Author: gyongmaman

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (January 16)

Sunday sees meetings at both Seoul and Busan. Seoul has an 11-race card from 10:45 to 18:00 while at Busan the action runs from 12:00 to 16:40. The feature race is Busan’s finale involving 2000M track-record holder Fantastic Man, facing off with the likes of Blue Chipper, Great King and Smart Prince in a fourteen-runner field. All betting locations are open but attendance must be pre-booked through the MyCard app. Evidence of up to date vaccination against Covid-19 is required. Here are the previews

He’s moved trainers again – Blue Chipper goes at Busan on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies to kick things off and five of the twelve are racing for the first time. (8) HAPPY MIX has earned favourite status following good 4th place on debut in a fast time on December 19th when she sat midfield from a wide gate and ran on well. The draw is a little better this time and she has every chance. (5) JEONGSANG FIGHTING’s one race so far was back in July of last year when she put in a fair effort over this distance. She looked very well when trialing up on Christmas Eve to requalify and much more can be expected this time around. (3) SAENGIL SEONMUL should improve on the 8th place she scored on debut in November and can be expected to be on pace from a good gate. Of the first-time starters, (7) SPEAR GOLD and (6) CITY CHARM both trialed up well enough and can go well first-up.

Selections(8) Happy Mix (5) Jeongsang Fighting (3) Saengil Seonmul (7) Spear Gold
Next Best6, 11
Fast Start3, 5, 8, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens. (7) EUNHYE looks very much the one to beat having led almost the entire way around at this distance on November 20th, only to be caught by a good winner and finish in 2nd place. He’ll be on speed or handy here and this time can go all the way. (2) HANGANG BOSS was a solid 4th on his first try at this distance on December 11th, only narrowly missing out on 3rd. He can have come on for that run and be considered for better here. (8) EAGLE POINT came from well off the pace to run 2nd on debut over 1000M on November 27th. The step up in trip should suit and he’ll be coming home fast again. (4) GOOD NISEN was further back in the same race on his own debut having previously gone well in a trial and there can be improvement today. (6) THE FAVORITE was beaten by Eunhye at her latest start but has been consistent across three outings so far and should be competing for a place.

Selections(7) Eunhye (2) Hangang Boss (8) Eagle Point (4) Good Nisen
Next Best6, 1
Fast Start1, 6, 7, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

While it’s fair to say that (5) GOLD KAISER has mixed her form across three starts so far, her bad run came when drawn very wide and her two good ones when drawn similarly to today, including at her latest when a front-running 3rd over this distance. Just like today, that was in restricted filly and mare company, and this could be her day. (11) DONGHAENG raced twice last Spring, finishing 2nd on both occasions. She returns here after thirty-four weeks out having run well in a competitive trial in December in which she led for much of the way around alongside good horses. She has every chance of going well first-up. (1) WELLBEING CHAMPION ran on pleasingly for 5th on debut over 1000M in December. She comes up in trip and 4kg in the weights here without an apprentice aboard but from the inside, she may just sneak into the places. (13) FIRST ROAD and (7) RAON THE PEARL are others in the placing frame.

Selections(5) Gold Kaiser (11) Donghaeng (1) Wellbeing Champion (13) First Road
Next Best7, 10
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 11

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maiden fillies greet the starter in the opener at Busan with four of the twelve racing for the first time. (11) BEAUTY BROWN is set to start a hot favourite having beaten a couple of these on her way to 2nd place on debut in a similar event on December 17th, when she led for much of the way around. She drew even wider that day so the barrier shouldn’t be a problem and she should go one better.  The logical main challengers are a couple of the first-time starters. (4) HOLLYWOOD PARTY is the pick of these having run 2nd in a trial in a decent time although (7) KF ONE stopped the clock competitively too in her heat and with a 4kg weight allowance can make an impact. Returning to those with prior experience, (3) WONDERFUL CUTIE and (9) HAPPY SONG SONG perhaps have the greatest chance of improving.

Selections(11) Beauty Brown (4) Hollywood Party (7) KF One (3) Wonderful Cutie
Next Best9, 8
Fast Start1, 4, 8, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three and four-year-old maidens. (8) TIZ BAROWS will be a warm favourite having debuted well over 1300M on December 11th when going right back and then finishing off very well. The additional half-furlong should suit, and he is the one to beat. (9) NEW A ONE improved at start number two when runner-up at 1200M with a couple of today’s rivals behind him. He too went right back that day before running on and should appreciate a bit more distance here. (4) P N S CHANCE has been consistent across her three outings to date and is yet another who may like a bit of extra distance as she has been doing her best work late on each occasion. If you prefer a front-runner, then (3) BE CRAZY may be the one to go for. He has been on pace in both starts so far, finishing 4th both times, most recently behind New A One and from a nice draw will be up in front early again. (1) GEOLJAK WOMAN another in the hunt.

Selections(8) Tiz Barows (9) New A One (4) P N S Chance (3) Be Crazy
Next Best1, 10
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 13

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

It’s hard to oppose (1) MONEY CASE here. He’s run 4th and 2nd in two starts so far, both at 1000M and the latter in a fast time when handy throughout and running on. He looks to be working towards a maiden win and it can come here from the inside gate and under the track’s most in-form jockey. (5) GEUMA STARLET drops back in trip after an inauspicious spin around 1400M when favourite on Christmas Eve. Draw a line though that and instead go on his previous effort when 2nd at this distance on December 5th, beating a few of these in the process. You Hyun-myung climbs aboard today and he should be back in the finish. Also coming back in trip is (10) CHIEF OFFICER. He has the fastest time among these for the distance and gets a 4kg claim today. He may need some early luck from a relatively wide draw though. (6) YEONGGWANGUI RIDER ran 5th behind Geuma Starlet in early December having briefly led. He has trialed since then and should strip fitter. (4) SORI TAEPUNG resumes after eight months out and while he will need this, could sneak some minor money.

Selections(1) Money Case (5) Geuma Starlet (10) Chief Officer (6) Yeonggwangui Rider
Next Best4, 3
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 7
(more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 15)

Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with 9 races from 10:45 to 18:00. All betting locations are open but attendance must be pre-booked through the MyCard app and proof of up to date vaccination against Covid-19 is required. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens to kick things off with three of the twelve racing for the very first time. One of those debut makers is set to be favourite. (10) QUICKLY RUN trialed up very nicely when leading and ultimately running a close 2nd behind an experienced racehorse and ahead of one who has gone on to run 2nd three times. It was all the way back in September, but she will be expected to win first-up here. Much of that is to do with the exposed form of the rest. (1) SKY PANGPANG looks the best of those with experience, having overcome a slow start to run on well for 4th on debut on December 2nd. He gets a netter draw today and with a better start can get closer. (11) BEAT UP didn’t have much luck on debut but looks to have scope to improve. (8) EUNHYE DREAM made steady progress from start one to start two and can maintain that momentum today. Returning to the first-timers, (9) USEUNG BARAM trialed adequately and may be considered first up.

Selections(10) Quickly Run (1) Sky Pangpang (11) Beat Up (8) Eunhye Dream
Next Best9, 7
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 10

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

(7) WARRIOR THUNDER is a warm favourite here. Two starts back he ran 2nd over 1300M and last time out was on pace at this distance, finishing in 4th place and recording a time faster than anything else in this race has achieved. He’ll be on pace again and a similar run in this company can see him win. (3) HAPPY DREAM was stepped up to this distance at start number five on December 12th having previously been so slow she was sent back to trial after all but one previous attempt. She ran better, finishing 3rd in an admittedly pedestrian race, but with some natural improvement, a good draw and Munro remaining aboard, there are reasons to be optimistic here. (9) DREAM SPEED has been consistent if unspectacular across four outings to date. She ran a decent 5th at this distance last time and consistent if unspectacular should be enough to se her to a place here. (5) M J STORM and first-time starter (2) TIZ RUNNER others who can aim for minor money.

