Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (February 20)

Raon The Fighter is the main draw on Sunday as the hottest property in Korean racing seeks to make it ten wins in a row. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:00 to 16:40. All betting locations are open, however, attendance must be pre-booked through the MyCard app and evidence of up to date vaccination against Covid-19 is required. Here are the previews:

Raon The Fighter (KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens go round here with five racing for the first time. One of those is set to be our top pick in the shape of (2) COMPLETE WEAPON.  He has been through two trials, winning the most recent of them in a fast time in early December and while it has taken him a couple of months to get to the racecourse, this looks like a winnable assignment first up. Sticking with first timers, (4) JEONGMUN JILJU was also a trial winner, sitting handy and then running on strong in his heat and he too looks set to make a bold showing on debut. Turning to those with experience, (11) EUNHYE has a 2nd and 3rd from two three starts so far, with both the good results being at this distance. He has proven able to run well from on pace or behind, so the wide draw isn’t too much of a concern. (8) GOLDEN SCOOP was a much-improved 2nd when on pace at this distance on January 22nd and she, along with (10) CONCORDE SPURT, are others to take into consideration.

Selections(2) Complete Weapon (4) Jeongmun Jilju (11) Eunhye (8) Golden Scoop
Next Best10, 3
Fast Start2, 4. 8, 14

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(1) GRAND POWER will be a warm favourite here after a much-improved showing over 1000M on January 23rd when he was on pace for the first time and ran on well. He comes back up in trip here but draws nicely on the inside and won’t need to go much better to win this one. (11) LONDON POWER has shown decent consistency with four top four finishes. She has run some fair times at this distance and is likely to be on pace from the start and be in this a long way. (13) ROAD ACE was 3rd behind Grand Power in that January 23rd race. He has three top five finishes from six starts so far and despite the wide draw can be going close here. (5) QUEEN LION and (6) NUMBER ONE TARGET, the latter with the fastest time among those who have tackled the distance before, are others in the placing frame.

Selections(1) Grand Power (11) London Power (13) Road Ace (5) Queen Lion
Next Best6, 12
Fast Start1, 6, 11, 13

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It’s hard to look past (6) BE CRAZY here. He has two 4ths and a last start 3rd from three appearances to date, the latest being that 3rd over this distance on January 16th when he sat on pace throughout. He can lead here and should be too good. (12) MIDAS CAMP has the fastest time among these at the distance and enters off a good 3rd place at 1200M a month ago He had an apprentice on that day so loses the 4kg claim here and draws wide but can go close again. (3) HANGANG BOSS had a hard time from a wide draw at his latest start but if you can draw a line through that, his previous two efforts were good. Coming into a better gate today, he can be given another chance. (8) OKDONG GONGJU is yet to win but has six top five finishes to his name and can aim to place here. (2) SINJURYU another in the minor money frame.

Selections(6) Be Crazy (12) Midas Camp (3) Hangang Boss (8) Okdong Gongju
Next Best2, 1
Fast Start1, 6, 11, 12

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies only here. We’ll go with (6) DOCTOR KONGSUNI who starts for the third time having improved to 2nd at her latest start on January 21st when stepped up to this distance. She was on pace that day and should be again and may have too much. (4) SANGIM YEOWANG overcame a wide draw to run a solid 3rd on debut over 1000M three weeks ago. She comes up in trip here, gets a better gate and Seo Seung-un climbs aboard so there is plenty to like. (2) WONDERFUL CUTIE and (8) CHEONGHO BOSS came home 2nd and 3rd respectively when they raced one another at 1000M on January 16th. It was a big improvement for Wonderful Cutie while it was a debut outing for Cheongho Boss. The latter has since gone back and won a trial and both can be competitive today. In that trial, (1) PYEONGHWA CHUKJE ran 4th, a second encouraging performance, and she looks the best of the three first-time starters.

