Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (April 20)

Racing returns to Seoul on Saturday with 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

(단신2) 출발 참관 프로그램 (2)

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(10) HOPE KINGDOM has a best of 2nd which came at this distance in February. He comes in having run 5th in a much stiffer contest than this last time and will take some beating here. (6) FLOWER ROAD has improved across three starts so far and has scope for more development while (9) CHEONGDAM JEPAE has been knocking on the door for some time now and shouldn’t be far away. (2) CHOEGANG DIA and (4) HAWK ARIRANG are others who can improve.

Selections (10) Hope Kingdom (6) Flower Road (9) Cheongdam Jepae (2) Choegang Dia
Next Best 4, 3
Fast Start 2, 6, 9, 12

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

After a strong of 4th place finishes, (2) NEW PARADIGM improved to 2nd last start in an all-filly race at this distance. She’s nicely drawn to get on pace here and could well lead all the way. She’ll be joined at the front by (1) SEMYEONG STORM, who ran a close at hand 4th on what was just his second outing three weeks ago and he looks primed for more improvement here, as does (9) CHEONJI POKPUNG, who has come close in each of his three latest efforts. (3) PRIVATE MAN and (6) BEST SINHWA are others in at least the placing hunt.

Selections (2) New Paradigm (1) Semyeong Storm (9) Cheonji Pokpung (3) Private Man
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 1, 2, 6

Race 3: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

After two 3rd place finishes, (4) SIMJANGUI GODONG got his maiden win at the third time of asking, scoring by a length over 1300M on March 24th. He’s up in class and distance today but neither should be a problem and he can make it two in a row. It took (2) NANGMAN STAR twenty-six attempts to get his first win, which he final did last start. It was at this class and distance and while he carries an extra couple if kilos today, a repeat is not impossible. (10) FLYING JOY comes in with recent form reading well and should go close while (1) GALAXY PEACE, another up in class and distance after a maiden win, and (11) BULHUUI MYOENGGOG, are others in the hunt.

Selections (4) Simjangui Godong (2) Nangman Star (10) Flying Joy (1) Galaxy Peace
Next Best 11, 3
Fast Start 4, 10

Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(8) BLACK PARTY registered her maiden win at the fourth attempt with a front-running performance over 1300M a month ago. She’s up in class here but the stable is in form and a repeat looks on the cards here. (3) LUMINESCE was just beaten out by a nose at this distance in February before running 5th on his latest effort. He can come from just off the pace here and should be a threat. (2) TRI THUNDER usually runs into one or two too quick but can hold her own at this level while (1) CHOM NIA and (4) BOLD NINER are placing chances too.

Selections (8) Black Party (3) Luminesce (4) Bold Niner (2) Tri Thunder
Next Best 1, 5
Fast Start 6, 7, 8

Race 5: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Fillies and mares only. Four of these raced each other at class and distance on March 17th and it was (2) YORI JORI who finished the best of the in 2nd place, albeit twelve-lengths behind a strong winner. She was almost 40/1 that day but will warrant more respect today. That said, (6) EMORY SOCKS has a decent shout at overturning that form. He should be looking to get to the front early here and if he can do that, he can win. (1) SOULY MAJESTIC was an also-ran that day but has potential to improve. Among those that didn’t go in that race, (8) JOUNIGA and (9) SEOUL QUEEN look to be the best.

Selections (6) Emory Socks (8) Jouniga (2) Yori Jori (1) Souly Majestic
Next Best 9, 4
Fast Start 5, 6, 11, 12

Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) NIMUI HYANGGI has won two of his latest three to be rapidly promoted to this level. He made all both times and while this is a stiffer task, he could well be equal to it. It’s a (more…)


Good Friday Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (April 19)

It’s Good Friday at Busan and there are 10 races from 11:30 to 18:00. Here is the race-by-race, horse-by-horse guide:

Success Story Busan Ilbo 2017

It’s Friday! It’s Busan!

RACE 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance – 3yo KOR-bred Fillies / KRW 40 Million

  1. PARTY LION – 2nd favourite on debut over 1300M after promising trials but was one-paced and only managed 8th of 11. Drops back in trip for return and can improve.
  2. DAEGYO – Debut-maker. First foal out of a dam who is half-sister to Tough Win, who won many big races here. Few clues from trials – finished behind Mach Queen and ahead of Jeongseong Beach. Watching brief first-up.
  3. PERFECT ANGEL – Only beat one home on debut last month behind Chodong Jinju. That was in line with expectations and they won’t be much higher today.
  4. TIZBE – Debut-maker. Half-sister to three winners at this class. Went through two trials finishing in front of Boryeong Hwanho in the latest of them. Foreign owner, trainer & jockey.
  5. RAPTOR CORE – Favourite on debut on March 22nd having won a trial and performed well enough in 2nd place. Should be on pace here and make no mistake today. Hot favourite.
  6. CHODONG JINJU – Raced twice and improved to 4th on latest at this distance on March 15th. Took an age to get going but ran on nicely and with a better start could be in the hunt.
  7. YESULUI GYEUNGJI – Debut-maker. 2nd foal from a mare who won 10 of 40 starts here. Older brother 1 win from 6 starts. Trailed adequately. Watch the market.
  8. JEONGSEONG BEACH – Debut-maker. Half sister to a couple of good colts who both had careers cut short through injury. Trialled behind Mach Queen and Daegyo but top trainer and jockey and good run possible.
  9. BORYEONG HWANHO – Debut-maker. Only foal from the dam. Trialled up behind Tizbe and better to watch first-up.
  10. JOYPEL – Last on debut behind Party Lion. Sent back to trial. If she can get to the front from the start, she may go better, but others favoured.
  11. MACH QUEEN – Debut-maker. Put in a very promising trial last month in a decent time and ahead of two other first-timers here. A chance.
  12. GWANGMOK CHEONWANG – Six months between her first two starts and didn’t impress on either. Top trainer and jockey combination though and improvement not impossible.

