Racing Previews

Korean Derby 2021 – Horse-By-Horse Preview

The second leg of the delayed 2021 Korean Triple Crown takes place at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon when eleven runners go to post for the Korean Derby (KOR G1). CLICK HERE FOR THE REGULAR RACE-BY-RACE PREVIEW.

The top five placegetters from the first jewel in the Crown, the KRA Cup Mile at Busan a month ago, all return including Heat Yegam, the all the way winner of what was by some margin, the fastest Cup Mile on record.

Heat Yegam has drawn barrier five and will be hot favourite to score again but Heungbaragi, Chief Indy, Mr. Indie and Winner’s Man all return in a bid to prevent the Take Charge Indy colt from going one step closer to emulating Power Blade and sweeping the Triple Crown. Local racing media in Korea is confident they won’t, with twelve out of fifteen racing publications placing Heat Yegam on top.

Moon Hyung-chul, representing trainer Bang Dong-suk, said after the barrier draw on Thursday that Heat Yegam is ready. “It’s his first time traveling to another track to race but he’s adapted well, he works well, and we don’t need to do very much with him. (The Derby) is an extra furlong but that shouldn’t be a problem for him.”

Heungbaragi put in a huge race in the Cup Mile, overcoming barrier fifteen to run on strongly. Trainer Lee Joon-chel, who actually rode him in his first few races before taking up his trainer’s license this summer, laughed wryly when he drew the widest gate. “My foreman says he is in as good a shape as he has seen him. When he won at 1800M he led all the way and that won’t be easy to do but there are many ways to win a race and we will just have to see what happens on Sunday. I’m looking forward to it.”

Lee certainly knows about winning. In just forty-two starts since getting his license, he has already sent out eight winners.

Winner’s Man was sent off as second-favourite in the Cup Mile and tried matching Heat Yegam for speed early on, only to end up weakening for 5th. The Musket Man colt has though raced and won twice at the Derby distance of 1800M, whereas Heat Yegam goes further for a mile for the first time.

Kim Ji-min, representing trainer Choi Ki-hong, reckoned punters didn’t see the best of Winner’s Man at the KRA Cup Mile. “He has done well at 1800M before and while Heat Yegam was very good in the Cup Mile, I think Winner’s Man is going well now and we are looking forward to it. As for rivals: “Obviously Heat Yegam and Heungbaragi are very strong, but I was very impressed with Chief Indy at the Cup Mile, especially as he was first-up after a layoff; 3rd place was a really strong performance.”

The Korean Derby will be run over 1800M and is race 8 on Seoul’s Sunday card with a post time of 17:05 KST. Here is a full run-down of the field.

1. MR. INDIE [Indie Band – Candace Gold (Seeking The Gold)] – A winner of three from six including over this distance at class 4 level. In the KRA Cup Mile, he was ridden hard early to get a position settling on the fence in midfield. He stayed on the rails saving ground, into the straight and kept fighting in the straight to maintain a clear 4th in a strong run. The Wolsley stable is in fine form, Seo Seung-un stays aboard, and he can go close.

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Korea Derby Day 2021: Seoul & Busan Race-By-Race Preview (November 7)

It’s Korean Derby day at last! The latest Derby in history goes to post at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon with race fans in attendance (attendance must be pre-booked using the My Card app – there is no walk-up admission). Heat Yegam won the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown, at Busan last month, and will be favourite again. A full horse-by-horse preview of the Derby will be up soon but in the meantime, here is the full race by race preview of the 10-race card at Seoul (10:45 to 18:00) and at Busan (7 races from 11:10 to 16:40):

Heat Yegam won the KRA Cup Mile last month (Pic: KRA)

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

The juvenile maidens get us underway with five of the eleven racing for the first time. And it’s one of those debut-makers who is set to be favourite. (1) PINE FARM first trialed up in May in good style but didn’t make it to the track that time around. He requalified in mid-October, running fast time behind Moonhak Chief and from a good gate should be on pace from the start and can lead all the way. The big danger has some experience. That’s (7) RAON THE ARIA, who was anonymous in her trial but debuted well with a strong 4th p lace at this distance on October 2nd when she sat handy all the way. She won’t need to improve much to be right in this. (10) NO SMALL SUN was a decent 4th on what was her second start on October 10th and if she can continue to make progress here can go close. Returning to the debut-makers, (4) NAMSAN HORANGI impressed when winning an October trial in a fair time and has every chance of going well first-up. (2) P N S LIN didn’t do much wrong in his heat and has an outside chance of sneaking into the money.

Selections(1) Pine Farm (7) Raon The Aria (10) No Small Sun (4) Namsan Horangi
Next Best2, 11
Fast Start1, 7, 8, 10

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

Maiden juveniles start the card at Busan with seven of the twelve racing for the very first time. There is some ability among the experienced ones though, so we will side with (5) MAHAMERU, who after an encouraging trial, ran 6th on debut in September in a fast time on an admittedly wet track. He should have come on for that run and Perovic climbing aboard is a plus. (6) GREAT CHEONGHO was a good 4th on debut just two weeks ago when prominent throughout. It was a fair time on a dry track, and he can go closer today. (7) KING SATURDAY is perhaps the standout of the first timers. While indifferent in his mandatory trial in September, he was sent through a voluntary one just last week and significantly improved, posting a fast time and leading for much of the way. So long as he didn’t leave his race there, he can go well. (3) PLAY THE INDY didn’t do much wrong in what was a slow trial and could also play a part. The wildcard is (12) ANASTASIA, who raced twice uncompetitively in summer but recently went through two trials, winning the latter.

Selections(5) Mahameru (6) Great Cheongho (7) King Saturday (3) Play The Indy
Next Best12, 2
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 12

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

A big field of maiden fillies and plenty look to have the potential to make the breakthrough. (14) GOLD KAISER is going to need to navigate her way from the widest gate, but if she can do that then she looks to have solid claims. Having won a September trial, she ran 3rd on debut over this distance in a fair time, having been handy early. If the draw is a concern, then (5) RUBY CAT is the one to be on. She has improved across three starts so far, culminating in 4th place last time out over 1300M. She can sit just off the pace here and it could be her day. (12) V QUEEN came home 5th in the same race in what was an uptick in form. She has a good finish on her so the draw shouldn’t be a problem and she can get even closer today. (3) SMART HIGH and (1) FLYING BARBIE are among others with placing potential.

Selections(14) Gold Kaiser (5) Ruby Cat (12) V Queen (3) Smart High
Next Best1, 10
Fast Start2, 3, 8, 14

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Fillies (and one mare) only here. (7) ANNIKA GIRL stepped up to this distance at her latest start and ran a fair 5th place in a reasonable time in what was a tougher race than this. She sat handy that day and ran on and in this company, has every chance of breaking through. (1) DARI TTEUNI is the only one to have won a race and then alone brings her into contention. The victory was in May, and she hasn’t looked like repeating, however, she did beat a couple of these on her way to 6th place over 1300M two starts back. (12) WORLD FLOWER stepped up to this distance on October 8th and came from off the pace to run a useful 6th place in a fair time and a repeat of that run would be competitive here. (14) BAEK SEOL QUEEN was disappointing at her latest start in August but had previously registered some decent efforts. She trialed up a couple of weeks ago looking well and may have benefitted from the twelve weeks off. (8) USEUNG GANGJA is another in the placing frame.

Selections(7) Annika Girl (1) Dari Tteuni (12) World Flower (14) Baek Seol Queen
Next Best8, 3
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 7

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

Another big field and a competitive race. (9) ROAD ACE has been working towards a win with steady improvement over his three starts so far, all of them at 1000M and culminating in a 2nd place last time out in a good time. He steps up in trip for the first time but should be on pace and can win. The presence of Moon Se Young aboard (5) KOREA GIJEOK may make the Hansen gelding favourite. He’s scoreless following fifteen attempts but enters in good form with a 2nd and a 4th from his latest two appearances, both at today’s distance and coming from off the pace. He can go close again. (6) DOUBLE TAKE too comes in with recent form reading positively. She comes in off a last start 4th when settling midfield at this trip and Munro stays aboard today. (3) GEOSEN DOLPUNG steps up to this trip for the first time. He was an on-pace 3rd in a fair time over 1200M on his last outing in September and will be expected to show the way again here. (11) POSA POSA perhaps the best of the rest.

