Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (March 18)

Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with 10 races from 10:35 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

It’s a long time since Moonhak Chief won the Korea Cup. He runs on Saturday (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Special Weight A / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens in the opener. (3) MAGUMA enters having run 2nd at this distance on February 11th when he settled behind the leaders and ran on. It wasn’t a fast race, but he does have quick a quick time to his name at 1200M and from a good gate and with an apprentice claim, he has every chance of going one better today. (4) RICH GATE has a 2nd and two 5th place finishes from three outings so far. In his latest two he has been on pace throughout, recording fair times over this trip, and he can lead and be in it a long way again here. (2) THUNDER BLUE also has a 2nd place in his record. He is another who has shown on the speed in his races so far and from a nice inside draw, can do the same again. (8) GWANGCHIGI looks a place chance while (1) DAEJANGBYEOL was promising on debut but then having been caught wide all the way from gate twelve on reappearance in January, weakened and then parted company with his jockey. Improvement is possible here.

Selections(3) Maguma (4) Rich Gate (2) Thunder Blue (8) Gwangchigi
Next Best1, 9
Fast Start2, 4, 8, 9

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Special Weight A / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies here and (7) FINAL JILJU will be a hot favourite. She has made steady progress across three starts so far, culminating in 2nd place on her latest on February 25th when running through the line well. Her style to date suggests that the additional half furlong should suit, and she won’t need to improve much to win here. (10) EVERY CHARM has a 3rd and a 4th from two prior attempts at this trip. She has tended to settle midfield and run on but there is very little speed here so despite the wide draw, she may find herself further forward today and in this company should be looking to match or better that 3rd. (6) HAEUNDAE GALMAEGI ran 5th behind Final Jilju on what was her debut in that February 25th race. She should have derived benefit from that experience and can improve here. (11) DIVINE PYEONGHWA and (5) BEAUTIFUL MELODY among other potential improvers.

Selections(7) Final Jilju (10) Every Charm (6) Haeundae Galmaegi (11) Divine Pyeonghwa
Next Best5, 3
Fast Start1, 3, 10, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million

A normal maiden here and it’s hard to look far past (5) BULUI NALGAE. He comes in following a 3rd and a 2nd from his latest two, both over this distance and both in fair times. He has tended to get a bit far back but from a good gate and in a race devoid of early speed, that shouldn’t happen today and he will be a warm favourite. The main danger is (8) STAND BY ME. He has the fastest time of any of these for the distance by some margin and while that was achieved on a wet track, he has gone well in the dry too. At his latest he was a close 4th over 1400M, and he should be in the mix once more. (2) WONPYEONG SKY was a significantly improved 3rd at start number three on February 19th, having overcome gate twelve to run on. He draws nicely here and with some natural improvement can match or better that finish today. That will mean overturning the form on (10) SILVER BOOSTER, who ran 2nd in that February 19th race. From the widest gate he may need a touch of luck at the start, but he can be competitive again. (6) SONGAM DRAGON another in the minor money hunt.

Selections(5) Bului Nalgae (8) Stand By Me (2) Wonpyeong Sky (10) Silver Booster
Next Best6, 9
Fast Start5, 6, 8, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million

Another race, another short-priced favourite. This time it’s the turn of (1) GHOST CHARM who, wile he could only manage 6th of twelve when afforded a similar status over this distance on February 19th, can be given another chance. Two starts back he ran 2nd in a quick time over the distance and from the inside gate, Kim Jeong-jun should be able to avoid getting too far back and can pick his spot behind the leaders. If he can, then he should prove too strong. He doesn’t face a very strong set of opponents. (4) LAST PITCH is probably the best of the but he will need a line drawn through his latest at this distance on March 4th when he was scarcely involved after a slow start. Today, he should be able to get on pace and can place. (7) WORLD PLAY has a couple of positive results in his record and while his latest two haven’t been good, this is a weaker race and he can improve. (9) SAEROUN BITKKAL and (6) DAESEUNG GAON other placing potentials.

Selections(1) Ghost Charm (4) Last Pitch (7) World Play (9) Saeroun Bitkkal
Next Best6, 8
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 8

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1600M) Special Weight B / KRW 40 Million

It’s hard to oppose the standout favourite again. (10) GEUMA CHIC beat four of these on his way to a maiden victory last time out at class and distance on February 11th. He only comes up 2kg in the weights, which should be manageable, and while gate ten is not easy at the mile start, if he can find a good position without using up too much energy early or be caught wide heading into the back straight, he will take some beating. That draw does potentially leave some scope to take him on if so inclined. (1) GEUMSEONG SEGYE ran 2nd in that February 11th race having led for much of the way around. He has raced once since then, struggling from a wide draw over 1700M two weeks ago but with an apprentice claiming 4kg and drawing inside here, he has a chance of overturning the form. (5) BITNANEUN JILJU was a big odds winner at this class over 1700M on February 19th. He comes up a full 4kg in the weights but can be competitive again. (9) TANSAN and (3) SMART BLUE others to keep safe.