Selections(6) Doctor Kongsuni (4) Sangim Yeowang (2) Wonderful Cutie (8) Cheongho Boss
Next Best1, 9
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 13

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Maiden fillies here. The two French jockeys face off on the likely top-two in the market and we’ll side with Johan Victoire and (7) GALSAEK HYANGGI to prevail. The Menifee filly comes in having run 4th at her latest start at this distance, beating a couple of today’s rivals in the process in a good time. She tends to settle back and run on and today can be her day. David Breux and (13) FIRST ROAD is the big danger. She has a 2nd place to her name, recorded two starts back at 1200M and she overcame a similarly wide draw to run 4th at that same distance at her latest start on January 16th. She has a good finish on her and will be running on here. (8) DONGSEO YEOGEOL has got a bit far back in her latest two but can be given another chance here from a better draw. (10) WONDERFUL NIKIYA and (11) TINA are others with genuine placing chances.

Selections(7) Galsaek Hyanggi (13) First Road (8) Dongseo Yeogeol (10) Wonderful Nikiya
Next Best11, 2
Fast Start1, 8, 10, 11

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(12) CHAMP GO is the logical top pick here. He has the fastest time of those who have tackled the distance before and enters in excellent form with a 3rd and a 2nd from his latest two appearances. It’s true that he doesn’t draw as favourably today but an apprentice keeps his weight down and with a little luck at the start, he can win this. (1) LINE BREAKER has been doing his best work late in all three of his outings so far at shorter distances. From a much better draw and out to an extended trip, he can go very close here. (2) CHOEGANG FORCE also comes up in trip. He has three top four finishes from four starts to date and came from well back for a fast-finishing 4th last time out. He has the fastest average time for the final furlong and can be a danger here. (9) ZERAGE and (6) BAEK SEOL QUEEN are among others in the hunt.

Selections(12) Champ Go (1) Line Breaker (2) Choegang Force (9) Zerage
Next Best6, 7
Fast Start5, 7, 12, 14

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Fillies and mares only here. (4) QUICKLY RUN ran out a good winner on debut sitting handy early before running on strong over 1000M. She comes up in class and in distance here but has every chance of maintaining her 100% record. (3) CUPID WONDER got her maiden win at 1200M two starts back before running 2nd on her first try at this class over that same six-furlong trip. The apprentice booked, while only having a 1kg claim, should help her cause and she can go close here. (1) TEUKBYEOL returns to action having won on her only start to date back on October 24th when he came from off the pace over 1000M. She looked well enough in a trial last week and from the inside gate can be competitive here. (10) LEGEND SOCKS was a winner on debut in a fast time last September and while she struggled to get involved on her only start since, can be given another chance here. (7) REMARKABLE among others in the hunt.

Selections(4) Quickly Run (3) Cupid Wonder (1) Teukbyeol (10) Legend Socks
Next Best7, 6
Fast Start4, 10, 12, 14

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Good race but it’s hard to look too far past (3) DAEHO JEONSEOL. He was a front-running 2nd in a good time over 1400M on his first try at this class on January 14th and while he comes up significantly in trip today, there is no reason why it can’t suit, and he can win here. (4) CATCH THE SKY is yet to win in nine outings but recent form reads well with a 2nd and a 4th from his latest two, both at a mile and he should be a danger here. (11) CENTUM THOR is another non-winner, in his case from thirteen attempts, but he has no fewer than nine top-four finishes including a 2nd at class and distance at his latest when he recorded the fastest time among those going here who have tackled the 1800M before and he looks firmly in this, despite the wide draw. (9) LIGHT STORY hasn’t yet lived up to the early potential she showed in a super win on debut, but she ran on well for 6th from an unpromising position last time out and may appreciate a bit of distance today. (1) MIDNIGHT QUEEN another to consider for the places. 

Selections(3) Daeho Jeonseol (4) Catch The Sky (11) Centum Thor (9) Light Story
Next Best1, 6
Fast Start3, 9, 11, 12

Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(9) BOOSTER ROCKET comes up in trip following consistent performances at shorter including his latest two when he has run on strongly for 4th place, both at this class. His running style would suggest the additional furlong will benefit and he can win here. (10) K N LIGHT comes in off a 3rd place over class and distance last time. He has run consistently good times at this trip and should be in the hunt again. (12) RAON THE TIGER seems to be working himself back into form with a good 3rd place over 1200M at his latest on January 8th. It’s been a while since he tackled the 1400M, but he could well be ready for another crack here. (4) STAR RUSH and (5) ADELE MUSTANG are among others who can be considered for at least places.