VERDICT: A maiden for three-year-old fillies kicks things off and all roads lead to (5) RAPTOR CORE, who it’s hard to see getting beaten here. She was a competent 2nd on debut and looks far ahead of the rest in terms of development. (1) PARTY LION didn’t really do herself justice on debut at 1300M but can be backed for improvement dropped down to the minimum distance today, while (6) CHODONG JINJU’s improvement last time, despite the bad start, gives some cause for optimism. Of the debut-makers, (11) MACH QUEEN is best placed to go well first up with (7) YESULUI GYEUNGJI another who should be competitive.

Selections (5) Raptor Core (11) Mach Queen (1) Party Lion (7) Yesului Gyeungji
Next Best 6, 8
Fast Start 2, 5, 11, 12

RACE 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance – KOR-bred 3yo / KRW 40 Million

  1. WILD GERANIUM – Well back on debut behind Final Wind before running 6th over a mile on return a month ago. Began well that day but weakened and can continue to make progress here.
  2. YEONGGWANGUI CHEER – 7th and 5th in two starts so far, both at 1000M. Top trainer and jockey and ay appreciate the additional trip.
  3. CHANGE BACK – Improved 3rd on second start at this distance on March 22nd but was still six-lengths behind Ultra Power. Can improve again but will struggle to overturn that form.
  4. ACE GIRL – Has been sent off at three-figure odds for all three outings to date and while there has been some progress, she’ll be a big long-shot again.
  5. ULTRA POWER – 6th behind Tamna List before running a good 2nd behind Doctor Week at this distance on March 22nd having led for much of the race. Should be on pace again and has solid claims.
  6. FINAL WIND – Much improved 2nd, albeit well beaten by a good winner, on first try at this distance on March 8th. Will need to improve again but top jockey booked.
  7. CHEONNYEONUIHEUIMANG – Debut-maker. Half-sister to a couple of worthy but unspectacular plodders. Trialled twice and was better in the most recent. Tough ask first-up.
  8. TAMNA LIST – Overcame some bumping at the start to run 2nd on March 15th having previously beaten three of these, including Ultra Punch, on debut a month earlier. Real chance.
  9. TIZ HERO – Debut-maker. Third foal from dam who won 6 of 41 starts here. Very slow in trials. Stablemate of Wild Geranium and despite top jockey booking, not recommended first-up.
  10. SATURDAY QUEEN – Offered little in three starts so far and big improvement will be required here.
  11. KOSAT – Best of 7th from three outings so far. Back up in trip today and lots to find.
  12. LOGIN KOREA – Offered little in two starts to date, both at 1000M. Top jockey on today but still looks up against it.

VERDICT: (5) ULTRA POWER has improved across three starts so far and led for much of the way over this distance last time out before ultimately being beaten by a good winner. He’s well drawn to get to the lead early here and he may be tough to catch. (8) TAMNA LIST has already beaten Ultra Power and can continue the positive start to his career by being a danger here. (6) FINAL WIND was much-improved on her latest outing last month and can maintain her momentum today. (2) YEONGGWANGUI CHEER and (3) CHANGE BACK look best of the rest.

Selections (5) Ultra Power (8) Tamna List (6) Final Wind (2) Yeonggwangui Cheer
Next Best 3, 12
Fast Start 1, 5, 6


RACE 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance – KOR-bred 3yo / KRW 40 Million 

  1. DAGYEONG HUIMANG – Last of 12 on debut last month and sent back to trial. Slow in trial too and not recommended here.
  2. B.K. JOHN – 10th of 11 on debut last month, beaten by Star Boy. Lots to find.
  3. BAMBI SKY – Debut-maker. First foal from his dam. Offered few clues in his trial and a watching brief first-up is advisable.
  4. STAR BOY – 8th and 11th in two starts so far, well back behind Baramgwa Gureum on latest. Outsider.
  5. BUNDANUIBYEOKNEOME – Debut-maker. Dam has produced four-winners and this one trialled up encouragingly. Top jockey on and a chance first-up.
  6. AUTO SONIC – Debut-maker. From the track’s top stable, he trialled up behind Baramgwa Gureum but didn’t do much wrong. Could be anything – watch the market.
  7. B.K. MARVEL – Last in both starts so far and although she was a touch less slow in the latest of those, she can’t be recommended here.
  8. TIME WINNER – Debut-maker. A couple of half-siblings have had some ability, but he only scraped though his trial in a slow time.
  9. TIME TOGETHER – Six months between his first two outings last September and this March and neither were impressive. Lots of improvement required.
  10. BARAMGWA GUREUM – Improved 2nd on her second start on March 29th having led throughout the early part of the race. She’s the one to beat here.
  11. PERDIDO ROCKET – Debut-maker. She trailed competently alongside experienced racehorses and is in with a shout of a money finish first-up.
  12. KKEUTPAN CLOSER – Debuted without distinction in December, after which he was sent back to trial. Performed adequately in fast March trial and can be better today.

