The juvenile series kicks off at both Seoul and Busan on Sunday with the Munhwa Ilbo Trophy in the capital and the Areumdaun Jilju Stakes on the South Coast. Both will have hot favourites with the respective track’s “Rookie Stakes” winners Giant Punch and Fantastic Kingdom both expected to kick on. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 with 6 at Busan from 12:15 to 16:40. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million
An unusual start to the day in that it is for juvenile fillies at class 4 level, so it is targeted at imported horses, the first such race here for a while. Five of the eight race for the first time but they find themselves up against a proven winner in (1) FIRE GIRL. She made all to win over 1200M on debut on August 28th and from the inside gate, the Pioneerof The Nile filly will be odds-on to make it two from two. The main dangers are set to be first timers. (6) MEDICI WOLF won a trial having been handy throughout. The time wasn’t quick, but she did it well and should have derived benefit from it. (2) MOONHAK SONG and (8) BS POWER both went faster than Medici Wolf in their heats and can go well first up. (7) MISS HIGH FLY another who hinted at ability.
|Selections||(1) Fire Girl (6) Medici Wolf (2) Moonhak Song (8) BS Power|
|Next Best||7, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 6, 7|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
The first division of two juvenile maidens and six of the twelve are racing for the first time. (1) DRAGON STAR gets the nod following a 3rd and a 5th in his opening two races, both in decent times when coming from off the pace. He draws very well here and with some natural improvement can win. The draw doesn’t favour (12) HIGH GRAND. He comes in off a solid 6th and a 4th in his latest two most recently behind Naol Sniper, who has gone on to win again. With a bit of luck at the start, he can find a good position and he can tun on well. (5) JANGBI MUJIGAE ran on well for 5th place in a fast race on a wet drack over this distance on debut and a repeat of that would put him right in this. As for the debut-makers, (9) TOUR QUEEN and (3) CUPID WARRIOR look best equipped to make an immediate impression.
|Selections||(1) Dragon Star (12) High Grand (5) Jangbi Mujigae (9) Tour Queen|
|Next Best||3, 2|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 6, 10|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
The second division of the juvenile maiden sees five of the twelve making their racecourse debuts. There are a couple of standouts and given the draw, we’ll side with (1) SINUI YEOIN. She ran on for a close 4th on debut over this distance on August 14th in a fast time on a wet track. She can be on pace or handy here and could prove too strong. (10) GLOBAL CHANGA was well-backed on debut when he ran 2nd to Ranut, who takes his chance in the Munhwa Ilbo Trophy later today. He overcame gate eleven that day and while he scarcely draws any better here, he may well start as favourite. (8) DALGEUM is the logical third pick, following an improved 3rd in her second outing on August 20th when sitting in midfield and then running on over a wet track. She can finish strongly again here. (4) GIPPEUM HWANHO didn’t do too much wrong when 5th on debut and should have come on for the run. The debut-makers don’t really jump out here although (5) AMAN BAROWS went through a lot of trials a registered a couple of decent times.
|Selections||(1) Sinui Yeoin (10) Global Changa (8) Dalgeum (4) Gippeum Hwanho|
|Next Best||5, 12|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 8, 10|
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
Juvenile maidens open proceedings on the south coast. (3) HANSEN COD GIRL was a close 3rd on debut on September 2nd just getting the worst of a desperately tight three-way finish. She draws well to be on pace again and won’t need to improve much on that to win. (12) PISTOL STAR also suffered a near-miss on debut. That was back in July when handy throughout and just narrowly being beaten into 2nd over 1000M. He races for the first time since and if he can get a bit of luck position-wise from the wide draw, he can have a big say in this. There are three first timers and (1) META QUEEN looked good when winning an August trial. She draws well and could sneak a place on debut here. Likewise (9) GEMIJIN was a distance 2nd in his heat to an experienced racehorse but stopped the clock in a fair time and can be competitive. (11) ARTHUR KING IJI is one of a few with the potential to improve on their debut effort.