Selections(7) Warrior Thunder (3) Happy Dream (9) Dream Speed (5) M J Storm
Next Best2, 8
Fast Start2, 6, 9, 7

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

We’ll take a chance on (1) JILJU BORN here. He races for the first time since last July but is a front-runner who recorded a fast time over 1000M. He trialed up very well in December leading almost the entire way around before crossing the line in 2nd place and from a great inside draw, he may get a soft lead and potentially go all the way. Otherwise, all roads lead to (8) GEUMGUKHWA. She has the fastest time among these at this distance as well as being the only one with a top-two finish to her name. She was difficult to load last time and returned with speedy cuts after being a well beaten odds-on favourite. In this company though she is absolutely worth another chance. Solitary debut-maker (10) DREAM YEOWANG made all to win a Christmas Eve trial and should be in the frame first-up. (4) NEW HOPE and (11) RAON THE WILD are others who can place.

Selections(1) Jilju Born (8) Geumgukhwa (10) Dream Yeowang (4) New Hope
Next Best11, 12
Fast Start1, 5, 8, 12

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(4) KING CRUSH may not have finished any better than 4th across his five starts to date but he has some very good performances at this distance including a 4th and a 5th from his latest two in good times. He draws nicely today and should be on or close to the place and has solid claims to make his breakthrough here. (6) SOJUNGHAN DANGSIN comes down in trip and, with an apprentice on board, down in the weights too from her 3rd place in a slow race over 1400M on December 11th. That was her best finish to date and nicely in here, she can match or better it. (3) JILJU JEONSA improved into 3rd at his latest start on December 18th when settling in midfield and running on over 1200M. He comes up to this trip or the first time today and it may well suit. (7) GEOSEN GISANG and (11) DANCE MACHINE among others to take into consideration.

Selections(4) King Crush (6) Sojunghan Dangsin (3) Jilju Jeonsa (7) Geosen Gisang
Next Best11, 9
Fast Start3, 4, 7, 9

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

A big field here but we’re likely to have a strong favourite in the shape of (12) POWER BOX. He was a strong winner over 1000M last September before using up a lot of energy to get to the front from a wide draw on his first try at this class and distance in October, ultimately weakening. Drawn wide again at his latest start on November 28th, he was ridden more patiently and ran on well for 2nd. Kim Yong-geun knows the horse well and he can make the breakthrough today. (7) GRAY CAT overcame a wide draw to run 3rd in a fast time over 1300M on December 18th. He now has four top-three finishes form ten starts and while he may find one or two too quick again, he can maintain that record here. (11) TAP QUALITY and (14) DUSON FANTASTIC both had poor days at the office on their respective latest starts but are better than that and can be involved here. (4) FOREVER KHAN too struggled on his first try at this class but can be given another chance today.

Selections(12) Power Box (7) Gray Cat (11) Tap Quality (14) Duson Fantastic
Next Best4, 6
Fast Start1, 6, 9, 12

Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Tricky race this. (7) P N S LUCKY comes out of the Breeders’ Cup champion juvenile race on December 5th where she ran 8th of 12 but in a creditable time. She had previously run a blistering 59.7 over the five furlongs at the end of October. Back in more limited company today, she has every chance of returning to the winner’s circle. (3) HOLIDAY CHARM was a class and distance winner two starts back when running on strongly from midfield in a good time. He is up 3kg on that and did struggle on his return on December 19th, but he draws a much better gate this time and can be given another chance. (10) HYPER CAR returned from more than six months out to run a good 4th at class and distance on December 11th. He is yet to win but has six top-three finishes from twelve starts and can be in the mix here. The up in class but significantly down in weight (2) BARAMGWA HAMKKE might warrant an each-way chance alongside (4) ILBO DEUNGCHEON.

Selections(7) P N S Lucky (3) Holiday Charm (10) Hyper Car (2) Baramgwa Hamkke
Next Best4, 12
Fast Start7, 8, 11, 14

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Small field but a hot favourite here. (5) CHOEGANG GAME comes in having run 4th in the Korean Derby and then 3rd in the Minister’s Cup, the final two legs of the 2021 Triple Crown. He had a win record of three from four before those races and the time he had to run in the Derby at this distance was almost three seconds faster than anything else in this race has achieved. He gives weight away, but he looks very hard to beat. (4) SERVE ACE comes out of the filly Triple Crown where she ran a big 3rd in the Oaks having missed the break before not quite seeing out the 2000M of the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup. It’s hard to see her beating the favourite here but she should beat plenty of the rest. (1) GEUMA SUPREME and (2) QUIET ADELE are generally knocking on the door at class and distance and along with (9) SISEONJIPJUNG, can compete for the minor places.

Selections(5) Choegang Game (4) Serve Ace (1) Geuma Supreme (2) Quiet Adele
Next Best9, 6
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 6

Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(5) MYEONGJIN DAY returned from eight months out to run a good 3rd place at class and distance on December 19th in a good time. He has never been worse than 4th and should come on for that run looking very much the one to beat here. (6) ROCK LINE comes in off a good win at this class over 1200M on December 12th when he sat behind the speed and then ran on strong. At the start before he was a close 3rd at this distance. He does come up 3.5kg in the weights today but should be in the hunt again. Those two are by some margin the standouts. (7) BLACK PUNCH was a much-improved 4th at his latest start and can maintain that progress today. (3) SUN FO RE mixes his form but has a number of minor money finishes and can be competitive here. Debut-maker (2) MUNHAK DIAL may beat a few.

Selections(5) Myeongjin Day (6) Rock Line (7) Black Punch (3) Sun For Re
Next Best2, 8
Fast Start1, 6, 10, 12

Seoul Race 9: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(14) MIGHTY BOOM beat several of these on her way to a close 2nd place finish at class and distance on December 12th when sitting just behind the speed and running on. She comes up 2kg in the weights today and draws even further out than last time (she had gate 12) but she can overcome both and go one better here. The draw though does hand the initiative over to (4) MONSTER K, who ran 3rd in that race. He has won at the distance at class 4 level and will be a big danger today, most likely leading from the start. (7) SOUL MERIT come sup in class following a smart victory over 1200M back in November. He has run good times at this distance too and comes down in the weights here. (13) ROYAL ELVIS and (6) GLOBAL THUNDER are others who should be close.

Selections(14) Mighty Boom (4) Monster K (7) Soul Merit (13) Royal Elvis
Next Best6, 8
Fast Start4, 5, 6, 14

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 14)

Racing gets underway on Friday with an 8-race card at Busan from 12:00 to 18:00. All betting locations are open, however, attendance must be pre-booked through the MyCard app and evidence of up to date vaccination against Covid-19 is required. Here are the previews:

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Having won a trial, (2) MAN OF THE STAR ran 2nd over 1000M on debut before stepping up to this trip and running 5th back on November 12th. He has had nine weeks off since then, draws well and with some natural improvement has solid claims here. (3) CHOEGANG FORCE has shown steady progress across three starts so far, each time settling in midfield and running on. He too gets a good draw here and should be in the finish. (8) LEGEND NUMBER ONE was a front-running 3rd on debut over 1000M in early December. He has since been back to trial, which he won, and shapes to go close here. (9) SSAEKSSAEGI and (10) RAON THE TANK are others to take into consideration.

Selections(2) Man Of The Star (3) Choegang Force (8) Legend Number One (9) Ssaesaegi
Next Best10, 6
Fast Start1, 2, 8, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Competitive race for fillies (and one mare). (6) SUSO POWER returned from six months out to run a solid 5th over this distance on December 12th when she was on pace early and stuck to task to beat a couple of today’s rivals. She can have improved for that run and is firmly in the hunt today. (3) ONE RUSH has been solid across three starts so far. She comes back in trip following a pair of good efforts at 1400M, she draws well and with a top jockey legged aboard today, may well start as favourite. (7) ANNIKA GIRL also comes back slightly in trip. She’s very consistent and while she is yet to win in eight attempts, she has six top-five finishes to her name. She can sit handy here and run on and should be in the mix once more. (5) HAVANA JANE and the first-up (2) ALIVE QUEEN – well bred and who won a December trial – are others in the frame.

Selections(6) Suso Power (3) One Rush (7) Annika Girl (5) Havana Jane
Next Best2, 1
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 10

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(2) CHAMP GO looks the one to beat here. He comes in off his best finish to date when 4th over 1400M on Christmas Eve in a fair time when racing handy throughout. He won’t need to improve very much in order to win this. (7) KING GRACE has had a tendency to get a bit far back in his races. He comes back in trip after his latest effort over a mile but does possess the fastest time of any of these for today’s distance and a big run can’t be ruled out. (4) FIRST PARK has been showing steady progress and comes in off her best finish to date when 3rd over 1300M on December 12th, settling back and running on well. She drew the widest gate in a field of nine that day and may have an easier time getting position today. (12) DAMYANG DOLPUNG and (6) PILGRIM are among others with placing hopes.