VERDICT: It’s hard to look past (10) BARAMGWA GUREUM in this relatively weak maiden. The Peter Wolsley filly led for much of the way around on her second start three weeks ago only to weaken late on for 2nd but should have come on for that and can lead all the way here. None of the others with experience are easy to recommend, so we’ll look to the first-time starters to find the main dangers. (5) BUNDANUIBYEOKNEOME didn’t look out of place when trialling alongside experienced horses last month and should go well first-up while (6) AUTO SONIC did nothing wrong in his heat either and the stable will tempt plenty. (11) PERDIDO ROCKET also looked competent enough in a trial three weeks ago and can aim for some prize money.

Selections (10) Baramgwa Gureum (6) Auto Sonic (5) Bundanuibyeokneome (11) Perdido Rocket
Next Best 2, 7
Fast Start 2, 10


RACE 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance – KOR-bred / KRW 24 Million

  1. FINAL FRONT – Sent off at odds of 80/1 last time on March 22nd but beat three of these on his way to 3rd place. Warrants significantly more respect today.
  2. DAEROUI KKUM – Held his own over four starts so far despite finishing no better than 5th. Can sit off the early pace and possibly run into a place.
  3. OPEN SESAME – Sent off at odds approaching 350/1 on debut three weeks ago and ran like it. Big Outsider again.
  4. FUSION PARK – Getting closer with a 3rd place last time at 1300M and steps up to a mile for the first time. Likely to be on pace early and has claims.
  5. GOLDUI INYEON – No better than 3rd from ten attempts and well back behind Fusion Park last time. Others better.
  6. YEONGBONGSAN – 5th behind Final Front and Dynamic Bolt at a mile last time out but was 2nd at this distance on March 1st. Should be close.
  7. BUSAN MAGIC – Best finish of 5th and hasn’t shown much in the way of speed. Needs to improve to challenge here.
  8. KING OF JOY – 7th on debut at a mile last month behind Powerful Pit. Too early to recommend but may have come on for that run.
  9. JANGGUNEUI JILJU – A stablemate of Fusion Park, he debuted inauspiciously last November but was much better on return three weeks ago and can continue to progress here. Interesting outsider.
  10. DYNAMIC BOLT – Looks to be figuring things out with a 3rd and two 4th place finishes from her latest three. A neck behind Final Front last start, a top jockey is booked today, and she could win.
  11. NEPTUNE – The most experienced in the race although not much of that experience is good and plenty of these have beaten him already.
  12. POWERFUL PIT – 2nd in weak maiden at a mile on March 8th before running 5th at the same distance three weeks ago. Placing chances.

VERDICT: Tricky race but we’ll go with (4) FUSION PARK, who has beaten a few of these already, to continue to progress and from gate 4 to get on the lead early and go all the way. (10) DYNAMIC BOLT’s recent efforts have been promising and she looks set for more development here. She’ll also challenge for the early lead and has claims. (1) FINAL FRONT beat three of these at this distance last start and should beat plenty again. (2) DAEROUI KKUM and (6) YEONGBONGSAN are others with at least placing chances.

Selections (4) Fusion Park (10) Dynamic Bolt (1) Final Front (6) Yeongbongsan
Next Best 2, 9
Fast Start 4, 10


RACE 5: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

  1. KING STORM – A long time since her solitary win and recent form has been cold. Up against it here.
  2. URANUS J – Returned to form with 2nd place in a stiffer race at 1300M a month ago. A previous try at this trip didn’t go well but he looks ready for another crack here.
  3. BULMYEORUIMARIPGAN – One-paced but stays running at that one pace all day and plenty usually come back to him. Not sure if it is even possible for him to win a race but if it is, today’s his best chance.
  4. TWO TWO TURBO – Maiden win came at 1300M in March before running 5th on first try at class and distance two weeks ago. Likely to get an easy lead here and can stay on for at least a place.
  5. MANY DESCENDANT – Well back behind Two Two Turbo last time and will struggle to overturn that form here.
  6. UJU JEONGBEOL – Slightly disappointing 7th behind Two Two Turbo two weeks ago but was a class and distance 3rd the time before. Jockey booking is a plus.
  7. HWANHAN SESANG – Longest shot on the board when running 3rd at class and distance three weeks ago in a better-looking race than this. A repeat is possible.
  8. WANBONG – Offered little in his first twelve outings but has suddenly found form and a maiden win last time out. Up in class today but could keep his momentum going.

