It’s been less than three months since the last Triple Crown series finished but what with the Three-Year-Old Championship moving back to its usual place on the calendar, we are just over a month away from the first leg the KRA Cup Mile at Busan on Sunday April 17th. Therefore both Seoul and Busan run trials on Sunday with the Sports Seoul Cup in the capital and the Gyeongnam Shinmun Cup at Busan, both Listed races over 1400M. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:00 to 16:40. All betting branches are open and while the vaccine pass system has now been ended, attendance myst still be pre-booked using the MyCard app. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maidens open proceedings. (7) YESULIYA shapes as the one to beat having hinted at ability across five starts to date including an on-pace 2nd place over 1000M at his latest. He also has the fastest time among any of these at today’s distance and is likely to be on the lead early with claims to go all the way. (12) PURGE DAY was an improved 2nd place over 1000M on his second start back in November. He comes in here following seventeen weeks off and while the draw isn’t ideal, this looks a nice race to return in. (9) P N S GOLD ran a good 2nd on debut and while she hasn’t quite managed to build on that yet, Moon Se-young climbs back aboard and she should be in the frame today. First-timer starter (11) SAEBYEOK BAND put in a decent trial and can be considered first-up with (10) CASH BACK also entering the calculations.
|Selections||(7) Yesuliya (12) Purge Day (9) P N S Gold (11) Saebyeok Band|
|Next Best||10, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 7, 9, 10|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
It’s hard to look far past (1) FINAL CHARM here. He ran on well from a wide gate for an improved 4th on his second start on January 29th, running on well. There isn’t much early speed here so he may be on pace from the start and be hard to run down. (6) DISCO BOY is the logical second pick. He has come on from well back in his two starts so far to finish 6th and 5th. He comes up in trip today and in this limited company, should be finding at least the places. Those two should fill out the quinella as the form drops off a cliff after them. (3) MIR BEST from a good draw may improve, while (4) MONEY TAP too made-up ground after a bad start last time and can sneak some minor money too. (8) DONGBANGUI HON perhaps another one capable of getting round.
|Selections||(1) Final Charm (6) Disco Boy (3) Mir Best (4) Money Tap|
|Next Best||8, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Another hot favourite here, this time in the shape of (4) DREAM SPEED. She has finished in the top five in five of her six starts so far and has a 2nd and a 3rd from her latest two. She tens to settle handy or midfield and should have way too much for this lot. (8) SHINE MUSIC comes back in trip after a spin over 1700M when she led but weakened in the home straight. She possesses the fastest time of any of these over today’s distance and has much chance as any of placing. (2) BANGTAN YEOGEOL and (3) DDATTEUTHANBIT can both be forgiven their respective latest outings. Both have performed fairly at this distance and should be in the placing frame here. (9) FYING BARIBE another with minor money hopes.
|Selections||(4) Dream Speed (8) Shine Music (2) Bangtan Yeogeol (3) Ddatteuthanbit|
|Next Best||9, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 4, 5|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Small field and probable warm favourite in (8) FLYING THE CHAMP. After a nondescript debut, he was a much-improved 3rd on his second start which came over 1300M on February 13th in a good time. In such a small field the outside gate shouldn’t be a problem and he may take some beating. (4) EUNSEONG YEONGUNG came from well off the pace to run a fast-finishing 2nd over 1200M on February 11th, very nearly getting to the winner. The additional half furlong can work in his favour here and he will surely be coming on strong late again. (5) DONGBU WORLD was 4th behind Eunseong Yeongung in his racecourse debut. He’d previously been through plenty of trials, worked home well and can build on that performance here. (2) PHANTOM ACE and (7) DOCTOR KONGDOLI others to consider.
|Selections||(8) Flying The Champ (4) Eunseong Yeongung (5) Dongbu World (2) Phantom Ace|
|Next Best||7, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5, 6|
Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(2) BLACK MASK has raced three times and finished as runner-up on all three occasions, twice at 1000M and most recently at 1200M. That’s enough to send him up in class here but that shouldn’t matter as from a great draw he should be on pace from the start and can lead all the way. (8) TES GO DAEBO looks to be the main danger. He too is up in class following a maiden win at start number four, but it had been coming. He can settle handy here and run on. (9) FLEX QUEEN will need a line drawn though her latest when she was slowly away from a wide gate and never made an impact. She has run well at this distance at class 6 level though and with a better start can challenge for the places. (4) ROCK FIGHTER too had a hard time at his latest when drawn wide but from a much better gate today can be given more of a chance. Another up in class following a last start win, (7) DIAMITE is another to keep safe.
