Three months of Stakes action gets underway on Sunday with both Seoul and Busan hosted Listed races for the top juveniles from this year’s crop, the Munhwa Ilbo Cup at Seoul and the Areumdaun Jilju Stakes at Busan. There are 9 Sunday races at Seoul – with the great Cheongdam Dokki also putting in an appearance – from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:10 to 17:30. The Seoul meeting will be run behind-closed-doors but Busan will be open for customers with a reservation made on the MyCard app. Here are the Previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Juvenile maidens go around here with eight of the twelve racing for the first time. We’ll side with experience and (4) SARYEONI FIRST who ran 2nd to – and well beaten by – Aspen Taeyang on debut on August 21st. He settled back and then ran on, finishing in a fast time on a wet track and with some natural improvement for that experience, he can be the one to beat today. (3) MENI WONDERFUL is a colt for whom there are high hopes. He’s the first foal to make the track from his dam Meni Money, a winner of eight races and herself out of a one-time track record holder here over the 1800M. He ran pleasingly enough for 4th on debut at this distance on August 15th and it would be no surprise if he improved sufficiently to win this. It would be a surprise if the quinella featured anything other than these two but there are one or two first-timers to keep an eye on. (6) COSMO will be third-favourite in the market having won her trial on a wet track on September 10th. She was always prominent and while her time was no better than fair, she can acquit herself well. (1) RAON THE JET and (10) YONGAM BOSS others who went reasonably well in their heats.
|Selections||(4) Saryeoni First (3) Meni Wonderful (6) Cosmo (1) Raon The Jet|
|Next Best||10, 11|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 69|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
It’s hard to go far past (5) BYEOLUI SUNGAN here. He’s run 3rd and 2nd in two starts so far, both times only beaten by similarly promising animals and both times running on strong over 1000M. The additional furlong should suit and he’s the one to beat. If anything is to beat them, then the prime candidate is the sole previous winner in the race, (9) GREEN FEELSTAR. Her victory came two starts back over this distance when she settled towards the front of midfield and then ran on well in a fair time. She returned on August 28th to beat a couple of these on her wat to a decent enough 5th place. (11) JANGSAN LASER ran 6th on his only start to date which was all the way back in January. He finally returns here having looked well in a September trial alongside some good horses and has placing claims. So too (12) NEW STAR YEONGCHEON, who improved significantly at his second start on August 29th when he was always prominent before ultimately finishing 3rd. The draw may not be kind here, but he can go close. There are two first time starters and (10) NEW SMART perhaps has the best chance of making an immediate impact. He showed at the front in his trial, finishing 5th in a decent enough time.
|Selections||(5) Byeolui Sungan (9) Green Feelstar (11) Jangsan Laser (12) New Star Yeongcheon|
|Next Best||10, 6|
|Fast Start||4, 9, 10, 12|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
A race of many chances. We’ll take a chance on (6) BORI BORI overturning a bit of form from her latest start when she got the worst of a tight three-way finish over this distance. She has run some consistent times and draws nicely here. The one she needs to upend the form on is (9) KOREA GIJEOK. The Hansen gelding ran 2nd in that race to Bori Bori’s 4th, his best finish to date in a fourteen-race career. He can sit handy here and run on with a maiden win not out of the question. (1) SEOUL DAY gets in nicely with an apprentice jockey keeping the weight low. From the same gate last start he led until the closing stages over 1400M, ultimately finishing 2nd and he should be in this one for a long time too. (2) MIGHTY SUNSHINE may be an interesting outsider. He improved at start number two when 3rd over 1000M and his first time up in trip today may suit. (4) K N UNDERKING ran a useful enough 5th on debut on September 9th and can build on that today.
|Selections||(6) Bori Bori (9) Korea Gijeok (1) Seoul Day (2) Mighty Sunshine|
|Next Best||4, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5, 10|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
(12) MAN OF THE YEAR has run 4th on both his starts so far, most recently on September 5th when after jumping well, he went right to the back before running on strong over 1200M. He comes up in distance today, Perovic knows him well having ridden him both times, and the wide draw shouldn’t matter. He has a real chance. (11) CHEONGHO LEADER comes in off a strong 2nd at class and distance when he led into the straight. That was his best performance to date and a similar run today will put him in the finish. In that race, Cheongho Leader overturned the form on (5) CATCH THE SUN, who finished 3rd and had previously beaten him in July when they came home 4th and 6th respectively at today’s distance. Catch The Sun has been consistent across her four outings to date and with the draw in her favour this time, can go close. (2) SAEMANGUIVISION ran 5th, splitting Catch The Sun and Cheongho Leader in that July race and returns for the first time since then today. She too draws nicely and has placing claims. (4) ANNIKA GIRL, an improved 2nd at her latest start is another in the hunt.