Selections(2) Champ Go (7) King Grace (4) First Park (12) Damyang Dolpung
Next Best6, 3
Fast Start1, 3, 8, 9

Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(9) YEONGCHEON SOLEMIO got his breakthrough at the fourth time of asking on December 17th when stepped up to this trip for the first time having done all his previous work over five furlongs. He led from gate to wire stopping the clock in a fair time and while he is up in class here, a repeat is certainly possible. The main danger looks to be (3) DAEHOMA. He’s yet to win in eleven attempts but has no fewer than seven top-four finishes and steps up to a mile for the first time here having overcome a wide gate to run a strong 3rd on his first try at this class on December 19th. Keep him safe in your numbers. (1) SINJIN GANGHO had a poor day at the office at his latest start on December 19th but two starts back placed at class and distance. He draws better this time and has the track’s in-form jockey aboard. (4) CHEONGHO LEADER and (8) HONEY STAR are placing hopes.

Selections(9) Yeongcheon Solemio (3) Daehoma (1) Sinjin Gangha (4) Cheongho Leader
Next Best8, 10
Fast Start8, 9, 10, 11

Busan Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Competitive race. We’ll take a chance with (6) DONGNAM BULPAE, who comes in off a good 2nd place over 1200M when running on well. He tackles this distance for the first time, and it may well suit. (5) DAEHO JEONSEOL comes up in class and trip having made all to win over 1200M at start number two on December 12th. He’ll be expected to be on pace again and he can make it two in a row here. (9) HANEUL JEONSA was a winner on debut over 1000M back in November but after a slow start could only rally to 5th place on his first try at this class on November 28th at 1200M. The additional furlong may help here and while the draw isn’t ideal, he should be in the finish in this company. (3) HIT THE ROAD and (1) SKY WIN are others to take into consideration for money finishes.

Selections(6) Dongnam Bulpae (5) Daeho Jeonseol (9) Haneul Jeonsa (3) Hit The Road
Next Best1, 8
Fast Start5, 6, 8, 10

Busan Race 6: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Small but very competitive field here. We’ll take a chance on (3) ROCKY SKY backing up the win he scored at class and distance on December 10th when sitting handy early before taking things up on the turn and running on very well. He does come up 3kg in the weights today, but another win is possible. (1) DOCTOR FASHION got back-to-back wins at this distance in September and October but did have a hard time when up in the weights at his latest outing on November 26th when he led for much of the way but ran out of petrol in the closing stages. His form prior though suggests that he warrants another chance. (4) GEUMA PSYCHIC ran 2nd to Rocky Sky in that December 10th race. A combination of Rocky Sky going up in rating and an apprentice climbing aboard Geuma Psychic means that there is a big swing in the weights in the latter’s favour and he could well take advantage. (8) ONNURI JILJU was on last year’s Classic trail, but this looks more suitable in terms of opposition and distance (7) RAON THE POWER another who can compete for the minors.

Selections(3) Rocky Sky (1) Doctor Fashion (4) Geuma Psychic (8) Onnuri Jilju
Next Best7, 6
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 7

Busan Race 7: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(7) KING OF THE MATCH is likely to be the shortest-priced favourite of the day. HE won his firs three in fine style and while, after an only fair start, he could only run 3rd at class and distance on his latest outing back on October 8th, he still finishes ahead of three he faces today. He comes in fresh, and he should have too much. (2) WINNING DANCER is up in class following a very good score at this distance back on November 26th when sat handy to the lead and then running on. He draws well and comes down significantly in the weights and can give the favourite a run for his money. So too can (4) ACE DAY. He is up in class having won two of his latest three. He will surely be on pace and should be in this a long way. (3) GREAT GOOD is also up in class and along with (6) CHOEGANG SSONSAL is another who can be competitive.

Selections(7) King Of The Match (2) Winning Dancer (4) Ace Day (3) Great Good
Next Best6, 1
Fast Start2, 4, 6, 8

Busan Race 8: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(3) WORLD CHANGE enters having won at class and distance at his latest start on December 17th when handy early, striking the front on the corner and then running on. His only disappointing performance so far came in the Korean Derby. He comes up 3kg in the weights from his last start win but should have too much again from a very good draw. (5) SEUNGNI TOUT comes back up in trip following a 4th place over a mile on Christmas Eve. Two starts back he was a class and distance winner, and an apprentice jockey brings him back to the weight he carried that day. He can go close. (10) DOCTOR TAKE ran 2nd at class and distance to Seungni Tout in December and has won at this distance at class 5 level. The draw does him no favours and he carries plenty of weight but he can’t be ruled out of running well. (7) MAGIC FLYING, who has beaten World Change in the past, and (9) ACE JACKPOT are others who can trouble the judges.

Selections(3) World Change (5) Seungni Tout (10) Doctor Take (7) Magic Flying
Next Best9, 4
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 7

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Raon The Fighter v Eoma Eoma Race-By-Race Preview (January 9)

It hasn’t taken long for the new season to throw up a heavyweight clash as the unbeaten Raon The Fighter once more takes on Eoma Eoma, who he beat to win the Owners’ Association Trophy a month ago in the concluding class 1 feature at Seoul. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12: 12:00 to 16:40. All betting locations are open, however, attendance must be pre-booked on the MyCard app and proof of evidence of up to date vaccination against Covid-19 is required.

Raon The Fighter

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens open proceedings and (10) WILD RUNNER is set to be favourite. She ran 2nd on debut behind a couple of decent ones in a fast time. The one concern is that it was back in October but regardless, any similar kind of performance should see her winning this. If she is a bit rusty, then another filly, (6) HIWPARAM, may be one to take advantage. She too ran a very solid 3rd on debut, in her case on November 20th when she was handy throughout, completing the course in a fair time on a slower running track than Wild Runner’s time. She draws well here and should go close. (4) GEOMOON came home 6th behind a few promising ones on debut and should have benefitted from the experience, while (9) ARCH CHARM similarly didn’t do too much wrong when 5th from a wide gate at her first attempt. Among the six first-timers, (1) CHANGER is perhaps the best at this stage.

Selections(10) Wild Runner (6) Hwiparam (4) Geomoon (9) Arch Charm
Next Best1, 12
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 2 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A pair of socks should be battling this one out. We’ll side with (2) WILD SOCKS, who ran 2nd at start number two at 1000M having led for almost the entire way around. He comes up slightly in trip but draws beautifully again and could go all the way. (7) TITAN SOCKS has the same owner although a different trainer and has followed a similar trajectory so far, improving to 3rd at his second outing on December 4th. He came from off the pace though, working home well and it may be that the additional furlong is in his favour here. (12) ORGALIM comes into the calculations having beaten several of these on his way to 2nd place at this distance on December 4th in a fair time. He sat handy that day so may need a bit of luck from the wide gate (9) GEOLJAK MAN was 3rd in that race and along with (3) MUNHAK FOREST looks to have another placing chance here.

Selections(2) Wild Socks (7) Titan Socks (12) Orgalim (9) Geoljak Man
Next Best3, 10
Fast Start2, 3, 10, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It may be a bit risky to go all-in on anything drawn as wide as he has done but it’s not easy to see (14) TES GO DAEBO getting rolled here. He has raced just twice, registering a 4th and a 2nd, the latest at 1200M when handy and running on. The additional trip may help him find a decent position from the car park. (3) OKDONG GONGJU has five top-five finishes among ten outings so far and looks set to be one who could push the favourite here from a good draw. (10) SAENAE POWERFUL was a significantly improved 3rd at start number two on December 12th leading most of the way around and he too should be a contender here. The rest have been models of inconsistency but (7) TINA and (8) NAMSAN DREAM could potentially compete for places.