|Selections||(2) Black Mask (8) Tes Go Daebo (9) Flex Queen (4) Rock Fighter|
|Next Best||7, 6|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5, 8|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(9) UNJU BULPAE looks to be working towards a win with a 2nd and a 3rd from his latest two, both over 1200M. He has raced at this distance too, posting a fast time (albeit at a time when the track was extremely fast). He will be expected to be on pace or handy here and could well have too much. Both Kim Young-kwan and Djordje Perovic are in form, and they team up here with (6) WONDERFUL FILE. The filly was much improved at her second outing at this distance on February 18th and will tempt plenty here. (11) SKY JEJUHYANG has got forward in all three of her races so far. She doesn’t draw well here but has good early speed and can go close again. (4) HWARANG BRAVO and (7) BLUE CAPTAIN are others who can enter the calculations.
|Selections||(9) Unju Bulpae (6) Wonderful File (11) Sky Jejuhyang (4) Hwarang Bravo|
|Next Best||7, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 9, 10, 11|
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(6) EUNSEONG MARU was a good winner on debut over 1000M when coming from a handy position and running on but whatever could go wrong did on his reappearance at this class and distance on January 23rd. He pulled hard early before his saddle shifted forward at the 1000M and then he came back slightly lame. He has been back in work since mid-February and can return to winning ways here. (10) BYEOLBIT BOSEOK is yet to win in nine attempts but has six top-four finishes including at his latest start on January 22nd when he was 3rd at class and distance, settling midfield and running on. He comes up 3.5kg in the weights but should be going close. (9) NEW HOPE also comes in off a good 3rd last time out and while up in class can measure up. (11) NONSTOP CAT comes up a couple of kilos in the weights on a good 2nd place last time but should be competitive again. (4) TANK SOCKS will need to be forgiven his latest two, first over 1700M and then when getting too far back at this distance. He does have ability though and can go better this time.
|Selections||(6) Eunseong Maru (10) Byeolbit Boseok (9) New Hope (11) Nonstop Cat|
|Next Best||4, 7|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 10, 11|
Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(7) LIGHT STORY has mixed his form since an impressive win on debut, but he has placed at this class over 1400M and comes in having run 4th over 1800M at his latest start when close to the pace throughout. He can return to winning ways today. The main danger is (9) YEONSEUNG BRAVO. He got his maiden win over this distance at class 6 level two starts back before running 3rd on his first try at this class on January 21. He goes best when on pace and will be aiming to get forward early here. (1) PICTURE JASPER remains a maiden but comes up in class after a good 2nd place at his latest start on February 11th. From a wide draw he got on pace and ran on well and under a lighter weight and much better gate, he can overturn the form on (6) DIA FORCE, who won that race and comes up in class too. That was a big upturn in form for the latter, but he can’t be completely ruled out here. (10) ALIVE CAPTAIN another to consider.
|Selections||(7) Light Story (9) Yeonseung Bravo (1) Picture Jasper (6) Dia Force|
|Next Best||10, 3|
|Fast Start||5, 7, 8, 9|
Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Tricky race here as the form isn’t especially convincing all round. Without much confidence, we’ll go with (5) RUFFIAN PARK, whose sole win was at this class and distance. He also has the fastest time of any of these at the distance and comes in following a decent 3rd place finish – again at class and distance – on January 30th. He carries the same weight here and from a good draw can go well. (10) DOUBLE TAKE is yet to win in eleven but has run well at this distance, albeit at class 6 level. Choi Bum-hyun, who rode him to his best finish, climbs back aboard today and he can be competitive. (9) CHALLAN HANNAL has decent experience at this class including a runner-up finish over 1400M. In this company he should be there or thereabouts. (2) FAST TRACK and (8) REAL PACK are others in the frame.
