Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 24)

There are nine races (11:00 to 18:00) on the behind closed doors Saturday card at Seoul including some very good looking ones – race 6 in particular is a standout – here are the previews:

Absolutely baking hot in Korea at the moment.

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Maiden fillies here and (6) A ONE QUEEN looks ready to win. She’s raced four times so far, never finishing any worse than 4th and comes in off a good runner-up finish at this distance last start when. For good measure, she recorded the fastest time for this distance of those who have attempted it. She looks hard to beat. (2) FANCY PANTS has been consistent across her six outings to date and has gradually been recording faster times. She draws nicely here to be on the pace or handy and looks the most serious danger to the favourite. (12) TIFFANY BLUE came from off the pace to run a much improved 4th over 1000M at her latest start. The manner of that improvement suggests she is ready to tackle this trip again and the wide draw isn’t a concern. (3) SILVER HAMPTON similarly improved over 1000M at her latest start and is another in the placing frame.

Selections(6) A One Queen (2) Fancy Pants (12) Tiffany Blue (3) Silver Hampton
Next Best7, 4
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 6

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million

(9) COMPLETE VALUE picks himself here having won well on debut when he set midfield and then handy before running on to win comfortably over 1200M, beating A One Queen, who was due to run in race 1 today. The step up in trip shouldn’t be an issue and there looks to be plenty to come from the Girolamo juvenile. (8) CHOEGANG JANGSAN has been consistent with two 4ths and two 3rds from his four outings to date. The two 3rd places were both at this distance in competitive times and he can sit just behind the pace and run on strong here. (2) BEOWULF has mixed his form but ran well from a wide draw at his latest start and may appreciate the slight rise in trip today. (10) BYEOLBIT BOSEOK has led both his latest two outings, ultimately finishing in 2nd place on both occasions. He overcame a wide draw to get on pace last time and can do similar today.

Selections(9) Complete Value (8) Choegang Jangsan (2) Beowulf (10) Byeolbit Boseok
Next Best4, 5
Fast Start2, 4, 7, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Maidens here with (10) ISTHMUS the one to beat based on his latest two outings. Two starts back he ran a very close 2nd over 1300M before stepping up to today’s trip and finishing in 4th place, well beaten by a good winner but running on pleasingly in a good time. His style is to sit midfield and finish strongly so the draw shouldn’t be a problem and he can win here. (11) WONDERFUL NIKIYA on the other hand draws poorly as she comes in after a career best finish of 2nd which came at this distance on June 26th when she beat a couple of today’s rivals. She led that day and while that is going to be a bit more challenging today, she has claims to go close again. (3) SPEAR GUN steps back up in trip following a much improved 2nd place over 1300M in a race where he finally drew a decent gate. He does that again here and looks ready to come back up to 1400M. (2) NUBIGO too comes back up in trip after a good 2nd place last time, in his case at today’s distance. He has run a couple of good times now and should be in the finish.

Selections(10) Isthmus (11) Wonderful Nikiya (3) Spear Gun (2) Nubigo
Next Best7, 12
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

A good race for the level with (8) SKY MANGCHI set to be favourite. He has a win and two runner-up finishes from his three starts to date, leading in the most recent two of them, and today steps up to 1400M for the first time. He does come up slightly in the weights but he can win here. (3) ACE PRINCE only managed 8th behind Sky Mangchi last time but suffered a slightly slow start and never really got going. He draws better today and has previously run a fast time at this distance so looks worth another chance here. (7) YUJEONG CHAMP comes up in class after a good win at this distance on June 20th when he was handy all the way before proving too strong in the hone straight, winning as easily as he pleased. He looks nicely in here and has solid claims again. (11) DAECHEON EOLJJANG won at this class two starts back over 1300M. His reappearance in June saw him only 7th at this distance but an apprentice brings him down in the weights today and he should be involved.

Selections(8) Sky Mangchi (3) Ace Prince (7) Yujeong Champ (11) Daecheon Eoljjang
Next Best6, 10
Fast Start3, 5, 8, 10

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

Fillies only here. (7) JUNGCHUBUSA is two for two so far but dips her toe into deeper waters for the first time here after comfortable class 6 wins at 1000M and 1200M. She has sat handy in both starts so far and while this is more difficult she can do the same here and prove too strong at the business end of the race. (10) HAPPY SOCKS races for the first time since April when 3rd over 1200M. Her sole win came when leading all the way but in her latest tw0 before the layoff, she sat midfield before running into a place and she can find the money again here. (12) NONGBON BADA overcame an even wider draw than today to get her maiden win at start number five on June 27th over 1400M. She comes up in class here but should measure up to most and has placing chances. So too (3) STEAL THE FASHION who was remains a maiden but also comes up in class following three consecutive runner-up finishes, including last time out to Nongbon Bada and who can be competitive at this level as well.

Selections(7) Jungchubusa (10) Happy Socks (12) Nongbon Bada (3) Steal The Fashion
Next Best6, 11
Fast Start2, 7, 8, 9

Seoul Race 6: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A really good race but we’ll go for the upset. (8) SONGAM CANDY resumes here for the first time since January. He had finished in the top two in all his previous seven races and can really go on his day with some super times. He trialed up very pleasingly and id he can be settled midfield and save a bit of energy, he could pull off a first-up win. (5) ICE PUNCH has won this class and distance and Moon Se Young stays loyal. He is tactically versatile and consistently runs fast times. Given his draw, expect him to be on pace and he will probably start as favourite. Moon has ridden (3) DAEJIUI YEOIN in both her latest two wins although he is unlikely to have made the 51kg she is assigned here anyway. Kim Yong Geun is a more than adequate replacement as the filly seeks to maintain her 100% record. She comes up in class but she has consistently produced fast times at the distance and the draw and the weighty puts her right in the mix again. (11) HEUNGBARAGI was last year’s champion juvenile and he races for the frist time since March when he suffered his first defeat when 2nd over 1800M. Lee Joon Chel, who rode him in all his five races to date is now his trainer and while the draw is not ideal, for a horse who loves to lead, he has led and won from wider and can’t be discounted.

Selections(8) Songam Candy (5) Ice Punch (3) Daejiui Yeoin (11) Heungbaragi
Next Best4, 1
Fast Start3, 5, 9, 11

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million

Another good race. We’ll side with (12) BLACK MUSK to overcome the widest gate and return to winning ways. He won his first two in emphatic style and looked set to make it three in a row when leading before being turned over by Heungwa Gippeum in the closing stages. He gave the winner 4kg that day and while Black Musk carries even more today, he should get it right this time against what looks weaker opposition. (4) BYEOLNARA JILJU gets 5.5kg from Black Musk and looks one of the most credible dangers. He races for the first time since running on strong for 2nd place at start number two over 1200M back in May and looks well in here for a place. (3) CHOEGANG BLADE almost made all on debut over 1200M but was beaten narrowly by Munhak Moon. He hasn’t raced since but looks nicely in here and has claims to go close. (7) GREEN JILJU mixes is form but he does have the fastest time among any of these at the distance and that alone puts him in at least the placing frame.

