Remember remember the 5th of November, because it is the day that customers are finally permitted to re-enter Seoul Racecourse as well as the Seoul and Gyeonggi Province OCB locations after almost two years of constant closure. Attendance will initially be capped at 50% of indoor capacity and must still be pre-booked using the My Card app. Further, all punters are required to provide proof of being “fully vaccinated” against Covid-19 for a minimum of fourteen days prior to the race meeting.
That means that Seoul can welcome just over 11,000 punters to the racecourse on each race day. Taking all OCBs into account, a total of 47,000 across the country will be able to attend a racecourse or an OCB this weekend. Last week, when only Busan Racecourse and a small number of southern OCBs were open, only 5,700 were able to be accommodated.
To save time and repeated hassle on every race day, punters are able to pre-register their vaccines and have it linked to their My Card app. The only non-vaccinated customers permitted are those with a written medical exemption from a Doctor and punters who are in that category will need to provide a negative PCR test from within 48 hours of the race meeting in question. This is in line with the policies adopted by the Korea Baseball Organization for its post-season matches which began earlier this week.
Catering will be somewhat limited. The first meeting the Seoul locations will be open for is Busan’s Friday card which involves 7 races from 12:40 to 18:00. Here are the previews:
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Juvenile maidens in the opener with five of the twelve racing for the first time. (8) DAEJI SPECIAL debuted on July 16th running 5th over this distance in what has turned out to be a hot race with Yeonggwanguilegend, who has since won two Listed Juvenile races, running 2nd. The time was good on a dry track and while he could only manage 7th on his return over 1200M in September, that’s probably enough to warrant making him top pick here. (3) FANTASTIC MAGIC has run 5th in both starts so far, both of them at this distance. She draws well again and can continue to improve here. (11) GOLDEN POWER came from off the pace to run 3rd on debut at this distance on September 3rd before stepping up to 1400M and running 5th when sat handy to the pace on October 8th. The wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and she can be main danger. (10) B.K. HANA ran 5th on debut before finishing back down the field in the Rookie Stakes. Among more amenable company, she should be better today. Among the debut-makers. (1) BEOLMAUI STAR has the best chance of making an impact first-up following a decent showing in his trial.
|Selections||(8) Daeji Special (3) Fantastic Magic (11) Golden Power (10) B.K. Hana|
|Next Best||1, 12|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 7, 8|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
While it’s fair to say that (1) HOT PLAY has mixed his form across four starts so far, he’s hard to go past here. He comes up 4kg from his 3rd place over this distance on October 15th when he was handy throughout but he draws much better here and should really be leading from gate to wire. (3) NEW RUBY actually beat Hot Play two starts back as the pair ran 3rd and 4th over 1000M and therefore shapes as the logical main rival here. She has tended to get a bit too far back in her races, but she does run on and from a good draw may be ridden a little closer this time. With an apprentice aboard, (5) CHEONHA NUMBER ONE comes down a full 4kg in the weights on recent starts. Back in August he ran 3rd over this distance and is capable of running competitive times. He is inconsistent but in the frame here. (8) DOCTOR CANDY and (9) TAEPUNGI are others in the hunt.
|Selections||(1) Hot Play (3) New Ruby (5) Cheonha Number One (8) Doctor Candy|
|Next Best||9, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 6, 11|
Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Another hot favourite here who it will be hard to oppose. (1) NAMDO ILDEUNG beat a couple of these on her way to 3rd place at this distance on October 3rd when, from the same barrier as today, she was up with the pace throughout and ran on well in a decent time. A similar performance today, in what is a weaker race, and she will be very hard to beat. More than half the field is partnered by apprentice jockeys so there are plenty claims being utilized. (2) STORM BROWN comes down 3kg in the weights from when he was 9th behind Namdo Ildeung at his latest start. He does have a 3rd place to his name and should be aiming to go close here. No weight claim for Djordje Perovic on (7) DONGBU STAR but he does have some claims to go better than last time, when he too was beaten by Namdo Ildeung. That was his first try at a mile and only his fourth in total and he may improve. (8) ADELE CROWN and (9) OMEGA GIRL are others that may compete in a race that offers little in the way of convincing form.