VERDICT: (2) URANUS J lost his way slightly after getting his maiden win last September but looks to have figured out this class finally with a 2nd place at 1300M last month, albeit seven-lengths back behind a good winner. If he can get the trip this time, he can win. If he doesn’t then it leads us to one who we know will and that’s (3) BULMYEORUIMARIPGAN. He has no speed at all but plods on and picks off lots late on. Today could be the day he finally picks them all off. (4) TWO TWO TURBO can get an unchallenged early lead and has claims to stay on while (7) HWANHAN SESANG, a useful 3rd last time, should be in at least the placing hunt again.

Selections (2) Uranus J (3) Bulmyeoruimaripgan (4) Two Two Turbo (7) Hwanhan Sesang
Next Best 6, 8
Fast Start 4


RACE 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

  1. FIGHT MAGIC – Maiden winner over this trip at the fifth time of asking a month ago. Up in class today but should be on pace early and should be competitive.
  2. NORMAL CLASSIC – Made all for a maiden win at this distance in February but struggled for position from a wide draw on first time at this level three weeks ago. Should be better today.
  3. NEW JACK SWING – Good 3rd at class and distance on February but well back on latest outing. Inconsistent.
  4. LOVE LETTER – Struggled in four starts at this level since maiden win last November. Hard to recommend here.
  5. BRITE ACOUNT – Still a maiden after twenty-seven attempts and recent form offers little cause for optimism over that changing any time soon.
  6. JOYFUL MEMORY – An eighteen-race maiden but enters in good form. 2nd behind the useful Tongil Hanguk in February then 6th to the very useful Seobu Cat last month. A chance here.
  7. CHEONSANG OREUM – Bad day at the office last start but she’d been going well prior to that and is worth another chance here. Top jockey on today.
  8. JAESAENGMYEONGNI – Drops back in trip after an unsuccessful spin around 1800M. Has some decent class and distance results and shouldn’t be too far away.
  9. GIRL CRUSH – Got promoted to this level by virtue of three 3rd place finishes and hasn’t found it easy. Back in trip today but an outsider.
  10. MIR KAN – Well off the pace in recent outings and little reason to think that will change today. Big Outsider.
  11. MONEY BLACK HOLE – Shown ability and while disappointing last time, he was found to have bled. Trialled up well at the end of March and could be a factor.
  12. TRIPLE BOSS – A 4th and a pair of 5th place finishes in his latest three. Capable of at least matching those here.


Exchange Race Round-Up: Medici Glory Impresses At Seoul, Wolsley Doubles At Busan

There were four valuable exchange races in Korea on Sunday, two of them restricted to locally-bred three-year-old fillies and two for three-year-old imports. Here’s what happened:

Tokyo City Keiba Trophy

9/1 chance Smile Girl (Federalist), trained by Lee Shin Young and ridden by Lee Hyeok came through late to snatch victory after pre-race favourite Match Queen weakened badly in the home straight. Daddy Glory was 2nd while Luigi Riccardi’s Mamma Roma closed late for a worthy 3rd.

Jockey Club of Turkey (TJK) Trophy

Medici Glory (Gemologist) put in the performance of the day to crush what had looked to be a very strong field. Trained by Song Moon Gil and ridden by Yoo Seung-wan, the US import defeated Havana Charlie and the previously unbeaten Global Captain, by ten-lengths in a fast time.

Selangor Turf Club Trophy

Peter Wolsley’s filly Top Of World (Federalist) put herself firmly into the Oaks picture registering her fourth win on her seventh start and her first since last September. Thomas Gillespie’s Yeonggwangui Sidae came home 2nd to make it a foreign-trainer quinella.

China Horse Industry Association Trophy

Peter Wolsley completed a double, saddling Pro Consul (Freedom Child) to victory. The US import, who was ridden by Seo Seung-un moves on to three wins from five and is unbeaten in two this year.

Exchange Race Sunday: Seoul & Busan – Race-By-Race Preview (April 14)

Sunday sees International Exchange races at both Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:40 to 17:05) and this year, an intriguing program has been put together for three-year-old fillies and imported horses of the same age. Just over a month out from the Oaks, it’s a chance to see some of the leading fancies for the fillies’ Classic and in the other races, to see some of the hottest young imported talent racing against each other. Here are the previews with horse-by-horse comments for the Exchange races (Busan below): 

Spring Back KRA

Spring Back is among the exciting young imports in action on Sunday

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A maiden for fillies only to kick things off and with a 5th and a 3rd from her two starts so far, (2) MENI GRAND is set to be hot favourite to make her breakthrough here. (8) SOLID was much-improved 2nd on her second career start over 1000M last month. She’s out of a Korean Group winner and while she is back up in trip can continue to make progress here. (5) JIOBANA similarly improved on her latest outing and tries this distance for the first time. She may benefit from Alan Munro in the saddle today. (3) COLORS DE LAGO and first-time starter (7) CHOEGANG GONGJU are others to take note of.