Selections(12) Black Musk (4) Byeolnara Jilju (3) Choegang Blade (7) Green Jilju
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 12

Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

(11) COLJOY was an excellent all the way winner over 1700M on June 26th, winning by as many as he pleased. He comes up in class here and while the gate is not helpful, the additional half furlong may mitigate that as he will have more time to find a decent spot before the first turn. He looks to have more progress in him and he can win again. It will be hard to beat the favourite (7) NAUI JEONSEOL though. Already a class and distance winner, he comes back up in trip after a solid 2nd place when dropped back to 1200M last start. He is giving away weight this time gut will sit handy and may prove too strong late on. (12) TRIPLE KINGDOM was a good winner at this class on a wet track over 1700M on June 6th. He too comes up in weight but his style is to go right back and then run on late so while he may need a bit of luck, the additional half furlong should be in his favour. (9) QUIET ADELE enters off three top four finishes all at class and distance and should be in the placing frame again.

Selections(11) Coljoy (7) Naui Jeonseol (12) Triple Kingdom (9) Quiet Adele
Next Best5, 10
Fast Start3, 4, 7, 11

Seoul Race 9: Class 2 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

In both starts so far at Class 2, both at this distance, (3) IRON SOCKS has had to cross early from gate thirteen to get to his preferred leading position and while he could get away with doing that and still winning at class 3, up against the likes of Heunghaeng Jilju, that was always going to be a tough ask. For a change he draws beautifully today and with Heunghaeng Jilju safely up at class 1 level now, Iron Socks will be hot favourite to get to the front and lead all the way under a nice light weight. The clear second pick is (8) GEUMA ACME. He is up in class following back to back wins over this distance in May and June. He will sit handy behind Iron Socks but may have to settle for 2nd place here. (6) MYEONGJIN FLY hinted at a return to form with a solid 5th in a good class and distance race on May 29th and a similar run here would put him in the minor money frame. (10) BLUE CHITON was 4th in the same race and he too will be aiming to match or better that today.

Selections(3) Iron Socks (8) Geuma Acme (6) Myeongjin Fly (10) Blue Chiton
Next Best4, 2
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 9

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 16)

With restrictions being scaled up, racing has had to scale back and every card over the coming weekend has lost one race. That means there are now 6 races at Busan on Friday and Sunday and 9 races at Seoul on both Saturday and Saturday. The attendance cap at Busan, which was 50% of capacity last week, has been cut at the government’s order to 30%. This week has seen the shutdown of the professional baseball season due to Covid cases, primarily among the NC Dinos (it was going to take a hiatus for the Olympics anyway from next week), as well as an outbreak among Seongnam FC players in the K-League which, while the football league will continue, will see that team on the sidelines for at least three weeks. All sports in Korea continues to walk walk a tightrope. Anyway, Busan’s Friday card has 6 races from 13:25 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

This picture must be ten years old now.

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

Maiden juveniles go around here for a big prize and eleven of the twelve race for the very first time. The likely favourite is (6) YEONGGWANGUILEGEND. The Concord Point colt made all when winning his trial in a fast time at the end of May. It’s worth noting that while the going was “dry” that day, all three trials ended up being fast, but nevertheless, there were experienced horses behind him and if he brings that form to the races, he should have too much for this field. (9) MENI AGAIN finished just a neck back in 2nd in the same trial and accordingly warrants consideration. She was close to the pace in the heat and is set to be one of the primary dangers here. (2) MISS GO was a trial winner just two weeks ago when she settled on the pace and then ran on to finish on front of set of experienced runners. It’s a top trainer and jockey combination and she too will have plenty of backers first-up. The only entry with prior racing experience is (11) INDY CHOICE. She trialed up in May running 2nd to a filly who has gone on to win her first two races (Miss Indie). Indy Choice was 4th on her own debut briefly striking the front in the straight over 1000M. The experience should be beneficial here.

Selections(6) Yeonngwanguilegend (9) Meni Again (2) Miss Go (11) Indy Choice
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 11

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies only here. (8) MUSIC BOX looks ready to win. She ran 2nd on debut over 1000M when she settled back and ran on strong and was then 3rd on her re-appearance at 1300M on June 26th, this time racing close to the pace. She should have come on for those runs and today can be her day. (12) STARLIGHT races for the first time since beating Music Box when winning at start number three over 1000M on May 22nd. She led most of the way around that day but while the draw is not in her favour here and there is also the question mark over the additional furlong but she has every chance of going well. (7) D’LOVELY QUEEN also has a slight question over the distance but she has certainly shown a nice turn of foot in two races over 1000M. She was beaten by Starlight and Music Box on debut but showed improvement second-up when she was on pace throughout and eventually finished 2nd on June 19th. She’ll aim for the front again. (10) SONHADOR is the better looking of two first-time starters. She came from off the pace to win a trial in June in a decent time, beating Seobu Cat, who is a genuine class 1 sprinter (albeit it an admittedly dawdling Seobu Cat who might as well have been reading the newspaper or checking his phone for how much effort he put in, while Sonhador was asked for plenty). The distance today should suit and this looks a nice race to debut in.

Selections(8) Music Box (12) Starlight (7) D’Lovely Queen (10) Sonhador
Next Best5, 9
Fast Start5, 7, 8, 12

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

Two up in class looks set to duel for this one. (8) KING ALLIE registered a win and a 3rd in two class 6 appearances, both over 1000M and both when racing on pace. She goes here for the first time since May when she was beaten by Starlight and Music Box, who went in race 2, but she comes down slightly in the weights here and with Seo Seung-un climbing aboard looks to have every chance. (1) SKY MORE will have no issues about the distance, having taken a gutsy narrow victory last start over 1300M. He still looks a little green but is out of an Oaks winner and draws much better today which should give You Hyun-myung plenty of options. He is right in this. (6) MAN OF THE WORLD remains a maiden after fifteen attempts but he has had plenty of near-misses. He comes in fresh after eight weeks out and is well drawn to get on to the pace here. Another maiden is (4) DOCTOR FAITH. He comes up in class after a runner-up and three 3rd place finishes at class 6 level but he has been beaten by some promising horses and has run some competitive times. There is no reason why he can’t be challenging here.

Selections(8) King Allie (1) Sky More (6) Man Of The World (4) Doctor Faith
Next Best10, 12
Fast Start6, 8, 11, 12

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million

Tricky race this. (7) DOCTOR FASHION is the slight pick. He has never finished worse than 5th in seven outings to date and is a winner at this distance in a fast time at class 5 level. His latest two outings have been at 1200M with a win and then a slightly disappointing 5th when he led only to weaken late on. He looks nicely in here and can return to the winner’s circle most likely aiming to lead all the way. The danger is (5) QUATTRO MAX. The Oxbow colt was slightly slowly away last time out at class and distance on June 20th but quickly made his way to the front and didn’t look back, running on to win in a time faster than any of his rivals here have recorded at this distance. He does come up 3kg in the weights but draws well and has claims again. (12) GEUMA PSYCHIC beat Quattro Max two starts back when winning over 1200M before running a distant 2nd to the very good Yeongung Louis. He comes up in trip here and can be a factor despite the wide draw. (4) TUHONUI BANSEOK looks an improving type who came from well off the pace to flash home for a close 2nd place over 1200M last time out and looks ready to tackle this distance again.