Selections(9) Booster Rocket (10) K N Light (12) Raon The Tiger (4) Star Rush
Next Best5, 11
Fast Start3, 10, 12, 13

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Fillies and mares only. (4) WORLD SOCKS has won at this distance in a good time and enters in solid form with a good 2nd last time out when she got to the pace from a wide draw. She draws much better today, has a light weight, and while she has some form to reverse on a few of these, looks capable of doing it. (6) GOOD TANK has won her only two starts at this distance and comes into this race off a fine win over 1400M when she settled midfield and ran on. She draws well and while this is balanced with a rise in weight, she can be considered.  (12) KINGS LANDING comes in off a slashing win this class and distance after settling midfield then running on. She is up in weight here but still right in this. (7) MY DESTINY was a huge winner last start in class 5. She comes up in level here but can measure up in this company. (3) FLAT BABE another sure to be well bet and can go close.

Selections(4) World Socks (6) Good Tank (12) Kings Landing (7) My Destiny
Next Best3, 13
Fast Start4, 7, 9, 13

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Very competitive race. (1) DAEWANGU comes in off back-to-back 3rd places at class and distance in fair times. He draws nicely again, doesn’t come up too much in the weights, and should go close again. Possible betting favourite is (10) MYEONGJIN DAY. He is two starts into a comeback following eight months out and has since registered a 3rd and a 2nd, both at this trip and could well be peaking today. (13) LUMINOUS QUEEN was a winner at class 5 level over 1300M two starts back before finishing 5th behind Daewangu on her first try at this class on January 8th. She came from well off the pace that day but generally goes better if she can get forward earlier and while she may need a touch of luck early, here, she can be considered. (2) M J BEST and (3) TIZ BLACK are others in the frame.

Selections(1) Daewangu (10) Myeongjin Day (13) Luminous Queen (2) M J Best
Next Best3, 14
Fast Start3, 5, 11, 13

Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

(8) SEUNGNI MAGICQUEEN is hard to go past, having won both 1400M starts including at this class last time out when she settled on pace and won well, beating plenty of today’s rivals. She comes up a little in weight and draws a little wider but is still the one to beat. (6) MUJEOK BULPAE is up in class here and under the set weight conditions, also comes up a little in weight. However, his last start win over this distance was good and the better draw here ensures he should be competitive. (2) WORLD CHANGE will vie with Seungni Magicqueen for favourite status. He comes back in trip after a pair of wins over 1800M and he comes up in class too. He is versatile and can race forward or in midfield and from a nice draw will be a big danger. (3) ECHO SUN has fair recent form having placed last start at this class and distance behind Seungni Magicqueen when he led the field. He draws nicely here and should be in the finish again. (11) SKY MORE was on the Classic trail last autumn and down in trip today is another one to consider.

Selections(8) Seungni Magicqueen (6) Mujeok Bulpae (2) World Change (3) Echo Sun
Next Best11, 12
Fast Start1, 2, 8, 9

Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(4) JOYFUL K was a class and distance winner two starts back when sitting handy throughout and running on well in a good time. Draw a line through her latest when she couldn’t get a position from a wide draw and never made an impact, and she is in the frame here. (5) SISEONJIPJUNG comes in following a decent 3rd in an admittedly slow race over 1800M on January 15th. Prior to that he ran a strong 2nd at this distance in December. He has the joint-fastest time of any of these for 1700M and will be a contender here. (8) CHEON GUN is the other one with the fats time at the distance. His recent form has been consistent, and he comes down slightly in the weights here. (9) LUCKY YOUNG is up in trip having shown promise over shorter distances. He has been doing his best work late on each time and the two-turns may suit. (3) JANGSAN TANK another with placing hopes.

