The opening leg of the Stayer Series is the feature race on the opening day of May. See here for a full preview. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan From 12:00 to 16:45. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
It is perhaps safe to assume that a future Korea Cup winner will not emerge from this opening contest. Something has to cross the line first, though. It might be (4) CUPID BELLE. She has the least slow time among those who have previously tackled the distance, recorded when 7th on March 26th. That was an improvement on her opening two appearances, and she won’t need to improve very much more to win this. (2) HAENGBOK YEOWANG finished in 8th place in the same race. It was an improvement of sorts and again, it won’t take much development to get closer here. (5) THAT’S MY GIRL has a pair of 6th place finishes from her latest two, leading in one of them at 1400M. She may get an easy lead here and it’s possible she could hold it the entire way. (8) NAMSAN BYTE was a slow 7th on debut but did at least show on the front. The drop in trip may help. Given the standard of the race, a chance must be given to the first-timers. (10) HEEMANG WARRIOR perhaps is the more likely of the three.
|Selections||(4) Cupid Belle (2) Haengbok Yeowang (5) That’s My Girl (8) Namsan Byte|
|Next Best||10, 1|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 7, 8|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
More three-year-old maidens and it’s hard to look too far past (9) TRIPLE JOY. While it took him three attempts to qualify, he looked the part on debut, coming from well back to run 3rd over this distance on a wet track on March 19th. With some natural improvement from that run, he will take some beating. (2) DONGBANGUI HON has been improving across her latest two at 1300M. She draws nicely again and can be in the mix here. (3) HIGH PARK ran an improved 2nd in an all-filly race at this distance on April 2nd when handy throughout. She will be on pace again and has claims. Also on pace will be (1) HWIPARAM. She weakened at her latest outing but had previously hinted at ability and can be given another chance here. (10) DISCO BOY is another with potential to go better.
|Selections||(9) Triple Joy (2) Dongbangui Hon (3) High Park (1) Hwiparam|
|Next Best||10, 6|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 8, 9|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Tricky maiden this. On the strength of her latest outing, (10) LOST WAR has to go on top. She led for almost the entire way around at this distance, ultimately finishing a close 2nd in a good time. She comes down 3kg in the weights with an apprentice being engaged today and while the draw isn’t quite as favourable, she should be able to find the lead and can win. She is though thirteen starts for no wins. (1) BICHUI DAERYUK has a few less defeats behind her and ran a fair time for the distance when 6th last time out. Nicely drawn on the inside, she will be challenging for the early lead and has claims. (2) QUEEN LION was a good 3rd at this trip three starts back. She can settle handy here and has the fastest final furlong average time of any of these which should out her in good stead to challenge. (4) BITNANEUN JILJU and (5) EUNHYE DREAM among others in placing contention.
|Selections||(10) Lost War (1) Bichui Daeryuk (2) Queen Lion (4) Bitnaneun Jilju|
|Next Best||5, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 5, 10|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(10) FUSAICHI put in a solid effort on debut on March 11th, settling in midfield and then running on well for 3rd place over 1200M. The slight step up in trip can suit, and she looks the one to beat here. (3) ETTEUMI comes back in trip following bit of a chastening time around a mile at his latest start. He has previously put in a couple of decent efforts over today’s distance though and can be considered for improvement here. (9) BABEL PHOENX has two 3rd places among three starts so far, including last time out over 1200M. He can sit midfield or better here and finish off strongly with another place finish a more than realistic aim. (11) DONGBU STAR and (1) WIND WINNER are others who can aim for at least the places.
|Selections||(10) Fusaichi (3) Etteumi (9) Babel Phoenix (11) Dongbu Star|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 7, 8, 10|
Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
(9) NAMSAN KKOT comes up in trip here having run well in her second start on March 27th, which came a full five months after her first. She went right back that day, running on well for 4th and the additional half furlong may well suit with the wide draw not set to be a problem. The probable favourite is (3) K N SKETCH. He stepped up to this trip on her most recent start on March 26th and ran a good 5th, setting the fastest time among these for the distance in the process. She can settle midfield here and challenge late on. (1) HONEY PUNCH came from well back to score her second consecutive 3rd place finish on March 27th. It was at this distance and in a good time on a wet track. From the inside gate, Moon Seung-hyeok can pick his spot and she can go close. (10) BLACK INDY and (5) SWEET KAKAO others in the placing hunt.