Selections(9) Road Ace (5) Korea Gijeok (6) Double Take (3) Geosen Dolpung
Next Best11, 12
Fast Start3, 8, 9, 13

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

(7) VICTOR BASIUM is an intriguing entry here. He has only raced once, back in May, but he raced well, finishing in 4th place in a respectable time over the five furlongs. He trialed up smartly two weeks ago and in shallow waters here, has good claims first-up. (9) WONDERFUL REALTY comes out on top in plenty of indicators in this race. He the fastest finish on him as well as the fastest time at this distance. He comes in off a good class and distance 3rd place on October 1st and while the draw isn’t the best, he should be going close. (6) RAPIDO QUEEN has led both her latest starts at 1300M and 1400M before finishing back in the pack. The slight drop back in trip may be in her favour here and she should enter the calculations. (5) HAEUNDAE BLUE and (12) MYEONGSEONG CHARGE among others in the placing hunt.

Selections(7) Victor Basium (9) Wonderful Realty (6) Rapido Queen (5) Haeundae Blue
Next Best12, 10
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 12

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

(2) JANGSAN LASER returned to make his second start a full nine months after his first and it proved successful as he came from midfield to score over 1200M on October 3rd. As a result, he comes up in class but neither that, nor the step up in trip should be a problem and he can make it two in a row here. The main danger is (5) BEOLMAL DAEJANG. He comes in having posted two excellent times at this distance in his latest two outings, which ended in 4th and a very close 2nd. He comes up slightly in the weights today but has very solid claims. (3) COOL PRINCESS comes up in class following a win at this distance on October 2nd. She will need to improve on that performance but has drawn very nicely to lead and can measure up. (4) FIGHTING NOW has plenty of class and distance experience and along with (11) GRAY CAT is another with at least placing chances.

Selections(2) Jangsan Laser (5) Beolmal Daejang (3) Cool Princess (4) Fighting Now
Next Best11, 8
Fast Start1, 3, 8, 11

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

Small field of fillies here and after a string of near-misses, (7) NEW LUX should be winning. Two starts back she ran 3rd at class and distance in a super time on an admittedly wet track, continuing her consistent run of form. At her latest she was 5th over 1800M. She likes to sit handy or midfield and should have too much for these at the business end of the race. (1) GOLD LUCK comes up to the mile for the first time. She has got caught a bit far back in a couple of her latest starts but from a good draw on the inside this time, coupled with the additional distance to play with, she may push the favourite close. (8) TAMNA HWANGHU came from well off the place for a slashing 4th at class and distance on October 15th. She mixes her form but if she gets up a head of steam in the straight, she can run a few of these down. (4) QUEEN OF HEARTS and (6) GREAT GO are others with money chances.

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 6)

Seoul will race in front of punters for the first time in a year on Saturday. There are 10 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Attendance at the racecourse must be pre-booked using the My Card app and evidence of Covid-19 vaccination is required. Here are the previews:

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

As ever it’s the juvenile maidens up first with nine of the twelve racing for the first time. And it’s first-timer (7) NEMO PRINCESS, who is the stand out. She easily won her second trial on October 22nd and with Moon Se Young aboard, is set to be a warm favourite. (12) SKY SONG trialed up well beating a couple of these in the process in a fair time. He settled back in midfield and ran on so the wide gate may not be too disadvantageous and he can go well first-up. (1) PURGE DAY debuted over 1200M finishing back in the pack. He previously trialed well and from the inside gate should be improving for that run. (9) ONE MORE RUSH ran pleasingly enough on debut, well back behind a good winner but posting a fair time and should have some natural improvement here. Returning to the debut-makers, (11) HAMPYEONG FIGHTER looks next best having led her trial early and finishing at her own pace when passed by Munhak Chief.

Selections(7) Nemo Princess (12) Sky Song (1) Purge Day (9) One More Rush
Next Best11, 2
Fast Start2, 7, 9, 11

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

(8) AMAZON KING has run well on both starts so far and was an improved 2nd at start number two in a fast race behind a good winner over 1000M on October 17th. He has been on-pace in both starts so far and the additional furlong shouldn’t pose a problem here. The principle danger is (3) ORGALIM, who significantly improved at his second start on October 2nd when he sat handy throughout, ultimately finishing 3rd in a good time at this distance. He draws well today and will surely be in the finish. (2) TES GO DAEBO won a trial before finishing 4th on debut over 1000M on October 16th. He went right back before running on well and may appreciate the extended trip today. (4) MEOTJIN GIROK and (10) GEUMSEONG CROWN are among others with placing hopes.

Selections(8) Amazon King (3) Orgalim (2) Tes Go Daebo (4) Meotjin Girok
Next Best10, 1
Fast Start3, 4, 8, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

One of the weakest maidens in some time but something has to win. On the grounds of having done least wrong so far, we’ll go with (1) MORNING PEARL. She’s raced twice so far, both at 1000M and both times she has made up good ground in the closing stages. She comes up in trip today, draws well and can win. (2) THUNDER HORSE is the only one in the field to have a top-three finish to his name, and that was recorded more than a year ago. That and his last start 4th over 1700M may be enough to make him favourite here and he has as good a chance as any. (12) WONDERFUL HAWAII has run consistent times and while they haven’t necessarily been fast, they look competitive here and she can run into at least a place. (11) SOJUNGHAN DANGSIN races for the first time since January and having looked well when 3rd in a trial in a fair time a month ago, can have claims first-up. (5) MUNHAK FOREST another who can run into a place here.

Selections(1) Morning Pearl (2) Thunder Horse (12) Wonderful Hawaii (11) Sojunghan Dangsin
Next Best5, 9
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 7

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Big field here but (7) SANGSEUNG POWER looks ready to win. She comes up in trip following back-to-back 3rd place finishes over 1300M, both times settling midfield and finishing off well. She should be able to sit handy here and be too strong late on. (14) SMART POWER has been consistent across four starts so far and comes in following a 4th place over this distance on October 2nd. He is the only previous winner in the race and despite the wide draw, he has every chance of going close here, but may need a bit of luck to find a position early. (1) SINUI HANSU comes back in trip following a good 3rd place over 1700M on October 10th when he ran in mid-division most of the way around before finishing off well. He has beaten a few of today’s rivals across his latest couple of starts and should be beating plenty again. (12) RUNNING NUMBER ONE similarly drops back in trip, in his case following 2nd place over 1700M three weeks ago. That was an uptick on recent form and he can maintain that momentum with a bold showing here. (13) GRAND STAR has the fastest time among these at the distance and could make for an interesting outsider.

Selections(7) Sangseung Power (14) Smart Power (1) Sinui Hansu (12) Running Number One
Next Best13, 2
Fast Start5, 6, 11, 14

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(12) BYEOLUI SUNGAN comes up in class following three near-misses. On all three occasions, he has gone down to good horses though and has run well, recording good times. Her running style so far has shown she can run on so neither the wide draw or the slight step up in trip should be to her detriment and she can win. To do that she will need to pass (2) COWBOY KING. He sat handy and then ran on for a good win on debut over 1000M back on September 18th. He is up in both class and distance here but draws nicely to be on pace and could maintain his 100% record. (9) K N UNDERKING comes up in class having won at this distance at start number two on October 3rd. He sat midfield and ran on strongly that day and should measure up in this company. As for those with experience at this level, (5) COWBOY TANGO comes back in trip after a decent 4th on a very wet track over 1400M a month ago and along with (7) HWANGGEUM POWER, looks a place line here.

Selections(12) Byeolui Sungan (2) Cowboy King (9) K N Underking (5) Cowboy Tango
Next Best7, 11
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 9

Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies and mares only here. (8) GREEN FEELSTAR has finished in the top five in all six of her outings to date, with her one win coming at this distance. She comes up in class following a close 2nd at this distance on November 3rd but looks well in here and sit behind the early speed and run on strong. (1) GUEOKMAAL has consistently run fast times at this distance and is experienced at this class. She comes in following a good 4th place at this distance in a slightly tougher race than this a month ago and from a great draw should go close. (6) HANGANG MAGIC swept home from off the pace to win smartly over 1000M at start number two on October 9th. She comes up in class and in distance but neither should be an issue and she has the potential to back up with another win. (3) BLACK SILVER comes slightly back in trip and significantly down in weight from her latest start what with an apprentice on board. She has a runner-up finish to her name at class and distance and should be in the placing frame here. (11) HWA SSI BYEOK another with money claims.

Selections(8) Green Feelstar (1) Gueokmaal (6) Hangang Magic (3) Black Silver
Next Best11, 4
Fast Start3, 4, 7, 11

Seoul Race 7: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(8) LUISA beat four of these when coming from just off the pace to win at class and distance on October 9th. That was her third win but she has never run worse than 5th in fourteen starts so far. She comes up slightly in the weights here but looks very much the one to beat. (1) BEST LINE got closest to Luisa in that October race having led until midway down the home straight and holding on for 2nd. She too comes up in the weights but draws very nicely and can be a danger again. (12) DAEJIUI YEOIN won her first five in a row but while she has stalled a little since reaching this class, she hasn’t been running badly with a 4th and a 3rd in fast times. The draw does her no favours today but a return to form shouldn’t be ruled out. (10) JANGSAN BADA returned from six months out to run a good 4th place over 1800M three weeks ago. He should have come on for that run and is in the hunt today. (11) WHIZ MOMENT races for the first time since June and looked well when winning an October trial.