Selections(4) Joyful K (5) Siseonjipjung (8) Cheon Gun (9) Lucky Young
Next Best3, 13
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 6

Busan Race 6:  Class 1 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

(1) SMART PRINCE is the likely favourite here on his good recent form. At his last start he settled midfield then ran on wide for a good 2nd, beating plenty of these. That followed a good win over 2000M. He settles midfield, is nicely drawn and down in weight and can win again. (6) ALPHAKING IJI is yet to win in Class 1 but is consistent and should be in the finish again here. At his last start he was a close 3rd behind Smart Prince from the widest draw and a repeat of that effort puts in him in the finish. (13) ACE KOREA has fair recent form and while this is an unusual distance for him, he has placed to 1600M at this class. He has the benefit of an apprentice claim to offset the wide draw. (2) PRO CONSUL is not the worst here having placed twice at class and distance and comes off a 3rd place over 1600M. He is nicely drawn and can settle forward without too much trouble and can easily sneak a place. (10) FANTASTIC MAN another who can go close.

Selections(1) Smart Prince (6) Alphaking Iji (13) Ace Korea (2) Pro Consul
Next Best10, 7
Fast Start4, 10, 12, 14

Seoul Race 9: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(7) SPOT FLATTER is putting together a decent record with ten top-three finishes from twelve starts, including four wins. He comes in following a good dead-heat 2nd place at class and distance on January 16th and with both weight and draw being fair, has fair claims. Spot Flatter took part in one Triple Crown race last autumn but (1) STEADY CHAMPION raced in two of them. He returned to regular company on January 16th and was 4th, behind Spot Flatter. He draws nicely on the inside, comes down in the weights and looks to have a real chance. (5) RAON THE SPURT is up rapidly in class following three consecutive wins. He has only raced four times in total and comes up considerably in trip as well but has every chance of measuring up. (6) BAEKSAEK GWANGCHAE and (2) A. P. PATEK are others who can be considered for the places.

Selections(7) Spot Flatter (1) Steady Champion (5) Raon The Spurt (6) Baeksaek Gwangchae
Next Best2, 11
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 8

Seoul Race 10: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

(2) CHOEGANG GAME is the one to beat here coming off a solid 1800M win at class 4 level when he led the whole way around. He comes up in class here and while he perhaps isn’t that favoured by the set weight conditions, his gallant 3rd in the Minister’s Cup suggests he is a good horse who is the one to beat here. (12) EODIGANA comes in after a great win in Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup, the final leg of the filly Triple Crown, having also run very well in the Oaks. She is a quality filly and worth thought here. (5) ROCK LINE comes into this race having won his last two starts at 1200M and 1400M. He is a bit of an unknown quantity over distance, but he has been running on in his races and dropping down in weight with a decent draw should create some interest. (1) CUPID BABE has solid staying form. He comes up in class but very much down in weight and last start was a good 2nd over 1700M when he led. A good draw enhances his prospects, and he could be in the mix at the finish. (8) BIG TRIPLE another in the placing frame.

Selections(2) Choegang Game (12) Eodigana (5) Rock Line (1) Cupid Babe
Next Best8, 3
Fast Start4, 5, 10, 12

Seoul Race 11: Class 1 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

(13) RAON THE FIGHTER is Korea’s star horse, is unbeaten in nine starts and is yet to be seriously challenged, even though he has already met the nation’s top sprinters. He commenced his 2022 season blitzing a class 1 field over 1400M and while he isn’t favoured by the draw, it will take more than that to stop this from being win number ten. (9) MIGHTY GO has more recent solid form at 1400M, including last time when on fought on well for 2nd, beating a few of today’s rivals in the process on December 5th. He is back in distance, but he has run a fast time at it, and it would ne no surprise if he found the placings. (11) GLOBAL CAPTAIN could be one worth considering at a placing price. He consistently runs good times, drops in weight under these conditions and his pattern of settling midfield and running on means the barrier shouldn’t be a hindrance. (10) MORFHIS has a great record and is still able to run terrific times. Disregard his last start when he stumbled at the beginning, putting him at a disadvantage. Simply too good not to include. (7) LEGEND DAY another who can go close – although probably not to the favourite.

Selections(13) Raon The Fighter (9) Mighty Go (11) Global Captain (10) Morfhis
Next Best7, 4
Fast Start5, 6, 7, 13