|Selections||(3) Hansen Cod Girl (12) Pistol Star (1) Meta Queen (9) Gemijin|
|Next Best||11, 8|
|Fast Start||3, 9, 11, 12|
Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
(6) ARGO TAP has shown potential across three starts to date with a best of 3rd. He has led all three including his latest when he tackled 1200M for the first time and led for most of the way, before ultimately finishing 5th of nine. He should have come on for that experience, can lead again, and this time go all the way. Any top-three finish will put (3) HWANGWOO GANGJA up to class 5 and it could well be a win. He has a 2nd and a 3rd from his latest two, both over today’s trip. Last time she was on pace, something that will be expected again from a good draw, and an apprentice jockey keeps the weight down. He has solid claims. There was a full ten months between (7) CUPID WOW making his debut and re-appearing. He was better the second time around, running 3rd on his return. That was in early July so he has had another three months off since, but a repeat of that run will put him close at the finish. Solitary debut-maker (1) JILJU DAESE and two-time placegetter (8) GEUMA ALLURE are others in the frame.
|Selections||(6) Argo Tap (3) Hwangwoo Gangja (7) Cupid Wow (1) Jilju Daese|
|Next Best||8, 4|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 6, 7|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
A big field of maidens but (9) MIGHTY STORM will be expected to score. After three consecutive 4th place finishes, he managed 3rd on his latest outing at 1200M on September 4th when settling midfield and running on. The slight step up in trip today might be what he needs, and he is the one to beat. (11) GOLDEN RACER has finished off both her races to date very well over 1200M, especially last tie out when running on for 4th. The wide draw shouldn’t matter to her, and the additional half furlong should be appreciated. (5) TEUKGEUP CAMP is another up slightly in trip having done his recent work over 1200M. He ran good times at this distance and may well be ridden a bit further forward today with there being not much genuine speed in this race. (10) HALLA BAEKDU and (3) ECTON POWER among others in the minor money hunt.
|Selections||(9) Mighty Storm (11) Golden Racer (5) Teukgeup Camp (10) Halla Baekdu|
|Next Best||3, 1|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 9, 10|
Seoul Race 5: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
Small field but wide open. (1) GAMGOK SUNSHINE came from well back to run 5th over 1400M on July 30th, beating a couple of these in the process. That was her first start in five months and while it has been a couple more months since, she should have benefitted from the experience and tackling two turns for the first time, she has as good a chance as any here. (7) RUNNER MONSTER has mixed his form across eleven outings to date. He is one of only two in the field to have tried this distance before and although it didn’t go well, recent efforts at shorter suggest he may be ready for another try. (6) HEEMANG WARRIOR beat Runner Monster on her way to 5th place over 1400M last time out. Her running style suggests two turns may suit and she could get closer here. (8) CHEONSONGI and (4) STAR PRINCESS others who could potentially place.
|Selections||(1) Gamgok Sunshine (7) Runner Monster (6) Heemang Warrior (8) Cheonsongi|
|Next Best||4, 3|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5, 8|
Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(7) SPICE ECTON comes up in class following a 2nd place and a win from his first two career starts, sitting handy and running on well over 1300M on September 4th for that victory. The manner of how he did it that day suggests there can be more to come, and he looks to be the one to beat here. (4) HANEUL JILJU was a class and distance winner two starts back when handy early before taking things up halfway home and running on strong. At his latest start, he dropped back to 1200M and ran 3rd and from a good draw, he will be expected to be on pace from the start and could potentially go all the way. (2) THUNDER CROWN got his maiden win at class 6 level over 1000M on start number 2 in early August. He found himself a bit overmatched in the Rookie Stakes on August 28th but should be much happier in shallower waters today. (8) LADY GOLDEN and (6) YOUNG BOSS others in the hunt.
|Selections||(7) Spice Ecton (4) Haneul Jilju (2) Thunder Crown (8) Lady Golden|
|Next Best||6, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 7, 12|
Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(8) SUN DRAGON was a winner on debut over 1000M at the end of July before running 2nd on his first try at this class at 1200M on September 4th when he led for most of the way. He should have come on for that experience, can lead again, and while he does come up in the weights, this time he can go one better. Another front-runner is (9) GANGNYEOKHANJIGEUM, who made all for his maiden win at class 6 level over 1400M in July. He led for much of the way around over 1300M on his first try at this class on September 3rd, ultimately finishing 4th. He too can go closer this time. (7) MABAWI got a bit far back from a wide draw last time out, but he has won in a very fast time over this trip. (4) ONLY WINNER and (1) GOLDEN HONOR others in at least the placing frame.