Selections(8) Luisa (1) Best Line (12) Daejiui Yeoin (10) Jangsan Bada
Next Best11, 7
Fast Start4, 8, 11, 12

Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(5) MIGHTY POP came close at his latest start when beaten by Heungrok Daebu at class and distance on October 2nd. That was his first go around two turns after posting fast times at 1400M and it seemed to suit well. He is joint-top weight here but is the one to beat. Clear second choice is (10) NAMSAN SIDAE. A winner of two from five he has never finished any worse than 3rd and won gate to wire over 1400M last start. He steps up to this trip for the first time today but there is no reason why it won’t suit and he has solid claims. (12) LIONETTE ran 5th behind Mighty Pop on October 2nd and while she draws the widest gate here, she can be running on strong at the business end and should be in the placing frame. So too (9) JEONGSANG KINGDOM, who always comes from way back and will benefit from Alan Munro aboard today. (4) UNCLE BELL, who pinched an excellent 3rd place under an enterprising ride at his latest start could again be in the hunt for some minor money.

Selections(5) Mighty Pop (10) Namsan Sidae (12) Lionette (9) Jeongsang Kingdom
Next Best4, 3
Fast Start1, 5, 10, 12

Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(12) ACE HAMSEONG was beaten into 3rd on his latest start which came over 1700M just two weeks ago when he went right back and ran on strongly. He comes back up slightly in trip today and that may be what he needs to return to the winner’s circle. (7) A. P. PATEK comes in off a strong 3rd place at 1700M on October 3rd. He can mix his form and can find himself getting a bit far back but he looks to have solid claims here. (11) STAR BLADE had a poor day at the office on his latest at his latest start behind A. P. Patek but is perhaps worth another chance based on his class and distance runner-up finish two starts back as well as his earlier class 5 win. He does tend to go best when on pace though so the draw is not helpful. (10) DREAM FASHION comes up in class after his second class 5 win at the distance on September 18th. He is nicely weighted here and his times should measure up at this class. (4) MANSE among others in the minor money frame.

Selections(12) Ace Hamseong (7) A. P. Patek (11) Star Blade (10) Dream Fashion
Next Best4, 3
Fast Start2, 7, 9, 11

Seoul Race 10: Class 1 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

(1) WINNER GOLD is giving away at least a full 6kg to everything in this field but that is because he is rated a full twenty points higher than anything else. He comes in following back-to-back 4th place finishes in tougher company than this over 1800M and back at one-turn today can return to the winner’s circle here. (10) CHEONGDAM JEWANG possesses a super time at this distance and ran well for 4th place behind Eoma Eoma at it back in September. He doesn’t need to lead so the draw shouldn’t matter and he should be a big danger here. (8) CUPID GUY enters off a great 2nd place in a fast time at class and distance behind the excellent filly Raon First on October 17th. He made up great ground late that day and will be aiming to do the same here. (3) MIGHTY GO and (9) PENETRO among those in the minor money hunt

Selections(1) Winner Gold (10) Cheongdam Jewang (8) Cupid Guy (3) Mighty Go
Next Best9, 4
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 7

Seoul Area Locations Reopen To Punters – Busan Friday Race-By-Race Preview (November 5)

Remember remember the 5th of November, because it is the day that customers are finally permitted to re-enter Seoul Racecourse as well as the Seoul and Gyeonggi Province OCB locations after almost two years of constant closure. Attendance will initially be capped at 50% of indoor capacity and must still be pre-booked using the My Card app. Further, all punters are required to provide proof of being “fully vaccinated” against Covid-19 for a minimum of fourteen days prior to the race meeting.

That means that Seoul can welcome just over 11,000 punters to the racecourse on each race day. Taking all OCBs into account, a total of 47,000 across the country will be able to attend a racecourse or an OCB this weekend. Last week, when only Busan Racecourse and a small number of southern OCBs were open, only 5,700 were able to be accommodated.

To save time and repeated hassle on every race day, punters are able to pre-register their vaccines and have it linked to their My Card app. The only non-vaccinated customers permitted are those with a written medical exemption from a Doctor and punters who are in that category will need to provide a negative PCR test from within 48 hours of the race meeting in question. This is in line with the policies adopted by the Korea Baseball Organization for its post-season matches which began earlier this week.

Catering will be somewhat limited. The first meeting the Seoul locations will be open for is Busan’s Friday card which involves 7 races from 12:40 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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

Juvenile maidens in the opener with five of the twelve racing for the first time. (8) DAEJI SPECIAL debuted on July 16th running 5th over this distance in what has turned out to be a hot race with Yeonggwanguilegend, who has since won two Listed Juvenile races, running 2nd. The time was good on a dry track and while he could only manage 7th on his return over 1200M in September, that’s probably enough to warrant making him top pick here. (3) FANTASTIC MAGIC has run 5th in both starts so far, both of them at this distance. She draws well again and can continue to improve here. (11) GOLDEN POWER came from off the pace to run 3rd on debut at this distance on September 3rd before stepping up to 1400M and running 5th when sat handy to the pace on October 8th. The wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and she can be main danger. (10) B.K. HANA ran 5th on debut before finishing back down the field in the Rookie Stakes. Among more amenable company, she should be better today. Among the debut-makers. (1) BEOLMAUI STAR has the best chance of making an impact first-up following a decent showing in his trial.

Selections(8) Daeji Special (3) Fantastic Magic (11) Golden Power (10) B.K. Hana
Next Best1, 12
Fast Start3, 6, 7, 8

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

While it’s fair to say that (1) HOT PLAY has mixed his form across four starts so far, he’s hard to go past here. He comes up 4kg from his 3rd place over this distance on October 15th when he was handy throughout but he draws much better here and should really be leading from gate to wire. (3) NEW RUBY actually beat Hot Play two starts back as the pair ran 3rd and 4th over 1000M and therefore shapes as the logical main rival here. She has tended to get a bit too far back in her races, but she does run on and from a good draw may be ridden a little closer this time. With an apprentice aboard, (5) CHEONHA NUMBER ONE comes down a full 4kg in the weights on recent starts. Back in August he ran 3rd over this distance and is capable of running competitive times. He is inconsistent but in the frame here. (8) DOCTOR CANDY and (9) TAEPUNGI are others in the hunt.

Selections(1) Hot Play (3) New Ruby (5) Cheonha Number One (8) Doctor Candy
Next Best9, 10
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 11

Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Another hot favourite here who it will be hard to oppose. (1) NAMDO ILDEUNG beat a couple of these on her way to 3rd place at this distance on October 3rd when, from the same barrier as today, she was up with the pace throughout and ran on well in a decent time. A similar performance today, in what is a weaker race, and she will be very hard to beat. More than half the field is partnered by apprentice jockeys so there are plenty claims being utilized. (2) STORM BROWN comes down 3kg in the weights from when he was 9th behind Namdo Ildeung at his latest start. He does have a 3rd place to his name and should be aiming to go close here. No weight claim for Djordje Perovic on (7) DONGBU STAR but he does have some claims to go better than last time, when he too was beaten by Namdo Ildeung. That was his first try at a mile and only his fourth in total and he may improve. (8) ADELE CROWN and (9) OMEGA GIRL are others that may compete in a race that offers little in the way of convincing form.

Selections(1) Namdo Ildeung (2) Storm Brown (7) Dongbu Star (8) Adele Crown
Next Best9, 4
Fast Start4, 6, 10, 11

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

Fillies only here and another favourite that is hard to oppose. (2) THE FIRST FACTOR has won just once of thirteen so far but has been working towards another in recent starts with consecutive 3rd place from her latest two. She has been on pace both times, draws very nicely here and should have far too much. (1) DONGBANUI SIJAK has gone faster than The First Factor at this distance, something she achieved when winning at this class three starts back on September 10th. She then ran 3rd at 1400M before finishing well back behind The First Factor two weeks ago. She comes up in weight but draws much better and can go close. (8) ECHO LADY has done well at this distance so far with a 4th and a 5th as well as competitive times in her record. She carries a light weight under an apprentice and should be in the placing frame. (5) HAEUNDAE BADA and (7) HAMAN BANGEOSAN others in the hunt.