|Selections||(1) Namdo Ildeung (2) Storm Brown (7) Dongbu Star (8) Adele Crown|
|Next Best||9, 4|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 10, 11|
Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Fillies only here and another favourite that is hard to oppose. (2) THE FIRST FACTOR has won just once of thirteen so far but has been working towards another in recent starts with consecutive 3rd place from her latest two. She has been on pace both times, draws very nicely here and should have far too much. (1) DONGBANUI SIJAK has gone faster than The First Factor at this distance, something she achieved when winning at this class three starts back on September 10th. She then ran 3rd at 1400M before finishing well back behind The First Factor two weeks ago. She comes up in weight but draws much better and can go close. (8) ECHO LADY has done well at this distance so far with a 4th and a 5th as well as competitive times in her record. She carries a light weight under an apprentice and should be in the placing frame. (5) HAEUNDAE BADA and (7) HAMAN BANGEOSAN others in the hunt.
|Selections||(2) The First Factor (1) Dongbanui Sijak (8) Echo Lady (5) Haeundae Bada|
|Next Best||7, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 7, 9|
Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
It’s becoming quite a theme of the day but there is another hot favourite here. (8) SPEED MATCH took six goes to get his maiden win but he evidently quite enjoyed it as he promptly followed up with another. Both were at 1400M with the first being an all the way romp, while the second saw him come from behind the speed. Both winning times were fast and while he is up in class today, he should make it three in a row. (10) YEONGWON POWER comes up in class but back in trip following a good score from off the pace over 1800M on October 10th. The wide draw should be no problem and he comes down in the weights. He can measure up in this company. (4) HAPPY WITCH on the other hand comes up to this trip for the first time. It may well suit as she has been doing her best work late and Perovic climbing aboard can’t hurt her chances either. (2) SUNLIGHT BOY has won at this distance at class 5 level and is rarely far away. He’ll sit handy from a good barrier and can be a danger. (3) ALPHA AGAIN among several others with placing claims.
|Selections||(8) Speed Match (10) Yeongwon Power (4) Happy Witch (2) Sunlight Boy|
|Next Best||3, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 7, 11|
Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
Competitive race. (3) AMOR FATI has consistently run fast times at this distance including in his latest two when 2nd and then 6th at this class. He gets a much better draw today than in either of those outings and with a good start, that could be enough to tip things in his favour. The big danger is (11) TIZ HEARTED. The filly has shown improvement over three starts to date, culminating with a 2nd place at class and distance on August 29th when she led almost all the way, getting passed in the closing stages. She has had a couple of months of since and while the draw isn’t ideal, she has a real chance. (6) ACE BOOM looks quite nicely in here. She comes back in trip following a nice 3rd place a couple of weeks ago over 1400M when she led early and could sneak a place again. (2) WINNING POST and (12) MAN OF THE WORLD are others who can compete for at least places.
|Selections||(3) Amor Fati (11) Tiz Hearted (6) Ace Boom (2) Winning Post|
|Next Best||12, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 7, 10, 11|
Busan Race 7: Class 2 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million
(7) B.K JOHN snapped a streak of four consecutive runner-up finishes to win a fast race over this distance at class 3 level just two weeks ago. He comes up in class here but down in the weights and his promotion to this level is, if anything, overdue. He can win again. The big danger is (10) GEUMA MYSTIC. Two starts back he beat several of these on his first crack at this class when running 2nd to the very good Barbarian and this distance before dropping back to 1400M and finishing 3rd in a fast time in September. He does come up a little on the weights on both of those performances but the wide draw isn’t too much of a concern and he should be right in this. (2) GYEONGJUUI DUREBAK surprised plenty when winning at class and distance two starts back and then ran a useful 5th on reappearance two weeks ago. She can continue her run of form by competing for a place here. (11) DIAMOND MARINE and (12) MALIBU BYEOL are other dangers in a competitive finale.
|Selections||(7) B.K John (10) Geuma Mystic (2) Gyeongjuui Durebak (11) Diamond Marine|
|Next Best||12, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 8, 11|