Selections(14) Tes Go Daebo (3) Okdong Gongju (10) Saenae Powerful (7) Tina
Next Best8, 4
Fast Start8, 10, 12, 14

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Maidens, with four of the eleven racing for the first time. (9) B. K. HANA comes in with form reading the best following a 2nd and a 3rd from her latest two appearances. The 2nd was at today’s distance when she was handy throughout from a wide gate and with a time more than second faster than any of the others have managed, she is the one to beat. (7) JATNAMUGIL is the logical second pick. He was 6th to B. K. Hana two starts back but the improved to 3rd at his latest outing when stepped up to 1200. He’ll be on pace and in this a long way. (4) EUNSEONG YEONGUNG beat a couple of these when 5th on debut at the distance on November 26th. He draws much better today and should have come on. Among the first timers, (2) KENDRICK is stand out. The Take Charge Indy colt ran a strong trial in a fast time and from a great draw can go well. (1) EUTTEUMI perhaps has potential to improve.

Selections(9) B. K. Hana (7) Jatnamugil (4) Eunseong Yeongung (2) Kendrick
Next Best1, 8
Fast Start3, 7, 8, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

After trialing up alongside some established horses, (12) NAMSAM KKOT ran a solid 3rd on debut over 1200M, settling in midfield and running on strongly. She draws wide but her running style that day suggests it shouldn’t be too much of a problem and she could be challenging for the win here. (10) RAON THE WEEKEND had an ordinary day at the office in probably better company than this at his latest start on December 11th when he wasn’t able to get on pace from a very wide draw. The draw is only a little better today, but he should have an easier time getting to the front and the additional half-furlong can help.  Continuing the theme of wide draws, (13) DONGSEO YEOGEOL was a significantly improved 2nd when going back and coming from off the pace over 1200M on December 5th. She had raced prominently in previous starts, to no avail, so expect similar tactics here. (4) REAL CONCORD is a fancy who does draw well and should be in the hunt along with (9) ONE MORE RUSH.

Selections(12) Namsam Kkot (10) Raon The Weekend (13) Dongseo Yeogeol (4) Real Concord
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start4, 9, 10, 13

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

Fillies and mares only here. Based on her last start runner-up finish at this distance in a time quicker than anything else in this race has managed, (8) TAEPUNGI is the one to beat here. She sat midfield and ran on that day and under a light weight again, can go one better. (9) ALPHA V should have come on for her debut run when settling midfield before getting well back and then working home adequately. She had previously posted fast trial times so there is some ability there and a more mature performance can see her right in this. (2) HAMAN YEOHANGSAN returned from three months off to run a good 3rd over this distance on December 19th. She can strip fitter here and get close. (1) OMEGA GIRL and (6) WORLD FLOWER came home 2nd and 3rd respectively when they raced each other at 1400M on December 10th and both can have placing claims again.

Selections(8) Taepungi (9) Alpha V (2) Haman Yeohangsan (1) Omega Girl
Next Best6, 12
Fast Start2, 5, 8, 9
(more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 8)

The capital’s racing year kicks off on Saturday with 9 races from 10:45 to 1800. Betting locations are open but attendance must be pre-booked through the MyCard app. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens to get the card underway with nine of the twelve racing for the very first time. We’ll side with experience and (11) K N TIZWON who, after a promising trial, ran 4th on debut back on November 20th. While the time wasn’t fast, he should have come on for the experience and despite the wide draw, he can win this. The main danger – and possible favourite – is one of the first timers. (7) BEST TORCH trialed up all the way back in September but trialed up well and while it has taken some time to get her to the races, she looks capable of going well first-up. (3) BE FLOWER also trialed well, in her case in December. She draws nicely here and under a light weight should be in the mix. (10) CONCORD SPARK similarly hinted at ability in her heat. Returning to those with prior experience, (1) HUMMING BIRD is perhaps the most likely to improve.

Selections(11) K N Tizwon (7) Best Torch (3) Be Flower (10) Concord Spark
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(6) COMPLETE LUCKY has improved across three starts so far, culminating in 2nd place at his latest outing in November when handy all the way around. He stretches out to 1200M for the first time, should be on pace from the start, and is the one to beat. (9) RAON THE DASH ran 3rd behind Complete Lucky at what for both was their latest outings. For her two that was an improvement, and she can maintain her progress here. (8) GEOLJAK DREAM ran on well for 3rd place over 1000M on December 5th. She too steps up in trip for the first time and looks firmly in the hunt. (10) EUNHYE SERVE put in two consistent runs for 4th and 2nd over 1000M and while the draw is a little wide here, she should be competitive. (11) P N S HER hasn’t impressed in her latest two but ran well in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup three starts back so there is evidently some ability there.

Selections(6) Complete Lucky (9) Raon The Dash (8) Geoljak Dream (10) Eunhye Serve
Next Best11, 2
Fast Start6, 8, 9, 10

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(8) DOUBLE TAKE is yet to finish in the top two from nine attempts but has five top-five finishes, including in each of her latest four. She has generally come from off the pace and worked home well, including last time at 1300M and it is possible the extended trip today can work in her favour. It certainly seemed to suit (5) BUL HWASAN as he recorded his best finish to date when 4th at it on December 5th. He should have benefited from that and can be a danger here. (9) THUNDER HORSE also has a 4th place to his name over this distance which he achieved three starts back. He has maintained his consistent run of form since then with two subsequent 4th places at shorter and he should be challenging for a place here. (11) POSA POSA and (7) LAGERTHA are others in the frame.

Selections(8) Double Take (5) Bul Hwasan (9) Thunder Horse (11) Posa Posa
Next Best7, 2
Fast Start1, 4, 7, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Tricky one with a big field. (7) HI HI has finished in the top-three in six of eight starts so far and has the fastest time among any of these for the distance. He was only 6th at his latest start but the margins weren’t huge, and he has every chance here. (10) REAL PACK comes in following two very solid performances over 1400M, the latter when 4th at this class. He comes back in trip today and could well have a say in the finish here. (3) OLD SPECIAL took a couple of races to get to grips with this level but enters in consistent form. He draws well here and should be in this a long way. (9) FORT SEUONE hinted at a return to form with 4th place in a decent time at class and distance a month ago and can be a danger here. Similarly, (2) RAON THE TIGER has mixed his form of late but Moon Se-young climbing aboard will make punters take note.

Selections(7) Hi HI (10) Real Pack (3) Old Special (9) Fort Seuone
Next Best2, 13
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 9

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

A very competitive race with plenty of potential winners. We’ll take a chance on (10) FAST TRACK, who comes up in class following his maiden win at start number four over this distance on December 4th when he sat handy before running away to score comfortably. This is harder but he drew wide that day as well and he looks to have potential for more. (5) MEOTJIN GIROK also comes up in class following his maiden win which came when he made all over 1200M. He tackles this trip for the first time but has a great draw and can be expected to lead again. (8) K N MENIQUEEN can be expected to improve on her first-up run on December 5th when she was never a factor. She has plenty of ability and can aim to place here. (9) OLD BLADE and (3) SONGAM CAT are among others who can go close.

Selections(10) Fast Track (5) Meotjin Girok (8) K N Meniqueen (9) Old Blade
Next Best3, 6
Fast Start1, 5, 8, 12

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(9) KING ACE has put in three very consistent runs since returning from nine months off, all of them at class and distance, in good times and finishing close. He is not the best of starters but can sit handy or go back and run on and he could well be peaking here. A winner of two from five so far, (10) LUMINOUS QUEEN comes up in class after scoring over 1300M on November 27th when sitting handy and then running on. It’s her first time over this trip but and she draws a little wide, but she should measure up in this company. So too should (6) YELLOW CAT. She’s won two in a row to be rapidly promoted to this class, but she made all to win at this distance in a fast time at class 5 level at her latest outing and from a good draw and under a light weight, she will be in this. (8) GANGSEO PRINCESS and (1) GEOSEN DOLPUNG are others in the placing frame.

Selections(9) King Ace (10) Luminous Queen (6) Yellow Cat (8) Gangseo Princess
Next Best1, 4
Fast Start1, 4, 7, 8

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(2) CHEONJI ULLIM is set to be a warm favourite here. He was a good winner over 1400M at class 5 level two starts back before going down to a very narrow defeat on his first crack at this class on December 4th. He ran fairly for 4th on his only previous try at this distance, draws well and despite coming up in the weights, he is the one to beat. (11) SPEEDY ROOKIE is the logical second choice. He is yet to win but has six top-three finishes and enters on a consistent run of form at class and distance. He carries plenty of weight, but it would be no surprise to see him there or thereabouts again. (9) ELITE LINE is a class and distance winner as recently as October. He was a touch disappointing at his latest start but trialed well on Christmas Eve and should be in the hunt here. (10) CHOEGO RACE and (8) BRAVO SOCKS among others with at least placing chances.