Selections(2) The First Factor (1) Dongbanui Sijak (8) Echo Lady (5) Haeundae Bada
Next Best7, 4
Fast Start2, 5, 7, 9

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

It’s becoming quite a theme of the day but there is another hot favourite here. (8) SPEED MATCH took six goes to get his maiden win but he evidently quite enjoyed it as he promptly followed up with another. Both were at 1400M with the first being an all the way romp, while the second saw him come from behind the speed. Both winning times were fast and while he is up in class today, he should make it three in a row. (10) YEONGWON POWER comes up in class but back in trip following a good score from off the pace over 1800M on October 10th. The wide draw should be no problem and he comes down in the weights. He can measure up in this company. (4) HAPPY WITCH on the other hand comes up to this trip for the first time. It may well suit as she has been doing her best work late and Perovic climbing aboard can’t hurt her chances either. (2) SUNLIGHT BOY has won at this distance at class 5 level and is rarely far away. He’ll sit handy from a good barrier and can be a danger. (3) ALPHA AGAIN among several others with placing claims.

Selections(8) Speed Match (10) Yeongwon Power (4) Happy Witch (2) Sunlight Boy
Next Best3, 9
Fast Start1, 3, 7, 11

Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Competitive race. (3) AMOR FATI has consistently run fast times at this distance including in his latest two when 2nd and then 6th at this class. He gets a much better draw today than in either of those outings and with a good start, that could be enough to tip things in his favour. The big danger is (11) TIZ HEARTED. The filly has shown improvement over three starts to date, culminating with a 2nd place at class and distance on August 29th when she led almost all the way, getting passed in the closing stages. She has had a couple of months of since and while the draw isn’t ideal, she has a real chance. (6) ACE BOOM looks quite nicely in here. She comes back in trip following a nice 3rd place a couple of weeks ago over 1400M when she led early and could sneak a place again. (2) WINNING POST and (12) MAN OF THE WORLD are others who can compete for at least places.

Selections(3) Amor Fati (11) Tiz Hearted (6) Ace Boom (2) Winning Post
Next Best12, 1
Fast Start3, 7, 10, 11

Busan Race 7: Class 2 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million

(7) B.K JOHN snapped a streak of four consecutive runner-up finishes to win a fast race over this distance at class 3 level just two weeks ago. He comes up in class here but down in the weights and his promotion to this level is, if anything, overdue. He can win again. The big danger is (10) GEUMA MYSTIC. Two starts back he beat several of these on his first crack at this class when running 2nd to the very good Barbarian and this distance before dropping back to 1400M and finishing 3rd in a fast time in September. He does come up a little on the weights on both of those performances but the wide draw isn’t too much of a concern and he should be right in this. (2) GYEONGJUUI DUREBAK surprised plenty when winning at class and distance two starts back and then ran a useful 5th on reappearance two weeks ago. She can continue her run of form by competing for a place here. (11) DIAMOND MARINE and (12) MALIBU BYEOL are other dangers in a competitive finale.

Selections(7) B.K John (10) Geuma Mystic (2) Gyeongjuui Durebak (11) Diamond Marine
Next Best12, 5
Fast Start2, 4, 8, 11

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 31)

Juveniles take centre-stage at both Seoul and Busan on Sunday afternoons with the running of the Gwacheon and Gimhae Mayor’s Cups. There are 9 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:10 to 17:30. Here are the previews:

Could it really be the last day behind closed doors?

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

Juvenile maidens get us underway with four of the twelve racing for the first time. (4) REMARKABLE is set to be favourite though. He ran 2nd in a good time on debut over this distance on September 18th before being tried in the valuable Munhwa Ilbo Cup for his second start at 1200M on October 3rd. From a wide draw he never really got going, finishing 6th of nine on the day but dropping back here in shallower waters, drawing well and getting Moon Se-young on his back, there is plenty to like about him. (3) DREAM SPEED has raced twice before, improving in her second outing, when she led at this distance, ultimately finishing 4th in a decent time. She should have made more progress for that and can continue to improve here.  (1) GIANT KILLING ran 3rd on debut on August 22nd, settling midfield and running on. He comes in fresh after ten weeks off and can improve on that here. Among the first-time starters, (7) WONPYEONG GWANGYA was the fastest in trials and can go well first-up.

Selections(4) Remarkable (3) Dream Speed (12) Janggun Byeol (3) Dream Speed
Next Best1, 7
Fast Start1, 3, 7, 12

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(1) NEW STAR YEONGCHEON comes in off two strong showing at 1200M, racing on pace and finishing 3rd and 4th, the latter time having come out of gate twelve. He draws the inside here and while he steps up in trip for the first time, he won’t need to improve much to win this. (5) K N TEUKGEUP also comes up in trip. He has mixed his form across six starts so far but has a 3rd place to his name and generally finishes off well. He gets a good draw and with Antonio Da Silva in the saddle can be aiming for a career best finish. (2) BIG ENERGY has been doing his best work late on in his latest two starts, both times running on strong for 4th over 1200M. The additional half furlong may well be what he needs to get even closer today. (8) SEMYEONG NARAE is the only one in the field to have a runner-up finish in her record and she comes in after beating a couple of these on her way to a fair 6th place at 1200M last start. She also has experience at 1400M which may be of benefit here. (9) MASEONG CHEONHA comes in having scored an on-pace 3rd at his latest start on September 4th and is another in the hunt although he will need a good start from an unfavourable gate.

Selections(1) New Star Yeongcheon (5) K N Teukgeup (2) Big Energy (8) Semyeong Narae
Next Best9, 3
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A tricky race with two standouts. (5) ONE JI is already a winner having struck at class 6 level two starts back when leading all the way at this distance. He then ran a solid 3rd place at this class and distance on September 19th. He is well drawn here, and he could well get to the lead and win again. The main danger is the up in class but sure to measure up (3) YUKWAEHAN SEONTAEK. He has a 3rd, and two runner-up finishes from three starts so far, all of them over 1000M. He has run on-pace all three times and should be able to do the same here from a great draw. He has winning claims. (6) CRAZY TANK comes up in class having broken through at start number five over this distance on September 4th. He was second-up into a comeback after a few months out and could well have progressed further. He likes to be on pace, but can may settle handy and run on here. (11) FASHIONED PASSION has developed a bit of a habit of getting a bit far back in her races. The wider draw may actually help here as she can avoid traffic problems and she certainly has plenty late speed. (4) BIG RED among others in the placing frame.

Selections(5) One Ji (3) Yukwaehan Seontaek (6) Crazy Tank (11) Fashioned Passion
Next Best4, 12
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 5

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Maidens with four of the twelve racing for the first time. (1) GREEN SPEED looks the one to beat. He has run 3rd and 4th in two starts so far, both of them at 1000M, finishing off strong both times. He steps up in trip to 1200M for the first time and it may well suit. (11) WINNER FALCON is a debut-maker sporting the Yoshida colours. The Smart Falcon fill is a late-starter at four-years-old but trialed very competently in a decent time and looks set to make a positive first race start here. (7) CHEONGMA POWER has certainly mixed his form across four starts so far but has run well twice at this trip including his latest start when he was 2nd having been handy throughout. He can settle just behind the early speed here and be a danger at the business end again. (5) MONGTTANG was an improved 4th on his third career start on October 3rd and his first at this distance. The jockey/trainer combination will make plenty take note. First-timer (12) CHOEGANG MIJIGAE another in the placing frame.

Selections(1) Green Speed (11) Winner Falcon (7) Cheongma Power (5) Mongttang
Next Best12, 2
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 5

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

(4) SPOT FLATTER comes back into shallower waters following an unsuccessful tilt at the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown, at Busan three weeks ago where he tried to sit behind an extremely hot pace but got overwhelmed, although he still finished with an extremely creditable time. How much that took out of him is a valid question but if he picks up his class 4 form where he left off, winning here on August 14th, then has every chance. (9) LAST BOSS is up in class following a good win over this distance on October 2nd. The time he recorded certainly measures up at this class and Moon Se-young taking the mount won’t harm his chances. (10) TIZ BLACK comes up in class having won his latest two, both at 1200M, by narrow margins. That takes him to three from six in total and he steps up in trip here with solid claims to make it three in a row. The draw is not ideal, but he can go close. Surely lightning doesn’t strike three times in a row with (5) CHEONJI POKPUNG. Twice in a row he has been unfancied yet swept home late to score over 1300M. He is up in class and in distance, but significantly down in weight and warrants some – perhaps reluctant -respect. (2) ULTRA KING another who is up in class today but comes down hugely in weight and draws well.

