Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (December 18)

Sunday’s racing is at Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 12:15 to 16:40). The program at both tracks includes a number of trophy races for big prize money as part of the Retired Racehorse Benefit day. These are essentially just normal races at between class 5 and class 3 level (as noted below in the comments). Here are the previews:

Race 5 at Busan marks Winner’s Man’s Korea Cup and Grand Prix victories (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile filly maidens in the opener and there are plenty of promising ones among them. Stepping up to 1200M for the first time, (9) MAESTRA gets the nod. She was 3rd in both her previous starts, both at 1300M, first by leading and then by settling back and running on. Moon Se-young continues aboard and today can be her day. (11) NAOL HAENGBOK ran 2nd in a fast time on a wet track over 1000M on debut on November 13th settling handy and running on. She draws a touch wide for comfort here, but the trip can suit, and she can challenge. (1) TOUCH CHARM is the big winner from the draw. She was a strong 3rd on debut over 1000M on November 26th and is another who can appreciate the additional furlong. Plenty of others in the hunt including (7) DASI TAEEONADO and the first-time starter and trial winner (4) WONDERFUL SLEW.

Selections(9) Maestra (11) Naol Haengbok (1) Touch Charm (7) Dasi Taeeonado
Next Best4, 2
Fast Start1, 5, 11, 9

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

(3) CHOEGANG MIRAE debuted without distinction back in April and then didn’t return until the end of October, only beating two home over 1300M. He had won a trial just the week before in a quick time demonstrating that he has some speed and was an improved 5th when tried at this distance on December 3rd. He draws much better here and third-up this could be his day. (4) TWO ACE has a runner-up finish to his name over this distance two starts back when coming from off the pace and followed up with a 4th at his most recent outing. An apprentice takes 3kg off his back and he should be going close. (8) MIRACLE K beat a couple of these on her way to 4th at this distance on November 20th having led for much of the way around and that’s enough to bring her into contention here. (12) DAESEUNG GAON and (9) GOLD KAISER among others in the minor money hunt.

Selections(3) Choegang Mirae (4) Two Ace (8) Miracle K (12) Daeseung Gaon
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start3, 5, 8, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

After three consecutive runner-up finishes, it’s about time (11) PURGE DAY won. He has finished 2nd from the front, as he did two starts back at class level, and he has finished 2nd settling back after a slow start and running on, as he did on his first try at this class on October 29th. That latter performance was fast and suggests the wide draw won’t be an issue as he steps up to this distance for the first time. (7) MENI ACE comes up in class and in distance following a maiden win over 1200M on November 12th when for the first time he was on or close to the pace throughout. He carries a light weight, can sit handy here and can run on to challenge again. (10) TOHO SKY comes in having finished a respectable midfield in Listed Nonghyup Chairman’s Cup for juveniles a month ago. He had previously run out a winner in a good time at 1200M and should go close in this company. (2) BICHUICA and (9) WONDERFUL INDY are among others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(11) Purge Day (7) Meni Ace (10) Toho Sky (2) Bichuica
Next Best9, 6
Fast Start3, 6, 10, 12

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maiden fillies open proceedings on the south coast with five of the twelve racing for the first time. (2) SPECIAL ROAD is the favourite, having run 2nd on debut on November 25th over 1000M, having previously run a similarly quick time in a trial. She draws well, carries a very light weight and the additional furlong can suit. The biggest threat looks to be one of the first-time starters. (1) ACE HORANGI won her trial in double quick time, leading all the way. She draws the same inside gate for her first race start and won’t need to improve much on the trial to go very close. (5) MY MANTRA ran on pleasingly enough for 5th place in a good time on debut at 1000M on November 11th and with some natural improvement can go closer today. Debut-makers (11) NEXT MARINE and (6) AMAZING MOVE are others capable of putting in bold showings first-up.