Selections(7) Doctor Fashion (5) Quattro Max (12) Geuma Psychic (4) Tuhonui Banseok
Next Best9, 1
Fast Start7, 8, 9, 12

Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

After running 2nd on debut, (6) GODDESS MOON has won six in a row with various degrees of ease. She fairly bolted up when making all over a mile to score by a full eight-lengths at her latest start on June 6th and while up in class today, she comes down to carry a feather-weight of 51.5kg and she should be winning again. There is one danger though. (2) TOP FIRE is also up in class and carrying very little on his back. He has run consistently fast times at this distance and was very good winner last time out. There is perhaps more scope for improvement from Goddess Moon but Top Fire should give her a decent test and it isn’t beyond the bounds of possibility that he could win. (1) ILNYEOM TONGCHEON had a poor day at the office last time out but has consistently run good times. He steps up to a mile for the first time and has placing claims. Also with claims to hit the board is (10) ROYAL TICKET. He too comes up in trip today but was a strong 3rd over 1400M last start at this class.

Selections(6) Goddess Moon (2) Top Fire (1) Ilnyeom Tongcheon (10) Royal Ticket
Next Best11, 3
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 6

Busan Race 6: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

(4) MR. INDIE is rapidly up in class having won twice at class 6 level and then been runner-up twice at class 5. He was a beaten odds-on favourite in both those latest two starts but he despite the rise in grade, he is well worth another go today. He has experience of this distance already, and acquitted himself well in a good time, and has proven himself able to run well from the front or from behind. He comes down in the weights and from a very good draw he should be hard to beat. (5) GREAT DANCE also comes up in class after a strong of consistent performances at class 5 level even though he managed to dodge the winner’s circle. He runs best when just behind the early speed and was 3rd to Mr. Indie’s 2nd at this distance two starts back. (10) PINEUI KKUM is a danger He tackles two turns for the first time but has won at this class over a mile. He too has proven able to both lead and run on so the wide draw may not be too detrimental to his chances although he does have to contend with 57kg. (7) JEONGSU SIDAE has a lot of experience at this class and while he doesn’t win out of turn, he recorded a fast time when 2nd at this distance to Doctor Fappiano at his latest start on June 19th and can go close here again.

Selections(4) Mr. Indie (5) Great Dance (10) Pineui Kkum (7) Jeongsu Sidae
Next Best1, 8
Fast Start4, 7, 8, 9

Seoul & Busan Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 5)

Saturday’s racing is at Seoul (8 races from 11:00 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 11:30 to 16:50). The Seoul meeting will take place behind closed doors while there will be limited in-person attendance at Busan. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies only to begin with. There is just one previous winner in the race and (9) LEAD VOCAL is strongly favoured to repeat. Her win came when making all over 1400M in March in good style. On her return a month ago at 1300M, she knuckled on jumping and lost ground before racing wide and then meeting traffic in the home straight but still ran on pleasingly for 5th. With a better start today, she wins. (7) CINDERELLA has shown her best form at today’s trip. She likes to settle handy and run on and while she doesn’t have the fastest of times to her name, she can be competitive here. (6) REMEMBER WHEN has been consistent across her six starts so far. She led last time from the widest gate and with a better draw today, can go close. (2) FINAL ACE was much improved when leading over this distance last time and gets the same significant apprentice claim today. (4) GOLD SPIKE comes down in trip and looks the best of the rest.

Selections(9) Lead Vocal (7) Cinderella (6) Remember When (2) Final Ace
Next Best4, 3
Fast Start2, 6, 8, 9

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fascinating opener at Busan where some promising debutants face some encouraging experience. We’ll side with experience for our top pick and it is winning experience as well. (4) ACE SOLOMON was a good front-running winner at start number two in March over 1200M before weakening a little on his reappearance at the same trip in April. The drop to the minimum distance looks set to be in his favour and he can potentially lead all the way here. The main danger is one of the first-timers. That’s (1) INDY CHOICE, who comes in after having run an impressive 2nd in a trial in early May. He registered the same time as the winner of the heat, Miss Indie, who won on her own race debut last weekend. Nicely drawn on the inside, he can go well first-up. It’s also trial form that leads us to consider (2) PYEONGHWA SIDAE. No trees were pulled up on debut last August but he returned to requalify in mid-May, blitzing a trial and if he brings that form to the races, he should go close. (6) BAEK PUNG and (9) TAEPUNGI are others in the hunt.

Selections(4) Ace Solomon (1) Indy Choice (2) Pyeonghwa Sidae (9) Taepungi
Next Best6, 12
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(10) SMART OFFICER was a good winner on debut on debut on April 17th when she was slowly away but gradually made ground before pulling away in the closing stages. She had the widest gate that time so draws slightly better and even carries 1kg less so while this is a better race, she has plenty in her favour again. (5) JANGSAN GUARD and (7) BEST FORCE came home 2nd and 3rd when they raced each other at this distance on May 2nd. Jangsan Guard led until the closing stages while Best Force came from well back. Both look like they have eventual wins in them with Jangsan Guard the most likely to score here. (1) WONDERFUL DEVIL is out of a half-sister to American star Game On Dude and did improve on her second start last time out. She has settled back in the field both times but from the inside may be ridden a bit further forward a bit earlier today. (14) TELOS was a decent 3rd last time from the same gate he draws today and could be an interesting each-way option.

Selections(10) Smart Officer (5) Jangsan Guard (1) Wonderful Devil (7) Best Force
Next Best14, 11
Fast Start4, 5, 6, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Having run 2nd on debut (5) UNJU SESANG was sent off as favourite for her second start on May 1st. However, despite leading for a time she ended up in 4th place, almost six-lengths off the winner. She should have come on for the experience and the company today looks a little bit more amenable so it would be no surprise to see her on pace again and this time staying on all the way. (3) KING BID will be disputing the early lead too. He comes in off his best finish to date when 2nd over 1300M on May 8th and the slight step up in trip can be to his benefit today. Finishing in 5th place that day was (13) SEOBU QUEEN. She has shown decent consistency across her five starts so far and her running style means the wide draw shouldn’t be too much of an issue. She can go close here and possibly even overturn the form on King Bid. (2) FIGHT DREAM and (9) BOUNTY HUNTER are others with placing claims.

Selections(5) Unju Sesang (13) Seobu Queen (3) King Bid (9) Bounty Hunter
Next Best2, 11
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million

(1) MORNING HILL is two for two having won both starts so far in fine fashion making all at 1000M and 1200M. He is up in both class and in distance today but has solid claims to maintain his 100% record having drawn very nicely on the inside. The main danger is just one gate wider. (2) FIGHTING NOW remains a maiden after nine attempts but has no fewer than four runner-up finishes including his latest when he came from back in the field to run on strong and beat four of today’s rivals only missing out on the win by a nose. He does come up slightly in the weights but is sure to be in the finish again. (12) UNOECHANGCHEON has a super consistent record of never having been out of the top four from seven races to date. He was somewhat surprisingly beaten into 2nd place by (3) POTENTIAL ENERGY when they met in April and he can at least overturn that form today. (10) POWER DOLPUNG looks the best of a very competitive rest.