Selections(4) Spot Flatter (9) Last Boss (10) Tiz Black (5) Cheonji Pokpung
Next Best2, 3
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(10) LANE KILLER has run on very strong for two 3rd place finishes and a 4th in three stats so far, each time making up good ground late. He steps up to a mile for the first time and his racing pattern, suggests that it will suit and that the draw won’t matter. The step up may suit (8) OLD CHEONHA too. He returned to action following six months out on October 17th but didn’t really get into the race finishing down the field. He should have benefited from that though and can improve today. (7) CHEONGMA YEONGUNG ran an improved 3rd over 1200M on his latest start three weeks ago. He has tended to get well back in his races before running on and the additional distance to play with here can suit. (12) SINBIHAN GANGJA is the only one in the race to have a runner-up finish to his name, which came at this distance three starts back and he should be in the placing frame here. (6) TEN TEN QUEEN has the fastest time among the four who have tackled the mile before and she too can have placing aims.

Selections(10) Lane Killer (8) Old Cheonha (7) Cheongma Yeongung (12) Sinbihan Gangja
Next Best6, 1
Fast Start1, 4, 8, 9

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(3) GOLDEN BADGE is yet to score in eleven attempts buy has been consistently close and took to this distance well when stepped up at her latest start back in August when she ran 2nd to promising three-year-old Royal Road. This is her first start since then, but a top jockey is engaged and from a good draw, she can sit handy and run on strong. (5) REDBACK returned from almost six months out to run 3rd behind Last Boss over 1400M on October 2nd. He settled midfield and ran on strong and can step up to two turns with confidence that it will suit. He still looks to have plenty more development in him and has strong claims here. (7) TANK SOCKS has been at this class for a long time, picking up a win at 1200M but she too steps up to this distance for the first time today. She has been running consistent times over 1400M in her latest three appearances and there is no reason why she can’t be in the mix here. It’s a similar story with (6) HEUKRYONG GAMU, who comes in with the fastest average time for the final furlong of all of these. He made up excellent ground late on over 1400M to go from almost last to 4th and is another for who the step up in trip may suit. (4) RUN RUN RUN struggled on his first try at this distance in September but can be given another chance here.

Selections(3) Golden Badge (5) Redback (7) Tank Socks (6) Heukryong Gamu
Next Best4, 11
Fast Start3, 5, 9, 10
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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 30)

Will this be the last Saturday of behind-closed-doors racing in the capital? With baseball allowing 100% capacity attendances for its post-season beginning this week, one would hope so. But there have been many many false dawns since the start of the pandemic, so we shall see. This Saturday they are 9 races at Seoul from 11:00 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

It’s autumn (Pic: KRA)

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

Juvenile maidens with four of the nine racing for the first time and while it is a small field, it is a pretty good race with three or four who would have started favourite in similar affairs in recent weeks. (2) HWASUBOON is the slight top pick. She ran 2nd to Purple K on debut on October 2nd, well beaten by that good winner but looking competent and finishing in a fast time. She draws better today and with a similarly good start, will be the one to beat. (8) ALL FOR YOUR DREAM came from well off the pace on his debut to run 2nd to Byeolbit Maru at this distance on September 19th. He was really motoring at the end of that race and if he can put himself in a better position here, he has a winning chance. (1) CHEONGSAN YEONGUNG came from off the pace in the same race to run 3rd, again in a good time. He draws well again and should be in this a long way. (4) P N S LUCKY was a good 2nd on debut which allowed him to take his chance in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup. He finished down the field in that but didn’t do much wrong and in shallower waters today should get closer. Among the first-time starters, (5) EUNHYE DREAM was a fast 2nd in trials and looks best place for an immediate impact.

Selections(2) Hwasuboon (8) All For Your Dream (1) Cheongsan Yeongung (4) P N S Lucky
Next Best5, 3
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 8

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Maiden juvenile fillies and a tricky one too. We’ll take a chance with (10) P N S HER, who ran 4th in a decent time at this distance on debut in August before finishing a good 5th in the Munhwa Ilbo Cup over 1200M on October 3rd. She has settled midfield both times and should have come on for the experiences and she can make her breakthrough here. The favourite will be (1) JAY TROSS. Having won an August trial, she ran 4th on debut on September 18th in a decent time on a good-rated track. From a top stable and with a great draw on the inside, she will have plenty of supporters here and every chance. (11) JEONGSANG Z also finished 4th on debut, behind Aspen Taeyang on a very wet track, which may account for the fast time and with a couple of today’s rivals behind her. She ran on very strongly and the wide draw shouldn’t matter here. (8) TRIPLE RUN and (2) DIA POWERCAT are among others in at least the placing hunt.

Selections(10) P N S Her (1) Jay Tross (11) Jeongsang Z (8) Triple Run
Next Best2, 9
Fast Start3, 4, 8, 9

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

(5) PRINCESS DAY is set to be a warm favourite here. She’s run 3rd In her latest two starts, both of which were slowly run races at this distance. She has a better draw today and should be on pace or handy and in a race of not many chances, she won’t need to improve much to win. (1) FLYING KARA raced twice around the turn of last year, most recently in January, both times finishing 3rd at this distance. She trialed up in August and while it isn’t easy to get a handle of where she is at in terms of progress, this is a good race to come back in and from a good draw on the inside she can go well. (3) APPLE MINT put in an inauspicious debut back in May but looked much better when winning a trial earlier this month. He will be in the frame here. (6) MIGHTY SUNSHINE hinted at ability when running on well two starts back and while he was poor in his latest outing, is perhaps worth another chance for a place here. (2) EURO QUEEN offered some evidence of progress at her second start on October 3rd and she too may get better here.

Selections(5) Princess Day (1) Flying Kara (3) Apple Mint (6) Mighty Sunshine
Next Best2, 4
Fast Start5, 6, 7, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(3) JEONGMUN PRINCE beat a couple of these on his way to 3rd place over 1400M on October 2nd. He has been knocking at the door for some time now and from a nice draw today, he can make his breakthrough at start number thirteen. He, along with every other horse in the race, is tackling two-turns for the first time and (7) SHINE MUSIC is one it may benefit. He has been finishing off his recent races in good fashion and can sit midfield and run on here. (12) BEST FORCE has similarly run on and has the fastest final furlong average time for any of the field. The draw shouldn’t matter too much here and he should be in the finish. So too should (6) JEONGMUN POKJU, the only runner in the race to have a win to his name. That came on a wet track over 1400M when he came from well off the pace and while he hasn’t come close to repeating in three starts since, in this kind of company, he must be considered. (11) OKCHUMA is another in the hunt.

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Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 29)

The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with 6 races from 13:25 to 18:00. The feature sees Doctor Carson heading a strong line-up in the Kyushu Owners Association Sprint Cup. Here are the previews:

It’s Friday. It’s Busan (Pic: KRA)

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

Juvenile maidens kick us off. (12) JEONGMUN DRAGON ran 4th on debut before finishing 5th in the Areumdaun Jilju Stakes on his second start on October 3rd. That was a race where aside from the winner, not much covered themselves in glory, but coming back to 1000M today and despite the wide draw, he has solid claims. (2) RAON THE FLASH was a good 3rd on debut on October 1st when she sat midfield and ran on strong., finishing in a good time. From a better draw today and with some natural improvement, he she is firmly in the hunt here. (1) ADELE CHUKBAE has raced twice, improving at his second start when 5th to Jeongmun Dragon’s 4th on the latter’s debut on September 17th. He has a great draw on the inside today and can be expected to improve. (6) MENIFEE SONG drew the widest gate when running 6th on debut back in early September and can be expected to progress from that, while among the five debut-makers, (3) YEONGGWANGUI MAGIC is perhaps best equipped to make an immediate impact first-up.

