There has been plenty of rain across the country over the past day or so and that’s set to continue into the weekend. On the plus side, the temperatures should be very mild compared to last week’s arctic blast. Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with 12 races from 10:40 to 18:00. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
Three-year-old maidens in the opener with just three of them having raced before. (6) ORCHID VALLEY overcame gate ten and a slow start on debut over 1000M on December 17th to run 2nd in a good time. He should have come on for the run and the way he worked home suggests that the additional furlong will be to his benefit. (5) PEERLESS also came from off the pace on debut, running 3rd in an all-filly race over 1000M. She too should have derived benefit from that run and can go close here. Of the newcomers, (3) MIR QUALITY looks the pick. He made all in his trial and while the time was not quick, he was within himself, and a bold showing is possible first-up. (12) FLY DAY is done no favours by the draw but showed well in his heat and can be considered. (4) CUPID CHIC can build on her 7th place on debut in November.
|Selections||(6) Orchid Valley (5) Peerless (3) Mir Quality (12) Fly Day|
|Next Best||4, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 4, 12|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
More three-year-old maidens although all of these have raced at least once before. (3) NAOL GONI will be favourite having run 4th on debut and then followed up with 2nd on his reappearance on December 17th when he led almost the entire way around. He draws well to be on pace again, the additional half furlong should pose no issues, and he should go one better here. (8) RAON THE CHARLIE has been showing steady progress across three starts so far, culminating in 3rd place at his latest on December 10th when settling right back and running on. That was his first try at 1200M and stretching out further today should help. (5) LEGAL HIGH used up plenty of energy getting to the front from a wide draw last time out and then weakened but should get an easier run here. (10) SEONGEUN CROWN and (12) SAVANA CHARLIE the other logical place chances.
|Selections||(3) Naol Goni (8) Raon The Charlie (5) Legal High (10) Seongeun Crown|
|Next Best||12, 4|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5, 11|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
(3) BAEDAERI WANGJA has been consistent across four starts so far and while his 2nd place on debut over 1000M may be his best finish, he has run on well in his latest two, finishing 4th both times over 1200M. There isn’t much early speed here so from a good draw he may well be closer to the pace than usual, and this could be his day. (1) BADAUI KKUM has been knocking on the door in his latest few appearances. He can settle handy here and should be running on into some money again. (5) POWERFUL SOCKS stepped up to this distance for the first time on December 12th and it seemingly suited as he was an on-pace 2nd on a fast time. He will surely be on the speed here and will be in this a long way. (9) BOSS BABY and (8) STAND BY ME are others in at least the placing hunt.
|Selections||(3) Baedari Wangja (1) Badaui Kkum (5) Powerful Socks (9) Boss Baby|
|Next Best||8, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 5, 7|
Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
It’s hard to go far past (1) STRENGTH here. After a fast 4th on debut over 1000M, he came up to this trip for his second start on December 17th and ran a close 3rd, sitting handy throughout. He draws well to be on the pace, and it would be a surprise if he didn’t lead from gate to wire. The form of the rest is patchy, to say the least. (10) MIGHTY SSEN has hinted at ability in two efforts over 1000M. He has finished off both times well and may appreciate the step up in trip today. (3) SMARTY GLORY managed a 2nd place two starts back over 1000M, working home strongly. She never got going after a slow start on her first try at this distance on December 18th but is worth another chance here. (7) FIRST CHOUX returns to action following six months out and trialled fairly enough to suggest he can beat plenty of these. (2) RAON JUMP another with the potential to improve.
|Selections||(1) Strength (10) Mighty Ssen (3) Smarty Glory (7) First Choux|
|Next Best||2, 12|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 9, 12|
Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(10) BULGOM MADRE remains a maiden but comes up in class having finished as runner-up on both starts to date, only narrowly going down last time out over this distance. This isn’t the most intimidating class 5 field and while she draws wide, she doesn’t need to lead and has every chance of measuring up. (4) NAOL CHEONJI was a winner on debut and followed up with a 3rd place on her first try at this level in November. She couldn’t follow up at 1300M on December 10th but even so, she still finished ahead of a couples of today’s rivals and that’s enough to put her in contention here. (11) COMPLETE FORCE also beat a couple on his first try at the level. That came when on pace over 200M on November 20th and finishing 5th. The draw is not ideal as he seems to prefer to be on the seed but with a touch of luck at the start, he can be a danger. (12) GEOMEUN JILJU and (2) RIVER TAEYANG among others who can enter the calculations.
|Selections||(10) Bulgom Madre (4) Naol Cheonji (11) Complete Force (12) Geomeun Jilju|
|Next Best||2, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 11, 12|
Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
Fillies (and two mares) only here. (4) EINSPANNER was a coast-to-coast winner on debut over 1000M on December 11th and while up in both class and distance today, both can be overcome and she can maintain her 100% record, probably from on pace again. This isn’t an easy race though. (3) BURUI KKOT is yet to win in nine starts but has eight top0five finishes including a last start 2nd at class and distance on December 17th. She comes up in the weights today but draws well and it’s not impossible that today could be her day. (8) HIDDEN BLADE enters off a desperately close 2nd place at class and distance on November 5th. She too comes up in the weights, but a similar run will put her firmly in the mix again. (12) CONCORD QUEEN and (5) HUIMANG GADEUK others in the frame.