Selections(2) Special Road (1) Ace Horangi (5) My Mantra (11) Next Marine
Next Best6, 12
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class Open (1600M) Allowance / KRW 150 Million

(9) MACH STAR is favoured here. A maiden winner at start number two over 1200M at class 6 level on October 23rd, she than ran a good 2nd over that same distance on her first try at this level on November 19th. She has shown herself able to come from off the pace so the big step up in trip may be to her advantage and she is the one to beat. Plenty of others come in with recent form reading well. Chief among those is (8) LUCKY POWER, who was an also-ran in the Munhwa Ilbo Trophy in October but ran on well for 2nd over 1300M at this class on November 6th. He is another who can appreciate the additional trip and can be considered. (1) NUT PLAY started his career well but his latest two have seen him first get a long way back from a wide gate and then have a hard time in the Listed Nonghyup Chairman’s Trophy. From the inside draw and against more amenable company, he will have fewer excuses here. (4) HWARANG TODAY and (7) ROSE GOLD are among others to consider.

Selections(9) Mach Star (8) Lucky Power (1) Nut Play (4) Hwarang Today
Next Best7, 5
Fast Start2, 4, 8, 10

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

An extremely ordinary maiden which sees (8) SPECIAL JOHN, who has raced thirteen times and is yet to finish in the top-two, as the favourite. He has been getting better of late though, with two 3rd places and a 4th from his latest three and in the process set a time for this distance almost a full second faster than anything else here that has tackled the 1200M has managed. He won’t get a better chance than today to make the breakthrough. (2) MORNING MUSE comes back in trip and shapes as the logical danger having been on pace and then faded in her latest outings at further. She is up in the weights but that’s balanced by a good gate. The form, such that is, falls off after that with (7) WIDAEHAN SEONTAEK and (6) SPEED MAST the only others to have respectable showings among their most recent appearances which is enough to bring them into play here. (10) VELOCIRAPTOR did at least run on at start two over 1000M last time so may go better at this trip but is hardly convincing.

Selections(8) Special John (2) Morning Muse (7) Widaehan Seontaek (6) Speed Mast
Next Best10, 5
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 11

Seoul Race 5: Class Open (1700M) Allowance (Rating 1-35) / KRW 150 Million

Competitive race here. (12) WONDERFUL JOY overcame the widest gate to sit handy and then run on to win at class 5 level (which is essentially what this is), with three of today’s rivals behind him over this distance on November 12th. The set weight scale means he only comes up 1kg and that, combined with the widest gate again, might not be enough to prevent him winning again. (2) SPO BLADE is turning into a useful type. He got his maiden win at class 6 level two starts back over 1200M before running 2nd at 1300M on his first try at class 5 on November 19th. He has proven tactically versatile at the shorter distances and can go well on his debut over two turns. (5) FEDERAL KING and (7) K N TIZWON came home 2nd and 4th respectively behind Wonderful Joy in that November 12th race and both can be looking to go close again. (4) GAMGOK SUNSHINE another who can enter the calculations.

Selections(12) Wonderful Joy (2) Spo Blade (5) Federal King (7) K N Tizwon
Next Best4, 1
Fast Start2, 9, 10, 11

Busan Race 3: Class Open (1600M) Allowance (Rating 1-35) / KRW 150 Million

Despite the big prize, this is basically a class 5. It’s wide open so we may as well take a chance on (11) COME ON FIRST, who got his maiden win on his first try at this distance on November 20th. With the set weight scale, he only comes up 1lg in the weights and while he may need a touch of luck early from the wide draw, he can win again at what will probably be an each-way price. Those set weights also mean (9) DOCTOR PERSIA isn’t giving away as much as he otherwise might. He comes in off two good performances over 1400M and 1800M, both at this class and both times finishing in 2nd. He surely goes close. (1) BRAVO HAMYANG is still a maiden but has only missed out on the top-four on one occasion from six starts. He was 4th on his only previous try at the distance and draws well here. (8) WONDERFUL ANDOVER and (2) QUEEN STAR among plenty others with designs on at least a place.

Selections(11) Come On First (9) Doctor Persia (1) Bravo Hamyang (8) Wonderful Andover
Next Best2, 10
Fast Start1, 8, 11, 12

Seoul Race 6: Class Open (1800M) Allowance (Rating 1-50) / KRW 150 Million

Big field and wide open at what is class 4 level. (12) K FRENZY enters having been a beaten favourite in both his last two starts, both at 1700M. He draws wide here but should have enough early speed to still be able to take up a good position and the weight scale does him no harm at all. He has every chance. (3) VIKING HEART enters off a strong 3rd place over this distance on November 27th when overcoming gate twelve to sit handy and run on. He obviously draws much better today and can maintain his good run of form. (11) WORLD RACER returns to action for the first time since June. He didn’t offer too many clues and he is definitely not done any favours by the set weights, but he has won over 1700M and in this company can be effective. (8) TIZ BAROWS was 4th in the Derby and along with (7) ONE PUTT, who after drawing blanks in his first twenty-four outings, has proceeded to win three in a row, is among others in a race of few standouts but many chances.