Selections(12) Jeongmun Dragon (2) Raon The Flash (1) Adele Chukbae (6) Menifee Song
Next Best3, 5
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Tricky maiden this. (7) HORAENGI is yet to really run a bad race, just coming up short each time. She has the fastest time among these and while she tends to get a bit far back and then run on, as she did when 4th at his latest start on September 19th, she is drawn better than her main rival here and today could be her day. That main rival is (11) CHEONGHO LEADER and he is the probable favourite. He comes in off the back of very solid 2nd and 4th places over this distance, beaten only be decent horses both times. He has come from off the pace in those races so the draw shouldn’t be too disadvantageous, and he has a real chance here. (9) BARAM GONGJU is yet to finish in the top two in twelve attempts but comes in off a good 4th place over this distance three weeks ago when he ran on well from midfield. A similar run today will put him right in this. (3) DOCTOR PRO and (4) AFLEET TAPIT, the latter better than his latest two showings suggest, are others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(7) Horaengi (11) Cheongho Leader (9) Baram Gongju (3) Doctor Pro
Next Best4, 12
Fast Start2, 4, 7, 11

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

It’s about time (6) DOCTOR FAITH won. He has eight top three finishes from nine starts but the Kantharos gelding just can’t seem to get that breakthrough win.  At his latest start he stepped up to this distance to run 3rd in a good time and from a similar draw, he can sit on the pace here and it could well be his day. Should he come up short once again, (2) DOCTOR TAKE, under the same ownership, may be the one to take advantage. He steps up to the 1800M for the first time but is a winner at 1400M and comes in having run well over a mile last time when on pace and 4th. He draws well and will be a threat. Draw a line through the latest effort from (5) GALLANT WARRIOR when well back behind Doctor Faith over 1400M in September. That was an aberration and he had previously run consistently good times when close at that distance. The extended trip may suit. (12) SEONGSAN BULKKOT and the up in class (8) SINJIN GANGHO are others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(6) Doctor Faith (2) Doctor Take (5) Gallant Warrior (12) Seongsan Bulkkot
Next Best8, 11
Fast Start4, 5, 6, 8

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

(4) DOMINATION returned from over six months out to win at class and distance on October 10th, when he pretty much made all. He comes up a full 6kg in the weights here but from a good draw, that shouldn’t be enough to stop him from winning again. (1) TOP BEST ran 5th to Domination in that race and while he was a long way back, he draws much better today and should be competitive here. (2) CHEONGDAM DRIVE comes up in class having swept home late to win over this distance on October 3rd. He only carries 1kg less than that day but draws well and will surely coming home strong again. (10) ROCK PEGASUS is a winner at this class over 1400M and has run very fast times at that distance. He is up in trip today following a 4th place behind Success Macho at his latest start, but his racing pattern suggest the additional furlong won’t be a problem and he can go close. (5) QUEEN UP has the joint-fastest time at this distance and looks a fair placing chance.

Selections(4) Domination (1) Top Best (2) Cheongdam Drive (10) Rock Pegasus
Next Best5, 9
Fast Start4, 6, 7, 9

Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

It’s hard to look too far past (3) DAEAM JANGGUN here who while up in class, comes in following two very good wins at this distance in very good times. He can sit on the pace or in midfield, he draws very nicely, and he even comes down significantly in the weights so there is a lot to like about him. (6) QUATTRO MAX comes up in class too following a string of near misses. He has run some very good times at this distance though and he comes down a full 6kg in the weights and must be taken seriously. (7) BABEL HIT comes back up in trip after two really good runs over 1200M when he beat a couple of today’s rivals in fast times. He has previously run a super time over today’s distance and can come from off the pace here. (1) SO MUCH GO is another who has run consistently fast times at this distance and along with (5) JANGSAN BOBBY has at least placing chances.

Selections(3) Daeam Janggun (6) Quattro Max (7) Babel Hit (1) So Much Go
Next Best5, 8
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 8

Busan Race 6: Class 1 (1200M) “Kyushu Owners’ Association Sprint” Handicap / KRW 110 Million

(6) DOCTOR CARSON skipped last week’s SBS Sports Sprint in Seoul with this in mind. He has won four of his last five, beating Blue Chipper on four of those occasions. It is finally his turn to carry plenty of weight, but he has won under not much less when recording his fastest time at this distance back in March this year. He should win this and then go on to stiffer tests. He will be given a stern examination. (7) SEOBU CAT is firmly established at class 1 and while he hasn’t run the kind of standout times that Doctor Carson has, he is consistent and today meets Doctor Carson on better terms then preciously. He will be on pace, and he has a chance.  (9) ACE KOREA comes in off two super runs over a mile and 1400M. As ever, he carries plenty of weight, but this is an elite horse, and he will be in this a long way. The evergreen (1) DORAONPGYEONGSEON as well as (4) MUJEOK YEONGUNG are others in the minor money hunt.

Selections(6) Doctor Carson (7) Seobu Cat (9) Ace Korea (1) Doraonpogyeongseon
Next Best4, 11
Fast Start4, 6, 7, 8

Blue Chipper, Eoma Eoma, Morfhis, East Jet, Cheongdam Dokki, Tiz Plan, Moonhak Chief & More: SUPER SUNDAY SBS Sports Sprint & KRA Cup Classic Race-By-Race Preview (October 24)

There is double Group race action at Seoul on Sunday afternoon (sadly behind-closed-doors) with the SBS Sports Sprint at the KRA Cup Classic. There are 9 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:10 to 17:30.

Cheongdam Dokki on his way to his second Cup Classic 3 years ago (Pic:KRA)

Blue Chipper returns to Seoul Racecourse on Sunday for the first time since winning the Korea Sprint in 2019, a victory which punched his ticket to Santa Anita where he went on to run 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. He’s back at the Sprint distance of 1200M but runs slap bang into a host of Korea’s top sprint stars, including new star Eoma Eoma in the SBS Sports Sprint (KOR-G3).

Algorithms four-year-old Eoma Eoma took part in this race last year and ran a strong 3rd but has only got better in the intervening time, breaking the track record at 1400M and putting in a string of fine runs. He has drawn the outside gate but there is every reason to believe that won’t matter.

Blue Chipper draws well and after a frustrating campaign of giving away vast amounts of weight in handicaps during the Covid-relief racing period, finally gets to run at level weights. But even if he manages to see off Eoma Eoma, there is still plenty of other talent to deal with.

Morfhis won this race last year, powering home late under Johan Victoire. The draw doesn’t matter for him and in a race with lots of early speed, he may well take advantage. East Jet, from the inside gate is also a huge danger. He won the SROA Trophy last year at this distance and has posted formidable times.

Morfhis won the 2020 SBS Sports with Eoma Eoma in 3rd

An hour later, Cheongdam Dokki will bid for an unprecedented third victory in the KRA Cup Mile (KOR G2) over 2000M at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday as the popular chestnut heads the field for the 36th running of the race.

Winner in 2017 and 2018 before running 2nd to Dolkong in 2019 (there was no race in 2020 due to the pandemic), the now seven-year-old Cheongdam Dokki made his first start for trainer Tony Castenheira three weeks ago when successfully holding off the fast-finishing Jjang Kong to return to the winner’s circle over 1800M. He faces a star-studded set of rivals on Sunday. 

Korea Cup 2019 winner Moonhak Chief returns to action for the first time since May as does Tiz Plan, who knows a thing or two about lowering Cheongdam Dokki’s colours, having defeated him in last year’s Busan Mayor’s Cup. All three horses will very much appreciate being back running under weight for age conditions after a year of giving away significant weight in handicaps.

The up-and-coming Haengbok Wangja enters off a seven-race winning streak, made even more remarkable by the fact that he failed to win any of his first seven starts. The Daerdevil colt dips his toe into elite waters for the first time, but such has been the manner of his recent rise that he may even start the race as betting favourite.

Five horses have travelled up from Busan and the two best south-coast hopes are both trained by Peter Wolsley. Mr. Afleet is a winner of nine from fourteen and while he will have to overcome having drawn the widest gate, he enters in form and will have plenty of backers. So too will his stablemate Hunch, the biggest winner from the barrier draw, and a big winner at this distance in Busan in the summer.

Here is the race-by-race for both meetings:

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

Juvenile maidens to kick things off with nine of the twelve racing for the first time. We will side with experience for the top two picks though. (5) LUCKY INDY ran 5th on debut on September 19th, sitting handy and briefly leading before being passed. It was promising enough, and she draws well to get forward today and has fair claims. So too does probable favourite (10) RAON THE WEEKEND. Having won a trial in August, she led for much of the way around on debut on September 18th, ultimately weakening and finishing 5th. The draw is not ideal for her here but if she can get to the front here, she may be difficult to pass. Among the first timers, (4) YONGHOJIMA is the pick. He went through a couple of trials and significantly improved in the second of them, running 3rd in a decent time on a dry track He draws nicely here and surely goes well. (6) TEUKBYEOL trialed up behind the likes of Moonhak Chief and Tiz Plan. She didn’t get involved with those and went around at the back, completing the course competently and in a fair time. The jockey booking will cause plenty to take note. (1) GRAND POWER went through two trials, going well in both.

Selections(5) Lucky Indy (10) Raon The Weekend (4) Yonghojima (6) Teukbyeol
Next Best1, 7
Fast Start4, 5, 7, 10

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

Quite a good standard maiden this with plenty looking capable of winning. We will go with (9) STELLA ROAD, who has been knocking on the door across her four starts so far, finishing between 2nd and 4th in each of them. She has the fastest time among these at the distance and in a race devoid of much early speed, she can get on pace or handy and is just about the one to beat. (5) GEOSEN GISANG has finished in 5th place in both starts so far, both at this distance and in fair times, beating a couple of today’s rivals last time. She has a fast start comparable to most here and from a good draw can be on pace and improve. (6) SWEET CAMP was an improved 2nd at start number two on September 19th when she led for much of the way around. She’ll be on pace again and can go close again. (1) YES I CAN came from well back to run on well for 2nd in good time on September 4th and he too has claims to match or even better that from the same gate. (4) FAST TRACK comes up in trip for the first time and may benefit.