Selections(1) Morning Hill (2) Fighting Now (12) Unoechangcheon (10) Power Dolpung
Next Best11, 9
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 10

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million

Fillies and mares only. Jockey Djordje Perovic is just one winner short of reaching 300 successes in Korea and he has just the one opportunity to cross that milestone today. It comes in (1) GOLD LUCK for Peter Wolsley, whose stable seems to have hit form. Gold Luck is up in class after a maiden win at this distance last time out when she raced prominently before proving too strong in the closing stages. From a better draw today she can be on pace again and can win again. (6) MASTER QUEEN led all the way two starts back for a maiden win of her on before running 3rd on her first try at this class beating a few of these in the process. She has a great start on her and will surely lead again with solid claims to go all the way. (8) COLOR WIND was similarly a coast to coast winner two starts back. She ran a solid 6th on her first try at this level last time and can build on it today. (2) QUEEN VRONSKY can have a line drawn through her latest and given another chance while it’s a similar story for (5) GOOD SOCKS who has talent and may be fitter for her last two runs.

Selections(1) Gold Luck (6) Master Queen (8) Color Wind (2) Queen Vronsky
Next Best5, 13
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 8

Seoul Race 4: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million

(8) WILDLY ROMANTIC looks very hard to beat here. He won his first two, both at this class and distance and while he has come up short as favourite in his latest two, today’s small field looks considerably softer and it’s hard to see anything but a return to the winner’s circle, probably leading all the way. He is the only previous winner in the race but (9) FINAL CANGINO has run 2nd and returns to action for the first time since last July. He looked well in winning an April trial and can aim for a place first up. Also with placing hopes ins (3) JANGSAN START, who can settle handy and has a good finish on him. (6) EAGLE EAGLE has recorded the fastest time for the distance of any of these and is another one with money hopes.

Selections(8) Wildly Romantic (9) Final Cangino (3) Jangsan Start (6) Eagle Eagle
Next Best2
Fast Start5, 6, 8, 9

Seoul & Busan Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview / Park Tae Jong Sidelined For Summer (May 22)

Korea’s all time leading jockey Park Tae-jong is set to miss the summer racing season as a result of injuries sustained in a heavy fall at Seoul Racecourse last Sunday. This Saturday sees racing at Seoul (8 races from 11:00 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 11:30 to 16:50).

Park landed heavily when dislodged from Lead Money on a wet track in the early stages of Seoul’s 1200M feature last Sunday. While the veteran rider, one of the toughest there is, initially only complained of pain in his wrist, later scans showed a broken ankle and ruptured knee ligaments. The first horse across the line in that race, East Jet, was disqualified and jockey Alan Munro suspended for 6 meetings.

Park Tae Jong will be sidelined for 3 to 4 months

Here are the Saturday previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(6) K N TEUKGEUP returned from five months out to run a significantly improved 3rd over 1200M on April 18th. He drops back in trip today but is a natural front-runner and from a good draw, looks to be the one to be beat. He will be vying for favourite status with (5) DASI DUSON. She was 4th behind K N Teukgeup last month in what for her too was her first start since last November. She’s also a front runner and the drop back in trip may be similarly beneficial. Those two look head and shoulders above the rest with (2) ARCH YEOGEOL and (7) CHEONDUNGSEJA among the others with experience who can be competitive in this company, having as they do, the two fastest times at this distance. There are also three first-time starters with (8) MODERN TIMES looking best placed to make an immediate impact following two promising trials.

Selections(6) K N Teukgeup (5) Dasi Duson (8) Modern Times (2) Arch Yeogeol
Next Best7, 12
Fast Start5, 6, 7, 9

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(3) KING ALLIE was a smart winner on debut, practically making all to win by as many lengths as he pleased in a fast time over 1000M. He’s up in distance today but looks nicely in to make it two from two. The main dangers are likely to come from the first-timer starters. (7) MUSIC BOX looks the best of them. The Indie Band filly won her trial in good fashion in a competitive time and will be expected to go close first-up here. (5) CATCH THE SKY was similarly impressive when winning the latest of two trials. He made all in that heat and is well drawn to get off to a good start again. Among the others who have experience, (8) STARLIGHT ran well for 4th at this trip on debut before not getting very involved at 1200M on his reappearance. He can be given another chance today as can (1) SPRING FIRE, who has been inconsistent but has hinted at ability.

Selections(3) King Allie (7) Music Box (5) Catch The Sky (8) Starlight
Next Best1, 10
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies (and one mare) only here. (10) GOLDEN CHANCE comes in off back to back 2nd place finishes having led in both until the closing stages. She draws wider today so may have to use up a bit of energy to her to the front but there is little to fear in this field and she really should go one better today. (6) SEMYEONG HAETSAL is the only previous winner in the field so does warrant some respect, particularly as she drops back to the distance at which she scored that victory. (3) GREEN JJANG has been knocking at the door for some time and ran a decent enough 4th behind Golden Chance last start. There is little to suggest she can overturn that form but she should beat plenty. (1) WONDERFUL GEUMSUNG and (11) DOUBLE TAKE are others with the potential to improve.

Selections(10) Golden Chance (6) Semyeong Haetsal (3) Green Jjang (1) Wonderful Geumsung
Next Best11, 7
Fast Start3, 8, 10, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(7) ANNIKA GIRL ran a solid 4th on debut over 1000M on April 24th. She started slowly but once she got into her stride ran on pleasingly and should have come on for the experience. The step up in trip may well be to her benefit and she can expect to start as favourite. (10) ANY LINE steps back in trip following a couple of spins around a mile including a useful 3rd place last time out, his best finish in six attempts to date. He can settle off the pace here and run on into some money. (11) MYEONGGA DAERO and (3) DARUI BADA have both run acceptable times at this distance and in this company both should be competitive while (8) DANCING DRAGON offered some improvement at start number two and can build on that here.

Selections(7) Annika Girl (10) Any Line (11) Myeongga Daero (3) Darui Bada
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start4, 6, 8, 11

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Maidens here but three come in following last start runner-up finishes and a couple of them look ready to go one better here. Top choice and expected favourite is (7) ILHYANG DALMA. She almost led gate to wire last start on April 18th ultimately having to settle for 2nd place. She draws slightly better this time and has a real chance. So too does (12) AFLEET MARINE. She showed a big uptick in form last time when 2nd over 1300M and can run on strong again here. (2) CHAMPION GAMUN led into the straight when tried at 1400M at the end of March before weakening. He’s back in trip here and should be a better prospect and will almost certainly be challenging Ilhyang Dalma for the early lead. (8) KOREA GIJEOK and (13) BIBONG MARU are among others in the placing hunt.

Selections(7) Ilhyang Dalma (12) Afleet Marine (2) Champion Gamun (13) Bibong Maru
Next Best8, 14
Fast Start2, 5, 7, 14

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million

Small field here. (3) RAON THE POWER won his first two before coming up short in two efforts at this class, racing wide both times. He draws better today with a good chance of making it to the front early and he looks one of the banker favourites of the day to return to the winner’s circle. (1) MAN OF THE WORLD remains a maiden after fourteen starts but come in having shown good recent form. He led for much of the way around before running 3rd over this distance three weeks ago and while he will probably have to settle for a place again, he should be beating most of these. (2) FIRST MOCCASIN races for the first time in more than a year but looked sharp in a trial two weeks and can go well first-up. (4) THUNDER VEGAS and (8) B.K. POWER are others who can challenge for the minors.

