wildcard.
|Selections||(4) Ecopia (1) First Star (10) Gallant Warrior (6) Doctor Faith|
|Next Best||12, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 7, 12|
Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million
We’ll draw a line through the latest offering from (1) HI HI when slowly away over 1200M before making up ground for an uninspiring 6th place. That was his first time outside the top three and he had previously been running fast times up to 1300M. This is his first try at 1400M, but it should suit, and he gets another chance here. (9) FIGHTING DADDY led for much of the way around 1300M last start on August 29th before getting swept up by a decent set of runners and finishing 5th. Expect him to be on pace again here and to be competitive. (11) ACHIM HAMSEONG didn’t do himself justice on his first try at this class four weeks ago when he got a long way back and didn’t run on. He does possess the fastest time of any of these for the distance though and should be afforded another opportunity here. (4) HARUON is a front0runner who comes into the calculations following a good 2nd in a decent time over 1300M on August 15th when only narrowly beaten She’ll contest the early speed and has run well at this distance in the past. (10) GHOST VILLAGE is another who should have designs on at least a place.
|Selections||(1) Hi Hi (9) Fighting Daddy (11) Achim Hamseong (4) Haruon|
|Next Best||10, 12|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 9, 12|
Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million
Thomas Gillespie’s stable is in great form now and they can have another winner here with (3) B J MISS. She comes up in class following her second win in five career starts over this distance on August 29th when sat handy to the lead before proving far too strong at the business end. She draws well again, Perovic remains aboard, and she has plenty of upside. Bart Rice is also in form – the pair of them are 1st and 2nd in terms of winners since the start of August – and he sends out the main danger in the shape of (9) ACE SOLOMON. A winner of three from seven so far, including a faster 1200M than B J Miss and a gutsy 3rd place over 1400M on his first try at this class on September 3rd, he is right in this. From gate nine, Seo Seung-un will most likely look for a handy spot and run on. (11) AMOR FATI has placed at class and distance and comes in having beaten a couple of these on his way to 5th place over 1400M at his latest start. The speed is probably going to come from out wide anyway and he has placing claims here. Returning to the theme of foreign trainers and Peter Wolsley has (7) BANJIUI MAGIC, who may not have raced for a full fifty-five weeks but had plenty of ability the last time we saw him – and he was “intact” then – and looked very well when winning a trial in late August. (4) SUNLIGHT BOY another in the placing frame.
|Selections||(3) B J Miss (9) Ace Solomon (11) Amor Fati (7) Banjiui Magic|
|Next Best||4, 10|
|Fast Start||6, 10, 11, 12|
Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million
A wide-open race here and we’ll take a chance on (7) GLOBAL YEONGUNG, who could be available at a decent price. He is up in class here but down in weight and comes in off a close win in a good time over this distance. He was handy in the run and strong on the line and is worth consideration. (2) GANGSEO PRINCESS is a lightly raced Gemologist filly with two wins from five starts and steps up in class off a hard-fought win over 1300M on August 15th. She comes slightly down in weight, Alan Munro remains aboard, and a nice draw aids her chances. (4) HAEK SOCKS resumes today for the first time since January and is worth thought on his form at this distance. He has some good times on his record and likes to race near the lead so the draw works in his favour. He won a trial earlier this month in fine style. (6) SARYEONI QUEEN comes rapidly up in class following back-to-back wins over 1200M at classes 6 and 5, both times in restricted filly and mare company on wet tracks. This is a harder assignment, but she comes down in the weights and could measure up. So too could (10) YEONGGWANGUI MISO, a winner over 1300M last start and who also has a very quick win at this distance to her name.
|Selections||(7) Global Yeongung (2) Gangseo Princess (4) Haek Socks (6) Saryeoni Queen|
|Next Best||10, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 6, 12|
Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Great race. Several of these raced one another at class and distance on August 20th and it was (1) FANTASTIC MAN who came out on top, settling handy after a good start and then running on to score very easily in a good time. He comes up 3kg in the weights as a result but can have the beating of them again. (2) FREEDOM KNIGHT came home 3rd on that race continuing a run of very consistent form for the Tiznow colt. He comes in at the same weight, draws nicely and surely goes close. This race will be a stern examination of the credentials of (9) MACH TITAN with the belated Triple Crown series set to get underway in October. He was sensational when winning at a mile at this class on August 29th, blowing away a very useful field. He would have gone up significantly in the weights, however, an apprentice jockey is engaged to keep it down. This is his first try at two turns and if he was to win, then it will shake the Classic scene up, but a place is perhaps more realistic. (8) MR. VALOR beat Fantastic Man on June 26th before today’s faovurite returned the favour as Mr. Valor ran 6th on August 20th. He is very competitive at this level and can’t be ruled out. (7) GEUMA STORMING is a class and distance winner and gets in very nicely again under a good apprentice and it would be no surprise were he to go close.