Selections(9) Stella Road (5) Geosen Gisang (6) Sweet Camp (1) Yes I Can
Next Best4, 8
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(9) BYEOLBIT MARU broke through at start number three with a comprehensive score over 1000M on September 19th when she settled just behind the leaders before taking things up at the top of the straight and running away from the field. She comes up in both class and in distance today, but the manner of that win suggests there is more to come. (6) DAEJIUI YEOGEOL was a class and distance winner on September 18th, settling back in the field and making good ground in the straight. She has mixed her form but has run consistent times and can be a threat here. (12) GWANGYANG EUTTEUM got his maiden win at this distance at class 6 level and then ran a good class and distance 3rd place having led for much of the way on October 2nd. The draw is not ideal here, but she has run good times already and has a winning chance again.  (11) POWER BOX has shown plenty of speed in a 4th place and a win at class 6 level. He led during that win, so the draw isn’t ideal, and he is up in both class and distance but looks to have potential for more development. (4) GREAT THUNDER is consistent and another sure to be involved at the business end of the race.

Selections(9) Byeolbit Maru (6) Daejiui Yeogeol (12) Gwangyang Eutteum (11) Power Box
Next Best4, 10
Fast Start1, 8, 11, 12

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

Juvenile filly maidens here with nine of the twelve racing for the very first time. It’s from those first timers that we find our favourite and top pick, (3) ILBEONJI. The Cowboy Cal filly looked very assured when leading all the way in her trial, cantering home with minimal urging in a good time. Drawing well here, she can lead all the way. On the same day, (4) SEOGWI PLUS also trialed up. She was ridden a little harder in her heat but once she had shaken off the rest was allowed to cruise to the line, stopping the clock in the exact same time as Ilbeonji would thirty minutes later. Ilbeonji goes on top here due to having done the same time in less effort, but it would be no surprise if Seogwi Plus put up a stiff challenge. (8) GREEN PAPAGO trialed up nicely behind an experienced trial winner, running on pleasingly enough. With an apprentice claim she has a feather weight on her back and can run well first-up. Among the experience (12) QUEEN’S DAERO ran a good 4th on debut over 1000M in a fair time three weeks ago. She drew wide that day too and should be aiming to match or better here. (11) WISH LUCK took a while to get going on debut but should have come on for the experience and can improve on her 8th place.

Selections(3) Ilbeonji (4) Seogwi Plus (8) Green Papago (12) Queen’s Daero
Next Best11, 6
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 12

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

Fillies only here and a very competitive race with all but one having finished no worse than 6th in their latest outing and with four up in class last start winners. Really a case can be made for any of them, but we have to decide so we will go for the least experienced, (3) MENIFEE MUSIC to continue to improve. She is one of the up in class ones following a maiden win at start number two over 1200M on September 11th. She worked her way from gate nine to get on the speed that day and ran on well and can be competitive here. (11) DIECO is super consistent with eleven top-five finishes from sixteen starts. She comes in off a good 2nd place over 1300M last start and her solitary win to date came from this gate three starts back. (7) BAEDARI CANDY didn’t run badly when tried at 1700M last time out but should be better today. She won at class and distance in a fast time on August 15th and while she carries more weight this time, should be firmly in the hunt. (12) MAGIC TIDE remains a maiden after six attempts but ran on very strongly from the back for 3rd over 1200M at this class on her latest start and may appreciate the step up in distance here. (1) LAPEIO BAN, another up in class, is one of several others with equal claims.

Selections(3) Menifee Music (11) Dieco (7) Baedari Candy (12) Magic Tide
Next Best1, 4
Fast Start3, 7, 10, 11

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

Maidens, and stepping up to a mile for the first time, (11) CATCH THE SUN is the favourite. She has finished in the top five on all five of her starts so far and looks to be working towards a win following a good runner-up finish over 1400M on October 3rd, when she settled handy and ran on well behind a good winner. Her times have been consistent, the draw doesn’t look a problem and she may take some beating. (5) MAJOR FORCE came home in 3rd place behind Catch The Sun in that 1400M race three weeks ago, when she came from well back in the field. That was her best finish in eleven starts and she may well be ready for another attempt on a mile here. (3) NORTHERN LIGHTS has been consistent in recent outings and beat a couple of these on her way to 5th place over 1400M on September 19th. From a good draw, she should be aiming for better here. (4) ANY LINE and (8) OMEGA GIRL are others in the placing frame.

Selections(11) Catch The Sun (5) Major Force (3) Northern Lights (4) Any Line
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start4, 6, 8, 11
(more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 23)

There are 9 races on the behind-closed-doors card at Seoul on Saturday, running from 11:00 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Moon Se Young is back on Saturday

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

Juvenile maidens get us underway with five of the twelve racing for the first time. It’s very hard to look beyond (11) COMPLETE TIME. The only one in the field who has raced twice already, he was 4th on debut behind Wonpyeong Gasok, before coming back out and running 2nd to Raon The Spurt on August 28th, overcoming a wide draw to be on pace and then running on strong in a fast time. He’s drawn wide again but should have little trouble getting to the front and it’s hard to imagine him beaten here. (5) DAEBAK STAR won an August trial and then ran creditably on debut on September 12th when 4th practically the entire way around. He’ll be looking to get on pace with the favourite here and can improve his finishing position. A few of the first timers showed promise in their respective trials. (8) EUNHYE SERVE posted the fastest time, sitting midfield and finishing off well, while (1) HWARANG TODAY led all the way around in his heat. (9) JAY RAPTOR another who led throughout her trial and can give a good account of herself first up here.

Selections(11) Complete Time (5) Daebak Star (8) Eunhye Serve (1) Hwarang Today
Next Best9, 7
Fast Start1, 6, 9, 11

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Another juvenile maiden with five of the twelve racing for the first time. Again, there is going to be a hot favourite in the shape of (2) GLOBAL MAGIC. After winning an August trial in fine style, he debuted at this trip on September 18th, he came out of gate eight and sat towards the front of midfield before finishing off well for 3rd place behind Cowboy King in a decent time. He should have come on for that experience, draws better here and should be winning. (10) MAGIC GRACE actually ran a faster time than Global Magic on his debut on August 28th, although he was assisted in that by a wet track. He and sat just behind the leaders throughout when finishing 4th and while the draw is not ideal as he will want to get on pace, he has claims. (11) YESULIYA has raced twice and while on the surface, 9th and 7th doesn’t sound great, those two races are looking among the stronger juvenile affairs we have seen this year. She ran fair times in both and can improve. Similarly (1) BICHUI DAERYUK, 8th behind Global Magic on her second start but runner-up at this distance on debut in August, should be in at least the placing hunt. Of the first time-starters, (12) GEOMOON showed improvement in her second trial and is perhaps the most likely to make an immediate impact. 

Selections(2) Global Magic (10) Magic Grace (11) Yesuliya (1) Bichui Daeryuk
Next Best12, 7
Fast Start1, 2, 10, 11

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

Regular maiden here. We’ll take a chance on (2) NAMSAN CHOCOLATE, wo steps up to 1300M for the first time following back-to-back 4th place finishes at 1200M. They have been in contrasting styles, with one of them being running on from midfield and the other leading then being passed, bus she seems to be finding some consistency and won’t need to improve too much to score in this company. She will though need to overturn the form on (9) OKDONG GONGJU, who beat Namsan Chocolate over 1200M on September 11th when running 2nd and accordingly will probably start as favourite. That was her best finish in nine starts so far and she was ridden a little more prominently, having tended to get too far back in her races. A repeat performance will see her in the finish again. Further back still in that September race was (4) SEMYEONG GANGJA. She may well be better back up at 1300M, a distance at which she has performed well already, and draws nicely to get to the front. (12) M J STORM, on the other hand, comes back in trip after a decent 4th over 1400M last start and has placing chances along with (5) MONEY GARAK, who came from well off the pace to run 3rd at this trip at his own latest appearance. That was a full thirteen weeks ago though.