Selections(2) Cheonji Ullim (11) Speedy Rookie (9) Elite Line (10) Choego Race
Next Best8, 12
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 10

Seoul Race 8: Class 2 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

(2) MIGHTY SOO returned from six months out to run a fair 5th over 1400M at this class in November. Before the layoff, he had run well at both class and distance and has beaten plenty of today’s rivals. He should have come on for that last run draws well and has every chance. Big danger and possible favourite is (12) HEUNGROK DAEBU. He is a winner of two from his last three including and all the way score over this distance on December 5th at class 3 level. This is undoubtedly harder, and the draw is not kind, but he comes down significantly in the weights and should go close. (8) MUNHAK KING is a two-time winner over this distance at class 3 level and comes in here having beaten plenty of these on his way to 2nd place at this class and distance on December 4th. He carries the same weight today, Munro climbs aboard, and there is plenty to like. (4) JOUINIGA was 4th in that same race and can aim to match that here while (3) BLUE CHITON is another in the placing frame.

Selections(2) Mighty Soo (12) Heungrok Daebu (8) Munhak King (4) Jouniga
Next Best3, 10
Fast Start9, 10, 11, 12

Seoul Race 9: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Big field to round out the day and (1) MENI CHAMP probably warrants favourite status based on his 2nd place in a fast time over class and distance on December 5th with a few of these behind him. He gets a great draw on this inside and can potentially go all the way here. (4) MAX RUN comes up in class but significantly down in weight having won two of her latest three. She has been posting consistently fast times and has every chance of measuring up in this company. Draw a line through the latest effort from (3) ROCKUI JEWANG when he was first-up for six months over 1800M. Today may suit better and he has undoubted ability. (10) DREAM PO RE comes in with recent form reading well and along with (2) MIREU STORM is another with placing hopes.

Selections(1) Meni Champ (4) Max Run (3) Rockui Jewang (10) Dream Po Re
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start1, 11, 12, 13

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 7)

The 2022 racing season gets underway at Busan on Friday with an eight-race card from 12:00 to 18:00. All betting locations are opened but advance reservations must be made through the My Card app. Here are the previews:

Busan hosts the first fixture of 2022

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

The new year begins with eight three-year-old filly maidens tackling the five-furlongs with four of them racing for the first time. We’ll need to draw a line through the latest effort from (4) HANEUL MISO when she was well positioned but offered little in the stretch, and instead go with what we know she is capable of from two starts back when a close 2nd. She draws well and, in this company, has every chance. (2) HWARANG BRAVO has run adequately in two starts so far. She gets a better gate in this small field today and with a top jockey on, should go closer. A couple of the first timers did well enough in their trials. (5) JEONGDEUN-RO broke well and was on pace and while she was passed by a few, she wasn’t asked for too much effort and ran on well. (6) HWARANG SKY and (7) KF ONE similarly showed promise.

Selections(4) Haneul Miso (2) Hwarang Bravo (5) Jeongdeun-Ro (6) Hwarang Sky
Next Best7, 8
Fast Start4, 5, 6, 7

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(6) JUMAL BOBAE has a 4th and a 2nd in two starts so far, the latest of which was at this distance on November 28th when he came from off the pace to run on strong. With some natural improvement and in this modest company, he can go one better today. (1) DAEHO NURI had a poor day at the office at is latest start when slowly away but if we go on his run two starts back when from a good draw, he got on pace and ran on for 5th, he can be considered for a place here. (8) UNJU BULPAE showed improvement at start number three last time out and cam maintain that positive trajectory here, while (10) SEONGSIL CHOEGO can improve on his 6th place on debut over 1000M. Debut-maker (5) I AM CHARTERED performed well enough in a November trial to suggest he can be competitive first-up.

Selections(6) Jumal Bobae (1) Daeho Nuri (8) Unju Bulpae (10) Seongsil Choego
Next Best5, 7
Fast Start2, 4, 8, 10

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A weak maiden here and it won’t take much improvement from any of them to win. We’ll take a chance on (2) GOSUUI POWER, who returned from over six months off to run 7th of fourteen when drawn wide over 1200M on December 5th. Before the layoff he had shown ability and should have come on for that run. He has a better draw today and this may suit. (8) SENSATION PARTY was a much-improved 3rd when stepped up to this trip on December 3rd. She led for much of the way around that day and while the time wasn’t fast, she looks nicely in here and can go close again. (5) YOUNG BOSS similarly improved at his latest effort in December when 4th at 1300M and from a decent draw can be on pace here and in the hunt. (12) STATICE ran a good 2nd over 1300M on December 12th and after fifteen starts looks close to finally figuring things out. (1) A ONCE another in the frame.

Selections(2) Gosuui Power (8) Sensation Party (5) Young Boss (12) Statice
Next Best1, 9
Fast Start2, 5, 10, 11

Busan Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(9) SEONGSIL SONYEO has been knocking at the door for a while. She comes in following a solid 4th place over 1400M and has the fastest time among these at this distance by some margin. Her running style means the draw shouldn’t matter and she could well win this. The question is whether after seventeen attempts, there is any improvement there. (7) ADELE STELLA has run 5th in both starts so far over 1000M and 1200M, both times running on well. He looks like he needs a bot of distance and gets a chance to prove it here. (4) HIT RUNNER was an on pace and improved 4th over 1400M at start number three on December 10th. He draws well to lead again and can go close. (10) GRAND CHUKJE and (2) HAEUNDAE BLUE among others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(9) Seongsil Sonyeo (7) Adele Stella (4) Hit Runner (10) Grand Chukje
Next Best2, 8
Fast Start2, 4, 7, 8

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

Big and competitive field here. (4) CATCH THE VICTORY returned from four months out to run 2nd at class and distance on December 10th. He comes up a couple of kilos in the weights but draws very well and could be the one to beat here. (1) MIND ZONE pulled off a super gate to wire victory at start number three over 1000M on December 5th. He comes up in class and in trip here but from the inside gate a big performance can’t be ruled out again. (14) COLORFUL WIND pretty much made all on debut over 1000M having previously won a trial too. She is the big loser from the draw but if she can find a decent position then she looks to have plenty of potential and should be in the finish again. (9) WONDERFUL JAZZ and the up in class (8) HOT PLAY are among several others with strong placing chances.

Selections(4) Catch The Victory (1) Mind Zone (14) Colorful Wind (9) Wonderful Jazz
Next Best8, 13
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 8

Busan Race 6: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Another big field, this time fillies and mares only and it is very competitive. We’ll take a chance on (3) BANJIUI GIJEOK. True on her first try at this distance last time she got beaten by three of today’s rivals, but she has a runner-up finish to her name at this class and draws much better today. She has chance at potentially good odds. (4) BARAM GONGJU comes in following a 2nd place at class and distance on December 10th which followed another solid showing a month earlier. She can maintain that positive run of form and go close here. (7) CHEONGMA HWANGHU was a much-improved 2nd at class and distance last time out when leading for much of the way around. She comes up in weight but has a top jockey booked and can go close. (11) BEST HAMSEONG was a disappointing 8th on her first go at this class a month ago but she is a winner at the distance and can improve here. (8) BEST WIND is up in class following a good score over 1300M and is one of many with placing claims.

Selections(3) Banjiui Gijeok (4) Baram Gongju (7) Cheongma Hwanghu (11) Best Hamseong
Next Best8, 5
Fast Start3, 6, 11, 13

Busan Race 7: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(10) MONGTTANG won back-to-back races in October and November which enabled him to get his chance in the Breeders’ Cup race for juveniles on December 5th. He ran very wide on the corner taking himself out of winning contention that day before working home well. He comes up in trip here and it may well suit. (1) ADELE CROWN is rapidly up in class having won his latest two, both at this distance and last time in emphatic fashion. This is a step up in terms of opposition, but he draws nicely to sit handy, and a hat-trick is a possibility. (9) ROCK PEGASUS worked home strongly to run 2nd in a fast race at class and distance on December 3rd. He has mixed his form and comes up significantly in the weights but can be in the finish again. (2) K K WON and (8) GREAT DANCE among others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(10) Mongttang (1) Adele Crown (9) Rock Pegasus (2) K K Won
Next Best8, 4
Fast Start4, 7, 8, 10

Busan Race 8: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Great race to end with. (4) COOL GUY is up in class having run 2nd on his first try at this distance on December 17th. The time wasn’t that fast, but he previously ran a very quick mile when winning in November and down in the weights today, looks very much in this. (2) YEONGGWANGUICHUKJE has the fastest time among these for the distance and was 2nd last time on December 5th with a few of today’s rivals behind him having led for much of the way around. He could go close or one better here. (9) GREAT BOSS was 4th in that December 5th race running on from a wide draw. He draws wide and gives weight away again but should be in the hunt. (10) TOP MATE was an also-ran in that December 5th race but has the potential to go better here. (8) POWER WINDY among others capable of finishing in the money.