|Selections||(9) Namsan Kkot (3) K N Sketch (1) Honey Punch (10) Black Indy|
|Next Best||5, 2|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 6, 10|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(1) BURNING PASSION ran a good 3rd on debut over this distance on March 18th when she sat handy throughout and finished off very well. She gets a great draw here, Perovic climbs aboard, and she has every chance of winning. (3) HANEUL JILJU improved at start number two on March 27th when leading in the early stages and ultimately finishing in 4th place at this distance. Expect her to be challenging for the lead again and to be in this a long way. (5) JOSEPHINE QUEEN has been consistent across her three outings to date with a best finish of 2nd at 1300M. She is another who can sit on pace or handy and should be in the finish again here. There are two first-time starters, and both (7) GLOBAL CATCHER and (9) TAP STAR performed well enough in their respective trials to suggest they can be given a chance first-up.
|Selections||(1) Burning Passion (3) Haneul Jilju (5) Josephine Queen (7) Global Catcher|
|Next Best||9, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5, 8|
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Fillies and mares only here. (2) CONCORD QUEEN was an emphatic all the way winner over 1300M in a fast time on a wet track at start number four on March 20th. She comes up in class and in distance here, but the manner of that win suggests she can measure up. (3) COSMO also comes up in class and distance, in her case following a similarly emphatic victory over 1200M on March 26th. She too will be set to get on pace and the two of them can be dueling most of the way around here. (1) INVICTUS was a visually impressive winner on April 2nd. That followed her finally seeming to figure things out the start before and while she will need to be faster at this class, she draws very well and can be a factor. (6) SONGAM PLAYER is yet to win in thirteen attempts, but she has the fastest time among those who have tackled the distance and she will be coming from off the pace. If the others go too quick, she can pick plenty off. (9) BESTYA another in the frame.
|Selections||(2) Concord Queen (3) Cosmo (1) Invictus (6) Songam Player|
|Next Best||9, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 8, 12|
Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(5) INDIE MAGIC comes up in class having registered his maiden win at start number four over this distance on April 10th when he overcame a wide draw to sit behind the speed and then ran on very pleasingly. He gets a better gate today, the weight remains fair, and has every chance of winning again. (6) OCEAN STORM is yet to win in five attempts but has three runner-up finishes to his name, two of them at this distance. An on-pace type, he comes back in trip today and should be firmly in the mix. (10) SEOGWI PLUS got promoted to this level by finishing 2nd on both his first two starts, both over 1000M. He has run fairly for 6th and 5th in two subsequent tries at this class and looks able to go better in this company. (2) BAEK GU comes up in class after a good win over 1300M in which she led for most of the way around. That win had been coming and she is nicely drawn and weighted here. (12) CHEONGMA POWER another who can go close.
|Selections||(5) Indie Magic (6) Ocean Storm (10) Seogwi Plus (2) Baek Gu|
|Next Best||12, 1|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 6, 10|
Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Apart from his solitary win. (2) STORM WARRIOR has never finished any better than 4th but that’s something he has done in each of latest three outings, all of them at this class and distance. He has run fair times and while he is a thoroughly unspectacular type, in this company, he may have enough to win. (1) CLOUTER comes up in class despite being a seventeen-start maiden, but he looks nicely in here. He actually has the joint-fastest time among any of these at the distance, and from a nice draw on the inside, could provide some each-way value. (10) TAEYANGTAGO was a surprise class and distance winner two starts back and while she couldn’t follow up in reappearance at the end of March, she carries a very light weight again and could be in the mix. (12) ACE SHINE and (9) HOLIDAY CHARM are others in the placing hunt.