Selections(3) Raon The Power (1) Man Of The World (2) First Moccasin (4) Thunder Vegas
Next Best8
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 8

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million


Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 9)

Sunday sees behind closed doors action at Seoul (10 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 12:10 to 17:00). The only betting outlets open in Korea are at Jeju, Daegu, Gwangju, Changwon and Cheonan (advance reservation through the MyCard app required). Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(1) GO GO STAR picks himself here with back-to-back 3rd place finishes over this distance. She led all the way to the 100M last time out and from the inside gate we can expect a bold showing again. (2) WARRIOR THUNDER is worth some thought based on his last start where he showed improvement over 1300M. He was bumped early then worked forward to get to the inside and the lead from a wide draw. The effort – and a few rivals – caught up with him close to the line but back to 1200M and with a better gate today and he is right in this. (5) DESK TAP was a fair 4th on his first start before going wide in the wet on his second appearance at the end of March. He battled on well and could be a place line here. (6) SAENAE CHOICE and (8) RUN RUN RUN are others who can feature in the finish.

Selections(1) Go Go Star (2) Warrior Thunder (5) Desk Tap (6) Saenae Choice
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(1) DAEJIUI YEOGEOL was 2nd at this class and distance back in February coming from well back and finishing strong. That came before a slightly disappointing reappearance at the end of March. We’ll give her a pass on that though as the track was wet and slippery and she was midfield before fading late. She is back in trip today and is capable of much better. The main danger and possible favourite is a debut-maker. (5) WONDERFUL TYCOON trialed very nicely in a heat where he was bumped early but ran home well for 3rd place in a fast time. If he brings that form to the races, then he will be a real factor. (7) POLKA has shown some ability and she will only need to repeat her last start performance to be in the finish when, after meeting trouble in the run, she ended up 4th. On the face of it, there’s not much to recommend about (3) GWACHEON SINSEGYE, but she did produce a good run three starts back. With likely a drier track as well as a good barrier, she can sneak some money.

Selections(1) Daejiui Yeogeol (5) Wonderful Tycoon (7) Polka (3) Gwacheon Sinsegye
Next Best9, 10
Fast Start1, 2, 7, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(1) ETERNAL MEMORY ran a terrific race last start albeit on a very wet track. He had the same gate as today and settled midfield before running wide on the corner and then ran on strongly going down by a nostril. A repeat of that run puts him in the finish again. (8) ONLY WINNER can have a line drawn through her last start when she was on a fast and furious pace and got buffeted about. The start before, she settled handy and ran on strong for 2nd at 1400M and with a similar run she can go close here. (10) CURRERECUS didn’t run badly last time when 6th over 1400M. That came on top of a good 2nd the start before at the same trip and he looks a place line today. (2) MASTER SUNSHINE has been unpredictable in three starts so far but comes in off a good trial and could be the wildcard. (5) HAWKUI YEONGGWANG has the fastest time of any over the distance and can aim to match the 3rd place he has recorded in each of his latest two.

Selections(1) Eternal Memory (8) Only Winner (5) Hawkui Yeonggwang (10) Currerecus
Next Best2, 11
Fast Start1, 8, 6, 3

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

More than a year after his debut, (8) WONDER BLADE returned to break through in emphatic fashion over this distance on April 3rd, taking command turning into the home straight and then running on way too strong for a field that was overall probably better than this. He will be a deserved hot favourite. Indeed, the horse that ran 2nd to him that day, (11) AMAZING FOOT, looks next best again. The Hansen colt contested the lead for the opening half of the race before Wonder Blade pulled away and at level weights again, a reversal seems unlikely. (7) ENOUGH has hinted at ability across three starts so far and can aim for a place here while (3) HONEY TIGER did absolutely in his two prior outings but came back to trial in April after four months off and looked much more assured. (4) HAVE A GOOD TIME perhaps the best of a limited looking rest.

Selections(8) Wonder Blade (11) Amazing Foot (3) Honey Tiger (7) Enough
Next Best4, 9
Fast Start3, 8, 11, 12

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(10) ROCK FIGHTER was a slightly surprising winner last start on a wet track but the manner of it certainly commands respect. He raced up on the pace that day and worked home strongly and has solid claims for a repeat today. (7) CINDERELLA just needs to get her magic slippers on, and she will be winning soon. She came close last start racing in a handy spot and working home well for 2nd and is set to be in the finish again. (9) SPEED FLYING was poorly away and then too keen last time around so we will disregard that and instead look to her previous couple of starts which were nice and encouraging. She runs on well and with better luck can go close. (6) WONDERFUL CAT is the value play here. In both his latest two, he has made good ground from wide draws and finished off well. He gets a closer barrier today and can sit just behind the leaders. (1) YES I CAN has just the one start to his name and after being slowly away he finished well for a promising 5th which he can build on here.

Selections(10) Rock Fighter (7) Cinderella (9) Speed Flying (6) Wonderful Cat
Next Best1, 12
Fast Start7, 9, 10, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Maiden fillies only here. (9) FLAT BABE has run 2nd on both starts to date, both times beaten by good winners. On debut she led over this distance before being overtaken a furlong from home whereas last time at 1200M, she came from off the pace. Expect You Hyun-myung to keep her handy here and she’s very much the one to beat. (3) BURNING PARTY has been making progress in her latest two and was a good 2nd last start over today’s distance having led for much of the race. She draws well today and should go close. (10) HORAENGI is figuring things out as well and while she was well beaten by a good winner last start, she recorded a fast time when 2nd at this distance. (12) SECOND WIND and (13) BLUE OAK have both mixed their form so far but both have hinted at ability and with top jockeys on, this could be the day for at least one of them to put in a big run.

Selections(9) Flat Babe (10) Horaengi (3) Burning Party (13) Blue Oak
Next Best12, 2
Fast Start3, 6, 7, 12

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million


Johan Victoire Reaches 150 Korean Wins

Johan Victoire reached the landmark of 150 winners in Korea last weekend and the popular French rider now has his sights set on continuing his success and doing his part to contribute to the post-COVID recovery of racing in the country he has come to consider his adopted home.

The breakthrough came in race 3 on Saturday on three-year-old colt Namsan Sidae, who got the best of a competitive finish by a head for owner Lee Ki-sun and trainer Park Byung-il to register his maiden victory.

“I’m very delighted” said Victoire after the race. “I just thought that I would have done it earlier but for (the shutdowns caused by) COVID. But I did it and I’m happy to do it with Namsan Sidae who looks like he can have a bright future.”

Johan Victoire debuted in Korea in 2017 and was an instant success, winning on his very first ride. There have been highs and lows since then with Group race victories in the Busan Owners’ Cup in 2019 and in SBS Sports Sprint and Busan Mayor’s Cup in 2020 interspersed with a serious fall that sidelined him for several months in the latter part of 2019.

When asked to choose his favourite winner so far, Victoire was ever the diplomat. “I can’t say which is my favourite between Dolkong, Morfhis and Tiz Plan” he said of his three Group winners. “The three of them are marvelous horses!”