Selections(4) Cool Guy (2) Yeonggwanguichukje (9) Great Boss (10) Top Mate
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start2, 4, 10, 11

Grand Prix Stakes 2021 – All The Runners Preview

The temperature will be several degrees below zero and dusk starting to fall on Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon when Moonhak Chief bids to become the first horse since Dongbanui Gangja more than a decade ago to record back-to-back victories in Korea’s historically most prestigious race, the Grand Prix Stakes (KOR G1-2300M). CLICK HERE FOR RACE-BY-RACE PREVIEW OF ALL SEVENTEEN SUNDAY RACES AT SEOUL & BUSAN.

Moonhak Chief won the Grand Prix 2 years ago (Pic: KRA)

With no race last season, it’s now two years since Moonhak Chief followed up his 2019 Korea Cup victory by scoring by a length and a half that December. Only two of the rest of that day’s field return, Cheongdam Dokki and the retiring Dongbang Daero, but a host of new challengers have arisen in the meantime, meaning Moonhak Chief is going to need to be at his very best if he is to retain his crown.

Peter Wolsley won this race with Bold Kings in 2016 and the Australian trainer saddles Mr. Afleet this time, fresh off his triumph in the KRA Cup Classic back in October. That’s day’s close runner-up Haengbok Wangja is another leading contender and given the way he was finishing in the Classic, may even start as the favourite.

The President’s Cup, the top race restricted to Korean-bred horses, has provided two winners in recent years with Indie Band in 2013 and Gyeongbudaero in 2015 and the 2021 winner Simjangui Godong also takes his chance, as does proven Group winner Tiz Plan.

Touch Star Man, who won two legs of last year’s Triple Crown series, will be attendance, representing trainer Kim Young-kwan, who has won the race five times.

The Grand Prix Stakes is race 8 on Seoul’s 10-race Boxing Day card. Here is a full run down of all sixteen runners:

1. CHEONGDAM DOKKI (USA) [To Honor And Serve – Elusive Gold (Strike The Gold)] – His 4th attempt at the race with his best being 2nd in 2018. An excellent winner at 1800M in October before a flat performance in the KRA Cup Classic. He then ran 5th to Moonhak Chief back at 1800M on November 27th. Only returned to work last week and while there is no doubting his quality, this looks a very hard ask. Great draw though.

2. GALLOP CURLIN (USA) [Curlin – Colona (Pulpit)] – Gets his chance following a good win over 1800M at class 2 level earlier this month when midfield and running on. Tactically versatile and well-drawn but this is a big step up into the unknown in terms of distance and competition.

3. MOONHAK CHIEF (USA) [Pioneerof The Nile – Tallulah Lula (Old Trieste)] – Winner of the last edition of this race two years ago having won the Korea Cup that September. Seventh in the Cup Classic but returned to the winner’s circle on November 27th comfortably scoring over 1800M although he did get spooked by the finishing line light and stopped very quickly. At his best he is the one to beat.

4. CRAZY CONTI (USA) [Constitution – Ghostly Darkness (Ghostzapper)] – Came from well back to run a strong 3rd over 2000M at Busan two weeks ago in his first start since September. Beaten by Mr. Afleet and Touch Star Man in the summer so there is form for him to overturn here but he may appreciate the distance.

5. GEUMA ACME (KOR) [Hongji – Ms. Travelin (Lycius)] – A super 2nd in the President’s Cup to Simjangui Godong, coming from off the pace. Yet to win at higher than class 3 is a concern when stepping into this company, but the additional distance can suit. Alan Munro, who rode him in his last three starts, rides Jjang Kong instead.

6. HUNCH (USA) [To Honor And Serve – Sergeant O-Rourke (Forestry)] – Wasted a great draw by blowing the start in the Cup Classic, won by stablemate Mr. Afleet, in what was his first start since August. He has won at class 1 over 2000M in a fast time though and with a clean getaway can be competitive but may not be ready to beat the elite just yet. Minor money chance.

7. JJANG KONG (USA) [Tizway – Carietta (Stephen Got Even)] – Runner-up to Cheongdam Dokki in October before running a 3rd in the Cup Classic when handy all the way and battling on to the line. He likes it race close to the lead, so the draw works out well. He’s stubborn enough to get the 2300M and it would be no surprise seeing him in the minor money.

8. HAENGBOK WANGJA (USA) [Daredevil – First Installment (Broken Vow)] –  up and comer having just been promoted to class 1 before running a great race in the KRA Cup Classic when on the pace and wide most of the way and momentarily leading at the 200m and coming again at Mr. Afleet the finish. It was a super effort, and plenty will back him to win here.

(more…)

Grand Prix Boxing Day Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 26)

The final racing day of 2021 is on Boxing Day and it features the traditional season ending Grand Prix Stakes. There are 10 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 11:10 to 16:40. Here are the previews:

Any excuse to post a picture of Triple Nine – The Grand Prix winner in 2018

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Twelve previously unraced juvenile fillies open the Boxing Day card. She’s drawn wide but we’ll go with (12) CONCORD QUEEN, who did at least record the fastest time among any of these in her trial. The track was wet and fast but that was true for most of these in their respective heats. She said just off the pace and ran through the line well and has strong claims first-up. The only trial winner is (6) SIRIUS ALPHA, which might be enough to make her favourite. She led all the way in her trial in a fair time and from a good draw is likely to be leading again. (4) DOLBAE posted a decent time in her trial and from a good gate and with a top jockey booking is set to be backed. (3) K N OLD QUEEN and (8) LAST PUNCH are others in the hunt.

Selections(12) Concord Queen (6) Sirius Alpha (4) Dolbae (3) K N Old Queen
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 7

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

Juvenile maidens with eight of the fourteen racing for the first time. We’ll take a chance on one of those first-timers as (2) USURP ran a strong 2nd in his trial on a fast time, running through the line well. Starting out at 1200M may suit and he gets a great draw. (6) OCEAN STORM won a trial before debuting on November 19th, when she ran on on-pace 2nd over 1000M. She should have come on for the experience and will be expected to be close here. (9) SKY JEJUHYANG also won a trial before performing adequately on debut when she ran 3rd at 1000M sitting handy throughout and is another who may well have come on. Other debut-makers (8) GRAND SUN and (14) JOSEPHINE QUEEN also won their trials and can enter the calculations. Watch the market for any clues.

Selections(2) Usurp (6) Ocean Storm (9) Sky Jejuhyang (8) Grand Sun
Next Best14, 1
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 9

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(6) NEOREUL EUNGWONHAE has raced twice, improving in the latter to a strong 2nd over 1000M on November 27th. She steps up in trip for the first time but there is nothing to indicate it won’t suit and from a probable on pace or handy position, she can win. (4) TAEYANGMA had a hard time from a wide gate when sent off as favourite over this distance on November 28th, ultimately finishing 6th. From a much better draw today, he must be given another chance. (2) BURUI KKOT ran 4th behind Neoreul Eongwonhae at start number two on November 27th, running on well from a wide draw. The gate is much better today, and she comes down another 2kg to just 50kg which should put her in the finish. (8) WONDERFUL KITTY and (12) MAGIC RUSH are others with at least placing chances in an open race.