Selections(2) Namsan Chocolate (9) Okdong Gongju (4) Semyeong Gangja (12) M J Storm
Next Best5, 11
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 7

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

After six weeks out following a fall, Moon Se-young returns, just in time to ride Eoma Eoma in the SBS Sports Sprint tomorrow, and he could be straight back in the winner’s circle here with (12) GREAT EYE set to be favourite. The Transcend colt has shown improvement across four starts so far, notably last time out on September 18th, when 2nd on his first try at this distance. He settled midfield that day and ran on so the wide draw may not be an issue and while he benefitted from a 4kg apprentice allowance that day, the “Moon factor” may compensate for that. The main danger draws wide too. (11) HWARYEOHAN MISO has made both her starts so far over 1200M, but she has run 5th and 2nd with the latter a significantly improved time. She has gone right back both times and worked home very well and the extended trip today just might suit. (3) GEOSEN JILPUNG returns from three months off and looked well when 3rd in a good time in a September trial. He draws well and can be a factor. (8) REAL PACK has mixed his form over six starts so far but along with (2) MAIN OF KING is another capable of competing for the minors.

Selections(12) Great Eye (11) Hwaryeohan Miso (3) Geosen Jilpung (8) Real Pack
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start2, 4, 7, 10

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

(7) CHOEGANG BLACK drops back in trip following a decent enough 3rd place over 1700M at this class on September 18th. That made it two 3rd and a 4th in three attempts since being promoted to this level following a class 6 score over 1300M back in May. She has run good times, including at this trip and can sit on pace or handy and run on here. (6) YEONGWANGUI CAPTAIN comes up in class and distance having broken through at start number two on August 29th when sitting behind the early speed and then running on well for a comfortable victory over 1200M. She ran through the line well and the additional furlong should be within her capabilities. (3) BODYGUARD ran a strong class and distance 3rd at class and distance on September 11th and from a much better draw, can be looking to at least match that today. He can settle handy or midfield and run on. (12) SPEAR GUN remains a maiden after eight attempts, but he has been a model of consistency which has forced him up in class here. He ran Bodyguard close at 1300M back in June and his times suggest he will measure up in this company. (2) LUCKY APPEAL, up in class following a come from behind win over this distance a month ago, is another with placing claims.

Selections(7) Choegang Black (6) Yeongwangui Captain (3) Bodyguard (12) Spear Gun
Next Best2, 11
Fast Start4, 6, 7, 8
(more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 22)

The main action this weekend is at Seoul with the SBS Sports Sprint and the KRA Cup Classic, both Graded races, taking place on Sunday and featuring some of the biggest names in the older horse ranks from both tracks. The weekend’s action though gets underway at Busan on Friday with 6 races from 13:25 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Busan

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

Juvenile maidens with seven of the twelve racing for the first time. There are two standouts and we will side with experience and (10) SHY DRAGON, who was slowly out of the gate on debut on September 12th, but was quickly up with the pace and ran on well for 2nd behind a good winner in a fair time at this distance. With some natural improvement on that run, he can compete for the win here. The big danger and probable favourite is (9) HANEUL JEONSA. He debuts having won two trials, first in August and then again in September, both in good times. In the latest of those, he overcame a wide draw to sit handy and run on strong and he has every chance of scoring first-up. Those two should fill out the quinella, while clear third choice is (5) FANTASTIC LOVE. She’s the only one in the field to have raced twice already and has a 2nd and a 3rd to her name. In the latest of those she sat handy and finished off well in a fast time which was assisted by a very wet track. She will be in the finish here. (12) WISE BOY ran adequately for 5th on debut and can build on that here while (2) BLUE CAPTAIN was similarly solid when 6th behind Fantastic Love on his debut and can also be in the hunt for the places.

Selections(10) Shy Dragon (9) Haneul Jeonsa (5) Fantastic Love (12) Wise Boy
Next Best2, 8
Fast Start2, 5, 9, 10

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

Maiden fillies here. (12) MILLION BANK beat three of these on her way to 2nd place on debut at this distance on September 19th when from a similarly wide draw, she settled in midfield, improved turning into the straight and then ran on well behind a good winner. A similar run today would make her the one to beat. In that September race, she was pulling clear of (6) BEST HAMSEONG, who led through the early stages and into the straight but couldn’t quite see the race out, ultimately finishing a creditable 4th. She should have come on for that run and from a good draw is likely to be leading again. After running well on debut in early August, (4) SLIM QUEEN was scarcely a factor in two subsequent outings. She went back to trial after the latest of those and looked well when winning her heat a couple of weeks ago. She has the fastest time of any of these who have raced at the distance and from a much better gate today, she can be given another chance. (3) DROMOS was an also-ran in the Million Bank race last month but had run well on debut in August when she led and ended up 3rd. She draws nicely to be on pace here. (7) QUEEN OF SPIRIT another who can compete for the minors.

Selections(12) Million Bank (6) Best Hamseong (4) Slim Queen (3) Dromos
Next Best7, 10
Fast Start3, 6, 8, 10

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(10) DONGBANUI SIJAK beat three of today’s rivals when winning at class and distance on September 10th. He then dropped back to 1400M and ran a decent 3rd place. An apprentice jockey climbs aboard today which brings his carried weight back down to similar to what he won under, the draw shouldn’t matter too much and he has every chance. (2) ACE FOUR TEN beat four of these when runner- up at class and distance on October 1st. He settled just forward of midfield that day and stuck to his task well although could do nothing about a swooping late winner. His sole victory came at this distance at class 6 level in August and while he can mix his form and comes slightly up in the weights, he can win this. (6) WONDERFUL LADY remains a maiden but has to come up in class following a creditable 2nd place over 1400M at her latest start two weeks ago. She tackles a mile for the first time and while she doesn’t look a winning chance, she can compete for the places in this company. (12) THE FIRST FACTOR finished 3rd behind Ace Four Ten earlier this month. She led that day and while the draw obviously does her no favours in that regard, she can be competitive again. (4) BEAUTY HILL another in the hunt.

Selections(10) Dongbanui Sijak (2) Ace Four Ten (6) Wonderful Lady (12) The First Factor
Next Best4, 3
Fast Start3, 4, 8, 12

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

(11) ENDLESS RUNNING comes in here looking for a fourth straight win. His latest was at class 5 level over 1200M when he was quickly into the lead and dominated, having plenty in hand despite drifting very wide in the straight. He is up in class here and tackles 1400M for the first time. He also has a far worse draw than in any of his wins so far. Regardless of that, the manner of his victories suggest that all those things can be overcome and while he won’t want to be wandering in the straight against this opposition, he can win again. (9) FLAT BABE recorded her worst finish to date on her first try at this level over 1400M on October 10th. It was a tough race and she didn’t run badly and is worth another chance here. (7) CRONUS was a class and distance winner two starts back. He runs consistent times at this distance and should be going close here. (6) FIRST STAR and (4) VEGA THUNDER others in the placing frame.

Selections(11) Endless Running (9) Flat Babe (7) Cronus (6) First Star
Next Best4, 8
Fast Start1, 2, 10, 11

Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(5) HAPPY WOMAN has won two of her latest three to be rapidly promoted to this class. She also comes up in trip to a mile for the first time but here is no reason why it shouldn’t suit. She runs best when on pace or handy and she should measure up in this company. Stablemate (1) YEOWANGAUI MISO could prove to be one of the biggest dangers. She races for the first time since August when she beat a couple of these on her way to a class and distance 6th and while she can mix her form, an apprentice takes a couple of kilos off and she can go close here. (4) FUNKY was one of those behind Yeowangui Miso in August but bounced back to run 3rd at class and distance on September 12th when she went right back before closing strongly. She will be finishing fast again here. (2) ITSMYLUCKYBOY has won at this class over 1800M and while 10th at his latest start, the margins weren’t huge and it wasn’t necessarily a bad run. He has since looked well in a trial and can be dangerous here. (9) ARAM NARAE another in the placing frame.

Selections(5) Happy Woman (1) Yeowangui Miso (4) Funky (2) Itsmyluckyboy
Next Best9, 8
Fast Start2, 6, 8, 10

Busan Race 6: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Can (2) B.K JOHN shake off his runner-up habit and go one better? He’ll be favourite to do so. The Colonel John gelding comes on off four consecutive 2nd place finishes, the latter two at this class over a mile and 1400M. During that run, he has finished 2nd when leading and finished 2nd when coming from off the pace. He steps up to 1800M for the first time, draws nicely and while he does come up in the weights, he can go one better today. (8) CHANGE BACK beat several of these when coming from well off the pace to run 2nd at class and distance on September 19th The start before he was a class 4 winner at this distance and under the same weight today has significant claims. (5) NANGMAN JEONSA came home in 3rd place in that race continuing a consistent run of recent form and he looks to have placing chances again. (9) FREEDOM KNIGHT led that day before ultimately running 5th and can get closer this time. (6) MAN OF TOP another who should be in the hunt.

Selections(2) B.K John (8) Change Back (5) Nangman Jeonsa (9) Freedom Knight
Next Best6, 12
Fast Start4, 6, 9, 11