|Selections||(12) Man Of The Year (11) Cheongho Leader (5) Catch The Sun (2) Saemanguivision|
|Next Best||4, 6|
|Fast Start||4, 9, 10, 12|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(2) SEUNGBUSA is a two-year-old colt with a solid class 6 win before a 3rd place in the Rookie Stakes over 1200M on September 5th when he dwelt slightly at the start before racing keenly to be up and on the pace and running on resolutely. He is up in trip slightly today but that shouldn’t be an issue and the fact that he skips today’s Munhwa Ilbo in favour of this, may be telling. (11) RAON CHAMPSELY returns to action for the first time since May. Still a maiden, she has registered three runner-up finishes from five starts and posted some very good times along the way. She prefers to be a front-runner – although one of her 2nd places did come from the back – so the draw may not be ideal and there is the obvious question about race sharpness as well, but she looked well when recording a fast time in a September trial. (4) REMEMBER WHEN is a mare who must be considered on her consistency. At her last start, when advancing to class 5, she was wide and on the pace most of the race and ran on well for 3rd. She is a placing chance here. So too (8) EUNHYE PADO, who is finding her feet in class 5. She ran 2nd on her latest start over 1400M, making up good ground in the straight. She hasn’t got a lot of early speed but will be closing. (3) SOARA BABA similarly settles back and often needs luck in running but can offer some each-way value.
|Selections||(2) Seungbusa (11) Raon Champsely (4) Remember When (8) Eunhye Pado|
|Next Best||3, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 9, 10|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
No fewer than eight of the twelve raced against each other at class and distance on September 10th so there’s the race of reference. None of them won – that was Honey Star by a full three lengths – and there wasn’t much between quite a few of them. (5) SEONGSAN BULKKOT was 4th that day, having reached 2nd in the straight but ultimately being edged out. That came off the back of a career best 2nd over 1400 the time before. He can be close to the pace here and has much chance as any of coming out on top. (12) SINBIHAN GANGA came him in 6th place in that race having been one paced throughout. The time before though he beat several of these when 2nd at this class and distance and with Seo Seung-un climbing aboard today, he is worth another chance. (9) SINJIN GANGHO was the best of these on September 10th. Coming from well off the pace to make up a lot of ground in the straight. That was a significant improvement on anything he had done in his previous twelve starts but he warrants more respect today. If you don’t rate that September 10th race at all then (6) DONGBU STAR or (2) YEONSEUNG BRAVO are probably the one to go for.
|Selections||(5) Seongsan Bulkkot (12) Sinbihan Gangja (9) Sinjin Gangho (6) Dongbu Star|
|Next Best||2, 10|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 6, 11|
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million
(5) VICEROY was a big winner in class 6 and is now adapting to class 5. He put in a good effort last start when a little awkwardly away before settling on the pace and battling on for a close 3rd in a good time. A repeat of that performance puts him right in it. (2) GEOSEON POWER is up in class on his last start win at this distance. He was wide all the way, so the win was perhaps a bit better than the narrow margin suggested. He draws well for an easy run here and should enter the calculations. (1) CHOIN SPARK remains a maiden but comes up in class based on his 2nd place to Geoseon Power on September 4th. With this race being run under handicap conditions, he meets him at slightly better weights, and he could cause an upset. (6) HWA SSI BYEOK could be an interesting outsider. On the face of it there’s not much to go on but she has been running times that are competitive in a field such as this and she could run into a place. (11) RULES CLASS another in the placing frame.
|Selections||(5) Viceroy (2) Geosen Power (1) Choin Spark (6) Hwa Ssi Byeok|
|Next Best||11, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 6, 9|
Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Fillies and mares only here and (10) ADELE ROSARIO continues the trend of runners who did well in last month’s Rookie Stakes not running in this afternoon’s Areumdaun Jilju Stakes. She ran a good 2nd to Winner Star that day having led for most of the way around. Winner Star himself stepped up to a mile on Friday and ran 3rd in good company. Adele Rosario comes up to 1400M but there is no reason why it can’t suit, and she is the one to beat. (6) ECHO LADY comes in off a good 2nd place at class and distance just two weeks ago. She also has the fastest time of any of these at the distance, set back in June when 2nd again. She looks nicely in here and has claims. (5) DONGBANUI SIJAK was a winner at this class over a mile on September 10th when handy throughout before running on well. She comes up 4.5kg for that effort but warrants respect here. (1) HAPPY WOMAN was a touch disappointing on her first try at this class and distance at the end of August. She may have come on for that experience and her class 6 form suggests she can be competitive at this level too. It’s a similar story for (3) MYEONGSEONG MAGIC, who could only manage 7th over 1300M on her first try at this level but can improve today.