As online betting remains illegal in Korea, the COVID crisis has ravaged the industry and with prize money greatly reduced, no Stakes races are currently schedule. Victoire acknowledged that it is a challenging time. “Unfortunately, things are really not easy for everyone during this pandemic. I really want to thank the KRA for doing their best for the racing industry here in Korea. I hope it will get better and back to normal soon.”

Victoire has long been a positive ambassador for racing inside of Korea. In 2019, he accompanied a CNN crew around Seoul for the network’s “Winning Post” program and then in 2020 appeared with his family as well as his friend and fellow French jockey David Breux on one of Korea’s most popular entertainment shows, showcasing their lives as jockeys. That appearance was well received to the extent that it brought the thirty-four-year-old offers of an advertising deal with a major consumer electronics brand.

There are currently five international jockeys at Seoul, and it is a strong line-up. Aside from Victoire and David Breux, they are Ueda Masashi from Japan, Britain’s Alan Munro and Brazil’s Antonio Da Silva. The latter has 221 Korean wins, putting him 3rd in the all-time list for overseas jockeys in Korea behind only Ikuyasu Kurakane and Djordje Perovic. Perovic is currently riding at Busan where he has Kurakane’s record of 347 wins in his sights. Also plying their trade at the south-coast track are Franco Da Silva, who has 212 victories, including a Korean Derby and Ioannis Poullis, who won the President’s Cup on New Legend in 2019.

Most observers acknowledge the importance of having such talent around to enable the top local jockeys to test themselves on a weekly basis. Likewise for punters, their presence adds a certain amount of quality-assurance and Victoire wants to be in it for the long haul:

“My goals here are to stay as long as possible in this country that my family and I love. I want to continue being successful and I’m looking forward to making my 200th winner in Korea.”

Seoul Sunday: Eoma Eoma vs East Jet – Race-By-Race Preview (March 28)

It’s another Super Sunday at Seoul yet no crowds will be allowed in to witness Eoma Eoma and East Jet facing each other in what should be an epic sprint tussle over the 1200M in the feature event. It remains galling that even the small and enclosed indoor Jangchung Arena in downtown Seoul was able to host spectators this weekend for a volleyball play-off series while the vast expanse of Seoul Racecourse isn’t allowed to admit anyone. It is what it is, however, and betting outlets south of (and including) Cheonan will be open at 20% of indoor seated capacity. It’s a cracking day’s racing in prospect with 15 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here is the race-by-race preview:

Eoma Eoma (left) and East Jet clash again (Pic: KRA)

Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Maidens in the opener with six of the fourteen going around for the very first time. Third time could well be the charm for (14) HOLIDAY CHARM. He has run on well but has arrived on the scene too late in both starts so far finishing in 2nd and in 3rd. He gets an extra furlong to play with today and while the draw is less than ideal, he can make the breakthrough. In the most recent of his races, Holiday Charm was 3rd with (9) BURUI GASOK in 2nd. That was Burui Gasok’s debut and very accomplished he looked too, leading for most of the way before getting run down late on by a good winner. He has serious claims and probably starts favourite. (8) DESK TAP ran 4th on his own debut in the same race and can aim to build on that today. As for the first time starters, there were a couple of eye-catchers in trials. (11) COMPLETE HONOR won his trial in good style while (12) MAGIC RECORD registered a fast time running on strong. Both can go well first up.

Selections(14) Holiday Charm (9) Burui Gasok (12) Magic Record (11) Complete Honor
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start5, 8, 9, 14

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Three-year-old fillies only here. (12) K N MENIQUEEN is going to be hot favourite here. While she finished well back in her first two, her times were adequate and it wasn’t much of a surprise when she won at start number three on February 5th with three of these back down the track behind her. The draw shouldn’t be an issue and she should be winning again. There are couple of others with potential. (1) SHOWMAKER ran 3rd on debut behind K N Meniqueen. That was encouraging enough to suggest there is more to come and she should be close to the pace from the inside draw here. (10) BEST CHEONSANG ran an improved 3rd at start number two in February. She has led both her races so far and will be expected to be on the early pace again. (9) GLOBAL CHEONSA was 4th in that race, continuing to show gradual improvement and looks a potential place line here along with (the solitary debut-maker (14) CHOEGANG BLACK. She ran on strong in a fast trial and could be interesting first-up.

Selections(12) K N Meniqueen (10) Best Cheonsang (1) Showmaker (14) Choegang Black
Next Best9, 2
Fast Start1, 3, 10, 13

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(5) CHEONMA TODAY showed good speed when leading all the way for back to back wins over 1200M in November and December. She weakened into 4th when tried at 1400M on February but splitting the difference at 1300M today and with the benefit of a very nice draw, she could return to the winner’s circle. The only other previous winner in the field is (8) CUPID BULLET. He was a speedy winner over 1000M on his second outing at the start of February and while up in trip here, looks set to be the main danger. (11) TAP QUALITY has been knocking on the door in his three starts so far and is one of only three in the race who has prior experience of this trip. He will be there or thereabouts again. (6) BODYGUARD and (12) HOEDURYEONG were both a touch disappointing on their respective latest outings but have hinted at ability and can aim for some money here.

Selections(5) Cheonma Today (8) Cupid Bullet (11) Tap Quality (6) Bodyguard
Next Best12, 4
Fast Start5, 8, 11, 12

Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(9) ACE PRINCE remains winless but has finished in the top five in all four of his starts so far. He enters having run 4th on his first try at this distance last time and looks nicely in here to make the breakthrough. Expect him to be on pace from the start and go all the way. (5) CHAMPION GAMUN will be challenging for the early lead. He has shown progress over his own four outings prior to today and steps up to 1400M for the first time with claims to go close. (6) POWER MUSIC beat a few of these on her way to 5th place over 1700M on February 5th. That was her first start since August but she already has a runner-up finish to her name at this distance and should be a danger here. (1) ETERNAL MEMORY was further back in that same race but expect better dropped back to one turn. Even further back was (3) GEUMA SWIFT. The time before though he ran on well from the back over 1200M and can be given another chance today.

Selections(9) Ace Prince (5) Champion Gamun (6) Power Music (1) Eternal Memory
Next Best3, 12
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 9

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 21)

There are 12 races at Seoul on Saturday from 10:45 to 18:00. The meeting is open to the public but attendance must be booked in advance through the “MyCard” app. Here are the previews:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

We’ve watched plenty of trials putting together the preview for the first event as all twelve runners are on debut! (10) ILHANG DALMA goes on top on the strength of her trial. The Simon Pure two-year-old jumped well out of the gates and was not pushed out entirely, just hands and heels from Kim Ok-sung who will partner her on debut. She clocked a good time and she was professional in her actions. Gyeongbudaero filly (3) GLORY KHAN clocked a good time when qualifying, she was green up the straight with her rider having to change hands with the whip as she had a tendency to lay in. If she puts it all together she looks a winning chance. (6) LONDON QUEEN looks to stride out nicely and responded to the persuader in good style in her heat. She is another each way chance based on her trial performance. (7) TEUKGWON was another who looked good in her trial and a forward showing would not surprise.