|Selections||(5) Ruffian Park (10) Double Take (9) Challan Hannal (2) Fast Track|
|Next Best||8, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 7, 8|
Busan Race 4: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(3) WINNING DANCER is the likely favourite having won his last two starts over the sprint distance in smart times, the latter of which is at this class. He is drawn nicely again, and a big showing will be expected. (8) COPY THAT is right in this race having run some very good times and he is consistent at this class. He likes to run on pace so the barrier could better, but he has overcome similar in his latest two and looks a big danger. (1) GREAT GOOD has fair form at the 1200M including a win at class 4 level three starts back which he followed up with a good 5th at this class and distance behind Winning Dancer in January. Disregard his latest showing over a mile and he is right in this. (4) NEU DAT has a chance based on his latest run when beating a couple of these on his way to 4th place at class and distance on February 11th. He has the same weight and a slightly better draw today and can be in the placing frame. (9) BABEL HIT another one who should enter the calculations.
|Selections||(3) Winning Dancer (8) Copy That (1) Great Good (4) Neu Dat|
|Next Best||9, 7|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 8, 11|
Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
(4) WONPYEONG GASOK ran creditably in all three legs of the Juvenile Series last autumn with a 2nd in the Munhwa Ilbo, 4th in the Nonghyup and 6th (of 12) in the Breeders’ Cup. He was only average on his return to standard company over 1400M on January 29th but comes back in trip here and while up 3kg in the weights, looks the one to beat. (5) WINNER BLUE enters in consistent form. He has run fast times at the distance and most recently ran 2nd at this class over 1400M when coming from well off the pace. He is tactically versatile and should be in the finish again today. (2) YEONGGWANGUI MISO has the fastest time for the distance among any of these. She ran 4th in the Luna Stakes at a mile in Busan and while she had a hard time in the subsequent Korean Oaks, she ran a good 3rd at her return to this class and distance on January 23rd. She will be in the frame here. So too will (8) GLOBAL GOLD, who won that January 23rd race. That was a big uptick in form, and he warrants more respect this time. (3) ICHEON SSAL returned to some semblance of form last start and could go well again.
|Selections||(4) Wonpyeong Gasok (5) Winner Blue (2) Yeonggwangui Miso (8) Global Gold|
|Next Best||3, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5, 9|
Busan Race 5: Class Open (1400M) Allowance / KRW 200 Million
The Listed Gyeongnam Shinmun Cup is Busan’s main Classic trial with the first leg of the Triple Crown, the KRA Cup Mile, just a month away. It’s a very even race but we’ll take a chance on (2) DAEJI CHOICE. He placed in the Listed Aremdaun Jilju Stakes over 1200M before winning by seven lengths over this distance at class 5 and then a win over 1600M also at class 5 level. He is a galloper who likes to race forward and has drawn well today. The favourite will be (7) MAN OF THE YEAR. He ran 2nd in the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup at 1200M then ran fairly when on pace from an outer barrier in the Breeders’ Cup before stepping up to 1800M and running a good 3rd at class 4 level. On his best form, he could be hard to beat. (5) LEGEND NUMBER ONE has won his latest two, the most recent being over 1400M when he was on pace throughout, winning in a good time. He looks to still have more improvement in him and is to be considered. (6) CAPTAIN YANKEE has won two from three so far, both in fine style. Last time over 1300M, he raced handy to the lead from a wide barrier but is drawn well today and could pull off an upset. (4) BEOMI NAERYEO ONDA another firmly in the hunt.
|Selections||(2) Daeji Choice (7) Man Of The Year (5) Legend Number One (6) Captain Yankee|
|Next Best||4, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 6, 7|
Seoul Race 8: Class Open (1400M) Allowance / KRW 200 Million
The Sports Seoul Cup is the capital’s main Triple Crown lead-up race. (9) COMPLETE VALUE was crowned Champion Juvenile of 2021 with five wins from five starts, capped off with a comfortable win in the Breeders’ Cup over 1400M at Busan on December 5th. He hasn’t raced since but did go through a trial in mid-January, which he won in a fast time. If he has managed to maintain his juvenile form, he will be very hard to beat. (5) ASPEN TAEYANG was slowly away in the Breeders’ Cup race but managed to run 4th, a finish he repeated when sent off as favoruite on his return to Seoul in January when this time he had excuses from the widest gate. He draws much better this time and can be a danger. So too (8) SEUNGBUSA, who didn’t run in the Breeders’ Cup but has won four of six and recorded some fast times along the way including a last start win over this distance at class 3 level. (7) DOUBLE EDGE ran 2nd in the Breeders’ Cup and warrants respect here while (10) BYEOLUI SUNGAN is among others with ay east placing hopes.