|Selections||(4) Einspanner (3) Burui Kkot (8) Hidden Blade (12) Concord Queen|
|Next Best||5, 9|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 7, 12|
Seoul Race 7: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million
(9) WONDERFUL WEEK got her maiden win at start number two over 1000M at the end of October before stepping up to this class and finishing a front-running 2nd over 1300M on December 10th. She comes up in trip again and she is drawn a touch wide, but she should be able to deal with both and can win here. (2) HWARANG TODAY has only missed the top-four once from six starts and comes back down in trip following a 4th place over a mile last time out in December. He draws well here to sit handy and run on. (7) SPO BLADE too comes back in trip having weakened late over 1700M last time out. He has posted fast times at shorter distances and can be firmly in the frame here. (8) GEUMA CHIC is the next best before the form drops off a cliff with (6) SAENAE HWANGJE perhaps with a chance of a place too based on his 3rd place three starts back at this class.
|Selections||(9) Wonderful Week (2) Hwarang Today (7) Spo Blade (8) Geuma Chic|
|Next Best||6, 10|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 9, 11|
Seoul Race 8: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million
The smallest field among all thirty-nine thoroughbred races in the country this week and it will yield one of the shorter priced favourites. That will be (1) GRAND POWER, who enters off a solid 3rd place over a mile on December 18th when on pace. He is yet to win in eleven starts but a similar run to last time will make him hard to beat in this company. (7) OKCHEON CHOEGANG enters having led every step of the way to score at big odds at this class over 1700M on Christmas Eve. He comes up a full 5kg in the weights but can be competitive again. (4) THUNDER HORSE doesn’t exactly win out of turn – hence being at class 5 still after twenty-three outings – but he knows how to pick up a check with no fewer than twelve finishes between 3rd and 5th. This is the kind of race in which he should go close once more. (5) DEVIL K and (3) GRAND STAR are others in the minor money hunt.
|Selections||(1) Grand Power (7) Okcheon Choegang (4) Thunder Horse (5) Devil K|
|Next Best||3, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 7, 8|
Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million
(2) GIANT PUNCH won the Seoul Rookie Stakes last August before running 3rd in the Listed Munhwa Ilbo Trophy and then was disappointingly back down the field in the Breeders’ Cup champion juvenile race at Busan in December. None of those were the most mature of performances but he has loads of ability and the step up to two turns may be just what he needs. (5) DRAGON STAR comes in seeking a hat-trick of victories, having scored back-to-back wins over 1200M and 1400M in fast times. He comes up in both class and distance today but he looks to be getting better with every run and another win is a possibility. (1) BURUI SINHWA is another rapidly up in class having won his latest two. His latest was on his first try around two turns over 1700M and it looked to suit. He is another with potential for more progress. (4) HATMURI came up to this class and distance on December 10th and ran a solid 2nd. Ultra-consistent, he doesn’t come up too much in the weights, he draws well, and he can be in the finish again. (10) DAESARI the best of the rest.
|Selections||(2) Giant Punch (5) Dragon Star (1) Burui Sinhwa (4) Hatmuri|
|Next Best||10, 12|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 6, 7|
Seoul Race 10: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
After six placings from her first six outings, (6) GANA FASHION finally came home on top at start number seven on December 10th at this class over 1400M. She comes up in the weights today but has run consistently fast times at this distance and she can make it two in a row here. There are a couple in the race who have already beaten Gana Fashion. (2) MUNHAK STORM did it when winning at class and distance in a blisteringly fast race on November 13th when leading gate to wire. He couldn’t repeat when drawn the widest in his latest start on Christmas Eve, but the gate is kinder today and this half-brother to Grand Prix Stakes winner Moonhak Chief can be a danger. (9) TIZ SUCCESS also beat Gana Fashion when the pair came home 1st and 2nd at this distance at class 5 level in October. She struggled when favourite for her first attempt at class 4 in November but has had eight weeks off, remains low in the weights, and can be given another chance. (7) GIANT KILLING and (8) GRAY THOR among others in at least the minor money hunt.
|Selections||(6) Gana Fashion (2) Munhak Storm (9) Tiz Success (7) Giant Killing|
|Next Best||8, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 11: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
(6) LUCKY SUN won his first two races in fine style, including a fast time over this distance at class 5 level, before going down to Busan to try his luck in the Breeders’ Cup champion juvenile race. He ran fairly, finishing 7th of sixteen having been on pace until the closing stages. He returns to more amenable company today and may take some beating. (4) TAP QUALITY has won over his distance and has the fastest time of any in the field at it. From a good gate he can get on the early speed and should be in this a long way. (1) KING ACE returned from eleven months out to win well at class and distance on December 4th. He comes up 3kg in the weights despite the apprentice claim but that’s balanced somewhat by a better draw and he can’t be ruled out again. (5) TOUCH NINE also enters having won at class and distance on his latest appearance. He too is up in the weights but warrants respect. (9) JAY TROSS another in the frame.
|Selections||(6) Lucky Sun (4) Tap Quality (1) King Ace (5) Touch Nine|
|Next Best||9, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 10, 11|
Seoul Race 12: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million
(7) LEEWOLMA is a winner of three from four so far, finishing runner-up in the other. He comes up in class today and up to the 1400M for the first time, but he comes down in the weights, he draws fairly and while there is an enforced jockey change with Moon Se-young being suspended, he should have too much. (4) TROTTING RILEY had a hard time around 1800M at his latest start at the end of November, showing on pace but fading late. At the start before he ran 3rd over this class and distance and returning to one-turn racing today, can be given another chance. (10) WONDERFUL KITTY ran a super 3rd in Group filly and mare company in the Jeju Governor’s Cup over this distance last October. She then came a very close 3rd in a fast time at a mile a month later. He times are consistently very good, she carries a feather weight here, and she has every chance. (1) CUPID WONDER and (9) BEST TIME among others who can enter the calculations.
|Selections||(7) Leewolma (4) Trotting Riley (10) Wonderful Kitty (1) Cupid Wonder|
|Next Best||9, 11|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 4, 7|