|Selections||(1) Fantastic Man (2) Freedom Knight (9) Mach Titan (8) Mr. Valor|
|Next Best||7, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 7, 8|
Seoul Race 8: Class 3 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(4) OXFORD KING is the likely favourite here based on his last start win at class and distance when he was handy in the run and then ran on wide and strong in the straight to win in a fast time. He is up a full 4kg for that performance but is nicely drawn and sure to be in the finish. (1) BALVENIE comes back in distance after two spins – and one win – at 1800M at this class. He has a huge win to his name at this distance too, albeit at class 4 level and warrants respect on that basis. He likes to lead, and the inside gate will only help him in that. (8) MUNHAK SUN can have his latest start disregarded when he battled on gamely but ultimately found 1800M a bit much and finished 4th. He comes back today to a distance at which he has two wins – one of them by nine-lengths – and he should be right in this. So too should (11) GEUM ROYAL. Two starts back he scored a good win at class and distance in a very fast time albeit on a wet-assisted track. He then ran 4th behind Oxford King last start when a little ungenerous in the run. His racing style suggests the wide draw won’t be too disadvantageous. (9) SPRING KING could also sneak some minor money.
|Selections||(4) Oxford King (1) Balvenie (8) Munhak Sun (11) Geum Royal|
|Next Best||9, 3|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 7, 9|
Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million
(4) BLUE CHIPPER finally gets a chance to compete at set weights and finally doesn’t have the pesky Doctor Carson to deal with. That said, he is still top weight with 60kg on his back and he tackles 1800M for the first time. The distance shouldn’t be a problem – he holds the track record for a mile and came 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in the USA – and there was always the intention that he would tackle the Korea Cup at this distance eventually and he looked as though he had been trained for further in those recent excursions around 1200M and 1400M. He’s going on top but be aware this is on trust in his ability. Blue Chipper will not be favourite. That will be (7) KING OF GLORY and deservedly so. He’s in top form with two excellent runner-up finishes at this distance in his latest two outings, beating plenty of these along the way. He’ll probably settle handy, and while he comes up in the weights to 59kg, it would be no surprise if he won. (3) TOUCH STAR MAN showed progress second-up over 2000M three weeks ago when finished 2nd to Mr. Afleet. He comes in under a light weight and could be peaking here. (1) CRAZY CONTI was 5th in the same race behind Touch Star Man in what was hid first attempt at class 1 racing. He should have come on for that and has placing chances. (9) BARBARIAN was an all the way winner at this distance at class 2 level on August 22nd. Up in class for the first time here, he could provide some each-way interest.
|Selections||(4) Blue Chipper (7) King Of Glory (3) Touch Star Man (1) Crazy Conti|
|Next Best||9, 10|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 5, 9|
Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million
(7) STEAL THE FASHION is up in class here coming off an excellent win over 1300M in a fast time on a wet track on August 29th. While she had led in previous races, she settled in midfield and ran on, indicating that the additional distance should be within her capability. She’s a big chance. (3) DOLGYEOK APEURO comes onto the radar with recent placings at this class and has posted a fast time at this distance. She races better when handy to the lead and gets her chance here with a nice draw. (11) BAEKSAEK GWANGCHAE returned to form at his latest start when a close 2nd over 1800M. He settled midfield and ran on resolutely and a repeat of that effort should put him in the picture here. (5) HEUNG DREAM has won up to 1300M and steps up to this trip for the first time. He can settle midfield or handy, is nicely drawn and should be on pace from the start and it would be no surprise if he is in the mix at the business end. (12) TK DAY is another with good recent form and solid placing hopes.
|Selections||(7) Steal The Fashion (3) Dolgyeok Apeuro (11) Baeksaek Gwangchae (5) Heung Dream|
|Next Best||12, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 10: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
It’s hard to go past (9) GAROSUGIL as this progressive fellow returned to action on August 21st following a nine-month layoff and picked up from where he left off and led from gate to wire to win at this class and distance. He comes up a full 5kg in the weights as a result but is sure to start as the justifiable favourite here. (3) BARAMEUL GEURIDA was 2nd to Garosugil in that August race and while he too comes up significantly in the weights, he should make this a close finish. That day he settled in a handy spot after being wide early in the race and from a nice draw today could get an easier run. (5) SPEED HWANGNYONG is worth thought on recent solid form. He settled midfield last start when 4th behind Barameul Geurida, and then ran on wide in the straight. He won’t be far away. (12) JEONGMUN SAI is a winner at this distance and has been in at least the minor money in all his last seven starts. He returns to action following five months out and while he offered few clues in an August trial, he could run into some money again. (4) LIVINGSTONE will be on the lead early and if he sets a sensible pace, can stay on for a prize.
|Selections||(9) Garosugil (3) Barameul Geurida (5) Speed Hwangnyong (12) Jeongmun Sai|
|Next Best||4, 1|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 8, 9|