|Selections||(10) Adele Rosario (6) Echo Lady (5) Dongbanui Sijak (1) Happy Woman|
|Next Best||3, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 8, 10|
Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Competitive race. (1) STAR BLADE has solid form at this class and distance and should enter race fit and with a nice draw can get a favourable position early. Last time out he was a close 2nd after drifting wide on the corner and with a bit better luck, he can win this. The main danger and possible betting favourite is (7) RAON SPECIAL. She’s a four-year-old mare with a good sprint record and is having her second start over distance having run on very well for 3rd on her first crack at it on August 29th. Still improving, she surely goes close here. (10) JEONJEONGSAGUEM is consistently in the money and ran 2nd at her latest start at class and distance on August 15th when settling midfield and running on well behind a horse who has gone on to win again. She comes up 2kg but should be in the finish. (4) A TO Z has won at this class and distance and can perhaps be forgiven his last start when he was resuming after three months. He led that day, as is his preference but race fitness maybe told late on, and he is worth another chance here. (8) YAHO GOLDEN CAT comes in with solid form at this class and with a 2nd at 1700M and 4 at 1800M from his latest two is another with serious claims.
|Selections||(1) Star Blade (7) Raon Special (10) Jeonjeongsaguem (4) A To Z|
|Next Best||8, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 6, 8|
Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(10) WORLD SOCKS made all to register his maiden win on August 1st and class and distance but was just a little flat on reappearance on August 29th when she used up quite a bit of energy trying but not quite succeeding to get on pace from the gate twelve which left her a little wide throughout. The gate is only a little better today but there is less speed on her inside and she comes slightly down in the weights. She can return to form here. (3) AMAZING FOOT is the one who can deny World Socks the lead. He draws better than he did when disappointing on his first try at this level (as a Korean bred who began at class 6 rather than the imported horses who have to start at this level) and we’ll draw a lone through that instead going on his win at class 5 level over this distance in the kind of time that puts him right in the hunt here. (9) GEUMA PSYCHIC finished 2nd ahead of Amazing Foot last time out. His win came at this distance and an apprentice jockey keeps his weight down. While the other two fancies will be dueling for the early speed, he can sit handy or midfield and run them down late. (6) KINGS LANDING and (8) WONDERFUL KING are others in the placing frame.
|Selections||(10) World Socks (3) Amazing Foot (9) Geuma Psychic (6) Kings Landing|
|Next Best||8, 12|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 8, 10|
Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(5) MORNING HILL comes into this race with a record of three wins from five starts and last time out, ran a good 2nd place at class and distance when he hung wide into the straight before finishing off well. He has the fastest time among these at the distance, should be on pace from the start and can win. He will be favourite but (4) ROMANCE CHARM looks to be working up towards a win herself. She comes in off back-to-back 2nd place finishes at 1200M and 1400M and draws a better barrier today. She can sit handy and run on and a maiden win is possible. Another maiden is (2) THUNDER TIME but he is very much on the radar following a runner-up finish at this distance on August 14th when handy early and finishing off well. He draws nicely again and should be in the mix. (6) CHEONGCHUN VIVA mixes his form, but he does have a class and distance win three starts back and while a couple of these have got the better of him in two starts since, looks capable of challenging for at least a place today. (11) MUNHAK FIRE is also a class and distance winner and an apprentice taking 4kg off his back puts him right into this too.
|Selections||(5) Morning Hill (4) Romance Charm (2) Thunder Time (6) Cheongchun Viva|
|Next Best||11, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 7, 8|
Busan Race 5: Class Open (1200M) “Areumdaun Jilju Stakes” Allowance Listed / KRW 200 Million
A Listed race for Korean bred Juveniles and even considering it’s two-year-olds it’s an unexposed lot with only one horse that contested last month’s Rookie Stakes backing up here. The favourite and logical top pick is (7) CLIFTON KING, the latest to roll off the Kim Young-kwan production line. He has only raced once, winning his debut over 1000M on September 12th with aplomb. Today is further but he’s hard to go past. That sole participant in the Rookie Stakes who makes it to today’s start line (lots of the others have taken part in different races this weekend) is (10) YEONGGWANGUILEGEND. He finished well back in the field but if that race is taken out, then he measures up favourably with most of his rivals here having posted two fast times at 1000M. Perovic takes the mount today and he can go close. (8) HWARANG BEST comes into the calculations by virtue of being the only juvenile in the race who has won at today’s distance. It came at start number three and while it wasn’t a fast time, he ran on well from midfield position and could well have come on for it. Big race specialist Lim Sung-sil takes the mount. (6) DOCTOR PHARAOH was a good winner over 1000M at his second start running on strong from a handy position and he too has claims. (9) DAEJI CHOICE another who has shown potential.