|Selections||(8) Sun Dragon (9) Gangnyeokanjigeum (7) Mabawi (4) Only Winner|
|Next Best||1, 2|
|Fast Start||6, 8, 9, 12|
Busan Race 4: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
A race that is anyone’s (3) ACE SOLOMON is ultra-consistent, having missed the top-four on only one occasion from thirteen starts. He was a winner at this class over 1400M two starts back with a front-running effort before running 2nd at his latest. He does come up 3.5kg in the weights but that is balanced by a good draw and the drop in trip, and he has strong claims. (4) CATCH THE VICTORY gets a full 6kg on Ace Solomon with the engagement of an apprentice jockey. He returned from five months out to run 2nd in a fast race at class and distance on August 5th and should have come on for that run. He will be on pace and in this a long way. (6) RAON THE BOSS beat Ace Solomon and a couple of others who go here on his way to 2nd place at 1400M on August 26th. He has performed really well in three starts since returning from an eight-month absence and can maintain that momentum today. (1) DOCTOR CAESAR and (10) MISS INDIE are among plenty of others with placing chances.
|Selections||(3) Ace Solomon (4) Catch The Victory (6) Raon The Boss (1) Doctor Caesar|
|Next Best||10, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 5, 11|
Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
None of the ten have raced over a mile before. (1) BLACK MASK (not to be confused with Group winner Black Musk) went back to trial after a disappointing effort over 1800M at the end of July. He sailed through the heat in fine style and has won over 1700M at class 5 level. The mile can suit, he draws great, and he can win. (2) HOLIDAY CHARM enters in good form with a 2nd and a 3rd from his first two tries at this class following victory over 1700M at class 5 level in June. His style has been to settle back and run on and from gate two, he may be able to save ground into the first turn while others swing wide. (6) P N S CHANCE comes in off back-to-back 3rd places at this level at 1800M and 1400M. He splits the difference distance-wise here and should be in the mix again. (10) GEUM SEDA has an unenviable task from the widest gate but can get close while (9) CHEONGDAM TANK similarly won’t have it easy but with a bit of luck at the start, is good enough.
|Selections||(1) Black Mask (2) Holiday Charm (6) P N S Chance (10) Geum Seda|
|Next Best||9, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 7, 8|
Busan Race 5: Class 2 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million
(7) JESSIEUI KKUM was a class 3 winner at this distance two starts back before beating three of today’s rivals on his way to 2nd place on his first try at this class over the same distance on August 26th when he settled midfield and hand then handy and led from the top of the straight. He comes up 2kg for that performance but that shouldn’t be enough to stop him from going one better today. (3) WINNER STAR came home 5th in that race. It was a decent return to regular racing for this year’s Korean Derby winner who after his somewhat unexpected success in Seoul in May, struggled in the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Triple Crown. He settles back and runs on and should be in the mix. (2) SPEED MATCH returned from four months out to win over 1400M at class 3 level on August 28th. He is up in class and in distance here but the way he swooped from off the pace last time suggests that he could sneak something here under a relatively light weight. (10) BLUE POWER and (9) SKY MORE among others who can target at least the minor money.
|Selections||(7) Jessieui Kkum (3) Winner Star (2) Speed Match (10) Blue Power|
|Next Best||9, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 9, 12|
Seoul Race 8: Class Open (1200M) Munhwa Ilbo Trophy (L) Allowance / KRW 200 Million
Juveniles racing for a big price and (6) GIANT PUNCH will start favourite based on his Rookie Stakes win on August 28th as well as a freakish victory prior to that when he did everything wrong but still scored comfortably. With more racing, he is getting better, he should settle forward here and has already proven himself strong at the business end. (3) GREEN SPARK will have support on her last start runner-up in the Rookie Stakes when she was on pace. She likes to race forward, is nicely drawn and should be kept safe. (13) FURIOSA won her first two races in fine style, including over this distance in a good time. She was 3rd in the Rookie Stakes having settled midfield and run on. (1) KWAEHYANG is a Hansen colt who has improved at each of his three starts so far, winning last time over this distance in a competitive time. Today’s race is tougher, but he is nicely drawn and looks a place line. (4) SAENAE TOWN, one for one so far, is another to look out for.