Selections(10) Ilhang Dalma (3) Glory Khan (6) London Queen (7) Teukgwon
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start1, 7, 10

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

Competitive looking maiden but (4) THE KING BLADE did enough on debut when 2nd behind a very fast looking Oxford King to warrant top pick here. That was all the way back in July but he looked in good shape when trialing up two weeks ago and the additional furlong may benefit. After an inauspicious debut in February, (5) SAENAMUI BYEOL seemed to benefit from the enforced hiatus as he returned for the summer season looking much more like a racehorse and recorded a 2nd and 3rd. The latter was at this distance and he led until the closing stages. He’ll be on pace again and should go close. (8) ACE PRINCE also had a promising summer campaign and looks nicely in to at least challenge for the places here. (9) ROSEDAY MARINE and (12) GEUMA COLOSSAL are others who can go close.

Selections(4) The King Blade (5) Saenamui Byeol (8) Ace Prince (9) Roseday Marine
Next Best12, 6
Fast Start4, 5, 9

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

The Korean-bred maidens will line up over the 1200m in the third event. The improvement from (5) GRAY CAT was noticed last start when sitting closer to speed before finishing third clocking a good time for this grade. Song Jae-chul can navigate from a suitable gate, position him in the first few in running before unleashing at the top of the straight. (10) MYEONGJIN DAY debuted in good style last month finishing third behind Grand Castle. The Any Given Saturday colt has been dealt a blow with a wide draw, with some natural improvement however he should be treated as a winning chance. (3) MILLENNIUM POWER finished third on debut when trying to lead throughout. The three-year-old looks the likely leader and it will be a case of whether there’s enough improvement to allow him to hold on. (4) NONSTOP WINNING has the five starts under his belt, yielding two minor placings including a third at his last start. He gets some relief in the weights with Lim Da-bin being legged aboard on Saturday. 

Selections(5) Gray Cat (10) Myeongjin Day (3) Millennium Power (4) Nonstop Winning
Next Best2, 11
Fast Start3, 4, 6

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

(3) TANK SOCKS receives no penalty for her win at class and distance back on October 16th and looks nicely in to score again. That win had been coming with two runner-up finishes preceding it and she can come from off the pace and finish strongly here. (11) RAON BLOOD is also a class and distance winner having led from gate to wire back in August. She was a bit ordinary when 7th of 14 a month ago but if she can overcome the wide draw to get to her favoured forward position today, then she is in with a shout. (5) SUPER LUCKY BOY has already shown that he can be competitive at this level and is likely to be on speed early from a good draw. (7) HANIL MOA is up in class following a fast win on what was a wet-assisted track. She will need to improve if she is to challenge for the win here but could aim for some minor money.

Selections(3) Tank Socks (11) Raon Blood (5) Super Lucky Boy (7) Hanil Moa
Next Best6, 1
Fast Start1, 4, 5, 10, 11

Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Korean-bred maidens once again in the fifth where they will go over the 1300m. (9) MORNING NEWS is the on top selection after finishing second on debut. The Federalist filly exhibited a good turn of foot on debut coming from a midfield position to finish second behind Mir Captain. The extra half-furlong should be beneficial to her chances. (5) EUNHYE PADO showed improvement at her third start back in August. She hit the line strong over the 1200m with Park Eul-woon in the saddle, he will partner the daughter of Tiz Wonderful once again. (3) GANGHWA CHEONYEO had had six starts to date yielding just the one minor placing, which came last start back in August. She was given time to find her feet on that occasion before hitting the line in good style. There are quite a few backmarkers in this race who wouldn’t want to get too far back. (4) SUN WINNER looks next best after finishing fourth last time out back in August when one paced through the line.


Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 20)

For the time being racing can continue in Korea and can continue with racegoers in attendance. Over the past week the government has raised the social distancing requirements to “level 1.5”. At this level, fans can continue to attend sporting event but attendance is capped at 30%. However, the number of new virus cases per day has already reached the number at which “level 2” will be activated, so when the government makes its next announcement – possibly over this weekend – it seems likely that once more fans will be locked out.

This weekend should be completed without issue. Reservations must be made through the MyCard App. There is an 11-race card at Busan on Friday from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Maidens to start the day with and seven of the twelve are racing for the very first time. One of those, (2) FIRST EDITION is set to be hot favourite. He made all for an emphatic trial win back in the summer and while quite a bit of time has passed since then, he won’t need to do too much to win here. From gate 2 he should lead from the start and he probably won’t be caught. Fellow first-timer (5) NAMDO QUEEN also won her trial. It was considerably slower than that of First Edition but it does have the benefit of being recent, having come at the end of October. She carries a light weight and should go close. (12) YEOSU TORNADO looks like the best of the rest of the debut-makers at this stage while among those with experience, (6) BEAUTIFUL KING perhaps has most scope for immediate improvement.

Selections(2) First Edition (5) Namdo Queen (12) Yeosu Tornado (6) Beautiful King
Next Best1, 10
Fast Start2, 12

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

The maiden gallopers line up over the short course in the second. (9) THALE NOI lines up for start five after a lackluster performance mid-October. The filly looked as if she will benefit from the run, and the drop back to the 1000m looks to be in her favour as well. Djordje Perovic has been named on the galloper which is a plus as well. (2) B.K. POWER lined up for her debut last start when capitulating in the run home over 1200m. She trialed up in good style over 1000m in September, with the run under her belt and the drop back to 1000m, she may be well suited. (1) ANGEL WIND comes off a fifth last start when sitting on speed in the early stages. Mo Junho will take 4kg off her back, she looks an each-way chance. (5) ROYAL CHANT lines up for his debut after winning his qualifying trial. The Chapel Royal colt was not fully asked for in his trial when leading throughout, going on to win by two and a half lengths.

Selections(9) Thale Noi (2) B.K. Power (1) Angel Wind (5) Royal Chant
Next Best8, 6
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 9

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

First-time starters from Kim Young-kwan’s stable always attract plenty of attention and (7) SPEED MATCH is likely to be no exception. The Shackleford colt won an October trial in good fashion, a big improvement over an effort earlier in the month, and he if he continues to improve then he should be a big player here. He’s not necessarily the winner though. (2) HAPPY WIND beat three of these on her way to 2nd place at this distance on October 23rd. It’s true that she has been inconsistent across her six outings to date but that performance last time was encouraging and a similar run today will see her go very close. (4) RAON THE MILLION was 7th in that same race on what was his racing debut and he can build on that solid effort today. (10) ETERNAL HERO also enters following a pleasing enough debut in July when 4th over 1000M. He trialed up adequately in September and can play a role here.

Selections(2) Happy Wind (7) Speed Match (10) Eternal Hero (4) Raon The Million
Next Best1, 11
Fast Start7, 10

Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It’s fair to say the fourth on the card is a rather weak maiden event. (4) INDIAN PARTY goes on top on the basis of his successive placings at his last two starts. He’s a speedy type who should benefit dropping back to the 1200m after finishing third over the 1400 at his past two starts. Expect a positive ride from Djordje Perovic. (2) LUCKY MAGIC is yet to place from seven starts but did clock a relatively quick time last time out when finishing fourth behind Good Socks. From barrier two expect him to camp on the leaders’ coattails before being asked for at the top of the straight. (11) RAPIDO QUEEN lines up for her third starts after a disappointing effort last time out when last in a field of fourteen. She missed the kick before being urged along by Lee Hyo-sik and never looking comfortable in the run. Her debut in August was much more encouraging, when sitting in the first half of the field before plugging away to finish fourth. (7) HAVE A GOOD TIME rounds out the top four after finishing eighth on debut. This assignment looks easier but he would still have to improve significantly to be a winning chance.