|Selections||(2) Storm Warrior (1) Clouter (10) Taeyangtago (12) Ace Shine|
|Next Best||9, 5|
|Fast Start||5, 8, 9, 11|
Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
A tough race but (6) BULMYEORUI GIL is a worthy top pick. He was a winner at this class and distance in a good time and beat a few of these on his way to 2nd at his latest start. He is well suited under the set weight conditions and can settle midfield and run on here. (7) FLYING THE CHAMP comes in here following successive wins over 1300M and last 1400M. That brings him rapidly up in both class and distance, but he gives every indication that neither should be too problematic. Last time out he settled midfield and ran on wide for a good win and he can measure up today. (5) CATCH THE SKY was a winner at this distance at class 5 level then a solid 2nd on his first try at this level over a mile when he settled back and ran on. He has claims here. (1) YEONGWON POWER meets Bulmyeorui Gil worse at the weights here than on their meeting on February 25th but he has a nice draw to offset that somewhat and he likes to race forward which favours him. (8) SINJIN GANGHO among others it would be no surprise to see placing.
|Selections||(6) Bulmyeorui Gil (7) Flying The Champ (5) Catch The Sky (1) Yeongwon Power|
|Next Best||8, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 4, 10|
Seoul Race 7: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(6) RIVER TAEYANG comes up in class following a maiden win at start number three over this distance on March 19th when he settles midfield early and steadily improved, striking the front just over a furlong out and running on. The time was good although it was assisted by a wet track and while this is tougher, he comes down slightly in the weight and draws a better gate. He can repeat. (3) COMPLETE STAR is the logical danger. While she has only won once out of eleven, she has seven top-three finishes and comes in off a strong 3rd place at this class over 1300M on March 26th. She will be expected to be on pace here and could go all the way. (12) TROTTING RILEY was something of a revelation when making all to win on debut at this distance on April 3rd. Up in class and drawn wide, this is harder, but he has potential. So too (4) CONCORDE SPURT who is similarly up in class, in his case having won at this distance on a muddy track on March 20th. That win had been coming and he is another who can measure up. (1) DREAM YEOWANG among a number of others capable of at least placing.
|Selections||(6) River Taeyang (3) Complete Star (12) Trotting Riley (4) Concorde Spurt|
|Next Best||1, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 9, 12|
Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
(6) UNJU EUTTEUM will be favourite here having won three of his last four starts of his last 4 starts, most recently registering an easy victory in the Selangor Turf Club Trophy, when he led. He is well suited at the weights and can continue his merry way today. (12) HANEUL ULLIM has more recently been running over further; however, he is a prolific winner and has struck twice at a mile already. He is happy settling midfield so the wide draw isn’t a problem, and he will be running on. (8) PINEUI KKUM comes into this race on the back of a good 3rd in the CHIA Trophy over this distance when he was slowly away before settling last and then swinging wide in the straight but still running on very strongly. With a smoother trip, he is worth some thought. (7) TRUE VALOR is resuming here after a long layoff, however, his prior form was solid and if forward, could run a place. Draw a line through the latest from (3) ECOPIA and she too is worth an each-way chance here.
|Selections||(6) Unju Eutteum (12) Haneul Ullim (8) Pineui Kkum (7) True Valor|
|Next Best||3, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 7, 10|
Seoul Race 8: Class Open (2000M) Herald Business (Listed) Alllowance / KRW 300 Million
Part of the “Stayer Series”. (7) WINNER’S MAN won the 2021 Korean Derby at this track and while he was then beaten in the Minister’s Cup, he was a winner on his only start so far this year which came over this distance at Busan on March 13th. He draws nicely, gets some weight from rivals and has every chance. (8) MOONHAK CHIEF is a Korea Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner and while he is carrying 59kg, shouldn’t be ruled out. At his latest start, he led under 60kg, ultimately running 2nd to Simjangui Godong and he will be better suited under today’s non-handicap conditions. He’ll be handy in the run and could win. (11) HEUK JEONSA is a three-time class 1 winner over 1800M and has been placed in his latest two starts at this distance. He is not favoured at the weights but can run a big race, nonetheless. (6) BOLT MAN is the lowest rated in the race but has been prolific at the lower levels and while his wins haven’t been by huge margins, he has run good times. He comes out to 2000M, but he runs on in his races, he draws nicely and is down in the weights and could be an each-way prospect here. (4) JEONGMUN SAI among several other high-class entrants in the race.