Selections(10) Geuma Chic (1) Geumseong Segye (5) Bitnaneun Jilju (9) Tansan
Next Best3, 8
Fast Start1, 4, 7, 10

Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(4) JANGSAN SPO got his maiden win at start number two on February 19th, making all over this distance to win by eight-lengths. He comes up in class here but the manner of that victory suggests there is more to come and he will be the one to beat again. (3) SUNGAN TOUCH can be a danger. His recent form reads pleasingly enough at this level and comes in off a useful 4th over 1300M on February 11th. From a good gate he can be ridden on or close to the speed today and he can go close. (8) DONGTEUJA WAY returned from five months out to get his maiden win at start number five over his distance on February 12th. He comes up in class here but he comes down in the weights and he can measure up in this company. (12) NEMO PRINCE overcame a similarly wide draw to run 2nd at this class over 1300M on February 11th and along with (2) ULTRA SOCKS, who will need his latest effort forgiven, is another in the frame.

Selections(4) Jangsan Spo (3) Sungan Touch (8) Dongteuja Way (12) Nemo Prince
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 11

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Competitive race with plenty entering with their recent form reading very week. (11) GIPPEUM HWANHO is yet to finish any worse than 5th in five starts. That was where he ended up on his first try at this class over 1400M on February 18th. He comes back to the distance at which he got his victory and despite the wide draw, under a light weight, he has solid claims here. Also back in trip is (1) STARLET. She has posted consistently good times and is ideally drawn to lead. She is under a light weight and if she does indeed get to the front, she may be hard to overhaul. (7) GEOMEUN JILJU comes up in class having been a front-running winner over 1200M on February 19th. He comes down in the weights and can measure up in this company. (5) RAON THE TIGER enters off a class and distance 2nd a month ago and he too should be close again. (9) SUPER FINISH another to keep safe in a race of many chances.

Selections(11) Gippeum Hwanho (1) Starlet (7) Geomeun Jilju (5) Raon The Tiger
Next Best9, 3
Fast Start1, 2, 7, 11

Seoul Race 8: Class 1 (2000M) Special Weight B / KRW 110 Million

A class and distance winner two starts back on Christmas Day, (3) CHIEF INDY found himself on the wrong end of a breakout staying performance by the supposed sprinter Black Musk at his latest outing on January 28th. He still managed to beat four of today’s rivals on his way to 2nd place and with Black Musk heading back to the sprinting ranks and Chief Indy under the same weight, he should have them beating of  them again. (6) SIMJANGUI GODONG was 3rd in that January 29th race. An apprentice jockey again just takes the edge off his carried weight and that should make him competitive once more. (5) MOONHAK CHIEF was 2nd to Chief Indy on Christmas Day, demonstrating the one-time Korea Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner still has ability. He has to be taken on trust though as he is hard to catch these days. (4) THE GUMPU and (8) WINNER GOLD are others in the hunt.

Selections(3) Chief Indy (6) Simjangui Godong (5) Moonhak Chief (4) The Gumpu
Next Best8, 7
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 6

Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(1) GEUMBITMA has only missed the top-four once from seven starts so far and while he didn’t manage to win at class 5, he comes up here anyway following back-to-back runner-up finishes over this distance and 1200M in good times. He draws very well, he comes down in the weights and Moon Se-young climbs on, so there is a lot to like here. (7) IRON MUSKET is well established at this level and comes back up in trip after recent solid results over 1200M. In this company, she should be on the early speed and can be in this a long way. (2) BOMNALUI GIEOK enters off a strong runner-up finish over 1200M at this class on February 19th. He’s been up and down the distances lately but can run on well and in this kind of race, he can collect a cheque. (12) MARUMA and (8) GLOBAL MAGIC among others firmly in the frame.

Selections(1) Geumbitma (7) Iron Musket (2) Bomnalui Gieok (12) Maruma
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start1, 7, 10, 11

Seoul Race 10: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Concluding a theme of probably short-priced favourites is (2) MOONHAK SHEBA. He was sent off as favourite when racing three of today’s rivals on February 11th over 1200M but while he made up good ground late on, could only manage 2nd. Coming back up in trip should suit and today he can go one better. In addition to the distance increase, Moonhak Sheba gets a weight swing and a reversal in favourable gates on that day’s winner, (11) THIS CHALLENGE. The latter comes up a full 3.5kg but don’t rule him out at the distance – he has the fastest time of any of these over it. He’ll be in the mix again. (3) CHOEGANG BLADE is up in class following a very comfortable win over 1200M on February 12th. He comes down in the weights, draws well and has already run well over this trip. He can measure up. (8) ROYAL ELVIS and (1) POWER BOX others in the placing hunt.

Selections(2) Moonhak Sheba (11) This Challenge (3) Choegang Blade (8) Royal Elvis
Next Best1, 9
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 7