Selections (2) Meni Grand (8) Solid (5) Jiobana (7) Choegang Gongju
Next Best 3, 9
Fast Start 3, 5, 8

Race 2: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) RICH RULES was a winner on debut and then ran 3rd on her first try at this class on March 2nd. She’ll be on pace here and has every chance of coming out on top. The other standout is (4) GAL IP. She got her maiden win on her fifth start last time and while up in class today, there looks to be more to come from her. She’ll be challenging for the lead early too. (8) SEMYEONG GISANG was a good 2nd on his first try at this level last month and is another who can go close. (9) GEUP HAENG MA drops back in trip after winning at the level over 1300M on March 10th and must be taken seriously too.

Selections (3) Rich Rules (4) Gal Ip (8) Semyeong Gisang (9) Geup Haeng Ma
Next Best 6, 5
Fast Start 1, 3, 8

Race 3: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Could it be (4) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON’s time at last? She remains a maiden following sixteen attempts but is by no means a bad racehorse with four 2nds and four 3rds to her name. The latest 2nd was last time, in a decent race at this distance and it could finally be her day. Should she find one or two too quick again then (1) WILD FIGHT and (8) GO GO BI look leading contenders. Both have a best of 3rd place from three starts apiece and have improvement in them. (12) CHAPEL ACE has three wins to his name and showed signs of a return to form with a good 2nd last time. There is one debut-maker and (6) FLORIDA POWER gone well in two trials and arrives with decent claims to go well first-up.

Selections (4) Kkeuleojuneun Son (8) Go Go Bi (1) Wild Fight (12) Chapel Ace
Next Best 6, 9
Fast Start 3, 5, 9

Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(10) FULL MOON OCEAN has shown steady progress across four starts so far, all at this distance, culminating in 2nd place last time. He’s a front-runner so will need to overcome the wide-draw but he’s the one they need to beat here. (5) JANGSAN EX similarly improved on his second outing, running a good 4th and can maintain his momentum here while (6) O PI M J was disappointing when well-backed over 1300M last start and should be better eased back in trip today. (1) BAEKSANG had a hard time on debut in February but can be given another chance today, two months on and under a much lighter weight. There are two first-time starters and (11) CAPTAIN BEST caught the eye in trials and could go well first-up.

Selections (10) Full Moon Ocean (5) Jangsan Ex (6) O Pi M J (11) Captain Best
Next Best 1, 3
Fast Start 3, 5, 10

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

Really competitive little race. (5) SOMETHING NOBODYNO has a win and two runner-up finishes from three starts so far. He ran 2nd behind a very good winner last start, and while he is up in distance for the first time today, he has every chance of returning to the winner’s circle. (10) VICAR BRACING could start as favourite though. He’s up in class following an eye-catching nine-length win over this distance on March 2nd and while he has drawn the widest gate, he can run on strongly and can win. (3) BARAMEUL GEURIDA is up in class too after a similarly easy on the eye seven-length score back in February. He made all that day and is nicely drawn to get the front. (2) HANIL MAGIC and (8) MONEY ZIF are others who can go close.

Selections (10) Vicar Bracing (5) Something Nobodyno (3) Barameul Geurida (8) Money Zif
Next Best 2, 9
Fast Start 1, 3, 5

Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(9) WELLNESS K has had a stop/start career so far but now he’s finally getting a strong of runs together, he’s looked good, improving to a maiden win last time at this distance. He’s carrying more weight today but looks to have a fair shout of a repeat. Primary danger is (8) WINNING BLADE, who bounced back from a disappointing run in Seoul’s top juvenile race last October to win over this distance in November. He’s only raced once this term, finishing 5th at 1200M in January but coming back from a spell and back down at what seems his best distance, he can win. (7) BIG GARLAND remains a maiden but was 4th first-up after three months off last start and can go close again. (5) RICHARDOFNEWSTEAD and (10) SANTOS are others in the hunt.

Selections (9) Wellness K (8) Winning Blade (7) Big Garland (10) Santos
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 1, 3, 7, 8

Race 7: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(7) DELTA BROTHER got his maiden win over 1300M in February and then ran a strong 2nd on his first try at this class and distance a month ago, beating a few of these along the way. He’ll go to the front early and could well go all the way. (10) BARAM KING beat (3) DOUBLE GOLD and (1) BLACK GINGA on his way to victory at class and distance on March 10th. The draw has not been kind today, but he warrants respect based on that run and can go close again. Double Gold was 3rd in that race and can be competitive again while we will expect improvement from Black Ginga, who came home 4th as favourite – the second time in a row Double Gold has beaten him – and should be better today. (2) RAON MIRACLE is another for who recent form reads well and who should be in the mix at the business end.

Selections (7) Delta Brother (1) Black Ginga (2) Raon Miracle (10) Baram King
Next Best 3, 6
Fast Start 4, 7

Race 8: Class Open (1400M) Allowance (3yo KOR bred Fillies) / KRW 150 Million – TOKYO CITY KEIBA TROPHY