|Selections||(7) Clifton King (10) Yeonggwanguilegend (8) Hwarang Best (6) Doctor Pharaoh|
|Next Best||9, 5|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 7, 10|
Seoul Race 8: Class Open (1200M) “Munhwa Ilbo Cup” Allowance Listed / KRW 200 Million
Seoul’s big Juvenile race and three of those who contested the Rookie Stakes here a month ago return among the winner (8) COMPLETE VALUE. The Girolamo colt is unbeaten in three starts and really did almost everything wrong in the Rookie, being awkwardly away and then getting caught in traffic in the straight. He battled through admirably though and won going away and is hard to oppose here. (5) BENCAL PRINCESS bolted up in her first start in class 6 company before settling midfield in the Rookie Stakes and running on wide with a fast finish for 2nd place. That was a terrific run and with some natural improvement and if Complete Value finds trouble again, a reversal is not impossible. (3) BULBANGUL comes in unbeaten having won both starts to date on wet tracks. He likes to be in midfield or handy and a bold showing can be expected from a good draw. (6) WONPYEONG GASOK easily won a class 6 at his first start before having a hard time in the Rookie Stakes. He had excuses though as following a bumping duel at the start he was caught wide but was still battling until the 100M. Expect an improved run today. (7) COMPLETE RULER has raced just the once so far and he ran out the winner of a fast race over 1000M.
|Selections||(8) Complete Value (5) Bencal Princess (3) Bulbangul (6) Wonpyeong Gasok|
|Next Best||7, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 6, 7|
Busan Race 6: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
(8) SUCCESS MACHO has won four from four so far and will be a red-hot favourite to continue on his merry way here. He steps up in both class and distance, but his front running wins so far have been emphatic and there seems little reason to oppose him here. (12) ADELE PUPIL has amassed an impressive record of her own including a very fast win over 1400M at class 5 level. She ran a solid 3rd at this class and distance at her latest start on what was her first effort at this level and while she draws wide, she doesn’t need to lead and if she can find a semi-decent position, she should be in this for a long way around. (3) SEONGSAN POWER has the fastest time of these at the distance by some margin and enters having beaten a number of these at his latest start on his way to 3rd place at class and distance on September 5th. Drawing nicely here, he will be in at least the placing frame. (1) BAEKDU JEONGGI ran 4th in that September 5th race and along with (6) SAKISAKI, is another in placing contention.
|Selections||(8) Success Macho (12) Adele Pupil (3) Seongsan Power (1) Baekdu Jeonggi|
|Next Best||6, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 8, 9|
Seoul Race 9: Class 1 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 110 Million
(7) CHEONGDAM DOKKI is the champion elder statesman galloper of Korea with fair form throughout the year including two wins at 1800M both carrying 60kg. His last start was at 2000M and that was maybe a tough ask giving away so much weight, but he led for most of the race before finishing in 4th. He is better suited with today’s set weight conditions as the field comes back to him a little and the 1800M may help too. It’s his first start for a new trainer and he looked sharp in a September trial. He probably won’t be favourite. (11) MENI HERO is an interesting runner here. He is better known as an up and coming one-turn runner with an excellent class 1 win over 1400M in August and is tossed into the deep end here. He does have a win at 1700M at class 4 level though and comes in off three consecutive successes. Tactically versatile at the shorter distances, he is intriguing here. (1) JJANG KONG appeared disappointing at his last start, but he possibly isn’t as effective on such a heavily wet track as it was that day. Instead, we’ll go on his 2000M win at his previous start and while he meets Cheongdam Dokki 3kg worse off today, that’s offset by the inside gate which should help him as he likes to race handy to the leaders. (9) DIA ROAD is Korea’s highest rated mare with many Group wins in filly & mare company. She resumed two starts ago from a long break which resulted in a good 2nd at 1400M and then followed up with a fair 5th over 1800M. She will strip fitter, and it would be no surprise to see her in the finish. (4) SIMJANGUI GODONG the best of the rest.
|Selections||(7) Cheongdam Dokki (11) Meni Hero (1) Jjang Kong (9) Dia Road|
|Next Best||4, 2|
|Fast Start||4, 7, 9, 11|