|Selections||(9) Complete Value (5) Aspen Taeyang (8) Seungbusa (7) Double Edge|
|Next Best||10, 4|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 6, 8|
Busan Race 6: Class 2 (2000M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million
(2) COOL GUY comes up in class but very much down in weight following three wins from his latest four. He has placed in all starts so far and his latest two victories were over 1800M. There is little to suggest he can’t cope with both the higher class and the additional trip and from a good gate, he can win again. (5) FANTASTIC MAN set the track record for this distance back in November last year (when the track was racing very fast. His three outings since have been less impressive, albeit one of them in the President’s Cup and then two spins at class 1. He gets a class drop here and while that puts him back up significantly in the weights, Perovic returns to the mount, and he can go closer today. (1) B.K JOHN is a winner over 1800M at this class and has been close at the finish in his latest two. He draws nicely here and should be in the hunt. (4) MAN OF TOP is up in class but down in weight here after a win over a mile at his last start. He’s won over 1800M too and should be kept safe here. (10) GEUMA MYSTIC was a last start winner at this class over 1800M beating several of today’s rivals and while he comes up 2kh and has the outside gate, a repeat isn’t impossible.
|Selections||(2) Cool Guy (5) Fantastic Man (1) B.K. John (4) Man Of Top|
|Next Best||10, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 7, 8|
Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(4) PARAN WANGJA is a winner of two of his latest three, the latest of which was at class and distance on January 29th when he made all. He comes up a full 4kg in weight as a result but draws the same favourable gate and has solid claims to win again. (9) GIANT KILLING comes up rapidly in class having followed up a 3rd place on debut with two consecutive wins. The latter was an all the way score over this distance at class 5 level and while he draws a bit wider, he comes down in the weights and can measure up at this level. (1) CHOEGO RACE has mixed his form but comes in having overcome a wide draw to run 3rd at this distance on February 13th. From gate one he can have an easier time of things here and looks a place chance again. (7) ROAD SKY can have a line drawn through his latest over 1800M. Two starts back he came from off the pace for a fast-finishing class and distance 2nd and this looks a much more suitable assignment today. (13) MIGHTY KICK another in the hunt.
|Selections||(4) Paran Wangja (9) Giant Killing (1) Choego Race (7) Road Sky|
|Next Best||13, 2|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 8, 9|
Seoul Race 10: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(2) HI HI comes in on a hat-trick, having won his latest two in good style. The most recent of those was at class and distance on February 13th when he settled midfield and ran on. He comes up to top weight here but has every chance of picking a good spot again and then coming home strong. (10) BOMNALUI GIEOK was 5th in that race but at the start before was a class and distance winner himself. He can mix his form but might be worth a go at a probably each-way price here. (8) CHOEGANG QUEEN has never finished worse than 5th in eight starts so far and she surely at least maintains that here. She ran back-to-back 2nd places at class and distance at the end of last year and can sit handy and run on today. (11) BEOLMAL DAEJANG and (13) BEST TAP are others with placing claims.
|Selections||(2) Hi HI (10) Bomnalui Gieok (8) Choegang Queen (11) Beolmal Daejang|
|Next Best||13, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 8, 11|
Seoul Race 11: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
Good race to finish with. (7) SARYEONI QUEEN is up in class following back-to-back wins, the latter at this distance when she sat handy throughout before finishing strongly. She comes down in the weights today and can make it a hat-trick. The favourite will be (6) BALVENIE. He has lots of good experience at this class and enters off a strong 2nd place at this distance on January 22nd when he led for most of the way around only to be denied late on by a good winner. He’ll be on pace again and could go all the way. (9) NAMSANUI BYEOL has beaten plenty of these in his latest two including a 3rd place at class and distance on February 12th. He comes up in weight but will surely be competitive again. (2) MIGHTY WING and (10) UNICORN ALPHA are others with at least placing chances.
|Selections||(7) Saryeoni Queen (6) Balvenie (9) Namsanui Byeol (2) Mighty Wing|
|Next Best||10, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 7, 9|