|Selections||(7) Winner’s Man (8) Moonhak Chief (11) Heuk Jeonsa (6) Bolt Man|
|Next Best||4, 9|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 4, 7|
Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million
(4) DAEMANGUI GIL has been in peak form of late with a win two starts back over 1200M at this class when running on from midfield and then a fair 3rd at this class and distance on March 27th when beating plenty of today’s rivals. He was handy and then wide in the straight that day and has won twice at lower levels over today’s distance. He’s set for a big show. (7) SUCCESS PARTY is up in class here on a last start 2nd over this distance. He gest a big drop in weight and is drawn well enough in this small field to get to his favoured on-pace position. He should measure up in this company. (1) SSONSAL may have gone a little cold in his latest two, but he remains a talented chap and while he was beaten by a few of these on March 27th, a return to form shouldn’t be ruled out. (2) QUEEN OF THE WORLD has solid form coming into the race. She won at this distance at class 2 level in January, before finishing 4th behind Success Party at this distance and then 3rd over 1800M in the TCK Trophy. She is up in class here but has at least placing chances. (5) BRAVE KINGDOM another with placing hopes.
|Selections||(4) Daemangui Gil (7) Success Party (1) Ssonsal (2) Queen Of The World|
|Next Best||5, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(3) RAON THE ARIA has raced just four times and she comes up rapidly in class having won her latest two with the most recent being her first try at 1200M when she sat just behind the leaders and then ran on well. The time wasn’t fast, but it was a slow track. She is up in class here but comes down in weight, she should be on pace, and she can measure up. (11) YUKWAEHAN NALDEUL will be the favourite. He was a winner at this distance two starts back and on his only outing at this class, ran a good 2nd, again at this distance on March 26th when he beat several of today’s rivals. He drew even wider that day, so the draw isn’t too much of a concern, and he has solid claims. (12) FIGHTING DADDY was a winner at class and distance in February and can have his latest start disregarded when he was hampered by a fallen horse. He faces the challenge of a wide barrier, but he is down in the weights and has won up to 1400M so expect him to be strong in the straight. (6) GREAT THUNDER showed a return to form last start when a good 2nd at class and distance. He does come up in the weights but should be competitive. From a better gate, (2) GANGSEO PRINCESS can improve on her latest.
|Selections||(3) Raon The Aria (11) Yukwaehan Naldeul (12) Fighting Daddy (6) Great Thunder|
|Next Best||2, 4|
|Fast Start||5, 7, 11, 12|
Seoul Race 10: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
A competitive race here. We’ll side with (2) HEUNGHAENG DAEBAK, who has won twice and finished 2nd twice in five starts. At his latest over 1300M on April 3rd, he was a little slow away but quickly got up to track the leader, who unfortunately went amiss in the straight, leaving him with the win. Regardless of the circumstances, the run was full of merit and while up in class, he is down in weight, he draws well, and he can win. (6) GRACE QUEEN is a mare who has been most competitive at this class and was a last start winner at this distance. She is up a little bit in the weight but not so much as to take her out of contention. (1) FOX POWER has been running well over the 1400M with one win and a last start 2nd at this class and distance. Today he gets a nice draw which can allow him to race handy and not overly wide which should put him in the mix. (10) BYEOLBIT BOSEOK comes up in class here but very much down in weight on his win at 1200M on March 6th. He comes back out to 1400M today and can be competitive. (12) FOREVER ONE another in the hunt.
|Selections||(2) Heunghaeng Daebak (6) Grace Queen (1) Fox Power (10) Byeolbit Boseok|
|Next Best||12, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 7, 12|
Seoul Race 11: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
Plenty of good ones here but it’s hard to look past (12) DONGJIN CHOEGANG. A winner of four from nine so far, he comes in following a super win at this distance on March 20th in a very fast time when he sat handy and ran on. With today’s race being a handicap, he actually comes down slightly in weight and despite the wide draw, he can win again. (2) M J BEST was 2nd in that race, overcoming the widest gate. His draw is much better today, and he comes down even further in the weights under the handicap scale and should be in the hunt again. (1) NAMSAN SIDAE races for the first time since winning at this distance at class 4 level in December. He draws nicely, is down in weight and trialed very nicely two weeks ago. (6) RAON BEAT has done most of his recent work at further but has placed in both starts at this class and should be there or thereabouts again. (8) JANGSAN LASER another who surely goes close.
|Selections||(12) Dongjin Choegang (2) M J Best (1) Namsan Sidae (6) Raon Beat|
|Next Best||8, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 7, 12|