Selections(12) K Frenzy (3) Viking Heart (11) World Racer (8) Tiz Barows
Next Best7, 6
Fast Start1, 4, 8, 12

Busan Race 4: Class Open (1800M) Allowance (Rating 1-50) / KRW 150 Million

This is class 4 level. After a creditable midfield finish in the Jeju Governor’s Cup at Seoul over 1400M, (10) HAENAM HAMMER returned to Busan and to winning ways on November 6th, with an on-pace win over a mile. She is right at the top of the rating scale here so carries her fair share of weight, but it shouldn’t be enough to stop her from winning again. (1) GEUMA INFINITE has won at this distance at class 5 level and comes in off a 3rd place at class 4. He too carries plenty of weight but that’s balanced by a nice draw, and he can go close. (6) KING GRACE comes back in trip after recent good results over 1800M including a 4th and a 3rd place from his latest two appearances, both at class 4 level. He likes to settle back and run on and will be finishing strongly here. (9) LANE KILLER returns to action for the first time since April and having trialled well might be worth a chance at an each-way price. (5) UNJU STAR another in the hunt.

Selections(10) Haenam Hammer (1) Geuma Infinite (6) King Grace (9) Lane Killer
Next Best5, 8
Fast Start1, 5, 10, 11

Seoul Race 7: Class Open (1700M) Allowance (Rating 1-50) / KRW 150 Million

This is class 4 level. (1) KINGS EYE enters looking for a hat-trick of victories, having won his latest two in front-running fashion at class 6 and class 5 at 1300M and 1200M. He has only finished outside the top-four on one occasion from six starts and that as on debut. He comes up in trip, but it can suit. (2) CHEON GUN comes in off a runner-up finish over 1800M at class 4 level on October 30th when settling midfield and running on. A couple of today’s rivals were back down the track behind him and while he is up in the weights, he can be competitive again. (11) JOEUN GWANGYE was a class 4 winner at 1800M two starts back before running 2nd over a mile, again at class 4, on November 26th. That day he settled right back and ran on suggesting that the wide gate won’t be an issue and he should be finishing strong once more. (9) YONGHOJIMA and (10) BODY STAR among others to take into account.

Selections(1) Kings Eye (2) Cheon Gun (11) Joeun Gwangye (9) Yonghojima
Next Best10, 8
Fast Start4, 7, 8, 9

Busan Race 5: Class Open (1600M) Allowance (Rating 1-50) / KRW 150 Million

This is class 4 level. (4) MONGTTANG was highly rated as a juvenile but lost his way at the start of this year and after finishing 12th in the Derby in May, didn’t return until last month. On re-appearance at class 4 level over a mile, he almost led the entire way around, ultimately running 2nd in a good time and while he is up in the weights, he draws better, should strip fitter for the run, and has a chance. (8) CAPTAIN GOLD has raced just five times, winning once, and finishing 2nd in the remaining four, most recently over 1400M on October 23rd. He likes to run on pace and while he comes up in weight, he can challenge for the early lead and be in this a long way. (12) KF ONE rarely runs a bad race. He comes up in trip today and draws a touch wide but could go close. (2) NICE CHOEGANG and (11) JANGSAN BLACK among others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(4) Mongttang (8) Captain Gold (12) KF One (2) Nice Choegang
Next Best11, 3
Fast Start5, 8, 10, 12

Seoul Race 8: Class Open (1800M) Allowance (Rating 1-65) / KRW 150 Million

Class 3 here. (12) DOUBLE EDGE was an also-ran on this year’s Triple Crown trail with his best result being 5th of sixteen in the concluding Minister’s Cup. He pulled off a remarkable win at his latest start on November 26th though, when almost falling turning into the home straight having been badly checked by another horse. He recovered to run on to win by a full four-lengths and despite the wide draw, he will be favoured to win again here. (6) LUCKY WORLD comes in having run an in no way disgraced 7th of fourteen in the G1 President’s Cup last month over 2000M. At his previous start on September 18th, he beat a couple of these on his way to a close 2nd at this distance at class 3 level and he has a chance here. (11) COMPLETE TIME won three in a row between June and September to get promoted to class 3 whereupon he ran a good 2nd at this distance on November 6th. He very much likes to be on pace so the draw is not ideal but with a bit of early luck he can find a good position and can then threaten. (2) WONPYEONG COD and winner of his last three (5) FLYING GOLD are others in the hunt.