  1. SMILE GIRL – 4th behind Daddy Glory in January before beating Mamma Roma on her way to a three-length win at 1300M in February. Stepped up to 1700M last time to run 2nd at class 4. Settles just behind early pace and top-four finish expected.
  2. BEST HILL – Won her first two over 1000M but has had a harder time at class 4 and at longer distances. Not a fast starter but can run on. Still scope for improvement but others favoured here.
  3. DADDY GLORY – Beat Smarty Adele and Smile Girl on way to victory over 1300M in January before finishing 3rd behind Match Queen on latest start. She hung out around the turn last time for which a warning was issued and if she fixes that, she has a big chance of overturning the form.
  4. MAMMA ROMA – Comes in off a run of three consecutive runner-up finishes but was well-beaten by Smile Girl in February. Another for whom the extra distance may be a plus, but improvement will be needed.
  5. GREEN DARC – Both wins came at 1000M last autumn, she was last seen running way down the track over 1700M in February. One of the outsiders today.
  6. MATCH QUEEN – She’s won three in a row and four from five in total. Her latest saw her make all over 1300M at class 4 to win by twelve-lengths and while she goes the extra half furlong for the first time, she’s got solid claims to lead all the way again.
  7. BAKCHAOREUM – Registered three wins in a row over the turn of the year at 1000M and 1300M. Blew the start after being fractious in the barriers last time which explains her poor result. She needs a quick start and if she gets it, she can go close.
  8. WONDERFUL TRUTH – Won her first two and while she has found it tougher since, she has been racing in good company. The only one of these to run in the Sports Seoul Classic Trial last month, she led that race early only to finish 6th. She will try to lead again, and experience of the distance may help her here.
  9. SMARTY ADELE – Beaten four-lengths by Daddy Glory in January, she bounced back to score by eight-lengths over 1300M at class 5 n March 3rd. More improvement needed here as it won’t be easy to lead but she could be an interesting outsider.


Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (April 13)

Blossom season is in full flow and we’d best make the most of it as it’s predicted to rain on Sunday. The Cherry Blossom Festival at Seoul Racecourse continues over the weekend and there is plenty of racing too. Saturday sees 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

cherry blossom

Race 1: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) HANYANG NURI ran on very well to win on debut over 1000M back in December. She returns here having had four months off up in class and distance but with solid claims. (3) JEMA TEUKGEUP is up in class and distance following a 2nd place and a comfortable win over 1000M from her first two outings. She’ll be on pace here and could repeat. (4) TAEPUNG EYES is experienced at this level and was a solid 4th last time out in similar company, which he can build on today. (1) MISSILE CANDY steps up in trip for the first time and can improve while (10) KAILLUM YEOJE will try to challenge Jema Teukgeup for the early lead and can at least be in the placing frame.

Selections (5) Hanyang Nuri (3) Jema Teukgeup (4) Taepung Eyes (1) Missile Candy
Next Best 10, 2
Fast Start 3, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW40 Million

Three-year-old maidens only here. (3) TIZ ROSE and (4) VICTORY MAY both finished 4th on their respective debuts and both return after quite lengthy spells out (16 and 12 weeks). Both should go close but for the pick well go with (10) SPEED BELLE. He’s raced three times so far and drops back in trip following a 5th place over 1300M a month ago and can push on here. He’ll have to come around from the outside to get to the front but is capable. We’re scraping around with the rest a bit but (9) MOONHAKCHEETAH offered a few hints of improvement last start and could build on it here.

Selections (10) Speed Belle (3) Tiz Rose (4) Victory May (9) Moonhakcheetah
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 3, 7, 9, 10

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

More three-year-old maidens with eight of the twelve having raced before. (4) PRIME QUEEN was a much-improved 2nd on what was her second career outing on March 2nd. She can settle just behind the early speed and finish strongly. (11) CHEONNYEONUI BARAM has a 3rd and no fewer than four 4th place finishes among six starts so far. He drops back in trip today and should be looking for a career-best result. (8) WONDERFUL PANGPANG also drops back in distance having weakened in her latest two, both at 1300M and can get closer. There are four first-time starters and of them, (2) HAWK HAENGJINGOK and (5) GOLDEN ANGLE both have trial wins to their name and can go well first-up.

Selections (4) Prime Queen (11) Cheonnyeonui Baram (2) Hawk Haengjingok (5) Golden Angle
Next Best 8, 10
Fast Start 1, 2, 5, 8

Race 4: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

A few standouts here. (5) BINNANEUN RUBY ran a close 5th at this distance on March 23rd in very similar company to this. She is a seventeen-race maiden but has a decent shot of changing that here. The two main challengers both try this distance for the first time. (4) MASON has improved across three starts so far and ran 3rd at 1300M last start. The trip should suit, and he can match or better that finish today. (11) BAEKSAEK GWANGCHAE took a couple of goes to figure things out but has been 3rd and 2nd in his latest two and he too should appreciate a bit more distance today (1) PUNGMUNEURO has been inconsistent but is not completely devoid of ability and she too attempts two turns for the first time. (8) REIGN looks best of the rest.

Selections (5) Binnaneun Ruby (4) Mason (11) Baeksaek Gwangchae (1) Pungmuneuro
Next Best 8, 5
Fast Start 1, 6, 10, 11

Race 5: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Since returning from six months off, (9) ICHEON SSAL has shown some signs of returning to form. He ran 2nd at this distance in early March and may have finished better than 5th last time had he not had a poor start. Today could be his day although this is a desperately open race. (5) ECHO GOLD remains winless after fourteen attempts but has been knocking on the door of late and could go through it today while both (3) RISING SOCKS and (4) CHEONGDAM TIGER are better than their respective latest outings suggest, and both should be involved here. (8) SUN START is another maiden and steps back up in trip with recent form reasonably encouraging.