Selections(6) Neoreul Eungwonhae (4) Taeyangma (2) Burui Kkot (8) Wonderful Kitty
Next Best12, 7
Fast Start5, 6, 13, 14

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It’s time that (9) CATCH THE SKY got his maiden win and bade farewell to the lowest level of racing. He comes in following a 2nd and a 4th at this distance, registering the fastest time among these for the mile along the way. He goes back and runs on and he can win here. (3) YEONSEUNG BRAVO beat three of these on his way to 2nd place over this distance on December 5th when sitting handy throughout. The same apprentice rider keeps the weight down again and from a nice draw he can be close at hand again. (1) RAON THE MILLION was 4th in that race having led until the home straight. He draws the inside here and should be on pace again and can be in this a long way. (4) BARBELL STORM and (13) CARIBBEAN DAY are others in the frame for places.

Selections(9) Catch The Sky (3) Yeonseung Bravo (1) Raon The Million (4) Barbell Storm
Next Best13, 8
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 8

Seoul Race 3:  Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(4) HEUNGHAENG DAEBAK came close to winning on debut on December 4th when leading almost the entire way around over this distance only to be denied late on by Wonderful Sam. The time was good, albeit on a wet track, and from an ideal gate he should lead again and have too much for this ordinary looking field. (12) BIG ENERGY took a few starts to figure out what he was meant to be doing but his recent form reads quite well. With three 4th place finishes and a 2nd. Alan Munro climbs aboard today which catches the eye and further improvement is possible. (14) BYEORAK also seems to be getting there with a 4th place when stepped up to 1200M last start. The extra half furlong may help him get closer again. He has a bad draw, though, unlike (2) ALL FOR YOUR DREAM, who has a runner-up finish and a pair of 5ths from three starts so far. He may be ridden a bit closer a bit earlier this time around and can be in the finish. (8) SUNNY BLADE another in the hunt.

Selections(4) Heunghaeng Daebak (12) Big Energy (14) Byeorak (2) All For Your Dream
Next Best8, 3
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 7

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Very tricky race with plenty of credible contenders. If it wasn’t for the draw, (14) LANE KILLER might be a more confident top pick. He was a good winner at class 6 level over a mile and has run 2nd and 5th in two goes at this class and distance. He was ridden quite hard to get and early lead last time but given the extreme wideness this time he may just be dropped in, and it may end up paying dividends. (4) HONEY STAR has no problems with the draw, He steps back up in trip after a decent 4th over a mile at his latest start and has had the beating of a few of these in his last two outings. He is versatile but likely to be on or close to the pace here and has solid claims. So too (1) GOLDEN KAISER, who has been knocking at the door in his recent efforts and should get a good run from the inside gate. (11) GEUMA GOOD POINT ran 3rd to Lane Killer’s 2nd on November 19th having led for much of the race. Expect to see him up front early again. (8) THE FIRST FACTOR possibly the best of a competitive rest.

Selections(14) Lane Killer (4) Honey Star (1) Golden Kaiser (11) Geuma Good Point
Next Best8, 2
Fast Start1, 4, 8, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A big and very competitive field. We’ll go with (7) WINNER IS WELL, who returned from six months out to run a strong 3rd at class and distance. He draws marginally better today and may well have come on for that run and has as good a chance as any. (5) CHALLAN HANNAL had a hard time when tried at 1700M at his latest start but should be much happier back at a distance at which he has the fastest time among those here who have tried it. (2) YEONGWANGUI CAPTAIN ran a good 4th on his first try at this distance on October 23rd. He came from midfield that day but should be on pace here and can go close. (3) RAON THE TEUKGEUP comes up in class and in distance having scored over 1200M in November. He ran on strongly and can measure up here. (14) WORLD RACER is a perfect one for one and while he comes up in class and distance and draws the widest gate, all of those can be overcome. He swept home like an express train in that debut win at 1200M and shouldn’t be ruled out here.

Selections(7) Winner Is Well (5) Challan Hannal (2) Yeongwangui Captain (3) Raon The Teukgeup
Next Best14, 10
Fast Start2, 7, 8, 12

Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Another tricky race. (11) I WILL BE FREE struck at start number two on November 21st having run 2nd on his debut. Both were at 1000M but the way he ran suggests the slight increase today won’t be an issue and he has every chance of making it two in a row. Having won an October trial, (12) CAPTAIN YANKEE debuted over this distance on November 11th, making all to win very easily. He comes up in class today and the draw isn’t ideal as he will want to lead again, but he will be vying for favourite status. (2) GEUMBIT SKY, on the other hand, draws very nicely. He too was a front-running winner over this distance at class 6 level at his latest start, when he was returning from five months off and looking significantly better. He should be in the finish again here. Similarly (13) SHY DRAGON, another all the way winner at class 6 level last time, although in her case over 1000M, can measure up in this company too. If you prefer experience at this level already then (8) ECHO MOON might be one to consider.

Selections(11) I Will Be Free (12) Captain Yankee (2) Geumbit Sky (13) Shy Dragon
Next Best8, 6
Fast Start2, 11, 12, 13

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Four of these raced each other at class and distance on December 4th. (4) JOEUN GWANGYE was sent off as favourite that day, off the back of a fast 4th over 1400M the start before. He only managed to come 3rd in the end having gone back and run on but is probably worth another chance in similarly weak company today. That day’s winner was (3) RUFFIAN PARK. He was securing his maiden triumph at start number eighteen and sat handy throughout before finishing off well. He comes up 2kg in the weights but has claims again. (11) MAGIC JOY was a good winner on his first try at this distance at class 6 level in November. This isn’t the toughest of races to try class 5 for the first time and he should be competitive. (6) RUN RUN RUN is yet to win but has been consistent and has placed at both his last two starts, both at this distance. He came from a long way back to be a close 3rd at his latest outing and can be dangerous here. (2) JIGEUMYEOGIE, from a nice draw, is another in the frame.

Selections(4) Joeun Gwangye (3) Ruffian Park (11) Magic Joy (6) Run Run Run
Next Best2, 10
Fast Start1, 4, 9, 11

Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Fillies (and one mare) here. (2) SEUNGNI MAGICQUEEN races for the first time since running 6th in the Luna Stakes, the first leg of the filly Triple Crown back in October, when she was the first Busan-based runner to cross the line. Prior to that she registered back-to-back wins up to 1300M at class 5 level. Form a good draw she should be close to the pace here and should be returning to winning ways. (11) ADELE ROSARIO comes up in class after a smart all the way win over 1200M on November 21st. Prior to that she was considered good enough to be given her chance in the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup and while that didn’t work out, she evidently has talent. While she is the only juvenile in the race, she should have the beating of plenty. (3) FLAT BABE was a winner at this class over 1400M two starts back and while she could only manage 6th over a mile at her latest start, she warrants another chance here. (14) MISS INDIE and (5) SONHADOR among several others with strong claims.

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Christmas Day Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 25)

The delayed racing season along with Christmas falling on a weekend means we get a rare Christmas Day card at Seoul, a day ahead of Boxing Day’s Grand Prix Stakes. There are 10 races from 10:45 to 18:00. And should you wish to spend the day on the punt, all betting locations will be open although attendance must be pre-booked through the MyCard app. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

The Christmas Day card kicks off with a field of twelve previously unraced two-year-olds so it’s to the trial videos that we head. The only one to win her heat was (6) MENI SPEAR and that’s enough for us to find in her favour here. She made all in the trial crossing the line two-lengths ahead of anything else and won’t need to improve too much to go very close here. The other logical pick is (5) NAOL YEONGUNG. He finished in 3rd place in his heat having been on pace throughout, but his time was the fastest that any of these recorded and from a good gate he has every chance. (12) GLOBAL BOBAE came home 2nd in Meni Spear’s time, running on well from midfield and despite the wide draw should be competitive here. (3) FNAL CHARM and (8) CONCORDE SPIRIT others who caught the eye in their heats.

Selections(6) Meni Spear (5) Naol Yeongung (12) Global Bobae (3) Final Charm
Next Best8, 7
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 6

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens but this time only three make their racecourse debuts although none have tackled 1200M before. (7) P N S GOLD won a trial and then ran 2nd on debut on November 20th when he sat handy to the lead and then ran on well. The extra furlong can suit, and he won’t need to improve much to be winning this. (6) GEONGONILCHEOK and (5) CUPID VOW debuted together over 1000M on November 27th when both were close to the pace and ended up coming home in 4th and 5th place respectively. The should both be prominent here and can be competing to get even closer today. (4) JANGSAN POISON was close at hand 4th place on debut 1000M doing his best work late on and may like the step up in trip here. Among the first timers, (14) MUSTANG POWER crossed the line 1st in his trial and warrants consideration first up.