|Selections||(6) Giant Punch (3) Green Spark (13) Furiosa (1) Kwaehyang|
|Next Best||4, 10|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 9, 11|
Busan Race 6: Class Open (1200M) Areumdaun Jilju Stakes (L) / KRW 200 Million
Busan’s big juvenile race sees (9) FANTASTIC KINGDOM picks himself having won Busan’s Rookie Stakes in a good time and most professional manner. No other runner from the Rookie returns to face him again and even with the wide draw, he looks the goods. (4) RUBY STORM won his only start so far with an on-pace showing over five furlongs. From a good draw, expect him to be on the speed again and to be in this a long way. (2) ARCTURUS got his maiden win at start number two on August 21st when making all over 1300M. He could race forward again here and be strong in the home straight. (6) ATLAS was a winner at her only race start when handy to the lead on a very wet track. It’s hard to get a good gauge on that run but she warrants respect. Even harder to gauge is first-time starter (8) SEOBU BIGSTEP, but she arrives well thought of and looked the part in a trial
|Selections||(9) Fantastic Kingdom (4) Ruby Storm (2) Arcturus (6) Atlas|
|Next Best||8, 5|
|Fast Start||4, 5, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 9: Class 1 (2000M) Allowance / KRW 110 Million
We’ll take a chance here on (5) THE GUMPU at what should be a decent price. He is a winner of two at this class and while he had a lapse in form. He returned last start with a solid 2nd place over 1800M when he led. A better draw assists today and a repeat of that run puts him firmly in this. (2) HEUNGHAENG JILJU comes in having beaten some of these on his way to a win at class and distance on July 30th, his third success over 2000M. He comes up 3kg in the weights here but is nicely drawn and will be a danger again. (9) JANGSAN LASER is an exciting up and comer, who has won up to a mile. He stepped up two classes to win over 1200M in August and then ran a strong on pace 2nd in the tough HKJC Trophy over 1700M on International Day. He can measure up here. (6) SUPER SOCKS wasn’t far back behind The Gumpu last time and an apprentice takes the edge off the weights here. (1) NAMSANUI BYEOL another in the placing frame.
|Selections||(5) The Gumpu (2) Heunghaeng Jilju (9) Jangsan Laser (6) Super Socks|
|Next Best||1, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 5, 9|
Seoul Race 10: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(3) EUNHYE RECORD is the one to beat here. He may still be a maiden, but he has had several near misses including a close 3rd place at class and distance last time out on September 4th when he overcame gate eleven. That was his first try at this cl ass, he comes into a better gate today, and he can make the breakthrough. (8) NAMSAN HORANGI returns to action for the first time since June when he was 4th over 1700M. He won a trial two weeks ago and can go well first up today. (5) PIEONADA had a poor day at the office last time out in terms of result, but the margins weren’t huge and she previously recorded successive placings at class and distance. (1) SMART POWER and (10) RAON THE WILD among others who can aim for the places.
|Selections||(3) Eunhye Record (8) Namsan Horangi (5) Pieonada (1) Smart Power|
|Next Best||10, 6|
|Fast Start||3, 5, 10, 12|
Seoul Race 11: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(6) JANGSAN MONSTER is yet to win in sixteen attempts but has no fewer than nine placed finishes – seven of them 3rd – but this looks very winnable. He consistently runs fast times for the distance, he draws well and is weighted fairly. If he does find one too quick again, then it could be (3) CHEONSA PARK. It took him twenty-four goes to get his maiden win, which he did last start when scoring at this distance in a good time. He comes up in class here but comes down in the weights and from a good gate should measure up. (11) P N S GAMBOL is another up in class, in his case following his second career win, which came over 1700M on September 4th when making all. The draw is wider than ideal, but he comes down in weight and can be competitive. (8) TAPDOWN and (4) THE QUEEN JUSTICE are others who can enter the calculations.
|Selections||(6) Jangsan Monster (3) Cheonsa Park (11) P N S Gambol (8) Tapdown|
|Next Best||4, 12|
|Fast Start||3, 6, 10, 11|