Selections (9) Icheon Ssal (3) Rising Socks (5) Echo Gold (4) Cheongdam Tiger
Next Best 8, 1
Fast Start 4, 12

Race 6: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(4) FIRENZE HILL is set to be a warm favourite here. He’s run 3rd and 2nd in two starts at this level since getting his maiden win back in December, being beaten both times by better than what he faces here. He can lead all the way. (6) QUEEN FORCE ONE enters having won somewhat unexpectedly at class and distance on March 16th and she obviously warrants respect today. (12) ACE TRIPLE came home 4th in that same race, his first try at this class, and he has claims to get closer this time. (1) FINAL STORM and (10) FULL MOON SKY look best of the rest.

Selections (4) Firenze Hill (6) Queen Force One (12) Ace Triple (10) Full Moon Sky
Next Best 1, 9
Fast Start 1, 2, 12

Race 7: Class 4 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Eight imported maidens go here. (5) DAEGUN CHEONHA will be a pretty strong favourite coming in as he does with two 3rd places followed by a very close 2nd, just losing out by a head last time at this distance. From gate 5 he will be on pace early and should make no mistake today. (2) THE SPIKER has finished no worse than 4th in four attempts so far and should be looking to match the 2nd place he scored on debut – he’ll aim to go with the favourite early. (3) MUNHAK WINNER and (4) FIGHT TODAY both showed promise on their respective debuts while (8) LIL’ PATRON too ran well on debut back in February and though he disappointed on his return three weeks ago, can be given another chance here.

Selections (5) Daegun Cheonha (2) The Spiker (4) Fight Today (3) Munhak Winner
Next Best 8
Fast Start 2, 5

Race 8: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

A winner of four from five so far, (9) RAPIDOCUS is up in class today off the back of a six-length score over 1700M on March 2nd. He steps back in trip and has every chance of making all once more. Another up in class pair, (2) GOLDEN DIAL and (7) CHEUNGDAM GENIE both look to have more improvement in them and look best equipped to challenge the favourite. Both are up to this distance for the first time. (5) JANGSAN BEARS drops back in trip and can aim for the places while (12) DORAON NALRI raced a touch ungenerously last start but still managed 5th and can aim to at least repeat today.

Selections (9) Rapidocus (7) Cheungdam Genie (2) Golden Dial (5) Jangsan Bears
Next Best 12, 6
Fast Start 7, 9

Race 9: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(1) BEST LINE has two wins and two runner-up finishes from four outings so far, the latest of which was his first try at this distance. He steps up in class today but looks in good stead to win again. (9) DO KKI BLADE put in a very promising juvenile campaign, finishing 2nd to Dae Wan Ma in the Gwacheon Governor’s Cup. After running 7th in the Breeders’ Cup he had a wind operation and returns for the first time since, having trialled up encouragingly twice, most recently last Friday. He has a chance. (7) DUMANGANG and (6) STRONG RUNNER came home 2nd and 3rd when they raced each other at class and distance a month ago. Strong Runner can overturn that form today. (2) UP LIGHT is another in at least the placing hunt.

Selections (1) Best Line (9) Do Kki Blade (6) Strong Runner (2) Up Light
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 3, 5, 11

Race 10: Class 2 (1900M) Handicap / KRW 110 Million

(4) GEUMBIRANG toughed out victory by a neck at this class over 1800M on March 3rd. He is giving weight away to every other horse here, but he has the ability to overcome it and can win again. Should the impost prove too much, (7) MEGALIOS is the one to take advantage. A winner of three of his last five, he’s up in class today having scored over 1700M last time. It’s his first time at 1900M today but with a nice light weight to carry, he can win. (1) SMART PARK and (2) YESANGBAEK SEUNG both come in with recent form reading well while (6) O.K. YEONDAB is another in the hunt.

Selections (7) Megalios (4) Geimbirang (2) Yesangbaek Seung (1) Smart Park
Next Best 6, 9
Fast Start 7, 9

Race 11: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

Six of these raced each other at class and distance on March 16th. (7) YAHO SMART CAT finished the best of them that day in 3rd place and he is favoured to prevail over them once more, coming home on top this time. Of the ones he beat that day, (10) MAGIC TEN probably has the most realistic chance of overturning the form but he’ll face stiffer challenges from the likes of (1) STORM RYKER and (11) GRAY SOCKS, both of whom went well last start. (2) K KING is up in class after a good win over 1000M last time and is another who can challenge for at least a place.

Selections (7) Yaho Smart Cat (1) Storm Ryker (10) Magic Ten (11) Gray Socks
Next Best 2, 12
Fast Start 1, 3, 7, 9

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (April 12)

There are 10 races at Busan on Friday from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(11) GAMDONGUI SUNGAN beat three of these on his way to his second 3rd place finish last start. He only needs a top three finish to be up in class next time and he can exit the bottom tier of racing with a win here.  (7) FINE TRUMPET has shown some ability in two starts so far, finishing 5th and 4th and can continue to make progress here. (4) SPICE ROCK, half to Triple Nine is yet to offer much and was well back behind Gamdongui Sungan last start but still has every chance of coming good and can improve today. (6) GASOK BULKKOT and (12) SMILE KOREA are others with the potential to get better.