Selections(4) Indian Party (2) Lucky Magic (11) Rapido Queen (7) Have A Good Time
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start4, 8

Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(6) HANEUL ULLIM gets another crack at class 6 despite having won at it back in October when the stakes money was reduced across the board. He came from well back that day, running on pleasingly and the additional half furlong today shouldn’t be a factor. He will be the strong favourite. Both (7) A ONE PLUS and (10) DONGNAM BULPAE come in off pleasing debuts in which they finished 4th and 5th respectively, both of them over this distance. Both should be in the hunt for at least a place finish today. (1) SEUNGNI TOUT has a runner-up finish to his name from back in June. He struggled when sent up to a mile the following month but is capable of getting closer today. He may well lead in a race with little early speed.


Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (November 15)

There are meetings at both Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:40 to 17:00) on Sunday. Both meetings are open to the public with attendance capped at 30% of the indoor capacity, however, advance reservations must be made through the MyCard app. Here are the race-by-race previews for Seoul with Busan selections at the bottom:

East Jet (minus Alan Munro) goes around in Sunday’s Seoul feature (Pic: KRA)

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Korean-bred maidens kick of proceedings Sunday morning where the majority of the field is on debut. We are excited to see (3) RUNNING KING line up for his first race start after some handy trials. The two-year-old’s most recent trial had him hard held winning a trial and clocking a very respectable time. Moon Se-young will ride the promising type. (11) GRAND STAR is another who trialed up well leading into his first start. He has drawn wide which may prove problematic over the short course for Lim Gi-won. (4) M J BEST is another on debut coming off a fair trial when clocking 62.2 seconds for the 1000m on a good track. Whilst he brings the fastest trial time into the race he was put under full pressure by Song Jae-chul who will ride him today. (5) GREAT HANSEN looks another who is capable of performing well at her first start. Kim Yong-geun will partner the filly from a central draw.

Selections(3) Running King (11) Grand Star (4) M J Best (5) Great Hansen
Next Best2, 1
Fast Start3, 6

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

(2) ADAMS APPLE ran a good 4th on debut back on August 1st He showed decent speed in a front-running performance and has as much chance as any of making the breakthrough today. The main danger looks to be (8) CAREER HIGH who, one slightly disappointing showing aside, has shown speed and ability with a 3rd and a 2nd, the latter of which was over 1300M. She’ll aim to come from just off the pace and should be going very close. (6) WONDERFUL MAGIC was an improved 3rd at this distance back in August. The First Dude colt led for much of the way around that day and is nicely drawn to get to the lead again here. (11) SONGAM PLAYER began her career pleasingly and while she hasn’t races since June and offered few clues in a trial last month, can be considered for a place in this company. (3) KKANGDORI finished back in the pack on debut in August but it was a fast run race and she had previously looked good in trials.

Selections(8) Career High (2) Adams Apple (6) Wonderful Magic (3) Kkangdori
Next Best11, 7
Fast Start2, 6, 7, 9

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

Not the most inspiring maiden you will see with a few of these gallopers well tried. (1) MAX DAERO lines up for her sixth starts and gets a good opportunity to breakthrough with the inside draw. The filly has an abundance of early speed and looks a big chance to jump and lead all the way. Choi Bum-hyun will ride the three-year-old for the first time. (5) ABOUT SOMETHING brings form lines into the race that suggest the filly can win. She comes off a last start third behind A. P. Patek which reads well for an event such as this. Expect her to keep in touch with the leading division before being present at the top of the straight. (6) GLOBAL SUN comes off a midfield performance where she got shuffled back from a wide draw before making up late ground. She looks capable of running into some minor money. (8) GO GO GO lines up for his third start after finishing fifth at both outings to date. He has hit the line strong at both starts and will need to be positioned closed to the speed to be considered a winning chance when they swing for home.

Selections(1) Max Daero (5) About Something (6) Global Sun (8) Go Go Go
Next Best4, 3
Fast Start1, 4, 5, 10

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

Not the strongest of maidens this. The jockey/trainer combination will probably be enough to make (5) BLACK CHARM the favourite. He hasn’t been especially exciting, but his form has been adequate enough and he’s been making ground at the end of all three of his races so far suggesting that the additional trip today can be to his benefit. (11) RUFFIAN PARK already has experience of this distance and comes in off a 3rd and a 4th place finish. He tends to come from well back and so long as he doesn’t leave himself too much to do, he looks right in this. (9) GONGJAK WANG has been inconsistent across seven starts so far but the 4th place he scored at this distance in August was the fastest time for any of these over 1400M and he needs to be taken seriously. (1) BEST STORM and (6) AMAZING QUEEN are others who should be aiming to at least place. There isn’t much in the way of early speed in this race (to put it mildly) so the latter may well get a soft lead.

Selections(5) Black Charm (11) Ruffian Park (9) Gonjak Wang (6) Amazing Queen
Next Best1, 3
Fast Start4, 6

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

Plenty of chances in the fifth where a field of twelve will line up over 1400m. (5) ONE AND ONLY looks a main player based on the filly’s recent runs. She finished fourth last time out behind a handy one in George Queen. This looks an easier assignment, combine that with the claim she may be able to sit on speed and hold on. (2) K. N. POWER comes off a good maiden win at her second start. She takes the dramatic step up to 1400m at her third start which appears to be the query hanging over her. In saying that, if she can settle on speed and produce a similar spring home, she will be hard to beat. (11) RAIN K has had five starts spaced apart since debuting mid-2019. The Lion Metal filly has finished in the top four on four of her five starts and comes off a third behind Arirayo back in August. With the wide draw she may be forced to settle further back than where Shin Hyoung-chul would like to position her. (3) BOMNALUI GIEOK finished second in this grade also back in August. The three-year-old is yet to break maiden status but has finished in the money seven of his nine starts to date.

Selections(5) One And Only (2) K. N. Power (11) Rain K (3) Bomnalui Gieok
Next Best4, 9
Fast Start2, 5

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

(4) SPEED HEUKRYONG beat a number of these on his way to an excellent class and distance win back on August 22nd in a fast time. Just last month he could only manage 6th at the same distance but once more in an extremely swift time. If he runs to that mark again, he can win here. He is though carrying a full 5kg more than that August victory. (5) FEDERAL CAT was 5th in that race and followed up with a 2nd place at 1200M in October. He continues to benefit from a light weight with an apprentice jockey knocking off 4kg and he could take advantage here. (7) WHITE COMET was 4th in the August race but similar to Speed Heukryong, has plenty of weight to carry again. Of those who didn’t go in the August race, (6) YEOLRIN MUN is up in class following a good win over 1200M in August. He has previously shown ability at this distance and should be competitive today. Draw a line through the performance of (3) BIG FACE when only beating one home last month. He’s better than that and should be closer today.