Selections(7) P N S Gold (6) Geongonilcheok (5) Cupid Vow (4) Jangsan Poison
Next Best14, 10
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 7

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Filly maidens here. (2) MAGIC FLOWER has run well in both starts so far, improving to 3rd place at her latest. Both were over 1000M, but the additional furlong should be fine, and she has claims here. (3) SWEET CAMP was a slightly disappointing 6th at her latest start when well backed but she has a 2nd and a 3rd to her name at this distance already and should go close again. (8) RAON THE DASH is another trying the distance for the first time after three solid efforts over 1000M and can be competitive.  A litany of excuses were offered for (4) PUREUN YOJEONG’s dismal effort at 1300M two weeks ago, from the kickback to possibly not liking the gear she was wearing. She threw her head up at the start and then got bumped which set the tone for the race. We’ll draw a line through it and give her another chance as she has shown ability. (12) LUCKY INDY may need a touch of luck early to get a forward position, but she has shown some speed and should be in the mix.

Selections(2) Magic Flower (3) Sweet Camp (8) Raon The Dash (4) Pureun Yojeong
Next Best12, 9
Fast Start5, 8, 10, 12
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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 24)

It’s Grand Prix weekend at last with the big season-ending race taking place at Seoul on Sunday. Before that though Busan kicks things off on Friday with a 7-race Christmas Eve card from 12:40 to 18:00. All betting locations remain open although the off-track centres are restricted to 80% capacity. Attendance at all racecourses and off-track locations must be pre-booked through the MyCard app. Here are the previews:

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens with eleven of the twelve racing for the first time. We therefore head to the trial videos and find that (1) SANGSEUNG BOY led all the way in his heat to cross the line in front by a wide margin n a decent time. He draws beautifully on the inside and if h gets off to a good start again, he will take some beating. The one horse with prior race experience is (12) EUNSEONG WINNER. She ran well on debut, overcoming gate ten to sit just off the pace and then ran on well enough for 3rd place. She should have come on for the experience and while the gate may not help again, she should go close. Back to the first timers and (7) BINGO MAN won his heat leading all the way, crossing the line thirteen lengths in front of anything else. The time was pedestrian but there looks to be potential. (9) MAIN BRIDGE and (10) PHANTOM ACE are others who performed well in their trials and should be close first-up.

Selections(1) Sangseung Boy (12) Eunseong Winner (7) Bingo Man (9) Main Bridge
Next Best10, 11
Fast Start1, 7, 10, 12

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

Maiden fillies and plenty of potential winners. We’ll take a chance with (4) CHEONGMA POWER, who has mixed her form but is better than her latest effort suggests when slowly away and never a factor. She does have two placings at this distance to her name in fair times and from a good draw and a better getaway, has as much chance as any. (13) FUNNY LIFE gets a bad draw, but she is yet to finish worse than 4th in three starts and seems to be working towards a win. She comes in having run 2nd over 1000M at her latest start when on pace throughout. She comes up in trip for the first time but has every chance. (10) RAON THE FLASH led on her first try at this distance at start number three, weakening in the closing stages to run 6th. The experience should benefit, and she can go closer this time. There are a couple of debut-makers. (1) ALPHA V was on pace in her trial a couple of weeks ago and from the inside gate can make an impact here. (5) DROMOS among a number of others with at least placing claims.

Selections(4) Cheongma Power (13) Funny Life (10) Raon The Flash (1) Alpha V
Next Best5, 9
Fast Start1, 3, 9, 13

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Decent race for the level but we’re likely to have a standout favourite. (10) GEUMA STARLET returned from six months out to run a strong 2nd over 1200M on December 5th, coming from well off the pace. He should strip fitter for that run and the additional distance can suit. He looks hard to beat. (8) BLUE CAPTAIN showed improvement at his latest start to run 3rd over 1200M. He can get on pace here and so long as he sees out the trip can be competitive. (7) DOCTOR CANDY does have experience at this distance, having run 2nd at it, her best performance to date, in an admittedly slow race on December 3rd. She sat just off the pace that day and battled on and from a slightly better draw should be in the finish again. (4) NEW CROWN ran 4th in that 1200M race behind Geuma Starlet at his latest outing when he too came from a long way back. He has run fairly at this distance before and along with (13) RUN AND GUN is another with claims on a money finish.

Selections(10) Geuma Starlet (8) Blue Captain (7) Doctor Candy (4) New Crown
Next Best13, 6
Fast Start5, 8, 9, 10

Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

There is a race of reference here at class and distance on November 26th. (2) FANTASTIC LEADER could only manage 6th that day, beaten by a couple of todays rivals, but the margins were tight. Two starts back he ran a very strong 2nd, again at this distance, and while he is yet to win, today could be his day. (5) INDIAN PARTY started slowly in that race but rallied well to come home in 4th place. That continued a consistent run of form for him and from a much better gate today, he too can have winning claims. (11) K CHUKJE came home the best of those who ran in that November race, finishing in 3rd place at lengthy odds. He’ll warrant more respect here although the other two draw better this time. If you don’t like the form from that race, then (6) LIGHT STORY can be the one to go for. She was very impressive when winning on debut and while she faltered on her next appearance at this distance, she ran better third-up over 1200M on November 28th. She will be on or close to the pace here and can be in the finish. (12) JEONSEOLUI PUNCH another in the frame.

Selections(2) Fantastic Leader (5) Indian Party (11) K Chukje (6) Light Story
Next Best12, 7
Fast Start2, 6, 8, 12

Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(6) DOCTOR CAESAR won his first two races in good order before running 3rd in the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup, a race which he led for much of the way around. He followed it up with a runner-up finish at this class and distance on November 26th. He draws well here to get to the lead again and he should have too much. (2) BUSANHANG GALMAEGI has won three from five in total including his latest at the end of October wen he led all the way over this distance. He is up in class here but comes down slightly in the weights and draws well. He surely measures up in this company. It’s a similar story with (1) GLORY KING who was also an all the way winner over 1200M at class 5 level on his latest outing. He too comes up in class and marginally down in the weights and he will be making it a testing time at the front in the early stages here. (4) JESSIEUI KKUM raced just the once all the way back in the summer of 2020. He looked well when trialing earlier this month and could make a bid for the places at each-way odds. (8) WINNER’S TIME another in the hunt.

Selections(6) Doctor Caesar (2) Busanhang Galmaegi (1) Glory King (4) Jessieui Kkum
Next Best8, 5
Fast Start1, 6, 12, 14

Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Tricky race with three standouts. (1) ECOPIA is probably the justifiable favourite having won two of her last three with the defeat being in the Luna Stakes at a mile when drawn very wide. She’ll get an easier time of it here from the inside and she looks the one to beat. (5) SEUNGNI TOUT was a winner at this class over 1800M on December 10th. He has run fast times over a mile too and rarely runs a bad race with twelve top-five finishes from fourteen starts to date. He is up in the weights as a result of that win but should be in the finish. It took (9) DOCTOR FAITH ten attempts to get his maiden score, but he enters looking for a hat-trick of wins. His latest was at class and distance on November 28th when he sat handy from the same gate he draws today. He too is up in weight but is firmly in the frame. (7) CHEONGDAM FIRE and (10) PURE KING have placing chances.

Selections(1) Ecopia (5) Seungni Tout (9) Doctor Faith (7) Cheongdam Fire
Next Best10, 4
Fast Start1, 5, 8, 9

Busan Race 7: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(7) MAN OF TOP has been a model of consistency but has only recently started to win. He beat several of these on his way to victory at class and distance on November 26th when despite drawing wide, he was able to find a position and then ran on to win well. He comes in the weights but gets a better gate and will be favourite to win again. (6) CHANGE BACK won at this distance at class 4 level and has two runner-up finished from three attempts at this class. He usually settles midfield or further back and runs on and he should be coming on strong at the end again today. (9) YEONGGWANGUI FIGHT ran 2nd to Man Of Top in that November 26th race. He gets a bog weight advantage again today and can go close. (8) SEONGSAN POWER and (2) QUATTRO MAX are others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(7) Man Of Top (6) Change Back (9) Yeonggwangui Fight (8) Seongsan Power
Next Best2, 4
Fast Start4, 5, 7, 8