Selections (11) Gamdongui Sungan (7) Fine Trumpet (4) Spice Rock (12) Smile Korea
Next Best 6, 5
Fast Start 6, 7, 11

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(4) NEW QUEEN comes in having been 2nd and 4th in her latest two, both at this distance, and looks the one to beat. From a good draw she can settle just off the early pace and finish strongly. (5) SILVER BEST finished 5th behind New Queen four weeks ago. He has a length and a half to find here and is another who can improve. (11) BAEKDU DAEHO drops back in trip after a couple of useful performances at a mile and can be involved. (6) DONGBANG NARAE finished 5th on debut three weeks ago and can build on the here while the wildcard is (12) JEONGUIUI GITBAL. He too finished 5th on debut a year ago almost to the day. He trialled up nicely in March and can go well first-up here.

Selections (4) New Queen (5) Silver Best (12) Jeonguiui Gitbal (11) Baekdu Daeho
Next Best 6, 2
Fast Start 2, 10, 11

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

Small but competitive field. It’s hard to recommend a twenty-race maiden but (2) DONE IT MY really has as good a chance as any. He ran well for a strong class and distance 4th last start, beating a couple of these in the process and today could be his day. (4) HANEOLUI BIT is a maiden too, although he has only raced eight times. He registered a good 2nd at this distance in December to get promoted to this class and then ran a creditable 5th on his first latest outing in February. He comes in off seven weeks rest and can play a big role. (3) TORNADO KING was one of those beaten by Done It My last start but should get to the front here and can go better. (1) MUJEOK BEAT and (7) INTERCEPTOR best of the rest.

Selections (4) Haneolui Bit (2) Done It My (7) Interceptor (3) Tornado King
Next Best 1, 6
Fast Start 3, 4

Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(4) CHEONNYEONUIJILJU is yet to win but has now finished 2nd on no fewer than four of his seven career starts. Franco Da Silva takes the mount for the first time. He should be on pace early and today should be his day. If he does fall short once more then (2) SUMMIT TODAY, who ran 3rd to (8) ON DAY’s 2nd last time at class and distance, looks the biggest danger. He’ll be on pace as well and should certainly overturn the form on On Day and challenge the favourite. (11) DOCTOR WEEK is up in class after a nice-looking three-length win at this distance three weeks ago. The draw has not been kind, but he can be competitive. (12) GHOST RIDER is a proven money winner at this level and should be in at least the placing frame.

Selections (4) Cheonnyeonuijilju (2) Summit Today (11) Doctor Week (12) Ghost Rider
Next Best 8, 5
Fast Start 2, 4, 9, 11

Race 5: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Four of these raced each other at class and distance on March 15th. It was (5) HALLA HWANGHU who came out on top that day, finishing in 3rd place – having been sent off as favourite – and she’s worth another chance today. (6) NALGAEREUL PYEORA was 4th in that race, less than a length in arrears and should get close again while (11) MORNING BRAVO was further back in 6th but can improve on that today. Among those who didn’t go in that race, (9) ACE BOOM is up in class after a solid win at this distance four weeks ago. She was beaten by Halla Hwanghu in February but looks to have come on since. (2) POWER AMAZING, a “full” brother to Triple Crown winner Power Blade, was a winner at this class over a mile last start and interestingly drops right back in trip here. He will have backers.

Selections (5) Halla Hwanghu (2) Power Amazing (9) Ace Boom (6) Nalgaereul Pyeora
Next Best 11, 3
Fast Start 5, 9, 11

Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(11) JET SKY broke the track record for this distance on her way to victory on March 10th. It was a very wet track that day and it was a big uptick in form – she was sent off seventh best in the betting – but she looks nicely in here and can repeat. (4) AMAZING TAPIT (more…)

Manuel Porcu Opens Korean Account With Weekend Double

While most of the attention this past weekend was focused on the opening leg of the 2019 Triple Crown at Busan, up at Seoul it proved to be an excellent couple of days for Manuel Porcu, as the track’s newest overseas jockey notched his first wins in Korea.

Porcu, who is from Italy, made his Seoul debut on March 30th but drew a blank on his first weekend with his best finish being a 4th. Returning last Saturday with a more promsing book of rides, it didn’t take long for him to make his breakthrough, the 25-year-old scoring on race 2 on Winner Say for trainer Luigi Riccardi and owner Katsumi Yoshida. Porcu guided the filly, who began as favourite,  to her maiden victory by almost three lengths.

Sunday saw a repeat for Porcu, as he took race 3 on 7/1 chance Royal Shalom. He would then conclude his weekend’s work with a close 2nd place on 50/1 outsaide Bright Cat in the class 1 feature.

Porcu, who can ride at 51kg, joins five other foreign jockeys in the weighing room at Seoul. They are French pair Johan Victoire and David Breux, Antonio Da Silva of Brazil, the UK’s Alan Munro and Japan’s Masa Tanaka.