Selections(12) Double Edge (6) Lucky World (11) Complete Time (2) Wonpyeong Cod
Next Best5, 8
Fast Start5, 6, 7, 11

Busan Race 6: Class Open (1800M) Allowance (Rating 1-65) / KRW 150 Million

This is class 3 level. It could be a battle of two horses from different trainers but both sporting the colours of owner Boo Soo-sun.  (1) UNJU OCEAN has only finished outside the top -three on one occasion and comes in following a strong 2nd over a mile at class 3 level on November 25th. He likes to be on pace, so the draw is a good one and there is no reason why the step up to two turns can suit. (6) UNJU HERO ran 4th in the KRA Cup Mile before only beating one home in the Derby. His form since has been good including a class 3 runner-up finish at this distance on November 20th. He likes to settle midfield and run on and will be a big danger here. (7) STAR EYE beat Unju Ocean when winning over a mile at class 3 in that November 25th race. He comes up 3kg in the weights and also in trip but should be competitive again. (8) FLYING THE CHAMP returned from five months off to run 2nd to promising juvenile Betelgeuse over this distance on November 25th and is nicely weighted here. (9) CATCH THE SKY among others in the minor money hunt.

Selections(1) Unju Ocean (6) Unju Hero (7) Star Eye (8) Flying The Champ
Next Best9, 3
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 11

Seoul Race 9: Class Open (1800M) Allowance (Rating 1-65) / KRW 150 Million

Class 3 level. (2) SPRING KING came home 5th behind Double Edge at his latest start on November 26th over this distance having led in the closing stages. He’s right at the top of the rating scale here but gets a good gate and can get it right this time. (7) JANGSAN MONSTER is another who doesn’t win out of turn but has been going well of late at shorter distances and the way he has run on in recent starts suggests he may be ready for another crack at two-turn racing. (6) YAHO GOLDEN CAT beat a couple of these on his way to 3rd place at this distance on October 30th at class 3 level. At the start before he won over the distance and while he carries 5kg more than his winning weight, he can be competitive here. (12) JEONGMUN BOLT and (4) THE SPIKER are among plenty of others with placing claims.

Selections(2) Spring King (7) Jangsan Monster (6) Yaho Golden Cat (12) Jeongmun Bolt
Next Best4, 11
Fast Start6, 7, 13, 14

Seoul Race 10: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(12) STILL PLAY comes up in class having secured his maiden win at start number two over this distance on November 19th when fairly away but quickly striking the front then running away from the field. The draw is not ideal, but he can overcome that and can win again. (3) GREENBACK has plenty of experience at this level and has been knocking on the door for a while. Tactically versatile, from a good draw he can sit handy here and can be running on strong late. (4) PINE FARM returned from eight months out to run a very good 2nd at class and distance on November 12th when close to the pace throughout. He should strip fitter for that run and can be a contender here. (10) E-DANAEUN and (9) CLOUTER others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(12) Still Play (3) Greenback (4) Pine Farm (10) E-Danaeun
Next Best9, 11
Fast Start4, 7, 8, 11

Seoul Race 11: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

(3) JANGSAN LASER enters having run an excellent 4th in the G1 President’s Cup over 2000M last month when he led until the closing stages. He was a class 1 winner at 1200M as recently as August and from a great draw and under a light weight, he should haver far too much here. Logical second pick is (7) WONPYEONG GASOK. He is up in class here but has a good record at the distance and comes down a full 7kg on his latest start. He has ten top-two finishes from fourteen starts and can measure up in this company. (5) THE GUMPU has a poor day at the office last time out when weakening over this distance. His record before that was good though and he looked well in a trial last week and is worth another chance here. (2) WANG BEOTKKOT and (11) GO UP are among others in the placing frame.

Selections(3) Jangsan Laser (7) Wonpyeong Gasok (5) The Gumpu (2) Wang Beotkkot
Next Best11, 6
Fast Start4, 6, 11, 12